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Elementals Chapter 17

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Chapter Seventeen

The Exhibition matches were held in a completely other coliseum that was closed off to the public and only open this one time of year. All of the contestants, Noah included, were to be paired at random match ups everyone fighting up to five times a day. There was no telling how many fights you had so if Noah didn’t get in his five fights before too long he would be stuck waiting around in case his number was called.

If you missed the third call for your number you were automatically disqualified. Noah would wait all day if he had to, he wasn’t letting something so stupid stop him now.

A couple hours later the time finally came when Noah’s number was called. He followed the Ragnarock member calling everyone’s name into the open coliseum. Unlike the other coliseums he encountered, this one was strangely small on the inside. Still large by definition but not as large as other coliseums, it was in fact roughly the size of an arena.

Five Rectangular platforms raised several feet up occupied a majority of the inside. On each platform on both ends was a pillar. Noah was walked to the platform on the far end where his opponent was waiting by her pillar. He walked up the small steps on the side and stood at his pillar waiting for the match to start.

Noah and his opponent starred of briefly until the referee called out for the match to start. Then the woman he was facing extended her arm out touching her pillar as it began to glow orange instantly and quickly grew brighter. Noah was astonished at how swiftly she was gathering energy for use; he had never seen someone this fast before.

He pulled out his cards and began to take defensive measurements with his small sum of gathered energy when the woman pulled out a card from her pocket and with the flick of her wrist sent it flying at him. Whatever she was going to summon would be right on top of him. He threw up his invisible magical barriers in an instant, prepared for the worst his eyes focused on the card flying at him.

But to his surprise the card didn’t summon anything, it flew harmlessly by him as he watched it go. And for a moment he let his guard down in a feeling of safety when he realized what the card truly was; a distraction. He turned back to his opponent just as she slung a bolt of lightning at his chest.

Noah only just managed to pull up some form of protection against the spell which kept his heart from stopping, but the blast still hit him so hard he was knocked off his feet and out of the ring. Noah tried getting up, but the effort alone was too much and he fell right back down now realizing his body was numb.

He continued trying to fight it off until finally the referee announced him as the winner. Noah looked up at the referee puzzled until he saw Primordious standing in front of him. He could hear the elementals voice in his head but couldn’t make out what it was saying. The referee had to help him up and walked him back to the waiting room; she asked him if he could still continue or if he needed to opt out now.

In a partial grunt Noah managed to say he could go on and the referee left him. He leaned back against the wall and found his hand moving on its own into his other pocket. The warm smooth touch of the ever life stone reminded him he was still alive, and for a brief moment how much pain he was in from the attack. The touch of the stone took away his numbness, healed his wounds and helped clear his head where finally he could hear Primordious clearly.

“Are you alright Noah?” Primordious asked.

“Yeah I’m fine now, thanks.” Noah responded without speaking. “I can’t believe I fell for that trick, I should have seen it coming and making a pillar glow is easy, you don’t need a huge some of magic for it. It just takes a few seconds to conjure the magic to appear like that no one could gather energy that fast it’s impossible.”

“Do not feel bad she had me fooled as well.”

“I would have lost if not for you.”

“You forget we’re in this together and cannot afford a loss, not now.”

“I will not be so foolish again.”

Noah checked out his clothes, there was a small hole in the center of them from where he had been hit and they were partially charred. He sighed in annoyance that he would have to wear that for the rest of the day.

His thoughts were turned away from his outfit when he saw someone standing before him. He looked up and saw the girl he just faced smiling at him. “That was some match, you had me completely fooled; snuck your elemental around me to destroy my pillar while I focused on you. I really thought I had you but guess not.”

Noah grinned back and said, “Yeah well you almost did have me with that distraction very well played.”

“You better at least make it to the finals, I can’t have lost in exhibition matches to a nobody.” The girl said as she offered out her hand.

Noah reached for it to shake when he sensed the charge of electrical energy pulsing through it. The girl saw he caught onto this trick and swiftly went to grab his hand before he could take it back. She moved like lightning reaching for his hand when something stopped her.

