Hi guys, were very sorry its been a while, our planned writer was very busy, so I had to step in to do this serial instead. Cheers for waiting with us
Ekimu sat in his chair, high above the floor of the Arena; ever since it had collapsed, reparations had been underway to restore it to its former glory. A quick glance to his left saw the arrival of the Protectors. Narmoto led the procession, a sense of pride seemed to urge him with every stride he took, the sun above causing his mask to dance like flames. Bringing up the groups rear was Nilkuu, the strong-willed Okotan walking a few paces behind them.
As they neared, Ekimu fixed his attention towards the Protectors, he looked at each of them in turn before greeting them with: "Hello once again, my friends, I trust you have your chosen competitors? Three from each region as we decided?"
He was met with a rabble of yes, indeed and, of course. Ekimu nodded slowly and gazed once more into the Arena, its stands were filling up and distinct sound of murmuring from the gathered spectators could be heard. On either side of Ekimu, the Protectors took their seats. Furthest from Ekimu's right sat Kivoda, and to his left was Korgot, followed by Nilkuu, and then on his right the order went: Narmoto, Vizuna and Izotor.
After a moments silence Nilkuu leaned foward and chipped in, "I hope you understand why I believe this is still an unnecessary precaution, Ekimu."
"Indeed I do, I would think no less were I in your position." Nilkuu then rested back into his chair. I do hope we can still rely on your full cooperation however, Nilkuu, only together can we survive if my greatest fear turns into reality.
"From what I've seen, at the rate of these attacks, this tournament will be most valuable in helping us defend ourselves," Kivoda stated bluntly, forever sure of his observations.
Izotor then put in his first word, "I feel like my people have been let off easy when it comes to the attacks, we lost more people from the reconstruction of the great road. Five workers slipped and fell off the precipice, disheartening really."
"This road of yours better be worth it," interjected Nilkuu bluntly, "because honestly the amount of-"
"Well you certainly have my sympathies, Izotor, the effort you are putting in into reconnecting the Ice Region is admirable in my opinion," said Korgot, cutting of Nilkuu mid flow. The protector of stone glared to his right where Korgot sat.
"Any news from you, Vizuna?" Asked Narmoto hurriedly, diverting the conversation. Wise, thought Ekimu, though Nilkuu always means well.
Vizuna let out a sigh, "well," he started, "the nights are long in the jungle now, people have been making claims of a flying terror. Has people awake all night for fear of an attack." Looking at him now Ekimu saw how worn out Vizuna was. He's always been the quiet type, he thought, I must not have noticed.
"If ever you need help?" Offered Narmoto. Vizuna quickly shook his head and returned his attention to the eighteen Okotan who were now entering the Arena through its main gate.
"I'm afraid we must stop there," said Ekimu, raising himself out of his seat and walking to the edge of their spectator box so that he was stood on a small balcony overlooking the rest of the Arena for all to see. The Protectors all followed suit.
"WELCOME!" boomed Ekimu, "Welcome back to our gloriously restored Arena!" This was followed by a polite applause from the audience. "It is such a shame therefore that on its opening we must use it to decide our new regional generals due to the rising threat posed by our beloved wildlife. However it is necessary and I can expect you will all offer great support to your brave competitors. It is with that I declare the start of the competition." Ekimu strode over to the gong next to the seven chairs and swung his hammer into it with such force that the sound resonated throughout the stadium.
First up were the stone contestants. The other warriors all exited leaving only Hanak, Velka and Rahla in the Arena.
Following this was a moment of tense silence as everyone waited to see what would happen, suddenly a tremor erupted, people looked around worriedly as the entire structure shook. Soon sand began to fill the floor through the many cracks that had appeared, the gold dust streaming out like water until it covered everywhere at the bottom. People all resumed their seats, realising the tremor was caused by the stadium itself. Soon after, a sudden gust swept throughout the arena, flinging the sand up in the air, causing it to spin and spiral.
Hanak swiftly leapt into action, brandishing his long, pointed spear. He swung it over his shoulder and began jabbing towards Velka, who in response raised his shield and blocked. Hanak's strength knocked his opponent off balance, who then quickly retreated onto the defensive. As the spear lunged forward once more, Velka dropped his Rohari and grabbed the shaft. With an almighty heave he wrested it from Hanak, however the, now armless, Okotan swung forward and struck Velka in the face with his foot, who collapsed to the ground.
Seizing his opportunity, Rahla raised his bow from his vantage point atop a dune and fired a few successive rounds at Hanak, aiming for his face. Upon the impact, Hanak reeled round roaring in pain, he too crumpled to the floor. Rahla slid down the dune towards Hanak, raising his bow once more, he directed it at his gasping foe. Hanak had one hand covering his injured face.
"Please," he begged desperately.
Rahla simply tilted his head to the side, giving him a cold stare before tensing his body as he prepared to fire...
"STOP THIS MADNESS!" Roared Nilkuu from the balcony, "HE'S SUBMITTED, YOUR ENEMY IS BEATEN!"
The bowman fixed his gaze to the balcony for a brief moment, he then slowly turned back round to face Hanak, raising his weapon once more. From the floor Velka could see the unarmed Hanak violently thrashing in submission, he heaved himself up off the floor then used his last glimpses of energy to run forward and grab Rahla's shoulder. A dull thud sounded as Velka's fist met its target, Rahla staggered back into one of the sandswirls and was blown into the stone wall surrounding the stadium floor, he got knocked out cold.
A few minutes later, the blade master was only dimly aware of Hanak putting him over his shoulder and raising his arm into the air.
"THE WINNER IS VELKA!" Declared Nilkuu; Velka squinted and could just make out the protector of stone half-smiling at him with pride.
Keep an eye out for our next serial coming soon and leave your thoughts below