Saturday, November 16

Chapter 10

Blazerine could hear yelling although its muted to an extent. She could only imagine what was happening outside the cart. Will there be bloodshed? Will there be death? 

Momentarily she rose up, but a bandit shoved her back down in place. Suddenly she felt terrified as he loomed over her. She was visibly shaking, because she knew, she couldn't fight back with these restraints. 

He didn't say a word.  He only pressed a single finger to his lips, signaling her to keep quiet. His whole purpose was to stay in the back with them, to reassure they won't make a peep, while others were being lured to the same fate. 

She wasn't sure if it was just her eyes playing tricks on her, but Blazerine could swear that she saw a hint of something in the bandit's face. There was also something familiar about his body language, but what was it? 

The next set of victims, is woman and a child, which were shackled in, right across from them.  

The little girl held her breath before slowly letting it out, afraid to make too much noise. 

A subtle frown crinkled the corners of the woman's lips, while she stared intently at Blazerine, with her large and thoughtful eyes.

It wasn't hard for Blazerine to read between the lines. 'Why didn't you warn us?' That's exactly what she would ask.  

The silence lingering in the air was something Sinner was used to, considering how many times he has rode in the back with the candidates. 

During the agonizing days of travel, more victims accompanied them. Some young, and some old. Sparingly stale bread along with musky ale were handed out. 

Slowly Blazerine extended her hand out to Fenix, offering him her share. Wearily she smiled, showing him it's alright. He accepted, even though he never said anything in return. 

That evening, the dim shrill of a cool wind whipped against the tarp. Moments like this always made Blazerine feel uncomfortable, and yearned for home. For there was no sound for miles. No broadcasting promotional's, no hum from machines, for none of them existed yet. No, there was only the sound of nature reminding everyone she's queen. 

What bothered her the most though is the sound of blood pulsing through her veins, beating in her wrists, and rushing to her temples, making her feel nauseous. 

There was someone - some famous writer, she overheard Haven quoting once, who had commented on the phenomenon. "Man quivers.... whenever he feels his own heartbeat, because it's a reminder of his own mortality." The poet had said or something to that effect. 

Her train of thought was suddenly interrupted by Fenix's voice. 

Quietly he repeated, "Face with punishment is much worse than a smuggler's brand on their wrists or an amputated hand." 

His voice started to escalated as he continued on. 

She hated to admit this, but apart of her felt afraid, afraid for what consequences might come for him. And it was really the last thing she ever wanted to feel, because he was suppose to be the strong one, not her.

It was only then Fenix felt the extra weight on his shoulder from Blazerine's hand. Although her trembling hand was cold, he could of sworn the opposite. 

"Stay quiet and everything will be okay, alright?" She told him. 

One of the bandit swept the tarp partially open to investigate. 

"What did I say about making noise? Whose the one? Speak up now or else all of you will get it!" He scowled. 

Blazerine couldn't bare the thought of seeing Fenix go through anymore. He's already has had enough and it was just the beginning of what more there is to come. The only thing she could do now is take the fall for him. 

"I did it..." Even though Blazerine whispered, her lone voice seemed loud compared to the quiet around her. 

Her decision grabbed Sinner's attention right away. He wondered why she would ever do such a thing foolish thing... putting her life on the line for somebody else. Somehow it all didn't sit too well with him. For her actions had come across as if Fenix's is her flesh and blood. The very same role he had given up a long time ago. 

The bandit didn't waste any time and made his way over to Blazerine. He walked with confidence and held the countenance of some forgotten war god, savage and beautiful like a distant storm. Perhaps it was his long dreadlocks that swayed with each step, which made him look tribal. And his teeth gleamed within his smug grin, like a diamond luster wrought of arrogance.

Blazerine stood, trying to stand confident. However she looked everything but confident. Her stance is shaken, legs widening and muscles tensing.

He Intimidatingly made her flinch by slamming his fist right beside her head. All the while his blue eyes stared fiercely, watching the steady movement of her shoulders made as she breathed nervously in and out. 

"Just get this over with..." The last part slipped from her mouth without much thought, mostly due to the leftover feeling of anxiousness. 

Sinner gave a disapproving frown, because Blazerine definitely didn't look like a fighter; with that small stature of hers. Yet at the same time he was well aware of how deceiving appearances can be. But still the question remains... why was she so easily able to stand up against him and not this chump? 

