We know not why we fight,

We know not why we'd die,

For this great cause, unknown.

Will we ever find out why?

Still we all make our moves,

And we all try our plays,

Fighting for supremacy,

And to hide our crafty ways.

But this was their final battle.

It had come to them at last,

Threatening to make or break,

All efforts of the past.

Blood there was,

With pain and death and shame;

Poisoned darts and swords afire,

Death and war, the same.

One by one, the valiant fell,

Each by another's hand.

Yet there remained two hearts alone,

That lay unchallenged in the land.

One lay in forest shadows,

Hidden from all sight.

Strong and fearless, proud, was he,

Ready, but not looking for a fight.

His skin was soft as starlight,

Like shadow, was his hair,

Dark were his eyes, and piercing.

His voice was strong, but fair.

But cold as winter's frost,

The bite of his blade was deep.

His chosen home, the forest,

What secrets does she keep?

That taught to him in secret,

All the skills he would attain.

And all the wisdom, knowledge, too,

That in darkness, he would gain.

The other, high and proud was she.

Yet, "Shadow" was her name.

Though few could match her valor,

Still none could match her shame.

For in the tracks of time, there lie,

The scars of trust misplaced,

Of treachery too deep for words,

And of a life disgraced.

Blind, she was lured into that trap,

And blindly, there, remained.

Burned, she was, and injury took.

Forever, she was stained.

When truth awoke within her mind,

Up to freedom, dearly bought,

Though weariness, upon her came,

Back to the light she fought.

Though victory she won, at last,

And of the grief, let go,

Deep were the wounds she bore in flesh,

The scars she had to show.

So while she lie, and fought to breathe,

Her back upon the ground,

The war kept blazing, all around.

She never heard a sound.

Of all the world, these two alone,

Remained untouched by war,

One lay in shadows, still unscathed.

Blood left the other's core.

Maybe their meet was imminent,

Perhaps fate cannot be changed.

But, indeed, he came to meet her in,

That place, by doom, arranged.

For, though luck had kept them far apart,

Up from the depths of chance, there came,

These two, upon a time, did meet.

She answered with her name.

"And who be you, great foe unknown?"

She answered as she drew,

Her gleaming sword, unsheathed once more.

"And pray your words be true."

"As for me, dear child of mine,

My name is little news.

But you, my dear, what a gem I've found!

'Tis you, to fight, I choose."

"You own me not, nor shall we fight,"

She said, her sword re-sheathing,

"I'm young, but not unwise…" he called,

He felt his anger seething.

"…Nor is my talent less than yours,

My small and fragile prey.

Come, test the level of my skill,"

He taunted her to stay.

"If think that you, could challenge me,

In manners of my craft,

Then meet, you shall, my ready bow,

And die upon my shaft."

"Put away your little toys, dear girl,

And play a game with me.

Come a little closer, to my blade,

And who shall die, we'll see."

She fit an arrow to the string,

Pulled back with lightening speed.

But to fear her falling arrows,

The man had little need.

Her bow broke fast apart,

In the middle, where he smote.

She lie upon the her back, now,

His sword upon her throat.

But long before his thrust could fall,

She'd swiftly rolled aside.

To her feet, she leapt, and drew her sword,

Her face with glowing pride.

Taken only once before,

Still, her experience was clear.

Wise she was, and strong, she thought.

Not strong enough, I fear.

For, though mighty was her blade,

And her parries fleet and strong,

Still, swift fell his attacks…

She could not hold him long.

They fought for days and nights, on end,

Across uncharted lands,

Their ears were sharp for any sound,

Their swords in readied hands.

Over rivers wide, and forests dark,

He sought her, just to find,

That while he'd tarried in one place,

She'd left him far behind.

Over fields of green, under skies of blue,

They struggled without rest.

To discover who would die between them,

And who would be the best.

He tired soon, but fought still on,

Unknowing that she, too,

Was fighting with her last full measure,

Though still her sword arm flew.

He followed her; she parried him,

Still neither would surrender,

Nor lay down pride before the other,

The victory, to render.

At last, she took a wound,

That tore across her side.

Her sword fell, glimmering, to the grass.

She bled out blood and pride.

Her rival rose above her,

And fit his blade across her chest.

"Well, now, my proud opponent,

Who shall we say is best?"

He knocked her, harshly, to the ground,

But kept his sword in place.

"I claim victory of this brawl,

You've lost your chance at grace."

"You think this battle's over, friend?

Then you are quite mistaken."

And once she'd thrust her recovered sword,

He checked the wound he'd taken.

She tried to force another stab,

But he knocked her blade away.

He held his side, that bled now, too,

But forced her still to stay.

He gripped her fleeing body,

And held her shoulders tight.

She could no longer run a way,

This was the final fight.

"Well, done, my valiant girl,

Still punishment I owe-

Your pride must soon be humbled…

…I will not let you go."

He cast her to the ground.

She cried aloud in pain.

He moved in for the kill.

She felt her life-force drain.

"Now, at last, I've bested you,

And you have met your end.

Your pride and fight were strong,

But you must die, my friend."

With that he poised his sword,

Above her chest, to fall;

He thrust it deep within her heart,

With it, her will grew small.

And in those fading moments,

His eyes with joy shone bright.

She remembered nothing more,

And in death, forsook the light.