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calamiti

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calamiti
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PostedNov 23, 2009 5:16 pm

The story of a priest

fanfic, just thought to try it out :)
I saw a couple stories like this, thought i'd try one. its kinda like romance and adventure mixed together lol. here it goes! ^^

A bright yellow light enveloped her from the heavens as she collapsed on the ground. She shook her head to clear her mind, and stood up, brushing the dirt off her clothes. Glancing up to the bright sky, she lifted her hands up to protect her eyes from the blinding sun.

"Hey! Over here!" a voice called.
Whipping her head around, she saw a guard standing by the gateway. Tilting her head to the side, she pointed to herself, asking without words if the man was talking to her.

Chuckling, the guard answered, "Yes, I'm talking to you. First time here, are you not?"

Blushing slightly, the adolescent girl trodded towards the guard. Smiling reassuringly, the man said, "Don't worry about it, you're about the 34th person to face the same problem today. None of them seem able to stand properly on their feet!".

Grinning sheepishly at the guard, she spoke for the first time that day. Her voice rang like silver chimes in the wind, quiet yet determined. "I grew up in the barrens. I never had the want or the need of city life."

A look of understanding swept across the man's face as he clapped his hands together once. "Alright- lets get you started. The monkeys outside this city, Beika, are becoming troublesome. Kill 5 for me and I'll give you a fair reward."

Nodding, the girl headed out of the city. Remembering what her mother had taught her, she focused her energy into the palms of her hands. A light aura glowed around her palms as she cast her spell at a nearby monkey. The monkey whipped around and headed for her with murder in its eyes. A feeling of fear froze her into a spot, the aura disappearing from her hands. No. Not yet! she though desperatly. Suddenly, an arrow imbeded itself into the monkeys flesh. As the blood stained the grass, the girl turned around, and saw a young teenager, no more than two or three years older than her, holding a bow with another arrow in place. Sweeping his eyes warily around the area, he returned to a standing posistion.

"Are you alright?" he asked.

"Yes, I'm fine. Thanks to you", she said a slight smile. Her eyes flickered to his ears- long and pointed at the edges. Noticing her stare, the archer grinned. Flipping his hair out of his eyes, he said, "I'm an elf- from the town of Aelbeageu. Actually, we're not far from here. Just a days walk- less if you have a mount. I guess you're new around here?" She nodded, and he suddenly seemed to realize something.

"Oh no! My guild meeting started 12 minutes ago! Rob is going to kill me!" He brought his hands in front of his face and a golden aura surrounded them. With a deafening roar, a silver lion appeared with him riding atop it. "Good luck with those", he said jerking his back towards the monkeys. "Tricky fellows, but you'll encounted trickier. Hope you see you around!" A rush of wind nearly swept her off her feet, and she closed her eyes momentarily to protect them from the stray debris that had risen. When she opened them again, the archer was gone.
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calamiti

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calamiti
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PostedNov 24, 2009 7:04 pm
-some names have been changed for privacy- (:

Days passed. Weeks followed. As the girl stared at the dark and moody sky, she felt a stare on her back. Turning around in confusion, she saw a guard regarding her with thought. Catching her eye, he gestured for her to go over.

The girl placed her dagger into the hem of her robes and walked over. As the guard looked over her once, she suddenly felt self-conscious. Then, he spoke.

"You're a priest." It was a statement, but she felt as though the guard expected an answer.

"Yes." She answered simply.

The guard suddenly grinned, breaking some of the tension between the two. "You look competent enough. We could use people like you on the battle grounds against the Fury. Take this letter to the gate keeper in front of the portal. She'll tell you what to do from then." Noticing her grimace at the word 'gate keeper' he laughed and said, "Don't worry. Going through portal's does take some getting used to, doesn't it." Smiling in agreement, she nodded a thank you to the guard.

As she walked away uncertainly towards the gate keeper, she gave the letter a doubtful glance. She had heard too many tales of people losing their lives to the Fury. Sighing in resignation, she stopped and handed the letter over without any words. The woman smiled remorsefully, pity flooding through her hazel eyes.

"Are you ready for this?" She asked.

The girl was lost for words. A rush of adrenaline coursed through her body. Biting her bottom lip to stop the tears from overflowing, she nodded. Giving one last glance to the bustling streets around her, she closed her eyes and embraced the warm glow enveloping her body.

