MOTF Book II: Ascension Chapter 6

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MOTF Book II: Ascension Chapter 6

Post by Emperordmb on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:02 am


Dylan was standing in a dark room. He wasn’t exactly what it was called, but he knew it was the room in a colosseum that a warrior stood in before they made their way into an arena. It was a colosseum he was in now. A large colosseum made of sandstone on Korriban, used for spectator events with Sith fighting each other, typically to the death.

On the lower half of his body, Dylan wore black pants, black boots, and a black utility belt. On the upper half of his body, Dylan wore a black tunic over a simple black long-sleeved shirt. In short, his clothing was all black, and comfortable enough for combat, nothing too out of the ordinary for a Sith.

At Dylan’s waist hung the hilt of a Sith lightsaber. This was no training lightsaber like the one he had been training with for his entire time at the Prime Academy. This was a real lightsaber, a true crimson blade of the Sith, capable of destruction and death, rending flesh from bone, and slicing clean through almost any material in the known Galaxy. It truly a weapon worthy and befitting of a true Acolyte of the Dark Side.

The day after Shorya defeated Harvul in the dueling ring, a feat which made Dylan immensely proud of her, Darth Vashek, Darth Galavar, and the other instructors at the academy took them down a long winding staircase in the heart of the Prime Academy. They took them deep beneath the ground floor of the temple, drawing them into a cave illuminated by the blazing and furious light of a large singular furnace in the center of the cavern.

It was there that the instructors at the academy had each of the apprentices sit and observe the shapers and the partially formed crystals. As several “shapers” as they were called shaped and formed crystals within the furnace, each of the Sith Apprentices had selected one partially formed crystal, and begun to meditate on it, channeling the power of their hatred and anger into the crystal as it was being formed, imbuing it with the essence of their will as the shaper formed the crystal around it.

At the end of the process, each of the Apprentice’s received their crystal. Dylan’s was a long crystalline shard, fitting in the palm of his hand, its color that of human blood. When Dylan had held the crystal in his hand for the first time, he had felt his passion blazing within it just as it blazed within his own heart, his own mind, his own soul.

After receiving each of their crystals, the Apprentices had access to a variety of metals and technological parts with which they were expected to construct their own lightsabers. It was during that period of time that he wished he had possessed Barre’s skills with technology. Barre he had thought to himself. Barre had been one of the members of his squad back on Innamorta. He had been one of his friends. Many a night, Dylan would still feel sadness at having departed his squad and Innamorta in such a fashion, with many of his closest friends not even aware that he was in fact still alive. Often at night he and Shorya would talk about the lives they had left behind, confiding in each other the sadness they carried with them, and hoping together that their squad back on Innamorta was doing well in their absence.

As far as constructing a lightsaber went however, Dylan was not completely helpless however. Though he was not as skilled with technology as the tech unit of his squad back on Innamorta, Dylan was still exceedingly intelligent, and possessed one thing most beings did not have; the Force. Probing the edges and details of every piece of metal with his mind and trusting his instincts, Dylan slowly worked out an arrangement and used his Force abilities to fuse each of the parts together.

What Dylan ended up at the end was a lightsaber hilt partially constructed from a black metal, and partially constructed with a silvery metal, almost half and half with the silver half protruding slightly further at the emitter. The handle itself had a ridged handgrip, befitting of a duelist who favored Djem So. It fit almost perfectly in Dylan’s hands, though the ridged handgrip had taken some getting adjusted to.

Dylan had briefly considered a curved hilt, such as the ones possessed by the famed Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress, the Jedi turned Sith Lord Darth Tyranus, or even the legendary Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Bane, whom Dylan greatly looked up to. In the end however, he had decided against it, figuring that it would be best to stick with what he was most familiar with, and figuring that a curved hilt wouldn’t really suit his personal preferences anyways.

