Chapter 1 : Little Bird ( Unedited preview)
My dearest sister,
"As I'd write to you within this darkness Elizabeth, darkness only truest in candlelight; devils amongst the cold! And yet, I did not feel them; it is unusual. I do not grasp the same visions as the seers, it seems. I find myself distant from this world; perhaps I may be ill, mother certainly believed so as to mock my fears. I do not wish to be a lady of The Vale sister! As I grow tiresome, I'd wish to live as you do.
Free as the snowbirds we once gazed upon as children. Yet I am promised to another; I do not want it! I do not attend to the thoughts of our betters. I am to meet him as though they'd believed it to be my choice. Honestly! As if I'd let them have their way. It seems true, however; House Fey has fallen in the eyes of the Queen. We'd requested an audience in hopes of expanding beyond the realm.
Only to find House Ramsey's name dignified as a seat of power. Oh, dear sister, I long for our reunion! May this winter grow swift, that I may find myself before you again."
Your loving sister,
At fall's end arrives the last rain, and with it, the iridescent cascade of overhead cloud cover, seeding a glimmer of light from the morning sun between the reach of a set of two supported holes in the wall, to serve as windows; bordering to the desk Ana found she'd linger often. However, nothing of true importance was visible to behold; alas, light cast it's rays upon creases the curtains could not cover. It was certainly unique, the air breathed crisps of a cold chill, perhaps more so that as the ice cracked atop that roofless veil, toward it's ends a drop a water streaming upon the ink they'd littered the parchment Ana etched on to, sitting at her desk. She'd never planned on sending it; that stained letter, her sister's whereabouts are unbeknownst to her! Yet, she does not falter. Such that in the hands of bearers of myths and malfeasances arisen from, perhaps darker truths? Waning the lines between what is and what could be, what had become of Elizabeth Watton? The girl, shrouded in quiet controversy, fictitious betrayal. Sudden steps gripped her interest, a knock, a second following; nay it be cross to not allow announcement.
" I asked! Not to be bothered!" Ana groaned, her attitude readily stiffening. "Your mother sent me to collect you; it seems I am to accompany you to House Fey this evening." "James? Is that you?" Ana thought, pressing her being towards the scope of a rusted keyhole. "Today may be a relatively long day; a possibly uneventful day at that, but do not draw concern! I understand these things pass in time." Discouraged, Ana bridged her arms as though to mimic her frustration. "And what if I am to refuse?" She'd bantered in jest, reclining backwards to her bed, Ana's heart raced. A breath of sighs enthralled James's tongue, the feeling of knowing that he cared. "You must! M'lady; we are to expect a guest in the inner gallery at house fey upon today's end." "What!? What guest? Are you gonna tell me why I am to be there? Or not? I swear it, by all things! If this is to be some foolish attempt by my mother to annoy me!"
"Her Grace the Queen, m'lady, it seems she has withdrawn from a voyage to the Isles of Ravensworth." There were close now, though neither knew. "Oh, what could the Queen be doing there? Off all places." Ana's interference drew on deaf ears as James continued in his news. "She wishes to speak with your mother; we'd gotten the word not long ago. As it is of great urgency, Lady Diana requests your attendance, m'lady." I want nothing to do with the bitch; why should I give up my day? It's just started!" Ana let out in revolt as another sigh fluttered James's breath. "Please, Anastasia, just open the door." The door slowly screeched open, a gentle gust of wind danced upon the air as Ana and James met eyes." I look dreadful! Turn away! I am not fit to be viewed," Ana proclaimed. James lowered chuckle bled into stroking the creases in between her hair. "You don't look horrible, but I'm not one to judge!" Ana's cheeks reddened. "Do you mean to tease me!?" James's dark blue eyes gleamed with purpose, grabbing Ana hand, locking their fingers between one another.
