Once Cho finished talking to the other trainer, he walked back to Robin to inform him what the other trainer had said.
"He has chosen the whip to fight with. You have a choice of one weapon King Richard. What is it?"
Robin’s steel gaze looked forward to the other opponent. "I choose, no weapons," Robin coldly stated.
At first Cho was going to argue with Robin, but gazing into his warriors face. Searching into his eyes, he saw something in them. It was the same thing he saw when he first witnessed his man fight. Cho’s lips parted in a satisfied grin. His warrior was back. Nodding his head in approval, he whirled around, then announced as loud as he could.
The crowd gasped in shock. It was unheard of not to use a weapon. The Master covered her mouth to hide the smile that she could not contain. It was going better than she planned.
"No weapons then," she shouted back to Cho. The master stood up, bringing her hands out to hush the crowd. When the noise died down, she started the battle.
"Lords and Barons, Ladies and Baronesses. I welcome you all to The Arena. This week starts the elimination rounds. At the end of the week we will have our best fighters go against the Mongolians."
The crowd roared out their delight. It had been five years since they saw the last tournament. Most were anxious to have the fights begin. The Master brought her hands up again. The crowd hushed.
"In our main elimination round for the day, we will have a familiar fighter. You all have seen him before. A favorite amongst the Lords, The Destroyer!"
The Master embellished her hand towards the other warrior. The crowd roared in satisfaction. The Destroyer walked to the center of the ring. Putting his hands up he slowly circled around, soaking in the admiration. As he stopped, he faced Robin. Bringing out his whip, he cracked it to the side, giving Robin a hungry grin. He then slowly backed up to join his trainer. The crowd clamored for more. As the noise died down the Master concluded the introductions.
"And Now noblemen and Women. I have something special for our main battle. A new fighter, who has chosen, I’ve been informed, not to use weapons for his first fight. This, my friends; show you just how unique this fighter is. I assure you that you will not be disappointed by him. I give you…KING RICHARD!!!" She pointed towards where Robin stood.
Cho pushed Robin towards the center of the ring. Half of the crowd booed. They had no idea who Robin was. Others however gave Robin a mighty cheer. The sex of the admirers Robin noticed, were mostly female. He raised his hand up slightly, showing them his recognition and shyly walked back to Cho.
Pointing her hand towards Robin, The Master urged crowd on, in there cheering. Slowly raising up her hand, along with her other, she threw her head back and cried out. "Let the fight begin!" She then quickly sat down.
Cho and the other trainer backed out of the ring. Robin and The Destroyer were left alone in the ring. The Destroyer slowly stalked towards Robin, pulling his whip back and forth. Its crack echoed in the air.
Robin knew he had to keep out of the distance of the whip. He paced back and forth, trying to stay out of the whips destructive path. The Destroyer was a larger man than Robin, larger as in wide. He also had a more muscular build than Robin. Robin knew that the only way he was going to win this fight was by using his brains.
His eyes narrowed with concentration. He quickly analyzed his opponent, trying to assess his style of fighting. Robin came in close enough for the whip to reach him. The Destroyer, seeing his chance took it. He pulled his whip towards Robin. As the whip came towards him, Robin back flipped out of the way. The crowd roared in delight at the quickness of the new fighter.
Robin halted near the outskirts of the ring. The Destroyer ran towards him, his whip snaking out. Robin quickly moved sideways. The Destroyer was to quick with his whip. He was able to anticipate Robin’s every move. He was able to knick Robin in the arm several times. The special leather that Cho gave him to wear protected him from the whips fury. The Whip was unable penetrate it, but the sting was still there. Robin leaped and rolled across the ring, trying to avoid being scored on by the whip. Try as he might, he was unable to get close enough to his adversary to bring him down. Well, Robin thought to himself. Then he would stop trying.
As the Destroyer whipped out at Robin, Robin came into the Destroyer. He raised his arm up with the studded gauntlet. The whip wrapped around Robin’s gauntlet. Robin then pulled his arm back. The Destroyer jerked back on the whip. He slowly started dragging Robin towards him. His face set in a satisfied grin. He finally had the upper hand on his opponent, or so he thought.
Robin dug in his heels, trying to halt his movement towards his adversary. He grabbed the whip with his free hand and tried to pull it back, but The Destroyer was just to strong. He was gradually able to pull Robin into his large arms. Now facing his opponent, Robin tried to pull out of the hold; but his rival was too strong. The Destroyers large arms encompassed him.
