The XIIIth Immortal Magix Competition – 01 – Pawns for a King

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A formal first piece to the Mage Wars series. Here we have our protagonist going against your typical wand-wielding wizard. Who is going to win? Find out on the next episode, piece, writing-thingy… okay, just read.

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“Give me that!” A tall bearded man grabbed the card from the Saver’s hand. “Wow, would you look at that; Page of Wands. Now, who’s my opponent?”

I took a brief glance at my card: Queen of Cups. My opponent would have to be a queen of the remaining Minor Arcana. Who would it be? A Wizard? A Mage? A Sage? A Priest? I was so excited and at the same time, scared. If the field was not within my expectation, then my tactics would fail miserably and with that my life as well.

“Queen of Pentacles,” a young man called out.

My chest tightened, choking me; unable to answer I turned towards him. A black robe with a phoenix drawn within a triangular coat of warms covered in silvery leaves and a small white sphere within the phoenix’s left claw. A red scarf wrapped around his neck and a small wand in his right hand; I knew right then and there that he was a wizard.

He walked up to me, a greeting with a handshake. His grip was firm yet not too strong; that was expected of a proficient wand wielder. Witchcraft was quite the magical art that demanded from a pool of energy from the surrounding world: Mana.

“Can’t wait to face you in battle, sir.” His eyes gazed into mine. “I was told you were pretty good at what you do best.”

“And what is that?” I replied.

“Escaping death with sheer luck. That’s why they call you Lucky Number Seven.”

I looked away. Lucky Number Seven, a silly nickname a Necromancer or should I say, a now dead Necromancer pinned on me. He said I survived the sorting through sheer luck. Well, that may be so, but my luck has taken me further than the pit he now sleeps in.

“Pleased to meet you, my name is Leonardo and you?” I tightened my grip.

He quickly pulled way. “I’m Mathew, Mathew Gul, from the northernmost school of wizardry and witchcraft in the British Isles, southernmost part of Scotland.”

“England?”

“No, you dunce… Never-mind, just prepare yourself. I’m going to wipe the floor with you.”

**

I couldn’t stop thinking about my battle. The only thing that would ease my mind was regular equipment maintenance and reading the newspaper. There was a strange article in the paper: ‘Science vs Magic, things are looking up for these brainiacs’.

 ~

Mages, Witches, The Church, Wiccans, and now: Scientists?

Yes, that’s the latest from the battlefield. A small group calling themselves Tabula Rasa,

have invested millions of dollars on scientific discoveries and improvements to win this war.

What, skeptical about the power of science? Well, take a look at the scores!

Their participant: Miriam Lewsky has won both matches in the past week.

Her mysterious powers put her on a par with any

Mana-absorbing, Prana-consuming, Chakra-emitting,

Chi-expulsing, supernatural power that these wars have to offer.

The bets are on! How many of you think that she will continue on to the finals?

 ~

Impressive, I thought to myself. Science had finally placed their cards on the table. Well, they aren’t too far away from what I do. Being a non-magic person, my only way to fight is to use these inventions as a means of defense and/or offense. Mr. Wizard will try and fight up close, that’s their main tactic. Their wands are reliable little buggers; made of a wood drenched in a blood-wine concoction, covered in leaves from a sacred tree and a core made from unicorn’s horn powder, or dragon’s whisker powder, etc. These small instruments could bring death faster than anything else in this competition. I could not lose to a Wizard.

Besides, he was no Gandalf… But, just in-case, I would need a plan B. I grabbed a large bow and several makeshift arrows; compressing it to a manageable size, I swung the bow over my shoulder, held by a piece of silver-chain and the arrows all placed together inside a cylindrical container at the left side of my waist. Arrows filled with liquid mana. Even if I was unable to use mana, I could still gather it in four manageable states: Solid, in the form of crystals; Liquid, within tubes, flasks, cylindrical tubes and other containers; Gas, within blisters, and Plasma, a superheated mana source within small spheres. These arrows had enough propulsion and power to force their way through a magical shield that had not been previously reinforced.

