The cheering and yelling was white noise. Only new champions let the spectators distract them. A scar and half an ear was proof of his first battle. He hesitated in his first battle. Hesitation gets men killed. The experience he has now doesn’t even compare to then. And along with experience comes wisdom. However, couth wasn’t why his people chose him as champion.
The name given by his father was Rikrhond. He hasn’t heard that name in a lifetime. Very quickly, the name given by the people was Dreyrugr Rekkr – The Blood-stained Warrior. Anger, it seemed, had a stronghold on his soul. Becoming the champion of the village was accidental. He was fine with a sword, but his anger made him ruthless with anything in his hands. After defeating the former champion in a drunken brawl, the people had no choice but to pick Rekkr as the valued representative.
The former champion was twice his size. But Rekkr was twice as mean. Attitude will beat size 9 times out of 10. All the people feared the former champion. The man was arrogant. Arrogance is confidence in a skill someone doesn’t possess. He was known to fight other village men when drunk. A man almost died, once. Rekkr kept to himself for the most part. Until the champ called him out on his features. He was still a young man; his skin unseasoned like the village elder warriors. Rekkr didn’t know what to think until all the others laughed. Then thinking wasn’t an option. The red viel of anger blocks logic and rage flows through every vein. The champion was snoring before landing face first in the ground. He had no chance against Rekkr and it took 4 grown men to peel Rekkr off of the unconscious man. After a moment of shock, all the men cheered and labelled Rekkr as the new champion.
Now he stood in the pit, once again. The dual was used against warring villages to settle bad blood. It was better to lose only one life in a dual, than many lives in a war. The man across the pit was built like an oak tree. The rival had a sharp blade as his weapon. Rekkr was going give in to the rage with euphoria this time. He was sick of other villages fighting, sick of being champion, and sick of killing. But as much as he didn’t like it, he loved the rage. It made him feel like a Norse god. When coming down, he felt bad for the men who were on the other end of his blade. This man was going to meet the makers in brutal fashion. Rekkr already felt the red coming over him. It was almost dawn, which meant it was almost time for killing. He should be scared, but fear left him a long time ago. In his first dual, the rage consumed all his fear once the rival’s blade danced across Rekkr’s face. It hasn’t returned since. There was no room for fear where Rekkr’s anger conquered. His battle buddy that always had his back. The only way to describe the way these two went to war is controlled chaos.
As the first light trickled through the trees, the villagers cheered. White noise. Killing is best done fast, yet brutal. His name was earned through ways that would give grown men nightmares.
The rival oak charged fast with two wide attempts at Rekkr. The rival was fast but not fast enough. Rekkr knew to make haste after the man started to show mistakes in his striking. Sure enough, the man lunged a little too far. A swift upward motion from Rekkr’s hip sent the rival’s sword, both hands still gripped, across the pit. Both Viking’s eyes widened. The rival’s with horror and disbelief. Dreyrugr Rekkr’s eyes with rage and delight. There was no giving up in the pit. The village would kill their failed champion anyways. Death, and only death decided the victor. Completely consumed with his numbing battle buddy, Rekkr kicked the man to the ground and made work on the man without a blade. The rival village would never doubt who was the greater Viking clan, again. Rekkr tore into the poor bastard. The white noise was shocked into silence. Many great Vikings have suffered like this man at Rekkr’s hands. Although usually with a blade. This poor fuck will be unrecognizable. Rage knew no mercy. All his inhibitions were released in the pit. They are are left there to die with the fallen Viking – miserable and forgotten. Until the next dual, that is. There was always work to be done. Always a fight to be fought. He would never do anything else but fight. He would die a true Viking hero. He would never have a wife or child. A champion never knew how long he would live. He knew he was destined to become just another old Norse tale.