No one moved.
Absolutely no one.
I started to run for the ring but was stopped by a strong familiar hand.
“No Juewuhl. You can’t interfere.”
“Pownde is going to die!”
“If Pownde dies, then he clearly didn’t deserve to win.”
“Are you serious? He had Boldurh down!”
“But apparently he wasn’t thorough enough as Boldurh was able to strike him.”
“So what, are we just supposed to watch them die?”
Traynur sighed, “Yes Juewuhl. Until someone yields or dies, the match is still in progress.”
I watched helplessly from the sidelines as Boldurh and Pownde now fought a completely battle. Each breath was a labor, and the two were not just fighting each other now.
They were fighting death.
Five minutes passed.
Then five more.
After three minutes Boldurh tried to move. He propped himself up on an elbow and reached for another of the roc shards embedded in his body. He yanked one out and couldn’t contain a yell as he did so. His arm was quivering and it wasn’t moving. The tremors grew worse and then the fragment fell from his hand.
Pownde’s hand snaked out towards it and his fingers grasped the handle. He didn’t try to pick it up, but just slide it along the floor until it encountered Boldurh’s side. His face was contorted with effort as the rock pushed against Boldurh. Pownde tensed, let out a huge roar, and then jerked his arm forward.
Forty eight seconds later Boldurh died.
I was the first one into the ring. I knelt by my friend and searched his face for some sign that he was still hanging on. I tried to feel for a pulse and heartbeat, but I was shoved aside seconds later by members of the Rest Center. I didn’t leave Pownde’s side the whole way to the Rest Center. I tried to follow the group into his room, but I was stopped by another nurse and told to go back to my room.
I couldn’t stop pacing the length of my room. Even when one of the healers came to give me my last treatment, I refused to stop moving for any longer than it took for her to do her thing. It was the first time I had actually been awake to see them treat me, but I was hardly focused on that. I was sure that I’d be in here for plenty for more treatments in the future.
My friend could only die once though.
Pailadyn came in at one point, and just watched from the doorway. I wasn’t ignoring her, but I wasn’t going out of my way to be civil at this point. I was very preoccupied and I think she understood that. I sorta hoped she did, because after a few minutes she turned and left without a word.
If it hadn’t of happened to me, I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but I actually fell asleep standing up. I woke the next morning propped against the wall opposite my bed, and wondered how I got there.
I fell aslepe standing up because I had been pacing, I had been pacing because of Pownd-
Oh my word… Pownde!
I flung open the door, noting in the process that it was now fully healed, and sprinted down the hall. The healer at the door didn’t seem surprised to see, and stepped aside so I could enter. I closed my eyes when I went in and mentally prepared myself for the worst.
I opened my eyes and found Pownde smiling at me.
That definitely wasn’t the worst.
“So you made it?” I asked.
“Looks like it, although they have to reschedule my fight. I’m not going anywhere for a few days.”
“You look fine though.”
“On the outside I am. When Boldurh stabbed me though he cause a lot of internal injury. It should heal up fine, but it’ll take some time.”
“So when is your fight? “
“Soon. I should probably leave in a minute.”
“Ok.Who are you fighting?”
“Oh, so he beat Spyke?”
“I guess so. Their battle was after mine so I was in here. I didn’t see it.”
“Right. I thought Spyke would win to be honest. He can launch his spikes like nobody’s business.” Said Pownde as he unconsciously rubbed his arm; probably in remembrance of old injuries.
“That means you have to be extra careful then Juewuhl. I haven’t seen you fight in this tournament yet, but I know that you are primarily close combat. And flames aren’t exactly things that you can block with a shield.”
“Alright. Thank you.””
“Stay safe out there Juewuhl.”
I turned to go and was heading out the door when he said,
“Oh! And don’t die… that’d be bad.”
Comforting as always
I arrived at the Arena and was two fights early. I watched as the participants fought and clashed and killed.
Would I kill again today?