Vrash punched the other man in the chest. He didn’t know his opponent’s name. He never did. They were both unarmored, but Vrash was the only one unarmed as well. They both were well muscled, and they both wore nothing but a piece of cloth wrapped about their waists. So were the other three men in the arena. Two of those men were also dead. Or at least dying, their helpless bodies lying in the sand. The third was closing in tight behind him. He would need to take care of his current antagonist first.
He lifted a leg and kicked the other man, pushing him back. He would be expecting a respite in the attack — since it was used to give one some breathing room, but Vrash wouldn’t give it to him. There wouldn’t be time for that with the other fighter in the arena. The tactic was only to give him a sense of ease. Vrash leapt after him as the man stumbled, focusing entirely on regaining his balance. He spun as he re-closed the distance and his elbow brought a furious blow to the fighter’s face. Vrash couldn’t suppress a grin as he felt a satisfying crack and a tiny spatter of blood on his arm.
He continued his spin and grabbed the man’s hair and pulled back his head. He finished the fight with a viscious punch to the fighter’s neck. He let go as the dying body collapsed, struggling soundlessly for breath that would never come.
Vrash faced the direction of his last opponent, whose run slowed as he saw Vrash was no longer distracted. Vrash could tell he was cocky, and knew he had reason to be. Vrash was breathing heavy, he’d fought and killed three men already, and the sweat was running down into his eyes. The other man held a sword and a punching dagger. Vrash hadn’t even had time to lower himself and pick up someone’s weapon. He’d been given strict orders not to touch them anyway.
His owner — Vrash didn’t know his name and was only allowed to refer to him as Master — had never put him in a fight he couldn’t win. Vrash tursted him completely. He was well taken care of and treated to honors no other gladiatorial slave ever got. He didn’t care about freedom. He’d never known it, and didn’t see what appeal it would have. He was good at fighting, and he didn’t know how to do anything else. Life was good.
But it was hard too. He’d fought four men at once before, but he’d been armed. He’d fought three men unarmed. He’d fought beasts. But these men were good, and Vrash just wondered if maybe Master had given him a fight that was too hard as the two men circled each other.
The other man had a tattoo on his upper arm, three red circles in a triangle. He lunged at Vrash with his sword, but he didn’t have enough power in his legs — it was clearly a feint. Vrash didn’t even react. He didn’t know if Triangle intended to draw him out or test his defenses, but Vrash wasn’t going to give him anything. Triangle had a confused look in his eyes, and he paused. He clearly hadn’t expected no reaction at all.
It was all the chance Vrash needed. He grabbed Triangle’s wrist and pulled him forward. He couldn’t hold his opponent in place, else he’d take the punching-dagger in his side. But pulling the man and letting go was good enough. It forced Triangle completely off balance and he stumbled forward. Vrash stepped behind him and pounded him in the kidney. Triangle only grunted. Vrash grinned. This one, at least, was a man. He reached out, hoping to grab the man’s arms, both of them, but there was too much momentum, too much distance. Triangle whirled and they returned to circling.
There would be no false moves, no fakes any more. Each move would be with the intention to kill.