**

We walked side by side, his long rope gently touching the ground as his short footsteps tried to catch up to mine. Walking down Desperationem Via or, the path to despair; we headed towards the center of the battleground. It was a game of chance; the field would change according to the will of the Council. I had my fingers crossed for urban warfare, my forte.

In the middle of the field, the Saver stood with a small crystal box. The box glowed in a bright pink color, heralding the drawing phase of the battle. Here, we drew spheres; whosoever had a red, blue or yellow sphere, they had the opportunity to choose to go first, if a purple, orange or green sphere was drawn, then the contestant had the privilege of having a ‘wish’. What this meant was: you could count with a minimal backup we used to call the Scapegoat. Tiny little plushy spheres that would save your life if you were in dire need of being saved. Finally, the Minor Arcana cards we had drawn previously in the sorting contest would give a powerful ability boost: Pentacles – Improved Physical Performance, Wands – Improved Mana/Prana Absorption, Cups – Projection Magic and Swords – Servants.

Looking at my card, I knew this would come in handy if I ever found myself without a weapon. The effect was short-lived but it would help you out of any predicament.  Pulling out a golden sphere, Mathew quickly called for his flying broom. As it zoomed by, he caught it and hoped on; soaring as far away as he could. He had a tremendous advantage: speed.

Kissing the silver cross dangling from my neck, I closed my eyes. “Sister, gib mir kraft.”

Red, White and Green Dust

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Another piece based on WWII. Here are other short stories based on WWII too: Seeping Red Hope I, Seeping Red Hope II and Black Pouring Despair.

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The rain kept on pouring, soaking his dark hair with cold relentless bullets dripping down his face; becoming one with his tears. Muddy, swollen feet, slushing through the mud; he could hear nothing more than the continuous rhythm of the impacting shells, on the distance, the pitter patter of rain upon his uniform and the shallow beating of his terrified heart. His hands were shaking violently at the sound of footsteps; a terrifying feeling of nausea and fear sinks beneath his skin. Rummaging through his pockets, the .30-06 Springfield rounds fell on the mud. Kneeling on blood stained dirt, he grabbed each bullet and wiped it with his shirt. The rifle sunk in his arms, trembling, unable to fit each bullet into the clip.

 

The Spanish, they called him. He was surrounded by Gringos, or that’s what he called them. People forgot where he came from, till he spoke. The thick Spanish accent that escaped his lips was conspicuous in any conversation. Now, in the middle of nowhere, he wished that someone would be there by his side. The scent of rain brought back memories of his beloved homeland; warmth and kindness, he misses all that. The sounds of his siblings, a tug of war for affection; life was so simple.

 

Something cold pressed against his neck, yes, he had nearly forgotten; a small necklace made with different types of tree barks he had collected over his journey. It all seemed so meaningless now. Placing the clip on the rifle, he pressed the, nearly frozen, bolt all the way to the back till it clicked. Holding his rifle across his chest, he steadied his movements. Breaking slowly, he aimed down the barrel squinting at the slow movements across the flooded, icy battlefield.

 

“Spanish… Spanish…” He heard a whisper calling to him beyond the fallen rubble of a nearby tower. Whispers that beckon his return to a time when things were simple; he remembered the sunlight and the bright red, white and green flag – he had nearly forgotten the golden eagle what represented an unyielding desire to fight on. “En la vida, no queda mas que trabajar y sufrir.”

 

Slowly, crouching, he lowered his head away from sight. His helmet lay somewhere amidst his fallen comrades. Miles away from salvation, his helmet was gathering rain water, gunpowder and dirt. A thunder clap made him fall flat on the murky ground, face peering through the grey substance that now replaced the gentle crystal-clear water he had grown fond of. The gun steadily aimed to the front, held together by his desire to live, his adrenaline filled vessels and the gravity of the battlefront. Fingernails covered in muck, he dragged his body along the ground till he entered an abandoned stone building.

