Sivian's Story: Part 3 - The First Fight
The conditions of the slave pens were horrible, wet and cold in a way that made her wish for the steady rains of home. The water was stagnant and seemed only refreshed by the occasional bucket of frigid water poured down on them through the grate above. She had no idea why they did it, but it made sleeping impossible. She had tried to speak with the other slaves but they were beyond fearful of her. She was easily twice the size of any of them and they must have seen her feed before as they almost always had someone watching her.
It was days of this, she missed real food, but she had no idea if they even knew she could eat anything other than blood. Every day she prayed for the strength not to prey upon the others trapped with her, they were weak, one had died a day before, she figured from exhaustion.
She woke during a morning that was warmer than the others, and while that would have been nice it only brought with it a horde of flies that seemed to be produced by the acrid water in the center of the pen itself.
A huge wooden door on the far wall opened up, and water rushed out of the pen. Men in armor came in with blunted spears and barked orders. Some of the other slaves held up their hands, Sivian did the same. The others left the pen leaving only her and the armored men. They yelled more at her and gestured with the spears. She left the pen with no aggression. They walked down winding halls before being ushered into a small holding area. A gate closed behind them and another opened in front. The others didn't leave, Sivian did. Whatever was out there, it came with fresh air. She stepped out into the light and it burned her eyes, it had been so long since she'd been in the sun. She shielded her eyes and as the light settled in her eyes, she realized it was an arena. The pit was deep and every seat above was filled with fans. As she came into full view the crowd Roared to life.
There was an announcer but the language was even more foreign than her captors.
On the far end of the arena another gate opened and three men came out. Armed, swords, shields, she even saw one had a helm.
She looked around, there were no weapons for her.
Behind her the other weaker captives came from the holding area. All shielded their eyes and huddled together seeing the enemies opposite them. Sivian knew they would be no help.
“Alkourie guide me.” She said under her breath as she dug her toes into the ground and ran forward. The Crowd roared to life as she started the action. One of the sword and shield wielding men saw fit to oblige her desire for combat. She was much faster than him and could already see the outcome was in her favor before they had even clashed. He slashed at her and she dodged to her left and grabbed his sword arm by the wrist. He tried to jerk away but he barely even moved her. She looked down at him and her face was obscured by the sun behind her. The last thing he saw was her golden eyes. She jerked him to the side, swept his legs and tossed him down to the ground head first. A heel came down into his face and he was out cold.
The crowd was silenced by the quick dispatch of the fighter. It wasn't flashy, it wasn't a battle, it was efficient. She reached down and picked up the sword. She didn't bother with the shield.
The two men looked at each other and walked towards her in unison. They had been cocky before but now they stalked at her. She didn't advance at them, the advantage of ignorance was gone with the first victory, she watched them and lowered her stance some. The helmeted one came first slashing, she returned with a thrust to him but it was just to push him away. She turned quickly and attacked the other one before he could aggres her, with an overhead slash that carried the weight of her whole body. She buried her sword into his shield almost splitting it clean in half. She kicked him and he tumbled backwards.
She spun around again and hard blocked an overhead slash from the attacker in the helmet. The weapons dented each other. She pushed upwards throwing him off balance and she swiped hard at his midsection. He blocked with his shield but he had no idea that the slash was a set up to get him to move his shield far enough away that he couldn’t possibly get it back to a neutral position in time. She stepped into him and stabbed and the sword was driven to the hilt. She stepped away from him and he staggered back, and dropped to his knees and then tipped forward.
Only one was left.
He got to his feet but didn't want to fight her. She turned slowly, and stared at him. It was in that moment he could feel the difference between them. She had fought all of them with an ease and comfort he could have never mustered.
He turned to run, but she was on him before he got to the far gate. She grabbed him by the back of the tunic and the arm. She jerked him so hard he was almost taken off of his feet but it was just to expose him more. A spray of blood misted over her as she bit into his shoulder then his neck. His racing heart and the panic of the sudden piercing pain made his exsanguination all the more swift.
He dropped everything he was holding and went lip in her arms. She drank deeply, and his body became limp with each mouthful. Cowards blood always tasted the worst.
She dropped him to the ground and turned away. His body convulsed trying to wake him from a death that inevitable. She was drenched in red.
The crowd didn't have a reaction, they were terrified and fascinated all at once. The roar of approval came like a wave, starting in the front and reaching a crescendo in the back. Sivian felt sick with it, was this what they would have her do, fight and kill and eventually die in some stinking pit all for applause.
In the far back of the arena there was a man who wasn't applauding. He knew full well who she was, and that she shouldn’t have been there. He drew his hood and slunk away.