MOTF Book II: Ascension Chapter 14

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MOTF Book II: Ascension Chapter 14

Post by Emperordmb on Sat May 16, 2015 1:37 pm

Darth Umbravon stood within the sandstone arena on Korriban. It was midday, and Horuset, the sun of Korriban was blazing overhead, illuminating the orange skies of Korriban. As he looked within the stands of the arena, Umbravon saw his friends, looking upon him from above, and he could feel that they truly supported him, something not a lot of Sith could say about their allies. He also saw the entire Sith Council, the people he needed to prove himself to. And then there was Darth Vanquil, the man who had arranged this whole duel. The man who promised Umbravon a chance to prove himself in exchange for his apprenticeship. Darth Vanquil was something of an enigma, but from their short encounters, Darth Umbravon could tell that he was wise, powerful, skilled, and knowledgeable. If he survived this fight, Umbravon knew Vanquil’s training would be invaluable to him.

Umbravon glanced at one of the sandstone walls of the arena, and saw a faint tint of red staining the walls. It was blood, from when he had slammed Gingus into the wall with the power of the Dark Side. He had fought and Gingus in this very arena a little over two years ago. That had been the day Dylan had become Darth Umbravon. That was the day he had become a Sith Acolyte. That was the day he had defeated Riva and formed a new alliance with a Chiss alchemist. But Umbravon was not here now to reflect on his past, he was here to pursue his future, his rightful place, his destiny.

Standing several meters away from him was another Sith. He was a blue Nautolan, a full head shorter than Umbravon, and clad in a dark blue bodysuit. In his right hand, the Nautolan held the metalic handle of a lightsaber shoto. He may not have looked very intimidating, but Darth Umbravon did not allow himself to be fooled so easily. Darth Solu was a Sith Lord, and a powerful one at that, so powerful that Umbravon wasn’t even sure whether or not he would survive the coming fight. The day before, he had tasted the soul crushing weakness of fear, but after using Sangara’s sleep meditation technique, his mind was clearer, his body energetic and on the whole, Umbravon could not remember a time when he had felt more well rested than he did at this moment. Though he was uncertain of the outcome of his fight, he did not feel fear.

Two years ago, he had fought another Sith in this exact spot, thinking victory would earn him that which he sought in life. As he stood here again, staring Darth Solu in his cold blue eyes that could’ve passed for black, he realized Solu would not be the last enemy he would have to face, should he emerge victorious. As long as a Sith lived, Darth Umbravon knew someone would be willing to oppose them. It could be the Jedi, the sworn enemies of the Sith. It could be a fellow Sith, seeking to claw their way over another for power. It could even be someone as seemingly insignificant as a healer on a remote planet. Darth Umbravon realized there would always be those willing to oppose him, ready to stand between him and his rightful destiny. He would not be deterred by the seemingly infinite sea of potential enemies he would face in his life. A way would be found to overcome each and every person who would choose to stand in his way. Some could simply be killed. Others simply needed a swift demonstration of their own superiority. He even imagined some could be reasoned with, manipulated, subverted, or in rare cases, even allied with. There were those however that required more extreme measures. Darth Umbravon activated his lightsaber, savoring the hum of the crimson blade. These people needed to be destroyed.

Darth Solu took a couple of steps forward. “Darth Umbravon,” he began in a strangely melodious voice. “The boy who slew Staz Rostu, the boy who supposedly won the battle of Dathomir.” Umbravon could feel the hatred roiling off of him just as he heard the insincerity and contempt in his voice. “Your name might be a source of envy among your peers, but do not be mistaken. You are not my peer, you are not my equal. Your name means nothing to me, and you mean nothing to me.”

“Then why are you here?” Darth Umbravon asked, betraying only the faintest hint of anger in his voice. Instead of letting his fury and indignation spill out, he held it back, saving it for the real fight, not this pointless banter.

“The moment you decided to fight me, you decided to die,” Darth Solu explained. “I’m here to fulfill that implicit agreement and watch your corpse burn.”

