“How’s the leg?” I asked.
“It’s doing better. It seems to have gotten a little better over the course of the night.”
“That’s good. I can’t stay long, my fight is one of the first ones this morning. I’ll keep an eye open to see who you’re fighting ok?”
“Thank you Juewuhl. Fight well.”
I hadn’t wanted to do much after the first twelve fights yesterday. I escorted Pownde to the Rest Center, but wasn’t able to stay long because he had to undergo treatment. I was tired but not really tired. Once I laid down, I didn’t have the energy to get back up, but I was nowhere near being able to sleep.
I thought about the fighters I had seen today and began to think about how I would go about facing them. After about an hour, my head began to hurt and my mind decided to let me sleep in exchange for a respite from thinking. I gladly agreed.
This morning I had gotten up with enough time to visit Pownde before I had to show up at the Arena. My fight was second. After I had said goodbye to Pownde I jogged out of the room and nearly collided with another participant who had just been released from the rest center.
“Juewuhl. Watch where you’re going.”
“Pailadyn? Why are you here? I didn’t see you get wounded in your fight yesterday!”
“Well… no not physically. My pride was damaged, but it wasn’t the first time it’s happened this week.” She said with a hard look.
I wasn’t in the mood for that. “Pailadyn I gave you my reasons, and you’reonly proving me right. If you truly “loved” me then you would accept those reasons and lay off. I have a fight to get to. I hope your damaged Psyche gets well soon.”
And I stalked away. I was now know emotionally unbalanced and really pissed off. That was precisely why I had been trying to avoid her this last week, because she only served as a distraction, and this wasn’t training anymore.
Distractions could get you killed.
I briefly wondered if that’s what she was going for. It’s not as if saying “No” to her was easy or enjoyable for me either. Why did she have to-
“Juewuhl! Watch where you’re going!”
“Oh… sorry Traynur.” I mumbled as I identified him as the person I had collided with.
“What’s wrong Juewuhl?”
“Nothing. I can deal with it.”
“Well you seem distracted.”
I folded my hands behind my head. “I suppose I do.”
“What’s the problem?”
I let my hands fall, and shook my head. “It’s nothing I really want to share. It’s my own fault really so I’ll have to deal with it.”
His look was skeptical but he conceded. “Alright. Good luck out there Juewuhl. Remember.” He said pointing to my head.
I nodded and continued on my way to the Arena. The first match was just ending as I arrived. One participant was writhing on the ground like he had been electrocuted. The other contestant was pointing at him and shouting. His hand was surrounded by a crackling black electricity.
The match ended and the man, who was no longer shaking, was picked up and brought to the Rest Center.
“Our next match! Klohne versus our newest arrival Juewuhl! On behalf of the people assembled here, Welcome to Cyst Juewuhl!”
Why thanks… thanks so much. Welcome to Cyst, now go fight this guy.
They might be saying “Farewell” before they knew it.
I beat Klohne to the ring and waited as he made his way down the stands and to the arena floor.
“Fighters are you ready?”
We both nodded.
“Three, two, one, BEGIN!”
I had decided to let Klohne make the first move, and instantly regretted it. Before I could blink twice, there were suddenly three of him.
Within seconds I was surrounded.
I feared that he had been a Poly-Shroud, but he hadn’t shown any other powers. What I found curious was that his shroud looked like a suit.
Yeah, like Agent Smith from the Matrix.
I hadn’t seen any movies or DVDs here so there was only one other pla-
My head whipped to the side as I took a punch from one of the clones. Then another, and another, and another.
My head was screaming at me to stay on my feet. If I fell to the ground it was all over.
If it wasn’t already.