 

His boots echoed within the wooden floor of the structure, unstable and covered in dust and cobwebs, he enjoyed its dry atmosphere. The ceiling shook at every shell touched the ground, becoming akin to tremors. Dust fell from its walls; the paint had deteriorated just as its foundation. Strapping his rifle, he swung it over his shoulders, believing that a pistol would do better within the house; he walked along its weakened stone walls. Portraits fallen on the ground, shattered glass, and stained paintings made by someone who’s passion was interrupted by the red menace.

***

Somehow, he managed to find enough fuel to start a fire, which he filtered over to a side of the building. Sitting next to it, he boiled some rain water and chowed down some perfectly preserved peaches inside glass containers. Whoever had made these was a life saver. He was reading a small diary, searching through its pages for something he could identify. French wasn’t his forte, but finding Russian deep within French territory was somewhat odd. Photographs of young women and three older men, it appears as though this was a nursing home or a small clinic. That made sense; after all, he had grown worried at the sight of so many medical supplies and tools.

 

A loud thunder clap shattered the windows of the building. “¿Que diablos?”  Falling to the ground, the blast broke through the wall. “¿Artilleria pesada o morteros?” He looked around, still dazed and confused, the ground was shaking. Was he shell-shocked or was the ground really shaking? Climbing up the three floors, he saw them. Three Nazi soldiers and a tank; his worst nightmare had just begun. Another blast fell through the second floor, destabilizing the third. He rushed down the stairs, debris falling on top of him, scratching and scraping, he finally made it to the ground floor. Covered in dust and blood, he thought he wouldn’t make it.

 

His rifle peeked from a corner of the window, aiming down at the soldiers. Hesitant to make a move; a tank was more than enough to shatter his spirit as well as his morale. Wiping the sweat off his forehead, he grabbed his rifle and hid behind the rubble. The ground shook bellow him – they were close.

 

“Padre nuestro, que estas en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre…” He prayed to the heavens that he would be able to live through this. Spaniard, they called him. “Pinches gringos, soy Mexicano!” He fired at the Nazis, his heart clenched within the fingers of destiny and sheer power of will. He would go to Hell and back, for the Aztec blood that ran through his veins would never admit defeat.

***

“Pinche Pedro, no sabe ni lo que hace.” Martin grabbed his shoulder and carried him down the street, tossing the beer bottle into a drain. “Te dije que no bebieras mas, güey.” He scolded Pedro, sensing the fear that still lingered in his eyes.

“Es el unico remedio.” Pedro replied, holding on to his brother’s shoulder. “Es lo unico que puedo hacer.”

“¿Hacer?” Martin dragged him down the street and into his home, shuddering at the sight of his brother’s ill kept presence.

“Solo asi puedo matar a los fantasmas de mi pasado.” Pedro’s eyes still gazed down a barrel; a barrel he had long abandoned in the European front – amidst the rubble covered in three corpses and a shattered automaton.

“No mames, pinche maricon.” Martin smiled, “Mama no te crecio asi, pinche carbon.”

Pedro cried for the last time.

The XIIIth Immortal Magix Competition – 00 – It Begins

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This is a project depicting the various battles of our protagonist in his attempt to seek revenge on the man who killed his cousin. A competition that places the many magical arts within a city to battle it out – from alchemists to wizards and sages to chamans, there can only be one winner. Let the games begin!

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Golden powder, falling from beneath a tower now leaning over the edge of the roof; my life had been spared. The dirt that now covered my back, as I lay on the floor, crackled with my slow shifts in weight. I needed to get out of here or I’d be crushed like a pancake. Pieces of roof falling on the ground, carefully evading the clay projectiles, the ground beneath me became unstable. Was the ground giving in? Sinkholes dot the landscape but to think that one would be beyond this stone floor was too far-fetched – even for my bad luck. Cracking; this isn’t good. The tower creaked; that can’t be good either.

