Chapter 1: Prophecy

The darkness will come
The darkness will swallow
The darkness will gather
All those who'll follow

It will reign unchecked
All through the years
Until one is resurrect
The hero the darkness fears

Marked by the light
Strong and true
He will draw back the night
Aided by two

Gods I hate that bedamned prophecy! Pontru thought for the millionth time. Just because of the stupid flame-shaped birthmark I have on my shoulder, everyone here thinks I'm some kind of ridiculous hero! And the whole lying thing, the only reason I've never lied before was because I've never had a reason to. Really, the idea of me being the hero is laughable. I personally think everyone deserves the Dark King. I mean they're all a bunch of stupid, self-serving bastards anyway.

Pontru's thoughts kept him company until he reached his house. Entering, he called out. "I'm home!"

Hearing running footsteps, he smiled. The only time he really smiled was around his little sister.

"Brother! How was it today?" Kysti asked as she flung her arms around his neck.

Pontru snorted. "Almost tolerable today. They were a little less stupid then usual. Did you have a good day?"

"It was fun! Mistress Treeny came by and gave me some apples so I made tarts. I also got a lot of sewing done. I'm almost finished the dress Juna commissioned for her wedding."

"That's good. What do you feel like doing tonight?"

"If the fireflies are out, can we go catch some?"
Pontru chuckled. "Whatever you want."
"Hurray! You go sit down in the kitchen and I'll bring you some tea. You're probably tired."
Smiling, Pontru went to do as his sister had ordered. It's hard to believe she's already fifteen, he thought. It seems like only a few days ago she was following me everywhere, her thumb in her mouth and her doll dragging on the ground.
Pontru had been raising his sister since she was four and he was nine. It was during that time when his father started going on long trips, leaving Pontru and Kysti by themselves. In the year Pontru had turned twelve, his father had gone a trip and never come back. He'd been caring for Kysti ever since.
She was the only person in the entire world that Pontru loved. His mother was dead; shortly after Kysti had been born she had contracted some strange disease and died, leaving the children motherless.
Being young when his father had left, Pontru had given Kysti whatever she wanted, though surprisingly she was still a sweet child and had not turned into the spoiled brat most people had expected her to turn into.
The two of them lived by themselves on the edge of their village. Since she'd turned ten, Kysti had been sewing clothes for herself and for Pontru. When she was thirteen some of the other villagers had begun to commission clothes from her. Now most of the village relied on her for any special sewing they required.
Pontru had been given the only job his hatred of everyone wouldn't get him fired from. He taught the villagers how to fight. He'd been learning how to fight since he was six, at that time there was a retired mercenary who had lived in town and so Pontru had demanded lessons and gotten them. After he'd learned everything he could from the man, he'd started asking anyone who stopped by the town to show him any moves they knew. Pontru had also developed his own. Now, at the age of twenty he was the best in the village and the surrounding area. Having never fought against a real fighter, Pontru didn't know how his skill would be rated in the real world.
"Here's your tea." Kysti said handing Pontru one of the two cups she carried. She put her own cup down and ran back tot the kitchen to get the tarts.
When she got back, Pontru gave her a serious look and asked. "Did you have any trouble today?"
"No."
"Kysti," her brother said warningly, the only time he sounded even remotely displeased with her.
"Nothing happened. No one came by. Stop worrying."
Pontru sighed. Since the year before when the young men of the village had noticed that Kysti was attractive, they'd started coming by the house and trying to talk with her. Kysti found them annoying and told them to leave her alone. That had not gone over well with some of the young hotheads. They'd started coming around and harassing her and one had tried to attack her. Unfortunately for them, Pontru had been teaching his sister how to defend herself using both a blade and her bare hands since she was five. Kysti was almost his equal now.
Once Pontru had learned of this he taken every one of the boys aside and made it clear to them that if they ever came near Kysti again he would gut them. The one who'd actually attacked her, almost died in a practice bout against Pontru. He'd quit learning sword-work since and wouldn't go within a five-metre radius of Pontru or Kysti.
