Diplomatic Challenge

Tarmen was about to fire something back at Zane when he heard the boy translate his leader's challenge. Stuffing his attitude down, he looked among the men who had stood.
Many would have looked at their build, maybe see if they would meet their eyes. Some kind of physical tell that would reveal the easiest challenger. Tarmen looked at the gear.
The last man was out of the question. He didn't see a weapon but in this case, the physical tell was the slabs of muscle. He made his choice on the second, pointing to the man who had a pair of knives and a sling. Tarmen also made note of a decent looking ice ax that he handed to his tribemates.
Giving his machete to Zane, he made sure to grab his 'superiors' arm. The glare he had couldn't fully convey the potential hatred of this moment, but his demand made up for it in his mind.
"I lose this and you owe me."
One thing you never tried to take from a Kru'll merc was their tool of choice. The master craft blade he handed over had been a royal pain to steal and it had served him more faithfully than any man or beast. With its loss on the line, Tarmen had little high spirits and a deeper distrust towards the bastard knight.

A small ring was formed by the gathered natives, with Tarmen's group making up a small part.
His challenger wore a cocky grin, being egged on by his comrades and not aware of the sour mood this contest had created for the foreigner. While Tarmen held a low, firm stance, arms up and close to his chest, the native was almost dancing around him, playfully lunging towards him at random moments. Several circles were made as the two sought an opening before the boy made the first move.
The native maneuvered in front of Tarmen, surprising him with a mock lunge for his gut, then sending an arm seeking to hook his head. Moving to avoid it, Tarmen swept his left leg to trip the boy, which was easily side stepped. He felt a hand slap the side of his head ,as a taunting laugh from the native signified his attempt as a sporting test, him spouting something to Balt while his companions laughed.
“He says he is thinking of calling for a rematch already, as the women you brought would make for a better opponent to grapple.”
Tarmen wasn’t sure if the taunt had more meaning in the native tongue or if he was making some weird attempt to flirt. The hungry look towards Alex and Melandra answered that.
Tarmen moved as he continued this, making an obvious attempt to clap the boy's head. As he hoped, this was blocked instead of dodged, which opened a chance to headbutt the native. He was impressed to see it only served to stumble, instead of the knockout it usually caused back at the Hare.
The moment he had taken for this thought gave the native time to retaliate, sending a quick jab to Tarmen’s inner leg.
It was a common maneuver in a fight and one he had felt many times before. That didn’t mean it hurt any less and with no preparation for it, it almost took his breath away. What it did instead was remove any thought of making a good show and a desire to put this little shit in his place.
After his strike, the boy went into a crouch, hoping his now injured leg would be a sufficient distraction for a tackle. Tarmen knew he had a few minutes before the growing pain would be enough to lose the fight and moved with a savage efficiency. When the boy lunged, Tarmen pushed into it, bringing his knee to dig into his opponent's gut. He knew he struck true when he heard the dry heave, quickly sending his clasped fists crashing into the boy’s back.
With another blow for good measure, Tarmen peeled the boy’s arms off of him and pushed him away. With a guttural cry, Tarmen gave a kick to send his opponent flying onto his ass.
With victory in hand, Tarmen lightly limped his way to offer a hand, pulling the boy up. Even while holding his gut and looking like he needed a hole to crawl into, he met Tarmen’s eye and motioned to his weapons. Unsure if he really needed to say something, Tarmen looked to Balt to translate.
“Tell him he fought well, though that shot in the thigh will cost him.”
A group had already formed to comfortingly tease their comrade, though when the translation was made they couldn’t hold back a litany of hoots and jests. A few were not so high spirited, probably having wanted to prove their tribe's superiority over the newcomers. Tarmen felt some satisfaction in their glares, though hoping there were no more challenges for the evening.
Pushing through to reclaim his precious property, he pretended not to see Zane’s smug look before he fell to the ground to enjoy a fresh drink. Looking to the War Chieftain, he gave a slight nod and raised his draught in respect. If this was their form of diplomacy, then he could agree with the knight on one thing, these were his kind of people.

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