Noah was able to pull back his hand to safety and put up his magic defenses when he saw a young man holding onto the woman’s wrist with great strength. She snarled and turned to face the young man when his grip tightened and Noah could hear the cracking of bones followed by a shriek from the woman.

By then the Ragnarock guards had come to see what the commotion was. When they arrived the young man spoke to them with an authoritative voice, but kept his eyes on the woman in case she tried anything else. “Guards arrest this woman for attempted interference with an active contender outside of an official match, as well as potentially attempted murder.”

“The brat is lying!” The woman hissed.

“She had a powerful electrical charge stored up in her hand and was about to discharge it at handshake against this man.”

The guards looked to Noah and asked, “Is this true sir?”

Noah nodded his head and said, “Yeah she came up to me after our match acting friendly and offered her hand to shake, but right as I went to take it I could feel a strong pulse of electrical energy.”

“They’re both lying!” the woman hissed as she struggled to get away from the guards.

The guards then needed nothing more they pulled her hands behind her back and locked them up with a strange white color that tightened around her wrists. Then they walked her away as she continued to struggle with no use only making a larger scene.

When she was gone Noah turned to the young man and said, “Thanks she almost got me twice.”

The young man nodded and offered his hand, “You’re welcome; people seem to be at their worst this time of year.” His tone was dark and filled with malice.

Hesitant of recent events Noah took the young man’s hand and shook it. “My name is Noah.”

“And mine is Draco.”

The name sounded familiar to Noah but he couldn’t quite understand why. His thoughts were swiftly interrupted when Draco said, “I have to get to my match.” Then he walked away heading to his match.

“Good luck” Noah called out to him.

Draco raised his arm and waived it a little for Noah to show he wasn’t ignoring him. Noah grinned and relaxed back a little. He was still a bit on edge after what had just happened.

It was not long before Draco returned. No more than four minutes by Noah’s count. “Wow was there a mix up or something?” Noah asked Draco as he passed by.

Draco kept walking but slowed down a little and said, “No, I won.”

Noah was having a bit of a hard time believing that Draco had won his match so swiftly. But then again he did seem very powerful and if he lost he wouldn’t be back with all the other contestants right now. Noah watched Draco as he took his seat far back and feared a possible match with the young man. He wouldn’t lose, but Draco would probably force him to give everything he had into a match.

Hours passed on by as more people went into the main part of the coliseum and the numbers slowly dwindled. Finally Noah’s fight came up and he was faced against another man around his age. The fight started, he gathered his energy and shortly summoned the pair of electric serpents.

His opponent danced around their attacks and reflected others aimed at his pillar with ease. But he wasn’t able to concentrate enough on gathering energy and soon enough his opponent was too tired and gave Noah a large opening to shatter the pillar. He let one of the serpents destroy it while the other one, combined with his own spells, kept his opponent distracted.

After Noah’s victory he went back to waiting room but found it was empty. He asked the referee what was going on and she said, “One hour break. Give everyone time to eat or whatever they need to take care of. We will call for remaining contestants ten minutes early throughout the city so don’t worry about straying from the coliseum.”

Noah shrugged but moved on anyways. He would rather get the fights over with sooner than later, but it wouldn’t hurt to eat. The stone of ever life took away even his hunger and nourished him but he tried not wasting its energy for that.

When he was out of the coliseum he asked Primordious, “How are the serpents doing?”

“They are fine.” Primordious answered simply.

“Alright then how are you doing?”

“I have barley spent any energy today so I am fine as well.”

Noah felt Primordious was acting a little strange but didn’t pursue it much. He found a restaurant not too far from the coliseum and ate there. After he finished he figured he still had plenty of time so he wondered around the city some more. His hands went into his pocket and he felt the warm stone again and alone with his thoughts finally wondered; where did the great stone come from?

He asked Primordious but didn’t receive an immediate answer. In fact it was several minutes later when he said, “The ever life pillar is the collected essences of countless elementals.”

Noah frowned just thinking about it then asked, “How does that work exactly?”

