I don't own any character from Soul Calibur…

Chapter 1

Link walked aimlessly amidst the vast forest he travelled. With nothing to guide him in this uncharted place, Link was relying on his gut feeling to lead him. Link, with a small travel bag attached to his side, opened the latch and felt around inside.

After a moment, Link grabbed hold of a small metallic item and brought it up to his face. The small reddish grey piece of metal glowed darkly in its blood red aura. Link wondered how such a small thing held so much power.
Link remembered how he founded the item covered in the ashes of a defeated demon. Link remembered how the battle was tough. The battle nearly claimed his life, if it wasn't for a quick block and stab from his Master Sword. As the demon burst into flames, a small red light radiated from what was the heart of the demon, that quickly fall and nestled itself in the demon's ashes. When Link first touched the strange metal, he was greeted with great pain, feeling a great fire burn within his hand, and within his mind.

Link remembered seeing a dark figure loom over him. The figure itself was not highlighted, but the weapon the odd figured carried appeared in clear focus and detail. A demon blade made of flesh and bathed in blood, burning with a demonic eye at its centre. It was like a memory was being played inside his own mind, two warriors, wielding weapons of untold power. One of a pure light, the other, a blood thrust for souls.

After the memory played out, Link felt as if something was coming, a darkness that would cover not just his world, but all the worlds else where. Link had run to princess Zelda, telling of the dark vision he saw when he held this odd metal. 'You must go… save the world from this coming darkness' Zelda ordered him, after hearing his tale. 'You're the only one who can… may the goddess protect you!'

It was why Link now travelled the uncharted region within the Lost Woods. When Link first started his trip, he gathered his trusted items, food and a few bags filled of rupees to insure he was prepared for any battles ahead. But the problem was he had no idea where to go… until the metallic piece told him. A soft dark voice, filled with an untold evil, entered Link's mind and spoke of a path to a portal that would lead him to another world where the darkness would gather. Link only heard the voice as soon as he grabbed a hold of it. But touching it caused Link's hands to burn, even through his gloves. The aura would scotch at his flesh very time he touched it.

'This piece…' Link whispered to himself as he examined it between his fingers. 'This piece…was once apart of that evil blade?' Link began to wonder what true power that demon sword processed. If this one piece held so much power, how deep would the whole sword's power had gone. When he saw the vision and the breaking of the demon sword, multiple energies radiated from all of the scattered pieces. It was hard for Link to even estimate its true power. It would only have started him thinking how closer, or how far off he was.

Holding the piece in hand, Link held it out towards the vast space of the Lost Woods. Waiting for a while, the forest grew silent. The birds had vanished and the sounds of running water became muted. Link only heard his breath slowly quicken, as something else was heard. Link felt the demon metal in his hands begin to burn at his flesh once more, as it began to pulse out its evil energy out into the woods. As it did, Link heard the dark voice of Soul Edge whispering throughout the forest. It sounded far, and then, as if growing closer, got louder and louder.

The piece of Soul Edge began to vibrate violently the more Link held it. Every time he did, Link felt himself going mad. He could feel the dark energy corrupting his body and soul. A burning fever would erupt suddenly within his mind, and he could feel a shadow inside him trying to take control. Link would only hold the piece for a small amount of time to only get his bearings, and then he would put it away and rest. The ordeal left him weak, both mentally and physically.

If this piece wants me to get to this place…why would it leave me in such a weaken state? Link thought, finding a nearby rock to lend against for him to rest. Link was unsure of the demon metal true intention. The dark voice kept telling him to go to the 'gathering', whatever that was, in the new world, but it kept trying to drain the life out of him.

Link was luckily though that his Master Sword kept hindering the effects of the dark energies trying to take his life. It was his only real safeguard. Link was not mentally nor physically strong enough to wield the demon metal's power without the Master Sword flittering it. Link was however strong in the magical arts to handle the demon metal. His magic abilities received a major power boost, transforming normal spells into powerful, yet dark spells.

