I expected myself to scream or yell but half to my surprise, I didn’t do anything. I knew this was coming no matter what I wanted. Pownde probably knew this was coming too. He wanted it. What reason did he have? He knew he didn’t stand a chance! He didn’t gain anything!
It was very discouraging.
You get the picture.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. A familiar hand
“Juewuhl? Are you ok? I’m… I’m sorry.”
“Juewuhl? You’re not going to do something stupid are you?”
“I… I don’t think so. I just want to understand. Why did he do it when he knew he would lose?”
“Perhaps he had a reason?”
“Like what? He gained nothing!”
Pailadyn sat down next to me and thought for a moment.
“Maybe he did.”
I gave her a sidelong look, prompting her to continue.
“Well… not directly of course. But indirectly.”
She gestured to me, “What are you feeling right now Juewuhl?”
“And what does that make you want to do?”
“Beat the crap out everybody who stands between me and Slyce, and then kill her for-…”
Pailadyn half-smiled as I began to see what she was getting at. As stupid and unlikely as it seemed, Pailadyn was suggesting that Pownde died in order to get me angry.
Angry enough to win.
He was giving me his chance.
No pressure or anything
There were two more rounds before the Final three way battle. The remaining challengers were Slyce, Myself, Sparke, Byrde, Faze, Eyece, Thughe, Hiel, Whyrle, Bume, and Spiedy. The next two days would see eight of them defeated or dead.
And I along with two others would be fighting for the Championship.
“Our next fight, Juewuhl versus Sparke! Remarkable is It not? The newcomer still remains and is in the running to win the Tournament!”
I left Pailadyn, who gave my hand a good luck squeeze, and made my way down to the ring. I could barely contain myself as I waited for the signal. When it was finally given I dove into battle, no holds barred.
Black lightning spewed from Sparke’s hands. I dove underneath one bolt and rolled to my feet. My blades were out and I swung at Sparke’s neck, ready to end the battle as soon as it started. Sparke managed to twist aside and slap my hand with his own, which was surrounded by a field of low voltage electricity.
It wasn’t enough to hurt me terribly, but it was enough to cause my arm to spasm and stop working. I brought the flat of the blade on my left hand around to slap Sparke’s face. I hadn’t regained control of my arm yet so I lashed out with a foot and caught him in the stomach. As he fell I brought my blade down with him for the match point.
Again he foiled me by releasing an E.M.P.-like wave of black electricity. I was knocked onto my back and struggled to get up with only one arm. I could now move it at the shoulder, but I couldn’t bend it at all. I rolled onto my stomach and was able to push myself to my feet before Sparke came at me again.
I felt so alive and alert in this battle. My mind was on overdrive and was anticipating moves based solely on Sparke’s poise, the tensing of muscles, and his eyes. I ducked under an electric laden punch, twisted around a blast that made my hair stand up, and was just a tad too slow in jumping over a strike to the floor designed to throw me off balance. As I stumbled, Sparke rushed me and caught me twice, once with a bolt to the shoulder, which was followed by my legs being swept out from under me.
I was sitting on the floor once more. Before I could move, Sparke pinned my mobile left arm to the floor and pointed a finger at me.
Yeah screw that.
Sparke had assumed that my right arm was still out of commission and that mistake cost him as I pivoted my right arm at the shoulder and launched the blade right into his stomach. It was Sparke’s turn to stumble back and as the pressure vanished off my left arm, I stood and swept my blade across his throat.
“Yield.” I spat as I left the ring.
My anger wore off as I stepped into the dorm and I collapsed as reality set in.
What the heck had I just done?