The Man in the White Mask

Aria was hastily locked up in her cell. Her wound caused by the knife was painful, but luckily it didn't go too deep. But that wasn't what distressed her at this point.

What scared her was that the Seven Shadows, the most terrifying masters of the dark powers that ever walked this earth, were meeting here, in Ixion. The mere thought sent a shiver down her spine. While she herself had never met them face to face, she heard the stories: how they kill, lie, cheat, and deceive their way into getting what they wanted, using dark magic to call forth phantasmal creatures and chaos beasts to do their will... how not even children and infants are spared from their murderous desires.

Aria felt strongly enough about stopping them from hurting others that she decided to break out and bring them all to justice. Then she laughed at herself. What can I do? I'm just a pathetic waif. No one will mourn my death, even if it's for a noble cause.

"Having doubts, my child?" A voice echoed from within the dungeon's walls. All the other inmates seemed on edge, but the look in their eyes was that of fear... and recognition of the object of that fear. Aria looked, and just inches away, separated only by iron bars, was a man with white hair and a black cape, with a white mask upon his face... the man she saw on the shores a day ago.

Aria's eyes opened wide. "Who-"

The man placed a clawed metal finger on her lips to silence her. "Hush now, my child. I just wished to see you, just once..."

"Me?" Aria asked, looking into the stranger's eyes. They didn't match. They were both the same color, but his left eye was slitted and filled with the fury of Hell itself... Aria nearly wet herself from fright just looking into it.

"Born of noble and common blood, her silver blade in hand, shall cast down the Great Seven and spread peace across the land..." The man answered, as if reciting a poem. "Once again, fate mocks me."

Aria raised an eyebrow upon hearing that last part. "What are you talking about? What do you mean, noble blood? I'm nothing but a-"

"Sweet little rose, don't you know? You don't have the noble blood of one race in you... but two. Your mother was a commoner, that's true, but your father... let's just say he's something entirely unique," He unlocked the door with ease and stepped towards Aria, putting his head against her chest. "I can hear your heart... it sounds lonely... freedom is but a few steps away... and know that your little act of self sacrifice has hurt someone other than just yourself." With that he stepped out of the cell, leaving the door wide open, and walked gracefully into the shadows.

"Who in the name of the god of death are you?" Aria asked. The man gave a little laugh before replying.

"I am called Xeranad Lekard. And we will meet again..." He said before becoming one with the darkness.

Aria blinked. "What just happened?" She asked herself, and nearly tripping over something as she stepped out of her cell. She looked and saw it was her sword. "Now, how did you get here, Rapture?" Aria questioned the blade, knowing it wouldn't answer. Still, it was better than just accepting she was alone...

"I need to find my friends."

The End

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