[WP] You, a junior magic student, just challenged one of the greatest mages in the world to a duel. Despite this, you still feel confident. Why? Well, wizards don't usually have a plan if you just go up and start physically fighting them.

"Dude are you nuts?" Tsorith's friend whispered to him from the desk adjacent.

"A little, yeah." Tsorith replied, absentmindenly trying to balance a pencil on his upturned lip.

Tsorith was a rascal of a child by any measure. Not a prodigy, no, but still a clever and affluent student admitted to the Magician Academy and Accelerated Apprenticeship Program through skill alone. He was a haughty, disagreeable bully who had breezed through life thus far on just his innate talents. Despite being of low birth and spending more time as a street rat than a magic scholar, even among this class of actual magical prodigies there were none that could best him in a fight. He had one thing that all the lanky, well-read nobles around him did not...physical strength. Those that can use magic for everything, do, even for the most mundane of tasks like picking up a fallen pencil from the ground. And as such these prodigious children were not prepared for being physically assaulted on a daily basis from this brute they deemed more fit for a Barbarian apprentice than a mage. No one could even finish the verbal components of a spell to prank him with before he was on top of them, pummeling them until he was satisfied. Even the professors did nothing to try and curb his unruly habits. To his classmates Tsorith was the worst kind of person. A smart. Capable. Asshole.

But now Tsorith had set his sights higher.

"I mean just look at him," Tsorith whispered back to his singular friend from a similarly low birth as himself. "I have never once seen him even attempt to physically interact with something." He gestured broadly to the professor at the front of the class.

This professor was more finely robed than any Tsorith had seen before, save for the Dean of the Academy. He stood tall as he lectured, the textbook floating gently in front of him while a series of chalks scribbled notes on the board behind him, absent from his touch. And it's true; in all the time Tsorith had watched him, in class, at lunch, and even while stalking him in the dormitories, he had never once seen the professor touch a single object. Books, doorknobs, cutlery, Tsorith had only ever seen the professor manipulate them with magic. Tsorith surmised that he didn't even chew his food, electing rather to crush it with magic and then swallow the results. Still, in the classroom he exuded absolute authority. This was Vilde Tyrneholt, youngest ever admitted to the Grand Magisters Guild at 34, and widely regarded as one of the greatest mages of all time, with seemingly complete mastery of the laws of this world, and Tsorith was disgusted by him.

"I bet he's a skeleton under those robes. He may be tHe UlTiMaTe mAgE but I'll show you, and I'll show the world that he's the ultimate pushover, just like every chump here." Tsorith scoffed under his breath.

"You're gonna get yourself kill-!" His friend started to reply but Tsorith cut him off by raising his hand.

"Tsorith Helmuth, go ahead." Vilde replied without looking up from his textbook.

Tsorith put leaned back in his chair, put his feet up on his desk and pointed at Vilde with his pencil.

"I challenge you to a duel. I bet-"

"I accept." Vilde responded immediately. Almost as if it were expected. He looked up, "Are you ready right now?"

The room was entirely silent, except for the sound of Vilde's chalk that was still writing on the board.

Tsorith put his feet down, caught off guard by Vilde's sudden reply.

"Uh...yeah I guess." Tsorith finally responded.

"Good, this will be a valuable learning experience."

And as Vilde finished his sentence the classroom began to shudder. Vilde's textbook closed softly and gently placed itself on the desk behind him while his chalk aligned itself in neat rows in the tray below the board. And then, Tsorith found himself standing in the Arena. The ornate entertainment colosseum at the center of the city that he had so frequently snuck into before attending the Academy. Tsorith looked around. Vilde was standing, quietly, at the other end of the arena grounds in front of him. His classmates and his singular friend sat confusedly in the stands across from them. And off near one of the large arena gates stood the Dean, also looking confused.

"Dean, would you please officiate this duel between me and my student." Vilde said in a loud and commanding voice that even Tsorith could hear as clearly as though it came from right next to him.

"Oh my. Yes I suppose so Vilde, just don't take too long! I was busy teaching my own class you know." The Dean responded in a raspy old man's voice very becoming of someone approaching 143 years old.

"Don't worry, it won't." Vilde replied coldly.

The Dean slowly shuffled for a while until he was between the two combatants.

"The duel shall end when when one party is either incapacitated or concedes. There shall be no killing. There are no other rules. Begin!"

