I walk back up the stairs from the basement, my mind spinning.
'Kai, what have they done to you... what have they put you through...' I think. The voice of the person I hate most in the world brings me out of my thoughts of the fire master.
"Well, Lloyd." Chen says. I look up, annoyed.
"What." I say tartly, just wanting to get a plan underway with the other ninja.
"Since you were down with me, to see your fire boy, the first trial has already started." Chen says, obviously trying to hold back his laughs. "There are..." Clouse comes walking toward us from the other end of the elegant hall. "Clouse, how many Jade Blades are left?"
"I believe there are three, Master." He says.
"Hahaha! Well you better get on your way, master of energy!" Chen says, and I run. In the background I hear Chen say to Clouse: "Move Kai to a different cell. I don't want Lloyd to be making any plans." But whatever Clouse replies, I don't hear because I have already sprinted around the corner to the great room.
Already in the Great Room are most of the other contestants, including Jay and Zane. They turn to me frantically.
"Lloyd where have you been?" Jay asks.
"Preoccupied." I say. I'll have to fill them in later. Just then, Cole comes running back into the room, with Griffin at his back, who is smiling broadly. Both are holding their Jade Blades up in pride.
"Well you better be unoccupied now, because there's only one blade left!" Zane says. I run off to the courtyard.
I when I walk into the yard, there, in all its glory, sits a Jade Blade, shimmering in the evening light. I run towards it as quickly as I can. Suddenly, another person appears, and when he sees me, he sprints for the blade as well. When we are about equidistant from the blade, we start circling and sizing eachother up.
"This blade is Karloffs!" The man roars.
"Not today, not ever...." I say quickly, but then more quietly, I say "You don't know what I'm fighting for." And soon we are fighting. I shoot a ball of energy toward him, which hits him. He staggers, but then composes himself. I can't bring myself to use my full power; it just doesn't feel right. But he doesn't seem to have any reservations in using his. Soon, our fists are flying. Barbarian against ninja. That's a new one.
We keep going back and forth, his metal against my tightly wrapped fists. I get in a hit to his face, and I think I hear a crack. I stop for a second of guilt, before he rams me in the stomach with all of his strength, taking my breath away. I kick the blade away, and he lunges for it. I grab his foot and flip him the other way. I turn for the blade, but he is already up and dragging me back, hitting me in the temple. I feel dizzy...
'I... can't lose.' I think as I get hit hard in the mouth. I feel blood trickling from my nose and mouth... And maybe my temple. That's it: no more nice guy.
"I'm sorry." I say, before using almost my full power, which knocks him back, and drives him into the ground. I grab the Jade Blade, and book it to the Great Room.
I can hardly stand when I arrive, and I stagger into the room with the blade gripped tightly in my hand. I can vaguely feel eyes on me, and almost feel Jay, Cole and Zane surrounding me; holding me on my feet.
"It's almost over, Green Machine." I think Jay says. I honestly can't tell. My vision is tunneling so that the walk to the altar looks much longer than it is.
"Do it for Kai." Cole says. That's all I need. I raise my head from the pain, pushing my friends away, determined to finish the walk alone. I think blood is dripping behind me, leaving a trail of red turning to brown. I step on the first stair, to the next. Just as I am on the last step, about to place the blade in the final place, I hear a bang.
"That's not fair!" I hear a deep voice say. I can't turn around. I just place the blade in the altar, and look up to Chen's face. He looks surprised. And on that note, I collapse to the floor.
Lloyd looks to Chen, a smug look on his bruised and bloody face, before collapsing to the ground.
"Lloyd!" Jay yells in that high voice of his. I look to the red head frantically, seeing the panic in his lighting eyes, before turning back and sprinting to Lloyd's side.
"He doesn't look too good.." Zane says.
"Not important!" Chen says. I want to strangle him. "We have a loser!" He dramatically points to Karloff, who is desperately trying to convince people that he really did win; like Lloyd would ever cheat.
"B-But.." Karloff stutters, but then sets himself again. "Fine. Karloff never wanted to be on stinking island." He seems to be convincing himself rather than convincing Chen, who is currently writhing in a fit of giggles.
"Well, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your stay..." He says. Chen suddenly pulls a lever, causing Karloff to fall down the hole. He screams as he falls.
