Upon climbing the staircase and leaving the dungeon, Sybillen wondered back through the halls – towards his room. Waiting in his room he found Alirina. He knelt down, sword pointing towards the ground. With the overwhelming need to please her, he asked one simple question.
“What are your orders, M’lady?” His voice, deeper and echoing with his new found power.
Alirina smiled, pleased with her work. “You’re going to fight.” He stood up slowly and grabbed the hilt of his new blade. He slid it into its scabbard then looked up at her and smiled.
"Follow me." She took his hand once more. In an instant they would arrive in an arena. He didn't feel as disorientated as before, showing no signs of vertigo. The walls around him made of a stone that showed signs of age. Beyond the walls was empty seating. The floors were made out of black tiles. Upon closer inspection there were red flecks upon the tiles.
"Welcome to the Proving Grounds. Slaves, prisoners of war, and rivals duel here for honor, pride, and most importantly, their lives. This is where you shall begin your assignment."
He thought about the tiles on the floor. It was blood that laid on the tiles. Lives were lost here. Tens, hundreds, thousands. Who knows how many have fallen here? A loud shrieking noise was heard as a rusted metallic gate creaked open. He turned towards the sound.
"Another life this place shall claim." A dark silhouette soon appeared and walked towards him. Alirina smiled slyly, "A warrior from the Far North." With that, shadows wrapped around her body tightly and she disappeared from view.
He thought about what she had said for a minute. What can a Tundra Warrior have against him? He drew his sword and waited for his opponent. Soon a figure stepped into his view.
His hair was black and long, almost wild and unkempt. An orange scar could be seen over his eye. His armor seemed to be built into his own skin, giant spikes seen on his right shoulder where his spaulders should normally be. Tuffs of fur were seen on the edges of his armor. Coiling down his arm were orange extensions, almost like veins and they led to his sword, which was in his right hand. The sword itself was fairly large the blade being at least 6ft long. It had an animalistic skull for the hilt and cross-guard, the blade coming out of the mouth. The blade was jagged and curved at the end into a slight hook. This scared Sybillen a bit, but what happened next scared him even more. The sword seemed to have a mind of its own, rising and lowering to the breathing of its master. How, he wondered, could he possibly beat this creature?
He shook his head and confronted his opponent. The Northern Warrior let out a blood-curdling scream and ran at him. Sybillen confronted his opponent and slashed at him. With one wide slash he slammed the blade away and the Warrior from the North slashed downward at his opponent. The blade hit his armor, and he recoiled back. Sybillen didn't expect such raw furious movements, but with a being from the North, he didn't expect otherwise. He stepped back and played defensive as he was trained. The Northerner quickly crossed blades with Sybillen again, Sybillen slashed the sword away, but the warrior was voracious with his attacks, and followed up with in a similar manner to a pack of wolves attacking a caribou. More bouts ensued, each contender slashing one another, Sybillen’s defensive counter attacking matching the raw bloodlust and fury of that of his challenger.
Sybillen grew angry from being unable to defeat his opponent quickly. With every slash that made past his offensives, he grew enraged. Repeatedly his armor would take the blows, his armor would repair itself. Rage put a veil over his eyes, and soon he imitated his attacker’s movements, disregarding speed for pure damage.
The Northerner laughed, his voice deep and as he spoke it echoed with a supernatural resistance that struck him to his core. "Good. Let the rage consume you. Your rage fuels me... Surrender to it... Surrender to me!"
With that, both warriors slammed their blades. Black and orange sparks shot out as their blades slammed into one another. Their eyes locked on to one another. They stared intensely at one another, as if their eyes themselves were dueling each other. After a few seconds, the Northerner slammed his elbow into Sybillen's helmet, stunning him. He then grabbed him with his free hand, and tossed him into the wall 30 feet away, losing his sword. He stepped forward and ran towards him, dragging his cumbersome sword behind him. Sybillen slid down the wall, his back pressed up against it. He looked up, still a bit dazed from the throw. The Northerner spun sideways, bringing his sword up and slammed it down towards Sybillen.
Two figures sat above in a special box seat, one male and one female. Shadows clouding their figures from being seen on the outside.
"So, what do you think, sir?" She asked.