"An elegant dress may make one beautiful, but most aren't on the inside, Ana; that's the thing about this world! Then I met you, you whose magical ability ensnared my heart with a love you've shown little others. Just knowing the others don't see you the way I do, excites me; I'm rightfully charmed. Just being around you, I'm in agony; I hate it! And yet, it is a weight of feelings I long to keep close. Ana looked up at James. "If love is just a word, why does it hurt so much if you realize it isn't there?" Ana mumbled, though, in a bleak fashion. "It's human nature not to realize the true value of something unless they lose it. You are not alone in this darkness, Anastasia; I am here, and we shall face this chasm between the realms, together. Perhaps, we're all just searching for that tiny space, perhaps a hole, that shelters us from this tragic reality that is our world." James pulled Ana close, a faint smell of jacca berries amongst the potted plants steering about below them. "Ana, you don't wish to be others; you wanted your own story to tell, your way, on your terms. I'd say the heart is the soul in its purest essence. By knowing that, your beauty corrects the stars; set aside by your command, for you alone, they shine a little brighter. I've found through it all, Anastasia, that just by your presence makes you beautiful."
Ana froze in place; James moved closer as to steal a kiss. It seemed they'd both given in, meeting eyes once more. Embracing one another though neither knew the consequences of those actions, thus passion drew forth a kiss. "No!, we can't! Honestly! There are those that'd have us believe that our love might be untrue. I'd be titled a whore before I'm even married. Ana reached forward, gripping James's shirt. "Well! Come on then! We only have minutes!" Frantically they tore at each other's clothing.
Temptations of the mind laid bare. Passion having no constraints, they'd both realized there was no turning back, and yet, they did not care. Weighed down by the thoughts of exile or death, Ana wrapped her body around James. There they lay, locking gazes; lust had taken over as Ana grabbed James. "Do you ever wish we could just, you know, run away? Just vanish from this world, start something different." Ana whispered, rubbing her hand through James's ragged brown hair. " What a journey it would be! To have the realms before us both, telling a story of our love." They kissed, holding each other intensely. As the sunbeams shined, concealed from the world, lust in all its forms breathed into reality.
Ana longed for this, and yet fear swept through her being. Hunger had taken root as she'd twisted about atop his lap. Enthralled in subsequent pleasure, James grabbed her waist, at first to attend to her. Their eyes met as James had taken restraint upon pulling her long red hair! Ana realized then and there; James isn't even in his prime, yet here's a maid's son plowing royalty!? It was clear she relished it as a soft moan departed her lips; suddenly! The bedroom door creaked open as a young boy peered through. " James?!" Those two stood in shock as there was no denying their actions. It helped less that James's extremity just dangled in the most ridiculous of fashion, kneading at the edge of Ana's side.
"What are you doing here, Henry? Shouldn't you be with mother?" As the two scrambled to clothe themselves, the young boy covered his eyes shut, as it was soon evident he'd seen all that occurred. " Mother was worried; the morning has passed! We must hurry if we are to arrive before nightfall! Ana motioned her hand, holding sheets over what she could cover. "Can you both go?! I will be down soon. As the two boys withdrew from the room, Ana sat at the foot of her bed. "Stupid! Stupid!, how could I be so careless as not to lock the door? What if he talks?" She'd presumed, working herself into her favorite blue lace dress; barefooted, she rushed outside. "Good morning, everyone, a rather pleasant day, isn't it?" Ana didn't want to make any needless contact with any of the company, even James. "Apologies, m'lady, it seems we'll have to travel on horseback; Lady Diana has left ahead to prepare House Fey for Her Grace. "Ana shuffled to James's mount, "may I?" She whispered, reaching for a leather strap dangling from a pouch fixed to the mount James rode. "Oh yes, m'lady! Let me help you." He fidgeted; all eyes were on Ana and James as he grabbed her waist, lifting her onto the saddle. "Now we'll have two stops, m'lady, one of which optional as it is for explorers, seers, and of the lot. The second is our priority as I will inform all that this journey may well be fraught with danger. Do you have everything in order?"
