[AGR] Season 1 - Full Random (fan fiction)

Discussion in 'Fan Art, Fiction & Videos' started by Gerrion, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. Gerrion

    Gerrion [9] Master

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    Dream Arthur/Lucy
    Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls! War masters and battle maidens!

    Welcome to the Artificial Gladiator Ring!!!

    It is with great honor that i welcome you within this colosseum, magically imbued to appear in any corner of Grand Gaia! From the Breeze Beach to the Lomass Forest, no soul in the world will miss the cheers, the sparks, the magic - all will be able to taste the power that we present to you in its purest form.

    As our first appearance unto Grand Gaia, we'll be settled within the Adventurer's Prairie, where both newcomers and veterans will be able to witness the exciting matches that we offer for your pleasure.

    And now, i present to you...

    ... the Full Random Competition!

    Bracket with full results:
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  2. Gerrion

    Gerrion [9] Master

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    Dream Arthur/Lucy
    Match One - Aem VS Amy

    As the calm breeze welcomes your face, you jumped unto the grassy lands from the portal that came from your village. It's been quite some time since you entered the Adventurer's Prairie, but the peace maintained despite the time that has gone by. A few Mossy were sleeping next to a tree, and they were not a threat to your renewed power ever since you first entered this land. Yet, your mind felt partially adrift as you remembered the first time you entered Grand Gaia. And the first time you met Tilith.

    The familiar hand patted your back, and you slowly turned your head to greet her once again. Tilith's hand, with the warmth of a goddess, was now a known feeling to you.

    "Hello!" - her voice was as cheerful as ever - "It's not like you to daydream like that. Come, follow me."

    You followed her as the two of you walked together upon the grass towards a large building in the horizon. You felt it strange, as you didn't encounter such a building on the first time you were here.

    As you got closer, the building took a circular shape, with a few entrances with their iron gates open. The stone was black and, while it felt out of place, it wasn't special at all.

    "Lord Lucius told me to visit this building. He said it magically appeared without any malicious intent, yet it had to be checked by us." - Tilith's serious eyes lwere looking at the highest stones of the building's wall - "I know our mission is important, but for Lucius to ask this of me... i couldn't deny his new order."

    Tilith's curiosity compelled her feet to move foward, and you followed her trail, also intrigued with the structure.

    The Minotaurs guarding the gate didn't move as the two of you approached. Normally they'd charge you in sight, but these weren't the case. They were trained... perhaps by another Summoner.
    However, you didn't recognize the figure who walked outside the gate towards you. Its simple black robe covered his body, showing a few lines of orange, and his red scarf concealed his lower face.
    He seemed to come to you, so you had your mind ready for any outcome.

    As the man came within a few feet of you, he bowed towards Tilith.

    "Greetings." - his voice was concealed and patient - "What can i do for you, Goddess Tilith?"

    "Oh! Do you know me, sir?" - asked Tilith.

    "Your divine presence is a soothing feeling to recognize, your eminence. I believe Lucius sent you here?"

    "Yes, you are right." - Tilith's smile widdened - "Who are you? And what is this..."

    "...Ring, dear Tilith. It is the AGR: the Artificial Gladiator Ring." - the name brought reason to the stones' oddity. The building must have been summoned from elsewhere as a whole. "And i am Balmos, the owner of the Ring."

    "Gladiator Ring? I thought there was one already."

    "Indeed, there is, my goddess. However, the Ring is special in its own way. May i lead you and your companion to a seat?"

    You saw Tilith's eyes shinning with the oportunity to do some fieldwork: "Why, thank you, Balmos. Please, lead us."

    You remained silent as you decided, for now, for Tilith to speak to the stranger in your stead.

    "Follow me, my dear guests."

    As the three of you entered, the man pointed to a stand where a much less threatening Minotaur was standing: "While today's entry is free, following ones will cost you a hundred Zell to enter. I hope you find the price apropriated." Both you and Tilith nodded - it was a good price for a battle spectacle.

    You viewed the modest settings as you were guided by Balmos. Everything seemed as like the Arena's inner grounds - the weapons, the ornaments, the magic. Everything seemed like the Arena where you fought to raise your rank. At least it's a bit more peaceful without Seria around.

    The light grew stronger as you walked into the stands - while the stone benches were nothing out of the ordinary, they were quite cleaner than the Arena's.

    You noticed Balmos' hand diving within his garbs. You placed your hand on your weapon, only to find out it was a feathered cushion.

    "A small quality service for our divine guest."

    "Why, thank you!" - said Tilith as the plunged her face into the pillow - "Hmm... soo soft."

    "You may use any seats you may see vacant, as our debut match doesn't have a full audience. If you'll excuse me, i'll have to prepare the match right away."

    You wave your hand at him as he left your presence, going back inside the building.

    Tilith placed the cushion on her seat and landed on the spot. She smiled as she felt the smooth "puff".

    "Sit by my side, Summoner. I don't bite." You drew a sigh as you sat next to her smilling face.

    "There wasn't any dark influences inside, so it must be the real thing."

    She turned to the arena, covered in sand and stone pillars. There was a stone stand in the front that stood several feet above the ground, unlike the two gates on the left and right sides. The six pillars weren't tall enough to conceal the stands from the opposite side, yet they looked firm enough to resist normal blows.

    "It seems like all we can do now is wait and enjoy the show!"

    As time passed by, you notice several men and women taking seats within the stands. A few were summoners due to their battle garments. Others were bystanders, and some seemed to be invited villagers from a nearby settlement.

    Small whispers circulated the arena, mostly about excitement and wonder. They all became silent as the front gate opened.

    Balmos emerged from inside, using the same garments.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls!" - his voice seemed unhindered by his scarf as the words reached your ears loud and clear - "War masters and battle maidens!"

    Balmos holded his voice for a moment as the crowd turned its atention towards him: "It is with great honor that i welcome you within this Ring, magically imbued to appear in any corner of Grand Gaia! From the Breeze Beach to the Lomass Forest, no soul in the world will miss the cheers, the sparks, the magic - all will be able to taste the power that we present to you in its purest form."

    You had guessed such would be true, and continued to listen to Balmos.

    "As our first appearance unto Grand Gaia, we are settled here, within the Adventurer's Prairie, where both newcomers and veterans will witness the exciting matches that we offer for your pleasure."

    "Some may wonder why did we surface forth, when there is a great Arena already showing awesome fights within Grand Gaia."

    "For now, i hope you enjoy this match. Cheer for your favorite, and you'll see the magic fly."

    As Balmos waved his arm towards the left gate, stones next to it began to glow a striking yellow.

    "In the Amber Corner..." - Balmos' voice was stronger than before, just as you felt magic flowing in the shadows behind the opening gate - "...enters a shininning beacon, once a proud defender of the ancient La Veda Republic."

    You identified the magic - it was a summon!
    It abruptly ended, meaning that the summoning was done. A man wearing armor painted in red and white colors marched out of the gate. It hair was long and had rivers of white, and his broadsword was considerably large.

    "Enter Champion Aem!!!"

    Several among the crown shouted out for the champion. Yet you watched that his gaze remained firm, untaunted by the suport from his fans. You remembered from your records that Aem was a disciplined soldier, so the shouts couldn't make him leave his stance that easily.

    "And in the Cobalt Corner..." - Balmos quickly ordered the opposite gate to open, blue lights flashing the event - "...marches forth the thunder of Pamlyna, known for her unparalleled prowess!"

    You felt another summon from within. As it waned, a woman came out, with yellow hair as long as her green cape. Grey plates protected her body, and the head hosted a white diadem.

    "Enter Bolt Knight Amy!"

    "WOW! How beautiful Amy is!" - Tilith was really silent, but Amy's appearance made her vent out her surprise, much to the pity of your ears.

    Still, the summons seemed standart. Even you could perform summons of that caliber. There wasn't much difference from the Arena, other than there is only one fighter on each side, rather than a squadron.

    You could even see the heroes talking to one another, though you can't exactly hear their conversation. What you do notice is Amy's proud look, while Aem remained calm against his opponent.


    And a huge gong ran through the entire building. Your ears ached, disabling you from finding the source.
    And as you try to regain your hearing, the crowd roared in unison.

    Even Tilith was in the mood: "Look at them go! Fight on, Amy! FIGHT ON!"

    You focused on the center of the arena, where both combatants clashed together. Aem started with the offensive as his sword slashed his front, attempting to hit Amy. She instead did a quick backstep, trying to regain her stance from the sudden blow. Aem was quicker, charging ahead while his sword was unready. Still, his effort was worth it, as he managed to deliver a knee blow to Amy's chest. The armor from both clashed heavily, and Amy cringed from the strike as she rolled through the floor. Aem tried to quickly end the rollout, but he wasn't fast enough to hit her where he wanted, striking only dirt as she manage to dodge aside while readying her halberd.

    Her response was so loud that even you could hear it: "That was your last hit!"
    Apparently her pride was struck harder than her chest. But it also hardened her resolve.

