She had won. Of course, she had won – but at a greater cost this time. The challengers were more capable, there was no doubt about it. She slumped into the copper tub, her face torqued in a pained grimace before she settled in and exhaled slowly. The embrace of the hot water was a welcome change, as was the feeling of the cool copper against the back of her neck. Her muscles felt stiff.
It had been one hell of a day; though mostly it was a blur. The last fight hadn’t gone as well as expected, and although she came out victorious, she didn’t recall much from the rest of the evening.
In the morning, she woke to the sound of the door opening. The charismatic, but none-to-trustworthy wizard, Robin, had brought a cleric with him. Thankfully so. He looked concerned. He helped her get into the championship challenge, and he couldn’t afford for her to change her mind, not now. There was too much at stake.
It took the cleric the better part of the day to heal her; her jaw and hand had both been broken, her skull fractured, along with some ribs. The bones were knitted back together, the only sign that remained was the bruises and the dull pain. The cleric had ordered her to rest for another day. For once, she listened.
Robin stayed for a while after. She was glad for the company, though she didn’t tell him. He talked to her about finding a trainer, it was evident he was worried about her well-being, though he tried to mask it. He left and had food and the copper bathtub sent up to the room.
She turned her head and looked at the table. There, under the bowl was a new letter… a letter which made it all worthwhile: So she took a beating, it happened! It sure as hell wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last. Besides… they should see the other guy. She won. After all.
Of course, she had won.