Chapter 1

The Dark Lord

Damen Transcend spotted a dusty mirror and took a look at the reflection of him. He smiled lightly and marveled at how he turned out; with dark brown hair, a tall figure, perfect jaw and strong, lean muscles. He yawned sheepishly and remembered last night's incident.

"Damen, you were a disappointment..." The Dark Lord said coldly.

Every bit of his flesh burned up and he screamed in mercy. His skin felt like it was on fire; burning into his soul. Knees failing him, Damen collapsed on the cool cobblestone floor and tried to wipe away the pain. But he couldn't. Panic arose and everything seems to become darkness. The cruel laughter rang through the chamber and echoed back at him.

"No! Please, no! Make it stop, my Lord! Please!" Damen screamed out as he clutched his heart. His face pale and he was sweating like a dying animal. No blood came to drench his loose white shirt; he knew it was any second now before he would be sliced in half by his master.

Seemingly pleased, the Dark Lord paused to look at his anguish and a grim line spread, covering his smile from a moment ago. As if by magic, the pain disappeared as he stood up. Looking in his master's eyes, he knew that he had miserably failed him.

Even though the pain finally disappeared, the numbing feeling still remains and he felt a total loss in his honor to the Dark Lord.

A pair of hands seized him roughly by his shirt collar and he realized he was being dragged out. Willingly, he leaped out. He knew he had made the Dark Lord unhappy. His entire honor tore up and he was left, writhing and moaning. He felt like he was dead. He wanted to be dead, he'd give anything. But all he did was laid there at the opening and howled into the white creamy moon.

In the service of the Dark Lord was hard. It was tough to impress his master and it seemed like he'd done a lot of failing already. He was surprised that his head was still on after last night. All the Dark Lord gave him was a weary frown and a disgruntled look that would peel off Damen's honor anytime.

The antique shop he was hiding in was getting a little bit dusty. But of course, it's been abandoned for nearly 15 years now; how can it not be dusty? Damen laughed softly and went to his special box. Inside were notes from his previous life with parents and a beautiful future. He never really found out what happened to them but all the Dark Lord said that they were killed by the king. He despises the king with all the will he has. Every night, he wonders what it might feel like to have grown up with parents at your side, supporting you and loving you… His eyes wondered into the notes of his previous life.

One note wrote…

The lord is too overpowering… I am afraid our son will not make it. I am also afraid we will not be able to guard him like responsible parents. I can't bear thinking that… Lanett is crying… I better go comfort her now; we seem to be grieving a lot these days…

Another note was a piece from his mother's diary…

A blinding flash illuminated the skies. He had killed Charles but with a single sweep. I wept beside his lifeless body. I had lost my husband. I quickly hid our son in an old antique shop and charged at the man who killed my love…

Damen's eyes closed and pictured a dark figure standing over a man he named his father, laughing cruelly and took another sweep directed at a woman that he named his mother. Sweat rolled off his body as a surge of anger and sadness swept over him. He gritted his teeth as he promised that he will never rest in peace unless the murderer that killed his parents suffered a terrible death. Loneliness gripped his soul as he slowly put the letters back to the box. He felt the parchments and it seemed like he once knew how to be happy. A tear rolled down his cheek but he angrily wiped them away. How can he cry? The Dark Lord himself said that if a man cries, the man has lost all his dignity. Of all he owed the Dark Lord, at least he must obey this rule in standing.

Suddenly, a faint knock came at his door. Damen grasped the handle and slowly turned; leaving a small crack as he quickly peered into the face of one of the Dark Lord's messengers.

"What do you want?" He hissed. But Damen guessed what he was going to reply back to him. It was always these times where he'd known all along that the Dark Lord needed him again.

"The Dark Lord wishes your presence…" He whispered back. Then he fled into the dark.

Damen wrinkled his nose; wimp. Why does the Dark Lord need me now? He thought. But without another word, he grabbed a cloak that hung by on a hook and sped down the secret passageway to his master's room. The steps seem heavier and less high spirited to him now. And the walls started to crumble slightly. This must've been here for a long time then… He thought silently. His hands felt through the darkness and then, finally, he reached the wooden door. Pushing it slightly, he opened the door and found himself in the familiar room.

The walls were covered in a slime-green color and it was decorated with pictures of gruesome creatures from ogres to giants. The cabinets were filled with specimens. Damen walked past a jar that held a miniature mermaid that screamed shrilly for help but he kept on walking, ignoring her cries. Another specimen was a shrunken head in a jar filled with some kind of liquid that was anything but water. One eye opened and it blinked up at him. As it tried to open its other eye, a chilling presence filled the room.

"Damen… come to me…" It whispered. The voice was sweet yet cold at the same time. And it lured him to the master's chair which has been turned slightly the other way so he couldn't see him.

"Damen, I have a new assignment for you…"

"What is it, Master?" Damen replied in a hesitant voice.

The Dark Lord sighed and shifted uneasily. "You must find this girl named Sunny Pearls from the king's hold. The maiden is to have her eighteenth birthday a few sunsets after today. I wish for you to go to her party…"

Damen thought for a second. "But why my Lord, why waste time with her?" He said. "She is but just a girl." He then added afterwards.

"Because, you fool, she will plan to overthrow me!" The Dark Lord thundered back. The room echoed with his voice.

The assassin thought for a second whether or not to question his master again. The terrible echo still dwells in this room. He shuddered and wondered how the Dark Lord just didn't kill him at the first sight of his flimsy, small body.

Damen remembered the first time he spied on the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord was caught doing a spell to see. Not just to see but to see into the future. The Dark Lord threw a white powdery substance that smelled like smoke, a pinch of sea salt, a dead rat and 3 drops of his own blood into a fountain of sparkling water. He thought that his master was just practicing magic but then he realized that the fountain water he was working with suddenly lit up. At first, he didn't see anything but then as he looked closer, he saw bits and bits of events like fires and stolen goods. Damen couldn't believe his eyes as he caught glimpses of the future. Just as soon as the Dark Lord was done, he turned around and stared directly at where Damen was hiding. Confused and consumed with fear, he fled as fast as his legs could take him, feeling that the Dark Lord knew all along that he had been watching.

"My Lord… what is it that you have me to do to her?" Damen whispered.

The Dark Lord closed his eyes and shifted uncomfortably again.

"I want you to kill her…" He murmured.

Damen wasn't shocked, this wasn't the first time he had to assassin a maiden. But all of the girls he met, they were all snobby or so repulsive that he'd been glad to rid of her. It was sure easy to kill them off. Thinking the same for this mission, he lightly shrugged.

"I want you to attend her party wearing this." The Dark Lord said as a servant withdrew a fine embroidered suit. "You shall go as a prince…"

"A thousand thanks my Lord!" Damen exclaimed as he felt the fabric. This must've cost a fortune to buy!

"Do not return with bad news. I warn you, Damen." The chilling reply came.

"I will not fail you, my Lord!"

"…I shall hope so…"