From Arthas-Rise of the Lich King chapter24
Brief of the Scrap: The fight between Arthas and Kael in front of IceCrown.
“Arthas! Arthas, turn and fight me, damn you!”
The voice was clear and pure and full of hatred, and Arthas turned.
The elven prince was but a few yards away, his red and gold bright as blood against the unforgiving whiteness of the snow upon which they fought.
He was tall and proud, his staff planted in the snow before him, his eyes fixed on Arthas.
Magic crackled around him.
“You will go no farther, butcher.”
A muscle twitched near Arthas’s eye.
So Sylvanas had called him, too.
He made a slight tsking sound, and grinned at the elf who had once seemed so very powerful and learned to a young human prince.
His mind went back to the moment when Kael had surprised Arthas and Jaina in a kiss.
The boy that Arthas had been then had known himself outmatched by the older, much more powerful mage.
Arthas was no longer a boy.
“After you disappeared in so cowardly a fashion at our last confrontation, I admit, I’m surprised to see you show your face again, Kael.
Don’t be upset that I stole Jaina from you.
You should let that go and move on.
After all, there’s so much left in this world for you to enjoy.
Oh wait…no there isn’t.”
“Damn you to hell, Arthas Menethil,” Kael’thas snarled, trembling with outrage.
“You’ve taken everything I ever cared for. Vengeance is all I have left.”
He wasted no more time in venting his anger, but instead lifted the staff.
The crystal affixed to its tip glowed brightly, and a ball of fire crackled in his free hand.
A heartbeat later it had soared toward Arthas.
Shards of ice rained down upon the death knight.
Kael’thas was a master mage, and much faster than anyone Arthas had ever encountered.
He barely got Frostmourne up in time to deflect the surging fiery globe.
The frost shards, however, were ease itself.
He swung the great runeblade over his head, and it called to its blade the shards of ice like iron shavings to a magnet.
Grinning, Arthas whirled the sword over his head, directing the pieces of ice back to their sender.
He’d been taken by surprise by Kael’thas’s speed, but he would not make that mistake again.
“You might want to think twice about attacking me with ice, Kael,” he said, laughing.
He needed to goad the mage into acting rashly.
Control was key to the manipulation of magic, and if Kael lost his temper, he would undoubtedly lose the fight.
Kael narrowed his eyes. “Thanks for the advice,” he growled.
Arthas tightened up on the reins, preparing to ride down his adversary, but at that instant the snow beneath him glowed bright orange for a moment and then became water.
Invincible suddenly dropped two feet and his hooves slipped on the slick ground.
Arthas leaped off and sent the beast cantering away, gripping Frostmourne with renewed determination in his right hand.
He extended his left.
A dark ball of swirling green energy formed in his flattened palm and sped toward Kael like an arrow shot from a bow.
The mage moved to counter, but the attack was too swift.
His face went a shade paler and he stumbled back, his hand going to his heart.
Arthas grinned as some of the mage’s life energy flooded him.
“I took your woman,” he said, continuing to try to anger the mage, although he knew, and probably Kael knew, that Jaina had never belonged to the elf.
“I held her in my arms at night. She tasted sweet when I kissed her, Kael. She—”
“Loathes you now,” Kael’thas replied. “You sicken and disgust her, Arthas.
Anything she felt for you has since turned to hatred.”
Arthas’s chest contracted oddly.
He realized he had not thought about how Jaina regarded him now.
He had always done his best to thrust all thoughts of her away when they drifted into his mind.
Was it true? Did Jaina really—
An enormous crackling ball of fire exploded against his chest, and Arthas cried out as he was forced backward by the blow.
Flame licked at him for precious seconds before he recovered his wits sufficiently to counter the spell.
The armor had largely protected him, although its heat against his skin was agonizing, but he was aghast that he had been so taken by surprise.
A second ball of fire came, but this time he was ready, meeting the fiery blast with his own deadly ice.
“I destroyed your homeland…fouled your precious Sunwell.
And I killed your father. Frostmourne sucked the soul right out of him, Kael. It’s gone forever.”
“You’re good at killing noble elderly men,” sneered Kael’thas.
The jab was unexpectedly painful.