Rolling on my side, the tower fell, shattering the roof that gave way to the sinking behemoth. The structure fell on the floor, as it sank and dropped into an abyss of darkness along with the Wizard that perished within those walls. The competitions had just begun. I nearly lost my life and this was just the first of many battles. Grabbing my Clarice – my trusty side-kick that happened to be a rifle – I patted myself for a small silver coin I had stolen a while ago. “I guess that’s one for me and zero for Mr. Wizard, don’t you think?” I whispered to the coin. “By the looks of things, you’re coming with me.”

The Mage Wars had just begun.

Ne Pleure Pas: Shifting Sands – Part 4

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Ladies and gentlemen, here we have another small chapter… I really thought I was not going to be able to continue on this one. Proved myself wrong and I am so glad. Here we are, let the games begin!

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The room echoed with our footsteps as large rooms covered in steel-like doors and metallic windows with weapon-like gadgets pointing inwards, dotted the passage way. I was scared, no, terrified. This little girl was a monster in disguise not to mention that she could eat me whenever she wanted. What was I thinking of coming over? They offered me money but it’s not worth it if I have to risk my life every day.

“Having your doubts, son?” The general spoke, breaking the odd silence that had ensnared me. “I wouldn’t blame you, men and women who have served for many years have lost their minds inside this facility.”

“And what makes you think I’ll last longer?” I replied.

“It’s inside your head, deep within your brain tissue… beyond neurons and neurotransmitters.” Niege commented. Her voice, serene and clear, it was an ominous feeling.

“What exactly am I supposed to do? Isn’t she like a living antipersonnel unit?”

The general fixed his hat and replied, “You are her cockpit.”

Outside, the rain was pouring hard and fast. Lightning blasting through the corner of my eyes, accompanied by the loud drumming of heaven’s thunder; she was like a goddess of death. The back of her dress ripped, as the rest of her clothes fell down on the floor. Large metallic appendages, three on each side, appeared. Lined in a semi-luminescent substance, bright white blades appeared, like sails made of glass or dragonfly wings made of crystal. My fingers began to tingle as she floated towards me. What was this feeling?

She touched my forehead as images zoomed before my eyes. Too many, too fast, too complicated to even begin to understand; my warmth was hers as her heartbeat was mine. Strange black lines appeared on my wrists, burning their way up my arm. The pain was almost unbearable, that was if my senses hadn’t been dulled. Echoes of voices and strange tastes filled my body. A cold that was too strong to bear and warmth that was too deep to care; were these her innermost feelings or was I going nuts?

“Niege, stop! You are overwhelming him! The Synchronization process should be slowly introduced into his psyche.” A doctor interrupted her. “Show some restraint!”

“Why? We need him! We don’t have time to go over the whole process.” She replied, her wings grew bigger and brighter.

“That’s it for today… Everyone is dismissed. Grab the boy and take him to the infirmary, Niege, you and me will have a little chat, and you, Peter, start making a Type 1 Regression Suit for our new member.” The general grabbed my shoulder. My body had grown numb.

I was overcome with a deep grief. Was it my grief or hers? Confusion, disorientation, fear, paranoia, cold-heartedness, pain and loneliness – the emotions of a young girl bred to fight. If she had chosen another life, what would she have desired? I am stuck here, with an abomination, but still… I won’t go hungry; the pay is good and I have no one whom I can say will shed a tear for me if I were to die. Maybe my future was here though; I will most certainly never grow accustomed to these ‘things’.

So caught up in my thoughts was I, that I hadn’t realized that my surroundings had changed. I’m not sure when or how but I was dragged and laid to sleep on a small bed inside a creepy-looking clinic. Saws and blades, needles and spikes; just a few of the things that made this place akin to a mad scientist’s laboratory. This has got to be dream.

