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A note from Inslayer

First chapter of the many I own you guys... don't worry, the rest will soon follow...

Chapter was late cause I lazed around... the groundwork was completed 25 or more days ago... (not that I didn't rewrite quite a few parts, or worked at all, but for the most part I was lazing around)

Spoiler: Synopsis

 

Living a life different than yours.

Dying a death that does not belong to you.

That is, for you cannot die or live.

Your power is as such, that Death, Life, the laws themselves are afraid of you.

For it is both Death and Life are afraid of you, they shalt not breathe you the gift of fate.

'A being not scary, not terrifying, but shalt anyone see thou, he shalt die, for he met the one afraid by all. Ignorant survive, while those with knowledge decay.'

 ~~~~~~~

On a planet much like earth, filled with shadowy beings closely resembling humans, each being distinct in its own way and with actual humans coexisting with them.

"Hey, have you heard about it? The new project of the mad scientists..." A shadowy figure said to another shadowy figure as they conversed.

Progress was seen every day. Nothing strange with interstellar travels, understanding the universe, or even with unveiling the mysteries of life and death. Everything was like an open book to them.

"No, haven't heard anything..." The shadowy figure replied, and further taking a small breath he said "Anyways, forgetting that, are you ready for the camping trip?" Taking a good look at his friend in between.

The world was vast, and it's joys were hidden for those that truly wanted to search for them.

"Oops, totally forgot about it... Thanks for reminding me." His friend replied with a laugh, it's color gaining red hue for a second before it returned to its normal pure black color.

 "Darn, as always you have me wonder if you have something you didn't forget... I doubt you even understand what having fun means... How you enjoy spending your time is an even bigger mystery."

"Oh, look across the road. So cute~" He replied, interrupting his friend midway his talk.

Pausing for a second his friend replied, "It's just a dog, why are you so excited about it?" not understanding how he could find such a strange creature cute. Sure enough, they were rare, and an item of prestige, but that was it, nothing else, nothing more.

The shadowy figure, standing silently there as if pondering how to answer him suddenly made a devious smile "They don't need to shed their shadows... compared to us, they do look cute."

"That's it, from now on we are no longer friends!" His friend responded with a bit unforeseen anger.

The shadowy figure, The shadowy figure, gaining a noticeable hue of purple then, said "I was just joking... Erm, I know it was a bad joke, so please forgive me."

His friend knew he was joking, and easily let the matter drop, not letting the mood worsen; once more talking about their daily lives.

Life was boring. Everyone looked for activities to alleviate that in their free time. The most popular one was playing games at consoles, with friends... even camping, hiking, adventuring.

However, camping wasn't always a fun activity...

~~~~~~~

Inside a moving wagon, 6 shadowy figures welcomed the new addition to the group.

"I'm Sarth, and he is Kin, my pal." The shadowy figure introduced itself, along with his jokester friend, looking to find something interesting for him "He needed to learn how to properly have fun, so I brought him with us."

After waiting for a while, and meeting a complete silence Sarth said "Aren't you going to introduce yourselves?! What are you waiting for..."

"We thought you would..." Said one figure in the back.

"Oh... Well, I thought it would be better for each to introduce himself... Since it's like that-" Sarth replied, before getting cut off.

"Now that you mention it, self-introductions might be for the best." Another figure replied. "My name is Zon."

The figure on the back calmly introduced himself "Name is Nick, nice to meet you Kin."

And the rest soon followed "Name is Linda, nice to meet you Kin." Followed by a horse voice "Name is Parth, and he is Liss, nice to meet you Kin." Said Parth, pointing to an enormous vicious looking figure.

The enormous figure, Liss, was obviously annoyed that he didn't get to introduce himself. And then he... He sulked. 

After some apologies to him, Parth got up "Is everyone ready? The train arrives in 1 hour, and we must be there before it is."

All in all, it wasn't their first time camping, and everything went smoothly. Everyone had gone free camping before.

