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 I stood there in shock and staring, as the blood of my opponent stained the sandy arena floor red. Blood was slowly dripping off of my right blade. The dagger in my boot was now in my left hand. My left sword was lying on the ground a few feet behind my opponent, clean and sparkling in the sun. I had thrown it as a faint just moments before; a last desperate attempt to down my enemy.

My right side throbbed, it felt strangely warm. Right, his sword got my side just before I blocked it, it was only a flesh wound.

The crowd was silent for a moment before someone said "How, how could you do this? He's my favorite fighter, one of the best, and YOU'VE killed him!? In front of children no less! You dammed Monster!" "He's a filthy Sky that's how." "I heard he was the leader of a rebellion! That rebellion got people killed!!" "Wasn't that blind kid who died earlier some poor sop he dragged into it!?" "Hey, hey you're right!" "He really is a monster! Dragging a child too blind to see his position in..." "That kid was a Sky though."

I didn't mean for this to happen. I didn't mean to kill him, but no matter how many times I struck him

he

just

wouldn't

fall unconscious or forfeit.

And I had to!

I had to win so my brother could go free, but ... but if what they said is true.

Then,

then he was,

is free now.

He

had

left

me.

Maybe ...

Maybe I could still do something.

Maybe I could still make my brother's dream come true. I could try and make a statement, but how? They wouldn't listen. They don't care about me or my people. All they want is for us to do as we're told.

"I hope he dies in the next bout. Better yet we should make sure it happens." Someone yelled to others in the stands.

All

...

all they want

is for me to die.

That's not how this was supposed to go! It's not how I planned it!

Why... why did it turn out like this? I didn't want to be a part of the rebellion or for anyone to get killed. At least not someone who isn't deserving by law.

But...

But by law I'm deserving of death.

I was trying to protect my brother. By what law is protecting my brother wrong? Deserving of my being shunned? He may have lead me into this mess and be why I'm here in the arena, the same place that I was going to end up in as successful student of the Academy. But now it was so different seeing the arena as my execution grounds, while standing here

"Jaspare"

on the sandy floor were my brother had died. The floor where I had killed a man, to save my already lost brother.

"Jaspare"

"Jaspare, I'm here to escort you back to your room where you will receive medical attention. A doctor is waiting for you," said a sweet voice behind me, somewhat pulling me from my daze. I nodded and followed her back though the same door that had lead me to my first real battle for my life.



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