• I walked slowly, drained of energy. This journey had taken a lot out of me, almost to the point of death. But I couldn't die, I proved that today. Something wet and warm rolled down the side of my face. Blood? My hand went to it, wetting the tip of my finger with the substance. Pulling my hand away, I inspected it. It was a tear, which shocked me more than the idea of blood. I shook my head and continued walking, each step bringing agony throughout my body. My mind wandered to the events that led up to my current predicament. I had gone through a lot, lost a lot as well. However, what really started all this was a demon by the name of Soth, who opened my eyes to the ways of the world. I will never forget his last words before I killed him, which he seemed to look forward to. He said 'you cannot wait for peace to come; you have to meet it halfway through.' At the time, I didn't know what it meant, or how it would affect me. Sighing, I looked forward. I was in the middle of nowhere. I wasn't even sure if I was in the same dimension anymore. My mind unconsciously went back to the beginning, before all of the corruption, betrayal and death. My vision blurred, and I was back again.

    The day started off as any other. I was trying to train my abilities, but failing horribly at it. For some reason, it felt that when I got closer to uncovering my potential, something forced me away. I tried again to form the energy between my hands. The shadows around me went between my hands that were in the position that resembled holding a ball. It was small, insignificant, but it was there. The shadows formed a solid mass, spinning fast enough for me to see the airflow around it. I tried putting more energy into it, but the ball wavered and ultimately disappeared. I growled in frustration, but stood up from my sitting position and stretched. I should have been used to failure by now. I checked myself for any injuries, but saw none. Straightening my trench coat, I headed off in a random direction. I was a traveler, a stranger. I went to villages and stayed one night, then left. No one knew me; no one wanted to know me. Well, after they learned my name they didn't. When I told them my name was Diro, they attitudes changed to something more hateful. I didn't care, let them hate me. It didn't bother me any to know that no one wanted anything to do with me. I checked my surroundings. I seemed to be in a forest, but the trees had dawned a blue tint to their leaves and bark; evidence of a magical being occupying this forest. I didn't care, nor did they. As long as I didn't hurt the forest in any way, they never seemed to show themselves. However, I felt a strange presence, that of a demon. Shaking the feeling off, I continued walking. It wasn't long before I arrived at a lake, filled with clear water. I kneeled by it, cupping my hands to gather water. After a few handfuls, I looked at my reflection. Silver hair hid crimson eyes, but not fully. Small slits of crimson stared lifelessly back through the reflection. I was well-toned; muscle wise, no obscene bulges that made man look like monstrous, but define muscle. I wore all black, aside from a shirt, which I did not own. I wore a trench coat that reached my calves, black, baggy pants, held up by a black belt with an imp skull for a belt buckle. I didn't wear shoes either. I looked like what most humans would call a dark mage. The only exception was that I had a soul. I lost count of my real age, learning early in my life that I was immortal, never aging past what appeared to be twenty one. Grinning, I inspected my teeth. They were fangs, all sharp to a point, easily able to tear through flesh and bone. A presence made me stop my self-examination. It was all around me, yet nowhere at the same time. Standing, I looked around curiously, seeking the source of the unusual energy. Seeing nothing, I turned back to the lake. A small sound made me look back. A small mass of silver was slowly growing approximately five yards away. It grew alarmingly fast, growing three times as large in a matter of seconds. It took on the form of a man, its growth capping at seven feet tall. It was grotesquely muscular, making it look brute-like. "I... am... Sloth. The... Silver... Immortal" it spoke slowly, deliberately and with purpose. "Uh-huh..." I said boredly. Sloth seemed a bit taken aback by my monotone answer. He remained passive, however, regaining his composure. "Fayth Azurath... you... have… a difficult... decision... to make... in... the... near future." he said calmly. This time it was me taken aback, actually