***

She jolted forward as she tumbled onto the new and unfamiliar terrain. Getting up quickly, she whipped her dagger out and circled around warily. Seeing no one, she took two hesitant steps towards the buildings in front of her.

A face suddenly popped out from the store window.

"Oh. New recruit?" The man's face disappeared from the window and reappeared through the doorway. Bringing a lighter up to his face, he lit the cigarette between his lips. Seeing the repproach on the girl's face, he chuckled and said, "We're all going to die sometime, sweetheart. Why not enjoy this while we can?" Sighing, he gestured her to come behind his store and ran quickly up a steep hill towards what seemed to be an encampment. Only from the years of running away from predators in the barrens was the girl able to keep up. Stopping a few feet from the tents, he gestured casually with his thumb to the camp.

"Ask for the union leader. They'll tell you what to do after that." He gave her a worried look, and added, "Be careful out there. By the looks of it, as a healer they'll target you the most." With that, he disappeared back down the hill.

Taking a deep breath, the girl headed towards the tent. Seeing a group of people step out, she worked up the courage to talk to the fighter in the front.

"Excuse me, can you tell me where to find the union leader?" She said. A pair of elf ears inside the mess tent twitched towards the direction of the voice. Shaking his head to clear his mind, the archer thought, i must be imagining things. There's no way she would come here...right?

The group smirked down at the girl, and the fighter lent over her slight frame. "Now why would you be needing to know that? Why don't we go and have some fun. How 'bout it it dear?" His sugar coated voice was sickening to the girls ears. Suddenly he grabbed her forearm and brought her towards his body.

She gasped. "Let me g-!"

"What are you doing?" A quiet authorative voice came from in front of the tent. His rage filled eyes turned to the fighter that was still holding onto the girl. Relief filled her face as she recognized the archer that had saved her life a few weeks ago previously.

Letting go quickly, the man muttered, "Just fooling around." and strode away quickly with his friends flanking him, letting go of the girl so suddenly she fell to the ground.

The archer walked up to her and offered his hand to help her up. "Are you alright?"

"Yes. Thank you again." She smiled shyly at him and took his hand.

"No problem." He grinned. "I heard that you were asking about the union leader though."

"Oh! Right, I almost forgot. Could you tell me where to find him?"

Laughing, his friend walked up beside the two. "HE'S the raid leader. So speaking on his behalf as the co-leader, what can i do to help you? Since he's obviously too busy staring at your beautiful eyes to notice anything else."

The archer lifted his hand and hit his friend against the back of his head. "That's it, your rank is gone." he muttered.

Turning back to the girl, he said "My name is Vincent. And you are...?"

"Tainte."

"Tainte..." he whispered. "I like it. It's seems...fitting, somehow." he said louder, regarding her with a penetrating gaze.

Feeling slightly self-scious, she looked down, her chocolate brown hair falling over her eyes. Then the whole world fell apart.

reiko.

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PostedNov 24, 2009 8:35 pm
cala! i likey Wink
this is really good, kinda surprising cuz you dont have english this sem lol xD thought you'd get kinda rusty... or maybe its just me O.o ;P
update soon O:

calamiti

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PostedNov 25, 2009 9:02 pm
-thanks rose! Very Happy-

The sound like a thunderstorm blasted into Tainte's ears. The floor shook like an earthquake was approaching, but Vincent and his co-leader, Xavier, new better. Humans and elves sprinted out of the tents, some buttoning their armor hurriedly as though they had just woken up, others clinging onto each others shoulders from having drunken too much ale. Others still were fighting to keep their eyes open, as though they had just woken up. All the differences in life, united by one common purpose- to defend their homeland.

"Positions! Now!" Although Vincent's voice was no louder than a sharp command, his voice carried through the crowd like a gust of wind.

Standing protectively in front of Tainte, Vincent muttered in her ear, "Stay near me."

Adrenaline and fear shot through her body. This was happening. This was really happening. She tightened her grip on her dagger. no matter what happens she thought, I'm going to stay here fate decides otherwise.

A battle cry sounded through front lines. Weapons raised, the crowd charged towards the fast approaching Fury.

