Chapter 3: Know Thy Place

The sharp sound of metal grating against metal filled the air as the silhouette of two figures on a raised platform clashed with their medieval swords, coming to an equal standstill as they fought each other’s strength for dominance, teeth grinding desperately against each other, eyes narrowed, and sharp.

“Give. Up.” The taller of the two ground out, eyes sliding side to side for a moment calculatively, before sidestepping, using the momentum of the other to whirl his wrist around swiftly but gracefully.

The tides instantly turned as he dropped his weapon to his other hand ambidextrously and jabbed a sharp elbow right to the other’s thorax, winding his opponent viciously.

A muffled sound of compressed air burst forth from the other sparring partner’s lips, and the girl crumbled to the ground, gasping for breath on her knees.

“Surrender, Elysia.” The taller but more charismatic boy raised his eyebrows as he lifted the sword to menacing place against the opponent’s neck.

“They didn’t say to stop.” The meek voice of the boy’s opponent murmured from between chapped lips, bright, long-lashed blue eyes fervent and almost feverish. “They said to keep fighting.” Stubbornness lined the corners of her eyes and winded around her lips, eyes bright as they fixed on the upper stands above them, as though searching desperately for someone mingling in the masses.

“Am I not your master—” The teen’s temper instinctively flared alongside her answer, only to be stopped short by an elegantly raised hand.

“Father.” The boy bowed respectfully but grudgingly, the corners of his lips turning down into a dismal grimace.

“Continue on.” The man seated at the top corner glanced down condescendingly. Damon’s father had a rather handsome face, but the angular cuts of his cheekbones turning what would have been a flawless canvas of features into that of a harsh, seemingly cruel man. A well pressed gothic vest framed his chest, inky black, with faint silvery vines patterns arching across his wide frame, constricted by a neat row of silvery buttons, tightly concealing the formal, dark button-up shirt he wore beneath. Dark hair, falling past his shoulders was held neatly back with a ribbon, tied back into a ponytail, brushing the right side of his shoulder tenderly, and long-lashed dark eyes, more fox-like and upturned, fell onto the collapsed figure by Damon’s feet.

Elysia held wonderful memories of the man that carried her off from the orphanage into his home, gentle hands patting the silky top of her head gently, and chimes of low amused laughter following her every step as he watched her every move.

Pale, lithe fingers lifted the pipe he had from his lips, smoke curling from them in grey whirls, as the older male observed his son and adopted a daughter.

“Let’s lift the stakes, shall we?” His voice fell from the balcony coyly. “Instead of betting on my son, I bet that Elysia wins this battle.” A sly smirk raised the corners of his lips. “With a hundred million galleons on the stake of course. Alongside the pendant that’s meant to be given to the heir.”

A series of outraged cries burst forth from the elders seated beside him, and Elysia’s head flashed upwards in horrified surprise.

“A battle for the name and place of the heir! How about that? Let’s see who gets to the pendant first.” A senseless grin widened his eyes and took over his face as the man threw the precious pendant deftly across, letting it fall with exact precision on a hook—just dangling tantalizingly above Elysia and Damon’s heads.

“You were the one that impressed me with your words that an individual carves their own destiny, Elysia. That’s why I took you in.” Dark eyes bore into the depths of the young girl’s soul, stirring the depths within. “Now, prove it.” Elysia’s bright blue eyes roved over the woman beside her adopted father, and a faint smile flickered across her face as Damon’s mother clenched her fists in outrage, a forced smile painted on her face.

“Don’t you dare.” She turned to face her brother, an apologetic look on her youthful but ambitious face. “Don’t you dare!” The fifteen-year-old teen roared. “That pendant is mine!”

“Sorry.” With their father’s confidence in her, there was no way she was not going for this treat dangling before her very eyes. A burning desire lit the depths of her heart as Elysia stared into the older man’s pride-filled eyes, giving him a firm nod of understanding as the young ten-year-old dashed forward, leaping and stretching her fingers towards the jade that dangled precariously from the lamp hook, pale fingers brushing the bottom of the jewel precariously.

Almost there.

Almost!

