Chapter 792: Battle In The Front Hall
Nobody had expected that somebody would so brazenly provoke Sartonilos in such a blatant manner after witnessing what happened to the unfortunate gladiator.
The gladiators in the city had heard of Zhang Heng’s name before. They knew that Zhang Heng was the newcomer who claimed the twelve-man mixed fight championship at Victor Arena. However, he had completed too few battles; hence, no one knew too much about him. Those gladiators from outside the city had never even seen Zhang Heng before, nor did they know where he came from.
Sartonilos turned around immediately after getting Commodus’s permission and walked towards Zhang Heng. The gladiators who were present could feel the raging anger in his eyes, and he had the oriental man clearly in his sights.
Immediately, Habitus quietly moved a little away from Zhang Heng. Although the two belonged to the same school, Habitus did not like Zhang Heng very much. This was also completely normal. Initially, Bach was the only ace gladiator that competed with Habitus to become Victor Arena’s trump card. However, Bach was not fully mature yet. Hence, Habitus was confident that he could overtake Bach in the first half of the competition. If he managed to do that, he would have more chips in hand to negotiate with the gladiator school.
But now, his plan was ruined. The oriental man who had been keeping quiet had suddenly unleashed his entire force, and he managed to achieve a flawless victory in his first battle. After he killed Nasika, Mark Reuss began to pay attention to him. Since then, Habitus could clearly feel that the gladiator school no longer treated him as well as before. Besides, he came across another unfortunate matter after that. He decided to accept Dadatis’s proposal to fortify his position, but the latter told him that the plan was canceled.
Although Habitus had no evidence, his intuition told him that Zhang Heng had something to do with it. And that was why he hated Zhang Heng.
The other gladiators from the Victor Arena, save for Bach, were all old men. These men were closer to Habitus. Seeing that Habitus had made it clear that he did not want to get involved in this issue, they had all decided to do nothing. On the contrary, Bach was not afraid of him at all. He, too, had just arrived in Rome not too long ago, and he had never gotten the chance to witness Sartonilo’s most glorious moment. He was all too ready to beat him up.
But then he heard Zhang Heng’s voice. “Stand still. It’s none of your business.”
Bach was furious when he heard what Zhang Heng said, and he almost started a fight. When he remembered that he could not beat him, however, he could only stand down. That said, he had made a lot of progress recently. Even Gaby praised him. It made Bach want to rechallenge Zhang Heng. But when Bach witnessed Zhang Heng’s previous gladiatorial performance, he finally realized that it would be impossible to catch up with Zhang Heng for now.
After the two talked, Sartonilos walked up to Zhang Heng. The two were very close, and Zhang Heng could already smell the alcohol on Sartonilos. However, Zhang Heng knew very well that Sartonilos’s alcohol addiction was not that serious. It was a disguise of his. The gladiator school that he was in placed great importance on this performance, and they started to use this strategy a month ago to lower his opponents’ guard.
He might be able to fool others with this disguise but not Zhang Heng.
Zhang Heng could see that Sartonilos was in his best condition after a month of intensive training. The second most powerful gladiator after Sethnets was actually quite strong. Now, Commodus and the entire Rome’s ruling class were here. In such a case, Zhang Heng would not be able to use any weapons. In other words, Zhang Heng would not be able to make use of his Lv4 swordsmanship.
All he could do was rely on was his physical strength and some boxing skills that he learned from the Deductive Reasoning quest. After Zhang Heng analyzed the situation, he felt that he should be able to cope with it.
Zhang Heng was left with no other option. It would be challenging to impress Commodus tonight with conventional means. Hence, he could only take advantage of Sartonilos. Although the method was old-fashioned, the stronger individual would eventually prevail. Such was the rule of the gladiator world. If a newcomer wanted to rise to the top, he had to first step on the veteran’s head. If he could win in this battle, no one would say a word about him.
“Kid, were you the one that talked to me just now?” Sartonilos asked coldly, bringing his face closer to Zhang Heng.
Zhang Heng did not rush to answer. Instead, he looked at Commodus that standing not far away from him. Unsurprisingly, the young emperor seemed very interested in Zhang Heng, and he was asking Mark Reuss about Zhang Heng’s origins.
Mark Reuss was sweating profusely. Before he came here, he had prepared a speech to introduce his famous gladiators, especially Zhang Heng. Seeing Commodus walking toward him, he was ready to tell Commodus everything about Zhang Heng. However, he did not expect Zhang Heng to provoke Sartonilos.
But at this point, there was nothing he could do about it. He could only bite the bullet, introduce Zhang Heng to Commodus, and pray that Zhang Heng had the situation under his control.
But the thing that Zhang Heng said next completely shattered his dream, “Yes, I guess you are so old that you need me to repeat everything that I had just said to you.”
Sartonilos then smiled slyly, “Interesting. I haven’t shown up for a month. And some rubbish is bold enough to provoke me.”
“Have you ever considered that such a thing happened because you are a garbage dump?” Zhang Heng wasn’t intimidated by Satonilos’s gaze. Instead, he looked back at him calmly.
In the end, it was Sartonilos’ fist that greeted him.
His fist flew at breakneck speed. Seeing how close the two were, Sartonilos did not expect that his first strike would fail to land on Zhang Heng.
Zhang Heng dodged his fist by just turning his head. Right after that, he began to strike back. And Zhang Heng’s fist accurately landed on Sartonilos’ right cheek and knocked him to the ground. It was a very embarrassing scene for Sartonilos. Zhang Heng, however, knew that Sartonilos’ injuries were not that severe. He still had enough strength to strike back.
Since they were not allowed to use any weapons, it was not easy to tell who would win this battle by swinging their fists.
Sartonilos, who had fallen to the ground, quickly stood up again. This time, he seemed furious. Without saying a word, he rushed towards Zhang Heng again. And Zhang Heng also moved his fist to prepare for the next round of battle.
The two were embroiled in a fierce fight in the front hall, and the other gladiators had to evade them whenever they got close.
On the contrary to what most imagined, Sartonilos seemed like getting more beat by the second. On average, Zhang Heng got to punch him three times before he could return the punch. Moreover, Zhang Heng, on the opposite side, seemed to be able to neutralize half of Sartonilos’s strength whenever he attacked him.
Zhang Heng utilized a rather strange way of moving in this battle as if he could integrate his steps and his breathing. And he was incredibly agile.
After fighting for a while, the expression on Sartonilos’s face had changed. He was calmer now. A veteran gladiator like him would rarely be affected by anger. Most of the time, his anger was just a disguise. When he calmed down, he immediately realized that he had encountered a formidable opponent.