Devon and Syrana reached a small village made of wooden huts of the Northern Reptilians. After a long journey through the icy and cold Northern Lands of RULUS, they and Syrana’s men had a warm dinner, where Devon has been introduced to the villagers. Finally, the dinner was over and Devon and Syrana took some rest.
They have spend a few days in this village - waiting for Kalhai's brother to come and join them with his tribe. During that time not many things happened - normal tribal life, feeling of waiting, patrols, hunts, once even messenger arrived and went away.

Devon: (walks along through the village, like many times before. At his side is Syrana.) Hmmm... I guess, I slowly get to know your language... here! (he points at a wooden plate, which was given to him by Syrana a few days before. On the plate are some words written in her language.) This is called... "weapon", right? And this is... "prey"!

Syrana: Very good! You will soon find out that our language is not very different from yours... but there are dialects differences for each part.

Devon: (scratches his chin and looks quite proud of himself.) Yes... I am getting through your language. It seemed a bit foreign in the beginning, but as you've pointed out it is not too difficult. More like... an rather ancient language. Yes, some words are still in use in my language... (thinks again, as Kalhai passes by with a weird face expression. Kalhai seems not to be suspicious, or at least not very friendly. Devon recognizes this and catches Kalhai's eyes - but he turns and walks away.) Syrana... what about Kalhai? He doesn't seem to like me very much... I cannot blame him, I am a stranger. But what about him and you? He doesn't seem to like you much, either.

Syrana: He… he does not like you because he's jealous, and will not show it openly.

Devon: Jealous? About what? He has no reason I'd know about... (opens eyes wide.)

Syrana: (snorts slightly.) He is jealous about me...

Devon: (scratches his jaw again.) In other circumstances I'd be flattered... but... so, he was kinda watching after you, right? Have you two been... you know... a couple before I came?

Syrana: (takes a short breath, then turns head on the other side) No...

Devon: Hm... maybe, he WANTED to become more... involved with you. And now, I am here!! Well... I am still not sure, if this fact should make me worry or being proud. After all, Kalhai acts stupid if ya ask me. I mean, you and me... we know each other for what? Two weeks by now? More or less... and he might know you for a way longer time. It is his fault, if he never made an direct attempt! If you want to have something, you got to fight for it! You got to take it!! And if he wants to challenge me, I will be there for him. (places his arms before his chest - looking tall and strong.)

Syrana: (somebody with an keener eye would see a vicious smirk running through her face for short second.) Oooh, he tried to fight...

Devon: And what happened?

Syrana: Nothing.

Devon: Well... whatever. (recognizes, that she doesn't seem to like to talk about this.) After all, I would definitely be ready to fight for you! Not that I want this... I have nothing against Kalhai or anyone of your people. But if he wants it the hard way, he can have it! (looks into Syrana's eyes and takes a deep breath. He stops walking.) I am very sure, that in my long life I haven't often found someone so... attractive, as you are. Yes, I have had many women for my pleasures... but I never felt someone to be more worth to me, like the next meal for example. (takes her hands.) You did not only save my life... you gave it a new meaning and I am glad to be here at your side.

Syrana: (looks really content from what she hears.) You really mean that, don't you? (she looks at him and there is some wicked shine in her eyes.)

Devon: (looks into her eyes without any sign of distraction.) Yes, this is the truth. Some people may call me "lord of lies", but this matter is serious to me. I don't know what happened to me, either... I just feel it this way. And it feels somehow pretty right to me... and I can't take any more hiding. (suddenly, his head dashes forward and he kisses Syrana on the front of her lips. After the kiss he tilts his head back and awaits the uncertain reaction.)

Syrana: (looks little bit surprised but smiles up at him.) I guess I received my answer.

Devon: Let me add some more strength to my answer... (holds Syrana in his strong arms and kisses her with much desire. He doesn't mind who could be watching or not.) When I am king over this lands... you'd definitely be worth to be my queen... the queen of evil! (smiles at her and smoothes her neck from the front with his snout.) So it shall be!

Syrana: (returns the kiss with no less desire.) You don't need to have blue blood to be the king here… (rests her head on his chest plate, glaring with evil eye on Kalhai, who stands like a pile of salt and looks angry.)

