The Legend of The Shadow Clan

In the north mountains of Arye, lies a temple. This temple houses some of the most dangerous and most feared warriors, known to Arye. They train from age three, and those who graduate, aren't fully trained before they're thirty years old. We follow Selina Rosemary, a girl with a mysterious past and a promising future. She and her best friend Luce, are both content on making it through the tough training. And with each other's help, they are ready to take on anything.


2. Warning

I woke up, groggily opening my eyes. I was laying in my bed, in me and Luce's room, the sheet had wrapped itself around me, and I felt like a hatching butterfly. The room was dark, and the space outside the window bore the colors of a waking world, dark, but not pitch black. I could spot the horizon lightening, among the snowy mountain tops, the light refracting of the billion small crystals. I was up early.
I closed eyes, and, with a sigh, I let my head fall back on the pillow. I turned my head to check if Luce was still sleeping, she was. She was lying on her left side, her face turned my way, her eyes closed and her breathing slow and steady. Her left arm sprayed above her head, her right arm clutched to her chest, and i could barely make out a foot, protruding from the sheets, at the other end of the bed. I got up, and pulled on a new skintight training suit, since the one from yesterday was next to my bed, smelling like I had died in it. I tugged it under my arm, then I put on my uniform, and secured my beloved weapon, which I still had yet to name, in its holster, and strapped it across my back. The weapon was my own personal customized weapon, it was made up of a forty centimeter long stick, which could be split in half, protruding from the end of each stick, was a seventy centimeter steel blade. The idea being that i could both use the weapon as two swords, or one bladed staff. The only problem with it was, that i still hadn't named it, which was a tradition for shadow warriors. I snuck out of the room, careful not to wake Luce. There was no reason for her to wake up this early. Judging by the light outside, it was about thirty minutes past four, classes didn't start until seven. I made my way down the stairs, luckily me and Luce lived on one of the lowest floors of the Temple, so I didn't have to go down a million stairs. 
The whole building was silent, although my ears occasionally picked up the sounds of other early birds, sneaking around the higher levels of the ornate temple. I made my way down to the large dining hall, at the bottom of the tower. The long tables were empty, and the hall was as silent as a mausoleum. I looked around, the large space was nicest now, no noise, no smell of food. The wooden wall were covered with all sorts of historical artifacts, from the temples past. A sword that had belonged to one of the first apprentices, a flag from the first camp. Many of the things dated back to the time of the ten Kyulen, the first shadow warriors, whom, according to the legends, came from the cave of shadows, upon which the Temple of Shadows now lies. They were the most skilled warriors the world of Arye had ever seen. They each took a single child to be they're apprentice, and they trained the children to become almost as powerful as themselves. They had set up a camp closer to the kingdom, but the kingdom of Arye didn't like the thought of a group of highly skilled warriors, roaming free of the kingdoms power, so they send an army to dispatch of the mighty warriors. The army consisted of 2000 men, outnumbering the shadow warriors a hundred to one, yet over half the army was killed before the shadow warriors were overpowered. As a final act, the Kyulen send their apprentices into the mountains, before launching an all out charge on the remainders of the army, taking down several hundred men, before they fell. The apprentices fled to the mountains, confused and disoriented. They managed to find the old caves, and started building a home on top of the mountain that housed the caves. To this day the shadow warriors still live there, although the confines has expanded since the original temple. 
The temple now consists of a twenty-five square kilometer city, build around the the main Temple, a fifty meter high oriental themed building, set in the colors of red and black, working as sleeping quarters and dining hall for the warriors. On the side of the Temple pointing towards the reinforced cherry tree doors, is the marketplace. Here lies blacksmiths, tailors, kitchens and carpenters, all there to provide the warriors with training, materials, weapons, food and clothes. Beyond that lies the battlegrounds, which consists of outdoor and indoor training facilities for the tiers four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten, organized in layers, layer seven to ten being closest to the gate, serving as the first line of defense, if anyone would ever attack the temple. On the opposite side of the Temple, lies the silent gardens, where the tier three warriors train, and in the middle of them, are the spirit grounds. In the very back of the temple, are the Inner halls, where the elders live. The elders are the warriors who survive to the age of seventy, and they are the ones that monitor and rule the clan. They are the ones who assign missions, and keep track of what happens in the world outside of the temple. Beneath the Inner halls lies the deeper halls, once known as the cave of shadows. Its a maze-like system of tunnels, leading down to an emergency village for the younger warriors of the village. The maze is meant to keep potential attackers from killing the children, so that the clan will survive, even if it's destroyed. The tier one and two warriors also train in the Inner halls, supervised by the elders. The entire temple perched upon the flattened mountain top, out of view from the ground, hard to find among the snowy, northern mountains. 