taking a step back into the lake. The cool water seemed welcoming, as if it was beckoning me into it. "Be... not alarmed..." Sloth reassured me. "The... gods... told me… to find you... and... warn you." he said. I regained my composure and took a step forward. "Warn me of what?" I asked, narrowing my eyes. "Of... the darkness... inside of you." I growled at him, crouching low to the ground. "You lie, demon." I growled out. "I don't...wish to... fight" Sloth said, his body growing ridged. "Too bad, ‘cause I do." I spat. "Before I kill you, listen here, Azurath. You cannot wait for peace to come, you have to meet it halfway." he said. I snarled, ignoring the statement and pounced at him. Sloth sidestepped and punched me hard in the stomach as I went passed him. I staggered forward, coughing. I felt something hit me at the base of the spine, sending me to the ground. Winded, I stood to face my opponent. Catching my breath quickly, I lunged at Sloth again, faking a kick, and then following it with a punch. Sloth grabbed my fist and flung me effortlessly to the side. My neck hit a rock, snapping it. A surge of pain ripped throughout my body, every sense screaming in protest at the feeling. I closed my eyes, feeling something crush my windpipe. Unable to draw breath, my consciousness slowly started to fade. A small voice, everywhere, yet nowhere, echoed. "You're weak" the voice sounded female, yet male at the same time. "You need to be stronger. Let me help" with the last of my air, I let out a struggled agreement. Something crashed against my stomach, I felt something burst, I think it was my stomach. Warm blood seeped out of my mouth, pooling about my face. "Give yourself to me." the voice echoed again before I lost consciousness. Instantly, a surge of anger rushed throughout my system. Bones reknitted together, flesh quickly reformed where it was torn. I slowly stood, opening my eyes slowly. The blood on the ground turned to ash, being picked up in the wind. "Sloth... it's my turn" I said in a voice not quite my own. Shadows swirled around my feet, slowly crawling up my pants. The feeling overcame my body, the shadows burning into my flesh. There was no pain, just a feeling of completion. I growled at Sloth, who seemed unafraid of me. I launched myself at him, my speed increasing rapidly. Catching him off guard, I grabbed his left arm and wrenched it around in its socket, it crunched, popping out of place. Placing one hand on his side, I pulled the arm clean off, silver blood following it in an arc. My hand went through his side, crunching as it did so. I pulled my hand up, cutting up his side to his neck. Kicking him away, I jumped back to regain my balance, landing in a low crouch, one hand down in front of me to further balance myself. Slowly, bone grew from the emptiness that was Sloth's shoulder. Veins, nerves, muscle and skin grew together around the bone; his side reknit together. The silvery blood that had touched the ground turned to ash and was swept away in the wind. I looked down at my hand; it was covered in shadow and had turned paw-like. It seamlessly turned to sharp claws at the top. I growled low, tensing my muscles as Sloth tested the new appendage that had grown. I pounced at him, colliding and pinning him down. He struggled, trying to throw me off as I took a chunk of his flesh out of his neck. 'Eat his soul' the voice murmured in my head softly. I lifted one hand and shifting the other one to the center of his chest to keep him down, I clawed open his abdomen. Plunging my hand into the gash I made, I clenched something almost water-like. 'Pull it out' the voice instructed. I ripped my hand out, a thin mist clenched in my fist. It wrapped around my arm, burning it. 'Eat it' the voice cooed. I opened my mouth and inhaled the spirit. It burned my throat as it went down, but I felt stronger, healthier than I had ever been. Sloth's body turned to ash and the wind swept it away, the ash disintegrating in the air. I stood slowly, feeling the power from the fight leave my body and the shadows slowly melt away. 'Very good.' the voice cooed. 'That is only the beginning of your power.' it said as the world slowly faded away in a gray haze. Wilted flowers slowly sprung up beneath my feet, stretching endlessly as the trees faded. The sky turned black, the air seeming to become thicker, making it hard to draw in breath. My eyes slowly adjusted to the dim light in the area. I became aware of a figure standing not far off from where I stood. “Hello, Diro” it said calmly in the voice that had instructed me in the fight with Sloth.