"What did you say to me?" The bandit's voice was now deeper than ever, and his gaze is unwavering. 

"I said -" Her voice suddenly had come to halt after the bandit rammed his knee dead center into her stomach. The painful blow was enough to take her breath away, leaving her temporarily hunched over gasping desperately for air. 

Sinner watched carefully, waiting for the additional hits, but surprisingly there was no more. It was so unlike him. Nightshade is the type of bandit if given the chance... he will literally beat the shit out of somebody, until their the shade of black and blue, thus his name. What made her any different? Did he developed some sort of fancy towards her within a short period of time? For sometimes innocence is a fatal attraction. Or else - could it be - he knows that she's not the true culprit. 

"I shall vouch for you." Nightshade said out of nowhere.

Blazerine didn't have the slightest clue what he meant nor did she even care. She was too busy trying to recollect herself. 

"Therefore..." He continued on, "You're guaranteed to be left unharmed until the test commence." 

"W-why-" Before she could ever finished her sentence. She's caught off guard by another knee in the gut. And unfortunately it felt worse than the first. 

Nightshade was quick to say, "I didn't give you permission to speak." 

Unexpectedly he stepped aside to aligned himself up with Fenix. Then he leaned over him, looking like a man which is both capable of animal grace and monstrous feats of physical strength. 

"You..." He stated with his mouth brimming with another smile, "They've said you're his son, the son that Sinner had sold off into slavery. Still its far better off than what he did to the other tot." 

Blazerine straightened, trying to endure the nausea more so than the pain, while it sickly washed through her in waves. It was hard to, but she managed to focus on the bandit's words carefully, because she knows there's no point of mentioning Sinner once again. It's pretty obvious to everyone that he's not exactly father of the year. However he might as well be talking to a wall at this point, since Fenix wasn't really all there still.

Suddenly she shook took a sharp intake of breath and her eyes widen the moment when the bandit punched Fenix right in the jaw. He must of have been hit really hard she thought because his head had flung backward upon impact. 

Before she knew it, another punch had been thrown, then another and another. Although Fenix seemed to be radiating in pain, it still wasn't enough to satisfy the bandit. 

Blazerine grimaced, as if though she were the one who's being beaten instead. So she closed the distance between her and the bandit. Preparing to strike by raising her fist upward for a powerful right. In mid swing, her thrust was about to make contact, until she unexpectedly gets snatched up by another bandit. 

"With an attitude like that you may yourself end up in my bed soon enough." He laughed with much joy in his voice. 

The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and a chill went through her, but somehow none of that seemed to matter at all. Her well being didn't feel like priority. How can she think of anything else when she's sees somebody getting helplessly beaten to death. Even if it wasn't someone she even know, the outcome would be very much the same. 

"The only person, that deserves to be beaten, is him!" Blazerine directed her statement towards Sinner's direction. "Watching your very own son get brutally beaten! What the hell is wrong with you!? Are you truly that cold hearted!?" 

"Raising your voice at a man! A wench should know her place!" The bandit was about to smack her in the face -

But Nightshade had stopped him with these words, 'I vouch for the girl.'

Although she was temporarily sparred, he held her in place and forced her to watch Fenix just out of despite. When the beating was done, Fenix just laid there, lifeless. He appeared dead at first glance with his swollen face, and all the splotches of bruises, along every other part of his body. There were even cuts where the kicks and punches had broken the skin.

She collapsed right next to him, looking as if she could cry. It wasn't only because he's hurt, but because the truth of the matter is she's afraid of ending up alone again. 

-----

On the seventh day, they arrived at the bandit's camping grounds. 
Looking around, Blazerine saw a bunch of tents, not well lined up or really organized, all over the place. 

The smell of roasted boar filled the air from one of the few fire pits. There was also a few trunks of loot, presumably stolen, but what caught her eyes the most was the sixty three feet pit in the center of the camp. It had two wooden poles on both opposite ends, which faced one another. Unlike the the weapon rack that's set dead center in the middle. She suspects only one has been placed for a reason. Considering somebody with strength could easily out fight someone who has little to none. However they could be faster - fast enough to get an upper hand by obtaining a weapon first. 

