208 The Dawn of a Warrior VI *
On his stomach with one arm half beneath him, Aegin moved his free arm behind him, angling his remaining sword to send the battleaxe down beside him. He knew it wouldn't work. The sword was too light, especially without his twin. He looked up into Beast's gaze as the axe made contact and began to bend the blade of the sword, then Aegin threw his entire body weight into his blade, and in turn into the side of the battle axe.
His own blade sliced his back, and as he used the action of hitting the side of the battleaxe to shift his momentum and roll the other way, away from Beast, he knew he was incredibly lucky to not had hit his spine. As it was, he knew he cut pretty deep into his side, that and he'd have bruises like no man's business all long his torso for some time to come. Aegin stood clutching his bleeding side with one arm and his bent short sword with the other. He looked down at the sword as he met Beast's gaze. The other sword was too far away. Aegin gritted his teeth as he threw his remaining sword away, then he drew two daggers and stood ready.
Beast pulled the Battleaxe from the ground then nodded to Aegin's wound, "You're not gonna last lone with that. You're bleeding too much".
Aegin took a deep breath, "Better finish this quick then".
Beast grinned, and together, the two moved. Aegin threw the knives in his hands one after another and Beast deflected them before drawing his axe above his head once more. Aegin stepped forward as Beast brought axe down, then launched himself into the air. As he tumbled over the axe blade, Aegin drew two more knives from his belt. He landed on the axe handle, pushing it further into the ground as it landed. As he landed he reached forward with his two blades, pushing off with his feet once more and flipping over the top of Beast, the two dagger embedding into the two sides of Beast's neck. Aegin landed hard and rolled, clutching at his side. Beast collapsed behind him.
Aegin gritted his teeth, putting pressure on his wound as he gathered his feet under him and stood, turning to look behind him at Beast's body.
He fought well. He'd been a great opponent. And he'd gotten a pretty decent hit in. Aegin was pretty sure thanks to the blood gushing from his wound that if he'd had to drag it out he wouldn't have survived. As it was he already felt a bit lightheaded.
He turned to look up at the Slave Master, who stared right back at Aegin. It was then that Aegin recognised the cheers of the Arena. The crowd who were cheering for him.
After several moments of cheering, a chant began to resonate in the crowd. A chant that solidified his name in the Arena for many years to come.
The announcer looked around at the crowd, grinning, "The winner, and the completion of his trials! Aegin Bloodthorn!"
Aegin stood for a moment, frowning at the name and remembering the time when he'd discussed surnames with Rassa. He'd never wanted one, still didn't. But he'd thought 'Thorn' would be fitting. Rassa had said it sounded incomplete. Almost as if he'd known...
Aegin turned and walked back towards the gate.
The Slave Master watched with Madame and the crowd as Aegin walked out of the Arena clutching his side, the resonating chants of the surname he'd been granted drowning out all other noise.
"It seems you are safe from being sold for now," the Slave Master stated, "Though he'll have to fight at least once a fortnight for the rest of his life to keep it that way".
He turned to look at ebony, who stared back at him, "He needs time to heal".
"He's got two weeks. Pretty generous for someone whose life is destined for the Arena," the Slave Master stated, "I've already made a deal with him that has likely cost me my reputation, I will not be making another with him or anybody else. Behave, or I might see fit to break this deal too".
The Slave Master stood and walked out of the VIP box, then the Madame stood as well, looking over her shoulder at Ebony.
"You can make a deal with me if you want," she smiled, "But I can pretty much guarantee your beau won't like it much".
Ebony glanced at her, then looked away, "No, thank you, Madame".
Madame smirked then walked past Ebony, tugging on the rope as she went, "Your loss".
Ebony wasn't so sure.
"The Slave Master has given you two weeks off," Ebony spoke after she was let into Aegin's cell. The Physicians had finished stitching and bandaging his wound. It was surprisingly sterile, but then, the Slave Master likely only lost his Warriors the way they were supposed to be lost.
"Didn't think he was that generous," Aegin grunted from where he lay, clearly not the least bit inclined to sit up.
"You okay?" asked Ebony.
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"Not really," Aegin replied, "Physician said if it'd been just an inch deeper I would have cut through my spine. I figured as much...it's going to leave a pretty decent scar".
"I'm glad you're alive," Ebony said, "Scar or no scar".
"I am too, though I think if Beast lived I would have had a more decent treatment here," Aegin stated.
"Beast?" asked Ebony, "The guy you...fought?"
Aegin sighed, "He was a good man, Ebony. Decent despite his circumstances. There are only a few of those in here".
"Then, from now on, don't kill them," Ebony said.
Aegin couldn't help the scoff, which he then groaned at thanks to the jolt in his torso, "I'm not sure how much of a choice I've got in that, Ebony. I don't decide who I fight".
"Yes, but from what I've heard, life or death fights aren't as common," Ebony said, "The Slave Master doesn't have a big enough roll over of slaves to constitute it. Most are just until someone is injured or forfeits. Though the one who loses loses more than just the fight".
Aegin sighed, "So he followed through on his promise?"
"for now," Ebony confirmed.
"Let me know when he decides not to," Aegin said.
Ebony sighed, "You can't protect me from everything Aegin. I appreciate you trying, but the fact is that in here, it's every man for himself. I don't know how long they'll let me visit you, but when my leg gets better. I want you to start training me again. Like how Rassa was going to".
"I'm not like Rassa, Ebony," Aegin said.
"But you know it's not an option to say no," Ebony replied.
He did. Of course he did. Aegin waited a moment then replied, "Fine. But only when you're better".
Ebony nodded, "You too".
"There'll be more cuts and bruises and likely broken bones before this is over," said Aegin.
"No lost limbs?" asked Ebony.
"Well I'm quite fond of my limbs, so I'll be trying pretty hard not to lose them," Aegin replied.
Ebony couldn't help the light chuckle that left her lips. Then she grasped Aegin's hand.
"Just don't die, okay?"