“Then there’s little sense in wasting time with these pointless formalities,” Darth Umbravon observed.

“Indeed…” Darth Solu responded as a short azure blade flared to life in his hands.

They stood meters apart, eying each other for a few more seconds, and then they charged. Umbravon charged at a relatively slow and measured pace, while Solu flew at him, transforming into a blue streak of motion as he charged. Before the two combatants clashed however, Darth Solu suddenly leapt into the air, flying fifteen meters upward. Darth Umbravon stared up in awe for a second, before Solu flew back down towards the ground- no, towards him. Umbravon raised his blade in front of his body to defend himself, but Solu merely slashed his blade to the side with his Shoto as he drove his feet into Umbravon’s chest. The entire momentum of Darth Solu’s seventeen meter fall struck Darth Umbravon’s body and sent him flying backwards. Umbravon rolled with the momentum however, somersaulting backwards three times before coming back onto his feet. He raised his blade just in time to parry Solu’s first strike.

Darth Solu fell upon him in an aggressive series of short stabs, aimed at Umbravon to force him into a defensive posture. Darth Umbravon parried each stab with tight and efficient movements, his weapon held in a two handed grip. As soon as Umbravon survived the initial flurry, he swept his blade towards Solu with all of his strength and fury, knowing the Nautolan lacked the strength to repel his strike. Darth Solu must’ve realized this as well, because he flipped backwards several meters in response before landing on his feet, well out of the range of Darth Umbravon’s blade. Damn Ataru users! Umbravon swore in his mind.

This time it was Darth Umbravon who took the offensive, charging at Darth Solu and unleashing himself into the fury of Juyo. He struck from a multitude of angles in a randomized pattern, calling upon his rage, his hatred, and his fury to fuel each and every one of his movements. His strikes were fast, but Darth Solu was faster. As Darth Umbravon lashed out again and again with his blade, Darth Solu leaped and twirled away from it, parrying it with his short blue blade whenever it came to close. Solu fell back with a series of acrobatics, his movements so casual and graceful he appeared to be an anthropomorphic fluid. After ten seconds of this exchange, Solu dashed beneath Umbravon’s blade. As Umbravon tried to strike the Sith Lord, Solu deflected his blade with his own, flipped until his body was upside down, and struck Umbravon in the chin with both feet.

Darth Umbravon staggered backward under the surprising force of his opponent’s kick, barely bringing his blade up in time to deflect Solu’s next flurry of blade work. Darth Solu spun and twirled, transforming into a blue whirlwind as his blade came at Darth Umbravon from seemingly every angle. Darth Umbravon had never seen anyone apply Ataru so masterfully, but for the time being, he wasn’t desperately crawling across the ground to escape his opponent, so he guessed he was doing reasonably well. Behind his Soresu defensive, Umbravon occasionally tried to fight back with a Juyo or Djem So sequence, but Darth Solu was too quick.

With lightning fast reflexes, Darth Solu evaded or deflected each of Umbravon’s counterattacks before resuming his own offensive. Fighting Darth Solu almost seemed like fighting a force of nature. Sometimes he was a whirlwind, other times a fluid, but always a blur of motion. Umbravon could feel the passion and power swelling within Darth Solu, and he could see how others called him a one man army. Nevertheless, Umbravon’s defenses were holding, yet a problem was growing increasingly apparent to him. While he was holding his own, he had no way of overcoming his opponent… or did he?

Darth Umbravon drew upon his hatred, hatred for Solu, for the arrogant Council, and always, for Arthur. He also drew upon his fury, a more immediate passion. Fury and hatred swelled within him, two twin energies coalescing to become something greater. From his passion, Darth Umbravon drew upon the infinite reservoir of dark power that was the Dark Side of the Force, gathering its energy, as he deflected strike after strike from Darth Solu. Deciding to catch Darth Solu in the most vulnerable position possible, Darth Umbravon stepped forward and swept his blade at Darth Solu’s body. This time, as the Sith Lord flipped away from his strike, Darth Umbravon thrusted both arms forward and hurled a wave of telekinetic power at his opponent. Solu was plucked from the air and hurled backwards, his body bouncing across the surface of the ground as he slowed. Solu’s tumble did not end with a stop however. Instead, the Sith Lord pressed both feet to the ground and launched himself another fifteen meters into the air. From there, Darth Solu extended his offhand and unleashed his own blast of telekinetic power upon his opponent.

