Liafina wanted to be there to see off her grandfather, but she realized that she could only helplessly go to her new home. She had stayed with Yuren the entire morning as Yuren passed on his last words to her. No one had disturbed them or heard their conversation. She had then unwillingly left for the Star Palace with her tears running down her cheeks. Her family had died because of her, and now her Grandfather would leave her as well. Her heart bore the pain and suffering that no one could truly understand. Everyone realized it and didn’t try to console her.
Aizen had made some arrangements for this day just in case something went wrong. Viara and Vienna both were asked to stay in the core room today, and they were to keep a look at everything that would happen on the battlefield through the broadcast shared by him on the monitoring screens. Liafina too stayed in the room and observed everything from there.
Things were all set and now the only thing left was for Yuren to successfully eliminate Mervin.
The northern suburbs of the City of Morio were where the Elven Security Council had their soldiers residing. There was a battlefield where these soldiers performed mock battles for training, and today this place was going to witness a battle between a man named Yuren and Mervin Ianserk.
The common people residing in the city were not allowed to be present here. Even the soldiers had evacuated far away. People who had gathered here stood thousands of meters away on top of the tall trees that surrounded the battlefield.
The rules of the duel of Life and Death were sacred. No force in the world would break them. The rules had only been broken once in history, and the Wars that followed had resulted in mass destruction and heart-wrenching loss of lives. Since then another rule had been established that anyone who interfered in the Duel of Life and Death was to be put to death on the spot, and his clan or family was to be declared war upon.
The rules were simple. One could use any technique, treasure, or method no matter how cowardly it was to win the duel, but could not take any assistance from another person. Not even one’s Shadow was allowed to take part in the duel. Usually, the battles ended in one person’s death, but if the winner spares the loser’s life. then he owned that person. A slave mark was cast on his soul if the winner wished for it.
The time was about to hit the noon, and the spectators had already arrived here. The overseers of the battle stayed together by the side of Battlefield. They were there to observe and ensure that the contenders abide by the rules of the duel and no one else interferes.
Yuren and Mervin stood on the field facing each other. Their auras were unreserved and hostile. As the clock hit noon, an overseer stepped forward and gestured the two of them to be ready.
“Do you have any words for the world before this duel starts?” He asked.
It was a custom where people usually stated their reasons and differences before settling them with their lives on the line.
“No.” Mervin gave his answer and looked at Yuren. If he did state his reasons then even if he won the duel, his life wouldn’t be the same. And he couldn’t think of why Yuren wouldn’t state them.
Yuren smiled palely and said in a low voice. “I have nothing to say.”
His words may have not been so surprising to others, but to Mervin, they were no less than a shock. He had even gone on to cover his elven ears in this duel, and this bothered Mervin for some reason that he couldn’t figure out.
The man nodded to both of them. “Let the Debts be paid by Blood.”
Just as his words ended and he returned to his place, the ground beneath the two people ripped open. They channeled their Elemental powers and increased the force of gravity on the battlefield. The ground was pressed under their strength until they both hovered over a massive depression of land.
Yuren vanished from his position and appeared behind Mervin. An exquisite dagger was on his way to the heart of Mervin. The dagger was the same as the one Yuren had put forward as a reward. But only Aizen and his group knew that this wasn’t the same dagger. That dagger was still in the Broker’s hand.
The sound of the collision of metals spread, and Mervin managed to stop the dagger from digging in his flesh. His short sword was cleft in two by the dagger which was now reaching for his throat.
Mervin used his destroyed weapon to deflect the dagger again and retreated several feet away from Yuren. He discarded the shattering hilt and channeled more of his strength in the ground. Several different sized cobbles emerged from the ground, and then they turned into arrowheads. The arrowheads hovered around him in a defensive formation.
Yuren did not stop and continued to chase after Mervin with his teleportation, but he could not reach him as more and more stone arrows got in the way.
He summoned his wood element, and the roots emerged from the ground forming tentacles around him that protected him from the stone arrows. He then summoned his earth element and hundreds of boulders formed from the ground. These boulders then went up in the sky and stayed there.
A breathless battle ensured as Mervin faced the onslaught of the falling boulders and the surprise attacks of Yuren. He was forced to use his earth element to summon layers of walls around him to protect him from this onslaught. He was quite skillful with his earth element as he maintained a gravitational field and also the stone arrow formation around him while he utilized his element to form defensive walls. To multitask with the same element, required great concentration and mental strength. But Yuren was not any less skillful than him.
His battle style was defensive unlike Yuren’s way of delivering deathly blows that emerged out of nowhere. Yuren utilized his teleportation technique and his elemental strength in perfect harmony.
As the fray continued and he couldn’t get past Mervin’s defensive measures and injure him, he let the rest of the meteors fall altogether. The sounds of the collision and an earthquake covered the entire battlefield as the dust and debris rose everywhere.
