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"Work Hard, Live Well"

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Night, Location: Pub

The pub was brimming with customers, people drowning drink after drink. Men flirting with women, who then proceed to either kick said man in their pride or simply flirt back, having some hidden motive. We see our hero or more so anti-hero, Theo Schwarzem, slowly drinking his own beer as he drowned out the sound of loud drunks and females that attempted to flirt with him. Theo let out a soft sigh, thinking to himself. "Why did I come to this pub agian?" Ah, that was right. He had hopped to look for information regarding his younger brother. He still was searching over for the little tick. He hopped he found him soon. His though were interrupted when he heard a loud man, clearly drunk, if the reddening of his face gave any indication as to that, spoke to a man beside, who was also rather intoxicated.

"Aye! You hear about that old coliseum? 'Been hearing some nasty rumors about that place." The one on the left said, his words being slurred.

"Oi? You talk'n about that old heap of rock near the hear? What could have possibly happen over there?" The one on the right replied.

"Apparently, there has been people who just come to visiting and are disappearing. Some say that they hear cries for help coming from the coliseum in the dead of night."

"That sounds like a tale to keep the wives busy! You're going daft!"

"I swears it! I even heard about some redhead going to check it out. I think his name was Lucas or something like that."

Theo nearly dropped his drink when he heard the name spoken by the man. Could it have possibly been who he though it was? He had to make sure. Placing the amount of Jewels to pay for his beer on the counter, he stood up and walked out the pub. As he moved down the barren path, he heard the sound of footsteps behind him. Quickly turning around, he saw what appeared to be a man in a long brown cloak, standing a few feet away from him.

"Might I ask who you are and why you are following me?" Theo asked, his body shifting into a ready stance, incase of a fight.

The man stood there for a few moments, his face covers by the hood as he suddenly said in a eerie tone, "Yes. You are one of them. The few chosen for this event."

Theo blinked in surprised at the strange words that this suspicious man was sprouting out of his mouth. Before he could say anything as a form of response, the cloaked man disappeared and reappeared in a burst of speed on front of Theo, shocking him, and grabbed his face roughly before he uttered the words, "Sleep..."

With that word, Theo began to feel drowsy while at the same time cursing himself for being caught off guard in such a manner. He could only close his eyes as he wondered what would happen next and how painful he could make this man's death.

Two more cloaked figures emerged from the shadows, catching Theo before he hit the ground. The gently lay him down and began going though his things when another man stepped around the corner to face them. They froze in his presence, ether from fear or some other force, while he looked them over one at a time.

He waited for them to make a move, apparently growing annoyed when they didn't. "You ain't paid by the second." The all jumped a bit, not sure exactly how to react. "Did I stutter or somethin'? Get your asses moving!" The three scrambled to get up, dragging Theo off to their destination.

Unnoticed by them however, Theo's sword dropped from his hip, causing the forth man among them to sigh as went to pick it up. "You see, this is why I work alone." The man extended his left arm, a black and orange metal construct that sprouted from his shoulder, and closed it's hand around the blade. He held it up to admire for a moment, before spinning it between his fingers and resting it on his shoulder. "Nice sword."


Hours Later, Location: Unknown

Theo began to open and close his eyes as he began to regain consciousness, letting out a small groan as he moved his body off the hard pavement that he had been lying on and simply sat indian style. He rubbed his head as he checked his surroundings. Current location, some bleak looking cell. Great, this is just like last week, except there was none of "that" here. Theo let out a small shiver as he brought up that memory, something he would rather suppress.

Standing up as he dusted off his clothing, Theo began to look for any possible ways out of the cell. He could always slash the cell door. Problem with that plan? His sword was gone. "It's at times like this I wish I had learned Requip or Summoning Magic. Might wanna make a note of that." Theo though to himself as he tried his second option. Magic, which could go wrong in a jail cell most likely meant to hold mages. Theo began to channel his magical energy into his eyes, making them glow a dull blue. Looking at the cell door, he began to look over for a fault line that he could fracture. Afterr what seemed to be ten minutes of looking he could not find one, meaning that this door obviously was reinforced to the point there was no such things, at least not yet.

Taking a moment to look outside his cell, Theo's eyes widened as he spotted a spotted a person, most likely male, was lying on the ground over in the corner of the cell across from him.