Darth Umbravon braced himself, but even then, the sheer force of the Sith Lord’s attack slammed him into the ground hard, sending a sharp pain shooting up the back side of his body and blurring his vision. As soon as his vision cleared, Umbravon saw Darth Solu flying straight towards him, his blade angled at Umbravon’s chest. Out of desperation, Darth Umbravon reached out with the Force and plucked several handfuls of sand from the floor of the arena, and flung it up towards Darth Solu’s face as he rolled out of the way. The blue blade missed his body by only a few inches as he rolled away from his opponent. Darth Umbravon scrambled up to his feet and raised his blade in a defensive guard as Darth Solu charged at him.

When Darth Solu fell upon him again, it was clear to Darth Umbravon that the Sith Lord was no longer messing around. Rather than his blade appearing to come at him from every angle, Darth Solu himself appeared to come at him from every angle. One second, Darth Solu was in front of him, the next, behind him, a few heartbeats later, above him, or beside him, or behind him. Umbravon’s opponent leapt, spun, and twirled around him, each acrobatic maneuver as much a taunt as it was a lethal model of blinding speed and grace.

Darth Umbravon slashed Darth Solu’s blade to the side with as much force as he could muster, then immediately followed up with an aggressive staccato sequence of Juyo strikes, jabbing and slashing at his opponent. Darth Solu leapt, spun, and flipped around Umbravon’s blade as he parried and evaded blow after blow. Umbravon seamlessly transitioned into Djem So, unleashing a series of powerful thrusts and slashes upon his opponent. Solu kept up his game of deflection and evasion, and then flipped away from the last strike in Umbravon’s sequence, landing a couple of meters away from him. Before Darth Umbravon could react, his opponent leapt towards him, twisting in the air as he tucked his legs in. Again, Umbravon tried to raise his blade in defense, but Solu deflected it to the side with his own blade before lashing out with his legs, striking Umbravon in the chest with both feet as his body continued to twirl.

As soon as Umbravon started to fall backwards, he threw himself into the air, flipped backwards, and landed back on his feet. Solu glared at him before flinging himself at him once more. This time however, Solu was in a constant state of motion, with most of his body curled up and tucked in as he flipped spun and twirled through the air repeatedly. As Umbravon deflected blow after blow, he began to fall back beneath his opponent’s renewed assault, giving ground as he whipped his blade from left to right, up and down, all around his body to deflect each and every blow that came his way. Solu was moving and flipping so fast, his limbs appeared as near invisible blurs, and he seemed to be a blue ball twirling and spinning through the air, with the occasional protrusion of his lightsaber blade lashing out to strike him.

As Umbravon continued to deflect Solu’s renewed assault, he staggered as a foot slammed into his chest. He desperately scrambled to meet Solu’s next flurry of offensive strikes with his own blade. Blocking the blue blade of Solu’s shoto was taking up the majority of Umbravon’s focus, leaving him open to the lightning quick physical strikes Solu levied upon him with his off hand and legs. Darth Umbravon was frustrated with this vulnerability, just as he was frustrated with any vulnerability, but he didn’t have the option of focusing more on defense against Darth Solu’s punches and kicks, not with the greater threat of a lightsaber blade looming over him. Still spinning in twirling in a ball like formation, Darth Solu leapt up, slapped Umbravon’s blade aside with his own, backhanded him in the face with his off hand, twisted around and slammed his foot right into Umbravon’s neck.

