Reaper of the Elements

Chapter 2

Ichigo slowly opened his eyes as he heard the door open to his large cell. He squinted, readjusting his eyes to the sudden light. He watched as the silhouette made it's way to him.

Ichigo met him halfway before the chains clamped on his wrists pulled tight and held him in place.

For the first time the teen saw in detail , the man who held him captive. The man stood about Ichigo's height. His hair was placed in the traditional ponytail. His sideburns came down into his beard that that stopped at points on both sides of his mouth.

His uniform was that of the normal Fire Nation guard, as far as Ichigo could tell, the usual pattern colors of red and black, with gold trim.

The infamous Kurosaki scowl rested upon Ichigo's face as the two warriors partakes in a glaring contest, neither of whom budging. The older man finally relented and sighed. The look on his face nearly caused a growl to escape from Ichigo.

Amusement. The bastard actually seemed to be enjoying himself. The way he carried himself made it out as if he was untouchable, and the worst thing was he would be right. In his current state Ichigo could do no more then watch.

"Apologies for these living arrangements my young friend, but I'm not one to take chances. My name is Zhao. Would you give me the privilege of knowing yours?"

Ichigo remained silent.

"I saw something quite peculiar one week ago. Do you know what it was? It was my men running for higher ground with their tails tucked between their legs. They were running from a backwater village from a bunch of farmers with pitchforks! Do you know how humiliating that is for a man like me who is in a commanding rank? My men, trained warriors, the elite of the Fire Nation held off by simple ingrates… unacceptable.

"Not bad for farmers with pitchforks eh?"

Zhao snarled. It was the first words the teenager spoke, and they weren't exactly respectful ones. What happened next puzzled Ichigo. The look of anger on Zhao's face turned to devilish smile.

"Finally you speak. You see when my men returned I questioned one of them. What they said amazed me. They said a demon was fighting amongst the villagers and was leading them against our assault. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that would you?"

"I'm just a blacksmith." Ichigo replied.

Zhao actually chuckled. "Is that right? You see the description that was given to me was very distinct. The detail that stood out the most, was this so called demon's hair."

Ichigo mentally cursed himself.

"It seems I'm standing face-to-face with the demon himself. Interesting."

"Where are the others?" Ichigo asked.

"Oh you shouldn't worry about them. You should be more concerned about yourself. Now normally anyone who had taken part in this kind of public stance against the Fire Nation would be executed on sight. But you my demon friend, are too good to die with the rest of the common vermin. You killed many of my men, so your death should be a spectacle. Somewhere that it can be seen by everyone."

Ichigo spat at the man's feet.

"No reason why we can't be civil and talk like two gentlemen."

Once again silence. The Fire Nation soldier just tilts his head and shrugs.

"Well there are always other ways to get an answer."

Without warning the man grabbed Ichigo's throat and began to send his bending to the teenager's throat and Ichigo let out a gurgle.

Zhao released his grip and Ichigo instantly fell to one knee.

"Now that wasn't anything lethal or too serious. You wont have to worry about any permanent damage to your vocal cords. It was simply a attention getter. And now that I have your attention I want to let you know just what I plan on doing with you. No doubt you heard the distant rumbling yes? That my friend is where young fire benders go to test their mettle. The coliseum."

Ichigo couldn't believe what he was hearing. A freaking coliseum? Like in the gladiator days?

"You know I heard some of your villager friends went there."

Ichigo's eyes widened. This man had to be lying. Why would they send simple villagers to their certain death? Was the Fire Nation so bloodthirsty they would jump at the first chance to see bloodshed? His thoughts were quickly shut out as the older Fire Nation soldier continued.

"Sadly, they didn't do very well. I'm hoping you put on a better show."

Instinctively Ichigo lunged at the man but his attempt was short lived as his chained wrists kept Zhao just out of his reach.

Zhao chuckled. This kid was something else. Though the older man had to admit he was almost impressed by the defiance that Ichigo had in his eyes as he glared at him.

"Resistance is futile boy. We both know how this particular story ends, so why don't you die with some dignity?"

Ichigo gazed down and Zhao smiled in triumph and began to make his way to the cell's door but was stopped in his tracks when Ichigo spoke out, his voice gravelly from the fire bender's previous attack.

"You're right."

Zhao raised his brow. "About what?"

"About the story's ending."

Zhao grinned, it seemed the boy was coming around and finally accepting his fate.

"And just how does the story end, my young friend?"

Ichigo slowly looked up.

"With my hands wrapped around your throat."

The smile on Zhao's face immediately disappeared. He would never admit it at that moment but fear was inching inside of him. He knew it was physically impossible for the boy to cause any harm to him, but the way that Ichigo had said it with such conviction, it made Zhao believe him.

"My only regret is that you won't be out on that battlefield with me Zhao. But I promise you here and now, that before this war is over, I am going to kill you."

Zhao knocked on the cell door.

"Guard! I am done with this prisoner!"

Ichigo watched as the cell door opened, and just as quick as Zhao appeared he vanished. This left Ichigo only to his thoughts and soon, sleep overtook our troubled hero.