This will make my second story on Fictionpress, and it is the second book in the series of The Shadow's Eve. If you have read the first book that features Julian and Eva, I will tell you right now that this does not feature Julian and Eva as the main characters. In fact, I'm going to do my utmost to keep those two troublemakers from my story. (Julian- "Hey! Who are you calling a troublemaker!?")Anyway, this book will feature two new characters that will eventually tie into one final book with Julian and Eva. So, read if you like! Reviews, please!

Prologue: A mission

The vampiress narrowed her eyes slightly as she gazed down into the swirling images within the scrying bowl before her, set precariously on the edge of the table. Only her steadying hands kept it from falling.

Within the scrying bowl, came the image of nothing other than the Shadow World, with the long fields with black mist that billowed about endlessly, carrying with it a menacing air. The vampiress turned her attention to the small village at the end of the fields, seeing a few eslendar venturing from their homes, talking about nothing important in particular, other than a human and two werewolves that had showed up about two months ago in search of the Cave of Mists.

The vampiress knew well who they spoke of; she'd heard rumors of this group of friends recently, which also included another human, a vampire, and a fire elemental. Apparently they were the group that had managed to keep the Crystal of Twilight from the grasp of the enemy.
Nonetheless, they were not her focus at this moment. The vampiress was on the search for the guardian of the Cave of Mists, for he was apparently connected personally to the leader of the eslendar tribe, and from what she'd heard, the tribe leader would not associate with any that were not of his own kind.

To an extent, she could understand that. It was risky, to trust outsiders. Herself, she didn't trust many that were not vampires. It was hard to put trust in something that was foreign, something that was aside from what you knew and lived daily. But besides that, she needed to at least get a message through to the leader.

Now that the Crystal was going to be used for their defense in war, what they had left to do was train more humans, werewolves, vampires, et cetera, and also to recruit more warriors. Their defenses, even with the Crystal, were short of what was needed. Even with the Crystal, it wasn't guaranteed that they could win, with so few members in war to aid them. What she was trying to do was convince the leader of the eslendar to join their forces in war.

The race of shadow people were powerful, proud, and graceful. They were much like vampires, except they did not require blood for vitality. Where the vampires could not cast as much shadow magic, the eslendar could. Where the vampires lacked in venturing into the sunlight, the eslendar possessed the ability to enter into sunlight without weakening, even if only for a short time.

The eslendar would be an excellent and powerful addition to their forces, and as a member of the Council, she had been ordered to convince the eslendar to join them in war within a matter of time. She had not been given a specific time limit, but rather ordered to recruit the eslendar as quickly as possible. She hadn't dared to ask what to do if she couldn't convince them; as far as Helen(the head of the Council)was concerned, there was no such thing as failure in this situation. It had to be done.

Of course, she was the youngest of all the Council, only having joined two months ago, when the group of friends with the Crystal of Twilight had returned. And the only reason she'd been able to join was because her mentor, Yien, had been murdered in the enemies' attempt to seize the Crystal.

The vampiress sighed and released the spell when no sign of the guardian came. Truly, she had no idea who the guardian was or what he looked like, but she was hoping that maybe he could come right out and say who he was, make it easier for her. Of course, nothing in the world was easy.

She drummed her long nails thoughtfully on the table. Perhaps another tactic would prove more useful? She could travel to the Shadow World herself, try to convince them that way . . .

It was a risky proposition. A stranger in the midst of eslendar would definitely stand out. She'd be sniffed out in a minute. Plus, they had large feathered wings, while she didn't. And there was no form of magic that she knew that she could use to give herself wings like that. Even then, she wasn't sure how she could enchant her eyes to change color to adapt to her mood, as the eslendar did.

"You are aware that the human girl named Eva knows who the Cave guardian is. In fact, she and her friends know the location of the portal that leads to the Shadow World and everything." came a voice behind her.

She didn't have to turn around to know it was Vince. "I'm aware of that. I was hoping to scry for the location of the guardian first." she half-lied. She hated when Vince outsmarted her. It made her feel so . . . incompetent.

"Wait, Irene." Vince's voice stopped her as the blond vampiress headed for the doorway. Irene paused, waiting for him to speak, though not looking at him.

"Be careful within the Shadow World. The guardian nearly killed all of the girl's friends single handedly. If you must fight him, use your mind, rather than brute force, as you usually do." Vince warned her.

"I'll bear that in mind." she said simply, before heading from the room and down the hall, making her way for the staircase that led down to the floor with the bedrooms. She would find the human girl there and question her.

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Chaos.

It was utterly consuming the entire village, as the smell of acrid smoke and burning flesh filled the air, along with the sound of screams and incoherent pleas. Cillian looked around desperately, his eyes flaring to ruby red as fury welled up inside him.

He drew both his scimitars, heading for the first vampire in sight and thrusting the metal through the heart of the male vampire, who hissed furiously before crumpling to the ground. It wouldn't kill the vampire; but it would buy him time to find the leader of these vampires who were ambushing his village.

Cillian caught sight of other eslendar fighting with the enemy, before he bounded forward toward the home of his tribe leader, to make sure their leader was all right. The house of their leader was already on fire, as the other homes, but Cillian paid this no regard as he slammed his foot into the door, smashing it to the ground as its metal hinges snapped.

Cillian sprinted into the house, looking around quickly, before spotting his leader engaged in battle with a vampire with blond hair slicked back into a ponytail. A man, with cruel silver eyes.

A snarl escaped his lips as he raced toward the vampire from behind, his sword drawn. But Cillian didn't bother to use his stealth, he was so furious, so he was taken off guard when the vampire whirled around and backhanded him hard enough to send him flying with a cry as pain lanced up his face. Cillian felt his head hit the stone wall with a sickening crack, and he knew no more as he sank into blackness.

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