I walked through my house towards the sound, ready for anything. I turn a corner and immediately jump backwards into a wall when someone suddenly slashes at me. The figure is hooded, and there are eleven more people behind him. In each of their hands is a small knife with runic carvings. The only blades known to kill reapers. I’m in trouble.
Just a cut won’t kill me, but it will severely damage me. If I’m stabbed in the heart or another major organ, then it’ll be game over.
The one in front charges at me and I skillfully evade, making him stab himself in the heart with the blade. He falls to the ground, his skin shriveling up. Reapers, figures they would come for me.
I don’t exactly have a good relationship with my family. If you could call them that. All reapers are related, sort of.
Another one charges forward, using his shadow abilities to pin me to the wall. I quickly counter by summoning my own shadow, causing him to miss my heart. The knife is still in my shoulder though, and it’s sending a searing pain along my arm. I pull it out and shove it through his heart quickly. Two out of twelve.
I run down the hall, dodging shadows here and there. Till one of them wraps around my ankle and pulls me to the ground. I turn over so I land on my back. One of them dives on top of me and I struggle to keep the knife from diving into my heart. It slices against my skin a few times before I’m finally able to force it into his heart instead, just as the others catch up.
I scramble into the living room, panting heavily and bleeding all over the place. One of them rushes through the door and I use my shadow to throw him back against the wall, two more take his place. I jump away from their attacks till one grabs me from behind. I quickly slip from his grasp, causing his friend to stab him instead.
Four down. I was too slow, the fifth man had plunged his knife into my back. He twisted it and pulled it out. I fell to the ground and turned to see the eight remaining hooded figures closing in.
Stand! I need to stand! So I did, with a lot of effort, and went through the dining room back into my room. I dodged their attacks as much as I could. Once inside my room I locked the door and hurried to my closet. I dug around till I found what I was looking for. My sword. Most reapers are born with a knife, ironically it’s the only weapon that can kill us, and for some reason my knife grew into a sword, rather than a normal dagger. Which is pretty boss but also freakish.
The door flies open snapping me from my thoughts. Three of them rush at me, I slice the firsts head off and it rolls to the side. I drive my sword through the heart of the second one, he dies instantly. The third one manages to slice through my eye, partially blinding me. I swear loudly as I bring my sword down on him, cutting through his neck and chest.
I’ve lost too much blood, but there are still five left. Two more rush at me, I momentarily lose my balance and fall back causing one of them to fall forward with me, his knife digging into my leg. I cry out and shove my sword through his skull. The other lunges forward at me, I lift my sword just in time for it to run through his heart.
I can no longer move nor can I see properly. The other three start getting closer. My vision is darkening dangerously and it’s difficult to breath. One of them is about to drive his dagger through my heart when he suddenly flies back. The other two rush after their friend in shock. They grab him and teleport away.
“What the hell!? (Name) are you okay!?” It’s Staz. How did he …. No I can’t think about that right now. If I don’t get a soul, I’m going to die.
“Staz …. I need you to listen to me ….. Go to the next room ….. Behind the curtain is a door …. The key to it is under the rug ….. Bring me ….. One of the jars ….” He says a quick okay and runs off.
~~~~~~~A few hours later~~~~~~~
I awoke in a bed that was not my own. However the room around me was familiar. This is Staz’s room. So where is he? I sit up, dizziness rushing into my head. I wait for it to subside before looking myself over.
My wounds are gone. Healed completely. I remember that I asked Staz to bring me a soul, but how did he know what to do with it?
I look down at my hands, a small transparent grey smoke forms around them then vanishes. Following it was a sensation of power. A lot of power. So this is how it feels to consume a soul? Disgusting.
The door opened, causing me to look up. Staz entered. An unreadable expression on his face.
“(Name), you’re up.” I couldn’t tell if he was angry or confused or what. Which concerned me greatly.
“Yeah, why am I here?”
“Well after i opened that jar thing whatever was in it flew right into you, which produced a mystical result. You should have seen it! It was so anime, all the lights and whatnot. But like you didn't wake up. I didn’t want to leave you there, with all the dead shriveled corpses. So I brought you here.”
“What happened. Those people who were they? And what was the thing in the jar?”
I sighed, and avoided eye contact by looking down to my hands again. “They were reapers, most likely sent to kill me. And the thing in the jar was a soul. A soul is the only thing that can heal a reaper. Well a reaper wounded by a certain blade. Otherwise we heal all on our own.”
He was quiet for a long while. When I looked up at him I could almost see the gears turning in his head. Is he going to be angry? Will he feel betrayed? It’s my fault for not telling him sooner.
“So…. You’re saying you are a reaper?”
“And you’ve been one how long?”
“All my life.”
“Cool. So why are the other reapers trying to kill you?”
“It probably has something to do with the fact I left them.”
“Why did you leave?” Any other feelings he was feeling seemed to vanish, curiosity and concern were all that remained. Finally I can read him.
“Because I didn’t agree with what they were planing.”
“What were they planning?”
“Something not good in the living world. I had intended to stop them, but I couldn’t. So I started collecting souls. If I collect enough I can create a portal that will pull all the reapers from this world into…. The nothingness.”
“Wouldn’t that take you too?”
“Then it is out of the question. You can’t do that.”
“But what if it’s the only way to stop them!?”
“Doesn’t matter! You can’t just die with them! I’ll help you find another solution, but you aren’t doing that.”
I went quiet. Arguing with him would do no good. Also it would take another few years to collect enough souls. Either way it was obvious I didn’t have time for that. I can’t put him in danger though.
“It’ll be alright. I’ll win for sure.” I nodded. He was right. He stands a better chance against them than I do anyway.
“Very well. But If you’re going to help me you are going to need a weapon that can kill a reaper. Which means you’ll have to take one …. The dead ones at my house. The daggers they carried should still be there. We just have to collect them.”
“See, a plan is already coming together! But let’s eat first, then we can get to work!”
How could he be so positive right now?
I was amazed when I returned home. It was messier than I remembered. A lot of the walls had holes in them. The wood floors were severely scratched and damaged. A couple of the doors were broken off their hinges. All the furniture held obvious signs of battle. Here and there were the shrivelled corpses of the dead reapers, their daggers abandoned close by or hidden under their darkened cloaks. Staz collected them all.
Meanwhile I made my way back to my soul room, the door left ajar. I could clearly see which soul Staz had ripped down. The rest dangled quietly. I made my way over to them and gathered all that I could into a bag. As much as I disliked the idea of drinking one I knew it was still probably an important possibility.
After I feel I have gathered enough I walk back into my room. It’s the messiest and most destroyed of all the rooms. Carefully I lifted my sword from the floor and fished its sheath from the closet. I also quickly changed my clothes. Basic black jeans, a black tank top, and a leather jacket. Then I put on my combat boots. The steel toes shining against the light from the broken window.
Just as I slipped my sword into its place on my belt Staz walked in.
“I found nine.”
“Good, that should be enough.”
“You look ready to fight.” He laughed lightly.
“You never know. Also there is a very real possibility that anything could happen. It’s important to be ready.”
He nodded in understanding. “What’s in the bag?”
“Souls. I don’t want to risk dying before I’ve done everything possible to stop them.” I couldn’t hold back the sadness in my voice. These souls were so precious.
“Do you want me to carry it?”
I thought his suggestion over before nodding slowly. “That would be helpful, yes.”
“I guess we better set out then?” And at that we left. Our destination? The one place nobody ever dares to travel.