Ana never liked sitting on a saddle; it didn't help that she'd forgotten her shoes; " How can you ride this thing, James?! This is too much for me! How far is the nearest town?" "James pointed down the trail. "My lady, we'll be coming up on one shortly." They'd arrived at a clearing, bustling fields of wild dusk blossoms gracing the outer outskirts of what seemed to be a vibrant town.
" That'll be Haron; that's its name." Welsh bellowed, stopping his horse ahead of the others, peering off into a city of clouds. Blessed by the echo of a time of dread, told in the tales of the first tragedy, King Olbrin's Revolt against The masters of old. A shadowed council hidden within the capital's finely-tuned political hierarchy, charged with the secrets that lay beyond the realm's five known provinces. Olbrin seeked to upend their hypocrisy, as they served the dark and what lies beyond it. That day, the light left our world; she'd fled this realm as the edges of confluence began to fade. Then the dusksingers emerged, the unveiled, carrying an oath to serve in reverence of the darkness, forging five cursed weapons in its unspoken name, of each brandishing its touch. "Then what happened to him welsh? Ana shouted from James's left side, for a moment even, frightening the horse itself. "That Olbrin fellow, this is the first I've heard of this tale!”
"Patience lass, it's a rather old story; almost a thousand years have passed, and yet their presence echoes each realm's province. The five rulers joined in consensus that the dark and those who'd followed it, gorging themselves with exceptionally alluring powers and forbidden magics, growing fat, mad even! Yes, we too possess the aptitude; however, those few gifted individuals birthed all manner of horrid creature into the realms! They'd stood legends! The enemy within black mists is known to all. However, we knew nothing of the one true enemy. A dweller in darkness they called it, what waited in sinister toleration beyond the darkness. This town in and of itself was the last haven before the vale's border began to open across the parted lands.
The dark sleeps in the sentiment of its dwindling patience. It indeed comes for us all in the end; it simply got tired of waiting. Upon the Kyix's dusk stones arises a tale; they say King Olbrin confronted the darkness; that it stared into his greedy eyes; spoke to him in his own voice; Many dead voices. That once it emerged from the shadows, it presented one question. He'd taken the rack to oblivion as it appeared; Olbrin cut his throat to the bone before it. However, he did not die; instead, he endured; by its grasp, the darkness itself transferred its essence into the wound, forging the first Dusk-singer. A maddened ruler, at the" juncture of death, cursed with life in service of what he sought to destroy! Absurd the irony, no? We suffered the choices of one! One man who believed himself our valiant savior. The so called light bringer, the gods indeed couldn't have noticed, what was to unfold when they enabled a boy king the task of pursuing what slept beyond the dark. No one could have imagined what had come to transpire as Olbrin enveloped himself in shadows before his knights. Swords in hand, they'd grown weary in his company; they knew not of the dark.
The king's disposition, however, retreated to a broken stance. A shadowed black cloak, the touch of darkness on display as spindly black veins cut throughout his neck, cascading his body in a webbed pattern of some sort. Olbrin rose his hand, one by one, each shadow the knights had cast, shifted, morphed. As though he'd by his presence, gave rise to them. The knights arose dusk- singers, fully immersed in such an abundance of unknown magic. Birthing six abominations, nay it be their name! end beasts with ambiguous intellect and cunning upon the lands, actual curses upon the gods! We were pawns in the great game; the end hunt, else wars indeed tried our perseverance, an era of horrifying marvels; those lot. Stunned, Ana clasped her hands together, "come now, welsh, that can't all be true!; can it? Welsh tilted his head towards the sky, a distasteful face enveloping his already wrinkled skin. "Aye!, it is lass; I just wish it wasn't."
"James! Can you help me down, please? I want to walk." "Ana, are you sure?" Ana grabbed James's shoulder."Come on, james! Why don't you come with me then? I want to explore a little while we're here!" "We're a little far off from the town's entrance; this doesn't look like the best place to explore. We need to get to the inner town limits."
