When I woke, I found myself in a place void of light. The darkness was overwhelming. I could feel it deep down in my soul. There was no love, no hope just complete darkness.
I tried to move, but I felt as if something was holding me down. I looked all around, but I couldn’t see anything. My eyes hadn’t adjusted to the lack of light. If they had, I might have seen him approaching me. All I could see was a shadow. I didn’t know if I could speak out of fear of the unknown. What was he I thought? I thought I had seen the shadow smile if that were possible.
“Who are you? Where am I?” I couldn’t believe I could speak even though my voice must have sound weak and feeble to him.
“I am The Shadow King, the Lord of The Shadow Realm and you are my slave.” he laughed. “You are weak now, but that will change. You cry over your family. It’s pathetic. I brought you here to give you a chance. A chance to return to your loved ones. You miss them don’t you?”
He answered without giving me a chance to reply.
“You miss them because you are weak, but you do not know or realize how much darkness is in your heart. You will make a great slave.”
“But how will I get back to my loved ones, if I am your slave!” I thought about Maurelle. I knew Maurelle was in pain. I couldn’t lose her. I couldn’t lose them. Where were my kids? What happened to them? There had been too much loss in my life. “I will not lose her! I will not lose them” I thought about the first time I saw her. How beautiful her wings glistened in the sunlight. She has been my light in my darkest of days but something tells me my darkest days are yet to come.
The Shadow King enter my prison. “You have done well my slave. You have succeeded in your second task, but there are many more to come. Are you sure you’re strong enough to be useful?” He laughed “For a weak mortal you have done well. I am preparing great things for your return.”
I looked at him exhausted. Not knowing if I can continue but knowing I had to see my family again. How were they? How much time had passed? I worried about them every second of every day.
“Now my slave.” The Shadow King glared at me.
I hated when he called me his slave.
“You will gain special powers in this next task. You will gain the power of throwing flames and you will also be able to force people away from you.” The Shadow King smiles his plan was working. “You will also be able to teleport. Just remember that I am your master. Do you understand me slave? You want to see your precious fairy again don’t you?”
I agreed though I had my doubts. “Yes, master.” I wanted to see Maurelle again. I wanted to hug my children again. In the back of my mind I had always wondered if The Shadow King would keep his word and release me. It made little sense. Why would he train me and give me these powers? I could become stronger than him.
“You will have to lead your own army of souls against my army.” The Shadow King laughs “You will have one month to train your army.” He smirks “You will need this month. Your army has never fought before. They are weak just like you are slave. This will be harder for you than you can imagine. You will fight for control over the dark castle. My army will destroy you.” He smiles “My souls will eat your soul when I win.”
The Shadow King waved his hand, and I took to the castle The Shadow King spoke of. The castle looked abandoned. It was black with soot as if a fire had destroyed it. The walls looked as if Ivy had grown up the sides of the castle at one time but now only a dead vine wrapped around the castle. “I guess nothing grows here.”
My army comprised 100 men. They were the weakest men I have ever seen. I had a lot of work to do. I tried to teach them how to fight with a sword, however some of them couldn’t even lift the sword. They ran each morning and then lifted weights and did kinesthetics. I know they cursed me, but I needed to strengthen them. I needed to motivate them.
I again tried to teach them how to sword fight. Half of them still could not lift the sword. I smiled as I got an idea. Those who could lift the sword to train further. The others had another week of fitness training. Maybe they would never be able to lift a sword. This was a horrible army.
As for my warriors those who could wield the sword after two weeks of training they were ready. We practice attacking each other and learning how to defend ourselves. I knew I would not win. The Shadow King had given me the weakest army of souls he had. I had to train them but they were still his souls. This made no sense. What did The Shadow King want? Why were they fighting for me and not him? How was I going to get back to my family and be his slave? The darkness from being down in The Shadow Realm ate away at me. I believed I could become stronger than him. Could I take it over and make him my slave? As these thoughts came to me, I could feel the darkness taking its hold on me. My skin became red. At first it was light but as time went on, it became darker and darker.
We were ready. I wanted to have them ride into battle on horseback. We spend a week learning how to ride and learning how to attack while riding. With four days left before the battle I ran them through several exercises until the night before the battle.
The night before the battle, The Shadow King came. “Tomorrow is the battle mortal.” He laughed “I hope you’re ready. My army is the strongest of all the worlds. Surely you will lose. My army comprises 1,000 souls. So, how are you going to win.” He smirked as he said this.
I tried to hid my fear. How was I going to defeat this army? I became angry. This was my last chance to see my family. I couldn’t lose. But how am I supposed to win? I thought of Maurelle, my little fairy and my kids. I needed to be there for them.
