What could I do? There were too many of them, and they all looked alike! I wouldn’t be able to spot the real one, much less try and beat him amidst all these duplicates.
They were all duplicates of one person. The only that could clone himself was the one that possessed the power.
The real one.
So what did I have to do? Thin them out enough that I’d be able to see from where the new ones came. And from who.
Instead of saw blades, I created actual fan-like blades. They wouldn’t just cut, they would chop anything that came too close. I began to shove them into faces, fingers, and anything that tried to come near me. I was letting my anger and desperation flow into my Shroud, and it cut through the apparitions with ease.
A fresh wave of fist began hitting me from behind and I spun, blades flying. I was now less concerned with “killing” and more concerned with injuring. I marked as many as I could, then once things began to hurt again, I started to eliminate anything with a cut on it.
There were four of them left.
And then there were two more behind me.
And there was a splotch of red. A cut. A cut that was bleeding.
I leapt for him and-
I tripped on a foot, and hit the ground. The clones began to jump on me, pinning my arms and legs. I could my arm snap, and it felt like all my ribs were about to break as every single clone dog piled me.
All except one. One with a red mark.
My right arm was pinned and useless, but my left arm had a little mobility left. My blade was still in one piece but it had stopped spinning.
I could change that.
My left arm started to shake and gradually the weight on it disappeared along with a few of the clones. As soon as it was free I lifted it above the pile of bodies and pointed it at Klonhe.
I closed my eyes before the blade ripped through his throat.
Needless to say, the match was over.
The clones melted away allowing me to breathe again, and a pair of hands picked me up and began to carry me to the Rest Center.
“Wait…” I mumbled. “Need to check… schedule please.”
To my surprise, whoever had been carrying me turned around brought me to the schedule. My opponent would be decided in the next match, and Pownde would be facing Spyke in the afternoon tomorrow.
“Thank you…” I said, and allowed the pair of hands to bring me back to my room. I was attended to by a worker and finally got to see a little healing in action. It was very interesting. The healer looked over my wounds the placed three fingers on my broken arm. His arm grew black and his Shroud began to wrap itself around my arm. He also touched a couple split open bruises and I watche din fascination as his Shroud covered the wound like a band-aid and seemed to knit everything back together. Then it simply faded away and the injury was gone. I assumed it wasn’t quite that way for all injuries because my arm didn’t heal that fast, but even though it wasn’t all the way better, it made incredible progress.
I suppose it had to, if they expected to be ready for another battle after a day of recovery. I fell asleep after the healer left, and woke to find Traynur sitting on the floor beside my bed.
“Finally decided to wake up.”
“Good to see you too.”
“I’m here to discuss a few things with you and then offer you the opportunity to ask a question. You earned it.”
“Thank you. What do you want to discuss.”
“Well I wasn’t expecting you to do so well against that kind of opponent. In the end I suppose it was largely luck, but you had some good moments and I wanted to point those out. Marking your opponents is key when fighting identical people. Especially in situations where only the original can multiply.”
After a breath, Traynur continued.
“Now what I didn’t like about your fight was that you let him make the first move. Never, ever, do that. If he had a skill like Rainjur, you’d have been dead as soon as the match started. Your thoughts when walking into a match should be focused on how you are going. Does that make sense?”
“I see where you are coming from,” I responded, “But I’m afraid of making the first move because if I make a wrong move without having figured out my opponent, it could end the match before it begins.”
Traynur smiled “And there you just hit it on the head. You should have your opponent figured out before you step into the ring. If you don’t, you are asking to lose. Now, you may ask a question.”
It wasn’t a very hard decision. I had been saving this one up for a while.
“Tell me what you know about the war.”