Link reached inside his small travel bag and retrieved a bottle of red healing potion. Link popped the cork with ease and drank the sweet cheery tasting liquid too the last drop. Wiping his mouth with his sleeve, Link corked the bottle and placed it back his bag. The effect of the red potion was immediate. Link felt his lost strength return, and his purpose to continue strengthen.

Link stood up quickly and continued to walk down the path the piece of Soul Edge had shown him. Link was luckily no fiend attack while in his weaken state. A couple of times Link had the misfortune to draw out some strong beast while he used the demon metal, but, the weak monsters seemed stayed clear of him, out of fear of what he carried. The bold dare challenge him to prove their strength, yet the weak flee from him, avoiding a certain death. Was this all because of the piece of Soul Edge he carried?

When he did fight within the Lost Woods, Link felt a boost in his attacks, causing them to have an added effect on his weapon. Link remembered he once fought against a Phantom, which he slashed and disintegrated with just one attack. Link knew the Master Sword could not do something like that- phantoms were pesky creatures that could avoid damage without moving, destroying one with just a swing of a sword, even a pure sword like the Master Sword is beyond possible.

There was so much that Link had trouble believing or understanding, and every time he tried to figure it out, Link would run into a dead end. The answer was just too far out of his reach, too hard for him to understand. Link grunted heavily at his own dismay. If only he could understand what he was getting into, or the true nature of what he carried, maybe he would feel better about the whole situation he was thrust into. At less he would know if he had a choice.

After a few minutes of walking in the same direction that the metallic fragment had shown him, Link arrived at an opening in the woods, something like a clearing. The heavy load of trees that had barred his path now lay open to him. Walking into this clearing, Link froze.

A sense of dread and darkness suddenly took a hold of Link as he appeared from the trees, squeezing at his heart and burning at his soul. 'Soul Edge?' the unknown presence quickly surrounded him, and began draining Link's power and strength. Link knew this feeling all to well. This must have been the place he was meant to find; the ominous feeling confirmed it. The fragment and this dread feeling shared the same treat, there was no doubting it; the portal lay here.

Link surveyed the area for any signs of this mystic portal that was to lead him to the other world that Soul Edge wished him to travel to. But peering among the dead trees, brunt grass and haunted looking shadows, Link saw nothing but a barren piece of land, hidden amongst the living ever green trees of the Lost Wood. Link found it odd that such a large area of dead land of the Lost Woods was never stumbled upon. Link guess this dead land covered a great distance in all directions, never seemed by anyone but him.

A place hidden away, far within the depths of the Lost Woods, where no on would find, unless they knew where to go. Link was right. He had travelled the very same woods many times in his journey, and he never came across any part of the Lost Woods to be dead, or harbour such a ominous presence. Link now knew if he had not come across the demon metal, he would have become lost, just like many explores who tried to survey the forest's depths.

Being pushed by an unseen force, Link walked further into the dead land before him. Passing the first dead tree, Link touch at its bark, which crumble into ash the moment his hands touch it. The grass he stepped on also crumbles, turning into dust and powder. There was no life here Link could feel it. Every ounce of life was gone, sucked dried leaving the land a hollow shell. If this placed truly harbour such a dark feeling like Soul Edge, Link knew that something was housed here.

Link continued to walk, still feeling like he was being lead by unseen forces. He felt a strong feeling hook into his gut and practically lead him further into the dead land, even against his will. There was no sounds made here or nearby, beside the sound of crumbling dried up grass under Link's boots.

'What have I gotten myself into…' Link whispered as he examined the new parts of this barren land. He was continuity lead further and further into the barren land, where the presence of Soul Edge grew stronger. Link felt more and more of his strength leave him the more he was lead into the dead land. 'How much further do I have to go' Link kept asking himself, 'will I be dead when I get there?' Link joked, as more of his strength was sapped away. He laughed a bit, but found it wasn't amusing if it actually did happen. The thought caused him to remain in silence as he continued to be lead.

