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Charms Of Conflict

Master Inika

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charmsofconflict.jpg Charms of Conflict The silver corridors opened slowly. The light of daytime sluggishly crept onto the floor, the walls, and finally the golden-armored being who was awaiting his time. He looked godly in the light, his deep, red eyes flaring with confidence. His name was Arkkeyma, and he was about to enter the arena of Zenjyamed for a fight. Usually, Arkkeyma was a pacifist, being an educated diplomat from a respected society viewed by many as a utopia. His civilization sent fighters to at least hold some degree of powerful status, as warlike worlds often targeted Arkkeyma and his brethren. Arkkeyma smiled and stepped out, greeted by the cheers of his admirers. ---- On the west end of Zenjyamed, opposite Arkkeyma, the second fighter stood, ready. His doors creaked open as well. The light shone on his armor as it did Arkkeyma’s. However, whereas Arkkeyma’s armor looked heroic and bold against the soft sunlight, this other figure wore purple armor, the sunlight only emphasizing the rust and tatter. He was Nolazek, a wealthy character from a place infamous for a dysfunctional government and high crime rates. Nolazek had attained his richness by gambling and lying. To Nolazek, this fight was just another cash mission. Back home, he had at least one thousand pounds bet on his name. If he won, he ate another day and slept in a bed. If not, it was back to the slums. ---- “Welcome to the International Arena of Zenjyamed!” the announcer called into the microphone. The audience cheered. Zenjyamed was massive, a beautiful work of art. Easily seating fifty thousand, the arena was home to entertainment fights. Participants fought for fame, honor to their homeland, and cash prizes.Of course, there were rules. For instance, no fighter may kill another. Also, the fight organizers must ensure that the participants are of equal capabilities. Another important point, which made Zenjyamed fights popular even to religious sects and beings of morality, was that being a Zenjyamed arena fighter was totally voluntary.The most important part of the Zenjyamed fight, the trademark of the International Arena, was the Charms of Power. They were offered to both fighters at every fight. There were six to choose from:The Charm of Invulnerability protected the user from nearly any physical attack. The Charm of Weather afforded the power of rain, snow, earthquakes, and other weather conditions to the bearer. The Charm of Projection concealed the bearer and produced an illusionary clone which could not be harmed. The Charm of Heat Vision let the user blast searing energy from their eyes. The Charm of Shapeshifting allowed the user to manipulate and change their appearance. Lastly, the Charm of Mimicry allowed the bearer to copy any of their opponent’s powers. Participants could use their Charm of Power with any abilities they had previously.Down on the field, the two fighters of this fight reached the field’s center. The gold one regarded his ally with a smile; the purple one made an arrogant smirk.A small, gray Zenjyamed worker ran to the center to meet them with a small, box of metal. He knelt down and opened it, revealing the six charms.----Arkkeyma stared at the charms before him. He would have to choose carefully. The strongest of fighters have fallen by unwisely choosing charms.He briefly considered a charm with a picture of two arrows aiming towards one another. That one looked powerful. He did not know what it did, and he knew Nolazek did not, either. Participants were rarely informed of the powers the charms held until they chose them.Arkkeyma decided on the charm with a picture of two beings, but one was transparent. Satisfied, the gold warrior picked it up.Next to him, Nolazek was still pondering. He had seen people fight for money in Zenjyamed and lose it all by picking the wrong charm. But how could he, when he did not know the powers of the charms, choose correctly?The charm with a shield emblem looked powerful, as did one showing two crimson rays of energy. However, Nolazek decided on a formidable-looking charm with a picture of a lightning bolt.----“Spectators of Zenjyamed, I bring you our latest fight!” the announcer roared. “From far to the east, a scholar and noble who can still pack a punch, Arkkeyma!”The crowd cheered wildly as the golden warrior raised his weapon, a lance with a sharp, curved blade at each end. In his other hand, he clutched his charm.“And now, from the west, multi-millionaire and combatant, Nolazek!”Then, the purple entity held his axe to the air, and also his charm. He was then struck down by his opponent.“Don’t think just because I’m peaceful I will wait for you to make the first move,” Arkkeyma said.“Of course not. I know who you are, Arkkeyma, and I know what to expect,” Nolazek said, his Charm of Power glowing. “I’m Nolazek, by the way.”“And I know who you are,” Arkkeyma countered as his lance flew back into his hand, as if by a magnetic force. “Big time gambler. Practically a zillionaire.”“You know me well,” Nolazek said. Then, holding his charm out, he called, “Know this?”Suddenly, a blast of whiteness flew out of Nolazek’s charm. It was the power of the Charm of Weather in action. A blast of icy sleet, snow, and hail erupted from it and consumed Arkkeyma, who was unprepared. A cold gale filled Zenjyamed.However, when the fog dispersed and the sleet and snow fell to the floor and evaporated seconds later, Arkkeyma still stood, the only sign of the attack being white dots on his armor.“Strike one!” Arkkeyma taunted.Growling, Nolazek looked at his charm, convinced it must be flawed. Deciding a second try was in order, Nolazek charged the stone for another attack. Holding it forward, the power of the Charm of Weather was released a second time. However, instead of sleet and snow, this attack used the weather of the desert. A sandstorm and heat wave struck into Arkkeyma.Again, Arkkeyma was unmarred by his rival’s attack. As the sand, still hot as flame, fell to the ground, and the heat subsided, Arkkeyma still stood; his gold armor bright as ever.“Thank you for that, Nolazek. Your first attack left me rather chilly,” Arkkeyma said.“You won’t be thanking me for this!” Nolazek said, raising his charm to the sky. He activated the power of the Charm of Weather to its greatest extent. This attack would be more devastating than the first two, although it might be the undoing of Nolazek himself as well as his diplomatic opponent.For a minute, Nolazek thought about what charm Arkkeyma bore. Was his charm why he resisted all of the natural attacks? Did he have the Charm of Invulnerability? Projection, whatever that one did? Maybe the Charm of Shapeshifting?He decided the best thing to do was decimate Arkkeyma. The weight of the charm increased to that of Zenjyamed itself, ablaze with power. Then, Nolazek hurled it down and smashed it to the floor. Seismic waves exploded, throwing the rocks of the International Arena across the field. The spectators had to ground themselves on their armrests to avoid flying. The rubble smashed into itself and made a massive dust cloud shrouding the entire facility.----When the dust settled, one warrior fell to the ground, seemingly lifeless. That warrior was not Arkkeyma. The body strewn across the floor, unable to handle the intensity of the attack, was Nolazek, his Charm of Weather and axe fallen from his hands.Arkkeyma still stood, strong and glorious, and an expression which would be described purely as bored. However, the golden-armored figure bearing a lance shimmered and whooshed in the light until he faded from view.At that time, the true Arkkeyma came into view, sitting in the bleachers. He was clapping and smiling, having never sustained the cold and hot attack, and only taking minor damage from the quake. He smiled, and held out the Charm of Projection, and his real lance.“Stupid, stupid Nolazek,” Arkkeyma said to the spectator, who was surprised to see Arkkeyma, next to him. “He didn’t know he was fighting an illusion made by the Charm of Projection the whole time.”Chuckling to himself, Arkkeyma made his way to the box where Zenjyamed’s managers were to claim his prizes.

Edited by Master Inika

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
-- Turaga Nokama


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