Every week, I’ll be posting a chapter from my book series: Solen Masters. This is a Paid Exclusive for a month in certain places until it’s posted here, before I release it to a Selection of Fiction Sharing sites, such as Scribblehub and Royal Road. Most Chapters for each book will at some point be mostly removed from almost all places. If you spot a typo I can correct it before the final release.

From his ring side seat in a holding pen, Trey didn’t like what he saw. A man was eaten by a pack of Animals, known as Wargs. He dreaded what he was force do soon, Kill a person or be killed. Killing someone was not something he wanted to do, nor had he be trained to do.

Maiko had been trained, but with him and his training being in the future, Trey was force to prepare to something he thought he would never need to do: Kill a Person.

“Hey, Trey Kazuki?” came a call from outside the holding pen. It was girl with White or Pale Blonde hair.

Trey didn’t recognise the girl. She was hiding something under her cloak. She seemed to smile as Trey looked.

“Thank goodness, you recognize your wife,” she smiled, “Come give me a kiss before you go.” She beckoned with one hand through the bars of his pen, her other arm was kept to her chest.

Trey stood next to the girl, she pulled him in close for the hug. Trey felt like there something heavy was dropped in to his trouser pocket.

She loosened her grip and but didn’t let go of Trey’s hand. She smiled, “My, my, is that a loaded musket in your trousers, or are you just pleased to see me?”

Trey discreetly padded his pocket, there was L shaped object, his pistol that was removed by the guards, before he was placed in the pen. Unlike the ones used at this time, his pistol that used cartridges, and wouldn’t be invented for centuries after Gast’s death.

“I like…” Trey said before the girl place her finger over his lips.

She whispered, “It’s unlike any musket I’ve seen. I don’t see any way to set light to the powder or even where to put it, I heard it went off without any spark. I’m sorry, but we didn’t see any more shot or powder. But I still need your services in that arena. I need you to fake a death of a girl in the arena. I know that your power can save her.”

She blinked, her pale grey irises, turned sky blue when she opened her eyes. A few seconds later, she had blinked, and her irises were pale grey again.

Her whispers continued, “Some people call it magic, but we are both skilled in some areas of Solen: Soul Energy Manipulation.”

Trey couldn’t deny that he knew about the power. There was no way a person could change colour of their eyes like she did a few seconds ago, unless they had the power and practice in using it. While his power didn’t affect his appearance like hers, his power allowed him to be a Medic to Maikio’s Team and the person being able to look for a Soul Energy tool.

“She knows of you, and she’s one of dozen of us here in this city,” her whisper continued.

She pulled Trey down, and kissed him. Her voice seemed to echo in his head as she kissed. “You will save Acacia Latione, but I need you both to be able to walk from the match where only one person will live.”

Soon after she broke the kiss and she stepped back. She pointed to the gate to the arena, which was now open. “Our time is up. Show them how dangerous you are, my love.”

Standing in the Bright sun light Arena floor, Acacia closed her eyes, and saw the Arena around her. She could tell where almost all the Competitors were, even if they where behind her. To survive, she needed to make sure that she didn’t get out numbered.

She opened her eyes and saw red auras around each of the competitors. She scanned around to check if one of the people with a red aura was Trey Kazuki. He couldn’t be seen. One Gate had not closed, chances are it was his gate. The Aura was not just a measure of someones power but a mark that Acacia and Samantha used to point out and track people to each other. With no obstacles and only distance separating Acacia’s opponents, the Aura wouldn’t be the most useful ability Acacia had shared with Samantha today.

She looked at her nearest opponent, he was trading blows with another combatant. He seemed be protecting his left side more than his right. Acacia saw a deep crimson mark in the aura around his right foot. The man stepped back and his right ankle gave way. He tumbled to the ground, his opponent took the opportunity to give the man a quick stab in the chest with his sword. A Black Mark appeared on mans chest. The opponent noticed Acacia and turned to face her. The man wasn’t dead, and had gotten up. With is opponents back towards him, he stabbed in the the opponent’s back until the blade erupted out of the chest. The Aura on his opponent faded.

Acacia’s powers could detect life, and also injuries. She could see the spot to hit where it hurt the most. The aura brightness was for how healthy a person was. A bright Aura for someone healthy, and it got dimmer as the got hurt or growing tired. The auras were shades of grey normally. The colour of the aura was something that Acacia or Samantha added. Red was often picked to indicate an enemy. The Black was unique colour in the auras, it wasn’t colour that they added.

Acacia sprinted towards the the man with the black mark. She moved to open her attack with a thrust. Her sword was soon in the man’s chest. Acacia however didn’t push hard. He fell on Acacia’s blade. The Black mark was usually for fatal wound, or possible loss of a limb. Acacia guessed that attack that created the black mark, had pieced the mans’ heart leaving him with moments to live.

