“You’re going to win this fight easily Bradonius. Just keep up your
guard and watch for his heavy thrust. He is old and battered now and not half the man he was and I put it to you
that you have the ability to give him a warriors death!” Crixon was speaking in hushed tones down in the belly
of the ship.
“Why of course I will win, this Pugula or whatever he is called will
take one look at my handsome and youthful face and it will be end game for him!” Bradonius bellowed in a haughty
Crixon smiled, half of him believing what Bradonius said the other
half of him hoping maybe Bradonius would be killed. He sat for a moment and studied Bradonius, his physique his
agility his power were all top notch and it is true to say that Crixon had never handled a better fighter but
why oh why did the man have to be such a narcissistic coward? The last fight was a joke, all Bradonius had to do
was kill a drugged and starving criminal and what happened? Bradonius spent the first half of the fight running
away, a giant golden haired demi-god running from a starving frenzied wretch of a man. At least the crowd liked
it and to be fair the shame of being the cowards handler was far outweighed by the purse the fight fetched, what
with everyone betting on the criminal within minutes of the fight starting. What wasn’t much fun was the riot
afterwards, those that lost their money went berserk once they seen Bradonius strike the man in the wind pipe
with his trident and sever his head with a single blow.
“BRADONIUS! Less of your idle boasting I know you are a coward! Now
listen to me, this man is no criminal he is a trained gladiator with years of experience. He is like an old lion
defending his pride. And….. Are you even listening you moron?” Crixon was exasperated once he realised Bradonius
was putting a fancy braid in his hair.
“What? Oh I am sorry Crixon yes I heard something about cowards and
experienced lions?” He didn’t even lift his head to answer.
“Arrgghh! This conversation is OVER!” and with that Crixon stormed
off and went up to the upper deck, Bradonius had exhausted him once more.
Once up on deck Crixon sat and rested himself, he loved the sea air
and the sense of freedom the open seas gave him. As he squinted his eyes looking for land or birds he noticed a
black sailed ship. In the last three days he swore he had seen the sails several times. A few of the other men
had seen it too and the rumour going about was that they were the cursed ships of Hades. More likely they were
Thracian ships, ships of the mad king Dominus. No surely they would not be this far out. An hour passed and the
ship was gone, anyway how could one ship be any threat to the fleet from Rhodus? Crixon gave libations to
Neptune by throwing some fat from his ham and pouring some wine into the watery depths.
There was twenty ships filled with gladiators, gold and wealthy
merchants and the pits of Carapanthea was one of the best places in the world to make a killing both monetarily
and literally! Although Carapanthea itself was only sparsely populated peoples from all around would arrive for
the games, a hub as it were for violence, money, slave girls and all of the related debauchery. These thoughts
made Crixon smile to himself and he was no longer vexed with his feckless gladiator.