Chapter 1Mature

Crouched at the edge of a road, hidden behind a bush, Summer slowly pulled an arrow from her quiver and placed it on her bow. She watched the road, but was keenly aware of  the woods around her. She knew her target would be coming soon: it was only a matter of time before he appeared. The moment this thought crossed her mind, the distinctive thud of hooves on the ground could be heard. A faint smile flickered across her face as she loaded an arrow. As horse ad rider came flying into view, she took her aim. He seemed in a hurry, and the horse was galloping swiftly. She drew the string back, keeping her aim steady, centered on his heart. As he flew down the road toward her, she let the arrow fly. The man cried out, and fell backward, off the horse, which continued to gallop along the road toward Summer. She rose from the bushes, and the horse skidded to a stop, rearing. Stepping forward, she grabbed the reins. This horse was her ride back home. Leading the horse back down the road, she headed back to where the dead man lay. She stopped the horse, and it stood quietly as she knelt. She pulled out her arrow, wiping it clean. She then searched him, quickly finding what she was looking for. It was a letter, and she placed it in her bag. She then stood up, stretching her muscles, which were tense from the long time she had remained crouched. She pulled a long rope from bag and tied it around the dead man's neck. She then proceeded to hang him from a tree in plain view. She took out a piece of paper and dipped her finger in the man's blood. On it, she drew a wing, and pinned it to the man's shirt. She made a face at the blood and used some her water to clean her hands. She had never liked this part. Then again, it was part of the job description. Mounting the horse, she rode off, leaving the man as a warning to all who came down this country road.

Summer rode up to her small cottage and dismounted, tying the horse to a post. There was another horse standing in her yard: eyes narrowing, she drew her knives and approached the door. It was partially open, so she slid in, looking around.  Sitting in a chair in front of the fire place, a woman sat with her feet propped up on the table. Summer recognized her and sheathed her knives. When she spoke, her voice was cool and icily polite "Is there a good reason you are in my house? If there isn't, then let me introduce you to something called a door."
 "I know what a door is. And yes, there is a very good reason I'm here. The Hand sent me." she answered. She waited for Summer to speak, but when she didn't, she shrugged and continued "I'm not quite sure why she wants you, but her best friend- you know, the Dragon." she added, seeing Summer's confusion "I guess you don't know. Anyway, she came to me and said 'Blade, go get the Angel. We need her." She chuckled softly when Summer grimaced "The Order's messed up, Angel. But we knew that the day we joined. So c'mon. Let's not keep them waiting."

Summer mounted her horse and rode down the road, thinking. She thought about her mentor, who was know the leader of the Order of Death. She remembered when the woman she knew only as the Hand of Death came to her family's home, 15 years ago. She sighed. They had been riding for several hours and was getting dark when the woman, better known to the world as the Blade of Death, turned to her and said "Let's stop for the night." she silently dismounted and untacked the horse. She groomed it and said softly into its ear "I'll call you Arrow." she patted the newly named Arrow's neck and let him wander a little to graze. She put on her black cloak, the signature sign of a member of the Order. Laying down, she wrapped the cloak around her and used her hood as a pillow. She closed her eyes, about to fall asleep when she heard Blade start a fire and sing a song softly. She opened one eye "Since I'm apparently not allowed to sleep, why don't you tell me why on earth why they want me, the lowly little Angel of Death, when they have people like you sitting around on your butts, doing nothing useful." Blade looked over, and shrugged "Beats me. I want nothing more than to get a mission. I think you have it right, Angel. I should go find myself a little cottage, and say any mission within 50 miles of the thing is mine. By the way, I'm taking first watch. You can sleep." When she said that, Summer rolled over and fell asleep.

The End

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