Reaching for his wrists, he clamped them behind Robin’s back. He then slowly started squeezing. Robin’s head fell back screaming in agony as he felt his ribs being compressed. With his arms pinned at his side, Robin kicked his legs up, trying to jerk himself out of the iron grip. This only made the Destroyer squeeze harder. The crowd chanted out the Destroyers name. Robin cried out as the Destroyers pressure on his hold increased.
Alan grabbed Cho’s arm. His eyes were wide with panic. "He's hurting him Cho. King Richards losing!"
Cho calmly stared at his warrior. His head slowly shook from side to side. "Alan you see but you do not look. My warrior has a plan."
Cho was right. As The Destroyer was trying to squeeze the life out of Robin, Robin was examining his opponent more carefully. Close up he searched the large mans body, his arms, his chest. Robin tried to find any advantage he could get. It was when he was looking at his arm that he noticed a small fresh scar. As Robin spied the scar, he suddenly stopped screaming. So suddenly that the crowd hushed. The Destroyer squeezed harder. Robin was able to block out the pain.
"Is that the best you can do?" Robin gasped.
"I haven’t even begun!" the rotund man roared.
"Good, because I have!" Robin cried out.
Robin then pulled his head back, using his own head as a weapon he hit the Destroyer on the forehead. The heavy man released Robin from his grip. As he stumbled back, clutching his head in pain, Robin fell to the ground in a heap. The Destroyer rubbed the spot Robin hit him. He shook his head. It buzzed from the blow Robin inflicted on him. He shook his head again, trying to clear it. Robin slowly stood up. His muscles tense, his gaze intent on his task. Standing up Robin jumped into the air whirling around, he brought his leg out. The energy from the whirling gave his foot more force and momentum as he slammed it at the location of the small scar.
As Robin hit the scar, the Destroyer screamed out in pain, clutching his arm where Robin’s foot made contact. This confirmed what Robin had quickly assessed. The Destroyer had suffered a recent injury from the freshness of the scar. The large man backed up, clutching his arm in pain. He searched around for his whip. With his fists clenched, Robin pursued his opponent. Coming up to his rival, he brought his hand up and backhanded the destroyer. The destroyer whirled around from the force of the blow.
Robin’s face showed deep concentration. Intent on his task, he focussed mainly on defeating his antagonist. His vision narrowed to only include his foe, Robin continued to strike his opponent in the area of the scar. A crack was heard with the fourth blow. Robin gave a gratified grin; he had re-broken an old break, but Robin wasn’t finished yet. After all, the master told him he had to impress the crowd. Put on a show for her.
He then proceeded to pelt The Destroyer, with a barrage of kicks and punches. With each hit the Destroyer moaned and groaned. As Robin was hitting The Destroyer, he was also leading him towards the area where The Master sat. With each high kick, with each spinning punch; the crowd roared out for more.
Robin’s blows were relentless. The man should have been on the ground by now. Robin kept him spinning towards the Master. As he finally positioned the Destroyer in front of the Master. He stopped. Standing in front of the Destroyer, Robin tried to catch his breath. Panting as the Destroyer swayed back and forth, ready to drop with one more blow. Robin looked up at the Master, giving her a sly smile. She gazed back at him, glowing with pride. Pride in herself. She had made a lot of money today with this win, and in the succeeding days, she would soon be the richest woman in England.
Robin let out a quick breath. He was going to do it. He decided to do it for the others. Walking a little ways back, he ran towards his dazed opponent, leaping into the air. Robin brought both his feet out, hitting the Destroyer full in the chest. The Destroyer doubled up and flew back, to land in a bloody mess on the Masters Lap.
The Master screamed out in horror. Standing up she pushed the unconscious body of the Destroyer off her. Robin braced himself in front of the Master. His arms folded, he gave her a look of satisfaction. Spinning on his heels, he slowly, with purpose, walked towards the center of the Arena. The crowds roars were deafening. Never have they seen a battle such as the one they witnessed. When Robin reached the center of the arena, he raised his hands in triumph, slowly turning in a circle. The crowd gave a thundering ovation.
The Master wanted Robin to dazzle them, and he came through. With Alan in tow, Cho ran towards Robin. The Master kicked at The Destroyers body that lay at her feet. It rolled towards the center of the ring. She heard a snicker. Looking down she saw Ian laughing into his hand.
"Well you did want a good show. I think he was great."
The Master pointed at her ruined dress. "Look at me, I’m a mess!" she screamed.
"Perhaps, but the others love him, look." Ian pointed out to the crowd. The were all up in there seats. The show Robin put on did have an effect on them. It gave them what they came here to see…what they paid to see. It made them aware that this fighter was something special to behold. The Master looked down at her soiled dress. As she glanced towards the center of the ring, she could see King Richard staring back at her. He shrugged his shoulders mouthing "Sorry!" The crowd roared out in joy with this. The Master then started giggling. It was soft at first but it grew into a chuckle, then a laugh. She strolled towards the center of the ring, bringing her hands up, urging the crowd on.