 "Sooo, where are we going?" Kin asked curiously inside the moving train, before meeting a dumbfounded response from Liss "Wait, you didn't know?!"

"Not my fault... Sarth wouldn't open his mouth about it... I just know it's about free camping." He defended himself, turning all the gazes to Sarth.

"You know where we are going Sarth, and you dared to do such a thing?! Bastard, you must be tired of living." Said Parth with obvious anger in his voice, expressing his feelings, as well as the other shadows feelings or this matter.

"Actually, not that much of a problem for me. I am free to go wherever I wish to, and I fear nothing!" Kin interjected, not wanting to see his friend getting all the blame for whatever the reason.

"Then let me see if you still have the same attitude when you learn where we are planning to go." Parth said with discontent. They were taking it too lightly for it to be true. "Listen, we're going to step on the uncharted lands close to the border. And while it will supposedly be safe, since we are going to be close to the borders, the danger is still there." She spoke with a gleam in her eyes, but as she spoke of the words 'uncharted lands', everyone tensed up a bit. "Well, I have a map for the outer area, but anything further on, is unknown."

At this moment, Kin foolishly spoke up "So, what's the problem... We have a map, so it isn't as uncharted as they say... We're going to stay in the safe places and be prepared for the worst... I don't understand why you are acting like that..."

Everyone looked at him in the eyes, not understanding how someone could be so stupid and still live to this day.

"Yeah, I guess that a forest an entire nation couldn't map out, is something so easy for us, we could go there butt naked strolling around... Kin, are you freaking retarded? Answer honestly." Parth said with irritation growing more and more visible on his face.

As they continued speaking, tension grew and grew, till...

"Now now, calm down guys. To begin with, the area is relatively safe, else we wouldn't venture out there. However the dangers still exist, so going foolishly like that is bound to return tenfold the pain. Both of you are right and wrong at the same time... Well, more on the wrong side is Kin, since you can never underestimate that place, but nothing should go wrong, and currently many have gone camping there, with nothing happening to them." The one who spoke was Liss. He was happy to see Parth flustered and irritated, but everything had its limit.

Seeing the situation calm down, Liss sighed and closed his eyes, waiting for the train to reach its destination.

At the same moment, Sarth stood up "Anyways, wanna play some games to pass time?" He said taking some cards from his backpack.

Needless to say, the response to his laid back attitude much fitting with Kin's, was met with cold eyes.

"Tch, you ain't fun at all..." Sarth sulked. Saying that he turned to Kin and smiled. Kin smiling back got ready to play. 'I always knew I could count on him.'

As the others saw them playing with the same laid back attitude, everyone thought 'Birds of a feather flock together' the sentence itself was made for them...

Reaching their destination those two were still playing.

"Come on, we have to get off the train now..." Linda suddenly said with a much-hidden enthusiasm, jumping off the train, that was unexpectedly met with... nothing, she was ignored "Someone please help me kick these guys off the train...".

"Calm down... we still have to walk 2 miles to the border." Kin turned to her and said with a calm voice, much infuriating Linda.

 The rest of the way went without a hitch, and after some time they reached the borders. All of them amazed at the sheer mass of this monstrosity, they stopped a bit and took pictures, as well as silently stare at it. Over 100 meters tall, and 30 meters thick, this structure surrounding the entirety of the vast borders was amazing to anyone who looked.

 The 'border' was called like that because it separated the vast unknown lands, from civilization... Normal shadows and humans could pass through easily, so long they were above a certain age, and had permissions. It was considered normal matter to go out for some exploring or even sightseeing, and so long they didn't go too far inside they would be safe since the outer parts near the border were... Some could say safer than living in the city. After all, there were a few murders and robberies every so often, amounting to shocking statistics, while in contrast as long as you didn't venture too far into the unknown lands, it was just like any normal forest.

 Kin didn't know how they obtained permissions for the entire group, but he decided to leave that unquestioned. Instead, he opted to enjoy this new experience out of the borders as much as possible.

