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The Shadow Saga
Part 1 - 6
Disclaimer:The following story contains violence. So read it or don't it's your choice entirely. Any questions, comments , or praise can be sent to me, Darkninja, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for checking out my story! Xena nad all related characters are the property of Mca Universal. The character Shadow is the property of me the author.
"Ahh." Xena sighed as she stepped into the pond. It had been an adventurous day for her as usual. After returning King Ulysses to his kingdom and dealing with a gang of thieves in the nearby town of Athenia, she was looking forward to a refreshing dip.
Xena eased into the cool water on this summer evening. She sat back and enjoyed the scenery while she could. For she knew from experience that this moment of peace wouldn't last long. There was always some passing warrior trying to make a name for themself by slaying Xena the warrior princess.
The night was warm yet refreshingly cool. Green redwoods stood all around the meadow, casting a friendly shadow over the usually dangerous forest.
"Well that's enough." Xena told herself and stepped out of the pool. She walked over to the campfire to dry herself off while she awaited the return of her sidekick and close friend, Gabrielle. Who was off finding some dinner.
"Oh Xena." Gabrielle called. "Oh, hey there you are Xena, I found some berries for dinner, there's not much else around here."
"I know gabrielle."
"Eat up." Gabrielle said, setting some berries on a plate. "So where are we headed tomorrow? We can head north to Porthos, east to the Zeus mountains, or we can go west to the city of Valenca. So where we headed Xena?"
"I think we'll go north to Porthos." Xena replied casually, eating some berries and drying her wet hands by the fire.
"Porthos, why Porthos Xena? There's nothing there, no adventure, no excitement, no danger at all."
"That's just what I want Gabrielle. Besides, we need to get some supplies and some food for Argo, and Porthos is the best place to go." Xena said, getting up to put her clothes on.
"You done eating Xena?"
"Yes Gabrielle. I'm turning in for the night, I'll see you in the morning."
Xena put on her leather uniform and stretched out on her bedroll to look at what little of the stars she could see through the crowded forest roof. "Hmm, maybe tomorrow will be better, less busy." she thought to herself. However, she had no knowledge of the figure watching through the trees on the other side of the lake.
"Ah, the famous Xena," the figure whispered."she had better not get in my way."
The next day Xena and Gabrielle followed the wagon worn path to Porthos. They hadn't gone far when a panic stricken woman ran up to them.
"What's the matter?" Xena asked
"The village is being attacked, almost everyone's dead. Help me, please help me." The woman cried and rested her head on Xena's shoulder crying.
"I'll help you. Now who is destroying your village?"
"It's a fourteen year old boy. Just a boy for the love of Zeus." she bawled.
"A young boy? That's hard to believe, but we'll help you anyway." Xena said as she lept onto Argo. "Gabrielle, you stay and help this woman back to her village and take your time. I don't want you in danger. I'll ride ahead and help."
With that, Xena and Argo were off like lightning. "Hyah, faster Argo!" Xena cried as they rode swiftly through the forest.
In minutes Porthos was ahead of them. Bloodcurdling screams and piercing screams of terror echoed through the forest. Xena and Argo picked up speed. "Yiyiyiyiyiyi!" Xena yelled leaping off Argo and flipping through the air. As she landed she quickly unsheathed her sword and clutched her chakram.
Women and children were running in fear for their lives, livestock ran like mad all over the place, and the bodies of dead men lay scattered as far as the eye can see.
"My god." Xena whispered. "Whoever did this is as cold hearted as I used to be." she shivered at the thought of how she ever could have done stuff like this, but she did. "They're dead meat." She told herself and began searching for the culprit.
Xena made her way across of what little was left of the village. Burning houses, blood all over the ground, dead men everywhere.
"That blow looks oddly familiar." Xena thought, looking at one of the bodies. She stooped down to examine the man's chest. it appeared hollow in the heart area, like a dent of some sort. As Xena looked closer she froze, and overwhelming fear gripped her. "No, no, not him." she cried in shock.
