Author's Note: Thanks everyone for the reviews on the prologue! I hope you enjoy this chapter! (:

Chapter One: Tonight, I break away

10 years later…

Jace wrapped his long fingers around a heavy wooden box as he continued to trudge down the dirt street. Dangling in the sky was the sun, blazing with eternal fire. He glanced up at it, sweat trickling down his skin. His thick, black hair was plastered to his forehead, his blue eyes concealed beneath them. He ran his hand through his hair, letting out a long sigh as the sun kept on hitting him with its rays.

"Damn it, Jarius." He muttered as he turned into another street. His village was small, only about one hundred people living there. There was no inn, no tavern, just stands full of fresh new fruit, wheat, weapons and other merchandise. The village was on the bottom of a valley, surrounded by mountains and trees. A ring of grass encircled them for at least half a mile, then the forest took over and trees stood high in the sky. Jasper was a cute village, full of merry times and happy people. The only person that wasn't happy was Jace.

As a few girls giggled around him, Jace finally saw the stand he was looking for. He pushed past an elderly man and finally reached his destination. Sitting in a chair with his feet propped up was a lanky man with beady gray eyes.

"Good to see you Jace!" The man greeted as he stood up quickly.

"Good to see you too, Gressim." Jace said coolly as he placed the long, wooden box on the table in front of him.

Gressim's eyes gleamed, "Is that it? My order?" He asked.

Jace nodded, "Yes it is. Uncle Brandyn did a great job with this one." With a quick swipe, the wooden box opened and showed an elegant sword. The blade was about three feet long, the hilt a divine gold with a red sash hanging from its hilt.

"Marvelous!" Gressim exclaimed, grasping onto the hilt and snatching the sword.

Jace tried to ignore Gressim's constant rambling about how incredible the sword was. His eyes darted over to the forest, watching the sunlight slither from the sky onto the top of the trees. The sound of Gressim's amazed voice kept on reaching his ears though, and he couldn't take it much longer. "Gressim! Stop it!" Jace shouted, turning his head towards him. "That sword isn't even for you! It's for your son! He's the one that's going to be fighting in the war!"

Some villagers looked over, seeing Jace's irritated expression and Gressim's smile fade away into a long frown. His back slouched as he placed the sword back into the box, his eyes avoiding Jace's cold gaze, "I'm sorry Jace."

Jace looked away, shoving his hands into his pocket, "Don't be." With that, Jace spun around and began walking away. The villagers that had stopped to see the scene started to forget what happened as they began buzzing around again. Gressim sat back down in his chair, closing the lid of the wooden box and glancing up at the open, blue sky.

Turning a corner, Jace kept his head down and stared at the ground as he kept on walking. More sweat poured out of him, his brown shirt soaking some of it up. The sun was beginning to slowly glide towards the forest, exhausted from a day's work and ready to get some rest. He was out of the busy streets now, on the edge of Jasper where some houses were lined up.

"Jace! Jace!"

Slowly, Jace turned around towards the voice. Running towards him with a book in her hand was Amber. Her white dress was flittering behind her gently, her sky blue eyes sparkling from the sunlight. After a few more seconds, she caught up to him and gave him a huge hug.

"I've missed you!" Amber said as she tightly squeezed her brother.

Jace let out a gasp, "But it's only been an hour!"

Letting go, Amber gave Jace a cute smile. "I know, but I still did miss you."

The two of them began walking side by side, Jace towering over Amber by at least five inches. Amber clutched onto the book like it was her life, pushing it up against her rather large chest.

"Another book?" Jace said.

Amber answered, "Yup! I just finished the one about Kareem!"

"Kareem?" Jace repeated, narrowing his eyes as he tried to remember the name.

"The God of Wind!" Amber said in a delighted tone, giving her brother a bright smile. "This time I got one about Deidra!"

"The God of Healing?"

"No, she's the Goddess of Fire. I've heard that she's really mean."

"Well, it would make sense if she's the Goddess of Fire." Jace said in a bored tone.

"I guess it would." Amber said as her eyes gazed at her long shadow. There was a moment of silence before Amber's face brightened up and she grabbed his brother's wrist, "Hey! Isn't it a month until your eighteenth birthday?"

Jace shoved his hand into his pocket, "Yeah, it is."

"Yay!" Amber smiled, "I have to figure out what to buy you!"

Jace rolled his eyes as she began to talk about what to buy him. "Please, don't mention my birthday."

"Why not?" Amber asked curiously.

"All boys that are eighteen get enlisted into Krishel's army."

Amber looked away, "Oh."