The first time Dylan had activated his lightsaber in his hands, he had marveled at its crimson, bloodshine blade, admiring its beauty. To Dylan, the color of his light saber appeared so much more vivid and intense than the training blades he and the other apprentices had been training with. The hum and flicker of the blade felt and sounded almost like a heart beat to Dylan. He could almost feel the internal power generator within his lightsaber throbbing and pulsing with energy.

After constructing his lightsaber, Dylan had spent the next day and a half training with it, not only developing his skills even further, but also getting used to the weight and feel of his new weapon. Now, waiting to due battle with Gingus, though he had owned this weapon for less than three days, it felt like an extension of his very being.

Now, a lightsaber at his waist, training in the Dark Side of the Force, and the power of his own passion, Dylan waited in the darkness of the room to which he did not know the name, waiting for his rematch, waiting for the ceremony of initiation, waiting for his own revenge. He let his anger and hatred stir within him, building up as he focused, preparing his mind and body for the task ahead. The last time he had faced Gingus he had lost severely. But in the two weeks since then, Dylan had trained furiously and vigorously, his determination matched only by the depths of his passion.

Dylan could feel a wave of Darkness sweep through the room, alerting him that it was time to make his way into the arena. Dylan turned towards the staircase at the end of the room, a faint glow of natural light signifying the path leading into the arena. Dylan ascended up the staircase with slow and purposeful steps. The last time he had faced Gingus, he had suffered and he had been brutally defeated. Not this time. This time, Dylan was ready to show Gingus, and every other Sith Apprentice and Acolyte out there just how powerful he had become!

——————————————————————————

Dylan heard the cheers before he even entered the arena. Some were cheering his name, and others were cheering his opponent’s name. Dylan knew the real meaning behind the cheers however. The cheers were not for the names of the people being cheered, but rather a cry for blood, a desire to see the other person hit the floor injured and suffering, cast down in the humiliating bitterness of defeat. As the top apprentice on Korriban, Gingus had many enemies, and while most were too afraid to stand up to him, they would be more than happy to see somebody else beat him into submission.

As Dylan walked towards the entrance to the arena, he considered the cheers against him. Dylan had done his best to avoid making enemies, however many of the other apprentices were jealous of the “unfair” advantage his Innamortan physiology gave him. They didn’t think he deserved his position as one of the academy’s top students. His rage boiled within him at that thought. Then of course, there were the many Apprentices at the Prime Academy that Dylan had thrown to the ground during his ascension to the top, surpassing them, besting them, and almost destroying them in the dueling ring.

Dylan stepped through the sandstone archway into the arena. The arena was large and circular, with a floor of sand and stone. Surrounding the arena was a viewing area filled with a couple thousand Sith apprentices. There were also some masters in the viewing area looking for prospective future apprentices. None of this mattered to Dylan however as his eyes found his opponent emerging from the opposite side of the arena.

Gingus stared back, his hair blazing like fire under the midday sun of Korriban. Gingus too was clad in black pants, boots, a utility belt, and a black tunic. Unlike Dylan however, Gingus did not wear anything beneath the tunic. His pale arms were bare, save for a golden vambrace on both of his forearms. Gingus calmly strode a couple of steps forwards before drawing his newly constructed lightsaber. He then gave the hilt an experimental toss in the air before igniting it in a two handed grip with the blade held vertically in front of the right side of his body. Unlike most of the other Apprentices, soon to be Acolytes, Gingus’s blade was flame orange, just like the color of his own hair.

Dylan drew his own lightsaber and activated it in a similar stance, but with his blade slightly angled in the direction of his pale skinned opponent. Their eyes locked from across the arena. Dylan stared intently at his opponent whose pallid face was now bathed in the orange glow of his own weapon. Gingus returned the stare for a few seconds before pulling the corners of his mouth into a cruel sneer.

Suddenly the crowd fell silent as all attention was diverted to Darth Odious standing at a podium near the edge of the arena between the two combatants. The Dark Lord opened his mouth to speak and the ominous chill of his voice spread across the arena.