"You won't leave the group..." Zon suddenly said, waking up Kin from his daydreaming, as well as any others who might have had such plans. "Right now I'm saying this specifically for you, Kin, but it amounts equally to any others having such thoughts."

 Parth suddenly spoke up with his usual hoarse voice, mentioning the plans once more in case anyone needed a reminder "We will head about 2 km out of the borders and camp there for 2 nights."

 Everyone had heard of this, so no questions arose, but a slight grumble from Sarth for their short camping duration. Even so, he walked at the same pace as everyone and didn't cause any problems along the way.

 2 km were really short for anyone who walked that kind of distance over 5 times in one day... and while it was their first outing outside the border, once they reached it, everyone felt they needed to go further. 2 km would take you no more than 2 hours of walking, and that was considering the slowest pace you could walk at, so of course they weren't satisfied... They were used to far longer paths, and yet, they walked a little, and decided to call it a day? Considering this far out, or even 5 more km further were as safe as any other hiking trip they had gone in any of the mountains they visited, of course, many found it a joke in spite of having already agreed to this sort of distance.

"Hey... Can't we go a tad bit further than this?" Sarth complained right when they were about to camp. "I know it's something out of the original plan, but no matter how you look at it 2 km is an everyday walk... we could just follow the river and head a tad bit further inside the forest..." He continued speaking. Although what he said wasn't proper, his words expressed the inner feelings of most... they had gone out for a feeling of adventure after all. And so, no one opposed his words... but Nick.

The figure that had stayed quiet for the entire duration of the trip, once more spoke up "If you like, go by yourself. We had agreed to something, and I ain't about to endanger myself any more than this. Trust me, 5 more kilometers won't have any difference, so why not just stay here?" He said with a deep voice, bringing everyone back to normal.

However, Sarth saw he had a chance, a chance to convince the others to go further inside. He was there for the feeling of adventure, so if he was going to do something, he would do it big... and despite what he wanted, he couldn't go alone... if he were to answer Nick's question honestly, what he would say would sound like this 'I'm afraid to go alone camping in a forest, and especially at night... I'm afraid, but at the same time I don't want to feel I chickened out... I even know people that have gone so far as 20 km deep in the forest, younger than me, and they returned perfectly just fine. There is safety in groups... As a team, we can head further!'... But he didn't say that. Instead, he kept his silence and obediently started setting his tent along with Kin.

 As everyone had some experience with freestyle camping they didn't encounter any newbie mistakes. Along with that, Kin started seeing Nick in a new light. It was he that woke up everyone, a responsible person... 'Mmh, every team needs such a sensible person to survive.' He thought, and as such he was about to say something to Nick, before stopping right in his tracks.

Another small freestyle camping group approached them containing 5 people about their age. In that small group there was a woman who seemed to know Nick, and seeing him and the rest of the group starting to camp here, her expression... got strange. "Nick... what are you doing here...?" She said with an even stranger look in her face. "You're camping, that I can see... about 2 km from the borders..." she stopped for a second. "I hope you're joking..." And with that, she just left. Just as everyone was left in a daze, another member of their group said something "This time we're going 50 km away from the border... last time it was about 40 km. I can sort of understand the look on her face... you guys are just pathetic ." Leaving them in a daze.

It seemed, they just wanted to mock them, but now knowing Nick, and the rest, they had little chances of succeeding... or so Kin thought. 

"Hey, wasn't Sarth saying something about heading deeper?" Nick said suddenly, grabbing the attention of everyone. "How about we try going further inside the uncharted lands... about 50 km, it should make for a nice camping site."

No one spoke...

 Everyone other than Kin knew this side of Nick well enough, and as such they weren't surprised. However "Hey hey, our first time outside the borders will be not one or two kilometers outside the border, but a whole 50 km?" Parth said in hopes of saving the group from the grim hands of Nick... "You aren't trying to kill us, right?"

 Even Nick himself knew how stupid it would be to go 50 km deep into the forest into the uncharted lands, their first time no less. He knew, and yet, he couldn't bear it... To be humiliated by someone who was considered his foolish rival, and not him, but the whole group, his friends...