After a while, and with little remaining life he had left in him, Link suddenly collapsed to his knees. Link remained kneeling with his head sunk into his chest, regaining what little he could of his lost strength. It was a useless struggle, what he could regain was just as quickly taken away by the ominous presence in this place; he was losing more strength just by staying there.

Realizing he had to get out of there, Link notice he wasn't being pulled or driven to walk anymore. Link had free moment over his body; he could leave or continue if he wanted to. Staggering to his feet, Link was about to rush off out of this desolate place and back into the evergreen forest of the Lost Woods. But standing to his feet, Link was again frozen to the spot.

Is that… the portal
Link stared at strange scenery before him, something was very off about it. The scenery was just like a normal forest, except for a neat trail and a road sign ahead. Link was unsure if what he was seeing was the portal, but the whole scenery was distorted by a watery effect. It was like he was staring into water with ripples moving across its surface.

Link contemplated whether or not to really go through the portal. What is on the other side? Where will I be? What creatures are awaiting me? Link's mind raced with a thousand questions that he could not answer or silence. Link's head throbbed quickly with the build up of questions his mind spit out. Link couldn't decide to continue and brave the new world or head back, train a bit to become stronger and resupply.

But Link didn't have a choice. Sensing Link's confused state of mind, the metallic fragment that was tucked away in Link's travel bag, gave off a dark blood red glow.

Summoned by dark power untold, Link was silence by a coming force. Link spun around, facing the direction he once travelled from. The silence of this barren part of the land was quickly broken as a furious wind began to blow. Tree limbs broke away from the trunks with little resistance and grass also broke free from the lifeless ground. Dust and small bits of derby tumbled wildly in the coming wind that snaked its way through the trees towards the unprepared warrior.

With a short amount of time, Link grabbed a hold of his Hylian shield and took cover, bracing himself for a hard impacted. Just before the impact, Link once again heard the dark evil voice of Soul Edge; he heard it calling forth the wind to him. Link's eyes narrowed, as he understood the nature of the wind, coming to push him into the portal.

'Funny…' Link hissed dryly as the wind slammed against his shield. Just as the wind was meant to do, Link could not sustain his stance and lost footing. Link fall to the ground and was blown harshly into the portal, rolling on the dust-covered ground.

Using his own shield as a brake, Link planted the edge of the Hylian Shield into the ground to stop his roll. Link felt the wind had died as soon as he passed through the portal, its goal achieve, it had no more purpose. Link picked himself off the ground, cleaned the dust from his tunic and pants, and quickly opened his travel bag to find the fragment piece of Soul Edge. Link did not grab it, but stared at it with narrowed eyes and a displease look on his face.

'Pushy…' Link again hissed coldly, as he closed the travel bag. Link stood at the beginning of a trail that seemed to lead off around a curve. Listening closely, Link could hear the faint sound of a busy settlement ahead, maybe a small town he could stop at to rest and gather information.

Link peered behind him and saw the barren land he had left behind, ripples distorting the ugly scenery. Link felt better about his forceful decision into this world; at least he wasn't getting his life drain by an unseen force, that's a good thing, he thought as he set off down the path.

Reaching the curve, Link noticed the sign he saw when he was still in his world. It had nothing on its back, and when Link tried to read what was written on the other side, his face went blank. 'What is this?'
The words written on this side of the sign were unknown to him; he had no knowledge of this text. Link raised his right hand up to one of the markings on the sign and felt it with his fingers. What is it saying?

In an automatic response, the Triforce symbol of his right hand suddenly appeared on his glove. Link watched intently as the Triforce seemed to just glow for no reason. But because his hand was still near the sign, Link notice the wording of the sign began to change. It was like the text was being rewritten into something Link could understand. After a while, the Triforce slowly faded and disappeared from his hand, leaving a readable message of the sign.

'Dead End…' Link read aloud the now readable sign. 'All that just for a dead end sign?' Link chuckle and continued down the path to the settlement. He just hoped it wasn't too far.