Chapter 1

"There are ladies looking at you," Vyrvania stated.

"Let them look, there's nothing to see."

"Have you no interest in the common woman?" My ward rambled on.

"We need to be going now, the clouds darken by the second, it will storm and you can stand here, or you can follow suit," I tell her, interrupting her futile tirade. Now that I mentioned the storm clouds, her gaze drifted up and she said no more.

She followed quietly behind me until we were out of view from the towns' people. The woods were dark and intimidating. Not a single tendril of sunlight crept through the spindly branches of the trees. The air smelled like winter and brought a frost with it. A presence resided in the forest, deeper than I would have guessed. I smiled at the thought of a warm place to stay the night, rather than sleeping in the snow with Vyrvania cuddling next to me. I dropped our traveling bag and turned to face Vyra {her nickname.}

"Stay with the pack, I'll return shortly." My brisk tone implied that if she followed me this time, she would be punished without mercy.

I continued on through the woods without her, glancing behind me every now and again to assure she'd not followed. When I was deep enough in the woods that I was satisfied she couldn't follow, I began to mask my presence. The thing new I was in its' woods, but it didn't know where. I checked the sword at my waist and pulled the blade from its prison of leather. I quickly slid the tip over my thumb and smiled when it was cut cleanly. I sucked the dark blood off the finger and prayed the best didn't smell me. Things like this could be tricky, and I didn't feel like explaining my death and revival.

I burst through the brush and swung my sword to kill the beast. My blade stopped short when my gaze locked onto the creature. Laughter sprung from my throat and I tilted my head back to let it out. This big, horrid, monstrosity, they had sent me out to slay, was no more than a baby dragon. I laughed again and the beast looked fearfully at my razor sharp sword. He was wounded, as they had told me; he had a large spear-head in his side and infection had set in. I felt pity for the poor monster, mistaken as I had been.

His scales were a royal purple, marked with shimmery swirls of black, eyes as red as the blood moon; his features where those of elegance and he held his head high though he was injured and weak. I removed my sword and slid it back into its scabbard, bending down, I pat the dragons head. It screeched and snort smoke before leaning into my hand. I chuckled once again and hefted the dragon onto my shoulder. It cried in agony and I patted it again. I was helping it so it didn't try to burn me to a crisp. "Now that's a good boy'" I think to him, though he can't hear me.

Vyrvania carried the dragon in her arms-as I had told her she would do-and didn't falter a single time. I was proud, but I wouldn't let her know that. We walked back to the village in silence and the first drop of rain that signaled the beginning of April fell onto my face. I sighed and wiped it off with the back of my hand. And I had thought we might be able to make it back by the time the storm started.

"What be the dragonian name that you have graced the beast with?" I ask in my usual quiet manner of speaking.

"Zazel!" she says happily, completely unaware of how deeply the name shocked me, for that to be the name she chose, surely there is no coincidence; I tried very hard to convince myself otherwise.

We returned to the village after the short bout of rain came and went. People gasped in fear and excitement when they saw what Vyrvania cradled. Whispers went through crowds and soon people were gathered in the streets to watch us on our way, by the time we arrived at the town-heads hut, he was outside waiting for us.

"Why is the beast not dead?" he demanded.

"Because I did not kill him." I stated simply, few people laughed.

"Well, that was obviously the case!" he bellowed, "Why did you not kill it?"

"Because I didn't feel like it." I answered again.

"Do not you taunt me! I'll have your head dipped in tar and mounted on my gates!" he growled out angrily.

"I am not taunting you ser, I'm only answering you." The man bellowed in rage and drew his sword from its scabbard. I smirked a little.

"Now ser, I think you are taunting me." The smile disappeared from my face completely and Vyrvania cowered behind me.

"P-p-please ser! Do not fight him, he has bested even the most exquisite of knights, you will be killed!" Vyrvania warned, stuttering in her hurry to get the words out. "This will be the last time you ever wield a blade if you do not heed my warning." She warned again, seeing his stubborn set.

"And who are you, woman, to tell me my place?" he says indignantly.

"Would you listen, I would be your savior." Vyra says coldly. "Please my caretaker, do not do this, he does not know of his ignorance." She begs me.

"He has insulted me, I would not be a man, should I not teach him of his faults and put him in his place." I reply menacingly. Vyra cowers once more but dives for my sword, somehow managing to keep the dragon in her arms. I sidestep and take the dragon from her.

"Do not make me change my mind wench!" I threaten.

Being so cruel was not something I was proud of, but it was necessary. I obtained order through strict conduct and insensitivity. Vyrvania would learn her place as a woman. I had neglected to teach her the ways of the common lady when she was younger and now I would show her. She hit on my arms and beat on my back.

"Let him go!" she would cry, and before long, her face was stained with tears.

"You would do well to learn your own place Vyrvania!" I say ominously.

I turned to the crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle; women looked at Vyra with pitying stares and gave me glances filled with venom. I stared back with threatening eyes. They lowered their faces and avoided eye contact from then on. Vyra hit me on more time and I was distracted by her anger. The man I had ignored as he boiled with rage was upon me. I fell as he dove for the small beast in my grasp. I turned quickly and felt a blade go through one of my scars. Malice consumed me and I thrust the dragon into Vyrvanias grasp and she was knocked back from the weight.