"Damn.. I kinda hope he's okay..." Jay says. We are both leaning over Lloyd, and Jay's face is so close to mine, I can see the light spatter of freckles decorating his pale nose and cheeks. My face heats up.
"We should get him to his room." Zane says, breaking the little staring contest I made with myself.
"Yeah.. I really hope he's okay..." I say, before using my super strength and picking him up. I turn around and walk out, with Jay and Zane on my heels. Out of the corner of my eye, however, I swear I can see that mysterious girl with a crazed look on her face... and she's staring right at Lloyd in my arms.
We walk up the stairs, and find Lloyd's room. Zane digs the key from Lloyd's pocket, (we were all given one) and unlocks the door. We walk in, and I put him on the green and gold bed. Zane immediately gets to work.
"Jay, I need you to go get the first aid kit from the bathroom. There should be one behind the sink. Cole, get me a bowl of clean water."
"Got it." Jay says, running into the bathroom. I start to follow, but change my mind.
"Zane..." He looks up at me expectantly. "Is he going to be okay..." I say with my voice dripping with uncertainty.
"Yes. He has no concussion, amazingly. He'll be fine when I fix him up." He smiles, and returns to work.
"Here, Zane." Jay returns, throwing the red case onto the bed. As stupid as it seems, it makes me sad. Red just reminds me of my brother. But we'll find him; we have to. I run to the bathroom and take a plastic cup and fill it to the brim with water, and grab a towel on the way out. I move as fast as a ninja can go while holding a completely full cup of water.
"Thanks." Zane cleans up the wounds, applies the bandages, and we all just wait.
~Time skip brought to you by Grape flavored bleach~
I've just about fallen asleep on this chair. It's been two hours, and Lloyd still hasn't woken up yet.
"Cole?" I look up when I hear my name.
"Yeah, Jay?" I answer.
"What are we doing?" He asks, his voice empty. I sit up and look over to where he is draped over a neighboring chair.
"What do you mean?" I ask him. He sits up to face me now.
"I mean, here we are, chasing after someone who is probably dead, risking our lives in the process... I've already lost so much, Cole." His eyes are broken, the usual electricity coursing through them is dimmed, like this conversation hit a switch inside him.
"Jay... I understand..." I want to spill my guts, and tell him everything I've been hiding. The marks hidden under layers of clothes that make me look stronger than I feel. The marks that took so much from me...
"How can you understand?" He asks. I just stay silent to let him continue. "I was tormented when I was a kid about my background... I was told I would amount to nothing. When I found out that I was actually SOMETHING... It made me so happy..." He says, and he smiles a bit, recalling. "Then..." The smile melt off his face. "I found out that all of this power has come at a cost." He stands up, and I watch as he removes his shirt and turns around. On his back are etchings; they look like lightning bolts. "Each time I use too much power, this mark burns me... It feels like a thousand burning knives are being pushed in slowly at every inch. When I found my true potential, it was kind of just... there the next day. I guess it's a reminder of my vulnerability." He says "That's been difficult enough to deal with. But then Kai..." Pearl shaped tears drop from his eyes; he is unable to handle it anymore. I don't hesitate to get up and wrap my arms around him.
"Jay... There's something I haven't told any of you..." He wipes his eyes and looks at me expectantly.
"Well.." I start.
"UGHH!" I hear. Jay and I release eachother.
"Lloyd?" I say.
"Y-yeah?" He answers. Yup, he's awake.
"Jay, get Zane." I ask him. He nods and walks down the hall. Meanwhile, I kneel down beside the bed. "How ya feelin, greenie?" I ask him. He chuckles.
"Like hell. But... I... have news." He says.
"Okay. Let's wait for the others to come so you don't have to repeat yourself. You're tired enough as it is." I tell him. He nods and closes his eyes.
"Lloyd, are you well?" I hear Zane's iconic voice from behind me.
"Yeah. But I have news." He repeats.
"Lay it on us!" Jay exclaims. It's like that whole emotionfest we had a few minutes ago never happened... no wonder he's hidden it so well.
"Well..." He starts...
Hope you liked!! This chapter was nice and long because I was really inspired! I snuck a bit of bruise shipping in there for ya! Idk if I'll actually make it a big thing since this is supped to be Greenflame, but I don't know, tell me what you think! PEACE AND PIZZA MY LITTLE ALLIGATORS!!