Darth Umbravon stumbled backwards under the force of Solu’s strikes, before Darth Solu dropped to the ground and twirled with his leg extended, sweeping Umbravon’s legs out from under him. Darth Umbravon panicked as he scrambled backwards on his hands and feet in desperation. In a wild frenzy, Umbravon swept a gust of sand towards Solu with the Force using one hand while simultaneously unleashing a blast of Force lightning with the other. As Solu deflected both attacks with his powers and his blade, Umbravon leapt up to his feet. Not wasting a second, Darth Umbravon took up his lightsaber in both hands and stabbed his crimson blade towards the Sith Lord like a spear, while simultaneously unleashing a wave of telekinetic energy at his opponent, the focal point of the wave aligned perfectly with the length of his blade. The crafty attack was a devastating display of both physical and Force prowess, but it did not kill Darth Solu. It was not meant to kill Darth Solu.

As Darth Solu flipped backwards to evade the stab, Darth Umbravon dropped into a defensive position, pulling his left leg back and widening his stance, while also angling his right shoulder towards his opponent. The next time Solu flew at him, Umbravon was ready. Darth Solu attacked with the same offensive fury he had levied upon Umbravon seconds ago, but this time, Umbravon’s defense was far more calculated and efficient. His body was purposefully angled in such a way that would reduce Solu’s target area, thus reducing the amount of defensive coverage Umbravon needed to maintain. As Darth Solu continued to flip and twirl around, Umbravon remained fairly grounded, only sliding back a foot at a time as he held his stance whenever he needed to fall back, and pivoting on one leg every time Solu tried to attack him from a different angle. Solu’s blue blur of a blade was deflected with tight efficient blade work. This time, Umbravon was able to focus his defenses on more than just Solu’s blade. Every time Darth Solu tried to lash out at Umbravon with lightning quick punches or kicks, Umbravon was ready to block them mid-strike with his left arm as he held his saber with his right.

Here Darth Umbravon was, holding off a one man army with a defense that was tight, efficient, controlled, and dare he say masterful, and he could feel the eyes of the Sith councilors falling upon him. Normally such a thing made him recoil; the arrogant members of the Council boring into him with their scathing gaze and condescending words. But now, it was Darth Umbravon’s turn to be smug and self satisfied in his own power. Defending against such an offensive Force at such a young age was deserving of that. Victory over such a Force, that would bring him the title of Lord, though in all honesty it was probably more deserving of the title of Master, but Umbravon knew the Council would never be able to look that far beyond his age. There was no way around that prejudice, and Umbravon had to simply accept it for the time being. Indeed he had realized long ago that the path of the Sith was not an easy one, though he firmly believed it was the most rewarding, for those who had the strength to walk it. That was the fundamental truth Umbravon had lived and fought by for the past two years. Every step brought him more passion, strength, power, and victory. The further he walked the path of the Sith, the closer he grew to the alluring power that was the Dark Side of the Force.

It was indeed the power of the Dark Side that flowed through Darth Umbravon’s body as he swept strike after strike aside, biding his time as he looked for an opening. Amidst the blur of Darth Solu’s body and blade, Umbravon’s eyes could detect no opening, but the Force did not have such limits. Through the Force, everything was connected, across time and space. Through this connection, Darth Umbravon perceived something. He perceived a moment of vulnerability in Solu that would not come to pass for another few seconds, an opening that would be left by Solu as he executed a spin through the air. Sure enough, after a few more seconds of Solu’s blur of an offense, the Nautolan Sith Lord started to twirl through the air, leaving himself open. This moment of vulnerability would’ve been too brief for Umbravon to notice with his eyes, and even if he did notice it while it was occurring, it would be far too brief for him to take advantage of. Knowing what the Sith Lord was going to do moments in advance however, Darth Umbravon was ready, and his left hand was already thrusting forward as Solu began his spin. Darth Umbravon felt the power of the Dark Side coursing through his very hands as a stream of blue lightning flew from his fingertips and struck Darth Solu with a loud crackle.

