The wounds I received during and after that fight did not take long to heal enough for me to stand up and walk.
One or two nights at the most, I spent sleeping for that to be achieved. Although, I’m not entirely sure how long it was exactly, as there was no one to tell me it when I woke up. However, upon seeing the traces of blood in the hallway had not been entirely erased by the footsteps, such was my rough estimate.
It seems, that heartless bastard knew how to control the strength in his punch to avoid seriously hurting me, but so much as to cause me great pain that affected even my mind.
Due to what I suffered, after I woke up, I immediately got up from where I was lying and then left the cave even though I was not fully recovered yet. I did it because staying there any longer was not good for me. Not in a place where I feared every moment for my physical and mental health.
So, running desperately, without paying attention to my steps, I reached the top of the hill, not the middle part of it, for such a place did not seem safe enough for me by then, and there I stayed for two days and two nights.
Worries that wild beasts would be attracted to where I was because of the smell of blood coming from my old open wounds from exertion? I had none.
At that time, I was not in the right frame of mind to think about those things. I felt empty, disgusted, and tired. Therefore, as soon as I finished climbing a tree to lie on one of its branches, I fell asleep, or so I tried to since when I did, I woke up because of a nightmare.
From that experience, I refused to let myself be carried away by the dream again. Then, sitting with my back against the trunk, not wanting to do it, I began to remember what had happened and to think about the motive for which he had hit me.
That question was not difficult to answer. In a short time, I concluded he had gotten angry with me for not ending my opponent’s life. Such was an answer that considered his past attitudes, as well as his innate savagery, so it was most likely the correct one.
However, even though I thought that, as long as I showed no mercy against my opponent in my next fight, he would not hit me, I was still not confident enough to return.
Once bitten twice shy.
Filled with paranoia, I doubted everything I had considered, so I did not dare to take a single step out of those leaves that protected me from the sun, for I was afraid of suffering again. Even the idea was born in me to take advantage of that moment to make my definitive escape. But while I was thinking about it, I realized how suicidal it would be to do so.
Although neither the women, the giant, nor the old man paid attention to my movements, allowing me to go in and out of the cave and its surroundings without restrictions, an invisible chain was tied around my neck, which prevented me from leaving that place for too long.
That was and is the food.
To heal, I needed to eat, but since I could not do so where I was, my body, instead of stopping temporarily, continued to repair my wounds, obtaining the necessary energy without having any qualms about what.
In such a short time, I lost much of my weight. Moreover, even though I had heard that five to seven days was the longest a human could go without drinking water, by then the thirst was killing me.
That was it. My physical decline far outweighed my fear and reluctance. Therefore, following the second night, once the sun rose, I returned to the cave to quench my hunger with leftover food and my thirst with salty soup. Besides, after that day, I did not climb the hill again until my fourth fight occurred.
That confrontation again, I had no difficulty in winning it, as although I had lost a lot of weight, plus my eyes were heavy and blurred due to lack of sleep, with a desperate, paranoid mind and on the verge of breaking, I attacked to kill without hesitation, compassion, or even rational thoughts.
Thus, my murderous intent, together with my unfocused mind and the substantial increase in my instinctive movements, led to my victory in a matter of seconds. After that, I went to sleep on the tree next to the clearing where I usually spent hours.
As expected, that night, I also suffered some nightmares, but the warmth that his hand transmitted to my shoulder, I still felt it, and that was what gave me the peace of mind I needed to rest.
Revolting. How damned disgusting I felt when I woke up. After all, with a clearer mind, I understood what I had done, as well as the origin of that feeling that helped me sleep. However, as annoying as it was, the knowledge that I was not wrong in assuming his intentions relieved me.
So, from then on, I returned to my daily routine of training, just as if nothing had happened. Not because I had forgotten the past but because I forced myself to ignore it. Although, just because I did that didn’t mean that others around me did too.
Not everything remained unchanged, as my mid-hill workouts stopped being done solo.
I don’t try to justify myself for what I did, for there is no point in doing so, but the truth is that I don’t remember how I acted during that fight. However, whatever I did, it marked a before and after in the attention that the other boys gave to me, for from then on, they began to follow me everywhere.
Also, even though in the past I believed that having them as followers would be a good thing, when it really happened, I no longer thought so, as it became uncomfortable to have a group of rapacious beasts prowling around my surroundings. They did not show hostility, only curiosity, but in me was engraved the idea that if one day I showed weakness, they could take advantage of it.
After all, several of them had died because of me, so it was only natural for me to be cautious.
Therefore, I kept my workouts at a much calmer pace than before. I mainly strived to recover the musculature I had lost and to do agility or strength exercises to avoid showing them some fighting moves they could use against me.
Anyway, no matter how much the attitudes of the people around me changed or how much I changed, time, unstoppable and indifferent to everything, continued to pass without stopping.
Three months flew by, and the fights I participated in continued to take the lives of boys until their numbers were reduced by half compared to what they were at the beginning. In adittion, while they did not show animosity towards me before, even though I assumed they were keeping it hidden, as time went by, it became evident.
Every time they saw me, the hairs on their bodies would stand up, and if I approached them, they would quickly back away, not without first growling at me, then gathering in a single group, ready to attack me.
All this was sad and annoying but understandable. That’s why I stopped trying to approach them to fix things, as I understood that doing so would be too hypocritical on my part, as well as unnecessary since it would not be helpful for me to be friends with my future enemies, who would probably one day end up dying by my hand.
Moreover, my feigned disinterest eventually became genuine, leading me to stop worrying about what they might do to me.
Without fear of being seen, I stopped hiding my fighting methods while training, for I was sure that even if they did it, they would not be able to do it better than me, plus withholding my practice would ultimately be something that would only harm me in the future.
On the hill, I trained, and in the clearing, I killed.
The whole thing was like an endless spinning circle, lubricated by filthy and dirty blood, generating some personality problems in me and making me more irritable than before, so much so that I even used one of my opponents to vent some of my frustrations. However, after doing so and realizing the shit I had done, I broke my forehead.
That is to say, to react and accommodate my thoughts, I hit my forehead against the cave wall so hard that a red spot was drawn on it.
I didn’t like to think I was gradually becoming one of the bastards I had sworn to destroy.
Those were my shameful and despicable attitudes that continued to occur even though I tried to stop them until one day, very suddenly, dark clouds covered the sky.