Devon: (holds Syrana close to his body and lets her resting on his chest. For the first time, he feels some kind of feeling, he has not felt before - at least not this way. Like he said, he had many women for his own pleasures - but now, he feels somehow really attracted to that woman. And he can feel that she might feel the same way.) Well... (thinks a bit. He must sort his thoughts.) You mean, everyone can become leader here? You don't have a special... regulation or some kind of leadership? What do I need to do, to become... the leader of your people?

Syrana: Norss are not my people... we are just cooperating together, we have deals... and only clan lords can lead those people.

Devon: I understand... you have some kind of... alliance, hm? Many different tribes in one big alliance. I see the advantages! If an enemy tries to attack your leader or to destroy the inner structure of your society, it won't succeed - since your clans control themselves in some way... correct?

Syrana: Depends about which region we are talking about... mostly there are clans with their chieftains, but there can be also supreme leaders called overlords who have few clans and their leaders under their control.

Devon: Aww, interesting. Well, you are right... but this way could also provide some weak links: the main leaders - your overlords, in fact! This one must be trustworthy and loyal to the people... (a thought about his own reign hits his mind. He must laugh.) Hehe... okay, I might be wrong now... in my case, I was not worried about my men. They had to fight for me at any cost! If they win, they're allowed to live on - if they lose, they're as good as dead! (recognizes Syrana getting a face expression of doubt. Devon reacts fast.) Of course, this merely counted for my human soldiers - my own kind is precious to me!

Syrana: Those are difficult times... lots of difficult decisions to make... (Kalhai seems to disappear somewhere and some Reptilians are looking at them.) and lots of sacrifices to do... and lots of blood to spill. (releases herself from Devon’s grip and moves one step back and looks at him that he almost got scared) Are you willing to follow it?

Devon: (moves a little bit closer towards Syrana again, and stands tall.) Of course, I will! This is what I have been born to do… to lead, to fight and to win! (he places himself next to Syrana and makes an attempt to continue their walk. He takes one of her hands. In the other hand, he got his wooden language tablet again.) Anyway... I have the impression, that I don't really need to lecture you about "leadership" and such things... you seem very capable to me. Which makes me wonder again, why I have been chosen to lead your army... but I suppose, we both can get an advantage from the other ones experience.

Syrana: (smirks.) I am not a war leader, and I don't know war tactics... I needed somebody to lead armies and I found somebody who is capable of doing it with enough passion and fire in veins to win the war for me.

Devon: (smiles at her - quite pleased about her words.) I always had passion for war in my heart... but after my last defeat, you have been the one who lit my fire again! I am sure, that this defeat could have crippled me for a long time... but now I am back and our enemies will have to fear our return!

Syrana: Yes... yes, they do. (looks up for a moment then turns around and looks into the direction of her hut, observing something - but only a seagull like bird is sitting on the roof.) Excuse me for a moment... (lets go his hand and goes towards her hut.)

Devon: Alright. (lets her go and waits at the point where they stopped. He doesn't care about some people, which are watching him. Soon, he walks to a nearby hut and leans against a wooden bar, while goes on studying the language.)

(Devon spots from the distance that a bird flew down to Syrana and she was doing something with it's leg. Then she released it and it flew on roof again. She looked at something, which she holds in her hand and wants to enter the hut when Kalhai comes near her and starts to talk, making lots of gestures and apparently, she doesn’t like that because she grabs her hips and speaks something back with anger on her face. She keeps her head up. Suddenly, he grabs her arm and pulls her next to him, that they are face to face. They seem to argue, as she struggles to release herself from his grip.)

Devon: (feels anger and rage rising in his body. He throws the wooden plate away and walks not to fast to Kalhai and Syrana. He stomps over the ground like a titan, making quite an appearance.) This one is pushing my nerves now... (more to himself. Kalhai and Syrana don't recognize him now. Finally, he reaches Kalhai from the behind and grabs one of his arms and turns him around with a powerful stroke.) STOP IT! (he says in Kalhai's language - he just learned those two words a few moments ago.)

Kalhai: (was a little bit bowed over Syrana but now he raises his full height. He sorta lifts his scales, opens his maw showing his metal teeth, and he looks at Devon with pure hatred. Even if he is smaller than Devon, he releases his arm without any difficulty from Devon's grip. He harks something hard to understand at Devon.)