Solu’s body flew through the air and bounced off of the arena floor a few times before flipping back and landing on his feet, his arms a blur in front of him as he deflected Umbravon’s lightning with his shoto. Realizing he wouldn’t breach Solu’s defenses this way, he ceased the Force attack and began to gather his power, bracing himself for Solu’s retaliation. Instead, the Sith Lord began to slowly pace from side to side.

“Well well well…” Darth Solu began. “You’re quite the opponent Umbravon!”

“More than worthy enough to be a Sith Lord,” Darth Umbravon asserted, knowing that Solu would have to agree after the fight he had given him.

“Oh I don’t doubt that,” Darth Solu agreed. “It’s too bad you won’t survive long enough to earn that mantle. This was a fun duel while it lasted, but now it’s time for you to die…”

Without warning, Darth Solu flew at Darth Umbravon in a blindingly fast blur, covering ground as a blue streak. Moving with the desperation of fear, Umbravon barely moved his blade fast enough to deflect Solu’s own. He was not however fast enough to prevent the rest of Solu’s body from slamming into his legs with the velocity of a missile. Darth Umbravon yelled in surprise as his legs were swept out from under him and grunted loudly as his body slammed into the ground face first. As soon as he could, Umbravon rolled forwards back onto his feet and spun around to face his opponent.

Darth Solu was several meters away from Umbravon, hovering a few feet above the ground with his back to him. Umbravon could feel the power swelling within the Sith Lord as he gathered the power of the Dark Side within his body. Darth Umbravon braced himself as Darth Solu slowly turned to face him. Instead of the cold blue eyes Umbravon had seen earlier, Solu’s eyes were now blazing golden, almost as if an inner fire burned within them. There were no words. This fight was now beyond words.

As Darth Umbravon raised his lightsaber in a defensive guard, he realized that Darth Solu’s lightsaber was clipped onto his belt. Still hovering in the air, Darth Solu lifted both arms, and they began to glow with the same radiance as his eyes as the light around them began to bend and distort. Umbravon suddenly had a bad feeling about this. In one swift movement, Darth Solu thrusted his right hand in front of him and a burst of energy shot out from his right hand, straight at Umbravon.

Even with the power of the Force, Darth Umbravon had barely leapt out of the way when the energy surged through the space Umbravon’s head had once occupied before arcing back towards Darth Solu and being absorbed into his left hand. Then, Darth Solu extended his left arm and drew his right arm back, unleashing another arcing burst of energy.

This time, Umbravon was not caught off guard, and as he leapt out of the way with as much speed as he could muster, he had a chance to observe the blazing loop of energy as it arced out from one of Solu’s hands and returned to the other. The loop of energy was a radiant orangish yellow, and Umbravon could not tell if it looked more like fire or lightning, but either way, it was a safe assumption that physical contact with it would be painful and likely a fatal mistake.

The next time Darth Solu unleashed an arc of energy at him, Darth Umbravon intercepted the blazing loop with the red blade of his lightsaber, causing the energy to circle back prematurely, blocked from burning through Umbravon’s body by the bold red line that was Umbravon’s lightsaber. Over the next thirty seconds, Darth Solu repeated the attack half a dozen times, and all six times Umbravon dodged or blocked the attack, though it took all the speed Umbravon could muster to defend against Solu’s strange Force assault. While he appeared to be holding his own, Umbravon knew he could not keep this up forever. Sooner or later he would make a mistake, and when that happened, he would die. I cannot let that happen, Umbravon thought to himself with a sense of determination. I will not let that happen!

Darth Umbravon felt fear, but he suppressed it as usual, instead calling upon his anger and hatred to fuel him. Then, when he had attained as much strength and power from his fury as he could, he charged at Darth Solu. Solu continued to unleash blast after blast of energy upon him as he drew closer and closer, but with his arms fueled by the power of his hatred, Umbravon deflected blast after blast. Finally, as Umbravon came within a couple feet of where the Nautolan was hovering above the ground, he raised his blade high, ready to bisect the Sith Lord with a powerful slash.