Xena heard noises from behind her and she quickly ran towards them. She stopped to witness a fourteen year old boy fighting six men. The boy was about five foot seven, blonde hair, hazel eyes, and a medium build. He fought with a quick kill style, grace, speed, and power flowed through every blow he landed.
"He knows what he's doing, knows every trick in the book, every pressure point, every death spot. I've seen that style before." Xena observed. "But, it's not who I think it is, at least I'm pretty sure. I better stop him. "Ayiyiyiyiyiyiyi!"
The boy grabbed the arm of the last man standing and tossed him to the ground, then snapped his neck. He looked up expressionless to see Xena land in front of his eyes.
"Well Xena, I'm surprised it took you so long to get here." the boy said slyly.
"How do you know my name?! And why are you doing this?"
"Well I don't like to waste time too much so I'll cut to the chase. I was watching you and your sidekick last night. I listened in on your conversation and caught your names."
"You saw me in the"
"Yes, I rather enjoyed that. You're a very pretty lady Xena, especially for one who fights as much as I do. I don't want to hurt you so I suggest you just continue on your way."
"Now who said you could beat me in combat?"
"Nobody, but I wouldn't want to fight you anyhow."
"Why, you wouldn't hit a lady but you'll kill an entire village?"
"Yes I would murder a village, but I can see the fear in your eyes Xena. Because you fear me you wouldn't fight as well as you could. I take no pride in defeating a fellow warrior like that."
"You think I'm scared of you? Now that's a new one."
"Well Xena my revenge here is done so now I must be off, bye." The boy reached in his pocket and pulled out a smooth white ball. Then threw it down onto the ground. White smoke engulfed Xena, she couldn't see. She waved her arms frantically to clear the smoke but to no avail.
"The name's Shadow Xena, I strongly suggest you stay out of my way. If you don't, then a trip to Hades is what you and your friend Gabrielle shall recieve."
"Aaack." Xena coughed out the smoke. "Damn him." she thought.
"Xena, Xena!! What'd I miss, anything exciting?" Gabrielle called, running towards her.
"Unless you consider a fourteen year old boy murdering this entire village exciting, I'd say you didn't miss anything you haven't seen before." Xena said.
"My god, a fourteen year old boy, I don't believe you Xena. Gabrielle said, sorrow filled her eyes as she looked around the massacre of what used to be a peaceful village. " I could see how an entire army could do this kind of damage, but one young boy." she shook her head in disbelief.
"Come on Gabrielle," Xena said solemnly. "we have to go after him and stop him or this will happen again." "I'm sure he headed to the Zeus mountains, it's the only way to go from here.
Xena and Gabrielle walked through the townfull of dead bodies. Gabrielle just shook her head the whole time. "How, how?" she whispered to herself over and over again. Xena guided Argo silently through the blood soaked path out of the village.
They made it halfway to the mountains then stopped to camp out for the night. Gabrielle cooked some venison over a blazing fire. Xena sat staring into the burning flames. Memories burst through her head, her mind was racing over the events that ocurred today.
"Xena, what's wrong? You've been silent since we left the village, what's troubling you?"
"Do you recall the great tournament in Greece four years ago Gabrielle?"
"Yes, it happened two years before I met you."
"Well then do you recall how ferocious the battles were?"
"Oh yes, ten of the deadliest fighters in the world were invited. All of them totally cutthroat, they had been known for massacres and murders all over the place. For twelve days they fought, only one man emerged victorious and alive. Those that he fought were either dead or dying of brutal wounds, yet he came though the whole thing with nothing more than a scar on his chest. He had destroyed eleven of the deadliest men in the world and came through with only a scar to remind him of his skillful victory against men thought to be invincible."
