Chapter 1

Visit from Death

He stared in wonder and fear though he didn't show it to the strange visitor who stood before him in the throne room of the Dark Castle Auguste. The strange visitor was paler than anything he had ever seen yet he could tell that he wasn't a vampire, his hair was so much whiter than snow it couldn't be seen against his skin and his eyes were as black as the hooded cloak he wore, which was darker than night.

"Are you the Duke Dumas? The one who defeated Ratatosk?" the stranger asked "I am." The vampire replied "I'm Akira, though you would probably know me better as Death, the Grim Reaper." His guest said "You came to take my life then?" Dumas asked. Akira shook his head "You think wrong at hearing the name I give. The way I work is the one who is to die sees me while in the midst of a crisis and is killed or is dying of natural reason." He explained.

The Duke stood from his seat and went to the being "Then why have you come?" he asked in a demanding tone "I was sent by the Creator itself to relay an order to you." Akira replied "The Creator? Who is he?" Dumas asked "Actually, the Creator is neither male nor female. But you may use any reference you see fit." The other replied "I want to know what business brought you here to my castle." The Duke demanded "Good thing you do, because I want to leave. I'll be honest, this place is beyond gloomy." Akira said.

A sudden outburst of laughter caught the attention of both occupants and they looked to see a light purple winged cat wearing a white pilot's suit, a light blue scarf and sunglasses on its head. Dumas cleared his throat loud enough for the cat to hear and it suddenly quieted down "Forgive me my Lord." It said "I should think so, Perrault." He replied "I don't think you trained her enough." Akira said with a smile and Dumas looked back at him annoyed "Can you just tell me what I'm supposed to be doing please?" he asked.

The Grim reaper sighed "Fine, sorry." He said and took his hood off his head revealing that his hair fell to his shoulders in layers "The order I have for you from the Creator is-" Dumas stopped him "Could you not call it an order please? I don't really take orders from anyone anymore, incase you haven't noticed." He said "Wrong, you take them from me, Fate and the Creator. But, if you're that uncomfortable with it being said like that I'll just say it's a mandatory mission." Akira offered "Deal." The Duke agreed.

"Okay than. Duke Dumas, your mandatory mission with which you are bestowed with in the name of the governing forces of the Universe is to go to a Dimension that was prior to this one. Beyond the city of Acuna there will be a Dimensional Gate that will take you there, it opens at midnight tonight and will only remain open for five minutes before you go through. Once you step through, you'll only have a half hour to get to your destination and get back." Akira said "Or what? And you didn't tell me what I'm supposed to be doing." Dumas said.

"What will happen if you don't finish within the allotted time is you'll remain there for eternity. What you must do is go to a dead city called Istrakan and find Dark Castle, there is a stupid woman there who calls herself the Queen of Darkness and she has two children with her. One is currently dying because it was imbedded with a serious amount of Dark Matter, you need to go there and bring the child back before it dies and you're stuck there. Understood?" Akira said "Yes. But what happens to me if I don't?" Dumas asked.

Akira reached behind his neck "I had a feeling you'd ask that question. So," he pulled a strange pendent from around his neck and a light emitted from it and the pendent became a scythe "I had this with me. What will happen, Duke Dumas if you refuse is that you will pay for the child's life with yours. Now do you accept or not?" Akira said. Dumas looked at the scythe, his gaze set on the blade and he saw the images of many instead of his own reflection "It's frightening, isn't it?" he heard Death say.

Akira himself looked into the blade "You see the images of the many souls I have harvested over many years. I think one you should be more familiar with is this one." He passed his hand over the steel and Dumas stumbled backwards catching himself before he fell. In the arched blade he saw a man with black hair and gray eyes "Yes, I've collected the very soul of the Guild leader Trinity. He was a friend of yours wasn't he?" Akira said "He- he wasn't supposed to die! Why?" the Duke asked "He made a noble deal with me." Akira answered.

Dumas took the neck of Akira's coat and glared into his black eyes "You bastard! That wasn't meant to happen! Give him his life back!" he demanded. Hearing this made the Reaper smile "I will, if you follow through with the mission. Do so and Trinity will rise again, but I can't say when. Just let me run it by a couple of friends of mine, but you must do what you are told." He said. Dumas glared at him for a few moments then released him "Fine, I'll do it." He sighed.

Akira changed his scythe back into a pendent and reattached it around his neck "Very good, I'll tell the Creator. Remember the conditions Dumas, or it'll cost you greatly." Akira said and disappeared into the darkness. Perrault floated to Dumas' side "My Lord, are you certain you should go through with this?" she asked "I am. I… owe Trinity greatly now that I know he's dead." The Duke Replied "It's almost midnight, should we be going?" she asked "Yes, come Perrault." Dumas said and left the castle.