    She sprinted foward, her speed being a surprise to your eyes, and nearly struck Aem if not for the parry from his sword. However, the strike was strong enough to knock a shoulder plate of Aem's armor out of its set, falling to the ground. Aem responded with a quick slash, but Amy's agility allowed her to parry the move as well. While she didn't lose any armor, you felt that her stance was broken again from his assault.

    Blow after blow were traded between the two, yet you noticed she was gaining ground. It seemed that she was gaining power with each strike as the crowd suported her with their cheers. You saw that Aem was also gaining power, yet it wasn't enough to counter her ascendance.

    Aem did a quick backstep while his weapon began to glow a white glow. Amy tried to respond to his quick move but the pillar at her side made her stick to it for possible cover.

    "A Brave Burst!" - You could make Tilith's words your own - Aem was definatly storing power for a Brave Burst, and faster than Amy's energy.

    His roar filled the Ring: "GOD SLAYER!"

    And Aem did a high jump, landing towards Amy with his glowing broadsword. She was fast enough to avoid the main blow, and was even behind the pillar to protect her from the aura released by the strike, but its power crumbled the pillar to pieces, throwing Amy further beyond the center of the Ring.

    You saw Amy standing up with dificulties, her look revealing the surprise that you also felt - Aem's Brave Burst was powerfull, but not THAT powerfull. What could have made him go overboard?

    You saw her looking to her weapon, but Aem was closing by. Was she lowering her guard?
    No. She wasn't. She only realised that her power also had an upgrade.
    And her weapon quickly released power. She was holding her Brave Burst for an opening.


    Both weapons clashed with sparks hitting the sands, yet Aem felt the worst from the impact. You realised Amy's thunder magic was paralizing Aem's muscles - or at least enough to weaken his parry.

    Amy made a quick sidestep as she unleashed the second part of her combo, striking Aem from the damaged shoulder. The damage was greater - Amy only realised now that she had more power at her arsenal.

    Even with the armor's thickness, Aem's body was thrown to the nearest pillar. As it caught him, he fell to the ground, with both the thunder's paralysis and the heavy wounds preventing him from getting up.

    It was a crushing blow.

    The gong was struck, halting all the action as Balmos had both arms standing tall to call out to the crowd.

    "My friends, you are all baffled, are you not?" - his words were true about your feelings - "The power of both contestants were beyond what you knew - where did such power come from?"

    You pondered that exact question as Balmos continued: "My friends, our Ring has its magic..."

    "...the Ring is imbued with a magical influence where the audience's cheers will empower the hero they're supporting. While they are powerful in their own merit, and can even require no help in defeating their opponent, you can further increase their strenght for him to deliver a powerful finishing blow! Or you could save the underdog from eminent defeat, giving him a chance to seize victory."

    "How?... How could they do that?" - Tilith asked out loud, recieving no awnser.

    "BE PART OF THE FIGHT WITHIN THE STANDS!" - shouted Balmor - "It is our motto, with pride and joy, that will give viewers the chance to immerse themselves within the Ring and feel the raw power of gladiator combat closer than ever!"

    The crowd cheered at the revelation. After all, it was they who could dictate the victory. And they felt such blessing good.

    "In this Ring! YOU! WILL!! RULE!!!" - the crowd roared with Balmor's words, leaving you and Tilith with the outcome. Even if Amy was somewhat stronger than Aem, the Ring's power overloaded the outcome beyond your reasoning.

    And all you could ask yourself was... how could Balmor do that?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  3. Gerrion

    Gerrion [9] Master

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    Dream Arthur/Lucy
    Match Two - Dilma VS Magress

    Roughly a week has passed since you entered the Ring. As you approach the circular building, its presence does not wonder you anymore. And yet you feel your mind being piqued by the first time you were within its stands.

    When Amy crushed Aem in the arena's center.

    How could such be done? You have investigated several tomes within Randall's libraries, and there were no entries about magical processes which could transfer energy through simple moral support.

    There were other ways, such as the works of Lancia, who was capable of healing and even invigorating her allies with the food she cooked. The magic was there, yet the food was the conduit for the transfer. Another known healer, Elimo, uses water for the link, empowering his allies' body with the enhanced liquid.

    In the Ring's case, however, such conduit wasn't present. How could Balmos, the owner of the Ring, accomplish this?!?

    Your mind quickly interrupted your meditation, reminding that today's the second match of the AGR, and time is short for its start. Your quick pace took you to the entrance, where the minotaur collects the admission fee for spectators. You quickly handed him a hundred zell and entered the building.

    Your pace stopped as you encountered a familiar man passing by, its red scarf slightly flowing above its black robe.

    You approached Balmos, who felt your presence as you came closer. He slowly turned towards you, his arms flowing in a peacefull motion.

    "Oh, it is you." - Balmos' words weren't baffled by the scarf which covered the lower part of his face, even as he bowed before you. You could see his brown eyes and a small glimpse of his black, short hair - "Tilith's companion, if i recall. Are you meeting up with the Goddess?"

    You didn't plan to meet her, as you came to the Ring alone, but you nod to the man. Perhaps meeting with Tilith and sharing with her your findings would be a good idea.

    "Very well. I have led Tilith to a private seat within the Ring's stands. Follow me, please."

    The man's pace was fast as you followed his lead, entering a narrow corridor that was guarded by two armored minotaurs. Possibly the private stands that he mentioned. A long stairway took you to the upper level of the building, a bit above where you were last week, or at least you believe so.

    Balmos stopped at a wooden door and knocked twice before announcing your presence. "Your eminence?!? I have brought to you a familiar guest!"

    As he quickly opened the door, Tilith's green garments were the first thing that the sunlight brought to your eyes, and her curious face gained a happy smile.

    "Come on in, friend!"

    As you entered the room, you remembered to ask Balmos about last week. Yet he closed the door as quickly as he opened it.

    "Yes... he is dodging our questions." - Tilith's voice turned you back to her - "But at least we have a cool place now! Come and check it."

    The room was indeed higher than the normal stands, although just by a little. The stone seats had feather cushions and the safety wall in front had edges with bowls of fruits and a clay jar at the floor had fresh water, protected from sunlight by the edge above it.

    You took the chance to tell Tilith about your findings. She leaned her head on her closed right hand as she pondered: "I expected such as well. I haven't uncover anything new, but at least we'll have a good number of attempts since the Ring is frequently open."

    As Tilith took a seat, you did so as well by her side. As you looked at the other stands to the left, you noticed one which housed the gong you heard before... and almost made you deaf. Its size was massive, with a bulky minotaur by its side preparing for signalling the match just like the week before - they cleared your doubts about the magnitude of the staggering sound it created.

    "Look, it's opening!" - Tilith caught your attention to the front gate which began to open. Balmos quickly came through it, ready to speak for the crowd.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls! War masters and battle maidens!"

    You glanced at the audience below as Balmos adressed the spectators. There was a substantial increase of visitors since last week - word has been passed quite a lot, although not enough to fully occupy all the seats in the building.

    "It is with great honor that i welcome you within this Ring, magically imbued to appear in any corner of Grand Gaia! From the Breeze Beach to the Lomass Forest, no soul in the world will miss the cheers, the sparks, the magic - all will be able to taste the power that we present to you in its purest form." - it seemed as he had a rehearsed greeting to the audience - "As our first appearance unto Grand Gaia, we are settled here, within the Adventurer's Prairie, where both newcomers and veterans will witness the exciting matches that we offer for your pleasure."

    "We will now present another match that will surely entice you. Today, the match will be breathtaking - please, welcome our first contender, entering from the Amber Corner!"

    The cheers were plentiful as the Amber gate, shinning with yellow gleams, slowly opened. You quickly felt the summoning energy from beyond the gate. It seems that the gate bars magic to hide the fact that the match's participants are in fact summoned by summoners.

    "It seems that the spaces behind those gates conceal any magic being made..." - Tilith reached the same conclusion as you - "It seems there's more than meets the eye from Balmos' tour last week."

    Your focus on Tilith's words was broken as you felt the summon's end. A man in green clothes came forth, its spiky brown hair flowing with the wind's whispers.

    "The prodigy of the ancient Toltya School of Martial Arts! ENTER PUGILIST DILMA!!!"

    You could see Dilma looking around the Ring, seeing those who are cheering for him. He raised an arm, agreeing with the people about his might.

    "However!" - the Ring suddenly went silent as Balmos continued - "His opponent is also known across the land. A very dubious character, yes..."

    "... for one of the SIX HEROES!" - the crowd cheered in unison at the revelation.

    "One of the Six Heroes?!?" - Tilith couldn't believe Balmos' statement - "Who..."

    Her eyes quickly turned to your face, meeting yours in a single second before turning back to the front: "Which one?..."

    The Cobalt gate began to raise with an azure glow as Balmos continued: "In the Cobalt corner stands one who fought tooth and nail to reach perfection. His will driven by a denied fate!"

    You couldn't feel any magic from within. It seems that the summon was over just before the gate started to open.

    And the tip of the spear was the first to march forth.

    "No..." - Tilith gasped.

