Chapter -1: The Shackles of Destiny
"Will this really work Meltor?"
He smirked at Silver's disbelief and said, "This isn't like you Silver. You can throw lightning bolts from your fingertips, and yet inter-dimensional travel is too much?"
"Well when you put it that way…"
"Look, I'll prove it to you." Meltor sat down on his favourite rock in Indian fashion. He began his usual meditation, but instead of communicating with the environment he attempted to sway space and time. "Okay Silver, just touch the small tear in reality when you see it. Remember, we don't know where you'll end up, so be ready for anything."
As he spoke, the tear appeared and beckoned to Silver. When his finger touched, a torrent of swirling images assaulted his mind and began to shred him and his reality in two. Before he knew it, Terrestria had been left far behind and the empty space of infinite lay before him. Before too long his mind took control of this traverse and directed the flow of space and time in a single direction.
As he faded into differing dimensions of consciousness, one frame in particular caught his eye. An ornate door to an unknown place and time beckoned him to open it. A different reality… why is this one drawing me in? When he touched the knob more images swirled into his mind. A coliseum, an Earth filled with faceless people, more and more images swirled into his fiber and all of them demanded him to fight.
"Take it Silver, a tournament is right up your alley." What the hell are you doing here Jean?
"Hey, I'm part of you now jack. You dragged me here!" That's what you get for foisting yourself upon someone jack ass.
"Well, I'm not getting any younger and your swords any sharper, so just go for it!" Fine, just shut up already.
With those words, Silver finally pushed himself into the portal. The color of a blue sky and white clouds took shape. Then he began to fall. It happened slowly at first, but as he picked up speed, a torrent of particles flew through the air. He tasted a speck. This tastes like the energy from the Zero Dimension. This place is so close to it that I probably don't even need a Rift to cast. Good thing too, I don't even know what runes this place has.
"Wait, you tasted that stuff? Wow, you really will eat anything!" Every time I hear you talk a few brain cells of mine die.
Silver dove at the ground just below terminal velocity. He broke through the clouds and caught his first glimpse of a romantic gladiatorial stadium. He smiled. The stadium seemed familiar and at home to him. Well, time to slow down. I wouldn't want to become a pancake and upset April again.
He etched the familiar runes into the air before he realized he probably didn't need them. To his surprise, they responded to him instantly. "Okay, we'll play this a little different now."
"Silent earth, fertile soil. Bend to my will and break my fall. Black art of Earth, Skyfall!"
The rune glowed upon the ground. The once solid stone became fluid and pliable as Silver turned head over heel and assumed a "feet first" diving position. As he landed, a sonic boom accompanied him. Hmm, I broke whatever sound barrier this place has. The stone slowly re-assumed its shape as though it were rubber.
"Well, well. What have we here?"
Silver looked around in confusion and asked, "Who's there?"
"I control this dimension and all the worlds within it."
"So you are the god here?"
"You could put it that way, however you may refer to me simply as The Organizer."
"Okay… You know, The Organizer is a mouthful. I'll just call you T.O."
"T.O.? You're slipping Silver." I don't want your crap right now Jean.
"Interesting, you seem strong. I can't tell what dimension you're from, but I did not call you here."
Silver smiled inwardly at the compliment and said, "I am strong, and I wish to fight a challenging opponent. Only for sport mind you."
"Then you shall get your wish! What is your name?"
"I am Silver! Slayer of dragons, disassembler of mountains! I am worthy of any and all you wish to throw my way!"
The Organizer snapped, and in an instant the scenery changed.
Chapter -2: Good Match
The stadium had been replaced with another. This time to one with a roaring crowd complete with giant TV screens. The arena's floor seemed to be made of segmented steel plating. Floating platforms dotted the stage with no discernible bases aside from thin air.
A red flash populated the other side of the arena with a short cloaked figure. Silver's eyes could tell little about the opponent save his wiry frame and slim stature. A small necklet that reminded Silver of his pirate flag back in Terrestria was present on the person's cloak. It served as a sort of clasp to keep their identity hidden.
The two walked toward each other and Silver called out, "I take it that you're my opponent." Silver met the figure in the middle of the stage. He bowed and extended his hand in courtesy. When the figure did not take it, his puzzled look prompted him for some sort of response.