The Dean began slowly shuffling off back to the gate where he was originally teleported, and as soon as he had a clear line of sight Tsorith cast Amplify on his feet and charged. Even at this distance he should be able to get to Vilde before he can finish casting anything that could finish him off in one shot. But as he approached, Vilde did not move, he stood exactly where he had started. Alright then Tsorith thought, if Vilde was going to underestimate him then he was going to pay for it with every last cent! Tsorith was on top of him in less than a second. He braced his lead foot and used his speed to bring the fastest haymaker he'd ever thrown up to Vilde's jaw.

It connects.

A searing pain shoots through Tsorith's hand and up his arm. It was like hitting solid stone. Vilde was still standing in the same spot, staring Tsorith down despite the fist resting in his cheek.

"You're not the first to think they can simply overpower a mage in close combat. Is that all you've got?" Vilde said with a grain of condescension in his otherwise dry tone.

Tsorith immediately backs off.

"I guess at your level magic can make up for being weak huh?" Tsorith replied mockingly.

"Magic? What magic?" Vilde asked.

"The magic that gives you that invisible armor, whatever made your smug face that hard." Tsorith shot pack while putting his fists up in a classic street boxer style.

"Oh." Vilde says dismissively. "Dean, would you mind?"

The Dean, now sitting in a chair that wasn't there before, stands and begins casting something. A dark purple circle forms around Vilde. Tsorith recognizes it from one of the few classes he paid attention. It was Mana Supression, a spell that restricts mana absorbtion and usage within an area. A spell that, with a skilled enough caster, could turn even the most brilliant mage into no more than a regular man. And the circle around Vilde looked no different from the demonstrations in class, but the pressure Tsorith felt from it was several orders of magnitude more powerful than anything he had ever seen before. If it weren't for his physical build, even just looking at it as a mage would make him feel helpless.

Vilde spoke again, "What magic?"

Tsorith yelled in anger and charged again, throwing another haymaker directly to Vilde's gut this time, an elbow to the jaw, and then a spinning roundhouse kick to the neck.

And yet Vilde remained unmoved.

"Huh?" Tsorith stood dumbfounded, cradling his hurting hand.

And then, faster than even he had approached Vilde the first time, an open hand came from the edge of his vision and slapped him so hard across the face that his sight darkened for a split second before he hit the ground. Tsorith shocked for a second shot back up, rage in his eyes. Vilde then stepped out of the circle, manifested a shiny steel dagger on the ground, and stepped back in.

"Done already?"

Tsorith approached slowly, picked up the dagger, and looked at it in his hand. It wasn't the first time he had held a dagger, or used one. He touched the point to his finger and it immediately drew blood. It was sharp.

Tsorith spat on the ground and began yelling as he ran up to Vilde and began wildly slashing at his torso. The dagger easily cut through his oppulent robes...and then into his flesh. In his mind Tsorith had a moment of pause when the first strike drew blood, but if Vilde wasn't going to stop him then he would pay. Tsorith swiped and slashed, thinking that eventually Vilde would give in to his assault. But it never came. Instead, Vilde's hand shot out and grabbed Tsorith by the face, lifting him off the ground while Tsorith was still cutting away at him. Tsorith now slashed at his arm, struggling to free himself from Vilde's grip. Vilde's robe slid slightly down his arm as he held Tsorith, revealing not a skeleton, but a chiseled forearm.

And then, in a fit of rage, Tsorith let out a vengeful yell and plunged the dagger into Vilde's shoulder. Tsorith paused and gasped for a moment after realizing what he had done. Vilde let go of him and Tsorith fell to the ground, still in shock.

"Almost no hesitation, well done." Vilde replied in the same monotone voice, despite the dagger sticking out of him. "Even if it wasn't meant to kill, you could sense how outclassed you were and took a chance. But it's alright. You're still just a child."

Vilde then slowly walked from the circle. As he did bits of his robe began to fall away from the constant cutting Tsorith had done the last few seconds. Each piece revealed more and more of a rugged, well-sculpted torso now dripping with blood. Vilde took a deep breath, and then the cuts began to close and disappear, leaving not even scars. Even the dagger, plunged up to its hilt in his flesh, was slowly squeezed out of his body and dropped to the ground with a clang. Vilde then tore off the remainder of the scraps of robe on his upper body, revealing a seemingly perfect mountain of rippled muscles.

Vilde then walked over to Tsorith, his usual commanding presence now overwhleming.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread