The crowd began to murmur, and the excitement in the air was palatable as High Priestess Lucy, and The First Champion of Xalathain entered the outer sanctum where the ordinary people were allowed to gather for a chance to get there wish granted.
Lucy Approached the center stage and sat in the thrown to the left of Xalathain's sitting statue. The First Champion descended the few stairs to the arena floor and took his seat at the foot of the stairs. The First Champion was a brute of a man wearing boots, shorts, no shirt with a dagger on his belt and a sword sheathed on his back. His arms, legs and chest muscles rippled with every movement. The number of large and small scars across his exposed skin where innumerable, not to mention the many that had faded away over time or been covered by others that lay on top of the old.
Lucy called out with an unnaturally loud voice that could be heard above the din of noise in every corner of the room. "Xalathain is ready to grant your wishes, advance and be judged."
The crowd began writhing like a snake, people pushed and shoved each other vying to get through the small gait that only one person could fit through. In the hubbub, a medium-sized man seemed to just pop through the gateway and stumbled crashing to the ground face first.
Lucy held her right hand up for calm. After a few seconds, the hall was silent. The man picked himself up dusting his clothes off and then standing still and awaiting whatever would come next.
Xalathain Spoke, In a thundering voice that made all that where present cower and cover their ears in pain. "Turn and run for your fate may be sealed this day, If you do not, you must advance and FIGHT! ... Or fall to your knees and beg for a favor from The First Champion!"
Lucy stood and advanced to the edge of the stage and spoke in that same unnaturally loud voice, "Our Lady Xalathain has spoken choose now or be struck down where you stand.
The Man seemed to not be swayed in the slightest and immediately advanced to the middle of the open arena area. As he did so, The First Champion stood and drew his sword and slowly advanced. The Man Fell to his knees, bowed his head, raised his hands, palms up in the sign of worship and yelled out "I beg for a favor or great and powerful First Champion Xalathain" The First Champion slowed about halfway to the man and then stopped. Speaking in a low, gruff and gravelly voice "Why should I not just run you through with this sword, what have you to say that would sway me from just killing you now and being done with it?"
To everyone's surprise, Man was again was not swayed in the slightest and he explained. "I come here this day to beg for a favor not for me but for the daughter. You can see her there in my wife's arms. She is dying even now. We have done all we can, we have seen the doctors she has been in the hospital for weeks and has only gotten worse. They tell us that it is the end, they didn't know what is wrong with her and told us to make our peace before she dies. Xalathain is our last hope. If you must strike me down, then do it and be done with it but I beg you to grant me the favor of allowing my daughter to be healed even if you do kill me now." The First Champion looked up, and indeed a lady was holding what seemed to be a lifeless 3 or 4-year-old girl in her arms standing close to the gate. Glancing back at Lucy, Lucy made the sign with her left hand of three looking back at the man The First Champion spat, "Damn it!" Advancing rapidly he sheathed his sword and drew the dagger arriving that the man in an instant he grabbed his hair and jerked his head back holding the knife high in the air ready to strike him down he paused for a moment and observed his demeanor. The Man had not flinched at all, his eyes were closed, and his arms were still up. Growling The First Champion slashed down hard and fast the blade connected with the head of the man at about the hairline in the middle of his forehead and slid down through the man's left eyebrow, through about halfway down the left cheek the blade came out. The flesh was laid open wide, and the blood flowed freely down his face and began to stain his nice white shirt in an instant. The First Champion face showed a bit of surprise, the man had still not moved, he had grimaced and his arms are wavering.
The First Champion Released him with a grumble "Your Faith has been tested, and I find it to be true, Go get your daughter healed.", Reaching into his belt, he withdrew three Xalathain Favor coins throwing them on the ground in front of the man. Wiping his blade clean and turning to return to his seat. The man bowed forward and thanked him repeatedly. The First Champion did not respond, he just waved as he continued back to his position.
Lucy Raised here hand, and everyone cheered with glee, "You have been judged worthy of this favor, bring your daughter and advance to Xalathain."
The front of the man's shirt was entirely soaked with blood by this time, the blood still ran freely from the massive wound. Taking his daughter he advanced to the stairs, passing The First Champion and ascending Lucy guided him up to the Xalathain statue. In a soft voice, Lucy said: "Place the favor coins in Xalathain's right palm up hand." The Man did so. "Now raise your daughter up and press her against the left palm down hand and close your eyes, so you are not blinded." The Man slowly raised his daughter up and closed his eyes tight. Pressing his daughter up against the left hand of Xalathain, Lucy Said quietly to him now with a clear mind and a clean countenance make the wish for your daughter to be healed of all ailments and it will be done. Lucy turned away looking back out at the crowd. The crowd waited with anticipation.
Xalathain Spoke, "You have been judged worthy by my vassals and as such your wish is as a result of this granted." As soon as she was done speaking there was a great flash of gold, and the entire room was bathed in warmth. The Room went silent for a second, and all that where there soaked up the heat then the crowd roared.
The strength in the man's arms was gone in an instant, and he fell to his knees, pulling his daughter close to his chest he opened his eyes. Looking up at him his daughter placed her finger on the now great scare and traced it. Flinching at first but then realizing that it did not hurt the man smiled that not only had his daughter been healed but he had as well. Lucy helped him up, and he walked shakily back down the stairs to rejoin his wife below who was by this time crying quite profusely.
Lucy cried out, "Who shall be next, Xalathain needs entertainment! Who will fight for her favor?!"
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