• Prologue:

    The tears stalled on my face as I faced him. It wasn't possible. It couldn't be possible. I gazed at his closing eyes, full of pain and sorrow, but with so much love. Those crystals closed forever, and everything shifted into a dark abyss. A scream scratching at the air.

    Chapter One: First Sight

    "Aclie, I think it's time for a break." My brother stabbed his blade into the cold earth, a soft smile about his face.
    "N-no, I can keep going." My response was more of a pant than anything. My hands clenched around Kiel's hilt as I struggled to keep him from touching the ground.
    His smile became kinder, his eyes glimmering in the noon-day sun. "Part of your training is knowing when to quit." He lept swiftly over the railing of the arena and into the stands where a cooler with ice water was patiently waiting.
    This was where I first saw him. He approached silently; it was only when he was a few steps behind me that I noticed he was there. I didn't recognize his aura, and with a rush of adrenaline, I span around, Kiel's blade barely scratching his beautiful face. "Name? Side?" I asked laconically.
    A trickle of blood dripped down his cheek. "If you ask of my name, you must tell me yours?" It was more of a question than a statement. "I'm Dusces, and I don't think what side I'm on has anything to do with anything."
    Kiel's tip had just a bit of pressure on Dusces's neck. "It has everything to do with everything," I growled.
    My brother saw the two of us, and rushed over. "Who is he?" the former asked.
    I answered before he did. "Hӓden, this is Dusces. He was just about to leave." Dusces remained quiet during the introduction. He nodded to Hӓden, who, in return, gave a glare. Dusces took a step back. He disappeared with one parting word: "Farewell."