Jyrixi shouted for us to begin and I was locked in a stare down with Andivor. He began circling to the left and I mirrored him. My gut was churning with the thought of taking a life.
Come to think of it, I cringed when my father taught me how to ring a chicken’s neck. He told me our life was hard therefore I needed to learn to toughen up. I wonder if he knew one day I’d be in the same situation he and my uncle had faced?
Andivor snarled and then lunged with both arms out. I dodged, barely missing his grasp and landed a hard kick to his midsection. He rolled over, holding his stomach in pain. I don’t even know how I did that, but I was thankful I at least made contact.
After struggling to stand to his feet, he glared at me, “You won’t win, peasant. I need to be the one to face Cicatrix.” I scoffed, “You are from the wealthy side of town, what could you possibly gain from winning this competition that you don’t already have?”
He smirked, “To make a name for myself, of course.” I cursed, “Stupid! You put your life on the line just to become famous! I’m held here against my will while you so carelessly throw your freedom away! You are a fool!”
Andivor responded by charging me and I knew the conversation was over.
This time I didn’t move fast enough and he plowed into me. The weight of his body put my back flat against the platform. He struggled against me, but managed to pin my legs and arms down.
My vision blurred with sweat and tears. Next I felt immense pain when his fist make a solid connection with my nose. Blood spurted and I seen stars. I’ve never had my nose broken before so the pain seemed endless.
Desperately I tried to pull my arms from their prison, but he wasn’t yielding. I started kicking my legs in every direction I could, trying to buck him off before he could break anymore of my facial bones.
Miraculously, he leaned back enough that my right arm came free. Thanks to the blood covering my eyes I couldn’t see, but my punch connected with something that made him cry out in pain. I took advantage of it and stumbled to my feet. I heard him running towards me again and did the only thing I could think of. I kicked out as hard as I could once again.
Subsequently I heard him cry out again and then there was a clatter followed by a sickening squelch. A scream erupted from someone in the audience that was audible over the murmurs.
As I was trying to wipe the blood from my face with my shirt, I heard Jyrixi call the match. “Winner, Zakyrik with death by impalement!” I felt a rag being pushed into my hand and used it to wipe enough off blood so I could sort of see. When I caught sight of Andivor, I wished I had just left the blood in my eyes.
Axrenorian looked worried, or at least I think he did. It was hard to see through two almost swollen shut eyes. The blood I hadn’t removed was starting to dry, causing my eyeballs to sting and leak tears.
He kept mumbling something about how he keeps promising bloody fights and they so far all end in clean flukes. I didn’t mean to kick Andivor off the platform and I definitely didn’t mean to make him land on one of the metal spikes sticking up from the ground. I was just acting on instinct because I couldn’t see what was going on.
To my horror, I found out that the screaming in the audience was his mother, who had warned Andivor not to participate in this competition. She begged her only son to reconsider, but he assured her that he wouldn’t die. Not only am I responsible for taking a life, but I’m responsible for taking away a mother’s child. My shame, not to mention my pain, are side by side and hand in hand right now.
The devastating feeling of being the reason for someone’s family getting torn apart was threatening to send me into a nervous breakdown. My father, mother, uncle and Zytriana were separated from me because of this competition. I have become a hypocritical beast by doing the same thing to that poor woman that had been done to me. Nausea set in and I leaned my head against the seat, silently wishing I could make this right somehow.
When we arrived, the guards started dragging me to my room while Axrenorian went in the opposite direction. Vague curiosity whisked through my mind about what he was up to, but it was interrupted by an agonizing headache.
After a shower I finally had a better view of my face. I still couldn’t see just how much was really done because my eye sight was distorted. My headache died down to a dull throb and I settled on the thought to just crawl in the bed for the day.
There was a knock on my door that interrupted my mission, however. Now who could that be? If it’s Axrenorian, I swear I’m going to risk being executed because I will not be able to stop the threats that will come out of my mouth.
However, upon opening it I found I didn’t need my eyesight to know who was at the door. Even though my nose was broken, I could still smell the sweet fragrance of freesias and honey. That’s not fair. Not only is she there most beautiful vision I’ve ever laid my eyes on, but she also smells too enticing to resist.
If this competition doesn’t kill me, Xori definitely will.