A/N: Lady Hel, the Norse goddess of death. Her influence affects us even now, in our modern world. A fact that one man is about to find out, first hand...

Chapter 1: One

One. A funny number, not quite nothingness, but it is a void, nonetheless. One minute, one hour, one moment, that's all it takes. One moment to change a person's life forever, One moment to destoy it... Thoughts, feelings, knowledge, an entire history... all lost to the almighty power of one. I would know, in one instant, I lost everything, in one moment, everything ended...

There were five of them. Yakuza, proudly wielding their stainless-steel katanas. I remember it clearly, waves crashing into the pier, the heavy mist which clouded the night air, the fear which plagued my mind as I ran, the silvery glimmer behind me. I remember it all too well. I shot a glance to my left, contemplating an escape by sea, but those thoughts were abandoned as I made a sudden right turn to evade an attack.

I found myself in an alleyway, a dead-end. Out of desperation, I rushed for the door toward the back. It was a long-shot, but I had to do somehing. I tried the handle... locked... I was running out of options. I hoisted my entire body back, and thrust my foot into the door... nothing. They were bearing closer, I thrust my foot again, chipping away at its worn facade, but accomplishing little else. A third and a fourth time, the door began to buckle. A fifth kick finally knocked the door open, and nearly took it off its air rushed to meet my face as I ran inside, avoiding a blade by mere centimetres. I rushed further inside, searching for cover from my was dark and cold, with dead cows hanging from the cieling.

The gangsters burst in after me. I made a running leap over a nearby table, and slid across the surface, landing on the other side. I thought I was safe, until the unmistakable sound of machine-pistol fire broke the silence. I waited for a halt in this stream of hot lead before making my move.

My hand reached into my holster, retrieving my pistol. In a single motion, I spun around to face the quintet, firing three shots. The first hit their leader in his shoulder, shattering his collarbone. It continued its path, penetrating the man behind him. The second shot entered the leader's ribcage, while the third got him right between the eyes. The remaining four scattered like cockroaches, I knew this wouldn't end well.

I began reloading when I noticed something... strange. I could tell one of them was behind me, preparing to strike. I used my gun to intercept a downward katana strike. The blade embedded itself in my pistol. I spun around, jamming the barrel into his gut. The sound of a gunshot echoed throughout the room.

Three left, and one was injured. Silence befell the room once more. It was the calm before the storm.

Across the frosty haze, the shape of a man took form. A single shot brought him to the floor. Tiptoe-ing over to his corpse, I discovered that it wasn't one of them at all. 'A cow...?' I realized my mistake, but it was a little too late. Another sword swipe rushed for my head.

I had to duck under to evade, rolling forwards to avoid his second attack. I turned to face him, but he was already approaching before I could even raise my weapon. I lept toward the nearby wall and kicked off, positioning myself behind a heafty side of beef. Using all my strength, I shoved the frozen meat at him. He sliced through the cow, but found himself looking down the barrel of my pistol. One shot put an end to that mess, while I spied one of his allies to my left.

My aim jerked over to his position, and I fired a shot, but he dodged. Three more shots, he dodged each with enough grace to put a swan to shame, while he seemed to glide toward me. He lept into the air, preparing to come down, full-force. I dropped to the ground, into a semi-laying position. I thrust my body into a baseball-slide, just barely avoiding him.

He landed with catlike elegance. Swiftly, he spun around, placing the very edge of his blade up against my throat. I placed the barrel of my gun up against his forehead. A sadistic grin flashed across his face as he applied just enough pressure to draw blood onto the edge of his blade. I flashed a grin of my own when I noticed the injured yakuza reaching for his pistol. In an instant, I shifted my aim to the injured man and fired a single shot, before the other had the time to notice.

Thinking he had been shot, my enemy stepped back, dragging his blade across my throat. My wound was not deep enough to kill, but it was deep enough to send me reeling from the pain. My free hand grasped my throat as I turned away from my enemy, trying desperatley to regain my composure.

Crouching on one knee, I spun around, firing two shots. He, too had recovered from the shock and, as gracefully as ever was able to evade both shots. He did the same with the third, and fourth, and before long, my gun was empty.

Noticing this, He made a horizontal slash, attempting to take my head, but I dodge-rolled backwards, returning to my feet. I turned around, making a mad dash for the fresh corpse of the injured gangster. I grabbed his pistol with my right hand, cocking it with my left. I leaped into the air, avoiding a downward slash that nicked the bottom of my left shoe. I took three steps along the wall before pushing off. My aim swung around to the swordman's head. My trigger finger jerked back three times and...

"Click, Click, Click..."


The gun wasn't loaded. A deep heat ran through my body. It was the feeling a person gets when they know they're in trouble. The exact feeling I had when three feet of stainless steel came rushing for my chest. I was like a deer caught in the headlights of a truck- completely cold steel entered my body, and everything went blurry before fading to black.

And that's all it takes. Just one moment, one instant, one wrong move, and no matter how strong you are, no matter how good you are, no matter how smart you think you are, it all ends. All that it takes, all that atters is that one moment. Only one to oblivion.


A/N: Next chapter, we meet a young woman who thirsts for the sweet milk of the death goddess...