"Hey, are you alright?" Theo asked in slight concern. That concern evaporated when he heard snoring coming from said man. "Hey! Wake up!" The man continued to sleep, either ignoring Theo or just was too asleep to hear him. Getting aggravated, Theo picked up one of the broken bricks that belonged to the wall from the ground and took aim. "I said WAKE UP!" Throwing with power and accuracy, Theo launched the brick and watched as it connected with the man's head, causing him to let out a loud yelp in surprise.

"Hey, what's the big idea? Hitting me with a rock is kinda rude, y'know." As the man stood up, Theo was able to see his vibrant red hair. That alone made Theo nearly stop breathing. Could it possibly be..? No, he could not make any assumptions until he saw this stranger's face. The man began to slowly turn around. With each second passing, Theo's heart began to beat faster and faster. When the man finally faced him, Theo saw a face that he once remembered on that of his father's. It was really him. "Lucas?! Lucas is that you?!"

Lucas looked directly at where Theo was, immediately realizing who he was by his face, "Theo!! Brother, it's been too long!" He said chuckling as Theo smiled for the first time in ages, happy to see his younger brother after the many years that he had last seen him. Lucas was about to speak when he realized something, "Hey, you're in the same cell as her, brother where are your manners?" He said as Theo immediately gave a very confused look to his younger brother as he heard a cough, quickly turning around to see a girl in a dark energy-like cage as she was showed to be in her underwear, causing Theo to look at her in shock as he comedically turned bright red.

"You know, if you're going to be awake, the least you can do is have some common courtesy and close them when I'm changing" She said glaring right at Theo who was robotically turned back to his brother who was snickering at him as Theo gave a demonic glare towards him.

Theo let out a small cough, looking anywhere but her and said, "Well, I didn't see or hear you so, how was I supposed to know that you were there. Besides, why do you not have your clothes anyways."

"Probably because we're the only ones in this hidden detention cells, where they keep the strongest of the mages that they capture" Lucas said in a serious tone as the girl had finished her changing, giving Theo the okay to turn back as he continued to listen to Lucas. "For whatever reason, our prisons are specially crafted to keep us at bay, especially if we use magic, considering there are Red Lacrima shards embedded into the walls" He said as Theo looked carefully, finding one before quickly throwing it out.

"For whatever reason, so far it's just the three of us right now, least until they have us join the others" Dina said as she looked out at the only window that the cell had, seeing the small bit of light that entered.

"Hmmm, I wonder what they need us for. I remember that the person that managed to knock me out said that I was one of the chosen few or something similar to that. Could we possibly a part of some kinda ritual or something like that?" Theo said, speaking his thoughts aloud.

"You're thinking outloud again brother" Lucas said as Theo shook his head and looked back at Lucas, who was sitting down as he leaned against the wall, "By the way, how did you find out about me?" He said looking over to his brother.

"I'm more surprised he is your brother, you seem to have inherited the common sense Lucas" Dina said as they both chuckled while an evil aura surrounded Theo.

"To answer both of your questions, you little munchkins, I found out about you, Lucas, from some old drunks at the pub in the town. They said that you had went to a coliseum, even after hearing about the fact there have been strange noises coming from there. As for you, Flashing Wonder," Theo continued, ignoring Dina's glare and her slight blush that appeared on her face. "Lucas has as much common sense as a person trying to kill a Fire Elemental with its own element."

"He says as though I am not in the same room!" Lucas said throwing the same brick right at Theo's head as Dina giggled a bit, "Besides big brother, that was a long time ago, times have changed, especially since you were the one who told me to be the man" Lucas said as Theo looked back, remembering the last time he saw his mother with his younger brother, before he had left to begin his father's mission.  

Years Ago

Remnants of the Past

Theo, who was noticeably younger, was sitting atop of the roof of his house, staring at the starless sky of the night. "Why is it that I am so weak? Because of my weakness, I allowed for my father to sacrifice himself for me. For my weakness."' Theo though, brooding. He began to feel tears well up in his eyes before he wiped them away, refusing to cry. Crying shows weakness and he would refused to weak once more.

Nearby in their home, their mother was preparing a meal for her children with tears in her eyes as she took in a deep breath, looking over to see where Lucas was, sitting down in the table, simply looking at the toy his father bought for him before he passed. "Lucas dear, please call for your brother, it is time to eat" She said as Lucas got up, walked towards the open door, and looked up.

"Big brother, it's time for supper" He yelled out as Theo wiped the last of the tears he had building up, and jumped down, joining his little brother as the two walked to the table, sitting down as they awaited for their mother to finish preparing the meals.

