Another Teaser from the book I am currently revising/polishing and will soon be doing edits on (Bloodlust: Will to Power):
“Disgusting,” said Ravius, said Ravius, indignant and revolted in equal parts. “I can’t believe how hard this stuff is to get off.”
“This part never makes it into the arena reports I guess.” said Gavin, shaking his head. They couldn’t get rid of the horrible smell; his stomach churned constantly filling his throat with bile.
“So much for the glory of being a Gladiator.” said Ravius. He dry heaved again. “Ancestors have mercy! I can still taste it. I drowned it that stuff. On days like this I wish I’d chosen to be a Vassal. I could be massaging some high lady right now instead of this…”
“Aye,” said Gavin with a chuckle. “No wonder Omodo hit the baths early. He probably couldn’t wait to escape the stench. Some days winning doesn’t feel like much of a victory.”
“I wish I could go back to the day I faced the choice,” said Ravius. Gavin’s eyes met his old friends; Ravius looked tired, defeated. Gavin knew the feeling.
“Would you take a different path?”
“I hate to admit it, little brother,” said Ravius, grimacing as he scrubbed his skin with a special scrubber that felt like a cheese-grater. “But I am beginning to share your pessimism towards the Great Games. It seems like such a waste of life. I often wonder why I’m still doing this.”
“I’m still in the Arena because of Sadira, I guess.” said Gavin. “I need to show her I’m worthy.”
“A warrior without pride is no warrior at all,” said Ravius, nodding. “I get it. I don’t have that excuse though. It doesn’t feel right to me any more. I thought fighting a Kraken would be grand… Now I just want to get clean and get drunk and hope I can forget the smell and drowning in vomit and inky water. I wonder if artificers, merchants, and tradesman and tradesmen have days like this?”
“I’m sure they do,” said Gavin. “But that’s just it… no one in the crowds sees the arena as a job. When we made the choice, we didn’t either. We just thought about the freedom that we would have when we joined the Chosen. We thought of killing monsters like the heroes we grew up reading about and watching in the Championships. Some of the works I read as a kid even mentioned the down side, but I never really understood that part until I’d experienced it. I only saw the positives.”
This discussion comes after a particularly grueling fight. We can see some character development here…