"I do not wish to bandy useless words with someone who underestimates me."
Ignoring his tone and attitude, Silver smiled. His voice did not sound male so he fielded a question to 'him', "Pardon my ignorance, but are you a woman?"
"Yes, I am. Are you going to be like my other opponents and dismiss my expertise because I'm female?"
"Absolutely not… if I did, my wife would kill me," as he said this he smiled. To himself he thought, yeah, she'd follow me here and proceed to beat the living daylight out of me. "Women are stronger than men in many different ways. Prowess in battle should not be judged by one's talk but by one's actions."
"Well played. My name is Eliah," she said as she tossed her hood back. "I am known as the Crossroads Bounty Hunter, and I have taken many dangerous marks. What about you?" This time she extended her hand.
Silver accepted it and said, "My name is Silver. While I may lay claims bigger than most oceans, I'm really nothing special. All I look for is a challenge."
"Let's hope your actions scream louder than your words. Right now I see a person who is going to be easy to beat." She took a fighting stance.
"Oh believe me, I may choose not to talk the talk, but I walk the walk," he replied and then took his own stance.
Noting his abnormally sized bow she said, "Can you seriously fight with that?"
"As soon as T.O. announces the fight, we'll put it to a test it hasn't seen in years."
As if on cue, the TV screen lit up and words began to scroll across. A deep voice read them off, "Ladies and gentlemen. This bonus match is a free fight. There are no winners or losers here, just satisfaction. In this corner we have Silver, a cross dimensional traveler who found his own way here." This brought a sharp look from Eliah. "And in the other corner is a crowd favorite, Eliah, the Crossroads Bounty Hunter! I want a good clean fight on the count of three!"
The two took their stances. One.
"May the best person win." Two.
"That will be me," Silver replied. Three.
Silver disappeared from sight as Eliah jumped towards him. Disoriented, she just barely dodged the arrow that came from her blind spot. "Good, quick reflexes. I like that. Let's see how you handle my super arrows!"
Silver seemed to materialize on the other side of the stage on a floating platform. Three glowing runes stood in front of him as he chanted, "Whispering wind, hurricane of the night, boulder that flies. Hear me and answer my summons. Crack the earth, sting the air, whistle through her hair. Black art of Heavy Arrow!"
The air shimmered around his quiver, and the platform dipped a few feet from where it once stood. He nocked an arrow into his bow and took aim directly at Eliah. "Dodge this," he ordered. With a single smooth movement he fired the arrow and in the space of less than a second it whizzed through her hair and into the ground behind her. A rumbling noise occurred right after. The ground cratered like it had been hit with an asteroid with the arrow at the center.
"What did you do?"
"I enhanced my arrow's weight and speed using magic."
"But I used up all the Aeonite in this realm days ago though!"
"Aeonite? What's that? No I speak of something else. This dimension is so very close to the Zero Dimension. If you can use magic, then you just used up the stuff in the atmosphere... Why don't open a rift and gather more energy?" Silver pulled Wisdom from its sheath and pushed it into the very fabric of the universe and said, "Like this." He slid it through the air with a swish and sheathed his sword again. A thick mirage like energy spilled from the hole.
"What is this? Energy from nowhere?" She noted a bluish hue returning to the surrounding area.
"This is the energy of the Zero Dimension. I guess it is also like this Aeonite you speak of. By forming it with my will I can make it into any matter I desire. Now, let's continue. You should be able to-" He was interrupted by a blue shockwave that sped under his arm.
Her longsword in hand, she had a smirk on her face as she said, "Let's play then."
Silver disappeared again and this time he emptied his quiver into the sky. Within seconds, almost forty arrows flew into the clouds. Each time he appeared, a blade of blue light would soon follow. As he dodged, the stage began to rumble. The center opened like a sliding door and the tip of a mountainside appeared. The head, body and tail of a fire dragon soon followed. Its roar spewed flames into the air.
Silver looked at Eliah. Her face had curiosity written all over it. He slung his bow onto his back and said, "Don't worry I got this."
He unsheathed both his swords. Both Power and Wisdom glinted in expectation. As he ran towards the dragon he chanted, "Speed of wind, burning oxygen, come forth and fill my veins with your power. Secret technique, Take it to the Limit!"
