Nostramans by nature are predators given the chance, and Corvis was no exception. In the near total darkness of the training hall, Corvis felt his blood sing as he raised his lightning claw up once again to block Xho's sword. What felt like a mountain hammering into him sent him reeling backwards, but unblooded still. Between the two of them Xho was definitely the bigger; no doubt a fact the fool thought would ease his victory as he swaggered into the arena with his two-handed chainsword. Corvis knew Xho had more muscle than brain, he could tell by the Nostraman markings on him, Probably once an enforcer he thought nonchalantly as they both prepared for the duel to begin. Still, Xho thought himself better than Corvis, and that was an insult in and of itself. A duel to third blood it would be, and Corvis promised himself he would make this particularly painful for those in 5th Claw who were watching.
Once again Xho swung his sword in an arc hoping to drive Corvis further away from closing in on him. Twisting his gauntlet Corvis caught the sergeants blade in between several of his talons and pulled his sword downward into the cold steel of the training deck. Before Xho could rip his sword free of Corvis' talons, the Young Blood slammed his left fist into Xho head, sending him reeling backwards. Seeing an opening, Corvis released his grip on Xho's sword and sank his claw into the meat of Xho's shoulder. Even in the near absolute blackness of the training hall Corvis' eyes could see the bright red liquid pour from the sergeants open wound and he could not hide the smile etched on his face. "That's one Xho, try not to let this look too easy for me" Corvis taunted as he backed away from the sergeant. As Xho gripped his sword with both hands Corvis slowly paced back and forth like a predator judging his best angle of attack. Ignoring the jeers and insults of the 5th claw Night Lords watching him, Corvis savored the look of disbelief and rage on Xho's face. With more arrogance than confidence Corvis took a running start and leaped at the Night Lord, his claw aimed to rake across the sergeants face. Unfortunately Xho saw the hungry look in Corvis' eyes, the desire to mercilessly destroy the opponent and feed off the fear. A heartbeat away from the cold steel touching his face, Xho brought his sword up and batted Corvis's claw away as he landed. Trying to leap out of the way, Corvis was unable to block the savage kick from Xho that sent him reeling back. Not wasting any time Xho roared as he swung his sword in a downward arc.
Cold steel bit into his cheek. Instantly Corvis could taste the warm, metal smell of his own blood as it poured freely from his wound. Reaching his left hand to his face, Corvis could feel the meat of his face and swore under his breath at the impudent wretch. "No more screwing around then" Corvis stated as he rose to his feet and brandished his claw once again. This time both combatants charged head long at each other, the sparks of the steel blades connecting giving the only brief illumination in the arena. As Xho thought himself a mountain to bring crashing down on Corvis, the young Night Lord was a predator. He would match this fool blow for blow, and show him how inferior he was to Corvis in martial might when his target slipped up in even the slightest way. Bobbing under a hasty cut to his melee arm, Corvis brought his knee slamming into Xho's midsection. Briefly off balance, Corvis grabbed Xho by his good shoulder and spun him around to face Corvis. Letting no time get away Corvis swiftly raked his talons across the sergeants chest, four fresh wounds weeping blood from the second hit. Corvis wanted to relish the moment, he wanted to savor the look of frenzied hatred in Xho's eyes as the thought of defeat became a real possibility in his mind. However, Corvis needed to win. Biting his tongue against any mocking jests or insults Corvis gritted his teeth and charged once again at the lumbering Night Lord.
.."Make him bleed Corvis!"..."Cut the Young Blood down to size Xho!"..."Kill!".."Victory for 5th claw!"..."Show the old murderer how to fight Young Blood!"..."Kill!"..."Kill!"..."Kill!". The spectators to the duel were roaring for more. They wanted more than just a fight to third blood. They wanted death. A Murder Duel was uncommon en route to a war zone but even Corvis couldn't deny the appetite for claiming Xho's life. Still, Corvis didn't need any Warp-touched powers of Jallus' to sense Azrael's presence on the training deck. The Blade Master was not one to tolerate a killing by one of his Claw not sanctioned by Xandrek, or himself. The Night Lords in attendance would just have to wait for Istvaan V to slate their blood thirst on astartes. By now both duelists were drenched in sweat and blood, their astartes physiology stemming the blood flow from their wounds as they continued attacking. Corvis could feel the throbbing in his face as his body fought off bacteria and began healing the wound. He could only brace against the pain and use it to exert himself to victory. Xho appeared to be holding together though he was staggering ever so slightly, not enough to be an easy victory but enough to not be a hard threat. "I will break your spirit Young Blood" Xho spat as he took the charge. As they met each other again in the middle of the arena talons met chainsword and the two of them locked eyes for the briefest of seconds, and that was all Corvis needed to know Xho's next move. Feinting a break from the combat, Corvis smiled one more time as he saw Xho raise his sword up bring it crashing down. Had it connected it would have easily split his coller bone in two and probably have gauranteed Xho victory. As it was, Corvis knew this was what Xho planned, and as the Night Lord brutally brought his sword down, he saw Corvis twist his body just a hairs breadth from the teeth of his sword. Without any mercy Corvis drove his claw once more into Xho's chest, sending him slamming backwards onto the cold steel of the arena. Calmly, Corvis walked over to the semi-conscious sergeant and smiled his murderous smile. "And that's three" he mocked.
The audience of Night Lords cheered and roared. The entire training hall echoed their raucous cheers at a duel worth watching. Corvis paid them no heed. He had already left the Xho and the arena floor while they were still laughing and yelling their approval. Pouring ice cold water over his face, Corvis exhaled and finally let himself enjoy the victory he won himself.
"Well done Young Blood, but remember not to become complacent after you have drawn first blood. It is when he has been wounded that your foe is at his most dangerous for he will not underestimate you again as you learned today. You are lucky you dodged, Xho's chainsword would have split your collar bone as well as cutting your face had you not. Learn these lessons and eventually you'll come away without a scratch from a fight such as this. Also, be wary of Xho. Before he joined us he was a murderer of the worst sort and I wouldn't put it beyond him to jump you in a dark corner.". Corvis knew that voice before he had even said the name Young Blood. He had heard it a dozen times or more, always in that same chiding tone that seemed to Corvis as patronizing as it was arrogant. Still, Azrael was Xandrek's champion for a reason, and Corvis would not be the fool to openly provoke such a sure defeat. Turning to face Azrael, Corvis smiled his ever empty smile and acknowledged the Champion with a nod, "Perceptive as ever Sword Master. Your Terran masters must have taught you well before the Night Haunter's gene-seed was gifted to you" he said. ""But you do not need to warn me about Xho. He is a fool who thinks his shadow greater than it is. Had you not been here this would have become a Murder Duel very quickly and 5th Claw would be needing a new sergeant. If Xho is foolish enough to try anything from the shadows, then the Corpse-Master will receive a fresh astartes corpse to cut open."