Shouts and screams and boos surrounded him from all around.
A bright light seemed to bombard him from above. It was a desert sun. The colosseum seats were completely filled with different magical races as Narice looked at the surreal appearance.
He was in the center of a stadium. A scorching sun and dusty ground set the stage. A voice sounded over the crowd in a large booming noise.
“Narice Arkline! Our next competitor!” Ka’atra arose from the balcony that extended above a majority of the colosseum. Beside him, a familiar face, Rei stood guard with an unemotional yet deeply intent gaze.
Words that confirmed to Narice what was going on resounded through Ka’atra’s voice across the stadium- there was no doubt it was amplified through a sort of loudspeaker.
“The bane to my existence! The supposed prophecy to my demise!” Ka’atra spoke, “I have graciously offered to him the life of his friends for his participation in this colosseum event.”
He paused and nodded to the cart-master who had Nick and Romani in a cart and which carted them away at Ka’atra’s motioning. Boos came from the audience.
At least that much was true. ..
“I am not one to break promises….” he paused, he led in quietly the first part of the next line building up into a crescendo, “And I do promise this. I will be sure to make his death the most unforgettable event in the history of the world, so that none would dare challenge the great KA’ATRA ever again!”
It made sense, Narice thought. If he died here, Ka’atra was bound to get a leap in followers and diminished retaliation. Even with Elera and the council and the elves as an opposition, Ka’atra had a huge control of the map and the jewels now. The only one he lacked was the fire jewel.
Narice prepared for the worst.
“As per the rules of the tournament… Narice will battle challengers one round at a time. Each round will double the amount of the last till the challenger has been killed… Let’s do hope for a good show at least…”
The crowd cheered.
“Let round one commence!”
From the edge of the colosseum, a giant appeared. He must have been a hundred feet tall. For only one opponent, Ka’atra had made sure to make it stand out.
“Fee fi foo fum…” it spoke. True to its race, it was holding a giant club…
Narice had only seen a giant in Ancient picture books so seeing it in real life was definitely a sight. Narice was pretty much the size of its foot.
“Hello little bug,” it boomed down to Narice as it looked at him with a smile.
“Alright, sword… I don’t mean to sound so needy, but let’s make these stings hurt…”
“You know I’ve grown fond of you…” the sword spoke, “I’ll be sure to make it hurt this giant at the very least.”
“I like your little toothpick,” the giant spoke. “Maybe I’ll use it for my teeth after I’ve eaten you…”
Despite it being big, Narice made sure to work around its feet well, until eventually he cut it all along the edge of his foot.
“Ooh!” it spoke as it kneeled to the ground.
Narice put his best effort into a leap and ran along the shoulder line as it had fallen.
The giant turned his head attempting to nudge Narice off of its shoulder, but only ended with disfiguring its face and finally losing its head.
‘It seems the giant was too presumptuous!” Ka’atra spoke over the loudspeaker as the fall had taken out a fourth of the colosseum seats.
A large group of soldiers surrounded and then enchained Narice in some sort of magic- but they let him keep everything on hand… and put him inside of a cell. Even with magic, the repairs had taken a good minute when Narice had gone from being locked up again through a magical set of chains.
“With no further ado!” Ka’atra continued. For some reason, he thought he saw a glimmer of hope in Rei’s eyes, but it faded again in an instant…
“Ah, poor, Narice.” Ka’atra spoke, “I’ll tell you a tragic secret if you happen to make it through this round…” Not failing to notice the minute detail that went between them.
“Something to look ahead for!” Ka’atra spoke. The colosseum doors opened, and two giant lion-wolf monsters raced towards him, barring their sharp fangs in an instant.
Narice could only trip as one of them charged strait at him, trying to get a gulp in. They were both large enough to have been the giant’s pet wolves. He wondered how it was possible to have tucked away such a wildcat.
One of them got a good grip on him and gulped him up without even a full bite; as it tried to bite down however, Narice had locked his arms and legs inside of its mouth. It squirmed trying to close its jaw.
Narice cut a gash between its bottom lip and its teeth. Blood started to squirm from the inside of its mouth. Narice then cut open a hole through its mouth and fell out of it onto the ground.
