I’ve made tons of progress on NaNoWriMo’s writing goal – The Last Gladiator! I’ve reached 14,000 words, so nearly halfway about a week in! Read on to get a snippet of what I’ve been writing!
Later that night, Lucia was still wondering why the lanista was coming to the meeting as the rest of the team of gladiators assembled in the lanista’s triclinium. The dining room was being repurposed for this meeting. It was rare that they would assemble here, normally using the scriptorium or the atrium if the night was warm.
Ilyensio gestured to the formal couches and more informal tables and benches that filled the room. They had obviously been brought here from the main dining room. The team – ten of the best gladiators the ludus could muster – scattered across the room. Lucia leaned back against the wall, sitting on one of the couches with her feet dangling over the edge. John joined her, arms crossed as he watched Ilyensio with barely disguised curiosity. Ilyensio waited until the last member of the team had taken a seat.
“I’m here to tell you in person that I will be taking the field tomorrow. Emperor Hadrian himself offered me a lot of money to face the mechagladiator one-on-one.” The gladiators hissed for a moment. Everyone knew that would be suicidal. A fight it one thing, even a lopsided bout in the coliseum, but one-versus-one, man versus piloted walker? Not a chance. Ilyensio’s hands came up to quiet them.
“You needn’t worry, although it is kind of you. I would not sign up to face anyone one-on-one at my age. Although I’m certain I could beat them.” He stared around for a moment, eyes seeming to challenge them. “However, I do feel it is necessary to do something beyond simply train you. Had I known, five months ago, that you were being trained to face such a mechanical monstrosity, I would have done many things differently. That being said, I will be joining you tomorrow in the arena. I will lead you against that monster, and we will defeat it.”
The group clapped and whistled. Lucia remained quiet. This improved their odds certainly, but how would it change their plan?