"That's right Gabrielle, but let me tell you the real story that nobody heard. That was no ordinary tournament, it was a tournament of the gods. He didn't fight mortals, he fought the Gods themselves and won. He beat Hera, he damn near killed her Gabrielle. He nearly killed Hera, the queen of the gods. His name was Shadow, and he's the boy that murdered that town."
"Oh my, I didn't think that was even possible. That is an amazing feat, and geez, four years ago he was TEN years old!! I can't believe it. Such a young boy exposed to so much violence at that young an age." Gabrielle shook her head in disbelief. "How are you connected to him Xena?"
"Three years ago my army was getting ready to raid a small warrior village. We had heard there were skilled fighters living there so we had hoped to gain their alliance, by any means necessary even if by force. After we had traveled for days through the mountains looking for their secret city we had found it. When we got there we had expected to find a great city of sorts, but instead there were only five huts. We went closer to have a better look because we were sure there had to be more than this. So we walked carefully through the area, all we could find were kicking posts and stacks of broken granite and bricks. As we walked further in we saw a path leading to a small forest. In front of it was a small boy. He just stood there giving us a stone cold expression and stood absolutely motionless. "Leave my home now or die." He told us with a dead serious tone. Almost my whole army started roaring with laughter, but I didn't. I could see in his eyes that he was serious and could carry out what he said. Yet for some reason I just told my army to kill him since it was clear that he wasn't going to back down. My army of one thousand men charged at him. And every single one of them died a horrible death. He just let them come to him, and when they got close he broke their bones, snapped their necks, slit their throats with their own blades, or killed them with a single blow."
"Oh my god Xena," Gabrielle said. "I could never imagine such an awful thing. We've got to stop him."
"No we won't Gabrielle!!!"
"Xena," Gabrielle gasped. "What is wrong with you? I've never seen you so scared."
"Of course I'm scared of him Gabrielle. Wouldn't you be scared of a young boy who single handedly massacred your entire army right before your eyes!?"
"Yes, but you lived that so you must have defeated him. If you did it once,"
"No I didn't defeat him Gabrielle. He defeated me, so quickly I can't even bear to remember it. He gave me this scar." Xena said pulling down the right side of her dress. "See that scar in the middle of my back?" She asked.
Gabrielle moved in closer to examine the scar. It ran the whole width of Xena's back. From her left rib to her right rib, and it was a sort of angled cut. The scar itself was about an inch wide. "Oh my Xena, how did he do this."
"He used my sword on me." Xena replied while pulling the strap back up. "Now let's get some sleep Gabrielle, I don't want to talk about this anymore."
"What did he look like?"
"You'll see tomorrow Gabrielle. I'm going to fight him, and one of us is going to die."
Xena and Gabrielle were trudging up through the midway point of the Zeus mountains. They were the biggest mountains in all the world. Much different than any other mountains there were. For one thing they were the mountains of the gods so it never snowed, and the entire mountain had lots of trees that stretched up for eternity. Xena and Gabrielle moved at a steady pace through the cool and crisp climate of the mountains until they reached the top. It was almost nightfall when they did.
"Xena I don't think he's here we've searched the entire mountain."
"Quiet Gabrielle." Xena's eyes looked quickly over the rough terrain. "There Gabrielle." She said drawing her sword.
"There." She pointed.
"But that's just the edge of the mountain Xena, the only other thing there is that tree."
"Precisely." Xena said, drawing her whip. She snapped the whip around the tree. "I'll bet anything he has his home on the side of this mountain, right where noone in their right mind would think it to be. Now don't come down until I throw the whip back up."
"You're going way too fast Xena. One:How are you positive he has a lair in the side of the mountain. Two:What makes you think he won't try to hurt me? Three:You're nuts."
"Okay here's the answers in the order you asked the questions. One:It's the last place people would suspect. Two:He has a code of honor and won't hurt a young girl like you. And three:Yes I'm nuts, glad we agree on that. Now toodles." With that Xena leaped over the edge. A death defying leap over a thirty thousand foot cliff. "Yiyiyiyiyi!" She yelled as she felt her body dropping towards the earth, only to be snapped from the jaws of death by her whip.
