Between The Shadows: Chapter One

“Baroness, a group of travelers has arrived and requests your presence.”  The young baroness smiles at her butler.  “Thank you Princely.”  The old butler nods and leaves the room.  A young blonde-haired man closes the door behind the butler and smiles at the baroness saying “I guess you’ve become pretty popular Gene”.

Genesis gives him a playful scowl.  “I asked you to stop calling me that Aaron!  How are you ever going to become a knight if you can’t follow a simple request from a friend?”.  Aaron playfully grabs a fistful of cloth near his heart saying “Gene, you’ve wounded me!”.  Genesis laughs and Aaron stops, now smiling at her.

“Come on,” He says, “Let’s just sneak off and play like we used to, it’s market day in town!”.  Genesis sighs and says “Aaron, I told you no.  I have duties now that I’m grown up.”  “Aw c’mon!” Aaron says as he pulls his sword from it’s sheath and poses heroically, “Let’s have an adventure!”.  “Baroness!” Princely calls from downstairs.  Genesis gets up and smiles at Aaron saying “Come on goofball, let’s go meet these visitors of mine”.

As the friends walk down into the entrance hall, they both can’t help but wonder who these travelers could be.  As the reach the bottom of the stairs and Genesis sits in a nearby chair and Aaron stands against a nearby wall, they see a small group of hooded figures, no more than eight in number, and they all appear to have been worked by heavy travel, for their capes, which must have once been beautiful, where frayed and care-worn.

“Greetings travelers, and welcome” Genesis says, “May I ask you to remove your hoods?”  One of the travelers, a woman, says “We’d prefer not to, as we have been traveling for a great time to get here, and do not look as we should in front of the great Baroness Paige”.  Another one, a man, grunts in agreement.

Genesis smiles and says “very well, but I don’t care about how anyone looks, just that they are here and well”.  Aaron chuckles quietly and thinks to himself ‘She cares when it’s me, she’s ALWAYS fixing my hair, telling me a should get it cut or something’.  “All the same kind baroness,” The woman says, “we would prefer our hoods remain up”.

Genesis nods and says “perhaps you might tell us your names then?”  The woman nods and says “My name is Remra, and my partner here is called Shadus.”

“And your other friends?”

“Help my lady, merely help”

“And yet you wish them to hide their faces and names?”

“It is a custom from where we are from that servants hide their faces, and their names are not needed, unless they are to be punished”.

“That is quiet a harsh custom.”

“Our people have never been known to be gentle.”

Genesis frowns and sits up a little straighter in her chair.  “Very well then,” she responds, “Now why have you requested my presence?”.  Remra steps forward.  “Our king has long wished to visit this land, yet he is unable to, for he lacks the power to do so.  He sent Shadus and myself to observe, and perhaps bring back a way he might be able to come.”

“And what is the name of your king?”

“Our king wishes to remain anonymous at this time, but hopes to meet you in person very shortly your ladyship”.  “Laying it on a little thick, don’t you think?” Aaron says calmly from his place on the wall.  Remra looks at him and laughs saying “Ahh, the wit of the young,  So pleasant and care-free.”  Once more Shadus grunts in agreement.  Aaron gives both of them a hard look and says “And what makes you think I’m young? I couldn’t be younger than you both”.

Shadus appears to shift from foot to foot under his cloak, but says nothing.  “What is it? Cat got your tongue?” Aaron mocks.  Shadus gives Aaron a dark look and says in a deep voice “We are not here to fight, for now….”.  Aaron gets an uneasiness about him and remains quiet, but also makes sure he can easily grab the hilt of his blade.  Genesis looks at the pair.  “Shadus is right, we are not here to fight, we are here to talk.  Now what is it your king needs so that he might come and I may meet him?”

Remra smiles and lifts a hand out from her cloak, showing it’s color to be black as night.  She gives a wave and all the guards freeze in their places.  “What he needs, dear lady,” Remra says as she lowers her hood, “Is you and your friend”.  Aaron and Genesis both gasp when they see Shadus and Remra fully.  Both of them have skin as black as night, and hair even darker.  Their eyes are pure red, and their faces are the same as Genesis’ and Aaron’s.

Aaron grabs his sword and stands in front of Genesis.  “Don’t move or I’ll kill you and your servants!” He yells.  Shadus pulls a blade from it’s sheath at his side and charges at Aaron, while Remra glows and a dark portal appears.  Shadus and Aaron fight, equally matched in strength and speed.  As they fight they move closer and closer to the portal Remra opened.

A harsh gale seems to blow from the portal as it gets bigger, turning the air around it darker.  Remra and Shadus’ servants reveal hidden blades and spring into action, and the formerly frozen knights re-animate and begin fighting to protect their Baroness.  After minutes of fighting and blood-shed, the sound of thunderous lighting comes from the portal and Remra curses.  The portal begins sucking in everything and closing, the servants, Genesis’ fallen knights, and anything else not bolted down to the floor.  As everything begins to clear, Genesis sees Aaron and Shadus, still fighting.

As they near closer to the portal,  Remra grabs Aaron’s shoulder and jumps into the portal.  Shadus enters the portal, and in mere seconds Aaron is sucked in as well, leaving only his sword behind, and the baroness and her butler staring at where they had all stood just moments ago, Aaron’s blade shining in the waning sunlight.

(I hope you guys enjoyed Chapter One, because there’s more coming! Hang on, It’ll be here soon! 😉 )