The Glory of the Pit (Part 2)
Warning: Graphic scenes of violence.
“You’ll have to do better than that!” sniggered Adriel the Fleet as he revelled in the gore that was dripping from the blades of his claws.
Keth just grunted, not sure he could trust himself to talk at the moment – the nanites, while healing him of his grievous wound, had also drawn him into a berzerker rage. He was used to it, so knew what to do to prevent himself acting rashly, but it was so hard when you had someone goading you only feet away from you.
Keth lunged forward in a feint, and Adriel jumped back – he was going to be too quick for a frontal assault. Keth would have to try something different. He followed through with a strike meant to cut the man in two from the waist, Adriel just ducked beneath the blow by inches laughing at Keth.
But Keth had seen what he was looking for, the man’s weakness. He remembered back in his cell Alfran’s words “Long hair is but another tool your opponent can use against you”. He lunged forward once more in a gambit, knowing full well that he will probably get stabbed once more, his mind however was only on one thing.
Pain. Terrible, lancing pain. Keth’s vision blurred, and he coughed out blood from his mouth. The claws had found a home in his chest, they had missed his heart, but the damage was intensive. He grabbed the man’s ponytail and yanked as hard as he could.
Adriel the Fleet started to fall, and Keth followed through with an upwards arcing strike. Blood sprayed everywhere, and Adriel was lying on the floor in two pieces. Keth smiled, dropped his sword on the ground and fell to the floor himself.
The crowd erupted in to a mix of cheering and boos. The last thing he felt before the darkness surrounded him were the nanites sending strong currents of electricity through his body.
* * *
Korv’s mouth twisted as he witnessed Keth’s deathblow. Damn that Greyling, I thought for sure Adriel the Fleet would destroy him!
“What’s the matter husband?” called out a timid voice from his left. Korv turned around to look upon his new wife Alycia. She was young, still in her teens, but Korv needed an heir to make his accent to the throne complete, and she was high royalty from an influential and wealthy family.
“Oh, nothing my darling. It’s just all this blood is a bit much don’t you think?”
“If you say so.”
Korv could tell that she was not happy with this arrangement. Nevertheless, he was happy that she was here. She was beautiful, spirited, had a mind of her own. Still, she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, that would have to be something that he’ll have to train out of her.
The pit floor had been cleaned and the doors were opening once more to release two new fighters on to the pit.
“This is the one I was telling you about.”
“So my uncle told me. But my money is on the other fighter.”
* * *
The crowd cheered as the announcer continued to praise Alfran’s past glories. Alfran just frowned and strode forward ignoring it all, for it was unimportant – survival was all that mattered.
“His opponent today is a veteran of the pit, winner of more than a hundred contests. Rez ‘Maelstrom’ hails from the Deadlands on the far side of the Molten Sea, a Maata’Rukori savage, and a fan favourite.”
Fan favourite huh? thought Alfran as he stopped in his tracks. Waiting for the brute of a man to join him in the middle.
Rez started posing in the middle of the arena, “Hello little man.” he offered in greeting cheerfully. Alfran ignored him.
The Maata’Rukori fighter raised his mighty axe high above his head. “I’ll drink from your skull, and suck out the marrow from your bones tonight, while I make love to a beaut-“
Alfran turned his back to the man.
Alfran just stood there, ignoring the incensed man.
“Well, if you want to die so badly, who am I to refuse!” Rez ‘Maelstrom’ charged Alfran, and swung brutally with that massive chopper of his, following up with a quick slash from his sword. He met only thin air as Alfran elegantly spun out of the way of both attacks.
The metal-tipped tail speared right through Rez’s skull. The tip exiting his right eye covered in gore, blood spraying everywhere. The crowd was quiet as their favourite fell down to his knees with Alfran’s tail still stuck within his head.
With a flick of his tail, and a quick turn of the tip as he pulled his tail free and the man’s head exploded, spraying blood, and bits of brain all over the pit-floor.
Intoxicated by the brutality of Alfran’s strike, the gathered crowd jumped to their feet and started singing his name. He remembered this part well, and rejoiced. Winning was a cause to celebrate, he raised his arms in the air and cheered.
“Well, that didn’t go as planned.” muttered Korv as he saw the Maata’Rukori man’s head explode in to a million pieces.