    As the iron tip grew larger from the shadows, a bulky armor slowly walked into the sun's rays. The helmet's comb had red fur, and parts of the plate were purple, along with the shield, but the most menacing feature was the physical form of the dark aura that sorrounded the champion.

    "... not him."

    "Behold the traitor knight of the Barurian Empire!" - shouted Balmos - "ENTER BLAAACK MAGREEEESS!"

    The crowd had mixed feelings. You knew that Magress was one of the Six Heroes, but the fact that he wielded dark magic was enough for many to turn against him.

    "Many commoners do not know what he has done for the opressed people of the ancient empire... they will discard him for merely being one with the Dark." - you understood Tilith's plight.

    "We'll have to cheer for him, or else he'll be even more crushed than Aem. Or even killed!"

    You felt like you couldn't stay neutral on this one, like the week before, and you joined in Tilith's cheers for Magress.

    And in that instant, you felt the magical transfer. There wasn't a conduit, yet you felt part of yourself feeling enhanced. The roars of the crowd were slightly deafened as you gained focus on Magress' actions.

    It's as if you were inside a helmet. Inside Magress' helmet.

    "They aren't so fond of you, "iron man"." - you could hear Dilma's taunts quite clearly.

    "Speak what you want." - Magress voice was louder, as if it was next to your ears - "Words don't dictate the outcome, actions do."

    "Fine..." - spoke Dilma - "I'll just kick your bucket butt and get this over with."

    Both fighters took on their fighting stances. While your stand was far above them, you could clearly see their bodies in position for the match to begin.

    "SOUND THE GONG!" - Balmos words came just before the vibrant roar of the gong.

    Dilma quickly bolted foward, his fist meeting Magress' shield. You felt the staggering power behind the pugilist's punch, yet Magress remained unmoved, his right leg helping the body to absorb the blow.

    "SUUUUREAAH!" - Dilma's voice echoed as both his hands began a flurry of punches against the black shield. You could feel Magress' controlled stress against his oppressor, bent on making the opponent collapse before his might.

    "FALL DOWN ALREADY!" - shouted Dilma as he unleashed a mortal strike from his right hand.

    And suddenly, you felt Magress moving. He quickly moved slightly to the opposite side, allowing the unmovable shield to block a part of Dilma's blow, making him lose balance and propell his thrust to the opposite side of Magress' body.

    And in an unthinkable jolt of agility, Magress' sidestep gave him even more distance, rewarding his foe’s rash move with a spear thrust on the back of his right shoulder.

    The thrust wasn’t a direct hit, but it threw Dilma out of balance, ending his uncontrolled movement on a kneeling position, his left arm failing in the cover of the wound.

    You could see Balmos seeing the hit and ready to announce the defeat due to the severity of the blow, but a sudden burst of green energy from Dilma’s body surprised both him and the audience. Magress still stood in position, attempting to understand the opponent’s move. You could even feel his effort to graps the situation without moving out of his ideal stance.

    The flash didn’t took long, and Dilma surfaced with intent to continue, the wound spot seamlessly healed, as if he wasn’t hit.

    “Amazing. To think he could warp his own life force to make his body heal faster.” – Tilith’s words were faint, but your ears were capable of hearing the goddess’ analysis.

    “That hurt, you giant hunk of thrash!” – Dilma’s voice quickly got your attention back to the match. You were still alongside’s Magress’ spirit, still capable of hearing both fighters.

    The insult forced Magress to retaliate: “Blame yourself for your folly.”

    “Fine! You asked for it!”

    Dilma sprinted towards Magress and struck his knee against the Hero’s shield. Magress, again, held his ground, but Dilma quickly placed his left hand against his opponent’s right shoulder.

    Magress wondered in that split second the reason of his foe to approach without striking. Dilma shouted out his awnser.


    His hand quickly jolted earth energy into Magress, cracking the armor on the right shoulder. The “crack” was loud enough to hear from your stand, as Magress’ right hand quickly dropped the lance it carried.

    “Your energy is now mine, jackass!”

    Dilma took a small jump backwards as his hand controlled the energy flow within Magress. You returned back to your senses as you lost the energy link due to the interference from that attack’s magnitude.

    “No! MAGRESS!” – Tilith hoped for the Dark Hero to prevail, but it seemed that Dilma caught him in his trap.

    Even with the link disrupted, you heard Magress’s thoughts, as if a lingering part of the link was still active: “Again, your folly.”

    The upcoming words were heard directly from your ears, as Magress shouted to his foe: “You want my energy?” – he continued - “My anger?!?”

    Suddenly, Magress’ whole body exploded with dark energy, overwhelming the earth power within.

    “Take it all!” – he replied, quickly raising his spear's arm towards his opponent – “VOID PILLAR!!!

    A spear of purple energy flowed from Magress’ body, as if a spectral spear, thrusting through Dilma’s flesh. His screams of pain were louder than the beam’s ruckus. The spear reached the Ring’s wall, shaking it with intense force.

    You couldn’t believe the magnitude of the attack. Was Tilith’s power empowering the Dark Hero to the point of overpowering the crowd's support? Does Magress have a chance to win?!?


    Words suddenly surfaced from within the spear: “DIE! DIE! DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!”

    A green flash was released, shielding Dilma from the spectral spear! The power surge was as high as the owner’s insane yelling: “DIIIIIIE!”

    And the flash quickly bolted forward, striking Magress. A blur of purple and green dashed onward until it hit one of the inner pillars, triggering an explosion that reduced the pillar to rubble and sent Dilma and Magress flying on opposite directions.

    Dilma rolled through the sands, halting the rollout with his leg. Magress couldn’t control his body with the damaged armor, and couldn’t shield his face as it met the ground. The hole on the right shoulder allowed the sand to slowly enter inside the vessel.

    The Dark Hero couldn't move an inch as the action subsided.

    Dilma slowly raised his body. The crowd was still speechless from what they saw.

    And, arm risen to the sky, he yelled: “Just give me my win already, you damn Ring Master!”

    Your head turned to Balmos as he spoke: “And so I shall!”

    “The winner of the match: PUGILIST DILMA!” – the crowd roared with Balmos' veredict as Dilma fell to the sand - the pain finally caught up with him.

    “How?” – Tilith was as astonished as yourself – “Magress was one of the Six Heroes. He outplayed Dilma’s tactic…”

    You could see Tilith battling her inner fury. You placed your hand on her soulder in an attempt to confort her. As she calmed down, she turned to you, speaking with a saner tone:

    “We need to know how the Ring really works. Something is going on here…”

    You do agree with her: the Ring’s mystery is still unchecked.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  4. Gerrion

    Gerrion [9] Master

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    Dream Arthur/Lucy
    Match Three - Behemoth VS Seria

    As you touch one of the stones belonging to the Ring's walls, you feel the warmth of the sun's rays, absorbed by the stone's dark color. You lean your whole back against the wall, feeling the warmth that the stones have gathered from the morning sun.
    Memories of the past match bitter your memory. Tilith's frustrations were the most solid of the bunch. Your respect for Magress was also high, and seeing him being outmatched by raw power was a major blow to your morale.
    Yet today it would be different. Tilith warned you in advance that she would do some research alone while asking you to bring friends to assist you. And so you did, though you arrived earlier to make sure you'd meet with them.

    As you waited, the Ring welcomed the audience to its stands. Some of the faces that were familiar to you from the last two weeks paid the entrance fee to enter.

    "Yo!" - a carefree greeting from the opposite side caught you by surprise. You turned your head to greet the smiling warrior, his white armor reflecting the bright sunshine.
    "Greetings..." - the crimson-haired girl by his side is also wearing her usual red armor. Her long sword is sheathed on her back.

    "Come on, Seria! You should feeling excited - we're on to a mysterious adventure." - the young knight brushed his blue hair in disbelief, hoping to enlighten the partner's mood.

    "I'm not feeling excited... more like being dragged! Why do we have to help on this ridiculous quest, Karl?!?"
    "If the Goddess needs our help, then it's not ridiculous. You heard about Magress' defeat, right?"
    "Yeah, and he deserved it. Entering on an unknown arena without controlling the risks is stupid."
    "True." - said Karl - "But if we help unraveling the mistery, then no more follies will happen, right?"
    Seria sighed: "Quite so. But remember!" - she declared as the spointed her right index finger at your nose - "I'm here to set things clear, not to help your insignificant quest."

    You agreed with her, even though you wished in your own mind why did Karl took her with him rather than someone else.
    Your band of three approached the Ring's entry. Karl took several golden coins to pay the entrance fee for the whole group. You thanked the young knight as you walked among the corridors.
    "It's alright - I was curious myself. This Balmos sure knows how to hide magic."
    "Aye." - Seria nodded - "This concealing magic is primitive, but strong."

    You asked Karl why primitive magic, to which he quickly awnsered: "She meant to say human magic. We're trained to sense demons hiding with magical veils and other similar ways. The method that Balmos is using was made by humans in ancient times. However, this one is quite potent, and has a safeguard mechanism."
    "If we break the veil and try to search for awnsers," - continued Seria - "he'll know. But what he did within the Ring so far didn't have any criminal or dangerous intent, so we cannot move foolishly unless we're certainly prove that he's up to no good."
    "And that, we don't know either." - concluded Karl - "We'll need more time, or a different approach. For now, we'll witness our first match and see what we can do."

