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Home > God Rising: Battle of Atela

1 Threnode

 Humans are fragile,

Beastmen are strong,

But...

Monsters are stronger.

The fight had been won before it began. His heartbeat was louder than the staggering roars of the crowd. He was frail, he knew it, but despite everything, he pursued what would get him killed.

All he ever wanted was to be acknowledged. He trained day and night, ever since he was a child, but everything was in vain. Things had to be that way for Humans. The question was would it continue like that forever?

***

"He's doing it again" peeking from her castle window, the human's proprietor spotted her slave practicing for the eleventh time that day. He always swung a stick at the large apple tree in her mother's garden. His grip on it was terrible, and to her, what he was doing was a waste of time.

"What are you doing?" In less than a second, she appeared beside him, yet was pushed aside by the boy.

"Don't talk to me. Get away from me!" She gazed at his sorrowful eyes loaded up with outrage and despise, and soon, she began crying too.

"That wild human! He hurt the chief's daughter again" The watchmen patrolling heard the well-known sobs of the elf princess, and ran to mediate between the eminence, and the slave.

"Princess Melissa" They bowed, acknowledging the girl before them, then proceeded to drag the boy by his worn out shirt. They hurled him to the ground then pulled out their whips.

"Princess, you do know that your father gave you permission to kill stubborn toys like this stupid human we have here" The affront irritated the slave boy, and he charged towards the stout elf that spoke.

"I hate you all. I hate beastmen!!! I hope you all burn in hell" the effect of a slap forced him to falter back.

They lashed at him over and over again, but his eyes remained on the female frozen in shock. 'I'll kill you' was composed all over his face that formed welts with each cut it got from the whip adorned with thorns.

***

"Kill them! I'll kill them all!! I'll kill them!!!" A month had passed since he assaulted his owner. He wasn't tamed properly before he was bought, and the princess approved of him despite the raised suggestions for him to be returned whether they got refunds or not.

He was locked up in a cold, dusty store room, where other stubborn slaves who were now nothing but bones were affixed to the four corners of the stone walls. Staying in a dark cell with bones of deceased humans was something he was accustomed to since the last slave picking day. An awful occasion that the beastmen made for their selfish gain.

The door opened, and he darted his orbs to his owner, Melissa. After the stipulated thirty-one days, his punishment was lifted, and the elf was finally permitted to see him.

She placed the bowl of food on the floor then proceeded to unlock his manacled hands and ankles. He rubbed his wrists once the chains clicked, then Melissa presented the porridge she snuck from the kitchen.

The sound of the bowl's contact with the hard ground echoed once he knocked it away from her. He pushed her to the floor, and folded his hands around her neck "DIE!!! DIE!!! DIE!!!" She struggled cautiously. She didn't want to kill him like she did with the others before him. She was trying her best to not let it happen again.

"He's attacking her again!!!" Once more, they were separated, but this time, by her father, the king.

The slave was dragged to the stronghold corridor and the girl he almost killed followed her father and the guards.

"It seems like whips aren't good enough to get the message STOP HURTING YOUR OWNER across. Melissa would've killed you, but she favors you to an extreme. However, you nearly choked my daughter today" He sat on his throne and placed his daughter on his laps.

"You will lose your arms for what you've done" Melissa gasped. She wanted to object, but whenever her father settled on a decision, he never went back even if she wept.

The elder snapped his fingers, and the human boy was pinned to the floor. The king covered his daughter's eyes, but her pointed ears were all she needed to picture what was happening in her head.

***

"He's still doing it again" She pointed at the boy who was hopelessly practicing for a reason she didn't understand. Losing his arms weren't enough to make him stop. He put the stick in his mouth and moved his head in the direction of the tree.

"Why are you always practicing?"

He overlooked her, and continued hitting the tree. "What's your name human?"

He refused to respond.

"I want you to come play with me" He pushed the rough stick out of his mouth with his tongue then followed her back to her castle.

"Say Ah!" She moved a spoon full of hot porridge towards his mouth "Make sure you blow" Once his mouth was stuffed, he spat in the little girl's face and started raining loud curses before head butting her.

The guards overheard and went to intervene for the hundredth time since he was bought. His lips were sewed together with a needle not long after the show he put on.

He was fortunate, but he never gave credit to the girl who tried her best to treat him genuinely, even though she didn't do so to the other children who couldn't survive under her care.

She gave him food, but he turned away. She made sure he had proper clothes, but he'd burn them in the furnace room whenever he had the opportunity to sneak in.

She didn't blame him. He must've been parted from his family and sold off by a wicked slave trader.

