I let out a shriek. Whatever was here was far too large to be a rodent. I attempted to scramble up the wall, but of course, all that achieved was to bring more dirt clods raining down on my head.

"What?" I heard something croak.

"What?" I echoed back, shocked. Who would expect to find a person down here? The voice was undeniably human, undeniably hoarse, yes, but it was human.

They were so filthy I could barely differentiate mud from person.

"Are you a prisoner too?" I asked, as the person rose against the other side of the wall.

"Yes," came the shaky reply, " but I've been here so long they've forgotten me."

It was not a man; I could tell that much from the voice. But to whether it be a youth or a girl, I could not say.

"What's your name?"

"Malhariena," I gave my full name.

"And yours?"


"Well, happy to meet you. I wish it was only under better circumstances," I said jovially, but inside I felt afraid. Of this priestess, of this fate, of the unknown. I had journeyed far from Draestin's tower and I believed I still had a way tog go.

I didn't want to die in some filthy pit. I simply wouldn't allow that to happen. I couldn't, I had promised Lance I'd return. And, after all, I didn't want to die even if I wasn't in some filthy pit.

"Did you meet her?" the girl asked, and I immediately knew whom she meant. The Priestess.

"Yes. Does she have soul, or is she insane?" I asked.

"I don't know. I was put here because I didn't die. But I don't know why I didn't; I was just as shocked as they were. I'm nothing special, but they threw me in here and forgot me."

I stared at the girl; this was too much of a coincidence.

"I didn't die either," I said, "and she said she knew of someone who could have me. Did she say the same to you?"

"No, she told me I awaited the time when my sight would come, and a demon should dwell in my heart. But she spoke gibberish. I am not blind; I already had my sight.

"You are the sight, " I whispered, and odd feeling arose in my stomach. "And there shall come a sword."

"What?" asked …, but I was beyond hearing.

"The Sight and the sword shall unite."


Someone with my body stands next to a blonde man. They are speaking to each other, and smiling.

I am no one, trapped in a void-like existence. I have fear and rage. I am not myself. They leave, and I am left alone.


My body walks to a balcony, and waves to the people gathered below, thronged in, all clamoring for a view. And the man stands behind, simply watching.

I wait, for there is nothing else. There is only void.


"Riena?" I turn to a voice behind me, and there is Iana. Her hair is golden. John's with her, and I am glad to see the pain of death gone from his countenance.

My husband takes my hand, and I smile at him, for now that she is gone, we are at peace.

Even the land itself feels better: more vibrant, more alive. And it brings me peace to see it thus.

"Shall we go to the lake?" I ask, and with general consent, we go.

It is nice to feel safe in one's home.


"Aaira. The troops are ready to move. The night flower is ripe, and there is a strong tide of magic in the air this eve."

"Go then, and conquer!" After my victory over my homeland, the rest of the countries were ripe for the picking. I vowed I'd have them all.

No one would be able to stop me, and I greatly enjoyed my new form. It was lighter than my old, and younger.

The dark Queen had come again to power, and this time, my reign would be for eternity.


I shivered and slumped against the edge of the pit prison. … was asking repeatedly if I was well. I waved her away, trying to regain a memory of what I'd seen. It was hazy, but I could remember a distinct feeling of victory. It had been her, the Dark queen, and a terrible, terrible sense of wickedness ran through me. Part of me, at least.

The other half rejoiced.