“I do not fully know myself.” Primordious said. “It appeared after the war in the place of the largest battle.”

Noah was quit for a while longer still wandering around when a thought occurred to him. “Wait if the pillar of ever life is so powerful why didn’t you just remove an enormous chunk of it and use its power to take down Ragnarock by yourself?”

“The pillar has its limits and even in my prime I doubt I would be able to siphon and control that much energy. I have considered it though, but I have too many doubts about it. And I would rather not fail and let such a power source fall into Ragnarock hands. If they had gotten the stone earlier then they could have summoned the void ethereal a very long time ago.”

Noah was quite the rest of his break until all the contestants were called back to the coliseum. It took several minutes to get things sorted out again for Ragnarock, but when they finally were, Noah was among the first for his matches.

It was an easy match; in fact almost all his matches were easy. Even if his enemies knew his strategy they simply couldn’t combat it; he was too fast for them. And before too long Noah had his final fights for the day so he was free to do whatever. He returned to the hotel room and put his cards away leaving Primordious out with the stone of ever life in case he needed it.

Once more Noah went off on his own to enjoy the festivities, but soon enough he thought of Astrid and wished she were here to enjoy them with him. Nothing seemed as fun anymore without her and his night was cut short, so he returned to his room and traded stories with Primordious to pass the time until he could fall asleep.

The next morning Noah had his serpents and Primordious with him just like before. At the coliseum the number of people was about a quarter less than it was yesterday when he left. “They really dwindle down the competitors in these exhibitions,” Noah thought to himself.

Noah sat back down and started to relax thinking his fight would probably be a long while. To his surprise Noah was one of the first people called that morning. He went to his platform and waited around a couple minutes for his opponent. To his surprise his opponent was the young man from yesterday, the one with dark straight hair. Draco was his name, if Noah remembered correctly.

He almost felt bad for Draco, the young man seemed to have great potential. He greeted Draco with a friendly smile. And in response Draco said, “Don’t expect I will go easy on you.” His tone was a little hostile but it wasn’t cold like yesterday.

Noah’s smile turned into a grin and he said, “I don’t count on it. And you can expect the same from me.”

The referee came and announced the fight had started officially, but the fight had already begun when Draco and Noah stepped into the arena. As always the fights were slow to start and in the first minute of the match Noah had time to stare down his opponent and learn as much about them as he could while gathering energy.

Most people while concentrating on gathering their energy would look down at their feet or past their opponent into the distance, but Noah was not most people and neither was Draco. The young man starred Noah down, sizing him up exactly the same way Noah was doing to him. As their stare down continued Noah had almost enough energy to summon his first elemental, but he noticed something strange with Draco’s pillar; there was no light emitting from it at all.

Noah realized Draco must have been gathering energy without the use of the pillar, just like he was doing. He did not believe it mattered much either way, but still Noah watched Draco closely.

Soon enough Noah was ready to summon an elemental, and as he moved his hands going for his card, Draco acted so swiftly almost like reflex. Draco’s hand rose quickly as lightning surged forth from his middle and index fingers. It raced to Noah and he had just enough time to block it; being caught by surprise.

Draco did not stop there he shot out small balls of fire one after the other in rapid succession. There were three balls of flame in all, trailing right behind each other just far enough apart so they wouldn’t hit Noah at once, but close enough that he would have to keep his shield up.

The attacks were successful in distracting Noah and forcing him to burn through his energy in defense, the two were back on even ground as far as Noah could tell. This time Noah didn’t take as long to gather as much energy and instead summoned a huge sum of energy from inside him to summon his electric serpent. The process made him weak and his legs were trembling under his own weight, he reached into his pocket and wrapped his hand around the ever life stone feeling his energy restore.

Draco was surprised by the serpent but only for an instant. He put wrists together in a cross sort of fashion and began rolling them around each other, using his whole arms in the motion. Silver light emerged from his hands and he soon changed his pattern to dance his hands around in the air closely summoning a small swirling vortex of dim silver light. And just as the serpent came within range to attack he threw the orb out with a quick thrust of his hands.

