Throwing his book aside, he rubbed at his eyes. He’d been reading about animals for an awfully long time. They are so unique and different, just like humans. If you combined those things, you’d get either an ordinary being, or a magnificent creature. And that’s what Alastair’s world consisted of, an innumerable amount of ordinary beings and magnificent creatures, and Alastair, for one, was the ordinariest of the ordinary beings.
Alastair went outside to get some fresh and found Jordy leaning against the wall.
“Hello kitty cat”, Jordy gibed.
“Aren't you one too?” Alastair deflected with a smirk.
Jordy was a friend of Alastair’s, and the only friend of Alastair’s. Though Jordy was of a way more higher rank than Alastair, they were best friends which is very rare. Jordy had never minded Alastair’s low rank because of a slightly overgrown white cat, it didn’t matter to him. Which was surprising because in this world, the only thing that mattered was rank. The Kings and Queens were of, obviously the highest rank. The lowest rank was of those who were the weakest of the villagers, like Alastair.
Since Jordy’s spirit animal was a Cheetah, he and his family served the King, Xalvador as knights and guards. They had honorable rooms within the Castle so Alastair rarely saw him, except when he visited the village.
“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be serving the ‘almighty’ King?” Alastair questioned.
Rolling his eyes, Jordy replied, “It got boring.”
Alastair sighed and shook his head slightly. King Xalvador didn’t care about the villagers, or anyone unless they were of a worthy rank and reason to him. He hated him, and Jordy knew. A King is chosen by his rank yes, but his power greatly matters, so anyone more powerful than Xalvador is the rightful owner of the throne which in case right now, is no one. Whoever thinks to be more powerful than the King can always settle a challenge against him, no matter the age.
Jordy had to leave not long after, so Alastair went back inside. His mother was cooking stew and his father was out working in the shops. His family's appearance wasn’t any different from his except for their eye colors. They had greenish-yellow eyes while Alastair had rose-red eyes, which was quite unusual.
A spirit animal always has an effect on the person possessing it. For example, the eyesight of someone possessing an eagle, would be enhanced, or the speed of the person possessing a cheetah. As much as it affects a person positively, it affects a person negatively as well.
After a few weeks, it was time for the ‘Desafío de reyes’ which took place every year. This event was only for the low-ranked villagers who were often afraid to challenge the King. To compete in this event, the person must be, of course, of a low-rank, capable and of the age 18. The King’s power was reduced so it would be fair for his opponent. He would never tire so the event would go on without much interruption. As the event progresses, the stronger ones would be put aside till everyone had fought the King. Some even died. Then, the ones put aside would battle against each other. Whoever proves to be the strongest, is kept in the Kingdom where they can train, fight and learn. Soon enough, they would face the King, again.
Because Alastair matched all the requirements, he had to join in on the fun as well. The event would take place in the evening and go on all night and everyone in the kingdom has to watch. Though Alastair was the weakest of the weak, he had practiced for this day.
As the sky turned red, there was a loud blare of trumpets which indicated the arrival of the King to the event. Looking out the window, Alastair saw the hustle bustle of the families and their sons and daughters wearing the armor forged by the Kingdom’s Blacksmiths, the King could care less about the low-ranks’ safety and hadn’t bothered to provide armor. Alastair had yet to wear his when he suddenly remembered the book he was reading. He rushed about his small room trying to find the dusty, thick book. Tripping over something hard, Alastair cursed looking back down on what it was. It was the book. He quickly rushed through its yellow pages then threw it aside and started wearing his uneasy armor. Once he was armored up, he stiffly went outside and out to his doom, his family not far behind.
Once, he reached, he was quickly separated from his parents and little brother. He was brought to the Castle’s courtyard along with many more people while some were being sent off into the arena. Alastair felt like his knees would betray him any moment and he’d fall to the ground. The kids around him were just as worried, some trembling some just staring into nothing. The smell of sweat and dirt was strong, so was the smell of vomit. Someone must’ve puked out of panic.
After what felt like days passed, it was Alastair’s turn. Only a handful of children were left who gave him a reassuring look, their terror and sympathy hidden behind it. The guards nudged him forward to move and so he did.
As he walked into the arena, He saw the King, clad in armor and a hungry look. Alastair walked towards him with horror but tried to keep himself together knowing his parents and his little brother, Ezra, was watching, even Jordy. He had seen the sobbing parents and wailing siblings grieving for their lost ones, it disgusted him.
The King wasted no time since he knew Alastair would be limping any moment. He sent his White Tiger straight for him, his jaws snapping with the same hunger Xalvador had. Alastair quickly analyzed his opponent and dodged knowing his opponent’s first move would be straight and simple. White Tigers don’t really have weaknesses which made Xalvador very difficult to beat. He looked at Alastair, wide-eyed, but unbothered.
The fight went on for a while when Alastair, who bore bruises all over his body, decided to attack instead of defend. This took Xalvador by surprise, which Alastair knew would happen and took advantage of his reaction. He managed to land a light blow to the King which gained cries of surprise from his audience. Now, his fear had been washed away by anger, by what this so called ‘King’ treated Alastair’s kind. He wanted justice. His red eyes glowed with anger as he started to strike again. Though, it all seemed too easy, something was definitely off. When he came close enough to his opponent, he was interrupted by Xalvador freezing everyone with a simple wave of his hand. He intended to freeze Alastair as well, but it had just slowed him down. The fact that he was partially immune surprised the King. Alastair was petrified. He had controlled hundreds of people with only a slight gesture.
Xalvador stared at Alastair with piercing red eyes when something seemed to click in his head. Taking advantage of his absency, Alastair unleashed all his emotions through his spirit animal when the King said the most wretched sentence he never thought he’d hear.
“You, The Stripeless White Tiger. Aren't you..