A half-truth is even more dangerous than a lie. A lie, you can detect at some stage, but half a truth is sure to mislead you for long.
-Anurag Shourie, Half A Shadow
Marcos’ choices in actions could appear strange, confusing, and contradictory to an outsider. At one moment, he announces his presence to his opponent or holds true to his word. At another moment, he is harsh and cruel, tricking his opponents into moving to his rhythm. The odd dichotomy of selective honor and fearsome bloodlust would not make sense to anyone who was not familiar with him or how he fought to survive.
He was a gladiator.
He fought for the right to exist, for the right to draw breath. He fought to experience the world, to indulge in intoxicating ecstasies. He fought for glory. It did not matter who he had to go through in order to achieve that goal, and he always won; it was either that or death.
He was a fighter and a showman.
However, even in the midst of violent bloodshed, even in the midst of stealing the life of his opponents, Marcos enjoyed the fights in a profound way. Ending a fight within moments by attacking an unaware opponent displeased him. There was no ebb and flow, no moments where the fight became an intricate dance, no split second thought that he could lose this one. The climax was bland, if not bitter. The audiences he performed for resounded his belief as they adored the struggles more than the short and sweet victories.
Ah, but all of that only spoke of his motivations and why Marcos does what he does. In the end, all it came down to was that he enjoyed losing himself in the struggle more than triumphing, but triumphing was also the only acceptable option, no matter the cost.
The dwarf acted in one of the two most predictable fashions, opting to ignore the third and potentially most effective option. In a panic, the stout woman scrambled away from him, causing Marcos’ deadly smirk to shift to one of amusement.
This seems familiar, Marcos mused, momentarily thinking back to his fight with Scherazade.
However, in her fervent attempt to escape the razor-like blades adorning Marcos’ wrists, the dwarf had fallen directly into his trap. The strike was a feint, an attack designed to switch at a moment’s notice, sacrificing power and accuracy in return. As she tumbled to the side, Marcos twisted his feet and hips to immediately follow her, drawing his left fist back to a guarding position. His right foot slid forward, taking the lead into a southpaw stance.
His opponent’s tumble gained her enough distance to rise and address Marcos, but as the words escaped her lips and her arm swept across the audience, Marcos was already upon her with his next attack, his agility granting him the advantage in this circumstance. Now in a southpaw stance, a reverse of the orthodox stance from before, he led with a right jab aimed at her neck. It did not matter if this strike hit or not as it focused more on gauging distance and direction and catching the dwarf off guard.
Between this strike and the next, Marcos became more amused at the similarities between the previous opponent and the current one. They both ran. They both did not immediately draw their weapon. They both chose to appeal to Marcos through words rather than attacking. It did not end well for the first lady, and it wouldn’t end well for the second. Why was he paired against someone he had already proven he could defeat? The only conclusion he could come to was that he did not kill his first opponent with his own hands. Whatever the case, all he had to do was vanquish them once again.
Marcos' voice continued to command presence, booming with his bloodlust and rich in a deep, Brazilian accent. Poised, yet deadly, resembling the feline creature he took the form of. These words acted as a transition from taking the initiative from the woman who chose not to act to taking even further initiative of his own.
By the time the first strike had concluded and was being drawn back, a second attack thrust forward as a left straight aimed towards the center of her mass, her heart and abdomen. He did not conceal his movements this time, but the rapid succession of attacks would be extremely difficult to deal with, especially as the dwarf had opened herself up by gesturing towards the audience.
Marcos wanted her blood. She would either have to fight, or die by his hand.
*Princesa - Princess