I broke loose from my personal history lesson, and shook my head. I could still get lost in the Temples history. I glanced at the wall again, before heading towards the door. 
The morning was brisk, and the cold air stung in my lungs, and my breath left my mouth as small clouds of mist, evaporating into the air. 
I walked towards the silent gardens, enjoying the silence that hung over the temple, as though the temple was enclosed in its own little cloud. The gardens were filled with the gentle sound of rattling leaves, and the slow wind cooled my face, and I could feel my cheeks going red. As I walked, I let my eyes go to the sky. The orange gleam from the rising sun, was cleansing the dark, and red streaks were cleaving the sky. As I walked, I let my eyes go to the sky, enjoying the colors spreading across a canvas. 
The ground in the Silent Garden was soaked with rainwater from the night, and my feet were getting soaked. I sighed, guess there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it. I hung my used skinsuit on a branch, so it could dry, I could wash it later. 
It felt good to be out in the garden this early. I checked all my gear, even though I couldn't remember the last time I had forgotten anything. My belt was in place, containing several forms of throwing weapons, the two long back-up daggers were strapped to my thighs, I wriggled my toes to check that my little emergency dagger was still safely secured to the inside of my right boot. After having checked that all my gear was still in place, I picked a tree close by, and got into battle position. Knees slightly bent, arms just below my chest, hands open, and all my focus on my opponent, in this case, a very dull tree. 
I took a deep breath, the I started running full force towards the tree, drawing my weapon from my back as I ran. Moments before I ran into the tree, I changed course, so that I was aiming slightly left of the tree, then I went into a slide, slicing the side of the tree, before bringing my weapon into an arch, aiming it, once again, at the left side of the tree, spinning around myself, the blade connected with the tree, chopping its way three centimeters into the wood, which was a lot considering the sturdy nature of the cherry trees. I dislodged my weapon, using the force to spin around again, striking the tree on the opposite side, this time it lodged itself four centimeters into the tree, and the force rippled up through my arms. Finally I drew the weapon back, sending it back in around me, but shortening off the arch, so that the bladed ended up pointing at the middle of the tree, approximately where a persons heart would be, piercing the tree with great force, powerful enough to create a dent on the other side of the trunk, the wood made a high breaking sound, and I knew that the hit had been powerful enough to go straight trough any conventional armor. I placed my foot besides the blades entry point, kicking back as hard as I could to free the weapon, the resulting force caused me to fly back a meter or two. As i landed, my free left hand, grabbed two throwing knifes from my belt. Aiming about twenty centimeter above the hole I had made in the trunk, since that would be where a persons face would be, and since he or her would be busy with the strike they had just received to the chest, their face would be unprotected, the two knives hit the trunk with a satisfying hollow sound, clean and straight. "Good shot" a light voice behind me exclaimed, I spun around fast enough to make my brown hair curl around my head like a halo. A few meters behind me was a young boy, he looked to be eleven or twelve, with bright bond hair, a few freckles and a nervous face. He was slim, with weak arms and not a shade of any muscle anywhere, he looked like the last person you'd see living in the temple. It hit me that that was exactly what he was, I had never seen him at the temple, and its tradition in the clan, that the new members are introduced to the rest of the warriors, in a ceremony at the start of their first year, but I couldn't remember ever seeing this boys face before. "Who are you?" I asked him, he shrugged, "nobody, " He answered. I frowned, there was something off about this guy, like an aura surrounding him, and I felt something mystical seeping off him, I didn't like it. "I haven't seen you here before" I said, "You don't live here do you?" The peculiar boy shook his head, "Certainly not" He said. I narrowed my eyes, something was wrong, no one came to the temple, who didn't live here, this guy was dangerous, although I had no idea how, he didn't seem like a fighter. Nevertheless I switched my stance, so I was ready for battle. 