Everything was a blur. To say it was chaaos would be a complete understatement. Although Tainte tried to stay near Vincent, his footsteps made no sound in the clash of weapons near her. His voice calling to her was impossible to detect as it blended with the yells as blood stained the ground and warriors dropped around her. From time to time, as though in a dream, she saw a familiar bow, and the sound of an arrow finding its mark, only to disappear again. The red flash of his eyes; his black, silken hair as it blew in the wind. Then she saw it, as though in slow motion. Vincent's hand reaching for her, and the sudden appearance of an assasin merely three steps away from him. As he raised his bow and pulled an arrow from his quiver, they both knew it was too late. The assasin slashed his claw through Vincent's body at the same time that Vincent shot an arrow that lodged into the assasin's forehead. The look of triumph on the assasin's face was frozen forever, as his eyes glazed over and he fell to the ground.

"Vincent! Vincent!" Tainte cried as he fell to the ground. She caught his head seconds before it crashed against the ground. Her tears, already overflowing, blurred her vision as her hand fumbled to find his. Her free hand conjured up a golden aura, stronger than any she had created before. Bringing her palm milimetres from his injury, she muttered an incantation under her breath. Breathing a sigh of relief as the blood seeped back into the wound that was already closing, she glanced at his face. His crimson eyes were open, staring into her own sapphire blue ones. To her surprise, the didn't contain the relief that Tainte felt on her face, but rather a look of horrified fear.

So quickly she didn't notice, Vincent grabbed the dagger from her palms and thrust it over her shoulder. As a sound of metal impaling flesh filled her ears, a look of understanding came over her face.

Turning around slowly, she saw a pagan about her age fall to the ground, clutching at her heart and gasping for air. A cry so painful and heartfelt it sunk Tainte to her knees echoed through the battle field. A warrior sprinted over, and tenderly hugged the pagan. Having grown up in the Barrens, Tainte had learned the language of the Fury.

"Triniti." he sobbed, over and over again.

"Crimson..." she whispered as her hand caressed his face. Her eyes were struggling to stay open. "I love you." she choked out against the blood spilling from the corners of her lips.

"Triniti! No!" He bellowed towards the heavens. As he set her now limp body against the ground, he turned his furious eyes towards Tainte and Vincent

XGothKunoichiX

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PostedNov 25, 2009 11:33 pm
This is an interesting story so far. I like how you described the battle, it's unique. I'm looking forward to reading more ^^

calamiti

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PostedNov 29, 2009 12:06 pm
-thanks kunoichi! Very Happy- and since im making up so many names now, if i used yours unintentionally (i dont know any people with those names o.O) and you didnt want it, pm me and i'll switch it (:. another thing... dont be mad about what the people say about the fury... it obviously doesnt happen, it just fits in the story line QQ. if you want to yell at me for it, go ahead.

Bellowing in fear and pain, Vincent could barely bring himself to harm the poor man. Obviously he and Triniti had been in love. They had their entire future ahead of them, and suddenly, within a simple second, that had been taken away from them.

Why? Tainte though. Why must we fight like this? If only there was no war. If only the world could live in harmony, where no one would be harmed, and we could live together peacefully.... Staring into the warriors burgundy eyes, she couldnt help but wonder how, in another world, maybe, just maybe, they could be friends.

Bringing herself back to the present, she saw that Vincent has drawn an arrow reluctantly from his almost empty quiver. His face was flat and empty, but his eyes showed remorse from the pain he had caused the young couple. It was not with hate that he let his arrow fly from his bow, but with pity. The warrior would have been happier, regardless of where they were, if he was beside his Triniti.

Breathless, Vincent turned to Tainte and offered his hand to help her up.

"Retreat! Now!" A foreign voice bellowed.

Showing signs of resignation, the Fury turned and quickly sprinted back to their fortress. As some young fighters hurried after them, blood lust in their eyes, Vincent called to them.

"Hey! You there! Come back. Are you that eager to throw your life away?" Although his voice barely raised above normal volume, they understood and headed back.

As the two headed back towards the camp, Vincent called out into the crowd, "Officers, meeting now in the conference tent."

Turning around to head to the mess tent, Vincent caught her arm. Smiling slightly, he said jokingly, "Are you that keen to run from me?"

Shocked, Tainte tried to hide her blush with her hair. "N-no, I just thought the meeting was for officers only."

Chuckling, Vincent hauled her along by his side. "No one will object if I bring you along."

Brushing the tent flap aside, the two walked into the room. The murmur of voices immediatly stopped. The officers had assembled there already. Xavier, for the rangers. Clariti, for the priests. Genesis, for the mages. Travis, for the fighters. Denzel, for the defenders. And the leader of the group, Vincent, for the archers. Their faces, some beautiful and exotic, others battle scarred, were all perplexingly beautiful. Tainte felt intrusive. How must she look, plain and boring, next to the beauty of the officers in front of her!

