The spectator stands were empty.
The arena echoed with cries and grunts.
Large clouds of dust enveloped the air, barely revealing the lanky yet sturdy group of boys and girls who were fighting their designated opponents. Covered in dust, there was no telling the difference between the son of a carpenter from that of royalty. But it was also known that none would take on Arjuna alone. In one corner of the vast arena, there were four circling the young prince of Wagharr, each one taking cautious jabs at the vigilant teenager.
Arjuna caught a wrist, then pulled hard while kicking his opponent in the face. He took a few blows on the stomach, but swiveled and jumped to lock a head between his legs while throwing a swift punch at the nearest nose he could find. He landed awkwardly enough to injure a boy’s shoulder. When he rose to his feet, all four opponents were on their knees, gasping for air.
Arjuna recognized the silhouette of their teacher, Bhavanu, emerge from behind the clouds of dust. He bowed immediately with joined palms, trying to catch his breath, smiling at his accomplishment.
“I have seen blind men fight better than that,” Bhavanu said as he walked by, without even a passing glance.