Do you have any idea how mortifying it is to sit there, in the biggest stinkhole in existence, watching one of your companions make a complete fool of himself? Well, let me tell you, it's pretty damned awful. As Pig-Face flung Jared around the room, driving fist after fist into the boy's face and ribs, all but one of the company turned away. Larn knuckled his forehead beside me, Sarin shook her head disparagingly. Only Elorie watched the fight, her big eyes wide with concern for Jared. How touching.
Hand me the sick bucket.
Suddenly, Elorie gave a squeal of horror. I jolted upright to see Jared, pinned against a table, grab his opponent's shoulders and heave him forward. Already overbalanced, Pig-Face toppled over the table, resulting in a great splintering of wood and a roar of pain from the fat man.
"Little bastard!" he howled. "Get him lads!"
It was too late for Jared to run. Within seconds Pig-Face's companions had lanched themselves off their stools and grappled him to the floor. His strangled cries only made Elorie cry harder. She turned to me entreatingly.
"Nicor, do something! You've got to help him!"
"What? I have nothing to do with this!" I protested.
"But, but this isn't fair! He needs your help, please Nicor!" Elorie clutched at my arm, tears beginning to form in the corners of her eyes.
I sighed. "Alright. I'll go and save Jared's skinny butt."
Reluctantly I left my seat and approached the fray, looking to grab Jared and run for my life. However, a man reared back from the flailing mass of fists and legs, gave a primeval roar and threw himself at me. Instinct kicked in and within minutes I had sent two more of the brawlers tumbling across the bar and smashed a third's face against a table (to this day I don't know if the splintering sound was his face or the table itself). Jared had had enough strength to battle off the fourth, while I turned my attention to Pig-Face. He flew at me in rage, but I grabbed him by the neck with both hands and forced him to the floor, his vile beer-breath stinging my nose. One of his great meaty fists snaked upwards and smacked me hard in the face, tearing through my bottom lip. I yowled and spat a mouthful of blood in his face, tightening my grip on his face.
"Don't come near them again, you hear me?" I hissed, watching the fear in Pig-Face's watery eyes. "Or you'll not be so lucky with me. The boy might not be able to carry his threats out, but I've killed more men than I can remember. Don't make me add you to that list."
Pig-Face nodded madly, gasping and whining pathetically. I snorted in disgust and got to my feet, turning back to my companions. Jared had crawled back across the floor, to the table, and Elorie was kneeling on the floor next to him, hugging him like a lost puppy. Sarin and Larn were looking at me, eyes wide with amazement. I grinned - probably not the best idea with half my face coated in blood from my lip. A floorboard creaked behind me, and I felt something cold and metallic press into the back of my neck. I sighed.
"You never learn do you."
Pig-Face cackled, but his laughter was cut off as my heel rammed into his crotch. He staggered back and I whipped around, punching him square in the middle of his hideous face. His eyes rolled back into his head and his massive form crashed to the ground, the knife clattering uselessly to the ground. I huffed and turned back to the others, wiping the blood from the streaming wound on my lip. Aside from that, the damage was pretty minimal, a few bruises here and there but nothing major. Jared, on the other hand, looked like a butcher's most recent purchase. Elorie held him close, stroking the hair back from his bruised face and whispering softly in his ear.
I grunted and sat back down, using my sleeve to try and stem the flow of blood from my lip. Jared had better be grateful for this.