“Up-end the fool.”
Conan was struggling to breathe. That slow deliberate thrashing on his belly had worked him over. One either side .. taking their time about each strike. Relishing the look of his face .. fighting himself back into control. Making every hit count. One of them thrown a fucking hard-on. Getting off on this.
Taking a toll on Conan’s determination. They’d worked him over well, really well. They set out to make him hurt. They had. But he wasn’t ready to lie down and weep. He’d make them work their guts off before he gave them the first sign.
“This the way you teach men to fight?”
Conan shook at the restraints holding him in place. Holding his temper down.
“Why not? You and me? In that pit.”
He snorted. A sneering challenge on his lips.
“Show your fucking master what a real man can do. How real men fight.”
“There IS a market ……”
The fight-master had bided his time. He had waited out his master’s anger at losing two of his best fighter’s to that barbaric onslaught. Waiting out the threats to reduce the fight-master’s status and put HIM in the pit with The Fiend.
“…… for extreme violence.”
He paused. The master knew this as well as he did. Why else did he maintain his fight-team? And train them so hard. Put them into the arena for only the toughest of brawls?
It pretended not to feel it. It made out as if the smarting bites of the cane into his bare flesh was nothing to him. But the fight-master knew better. By ten or eleven .. at best by twelve .. the biting pain would make its mark.
He had to give it to the brute, he lasted out well. A good sign .. how much pain he could absorb. How his manly pride refused to give the fight-master the satisfaction. He could feel this combat had got personal.
“I am Kanos. I run the master’s fight-team.”
The fight-master was up close. He had no fears of the beast’s violent nature. The men had him stretched to his toes. The belt around his ankles had been replaced by a thick leather strap. No way could the brute kick out. Those powerful arms were similarly overpowered.
Stupid, he’d never contemplated the thought that this brute knew how to fight. All he’d spotted at the end of trading in the market was an ox that no one wanted to buy. A burly brute held back by leg irons and manacles. Bought for near-nothing. Just a male-ox for sale to do heavy duty work. Throwaway.
It took a good half dozen burly fighters to take the brute down. Men who used to pushing their weight around in a fight. Men who were incensed at what the beast had done to their mates. Killing one, fatally mailing the other. Mates they trained with, whored with …..