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 The games had finally begun!

Connor looked at the giant who was running towards him at full speed, and immediately reached out for his weapon.

'Pichui!'

The giant had punched him hard on his lower jaw.

Dammit!!

He had forgotten that he was holding a spoon, and not a sword.

At this point, he was as silly as Disney's Hercules..... who was holding a fish as a sword, when battling with the river guardian (blue horse guy: step aside 2 legs!)

'Houuuhahhh!'

The giant swiftly raised his right leg up, and forcefully sent it back downwards.... as he tried to step on Connor, who had currently fallen to the ground from that first punch.

'Bamm!'

The giant's aim had missed, as Connor quickly rolled away... avoiding the fatal attack.

.

As he rolled, Connor's mind immediately went to work.

The giant was definitely taller, larger and stronger than him, so he couldn't use his sheer strength to over power the beast.

And he sure as hell could it use a spoon to do so either.

Time was running up, and soon... the round would be over.

Connor looked around for a while,.... and his eyes immediately lit up.

'Houuuhahhh!'

'Houuuhahhh!'

'Houuuhahhh!'

The giant kept trying to hit him several times, but Connor speedily dodged them, and made his own small attacks as well.

'Hyah!'

'Hyah!'

'Hyah'

Connor had kicked the giant on the back of his leg, as well as the giant's back.

And very quickly, his plan had finally been set in motion.

Once the giant was close enough to one of the numerous stake-pillars around.... Connor quickly ran up to him and jumped forward, with both legs aiming at the giant's chest.

'Hyahhh!!!!!!'

'Ahhhhhh!!!!'

The giant had been pierced on the stake-pillar.

Although he blocked Connor's chest attack, he was still pushed slightly back.

And it was this push that led him to fall into Connor's trap.

'Chupuuh!'

The giant spat out blood, and died briskly.

His waist, heart, lower left belly, legs and skull had bee  pierced by several iron rods on the stake.

There was no way that he would be alive after that.

.

Soon, 5 minutes were up..... and the winners had finally been chosen.

Of course Connor was amongst them as well.

But just when they wanted to head back to the cages, the announcer looked at them and smiled.

"Did you really think that it was over?

Well..... think again.

Before you all head back, you have to play Pre-second round game.

In truth, the game is pretty easy.....

We will hold up 4 wrapped parchment papers in front of each and everyone of you.

These papers would show which body part you will loose before you step back into your cages.

It could be anything.... from your ears, legs, and even your heart.

Of course if it's the heart.....then too bad, you'll have to die right here and now.

Your lives are in your hands, so you can't blame us for your bad luck!!

And if you don't want to play, then you don't have to..... you just have to raise your hands up in the sky, and an arrow will kill you by piercing your heart shortly after that.

To play, or not to play.

The choice is completely yours."

"__"

.

The games proceeded grimly, till everyone had already participated.

Of course all the winners from the first round had to loose a body part as per the game.

Connor had gotten lucky.... as all he did was loose his pinky toe.

And James could also be considered somewhat lucky, as he too lost a finger as well.

But there were some men who lost their legs, arms, head, eyes, tongues, ears..... and so on.

And the worst part of it all, was that after loosing so much blood.... they weren't even given a healer to tend to their injuries.

With all the flies in their cells, one could only imagine how their coming days would be like.

According to the guards, if they die from excess loss of blood, then it was their bad luck that caused it.

Hence they were left in their cells like lepers from the bible.

.

But of course, how could the fun stop there?

They thought they were suffering now... but if they only knew that this was just the tip of the iceberg... Some of them would even opt to commit suicide on the spot instead.

In the following days to come, Mr. Death had asked the injured winners to: wrestle wild animals, roll over a large coal of fire, survive in a boiling statue... and so on.

For something like the boiling statue, it was somewhat similar to the boiling bull statue death sentence that existed in ancient times.

Criminals would sit inside a golden metal bull statue.

And once they were in, firewood would be placed under the bull and lit.

Essentially, the metal would cook the same way a pot would cook.

In the end, the criminal's body and bones would turn into a mushy paste of blood and grounded meat.

In essence, one could almost melt at extreme temperatures within that bull... if left for long periods of time.

Again, Mr. Death had given the winners parchment papers as well.

Yes... you guessed it.

They would pick out how long they were to be cooked alive.

Some people might pick 2 minutes, and others might pick 4 hours instead.

Who knows... everything was decided upon by 'fate'.

Of course they didn't have a choice either.

Like Mr. Death had said: you either play, or you die!!.

.

All these, were events that would definitely occur within the next 4 days.

But whether they survived or not, was something that only the Gods would know.

Right now, they were tired from their first day at 'gaming'... and were in need of a good night's rest, that is if they could get past all the flies and rats that came to nibble on their open wounds.

.

--Riverdale City, The Empire Of Arcadina--

.

Marder walked around for a while, and finally sat down on his bed.

3 days ago, he had sent his men to Baymard to find out about the situation there.

But can anyone tell him why these 2 knight Captains suddenly turned mad?

They came back telling him about a magical black bar, that could make someone shake, and even wet themselves.

They also said a lot of fairytale stories, that no one would ever believe.

Wasn't this the first stage of Madness?

Marder would rather drink his own blood dry, that believe that magic existed.

What did they take him for?... A 3 year old?

It was like saying that humans could fly, and fishes could talk.

Who the heck would ever believe that?

Yup!....His men were definitely mad.

He had also decided that for the mean time, none of his guards would go to Baymard again.. lest they all turn mad.

Let some other people be the Guinea pigs, before he sent his men in that mad zone..

.

"Can they be cured?"

"I think so my lord!.

We will send for the best healer within the western region at once!!!"

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