Self-inflicted Pain

Arianna

The stars above me were fading as the silhouette of a man approached the city of Gaesnia, his presence ensuring destruction and lament. The wind blew over the city a dense sheet of cloud that obstructed the path of the moonlight and diminished the stars. His steps were light and muffled from the experience of a prowling hunter and his searching eyes had grown accustomed to the darkness. He pulled back his robes, the faint light refracted from the bracelets in his wrist to the pillar I was standing, hiding from his sagacious eyes.

I took a deep breath as I quickly composed my trembling heart from the fear of getting caught. I cast furtive glances around the pillar once again; he was continuing his unhurried step. If I let him continue any further then the assembled team of Apprentices and Sorcerers some meters ahead would caught him before I did.

I moved my index finger in a circle, a faint cerulean color mist followed my finger as a small wormhole was being created. I pressed it against the pillar, smothering it with my palm. “Create yourself from the rigid stone and twist gracefully under my command,” I whispered. The stone beneath my palm began changing its composition, on the other end of the pillar flails of stone shot toward the direction of the man. The flails hit and pierced the ground underneath the figure, which had jumped before the flails hit him.

A red color illuminated the atmosphere and then the pillar exploded forcing me to expose myself as I crouched for safety. From the corner of my eye I saw him create another wormhole with fire erupting from it, he thrust it in my direction and I quickly ran out of its deadly impact.

“You were sent to kill me?” he taunted, creating another wormhole and throwing it at me. “Let me guess, you are an apprentice?”

I skidded to a stop, creating a wormhole and pressed it on the ground. A wall of earth erupted from the ground and stopped his fire. “Guess again!” I shouted, pushing forward the wall of earth. It slid effortlessly across the ground crashing into the man. From the midst of dust, a fiery red shot to the atmosphere as he opened five wormholes at once and combined them to make a stronger attack.

“A wizard that was taught outside the guilds,” he said. “Let’s see if you can stop this.” He hurled the massive fireball at me.

I repeated my dirt-wall trick but this time, instead of stopping the attack, I was sent tumbling backwards. He advanced as I was down; I opened up another wormhole and slammed my palm on the ground. Spikes erupted from the ground and forced him to back away, I glided my hand on the ground and the spikes flew into the air searching to rip apart the body of the man. Roland was a warlock that was sought after by many powerful entities and wizards, he had on his head a great bounty and on his conscience the death of entire villages.

He warned his coming to the city of Gaesnia, therefore a team of wizards was assembled to kill him to accumulate honor and grandeur to their guild. That wasn’t going to happen because I planned to conquer him by myself, demonstrating my skills as a wizard.

Roland created twenty wormholes and exploded the spikes in midair. Before I could create another wormhole, he dash to me and closed his hand around my throat, suffocating me. He lifted my body off the ground leaving my legs dangling helplessly above the ground. A wormhole appeared in my hand and I slammed my fist on his face, without success. He sneered.

“Pathetic,” he spat, “how can you call yourself a wizard with those clumsy and weak attacks?” He thrust my body toward the closest house, my back smashed against the adobe with great force, denting the surface. I plummeted on the ground trying to catch my breath whilst summoning another wormhole. His foot stomped on my right hand releasing the cerulean dust of an unfinished wormhole. My screams were a great enjoyment to him as it filled the night air, pain seared through my feeble arm and I heard the sound of my fingers fracturing underneath his weight.

 I lifted my head and met with his palm. In it I saw the traces of a wormhole about to be created, I closed my eyes and thought of my grandfather who was probably waiting for my return. The pressure on my hand was immediately lifted; I opened my eyes and saw the dead figure of Roland on the ground, fume seeping from his robe. A figure appeared from behind the shadows, it was the master of the guild, Shatlard.

I drew my hand to my chest, caressing the pain away. Shatlard approached me and ordered me to stand up. Once I was on my feet he slapped me across the face and then took me by the throat pinning me against the wall. He inched his face closer to mine.

“Young lady, how many times have I told you not to meddle with the guild’s affair?” he seethed, cocking his head to get a better view of my skewed head. “Look at me when I'm talking to you,” he barked, my defiant eyes met his. “What does magic means to you?” He leered, running his fingers down the length of my right arm and finally reaching my wrist. “Now, come on, answer when you are being asked a question.”

“Very… much… sir,” I mustered all my energy to keep my voice under control and the pain less noticeable.

“I see,” he whispered. He furrowed his brow and a splinting sound punctured my heart. I screamed louder than before, succumbing to the painful rushes coming from my wrist, which was twisted in an awkward way. Shatlard fingers were lingering on my wrist, a smirk settled upon his face. He let go of my throat and I collapsed on the ground. I bit my lip and I protected my destroyed hand, protecting it from further damage. I tried my best not to yelp, whine, or cry before the presence of the merciless wizard.

“A lesson,” he scooped up the dead body of Roland, a prize to honor his guild.

Tears flowed more naturally as I watched my wrist detached from my arm; I hiccupped before standing up and limping my way home. My house was located in the middle of the forest bordering Gaesnia, but before reaching my dwelling I collapsed on the ground.

I closed my palm around my wrist, my lips pressed lightly on it, and I whispered, “Heal.” A white light wrapped around my wrist as the bone was healing itself back to place, undergoing painful strain. The pain lasted few more minutes before I could flex and moved my fingers and wrist. Being the granddaughter of a White Mage was sometimes a blessing, self-inflicted pain, he always teased me.

The End

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