“Welcome to the ceremony of initiation. As we watch our fellow Sith rise from being mere apprentices to true acolytes of the dark, we are reminded of the importance of power. We must rise up and claim power if we truly wish to defeat the Jedi and take our rightful place as the masters of the Galaxy. Those who cannot rise shall fall, for the weak have no business courting the Dark Side of the Force. To illustrate the importance of power and ascension we will have our two best apprentices duel for the title of Darth, as is tradition. Dylan and Gingus.”

The crowd’s attention suddenly turned back towards the two apprentices standing across the arena from each other. Odious continued to speak, and now seemed to be addressing the two combatants more so than anyone else in the arena. “The winner of this duel will claim glory and power as the first Acolyte of their generation to earn the esteemed title of Darth, while the loser will be battered, bruised, and most importantly of all, humiliated.”

Dylan pondered one last thing in his head in the final seconds before the duel commenced. The other apprentices didn’t think he was a true Sith, and didn’t think he was even worthy of wielding the Dark Side. Dylan brought down his crimson blade until it was pointing in the direction of his enemy and returned Gingus’s sneer with a hateful glare. His mind was boiling with rage, but through no small application of will power, he remained focused and in control.

He was ready to prove the other apprentices wrong and show them that he was more powerful than they could’ve ever imagined, and that they were nothing to him in the end. Dylan knew that by the time they realized the gravity of their error, he would’ve achieved power beyond their wildest dreams. But before all of that power and glory, there was still one opponent standing in his way, and the only way to bring him down was to destroy him, completely, utterly, and without compromise.

“May the strongest prevail” Odious said, his voice booming but still menacing, as the tension around the arena became almost palpable. “Let the duel begin!”

No sooner had the words left his mouth than the two rivals sprang into a running charge towards each other. Dylan’s blade was now angled behind him, in preparation for his opening strike. As he came within a few feet of Gingus, he drew his blade forward and carved it up towards Gingus’s face in an attempt to breach his opponent’s defenses, and bring a quick and speedy end to the duel. He had no such luck.

As Dylan swung his blade upward, Gingus sprang off the ground into a front flip, and brought his blade down on Dylan, while mid-flip. Dylan continued to bring his blade up, intercepting Gingus’s attack just before it struck his skull. In response, Gingus pushed his blade against Dylan’s, giving him a quick boost into the air as he finished his flip and hit the ground behind Dylan, rolling back onto his feet.

Dylan quickly spun around towards his opponent just as he rained flurry of blows aimed at Dylan’s legs. Dylan brought his blade low to parry the assault meant to sweep him off of his feet. As the pace of Dylan’s crimson blade caught up to that of his opponent’s fiery orange one, he began to strike with more force behind his blows, driving the full power of his hatred into his muscles, and forcing his opponent into a retreat. There were cries of astonishment from the crowd as the other apprentices marveled at Dylan’s newfound skill.

Gingus did indeed fall back, but he would not be defeated so easily. Dylan noticed a difference in his tactics that he had not seen in any opponent before. Rather than try to meet Dylan’s blows head on or even redirect them, Gingus instead kept his body relaxed and rolled back with the momentum of Dylan’s blows. Whenever their blades would clash, Gingus would bounce off of Dylan’s blade and twirl his body through the air to meet Dylan’s blade on the other side. Whenever that failed him, Gingus would dance around Dylan’s blade with some elaborate acrobatic maneuver. It was a more passive strategy than Dylan had been expecting from Gingus, but one that allowed his pale-skinned opponent to guard against his furious display of Djem So, with a much more relaxed display of Ataru.

Dylan knew he had the edge, but his opponent’s evasive tactics were beginning to frustrate him regardless. Still, despite Gingus’s tactics, Dylan knew he was winning. He knew that all it would take would be a little more effort, so he took his frustration, and channeled it into the emotional furnace within him, shaping and imbuing the crystal of his passion. Through that passion he gained strength, and through that strength he gained power.