Devon: (his eyes glance at Kalhai with fire. He does not intent to fight him, but his face expression leaves much to interpret.) Leave her! (those are some other words of Kalhai's language which Devon knows by now.) Yes, I know you cannot understand me... but there is no reason to be this harsh to a woman. So, why don't you just get lost? Pack yourself and your shiny teeth and go out of my sight! (he chuckles his fists. His tail is waving, a typical behaviour of a Reptilian which is ready to fight till death.)

Kalhai: (he wags with tail as well, releases Syrana's arm, then he growls a few words to Devon. He waves with his fur pelt, throwing it on one arm and turns around, walking away angrily. This causes lots of rumour amongst the Reptilians around, and also made them stare at Kalhai and Devon.)

Syrana: (strokes her arm.) He wants you to meet him at the rock.

Devon: (lowers his arms and fists. His tail is not moving anymore and his body relaxes.) Somehow... I knew that this would lead to such outcome... maybe, I should not have... (he shakes his mind.) Never mind. If he wants to battle me, he can count on me!

Syrana: (looks around as they seem to cause lots of attention after this incident, then pats Devon’s arm.) Norss have bad tempers... and they are dangerous.

Devon: (holds her hand with his own.) Yes... I figured that out. These people in my army can be either an advantage or a curse... I can only hope, not everyone is as temper and stubborn, when it comes to follow my orders! I cannot work with warriors, who have the tendency to become mad and to go their own way...

Syrana: (looks at him from under her eye brows.) That's why... (looks at sides like expecting that somebody listens.) you have to kill him.

Devon: (seems to be not very surprised.) You mean... (whispers.) Kalhai could be a possible... "weakness" in our army?

Syrana: He is a flaw... thinks too much and wants too much... if you can follow me.

Devon: I see. (takes a deep breath.) I think it is a pity to waste such a good warrior, after all... but we cannot effort to have a doubtful variable in our army! And from what I recognized, he surely is a danger... I will... fight him!

Syrana: For sake of this war, I am willing to make such sacrifice... meeting on the stone means that you will do a fight one to one. Everything is allowed except of calling for assistance. Actually, there is no way to do so, since you will be totally alone together chained to each other...

Devon: (catches her eyes and sees an incredible will to win and to prevail.) So, it will be a fight till death... two man get up and one man gets down. I will make sure to be the winning one! (wraps his arms around her and kisses her again with desire and passion.) You can count on me!

(Sunrise. The next day is already dawning and fills the sky with a red colour similar to blood. Syrana, Devon, Kalhai and some Reptilians of the villages are walking to a lake nearby the last village. In the centre of the misty lake lays a platform like rock, which is almost round in shape and not very large in size. Some blood, which has been spilled here can be seen on the surface of the rock. The flat rock can only be reached by a boat. Devon, Kalhai, a shaman and a row man are stepping inside the small wooden boat, after each one of the challengers has taken a weapon of choice with them. As they are passing the lake, Devon and Kalhai are undressing themselves by the order of the shaman. Finally, they have reached the stone platform and all except the boatman are entering the rock. The shaman takes a rather sort chain and connects Devon and Kalhai together at their waists, so that nobody can escape. Finally, the shaman speaks some ritual words and the fight between Devon and Kalhai starts.)

Devon: (stares at Kalhai with full concentration. As a good fighter, he knows not to attack without a clear mind. He will let Kalhai make the first move. The short sword he has chosen before, is being held in front of his chest – typical defensive action.)

Kalhai: (carries an axe. He stands and whispers something to himself, probably praying to gods . He also moves his eyes from the boat, which will soon disappear, to Devon.)

(It is pretty cold and even if Kalhai is used to this climate, he seems to be freezing a little, as well. Shortly before the fight, they drank something to heat up.)

Devon: (tries to get some distance between him and Kalhai, by stroking the chain to its entire length - thought he is only a few feet away from his opponent.) What is he doing? (more to himself.) Come on, you mad bastard! (shouts against Kalhai and sticks out his tongue.) Show me your best move...

Kalhai: (when the boat disappears behind the rock, screams some kind of war cry, which went with echo over the lake's surface. Unexpectedly quick, he jumps at Devon and does a swing over him with his axe.)

