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A note from OldBegginings

OldBegginings:[ Just a note I thought you guys would like to hear, expect cover art 'soon'. As I asked an Inked artist to do a cover for me and she kindly accepted.

The reason behind it being 'soon' is that I asked about a month ago and saw the concept art (which I didn't save) a month ago too, but haven't really been able to contact her since so have no idea when it'll be ready.

I gather that Inktober and RL may affect her schedule. And mainly because she's solely doing this just as a favour, I'll be patient in waiting for news on the subject. This is just a news of something that could be coming soon, though, I wanted to keep it as a surprise. Hope you like it when it's finally done, and enjoy reading this chapter. :D ]

Seismic now stood between the red poles. A new face, a towering girl with large 'assets' stood between the blue.

"Seismic, Blaze. Are you both ready?" Spire asked loudly. After both girls nodded, Spire's countdown started.

The audience fazed out, swarming around Silence and Root instead of following their match. Both were bombarded by questions, but whilst Root turned away and socially interacting with those who were interested, Silence unsurprisingly ignored them and tried to focus on the game at hand.

In spite of this, the girls continued their match with determination, closing their eyes as they chanted.

Blaze held her hands out, palms up. Soon embers appeared, turning into flames in mere seconds.

Seismic on the other hand just repeated her actions from her last match. The earth to ripple under her own pole in a controlled manner. The base was soon engulfed into the dirt below.

Blaze seemed to have something else in mind, though. As she threw one of her flames, out of the blue, and hit the ground in front of the same red pole.

The melted dirt refused to follow Seismic's control. The vibrations now affected only half of the base, causing the pole to fall backward. As she tried to stop it, Blaze's second flame smacked into the top, forcing it to flip.

Seismic's mouth now agape, she could only watch as her pole floated in the air and soon collided with the ground. Meanwhile, Blaze set her sights on the other red pole. Flames grew out of her palms as her opponent didn't make a move.

In a panicked move, Seismic quickly turned towards one of the blue poles and started to shake the ground. But Blaze acted before her, attacking her last pole before the ripples were even visible. The last red pole crashed to the floor with a certain elegance. And with it, Seismic also fell to her knees in despair.

"And the winner is Blaze. Whether it was bad luck or you just got flustered, you lost very definitively Seismic. Now then, the next game is Root versus Gust," Spire announced succinctly, clearly finding it as lackluster as the audience did.

-

After a lengthy wait, the field was finally reset. The last game of the day was finally about to start.

"This is to see which one of you follows Silence and Blaze in the official team, the loser will be the substitute. Apologies to the rest of you, since you all put in great effort. But this result is obvious at this point," Spire said enthusiastically, losing himself for a second before snapping back.

Some of the audience had still been pestering Silence, but at the start of this match, they all watched in awe. Both Root and Gust had their supporters, although most voices claimed Gust was favored in this match-up.

"Ahem, sorry... Anyway, let's get the final game underway! Root, Gust, are you both ready?" he asked. With two nods coming from the competitors, he started the countdown, "On one. Three, two... One!"

Gust, standing on the red side, faced the left blue pole as he closed his eyes and chanted. Root turned to her other pole as she did the same. The whistles of Gust's winds soon became deafening, as his own poles began to rock slightly.

The ground under Root's right pole started to pop, with numerous roots quickly wrapping around that pole's base and squeezes it to the ground with a vice like pressure. At the same time, Gust directed the wind wrapping around him towards the pole he faced. It didn't go flying as extremely as it did in his last game, but it still more than enough to unbalance the pole.

The dirt from the ground was removed from nearby the pole and headed at Root, who had waited for his attack before she started hers. After the worst had passed, she started to chant again, this time with a red pole in her gaze. Gust had already started his, though.

Again, the wind bellowed from the red side as Gust turned to face Root's last pole. As it built up to knocking his own poles down, he released them on the target. Almost at the same time, ground bulged from under one of the red poles.

Gust's wind hit slightly before, striking the blue pole at gale-force power. The roots attached seemed to be worn down significantly and Gust was already preparing the next. A singular thick root finally poked through the mound of dirt under the red pole, capsizing the pole with a loud thud. By then, Root was also preparing her final attack.

As seconds seemed to last minutes, the final attacks of both competitors came in. Gust was first to move, directing his wind at the pole in attempts to pierce through the withered roots. It hit, tearing through numerous roots with no resistance.

Chatter from the audience contested the whistles of Gust's wind, and the chat's enthusiasm reached its peak. No one could definitively call if Gust would win, or if Root's defense would hold.

The pole withheld for seconds due to one or two thick roots which got washed away soon after. The made the pole to tilt, gradually coming to the tipping point as the mound under the final red pole became visible.

There was no way that Gust's pole would topple before Roots at this point. The viewers now competing with the gales for sound dominance with their overly dramatic cheers, with even Silence joining in.

As the blue pole rocked to about halfway, it had slowed down drastically. Gust stood there, crossing his fingers in hope.

As the gradients trickled by, the blue pole hanged at the forty degrees mark before stopping for good. Gravity now intervened, removing the progress Gust had thought for as his own pole started to fall inevitably.

Protesting from the chat destroyed the tense atmosphere, as Root's win was incoming. Moments later, the red pole fell, ending the game.

"Roots wins," this succinct announcement was all Spire could say, as he seemed to be just as attached to the match as the audience.

Root was ecstatic with her unlikely win and skipped to the bench to meet the audience. Gust slapped himself before accepting his defeat. And after mumbling words of contempt at himself, he angrily marched to the same place.

-

After a while, everyone eventually got over themselves and huddled up to hear Spire's verdict.

"Well, that's that. It took way longer than planned, but we're finally finished. So Silence, Blaze, and Root will be our representatives for this event, with Gust being the substitute. Thanks for coming, I think the instructor should come on Wednesday, so training will start then. Although you're pretty formidable now, you still could use some work. Even you Silence," Spire declared, specifically pointing fingers at Silence whilst talking.

He paused for a while, letting everyone take in his message before finishing his speech, "Well, as I said. It's been... interesting today, with some unforeseen twists. But I feel confident with these results. Well, I guess that's all I had to say. Dismissed."

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OldBegginings

  • Apathy Incarnate.

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