Today was a day of battles.
Wrestling is pretty big among us Achaeans, and a lot of guys entered the wrestling competition. The event began early this morning and went well into the evening. I think that there were more than six-hundred entrants.
Anyway, early this morning Polites, Misenus and I watched Odysseus wrestle in the first heat. He was pitted against this Minyan supply officer. I felt bad for the guy. The match didn’t last for more than two minutes, and I think Odysseus broke his ankle.
I don’t know what that Minyan guy was thinking.
After that, we headed over to the boxing competition. When we got there, Epeius was just finishing off his first opponent. Mother of Zeus, that guy is fast.
Epeius was matched with this burly Spartan guy that was almost twice his size. When we arrived, Epieus was tenderizing the poor guy’s face with a brutal efficiency. –The whole time Elpenor was cheering like a teenage girl.
Euryalus fought next. His opponent was a Corinthian archer. It was a long match. Euryalus had the advantage of size, but the archer was much more skilled. Finally brute strength won out and Euryalus put the Corinthian down.
We had lunch after that.
Following lunch, we headed back watch more boxing. As luck would have it, Epieus was matched with Euryalus in the second heat.
While the two were warming up, Elpenor was laughing and taunting Euryalus mercilessly. However, after seeing what Epieus had done to that Spartan, Polites, Misenus and I just left Euryalus alone. -We pitied him too much.
Euryalus was pulverized. It was kind of sick.
The match went much longer than it should have. Epieus was just drawing it out. Euryalus was fighting as hard as he could, but Epieus was just toying with him the entire time.
Every once in a while, Euryalus would get what looked to be a good hit, but it would invariably be followed by the quick pat-pat-pat of Epieus’ fist in his face.
Elpenor was enjoying it immensely. –Maybe a bit too much.
Anyway, Polites finally yelled: “Just finish it, Epieus!”
At that, Epieus looked at Polites, nodded, and planted about seven fast punches to Euryalus’ nose. –He dropped like a rock.
I don’t think that Euryalus is going to be doing Epieus impersonations anymore.
Epieus went on to win the boxing competition.
After Euryalus’ defeat, we headed back over to watch more wrestling. We stayed there the rest of the day.
Many of the commanders had entered the wrestling competition, and it was great to see so many big egos pitted against each other.
One of the best matches was between Ajax and the Pheraen King, Emelus. That match went on for the better part of an hour. Finally, Emelus was disqualified for biting Ajax’s foot.
However, the last battle was the most dramatic. -That one was between Odysseus and Ajax.
Some of the men thought the last match was a bit unfair. Ajax had recently wrestled in an extended match with Emelus, whereas Odysseus was able to finish his previous match quickly and had had some time to rest. -Either way, Ajax put up a hell of a fight.
I’ve been aware of the tension between Ajax and Odysseus ever since the conception of the Wooden Horse. However, when Odysseus accused Ajax of selling horses to the Trojans, their animosity became public knowledge.
Due to this tension, the match drew a large crowd. Due to the large crowd, both Ajax and Odysseus were determined to do their best.
It was an exciting fight. Both men are similar in stature, and neither seemed to maintain an upper hand for any length of time.
Each time the judge separated them after they tumbled out of the arena, both were very civil towards the other, bowing before they went at it again.
Still, their involuntary curses and the veracity of their fighting betrayed these niceties. It was obvious to everyone that each general wanted to kill the other.
After nearly an hour of struggling, Agamemnon stepped in and declared it a draw.
By that point, we had heard one of Ajax’s fingers snap, and Odysseus’ gushing nose had painted both of the men dark red.
I think Agamemnon made the right call.
Tomorrow is the last day of the Patroclus Honor Games