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A Veteran's Trial: Trial of Will
Flash! Millions of mirrors glinted light around the cavern, showing different images of her life. Swirling images changed from one to another showing various events of her past. All the mirrors changed at the same time to show Riori. They showed him dying in different ways, sometimes plummeting to his death, sometimes burning alive. Images of her driving a sword through his stomach flashed through the mirrors. Tears streaming down her face, she reached out and touched one of the mirrors. She recoiled when her hand began to sink into the mirror. Cautiously she stepped into a mirror showing an image of Riori alone in a small, musty cell-like room.
Suddenly she was in the room and Riori disappeared, his face flickering to that of Bebei for a second, who wore a sick, sadistic smile before he vanished. Turning to go back she gasped as she saw the mirror fading into nothing. A door stood behind it and it was slowly creaking open to reveal a huge room that stretched up miles and below more streams of lava flowed, bubbling viciously. Hundreds of crumbling stone bridges spanned the gaps above, leading to smaller rooms which she figured were about the same size as the one she was in. Knowing she had to escape, for Riori’s sake, Kari began to run across the nearest bridge, heat from the lava below made her hasten her step.
When she arrived in the next room it was identical to the last. Riori was strapped to the table and Bebei stood over him, winding a gear that appeared to make the table Riori was on expand. Riori screamed as his bones cracked, piercing the silence so suddenly that Kari nearly fell backwards over the ledge, where the bridge had vanished. When she dove at Bebei he laughed and both he and Riori vanished. Pain racked her body as her shoulder collided with the stone wall where Bebei had been standing. That act had been foolish and she probably deserved the pain. Gritting her teeth she stood and shook herself, continuing through a door that led to a ramp which led to another room with a bridge.
Every room on the other side of a bridge showed Bebei torturing Riori in some way. Tears had welled up at her eyes, she was a soldier but some things irked even her. Some of the things she saw would haunt her forever but she pressed on. Hours later she stopped in one of the rooms to rest. Her legs ached and her breath came in erratic bursts. This had to end, she looked up and realized she wasn’t making any progress.
“This isn’t real!” Kari screamed, her voice harsh and weak. “This is an illusion!” she cried again, this time closing her eyes, wishing the endless labyrinth away.
When she opened her eyes the craggy rocks and lava had been replaced by a finely furnished room. Elaborate tapestries and rugs lined the walls and floors and a polished mahogany desk and chair were in the centre of the room. A small scroll was rolled neatly on the desk and it seemed to call her. She unfolded it and began to read, glad to be out of that maze.
Papers Of Release For Kari Lorani
If you’re reading this then you have completed the game of willpower and have faced all the challenges. You are entitled to leave through the door that appears when you have signed this paper below. By signing you acknowledge that you will be retuned home with no recollection of your trials and that you will not be called on upon to participate in any future trials. As agreed Riori is unharmed and will also have no recollection of the trials you have faced. You are free to go and good fortune will favour your path for as long as you both shall live.
Participant Signature: ________________
The Games Master
Relief filled Kari as she signed the scroll and the door appeared as promised. Finally she could get back to life the way it was before. A smile graced her face as she stepped through the door. Light filtered in through Kari’s window. She sighed getting up and walking over to the window. Just another day like any other she thought. Sometimes she wished there would be a little adventure in her life. Kari was still used to the life of a soldier.
The wooden door swung open and Riori strode in, planting a kiss on her cheek and holding her close to him. Enjoying the moment, she decided that life was just fine as long as she had Riori by her side. Then again what could possibly separate them she thought, laughing to herself. Smiling, they strolled out of her small cottage and down the cobbled path, just enjoying the day.