At least you faced my father on the battlefield.
What of your own, Arthas Menethil?
How brave of you to cut down a defenseless parent opening his arms to embrace his—”
Arthas charged, closing the distance between them in a few strides, and brought Frostmourne down.
Kael’thas parried with his staff.
For a second, the stave held, then it broke beneath Frostmourne’s onslaught.
But the delay had bought Kael sufficient time to unsheathe a glittering, gleaming weapon, a runeblade that seemed to glow red in contrast to Frostmourne’s cold, icy blue.
The blades clashed.
Both men pressed down, straining with effort, each one’s blade holding off the other as the seconds ticked by.
Kael’thas grinned as their eyes met.
“You recognize this blade, do you not?”
He knew the sword’s name and its lineage—Flamestrike, Felo’melorn, once wielded by Kael’thas’s ancestor, Dath’Remar Sunstrider, the founder of the dynasty.
The sword was almost unspeakably old.
It had seen the War of the Ancients, the birth of the Highborne.
Arthas returned the smirk.
Flamestrike would have another significant event to bear witness to; it would now see the end of the last Sunstrider.
“Oh, I do. I saw it snap in two beneath Frostmourne, an instant before I slew your father.”
Arthas was physically stronger, and the energy of the Lich King surged through him.
With a ragged grunt, he shoved Kael’thas backward, thinking to knock him off balance.
The mage recovered quickly and almost danced into another position, brandishing Felo’melorn, his eyes never leaving Arthas.
“And so I found it, and I had it reforged.”
“Broken swords are weak where they are mended, elf.”
Arthas began to circle, watching for the instant where Kael would be vulnerable.
Kael’thas laughed. “Human swords, perhaps.
Not when they are reforged with magic, and hatred, and a burning need for revenge.
No, Arthas. Felo’melorn is stronger than ever—as am I.
As are the sin’dorei.
We are the stronger for having been broken—stronger and filled with purpose.
And that purpose is to see you fall!”
The attack came suddenly.
One moment Kael was standing, ranting, and the next Arthas was fighting for his very life.
Frostmourne clanged against Flamestrike, and damned if the elf wasn’t right—the blade held.
Arthas darted back, feinted, and then brought Frostmourne across in a mighty sweep.
Kael lunged out of its path and whirled to counterattack with a violence and intensity that surprised Arthas.
He was forced back, one step, then two, and then suddenly he slipped and fell.
Snarling, Kael lunged in, thinking to deal the deathblow.
But Arthas remembered training with Muradin, long ago, and the dwarf’s favorite trick suddenly filled his mind.
He pulled his legs in tightly and kicked Kael’thas with all his strength.
The mage let out a grunt and was hurtled backward into the snow.
Gasping, the death knight flipped to his feet, hefted Frostmourne with both hands and plunged it down.
Somehow Flamestrike was there.
The blades again strained against each other.
Kael’thas’s eyes burned with hatred.
But Arthas was the stronger in armed combat; stronger, with the stronger sword, despite Kael’s gloating about how Felo’melorn was reforged.
Slowly, inexorably, as Arthas knew must happen, Frostmourne descended toward Kael’thas’s bare throat.
“…she hates you,” Kael whispered.
Arthas cried out, fury blurring his vision for a moment, and shoved down with all his strength.
Into the snow and frozen earth.
Kael’thas was gone.
“Coward!” Arthas cried, although he knew the prince would not hear him.
The bastard had again teleported away at the last second.
Fury raged in him, threatening to cloud his judgment, and he pushed it aside.
He’d been foolish to let Kael’thas rile him so.
Curse you, Jaina. Even now, you haunt me.
“Invincible, to me!” he cried, and realized his voice was shaking.
Kael’thas was not dead, but he was out of the way, and that was all that mattered.
He wheeled the head of his skeletal horse around, and charged again toward the fray and the throne chamber of his master.
He moved through the milling crowd of enemies as if they were so many insects.
As they fell, he reanimated them and sent them against their fellows.
The tide of the undead was unstoppable and implacable.
The snow around the base of the spire was churned up and drenched with blood.
Arthas looked about him, at the last few knots of fighting going on.
Blood elves—but no sign of their master.