Dark Genesis: The Seven Shadows

A fantasy tale about a young girl, having lost just about everything and have gotten what she had through ill means, now seeks to understand herself and possibly atone for the sins she had committed. Along the way, she meets allies and enemies to her cause, and within the darkness lurk foes who poison and corrupt order: the Seven Shadows, seven masters of the dark. And they will do whatever they can to make sure our heroine never finishes her quest...

Her name was Aria Kahner.

Three days ago, she had been a bandit, a killer who stole to make her own life much more bearable. She had no qualms in taking the lives of those who stood in the way of her happiness, as she did it to make her brother's life more comfortable. Her twin brother, Alastor Kahner, was crippled at an early age and couldn't walk, and they were too poor to afford a doctor to come and see him, so she made it her duty to make his life pleasant... even if it meant stealing happiness away from others.

That came to an end. She had done so much wrong in the eyes of the Royal House of Koles, rulers of the Great Kingdom of Ixion, that they hired mercenaries to destroy her bandit camp. They were swift, merciless, and she lost everything... even her own brother. She managed to escape, but she now felt something inside of her that she never felt before: despair. Everything she worked for, all to make her brother happy... all of it gone in the blink of an eye. Was all her efforts to be happy useless?

Perhaps. But she wanted an answer. A definite answer. Her brother may be gone, but she was still here. She knew she had been a terrible person up to this point, but now she wanted to set it right. And she would do anything to atone for her sins in the name of her love for her brother.

But, of course, it is never that simple...

-o-

Aria stared down the cliff, breathing heavily. The mercenaries had tracked her down and they had her cornered. She was alone against a bunch of cut throats... and she began to realize just how her own victims had felt when she was about to steal away their lives. Aria smiled bitterly at the revelation. "How very fitting that I end up dying in the same manner." She said to herself.

"By order of King Kaligula Koles, of the Great Kingdom of Ixion, we, the Black Wind Mercenaries sentence you to death for your crimes against the state and crown!" The mercenary leader said, readying his bow and taking aim.

Aria didn't even so much as bat an eyelid. "I know what I did was wrong... even though I did it for my brother, I know that is no excuse. I've killed far too many people to be forgiven... so go ahead and end it now." Aria stated flatly, sad that she was going to die... not afraid, sad. Sad that she wasn't able to live out the rest of her life, giving others hope so that they wouldn't have to experience the pain of loss... she realized in that moment that it was a fool's dream.

And then the arrow went through her chest and she fell.

Down the cliff she fell, bones breaking and cracking along the way down as her body collided with the rock face, and finally fell down into the river. The current dragged her down the river, and eventually her broken and (to the eye) lifeless body washed up on the shore.

Yet, despite all of this, the arrow in her chest, her bones and body broken and bloody, and her lungs filled with water, she was for the most part alive. Her eyes opened wearily and she stared up at what appeared to be a young girl in a white dress. She blinked... was it a hallucination?

Or was she really being given a second chance to live?

The End

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