    As you entered the stands, the afternoon sun welcomed you to the outside once more with its stunning rays. You watched below to see the arena's pillars, all renewed and ready to host another battle.
    "I have an idea." - spoke Karl as if struck by inspiration - "Let's move to one of the contender gates."
    You guided Karl and Seria to the front stands right above the Amber Corner. Luckly, they were empty.
    "Are you thinking about a break point, Karl?"
    "Yes, Seria. Doing a small puncture in the veil with reflective techniques won't attract the conjurer's attention."
    "True. We won't get much information, but it's safer at least."

    The three of you waited as the crowd grew in number and the fated hour of the match's start came closer. As you looked up, the private stands seemed to receive other guests as well. You then looked to the gong's balcony, catching a glimpse of the bulky minotaur as he readies his mallet. Knowing that the hour draws near, you warn Karl and Seria that the match is about to start.
    "Right! We'll be a bit further behind and attempt to reflect a hole within the veil. Warn us if someone notices us working."

    You nodded while they place a foreign tool on the stone pavement behind you. You decided to ignore your curiosity and focus on Balmo's stand, where the gate began to open.

    Balmos slowly walks forward, his black robe covering his body while his red scarf is concealing his face.
    And as the weeks before, he spoke to the crowd:

    "!Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls! War masters and battle maidens! It is with great honor that i welcome you within this Ring, magically imbued to appear in any corner of Grand Gaia! From the Breeze Beach to the Lomass Forest, no soul in the world will miss the cheers, the sparks, the magic - all will be able to taste the power that we present to you in its purest form. As our first appearance unto Grand Gaia, we are settled here, within the Adventurer's Prairie, where both newcomers and veterans will witness the exciting matches that we offer for your pleasure."

    "We've done it, we made the hole." - With Karl's warning, you focused on Balmos' gaze, awaiting any strange reaction. Meanwhile, you could feel traces of the summoning's magic flowing out of the hole.
    "It's a common thunder summon. A summoner's evoking one of his own units." - Seria spoke as if bored by the discovery.

    "Our third match features two fearsome opponents, ready to engage for your entertainment.” - shouted Balmos as he continued his speech - “In the Amber Corner...”
    The Amber Gate radiated its yellow glow as it rose upwards to allow the contender’s exit.
    Suddenly, Karl spoke in a low tow: “It’s done. The beast’s coming!”

    Beast?!? How did Karl knew it was a beast? Your answer was replied as a large body quickly jumped towards the outside. Filled with red stripes and purple fur, the beast raised his front yellow horns as he unleashed a staggering roar.
    “KING BEHEMOTH! Lord of the beasts, second to none, his thunder is omnious among the wilds of Elgaia!”

    The crowd cheered for the first contender. The beast replied with a second roar, as dangerous as the first.

    “The summoner retreated. Couldn’t identify him, but his power wasn’t peculiar in some way. Maybe an average summoner paid for his deed."
    You agreed with Karl. You felt that the magic around the summon was as equal as your common summons.
    Balmos continued: “And in the Cobalt Corner...” - the opposite gate began to open upwards - “...comes a warrior of renown, with skills unsurpassed as of this day. Few ever dream to reach the heights that she has overcome!”
    Karl and Seria joined you on the stand, both wondering with you who was the Behemoth’s opponent.
    And as the opponent’s red armor was revealed, Seria gasped.


    You also gasped as the full body felt the light of day. A young woman with black hair and red armor, holding a very familiar red, edgy sword.
    It was a copy of Seria, from head to toe!


    You immediately felt the violent urge from the very same woman at your side.
    “THE ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥!”
    You quickly holded Seria with Karl helping you, as her demeanor snapped in front of you.

    “Calm down, Seria! It’s one of your mock units. There is no need to get crazy!”
    “Crazy?!?” - she claimed as she struggle to set herself free - “I’m angry for the one who thought it was a good idea to make it pretend it was me!”
    “We’re here to check the Ring! Don’t blow our cover!”
    “I DIDN’T...”

    Seria’s tantrum halted as an explosion in the arena startled us. As you turned your eyes back to the field below, sand began to quell down as the scenario became visible - the Behemoth was already seriously injured, while the clone was untouched.
    “What the...”

    Karl’s mouth was interrupted by the beast’s crazy roar, thunder jolting out of the horns on its head. The beast charged against the fake Seria, whom jumped high to avoid the physical charge. However, its sword parried the intense lightning that attempted to strike her, landing unharmed on one of the stage’s pillars. Its sword suddenly bursted into flames, and the woman jumped to the beast’s side, launching an arc of slicing fire.
    “Whoa.” - Karl gasped, watching the mock unit decimating the beast with every ranged flame attack - “She is really relentless. Almost like when you were...”

    His sentence was abruptly over when he reacted to Seria’s hand, broad as a spear tip towards Karl’s eyes.

    “Don’t. You. Dare! Finish that sentence.”

    Karl took a more cautious stance as he kept the words to himself. You wondered what happened between the two to have such a big secret.

    When you turned the face towards the arena, the battle was over. It happened so fast that the struggle you and Karl had to calm down Seria was all it took to make you miss the combat.

    “Amazing, friends!” - shouted Balmos - “Such speed, such determination. This Seria may be a mock unit of her original source, but she delivered as much as the original. Even more!”
    The last sentence made Seria grind her teeth in anger.
    “Your support was the cornerstone of her victory, my dear spectators! In the Ring. YOU! RULE!” - the crowd cheered as Balmos continued - “The winner, by total dominance! SEEERIA!”

    Seria stormed through the exit while Karl attempted to reason with her once more. You followed the duo in an attempt to calm the situation.

    The girl’s pace could be heard through the corridors as she rushed towards the lower level. You and Karl followed her until a character stood in your way. Seria stopped because the character was part of the problem: Balmos.
    “Lady Seria, I saw what happened in the stands: what is the matter? I understand that placing your mock unit on the Ring could cause discontent, but i didn’t do anything to cause your...”

    Balmos’ neck was caught by the swordwoman’s hand. You feared, along with Karl, that she snapped out of herself.

    “Seria! Calm down!”

    “AND HOW ABOUT THIS SHOW YOU DID WITH MY IMAGE, YOU ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥?!?” - her tone showed she was really angry about the issue - “I DO NOT MAKE SHOWS IN THE ARENA, AND NEITHER WOULD I DO IT ELSEWHERE!”

    Balmos quickly retaliated, his mouth still cloaked by his scarf: “Then why do they allow bystanders to witness your matches in your arena, woman?”

    Seria was caught off-guard by Balmos’ intentions behind his question, and Balmos quick palm strike to release himself from her grasp showed that he was anticipating such reaction - even the short one that Seria had. The way he quickly recovered from her locked grasp was one not made from common training.

    Seria tried to regain the situation, but Balmos opened palm stood in the way. You felt nearby Minotaurs positioning themselves in case their master had troubles, making you hope that things don't escalate the wrong way.

    “I did not create the show, “miss”.”- claimed Balmos as he regained his former composure - “It was a byproduct of your society, who allowed other folk to witness and treat your serious battles like entertainment. I am merely making my fair gains from such human conduct.”

    Balmos lowered his head to meet Seria eye to eye: “And while i will respect the day that your arena decides to treat your battles with the proper honor, remember that this is MY ring, where MY rules apply. You may wish to take part of it, or simply don’t come at all. You are not forced to be here.”

    Seria’s mood quickly changed to a less hostile one.

    “For a jerk, you’re right.”

    And her eyes turned to Karl’s face: “Don’t count with me anymore, Karl. You and your worthless friend can probe around all you like. I’m out!”

    Seria stormed towards the exit, with a stressed Karl hoping to still calm her. You quickly followed them, as you knew Balmos was going to question what he just heard.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  5. Gerrion

    Gerrion [9] Master

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    Dream Arthur/Lucy
    Match Four - Lance VS Succubus

    “What a mess...”

    You couldn’t agree more with Karl as you pay today’s entry fee for him and yourself, with the Ring’s opened gate standing above your head. The minotaur motioned you to move inside, and Karl followed your path.

    After the incident last week, nobody heard news from Seria. It was usual of her to either scorn or ignore people, but outright vanishing after a tantrum was something that Karl really disliked from her.

    “She’d normally show once or twice to let me know she was still around, but this... This must have really bothered her.”

    You attempted to comfort Karl that since this issue was more personal, she could have the need for a longer time period to cool off her mind.
    “She’d never cool off merely by distance. She would beat the crap out of Balmos - she’s not the type of person who would cool off from simply venting out her urges in time.” - he suddenly halted his pace - “Maybe she is still thinking about it.”

    “Most likely, considering her fiery spirit.”

    The quick reply took you and Karl by surprise - you turned backwards to find the black-dressed manager a few steps behind, his identity concealed by his bright scarf.

    “Balmos. Why were you following us like that?”

    The man’s quiet steps brought him closer to your position as he answered: “Probing.”