"Welsh! James and his brother are going into town with me. I'm in dire need of shoes." Ana locked a smile; it was forced; she wanted to know if James's brother would try to extort her in any way given the circumstances. " Why do I have to?" Henry yelled. James's mother accompanies the two, riding up behind his brother Henry. "Hush, child! get down from that horse, and do what she asks." Henry dismounted, grabbing the back of his head, unknowingly dropping his hat, walked over to James. "Go get your hat, you fool !" James shouted, gesturing his finger at it. Everyone laughed, embarrassed Henry stomped over to pick it up. Tilting his head down, eyes ever so wandering on Ana's presence. For a moment, they met eyes, such that Henry's intent wasn't there, to begin with. "Alright, we're off! we might return with some food for the rest of the trail." "Okay, lad, take your time, as it appears to be on our side at the moment! We'll take a look around too; find us in the town square; when you've finished up on your tasks.
The three came upon the town's market district, full of people; Expensive wears adorned the streets. Many unique shops and taverns, certainly all with stories to tell. A great overgrown tree at its center, one of many garnishing seemingly every District as Ana could see. "All right, boys, I need a new outfit. I can't wear this dress the whole trip can I? James lit up; he was just happy to be with her. "Don't forget m'lady, we need to get food as well; Henry and I should go look for a market. Meet us by that Garden; we'll wait!" Ana ran forward, taking off as to confuse the lads in the crowd of people. Until she'd found herself before a footpath adjacent to the street, it caught her glance, a blue flash shining off the floor and wall closest to what seemed to be the exit to the other side of the pathway. "What is this place? She wonders; So skewed as to be absent, there are plenty of such locations hidden from the town. And yet, she did not feel alone; a slight ring in her ear brought her gaze to a door.
An unusual crest decorated its edges. Plunged in shadows, it called to her; Ana just couldn't understand the attraction. As she'd walked toward the door, the feeling of being watched grew in intensity. Ana reached the knob; suddenly, the door suspiciously creaked open, its rusted silver finish peeling off with age. Ana peered inside, "hello?", darkness in its most valid form; denied its strength by a single lit candle. " Someone's here," she thought as she got closer and closer to the candle.
And then she saw it, a lovely glass-paned door, soft flickers of light breathing from the other side. As she'd opened it, Ana felt weak, as though a tremendous weight had left her! There, a young girl sat roaming through papers at a desk in the center of the room. She looked like Ana's age, maybe younger. And yet, this place appeared to be her business. " You just going to stand there? I do have other customers!" Ana was shocked, " I didn't think you realized I'd come in; is this your shop?" The girl looked up for an instant, "what do you think? You're not going to come in asking absurd questions? Are you? " Ana crossed arms as she didn't like the girl's tone. "Well, I think it's rather suspicious to be doing business like this in such a pathetic place."
The girl grinned, " You think my home is pathetic? I am pleased with the way I live. I don't care who you are! You came into my shop; My shop! What is it with you highborns anyway? Coming in here on some damn pedestal. I met someone just like you a while back; can't think of the name, came here with a royal stick up her ass, from what I've heard, she's vanished from this realm.
Ana stepped back in confusion. "Wait, who are you talking about? the girl leaned back in her chair, exuding a sense of overconfidence. "I'm under no obligation to tell you anything. It's my job to know things; let's leave it at that for now. Ana slapped her hand on the desk. "You didn't answer my question!" The girl leaned forward to meet Ana's glare. "Aye, I didn't, but I told you what you needed to know. Now, if you came in here to buy something, hurry it up; talking to you makes me tired !" Angered by the conversation, Ana stomps off further into the shop. The girl gestured her hand, "wait!" Ana looked back, " you touch it, you buy it, it's just business, I do hope you can understand?." Ana scrunched her face and walked off.