Devon: (surprised by the sudden attack, he strafes to one side and dodges the swing of the Kalhai's axe. He raises his sword and blocks another strike. Quickly, he jumps right and tries to hit Kalhai with his sword from the side.)

Kalhai: (in the same moment he does another swing and both weapons meet with a clinging sound, and for a moment they pushed at each other and glaring deep in opponents eyes, and all by sudden, Kalhai clenches his fingers and strikes Devon right under his chin, which forces him to move back. It also hurts pretty much.)

Devon: (holds his bleeding chin, and licks over it with his tongue.) Good... nobody ever tackled me this way before! I am impressed. (His sword goes up and down, left and right - always hitting the blade of Kalhai's axe, but no injury to his opponent. Devon screams himself, dashes forward and jumps over Kalhai's head. While he is flying through the air, he performs a nice swift with his sword - meant to cut Kalhai's head off with an easy move, but he misses since Kalhai lowers his head in the last second. Devon turns, and strikes again. This time, Kalhai is too slow and gets a slight cut on his waving tail.)

Kalhai: (hisses, tightening his teeth and rapidly turns around on foot dragging the chain, which caused Dev to make a slight bow. Fast, he turns again and slices through Devon’s left arm. He makes quick return and hits him with the axe's blunt side straight through Devon’s head - but he only managed to tear of few of his scales since he hit too high.)

Devon: (cries in pain and holds his arm and face. Warm blood is flowing over his hand and dripping on the ground.) Arrgh… I clearly underestimated you… I will have to… come up with something new then. (struggles hard, to hit Kalhai, but somehow he is too fast and Devon's sword is too slow.) I can't take it anymore!! (Devon screams in rage and hate. His arm hurts too much and he feels like losing strength.) I will kill you with my bare hands! (he throws his sword far away – a splash of water can be heard in the distance.) Well… come over here! (he grabs the chain with both hands, ignoring the pain in his arm, and pulls Kalhai towards himself with one great move. As soon as Kalhai is in front of him, Devon goes down to his knees and rises up in a powerful uppercut – hitting Kalhai’s chin so hard, that you can hear some bones and teeth crushing.)

Kalhai: (yelps and falls on his back loosing his axe, once he hits the ground he turns on side and grabs his jaw hissing and peeking at Devon with one eye, and manages to make a rapid move with his legs and tips him over straight at part of the rock where was an irregularity. He tries to stand up with a grin of pain on his face - observing Devon in the same time and spitting with blood.)

Devon: (pretends, that he falls to the ground, as well. In fact, he lets himself fall on his hands – quickly, he spins around with his legs and kicks after Kalhai - who already managed to get up again - in order to break his knees. He misses Kalhai by millimetres, but forces him to fall down again. With Kalhai on the ground and close to him, Devon positions himself on his back and lifts both legs into the air. He lowers his feet like an axe and forcefully moves them down on Kalhai's belly. Kalhai gasps for air and before he can react, Devon rolls over him and sits on his body. Over and over again, he smashes his fists into Kalhai's face.)

Kalhai: (gets a few hits before he manages to catch Devon's wrists and hold them in his grip with incredible strength. His eyes burn with pure madness and desperation. He hisses loudly and spreads Devon's arms and drags him down and bites his shoulder with his metal teeth and starts to crush his collar bone.)

Devon: (cries in pain and tries not to lose his senses because of the sudden pain, which strikes him. When he hears his collar bone breaking with a disgusting sound, he smashes his chin against Kalhai’s snout in order to get free. As soon as Kalhai opens his jaw to scream out loud, Devon frees himself, rolls away from the body and tries to get up again. He is only able to get up on his knees - his shattered bones, flesh wounds and the loss of blood makes him shake and unable to hold his own weight. Hard breathing, he rests a moment on his knees and moves his back towards Kalhai.)

Kalhai: (pants and blood drips from his mouth and nose. He rolls on the side with quite big effort and pulls himself up on hands and knees and tries to stand up wit poor effect, narrowing Devon with one eye.)

Devon: (still tries to get up with little effort. He falls back on his knees, lowering his head in pain - leaving his back and neck completely uncovered and unprotected.) Get... try to get me... if you can... (blood is flowing out of his throat, but his healing powers are already working at full rate.)