    Karl struggled to hide his surprise.

    “I suggest that you refrain from attempting any detective work on my arena, as you lack the subtlety to do so. I found residues of the spell you performed near the Amber Gate during the previous match.”

    Karl believed Balmos’ actions a bit strange: “Then why have you allowed us to enter, even considering that we would be spies?”

    “Spies? No, i believe that you are curious folk with a few means to answer your curiosity. Spies wouldn’t enter through the front gate and pay their fee.”

    You felt intrigued by Balmos’ thoughts as he continued: “As soldiers for the common good, you fear the possible evil beneath the veil, but i assure you that there is none in the Ring.”

    “Then why don´t you just reveal it to us?”

    “Simply protecting my staff. Anonymity is an effective shield, but it has the disadvantage of riling people up. Also, what would happen to the summoner if Seria knew his identity?”

    Karl defended her friend’s integrity: “She'd never do anything as rash as what you’re thinking, Balmos.”

    Balmos’ reply, however, had a darker tone: “Indeed. But then again... “incidents” can happen.”

    Karl’s face gained a pale color. You knew that Balmos had some forbidding knowledge regarding Seria.
    As you saw Karl’s lips starting to shape a question, Balmos quickly turned his back: “Now, if you’ll excuse me, i have an audience to entertain. Feel free to join in. If not... do ask a refund on the way out.”

    Karl was still caught in the surprise as Balmos slowly walked out of your sight: “What does he know?...”
    You tried to wake him out of his trance and suggest to enter the stands, stating that it’s the best he could do at the the moment - there could be details that were overlooked in the previous matches.
    “Yes.” - his answer was faint, still rattled from the surprise - “let’s keep going.”

    As you entered the stands and took a seat alongside Karl, Balmos’ speech came and went through your ears as you focused on aiding your friend:

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls! War masters and battle maidens! It is with great honor that i welcome you within this Ring, magically imbued to appear in any corner of Grand Gaia! From the Breeze Beach to the Lomass Forest, no soul in the world will miss the cheers, the sparks, the magic - all will be able to taste the power that we present to you in its purest form. As our first appearance unto Grand Gaia, we are settled here, within the Adventurer's Prairie, where both newcomers and veterans will witness the exciting matches that we offer for your pleasure."

    Newer words, however, did caught your attention: “This match will be the final battle of the first round. Welcome our last set of contenders!”

    The crowd cheered as Balmos continued: “In the Amber Corner... We have another of the Six Heroes, willing to go further than his companion Magress!”

    As the lance’s tip sprout foward, a young soldier in green leather-covered clothes and matching hair slowly walked in a humble, dignified pace.
    “Lance, the Vine Pike of Vriksha!”
    The crowd cheered for the Hero, with much higher enthusiasm than for Magress. You remembered Tilith’s words, pitying Magress for the unfair treatment.

    But you shrugged the past events as you head shook to the sides, focusing on the present.

    “In the Cobalt Corner... Comes a master of trickery, one that may be a fitting challenge to the young Hero’s cunning!”

    The Cobalt Gate slowly opened, and forth came what seemed to be a woman in purple clothes, wearing uncertain features. Yet, as she came closer to the ring’s center, her features were less human, revealing black wings, pointy emerald ears and an ebony horn.

    “The Succubus! Mistress of corruption, and the bane of every wife in Elgaia!”

    The crowd’s response to her was almost vacant. As you looked to the sides, a large part of the crowd wasn’t cheering, much less cursing her - they stared without emotion, as if mesmerized by the creature’s charm. Even several slaps were heard across the stands, probably done by jealous women.

    “To affect the crowd like that... She must be a strong demon.” - detailed Karl while assessing the demon, giving you some comfort as he got a reason to get over his former state - “She is controlled by a summoner, but still... Lance must be carefull.”

    “SOUND THE GONG!” - shouted Balmos. You covered your hears from the sound, ear-shattering as always.

    Yet, as you return the eyes to the arena, neither the Succubus nor Lance made a move. Both remained in their initial positions, eyes locked to one another.

    Anxiety overwhelmed you. Why do they not charge forward? Are they waiting for the opposite side to make a move?!?

    The wait began to hold for minutes, and the crowd began to grew restless. Even Karl began to motion uneasiness through his subtle arm gestures.

    And then, Lance began to move...

    ... in the opposite direction, towards the Amber Gate.

    The crowd roared, unhappy with Lance’s movement. They were expecting a fight, and yet Lance is backing away. Why would he?

    “He is being charmed.” - Karl suddenly interrupted your thoughts - “That standstill was most likely a mind battle, as the Succubus must have preferred to avoid physical combat. And seeing Lance moving back like that...”

    You couldn’t believe it. Magress was defeated by the hatred people had for his forsaken element, and now Lance would fall to the demon’s sway. You wouldn’t stand one more affront to the Six Heroes.

    You leaned forward and shouted with all your might, urging Lance to wake up from the trance. You felt the link as a silent one due to the demon’s spell, still you shouted out his name aloud. And again. And again. A fourth, a sixth and a seventh time.

    In the midst of the emotions’ fury, you suddenly felt it - a cold, yet embracing feeling, exactly at the same time as the sword began to glow.
    And suddenly, you heard a response from the other side of the link:

    “Thanks, friends! I’ll take it from here.”

    And in that single moment, Lance’s body did an instant half-circle turn and charged at the Succubus. The demon felt the loss of her grip and evaded the spear attack, attempting to gain distance.
    Lance thrust his spear a second time against his opponent, defending with void magic from her hands that allowed her to partially block the blow. Her spare hand summoned dark swords from the sky, plunging towards Lance. His amazing agility allowed him to evade the swords, sacrificing distance for safety.

    And as the succubus soared slightly above the Ring’s sands, preparing for aerial maneuvers, Lance’s mouth grinned - she was in his cross-hair.

    FLASH TORNADO!” - A sudden gust of wind, sand and leaves quickly struck the Succubus, throwing her against the Ring’s wall with a audible boom.

    As the storm subsided, Lance slowly moved towards the crippled demon. You saw the Succubus regaining her consciousness as she slowly raised her head upwards - her eyes meeting the lance’s tip. Upon grasping the situation, the demon lowered her head again, in defeat.

    The crowd cheered as Balmos shouted the outcome: “The winner, and last of the qualifiers! LAAAAAAAANCE!”

    You joined the crowd in their roar, while Karl stood behind, happily nodding at the match’s ending. What happened the following moment impressed you even more - Lance grabbed the demon by its arm and placed her in a standing position, before returning to his summoner in the Amber Gate.

    Balmos reacted to the action: “Amazing, ladies and gentlemen. Lance’s soul still shines on, even when his opponent was a demon. SALUTE THE EARTHEN NOBILITY OF THE SIX HEROES!!!”

    “Fitting of him.” - Karl detailed - “The demon didn’t want to kill him in physical combat, nor with spells, so she tried to charm him out of the fight. Lance simply replied to such peaceful intentions.”

    He turned to you, with a smile on his lips: “It’s nice to know that the Six Heroes are still as awesome as ever.”

    You smiled back. After all, it was a joy that came after so many noxious moments. Such warmth was deserving of being released.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  6. Gerrion

    Gerrion [9] Master

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    Dream Arthur/Lucy
    Match Five - Amy VS Seria

    You felt the slight hinge as your bottom half reached the hot stone among the stands - the sun is shinning bright today, making you wish that you had picked up one of the private chambers above, with shade and fresh water to enjoy today's match.

    Honestly, you would be, but Karl planned the meeting on the last week's stands, and there he was, sitting on the hot bench.

    "Glad you could make it." - Karl's face had a few drops of sweat near his blue hair - "Have you gathered any information about the cloaking magic within the Ring?"

    You handed Karl a scroll from one of Randall's oldest libraries, which contained records about an ancient tribe that used magical, light weighted stones to hide their tents from magical beasts of that age. While the stone's whereabouts were lost by time, it was said that any human with a minimum affinity with magic could extend the stone's magical veil to other materials.

    "Let's move to one of the shaded stands. Staying in this heat can make one faint."

    You felt relief as you followed Karl to one of the shadowy stands, their refuge given by the balconies above. The crowd's size today isn't very big, so finding shelter wasn't difficult.

    Minotaurs appeared from the gates, distributing water buckets to those in need. You waved to one of them, who placed the bucket between your feet as he moved on. As Karl read the scroll, you took a long sip from the fresh waters - the bucket wasn't a proper vessel, but in the current heat anything to help soothe the throat was a blessing.

    "This does tell a lot. When we did that small hole in the veil, I didn't felt malice or purity within the magic. This does prove the natural origin of the shield, though finding said stone would be..."

    You lowered the bucket to hear the end of the sentence: "...trespassing."

    You nodded to his opinion while he continued: "Even if Balmos is hiding secrets, he didn't do any harm so far. Probable cause by itself isn't enough."

    You kindly passed him the bucket with fresh water.


    He drank twice as fast as you did, but it didn't surprise you. After all, he stood in the sun-scorched stands way longer than you.