There was already more than a hundred meters cavity on the battlefield. The clanking of metal and stones soon continued to resound in the surroundings. They were both finally disheveled and bore some injuries.
The toll gradually took on both of them, but Mervin was seemingly in a better position as none of Yuren’s attacks seemed to land on him.
Yuren was getting tired now, and his mana and strength were draining at an enormous rate. It was not easy for him to counter Mervin’s gravitational force with his own, because of the difference in their strengths. Using his Space Magic to teleport continuously increased the mental load.
He pulled some distance away from him and took out a White Crystal. He dropped his blood on it and transferred it right behind Mervin with his space magic.
A deafening sound resounded as a massive blast of Light destroyed the battlefield. Mervin was taken by surprise and expended nearly all of his strength to save himself from that blast. His left arm was missing now. Yuren didn’t waste a breath as he attacked him again with another stone. This time Mervin was already prepared and he caged himself in walls to protect him. When the blast ended he was already in front of Yuren as his short sword stabbed in his left shoulder. Yuren had gotten away with a shallow wound but soon the bells of crisis rang in his head.
The blade of the sword was coated in a deadly poison that assimilated in his blood at an alarming rate. His vision dazed before he used the rest of his mana to seal the poisoned blood from entering the heart for some time. He couldn’t use his teleportation again and his strength remained little.
This was time for Mervin to counter-attack. He went in with all his remaining strength and delivered deathly blows with his sword that were blocked by the dagger. His sword was damaged every time it collided with the dagger and eventually broke into two. He pulled out another sword and kept his rhythm. He managed to land some slashes on Yuren’s body and that was enough to poison him some more.
They both were now only using their weapons as they channeled their Earth element to replenish their lost strengths. As long as they both stayed on the ground, the battle would continue for hours. But it would now barely last for a few more minutes. Yuren was heavily poisoned and he could no longer maintain the seal on it. He broke the seal himself and the poison dove right in his heart. He coughed up blood and couldn’t breathe without coughing some more. His movements weakened and he could only drawback.
“This is where it ends for you,” Mervin smirked as he attacked with more enthusiasm.
Yuren’s head hurt as he now had only a speck of mana left. He had not forgotten the fact that Mervin hadn’t used his Cloning ability. He had lost this duel, but he couldn’t accept his fate just like that. He carried on fighting with the last of his strength.
The flame of revenge still burned brightly in his poisoned heart. He was ready to throw away his life just to take this abomination along with him, and he couldn’t delay it anymore.
Mervin finally used his ability. Two clones escaped from his body and formed outside. The catch of the using cloning ability was that it divided your Strength equally between you and your clones. That was why he had not used it from the start. However, right now, using them would only strengthen his clones together with him as he replenished his strength. If by any chance Yuren still possessed something that could kill him, he could just substitute himself with his clone.
Yuren could now deal with Mervin’s onslaught with more ease. But soon the two clones would come attacking him as well, and they seemed to be preparing to utilize their element of earth. Hands of clay emerged from the ground under his feet to catch him. It resulted in him dodging them and breaking the contact with the ground. The more he broke the contact with the ground, the more he failed in replenishing his strength.
Yuren moved around and slowly brought the 3 enemies close enough to accomplish his task, and took his last breath. The poison in his body was making it hard to move around now, and he had only managed to keep fighting so far with his willpower. He couldn’t carry on anymore, and he didn’t need to.
The Dagger vanished from his hand. “Farewell!” He said.
Mervin didn’t have time to find this peculiarity as he drove his sword right through Yuren’s chest. A victorious smile was plastered on his face, but it soon froze as the edge of his blade came into contact with something that was inside Yuren’s body. He looked in Yuren’s eyes and saw disdain and victory in them.
“It ends for both of us,” Yuren said valiantly and his words reverberated all over the battlefield.
It all happened so fast and Mervin couldn’t even drawback or to pull back his blade. An earthshaking explosion originated from inside Yuren’s body, and destruction engulfed everything in its massive radius.
The spectators on the trees thousands of meters away barely managed to get away in time. The overseers had transferred far away from their initial position and a Crystal Shield surrounded them.
When the explosion finally settled, only dead land remained. The land had caved in thousands of meters deep as if a massive meteor had fallen in this place.
Nobody could believe what they had seen. It was a blast of concentrated light energy. And that meant that Yuren had stored white crystals inside his body by using his space magic. He must have done so before the duel. He had never planned to leave out of this alive.
Every person present there couldn’t help but brave a sweat. Their hearts palpitated just by thinking of what had transpired before their eyes, and what remained of it.
Nothing remained. Not even their ashes.
♛ Author’s Note:
The new Poll for the Story of the Month is up on my Patreon. It will be deciding which story I will be focusing on this month, let’s see what happens. The result comes out on Sunday.
To know the result, you can join my discord server. The link is on the ToC page. See you there!