Off to the sides, she could see the iron spikes covering every inch of the pit's walls. They were either meant to prevent people from escaping or maybe its an alternative weapon. The only reason, she came up with this consumption, is because of all the limbs. They were probably left behind when the dead bodies were pried off from the spikes. 

Out of nowhere she heard, "You're next - you ballsy bitch." 

Before she could even get the look at the person who said it. Her sight changed drastically after she's pushed downward through a trap door. There she dangled helplessly from her only life line - a chain link. Aimlessly she waved her arms out of sheer panic, hoping she could grab a hold of something - anything! The moment the chain is broken, she drops all the way to the bottom. The landing was rough, but at least everything seemed to be intact. Although she was still in shackles, she could move around more freely now without the restrain of being conjoined. 

Unexpectedly Sinner pulled her out of the way from an oncoming prisoner who came plummeting down. To her surprise it wasn't Fenix, but why wasn't it? He was right behind her, wasn't he? 

Her voice started to tremble nervously when she said his name out loud. 

Suddenly they heard a voice from above making an announcement, "This month a special event will be taking place before the recruitment test." 

"A special event?" Sinner questionably repeated. 

The voice continued by stating the following, "A father and son death match!

Blazerine's eyes welled and her heart ached with the kind of pain one would feel when the whole world abruptly collapses. Her chest tightened, and her throat  had become unbearably dry, but every time she swallowed, it felt like she was tossing saliva down into a never ending void. 

"It might as well be an execution..." She told herself. 

Without hesitation, she called out, demanding to take his place instead. Sinner instructs her to stop, but she didn't care. All, she could think of, is Fenix dying beneath his cold heartless hands. She kept screaming louder and louder until she felt it, his arm wrapping around her head and pulling her in close to him. 

"Are you insane? Does he really mean that much to you?" He asked. 

"I...- I..." She began to answer, then it happened... a sharp pain in her stomach interrupts her breathing. She struggles to catch her breath, but it wouldn't return, no matter how hard she tried. Panicky her eyes look down to see could have done this. That's when she saw Sinner's fist pulling back after the blow.

"W-why..." She barely managed to get out. 

Sinner held her unconscious body in place before overhearing  Fenix's agonizing cries. Did they just start the torture or was it because Blazerine screams were drowning out his? Or maybe, just maybe he no longer had anything to divert his attention from the pain which now resides inside of him. 

Slowly the trap door closed, leaving only a single crack of light behind. 

Above, the sun was blazing down upon Fenix's drenched naked body. Between the sweat and the sheer force of the whip, his skin was beginning to peel off enough to create cuts. Sizzling cuts that burn like hell. Although his arms worked, they too were useless due to shackle restraints binding him to a pole. There were eyes all around him.  Every single one of them was enjoying it. The swish sound of crackling a whip hitting bare flesh and especially the grunts left behind his clenched teeth.

-----

Blazerine awoke to the roar of the crowd. Men among men bashed the ends of their weapons against the ground in a rhythmic beat. However, her awakening wasn't quite as pleasant as one might think. She shot upright, gasping for breath as though she couldn't breathe. Her head kept turning left to right, trying to make sense of her surroundings. She was still there - in that pit, but Sinner was nowhere to be found. Briefly a moment passes until she hears, him.

"You call this a brawl!?" Sinner yelled, "He can't even defend himself!" 

"The only game, you've been catching lately, are rabbits. Let's just say the odds are even now." Feng sneered from the best seat in the house, well, in fact, the only seat.  

"Where does your allegiance lie now Sinner? With that bastard child of yours or with me?" He asked. 

He grinned with a playful wink before eating some more soup. He very much enjoyed the soup. Nothing like a hearty meal. And the pieces of beef were cooked to perfection. He ate the first piece of the dipped bread before pushing the second in. Then he took a sip of the juice and savored the sweetness, but there was something missing. A certain ingredient that wasn't present. It displeased him greatly, for the potato's he requested was either ignored or forgotten. 

Casually he signaled Mardling to approach him and right away he does. "You forgot something...." He said.

"Forgot w-what?" Mardling voice twists into gargling as soon as he finished his question. Feng had stabbed him right in the neck, causing blood to squirt out.

The only reply, Feng had given him, was a quiet whisper of, "Potatoes." Then he pushed the body off to the side before pouring out the rest of the soup contents over Mardling face. 