    "Phoo... that helps a lot. I'm glad things have gone better lately."

    Speaking of the past, you asked Karl about Seria's whereabouts, since you didn't had news from her for the past two weeks.

    "She did sent me word. She needed some time to get her mind straight. So we won't have her by our side for some time."

    You heard a rumbling noise at your front. Balmos' entry was beneath your stand, and with your backs closer to the wall than the edge, you wouldn't see him today.

    However, his entry speech was way louder:

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls! War masters and battle maidens! It is with great honor that i welcome you within this Ring, magically imbued to appear in any corner of Grand Gaia! From the Breeze Beach to the Lomass Forest, no soul in the world will miss the cheers, the sparks, the magic - all will be able to taste the power that we present to you in its purest form. As our first appearance unto Grand Gaia, we are settled here, within the Adventurer's Prairie, where both newcomers and veterans will witness the exciting matches that we offer for your pleasure."

    The crowd cheered from behind him, all shielded from the heat. He continued when the excitement dissipated: "Today, we start the second round of our competition. Four champions have proven their worth, and two of them will soon fight for supremacy. Not even the shades of the Ring will save you from the heated battle they will unleash!"

    "Let us start with the Amber corner!" - the gate's yellow shine was visible from a distance as it opened - "Through it comes the first contender, who defeated the best that La Veda could offer."

    A shiny reflection struck your right eye - the halberd's edge was sharp and brilliant. The girl's armor was as regal as before, her green cloak making an appealing contrast with her yellow hair.

    "Enter the Thunder of Palmyna, BOLT KNIGHT AMY!!!"

    The crowd surrounding you was vibrant, receiving their champion with a heavy applause of claps and shouts. Even Karl clapped to her entrance.

    "But her opponent will not be easy - her victory over raw lightning was swift and merciless, and she means to repeat the feat."

    The Cobalt Gate started opened at the same speed, its contender slowly marching forward from the shadows. Her long, edgy sword wasn't as shining as the halberd, but it was still impressive. But the greatest feeling was that of a void - the girl was a perfect copy, black hair and red armor, and yet it wasn't her.
    "The mock unit of the fiery champion - SWORDSWOMAN SERIA!"

    "Well, at least he's being honest from the start." - said Karl, remembering past events with a forced grin covering the lower half of his face.

    Both girls kept their slow pace until they reached the middle of the arena - their eyes measuring each other.

    "Don't blink, my friends! For this match will be fast and furious!" - roared Balmos - "SOUND THE GONG!"

    The gong’s fierce bellow made you cover your ears, but your eyes were almost blind to the sudden charge that the two combatants made. Halberd and sword met in a thunderous clash, tiny lights brewing out between the two weapons.

    “Whoa!” - Karl was surprised as well - “That...”
    Karl’s sentence was abruptly ended as Seria made a backstep, combining with quick side slashes. Amy’s agility allowed her to avoid the first two, but a bigger jump was needed to avoid the third one.

    Her back quickly met one of the pillars, to which she immediately climbed to the top to gain breathing distance from her opponent. A glance below made her focus on her opponent, charging her energy unto her blade.

    The swordwoman’s weapon fired a slice of pure fire, dealing a quick, clean cut to the stone. Amy jumped to the neighbor pillar as her previous support crumbled down like a falling tree. The landing was swift, and Amy quickly jumped towards the other pillars around the circle.

    The crowd’s cheers raged on as Seria tried to follow her opponent’s move. Destroying all the pillars would be a waste of energy, and climbing could give an opportunity to her adversary. She stood on guard, waiting for her opponent to jump down.

    The Bolt Knight made jump after jump as the Swordswoman’s eyes following her movement. You could easily see her jumps, wondering when will she descend.

    Her latest landing came with a shorter jump, with the intent to go down the pillars with jumps back and forth. Seeing her enemy going down, Seria charged forward at a calculated speed to meet her as she would land.

    Suddenly, Amy made a burst jump form the pillar’s side, quickly meeting her equal with a long slash from above. Seria parried part of the blow towards the ground, but it was a hasty and clumsy defense - the force of the blow made her body roll a bit as she regained her footing. When she was up, Amy was already prepared.

    Thunder Spear Combo!

    Her lightning struck her opponent’s weapon. The blow wasn’t a deadly one, yet the Thunder magic made its damage on Seria’s strength.

    Seria quickly retaliated with her own power, taking the advantage that her opponent was nearby: “Fatal Flame!”

    The Flames quickly consumed the inner area of the arena. catching Amy in its fire. As the flames quickly subsided, a wounded, yet standing, Amy remained.

    “Her power was weakened by the blow. She should have waited to regain her strenght again.” - you could feel Karl’s anxiety from his words. Even if it was a mock unit, he still rooted for his friend.

    Amy slowly approached to her rival while preparing her halberd for long-range combat. Her longer halberd attempted to cut Seria’s body, still emanating small jolts of thunder from the magical strike. And while Seria could dodge or parry the attacks, she felt out of range to safely counter the Bolt Knight. Why won’t she step out of her range? Was it a matter of pride? Or was the thunder magic restricting her escape?

    “She’s as stubborn as the original one, that’s for sure.” - Karl’s nervous speech echoed in your right ear. You can fell that exact nerve-racking feeling within you as well.

    As the attacks continued, you noticed that she was closing in all while reducing her attack’s range, slowly closing in towards Seria.You could feel it in your guts - she was about to explode once again.
    Seria seemed recovered, but she wasn’t retaliating nor retreating. What could she be planning?

    Then you felt it - Amy was too close to Seria. She could deploy an attack at any moment.
    Thunder Spear ...” - Amy roared as she began to unleash her burst.

    But Seria quickly struck the ground in front of her: “Fatal Flame!

    The flames erupted once again, but this time Amy was visibly pushed away by the attack. Even if she wasn’t directly hit, the flames gnawed at her with equal ferocity.

    She landed on a struggling position, her halberd’s pole serving as balance. Her eyes quickly looked up to the dying outburst, being catched off-guard by a sprinting Seria. Yet her body couldn’t prepare itself for the strike that came. Not towards itself, but to the halberd.

    Seria’s leg kick struck the halberd out of her opponent hand, and her body motion allowed her to end her blade’s tip at her opponent’s chest.

    And sensing her defeat, Amy raised both her arms, ending the fight.

    The crowd cheered for Seria’s victory, and their roar filled the Ring.
    You felt your tension slowly leaving your body as you emptied your lungs. Karl joined you as he also vented out his stress.

    “Jeez, she really fought like the real Seria. A few unneeded risks, but she knew what she was doing.”

    You heard the manager declaring the winner from below your stand: “The winner, advancing to the final showdown - SWORDSWOMAN SERIA!”

    Karl composed himself as he stood up: “There’s one weird thing that I felt during the match.”

    You asked Karl about such oddity, but he nodded sideways: “This is something that i need to check by myself. I’ll have to ask you one thing though - bring that goddess... Tilith, yes, Tilith. Bring her with you next time if you can. I have an idea.”

    You agreed to his request, yet you didn’t knew where you could exactly find Tilith - it is normally she who knows where you are, waiting for you on the right moment.

    Then again, maybe she’ll meet you knowing that her help is needed. One can only hope as time passes on - but at least before the upcoming match.
  7. Gerrion

    Gerrion [9] Master

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    Dream Arthur/Lucy
    Match Six - Dilma VS Lance

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls! War Mas..."

    "Please! I insist, Goddess!"

    Even with Balmos' loud speech hammering at your ears, your focus held the most on Karl's plea. It was easy to come across Tilith during your travels around Morgan, but convencing her to aid in Karl's plan was a whole diferente difficulty.

    "I'm really sorry," - Once again, Tilith apologized - "but i can't really help you."

    Even with your efforts, which could easily sway her vote, it was impossible to change her mind. Karl intended to use Tilith's transportation to enter the deepest rooms of the Ring, but her reason of being tasked with something at the moment had greater priorities - even with you mentioning that it was her master's interests to investigate the Ring.

    Karl sighed as he finally gave up: "I wonder what have you gotten yourself into."

    "Trust me," - she replied - "it's best not to mention it."

    Your attention returned to the Ring manager as he announced the participants of today's match.

    "In the Amber Corner, comes forth a master student from the ancient Toltya School - Dilma, the Earth Pugilist!"

    The crowd cheered as a confident man in colorful clothes slowly walked out of the Amger Gate, his wrists protected by golden bracelets.
    "And in the Cobalt Corner, the Earth Genius of the Six Heroes - Earth Pike Lance.

    The silent parts of the audience recieve their hero with a loud burst, hoping for the hero clad in green to prevail. You found yourself among them, hoping to teach that loudmouth a lesson. You felt the link between yourself and Lance, grasping his tension as he strongly gripped his lance.

    "They cheer for you, but for nothing. I'm going to win this thing." - Dilma taunted his oponente, but you didn't hear a replay from Lance. Instead, a few whispers were heard in his sorroundings. Peacefull, yet wierd whispers.

    "May the second finalist reveal himself. SOUND THE GONG!"

