This is more than 10 years in the making. I had an itch, and decided to write a fight I would have imagined in my childhood, when I spent most of my time ripping off ideas from cartoons and comics. The ideas here are lifted from old journals, but the writing would have looked foreign to high school me. Hold on to your butts.
Crimson vs Violet
Viktor shuffled in behind the other students, looking for the best seat left to look down into the arena. He could already feel the tension, students from across classes chattering with each other and spreading different rumors. He found who he was looking for, a small girl in glasses named Lula, and sat down next to her.
“Who is it today?” Viktor asked.
Lula bolted upright in her seat, and looked at Viktor, “You scared me.”
He smiled, but Lula adjusted her glasses and looked back toward the arena. Thick glass separated them from the fighting area, which went down at least 25 feet below the sloped viewing area. The arena was simple, a white floor with lines meeting at a point in the center. The walls were solid, and looked unblemished.
“It is Eric against a Crimson I’ve only heard stories about,” Lula said.
Viktor knew Eric, the boy was the same age as him, but was already a wave ahead of him by the time he entered the school. The guy always seemed a little silly, but he was helpful.
“So it is for their second wave?” Viktor asked.
Lula just nodded. Her eyes were locked on the arena as two sections on the floor shifted down to allow the combatants entry. This was one of the reasons Lula was so good to sit next to during duels, she made it her business to know something about everything.
Of all the Violets at his level, she was one of the most dangerous to fight.
As Eric entered the arena, the whole section around him erupted into cheers. The boy was wearing a glowing purple shirt, and his black pants had a highlight of purple down the side. As the lights in the arena picked up, Viktor could see the purple around him as well. It was in the shirt of the guy in front of him, in Lula’s robe, in his own shorts and vest. They were Violet, and Eric was one of their own.
The competition entered, a girl he thought he had seen at least once before. She was as tall as Eric, easily, with blonde hair that looked like it had never been tamed in her life. It ran down her back in wild shocks. Her outfit was simple compared to Eric’s patterned outfit. It was a close fitting sports top, with red bands on her already intimidating biceps. Her pants were full of that same loud red color, and Viktor could look across the arena to the Crimson students cheering as they had before.
“That’s her,” Lula said, “Anita.”
The Crimson flexed and let out a whooping shout that reverberated off the glass. She had tooth-filled grin on her face, and did a spin for the crowd. When Viktor looked at Eric, the Violet boy just stood there smiling.
“Can Eric win?” Viktor asked.
The two combatants were across the arena from each other, but they stood straight, and clasped their palms together. With a nod, they gave their last signs of respect before by the rules, they were locked in combat until one was defeated. With the motion, there was a small rush of heat, and two weapons appeared in the arena. For Anita, a hand axe, the head emblazoned with an orange flame. For Eric, a staff, the same weapon as Viktor.
“It depends on if Eric can see the pattern,” Lula said with confidence, “If he studied Anita at all, he should see her coming a day in advance.”
Eric grabbed his staff, and held it behind his back. Anita touched her weapon, and then let it fall to the ground with a disorganized clang.
“First,” Lula said, “Intimidation. Typical red tactic, come in hard, throw them off balance.”
Anita charged forward, screaming at the top of her lungs. With her fists in tight and front, she closed the distance with Eric before Viktor could blink. She threw the first punch, and Eric barely managed to lean out of the way, the next forced him back toward the wall, and with the third he brought up his staff to intercept.
The punch made Eric slide a few feet before he came to a stop, and Viktor could see the look of surprise on his face. Eric wasn’t so far above Viktor, Viktor planned to qualify for his own duel soon. Eric’s moves weren’t so different from his own, using his staff to deflect force, trying to keep Anita at bay. As the Crimson tried to keep close, Eric used the staff to swing from her unguarded sides after each punch.