With little thought, Acacia had stepped to her right, to avoid the dead man’s sword hitting her. A sword in motion was deadly even if the owner dropped it. With the sword in her hand embedded in the man’s chest, she rolled the man on to his back. Acacia didn’t need him to be snagged on her blade, thankfully, he slid off her blade with ease.

Within a few seconds, she had stepping away from the two dead men in the arena. It wouldn’t help Acacia if she fell over their bodies. She held sword above her head, parallel to the ground, The Ox Guard as her tutors called it. The point swung about a metre in front her, as she gripped the sword incorrectly. This was intentional, as her incorrect posture was common for trainees, and would give out the impression of an apparent lack of skill.

Acacia glanced around the Arena, she still couldn’t see Trey. Her eyes however caught the sight of another competitor walking towards her. His smiled worried Acacia, could he have seen though Acacia’s deception?

He held the sword near his hips with the point up, as he approached her. Acacia recognise his posture, The Plow Guard. With Acacia’s sword high, she had let her feet open for attack. They starred at each other for a few seconds, he wasn’t sure if Acacia was about to attack or not. He pulled the sword back high, Acacia thought that he chose to swing for her feet. Acacia’s blade dropped down to the spot where her left shin was, as she stepped back.

The Clang of metal on metal caused a hint of annoyance on the man’s face. He pulled back and swung for Acacia’s upper right arm. Acacia swung the blade around her, to block the attack on her arm.

Another clang. The Man didn’t pull back, he tried to push his sword though her sword. It was a bind as long as Acacia didn’t give way.

“You’re no rookie,” he hissed, “Who taught you?”

“Xochiquetzal,” Acacia said.

“Zoh.. ? Never heard of him,” he said.

Xochiquetzal Keiya-Eston was one of swords women that trained Acacia. She hardly ever used her given name, it lead to people thinking that her maiden name, Keiya, was it. Keiya was well known, and she had very few students, Acacia didn’t want people to work out who she was yet, so she used Xochiquetzal. Either he didn’t know who she was, or was willing to keep her secret, Acacia suspected the former.

He pulled back, and adopted the “plough” stance again. Acacia couldn’t see an opening that she could exploit.

A thunder clap rang around the arena. It didn’t sound right, it sounded more like a Musket shot. It didn’t sound like musket that Acacia had seen used. However it sounded, Acacia hoped that her opponent was more distracted that she was.

Thankfully, he was distracted. Acacia grabbed the sword arm of her opponent, and then thrusted her blade in to his chest. With her life on the line, anything goes.

Another thunder clap echoed around the arena, another shot. Acacia was surprised, this second shot was sooner than she was expecting. She had seen several expert Musketeers demonstrate their skills. They would have not been able to prepare their Musket to fire again in that time.

Acacia crouched down, she didn’t want to present much of a target for a third shot. A competitor couldn’t hide two Muskets without anyone noticing. She really hoped it wasn’t the guards killing off the competitors.

Someone in the arena had a purple Aura. Someone that Sammy wanted Acacia to see. It only took a few seconds for Acacia to realise that the oddly dressed man was Trey Kazuki. She thought that Trey’s aura should be green. His Aura turned green for a second, before turning back to purple. Sammy wanted Acacia to look close at him.

Trey was holding a metal object that could be a small musket. Her suspicions were confirmed when he fired, cloaking him in white smoke.

Acacia scanned the arena again, there was only Trey and herself in the arena.

“Of The Third’s son sake,” Acacia swore, in a old elfish language, as she stood up.

Trey spoke in the old elvish that Acacia just used, “I don’t think that San Satomi had any children. The only person who could have been considered as a child was a girl. Daughter doesn’t flow off the tongue like…”

“Trey Kazuki!” Acacia yelled, “do you recognise me?”

“You shouldn’t be here, Miss Latione,” Trey sighed, as he stepped towards a dead body. He was eyeing the sword in the deceased’s hands.

“Neither should you be here, Mr Kazuki.” Acacia said, “But Niusan shouldn’t have been at Reachal. But she was, which was a good thing.”

Trey picked up the sword, and swung it around, “Some said that Niusan was a ghost. It may be the only way for one use to leave here.”

Acacia adopted the Plow guard, as she said, “I wish there was another way.”

“So do I, Miss Latione, so do I,” Trey said stepped closer to her.

There was a sudden flash of Red from the Audience to Acacia’s left. She suddenly felt a pain on her neck and could not breathe.

Trey grabbed her neck, and whispered in her ear.. “Shi… Hold on Acacia, I’ll help you…”

Acacia felt her legs give way, falling into Trey’s arms.

Trey continued to whisper, “if this works, I’ll be back for you.”

Acacia’s world went dark.

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