    You could still control your hands while being linked, so you covered your ears from the roaring gong. Dilma charged forward at that exact moment.

    His fist struck the lance's wooden shield. The hit was staggering, yet the shield remained.

    "Sturdy." - Dilma scoffed - "But not for long."

    Dilma's fists shone with his inner energy, ready to burst the shield. Yet the vines sorrounding Lance quickly moved him out of reach - "Oh no you don't!" - Dilma quickly persued the pikeman, swiftly avoiding the vines that attempted to stop his charge.

    Lance quickly changed direction and thrusted forward. His sudden move was dodged, but Dilma couldn't recover from the surprise to do a proper counter. Taking the oportunity, Lance sprinted forth around the arena, his vines helping the sprint.

    Dilma couldn't understand his opponent's moves as he moved in a diferente direction to intercept him near a stone pillar. Yet the vines juggled Lance out of reach once more.

    "What are you, a man or a monkey?!?" - screamed Dilma as he smashed the pillars, hoping to stop his adversary's silly dodges. As each pillar went down, some of Lance's vines spread towards the ground, while the majority helped him with evading the Pugilist's blows.

    As the final pillar fell to rubble, both contenders found themselves face to face in the middle of the arena, with a whole mess of stone rubble and flowing vines filling the arena.

    "Now you have nowhere to fling yourself around, "Hero"!" - Dilma taunted.

    "True..." - Lance replied.

    "So you finally speak."

    "Yeah. I just followed your example."


    "To only waste energy on speaking when you know you can win."

    Dilma's face grew red with fury: "I'll crush your tongue, wise guy!"

    As the Pugilist charged, Lance raised his vine defense.

    "Earth Strike!" - Dilma's radiant fist desintegrated the vines, hitting the pikeman's right shoulder. The impact made you hold on to your own shoulder.

    Suddenly, vines from the ground quickly aided Lance on gaining distance while his inner energies quickly struggled to remove Dilma's Earth Magic.

    "Too slow!" - Dilma launched another punch, but the vines from the ground quicklydefended his master. Shortly astonished, the warrior tried to bring the defense down, but his following punches couldn't keep up with the vine flow from the plants sorrounding him.

    "Yeaaargh!" - Dilma's body exploded with energy, his arms eradicating the plants like a jungle knife, reaching his oponente at last.

    And at that moment, you felt a click in Lance's mind. The remaining plants suddenly rose in a vine barrier.

    "Wha-" - Karl couldn't believe that the vine barrier cut his link with Lance, and yours as well - "It's a magical barrier. It's blocking us out."

    You could hear battle sounds inside, but you couldn't see who was having the advantage.

    Suddenly, a huge shout was released from within the vines:

    "Mystral Rage!"

    A huge tremor shook the Ring as part of the magical explosion soared above the vine barrier in a vivid green eruption. The crowd felt scared from the sight, yet it calmed down as the explosion faded. And with it, the vines slowly descended.

    Lance was still standing, while Dilma couldn't move his body, seriously injured from the blast.

    Balmos took the chance among the silent crowd to announce the Victor: "The winner, proven once more the Genius of Elgaia - Lance!"

    Dilma slowly gained strenght to lift his body, bit by bit, endinf in linear eye contact with Lance. His oponente slowly approach him, an opened hand towards him.

    "No hard feelings?" - Lance asked. The Ring's link appeared to be functional once more.

    "Hmmph. Fine..." - Dilma spoke as he shook the other's noble hand - "... but i'll ground you next time."

    Both sides of the crowd applauded with opened hands and sharp mouths to both sides.

    "Nice to see that Lance is as noble as ever." - Tilith smiled.

    "You sure you can't trully help us?" - Karl still insisted one last time.

    "Again, i won't be able to help you guys." - she replied - "But i'd not miss the final match. I feel something's going to happen - you might be needed."

    Karl sighed: "If you say so. If you can help us through another way, we'll help you."

    "Thanks. Next week it is!" - Tilith's smile was both conforting and foreboding. What could she be plotting, you wonder?
  8. Gerrion

    Gerrion [9] Master

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    Dream Arthur/Lucy
    Final Match - Seria VS Lance

    You felt a shinning glimpse of the sun's strenght as you placed the coins above the Minotaur's table, standing in front of the Ring's entry. The beast pointed you towards the usual path that you undertook several times during the times you've been in the Ring.

    The torch-illuminated hall had a lesser vigor compared to outside. Still, you were able to recognize Karl leaned at the wall, waiting for you.

    "Good afternoon! Glad you could make it."

    You greeted Karl with equal kindness, showing him that you were ready for action should a fight erupts.

    "Hoping you have a mighty Hero to back me up. Things can go really nasty - we don't know what Balmos can be capable of."

    You could hear Balmos' speech echoing from outside. You urged Karl to hastly head outside with you.

    "Right. Let's move!"

    Balmos' usual speech continued as you made your way. With all the times you've heard the same speech so far, only now did you wonder how would he bring the Ring to a beach, as the whole structure wouldn't probably hold itself given the loose nature of the beach's sands.

    As you and Karl reached outside, Balmos was already announcing the final match's contestants.

    "In the Amber corner stands the mock unit of the Demon Slayers' flaming fury. Swordswoman Seria!"

    Seria came outside from the already opened Amber Gate, assisted by the crowd behind her. Her crimson armor's light reflex almost caught your eyes by surprise.

    "And from the Cobalt Gate marches onward the embodiment of Earth, one of the mighty Six Heroes. Earth Pike Lance!"

    Lance stepped to the arena's center upon hearing his name, aided by his fans from the stands. Vines covered part of his body, happily feasting upon the sun's rays.

    Both champions standed face to face among the pillars, gauging each other.

    "And now, let the winner of this championship be decided. SOUND THE GONG!"

    The gong's roar was loud and harsh, yet so was the first clash between Seria and Lance.

    "You can do it, Seria!" - shouted out Karl, rooting for her hunting comrade.

    You also cheered for her, but as you tried to estabilish the link...

    ...there was no response. As if you were denied.

    Lance's strikes proved inneficient against his adversary. Even the vine guard couldn't withstand Seria's scorching power.

    "It can't be." - Karl felt surprised - "She isn't accepting our link, and yet..."

    Lance tried to disperse his seeds bellow the arena's sands, but they were quickly burned by controlling fire.

    "... she's decimating Lance."

    Upon noticing a flaw in her movement, Lance gambled everything in a final move: "Mystral Rage!"

    But Seria saw the upcoming rage and manage to avoid the main strike, parrying the rampaging energies with her flaming sword.

    "Not even his Brave Burst." - Karl's pala face gained hints of acknowledgment, as if he figured out the bigger picture.

    And she countered with her own attack: "Fatal Flame!"

    The hungering flames quickly overwhelmed Lance - not even his vines could resist the heat.

    "Get ready, friend." - Karl warned you - "Things are about to get messy."

    You were still trying to understand the meaning of his warning when the crowd cheered for the victor.

    "The winner of the Prarie's championship: SERIA!!"

    However, your eyes were suddenly taunted to the Ring again: Seria's power began to grow as her sword gained a stronger red hue and flaming wings emerged from her back.

    You gasped, as units couldn't evolve unless through their master's efforts: the Seria at the arena wasn't a mock unit - it was the real deal.

    The crowd gasped as Seria unveiled her true self.

    "What is the meaning of this deception, Seria?!? You weren't allowed to participate."

    Seria's sharp tongue awnsered: "I call you to the ring, Balmos. Nak'baros!"

    Balmos' eyes were startled by Seria's last words: "Are you aware of the situation you are throwing yourself at? Or has your anger dulled your logic?"

    Her reply was swift: "You are bound to obey to the ancient gladiator's code. Or are you a coward?"

    Balmos seem to aknoledge Seria's thoughts as he made a quick jump towards the sands of the arena: "It seems you remember me then..."

    "... not exactly. But i tend to bury you back to the past."

    Balmos didn't reply to her. Instead, he shouted.

    "BIGMOO! Throw it!"

    You heard a large roar above your head and you turned your eyes in its direction - the minotaur from the gong room was holding a silver gauntlet, which he threw to his master. As he caught it with his right hand, he equipped it in his left hand.

    And from the Amber gate came a familiar voice: "Karl, now's your chance."

    Tilith came out of the gate, signalling towards Karl.

    "The entrance is within the bronze double gate. IT's where the magic comes from."

    "Got it! Follow me, friend!" - Karl suddenly ran towards the exit, and you sprinted to catch up with him.

    As both of you were at the halls' midway, a group of minotaur guards blocked your path.

    Karl was about to signal you, but you knew it was time for the summon.

    You focused your inner energy to summon one of your champions to your front. You felt the fire elements bursting from your palms, heading towards the ground to take form of a human body.

    The body gave way to a man in a suit of black and red. Crimson hair waved like fire, his back was protected by a fiery wing, and his greatsword was emanating stronger flames.

    In a few seconds, Fire God Vargas came to being to assist you as always.

    "Awesome choice! Let's burst through!"