There was a problem though, Anita’s blows had power behind them that couldn’t just be tossed aside. When her punches hit, you could feel it in the crowd, and Eric was being forced out of his collected stance. He couldn’t maneuver if he could never stand on two feet.
Eric kept backing up, throwing harmless strikes whenever he could. Then he made his first big mistake. While he was still stepping back, he tried to turn and make a wide swing with his staff. The blow was ducked, and Anita pulled the punch, instead throwing kick into Eric’s stomach that took him off his feet and into the wall.
“Not looking good so far,” Lula shook her head, “this isn’t like him, too stubborn.”
“Eric is usually a little wild,” Viktor said, “Maybe he was told to keep it cool today.”
It wasn’t uncommon, at least among Violets, for teachers to give goals during important fights. It was one thing to earn your way, it was another to earn it while holding yourself to a higher standard.
“Maybe,” Lula grumbled.
Eric came back, stick forward. Viktor could see his plan before it was executed. He had his back against the wall, he needed to get some space, and that meant using his staff almost like a spear, prodding forward until Anita gave him enough personal space to work on his offensive. It was working, sort of.
“Next is oppression,” Lula said, “Anita will try to humiliate him.”
Anita charged in, and threw several punches to Eric’s body. He blocked what he could, but the punches weren’t the point. The wild haired woman feinted a blow, then brought a roundhouse kick down on Eric.
It was slow, sloppy, and if it landed it would crush Eric’s ego flat. Viktor moved to the edge of his seat, the moment seeming to play out in slow motion. Eric ducked the kick, and spun around, then swatted Anita to the face with a two-armed swing.
The crack could be heard in the audience, and a cheer rang out through the Violets. Anita was thrown off her feet, sailed back, and hit the ground with a heavy thud.
Viktor joined the yelling, they chanted Eric’s name, screamed “Vi-o-let!”, and whatever else came to mind.
Anita rolled as she landed, pulled herself to her knees, and flipped back. It was an amazing recovery, and Viktor looked to his side to see that Lula was still in her seat, silent. He sat down, not sure if he should be nervous.
Eric seemed excited, he twirled his staff around, held a hand up for the crowd, and enjoyed the moment of adoration.
Anita reached down and picked up her axe. Her free hand reached to the bruise spreading across the side of her face, and wiped away the blood coming from her nose.
“She’s tough,” Viktor said.
“She wouldn’t have done it, if she couldn’t take the counter,” Lula offered.
Anita charged again, axe back and over her shoulder. Eric back into a defensive stance, and blocked the first swing. Viktor could see the force of the impact, like heat streaming from each blow. She mixed things up with fist strikes from her free hand, knees to Eric’s gut, and a shoulder when he least expected it.
That was Crimson, all about passion, power. They came in screaming, spilled their guts in the arena, acted reckless. They were the loudest, they were the strongest, they were the team that could break any line. In the grand scheme, they were shock troops, terrifying to behold and worse to face.
Anita plugged a knee into Eric’s side, and the blow knocked his staff out of position. The handle of her axe struck him across the face, then she brought her elbow back to put him on the ground.
As Eric’s back hit the arena floor, Anita let out a hoot that was echoed by her crimson compatriots. She had a wide smile across her face, and her eyes were filled with a fury Viktor couldn’t understand.
If Eric was off, this could be the end. Anita’s axe came up, and Viktor tightened up as if it was him there on the floor. A certain amount of injury was allowed by the school masters, you could spend time recovering from a duel. Death was never allowed, and teams like Crimson were trained to go for death blows to get matches called immediately.
Eric’s staff reached up and blocked it at the handle. Anita reached up and struck again, Eric’s staff wavering under the strike. Again she pulled up, and again Eric blocked her.
“Then comes exhaustion,” Lula said, “pound them until they are too weak to fight.”
He couldn’t win like this. Not just being on his back, but being pounded on over and over, he was standing still, letting the fight come to him. He was trapped, and Viktor couldn’t see any way out of it now.
The axe fell again, and it struck with a glimmer of light. Viktor’s attention went to the meeting of their weapons, that point where Anita’s flaming axe was against the plain metal of Eric’s staff. There was color there, like a shimmering purple point. The staff twirled in place, with the axe’s impact like an axis. Her blow was twirled away, thrown off to the side, and the axe struck at her legs, sweeping them clean out from beneath her. Eric rose from his back in a whirlwind of blow, his legs swinging around him until he was held up by one hand his legs splayed in the air, and Anita had fallen back.
Eric twisted and went to his feet, spinning until he was facing Anita again. The crowd began to cheer, but Viktor was stunned. There was something about that, watching a path he had never considered.
Violet was creativity. Not just thinking outside the box, but specifically the freedom to think using your own box. Every Violet was trained to strike their own path, find the walkways between the obvious, and enforce their own individuality. They were less defensive and passive than Indigo, they were less devious than the rare shadows. They were freedom.
Anita picked herself up, and hyped herself slaps to her shoulders and chest. Eric shifted in place, his staff was still, but his body moved with a slow rhythm. It wasn’t a stance or kata that Viktor knew, Eric seemed to be in a zone. Even though he put Anita down again, he wasn’t smiling, he was focused.
Anita charged with her axe tucked in. Her blows came in fast, keeping her axe hand forward for punching out as if she wasn’t carrying the weapon.
Eric stepped to the side with each blow, his staff carrying the weight when he had to, and dodging others completely. Anita brought the axe out for a strong blow, and Eric swept around it, striking her in the back of the head and sending her staggering forward. She came in again, this time trying a restrained kick to his stomach. Eric stepped back and popped her on the top of the head with the tip of his staff.
“Amazing,” Viktor heard Lula mumble.
He looked over and saw her eyes wide. Viktor didn’t know what he was seeing in the arena. Was Eric just winning, or was it something more? Sure his moves were smooth, but couldn’t any of them do the same? Viktor was ready for this, like many of the others in the stands.
Anita roared at Eric, and the glass shuddered at the sound. She brought her axe up, and an unnatural wave of heat filled the room. The axe went orange, came down, and struck the floor of the arena. A burst of flame erupted high over her head and swept forward.
Viktor leaped from his seat as Anita called on the supernatural fire. Was she really just a first wave? It was impossible, and the spread was too wide, too fast.
There flame was too intense for a moment, and Viktor covered his eyes. Then he saw something, rising up from the flames. Eric was floating up, rotating up from his staff, the rod stuck down in the flames and vaulting him into the air. He soared out of the fire, pulled his staff up above him, and tucked into a spin.
Viktor wasn’t ready for second wave.
Eric came out of his spin with his staff ready, and a wide smile on his face. Anita looked up just in time, her eyes filled with disbelief, before the staff struck from above.
The room went silent, and the flames extinguished themselves.
Eric pointed his staff at Anita, and the girl tried to reach out for her axe. Her hand was trembling, and then fell, before she collapsed on the floor.
The arena had a seered mark across it, and a large crack where Anita struck the ground. Standing there in the middle, was Eric, with his staff.
There was a blinding light, and three robed forms appeared. A large man in red kneeled next to Anita. His face was twisted up in frustration, but he tended to his disciple. A man in purple, who smiled at Eric, and put a hand on his shoulder. Finally, a woman in all white, whose long white hair and radiant appearance made her stick out even among the masters.
In another flash, Anita was gone, and the Violets began to cheer again.
Eric stood before the mistress of light, and the woman reached out to the victorious student. Before her hand even got close, his staff began to glow, an etching carving itself in the metal surface, images and characters drawing down the surface like a calligrapher’s pen. When it was through, the black staff had a design in gold and violet, unique to Eric besides twin crescents near the top.
The rest would come later, with ceremony, a new uniform, and a new rank. For now, Eric was victorious, and Viktor knew he had a lot more to learn.