Toma's body was lean and fit from constant training back in the barracks, or at least when he used to be a part of one. His skin a darker shade than most from baking in the sun all day, but in the shadows he would look a lot darker. Strapped behind his back would be worn out quiver with thirty arrows inside. Down by his waist, set at a cross would be a long sword and a short sword. Both weapons were double-edged and have been with Toma for as long as he can remember.
Toma's fighting ability stems from the fact that he is vulnerable to some extent. He wears a sort of steel vest that protects him from the front and back. The sides are exposed as they are used to tighten the piece of armor onto his body. It is armless therefore exposing his arms completely. The vest provides enough protection for Toma as it gives him freedom to move as he freely as they would let him. Going down, he wears something that protects his waist and thighs. It surrounds his waist, and comes down as hardened leather strips at certain intervals. This is to allow his legs freedom to move while offering some protection from miscalculation on Toma's part.
Toma never wore a helmet not out of pride or ego, but because a helmet always obscured his vision. He preferred to see what's coming to him rather then have his peripherals blocked. Being called Toma the Vigilant also played into the idea that Toma never liked helmets and preferred to keep his field of vision as clear as the battle conditions would permit.
Standing behind the gates, the smell of blood filled Toma's nose. A smell he would never forget, a smell that went hand in hand with every battle. Though, he has been told today's battle would be different. He wasn't sure what this meant, but he knew what must be done.
Toma's nerves were fired up again, and what some people noted as nervous energy, Toma recognized as pure adrenaline. His training kicked in, and he began to survey the battlefield through the iron bars. Outright, Toma spotted four pillars setup around a mound. The mound was raised, but Toma was never good with figures. He would have to say up to his knee or so. If you laid about four or five men across the ring they could touch from one end to the other.
The iron gateway prevented total vision of the battlefield and Toma hated this fact. However, being an excellent soldier meant you needed to be flexible so he supposed that he would find out what else was out there for him once the gates lifted. His initial thought is that the spectators and the other fighter would expect him to do one of two things:
1. Stick around the gated area.
2. Proceed towards the middle.
Toma felt the first option made more sense, afterall, he doesn't know what could be waiting for him. It was better to be cautious than to be arrogant, especially in a situation like this. Toma formed his strategy in his mind as the crowd's cheer grew louder.
"Welcome," boomed a loud voice who seemed to be shouting through something that magnified his voice. "To the fight of the evening!" The crowd began cheering even louder. The man continued, "Behind the right gate! We have a man who needs no introduction! The man with no fear! No pity! No remorse! No Mercy! Tancred Santoro!" If Toma thought the crowd was loud before, he was definitely wrong. The crowd bursted even louder and this sent a chill down Toma's spine.
"And, behind the left gate! We have a newcomer! A man who wouldn't tell much, but who clearly knows his stuff! The only warrior to date who might defeat our reigning hero! Toma the Vigilant!" The crowd's cheery disposition seemed to be pepper with a different sound. A sound of jeering, a sound of boos filled the arena, and immediately Toma knew where the home town support went to.
"Are you ready?" The announcer bellowed after a moment. "Then lets get ready to rumble!" The man's voice boomed and the booing crowd began to cheer again. The spectacle was about to begin and Toma knew this fight would determine his own future.
Toma stepped towards the iron gate as his hand went to take off the bow off his back, and the free hand took an arrow. He notched the arrow, and with little effort drew the string back half-way. Good enough for him to fire off a quick shot, and loose enough for him to keep the arrow notched and move if he needed to. He drew in a big breath, and exaled.
And then the iron gates began to lift...