A simple plan. First, establish a reputation. Savage events in the arena, brutalising. Win over the shrieking mob. Baying for blood. Betting on The Fiend set up against unmanageable odds. But smashing through the mob’s expectations. Winning, winning, winning. Smashing up faces, breaking bones, snapping necks.
It was a fine line he was walking. Not made easy to succeed when he was dealing with a rabid wild animal on two legs. The fight-master was walking a tightrope. But he was a man who only ever set out to succeed.
They were taking their time. Dishing it out .. each blow struck with all they’d got. But then an endless wait in-between. Getting the most out of every tortured blow .. pain sizzling through every fibre .. setting teeth on edge. And then waiting .. dragging it out. The wait for the next painful hit getting to the fool.
He raised a clenched fist. His signal. Wordless. The element of surprise. That animal with his head stuck well down in the hole .. his every animal sense would be on full alert. Listening out. On edge for what was about to hit out.
Testing would start tomorrow. After a night down the hole. Hungry. Uncertain. The Fiend would be relieved when he was hauled back out again. But the fight-master did not expect him to express any thanks.
The body had nearly disappeared into the hole. The fight-master knew the fit was tight. He had adapted the punishment tube to be like that. Little room for movement .. stuck down the hole till the fight-master let a rebellious fighter free. And this brute was BIG! Little room to fit those killer shoulders down in there. He’d watched the Fiend lowered till he was visible only from the knees.