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A mercenary woman with the Elder Blood of the Iye, shunned from human society... A demon man cursed by the gods, searching for answers in the wars to come... Since the day Aelia lost her sight, she has been cold. She has spent eons in the darkness, reliving the horrors of her past. Shackled with only the sight of the movement of air, and how objects affect it, she is limited and blessed in her senses. Calculated and ruthless, she has dedicated her life to the sword, making her blade an extension of her soul. She has passed the centuries offering her services to the highest bidder, seeking answers about her powers and her people. Today, she hunts at night alone -- accepting contracts on high level demons escaping from the ever thinning veil between dimensions. Erlik, is known to the Siberians as overseer of the underworld, lord of death. Cursed by the gods to sometimes take the form of a beast, and to pass judgement and punishment on departed souls, he has spent millennia isolated in his kingdom, guarding the gate of souls. As the veil thins, and his souls begin to escape and wreak havoc on humanity, he is tasked with finding the Source, the Iye, the Protector of the living and the Underworld. The steel shell of a woman he meets is not what he was expecting of an Iye, how can he convince her of her role to play?

Romance / Fantasy
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Prologue: Creation

I remembered everything: the crisp autumn leaves that traversed the grey sky, and the incandescence of the sun’s desperate attempt to force through the clouds — a battle of the gods hidden from mortal eyes. I remember the majesty of a torrent of rain cascading onto the emerald fields, the waves of the onyx lake capping white and crashing against the jutting rocks, thundering as if a herd of stallions was arising from the depths. The hills around me were coated in a rich fog.

I had been waiting for you for a long time. The cold had begun to seep into my bones, the ache indistinguishable from the one of my soul calling to you. Icy drops cut my skin, frigid water streamed into my eyes, which I wiped away with the strings of hair that clung to my cheeks and my back, the white of my dress rendered it transparent, and my numb fingers failed at the clasps of my shawl.

The sun set, darkness crept across the bluffs, the fog only grew more dense. The eerie crackle of disturbed leaves distracted me from the glowing yellow eyes along the forest edge. Finally, my ears had perked up as I heard the approach of footsteps, but it appeared you were not alone.

“Aelia?” Sam called.

“You came,” I had sighed, and smiled tilting my head toward the voice. The guttural chuckles of your companions made me uneasy, and I crossed my arms across my chest, smile faded, “What is going on?”

Knife ears, I had heard in whispers, I shook my hair out in front of my face.

A hand gripped my chin and forced my gaze upward, I stared into piercing indigo eyes I could scarcely recognize as yours. Behind me, my hair yanked, and my hands were bound with a metal that charred my flesh on contact. I struggled until I could feel blood trickling down my wrists — until hunks of my garnet hair floated to the ground.

Freak, outlander, witch. The voices had mocked, and the fury I had long suppressed flowed through my veins.

“Look at ’er eyes,” a scratchy voice proclaimed, “that’s where she’s hidden the demon, son,“. The torch the older man held scorched her face with its heat, the embers flickered from it sparking my skin, my cheeks began to blister, but he did not retreat.

“Sam!” I cried, and clutched to vain hope.

All hope fled that day as I saw your dead eyes behind your father’s men. Blood stains bloomed on the fabric of my gown, it trickled down, feeding into the emerald of the Earth. As the hands of the nameless men forced me to the ground, as they tore at the remnants of my gown, a solitary tear traveled along my cheek. A howl sounded in the distance.

I stared up at the glow of the pale moon, disconnected from my body.

We of the Iye show no weakness

When the crowd of men stepped away at last, I lie there. A clump shivering in a pool of my own crimson blood — the only warmth provided in this darkness. I had tried to count the stars in the night sky, to not be blinded by the moonlight that taunted us from the heavens with its promise of light, but it was only a reflection. The dark face of the Sam’s father crowded my vision, and I saw the sadistic pleasure lighting his eyes, so similar to his son’s. The torch had burned down to a plank of wood with a burning ember at it’s tip. As he lowered the plank toward my eyes, I screamed.

We of the Iye show no weakness

I had never imagined that those eyes would be the last bit of light I saw, before my soul gave in to the darkness.

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Further Recommendations

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