Jacen: Ring of Fire

Jacen Cousland sat quietly in the waiting room above the Training Room where numerous teens had battled their way through the entry exam into the Demon Slayer Academy. Many had failed, some spectacularly, like one boy who tripped on his way out of the elevator down and fell just as he released a spell which went not towards the enemy but towards him, but a select few had weathered their way through the dangers and made their names part of the Demon Slayer Academy's rosters.

As he sat, pondering the latest failure by another teen, the next 'victim', as they were called, was called up for the examination.

"Cousland, Jacen," one of the trainers barked, "you're up!"

Jacen stood and made his way slowly and gracefully towards the elevator. It seemed he was walking through water he was moving so slowly. As he approached the scorched interior of the elevator, he was greeted by the admonishments by some of his aquaintences and friends wishing him luck in his upcomming struggle. He didn't need luck, Jacen thought, he needed to keep a cool head, which seemed to be the source of his abilites. He reached the elevator, turned to face the door to the training room, even though it was 3 floors below him, and started to calm his mind. But before he could begin, the heavy metal doors slammed shut and the elevator began clanking down the shaft towards the bottom.

Jacen stood a moment, completely still, not moving a single part of his body, save for maybe his lungs, heart and mind which were all going at a frantic, or semi-frantic, pace. He finally moved just as the elevator came to a screeching halt at the bottom of the shaft, removing what looked to be a slender, but long, tree branch from his back. In actuality, it was a walking stick he had picked up and whittled down to a fine, slender figure, and had made a few aestetic adjustments to it. He wouldn't part with it even if the whole world were offered to him. This staff meant more to him than just a random stick from the great outdoors, it served him a reminder of his bloody past.

The heavy metal doors clanked open with a loud earsplitting screech. Jacen flinched a moment as the sound traveled to his ears and reverberated off the metal walls of the elevator. He wanted to get out of the elevator as soon as he could, but he had to wait for the Head-Instructor to give him instructions.

"This is Cousland, Jacen taking the entry exam for entrance into the Demon Slayer Academy. You may begin on my mark," He heard over the PA system. He patiently waited as the training field was being populated with his enemies, "3....2....1.... You may begin." And with that, he strode out of the elevator and scanned the field. He noted a few large figures a distance off, he estimated maybe about 200 or so meters off. He began channeling energy just as one of the figures let out a loud roar and began moving towards him. He recognized the battle-cry: bearskarymn. The large corupted bear like creatures could easily destroy him if they got their paws and jaws on him, it was best if he kept them at a distance.

He continued to watch the bearskarymn as they approached, he noted that there were only 5 of them, but all of them were of the adult age so they were at their fiercest. This would be a challenge, he thought. He then focused all his attention into gathering energy for battle and finally decided he had enough, just as one of the bearskarymn closed to within 90 meters.

He took his staff securely in his left hand and raised his right hand, palm extended towards the charging enemies, and uttered a simple but effective spell, "Augue". He felt a rush of energy and saw that a fireball had, on command, erupted out of his palm and blitzed towards the first bearskarymn. He saw the creature attempt to stop, it was confused as to this new appearance, but was struck head-on by the flaming ball of energy. Jacen heard the creature cry out before crashing down to the hard floor. One down, 4 to go.

He readied another fireball and was about to unleash it but before he could, he was blindsided and rammed by a bearskarymn from his left flank. Surprised, he skidded a few feet before regaining his footing and composure and immediatly unleased a salvo of fireballs at the offending creature. As he noted, with a slight grin, the success of the salvo, he was again blindsided by another bearskarymn who swiped at him and narrowly missed taking him out of action for good. He evaded, but not in time for the paw to miss completely. His arm, and his jacket, were both shreaded by the powerful claws as he rolled away. Pain racking his mind, he saw that the other bearskarymn had closed in on him and had began to encircle him. He wouldn't let that happen. He took his staff in both hands and swirled it above him, channeling magical energy from him to his staff. He felt the power begin to increase with every precious moment at the center of the spinning staff. He lingered a moment longer before he unleased the energy in one devestating spell. "Infernus!" he shouted and slammed the tip of his staff upon the ground.

The air around him exploded in fire as the air, it seemed, had caught aflame. He looked up at the bearskarymn and saw that they had been blasted back a few meters by the eruption and had all caught on fire. He felt the energy begin to leave him as he sustained the inferno for a few moments longer, making sure that his opponents were truely dead. When he was sure, he ended the spell, surveyed the charred battleground, turned to the Trainer's Booth, where the judges were, bowed, turned, and headed for the elevator back to the viewing platform.

Up in the Trainer's Booth, one of the senior trainers turned to the Head-Instructor and began to form a question when he was silenced by the Head-Instructor raising a hand towards him.

"Yes," He said simlpy, answering the unasked and rhetorical question. He would do, he thought, he would do.

The End

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