The San’Dreki woman stood over the bodies of Alfran and Keth. The crowd roared in appreciation of her display of skill, first how she jumped into the pit unannounced and killed a combatant within seconds, and then how she turned the tide of the fight and ultimately betrayed the two men laying dead on the pit floor.
“Guards, check the bodies.” Korv ordered, “Make sure they are dead and then bring me their heads.”
Before the guards could move even one step the victor stepped forward to address the emperor.
“Your Imperial Majesty! I claim the Right of Spoils!”
The gathered crowd, so vocal before in their support of the woman were uniformed in their silence. This Right had not been invoked in over a century, they were unsure if the emperor would even allow it, they waited for his answer with baited breath.
“Request denied!” Bellowed Korv, “Guards!”
“Am I to understand that you are refusing a fighter their lawful right to deal with the bodies of their fallen foes as they see fit?”
She walked around the still forms of Alfran and Keth, appealing to the gathered crowd who were murmuring in their dissent to Korv’s orders before returning to face the emperor.
“You expect me to just let you walk out of here with them! I cannot all-“
“Your Imperial Majesty?” interrupted General Dexu, he quickly stepped forward to whisper into the incensed emperors ear, “You cannot deny this request. Look at the crowd!”
Korv scanned the surrounding and saw thousands upon thousands of citizens calling for the Right of Spoils. He saw the truth of it, but still, he wanted their heads.
He turned around to see what his wife wanted, probably something meaningless like a carbonated beverage.
“What is it!?!” he snapped.
“Perhaps you could send men down to make sure they are dead, then give the bodies to the woman?”
It wasn’t a bad idea, “Is that an acceptable compromise?”
She did not look happy, but she shrugged her shoulders.
“They come down unarmed, and if they so much as make a move to defile their bodies I will kill them and then come after you myself!”
Korv was furious, he wanted nothing more than to order the woman’s execution and take the heads of his foes regardless of the reaction from the populous.
“I like your spirit!” he said instead, “It is a deal.”
The unarmed guards entered the pit and the San’Dreki fighter stepped aside to allow them to check the vitals of the fallen.
“They are dead Your Imperial Majesty!” called out the first guard, as the second stood up to keep an eye of the woman.
“Very well. Take the bodies and get out of my sight!”
The woman had the nerve to smile up at him before she sauntered out of the pit, aides carrying the bodies of Alfran and Keth behind them.
Korv couldn’t help but think about that last look she gave him. It was a look that suggested that she had bested him in some sort of game. Perhaps she had, but if so it was a game he was unaware about.