 "Ten?" Liss suddenly said, "Ten kilometers... I doubt they went further than 5 km on their first time outside the borders. Those bastards think we're chickens... Let us prove them wrong!" She said with a vigorous voice.

 Many hesitated. They had after all prepared for 2 km, not five times that... combined with the eerie stories they heard for after 5 kilometers... but then again, no incidences have occurred the past months, and people even start getting to 50 km deep. Everyone had a sense of adventure, and Nick who was supposed to be the brake that stopped them from making any rash decisions ended up being the catalyst for one, one terrible decision.

 Simply packing up, they started moving again. Not even Parth stopped the group... it was easy to say 2 kilometers for safety and keep it. She knew how short 2 kilometers were... she walked that kind of distance daily... yet, when they reached that distance out of the border, the distance that seemed oh so small, seemed even smaller.

Everyone had that nagging feeling in the back of their heads, but they ignored it... Were they rush? Yes, and not only that, but they knew it as well... However, at the same time, the environment they were prepared for didn't change, the danger level was also equally small... why be afraid?

At the end, they themselves ended up taking lightly the same environment they told Kin not to...

 After a few hours of walking, "We are all tired... We've been walking along the river for a few hours. We should have passed the 5 kilometers mark... it wasn't a straight line, and walking in a forest is harder than walking in a city, on the pavements and the streets... Let's just take a rest." Zon said with some weakness which was hardly visible in his shadowy face, or in his voice. But that said, what good would it do to walk till they collapsed, it wasn't like they were trying to make it there without any stops... As for the place they decided to stop and rest at, was a place clearly shown in the map, protected by nature, with all kinds of resources next to it, and truthfully they all considered stopping here to camp, but then again 10 kilometres weren't that far away, and there were similar spots there.

 The life of one person was riddled with chances, opportunities and luck... you just needed to take the step when needed. Many had, and died, but many had and gotten powerful... But most didn't even see those chances. Kin and the rest did and decided to not stop. And unknowingly, the began to enter one of the most dangerous and forbidden areas in the uncharted lands.

 "Hey guys, are you sure this map is correct? Because I just noticed, that the route we have been taking for an hour or so isn't recorded on the map..." Zon suddenly said. He showed the map to everyone, and explained "Here, it looks similar but it's not." their path was different.

 "Shouldn't we backtrack to the place we previously stopped?" Linda asked anxiously. They planned to reach the marked place before nightfall, but it seemed they no longer could. "We have to hurry up and find our way before nightfall." She then added, making everyone more anxious as no words were needed for how dangerous getting lost in a forest at night was, much less this place.

 Anxiously, they started taking the road of return with a much faster pace than the beginning. All in hopes of reaching the place they had stopped as soon as possible. At the pace they were walking, they should have reached that place in fifteen minutes, but they were walking for triple that, and still no sign of it. They realized just how bad the situation was...

 "We have about 4 hours before nightfall hits, so don't panic. Panicking will only make it worse..." Nick said, with guilt hidden in his voice. "Backtracking now is impossible. We have to rely on other methods." He further explained, taking the map and a compass. Searching for approximately were where they at, he started sweating... He remembered the map couldn't help. However, he knew what direction the city was at "North... The city is North of us, so we should head towards the North."

 It seemed they shouldn't have worried that much. They knew where the border was approximately, and the closer to the border, the safer it is... and in actuality, they shouldn't be that far from the border, so they should be fine. "Let's head North, and when we get a signal, I will try to call for a rescue team." Kin said with a smile. But instead of relieving the others, his words made their faces turn white, even Sarth's "When... When did you lose the signal...?" Sarth asked with tears in his eyes. "The signal should always be there, no matter how far we went..." and with those words, they fell silent.

