A tall woman, Pascal, with fuchsia-colored hair, enters the circle. She has red string tied around her arms to highlight her biceps and her stomach is painted with the Riestovikian symbols for pain and love. Despite her musculature, she looks lithe, sort of serpentine. Pascal tosses in a box of bronze stars. Even sharpened to a point, they make mediocre weapons. But being made of brasu bronze, they can fetch a good amount from a smelter.
There’s a buzz in the crowd as everyone waits for—
“I’ll take ya on, rudder!” shouts Cadyn.
Everyone looks over at her. She snorts through her nose and grinds her tan leather boot into the floor. She takes off a brown coat and hands it to Kergan. Then Cadyn kneels down, facing Kergan, and redoes her shoelaces.
“I trained ’is one, aye.” Cadyn whispers to Kergan. “Just like you. I want you to watch her defense. Watch how she uses ’er feet ’specially. Pascal was a natty at balance, a bit a wenan in ’er.”
In contrast with the last fight, this one is about technique. Both test each other out, but keep their defenses tight. Cadyn takes a few shots at Pascal’s legs, but to no avail. Each time Cadyn leaves her defense down slightly, trying to trap Pascal, Pascal will not fall for it.
Kergan follows Pascal’s moves, trying to anticipate what’s coming next.
Pascal lands the first clean blow—a knee to the chest—knocking Cadyn to the ground. Pascal jumps on top of the prone Cadyn. Despite having a smaller frame, Pascal almost engulfs Cadyn, using her limbs to wrap her up.
It looks like Pascal has complete control, but Kergan notices something. Pascal is gasping for air while Cadyn’s breath is calm and measured. Cadyn’s arm breaks free and she begins to chop at Pascals liver like an ax. Pascal has to release to protect herself, but Cadyn follows with a hold of her own, locking her arm under Pascal’s chin and tying her right arm behind her back. Pascal kicks and spits, but she’s losing strength. The combination of the hold and her uneven breathing has worn her down.
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