Fate/Shattered False – Chapter 7: Call to Arms

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Okay, finally chapter 7! We have two new legendary heroes, so start your bets! Who do you think they might be? I’ll give you a hint: a lady with a rife and a knight on a horse. Not very good hints but I don’t want to spoil the fun.

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They slowed their pace; this was no time to rush into things. The enemy could be nearby, though their job was to scout potential locations for bases. Sunlight raining down on them, the sky was cloudless, save for a few white patches that could very easily be ignored and the deep blue color of a warm sky. Traffic was terrible; cars and trucks, rushing to the destinations, making crossing a street as dangerous as their own job. El Obelisco, that’s where they were, a small park lying between four intersections and plenty of car-infested lanes.

Abigail sat on a small bench, sighing at their fruitless find. She had wasted all morning trying to look for a hint of magic, a speck, a scent; anything that could point them to where the other masters were hiding. As Pietro leaned over to pick up what seemed like a small coin, Abigail sensed something. Archer revealed herself and fired up at the sky. A large glass-like barrier shattered around them. Pietro’s Lancer appeared as well and pierced the coin with his large golden spear. The rest of the dome came crashing down.

“Pietro, I think we’re in some sort of a Reality Marble.” Abigail examined the fragments. They were soft to the touch, warm with a faint heartbeat – somehow it seemed alive. “It… It… has a pulse?”

“Calm down Abigail, there is no way a spell can have a pulse, not even a weapon created using Projection Magecraft can have a heartbeat.” Pietro rode atop Lancer’s horse. “I’ll go take a look, you stay here, sniper.”

“Don’t let your guard down; they are here… watching us.”

“I know.” Pietro tossed the coin at her.

Her small fingers traced the outline of the metallic artefact, squinting to see what was inscribed on its surface. Goosebumps ran up her spine; a Russian coin? Somehow, he was impressed, knowing that there was only one person with the magic necessary to create something of this magnitude. Archer’s careful gaze monitored their surroundings, holding her rifle well in a steady grip. Abigail’s mocha skin was battered by the mighty sun, now at its highest place in the sky. She calmed down, Pietro would return soon.

#

Pietro held on to the horse’s saddle, readying a piece of paper in his left hand. “Lancer, you wouldn’t happen to sense anyone around?”

“No master, who ever made this seal is long gone.” Lancer’s helmet hid his face but Pietro could feel the urgency in his voice. “Magic of the darkest form: necromancy.”

“Necromancy? That narrows down the list of Caster servants that could do something of that proportion.”

“Master, may I suggest returning? We are just outside the boundary of Archer’s rifle. Her services are well needed as I am not equipped for long-range battles.”

Pietro looked around, trying to sense anyone’s presence but to no avail. “Perhaps, the battle has already started.” Taking out a small dagger, he readied his spell. “We have yet to realize it but it’s our move.”

Black Pouring Despair

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Here is a small piece… It’s actually a follow up to Red Seeping Hope. This takes place during the same time but at a different location… Rather than a France under Nazi control, it’s a British Honduras under British control.

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Cement mix encrusted boots, heavy and cold, wet by the water flowing forth from an old green hose. The sun was at its highest, baking an earth echoing with the moans and groans of men and women. Sweat filled rivers running high, tension and blood running low. This is the home of the men who have yet to see the cruelties of the infested lands conquered by men with red bands and black crosses. Shivers and fear, the scent known to all men; a universal equalizer: the feeling of being emptied out at the sound of a loaded gun. Boots trotting amidst the dust covered roads, their faces pale, their eyes dull; the men of the north have come to find us.

 

A great wailing covers the land, like a mid-summer storm, it breeds both tranquility and fear. Adventurers looking for newer horizons, fighters seeking blood and lovers begging for a new beginning; these men brought home the answer. Faces hardened by night terrors, the men who had been at the edge of the world. Grandfather’s taken from their grandsons, husbands ruined and young men dragged away into a forced freedom fight. They make the coalition of the brave, yet no one longs for this life. Their sweat becomes one with the rain and cries, who is greater than God to save them this time?