Looking around Xena spotted a door shaped opening across from her. She swung a little the pulled a perfect mid air back flip into the doorway. She then tossed the whip up for Gabrielle and drew her sword.
The cave walls were lined with wood. On the right side there was an assortment of weapons hanging on the wall. Daggers, sworfs, bows, twin sticks, all finely crafted and in perfect condition. Xena walked further into the cave, it stretched pretty far into the mountain and was less and less decorative the farther she moved in. Xena stopped dead in her tracks as she saw the boy sitting in front of a fire in deep meditation. He was sitting shirtless staring intently into the fire as if in some other world.
Gabrielle came up quietly behind Xena and tapped her on the shoulder to alert her of her presence. Gabrielle stopped and stared at the boy in amazement. He had a scar on his chest stretching from his left hip to his right shoulder. His eyes were hazel, his eyebrows covered almost by his mop like hair that glowed in the fire. He was stone faced, his eyes and features deadset with the appearance of an experienced warrior. "He's kind of sexy really." Gabrielle thought to herself.
"Hello Shadow." Xena said.
"Hello Xena." Shadow replied, not changing his expression a bit, it seemed like he had sat there watching them the whole time.
"I plan to kill you, I don't kill kids, but you're no ordinary teenager. I remember the way you massacred my army three years ago, and the latest massacre at the village a day ago. Noone your age would ever dream of doing such a thing, not unless they were possessed by demons or just plain evil."
"Oh yes," Shadow said getting up. "I do remember killing your army, as I recall I nearly killed you also but let you live." He walked slowly towards Xena and Gabrielle.
"That's right." Xena said. "So I assume you are also the one who nearly killed Hera in the tournament of the gods?"
"The one and only."
"You know, I've been wondering about this since yesterday, now I'm hoping you can explain this to me and Gabrielle, but why did you kill that town?"
"The town leader Lestat was a vampire. I went there to only kill him but he had turned the entire town into slaves. So when I went to kill him I met some resistance. All the men had been turned to vampires so I had to kill them because I could not afford to have vampires running all throughout the world. Good enough for you?"
"Yes, I beleive you on that count. I had noticed some of bite marks on the bodies. But still you will pay for what you did to my army!!" Xena swung her sword at Shadow's head, he ducked and grabbed her arm, then tossed her on the ground weaponless. Xena flipped back up and pulled a flying heel kick to his body. Shadow sidestepped and ran for the doorway. Xena followed in hot pursuit.
"Yiyiyiyiyiyi!!" Xena cried as she jumped through the air and extended her foot and aimed for Shadow's face. Shadow sidestepped and caught her arm. Xena was dangling from his arm over a few thousand feet in the air. "Xena!" Gabrielle screamed.
"It's okay, I got her. Wether or not she lives is her decision."
"I'll gladly die."
"No you won't, now listen to me. I'll pull you up, but then we're all going to have a nice little chat and I'll give you all the answers I feel like giving you."
"No way." Xena cried and tried to break free from his grip. But she couldn't, he had the grip of twenty men.
"Xena stop it, don't leave me." Gabrielle cried.
"You won't even listen to reason for your friend Xena?"
"All right, pull me up and we'll talk. I can't guarantee I won't look at you like I want to kill you though."
"Quite all right, I'm used to that." Shadow said with assurance and pulled her up. "Now, let's all go sit around the fire and I'll explain who I am exactly."
Xena walked with Gabrielle back to the far end of the cave. "He nearly killed you all too easily Xena." Gabrielle said frightened. Obviously still shaken from the event that happened a minute ago. Xena didn't reply, she sat down at the fire and glared at Shadow menacingly.
"Who the hell are you!?" Xena demanded ferociously.
"Calm down." Shadow said calmly. "I am Shadow, first class warrior in the Dragon clan."