Vincent purposefully headed towards the front of the table where a map was already lain down, next to a box of pins and a pile of small toy people- white and black. The map had coordination lines on it, and Tainte couldnt help but think how this deadly battle field ressembled a chess game in this confined room.

"The Fury have been pushing the line further and further." Vincent began. "No matter how many reinforcements the town has sent in, they are killed in the first battle or two. It isn't that our line is becoming weaker- their line is becoming inexplicably stronger, so much faster than we are. What do you suggest we do?"

A moment of silence fell as the representatives of each class pondered the situation. When a quiet voice spoke through the silence, the whole group looked stunned.

"The Fury has an edge." Clariti spoke. Her soft amethyst eyes glitered in the light of the candle. "They are raised from the moment they are born to what they are now, surrounded by bloodshed. They do not flinch as we do when we see the pain in our enemies eyes. They do not hesistate to kill a woman or a child."

Recovering quickly from hearing Clariti speak, Travis shook his head vehemently, his cropped, deep black hair falling in front of his aquamarine eyes. "Are you implying that we should influence our children around the same enviroment? This is what sets us apart from the Fury. We give our adolescents choice of whether to enter the battlefield!"

Denzel placed a hand on Travis's shoulder. His rich mahogany hair was red where the light touched it, and his topaz coloured eyes regarded his friend exasperatly. "Calm down." He said comfortingly. "Let Clariti finish."

"We place inexperienced people onto the battlefield. Regardless of whether it is their choice, they are wasting their life. Throwing it away in a spur of the moment action. I believe we should train the inexperienced before placing them on the battlefield. Not by the 'Kill or be killed' way the Fury may emphasize, but we can not watch and do nothing as child after child is being annihalated in front of us." Clariti's voice gave away at the end. She turned her head to hide her eyes from the group, her golden hair falling in in front of her face.

"The Fury doesnt only use those means, Clariti." Genesis's grey eyes had turned hard and bitter, like an imperfect diamond. "They whipped us when we disobeyed them. They left us to die in the wild if we were not in perfect condition from the moment we were born to the moment we arrived here."

Confused, Tainte turned to Vincent. Answering the unspoken question in her eyes, he muttered, "I'll explain to you when we leave here."

Xavier spoke up. "I like what Clariti suggested. The only problem is- who would train the youngsters? We need all the help we can get from experienced people on the battle field."

Vincent regarded the map intently. He took away six Alliance men from the group, and placed the rest scattered along the map. He then took six Fury men from the group, and placed the rest in front of each of the Alliance men. Finding the numbers perfect, one for one, he then emptied the box of pins onto the map.

Xavier then took away the Fury and Alliance combatants. Left of the table were the pins, running through both sides towards the now unprotected Alliance fortress.

Travis managed to choke out, "Our experienced men will fight theirs, exactly the same number of men..."

"And in the time it takes to annihalate each other..."Denzel left his sentence hanging.

"The youngsters will become more experienced..." Realization dawned onto Genesis's eyes.

"And eventually retaliate towards our fortress..." Clariti's beautiful face was horrorstruck.

Xavier picked up the unfinished sentence. "Which is now unprotected from our battle against their warriors..."

"And head through the portal towards our town..." Vincent leaned forwards, his head in his palms.

Tainte whispered quietly, "Unprotected, not knowing how to defend themselves. Our families, our friends, our home...."

"Touching, isnt it?" A nasal voice sounded from the doorway. The entire group turned around just in time to see Clariti fall to the ground, three slashes running through her limp body.

calamiti

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PostedDec 01, 2009 8:52 pm
Frozen in fear, Tainte had just enough time to realize what had happened before an arrow flew past her, penetrating deep into the assasin's armor. Chaos reigned again as assasin after assasin piled into the conference tent. The clash of metal against metal, and the occasional metal against flesh filled the grounds again. It felt like Tainte's world had flipped upside down. The blood was rushing to her head, and she could not make sense of anything around her.

"Head back!" A heavily accented voice called, as the Alliance surrounded the Fury around the tent.

Casting a longing glance at the officers that still charged, the Fury disappeared as suddenly as they had appeared. For a while it was quiet, while the people hovering around the remains of the tent realized what was happening.

"Clariti!" Genesis hurried back onto the remains of the tent.