Before Umbravon could bring his blade through the top of his opponent’s head, the Sith Lord thrust both hands forward and a surge of blazing energy shot out in a blinding burst straight through the emitter of Umbravon’s lightsaber. The hilt of Darth Umbravon’s lightsaber exploded immediately, sending him sprawling several meters backwards. Luckily, due to his Innamortan physiology, he was barely scathed by the explosion of his lightsaber. He was however, unarmed, floored, and nearing his own defeat.

Darth Solu savored his moment of victory, slowly gliding through the air towards Umbravon, his arms lowered to his side. There was a triumphant smirk on his face, and his eyes continued to blaze with dark power as he drew closer. This behavior only made him despise the Sith Lord more, but Umbravon realized it would buy him a few more seconds before Darth Solu decided to finish him off, seconds that could be put to use. Seconds that had to be put to use if he was to have any hope of survival.

And so, as Darth Umbravon scrambled back to his feet, on the verge of failure, the very cusp of defeat, the Force guided his thoughts where they needed to be guided. His thoughts drifted to Darth Bane, creator of the Rule of Two, and easily one of the most powerful Sith to have ever lived. But Bane had not always been a Dark Lord of the Sith with legendary powers. Darth Umbravon knew from his studies that Darth Bane had originally been a miner on Apatros by the name of Dessel, living under an abusive father who called him the bane of his existence. When he became a Sith, he took the name Bane for himself, transforming his father’s cruel taunt into an identity so resilient it had spawned a line of thirty of the most powerful Sith Lords ever, culminated in the Great Jedi Purge, and had earned him the largest tomb on Korriban.

Darth Bane had taken what had once made him weak and used it to make himself strong, and that was what Darth Umbravon realized he had to do. His sense of failure, shame, and humiliation came from his own inner doubts and insecurities which held him back. He needed to channel that into frustration, then anger, then fury, then blinding hot rage, then raw unadulterated power waiting to be unleashed. Darth Solu had driven him to the edge of defeat in front of the Sith Council, making Umbravon unworthy in her eyes. He would have to use Darth Solu to show the Council that he was indeed worthy enough to be a Lord. Darth Solu’s strange power destroyed his lightsaber and drove him to the ground. Darth Umbravon would take his power and use it to destroy him!

When Darth Solu extended both arms in an exaggerated motion, Darth Umbravon tensed up and prepared for what was to come. When the arc of energy shot out from Darth Solu’s hands, Darth Umbravon extended his right arm into the blazing loop, much to everyone’s surprise. Darth Umbravon could feel the heat burning and melting away at his flesh as he drew the energy into himself, and the feeling was beyond excruciating. Umbravon had some skill in tutaminus, having practiced it with Sangara for a few days. Still, he had never used it on an energy of this magnitude or intensity, so he was acting on instinct as much as he was on training. The agony he felt as the energy gnawed away at the muscles in his arm was used to augment his already mounting fury.

Unlike every other time Umbravon’s mounting rage had secured him victory over a previously more powerful opponent, there was something different about this time. This time, there was control, rather than blinding bestial fury or raw instinct. As he drew more and more energy into himself, he had to apply a carefully calculated control to contain that energy to keep it from burning his entire body from the inside out. As he stored that energy within himself, he fed it with his own power and tempered it with his own passion. After a few seconds, when the energy was growing to intense to contain, Darth Umbravon thrusted his mutilated right arm forward, unleashing the pent up energy back upon Darth Solu, feeling his very flesh melt away as the immense energy was channeled through his arm.

Darth Solu was caught off guard as the amalgamation of his own power and Umbravon’s surged towards him; an intense burst of blazing golden energy interlaced with twisting blue forks of lightning. Umbravon felt Solu mount a defense through the Force, but the sheer power of the attack was simply too much for him to defend against. The blast of energy struck the Sith Lord square in the chest, and for a moment, the Nautolan’s entire body was illuminated, before he hurtled backwards onto the ground. Darth Umbravon watched as Solu slowly made his way onto his hands and knees, observing the damage done to his body. Most of the Nautolan’s bodysuit had been burned away, and much of the flesh on his abdomen had been melted into a layer of disgusting goo and black char.

