The noise from the crowd was deafening. The podium was shaking. Or maybe he was shaking. He wasn't sure. All around him, people cheered. Maybe for him, maybe for his opponent, he couldn't tell. The spotlights were blinding. He squinted, turning his eyes towards his opponent. He was clad in a black, loose-fitting robe, tied together at the waist with a piece of rope. The robe was so faded it had turned almost gray. The robe, faded almost to gray, had been torn in several places, pale skin showing beneath. Blood trickled down the man's right arm, the crimson liquid gathering in a small pool on the floor.
Straining to keep his eyes focused, he took a shaky step forward, the robed man gazing at him with those white eyes set beneath his shaven scalp. The sweat stung his eyes, and he could taste the salty drops on his lips. He tried to breathe, but found that he could not. He shambled forward another step. Then another. On the next step, his legs gave away, and he fell to his knees. He felt no pain. The robed man walked towards him with his usual self-confident stride. He stood before him and looked into his eyes. The man said something, but the crowd drowned out the words. The robed man smiled. A sad smile, it seemed to the kneeling man. But an honest one.