Ok, time to begin my second fanfic :-P Of Souls and Shadows will be medium length, I estimate about 4000 words. I feed off reviews, don't let me starve!

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On a usual day, the crowded streets of Benetnasch were packed, filthy and boisterous. Today was worse. Amy walked close to the edge of the street so she avoided the bulky mass of tourists, merchants and beggars. Stink came in waves that dissipated across her face. She was starved her for clean air. A loose red shirt covered her black pants, the absence of patches on her clothing instantly separating her from the impoverished people. Amy's dark crimson hair was cut short and she could have easily been mistaken for a boy.

The brick-laden street was home to the worse of men. Beggars with hollowed eyes and ragged teeth glared at the clean, young girl that dared transverse their territory. Pickpockets and kidnappers blended smoothly among the normal and good people making an honest living. They presented themselves in Amy's view as plain as day, because she had once been amongst them.

Before she dressed in clothes that made nobles gawk, before she had the dagger hidden in her boot, she shad been a common market thief, stealing from unattended stall and wallet alike. She had been near death, wandering the streets of France when a bruised and sweaty man clutching his broken arm had crossed her path, searching for sanctuary. Even though she had only been eight at the time, she had stashed the man in her favorite hiding place and when the police had come Amy had pointed them in a false direction. Those few moments had changed her life permanently.

Immensely grateful, after Raphael had healed he whisked her off the streets, taking her as his adoptive daughter. His status as a wealthy fighter had shocked Amy greatly, and when he revealed he had been heir to the Sorel family's fortune she had nearly fainted with disbelief.

He had bought her a house with money, he had said, from the Sorel's before he severed ties with his family. Servants and caretakers tended her and their marvelous mansion located just north of the port town of Benetnasch. Amy had lived content for a while. Raphael had taught her use of the stiletto and dagger insisting that she hide a knife in her person at all times. This had continued for five years, Raphael training her in all forms of combat, from exotic weapons to hand-to-hand learnt from Asian monks. Now, at thirteen, she was more of a match for any mediocre fighter, and could kill a man several different ways.

Then, Raphael left. With a hug and explanation, he went chasing after Soul Edge leaving Amy, now thirteen, alone in their grand house. Amy occasionally ventured out into the local populous; experiencing life again among her once-brothers.

A figure in a dark cloak moved in front of her, blocking her field of vision. Feeling threatened, Amy hand instantly grabbed the stiletto hidden in her sleeve. But the figure passed, disappearing into the crowd among the other nameless faces.

Heart beating rapidly, she slowly released her iron-grip on her dagger. Something had made her tense recently. Perhaps it was Raphael's absence, but Amy had had a feeling of foreboding ripping at her conscious whenever she slept. Images of violence that she had never experienced before flashed in her dreams, always just beyond comprehension.

This feeling was only reinforced by the ill-tidings she overheard at the small pub she walked into. She was not really feeling hungry, but she bought some water from a barman with a patch over one eye.

"Whas'a little lass like you doin' in Benetnasch?" he asked, setting down the tall glass and leaning on the small table she sat at.

"Just checking what's new, keep the change." Amy said, the barman brightening immensely when he saw the number of coins lying on the table.

"Thank 'ee much lassy."

He returned behind the bar, serving three men that had just walked in. Two of them were tall and burly standing on either side of a smaller man. They all had the same stupid grin and rapier-swords swung from their belts.

"Haven't seen you blokes around in a good while!" the barman said, polishing a dirty glass with a dirtier rag, "Sit down, sit down, the usual, eh?"

"Not ta'day we're here on business." The smaller man looked significantly at his companions.

The barman's smile slipped a little. "Aren't you three still mercenaries? What could bring ya' back here?"

"Like I said, work." With a furtive look for eavesdroppers he began, "There's been a rumor that a killer's on the lose in the world. Not just a normal murderer!" he said, stopping the barman with a look. "No, they call this man the Azure Knight."

Amy's ears pricked up, instantly recognizing the name from Raphael's tales of his travels.

Whatever he said could be where Raphy is going and if it's a murderer I should warn him! She leaned in closer, ears straining to hear the man's lowering voice.

"Well, the queens and kings of a 'undred kingdoms have a huge bounty on his head and twice that for his sword. Its rumored to be a monster blade, that controls its wielder utterly."

"Jesus, this isn't the same sword as that pirate used all those years ago!" The barman said, setting down his glass in worry.

"No, he's most likely dead or rich and hermit, no bother to us either way. Anyway, the azure night is supposed to be near the west, at the Antares Mountains. And we-" he looked significantly at his comrades, "are going to track him down."

"Well," he gave a enormous laugh, "I'll be sure to give your wives a decent funeral present!"

"What do you actually think we're going to fight this monstrosity?" the burly man to the right of the smaller one spoke up. His voice deep and low and nearly bursting with contained laughter, "we're going to kidnap a real warrior, either one of these Asian blokes or a Frenchman I've seen around, he's going to fight Mr. Azure Knight for use!"

Okay, now this is really bad, she hoped the men would challenge Raphael he would easily kill these three before they could blink; but Raphael wasn't focused on ambush, probably preparing wholeheartedly for his battle with Soul Edge, not for it.

Her hand gripping around her dagger Amy made her decision. She would lure these three into a secluded alley, and then slaughter them all with the minimal amount of effort. Simple and effective, just the way Raphael had taught her.

Author's Note

Yes! First chapter down, a lot more to come. Most chapters will be longer and have more information than this one, and I cut down on a decent amount of background information that Soul Calibur fans should already know.

I FEED off of Reviews!

--Mpmagi