The silence stayed this time as the siblings approached their house. It was on the farthest side of Jasper, away from all of the busy streets and stands. The house was made of wood, with only one floor and four windows on each side. Smoke was erupting from the small chimney, floating aimlessly towards the sky. Everything seemed so peaceful and serene, with the enormous Sun swimming behind them and the swift breezes. Jace swung open the door and walked inside to the smell of cooked meat. Amber quickly walked in and placed her new book on her wooden chair. Then, she ran over to Uncle Brandyn, who was standing over their meal.

"Hey Uncle!" Amber said as she hugged him.

"Hello Amber, how was your day?" Brandyn said cheerfully as she let go.

"Good, I got another book! This one's on Deidra!"

"Ah, the Goddess of Fire. Isn't she the mean one?" Brandyn said as he began cutting up the meat.

"That's what the book says!" Amber said as she sat in her seat and opened the book up.

Jace was walking towards his room when Brandyn said, "Wait a second Jace, did you deliver the sword?"

"I did Uncle." Jace replied.

"Thank you my boy." Brandyn said as he slapped some meat onto a plate. "Did Gressim like it?"

Jace let out a snort, "Oh yeah, he sure did."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"He liked it, that's all." Jace then walked down the hallway towards his room when Brandyn gave Amber a worried look. Amber shrugged her shoulders, setting the book down on her chair as the scent of pig filled her nostrils. Sitting down, Amber waited patiently to finally eat when Brandyn's voice hollered for Jace to come in. With his lip curled, Jace trudged out of his room and sat down at the table across from Amber. He pushed his fist against his cheek, his eyes gazing at the floor.

Brandyn placed the plates full of steaming meat in front of each sibling with a grand smile on his face. Then, he sat down at the end of the table and he and Amber clasped their hands together.

"Oh mighty Gods, please watch over Jasper in this time of need. Crops are wilting, water is evaporating and people are starting to become miserable. Please, great Fallon, God of Water, sprinkle some over us so that we may grow crops once again. And please, Orion, God of Harvest, grace this town with your presence. Amen."

"Amen." Amber repeated quietly before grabbing a fork and cutting the meat. Jace, on the other hand, just sat and stabbed the meat with his fork.

"Jace, Amber." Brandyn began, catching only Amber's attention. "I have something important to tell you."

"What is it?" Amber asked.

Brandyn pulled out a folded piece of paper from his pocket and waved it in the air, "This is from your father."

Jace's eyes widened as he lifted up his head. Amber dropped her fork onto the table, her mouth wide. "Dad?" Amber said astounded.

Brandyn nodded, "Yes. I just got it today."

He then handed it to Amber, who unfolded it with wide eyes. Jace stared at the paper, his face pale as if he just saw a ghost. Then, Amber spoke, "Dear Amber and Jace, I miss you so much. Whenever I run into battle, I see both of you. It hurts me to not see you." Amber choked back some tears, "Right now, I am in Heria, the capital. I'm not supposed to be writing you, it's against the rules that Lord Wicksen told us, but screw him. I hope to see you soon. Please, stay strong. With love, Dad."

A single tear trickled down Amber's cheek as she placed the letter on the table. She tucked some of hair behind her ear, trying not to sob. Jace's gaze met the ground, his eyes dull and mouth a thin, straight line.

"Thank the Gods that he's still alive." Brandyn muttered, sighing. He held Amber's hand softly, and gave her a reassuring smile. She smiled back, and then the two of them glanced over to Jace.

"Jace?" Amber said. "Are you okay?"

Jace raised his head, "I don't want to turn eighteen." He responded, "Once I do, then I'll forced to be sent into the war. I probably won't even be with dad."

Brandyn let go of Amber's hand, "You are probably right. Wicksen wouldn't allow it."

"And I'm sick of seeing all of my friends die!" Jace suddenly shouted, banging his fist onto the table, "Ezek was killed, Rumion was killed, and now I'm next! And we haven't seen Dad for ten years! Ten! And that was the first we heard from him in three years! I want to see him..." Jace trailed off, biting his lip.

Amber held his trembling hand, "Its okay Jace, everything will be fine. You won't become a soldier, I promise you. And we'll see Dad, I promise you that as well." She looked over at her Uncle, "Is there a way that he can escape? We could see Dad?"

Brandyn sat back in his chair, "Well, both of you could travel to Heria and look for him. But, there will be soldiers and guards looking for eighteen year old boys. And he might be stationed in another town by the time you get there."

"How long?" Jace asked, "How long will it take to get to Heria?"

Brandyn scratched his bearded chin, "Hmm, probably about three to four weeks. You have to travel through the mountains and cross the Truzak River. It will be one long journey."

"I don't care. I'm going to see dad and I'm not becoming a soldier." Jace suddenly stood up and began walking away when Amber caught his arm.

