“It is forbidden to kill another Kruziik who has committed no crime.”
But I had killed. And yet I committed no crime.
Many witnessed, of course; the entire tribe gathered to watch my clutch-mates and I compete upon reaching maturity.
I am not strong, but I am quick and smart, so I did well enough. We had battled for a while and my opponent and I had worn each other down. We were both weakened when he lunged and sunk his teeth into my shoulder. I knew the battle was not to the death, but my blood surged when I came so close to death. And not figuratively, like how smooth-skins speak.
Before he could even detach his jaws from me, blood sprayed from the wound and burned him in retaliation. As I fell to the ground, I was somehow aware that he had gotten the far worse of that exchange.
And so I was exiled.