I pulled the knife from my back and found it had gone through my heart. Sometimes, being unable to die was a blessing. Flash backs of Michael's great sword were swimming through my mind, the arch and gleam the blade made as it sliced through the air and into the sensitive flesh of my wings was refreshed. The feeling that came from having his hands rip out the bone that attached my wings to my spine was anew. I pulled my sword out, trying to fight the memories off and stop the pain that pulsed through me, I was dieing from the heart wound so I needed to move quickly.

I went for the man that had "killed me." He would die today and he would not like the place he was going. He would feel the pain that I have with every life I relive, every time I have died and every time I have come back again. So says in the Book of the Fallen, if a mortal where to die by the sword of one fallen from Grace, he would live the life that was punishment for the immortal from a single blow of the blade. The mortal man would live as I died and die as I lived. He would feel every ounce of sadness and loneliness, every joy and sorrow, my sanity and my insanity; he would feel everything, from the very day I took my first breath to the day he took his last. He would be in a Hell made from my mind.

"Would you like a few last words?" I pant, swaying. The man laughed.

"You can barely stand on your own two feet, by God! You should be dead now!"

"And why is it? That I am not?"

"I don't know!" he bellowed.

Blood spewed from his mouth, for I had distracted him long enough to move from my place of rest. I smiled as he died, and I smiled as he did. My time in Heaven would come first, and so he would be happy in his last moments, but the afterlife would not be kind to him. He will die as I live, and I will watch as he dies.

The light faded from my vision and I let out a single laugh, coughed up blood, and fell to the dirt. Vyrvania hurried over to me and set the dragon on his belly. She was speaking, but it was as if no words were leaving her mouth, sound wasn't traveling into my ears. I whispered quietly, and she strained to hear me. Time was running out, it would be dead in a few seconds.

"Wait for me… I'll be back…don't leave me...stay…please?" I asked. My blood was dark against the dirt and a feeling of airiness took over, and I was tired, I was so tired.

My eyes drifted close and Vyrvania wept above me that was the last of anything.

Vyrvania

He's gone, he's gone and he's never coming back! I sobbed and hit his body a few times. I can't believe him; he has the audacity to just leave me! My dragon Zazel nudged my side and I pat his head, smoke blew from his nostrils and he curled up next to Caedeons body, like they were old friends.

"I'll stay with you! Like I promised." I whisper to his body and hug him.

"Get up sweetling, come with me." A woman says. When I looked up, I was shocked to find it was really just a girl, around my age. She had her hair in ribbons on the side of her head; she was wearing the strangest clothes I had ever seen. Her boots were of an odd fashion as well. I smiled up at her, teary eyed and sniffled.

"Oh, please!" she says exasperated. "He'll be back soon enough! C'mon."

"Don't lie!" I yell at her.

"You won't believe what I'm about to tell you, so just come with me. By the way, I'm Lilith." Her smile was bright, and she held out her hand. I got up slowly, and I took one look back at Caedeon, before following her away.

Caedeon

When I regained consciousness my body was stiff and cool, blood and dirt caked onto my wound. I sighed and stood on my sore feet, carefully testing my weight on my legs. The street was barren, and no one had bothered to move my corpse, so I didn't have to worry about anyone missing me. Vyrvania and her dragon were gone, though I had told her to stay with me. Her footsteps led away from me, along with another odd set of boot prints. She had followed someone off.

I could see the castle of Mevara in the bright light of the blood moon. Tonight, there would be danger in the form of woven magic. On nights such as these, I usually brought Vyrvania somewhere safe and set up barriers made of sage and blessed thistle, to ward away demons and the black magic of sorcerers. I smiled grimly and thought of why I had to choose this night for a fight and lose. Grunting, I took an unsteady step forward. My knee nearly buckled and I used all I had to keep myself from crashing to the ground. Looking for Vyra wouldn't be very fun in this condition.

I stood still for a moment and collected my strength. I gained more the longer I stood. A full four minutes passed before I took another step. This time it was steady and I set a quick stride across the empty plot of ground, following her foot prints. After about thirty minutes of walking, I found her; a girls voice drifted from the space they resided in.

"… yes, of course he's fine!" the voice called cheerily.

"And you are certain of this?" Vyrvania asks.

"Absolutely!"

"Lilith, I don't know how to thank you for telling me all of this!" my breathing came to an abrupt halt. Lilith. She just said… Lilith. I burst into the small fire lit clearing and my gaze swung to the little girl that was oddly dressed.

"…Lilith." I breathed. Lilith smiles with a devious expression.

"Hello Caedeon, long time no see!"

"What are you doing here?" my voice held a threat.

"Visiting Lord Luce's-"

"Don't you say another word Lilith." I cut her off. "Not another word."

Vyrvanias dragon rested in her lap and looked at Lilith with hostility. "Good boy." I think. "Good boy."