As Ana roamed the shop, the more interesting the variety of items became. From gleaming jewelry to weapons, armors, and clothing, you couldn't find anywhere else in all the white isles. The further she wandered, the darker the pathways became. Brushing her hand across the shelves, she'd realized each item had initials tied to them, each a letter per parchment. Then came a section of shelves, outfitted with a colorful array of oversized books, different crests adorning each hilted volume "Books?" Ana picked one out of three to her side withered by time; as we're the others, it carried significant weight to it. "How odd is this? The Snow Bird and the Raven, if I didn't know any better, I'd sworn I've seen this in mother's study!"
A snowbird and raven met in a garden; upon their wings, the winds that would seed the worlds. To and be the home they would dwell within. On the second day, they'd grown hungry; both set off in search of what food meant to them. The raven hunted, praying on all who were small and beneath it. And there sat the snowbird, in astonishment of the bugs; how at peace! They were with the world around them. It wished to learn from them, not to harm them. Suddenly the raven dropped down, devouring all the families of bugs. It looked towards the snowbird, angered by its ponderance. "How do you expect to survive!" the raven coughed, choking on the surplus of pestilence it'd gathered. "If you continue this; whatever it is you are doing, you'll perish! They are what we need to survive! Wolves do not concern themselves with the thoughts of the sheep, nor do I, and neither should you! Ask yourself this little bird, do the thoughts of men sway the sun before it rises? Does it weep at their sins? No!, it shines in the truth of its brilliance; that is its purpose; it pursues neither. Winter comes while you waste time! The snowbird tilted its head." Must you exaggerate!
We are free, brother, aren't you just the bit curious as I am? I wish to learn from this world what our meaning in it is; it certainly isn't jamming any manner of small creature into my beak! It's a connection! We are beings that can attend to the world; that is our essence. It is not a matter of purpose; to put it simply, such does not exist. We bring forth meaning not by our inaction but by which fate has directed us so. On the third day, winter covered the realm, its glossy white sleep soothing as such to be difficult to those who'd be unprepared upon its harshness. The night's creatures, put aside in hiding, As did the raven. Though the snowbird felt no such restraint, at odds with the world; but free. Something else graced the skies amongst the flurry a snowfall prevalent throughout the garden. A beast, unhindered by the storms, for there are older tales than this in remembrance. As the snowbird watched, it too wanted to see as the beast above did. A breath of anticipation sang from the winds, and it'd stretched its wings. Carried by thought and a desire, the snowbird had left the garden, its home, the raven. The last remaining page fell absent as Ana previewed. Upon closing the book, however. " There it is again!?"
Along the wall, she'd come across a long thin box. Ana picked it up, worn down with age, the same crest carved on each side. The initials S.B scribbled on a piece of parchment tied to its handle. "How do you open this ?" She wondered, though that inexplicably resourceful girl most likely locked it in such a manner undoubtedly perplexing enough to boggle the mind of even the most adept sorcerers; Ana needed to open it. She'd taken it back to the desk, only taking in a moment that others were within the shop too. Though Ana could not see them, they were watching; Hushed whispers muttering, "the song" Over and over until it'd bleed from any ear, fascinated as to why she held the box. "Where'd that little monster go?!" she thought, surveying the shop's interior.
"Hello!? I need help with this! anyone there?" The girl was nowhere in sight. Even so, Ana still felt watched. Bitter, concealed eyes from every shadow she'd ever peered at from her sides. Aside from the existential panic, the dread of waiting! Indeed patience presented choices, and still, Ana walked out. Upon opening the front door, the sound of rowdy drunk laughter inundated her ears. Looking forward, Ana notices men swarming about the exit to the pathway. Ana had seen their crest; there was no denying it, those colors. Ana gripped the box tight to her chest; she'd heard the tales of their ascension to power, and yet some things seemed never to change. "What could House Ramsey be doing this far from Queen's Court? Drunken fools!"
"Now, what do we have here, lads?! Would you look at that fine piece of royal ass! We got a Watton lads, a Watton! Where's that whore mother of yours, eh? I'd certainly like her lips wrapped tightly around my cock right about now, be a good little bird and fetch her, won't you?"
