THE WHISTLING WIND broke through the trees in the dark night, the fragmented, broken road stretching on for miles. Shadows cornered every dark alley, exposing Death itself, a caution to anyone who crossed its path.

It was early nineteenth-century Brazil, and the evening was chilled, prickling ice down the backs of those who were brave enough to walk the streets alone at that time of dusk.

Chancellor rounded the corner of the alley, expecting to be greeted by the shadowed man who had contacted him earlier. The meeting is unavoidable, he had said with abstemious order.

His midnight hair hung low to his shoulders, his muscular frame poised and ready for whoever—or whatever—may lurk out from beneath the secret crevices of the haunting alley. A tremor broke through his body, his shadowy eyes squinting as they examined the path before him.

It shan't be long now, Chancellor thought precariously, his strong hands clenching into fists at his sides, hugging his dark coat to his body. The cold did not bother him in the slightest, but the constant feeling of vulnerability crept down his backside and ended at the souls of his moccasin covered feet.

He waited.

The air dispelled around him, and tension cornered his thoughts, forcing him to look forward at the brick wall that lay in front of him as the pressure nearly shattered his skull. Chancellor knew not to expect a voice to be spoken out loud into the evening, having never heard the shadowed man's voice spoken outwardly other than a mere thought processed into his immortal mind. Chancellor listened for the sign of a murmur in his head, but nothing came at first. Several moments, filled with paranoia and hushed stillness, passed before the first glimpse of a husky whisper uncovered itself and was heard.

I propose you have succeeded in my wishes. Do not fail me now.

Chancellor swallowed hard and looked around him, his eyes soon focusing on the silhouette in front of him, stepping to lean casually against the wall on the stone foundation before him, arms crossed and face hidden under a shadow of a cape.

I have retrieved the name of the girl, m'lord. Fate has told me that she shall be called—

No names, the shadow spoke, gruffly cutting Chancellor's words midsentence. His voice was calm, mysterious, nonchalant. Chancellor could sense that this man had a way of hiding his thoughts from those around him, even to those who had the opportunity to read what he so wanted to hide.

Before Chancellor could even begin to question the man with authority, the dark lord before him lowered the cape over his eyes, as he so often did, his face a black figure in the night, throwing off any words Chancellor was about to create in any form of sentence. He remained silent, waiting patiently and torturously while his chest tightened with natural bound fear.

She shall be born unto the king before Arawn, two centuries henceforth. Her skin shall be as fare as the snow which falls from the sky, her eyes electric with the sky that brushes the heavens. Her hair shall be as dark as the earth beneath our feet, shining under the afternoon light in her beauty and warmth. The courage within her shall be strong, but that shan't be a problem. Without the knowledge of whom she is, she shall prevail increasingly so until the time of her seventeenth year. No amount of faith will be able to protect her from what lies ahead in her future.

The man's form shifted slightly to the left with interest, a gesture that Chancellor had long ago recognized as satisfaction. Chancellor had succeeded and he let out a relieved breath. His feet halted in the hyperventilating shaking which had taken shape earlier, and now lay at rest thankfully against the terrain beneath him.

Well done, Chancellor. The girl shall be destroyed once I get my hands on her.The dark lord stopped speaking, and Chancellor could sense the feel of a shadowy grip against his shirt, balling it into a fist. Chancellor gulped, leaning away as far as he dared from the man before him without dishonoring the black lord's presence.

Do not disappointment me in your next mission, the man warned, the dark mist clutching his torso tighter and breathing over his face in claustrophobic folds. There is something you shall do for me.

Chancellor waited with growing unease, afraid of what was about to come next.

Travel far beyond the horizon and find her. And once you do—

The shadow lord's voice cut off and a shady envelop wrapped around Chancellor's full frame, lifting him off of the ground perilously high, a low hiss escaping the man's sheer throat.

Kill her.