"Clariti! Clariti!" The calls over the fallen girl's name was repeated over and over again by dozens of worried voices.

A pool of blood surrounded her body, and even as a warm, golden aura flooded Tainte's palms, she knew it was too late. The look of desperation and horror was replicated on each and every gorgeous face around her.

Clariti reached up and grasped Tainte's hands tightly as the glow faded from her hands.

"It's too late to save me." She said, her beautiful eyes focused on Tainte's. "The war will go on, regardless of where I am. Do not dwell on the past, but focus your eye's on the present, and the future."

She reached a trembling hand into her pocket, and pulled out an ornatly engraved medallion, covered in blood. As she pressed it into Tainte's hands, she murmured, "Take good care of them." Losing the will to fight against the enveloping darkness, Clariti's hand fell beside her limp body.

Not a word was spoken while the viewers mourned the loss of their greatest healer.

Standing up slowly, Tainte cast her eyes to the evening sky, dull and dark, while the rain pelted down on their faces.

calamiti

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PostedAug 16, 2010 1:08 pm
Bodies littered the bloodstained ground as a group of priests touched each of the fallen on their foreheads. They whispered a short prayer, and the bodies disappeared with a swirl of gold dust. Tainte closed her eyes.

This wasn't what she was sent here for. To watch ally after ally fall victim to the Fury. Images flickered and memories resurfaced. The faces that she had gotten to memorize, the voices... Little Arcadia and her twin brother, Avery, only 12 years old. Echo, the herbalist. Fable, the cook. Fortuna, Nakeisha, Lief, Harmony, Wind, all taken away from the world forever. Even Spirit, the traveler, was caught in the sweep.

Tainte was a healer. It was what she was born to do, and what she would do until she died. Why could she not save those that she held closest to her heart?

It had been two weeks since Clariti had been killed. A new officer for the priests was yet to be decided, and although Mysterika- fair, blue eyed, stunningly beautiful Mysterika- was a favourite among the group, much unwanted drama had risen. There were many rumours spread about the ties that Tainte had developed with Vincent before coming onto the battlefield. In the first week, she had endured many whispers behind her back. Finally, the other officers spoke up.

Tainte almost smiled when she thought of what had happened. On the actual occasion, she had been frozen in fear at the thought of a riot. However, now, the incident seemed almost comical.

Flashback

Tainte kept her head down as she walked into the mess tent. It seemed useless to hope, despite all the days of constant shunning.

The worst part was not the dirty looks she saw wherever she looked, however. She had heard from Echo before her death that Mysterika and Vincent had a history between the two of them. It was thought by many that they were the perfect couple- equally beautiful, intelligent and athletic. Vincent was one of the youngest raid leaders of all time that was predicted to be the King's personal bodyguard in the years to come. Mysterika was an amazing healer from a noble family. She was the country's idol, and her face was on every announcement board advertising recruitment.

"They were expected to be married, you know." Echo had said in her motherly tone. "No one knew why Vincent suddenly broke away. It happened some weeks before you enlisted. Still causes a lot of gossip around here." Tainte whipped her head up.

Weeks before I enlisted?, Tainte thought. Wouldn't that be around the time when... I met Vincent?

She shook her head as if to throw the thoughts out of her head. That's ridiculous and self-centered of me to think like that! Tainte chastised herself. There is no way that it had anything to do with me.

She felt Echo's forest green eyes staring at her. Tainte smiled slightly.

"Sorry," she said. "Just preoccupied with some unnecessary thoughts."

Pulling herself out of the fond memory, Tainte heard the silence before she saw the looks that the other recruits threw at her. Holding her breath, she hurriedly grabbed a meal from the counter and sat down at an empty table. She held her fork gingerly between her hands, and lowered a trembling hand to the pasta on her plate.

And then she felt a splat as something wet and gooey landed on her hair. She turned quickly, and saw Temperance and his gang smirking at her from behind. She blinked away the tears rapidly as she tried to clean the mess from her hair. It wasn't as though she cared of her appearance- it couldn't be more superficial here on the battlefield- but it was unbecoming.

"Why did you do that?" Tainte asked. She was proud that her voice held steady. It sounded much more confident than she felt.

Everyone in the tent laughed maliciously.

"Why did I do that?" Temperance said spitefully. "You little goody-goody of a recruit. All you do is stand around behind Vincent's back, pretending like you know what you're doing. All of us here are battlehardened. We've been looking for a chance to become officers, and we actually worked for our rank. And you? You just stroll in with those little innocent eyes, pretending that you're all that. Well guess what? We're not putting up with it anymore."