 Parth getting annoyed of all the suffocating atmosphere, "You guys are stupid... We know where the border is, so no problem, just don't hesitate and let's get moving... All of you are so pessimistic, like seriously" He said with a laugh. His attempt to lift up the spirits didn't fail, but you couldn't call it a success either, as they were still somewhat trembling while moving towards the border... 

 One hour passed, and they had more or less calmed down, as some cheerful conversations started again.

 One more hour passed, and soon the sun would set. That's when they started getting anxious...

 The sun was setting, and darkness started to fill this empty forest. "That reminds me, isn't it eerily quiet?" Liss said anxiously, not helping the already scared team, as they soon noticed the same.

 This place was getting even weirder, when they couldn't see the walls of the border, no matter how much they walked. It was only lush foliage... trees all over them, with no sign of the border. They had almost lost all hope, but no one said anything... Because if anyone did, they were sure to collapse. Hence, they continued walking, getting the most they could before the visibility dropped to zero. They should have prepared for the night, but being in the wrong state of mind, false hope clouded their vision.

 In the end, as they had almost given up, Linda suddenly said "Walls!". Everyone looked ahead of them and saw walls. Something that no beasts could make. Something man-made! 

 With renewed hope, excitement filling their eyes, they made a mad dash towards those walls. Only to have that excitement fade almost instantly "Castle walls" said Parth. Indeed, they had confused these walls to the border ones. As they sighed, Parth said angrily "What are you doing?! Sighing from now... hopeless. Look, if it's an abandoned castle, we have a place to spend the night. We might also find information on how to go back..." He further continued to explain, "If in the unlikely chance it isn't abandoned, we have more chances of returning to our homes." 

 Having that said, they were still hesitant to venture inside, but...

 Suddenly, they no longer were inside the dense jungle, but inside a dark yet spacious room. In front of them was a skeleton dressed in black garments sitting on a large throne, quiet, unmoving, yet still emitting an air of superiority as if looking at some insects. Normal logic would say he is dead, he definitely was dead... "Who are these foolish shadowlings, daring to trespass my Master's territory!" yet that 'dead' skeleton made his question in a commanding tone.

 It was too sudden, no one even dared to move, but soon they realized, even if they wanted to, they couldn't, even their legs couldn't tremble. They were locked in place not even able to open their mouth, yet the skeleton demanded an answer. And even if they were able to answer the skeleton's question, what guarantee would they have that he would let them go just like that? Despair hit most of them, yet some couldn't get a hang of the situation with how fast everything happened.

 "Truly you and humans are the most idiotic creatures living on this planet. Have you ever stopped to consider why this place remains uncharted?" The skeleton said with a deep sigh, as if it wasn't the first time he was seeing this. 'My Master is currently resting, so I will not bother him with some insects.' He murmured to himself, yet he was loud enough for the adventurous kids to be able to listen to him. It was intentional... a move that drove them further into despair.

 They wanted to shout, to say something, but they couldn't.

 And what was worse than death? The anticipation of it. At the moment you died, everything ended, but before it, you still subconsciously strived to find a way to live, yet you would always be driven to despair by the situation.

 In one second 2 heads flew, Linda's and Liss's. As the others who watched this happen right in front of their eyes panicked, 1 body was cut in two halves, and another one was turned into a pile of mush, and at the side, Kin was watching his dearest friends get killed right before his eyes, yet was unable to do anything as Sarth was turned into nothing more than a pile of meat.

 And as the rest were cut in pieces, they heard a voice say "Worry not, within my Master's domain even death is afraid to enter. You shall not die."

 For even death couldn't surpass that Monster's domain. For that sole reason, even after losing their heads, they were still alive.

Should they take one step out of this domain, their fates shall quickly be decided... Death!

They now regretted, regretted their foolishness, regretted their ignorance... for it is nothing else they could do.

Soon the skeleton faded into darkness, as did the still alive, yet cut down shadowlings... never to be seen by the light of sun ever again. Forgotten by everyone... dead, but still alive.

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A note from Inslayer

Sorry for being extremely late in releasing this chapter...


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Inslayer

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