Under his shadowy veil he smiled, "He is by far our greatest creation...” He looked towards the girl. "It seems your disciple has survived longer than the others, there may be something special about him after all."
She nodded, "As I expected... though how long he will last remains a mystery."
He looked back towards the fighters. "Their rage shall shape the world... and we shall rise once more."
Sybillen rolled to the left and looked behind him. The Northerner had slammed his sword into the grey stone wall, getting it stuck. With one heave, he removed his sword, various bricks were pulled out and fell broken on the ground. Sybillen held out his hand and concentrated. He needed his sword, and if his sword was a part of him, could he call it back? He concentrated hard. Meanwhile, the Northerner had turned around completely and stepped towards him. He brought his sword up over his shoulder with one hand and slammed it down. Sybillen concentrated hard, in an instant his sword flew into his hand as if attached by a string. He gripped his sword and stepped to the right, dodging the slash. The Northerner charged once more, but this time Sybillen stepped to the side and slammed his steel sword into his ankle. The Northerner fell backwards. Sybillen brought up his sword with his right hand and repeatedly slammed it down on his opponent. The first few were blocked, but he kicked the sword from the Northerner's hands soon afterwards. He slammed his sword down 10 or so times in a row, with such blood-lust and overwhelming rage he was now like a bull elephant on the charge. At about the 20th slash, the Northerner rolled away and stood up. He grabbed Sybillen’s arm and flipped him over his shoulder, slamming him on his back. Sybillen quickly jumped on his feet. He panted heavily, his armor shredded, wisps of his black shadowy true form were clearly visible. After that attack, the Northerner made a horizontal slash, Sybillen leaned back, and the slash missed him by inches. Sybillen countered by slamming the hilt of his sword into his opponents face, leaving a slight bruise. He spun to the left, burying the sword into the man’s back, the point barely seen out of his chest. He smirked, thinking the game was over.
Oh, but, how far from reality that idea was.
The tip of the sword was covered in his blood, and he stood there limp for a second. The Northerner laughed, then ripped the sword out of his chest and tossed it to the side. He turned to see his opponent. His eyes were a bright red, and his battle wounds glowed a bright red, as did the giant spikes on his shoulders. Cracks in his chest armor were also glowing, mainly placed on the right side of his chest. His sword which was normally a rust colored turned dark red as well, and in the handle’s two ovals glowed right where the skull’s eyes would be. Sybillen was shocked, and before he knew it the warrior attacked. A downward slash came his way, and Sybillen raised his wrists. The blade slammed down on his crossed wrists, and he fell to his knees. His armor was instantly torn upon impact, as if the metal was nothing more than brittle bronze. Another slash came, then another and another. Blood poured from his wrists as he took each hit. More of his true form were seen on his wrists, the wisps coiled tightly around one another trying to provide some form of defense. The Northerner turned to Sybillen’s back and slashed at it. He fell over on his stomach, coughing up blood. He tried getting up, but The Northerner brought up his sword, and slammed it into the middle of his back. Sybillen slumped over and laid there, black shadows floated out from all around him, his defense penetrated and his life fleeing.
“ENOUGH!”A female voice echoed around the almost empty arena. A black circle appeared on the ground in between them, and a silhouette rose from it. In mere seconds she was clad in her armor. She smiled, looking at the Northerner. "Well done. He is most pleased about your performance."
She replied. "You did well, far better than anyone else... Though I didn't expect you to last 5 minutes with him, let alone 10."He was barely there, his life resting on the edge from the onslaught. He hasn't met anyone with such untamed fury... such animalistic qualities. Who was this "He" that she talked about?
"Who...Who is..." He spoke in a raspy voice, blood pouring from his lips.
Alirina smiled with delight. "That, is our finest Creation yet." She looked over and whistled. "Guards, Take Sybillen to his room, I'll be there to hasten his recovery shortly." With that, two guards rapidly marched from the gates and lifted Sybillen’s body. They exited the arena. More guards surrounded the Northerner. He too was worn from battle. His armor was cracked and sliced in some places, but not as many as his opponent whom was spared before he could finish. He turned to Alirina.
"Why did you intervene?" His eyes glowed orange with a burning anger inside of him.
She lowered her gaze at him, her icy cold stare would send a shiver down even this hardened warrior’s body.
"We need him alive."