It’s not like I had the chance to introduce myself before his wife ran off with me. He wouldn’t have known me either, except right at that moment I happened to be bragging about that very thing. Quite loudly.
And then he wants to fight me man-to-man. Sure, that’s a great deal for the armies in general. Win or lose, they get to stop fighting. Also a pretty good deal for him. Given the gap in size and skill levels, he’s not risking much. But you know who it’s not a good deal for? Me. I get to be a sacrifice so that everyone else can go home. No thank you. I’ve been there before, did not enjoy the experience. Zero stars.
But then Hector gets in my ear. I can’t even remember what he said, but it seemed to make sense at the time. Some mix of shame and flattery, to get me thinking I had a chance. I wonder if that’s what people feel like after I talk them into doing something stupid. I’ve got to say, manipulation is a lot less fun when you’re on the other side of it. Never again.
Somehow I got talked into giving the single combat a shot. Only once I was face to face with the king of Sparta, he seemed to lose his enthusiasm for the fight. I’d like to flatter myself that he was intimidated, but I don’t think anyone would believe that. It wasn’t fear on his face, but contempt. Like he’d just been tricked into duelling a dog turd.
It went slightly better than you’d expect, in that I’m somehow not dead.