There is a moment in every intense fight where time seems to slow down. Motion becomes fluid, action becomes exact, and the fight changes from ultimate chaos to pure order.
It only happens when the combatants are evenly matched and battling with everything they have. They need not be skilled; they need to be committed to their cause. Anything less and their contest will not warp time like this.
People who survive these moments feel it as it happens, but almost no one outside the conflict notices anything beyond growing intensity. The explosions seem bigger, the movements faster, the blood splashier. The crowd responds, roaring and cheering as their favored fighter battles for their life, feeding into this intensity.
I have been accused of many things. Slavery. Murder. Cruelty. Warmongering. And so on. Not a day passes that I do not walk through my city followed by a crowd calling for my blood from beyond the perimeter of my guards. They know I’ve spilled my share already. After all, what kind of emperor would I be if I did not conquer everything put before me?
I have conquered the world and they refute my power with mere words and the occasional stone or bullet if they feel so daring. Still, none can topple my throne. I’m sure someone will, someday, but not until they learn my secret.
After all, what is the point of having people kill each other? There is no need in society being met by bloodshed. No one wants for food, their health, or their safety. Everyone is taken care of. These warriors seek glory, reknown, and a shot at my throne. In exchange, harvested one sliver from every warp these fighters create, I get the one thing no one else can ever get more of. Time.