It was then that Darth Umbravon worked up the courage to observe his own injuries. He raised his right arm in front of his face, only to see bone; stark white bone. From the elbow down, almost all of Umbravon’s flesh had been completely burned away. There were barely enough ligaments to hold the bones together, and there were no nerves or muscles. The only thing keeping Umbravon’s arm animated was his own will and his command of the Force. Faced with the harsh reality of what had become of his arm, Darth Umbravon should have felt horror, despair, revulsion. Instead, he felt only anger.

This fight had first taken his lightsaber from him, now his arm as well. Against all odds, Darth Umbravon had survived and emerged victorious against his foe. In keeping with the Sith code, his power had indeed gained him victory, but that had cost him far more dearly than he intended it to. And Darth Solu was going to pay.

As Umbravon strode towards Darth Solu, the Sith Lord scrambled to his feet and drew his shoto, staggering backwards as Umbravon drew nearer. In response, Darth Umbravon unleashed a burst of lightning from his left hand at his enemy. Solu attempted to block it with his shoto, but with much of his strength depleted, Umbravon’s lightning ripped Solu’s weapon out of his hands. Then, Umbravon extended his skeletal right arm, and Solu again levitated above the ground, only this time, it was by Umbravon’s power instead of his own. He tightened his skeletal hand into a claw and watched as Darth Solu squirmed within his grasp. Darth Umbravon slowly and meticulously applied telekinetic pressure to Solu’s internal organs.

“If you are going to kill me,” the Sith Lord gasped, “just kill me.”

Darth Umbravon hesitated for a second. He had absolutely no qualms about killing another Sith, but here, with the future on the horizon, it was not enough to make a decision. He had to make the best decision. On one hand, it was certain that some of the most prominent members of the Sith Council would still desire a man of Solu’s power to be a part of their sphere. If a member of the Sith Council respected Solu’s power, they would have to respect Umbravon’s power as well, and Solu would not get that respect in death. One another hand, if he let Solu live, he would undoubtedly seek revenge and try and kill him in the future.

There was however something that overshadowed both of these thoughts in it’s importance. In this arena, the eyes of the entire Sith Council, his friends, and Darth Vanquil were upon him. Darth Umbravon needed to use this as an opportunity to define himself. He wanted nothing more than to tear Solu to pieces, but he had to show restraint. If he let Solu live, Solu would undoubtedly try to kill him. Darth Solu was a man of great power, and Darth Umbravon would be a fool to not be wary of him, but did he truly fear him? Umbravon was uncertain as to whether his victory came from his own superiority, or if it was simply the way things out, but it was at this point irrelevant to the future. He had already bested and wounded Solu, so he would become a Sith Lord, he would become Darth Vanquil’s apprentice. He had already contended with Darth Solu as a fifteen year old Sith Acolyte, and he knew that if he let Solu live, by the time Solu recovered, he would be a Lord with training from a very powerful and knowledgeable Sith Master. Was he Solu’s superior now? He could not say. But by the time Solu recovered, he would undoubtedly be his superior. With this in mind, Darth Umbravon felt no fear as he stared into Solu’s eyes.

“Finish it!” Darth Solu screamed as Umbravon reached his resolution. “Kill me!”

“No,” Darth Umbravon said with a calm voice, releasing Solu and letting him fall to the ground. The Nautolan doubled over and began coughing up blood.

“I do not fear you,” Darth Umbravon declared as he approached his fallen enemy. Taking your life is beneath me.” And with that, Darth Umbravon brought his left fist down upon Solu’s head, pulling his punch just enough to leave Solu alive, but unconscious. Then, Darth Umbravon turned around and began to walk away. As his opponent lay on the ground, bleeding and unconscious, the Sith Lord made his departure and exited the arena with his future, his destiny, ahead of him.

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