The first cut is never the deepest, but his brain clung to the inane lyrics even as the foil carved a line of fire along his shoulder. First blood really only woke you up, reminded the dormant feral self that this was life and death and that the person across the ring meant to kill you. It was only a light graze, and he recovered quickly enough to parry the follow-up strike.
Foils were harder for him than rapiers, all thrust and no slash, quick pivots and lunges that were a bad match to his style of bulldog attacks. Which was why Elmond had chosen them, confident his own years in the noble arenas would give him the upper hand over the less graceful gladiator. Tusk, however, was no idiot. You didn’t last long in rings if you simply took what was given.
The tip of his foil dipped slightly, and Elmond lunged at the perceived opening. Too fast, too reckless. Tusk tripped him as he came, using the noble’s forward momentum to help lever the gladiator’s own blade against the ground; snapping it off a mere hand span from the hilt. The sword went from a thrusting to punching weapon in a heartbeat, and Tusk grinned as he waited for Elmond to get back to his feet.
This was how he fought. No points, or bows, or right-of-ways. If he’d learned anything since he came to this godforsaken universe, it was never to play fair.