The boy put his hands up as if to calm me down, "I didn't come to fight!" I kept my eyes on him, and my stance didn't change, "Why did you come then?" He let his hands fall to his sides, "I came to warn you. " He said, and his voice was serious. "Warn me about what?" I asked, my curiosity was peaked. "Disaster is moving towards the temple, soon you will all be under attack. " I shook my head "Impossible" I said, but my voice wasn't as resolute as I wanted it to be, something about the boy in front of me was making me nervous. "I'm afraid so" he said apologetically. I shook my head again "No one would be insane enough to attack the temple, no one is strong enough to defeat us." The boy nodded, as if agreeing with me, before he spoke "No one of this world, no" he said, and my frown deepened even more. "What do you mean?" I asked wearily. The boy straightened and looked me straight in the eyes "In a few weeks, one of your own will open a portal to another world, and your temple will be flooded with creatures, that not even your strongest warriors can defeat." 
I looked at him in disbelief, my hands were dangling at my sides and my battle stance had vanished. "You're insane" I said, my voice trembling, then I shook my head "You're insane!" I said again, and my voice sounded a bit more convincing. "I know how it must sound!" The boy continued "But you have to believe me." I crossed my arms and looked him the eyes, which were bright blue, "Give me one good reason to believe you." I said. He looked down and sighed, and when he looked up again his eyes were dull and sad, and his voice was full of regret "Because I'm the one opening the portal." He said. 
I stared at him for a second, then I ran at him, drawing my right hand back. No matter whether or not what this boy was saying was true, he was still making threats to the temple and the clan, and he wasn't going to get away. Besides he was weak and scrawny, hardly a fighter, he wouldn't be able to put up much of a fight. 
He stood completely still for the entirety of the second it took me to reach him, but I didn't stop to ask him why. My plan was to hit him in the stomach with an open palm, it was a well known disabling technique, an open palm in the right spot and any man, no matter how tough, will come crumbling to his knees, it didn't leave any marks and there was no chance of lethality. I shot my hand forward towards him, with the same speed as an arrow that just left it's bow, but I hit nothing but air, the boy disappeared before my eyes, and my body went flailing through the air. If it hadn't been for my reflexes, I would've landed on my face, instead I went into a roll, and got to my feet without embarrassing myself. 
I spun around, the boy was standing a few meters behind me, just as he had been standing in front of me seconds ago, it was as though he hadn't just vanished an reappeared. I turned to face him, my eyes catching every little movement he made. "How did you do that?" I asked, and his face turned apologetic again. "You have to listen to me, I have no wish to see your temple in flames." He said, and I tensed, the mentioning of my home, my entire world, in ashes made my hands shake, in some mix of anger and fear. I had no idea what to do, this boy was obviously more than he looked like, although I had no idea what he was. I kept my eyes on him, studying him, something about his face looked familiar, but I couldn't quite pin down what it was exactly. 
"Listen" He said, "Soon my brother will use my powers to open the gateway-" He continued, but I cut him off "Your brother? Who is your brother, someone who lives in the Temple?" He nodded. I tried thinking of anyone who shared features with this boy, someone who might be his brother, then I saw them, little indent in the boys neck, a line on each side, continuing down under his shirt, the exact same way Ethan had knobs. Suddenly it was clear as day, in my mind the boys blond hair turned jet black, his scrawny arms turned muscular and sharp, and his soft features turned hard and unforgiving, before me was a near perfect image of Ethan. "Ethan" I said, breathlessly, "Ethan is your brother, isn't he?" The boy nodded, he looked sad and ashamed, like he didn't want it to be true. 
I launched myself at him again, if I could stop him now, I could stop whatever plan he and Ethan had made for the Temple. 
I hit nothing but air, my hand went sailing and my body followed, free falling towards the ground. I didn't make it far, a sharp pain shot through me when his knee connected with my stomach, I turned my head to spot him, but he had already moved again. A hand grabbed my collar and dragged me backwards, letting me fall on my back. The air was knocked out of my lungs when my body connected with the cold ground, and I gasped for air. He was appeared above me, looming like a giant statue blocking out the sun. "I've warned you" He said, and his voice was no longer nervous or scared, but confident and strong, "There's nothing more I can do." He finished, before he disappeared into nothingness. 
I let my head fall down onto the ground, and felt the cold of the earth cool me down. I looked up into the sky, where a bird was cutting through the air, I could hear it from down here. I closed my eyes and focused on hearing the sounds of the world around me, as I had before, the wind, the bird, the rustle of leaves and the distant murmur of the waking warriors of the Temple. I let my breathing slow to a whisper, and let my muscles relax until the tense feeling in my body disappeared, then I quickly got to my feet and ran towards the tall building where Luce was still sleeping, I had to tell her about this before training started. The cold air felt nice, as I ran full speed home, but I couldn't shake this uneasy feeling that the boys warning had been truthful. All I could do was to warn the others, and hope they'd listen.   

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