CHAPTER 1:

The Nightmare of Rider

A cry cut through the silence of the battle field. a cry in vain. Even if one heard, they dared not do anything about it.

who caused all this suffering? the Nightmare. Rider Phoenix. an assassin who killed and exploited for her own pleasure. what had driven her such cruelty? none dared to find out. she left sadness and pain everywhere. she was the Nightmare that never let you awake.

The cry came from a woman. mid thirties if I am not mistaken. she had fallen down on the ground and lost the child within her womb. someone did heard the cry. someone who left fear and destruction in her wake. Rider Phoenix.

Rider walked up to the woman slowly. her long lavender hair glistened in the moonlight. making it look silver. the hilt which carried her swords hung at both sides of her waist. a Katana was strapped to her back. the woman stared at the assassin. Glowing Sea green met terrified pale blue. Rider stood in front of her and stared her down. the woman faced her terrified, yet, unafraid.

"Have you come to finish my family off?" the woman cried in anguish. Rider raised an eyebrow.

"Your family? who of your family might I have killed?"

forgetting to whom she spoke, the woman screamed.

"MY FAMILY! You killed my father and my father-in-law. my husband swore revenge and you killed him. you also killed my two adolescent sons. now you have killed an unborn. my baby is dead…"

"You're the one who miscarried. so don't blame me. I kill those who fight me and defy me. that was their decision."

The woman fell on her knees and wept. Rider stared at her.

"Finish me!" the woman whispered. "My family has caused me this pain. I have defied you."

Rider closed her eyes and knelt beside her.

"I don't kill those who admit their faults. so start a new family." The woman's head shot up.

"HOW?!"

Rider stood up and pulled the woman up with her. she turned her head.

"BLACK DRAZIN!" a piercing shriek boomed and the sky of Liehood became black. A terrifying black phoenix appeared and soared towards her mistress. the phoenix landed right in front of the woman and Rider. The woman looked at Rider.

"Ms. Phoenix?"

Rider looked at her,

"My name is Tifra. Tifra Cloudnine."

Suddenly she heard a cry. a baby's cry. Tifra's pale eyes widened with shock. Rider jumped onto Black Drazin and picked up something with, as Tifra realised in shock, great care and affection. Rider jumped down and handed a bundle to Tifra. Tifra stared. it was a baby.

"It's a boy. I named him Cloud. I wished not for him to have the same name as I. he is an orphan. I want you to start a new family with him. however, I wish that you will tell him and his descendents about who saved his life. is that understood?"

Tifra looked at Rider teary eyed. "Quite. I will do as you say! you destroyed my last family and have given me a new one. my family owes you anything you ask." Rider nodded and stared at Cloud for half a minute. then at his new mother.

"Go." and she went. Rider stared after her for a second then jumped back onto Black Drazin's back. the black phoenix shrieked once then took off. neither knowing what awaited them. neither cared.

however they should have. for one would meet her doom. when they arrived at Teapho they were greeted by an enemy. Ranvalf Domin. Rider jumped off Black Drazin and stared Ranvalf in the eye.

"What are you doing here?" Ranvalf made no reply. Black Drazin spread her wings, ready to defend her mistress, when,

"Black Drazin, you're free." The phoenix stared at who had been her mistress for 13years. "I said you're free. now go!" The phoenix blinked, bowed her head to her former mistress and took off. never to be seen by her mistress again.

Ranvalf watched this with his crimson eyes. Crimson met Sea Green as Rider turned her attention to him.

"What are you doing here?" Ranvalf made no reply. Rider sighed.

"Once good friends, now sworn enemies. what changed you?" Ranvalf broke the eye lock and turned towards the direction Black Drazin had left.

"I discovered a source called peace. that source makes one feel whole. Peace, however, will never reign with an assassin around. I'm sorry to have to say that your ways…"

"Are wrong? I heard that by so-called 'Do Goods' all my life. I'm afraid it's a little late for that. I loved you, but I cannot love you any longer." Crimson locked with sea green in an instant.

"Why? I have never stopped loving my old friend. I must destroy you. however. I will always love you."

Rider's gaze somehow softened.

"You always did have a way with words. I can't love the old friend I once knew. I love the man who is worthy to put me where I belong." with that the battle began.

Swords clashed against each other time and time again. neither lost their footing, though, they didn't seem getting anywhere either. suddenly, Ranvalf hit Rider with a katana she'd never seen him use before. It struck her, causing her arm to bleed a bit. she fell to the ground.

"What is that?"

"The sword of Draz. it gives it user enough power to rid themselves of their enemies." Rider got onto her knees and as she began to get up, she stared.

"And how, old friend, did you get your hands on such a beauty?"
"I saved a man whom you supposedly killed. he went home to his wife, two adolesent sons and an unborn. He gave me directions to its location." Rider jumped up and looked at him wildly. "Although it seems you've destroyed his family."

"His sons had it coming. his wife miscarried and blamed me for it. I spared her because I needed someone to look after Cloud." Ranvalf raised an eyebrow.

"Cloud?"

"An orphan I found by the the river. I didn't kill his parents. I was looking after him with difficulty. I gave him to Tifra because I know she will obey my wishes."

"I see." Caught off guard, Rider swung her katana at him. only, he was on guard. he dodged and the battle raged on, until.

"AAAAAAAAAHHH!" The sword of Draz pierced Rider heart. Ranvalf caught her before her body hit the ground. He held his old friend tightly. he could see she was having problems breathing.

"I…see…you…beat…me…huh?"

Ranvalf's gaze softened as he held her close.

"I'm sorry it had to be this way Rider. I will always love you."

"I love… you… old… friend. take…care of…your…family." Ranvalf brought his friend's lips to his and kissed her softly. She, with all the strength she could master, returned the kiss. while it lasted only a moment, its meaning was spoken. when they parted, Rider's body began to turn to dust and she fell from Ranvalf's arms. though, he probably promised himself he wouldn't cry, he did.

Things went up in the planet of Liehood. people soon forgot of the terror of Rider Phoenix. except two families. Ranvalf's and Tifra's.

Ranvalf took the Sword of Draz to a hidden location. there, he stuck it. never to see it ever again.

"She shall come back. She's just like her phoenix. always rising from the ashes. when she comes, my descendent will be ready for her." he whispered.

Many centuries passed. Rider Phoenix began nothing more than a legend. just like everything historical becomes. however…

in the 32nd century. history would repeat itself in its own way.

only few differences, as you will notice, are her new style, friends, enemies, phoenix and well, I won't ruin it.

as Ranvalf always used to say about her:

"Once an assassin, always an assassin!"