Sinner knew if he sided with Fenix, they both would be dead no matter what. If he decided to kill Fenix, he no doubtfully would be welcomed back into the pack. 

Would Sinner kill his own son? A question Blazerine wasn't going to stand around and wait for the answer. What could she do to get their attention though? Screaming didn't really do much last time. Well, other than getting punched in the gut. Wait.. wait just a minute - maybe, it has to work, a riot would be enough. Although getting her ass kicked doesn't really sound that all great, but its the only option she's got right now.

A horrifying scream escapes from her lips as she charges the biggest guy among them. A mixture of adrenaline, fright, and even excitement is now coursing through that body of hers. Drawing in closer... and closer. The man extended his arms out right before she made contact with his body. It was just in time to grab her and throw her back in the direction which she came. A dismay grunt left her lips, once she impacted a few others, knocking them down along with her. It hurt, but it wasn't enough to keep her down.

Excitedly Feng bit his tongue right after overhearing the commotion from the pit.

"Looks like I'm not the only one growing impatient. Bring me a few feisty ones." He instructed. 

A bandit threw open the trap door, only to see a little bitty girl sitting on top of a man's chest while she beaten him senseless. Blazerine kept punching with everything she's got. Once, twice... a third time! She was losing control, and yet she didn't care. She wanted to unleash everything, all of her inner pain unto his face. 
The sight of blood spewing from his broken nose didn't stop her either, if anything it encourages her to do even more. 

Not only she was screaming, she was laughing, actually laughing hysterically at what she had done. Hurting him felt good, so good. He wasn't moving at all at this point. Was he unconscious or dead? Who cares... all, that matters now, is who she was going to get next.

Her entire body was shaking, but it wasn't fear that shook her. It was nothing but the thrill - a pure blood-lust of the fight. 

Slowly she raises above her victim with wandering eyes. In reaction, everybody in the pit backed off from what they could only describe her as, a wild animal. 

Slowly she turned her head toward's the bandit and asked, "Wanna play with me?" 

"I'm going need a hand with this one." The bandit said. 

"Just as I expected... you're a coward." She creepily smiled.

The three men beside him started snickering, because they too knew it wasn't far from the truth. 

The bandit knew his dignity was on the line, so he dropped down into the pit to continue their conversation face to face. 

Blazerine noticed the rope ladder unraveling behind him.
She counted the men who climbed down. One, two, three - there was three of them. Although she's now outnumbered, for some reason it didn't seem to concern her, not the least bit. They were just toys - more toys to be played with she thought. 

He told the others to stay put before he took a step forward. His eyes were watching her every movement and she did the same. Who was going to strike first? Would it be beneficial to make the first move or would it simply just be an easy opening for the taking? 

The bandit made the first move by charging straight at her. Once he's close enough, he stopped to brace his right foot against the ground in front of him. Bellowing out, he sent his fist sailing down her shoulder, relying on his weight in addition to his own strength for momentum. 

Blazerine tensed her shoulder to absorb the shock of the strike, but the collision of his fist meeting her shoulder still wasn't pleasant, not at all. It hurts - it hurts really bad. Unlike her last opponent, he's quick on his feet, instead of being awfully slow from a bulky stature. 

Successful or not, this move leaves his left side open. She went for it with a jab, a cross, a hook, and an uppercut, which sent him plummeting. 

It's obvious this fight was in her favor, but none of the other bandits dared to step forth to help him. Was it some kind of code of honor or maybe they were too afraid to face her. No - the look on their faces said otherwise. All of their faces simply read disappointment. 

It didn't matter to the rest of the prisoners. It was just an opportunity that couldn't be wasted. Voices stirred as they unexpectedly threw themselves at the bandits. In reply, the bandits raised their weapons, which consists of a spear and two swords. A few of the prisoners in front were either going to get badly hurt or die right away. The bandits wouldn't be able to take all of them on, one of them exclaimed. 


Blazerine watched several men fallen into their own pool of blood. The fight lasted not even minutes, because they were no match for so many. 

Surprisingly the man who she had beaten his face in, approached her. He stood in front of her and just stared. No words were exchanged between the two. It's almost as if he understood why she had done what she did. It being a desperate act of stupidity or a noble act of bravery. Either way, she looked past him and yelled,

"Grab whatever you can salvage off their bodies!" 