Ana tried to dismiss the man, severing as much eye contact as possible, but her pride had given in, " Leave me be! You disgusting old shit, wallow in your piss or whatever it is you do! I'm in no mood for this. I am to be home upon my mother's invitation; let me through." All five men stood up, "Better yet; come now, lass, we're all gentleman here after all. Why don't we show her how to become a real woman; know this lass, your just young fuckable meat to do with as we please. So says our right by ascension; and I speak for the boys and myself when I say we very much like meat, wouldn't you say, lads?" The men chuckled, some of which, holding their crotches, stared her down with such disgusting perversions upon their minds. Four men hurried, dashing at her, clamping her to the ground, throwing down the box in the strife.
Conjuring the strength, Ana whipped her body frantically, trying to struggle, kicking, shaking about to deter their intent. "Quiet bitch! I'll rip you apart! I have no quarrels about it. " As the fifth man approaches, removing his trousers, a cold, wet hand slowly crept up the revealing skin under Ana's dress. "Lord Fredrick here, happens to like them young; broken in, if you may; you don't always get the chance to ravish a young royal whore, now do you?" the man crouched down. " Your fucked lass, now you just lay right there. This will take a while." Impulses shot through Ana's head as she severed her left hand, free, grabbing the hairpin that kept her hair hoisted. Vicious in her assault, Ana began stabbing the Fredrick fellow in the neck, blood-spattering upon her dress, as the man grabbed his neck, choking on his own blood.
Ana leaned up as the men released their grip in a shock, one of which grabbed the box to her side. Whacking her across the head, Ana, in confusion, scrambled back to her footing. A hiss and a breath of existence sang true, the box opened on the Impact, there lay an Anomaly, "a rapier?". Silver entangled along its hilt, carved glyphs illuminating its fine thin black blade. At first glance, it glowed a pale white hue, almost divine; indeed truest in its brilliance. Ana grabbed it from the ground; soft inundated hums pulsed throughout its hilt. A hymn, carried by the winds, grew in vitality. Ana felt the call was to her; the air felt crisp, the men, although in a panic, restrained in what seemed to be a loop of their own fear.
The leaves, ruffled by the winds, halted within the air mid-gust. Suddenly a shadow streaked past the sky. It caught Ana's glance; a watcher of the glade, a snowbird. There it sat, perched on the head of the man she thought she'd most certainly killed. "Well, what interesting turn of events, either I've gone mad or im dead; I shouldn't be this calm! That little bird is staring right at me!". Ana thought, moving her head side-to-side though she couldn't leave the bird's gaze. It glared at her, eyes crimson as the blood that saturated her once vibrant blue lace dress. Suddenly a rush of cold air pressed against Ana's side, a whisper enthralled in the wind.
"Look down said the sky, for the dark, comes, and yet we endure. I am to advise the chosen as it seems the song has chosen, you? Introductions are quite boring! Honestly, so let's get on with it, shall we? You've been holding a curse since you picked that thing up. I'm very terrible with the advice here but, don't do something stupid like you know, getting yourself killed, alright? The snow bird's song is a soul snare, a living curse; the first curse to be exact!"
Ana looked down at the sword; each glyph glowed she couldn't describe it; in the most vibrant of colors."How exactly can you advise me! little bird."The snowbird whirled its body forward, facing Ana.
"Firstly, by instructing you to have some manners. By the sky! I'm a talking bird! How many birds have you talked to exactly? And do be honest, I'd very much like to know. You'd think people like yourself would be frightened by such things. This entanglement is quite the dilemma, very odd! I was expecting little more here." Ana was speechless, "Well, don't be silent?!, think very hard about the gravity of the situation here; You're cursed with death's true song; I'm a talking bird, this isn't the most normal day now, is It, but here we are. Well! on the time thing, not exactly all of it, I'm just trying some new moves out; I can't control it very well as things seem."
