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“Shadows Lengthen”


Prologue


The hooded figure crossed the cobblestone street, another hooded figure right behind him.


“Come,” rasped the one in the lead. “We must rest for tomorrow. Tomorrow is when we carry out our master plan.”



“Yes, master,” the other one replied. She was not used to this big town, as she came from a realm many miles from the town known as the Realm of the Moon. The hooded figure in the lead came from a mysterious and little-explored realm known as the Burning Realm. Only a few creatures were known to have come from there.



The inn came into sight. It had an old, worn out sign hanging from a balcony. There was suddenly a flash of lightning and rain began to pour down. Not long after, both of the hooded figure’s cloaks were soaked. The lead hooded figure growled; he hated it when it rained. The two were planning an assassination on the mayor of the town.


According to the leader, he had been told by an Elder in a local village that the mayor was planning to kill the whole population so that he could gain control of their money. From what the smaller hooded figure had heard, who had been named the Rogue by her family, the larger hooded figure, who called himself the Anti-Hero, had been planning this assassination for the past three weeks.


The only reason the Rogue had signed on to be the Anti-Hero’s second-in-command was because she had learned that her grandfather had lived in the town, but the mayor learned of his relation with the leader of the Realm of the Moon (who was the Rogue’s father) and executed him in front of the whole population.


Rage still burned in the Rogue’s heart and couldn’t wait to sink her blade into the mayor’s flesh. The Anti-Hero and the Rogue entered the inn and went up to the front desk. The manager looked up at them. He was a red fox.



“May I help you?” asked the fox.



“Yes, you may,” answered the Anti-Hero. “We are looking for a room to spend the night in.”



The manager held up a key on a ring. “Room 3-D is empty,” he said. “Feel free to take it.”



“Thank you,” said the Rogue. She and the Anti-Hero turned around and saw the stairs. They went up to the third floor and found the room, then entered. “So when will we perform the assassination?” asked the Rogue.



“We shall do it before the crack of dawn,” the Anti-Hero told her. “I suggest that you get some sleep. It will be that time before you know it.”



The Rogue nodded and slipped into her bed. Without even taking off her cloak or hood, she closed her eyes and fell into a deep, easy sleep.




The Rogue opened her eyes again. There was complete silence. And then came the grunt. The Rogue turned over and felt the knife come down where she had been just seconds before. She leapt out of bed and turned around to face the Anti-Hero.


He had the blade in his hand. Red eyes shined through his hood. “DIE, MONSTER!” roared the Anti-Hero, who then lunged at her. The Rogue was experienced in battles, thanks to the Anti-Hero himself, which she knew he would regret later. She caught the blade as it came down, and took it from her former master. She ripped off his hood, revealing his true face. The Anti-Hero was a Phoenix, an ancient race that had long since been thought dead. She raked the blade across the left side of his face, leaving a long scar. Blood spurted from the wound. The Anti-Hero screamed in pain and clutched his wound.


Flames began to sprout across the room. Afraid, the Rogue ran to the window and jumped out of it. She landed on the ground dog-like and turned around. The next thing she knew, the inn exploded and debris was flung across the street. Looking back up, she saw that barely anything remained but ruins.



She began walking. But as she did so, she knew one thing: The Anti-Hero was not dead.



Characters in this chapter:

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