"Hello Mother," Theo said, not noticing the saddened look on her face. "What are we having for dinner tonight?" He began to washing his hand, making sure to get all the dirt and grin out.

"We will be having pasta for tonight. I know that you enjoy it very much." She said in an attempt to get Theo's mood to brighten. She let out a sigh when there was no shift in emotions on his face.

"Theo, I know it must be difficult with what happened with your father, but being depressed and sulking isn't going to make him return, believe me, I know that better than anyone" She told him as he looked over to her, with the look she never wanted to see, the look of sadness. "I know things seem to be at their worst, but do not forget, you have me and your brother here with you".

Theo looked over to Lucas, who had a mouthful of spaghetti as he smiled, making Theo feel a bit better as he looked down to the food that he was served, pondering what he was going to do now that his mentor and idol was gone, especially for his mother and brother.

"I could leave home to travel around the Earth Land" Theo though to himself as he took a bit out of his food. "I would be able to become stronger and even find out about who killed him." Theo let a small smile stretch across his face before it shifted to a frown. "However I doubt that Mother will allow me to simply leave. Same goes for Lucas as well."

The entire dinner was only with sounds of metal utensils hitting the plates as they all finished their food, with Lucas helping his mother clean the dishes as Theo went walking towards the secret area that he and his father found after a day of training by their father. Realizing what he needed to do, he began grabbing all the gear he could, especially the sword that his father crafted, and went to his room.

Night came into play as Lucas had gotten up from his sleeping to go into the kitchen to grab a glass of water, something he was used to letting his brother get for him, but saw that he wasn't in their room, and went for it himself. He then heard the sounds of cluttering as he quickly went on the offensive, going to the side of the kitchen entrance as he was in his fighting pose, quickly jumping to hit the intruder, only to be slammed easily on the floor as he looked up to see Theo grabbing food, "Brother?! What are you doing?!" Lucas whispered loudly as he did not want to wake up his mother to what he was seeing before his eyes.

Theo turned around in, his face displaying his surprise towards being discovered before his face became void of any expressions. "What am I doing? I'm getting a midnight snack." Theo said, having a good poker face. "What do you think you are doing out of bed so late, Little Lucas?" He finish asking using his nickname for Lucas as an attempt to make him leave.

Lucas was about to reply, but saw that he had a bag with him, filled with as much food as possible, "Oh really, and what kind of midnight snack involves you taking all the food..?" Lucas asked as Theo simply ignored him, grabbing the last of the food he needed and zipping up his bag as he looked at Lucas, who had a sad look on his face, "Where are you going big brother?".

Theo let out a sigh, feeling older than he should. "Is this how he used to feel when we asked him questions that we could not understand?" Theo thought for a moment. "I won't lie to you, mostly because you've caught me in the middle of the act, but still I will tell you this; I am leaving home for a long time." Theo explained with a heavy heart.

"But why?!" He said in a loud voice as Theo quickly covered his mouth, glaring at him to keep it down immediately as he nodded and let go of Lucas's mouth, "Is this about what happened to dad? Brother, I mean we're all sad, but mom always told us running away won't solve our problems!".

Theo let out another sigh, knowing that this was to happen and he was going to ask this. "This has nothing to do with that, Lucas." Theo began to explain. "I'm leaving for a completely different reason. I've come to realize that I am too weak. I can no longer afford to be that anymore." Theo grabbed the rest of his stuff as he began walking with Lucas following him until the door, but before walking through it, he looked over to his brother one last, "Someday you'll understand..." were his final words as he walked out, leaving the young Lucas alone, with tears coming down his face.

End of Flashback

"After that time, it was just me and mom, living alone... Until she passed away a few years afterwords, still think going away was a good idea brother?" Lucas said with a bit of anger in his voice as he heard the sounds of foot steps coming, seeing two guards look at both brothers, before launching what appears to be a collar around both their necks.

"Yard time prisoner's" One said as both Theo and Lucas got out of their cells, but Theo looked over to Dina who was still in her cage. 

"You gonna be alright over here?" Theo asked Dina, making sure to keep his eyes on her face and not on her....other areas. The willpower this man has is legendary and will be told about for years.

"Quiet!" One of them said as he connected what appeared to be a rod right to the collar of Theo, delivering a negative Red Lacrima charged that damaged him slightly as he was forced to get up by them as both he and his brother began walking.

