Ahem, looks like I got a short chapter last time, eh? ((blinks mildly)) that was one of my medium sized as it so happens... but no worries.

Sacharja: I thought yeah, that it was a tad boring, which is another reason why i decided to leave it on cliff hanger ending. But, hey, all stories have a point in time where all they do is explain and have interaction between characters. ((shrug)) couldn't be helped, that's what came up, it's messy yeah, but most of my stuff is. As for the goddess developement. Yeah it's changed, glad you noticed, not so much mystery, that was on purpose, it'll be explained later. Last chapter was an intended shove in the storyteller direction, it'll make more sense as it goes along.

the. WINDcharmer: Yeah, Killik is a bit OC, lol, but hey, I needed someone to lighten the mood, and I think he's a nice guy for the most part by the sound of his story and good intentions. Everyone must love him! XD anywho...yeah, on with the story.


Making 'the' Cut

Her brain didn't have the time to actually register that she had moved, but she did. With a cry and a grunt she threw herself to the side, her body moving fluidly, rolling into a crouch on the man's other side.

The crowd was roaring, screaming and waving banners in the air. They were a huge ocean of movement and color, making her eyes widen in order to acquire all the information she needed to make the image clear.

And in front of the ocean of moving people stood the mass of rippling muscle that was her opponent.

Roaring, he turned, hauling the massive club behind him, raising it in the air to throw in her direction again.

Gasping, she side stepped again, feeling the ground below her move sharply as the force of his club hit the rock, shattering it to pieces.

"Oh Goddess." she whispered, breathless, stepping back more. In comparison to the beast, she was but an insect, a small spider that he could squish with that giant club.

Panic was starting to naw at her mind, making her senses feel sluggish and dense. Everything was overpowering her, and she felt her breathing begin to speed up...

I can't do this... I can't I just can't fight him...he's so much more powerful... I can't...

And suddenly she was crying, her tears like that of the child she had not been for a very long time.

How, how had she ended up there, fighting for something that did not matter. She wasn't saving a life, and she wasn't defending her own... she couldn't do this, couldn't fight him-

The thought was sharply cut short as the man waved his club again, roaring, making the air hiss and swerve as his giant body manuvered on the tiny island of rock.

With a weak scream, she threw herself awkwardly to the side, landed harshly on her side, her shoulder connecting with the rock and stone that he had shattered before. Pain shot up past her skin to burn at her neck and head.

Groaning, she pushed herself onto her stomach, wincing, and then she saw the club crashing down again, high above her.

With a gasp she rolled out of the way, feeling the pull of air that the club had created as it narrowly missed her.

He will kill you without hesitating. You have to fight.

No, I can't. This is pointless, immorale... I shouldn't have entered this contest in the first place-

It is much too late for such thoughts. You have to fight. You need to live.

She was crying freely now, the tears obstructing her vision. She couldn't see him well, he was just a mass of muscle and rippling flesh in front of her, waving a large gray streak in the air, making it crash down around her...

To him she was an insect, to him she was insignificant...she was an annoying fly buzzing around his feet..worthless.

The thought sparked a flame of pride in her heart and she rubbed the tears away with the back of her hand, side stepping to miss another blow, her ears ringing from the sound of the crowd.

Insignificant...

You are anything but insignificant.

...I am...

Wind Dancer.

Dance.


Killik gasped, watching the rock shatter under the weight of the man's giant club. Suddely, he was feeling bad, a pain in his gut indicating to him how much trouble he had caused.

"Oh no... Talim-" he whispered, eyes widenening as she narrowly escaped yet another blow.

He turned, desperate to find an official, to tell them it was a mistake, that the little girl didn't belong in the arena. She was too small... she was so insignificant to that great mamoth.

The thought seemed to be all around, weaving in and around the crowd. They all thought she would surely die. She was so small... so, insignificant...

There was a sudden gasp of shock of the crowd, and Killik spun around, as the cry burst into awe struck screams of shock...


"No more pity." Talim whispered, rolling out of the way and onto her feet. She twirled her blades expertly and faced him once more, her eyes narrowed and controlled, her breathing had slowed, her eyes were dry and her mind was calm, blocking out all other noise, all other senses trying to damage her pride, her being...

"No more pity" she repeated again softly.

Again the giant swung around and came down with the world shaking blow of his club, scattering rocks and marble all over the place. Talim side stepped out of the way and then jumped onto the club, running hurriedly upwards, panting, her blades held effortlessly behind her.

The giant man gasped in surprise, watching her through folds of leathery putrid skin that covered his face.

Two quick steps and she stood on his shoulder, the size of a parrot for most people.

A silver flash of her blades spinning was all that there was time to see, even if you didn't blink, and then blood.

It splashed and spun out as she cut his main vein and the heart still pumping rapidly squirted his life liquid out into the open air for all to see.

His scream made her ear drums throb, but she ignored the pain, grunting softly as she swiveled and elbowed him in the eye hard, not with her blade. She still hoped he would live, there was no point in killing something...

He cried out again, grabbing at her with his hands, his club forgotten.

A fierce growl escaped her throat and she sliced forcefully at his fingers as they tried to grab her, making him draw away. Again she elbowed his eye, harder.

He cried out and stumbled backwards, taking two steps dangerously close to the edge.

Gasping, Talim escaped his grasp again, climbing to the back of his neck. Blades in hands, she struck down right at the base.

Blood was everywhere, all over her hands, her blades, her clothes, pumping out of his body steadily. He was screaming without bothering to breathe, in pain and too dazed to care for pride...

Unsteadily he took one last step back and lost his balance, falling backwards over the edge of the arena.

Gasping, Talim had two seconds to grab her blades and pull them out of his flesh, climbing over his neck and onto his chest and then running, running for all she was worth over his body and off before he fell off the arena.

Crying out softly she jumped and landed heavily on the shattered rock, rolling and then coming to a harsh stop in the debri.

A splash and a strangled watery scream confirmed that he had fallen.

Panting she sat up onto her knees, still holding on to her blades rather hard.

The breeze gently danced around her, mending bruises and cuts without the notice of the Priestess or the crowd.

I'm okay... I'm not dead..

Very good...very good...

It was only then that her ears finally took in all the information being forcefully stuffed into them and a headache came over her, crashing into her body like a tsunami wave.

The screams, the shrieking of shocked and yet happy viewers was so loud that the cave walls shook and echoed.

She sighed and struggled to her feet, glancing over the edge of the arena to see people helping out her opponent, healers and other medics splashing into the water to sow the wounds.

He would live.

Letting out a soft breath she hadn't realized she had been holding she turned to look up to the crowd and lifted on arm into the air, though she did not smile.

The blade she held was dripping in her opponents blood and it ran down her arm, but she did nothing to stop it, only nodded towards the crowd.

Smoothly she turned towards the emperor and bowed her respects before walking over to the plank that the stage hands were once more lowering to get off the island.

Killik was running towards her, shoving and pushing people out of the way.

"Talim! Talim!" he shouted, his face anxious. The way she moved and the way she seemed to be seeing everything and yet nothing showed how dazed she was...

He was just getting to her when she forced a smile and shook her head. "It's okay, Killik... I'm okay..."

And rather promptly she passed out.