The prisoners looked back at her momentarily then followed her exact orders. Wait... why was she giving orders? A small voice asked in the back of her mind. Where did it come from? Where was all of this coming from? All these actions are so unlike her... - to become a leader, an actual leader. I guess all in all it doesn't matter. Somebody has to take charge of this rebellion. And why not her? For she was the one who started it to begin with. She might as well see it through to the end, no matter the what the outcome may be. 

Swiftly she made her way over the ladder, while she shouted out a command, "Everyone stay here until I give the word, alright?" 

One of the prisoners asked, "Just who are you anyway?"

She turned back only to reply, "They call me Blazerine." With that said, she settled her foot on the first plank. Then she grabbed each rope that's tied on both ends and started to climb all the way to the top. There she peered over the edge to investigate what's happening above. From what she saw, the bandits were too occupied with the pit they surrounded. 

'That must be where Fenix is...' She thought to herself. 

"What's going on?" A prisoner called up to her.

"We need to attack while they're distracted." She replied. 

"What are you STUPID? We should be taking this chance to sneak out!" One of them disagreed.

"You honestly think all of us can sneak out of here unnoticed?" She snapped back out of irritation. 

Her eyes shift elsewhere, trying to see if there's another possible solution. What would be their best bet in this situation? Only four of the prisoners were now armed. It's obviously not going to be enough. 

Out of nowhere her stomach growled. Ugh, when had she eaten last? She struggled to remember. Her eyes hungrily linger toward one of the camp fires. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything being cooked. But an idea suddenly crosses her mind. What if they could use the logs? The bandits have been using them merely as seats.

Carefully she eases herself back down the ladder, before she announces, "This is what were going to do!"  

------

A faint glow in Fenix's eyes had grown even duller after he glimpsed at the man he once called father. And above him, the dark clouds rolled in against the bright sky, dimming the area for miles. He hoped maybe a drop or two would splash on a few of his cuts to relieve the pain.

In Sinner's eyes, Fenix wasn't that immature kid anymore, quite frankly he was, in fact, a man. A man, that he didn't help him, become. Right there and then... a flurry of mixed emotions arises within him. An onslaught of memories he surely thought had been suppressed, from the very depths of his mind forever. It felt like it lasted a lifetime, but in reality, it was just a brief passing moment. A brief moment which was broken by the horrifying cries of men all around him. Bandits were tumbling into the pit by the force of rolling logs ignited in fire. The ones who weren't are running straight into a heated battle with the rioting prisoners. 

Blazerine screamed at the top of her lungs, before lunging herself toward the first bandit aligned in her sight. Drawing in closer and closer... she discovers he's wielding a large stick. Without thinking, her hand moves to his wrist. She then uses the elbow of her free hand to smash it dead center in his face.  Right afterward he drops unconsciously to the ground.

Two other bandits bellowed "Get her!" as they came charging her way. Both of them were running almost at the exact same speed. 

Surely they were going to try to ambush her. What should be done to encounter it? She knew there wasn't enough time to make any rational decisions. The only thing near her, to grab, was the weapon from the fallen bandit - the stick. Immediately she snatched the stick and snapped it into two halves over her knee. Quickly she threw both of them towards the incoming bandits. Of course, she knew it wouldn't do any damage, but it was a good enough distraction.

Blazerine launched herself at the man who held a dagger. Her teeth harshly dug into the hand that wields it. His skin broke, causing blood to trickle down between his knuckles. 

In response, the bandits gasped, "Bitch!" When he kicked her away, she didn't go alone. A nice hunk of flesh was spit out off to the side. And the second his dagger hits the ground, she seizes it. 

Springing back up to her feet, she went for the other bandit; who was now so scared of this woman. He threw a wild punch,  hoping his mighty swing would catch her, but it didn't. She ducked in the nick of time and stabbed his foot. He screamed out while falling down upon one knee. As she rose, she swung herself just enough to slash his jugular in one go. It would be just a matter of minutes before he bleeds out and dies.

Blazerine now covered in blood kept moving on, until she found a hatchet, that one of the bandits seemed to have been using for cutting wood. With her free hand, she grabbed a hold of it and kept moving. 

While running, she overhears a bandit yell, "I want HER dead!" He started to chase after her, along with two others. 