    Optional Soundtrack: you may use the link in this spoiler to open a soundtrack in a new window. The soundtrack will bring a better reading experience, but you may ignore it if you prefer a normal read.
    The soundtrack may end in itself, or another spoiler will appear to signal the end of said soundtrack, or to switch to a new one.

    You ordered Vargas to fight, and the warrior charged without holding back. The closest minotaur attempted to cleave his neck, but such strike met a graceful parry, placing Vargas in position for a fiery counter.

    Others moved in, their weapons swelling with thunder magic, but Vargas quickly awnsered with his own fire power.


    The flames quickly struck down the opposing force in an omnious wave of fire. Karl took the chance to sprint foward and finish the second wave.

    The thunderous axes were an advantage against water, but Karl was too strong to the point of feeling no hindrances at all. His swift moves quickly took down lackey after lackey, preparing a finisher against the last group.

    "FROZEN AXE!" His axe quickly formed a frozen arc of energy, quickly dispatching the last group. A huge slice across the wall was the proof of the Karl's brutal prowess.

    "Quickly! Let's move."

    Vargas followed your side as you sprinted behind Karl, knocking down the minotaurs that appeared in your way with fire or ice.

    Until a pair of bronze doors stood in front of you.

    "Right. Not to bust them down."

    Suddenly, a tremor waved across the ground beneath you.

    "What was that?!? Was..."

    Karl hasn't even started the second question as large waves of paved stone suddenly engulfed the group. You couldn't react properly to the trap, being caught in a tomb of shifting stone.

    In a few seconds, the tome spat you with Vargas and Karl back to daylight. You felt confusion within your mind as you stood on your feet. You sensed Vargas at your side, focused on protecting you as you recovered.

    "Oh no!" - Tilith's words came from the side. Your eyes quickly regained their senses, and you identified the goddess.

    A sudden explosion made you tilt to the ring's center. A magical, transparent field between the pillars. And within them stood Balmos and Seria.

    Seria's body has taken a few serious hits, her sword only held by her right hand as the other one was covered in wounds.

    As for Balmos, his black robe had a few burnt parts, but he seemed mostly harmless, with his red scarf still covering his face.

    However, his gauntlet has somehow expanded, covering the entire arm, including the upper left part of his torso next to it.

    "Lucius warned me of danger, and i thought it was from the stones below." - Tilith seemed completely pale, struck by an omnious fear.

    "But it wasn't the stones. It was that weapon..." - she pointed at Balmos' arm -"...the Daunt."

    You charged foward, hoping to bypass the barrier. But even your sword couldn't dent it. Vargas threw a flaming slash as well, but to no avail.

    Balmos quickly turned towards your failed attempt, before turning back to Seria.

    "It's ironic how you brought Tilith, yet leaving your friends behind..."

    Seria tried to hold her weapon with both hands, her left arm struggling with so.

    "You weakened your progress as you walled up your heart. I, on the other hand, faced my past and kept on with its pain."

    You could see the front part of the folding a bit, probably from his scoff.

    "And now, look at the result: the crowd cheers for my victory over your deceit, your friends have failed their purpose due to your brash actions, and your efforts are powerless."

    Balmos continued: "Do you remember what they call people like you?..."

    He waited for the right moment to finish. Seria's body and will both took heavy damage, and the last step for his victory...

    ...was the right word on the right time.

    "An hindrance."

    Change of Optional Soundtrack.

    Seria finally snapped as her power bursted out of control, her blade heading towards Balmos.

    His gauntlet parried the sword, as if holding the blade with his very hand. Red arcs and silver rays beamed from the following clashes. The crowd was struck with awe from the show.

    Balmos quickly replied with a flash slap from his spare hand, more of mocking intent than to inflict harm. Seria's face brew with rage, and her wings grew sharper from the taunt. They increased her mobility, yet the advantage was little in her frienzied state. And still he could block the attacks with his left hand, most worried on avoiding cinders on his scarf rather than his opponent's frenzy. As if he already measured his enemy as a wortheless threat.

    His body behaviour escalated Seria's outrage. Her attacks grew in power, flames with increasing intensity dancing around the field. While you were safe, you could still sense the blazing heat, completely beyond what you witnessed by the mock unit of the matches before. The audience above was having a mix of cheers and scares, as if completely taken by the suspense of the match.

    But you felt it wasn't a match. It was a scolding. You felt the uncontrolled stress on her body. The Seria you knew as bold and ruthless was behaving like a desperate soul struggling with her past, unable to defeat her turmoils. And her opponent toyed with her, clever and aware of her sorry state, adding insult with each new injury.

    Suddenly , the Swordswoman flew unto the heavens, bent on burning everything.


    Her sword quickly reached her opponent ion the ground, bringing forth an explosion of flames. The magical field spread the colateral flames to the skies above as it protected the Ring, forming an omnious pillar of fire. Tilith's mouth couldn't hold the scream from her surprise, while Karl covered his face with his axe, as if instinct ordered him to cover his face.

    As the flames subsided, the result was staggering: Seria's sword met Balmos' gauntlet, yet it protected him form harm. Worse still, the faint silver shield around his body turned Seria's Brave Burst into a futile attempt.

    "I'll show you what you could have become." - whispered Balmos.

    His right hand suddenly gained a yellow hue - you sensed thunder magic within his fist. A quick jab struck Seria on her face, feeling both the impact and the lightning from the blow. She tried to reply with a sword slash, but his left hand quickly grabbed her sword, rendering it useless.

    Then came the beating. Punch after punch, her chest became a punching bag. Seria began to cough more than simple droll with each strike. At the fifth, she suddenly dropped her sword - Balmos quickly grabbed her right hand and the punching continued. The worse part weren't the strikes themselves - the crowd was roaring with each punch given, adding tension to the onslaught.

    On the twientieth punch, Balmos hold back his hand. That's when the gauntlet gained a thunder hue.

    "Heart Shock."

    His left hand suddenly released Seria's arm before unleashing a single punch on her gut - the blow unleash a quick, thundering spark before throwing her towards the center of the field. The sand, scorched form Seria's last attack, embraced her unconcious face.

    Color returns to Karl's face after he realised what just happened.


    Karl once again tried to slash the barrier in two. Three useless attempts were made until Balmos signalled his crew to lower the field. The young knight rushed to assist his friend, quickly followed by you, Vargas and Tilith.

    You could hear the crowd cheering for the victor, but you were focused on ensuring that Seria was still alive - luckly, you her faint breathing.

    End of Optional Soundtrack

    Suddenly, you heard Balmos from behind:

    "Now that the main culprit has been subdued, what should i do now with the rest of you?"

    You quickly turned towards Balmos, protecting your friends from any possible attack. Vargas stood by your side, ready for combat. Tilith was still shaken, probably fearing Balmos' weapon. What on Great Gaia could he be using to cause such fear on a goddess?

    "I apologize for their behaviour, Ring Master. Could you forgive them?"

    A familiar, elder voice came from behind you. You quickly recognize the old man with a black eyepatch and a white scepter - it was Grahdens.

    "Sir, what are you doing here?" - Karl was both relieved and surprised to see his superior at the Ring.

    "Ensuring that you do no more follies, my boy." - Grahdens quickly replied.

    He slowly approached Balmos: "You must forgive my younger friends. They were only thinking on the best of their home."

    Balmos withdrew from his active stance, replying with peaceful diplomacy: "If they'd think on the best of their country, they wouldn't do such folly like the one you witness, i believe."

    "True, but children are rash at heart. They need experience to learn. Same went with you, if i recall."

    "I see." - Balmos seem to have understood whatever hidden message Grahdens was giving him - "If you vouch to discipline them, i'll look the other way then."

    The silver armor from his left arm began retracting back to the hand, until all was stored within the gauntlet, regaining its initial appearance. "You're free to use the first aid facilities of the Ring if you believe she needs urgent care. If not, you're free to go to the nearest village."

    Grahdens gave a quick look at her state before awnsering: "We'll make use of the facilities then. I thank you for your hospitality." - then, he quickly turned back to you - "Please, friend. Escort our dear Goddess out of the Ring. We'll meet you at the entrance once we can take her safely to Randall."

    As Grahdens and Karl quickly took Seria's body to the infirmary, Tilith mustered the courage to ask Balmos directly: "What, what is that gauntlet?"

    She's probably feigning ignorance, hoping Balmos could give some insight.

    "Insurance against the most dangerous. But i believe that you already know about the Daunt."

    Tilith didn't moved her face expression. She knew he could read her too well.

    "I'm willing to forget all that transpired today, as an act of good faith towards you and your friends. I won't cause harm if you don't cause me harm. Simple as that."

    He then adressed the crowd, still cheering for his victor.

    "My friends, for your sake, i have defended the Ring's honor, and it'll still stand for your entertainment. I hope that you have enjoyed our champion's victory, even if short-lived and ill-used."

    You realized that Balmos was more than just a dangerous opponent. He's also a cunning person who believes in neutrality as an effective veil, mostly reacting to defend his goals.

    Whatever goals those are, you believe it's best to not underestimate him.

    "Within the Ring. YOU! ALL! RULE!"

    And the crowd responded one last time to his call with a powerful ovation.

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