It was natural for one that hadn't been tamed to behave that way. The slave ring owner advised her to pick other 'toys' but she wanted him.

The elf's mother thought she was possessed by the spirit of the Raindrop God because it was unnatural for a Beastman to care about a human, child or not. She called over the most esteemed cleric to cast out such devils from her, however she was pronounced to be entirely fine. Spiritually, physically and mentally.

Her folks didn't want the news of their only daughter being affectionate towards humans to escalate fast, so they decided to return her slave before they reached teen years, and get the princess married once she's a proper adult.

After eavesdropping on her parents conversion, she reattached the missing limbs of the slave boy, and loosened the strings depriving him of food.

When he had no arms, he was forced to eat the little food he got by plunging his face in the plates. By the time his mouth was sewed, he couldn't eat or drink water anymore, but his suffering came to an end sooner than he expected. Well, for a few days, before he was sold to another master.

Melissa wished she got the answer to her most pressing question apart from her constant inquiries of what his name was.

Instead of calling him slave or toy, she was sure he had a name before he lost ownership of it. If there was something else she wanted to know, it was why he was always attacking the apple tree in her mother's garden. He was sane, but most of his actions were something a mad person would do. He was doing it on purpose. The question was why?

A few years later, once it was time for the princess to marry, she fled home, and it caused an uproar in the village she never cared about. Rumours soared and her parents, along with her siblings were enraged.

It wasn't long before they discovered her whereabouts. She'd registered for a death battle, and her motivation was the slave boy from before. He'd signed up too.

Although she had never fought in an official match, she was willing to fight, and be the one to battle her former slave. She had zero support and so did he.

Melissa's parents and her siblings didn't show up in the arena to support her. They'd already dug up her grave, and remained back in their home, awaiting her corpse. That's if there'd be any remains.

The slave boy who was once an Elf's toy was now a construction worker. He did to build his muscles, and he'd still train afterwards.

She was looking forward to being matched with him, and fortunately she got what she wanted. After he'd won a goblin, which wasn't a very remarkable amazement since goblins were frail, he was paired up with the Elf princess.

When the two of them ventured into the field, everywhere went silent. On one side they had a human who was desperately aiming for the demigod title, and on the other they had a defiant princess who was supposed to be married and watching over kids.

It was a surprising match that was unquestionably going to stand out as newsworthy.

They'd never seen a pampered princess fight before, and a female had never taken the crown, neither had a human male or female. Whoever wins might or might not matter because other tough competitors were lying ahead.

In his eyes, Melissa could still see the hate. He wanted to kill her, she had to aim for the same goal, but a part of her didn't want to spill his blood.

She needed to see with her own eyes how far he'd gone with his training with sticks.

He charged at her with a battle cry with full intents to aim his sword at her neck, sidestepped his assault and countered his with an attack of her own.

The weakest of her powers were too much for his body to handle and all through their one sided battle, he was unable to leave a little scratch.

She looked at the young male with pity. Humans were fragile blossoms, but he refused to accept that.

"Acknowledged me as an equal!!!" Hurt crept into the tone of his voice as he struggled to keep his balance, regardless of the blood that seeped from the injuries in his body.

"That was all I ever wanted" He charged towards her one more time, tears spilling from his eyes as he drew nearer in a pace she found so moderate.

She'd decided. It was time to put him to sleep.

He collapsed into her small arms that were strong enough to carry his weight.

He placed his hand on the deep wound at his mid-region. He made it look like she was the one who wounded him, but in reality, he stabbed himself.

She understood every one of his actions. In the universe they lived in, things were that way for flowers and the Beastmen were the gardeners in charge of the garden that didn't belong to them.

Delicate beings like the human in her arms were destined to endure, and she was part of the race that made things that way.

It wasn't the time for an irrelevant question but there was something about him she'd always wanted to know "What's your name human?"

"I'll tell you my name...if you promise me something" he had a dying wish. He didn't expect her to listen to his request, but it would hurt him if he let the opportunity pass by.

"Promise me...when that one human comes, you'll help them anyway you can. Just give my people a chance. Give humanity a fair fight."

"I cannot assure you, but I will try. Now tell me, what is your name?"

"It's Mario. If anyone asks...you killed me."

A sense of satisfaction and fulfillment crashed over her as she closed the eyes of the deceased in her arms.

"A fair fight for humans huh?" A mischievous grin appeared on her face "flowers are nothing without the gardeners. The path you have paved for humanity will either save them or destroy them. Rest easy now my favorite toy."