The youth wrenched himself free and swept Tonunda across his face with his open hand.
“I said away with you!”
He sounded angry, yet his tone, slightly broken.
Tonunda landed heavily on his back, caving a crater into the shingles. He grunted with the pain as he rolled from the indentation and stretched, giving off painful cracks.
Only a backhander?
He had wrestled beasts as powerful before, but this boy appeared no older than his middle teens. Tonunda sprang lithely around the youth as he would when attacking a larger animal, yapping persistently.
Get away from the edge!
“I am warning you, demented one, to leave me alone.”
He reached for Tonunda twice. With deft twists of his body, the king eluded the boy and struck with two uppercuts. The boy’s head didn’t shift with the blows, nor did he show any signs of discomfort. Tonunda’s hands however, were badly jarred from striking his iron jaw.
“I only wished to be left alone, but I will throw you from the roof too,” he said, taking a step closer, away from the edge.
Tonunda suppressed a grin. He would do whatever it took to preserve the boy’s life. He dropped to all fours, growling, with head lowered, bobbing aside swiftly as the boy swiped again.
“I will kill you!” he shouted.
Baring all his teeth, Tonunda gave off a gurgling growl.
You will have to catch me to do so. Come away from the edge, boy.
Tonunda stayed just out of reach to keep his interest. He widened his eyes and feigned stumbling backwards, then sprung aside to his feet as the boy’s hand descended. It struck, shattering a hole in the shingles, as Tonunda skipped from his arm, delivering a savage knee.
The boy’s head shot back. He lost his footing momentarily, sliding backward a handspan, before glaring. Suddenly he scrabbled quickly after Tonunda, easily backing away from him up the roof’s incline. Tonunda backed into the chimney, then slipped around it as a fist meant for his head, shot out, shattering away chips from its edge. Every time the boy tried to round the chimney after him, Tonunda merely skipped one step back, eluding him.
“Do you think you are safe there!” the boy bellowed.
Tonunda watched two hands appear on either side of the brick stack. They tensed, then the chimney began to rock, minutely at first, then a crack appeared along its base. The boy wrenched the chimney aside, breaking it free, then did the unthinkable… in his shuddering grasp, he slowly raised it above his head.
Tonunda gaped. By the unknown god.
Gritting his teeth, the youth hurled the chimney. Tonunda rolled aside to his feet as the chimney crashed through the roof. The roof itself, imploded between them, then broadened before either one of them could move. Tonunda collapsed through the debris, landing on top of the boy who had landed on his back.
Coughing, Tonunda pushed himself to his knees, noting a glint in the moonlight. Amidst the broken bricks, he could see a dagger on the floor. The boy’s iron hand clamped hold of his throat. Simultaneously, Tonunda snatched up the dagger and pressed the tip at the side of the boy’s neck, growling at him with all teeth bared.