"The Dragon clan!?" Gabrielle gasped. "They're the most feared assassins this side of Greece, possibly the world. The stories of warriors of their tribe destroying empires single handedly are legendary."
"Yes, that's the one. I see you hold an interest in ancient history, and quite possibly a bard also?"
"Why yes, I am a bard, and Xena's sidekick."
"I could tell. You're name is Gabrielle right?"
"Yes." She replied charmed.
"I am Shadow, pleased to meet you." he said and kissed her hand.
"Enough." Xena growled. "Get on with explaining yourself."
"As you wish. When I was five years old your army torched my village Xena. You killed my Mother and sisters."
"What was the name of your village?"
"Hey that's where Callisto came from Xena." Gabrielle chirped in.
"Yes I know. Shadow, did you know a girl named Callisto?"
"Maybe, I don't know. It was so long ago I can't remember. But no, I don't think so."
"Well let's move on then." Xena said.
"After you murdered my family I wandered the country side, looking for the Dragon tribe's training compound. I wished to join, I figured they would because the master there, Master Slythis, had known and trained my father. My father had disappeared shortly after I was born but I had heard he was an awesome fighter. So after a year of searching I found the training compound. Realizing my talent and great will to learn, Master Slythis took me in and trained me. Even though only grown men were allowed to join, he trained me as well as anyone else, and I became skilled in the arts of assassination, hand to hand combat, herbs and healing, pressure points, and weapons. I quickly rose to the top of the chain and earned great respect among my fellow warriors. Then five years later the gods destroyed the place with their army of demons because we refused to side with them. I was ten at the time. Me and four of my friends who were my age, but just as talented fighters as I was. Escaped to the mountains about a hundred miles away. Then about a year later you came along and the rest you pretty much know."
"Wow, I just can't believe it." Gabrielle said to herself.
"Just one quick question Shadow." Xena said.
"If according to you I torched your family, why didn't you kill me in the mountains?"
"As the years progressed I heard rumors that it wasn't you who started the fire. Little by little, I started to believe it. But when I looked into your eyes that day I could tell you didn't do it, and that someday you would be on the side of good. So I let you live."
"Very nice of you." Xena said, her glare had gone now, and she could start to understand this boy.
Shadow stared off into the distance, he was in deep thought and could not seem to be disturbed. "Hey Xena, check out his muscle." Gabrielle giggled.
"He's ten years younger than you Gabrielle!" Xena exclaimed in a whisper.
"I know, but you've gotta admit he's hot." "He's growing into a handsome young man Gabrielle."
"Aw come on, admit it Xena, he's cute isn't he?"
"Gabrielle." Xena scolded her.
"Hey Xena, I have a request." Shadow announced awaking from his trance.
"Go ahead, but I'm probably not interested." Xena said.
"Lestat whom I mentioned earlier, I was not able to kill. He has made his way over these mountains towards Transylvania. I would like for you and Gabrielle to give me a hand in destroying him."
"Sounds tempting, but I need something more to sink my teeth into." She said.
"Well then you'll like this. Transylvania is his hometown, plus it is the hometown for all vampires in the world. So you're talking gutsy all the way, first class danger all the way."
"Hey hey, now that sounds like fun. But why the sudden change from bad to good."
"I've always been on the side of good Xena, I've just always been forced to do evil things. Please give me the chance to prove myself to you and Gabrielle, if you like me enough after this battle, then I would like to accompany you and Gabrielle as a third sidekick."
"Well I can see your sincerity, but I'll tell you now, it will take a hell of a lot to prove yourself to me. So for now, yeah you can join us and we'll help you with this battle."
"YES!!!" Gabrielle shouted excitedly, then her cheeks flushed with embarassment when she noticed Xena and Shadow staring at her. "I mean, uh cool, heh heh." she blushed.
"Well Xena and Gabrielle, we'll crash here tonight then leave tomorrow morning. This could be the start of some awesome adventures."
To Be Continued.....
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