"I have a feeling you've made due with worse. Stay out of my way and you should be fine."
The centaur was right; a blunted weapon was the least of his worries. Even with a dull blade, any weapon could do damage. Worse, if an inexperienced whelp was on the other side. The entire Arena erupted into a frenzy. Weapons of all kinds swung through the air, and Devrin wasn't keen on getting caught in the thick of the melee. A brute of a man, with the unkempt beard to boot, blocked his path. A flurry of blows from dual war axes. Each blow sent shockwaves up his arms, threatening to break his weapon - or his grip - in two. A sudden gleam of steel above his head was the cue to disengage.
Devrin launched into a forward roll, avoiding the downward slash of a broadsword. The axeman wasn't as lucky; over the roars of the crowd, battle cries and screams of agony, he could've swore he heard the two weapons collide. He wasn't about to wait for the dust to settle to see who won that collision. Up on his feet, Devrin nearly tasted the blade of a man's sword. Maybe it was all the dust, but he might've lost an inch from his beard. A warm trickle of blood dripped down his throat, and he reacted before fully comprehending the extent of his wound.
A shaken young man, barely old enough to enter the Arena, stood in front, weaponless with a blade at his throat and the collar of his shirt clenched tightly in Devrin's gloved hand. The kid's mistake made his blood boil.
At least two fell as the Namida barreled through the line, catching a third in the stomach with a mighty swing of her hammer and sending him flying. A shower of dirt exploded from her hooves as she stamped to a sudden halt and wheeled around to thunder toward them again. Steel rang as the shaft of her warhammer met with the edge of a broadsword, deflecting it with ease before heavy hooves rode down the offender. The pained screams that followed barely registered as she continued her pre-emptive assault.
She was easily holding her own in that manner for quite some time before three more combatants rushed her at once. She reared with intent to strike them down with both hoof and hammer, but a sudden and sharp pain ripped through the back of her left thigh as her movement reached its apex. The unexpected shock of it buckled her leg, sending her reeling backward with a vexed shout that was equal parts pain and frustration. On sheer instinct, her uninjured hind leg lashed out as she hit the ground with a heavy thud, blindly connecting with the scrawny attacker with force enough to send him careening into the arena wall.
She had been so preoccupied with those she saw as more of a threat that she hadn’t noticed the man’s furtive approach. This was why most Centaurs preferred traveling and fighting in pairs whenever possible, that way there was always someone to watch your flank. Uttering a string of curses, she barely had time to glimpse the spear shaft protruding from the back of her lower thigh. Even dulled, the the fool had managed to sink it deep. There was no time to attempt removing it before the original three were on her. In a flurry, blows were both blocked and struck as she fought her way up. Devrin couldn't ignore the overwhelming presence of a centaur on the field. From over the shoulder of his opponent, neither could the others. By the time she had gotten a knee up to stand, she had already abandoned her weapon for bare fists and fiery rage. She was making headway, but before she could fully find her feet, two more combatants noticed her volatile floundering and resolved to take advantage of it.
With a hard shove, he sent the young kid colliding with a female shield maiden, knocking the shield from her hand. He managed a quick reprieve during the sudden fight he caused, and forced his way toward the thick of the battle. He dealt blow after blow, desperation rendering the idea of a 'fair fight' pointless. Kneecapping one man, he kicked another off his feet, and used the flat of his blade like a club to knock heads together.
He watched Nami fall, but couldn't prevent her from being rushed by opportunists. Devrin yelped in pain as a solid object struck his side. He felt the warm rush of blood oozing from a reopened wound, slowly soaking through his provided Arena armor. Before he could retaliate, he heard the clang of metal against metal from behind, and a scream of pain. He didn’t have time to stop and reap his vengeance. Blinking the sweat from his eyes, he pushed forward, shouldering others in his way. Nami’s defensive onslaught was desperate, as he witnessed her fighting off opponents with hooves and hands. Every movement he made caused pain to shoot up his side, and he damned the troll - and the idiot - to oblivion for his predicament. He rammed his pommel into a man’s rib cage with enough force to crack bones, winding the man and knocking him off balance. Devrin downed the man with a vigorous stomp to the man’s Achilles heel.
With a powerful headbut, Namida sent the closest attacker reeling backward, clutching his bloodied face. Once an opening presented itself, a swing of her fist crumbled a second one to the ground where he remained unmoving. Finally winning the chance to stagger fully back to her feet, she managed to catch the wrist of the third’s in mid-swing of his mace. With a wordless shout, she wrenched his arm backward with enough force to pop his arm clean from its socket before taking him by the throat and hurling him away.
He was panting by the time he stood before Nami, shielding her from the blow of a warhammer. Pure adrenaline and throbbing misery compelled Devrin to stave off the blow, and forced the hammer wielder back. “Thought you could use some help,” Devrin huffed, casting a wary gaze in Namida’s direction.
Her chests heaved like the mighty bellows of a forge as she worked to catch her breath before her momentary respite was broken by the harsh ring of steel on steel. Her face sported a feral smattering of blood, sweat, and dirt when her attention snapped to where Dervin stood. The wild, battle-frenzied look in her eyes may have seemed like she wouldn’t bother to discern friend from foe, but after a tense moment she offered a wordless nod of acknowledgement and thanks.
Seizing the opportunity, she twisted her torso to grasp the offending spear and, with a snarling shout, wrenched it free. The bleeding wound would slow her down, but it was better than trying to continue the fight with the spear still sunk. Clutching the weapon with white-knuckled anger she snorted and hurled it toward the closest movement that caught her eye, which just so happened to be the fighter that Dervin had originally shielded her from, taking him down by the shoulder before the man could attempt striking at him again. “We’re not out of the fire yet, stay sharp!”
Devrin thanked his lucky stars he was deemed an ally, temporary as it may be, because the bloody woman was a beast.