Beginning Trek

In a large holding area of the Colosseum, many of the prisoners were shown to be lounging around, some were working out, while others were seen trading and buying illegal goods that they either stole or received from contacts as the guards let down the gateway to let the brothers in as they walked side-by-side, both being eyeballed as when they immedietly saw Lucas, they mind their own business as Theo looked over to his brother, confused.

"Respect, first thing I had to gain or else I would've been on everyone's radar" Lucas said as the two made their way to what appeared to be a betting area as there was commotion with yelling and cheers as they both saw a white haired kid taking the money of everyone around him.

"Come one! Come all! Place your bets and see two idiots slaughter each other!" The white haired boy said as he was taking people's money. He looked over and spotted Theo and Lucas, calling out to them. "Hey! Carrot and Cherry! Come over here and place some bets on this fight!"

Theo went over to the strange white-haired boy, looking at him, saying. "What the heck is all this and who are you supposed to be? Ain't you a bit too young to be in here?" Theo asked, as he poked at the boy's head, causing him to swat his finger away.

"The name's Hogotsu Sezoku, master of thievery and seller of exotic windows. I'm running this booth to keep track of the bets people put on the fights around here." The now identified Hogotsu said, as he began to count the Jewels in his hand. "It's a common occurrence that happens around here but I've come to like it. What are your guys names? Can't call you Carrot and Cherry forever."

"Names Lucas Sonne, ugly here is Theo Schwarzem, and we're not here to bet Hogo, we're here because we need information" Lucas said as Hogotsu cleared his throat, extending his hand casually as both Lucas and Theo reached for whatever they had in their pockets.For Theo, it was some talismans taken from his last job he did while Lucas gave him some smokes as well as some gemstones as they gave it to Hogotsu. "We need to know why exactly Theo was captured, and knowing you, I'm sure you heard some of the guards talking" He said looking at Hogotsu.

Hogotsu let out a small 'hmm' before saying, "While I don't know much on why you were captured, I do know that apparently it has something to do with this orange haired girl. Something to do with a ritual or something." Hogotsu gave a shrug as he began to pulled out a small book that was titled Phoniex Heart X. "Maybe you are connected to that somehow. If I find out anymore, I will be sure to tell you guys."

Before Lucas could say thanks, "UGH YOU FILTHY PIG!!!" A shrieking voice said as the brothers turned to see something big and bulky get sent flying right into one of the walls, only thing showing was his bottom half as he attempted to get out. Lucas looked over to see a Blue haired girl with her fist smoking as she had the look of a demon, "Listen to me you old fart, I don't care how slick you think you are, do not ever touch me again!" She said sitting back down as the brothers went to go pull the person out.

Theo asked while he attempted to pull the person out of the wall, "Who or what was that?" He continued to pull the person stuck inside the wall with Lucas until they managed to get the person out. They looked down on him and could see that he was knocked out from the punch that sent him into the wall.

Hogotsu came over, still reading his Phoenix Heat X manga and said. "That was Doris-onee-chan. It's a bad idea to get her angry as she has a short temper especially around people that display their perversion around her like this poor bastard." Hogotsu finished as he pointed to the person that was beginning to wake up from his small "nap".

He sat up abruptly, gasping for air as a welt grew on his head. Despite siting down, he was almost at eye level with Theo, and seemed to be in a daze. "I thought I was going to die." He sat for a moment longer before regaining his senses, watching the woman's blue hair disappear into the crowd. "All I did was tap her on the shoulder..." he said innocently.

Hogotsu simply shook his head, making a 'tsk' noise. "You're not going to fool me with that act. I've seen it plenty of times in the past." Hogotsu began to say as he placed his hands on his chin. "Yes, I know this act very well...."

Theo looked over at Hogotsu, puzzled. "What do you mean act? What could this person be possibly faking or hiding from us?" Theo was tilted his head in minor confusing, wondering what the strange albino boy was talking about. 

"I'm talking about the act of the Closet Pervert!" Hogotsu cried out as he pointed to the still sitting man. "Yes, I have seen this before many times, but not one as well as this. Lucky, I'm a master in spoting such things on a person." Hogostu began to laught to himself, not seeing that Theo and Lucas has simultaneously face palmed from the sheer stupidity of his strange antics.

"Well, moving on from that," Theo said, turning back to face the man who was still sitting on the ground. "So, what is your name, man?"

"Elligr." He said, slowly getting up to his feet. "Elligr Wraith. Mage of Blazing Soul. Pleasure to meet you." He wobbled a bit on his feet, rubbing a large lump that had grown through his thick black hair. "But I didn't do nothin' to the young lady. Honest."