Dylan’s moves began to pick up speed, intensity, and power, fueled by the power of his ever-burning rage, his hatred searing white hot beneath the physical mask of his flesh. Dylan began to drive Gingus back more and more until finally, Gingus was backed up against the wall of the arena.

The young Shadikill came in with a diagonal overhead slash coming from his right, in an attempt to prevent Gingus from leaping over him. Gingus was on the edge of defeat and just when all hope seemed lost for him, he switched his lightsaber to his left hand and caught Dylan’s blow on the end of his blade. Using the momentum of Dylan’s strike, Gingus before leaped up and twirled through the air.

As Gingus spun through the air, he extended his orange blade and pressed hard against Dylan’s red one. The impact threw Gingus into the wall foot first, and he rebounded off of it, springing into a forward leap, right over Dylan. Gingus flew just high enough above Dylan’s head to evade Dylan’s blazing blade, before tucking his body in, and rolling across the ground back onto his feet.

Despite how frustrated Dylan was with his opponent, Dylan could not deny his opponent’s considerable mastery of Ataru. His moves were fast paced and graceful, his acrobatics perfectly performed with the grace and precision of a dancer. Dylan did not allow this begrudging admiration to obscure the path he knew he must take. He intended to end the fight before Gingus had yet another chance to evade him.

Dylan spun around to face Gingus once more and charged at him, with the full bloodlust of his blazing fury evident in his eyes. When he reached Gingus, Dylan unleashed a powerful uppercut with his blade meant to knock him off balance. After that first blow however, Dylan transitioned from the overpowering strikes of Djem So into one of the sequences of another form. In preparation for this duel, Dylan had studied two alternative forms over the past couple of weeks; Form III Soresu, and Form VII Juyo.

It was the erratic and unpredictable sequences of Juyo that Dylan was utilizing now. With his opponent slightly off balance, Dylan took the edge and unleashed a flurry of emotion driven and seemingly randomized strikes upon his opponent that the pale skinned Apprentice was only barely able to deflect in time. Dylan could feel the strength of his fury and hatred empowering each of his strikes, driving him into a bloodlust. Dylan himself was astonished at the progress he had made with this Form over the course of half a month. It just seemed to come naturally to him, the passion, the emotion, the power.

With Gingus now knocked further off balance by Dylan’s change in tactics, Dylan mixed things up, switching between Djem So and Juyo, occasionally throwing a move from one into the sequence of another. Suddenly, as Dylan brought his blade down upon Gingus from above, Gingus thrust out his hand and hurled his lightsaber in a pinwheeling motion at Dylan’s head. Dylan was forced to break off his attack and throw his body back as his opponent’s orange blade flew within a couple centimeters of his face. He was almost gagging on ozone.

As Dylan returned to his original posture, Gingus leapt forward, planted his feet on Dylan’s chest, and pushed off, springing into a backflip. As he flew through the air he extended his hand and unleashed a blast of of Dark Side energy, sweeping Dylan off of his feet and throwing him to the ground. As Gingus landed on his feet he held out his right hand casually as his lightsaber hilt returned to it, soaring through the air in an arc.

Dylan got up from the ground and reactivated his own lightsaber while glaring at his opponent with hatred. The two opponents surveyed each other for a few seconds in dead silence until Gingus broke it with a laugh. It was not a normal laugh, but rather one that was cold and devoid of all emotion except contempt and hatred.

“You know you can’t defeat me right?” Gingus taunted, twirling his orange blade, around tossing it from hand to hand in a casual manner.

“You put on a good show for a sniveling coward Gingus!” Dylan cried out in response, his pride and anger spurring his words on. “I am not the one running!”

“You fool!” Gingus responded indignantly. “I am not some cowering wretch! I am a true Sith! From the day I was born, my father used the power of the force to implant knowledge of the fourth form into my head. Every move, every sequence, every cadence of Ataru has been drilled into my skull since day one!”

Gingus suddenly sprang into a back handspring, landing with two feet and the hand holding his weapon planted firmly on the ground with his other hand extended above him clutching something.

“Including dual bladed fencing” Gingus continued with a sneer as a second orange blade blazed to life in his outstretched hand. Dylan groaned with exasperation. He knew that the real fight was about to begin. As if to mirror his thoughts, Gingus suddenly leapt forward and attacked.

Dylan was expecting the duel to grow more intense, but even so he was caught off guard by the newfound ferocity in his opponent’s technique. Gingus was no longer shying away from the bloodshine glow of Dylan’s blade, he was now pressing the offensive. Now armed with two lightsabers, Dylan’s foe flicked his orange blades at Dylan from both sides at once, forcing him into a quick retreat.

Try as he might to reclaim the offensive, it was hopeless. Every time he batted one fiery orange blade away from him, the other would come in on his other side, forcing Dylan to rely on his own blade for nothing more than defending himself from Gingus’s onslaught. It was like fighting back against a raging inferno. There was no attack, there was only an attempt at survival.

Dylan had heard rumors of Gingus’s dueling prowess. The other apprentices said that he was a master of Ataru. That some of the masters even would be hard pressed to beat him in a duel. Dylan had taken these rumors as nothing more than hyperbole, having engaged Gingus in a duel himself. Only now did he believe them to be true. Though he was only thirteen, Gingus instinctively knew every move and response taught to Form IV practitioners, and he knew how to use them with the cold calculating efficiency of a serial killer.

It was taking Dylan everything he had just to hold off Gingus’s assault, and even when he blocked Gingus’s blows fast enough to throw in a counter attack, Gingus merely leapt backwards and hurled one of his lightsabers at Dylan before recalling it into his hand and resuming the duel.

Dylan began to twirl his scarlet blade in arcs in front of his body to maximize his defensive coverage, utilizing a few slightly adapted Soresu techniques. Much to Dylan’s surprise, his gambit actually appeared to be working. For the first time since Gingus drew his second blade, Dylan had the chance to observe his technique, or at least he tried to. With Gingus’s orange blades flickering, carved intricate patterns through the air in front of him, fighting Gingus seemed more like fighting a blazing fire than fighting an actual person.

Dylan’s new strategy was a crude one, but it was undeniably effective. He was now capable of striking back at his opponent more than he would be otherwise. For the first time in their fight, the two rivals were fighting, more or less, as equals, or so Dylan hoped.

As Dylan glanced at Gingus’s face, he could see the growing frustration in his rival’s eyes. Unable to best his inferior opponent, Gingus’s eyes were blazing with more fury than Dylan had ever seen before, but rather than being unsettled by this, Dylan grinned with the knowledge that his opponent was almost as hard pressed as he was. He allowed himself to be invigorated by his opponent’s hatred.

Gingus’s moves were suddenly becoming more erratic and desperate as he hurled strike after strike at various points along Dylan’s body in an attempt to break his defense. Amidst his defensive flurry, Dylan observed carefully as Gingus made a tactical error and over extended himself. Unsure of whether an opportunity like this would ever present itself again, Dylan stepped in to cut him down, first batting Gingus’s blades aside with his own, then sweeping his blade towards his neck in an attempt to decapitate the pallid fiend. But when his blade swept from one side to the other, all it met was thin air as Gingus leaned back with a smirk on his face.

Before Dylan knew what had happened, he felt a hot searing pain as the flame orange blade of his rival tore through the flesh of his left shoulder, leaving a wide gash along the left side of his body. Dylan now understood the depth of his predicament. Gingus had never been frustrated, he had been in control of the fight the entire time, and Dylan had walked right into his trap.

