An audible thud resounded across the courtyard. The viewers either sat in still silence, or produced barely noticeable giggles at the collision, and were they in a better contained area the sound would have echoed from the otherwise fairly silent walls. It didn’t, but it had brought Aighrit back into control over his sword arm. He’d nearly dropped the thing and would have if he hadn’t been the one to initiate the head butt. He’d had the knowledge of what was coming before it happened, and had made a conscious effort to ensure that the blade remained in his hand, but he had been put far more off-kilter than he was expecting he would have been. Her head was much harder than he had thought it would be, and he’d stumbled back several paces after the impact, already dazed and relatively off balance from the earlier blow to his nose. Another few blows like that and he’d be on the ground unconscious. His grasp over technique would be lessened, but it didn’t affect his confidence much. Fights always made their way to this point after a while. The point where neither fighter was at their best, but both were still capable of waving about blades and attempting to position well according to the opponent despite the pain.
It wasn’t so much that the pain turned off or went away, not really. More that it was consciously registered and accepted, relegated to a deeper part of the mind to make room for the thought and consideration which must still occur before one could rest and recover. It was easier to come back from this than from the total oblivion of being beaten half to death on the ground, a matter of days before feeling back to oneself over weeks or months. He was still smiling, but his eyes had lost their luster and descended into a state of dull, wet, glazed apathy, neither seemingly concerned nor particularly happy at the turn in the pair’s fortunes. Perhaps these were the eyes of a fighter resigned to the fact that either way this all went down there would be no easy way out and no happy endings. It was a different thing to know going into a fight that one’s likely outcome was to either beat an opponent senseless or in turn be beaten senseless by the very same person then it was to reach this point of reserved sensory awareness and awakened, lizard brained understanding that once more the being that was he had found itself on the meat trail.
He was a less capable fighter now then he had been at the beginning of the fight, the damage had racked up and taken its inevitable toll upon his mental faculties and his capacity to move and position himself with the precision of a fencer upon the sand. He would rather have danced and positioned and struck in twos and threes with all the softness of a mouse and the deft precision of a pit viper, but that part of the meeting had now passed. This was the second part, the raw, chaotic, demon violence the sand demands of a champion once form and deftness at blade begin to falter in the face of a skilled opponent and prolonged exposure to the pains and hurts of the protracted fight. Aighrit no longer attempted to lock eyes with his opponent, his own gaze trailing just left and down hovering at her right shoulder. Her blade was held in a defensive posture, and it was clear she was intending on using it to keep her distance from him, likely to give her the time to fully recover from the impact. He even thought he might have noticed a misstep, a lone instance of having judged the distance to the ground with a slight inaccuracy on her part.
There would be no form to his movements, no clear pattern or plan except to bring himself closer to Rags, and relatively quickly. He did not move in a straight line, but the jagged, wild stepping pattern of a drunk or one recently awoken from a deep slumber. At two separate times he actually moved backwards a half step during his advance, all the while his left hand holding his blade down and to his side. It was an oddly wild, looping thing to witness, and for all intents and purposes cast him as likely having taken a harder hit than any in attendance would have expected, but save for the occasional backstep he still seemed intent on moving toward Rags. Should she not charge him or move to retreat he would continue to advance in his injured fashion until getting to within a couple paces of her. If he managed to get to this point he would at long last lunge, not to her sword arm but to the outside of it, his own sword arm aiming upwards at his mid torso level and toward her shoulder before quickly, suddenly turning inwards and towards his left side, her right, with his opposite foot and hand hurtling toward her.
Should she have attempted to block the strike conventionally he would attempt to loop around the inside of her elbow with the outside of his own, assuming the blades of their swords would meet after she attempted to block the hit, weaving his wrist and the blade held by it past her right bicep and upwards toward the sky, while stepping forward with his own right foot and simultaneously pull forward on her right arm with his left arm, seeking to pull her forcibly into the punch he was aiming toward her own nose. Assuming she had allowed him to close and attempt to strike at and wrap up her right arm with his left she would still have her opposite hand to guard with, and her legs to attempt a kick as he advanced, but he was confident that if he managed to get her blade arm wrapped up in his own he would be able to meet her face before she could realize and attempt to do much but put her own guard arm into the way of his punch. It was certainly possible that she could kick him in the groin, but her lead foot would have difficulty getting past his own as he had attempted to step to the outside of her body, and it took longer to understand that he had attempted a grab and was moving forward with the opposite foot while punching and to respond to it with a rear leg kick to the groin on her end then it did to simply step forward while punching on his end. This was all assuming she allowed him to close with her, should she have instead charged him or simply evaded him his strategy naturally would have to be altered.