Story for the Day: The Clan Fight -- Part 2

Clan fights over family pride are all very well, but it's all fun and games until someone breaks their own shoulder in an effort to win -- at least that is how the saying goes amongst Vyrdin's camp.

Brigdan signaled to the opposing side that the stakes were rising, and the young Grameres
Gaumhin should fight in full breacan
and MacLachlanns matched the wager, but the fight was not over in a minute, as Aldus had predicted, for Gaumhin, feeling emboldened by having made the first devastating blow, raised his fist to continue. He jabbed Vyrdin in the side, but a strike to his chin drew him back, and another in his stomach nearly brought him to his knees. He put one hand down to keep from crumbling under the sudden anguish, and swung at Vyrdin’s side with his left fist. It connected slightly, grazing Vyrdin’s ribs, and when Vyrdin’s evaded, Gaumhin brought his right fist into Vyrdin’s chest. The nogonition of restrained breathing ebulated out, Vyrdin dug his heels into the ground, withstanding the shock of the blow, and immediately returned it, hitting Gaumhin in the ear. A shrill skirl resonated, Gaumhin shook his head, and just as he regained his focus, he saw Vyrdin sailing toward him, his fist plunging for his eye. He shifted, grabbed Vyrdin’s wrist, and brought his leg to Vyrdin’s stomach, allowing inertia to perform for him, crushing Vyrdin against his knee.
A grating wheeze ebbed from Vyrdin’s mouth, and he fell to the ground, blood seething from his lips. He raised his head, the rote of Gaumhin’s fist rushed past his ear, and in a blur of motion, Vyrdin evaded, leapt up, and brought his forehead against the bridge of Gaumhin’s nose. Blood spattered against Gaumhin’s chest, a fist pounded against the side of his face, and when the third blow came, Gaumhin drew his forearm across, pushing the fist aside, and struck downward, bringing his arm against Vyrdin’s shoulder in a tonitruous display of might. The sickening crack of bone echoed, Vyrdin’s arm went limp, but as Gaumhin struck for a final blow, vying to push Vyrdin onto his knees, a hand caught his wrist. He had only a second to notice: Vyrdin’s heel was suddenly at his throat, and as Gaumhin moved forward with the pull on his wrist, Vyrdin kicked upward, rattling Gaumhin’s jaw. A stinging pain shot through his mouth, and Gaumhin roared, his anguish answering in a kick to Vyrdin’s ribs. Another cracking sound followed, but Vyrdin was still standing, and when Gaumhin swung at his face, Vyrdin bent back, grabbed Gaumhin’s arm, and with a sharp jolt, flipped him over and onto his back, breaking his arm at the elbow. Gaumhin lurched upward, bringing his thigh around Vyrdin’s neck, and in one swift move, he slammed Vyrdin’s head against the ground, his leg wrapped tightly aroud his throat.
“Sae it’s done,” Gaumhin rumbled, tightening his lock around Vyrdin’s neck, holding his fist to Vyrdin’s face. “Sae it’s done, an’ Ah’ll let ye go,” but Vyrdin, his features crimsoning and breathing stifled, refused to speak. He would not yield, he would not relinquish his rights as an honourable combattant; he would rather end as a mangled wreck than be forced to surrender.
His breathing restricted and Gaumhin’s muscular thigh pressing ever tighter against his neck, Vyrdin moved to free himself. He twisted his frame, contorting the arm still in Gaumhin’s grasp, his shoulder cracked, and with a firm jolt, Vyrdin wrenched himself free and whirled around, pushing Gaumhin onto his stomach. He forced his knee against the back of his neck, and grabbed his hands, holding them high against his back and pressing sharply down on Gaumhin’s wrist. A series of sharp snaps followed, and Guamhin struggled, trying to break free of Vyrdin’s hold, feeling Vyrdin’s thumbs press back against the natural bend of his knuckles.
“Say it’s done,” Vyrdin rasped, his eyes blazing in insidious glee. “Say it’s done, and I’ll let you go.”
“Ah doan’t surrender!” Gaumhin spat, the blood from his nose pouring over his lips, his face amd mouth caked with earth.
The rataplan of breaking bones echoed in a brontide of agony, a numbing sensation rippled from Gaumhin’s fingers to his shoulder, and when his mind caught up with his body, the agony of his forefinger breaing at the knuckle assailed him.