Kalhai: (hisses something in response and it definitely wasn't pleasant spitting with blood drops, and pulls himself up on his knees, and opens his mouth with disgusting crack when his jaw gets back on place. He manages to get on his feet kinda unstable and keeping himself low holding the chain strained in his hands.)

Devon: (he got a plan to get out of this situation. He spins around a few times, so that the chain is wrapping itself more tight around his waist and pulls Kalhai inevitably closer to himself. Very soon, the weakened Kalhai touches Devon's back with his chest - he is now somehow attached to Devon's back like a leech. Suddenly, Devon moves from one side to the others side, tries to confuse Kalhai, who is still stuck on his back. But Kalhai uses this close encounter and is ramming his claws inside Devon’s back, shoulders and tries to bite himself through Devon’s neck from behind.) You… thought so… (Devon clenches all his muscles, concentrates and grabs Kalhai with his hands, so that he stays tightly attached to his back.) How do you like this? (Devon cries out and jumps into the air and dives down on the ground – smashing Kalhai down and squishing him between his back and the rock platform. Devon’s back thorns are digging themselves inside Kalhai’s chest and belly.)

Kalhai: (yelps loudly and for a moment stays without any move, but when Devon limps a little, he quickly throws a part of the chain around his neck and starts to strangle Devon. Kalhai may be weakened badly, but still has enough strength to make the chain tighter and tighter. His breath is hissing and it is heard that he puts effort in his doing, also in same way he tries to throw Devon from him.)

Devon: (with the chain around his neck, he gasps for air. That move didn't finished Kalhai, as Devon thought it'd be. He grabs the chain, which is strangling him - but it's too tight to get rid of. Devon feels, that he will lose consciousness in a few moments. His body produces more adrenaline then before, which gives him new strength. Quickly, he moves his chest up and down - trying to nail Kalhai down more and more. Finally, the grip around his neck is loosing a bit and Devon manages it to roll away from his opponent. Now, he is purely acting on rage and bestial instincts himself... he scratches, bites, kicks and pushes Kalhai without any time to think.)

Kalhai: (acts almost the same and it is pure rage in his eyes, normally somebody who is in condition like him should be laying and dieing, but he answers on Devon's "tiger attacks", he get hits he serves scratches and bruises too like a wild beast. Unexpectedly like for a person who acts almost without control, when Dev missed him with a punch, he grabbed his forearm and locks it between the side of his chest and arm and quickly raises his knee and strikes him into his broken collar bone. The sound and pain was terrible as he does that 3 times... after this Kalhai kinda limps, grabs his chest and he falls on his back. He is panting hard.)

Devon: (his triumph over Kalhai lets the pain vanish for a moment. He feels just a warm pulse in his chest and neck. The bleeding stopped, but some new wounds just appeared. He tries so say something, but blood is bubbling in his throat. He spits out and gathers all his remaining powers and makes a last run on Kalhai. Devon makes a hard body check against Kalhai, lifts his head with a fast move and digs the thorn of his snout deep into Kalhai’s throat.)

Kalhai: (moans and rivers of hot blood flow on Devon's face. In his last effort, he grabs Devon’s face and stabs his claws deep into the flesh and tears some of it apart. He manages to push Devon's face on his knee with a crack sound of a broken jaw. Then, Kalhai falls on the side and lays in puddle of his own blood. His fingers shiver in last twitches and his dead eye doesn’t lose Devon from it's sight.)

Devon: (is being pulled down from the dead body as well. He falls on his back, his limbs tremble and shiver. He feels no pain by now, but he knows that horrible pain is about to come soon. He does not even try to fit his broken jaw again. He just rests on his back…panting hard, as he feels that he is only a little bit more alive then Kalhai. Devon watches into the empty eyes of Kalhai and there is one thought, which keeps him alive.) I won… (from the distance, he can hear that rowboat coming closer.)

(Devon turns his head into Kalhai's direction for one more time and again he meets this eye, which is looking at him - almost like with some satisfaction. It also seems, that Kalhai’s face expression left with some kind of suspicious smile. Snow starts to fall.
Devon can feel cold and light snow flakes gently touching his tortured body. The fire in his blood is slowly dying and the emptiness is being filled with incredible pain instead. Finally, he is losing consciousness.)