A brave soldier shouted in time as a ball of black flame hurled towards the group. The soldiers scattered around in time and managed to come out unharmed from the first strike from... Griff? The Cracker had also survived the coming flame ball and was sweating from fear. He didn't expect to come across someone like this. Someone with this menacing glare. It was horrifying.
"Killed... my friend. Killed... my help. Broke... my first bond. Unacceptable. Punishment: Death."
The words Griff was muttering was low but had a large weight behind them. As if the situation wasn't as horrifying for the group of guardsmen, Griff's white hair started to blacken like ash. His white hair was being consumed. His hair was becoming pitch black. The snow around him was melting rapidly and the place his flames hit were still on fire.
"Restrain him! We can't afford a loss or it's our heads!"
The commanding officer of the tiny expedition quickly regrouped his men as well as The Cracker.
"Spearmen! Form a spear wall around the bastard. He can't take us all at once from every angle!"
The guards raised their shields and formed a circle around Griff, pointing their spears at him. It was a formation used by military officers a lot to take down stronger opponents. A smart decision on the commanding officer's part.
As the last of the white strands in Griff's hair turned black his hands started condensing flame once more. This time the flame seemed more controllable. Unlike the pitch black flame before this was blood red. Fire mages usually used orange-yellow flames as they couldn't tolerate hotter flames. The dragons of old were the only ones rumored to wield blood red flames. What was this kid then? What was Griff?
Griff hurled the newly condensed flame ball towards the two guardsmen that were right in front of him. Instantly their armor started melting as the two screamed in horror, tearing off their armor and running away, still burning.
"Traitors! The master shall have your head!"
The commanding officer was still trying to keep his calm but the last act had him sweating a lot from fear.
"Kill him! Close in and stab him!"
The remaining men closed the gap that had formed and started trying to stab Griff with their spear heads.
Griff merely looked around and started to chant something slowly. What he was saying couldn't be heard by the guards but only one word was made out.
" "̸̩͕͓̬̑̾̽̆̾̚ ̸̨̰͇̦̪̰̩͚̘͎̇́͐͐̄́?̷͕̗̫̺̙̯͕̼̫͒̐̈́̿̃̿ͅ?̵̧̹̝̰̪̠̹̟̺͓̔̄̎̋̚͝?̶̙͕̣̟͉͛̒̋̿͂̓͐̾͗͊̀̌?̵̡̮͜͝ͅ?̵͎͍͍͙̩͔̬̋͜͝ ̵͎͙̤̗̪̆̃̋̽̇͛̿̀̅͝͠M̶̨̛̱̜̫̻͈̻̖̀͛̏̓̌͗̎̈́̇̍͝ä̷̲̦̪̞̰͙̬̙͈̺̲͑̃͆́͠g̸̢̉́ͅȉ̸̡̛̟̞̩͛̒͗͋̃̕ͅç̷̟͈͕̠̙͐͘:̵̛͇̱̜͚̠̂̓̊̌̏̈́̔͌̚ ̸̡͓̹͚̞͖̠̣͈̩̌̐͂̌͂̏?̵̧̼̙͔̟̲̭̯̳̤̅̀̐̊́̾́ͅ?̸̛̞̮̠̋̐̉͋̓͛̏̀͑͝?̶̲͋̀̒̓?̷̖̺̝̠͎̰͉̥̟͒͐̿̊̐̈͌̊̇́̀̀?̶̯̟̿?̴͍̝̬͈̭̻͕̘̯̎?̴̢̛͈̟̞̬̜̌̀̑ ̵̨̞͚̼͇̫̰̄̌̋̾̒́͋͂̽̕͜"̷̛͓͙̳̝̝̊̕͝ "
The spear heads that had neared Griff and stabbed him broke off. The iron heads of the spears were bent and rusted.
"IMPOSSIBLE! THIS KID SHOULD ONLY BE CAPABLE OF TIER ONE MAGIC?"
The commander was now freaking out as The Cracker was getting desperate as well.
"We... WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!"
