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Fate and Destiny (The Fated Series, #2)

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Prologue - The Birth of the First Unpredictability

There are many things in the universe that none can predict, explain, or control. Some think that the creators of their world are responsible for every piece of life or the choices such life makes and the things their creations do. In truth, what created them was simply Existence and Possibility. Where Gods and Deities stand are nothing more than hosts, placeholders used to be easy and comprehensible for the minds of those who cannot fathom what truly lets them pick between one’s heart and their mind.

Themselves.

A world is nothing more than a possibility in an infinity of millions more, but one thing runs in common between them all. There are some forces in Existence that cannot be predicted or explained or controlled and are often viewed as something else entirely.

Stories upon stories have been told about the world named Ker’s creation. It is said that a force given no name nor body nor soul brought it into existence, along with Gods to rule it to decide what it becomes. Over time those stories have been changed and altered and have become entirely different with each generation that passes. One thing became another, and those became forces people named things like Destiny, predicted by prophecies that could tell you of the future that would come, but those stories are wrong. Destiny suddenly became the explanation for a feeling so pure and so strong that people began to give it a different name. Fate. From there, the belief of a Fating Bond spread throughout the continents, going from ear to ear, land to land. What was once nothing more than a word given to something unexplainably powerful, now became a worldwide entity that was given life by nothing more than the power of Possibility and Existence. The potentiality that everyone could find something just as powerful as that.

Nothing rules over Ker, and nothing decides what it becomes but those who live within it. Gods don’t exist. There is no one ruler over them all, but there is Love. It’s one of the forces in the universe that none can predict, explain, or control. Forces like these are known as Untouchables. Things that those who would go against them or wish to erase them from existence can never touch. Forces that are so strong and so powerful that they have no one form or one purpose. They simply are. Love lives where it’s found and it’s only as strong as it is held. It can destroy just as much as it can create, it simply depends on what its bearer chooses to use it for. For millennia across stars and galaxies and every possibility ever created, forces like Love exist everywhere, and they have never been deterred, nor have any been created since.

Billions of years after Ker’s beginning, after its possibility of existence was thought of, in what the creations of the world call the middle kingdom of the central continent Vandaria, and hidden within what is named the Dearg Forest, from possibility and belief, a force derived from Love that no one can predict, or explain, or control is born. Within the small cabin bearing babes and children and the survivors of another Untouchable they’ve named Death, the new possibility lies waiting within its host - nothing more than the smallest of stars in the sky.

Across the universe, Existence and Possibility turn toward the new faint glow birthed from one of their first children. They travel to where their first breath exhales in a small living room beside a hearth, sleeping on a couch and waking. Eons of never once seeing something so peculiar and unknown, Existence and Possibility lean over the young man with dark hair and green eyes. They peer within him in search of what it is he carries, and call upon their child, Love, to explain what it is they’ve allowed themselves to be used for. They fear what grows within the young Prince because it is unknown to them. Because it is the first of its kind to be born.

Hearing a call, Existence and Possibility go south, traveling not too far to where a twin light shines within another. Just as bright and just as new, their fear grows. What has been created is neither Existence nor Possibility, nor is it an Untouchable. What has been born is something unpredictable, unexplainable, and uncontrollable, and where one half of it wakes back in the dark casted forest, the other has already been awoken, and it is untouchable.

Love has no rules or boundaries nor cages that can hold it. It knows what can come from it, good or evil. It knows when it should strike and when it should fail. It knows when to save and when to kill, and when it kills it does it slowly so as to remind everyone that you cannot never feel it. You either feel its entirety, or you feel its entity. Never has it been cheated or tricked, simply used wrongly. Even as its parents fear what it has now been forged into, Love can’t help but smile at the young man who wakes in his mother’s lap. He couldn’t possibly understand what is to come nor what is to be, and for that, Love takes pity on him. So it rests a hand on his head and takes away the pain gathering within it and replaces it with a memory. The memory of him and his Queen smiling as they run through the garden on a mare that’s much more than they know. The memory of their tangled laughter and the freedom they had. It reminds the Prince of what he’ll have to do, as well as what he will not be able to do.

When the Prince sits up, he stares at his family and friends around him. He searches them, counting their numbers. Love knows what his eyes cannot find, for the newborn Unpredictability within him calls for its other half. The Prince views it as a monster, but Love believes that something like this couldn’t be anything monstrous. At least, not within its own two pureblood children, and certainly not when it knows what monstrous can look like.