A sharp pain violently coursed through her right foot, and her world spun as she crashed onto the wooden floor, sending splinters scattering everywhere as Damon towered over her, a crushing grip on her right ankle, and a furious look on his face. The older teen bared his teeth menacingly, applying an increasing amount of ridiculous pressure on the dainty foot he held in his grasp.

Snap.

The sound of the ankle-breaking neatly into two broken pieces caused everyone watching the sparring match to flinch visibly at the act of cruelty, face paling and stomachs churning.

The pale foot hung at an odd angle, swelling slowly like a balloon, and Elysia looked up at her brother with blank but bright blue eyes, waiting for the split moment he let his guard down.

“Did we break you so much that you no longer feel pain?” Elysia leaned back lightly on her palms as Damon leaned forward and sneered, his upper body slightly unbalanced with the rest of his body as he invaded her personal space to mock at her. “Look at you.”

Elysia’s eyes fell to her broken ankle, tilting her head lightly as she looked at it thoughtfully.

The force of propulsion from palms to the floor will generate just enough force to propel the body upwards.

Left foot pushes off the ground with the right as a rotation point.

Pivot.

Reverse Spinning Hook Kick to the face.

Body turns.

Ankle snaps further.

A probability of dislocating right leg?

Might be high.

Result?

Successful strike of kick dislocates jaw, fractured cheekbones, renders opponent disorientated. Bonus if the head hits the ground and a concussion occurs.

Ability to fight back, diminished.

Oh. And not to mention, the landing would hurt the back and be pretty ugly.

Elysia shrugged lightly at the thought as she worked through the various steps and scenarios calmly in her brain, a formless voice echoing lowly through the depths of her mind. The monster that lived in her head reared its consciousness slightly, woken by the jolt of pain that arched through her youthful body.

You should be letting me out. You do know that I’m here to protect you right?

A light smirk tugged the edges of the young girl’s lips as the disembodied voice snarked.

But I can’t do that if someone keeps being a masochist and keeps getting hurt, can’t I?

A snort escaped from Elysia’s lips.

“It’ll heal in time. Don’t worry, and I can handle myself well enough.”

Right.

Don’t worry. Oh, how very reassuring. The monster muttered in the back of her mind. Tell me that when you get beaten to slush by Damon, will you?

Taking the split moment of Damon’s confusion of her talking to herself, the young girl leapt into action, the horrendous crack of her ankle echoing loudly through the air as Damon’s tight grip made it difficult for her foot to spin while pivoting. A loud thwack resounded through the sparring hall as her left foot bludgeoned heavily into the side of Damon’s face, sending his face whipping to the right under the immense impact.

Her brother teetered, staggering as he tried to regain his bearings, and Elysia gasped in pain as she landed on both her feet, her right foot sending bolts of fiery pain racing through her nerve ends, the fracture worsened by her own actions as she landed on her badly injured foot.

A light grin swept across her face as Damon finally gave into his disorientation, his head cracking against the ground resoundingly, and his body falling with a loud triumphant thud on the wooden ground.

Right. Now for the pendant.

A huff of irritation seeped from between Elysia’s lips as she staggered to her feet, wincing through the pain as she hobbled to the beam where the medallion hung, above her head.

Now the only problem was to get the pendant, with a broken foot.

Elysia grumbled at her self, eyeing the protruding bone from her right foot with apprehension.

Do a running jump. The thought filtered through her brain like a badly thought out idea, promising intensive injuries and a broken body if something went wrong.

“What?” Elysia hissed under her breath to the reckless part of herself. “Are you insane?” She questioned the irrational part of herself, cringing as she felt a dark sense of satisfaction float up at the thought.

Well, technically, we’re almost there. The voice that belonged to her reasoned within the depths of her ringing head.  But what I meant was that you do a starter jump on your good foot. It may not get you as far as you like but its worth a try while Damon’s down.

“Fine,” Elysia muttered under her breath, gingerly standing on one of her foot, taking a small controlled jump on her good foot, wobbling slightly before leaping upwards to the hook.

Come on.

Reach!

The young girl’s eyes squeezed shut as her fingers brushed the bar, just barely.

Please.

Her nose itched, and her head ached as she focused on the bar that brushed her hands.

People said that she had magic, didn’t they?