The soldiers had dropped their now useless spears. A couple of brave ones drew their knives and were standing next to their commander. The ones who were scattering around seemed more relaxed with each second they got farther away from the group.
Griff heeded them no attention and continued focusing his gaze on the remaining ones.
"Commander, maybe he won't attack if we surrender? Those traitors were spared?"
"Perhaps yes but I don't want any chances. Maybe he let them slip to focus on us..."
The man nodded his head and gulped in anxiousness, eyeing Griff.
The Cracker was now more uneasy then ever. Him, the greatest gladiator of the arena, one of the strongest to ever set foot in the bloody arena, afraid of a mere boy that could use some flame magic?
"Give me a good blade and let me lose! I'll bring this brat's head!!!"
The man shouted with what seemed to be anger but was coated in anxiousness.
The Commander handed The Cracker the only good blade that was left, his own.
It was an enchanted sword capable of utilizing water magic to a second tier degree.
"Yes! With this it is his grave!"
The Cracker was now jovial and eyed Griff with a primal lust for blood.
"Let's see if you can take on strength magic boy!"
The Cracker's arms started glowing green and his muscles seemed to bulge from his places. The already giant of a man now stood at 3 meters high with his entire mana pooling through him.
"THIS IS A REAL MAN'S MAGIC! FACE ME WITH YOUR BODY BOY! STRENGTH MAGIC: MUSCULAR BODY!"
As he finished his chant The Cracker was now at a whooping 3.5 meters with his muscle mass nearly doubled.
"AND NOW WATER BLADE!"
The blade got coated in water as The Cracker felt power surge through his body. He steeled his resolve and charged at Griff with a primal roar. As he lowered the blade on Griff he had a triumphant smirk.
However, something unexpected for the remaining soldiers happened...
"Huh... What? My... MY ARM! WHERE IS MY ARM?"
The Cracker's arm had been torn off completely and the empty socket was bleeding...
"MONSTER! HE'S A MONSTER!"
The Commander had lost his cool and now was mad. He tried rallying the remaining men for a desperate charge but failed as they were all shacking in their boots. The remaining ones followed behind the previous traitors and scrammed.
The Commander was awestruck by fear and could not think properly. In his insanity he ran over to the nearby cliff and jumped off in a desperate attempt...
Now only The Cracker remained on the floor, all bloodied.
"AARGH MY ARM! MY ARM! WHERE IS IT?"
The Cracker was also going mad from the pain. It was said that pain changed people and showed to the world a different side of them. The Cracker was all bloodied, crying and looked like a small lost lamb in front of Griff.
"SPARE ME! PLEASE! I ONLY DID WHAT I DID TO SURVIVE!"
The Cracker crawled towards Griff and hugged his legs with his only good arm as he begged for mercy.
"HEAL MY ARM! PLEASE! I'LL DO ANYTHING! I'LL BE A GOOD SERVANT!"
The Cracker was no longer the once powerful man that he gave the impression of but merely a broken person...
Griff looked down at The Cracker and for the first time his expression changed. He had a solemn expression on his face as black tears fell from his right eye occasionally but now he looked down at The Cracker with a wicked grin.
"Then die... die for this despair you caused."
Griff kicked The Cracker right in the face and broke his nose. The man was now weeping madly. He already had lost his power from the major blood loss he was affected with. Griff started to pull him by his leg and arrived at the edge of a cliff.
"Now fall to despair..."
He swung the giant of a man towards the cliff. The man was screaming as he fell down. Griff did not look back. He merely turned around and started walking away. He reached a lone oak and hanged on to it.
His blackened hair started turning white again as the black portion of his hair retreated to its side.
"Tired... so tired..."
And Griff collapsed below the oak as he heard footsteps...
Someone was getting close...
The footsteps stopped as a shadow loomed over Griff.
Everything was slowly blacking out for Griff.
The figure knelt beside Griff and Griff heard one last sentence before passing out.
"Finally, I found you."
And Griff... slipped away to unconsciousness... to the temporary darkness till he woke up once more and gazed upon this world again. To see the other side of the world...