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Good work out there. That’s one exciting ability; you can freeze horrors now?

 

“In a way. Works better when your opponent is nothing but water.”

 

Of course. It fits too. You did say once that you ruled over the Icelands of your realm. I see those abilities are beginning to resurface.

 

Just you wait, Jacky. We’re only getting started.

 

Deacon exits the sideline, heaving towards the summoning pillar. His opponent is a petite woman clad in a beautiful red dress; she smiles at Deacon.

 

“Oh? I adore bald men. I’m going to enjoy this so very much.” The woman lets down her hair.

“You’ll…change your…opinion…after today… I’ll make…sure of it…” Deacon coughs and clasps his hands together for his ritual.

Sydney and Dawn Love, huh? I feel like I’ve heard that name from somewhere before.

 

Sydney’s hair lights aflame, and thin waves of fire trail down her limbs. A circular portal erupting lava breaches the arena floor. Soaring through the oblivion gate, Dawn Love arrives on the field. A voluptuous horror with a body of solid rock and fire stands before the audience. Large curly horns adorned her skull, and her eyes filled with violet flames. Dosuleius lands in the arena, spear in hand; he rises to his feet.

“Once again, I am pulled from the Divide. This better be good; I’m itching for a challenge!” Dosulueis roars.

 

“Challenge? I don’t plan on having to fight you, big guy.” Dawn Love says, her voice serene and calming.

 

Dosuleius raises his spear and throws it at the horror; the fight is on. Dawn Love swiftly floats away from the attack. Dosuleius sprouts another spear and charges forth with his apsis raised. He strikes at the horror, his spear tip slicing through the air. Dawn Love dances around the weapon; lingering flames lick the spear. Whisps of fire slowly encroach upon Dosuleius. The fire snakes around his equipment, then around his legs, and up the rest of his body. He attempts to shake free from the fire’s grasp; he stumbles away from Dawn Love and drops his shield and spear.

 

Why hasn’t the fight started yet?

 

“It has; this is not the kind of fight our Wolf King was expecting.”

What is that supposed to mean?

 

“I’m saying this fight has already begun. It’s taking place in their minds, or rather the minds of any horror present. Dawn Love appears to be capable of particular tricks of the mind. Some horrors have abilities designed to combat physically superior foes and some of these tricks are visible to any horror present during their usage.”

 

So you can see their fight and no one else?

 

“Correct. Deacon is also under this “spell.” He thinks this is the actual fight; Technically, it is; however, Dosuleis is powerless because he isn’t there.

 

A wave of flame scorches the arena. The flames engulf Dosuleis, then they burst. The Wolf King stands stunned and breathing heavily; he can’t catch his breath as the heat leaves him exhausted. He reaches for another spear, pointing it all around him; he focuses on his surroundings. a blanket of darkness washes over the field, leaving the King nearly blind. He waits for any sign that screams attack.

 

“Shhh. It’s okay to succumb to weakness, King. Let yourself go.” Dawn Love’s voice echoes throughout the darkness.

 

She appears behind Dosuleius; he swings around and points the spear tip at her. She reaches out slowly and, with two fingers, pushes the spear down to the King’s side. He becomes more docile and willing to let her closer. Dawn Love runs her hands over the King’s fur. His eyes begin to close, and his breathing slows.

“Not all kings are meant to win all the time.” Dawn Love caresses the King’s face.

 

Dawn Love takes her hand and forms it into a blade of fire. She sinks it into Dosuleius’s throat; his eyes open wide as the sharp pain travels throughout his body. The darkness lifts, and before everybody, Dosuleius falls to his knees, his hands clasped around his neck. Deacon coughs violently as the King struggles to stand. Dawn Love steps closer to the King, her feet evaporating any water left from the previous match.

What happened!?

 

“Dosuleius lost the mind game. He’s having some trouble regaining focus. It’s now or never.”

 

As Dosuleius struggles to get back in the fight, Dawn Love stares him down face to face. She stands on the tips of her toes and kisses the King on his cheek. First, a small pink flame grows on his snout; then, seemingly instantly, he bursts into a violent swirl of blazing fire. His flesh disintegrates, and his skeleton turns to ash. Deacon comes to and wheezes; his Howler blinks with a strike. The fight is over.

 

Just like that? I didn’t think Dosuleius could lose.

“It was his worst kind of matchup. That horror has a lot of raw power to back up those mind games of hers.”

 

Considering the rules, Jointlock will have to fight Dawn Love if she wins against her opponent; we will be left to clean up the mess if she loses.

 

“Right. She won’t be a challenge with her tricks. They are tricks and nothing more.”

 

So if you had to, you could win?

 

“Of course, I could.”

 

The trick is simple, any horror who witnesses the illusion and lives becomes immune to the spell. I won’t tell him that, though. I leave that for him to discover if I need to fight. Besides, her raw power is threatening. She is still very dangerous; I will need to express caution throughout that fight.

 

Deacon approaches the sideline. Team Sacrifice is in shock at the defeat suffered by Dosulieus, presumably the team’s most vital asset.

 

“You win some; you lose some.” Sara is the first to console. “I’ll win our next match and rough that horror up just for you.” Sara stands up and stretches; cracking her back, she prepares to take her spot on the field.

 

“Be careful out there,” Jacky says. “We don’t know what kinds of tricks this one will pull. Fight with caution.”

 

“I know what I’m doing, but thanks for looking out for me.” Sara steps onto the field; it’s showtime.

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