"Yvaine! Behind you!" I turned to find a monster peering into the shadows I hid in. Its golden eyes pierced my own, but it would not take me. I refused to allow it. Someone else needed me to live.
I raised the ancient dagger and plunged it into its phantom-like body, knowing it was one of the few weapons on the planet that could kill it. Though there was no flesh and bone to damage, I could feel its essence convulse in pain as I twisted the blade. The surge of power burned my arm, as it always did when I used the dagger. The same one that had nearly killed my brother thirteen years ago. I thanked that murderous man every day for delivering such a useful weapon into our hands. If it hadn't been for the dagger, we would have perished along with the rest of humanity.
The monster—we called the Guise—dissipated, leaving nothing behind of its existence. The sun was shining bright. A perfect day for the monster to hunt, while humans and Fae alike were forced to hide in the shadows and hoped that the darkness was black enough to keep the creatures at bay.
"You're getting sloppy. That was too close for comfort, Yvaine," my brother scolded. Though Lugh spent much of his time in the darkness, like the rest of us, the scar on his neck was stark white compared to his pallid complexion, forever reminding me how close I had come to failing him.
"Relax." Raising the blade to eye level, I continued, "As long as we have this, they cannot hurt us."
"That blade doesn't make you immortal."
"I don't need to be immortal. I just need to live longer than you," I joked.
Lugh's face pinched in exasperation. Always so serious.
"That thing didn't ruin your appetite, did it? If it did, I'd be glad to eat your half." I reached for the gnome he clutched in his hand. It was still bleeding out from the arrow Lugh had shot into its gut. Which was most likely how the Guise had found us; it could scent blood from oceans away.
Yanking the pathetic Fae creature away, he said, "No way! I'm the one who killed him. If anything, you should give me your half." Lugh's blonde hair fell into his eyes, giving me just enough time to retrieve the meal from his loose grip.
Dangling it in front of him, I said, "Well, I killed the Guise. So, let's just split it as planned." I smiled at the annoyed set of his jaw.
We retreated into the abandoned tunnel of the dead city, hoping that there was enough firewood to spare, and that the Fae had not found a home within its walls while we were away.
The smell of the tunnel was nauseating, but it was comforting at the same time. Places like these dank, damp caverns kept us safe from the monsters that roamed the lands. The Guise were created by humans experimenting with things they shouldn't have. Although we didn't know it at the time of the Collapse, humans were incapable of wielding magic. Any time one of them tried it would backfire. And they tried one time too many, taking the whole world with it.
Now monsters made of light hunted us, feasting on our bodies, minds, and souls. Our one defense was the darkness. But we hid within the blackness only to discover that there were others hiding there, too. The Fae. They had stayed hidden among us for eons, content to stay concealed if it meant it would keep the peace between our peoples.
But humans screwed that up, too.
Now the Fae hated us. They hated our greed and ignorance. And they hated that they were hunted alongside us, forced to stay in the shadows permanently.
YOU ARE READING
Here lies a world of Fae and Common peoples. The magical and the magicless. A place where elves and humans despise each other yet fear the same thing-the Guise. But this monster is not one that feeds on flesh. Worse, it transforms its prey into ter...