The Shadow King stood early the next morning on the battlefield walking in front of his army. He spoke to them but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. “Prepare yourselves for death.” He looked to the sky and smiled. I saw the smile and wondered what it was he was looking at. The Shadow King knew his plan was working. He walked off and seemed to vanish as he did. This seemed to mark the start of the battle.
As the fighting began it was obvious how weak my army was. I lost half of my army the first day. We only killed five of his archers. How were we supposed to get up and fight tomorrow? Night came and went and once again we were on the battlefield feeling less confident than we did yesterday.
As the battle rages on more of my men have fallen. I have lost all hope and wanted to give up. Something came swooping down at me as I looked to the sky. I couldn’t tell what it was. A flash of black and red shot across the sky. I seemed like the same demon that took my dad’s clone away. Members of The Shadow King army disappeared. This darkness came across the sky and would swoop down a grabbed them and took them. I do not understand where they took of what it did with them.
The Shadow King appeared before me. “You are lucky mortal. This creature helped you or you would have been defeated.”
I looked at him exhausted from the battle. I could feel the sores on my body as I ached. “And why has this creature helped me? It has helped me before.”
“You do not know this creature but she knows you.” He paced “She is a vampire. One of Marius’s vampires.” He neglected to say this vampire was also his own wife. “I captured her and left her for you to find. She messed with my battle and cost me my victory. She must pay. Which leads me to your next task. I have taken this vampire. You better move or she will die!”
“She’s a vampire. She’s already dead. Why would I care about a vampire?” The darkness was affecting me. My eyes had a hint of red in them and my face I could feel it getting warm. My once ivory complexation reddened. At first only Matthew could see the differences in himself.
“I didn’t ask you if you cared. I gave you a command and expect you to follow it!” And with that The Shadow King waved his hand and teleported Matthew to the woods.
I woke in the woods. My eyes were not adjusted to the absence light. I couldn’t see as it was so dark. I listened hoping to figure out where I was but I couldn’t hear anything. The sound of the wind rustling in the trees, the sound of animals scurrying on the ground, none of these sounds could be heard. All of could hear was this ringing in my head. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I looked at my surroundings. Everything was dead. The leaves, the plants, and the trees all dead. I looked around for someone who could help me but I realized just how dead this place was. Then I laughed to myself “The Shadow King knows I can control people now. That’s why there are no people here. I’m getting stronger and he knows it. You pathetic god, I will defeat you. I will be stronger than you.”
I felt like I had been searching for this vampire for years. I saw the change of days and seasons. I trudged through snow, rain, wind and ice. I was not thinking I was just going through the motions. I had lost all hope and I was about to give up when I saw a shadow moving before me. “What are you? Show yourself!” I never saw its face. It spoke in a deep echoing voice. At first I had to cover my ears as I was not used to hearing anything. It had been so quiet for so long.
The shadow spoke “I am not the one who saved you but I will be the one who stops you. You will be defeated and you will never save your vampire.”
I looked at him with a curious gaze. “My vampire what do you mean but that demon?”
He laughed “You know nothing and you will fail.” And with that the shadowy figure was gone.
I looked around again and there was still nothing. Everything was still dead. The first week I searched the woods. It was a strange feeling walking amongst a dead forest. The only sounds I could hear were that of my heart beating and the sounds of my feet crushing the dead leaves with each step. As I walked, I noticed that the forest was changing. Nothing was the same, and I felt hopeless.
The shadow came back. “I told you. I told you you won’t succeed. You will fail. You think you’re stronger than my master but you are not. Do you give up mortal?”
I was angered by this demon. “I am stronger than him and one day I will be your mast and his!” I was so angry that my words spit out of me like fire. My skin was turning redder, and I wondered what I would do when I found my family. What would Maurelle think of me if she saw my skin? I need to hid this from her. It would scare her. I tried to control my skin tone and calm myself. The stronger I am the more powers I have and then no one will stop me. I could hid the way I look from Maurelle and protect her. I will rule all the realms and she will be by my side.
Now to find this vampire. I thought he would have placed her in a dark spot. Thinking myself rather silly for searching for this vampire during the day. I slept during the day and hunted at night.
As I walked around, I thought something was following me. I felt something breathing on my neck. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I thought I could take out whatever was about to attack me. But there was nothing there. It must have been The Shadow King taunting me but I will get the last laugh.
Even though the trees were dead, they still obstructed my view. I couldn’t see anything, I needed to climb one to get a better view. I tried to climb one tree but there was nothing for me to hold onto.