"King Richard!" She yelled out to the lords and Barons. Walking up to Robin, she grabbed his hand, holding it up in the air in triumph.
"The Winner!" she exclaimed. As she held Robin’s hand up, she dug her nails as far as she could go into Robin’s hand. Blood started dripping slowly down his hand. Robin grimaced as he tried to hide how much she was hurting him. She held his hand up, slowly turning so the crowd could cheer the new champion. As she came back around, she let Robin’s hand drop. Robin wiped his hand clean on his vest. She mouthed to him, "Sorry." Then briskly went back to her seat. A satisfied grin set on her face.
As the Master left, Cho stood next to Robin now, absorbing the cheering, and the applause that Robin was receiving. This is what he had waited for, for oh so long; receiving the audiences recognition for his skill as a trainer. It was his man receiving all the acclamation. All the accolades were a product of his hard work. Alan stood off to the side. Just being near King Richard, he could feel the praise from the audience. It felt good. Now he knew what Cho was talking about all the weeks of training.
When he had enough Cho grabbed Robin’s arms. He pulled him towards the outer ring. Alan quickly followed them. As they reached the outside of the ring, the two guards joined them. With the dogs, as always; in the rear. Cho wanted to get his man back in his room as quickly as possible. There were many fights ahead. Now the real work was going to begin. The small procession pushed their way through the crowd. Some reached out to grab at the new fighter. They were worked up to a frenzy. It was the most exciting battle they had seen for some time. They wanted more.
Cho had to rush Robin out. He didn’t want his fighter hurt by the admiring new fans. They broke through the crowd into the corridors. Walking down the dark hallways the crowds roars started to die down. There were other fights to be run that day, but none would compare to the one just fought.
As they walked through the hallways the other fighters waiting to go on, marveled at the new champion. The trainers bowed their heads in respect to Cho. Their fighters gave Robin sideways glances. Robin smiled at them as they walked by. Not recognizing the respect given by the other trainers, Cho was only intent on bringing his fighter back to his room safely. They returned to the room without any incident. The guards remained in the hallway, guarding the door. Cho entered Robin’s room, with Robin, Alan, and the two dogs following.
Cho started to pace the floor. He could hardly contain his excitement.
"King Richard that was brilliant," he enthused.
"What happened out there?" Alan asked, confused. He knew he still had a lot to learn.
"Our King Richard was able to figure out that the fighter had suffered a prior injury. Isn’t that right King Richard?" Cho stopped pacing. He now looked at Robin with pride. Like a child, Robin thought, but at least not like a dog. Robin brought his hands up. He examined the marks left by the master, blood still oozed from the wound.
"The Master wanted a show and I gave it to her," he modestly said.
Cho’s smile of pride fell. He walked up to Robin. Taking Robin’s hands in his own, he looked at the deep wounds that the Master left. Robin looked up into Cho’s eyes. He was surprised to find worry in them. "You did good in some ways King Richard, but the Master has a very long memory. She will not forget what you did to her today."
He brought Robin’s injured hand up as proof of what she was capable of. Robin bowed his head. He had humiliated the Master today. He was about to apologize to Cho for it when he heard a soft chuckle. Looking up Robin could see that Alan was the one laughing.
"That was great! I think it was the first time anyone did something like that to her."
His laughing grew louder. Cho looked at him with concern. Alan put his hand on Cho’s shoulder.
"Hey Cho, don’t worry. She won’t be mad long. If anything, she loves that. I think what King Richard did today helped you. She’ll look at him with more respect now. Believe me Cho, I know."
Cho nodded his head in agreement. His warrior did look good today, in the coming days. He would only get better. He hoped the week would go slow for him. He wanted to relish every moment, every tribute he received for training The Greatest Warrior. He now had a chance against his own people. By the end of the week, he would be on top again. Letting Robin’s injured hand drop, he walked to the window. Gazing out he saw the sun was just setting. Its orange glow fell on his face.
"This is the best day of my life," he said aloud.
"Me too!" Alan joined in.
Robin brought his hand up to his chest. Feeling for Marion’s scarf, he stared at Cho’s back. He could almost see him grinning from where he stood. He gazed at his injured hand, closing his eyes he thought.
Just wait, the best day in his life was the day he left this place. With Jean and the others, and Robin knew that day was coming. It was coming soon.
End of Part Fifteen
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