Without hesitation, she turned around and threw the dagger with all her might. She didn't actually expect to hit a target, but she did. The second bandit got nailed right in the eye socket. If it had been any bigger it probably would of have killed him instantly, it being evident to him dropping on the ground without a sound. Well, expect for the thud his body had made. 

A bandit ran back to prepare his bow and an arrow while the other one kept her busy. That's all till he noticed the ax she's holding. Although it didn't matter once she stopped him with a crazy swing. His throat was cut with little to no effort.

 'Thankfully it was sharp enough.' She thought. 

Before his body was able to make any contact with the ground. She rammed his body over sideways to shield herself from the oncoming arrow. 

The bandit skittishly aligned another arrow in his quiver. Pulling it back, he took aim. When he's about to release the arrow, he's surprised by an ax. It's the last thing he ever saw in his sight, it was merely inches away from his face, before cutting right through him. The ax pinned whatever was left of his head to the tree behind him. 

Up ahead she spots a dead bandit lying with a blade. 

"Perfect, just perfect!" She blurted out loud.

Although she only knows a thing or two about swords is the idea of using a blade wouldn't be too far-fetched, because a blade is a section of a sword - a sword that has no handle nor guard. Grip might be the only problem in this case, but she has no other choice. 

Tossing her insecure thoughts aside, she ran straight for the blade and grabbed it. Unfortunately those negative thoughts were quick to return. For what she saw, in fact, made her lose hope in her escape plan. 

There were about of them - fifty bandits, wielding a different variety of weapons from maces to clubs. 

Suddenly she heard someone say, "It seems one of our little birdies is trying to escape." 

An opening was made for their leader to step forth. He walked towards her in a calm collected manner. Idly he scratched at his dark red bandage, which hides the top of his short feathered brown hair. Warpaint was smeared on both sides of his cheeks. And he wore a bronze tattered vest that has sleeves, but not any ordinary sleeves. They were tied together with the bones of his victims. His rugged hide pants were also laced with bones. Although he owned a pair of boots, he never bothers to wear them often. He prefers stomping barefooted in the blood of his sworn enemies. 

In response, she readied her blade as if to say 'I'd rather die than be your prisoner.'

Feng chuckled in a cocky manner. Then he lifted his hands in the air and said, "Ha, ha, you've got some spirit. Tell you what... if you defeat me. I'll not only open your cage, but all of your friends can go free too."

The other bandits busted out laughing at the mere thought of it.

"What's the catch?" She asked.

"Oh, it seems you do have a brain." He smirked, "The catch is if you fail, we'll put you and your friends against each other in the arena as planned. And I hope it's you who wins. Where else can I find such a feisty maid for my chambers? They break so easily... but you - you'll surprise me."

Blazerine outrageously yelled, "All right then, enough talk - let's fucking do this asshole!"

"Asshole? No, no, no, the name is Feng." He walked towards her now, unsheathing his jeweled en-crested curved blade.

"Slash the bitch!" A bandit howled.

Moments like these made Blazerine realize how much she was alive, and how easily it can be all taken away. 

She stood her ground as Feng lunged himself toward her while slashing in a curved arc right. His movement was so fast! She barely managed to raise her own weapon to deflect the attack. I guess the leader title wasn't all for nothing, she thought, how unlucky. 

And that smirk of his... it might as well have been stapled. Whereas his next action was a bit odd to her. He swept his foot across the ground and kicked the dirt. She understood what he had done after the dirt was caught in her eyes. Wait... her eyes? But what about...? Her train of thought was interrupted by the blunt end of his hilt, leaving her temporarily blinded, and knocking her back into a sitting position. 

Lying in front of her was her pair of tinted blue sunglasses. It mustn't have not been only dirt. Perhaps a pebble, or maybe even a rock had thrown them off. 

"Dirty bastard..." She mumbled while rubbing her eyes. 

Feng didn't hear a word of it. He was too busy bathing himself in the praises of his men.. But then there was a sudden silence. 

Feng stared at her long and hard, before bursting out into a hysterical laughter. 

"You've got the black mark of death!" That single sentence alone had stopped the battle between the prisoners and the bandits in mid-flight. 

