He found the Ultramarine Captain after eight hundred meters of pure walking. He wouldn't have noticed he was part of the battle if not for a few bolter rounds with no effect but chipping paint off his armour and his Contemptor bodyguards keeping what few daring Ultramarines came at him. He had no one but himself to blame for this, of course, it had been his choice to battle nothing but enemy leaders and champions.
"Straight ahead", Rafater rumbled, lifting his autocannon in the Ultramarine Command Squad's direction.
"Keep the others off", he answered. The Dreadnoughts were already charging when he finished the sentence.
He stopped a few meters from the enemy Captain, who was busy cleaning his sword of blood with a cloth. No doubt he was expecting him.
"Coronus", he called, faking gentlemanship .
"Phract", the other answered, but his voice carried only hate. Understandably, Sagittar Phract thought.
Both commanders came closer, the World Eater Terminator dwarfing the power-armoured Ultramarine.
"No need to lecture you on your Legion's acts, I assume", Coronus said, spitefully.
Phract nodded, but his opponent was already charging. He wondered for a moment if he was speaking too slowly.
Coronus was as accomplished a warrior as he was a commander. If this was a duel held in the Conqueror's pits a few years ago, Sagittar would've feared defeat. But now he could see the Ultramarine's mind was too clouded with rage for him to be at his best. The irony of this was not lost on Phract.
As if to prove his point, Coronus opened with a beginner's error, a piercing strike aimed at his head. He batted the sword aside with his Chaingladius and struck the Ultramarines twice with his shield, as if slapping him for his mistake. He caved Coronus' helm in, though his intention was just to bring the Ultramarine to attention. Had that strike been meant for a Night Lord and Coronus would already have been dead.
It seemed to work. They traded blows for a while, but the first, second and third blood was Coronus'. The next one too, when Phract suddendly closed the distance between them and jammed his chainblade in Coronus' abdomen. The gladius, Warsage, obliterated the Ultramarine's entrails, but Sagittar stopped before reaching the spine and pulled out the weapon. Coronus fell on his back, gurgling blood and grunting in frustration.
He brought his shield down, smashing Coronus' spine and severing him in half. Every warrior in proximity stood frozen. In fact, the only one moving was the Ultramarine Captain clawing at his shield. Now Phract was truly impressed. In the most merciful act he had performed in years, he decapitated the Ultramarine Captain in one strike.
"Rafater, what other targets are present?", he asked the Dreadnought, bringing his vox online. His answer was a burst of static and the sound of the Contemptor's chassis hitting the ground.
"Well", Sagittar Phract said, turning to the Ultramarine Champion approaching, "I guess that makes you a hero".
Seeing his Captain severed in half was the most horrific imagem Dresant had ever seen in his years of service. The effortlessness with which the gigantic World Eater beat him was close behind. All the while, he and the rest of the squad had had to deal with the two crazed Dreadnoughts. The first fell to a melta blast from Valetus. The second to Dresant's Thunder Hammer, a blow which had come too late to save Valetus from the ripping embrace of the monster's claw.
Now he had Phract all to himself. He charged at the World Eater, once again noticing, as if his mind was having trouble processing, that the Devourer's armour didn't have a single cut on it from the duel with Coronus. He ran as fast as he could and raised his hammer. Phract was looking at him, but stood motionless, granting him the first strike. He'd regret the arrogance.
Dresant was roaring, though he didn't remember willing it. He summoned all the strength he could, directed his armour's power to the arms and swung the Thunder Hammer. The last thing he saw before the explosion was Phract taking a step forward and raising his shield. Everything when white, after that.
When his vision returned, a second later, Dresant knew his eardrums were ruptured. Somehow, he still held the hammer, though his arms shook furiosly. He was stumbling backwards uncontrollably, his legs not responding to his brain. Warning runes flashed but he silenced them. All around him, warriors were picking themselves up, looking at...no, not the scene. They were looking at Phract.
The Devourer stood firm, his shield now reduced to splinters and his left arm's armour cracked like glass. He was breathing so hard not even the bulk of his Terminator armour could hide it. But Phract stood...he stood for dreadful seconds before coming at him. Dresant tried, as hard as he could, wishing that any and all accounts of this battle would tell of his effort to swing his Hammer once again. He was no coward and had never fled from a fight. Let the stories at least speak of Dresant's courage in the face of death.
To all those watching the fight, Cirio Dresant simply stood, all hope abandoned, all defiance lost, as Sagittar Phract opened his armour from abdomen to neck with his chainblade. His screams were proof enough of his despair.