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A Veteran's Trials: Trial of Luck
Kari, a grizzled war veteran unsheathed her sword as she examined her surroundings. She had been standing at her window when suddenly with a flash she found herself in a barren land with cracks in the rock below her feet showing rivers of lava below. The air became deathly cold and then unbearably hot and there was another flash. A man in black robes was standing in front of her, watching her like a predator watching its prey.
“Where am I?” Kari demanded, raising her sword at the man menacingly.
“You are he to be tested, should you succeed I shall release you and well if not I can always use another fool mortal to do my bidding.” was the simple reply.
“And if I refuse?”
The man laughed, “Then he dies.” An image of Riori, the man she loved, appeared, it showed him shirtless and covered in bruises and cuts. The man was currently unconscious and his breathing was uneven and heavy.
“Alright I accept!” she shouted, “In the name of love, I accept.” Tears began to stream down her cheeks as the image disappeared and the man smiled again.
“Love is such a pitiful thing if you ask me but very well, let the games begin!” The man shouted the last, his voice echoing through the cavernous room.
Flash! Cracked stone walls were replaced by finer brick walls and the room shrunk down to the size of the average inn’s common room. There was a table in the centre of the room and men sat around a table, each with a cup of dice. The men all had gloomy faces, as if everything worth living for was gone, but they were unable to end their lives, thralls of this evil man no doubt. The man appeared behind one of the stone slabs around the table and motioned for her to sit. Once he gave them a rundown of the rules, she was considering backing out but she had to do this for Riori. The game was played by each player rolling three standard dice and whoever had the lowest number lost. Each player could lose three times, the first time having one wrist slit, the second the other, and upon the final loss they had their throat slit.
Any player could forfeit at any time but that meant eternal service to the black robed man and in her case the death of Riori. The first roll she scored a total of seventeen while on of the men rolled eleven. His cry chilled her to the bone as his left wrist was slit and allowed to bleed freely. His face was a clear mixture of pain and fear but he did not give up. The next roll the man’s hand shook as he rolled the dice cup and once again he was the lowest roll. Beads of sweat slid down her face as the man had his other wrist slit. When he dropped to the ground, clearly fainting from loss of blood, his throat was slit.
“That counts as forfeit,” the evil man, whose name was apparently Bebei, laughed as he spoke.
Turns passed and the clatter of dice seemed to echo even louder each roll. Finally out of the six men and Kari, only her and one of the men remained, since they both had two slit wrists it became sudden death. The man rolled first and he grinned as the dice showed seventeen. Kari’s heart sunk into her stomach and fear overcame her, sweat drowning her as she shakily tipped out her dice cup, time seemed to slow as the dice rolled across the table with a taunting clatter. Six. Six. And . .Six! Yes that was eighteen. The other man’s grin vanished and his eyes narrowed in disbelief then widened again as the blade sliced across his throat.