Just before Silver disappeared, he turned a deep red and winked at Eliah. Not to be outdone, she flung the first of several shockwaves into the mountainside, leaving scars set deep within the stone. She barely missed the hulk of the dragon and instead lopped the tail off. She turned her back in disgust only to find Silver behind her looking at the mountain muttering, "Just one more minute… Hurry up and shatter damn it!"
A sharp cracking noise brought her attention back to the mountain. She was just in time to see it turn into shards of rock and dust, and the dragon no more than a memory. She turned back to Silver, a new found respect in her eyes. "Believe me, it took me almost a hundred years to master that technique."
"One… Hundred years?! If I didn't know better I'd say you're immortal."
"I'm actually over six hundred years old, but I should also be able to live for about a thousand more? Oh, and those arrows will be here in ten seconds. You don't happen to have an umbrella do you?"
She shook her head. "Oh, well watch out. They'll kill you in an instant." Then he was gone.
The first arrow swirled through the cloud. Then as the rest followed, the stage began to change again, this time to a disaster scene. The burnt frame of an ancient house stood under the skeleton of a tree. Wildfire had claimed this land. When the arrow impacted at terminal velocity, the crater it left measured six meters across. The stage was struck tremors as the rest of the arrows followed.
Three arrows loomed over Eliah's head. A blue light emanated from under her cloak and calmly expanded outwards. As the arrows entered the bubble they slowed to a crawl, then stopped altogether. Silver appeared again, his skin returned to normal. "Hmm, did you just reverse or neutralize gravity?"
"That I did."
"You're no normal mage. Nobody but the most powerful can do that in my land."
"Thanks. You can have these arrows back." The shafts shifted and pointed directly at Silver before they were forcefully expelled from the field. Almost immediately they dropped to the ground with a crash. "How heavy are those?"
"They weigh about six tons at the moment," he replied as he picked them up and slid them into his quiver. "Now, shall we dance," he asked as he unsheathed his swords.
She replied by readying her longsword and firing another burning blue shockwave. Silver blocked it. Sparks flew from his swords as the wave grated against them. The ground groaned as Silver's feet were pushed into it. Soon he started moving back from the force of the attack. He changed his stance and stepped out of the way of the wave. As it sped by, it lopped off a half inch of hair from the back of his head.
"Yeah, let's not get hit by one of those." Shut up Jean, I know.
Eliah moved in close and began her assault. Slash, thrust, and kick. She had Silver on the defensive with each ring of metal on metal, or boot on flesh. Even when Silver kicked himself into high gear, Eliah's eyes followed his every movement. Who is she? It's like she can follow my speed, but can't move as fast.
Silver broke off and began to chant, "Hellish flames, all-consuming blaze. I summon thee to this realm to eat and grow. Black art of fire, Sun Burst!"
From his hand waves of white hot fire pulsed through the air like a blade. Its target eyed them coolly. As they attacked, she parried their blows. One on one they relentlessly assaulted her. When her breathing became ragged and uneven, Silver moved in close again. His muscles still screamed from his last limit break, but he forced another. His skin turned red and time began to slow to a crawl.
Each slash of her sword occurred in bullet time. One, two, three, thrust, and then kick. Each pattern played out the same. Each one was countered as easily as the last. Then with a flourish, Silver disarmed Eliah. The silver blade arced through the air and buried itself into the ground. Her face had a surprised look on it as she reached into her cloak and pulled out a small object. She threw that into the ground and smoke appeared instantaneously.
Silver dispelled the smokescreen in an instant. The moment it cleared he felt a chop to the side of his neck. When nothing happened, he felt another. "Why. Won't. It. Work?!" Each word was punctuated by another chop.
"Well, that's how my wife used to KO me in matches. I had to have that part of my neck replaced and reinforced due to the repeated jabbing." He readied his swords in a scissor configuration and placed them on her neck. "Surrender. This is just a friendly match, and compared to my world I'll actually be able to kill another person if we continue this."
She raised her right hand and said, "Okay, I surrender." The TV screen that had been following their entire match displayed the verdict.
Winner by Surrender