c h a p t e r XVII

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THE ANNOUNCER SPOKE, "AS you know there are no rules except no weapons and killing the opponent is forbidden." He turned to them in the ring, "Ready? FIGHT!!"

They started circling each other, analyzing each other's fighting stances, spotting weaknesses and discovering their strengths.

Maddox was taller than her and by the muscles on his body stronger too so she had to be fast in her attacks.

Maddox swiftly sent his knee flying to her face. She waited until she saw his foot twist slightly to prepare for the impact and she ducked and swept his foot from under him making him fall under the eyes of a silent crowd.

"GO SAPPHIRE!!" Aviva shouted, hers being the only voice that could be heard in the big room. Sapphire smiled at her friend's enthusiasm making Maddox's lip tug upwards.

As she expected, a second later he was back on his feet, his body in stance. They circled each other some more and this time Sapphire moved. She feinted a punch but went for a quick high kick to the jaw.

To her surprise, Maddox moved at the same time and accompanied her leg's movement with his hand but pushing it strongly making her lose balance before he managed to kick her other leg which was firmly on the ground.

The familiar pain surfaced in her leg but not enough to impact her moves as she got back up in one move.

They were each ducking, punching and kicking, their rhythms matching as they fought.  Though they were fighting, harmony was the word describing them best, like yin and yang, complementary opposites.

Both got hit multiple times, light bruises forming on their bodies but nothing they weren't used to. As Sapphire sent round house kick, he ducked before feinting a high kick and going for punch. She dodged the punch moving slightly to his right where his flank was exposed from his attempt and punched his side before hitting his temple with her open palm sending him to the ground with force.

Maddox stumbled a little as he got up before getting back in a steady stance. They circled each other again and both of them jumped to lunge at each other.

The crowd was silent, engulfed in the suspense the fight brought. Maddox had been an undefeated champion for a reason, the boy had even fought some of section four's best fighter and won, so seeing this girl keep up with him, and not only keep up but being at the same level was something extraordinary.

Sapphire directed her knee to his jaw making him duck to the ground to dodge it but it was that she landed with a leg over his shoulder that surprised him. She wrapped the other one around his neck and he fell on his back with her. Her back collided abruptly with the ground but she kept her grip firm around his neck making his face change colour slowly as she applied more pressure.

A few seconds later he tapped three times on the floor and she immediately let him go. His hand went to his neck and he rubbed it slowly before looking up at Sapphire who was eyeing him worriedly.

"I think we have a new champion," Maddox smiled.

The crowd was silent before it erupted in cheers.

"GIRL POWER!!!" Both Aviva and Amaya yelled in the crowd.

Maddox and Sapph were both grinning as they got off the ring supporting each other. They'd went lightly on each other not wanting to hurt the other too bad knowing any of their blows with all their force could have been fatal.

They spent the rest of the night all talking together under the shining stars and the moon's highlights.

The next day, Sapphire was already up when someone knocked softly on her door.

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