The crowd's loud cheering was enough to hurt Octavian's ears.

But he loved it, as did all of them. The sound of acceptance, feeling like you were favored and loved above all the rest was the only reason why someone would join this damn arena in the first place.

Let's hope it doesn't kill me.

On the other side, twenty or so feet away waited his enemy. A big brute of a Nord, tall and buff, especially in the upper body. He was covered from head to toe with steel plate, leaving no openings that Octavian was aware of. In his hands his enemy wielded a deadly mace in the right, and a curved sword in the left.

I should've worn better armor. Octavian realized, knowing full well that leather was not an adequate substance to keep a man alive in the Arena. One hit from that mace and he was out. But this leather was the only thing he had. His last partner had abandoned him for a more favorable fighter.

"Come here, little pig." The Nord shouted, charging.

It was a mistake on the Nord's part. Octavian leapt to the side, his own iron sword still firm in his grasp. His thin, graceful body allowed or seemingly easy agile movements. He sucked in some air, needing more oxygen to keep the energy inside his body from wearing out.

The Nord's slow mace finally touched the ground away from Octavian, but he did not relent after that. As quick as a heavily armored man could, he ran straight for his target. Octavian took a few brief paces backwards, ready for what would happen next. He couldn't parry, his iron sword was too brittle for such a thing. All he could do was evade.

He did just that, sidestepping towards the left. His sandals scraped against the concrete, and the small amount of sand flew into the air. Octavian's long black hair spun round his head, covering his eyes for but a brief moment before he dealt his first strike.

Octavian lifted his sword, feeling light in his hands. Swinging it from right to left, the brittle iron blade hit the Nord right in the helmet, knocking him to the ground. Octavian began to pace forward, but from below the Nord let his mace fly.

Too late! Octavian leaned back, the weapon barely missing his jaw. Then, the Imperial Warrior leapt on top of his enemy, holding his arms down with all the strength he possessed. Struggling beneath him, the Nord was pinned down, unable to rise to his feet.

I have you now.

Wrenching his weapons from his hands, Octavian threw them aside, choosing instead to keep his iron blade. It would be a symbol of his triumph: The Man who killed with only iron. All of the other contestants would know what to expect when Octavian entered the Arena.

He struggled to get the helm off, yet if was done. Underneath, the Nordic man bore the traditional blonde hair of the northern people. His face bore scars from the previous battles he had been in, yet now he had accepted that it was over. He had the grim look of shame about him. Such a man was the type who chose to fight in the Arena for glory, being selfish and lustful for a reputation.

He didn't need to win, I did.

He didn't try to get up after that, he only looked Octavian in the eyes, trying to haunt him. "Do it." He said, "If you've got the courage, end it already!"

Octavian hesitated for a moment. This had been the second this week that had looked him in the eyes as he claimed victory. Slowly, he brought his iron sword to the man's neck, waiting just a second before he opened the throat from ear to ear. Blood spattered onto his face, some even getting in his mouth. It tasted unpleasant, but it symbolized victory.

At that moment, the crowd's cheering exceeded what it had been before, which seemed impossible. Octavian saw men running from the right gate, carrying flasks of water and a belt of victory. He'd defeated his enemy; he'd done all he was supposed to and more.

And for the first time since he joined the Arena, he bathed in their praise.

"You fight like a God, my friend." The Noble said, "And I'm a very religious man."

After Octavian had cleaned himself, he had met with another of the Imperial Nobles. His name was Atticus, though his last name was still unknown. Clad in the rich clothing of a wealthy man, his white and golden robes looked magnificent next to Octavian's dirty leather armor. His hair was short and brown, and he smelled of incense.

"I've been told." Octavian responded.

"Then no doubt you'd appreciate more praise." Atticus smirked, "I like you, fighter. You've got the speed, the strength, and most of the all; the people already love to see you."

"I just want the gold, nothing more." Octavian pointed out. He had no interest in glory; all he wanted was something to eat.

"You'll have lots of that, should you rise to the top." He began, "And I can help you get there."

"I seem to be doing fine on my own." Octavian looked away.

"Fine for now, but you'll either stay stagnant or die." The Noble said, "Partner with me, and I'll change that."

"How so?" Octavian asked.

Atticus paced back and forth. "I've got much more money than you do, my friend. With my help, you'll wear a fine set of armor, bear strong weapons that will never break. People will know your name for miles around, and mine."

"There's a catch, isn't there?"

Atticus smirked. "All you have to do is one thing, something that will carry my name with you. That will help both of us."


This came to me out of nowhere. I had to write it, else i would forget.

Dragonsoul will still be, worry not. I'm not even sure if I'll continue this, depends on the reception of this first chapter.