Seizing the advantage, Gingus moved in on Dylan, who was now all but helpless, with a barrage of strikes from both twin blades as Dylan twirled his blade frantically through the air in an attempt to stop him. Dylan felt the fear of loss seize his body like an invisible hand clenching its way into a fist as Gingus’s blades carved through the air towards him with such a malignant grace it almost seemed as if the pale devil had rehearsed for this duel, hoping to perform at the Galaxies Opera House on Coruscant.

Dylan tried to fight on, but the long gash across his left shoulder began to burn more and more until the pain was almost unbearable. Dylan had just blocked a strike at his face when Gingus stabbed his other saber toward the ground like a spear and drove the tip through Dylan’s right foot. Dylan cried out in pain as he drove Gingus’s blade away from his legs. Unbalanced and in excruciating pain, Dylan was unable to do anything as his bitter rival leapt over him and slashed his searing blade along his back. As Dylan screamed in raw agony the crowed cheered and roared in excitement.

Dylan’s opponent was not quite finished with him yet. Just killing him wouldn’t be enough for the insatiable hunger of his rival. Gingus was jealous of his natural physical capabilities, and so nothing short of absolute humiliation would sate his enemy’s thirst for retribution. Rather than drive his blade through Dylan’s heart, Gingus deactivated both of his lightsabers and thrust his palms forward, unleashing the power of the Dark Side upon Dylan.

Dylan grunted as as an invisible wall of energy struck him hard and flung him face first into the ground. His lightsaber skittered across the floor of the arena away from him. Before he could retrieve it or even stand back up however, Dylan suddenly felt an invisible hand seize his throat as his body was lifted into the air by some unseen power. As Dylan continued to struggle in desperation, the hand tightened around his neck like a noose, and just when he was about to slip out of consciousness his body was flung down hard.

His hands and knees smacked onto the ground as he grunted, now in excruciating agony. He tried to rise up, but the same hand that had been around his throat seconds before had now expanded and wrapped itself around him preventing him from rising. He managed to pull his head up and saw Gingus a good few meters away from him ceremoniously flourishing his blades in triumph. Dylan’s enemy then returned his attention to him and flashed him a sneer so mocking that he could feel the very contempt behind it radiating through his bones.

He had given it everything he had, but it just wasn’t good enough. Despite all of his supposed power he was weak, he was wounded, and he lie slumped on the ground at the feet of his victorious opponent awaiting death. He had never felt so crushed and hopeless in his entire life. For the second time in a row, Gingus had brutalized and defeated him in front of a crowd of people.

“You are mine now pretender” Gingus mocked. Now fully satisfied with himself, Gingus leapt through the air towards Dylan as his shoulders slumped in defeat. Suddenly a voice cried out within him. The last remnants of his will cried out in protest against what was about to happen. He wasn’t going to just sit there in supplication as this pale freak dealt him his demise. His expression changed from one of resignation to a barely contained snarl of outrage. Dylan could feel the emotion swelling up within him. He felt his anger, his hatred, his fury gnaw away at the inside of his mind as his very soul became permeated and saturated with the Dark Side of the Force.

Gingus continued to soar through the air towards Dylan, his blades raised for the kill. A raging storm of raw emotion and passion was building within Dylan, rebounding off of the very walls of his being. His soul burned and ached with rage and hatred, the twin passions imbuing the very essence of Dylan’s will with their fire. At the last possible moment, when just a few more inches would mean his death, Dylan cried out “NOOOO!” as an explosion of dark side energy hurled Gingus across the arena.

Dylan rose to his feet, the very movement required causing agonizing pain, but he no longer cared, the pain fueling his fury and deepening his hatred even further. Before Gingus even knew what was happening, Dylan extended his arm and hoisted him up into the air with a tight, invisible grip around his throat. The Dark Side now flowed through Dylan like a divine wind swirling to form a tempest of raw power, tearing down anything that interposed itself in its path.

Dylan then swept his arm from one direction to another, hurling his rival into one of the sandstone walls of the arena. Dylan grinned in pleasure as he heard Gingus cry out in pain. Dylan then swung his arm back around and hurled Gingus into the wall on the other side of the arena. This time, his opponent had attempted to throw up a defensive barrier, but it did little more than lessen his impact by the smallest degree as his body bounced off of the edge of the arena.

