Sorcerers Duel

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The wind gently tossed my hair as I stepped through the lush grass, each blade bending against my bare feet as they struck the earth. It was finally here, the day of the Duel. I had initiated it, of course, but there was still a pit in my stomach. I had to decide if I was going to kill someone today.

No one had been killed in a Duel in one hundred and thirty-seven years. The Sorcerers Duel has been a practice since we became a people, but now we are more civilized and typically use stuns to declare our victory. I wouldn’t face any repercussions because of this, it wasn’t illegal to kill someone in a Duel, simply frowned upon. But I wanted to kill them, they deserved death.

I walked to my place, a glowing rune showing me where to take my stance. My back facing my opponent, but I could picture him flashing his smirk to every other Sorcerer present. I could feel his confidence radiating from where I stood, but soon I would shatter it.

“The Duel will take place momentarily.” Our leader stated as she raised her arms for the crowd to quiet. “Before we begin I will state the…”

Our leader’s voice trailed off as I absorbed myself in my thoughts, numb to my surroundings. My opponent was Solyr, dark hair always falling perfectly at his sharp cheekbones, crystal blue eyes shining through luscious eyelashes. He was attractive, there was no doubt about that, but watching him grow and seeing who he truly was distorted him to me, he was putrid in my eyes.

Solyr was a bully, and that is kinder labeling than he deserves. Countless times he would pick on the weaker Sorcerers, turning their legs into spider limbs and slicing them off as they skittered aimlessly around the room. Luckily when they were turned back no permanent harm was done, but they still felt the pain. Countless instances like this were caused by Solyr, but the most foul was when he caused the death of another Sorcerer. It was labeled an accident, of course, because he was powerful and charismatic.

That Sorcerer he caused the death of was my best friend. It was three years ago to the day, long since forgotten by Solyr, but not by me. I bided my time and trained hard for this day, the day I would get my revenge.

What he had done to her was no accident. My best friend, Alara, was infatuated with Solyr, and he used this against her. I still remember it clear as day. Alara skipped into my quarters giddily.

“Guess what!” Alara sang to me.

“What?” I glanced up at her with a sarcastic grin on my face.

“Solyr just asked me on a date! Can you believe it?!”

She was so excited.

“You know I don’t trust him,” I growled back at her.

“Oh come on, you have no real reason not to! Just be happy for me, please?” She looked at me with her eyes wide and pleading, like an animal that wants food.

“Fine. But I’m keeping an eye on you.” I stated.

“You’re so dramatic!” Alara giggled “Just don’t let him see you!”

I didn’t let him see me, but I saw what he did. He laid out an elegant spread of cheese, fruits, and various meats for Alara at the top of one of the Watch Towers. It was a beautiful view of the night sky, and for a moment, a very brief moment, I thought I was wrong about him. They talked, she giggled happily, and all seemed well for about an hour. I was about to retreat when I heard him tell her.

“Stand at the edge, I’ll hold you while we look at the night sky together.” He said in a voice dripping with poison. But she was ignorant to the sound.

“Okay!” Alara said in her sing-song voice.

He stepped back and cast a levitating spell on her, and she took a step out of the Watch Tower and floated just passed the edge. She beamed and beckoned him with her arms to join her. I saw a grin on his face, a grin that made my stomach lurch and my skin crawl. I decided to reveal myself and stop this now, but just as I was wiggling out of my hiding spot he let the spell go. I watched as Alara’s face twisted in horror, and that was the last time I saw her. Her screams still fill my nightmares, but even more so is the sound of her body being decimated on the stone street far below.

I told the Council everything I saw, but Solyr was silver-tongued, feigned grief, and convinced them it was an accident. We were young, they said, and accidents happen when you’re learning. The Watch Towers are off-limits now, but sometimes I would sit on that edge, feet dangling, and contemplate meeting Alara on the stone below. That’s when I decided to challenge him to a Duel and end his life.

“Lyra!” Our leader’s voice shook me of my thoughts.

“And Solyr! Do you both accept these terms?” She spoke with authority.

I nodded solemnly, while Solyr shouted with arrogance.

“This is no challenge for me!” He chuckled, the sound made the hairs stand up on my neck. “Party at my quarters after this?”

The onlookers erupted in cheers and applause.

I took a deep breath and braced myself.

“Wait for my count, and when I give the signal turn and cast.” Our Leader said calmly. For a moment we made eye contact, and her eyes held concern for me.

“3… 2… 1… Cast!”

I swung around from my left side and ducked to the right. A blazing skull flew just past my left ear, alight with purple flames and a dark trail of smoke behind it. He was trying to kill me. I let a smirk slip from my lips. I watched him practice and cast countless times, he was powerful and fast, but he always aimed the same. I watched as my own spell flew from my fingertips, a mass of shifting stones inside an emerald smoke. It struck him square in the chest.

His eyes widened in disbelief that he had been bested, this shifted to horror as his body slowly transformed to stone starting at his chest until it engulfed him. His throat turned to stone, silencing his wails of agony. Having your organs, flesh, and bones all slowly hardening to stone was incredibly painful. Finally, the light in his icy blue eyes diminished mouth frozen agape. The crowd was silent, I stood on my feet and felt an enormous wave of relief wash over me. I did not kill him, not technically.

His brain was still active, he would exist only in agony with his own thoughts. The spell could be reversed, but only by the Sorcerer who cast it, and I had no intention of that.

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