The Orb expanded rapidly and trapped the serpent in the wind bubble as it twisted around inside helplessly. Noah watched as the wind bubble swiftly weakened and slowed down as he started regaining control of the serpent’s movements. But this was not supposed to be more than a distraction and a way to buy time; it worked perfectly. Noah had only seen too late that Draco, in a strong stance of an earth magician user, was raising his hands up into the air above his head closing them up as thick stone walls mimicked the movement around his pillar.

Noah was highly impressed, normally if you relied on gathering energy through the pillar, surrounding it with anything would weaken your link to it. Your defense would be much greater, but you would not be able to channel energy through it as easily or quickly and could easily become a sitting duck. However in Draco’s case, since he didn’t rely on the pillar for gathering energy, this plan was an ultimate defense which gave him plenty of room to fight Noah directly and he wouldn’t have to worry about his pillar as much.

Noah had no other choice, he would have to weaken Draco first or at least get him away from the pillar in order to win this match. The electric serpent charged at Draco and to Noah’s surprise the young man met it head on. It shot out a wave of lightning from its mouth, but Draco anticipated this and leaped above it, bringing his hands together in a fist he slammed them down on the serpents head with great force.

The elemental flopped to the ground from the hit and Draco landed with a roll and came out of it dashing forward at Noah. Noah prepared himself for some sort of magical attack but Draco kept running towards him instead, so he tried gathering a quick sum of energy to attack Draco with. Draco somehow sensing Noah’s attack and used the wind to speed himself up and closed the gap between them in a second. But he didn’t slow down at all, instead he tackled Noah full force and both of them tumbled to the ground.

They wrestled around, and Noah came out on top and punched Draco across his face as hard as he could. Draco took the hit and got his legs beneath Noah’s torso and kicked him off with great force that threw Noah onto his back. Both of them back on their feet a moment later, Draco running around to the other side of Noah’s Pillar and Noah chasing after him.

At the other side of the pillar Noah saw Draco turned sideways facing him with his right hand out gathering in energy to his hand preparing to destroy Noah’s pillar and win the match with one shot. He could see blood dripping from his hand and dark scorch marks on the side where he had hit the electric serpent directly. The scorch marks were on both hands, attacking the electric serpent like that was not without severe consequences.

And one look in Draco’s eyes Noah could see that he was determined to win this match; no, the whole tournament even if he had to die for it. Noah began to panic, he would never be able to break through the rock protecting Draco’s pillar in time and the only way to stop Draco would be to kill him, but Noah didn’t want to kill him, he’s not a killer. Time was running out and Noah didn’t know what to do until he remembered Primordious; surely the elemental had enough power to stop Draco without killing him.

He quickly called upon the ancient elemental and it summoned itself racing after Draco. Before he ever got to the boy though Primordious suddenly vanished in a mysterious blue light, seconds later Draco’s attack came through and Noah’s Pillar shattered into countless pieces; he lost.

Noah fell to his knees in shock while Draco crouched low, out of breath he needed a referees help to walk back to the waiting room. When Draco was finally gone Noah managed to pull himself together and stand up then walk out of the coliseum. He tried calling out to Primordious numerous times as he headed back to the hotel room, but got no response.

Days went on like this until final Primordious returned and all Noah could say at that time is, “We lost.”

“We did” Primordious confirmed.

“I’m sorry my friend I failed you, after all the times you were there for me the one time I was supposed to be here for you and I failed.”

“You gave it everything you had but this seems to all work out for the better the plan has changed Noah.”

Primordious calm attitude about all of this broke Noah out of his self-loathing, and he finally realized how odd this all was for Primordious to be so calm about it all. “What do you mean it’s all for the better and where the hell did you disappear to at the end of the fight?” Noah asked, coming to his senses.

“I will explain later for now we need to get off this island though we will return soon enough when its time.” Primordious said.

Noah hated all of these sudden mysterious, but there was no reasoning with the elemental so he packed his things and was on the next boat to Saeyune. Astrid would surely be able to cheer him up, or at least she would be able to take his mind off of things.

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