The other Wildcat now looked at the other as a sort of meal in itself. The first one noticed it and barred its now broken jaw. They started to fight each other, razor-sharp fangs dug into the hides of the weaker one and Narice dove under the winning one to cut under its chest until it reached his heart. He continued to slide underneath it until he cleared the giant cat body completely and watched as it wobbled down to the ground. The first one ended up using the second as a meal, forgetting Narice completely, however with its injury, Narice had already ran up to it again to stab it in the skull.
“As promised, a story… long ago, Narice and I used to be friends….”
Narice listened on as the blasphemic story carried on.
“…but I vowed that after that, I would take away all he ever held dear- starting with his mother… his father… and his sister! Who is actually in this colosseum! Once upon a time, she was a little girl by the name of Ari! I’m not one to kill kids however… so I have raised her as my own daughter.
The funny thing is, they never even recognized each other! Even more humorous, they had almost fallen in love!”
A series of jeers and laughter resounded as the crowd pointed down at Narice.
“Rei! Come here!”
Rei looked on Narice with a sort of confusion… as if Ka’atra had been talking about two completely different people. But she seemed otherwise unphased- as if the information meant barely anything at all.
“Let’s look at your brother fight valiantly!”
She looked on at Narice with a curious gaze. As if she could care less weather or not he lived, Narice on the other hand now felt that he had something he had to live for.
“With no further ado, Round three!”
Narice fought with a new passion against the oncoming horde of four giant Ogres.
As each of them swung their weapon, Narice made sure to counter with a killing blow. It was over in a matter of seconds.
“Round four!” Ka’atra brought up more news… Elera was with him. In the colosseum. In chains that stopped her magic. If Narice could make it through the next round, Elera would be taken out to watch. Narice wasn’t sure whether it was for the best, but he knew one thing. He wanted to see her with all his heart.
The greater amount didn’t mean that the enemies were weakened, in fact it seemed like Ka’atra wanted to end it right then and there with the eight demon-warriors that flew towards him. Narice began to feel fatigue, but refused to quit. The magic sword held its own against the eight well trained warriors. He was thankful for that now. One by one, the warriors vanished into ash.
A new fire burned as the sight of the girl he loved appeared before him in chains.
Sixteen more of the elites had been slain.
Narice could only look on at Elera, remembering her promise… “I couldn’t leave you behind like that… I would rather die.”
He couldn’t lose. He couldn’t let her promise end this way…
There was no end to it… Narice had just beaten sixty-four trained humanoid lizards. And barely had strength to stand, but without any slow in momentum…
Elera looked on with a smile of reassurance. Despite knowing that both of them were about to die, she wanted Narice to feel a little bit of happiness from that small sad smile.
A hundred and twenty-eight assorted breeds of warriors, from winged beasts to orcs to harpies and giant centipedes and there was Narice on the other end…
He swung his sword. Almost it had fused to his hand, they had fought so many together.
“There’s nothing i can do…” Narice told the sword. “…my body… can’t… match…”
As he collapsed in the center of the colosseum, flickers of consciousness showed an incoming batch of the remaining horde of beings diving in…closer…
In front of him… a glow… a stone had appeared- but no ordinary stone. One that had been lost to time itself.
Elera’s voice echoed in his memory, “When you need it most it will appear…”
The fire gem.
“Rhaaaa!” A giant firebird flew out from the colosseum looking down at the batch of monsters.
It rushed to the cage that held Elera.
Like a phoenix with a mission, its wings burned past the cage doors and everything that it came in its way while leaving Elera unharmed and free.
It’s ok. It told her.
She climbed on top of its back and its wings took flight. The bird’s fire only burned what it wanted to burn.
Screams came from the seats of the colosseum as it flew around the colosseum, pulling away from the chains that bound it, the bird looked around. The magical chains that had bound it to the colosseum walls incinerated.
Ka’atra himself had already rushed into the scene to face it, loading up his own barrage of spells starting with the power of the gems around his neck.
Despite its strength, the bird however knew better than to face its brothers- the four other elements…Especially, under the control of the user of darkness. It had to find a way out.
“This way!” a wave came from a familiar face. Jhona had guided the couple into a portal entrance.
With no other option, they dove full force towards the entrance.
Ka’atra like a storm, raced up behind them as a giant demon of four elements.
“I love you,” Elera said as she used power to full force, freezing time, while she and the bird accelerated through into the portal.
Ka’atra looked on, trying to catch up to them, immune to their powers, but as soon as he was close enough to finally catch them. They raced into the portal-
“Your friends are safe…” Jhona said, “Good luck…”
Narice and the Seventh Element