Faced with a stronger, deadlier opponent, Elijah thought of what any sane man would do – run away – and then did the opposite. He hadn’t had this much of a challenge in ages. Not many in the field rated the use of spells. Werewolves fought other werewolves, vampires only came out at night and they had protection against them, and demons avoided him, as they did with all mages.
All of which meant he usually faced humans or other magic-less mages. Brute strength and skill decided the winner, and after a hundred years of battles, he’d become an efficient killing force. Most avoided him on the field and off, wishing to stay away from the grim, vicious knight.
Elijah rolled his shoulders, loosening his tense muscles, and stepped quickly to the right to avoid a swift underhand swipe from the fighter’s sword. His opponent overcompensated, unused to the increase in speed, and chopped downwards.
Tsking, Elijah brought up his sword again, blocking the wild swing and moved closer. The other man forgot to protect himself with his shield, and Elijah found the seam of the fighter’s armour with his dagger. The blade slid deep into his side, and the man’s eyes widened in pain and horror.
No longer enjoying himself, weary of watching another one die by his hand, Elijah yanked the dagger out and sliced it across the fighter’s throat. A quick, merciful death, and a tiny part of him mourned the senselessness of it all. One king fighting against another king, throwing their peasants at each other over land and greed.
The mage eyed Elijah, solemn and curious. “You don’t enjoy killing, do you?”
“What does it matter? It’s what I do,” Elijah replied, dropping into a defensive stance. The mage’s magic wouldn’t harm him, but enspelled items, such as a flying boulder, could hurt him.
“I’m Tamhas, a Mage Enforcer. I oversee these battles to make sure the laws are followed.”
Elijah snorted, and raked an angry gaze over Tamhas. He appeared pampered, with his fine linen trousers and silk trimmed tunic. Dark blonde hair and beard were both neatly groomed, not a speck of dirt marred him, even in the midst of a battle.
“And why would I care who or what you are? Stand in my way and I’ll cut you down. One more death means nothing to me,” Elijah said, ignoring the drain on his soul at those words. He dreamed of blood and screams. Nameless faces cursing him for their deaths.
“What if there was another way? A way to help the races maintain order and peace,” Tamhas asked.
“I’d call you a fool. Nothing can help the races. Too much hatred exists. We’ll destroy ourselves before that ever happens,” he replied. One king after another demanded sacrifices from his subjects, unconcerned with how many died. He’d stood before several of them, watched them yawn when the names of the dead were called out. Fodder and nothing more. And this delusional mage thought it would ever change?