“Ah’m no givin’ in!” Gaumhin snarled, writhing under Vyrdin’s knee, struggling for purchase.
There was a clamour from his side of the arena, cries in Auld Fremhin called for him to stand, and with a violent haul, Gaumhin pushed his foot against the ground and turned over, forcing Vyrdin off his back. He kicked out of the hold, regaining his ground and getting to his feet before Vyrdin hit him in the face. He moved with the blow, falling back but still standing, and recoiling, he leapt forward with arms extended, wrestling Vyrdin to the ground. He grabbed Vyrdin’s hair, slammed the back of his head against the ground, and held him down, pinning his arms against his chest and putting all his weight against him with his shin.
“Ah said, Ah’m no’ surrenderin’,” Gaumhin seethed, pressing hard against Vyrdin’s chest, holding Vyrdin’s head to the ground.
Wild-eyed and grinning, Vyrdin panted for breath under Gaumhin’s imposing weight. “I hope not,” he wheezed.
He seemed delirious and almost happy to be so battered and warbeaten, and Gaumhin snuffed and shook his head.
“Ye’ll no’ stae doun till Ah knock ye out,” Gaumhin coughed, the blood from his mouth dripping onto Vyrdin’s face.
“You’ll have to, if you want to win.” Vyrdin relaxed his neck and turned his head to the side, glaring up at Gaumhin with one eye. “I’m going easy on you.”
Gaumhin narrowed his gaze and seemed suspicious.
“If you want to hit me again, you’ll have to let go of my hair. And if you lean forward to butt me with your head, you’ll break the hold.”
Gaumhin released Vyrdin’s hair and pulled back his fist, but before Gaumhin could strike, Vyrdin lifted his head and sunk his teeth into Gaumhin’s thigh. The ululation of pain felt and then fogotten resonated across the stage, the hiss of dissent from the crowd undulated through the arena, and in a rage to be realeased from Vyrdin’s bite, Gaumhin pounded the side of Vyrdin’s face with his fists. Blood poured down Gaumhin’s leg, Vyrdin at last released him, his teeth tearing away Gaumhin’s flesh, and Gaumhin pressed his palm against the deep wound.
“Ah didn’t thenk ye dae tha’,” Gaumhin winced.
“No one ever does.” Vyrdin’s eye bruised, his cheek coloured swelled, and the gash on his brow bled profusely, the crimson tributaries trailing down to his neck. “Is how you hold Pastaddams down every night?”
Gaumhin almost smiled. “If Ah wasnae bleedin’ so much, Ah’d laugh.” He looked at his broken finger and flinched as he moved it. “Aye,” he exhaled, examining his swollen wrist. “Yin more square-go, and tha’s us settled.”
Gaumhin leapt up, and Vyrdin scrambled to his feet, each suffering under the excrutiation of broken limbs and hemorrhaging wounds. One last assualt would decide it, and while both were in desperate want of a cleric, neither was willing to allow the other the honour of being announced the victor. Vyrdin raised his one good arm to invite Gaumhin to attack him, and Gaumhin lurched forward with alacrity, slamming Vyrdin against the wall with his shoulder. Vyrdin faltered and fell down, but quickly turned and recovered, grabbing a handful of packed earth and drawing to his feet with momentum. He feigned a strike, blinding Gaumhin momentarily with a plume of dust, and as Gaumhin was furiously wiping the dirt from his eyes, Vyrdin swept his leg across Gaumhin’s feet, taking his legs out from under him. Gaumhin fell, but instantly righted himself, meeting Vyrdin as he approached with fist raised, and with a swift jab, Gaumhin struck Vyrdin in the chest, bringing Vyrdin to his knees and rendering him breathless. A choking sibilation came from Vyrdin’s mouth as he exhaled, and he was once more on his feet, raging in furious anger, his fist high, the blood around his mouth beginning to foam. He brought his limp arm up with a firm shake of his shoulder, and while Gaumhin was distracted and blocking from one side, Vyrdin struck from the other, pummeling Gaumhin’s face, the linen from his knuckles worn through, his skin flayed, his hand bloodstained and trembling.

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