“Damn it!” I paced back and forth cursing to myself. Something I would have never done before.
I knew things would be difficult, but I needed to get back to my family. Maurelle had to be worried. I can’t imagine how she must felt.
The man I saw before was still standing over me. “Give up yet slave!” The Shadow King said.
“I will do whatever it takes to get back to them.” He laughed as I spoke.
“Do you think they would even remember you or care about you? Do you know how long you have been down here?”
I looked at him in fear. “What do you mean? How long have I been here?” My voice raised. “What did you do to Maurelle?” I stood up as if I would attack him.
“Oh my little slave. What do you think you will gain from this? I did nothing to your little fairy.” he laughed “I don’t think your fairy will even remember you. I have it on good authority that all of her loving memories of you were taken. Poor little fairy with no one who loves her.”
I grew angry. Where was Justin? I had hoped he would be with her? “Where is my son?”
“Oh the infant. So sad to grow up without a family.” He looked around making sure that Maeve wasn’t anywhere to hear what he was saying. She would hate him talking to her grandson this way. “So much concern for the baby but what of the other two?”
Matthew didn’t know what to say. He only remembered Justin and Maurelle.
I tried to calm myself down as I listened to him. What had happened to Maurelle? Where was my son? All of these thoughts, came crashing around me. “The other two? What other two?
“Your children. You have three children. How can a man forget his own flesh and blood?” He laughed.
Matthew was confused and angry.
“I guess your wife did a better job at hiding them then you realized. You will forget all of this soon enough. When he attacked you, your wife cast a spell protecting her children. What that spell did I am not at liberty to say what happened. Listen, I am giving you a chance. I was not the one who killed you and I was not the one who separated your family. I will tell you a secret.”
“What is this secret?” Matthew asked. He needed to know where his children were. As soon as Jonathan said something he knew it was true. He knew!
“This vampire who has been helping you, she is your grandmother.” Jonathan laughed again. He was having a great time tormenting Matthew.
“Yes her name is Maeve. I promised her she could help you. She’s not too happy about what I’m doing with you.”
He smiled “But she knows I am in control here.”
Matthew was confused “Why would you even let her help? What does it matter what she thinks?”
The Shadow King smiles “Your grandmother is an amazing woman. And this is what you will forget when you leave here. She is my wife, and she’s also a vampire. When your father was a baby, she was bitten. She couldn’t take care of him and the town ran her out. Hunter turned on her. You are her family, and she will do anything for her family.”
“What of my kids? Who are they? Where are there?”
“I only know where Justin is. Not the other two. Magic works in strange ways. Justin was with you and your wife when the attack occurred. Maeve and Maurelle were protecting him. The other two had to rely on your wife’s magic.”
“Why weren’t they with us? Where were they?”
“All in good time. There are questions that I can’t even answer.”
As The Shadow King left, I knew I had to find Maeve. This was the first time I told her name out loud. “Maeve?” I heard stories of her but now I know they were all lies. They said she became deathly ill when my father was a baby and died. Maurelle must have protected our kids from memory so her father wouldn’t attack them but where are they? Where is Maurelle? He needed to push these thoughts out of his mind to focus. “I need to get out of here first and find Maeve. Then I will find all of you I promise. My little fairy.”
I thought of the demon. It could fly. If I could capture it and make it work for me, it will search for the vampire for me. I called to it, “Demon I command you to come!”
The demon appeared behind me. “I do not answer to you! You are nothing mortal!”
I laugh and turn around to see the demon. I grew angry listening to it. My skin became redder. “You think you can beat me demon? You think yourself better than me?”
“I know I am!” The demon growled.
How I could control him? Defeating him was easy but controlling I was not sure about. He needed to help me find Maeve. I thought of how The Shadow King controlled people. He had souls. I smiled at the demon. “Give it your best shot!”
The demon charged at me with its claws out. As it reached me I allowed it to attack. His claws sank into me. It caused pain so I screamed. I thought it wouldn’t hurt. I thought he could not hurt me. As he pulled his claws out of me to strike again, a strange sensation came over me. I looked at my skin and then looked up at the Demon.
“Is that all you got?” My wounds healed and I groaned as they did.
“Now are you done playing?” I wasn’t sure what I would do to the demon, I thought of The Shadow King and his souls and wondering if this demon even had a soul. If it did, maybe I could control it.
At first I tried to pull his soul from him. As I held his soul in my hands I looked down at his lifeless body. It was now just a hollow shell. I was impressed with myself. I hadn’t known I could do that but now how to use this to help me find Maeve?