Love watches as the Prince’s mother tries to calm him from his demands of where the missing girl is. A girl which Love knows well, and fears for her separation from the Prince just as much. With dulled vision, it watches the Prince’s most loyal guard step away from the others and explain it all. How the girl made him and the rest of them promise to take him and leave her should it come to it. It hears the other guards swear upon their lives that they didn’t want to - that they wanted to stay and fight and not let her face their enemy alone. But no matter their pleas and explanations, the Prince only hears the one sentence spoken by a man who hides in the shadows in the corner of the room, his expression cold and distant, his voice a dark thing Love’s brother would be proud to hear.

“They took her.”

As with any other Untouchable, Silence appears when its presence reigns. It questions the attendance of its sister, but soon it’s made clear when the Prince’s breathing quickens. The two watch his mother try to calm him, and hear his friends rush to grab a glass of water. They know enough to know when to leave before the catastrophe, but they stay for just a moment if only to see what this new Unpredictability could do.

The Prince leaps from his mother’s arms before anyone else can calm him, and within seconds he’s out the door and stepping into the small clearing around the cabin. He pauses when he sees his all-black mare trotting around the dark dirt, two giggling children atop her back cheering for her to go faster. The realization that the girl he can’t find kept her promise in getting everyone out hits him hard. The front door opens again, and his guard calls his name that he doesn’t hear as he turns and sprints for the forest. With Love and Silence trailing closely to his heels, he passes the trees faster than he’s done before.

They open his mind and hear what he calls within it. Her name. The girl’s name is a war cry on his lips and in his heart, begging for her to let him find her again. The stronger Silence grows, the more pain Love feels and their screams echo his own. Mile after mile, over rocks and under low-lying branches, he runs. Past trees and monsters that snarl and snap at him before taking off when they feel it. The rising rage and unknown power that strikes out sharper than a blade’s edge. He calls and he calls, and he finally gets an answer. His name. His own name echoed back in the voice of the girl he shouldn’t be able to hear. He begs her to let him find her, and she begs him to stop looking. To let her go.

Let go, Darius.

I’m coming, he calls back.

Please don’t make me do it. Let go!

Back and forth they plea to one another for opposing actions. One begging not to be found, the other begging not to be left alone. And still, he keeps running even though he’s unsure of direction. His heart beats true, his breathing turns determined and even, able to keep going until sunlight hits his face and he can see the horizon. He fears what may come if he shouldn’t get to her in time. So he runs, and he runs, and she begs him to stop. And then she too stops.

I’m sorry.

Love and Silence cower back as something within the world snaps. To them, it sounds like a thundercrack right in their ears. To the Prince, it feels like his body was ripped in half. His foot gets caught and he goes flying forward, tumbling through dirt and sharp brush that cuts through his clothes and skin until he comes to a stop. Existence and Possibility rush to their children’s screams that now carry where the Prince’s falls flat. They search for their pain, yearning to take it, but it’s not theirs. It’s not the Prince’s.

The thing about such things as Unpredictability is that they’re unpredictable, and that makes them just as dangerous as they are powerful.

The Prince rises from where he fell and they all jump backward. Gone is half the soul of a once full heart, replaced by what had caught their attention in the first place. An unknown force not yet seen nor heard of nor felt before. Something they cannot predict or explain or control. As the Prince rises back to his feet, the wind begins to swirl around him, and fire crackles along his veins. His once green eyes fade, turning to the colors of the two elements. One a bright burning orange, the other a striking molten silver.

Voices call in the distance, searching for the man they knew. A breeze turns harsh and unforgiving until it twists into a forming tornado, the flames sparking to form the walls. Faster and faster, hotter and brighter, trees that had long since died burn to ash within seconds. The ground beneath his feet turns an indescribable black, its soil once rich with nutrients that once kept the trees green long ago, now dies in their existence, leaving room for a void filled by a power even the Untouchables shy away from. Indescribable pain. Emptiness. An unnatural stillness that sucks power from any who try to go near it. It calls to the Untouchables, wanting their power, wanting to claim them. What comes from the Prince and the fracture now in the world is the thing that could very well end it.

Higher the flames rise and faster the wind blows until it howls like the wolves one bred not from flesh but from promise. The Prince in all his yearning to find what he lost, has in return lost himself. His power now rules him, the thing within him is taking over, and if he doesn’t stop he’ll kill his family and his friends who still call his name and risk being pulled into his storm to save him. If he keeps going, he’ll burn the world before he can save it.

For the fear of what it may do, Love does what must be done. It finds what parts of them the Prince claimed alongside the girl, and it takes it back. Without it, the Prince’s power stops, and he falls to the floor, once again unconscious.

In the silence of the Prince’s mind, Silence whispers within it.

There are many things in the universe that none can predict, explain, or control, but you can find them if you only look. Find her. Find her and you can mend what has been torn. Find her, and you can return what has been stolen.

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