If that was the case, please. Elysia begged if you’re there. Help me.

A light breeze brushed like an electrical tingle over her fingertips and body, and the young girl’s eyes shot open in surprise, her mouth gaping open, cheeks tinted pink from excitement as her body swung like a pendulum from the bar, fingers grasping the metal bar that held the pendant with slipping, sweaty fingers.

A wild exhilaration violently shook her veins as she pulled herself up the ledge, leg aching and body trembling from excitement, her fingers clenching the pendant tightly in her hands, the jade cool against the palm of her hands.

Against all odds, she’d done it. Pale fingers caressed the jade pendant with an almost reverent fondness, as though she couldn’t believe that it hung from her fingers, just within sight.

“Accio!” The jade pendant, cool between her fingers just a split moment ago, tore out of her grasp, flying into the claw-like hands of her brother, standing at the sparring stage below, a cruel but raging snarl on his face, his fury bleeding into his dark eyes. His wand twitched lightly as he sneered in her direction, the pendent clinking between his fingers, his hands trembling with rage as he pointed his wand in her direction.

“I wonder what would happen to you if I tried a spell I learnt on you, Elysia.” He spat derisively, veins popping on his forehead as the young girl turned her paling face towards the upper stands, where their parents sat.

A vindictive smile was smeared on Damon’s mother’s face, while a look of absolute boredom had overtaken their father’s features, his dark eyes stone cold as they bore through Elysia’s own.

“Cru—”

“Damon!” The note of finality rang clear in the order that issued from the man’s voice, eyes cold as he stared at his raging son down below. “All punishments can be carried out accordingly in privacy.” Elysia flinched visibly at his words, body trembling as the reality of the situation sank into her shivering bones.

“Aurelio! Why did you stop him? She deserved—” Damon’s mother leapt viciously to her feet, her voice shrill. “She went out of place—”

“Liliath!” An icy coldness seeped into the tone of the male beside her, fingers tapping calculatedly on the arm of the chair he sat on. “Are you questioning me?” His voice belied a dangerous tone, dark and menacing as he stared at his wife through the corner of his eyes.

“Of course not. But..”Damon’s mother faltered for a moment before her flinty eyes regained their usual malicious vigour.

“Then sit.” Aurelio delivered the order degradingly, his tone demanding no disobedience as he leant forward, directing his eyes to the shivering girl on the ledge. “Now do you understand that you must never step out of your place? That all those fleeting dreams of yours, of escaping, of fleeing, are simply..”He waved his hand dismissively, “Delusions that will never be able to be fulfilled?”

“You tricked me.” The young girl croaked, curling into herself as her leg trembled with the pain of her injuries, her face cracking as tears seeped down the corners of her eyes. “You—”

“Of course I did.” Aurelio grinned wolfishly. “Nothing is better than to give someone without hope a sliver of it, then rip it from them cruelly. Lessons are best learnt that way, don’t you think so, Damon?” Dark eyes turned to his son, who nodded his head once, sharply. “Never let me hear of you condoning such disobedient thoughts again, Elysia, or else what happened today will just be the beginning. Take this as a lesson well learnt.” Elysia gnashed her teeth at his words, tears of shame and humiliation coursing down her cheeks.

Why?

Bubbles of ugly hatred and helplessness filled her veins.

whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhyWHY?

Hiccoughing sobs wrenched themselves from the girl’s chest as she slammed her palms against her head repeatedly, eyes wide and unblinking as she cried, her teeth biting deeply into her bottom lip and drawing fresh blood.

“I shall hand her over to you, Damon. Do as you see fit.” The congregation gathered slowly begin to disperse, all the attendees eager to leave the place as quickly as they could.

Bloodshot eyes flickered in the midst of their agony to Damon below.

The tall teen raised his wand menacingly and opened his mouth.

Crucio.

The word slithered from between the teen’s lips, and Elysia felt a ripping pain seize her body momentarily.

Her body teetered off the edge of the ledge, and she watched herself slip of the edge, her detached limbs convulsing in apparent pain before a comforting blanket of darkness swallowed her entirely.

PurelyRed

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Source: https://elysiamaringrimm.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/exercitium-know-thy-place/

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