06 Jul 2020 · 645 words

"Arro, since you're going to be the saviour of our world, you just have to know one thing. Under no circumstance will you reveal your abilities. Even though you held a press conference yesterday, there's still a chance we can keep you hidden a little longer. Is that clear?"

Arro nodded his head quickly. "Yes, sir. I'll make sure I only control one element in front of people."

"Good child," his master said, patting his head. "You understand what must be done."

"Welcome to the 2020 Kolaltan Magic Championship! We're going to start off with—on my left over here—the Groundhogs versus—on my right—the Electric Boogaloos!" The announcer gestured wildly at the two teams of five heading from opposite ends of the arena. The crowd cheered exuberantly. Arro, as the leader of the Electric Boogaloos, confidently smirked at the Groundhogs.

"Groundhogs, eh? More like you're-going-down-hogs, am I right?"

There was a quiet groan behind Arro. The Groundhogs just looked at the Boogaloos oddly, and their leader shook her head. "Was that supposed to be a roast?"

Arro frowned for just a second when he realised that his joke was not well-received. "No, of course not. I was just…testing my vocal chords." He bit his tongue before he could manage to insult himself further. "Anyway, you're going down!"

"The Boogaloos have been absolutely dominating the tournament so far, using their spectacular electric zappy powers to ruin everyone else's days!" the announcer boomed. "But now they face an opponent with earth powers! And everyone knows that electricity is completely ineffective against the ground! Whatever will they do!"

"Yeah, electric isn't a good element to pick, you know," one of the Groundhogs pointed out.

"Shut up! We got this, so you guys prepare to…uh, wet your shirts!"

There was silence.

There was a cough in the crowd.

"…Well, I'm sure the Boogaloos' magic is better than their trash-talking, so why don't we get started? Players, are you ready? Go!"

Immediately after the whistle was blown to denote the start of the match, Arro's team fired lightning bolt after lightning bolt. One of the Groundhogs was too slow and subsequently convulsed out of the ring, but the others raised shields made out of earth. Rocks and dirt were flung in the direction of the Boogaloos, absorbing any negative charge that might have reached the opposing team. One by one, the Groundhogs used their element to strike down Boogaloo after Boogaloo.

At last, only Arro was left, throwing arcs of electricity in the hopes of randomly breaching the earthen barrier of the Groundhogs.

"Give up, man," said a Groundhog. "You can't win."

My honour, thought Arro. It cannot take another beating. I can win. I must win. I will win. I will not lose my honour!

And a wave of water streamed from his fingertips, crashing into his opponents. Three of them fell off the edge, surprised by the sudden onslaught of their weak element. The crowd roared with approval.

"What a surprise!" said the announcer, sounding very surprised indeed. "It turns out that the Electric Boogaloos have an Elemental Master on their team! And from what we can see, he demolishes the Groundhogs using his water powers, sweeping the team! It's one-on-one, folks, and I don't see how the last Groundhog is going to—"

Suddenly, a giant fist erupted from the ground, punching Arro out of the ring instantly.

"…win," the announcer finished lamely. "And the Groundhogs win with that surprise attack! From what we can see, that attack must have completely drained its caster…"

Arro spat out water as he tread up to the surface. He lay on his back, looking at the ceiling. I failed. I must redeem myself. I must regain my honour. His eyes flickered over to the last Groundhog, who had his fist in the air in triumph. I must have my revenge.


Ⓒ 2022 Daniel Chen

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