“Well this didn’t work out the way I planned but it’s still awesome.” I smiled knowing I had beat the demon. I knew now what I had suspected earlier. The Shadow king will be defeated. Each one of these tasks were strengthening me, and he thought he could control me.
With the soul still in my hands, I cut my hand and dripped the blood, my blood on his soul. I then attached his soul back to his body. “Now you are mine. I have marked your soul.” I had seen the shadow king do this many times before.
The demon stands up and looks at me, “Yes master.”
I smiled as he said “Master!” I knew I would win now. I knew my power would exceed The Shadow King’s power and I knew I would take over his realm and all the realms. Now to find Maeve.
“Demon, take me to the vampire!”
The demon took my hand, and we flew up high. The wind rushed past me as we flew. Higher and higher we rose until we came to a cave. “So this is where you’re hiding her?”
The demon looked at me and spoke with almost no feeling or expression to his voice. “Yes master.” He pointed for me to go inside.
“Stay here demon. You are mine now.”
He nodded his head in agreement.
I walked into the cave at first I couldn’t see anything being the cave was so dark. I felt a presence.
There was a voice, “So you figured it out.”
I jumped as I heard this voice and turned around. “Who is there? Show yourself?”
As I looked around my eyes adjusted to the darkness. There standing before me was a beautiful woman. Her bright red hair lay in stark contrast to her pale porcelain skin. She was beautiful. I thought of my fairy and smiled thinking of her and her beauty. I looked at this woman again and came to my sense. “You’re Maeve?”
“And you found me.” She smiled
“Yes I did and now tell me why I should even care about you?” I wanted to hear her story. The Shadow King told me she was my grandmother, but I wanted to hear it from her.
This still seemed strange. She was beautiful. How could she be my grandmother? “How is this possible? You’re a vampire! And you looked, well you look hot for a grandmother.”
Maeve smiled “Well I am. I was turned when your father was just a baby.”
I said the words over to myself and then out loud. “My grandmother. So you were married to Hunter.” I couldn’t stomach this I hate that man.
“He wasn’t always like this. I know how you hate him. A long time ago, he was a good man. He was a loving husband and a good father. But that was a long time ago. Everything changed after Marius turned me. He couldn’t even look at me. All the love he had for me was gone. Every time he looked at Hunter he saw me. He didn’t want to hold him. When the town turned on me, he took Hunter from me and he let them attack me. They burnt our house down.”
Matthew never heard this story before. “Then you hate him as much as I do?”
Maeve nodded, “I have plans for him. But why do you hate him?”
“He never cared for me or my kids. Why should I care for him?”
“I can’t answer that for you. That is something you must come to terms with on your own.”
“So this leads me to you. Why help me?” He looked at her trying to be strong and show her how brave he was but his heart was racing. He always wondered what his grandmother was like but here she is now looking amazing. She didn’t look a day over 30. This was all so new to him.
“You’re my family. Like I said before, I couldn’t be there for Alexander or you. But I can be there now!”
She looks at him. She is worried about him. “I hope you can control the Demon. He is very dangerous.”
He laughs, “He is a monster… I can control monsters… it is under my control.”
She looks shocked, “So you are in control here then. The Shadow King will not be happy. He gave me these orbs. You can place them in different place all throughout Majestica. They will help spread the Demon’s darkness, but I beg you not to use them. Matthew I fear for you. You seem different.” She was worried for him. “There is enough for each section of Majestica. I guess it is better if you control Majestica than The Shadow King, but please don’t fall into the temptation that the darkness offers.”
“I have to do this.” He teleports Maeve and himself to Majestica and places the orbs. “The Shadow King controls me so if I control Magista it’s him controlling it.” He didn’t want to tell Maeve about his powers or his thoughts of overthrowing The Shadow King for fear she will stop him.
She was worried, but she knew Matthew didn’t have a choice and neither did she. “I know he has a strong hold on you. Matthew you need to break his hold over you. I know this will be difficult. I have been trying to break free from Marius ever since I was turned.”
“You must have been sad when you left your family. I know this feeling well. I would do anything to get back to mine.”
“However I can help you, I will. I couldn’t help Alexander or Hunter but I will do my best to help you.”
“The Shadow King told that you to help me till my 8th task… he won’t let you stay more… Marius will he be mad if The Shadow King keeps you as his slave?”
“I know he will. My whole life I have watched my family suffer and could do nothing to stop it. Just remember that there are people fighting for you and that love is not a weakness but a strength.”
“I have to remember that… thank you Maeve. My love for my family is keeping me going.” He said.
“Matthew all my life I wanted to get to know you. So this has been my pleasure. I only wish I could do more.”
“I wish that too.” He smiled and hugged her.