 

Beyond a sapphire land, lies a home stained in a ruby-red glow, sharpened by forward-pushing emerald covered automatons wielding wooden clubs whose arrows pierce the early morning veil. A diamond covered night; a golden summer light, yet why does the cold still linger here? Cool, unyielding; the breath of the many who have been trampled by time and lead. Mother calls them demons, father calls them warriors, grandpa calls them his own and I know them as prisoners. Lest we remember their brave sacrifice, I fear time will only repeat itself. I know this to be true and hold this truth deep within my heart. I saw the men who wear scarlet arm bands, elephant faces and wooden bows of lead arrows; these men sought freedom and glory, my people sought food and money and our captors saw only liberty and justice.

 

There is a land to the north where the skies run dark, the night grows bright, stars fall from the sky and unto the land whose scorched dirt breaths only death and despair.  I know not of the red covered black cross or its idealistic superiority; neither do I see the red, white and blue stricken eagles fighting for our land… I see a jungle, with predators everywhere, and you, my love, a bunny running with regret. We see a calamity, yet, home is now but an ocean away.

Mayflowers and Summer Rain

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A short for those who are aching to see something new.

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The sunset is beautiful as the waves crash into the sea wall, spraying a light salty mist unto star-crossed lovers. She held on to his arm, as if destiny were trying to rip them apart, he smiled. Memories of yesterday still linger, ripping the insides of his cranium, rotting away his mind. In the end, she is the most precious thing to him, and losing her would mean the end of his world.

—<@

They met at an old farm, deep within the rural district. It was snowing yellow, as Mayflower petals fell from the trees. The soft breeze played with her short skirt while her hair gathered yellow. She kept plucking each flower blossom, hoping to gather enough to bring back home.

 

Standing on a small stool, trying to grab a hold of a low lying branch, she slipped. Echoes of silence, screams drowned by a mute reaction to the oblivious, she fell into his arms. Not tall, average, brown eyes, chocolate hair, soft hands yet colder than ice, his body supported her weight; gravity brought souls closer than destiny ever did.

 

A small shower, silvery-crystal clear drops falling upon yellow flakes, summer loves romance. They hid beneath the grand tree; its branches extending over them, protecting them under a false green roof. He embraced her, she huddled close to him. They said nothing, but time spoke on their behalf. For 157 days, they’ve smiled, laughed and talked, now their communication had transcended the need for words.

—<@

Now she stands close to him, the ocean spray gently filling her skin with tiny drops of salt and despair. Her tears were very much like the sea, yet very soon, she would forget this suffering. He gazed into her eyes, a distance that soon became nonexistent, lips caught up in the passion of the moment. Tears filled his eyes.

“I promised you freedom, and I will keep it.” He said, wiping away her tears.

“A fate crueler than death, I can’t call that freedom.” Passing her fingers through his hair, she smiled. “It’s torture. The cruelest form of torture.”

“I’m sorry, it’s time to wake up.”

She pulled away, but his grip was too strong. Crying she asked him to stop. He muttered something she was unable to make out… Everything turned dark. A deep mist that ravaged her past.

—<@

“Hello, are you here to admire the sea too?” A girl inquired, her small hazel eyes looked in astonishment at his tears. “Were you crying?”

“I’m sorry. I was going to meet someone here, she loved this spot.”

“I take it things didn’t work out?”

“No, they actually worked out the way I had planned.”

“How sad.”

“She said that the ocean painted a portrait of an endless sky, till the sun set.”

“Till the sun set?”

“Yes, because you then realize the ocean is just the reflection of the sky, a false disguise.”

“She reminds me of me. I hope she reconsiders.”

“I’ll miss her. Bye bye, Linda.”

 

The girl looked at him in amazement, as he walked away. How did he know her name was Linda?