The tent flap suddenly flipped back. Xavier strolled in with a wide grin, showing off his dimples.

"What'd we miss?" He asked. Genesis, Denzel, Travis filed in behind him. Their eyes landed on Temperance, who was the only one standing, and Tainte, to whom he was obviously talking to. Their eyes zeroed in on her hair, still coated with sauce. The conclusion was obvious.

Anger flared in the officers' eyes.

"You got a problem wi-" Travis began furiously.

"Travis!" Tainte interrupted. "This is my problem. I will deal with it." She turned to Temperance. "You seem oddly misinformed. Provide me with some proof of those actions, and I will leave Delphinian Fortress."

Temperance snorted in reply. "Please, you can't hope that we will swallow up that useless reply. You. Me. One versus one. Tomorrow. On the courtyard."

"Fine." Tainte replied. A look of shock crossed Temperance's face, but he quickly recovered.

"If, which should really be a 'when', by the way," Temperance inserted, "I win, you will leave Delphinian. If," he snorted again, "you win, then..."

"You will face utmost embarassment. Well, that's all lovely then. Excuse me." Tainte threw in a blinding smile to add to the affect. She rose gracefully and swept aside the tent flap to leave.

Temperance stood shocked. He recovered his arrogant side, then said, "She really can't expect to win, that pathetic girl."

Denzil smiled his best sinister smile. "I'm looking forward to your embarrasment, Temperance," he said.

Zombiliscious

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PostedAug 17, 2010 1:52 pm
This is cute O.O!
xD I like it.

calamiti

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PostedAug 19, 2010 10:52 am
-thanks Zombiliscious! Smile-

Night had fallen. The moon was shrouded by a thick cover of clouds, and the tiny beams of light that managed to penetrate the mist were quickly swallowed up by the darkness. All was quiet, except for the continuous rush of wind by the southern tents.

A look of concentration dominated the young priestess's face. She shot blast after blast of magic into the practice board, causing gusts of wind to envelope her. Tainte called for storm after storm of ice, pummelling the wooden planks into dust. She gripped her staff and closed her eyes, focusing all her energy into her palms. A glowing light surrounded her, and her stamina was recovered.

She stepped lightly away from the practice field, pausing only to gaze up at the sky.

Tainte's night activities were not oblivious to all.

The officers all gathered by Vincent's tent. Genesis regarded the young healer with appreciative eyes, while Travis actually made a move to stand up and remind her of the curfew. Denzel put a restraining hand on his shoulders, and shook his head minimally to the sides.

Xavier chuckled, and then muttered, "I can't wait to see Temperance's face when that girl beats him."

Travis looked at him as if he had lost his mind.

"Temperance? Lose a fight? I think not; he has so many dirty tricks under his sleeves! In our hometown, people called him Snake. Slippery and cunning- it was always a wonder how he didn't simply turn purple and join the Furies!"

"There is something special about Tainte," Genesis murmured. "She has much unreached potential. I am eager to see the results of the match."

"I too wish for Tainte to win, but Temperance is strong," Denzel said. "Tainte will be challenged greatly, and in turn challenge Temperance."

The next day

Every woman, child and man had assembled by the practice field. The sounds of cheering were unbelievably loud, and both Tainte and Temperance stood in the ring.

Xavier suddenly appeared by the circle. He grinned at the two fighters, and then he said, "Alright then. The rules are simple. Any skill or spell may be used. Food or potions to rejuvenate health, stamina or mana are forbidden. Any potions increasing movement speed, attack rate, attack power, yadda yadda are also forbidden. You must remain in the ring at all times."

Tainte felt a familiar surge of adrenaline as the music began. Xavier shouted over the cheers of the crowd, "Three! Two! One! Begin!"

At once, Temperance was in front of her. He swung his giant sword over his shoulders and then stumbled. He planted his sword into the hard earth to steady himself, then turned around. What had-

Tainte appeared behind him, sweeping her feet on the ground to cause Temperance to fall over. It stirred up a cloud of dust, and then Tainte disappeared again.

Temperance pulled his sword out of the ground in a rage. She dared to make a fool out of him; using tricks from his own book, nonetheless!

Temperance kicked up the dust again with his feet. She had to be somewhere here- it was impossible to just disappear. He swung his sword around in a circle, and then jumped up and drove it downwards, shaking the ground. There- that ought to have reached her somehow.

