I can sense it. Their fear. It overwhelms them whenever they hear the rattle of my chains echo through the Tartarus halls. Their informant warns them in terror of my presence, and when they hear my chains, their cautious pace immediately breaks into a run as they look for the closest way out. They know who I am, and they know what would happen if I were to catch up. But really, they need not be afraid. They are still alive, so they are of no concern to me. My business is the Shadows they destroy. I am the Reaper, so I must go and reap the defeated shadows. It is only because I follow their trail of destruction that they believe I am chasing them. But I don't mind being feared; they should fear me.

"Be careful! I sense Death!"

Yes, that is who I am. I am Death, the unavoidable fate of all living things, brought to this world by my mother, Nyx. It is because of me that people die, even that friend of theirs with the burgundy coat. Outside of the Dark Hour, I am merely a phase of life. But inside Tartarus, I am given tangible form, and I can perform my duty to even the Shadows. So I wait patiently for the time to come, and I roam the halls of Tartarus looking for the trail I must reap. And when they lurk around a certain area too long, it is only natural that I should catch up.

They are an interesting group. I wondered why they were so determined to reach the top of Tartarus. It is not really my business, but I still like to wonder. Normally, such trivial matters wouldn't interest me, but I think it's that one person, the one they call "Leader," that really makes me interested in their little field trips. We have met eyes on several occasions, and that person doesn't look at me like the rest of the group. They are all afraid, but their Leader looks at me with determined eyes. Eyes telling me that even though they are running away now, they will surely face me in the future.

Such an impudent thought.

Still, I have to admire their Leader's bravery. Not everyone has the courage to stare Death in the face and offer a challenge. But I am much older and wiser than they, and I can see in their Leader's eyes that they know the superiority of my power. But as I roam the halls of Tartarus, I admire the trail of defeated shadows they leave behind. As someone who watched the trial from the beginning, I can see how it has changed. They are getting stronger, they are getting faster, and as the end of the first month of the year approaches, their attacks are becoming more and more desperate. I can see their determination to reach the top in the destruction they leave behind.

But now, as the day of my mother's descent draws even nearer, they face me. They waited until they heard the rattle of my chains and tracked me down. I know how strong they've become, and the look in their eyes has changed. Where there was once fear, there is now determination, much like the eyes of their Leader. They want to strike me down, as if getting rid of me would somehow help their cause. No matter. It makes no difference to me whether they fight or not. I know how the outcome will be.

For I am "Death," and I cannot reap myself.

Notes: I heard from somewhere that the Reaper will show up if you stay on a floor too long, and I suppose this little drabble is my thoughts about why that would happen. I have never fought the Reaper yet, but he has certainly captured my interest. The other story I've been working on has been going rather slowly. Hopefully this will help hold over anyone who has been waiting for it.

Anyway, thank you for reading!