Duel of Fates

The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.

Leo Tolstoi

The battle rage had vanished, and Kel felt all the eyes focused on him – on him and on the man approaching between the two columns the draedar’s soldiers had formed to let him through. Their eyes met. With his subtle eyes of sapphire, Kel knew he could faint weakness like he could inspire bravery to anyone with the right intent. When the blue harmony clashed with the chaotic red of Shand’s iris, Kel shivered. Even if opposites in most aspects, their eyes hid the same sorrow.

Opposing the al’Krul Dynasty had shattered the empire. Now, a duel would settle it all. Kel was born for this. From the gentle nest of his hometown to the hardships in the North, Kel had been raised to fight the draedar’s Crimson King – the strongest amongst the mightiest. A decade ago however, Kel had no idea his enemy would end up being Shand.

For indeed Shand al’Krul had once been his first and last friend.

We get what needs to be, never what we hope, Kel remembered as the falling flames scattered, letting the King of the Draedars rise.

Pale blonde hair fell on his broad shoulders. Closing perfection, his built was slightly stronger than Kel’s , and his muscular body had also a better predisposition for action. This would be a tough fight. Bare-chested for he feared no blade, King Shand stood, a stern grin on his handsome – yet painful – face, staring at Kel with his burning red eyes – the true Red Eyes.

“When we fail to uphold our virtue,’ Shand’s voice echoed as he advanced with a disturbing serenity towards Kel, ‘we are thereby forced to drown into our sins, aren’t we Kel?

– On this matter I put my faith in you more than anyone,’ Kel smiled. ‘Especially you who killed your own father and usurped his throne.”

Almost disappointed, Shand’s grin twisted into an angry smile, bearing the coldness of the unconvinced.

“How vain of you, Kel’ Shand angrily declared. ‘How hypocritical to judge me. Especially when you were the one to whisper my ambition.

– I recall attempting to inspire you into taking a glorious path. Yet, it was a mistake for which I shall pay the price today’ Kel affirmed. ‘I shall correct the mistakes we’ve made, Shand, I vow’.

– That you shall, oathbreaker’ Shand agreed.”

Bursting into anger, Shand opened the palm of his hand, and the heat in the air vanished, letting a chilling emptiness replace the blazing inferno. In Shand’s open palm, all the fire of the battlefield concentrated into a dark light, that Shand manipulated into the shape of a sword. He seized his infernal blade, and prepared his stance, staring at Kel.

Impressive, his Ka is stronger than ever, Kel started to understand. Feeling his chest tightening, Kel composed himself by directing his mind towards a more satisfying conclusion. The same goes for me. I am stronger than I ever was. And this time, I am not alone. He could feel Stryga behind him.

Kel could see clearly, much more than ever. It had the same excitement of a duel, but in more accurate. Out of all the senseless killings, his feud with Shand, even if meaningless, gripped Kel’s life with the most intensity. Each time destiny put these two to the test, Kel felt the most alive. It is selfish, but can you blame someone who enjoys to live.

‘I wish you good fortune in the wars to come’ Kel whispered. Now it begins’

– No, it ends’ Shand answered.”

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