She'd retreated to her knees as the rush of adrenaline subsided from her body. "What! Is! the curse! What happens to me if I die?" The snowbird lifted its short feathered wing, pointing at the glyphs on the saber's blade. "You've heard the song, haven't you? Then it is already too late to try to reverse it. Upon death, the wielder's soul is etched into the black blade, as it shall feed upon those souls forever within. It is said; you are to understand the old magics they possess; you must confront the rulers of the shadowed realms. Those realms were brought to their knees before the dark and its acolytes during The Else-world Wars. That day the dark won, lands swallowed by twilight, set ablaze by the Dusk-singers, the true voices of the dark. This realm, however, remains untouched? , unsullied. Flawed but trying in its persistence to endure!"
The area around Ana began to move, " hmm, I see; my time is up! It seems I can't hold them in old magics for prolonged periods, still not enough power, it seems, figures?! I should rest, as it appears ill need all my strength, for the both of us. I will call upon you once more so that we may form a pact. Ana was confused, "what kind of pact?"The bird lifted itself from the man's head, flapping about. "I am to defend and teach you; the pact gives me back seat access, to which I can pop out when needed, I guess, I'm not entirely sure, it a first for me," the bird said awkwardly. Terribly sorry !, what is your name if I may ask?" Ana nodded up " it's Anastasia; just call me Ana" the bird bent its head " I am Pogèt, call me Pog if you'd like. Pogét faded away, maybe just half her body. "If that's supposed to be your exit! It doesn't look like it worked out all that well; need any help?" "Please! I feel so-wait! no, don't let them see my feathers!" " Your feathers!? You aren't showing anything, Pog. I find it rather amusing; you, stuck up there, what is that anyway?" " How to fly! Can you pull me out? Forthwith perhaps? I need to try this again." Ana jumped forward to grab half a Pog; dare it to be said, Pogèt's special feathers.
The sound of unsheathing blades echoed the walls as Ana found herself surrounded. "What did I say, you little bitch? We're going to have to fuck your bloody corpse now, aren't we?" Such a deranged smile had befallen the man's face, the type of malicious intent of those killers in the capital. A terrifying calm enveloped her presence; it was unusual; she did not fear them. That much was true, though five men clasping their weapons faced her. Suddenly one man rushed at her swinging his sword as to split her in half.
"No; Stop!" Ana shrieked as the man continued his assault. Then it happened; their swords clashed, sparks parried the ground, glistening like starlight. " I blocked it!?" Ana thought, though there was no time to think. The man swung his sword from the right, prompting Ana to duck down. "This is it," without hesitation; she'd pierced the man's legs. The man collapsed to his knees. Ana put the blade to his neck, staring each of the men down as she slowly slit his throat. Leaving the man to collapse, gasping at the seconds of struggle he'd have left before the life had left him. She'd begun to walk forward, provoking another man to attack.
She blocks! Rapidly a barrage of swings and jabs ensued; he had skill, that's for sure, nullified upon the endurance of the thin black blade! Ana's body just moved, reacted; as though the world had shifted in her absence. And yet she was conscious of the fact, she'd never held a blade. " why won't she die already?!" the man screamed, connecting ability to every swing. Suddenly Ana caught his edge with hers, whirling the blade around as snakes would their prey. Slicing the sword from his grip, "why don't you smile?" Ana asserted as she pointed the end of the black blade to the man's crotch.
Ana instead kicks him, causing the man to trudge into his own sense of self-suffering. "Bested by a girl who'd never held a sword? What are you fools! if not men, stand up!" Screamed the older gentlemen from before, that seemed to be their leader. "By the laws of the vale, you have murdered another house. This act is treason, girl, as such is your family's history ." Ana slowly revised her stance; it wasn't hers; it was that of someone with experience, skills at their prime. I, sir Rodrick forth of my name, sentry to the haven guard of the west quarter, will be your opponent now! prepare yourself bitch!"
Obsidian vale steel, a dance of the old gods, it's said. The weapon of the dusk-singers, one of many dark remnants of the great war, the sickness that is death's true song.