Tainte was blown backwards from the rush. Suddenly, Temperance appeared hovering over her, his sword tip at her neck. His other hand pressed down onto her collarbone, making her cry out. His knees pressed against her legs, and she could barely move a muscle. He smirked, and then drove the knife downwards.

Suddenly, she wasn't there anymore. Temperance jumped upwards, drove his sword into the ground, creating a crack that split the ring into two. He swung his sword again, but only sliced through air.

The dust settled, and he saw her at the side of the rink. Her eyes were closed, and she was muttering an prayer. Feeling wild with success at her vulnerability, he sprinted to her side and thrust the sword through her body.

Tainte's eyes flew open. A loud gasp echoed throughout the crowd, and it seemed as though the fight was finished.

Temperance wasn't finished. He twisted the sword inside of her, and then pulled it out again. Tainte fell forward, blood gushing out of the wound. Blue sparks flickered feebly around the wound, but the magic was rapidly leaving her.

Temperance knelt down next to her. As he bent to whisper gloatingly into her ear, he realized something. She was still chanting that prayer!

"God can't save you now," he said. "Just sit tight until they announce my win."

Gradually, the wind picked up. It howled and blew the sand around, stinging the eyes. Temperance brought his hands to his eyes, and then noticed a silver aura surrounding Tainte. He realized his mistake.

It wasn't a prayer! He thought frantically. It was an incantation- but there's nothing she can do about it now. She's lost so much blood, she must be so weak...

Tainte's body rose and a light surrounded her. It must have been a hallucination, but it seemed as though a golden figure hovering in the air caressed her face and showered her with golden beams...

The wind swirled the dust around the ring, blocking the view for the spectators. But inside the ring, there was no wind. It was calm... eerily calm.

Tainte's hair gradually turned white, and her eyes opened to reveal white shocking white irises. The silver aura grew stronger as Tainte was gently lowered to the ground. Temperance froze. What on earth had he just witnessed?

And then, just like that, she disappeared.

He felt a warm rush of air behind him. He swung blindly, and then felt the familiar jolt as his sword made contact with human flesh. The air cleared, and Tainte stood with her arm raised to protect her face. Temperance's sword drove deep into her forearm, and her blood dripped onto the ground. He barely had a moment to rejoice, however, when the golden aura that had saved his life so many times began to envelop the injury. Tainte rushed up to Temperance, and for a second, their faces were millimetres away. She smirked, and then pulled the sword out of his grasp.

All of the sudden, ice began to fall from the sky. Snow and blocks of frozen water as large as if they had been ripped straight out of glaciers! The continuous barrage of ice drove Temperance onto his knees. With effort, he stood, and then tore the nearest piece of ice from the ground. He hurled it at Tainte, but she blasted it back towards him with a ball of magic. Again and again, this happened. The last time, she put the sword in front of her. The ice made a crack in the blade. Suddenly, the sword split apart. Tainte pulled the pieces up, and a silver aura covered her palms. She looked straight at Temperance, and then the pieces of metal shot at him.

Temperance fell to the ground at the same time the wind suddenly stopped. Xavier hopped over the metal barrier into the ring. He looked at Temperance, with the many pieces of metal protruding from his body, and then he looked at Tainte.

The officers had eyes keener than anyone on the field. They saw the white iris gradually flicker and dim into the familiar blue.

Xavier spoke. "I now announce the winner of this fight, Priestess Tainte!"

His words were met with complete silence at first. Then, a timid applause grew into an entire back-slapping, noise-making riot.

When the cheering settled down, Denzel found his voice.

"Tainte," he began, barely choking out the words. "What happened to your hair?"

A thoroughly blank look swept past Tainte's face. She looked down at her waist length hair.

Puzzled, she asked, "What's wrong with it?" And then she did a double take. Her hair had turned snow white, and when she peered closer, there were strands of metallic gold and silver intertwined within the white.

"Oh, my," she said. "Does it look unbecoming?"

Genesis quickly stepped in before someone blurted out The Legend. Tainte needed to be prepared.

"No, it looks lovely!" she exclaimed. "Doesn't it, boys?" The rest of the officers shrank beneath Genesis' death glare.

Vincent chuckled, but inside, he was restless. Despite the issue of the new priest Officer being resolved, a new problem had risen. The Legend was taking its first step, and the Furies no doubt already knew about it. What with the spy within their ranks....
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