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Energy sizzled around Balbino as he stepped through the crimson portal.  Yellow sunlight assaulted his eyes and burning ozone teased his nose as he looked down at the tattered scroll.  It’d been a long time since he last walked this plane.  But for a bounty this high and target this strong, he’d wait a lifetime.

Chaz ate his lunch on the bleachers as he did most days before practice.  He liked immersing himself in the sights and sounds near the field.  It got his blood flowing, got him in the mood to let it all go and dive into his tri-athleticism.  The portal opened, not in silence, more in a void.  Birds stopped chirping, the wind stopped moving.  For a moment, everything was still.

Then the screaming started

As classmates and teachers streamed past him in fear and panic, Chaz remained on the bleachers.  The trail of destruction inched closer and he looked over to his backpack and the red piece of cloth calling out to him.  Life would be so much easier if he didn’t have to live this life.

Balbino: Bring me The View!

Balbino’s voices carried an unearthly echo.  He stood in the center of the football field, with his sword, Otakemaru thrust into the ground.

Chaz: You looking for me?!

Chaz struck from the air and bounced of Balbino’s heavily armored frame.  Balbino pried Otakemaru from the ground and energy splintered out towards Chaz. Chaz back-pedaled to avoid the thunderous strikes from Balbino.  Pushing his creation powers faster than he ever had before Chaz fired off a series of kunai and shurikens at Balbino.  Nothing stopped Balbino’s forward charge.  Chaz fell and Otakemaru sliced the ground right next to him.  Leaping to his feet, Chaz materialized a duplicate of Otakemaru.  Both of them swung and Chaz’s sword shattered as Balbino’s dark strength cleaved through his blade.

Balbino: Dark energy surrounds you, but I can’t absorb it, why?Chaz: I don’t know and I don’t care!

Chaz reached far back and a dark aura surrounded his hand.  Balbino raised his sword high above his head.  Lunging forward, Chaz thrusts his hand towards Balbino, and a spear of flaming dark energy flies from his palm.  Shocked at Chaz’s speed, Balbino couldn’t block or lower Otakemaru to defend.

The explosion of power enveloped them both.  When the dust cleared, both combatants stared at each other in silence.  Chaz, although fatigued, held his ground.  Balbino walked back slowly as a crimson portal opened again.

Balbino: I would stay and take this bounty. But I have better things to do.

Chaz: I’ll be waiting when you come back.

Winner: The View (Chaz)

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Brian Joseph Lambert is the award-winning, lead contributing writer at Wingless Entertainment. He specializes in bringing diversity to action/adventure, fantasy and sci-fi worlds. In 2017, while earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Full Sail University, he published his first novel, ASCENSION- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 1. In 2019 he earned a Master's Degree in Entertainment Business and released JUSTICE- ISSUE #0 for Wingless Entertainment LTD and Konkret Comics LLC. Brian's current projects include WAR FOR THE SWORD- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 2, a CG animated feature film entitled, RUBICON and JUSTICE- THE FALL, an ongoing series for WINGLESS COMICS, a division of Wingless Entertainment. Brian was selected as a Reader's Favorite Book Award Finalist in 2019 for, ASCENSION- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 1. He has also edited numerous independent works, including, Is'nana the Were-Spider by Greg Anderson Elysee, Akolyte, by Derek Allen, Nia Caler, by Dorphise Jean and the upcoming graphic novel, Beyond 13th, by Michael Ralph. Brian is also a contributing journalist for Concept Moon Studios. When not writing or editing, Brian works on creating a functioning lightsaber, so that he can pass the Jedi Trials.

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