"It's okay. We believe you." Theo said, ignoring Hogotsu's cry of 'I don't' in the background. "Well, let me introduve myself to you. My name is Theo and this bumpkin standing beside me is Lucas. The albino midget in the background is called Hogotsu." Theo introduced, not seeing Hogotsu flipping off him from behind him.

Before Lucas could say anything, the sounds of horns could be heard as everyone began moving, getting together in a straight line next to each other, excluding Lucas and Theo, who were then shocked by the guards as they were forced to their knees. "Get in line maggots!" He yelled as both brothers gave a glare before going to their spot.

All that could be heard was silence through the air as the sounds of footsteps were heard, echoing throughout the area as they began to grow louder and louder, until the sight of one man came into view, looking down at the people in front of them as if he was studying them for something, but nobody knew what.

He scanned over them all with his hands in his pockets, his eyes hidden behind a pair of dark shades, until he stopped on one particular person within the crowd. "You..." He pointed at them with his black metallic arm, then at another person with his normal arm. "And you..." He gestured over his shoulder to the door behind him as guards surrounded those who he picked out. "You're up next. So gear up"

Both of the mages looked at each other before walking towards their respective cells as the guards forced everyone towards a corridor hall, leading them to seats in the Colosseum as Lucas, Theo, Hogetsu, and Elligr were all forced to sit down as the area began to roar with cheer as the two chosen began their fight.

"Why are they doing this?" Theo asked with a confused look with what was going on in front of him.

"It happens every few days or so, the leader of this place picks out opponents, regardless of gender or otherwise, locks them in the area to fight with each other until one is either killed or forfeits their own life. It's a sick joke..." Lucas said as his fists tightened, glaring at what was happening in front of his eyes.

"And what about the person who picked him, who was he?" Theo said looking over to the throne seat as the guy was staring with a lack of interest at the fight going on in front of him.

"Sarin Forgranza." Elligr replied unexpectedly. "A dark mage for hire who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty." He began scratching at his thin beard as the others looked at him with confusion, questioning how he had come across such information. "Couple o' years back, that man kidnaped a girl one of my guild mates was looking after, just to fulfill a job he had been given. Poor child still carries the scars..." Elligr became melancholy for a moment, but quickly looked back at Sarin as he leaned against a wall with his arms crossed. "He's certainly powerful, but I doubt if he's the ringleader here. Money is the only thing that moves him... Or so I've heard."

Hogotsu nodded in agreement. "That guy is extremely brutal. He doesn't like people that try and act like heroes or put on the 'Tough Guy' facade. All that does is make you more likely to be chopped down next if he gets angry." Hogotsu scratched his check in thought. "From what I've seen and heard, he uses some type of Wind-based Magic, but I'm not sure which it is."

Theo stood in silence, processing this information. "This guy is not only dangerous but ruthless to the core. He doesn't like those that try to bring him down in any way or form and uses some sort of wind."' Theo went over this in his mind trying to think of a way to perhaps defeat him. He shock his head, canceling any thought or plan he was coming up with. He couldn't just form a plan without meeting said person and seeing his skill. That was basis combat 101.

Just as the fight was beginning to draw to a close, Sarin pushed off the wall and disappeared down a corridor. He passed by a few guards down the hall, eventually coming to a smaller room overlooking the arena. Sarin brushed the half open door with his shoulder as he entered the room and saw a small object easting on the windowsill. How long do you expect me to stick around?" He asked plainly, sliding his hands into his pockets. "I been at this long enough, so when the hell do I get the rest of my payment?"

"When the task is at hand and not a moment more, you knew the price for this much reward. Is the final prisoner in place?" A man said via communication Lacrima as the person could hear sounds of irritating growling.

"Yeah, I got your damn prize." He responded, leaning back against the door. "She's in a cell with some other guy your lackey's picked out. Which is going to cost you extra by the way, I don't work for free."

"You insolent little...." The voice growled with much agitation as it appeared to take in a deep breath, "Very well, we will add more to your salary, but on the condition that you speed up the process. You have three days to get this done, and on the last I will personally be coming to do a full inspection" He said with a deep chuckle before cutting off.

"Yeah, sure you will." Sarin murmured with a grin. "Long as I get paid, you can do whatever the hell you want." He turned to leave and an orange light shone from the fingertips of his metallic arm, which left a set of long gashes in the door when he pulled it shut. "Time to see what's so special about this girl of theirs..."

Next ChapterPrison Sanctum

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