Blazerine recognized the look straight away. It's the type of look someone would make if they've seen death itself. When people look at me this way... without my disguise. It might as well be torture because I can't concentrate with all those eyes. What have I done to deserve such hate? It's frustrating... it's like no matter what I do, no one will even see ME - people will just hate me - judge me based on my appearance alone. How can you be yourself, when your true self scares everyone away? 

Although most were beginning to flee the area, Feng didn't move an inch. He just locked his eyes on hers and delightfully said, "Finally, I get to face the death that I've been longing for." 

Blazerine no longer had much confusion over what the black mark of death meant anymore. It must be some kind of disease that has similar symptoms with the virus she, in fact, carries herself. She's guessing one of the differences between the two is that hers wasn't contagious.

"She had nothing to lose." The words spewed from the prisoner she had beaten the senseless. His statement bothered her greatly, and she wasn't exactly sure why, but it did. 

"Come, stand up my little raven..." Feng spoke out in a soft tone of voice. 

Blazerine arose once again for the occasion with a readied blade. He tried pulling his dirty trick again by using the dirt as a method to blind her. However, it wasn't going to work on her twice. She quickly shielded herself with the blade. And as soon as the dirt met the steel, she swung in a circle towards him. 

Feng saw the blade coming, so he backed away, however he didn't get completely lucky. He still got graze across the front of his stomach. 

Feng looked down to inspect the cut. "You're finally putting those talons to use now." He cackled. 

He stepped forth and swung once again - this time faster than before. 


Blazerine couldn't believe how quick this bastard was now. He was holding back the entire time. He was merely just playing with her! Luckily she deflects his blade, but the impact was really rough. Being a woman, she was at a disadvantage in terms of strength.

His blade swiped once more towards her left. And she barely embraces against it. Then a slash came which is meant to cut her down in half. She didn't think much of it and just reacted by kicking dirt in his eyes! He began to rub them furiously, trying to readjust himself back into combat. 

Unlike him, she didn't waste any time with a celebration. She kicked him right in the face, making his head snap backward. Then she slashed downward with a final blow, but he blocked it with his own sword, and began to overpower her as he rose to his feet. 

Blazerine wasn't going to give up that easily. She too tried to overpower him back by using her entire body, along with the blade. This made him step back to collect his footing. That's when she took this opportunity to land a solid kick between his legs. 

"You fucking bitch!" Feng cried before falling to his knees. He dropped his blade as he held himself while wiggling back and forth in pain. 

Blazerine tossed her blade aside and snatched his. 

She mockingly said to him, "Bitch? No, no, no, my name is Blazerine." 

In that very moment, she sliced his neck clear open from one side to another. He fell back and gargled words which couldn't even be made out. Whatever it was, it didn't matter to her. She just stood there above him, watching him squirm until he had completely bled out. When there was nothing left to be seen. Slowly she lets the sword fall from her fingertips. 

It wasn't the only thing that she let fall. Tears were beginning to run down her cheeks. All, she could think about, is how Fenix will react from seeing the side of her that she's has hidden for so long. Will he abandon her? Or perhaps maybe he already has? 

Gradually Blazerine looks over to the right and unexpectedly see's Sinner helping Fenix along. 

Fenix not only felt injured, but he felt odd. It was an odd feeling being set free from that pole. It was like being reborn, but not as who he was once before, but a new. Although at the same time, he wasn't sure how to act now that he has a family once again. The only other person, he's ever relied on, was Leon and now perhaps Blazerine. Regardless it left a lot of lingering questions. Ones he wasn't sure whether or not he should ask. Right now wasn't the time for him to be thinking about any of this though. 

"I want to walk the rest of the way myself." He mentioned out of nowhere. 


Blazerine didn't understand his request at all and neither did Sinner from the look he was giving. Fenix was weak and barely could even walk. Why did he insist so much? Slowly but surely he approached. All the while he never once did bother to look her way. What was he doing? She wondered. Then to her surprise Fenix had leaned down to pick up her sunglasses. After he had gotten them, he moved closer until he was standing right in front of her. 

He didn't say a word, but he didn't have to. His actions said everything that needed to be said, when he placed the sunglasses on her. Right there and then she hugged him and started to cry harder. 

He softly patted her head before saying, "I'm still naked you know."

"Shut up!" Blazerine cried.



© Tiffany Ann Adkins 2015 - 2019