"If you're going, then I'm coming with you." Amber stated firmly.

"What? No! It's too dangerous for a kid like you." Jace said.

"I'm not a kid, I'm fifteen!" Amber replied standing up, "And I'm going with you. You don't know how to get through the forest and the mountains, but I do."

Jace bit his lip, "Fine, as long as it's okay with Uncle."

The two siblings turned around and looked at him. His eyes were closed, his rough hand clasped on his chin. He shook his head, "Fine, both of you can go. But you must send me letters whenever you reach a town, okay?"

"Thank you!" Amber said happily before walking towards her room, "Jace, we need to pack!"

Jace turned to her sister, "Yeah I know," He glanced back at his Uncle, "Thanks."

"Just please be careful. I don't want to lose you two like I lost your mother."

Jace nodded before walking to his room with a doubtful look on his face.

As the sun was beginning to slowly descend towards its grave, Jace and Amber gave their Uncle one, last hug. The vibrant rays of the Sun cloaked all three of them, making them shine. Brandyn chuckled, squeezing both of them tightly. Clinging to Amber's back was a backpack, full of food, clothes and her books about the gods and goddesses. She wasn't wearing her white dress anymore, but rather a blue shirt that matched her eyes with a black skirt. Dangling from Jace's waist was his sword, along with a dagger strapped to the side of his leg. His backpack was heavy, full of supplies, clothes, and a few other daggers.

"Good luck to you two. And don't forget to write." He said, tears welling up in his eyes.

"We won't." Amber reassured as the three of them let go.

"Thanks for everything." Jace said.

"I'm glad to see you two grow up. I only wish your parents could see how great you two turned out to be." He wiped away tears.

"Don't worry, we'll be back." Amber said, giving Brandyn another hug.

He held onto her head, her short blonde hair clinging to his fingers, "I know you will be."

Then, Amber let go and her and Jace began to walk towards the nearby forest. Amber and Jace waved to Brandyn, who gave a wave back. As they began to take the path into the forest, Amber grabbed onto Jace's hand. He turned his head to see Amber with a worried expression.

"Do you think we'll be okay?" She asked.

Jace looked at the ground, resting a hand on the hilt of his sword, "As long as we stick together, I think we'll be fine."

"But what about the wolves and bandits? I've heard stories..." Amber trailed off.

"Don't worry about them, I have my sword and daggers. I'll protect you."

Amber gave a weak smile, "Okay."

"So, where do we go first?"

Amber drew a map from a side pocket of her backpack. She opened it up, peering down at the paths and towns, "Here." She said, pointing to a small dot, "Atrioh Falls. That's where we'll go first."

Jace gave her a smile, "Atrioh Falls it is."

"It's starting to get dark Jace." Amber stated, looking around. The darkness was settling in, Ezra about to take over and control the night. The trees began to look like monsters, faceless and odious. Jarius was asleep, resting his divine powers to shed the Earth with sunlight again tomorrow.

"Yeah, I can see that Amber." Jace stated as he swatted a bug that was flying around his face. "Is there a town close by?"

Amber shook her head, "Not for another three miles."

"Great." Jace said, looking around. "We'll set up camp in the forest."

Amber nodded, and then the two of them walked off of the narrow path and trudged through the forest. The two swerved in-between the trees, grass grazing their skin. Amber was behind Jace, holding onto his shirt gently. Jace's eyes were darting around, looking for an opening to set up a campfire.

"Jace…" Amber said, her voice full of fear.

"What is it?" Jace replied annoyed, turning around to face his sister.

Amber pointed to their left, her finger quivering slightly. Jace followed her gaze and saw a black lump resting on the ground. There was a blanket of red wrapping around it, the moonlight pouring onto it. Jace narrowed his eyes, and then began to walk towards it.

"Wait, Jace! We don't know what it is!" Amber called, hesitating to follow him.

"There's only one way to find out." Jace responded, only a few feet away from the lump.

As he got closer, the lump began to take shape. The blanket of red was hair, longand flowing. Pale white skin glittered from the moonlight, its arm and legs revealed from its black outfit. It was obviously a female, with her elegant curves and gorgeous red hair. Jace's eyes widened as he knelt down besides her. She was face down, her stomach sitting on the cold ground.

"Amber! Come, quick! Please!" Jace shouted in an anxious tone.

As Amber began running towards him, he turned the woman over. There was blood cascading down her petite body. Some of it dripped from her closed mouth, staining her black shirt. Blood was erupting from her waist, drenching the ground with a crimson color. Jace's eyes widened, not only from the blood, but from the beauty of the woman. There wasn't one flaw with her body. It was as if she was a goddess.

Jarius: God of the Sun.

Ezra: Goddess of the Moon.