I walked through the park. Nobody would notice me, a slightly goth girl with dark brown hair and Asian eyes, listening to music on her iPod. Sometimes it's better to be unnoticed, I thought as the chords of heavy rock rang through my head.
I darted across the street and entered a large wooden building. I was completely alert, all of my senses awake. My hand grasped the sword hilt tightly. I was aware of all of my surroundings as if I was about to be attacked.
Something moved, and I swung around, my sword out of it's sheath. A person slowly walked forward. "Mae?" came a croaking voice.
I lowered my sword. "That's what I'm called."
"Hmm. You're wanted at room 518 for the next battle."
I nodded. It's better that people don't know about this life, I thought as I walked through dark hallways. Different rooms passed by, and I saw hunched figures inside. There was pain, sadness, sickness, and death in the air.
Good. It fit me.
I kept my emotionless mask on as I opened the cagelike door of room 518. I wouldn't let anybody see the depression gnawing at me.
I closed my eyes and recalled the last training session I had had.
I drew my sword out of its sheath. The harsh ringing sound echoed through the room. Leo's eyes were narrowed as he focused on me. My friends all said that he pushed me too hard, but I knew that that would be what kept me alive during the tournaments.
He lunged, his blonde hair flying from the speed. I raised up my sword. It was like having a longer, metallic hand on my arm. I easily parried the stroke and ducked down, avoiding another swipe and sweeping my leg across the floor.
My strategy worked. His sword fell out of his hand as he crumpled to the ground. Because of tradition, I placed the tip of my sword at his neck.
He grinned. "You win," he grunted. "Now get off of me so that we can try again."
I smiled one of my rare smiles and stepped back, allowing him to pick up his sword. Without warning, I lunged, feinting to the left, then shoving my sword in the right. It brushed past him, sending him spinning through the stadium. He finally crashed into the stands, but stood right back up.
"You're getting good," he panted. "You'd get through the tournaments in no time."
I tried my hardest to believe him. Already I could feel myself tiring as I slowly lifted the sword up, ready to block any attack.
He charged at me, his sword a ray if glinting silver. I made my wary hands move my sword, but the flat of his blade smacked me in the head and I crumpled to the floor.
His foot prodded me. "Get up now," Leo said. "The people at the tournament will be aiming to kill, not to train like I am."
I nodded wearily and scrambled up, picking up my sword. I was determined not to show how tired and depressed I was. If I was finished off at the tournaments, all the better. The world would be better off without an idiot like me.
"On guard!" Leo barked again.
I slowly lifted up my sword. It wasn't like my arm anymore. It was more like a weight, blocking me from escaping and running away into soft arms in my imagination.
His sword shot out, knocking mine to the ground. "Mae!" he shouted. "What's your problem? You were so good before, but at this rate, you'll be finished off in no time!"
All the better, a voice inside my head said, but I stood up, swaying slightly, and kept my depressing thoughts to myself. "'M sorry," I muttered.
"You will be when you're dead," Leo said bitterly. "Our session's over. All that I can do is wish you luck."
I nodded slightly and stumbled out of the room. I felt his brown eyes boring into the back of my head as I left.
Rain started to splatter the window. Perfect. I'm going to die in rain.
"Mae... Alston?" a voice called. My door was opened.
I nodded and allowed myself to be towed outside. "You'll be competing against Daeman Creed today." Their voices seemed to come out of a mist.
Everything that I had dealt with started to crash down on me, pressing the long-suppressed tears out. I had always been a loner. Nobody would mourn this poor girl. What I wouldn't give to be back in England's arms again.
Was he actually lying when he said those three words? I wished with all my heart that I hadn't stormed out on him like that, and that I had said good bye and told him my true feelings.
"I love you."
Why did they have such an impact on me?
The guards threw me out into the stadium and saluted as the gates crashed closed. I looked up and met the yellow eyes of Creed.
"I'm gonna have fun finishing you off, punk," he growled.
"You wish." my rebellious side kept me going as I stood up and drew my sword.
Daeman Creed was huge, about 20. He had cold yellow eyes and red hair. He stepped back, picking up hi scythe. "I'm ready when you are, wannabe." He sneered.
I forced myself to open my eyes as the whistle blew. Daeman shot forward with surprising speed. I tried to sidestep, but felt the sharp tinge of metal against my skin as he cut my thigh. Blood gushed out, and I stumbled back. The audience gasped. It wad as if I wasn't even putting up a fight.
Daeman sneered and started advancing, twirling his scythe around in an almost bored manner. "G'bye, punk." His stinky breath seemed to surround me.
Suddenly a familiar voice shouted, "No!"
I whipped around. "England! What are you doing here?"
England's frightened green eyes were peeking out of bars. "I tried to find you and got captured."
"Good grief, get out of here and save yourself!" I picked my sword up from where I dropped it, ready to fight to the death in order to save England.
Daeman sneered. "Gonna fight for your idiot boyfriend there? Well, I guess that I'll finish him off first."
He strolled over to the cage and lifted up the door, pulling England out. "England!" I yelled, ignoring the mud caused by the rain as I ran over. "No!"
England smiled half-heartedly an mouthed, "Sorry. I love you." He started to back up, away from Daeman. Daeman's look of triumph was so smug that I could've strangled him on the spot.
My fingers closed around one of the spare knives that they had at the tournaments. I pulled it out and sent it flying in the same motion. It whistled a hair past Daeman's face. A look of shock spread across his face as I said, "Hurt England and you'll see just how accurately I can throw."
England's eyes widened as I advanced on Daeman, sword outstretched and a knife in my other hand. Daeman must've been at least twice my size, but all that I thought about was England's safety. At least I wouldn't die alone, like I had spent the rest of my life.
Daeman's smirk was just there to cover up his worry. "Spare me the effort, punk, and just go and jump into a crocodile's mouth."
"In your dreams," I said through gritted teeth. I lunged, plunging my sword through him.
He sank to the ground, his last look of surprise still plastered on his face.
I collapsed. I killed him, I thought. I won.
England ran to my side. "Are you okay?" he asked, worry spreading across his face.
I turned and cried into his shoulder as the crowd went wild. He helped me up and looked into my eyes. "Thank you," he whispered, before kissing me.