"I'm just worried about you. You're all alone here for a lot of the day."
"And I'm almost as good as you are with sword or unarmed, so you can stop it. I can take care of myself. You know that."
Pontru sighed again. "I know, but I can't help worrying. You're my little sister after all."
Kysti stuck her tongue out at him and then smiled. "And I'm lucky to have such a wonderful big brother."
This comment caused Pontru to blush, something that would have shocked the entire village. He was known as 'Pontru the heartless' and 'The Stone'. He had made it clear to the entire village that he liked none of them and didn't care what happened to them.
If they hadn't looked alike, most of the village wouldn't have believed that Pontru and Kysti were related. Kysti was nice to everyone and cheerful unless someone annoyed her. Pontru was cold and sombre and would mercilessly beat anyone who annoyed him. Still, the fact of the matter was that anyone who looked at them could tell they were related.
Pontru had reddish-brown hair and hard grey eyes that were cold unless he was looking at or thinking about Kysti. He was tall and lean and tended to dress in dark colours emphasizing his rather dark personality.
Kysti had dark red hair to Pontru's reddish brown. Her eyes a blue- grey rather then straight grey. She was much shorter then her brother but just as thin. She had what the people in the big cities called 'a delicate figure'. She loved bright colours and often looked like some kind of exotic bird. She had a voice to match any songbirds', high, clear and sweet.
"So do you need anything?" Pontru asked, hastily changing the subject.
Kysti shook her head and then stopped. "Well," She said drawing out the sound. "I could use some new cloth. Any colour or kind will do, I'm just kind of bored with using the same kinds and colours over and over and over again."
Pontru thought about it for a moment. "That should be alright. Next time I go to the city I'll see what they have. Or better yet, you could come with me if you want."
"Really? I can go with you? Thank you! Oh, I can't wait! When are we going to go?"
"How about tomorrow? I don't have any classes tomorrow."
"That's perfect! I can get some special trim for Juna's dress. Thank you so much!"
"No problem. I was going up anyway. The sword-smith is supposed to have my new blade finished."
"Ah! I forgot about that. How long's it been?"
"Five months. He promised it'd be ready this month, not that I have much hope he'll actually keep his word." Pontru said.
"Sometimes you're too negative. Why don't you try being positive for once?" Kysti asked.
Pontru smiled. "Because that's your job. You do all the positive thinking for us and I'll do all the negative. That way we have a nicely balanced life."
Kysti grinned. "You're being silly. I'm going to start dinner now. What would you like?"
"Whatever you want. I like anything you cook."
"You're no fun! How am I supposed to practice being a good wife if you want tell me what you want for dinner? You always tell me to decide."
"Wife?!? Is someone courting you?"
Kysti smiled. She'd known her comment about practicing to be a good wife would shock and horrify her brother. "Maybe." She said stretching out the word.
"Kysti." Pontru said in his warning voice.
"I was just teasing you. No one's courting me. They're all too afraid of you. Not that I mind, I don't really like any of them. Far too pushy and demanding."
Pontru relaxed. His sister was safe. "Good. I don't want to think about losing you. You're far too special to waste on any of the idiots who live here. You need someone who'll treat you properly and not like some kind of slave."
Kysti laughed. "Why brother, I do believe you've been thinking about my marriage more then I have. Isn't that very improper?"
Pontru stuck his tongue out at her. "So's a girl learning how to fight."
"Ah, but you taught me that too."
"And you kept pestering me to teach you all the time, or I wouldn't have taught you as much as I did."
Kysti laughed again. "You're right. I did bother you. It was fun though; I can't see why girls aren't allowed to learn how to fight. It's wonderful. I don't need to rely on anyone to protect me. I can take care of myself."
"I think that's the reason. All the men want their women to have to rely on them for protection. It makes them less likely to run off if they're husbands are mean, abusive or ugly."
"Hmmm. That makes sense. Well I'd better start dinner or we won't be able to eat until after dark."
"Alright. If you need any help call me."
Kysti rolled her eyes and went into the kitchen. Despite her words, they were able to eat well before dark. After dinner and the dishes, they both went to bed, wanting to get an early start for the next day.