Benlow congratulated Jenrig with a hand shake and stepped out of the circle.

Desmin, the third general, was magic crazy and casted everything he was allowed to leaving his body weak and stressed from the pressure of casting spells. Jenrig managed to dodge, parry, reflect, and even absorb all of Desmin’s spells. Having out lasted his enemy Jenrig closed for the kill and finally caught Desmin on the side of his knee drawing blood.

The last General, Tolant, matched Jenrig blow for blow. Jenrig was tired from constant fighting and spell casting, yet held in. His muscles begged for a rest but his pride drove his body. His mind running out of spells and his muscles running out of strength he pulled back. If he had not he would have lost right there for by pulling back he could see that Tolant had casted the flame rope spell, a spell that connected sword lance to hand by a magical blue rope that obeyed their mind. It was used to perform the throws that the blue flame warriors had mastered and also could act as a yo-yo giving Tolant extra range without changing his maneuvers. Tolant then performed a spin throw, throwing the taimar like a discus at the enemy. This maneuver would cut an enemy in half but Tolant threw it only to nick Jenrig and so lied Tolant’s downfall. In a real fight Jenrig would now be split at the waste but by throwing the lance far right, perfectly to cut Jenrig, Jenrig was able to send it off coarse by casting another blue beam spell. As the beam left his left hand striking Tolant’s taimar Jenrig used the momentum to spin hurling his taimar from his right hand like an arrow toward Tolant in a perfectly straight line. The taimar just caught the under part of Tolant’s arm raised in an attempt to dodge, but he was too late. If the throw had missed Jenrig would have most certainly lost for without his taimar his dance, used to dodge spells and attacks, would have been off balance and he would certainly be cut before he could reach it. A chance he was willing to take and it paid off. Tolant greeted Jenrig with great respect for trying such a dangerous move in combat.

Jenrig was granted a short rest which was longer then he needed to recover. He even memorized some quick spells. He returned to the ring to face his final opponent, the Chieftain. This promised to be an amazing battle between the two best warriors of the clan. The entire clan gathered at the thirty yard in diameter circle ring. This battle was mentally prepared in Jenrig’s mind from the second he defeated Tolant. Jenrig muscles relaxed as he stepped forward through the crowd and knelt to his Chieftain who rose from his throne in acceptance. The Chieftain stepped down from his throne and was handed his taimar as another man removed his royal robe. His eyes held a fire that Jenrig had never seen before but not even the respect for his Chieftain would sway his readiness for this battle. The Chieftain was dressed in his full battle armor and he never looked so intimidating. As the fighters squared up in their poses the Emperor took the throne as the referee. With their taimars whistling in the wind they danced in a circle sizing each other up as they crossed leg over leg. Finally Jenrig made the first move swinging his taimar in a beautifully executed tight arc yet the Chieftain blocked it off with great strength forcing Jenrig to turn off guard for an instant giving the Chieftain time to give a swift jab to Jenrig’s kidney. Quickly Jenrig pulled from danger and squared up again despite the pain.

The two men clashed like rams butting heads steel clanging and sparks flying. The display of skill was outstanding as every attack was countered and then countered again. Soon the mix of magic and physical blows entered the fight. Still every punch, kick, fireball, beam, and slash were being blocked, reflected, rolled against, and dodged. The two men finally clashed spun and clashed again deadlocking each other’s sword lances, the Chieftain kicked the inside of Jenrig’s knee releasing the tight deadlock that held their weapons fast. The blow broke Jenrig’s balance and then Chieftain spun one more time lost in the rage of the fight taimar fully extended. Jenrig fell completely to his back to avoid decapitation, as he fell he shouted the words to cast a blue beam straight up at his ruler. The bright blue beam blazed from Jenrig’s left hand about four feet in diameter lifting the chieftain high into the air. Spinning in pain and confusion the Chieftain lost his taimar and fumbled his roll when he returned to the earth. The Chieftain lifted his head his lower lip smeared with blood from the fall and his ribs bruised due the elevation from which he fell. He tasted the metallic, bitter taste of his defeat but all he thought in his mind was how proud he was of Jenrig; for his son finally surpassed his father in skill. Jenrig was not only a Wanderer and a Warrior of the Blue Flame but now he had become Hero of the Blue Flame all in one glorious day.

* * *

Mercaitor’s long walk tired him, he got no rest due to the infernal rain and so the bright suns of the morning gave him a chance for a rest. Staggering over to the side of the path he sat down, closed his eyes and huffed a sigh of relief. He relaxed his muscles and laid back in the pleasantly warm damp grass. Staring up at the clouds he admired the way in which weather controlled the lives of so many. It influenced choices, moods, and even affected plans. The weather was the most uncontrollable force in nature, you could fight it but you will lose. It’s the most pleasing thing in the world, it added variety to life yet still its’ force could be deadlier then a hundred dragons. Weather constantly changed, for just an hour or two ago the miserable rain was still falling and now the beautiful suns shined on his aching body. As he looked up he saw the bright blue of the sky blotted and meshed with the bright white clouds that seemed to be the essence of good. The clouds of rain held everything evil in his eyes. The dark clouds blanketed the sky covering the land in their misery then they spewed their rain that cleansed the earth of evil yet brought it at the same time. Still he thought how the most pleasing thing his senses ever experienced was not the glory of battle and not triumph of a long campaign but one of the most simple things in life. The most pleasing moment to him was the peacefulness of air and land after a rain storm. The cleansed earth smell as if reborn, the ground glittered in the suns’ rays, and there was always a light breeze sweeping away the last remains that the rain left behind. Truly today was a special day, he just knew it. With that he stood up and walked once more now relaxed and thinking of the simple pleasures of life.

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