Dylan then pulled the body of his rival within a few feet of his own body as he briefly glared into Gingus’s eyes with complete and utter hatred. With another cry of outrage, Dylan broke off the glare and hurled Gingus back across the arena, and his body smacked into the edge of the arena with a deafening thud as the stone wall cracked and crumbled behind him. Dylan tapped into his innermost hatred for his foe and thrust Gingus’s body high into the air before pulling it back into the ground with all of his might. Gingus struck the ground a few feet away from Dylan with a satisfying smack as the very ground shook and trembled beneath Dylan’s feat.

Dylan stared at his helpless foe, noticing that his were clothes soaked with scarlet blood, and his body quivered as he barely clung to his life. Dylan mercilessly extended his hand as the familiar hilt of his weapon flew over to meet it and the bloodshine blade sprung to life in his hands. The crowd was silent, shocked at the most recent turn of events.

Knowing he would have no trouble keeping his fallen opponent down, Dylan strode over and raised his blade for the kill, but before he could bring it down he felt a surge of power sweep over his body and completely halt his movements. At first he thought it was Gingus, but he quickly dismissed the idea, realizing that the energy that overtook him felt infinitely more powerful than anything Gingus could ever hope to conjure up.

The crowd erupted into cheers for several seconds before suddenly falling silent as a singular voice spread out across the arena.

“Congratulations Dylan” the chill of Odious’s voice rang out. “Hatred, not submission flowed through your veins when your defeat was all but certain.”

Peace is a lie, there is only passion, Dylan recalled from the Sith Code.

Dylan felt the invisible grip around his body dissipate as the Dark Lord continued his speech. “You have vanquished and humiliated your foe against all odds when you were on the edge of defeat, transforming your rage and hatred into something greater.”

Through Passion I gain strength, Dylan continued to think to himself.

“The strength of your passion and conviction granted you an almost unshakable command of the Dark Side in the face of defeat.”

Through strength I gain power, Dylan continued to recite in his head.

“And through the power of the dark side you have vanquished and humiliated the person who dared stand in your way.”

Through power I gain victory, Dylan observed with an ever growing sense of pride.

“As such you have earned the right to bear the title of Darth and may choose a name to accompany that title, in recognition of the newfound life and power you have discovered through your victory!” Odious finished and paused as the crowd erupted into cheering.

Through victory my chains are broken. None of the other apprentices, now acolytes, would ever question his power again without regretting it at the point of a lightsaber or an invisible hand crushing their throat.

The force shall free me. Dylan felt the last mantra in his more than he recited it in his mind. The force had awakened a dark power within him, and though his body was battered and injured, he had never felt more alive with the Dark Side of the Force.

Dylan pondered his name and what he would become. To wield the power of the Dark Side, one must give into the Dark Side, however that would leave him under the Dark Side’s influence and not his own. If he wished to maintain control of himself, he would never be able to give himself over to the magnificent power of the dark side.

Stuck in this predicament, the answer quickly became clear to him. To give into the darkness, but still maintain control of it, there was only one thing he could do. He must become that darkness, he must become the shadows, he must become one with the Dark Side. The Dark Side would become his nature and his power, with him controlling it as much as it controlled him. With this great epiphany, Dylan suddenly knew the fitting name for such a dark transformation.

Dylan waited until the claps and cheers of the spectators fell silent. He waited until all attention was on him before giving his answer. When he was satisfied, when all the attention of the spectators, the masters, the Dark Lord, and the Dark Side of the Force itself had converged on him, he opened his mouth to speak.

Dylan raised his scarlet blade into the air triumphantly, and called upon the Dark Side to project his voice and presence across the arena.

“I am Darth Umbravon, and I am the darkness, I am the Shadow of the Sith!”

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