Prologue

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"My dear,

Find what you love and let it kill you.

Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness.

Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.

For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it's much better to be killed by a lover.

Falsely yours," ― Charles Bukowski


Prologue

How had everything come to this?

It's often said that when a person dies, their life flashes before them.

I wondered if it would be the same for me. Before I die, would Vincent's face flash before my eyes? Because for the past year, he was my life.

It hit me solid on the face right as I walked in to my impending demise, as I sat inside the metaphorical cave that would imprison me forever. Or at least, until someone kills Alessandra who had now taken over my body with my permission.

The irony.

How did I get here?

I floated in a never ending darkness in and out of consciousness, asking myself that same question a million times. And every time I tried to answer, it all went back to the deal a girl made with Death six hundred years ago. So I guess we should begin with the story of two sisters.

Now, these sisters-twins to be exact-weren't normal like the rest of us. Their mother was a healer, a practitioner of some sort of ancient mystic arts. And she passed her knowledge to her eldest for the younger of the twins had always been sickly.

Back when she was still alive, she would always say, "Alessandra, it is your responsibility to look after your sister. Keep her safe and never let her out of your sight."

But Alessandra need not be told. She had already put it upon herself to be her sister's protector right from the moment she had become aware of the world's innate ruthlessness. Because in that world, all they had was each other.

Their mother, in her desire to help the ailing, was accused of witchcraft. She was hunted like an animal and died a gruesome death.

Orphaned at an early age, Alessandra had to fend for herself and her sister. They fled from one village to another to escape from the hunters trailing them.

At night, they would huddle in the darkness, hand in hand.

"I wish this sickness of mine goes away," Adrianna would always say. "What if I die? What shall become of you, Alessandra? You will be alone."

"I promise," Alessandra would whisper to her sister as she hushed her to sleep. "We will always be together."

"Together," Adrianna always echoed as if the word itself was some kind of protection.

However, Alessandra couldn't protect her sister from everything. Adrianna's sickness eventually worsened.

Unable to bear the grief of her sister's imminent death, Alessandra exhausted every possible way to save her. And that included striking a deal with the Reaper's eldest son if it was just to avoid her own death and come back from the ashes. To avoid leaving Adrianna alone in the world.

For her sister, Alessandra sold her soul and became a heartless fighter and Cairo's most prized possession.

Alessandra knew that eventually and inevitably, Adrianna's sickness would claim her. And this time, no ritual or enchantments could save her. That was when Alessandra begged each and every one of Death's sons to take her sister as their familiar.

Only one accepted: the Twelfth. If out of pity or any other ulterior motive, she couldn't tell. She would just have to worry about that later.

Never did she expect that as Adrianna joined her in immortality, they would grow apart. And all because of a boy who had stolen Adrianna from her. Still, Alessandra didn't forget the promise she had made: that the two of them would always be together.

Upon discovering that two of Death's concubines were planning to overthrow him from immortal rule, Alessandra saw her opportunity. She killed the traitors without even flinching, telling herself, "The Grandmaster would be pleased. He would reward me and I would ask that my sister be brought back to me."

Following this, Death was forced to pass a decree that none of his wives shall be made and shall remain immortal to prevent any further uprising. All of them were taken and executed as a consequence.

That night before Adrianna died, Alessandra tried to persuade her to flee Sinclair Mansion before Death's sentries came to take Mistress Roselle. But Adrianna refused.

"Vincent needs me." Those were Adrianna's last words to her sister.

Up until now, those were words that puzzled Alessandra over and over again. Haunted her even. And now me, because I was her. She was me. Her memories, her pain and the lives she had lived were mine too.

We were one and the same. I accepted that fact and the cost that came with it. Six hundred years of struggle had led to this war; a war I must end.

~~~~~~~~~

Things you should know if you're reading this:

1. Updates are every Monday, more or less. If I'm very happy with the stats, I may post extras and fillers.

2. The first book (Reapers - Thirteen Brothers) is already published in the Philippines, available in paperback and ebook via Buqo. So help out the less fortunate (me, haha) and please get a copy.

3. I desperately need a trailer. And basically, a recap of the other two books. If you can make me one, I'll be grateful forever.

4. I'm slow with replying here but I'm frequently on facebook (/ShimSimplina & /ReapersChronicles) and Twitter (@Simply_shim)

5. Suggestions, comments and violent reactions are always welcome.If you share this story to your friends, may Eldest bless you.

6. Credits to KatieHennessy for the wonderful trailer!

7. I love you forever. Nerds. XD

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