”You are… the wraith?”
”That is what they are calling me? A wraith? Sounds appropriate enough, all things considered.”
In the middle of a snowy field, two people were standing. One dark figure with a cigarette in his mouth, the other covered under a deep-blue robe.
”So it is you. I have been asked to find out the truth about you… and, if possible, ‘remove’ you. The people in the town are scared shitless of you.”666 looked at the robed figure and blew out some smoke.
”Scared of me, I wonder… I haven’t touched anything or anybody.” The voice was that of a female. It was very calm and soothing, but whether or not the person reflected this was impossible to tell, as her face was completely shadowed by the long hood of her robe.
”Maybe not. But I have my orders, and they already paid me. Will you go quietly, or do I have to resort to violence?”
”You are one who speaks of violence so casually… may I ask if you would call youself a warrior?”
”Something like that. Would you?”
”No, I am not a warrior. Despite it, noone who has attempted to lay hand on me has been left without harm. But I have never brought pain upon anyone who did not deserve such a treatment.”
”You and I are clearly have different views on that matter. But enough of it. Will you leave, or do I have to make you?”
”I bear no intention to quit what I am doing, for I have a reason of doing it. And if you intend to interfere with my ways using force, so be it. You have positioned yourself as an obstacle that I am meaning to remove.” Her left hand emerged from the robe, holding something. A glowing white blade shot out from the object. It was a pure colour, a completely untainted shade of white.
666 stared at the weapon. ”That! Can it be…?”
”I see that you have an eye for the deadly. Yes, you are correct in your assumption. This is one of the ten fine blades…”
”Very well.” 666 took his forehead protector off his right arm and tied it around his head. ”Out of respect – not respect for you, but respect for that blade – I will draw an appropriate weapon myself.” He drew Nightmare out of its holder, pointing it at his opponent as he activated the blade.
”That crimson colour… so that is how it is. You are also a keeper of one of them. But you should know what they stand for. Like your Nightmare representing bloodshed.”
”Of course I know… and Snowflake is supposed to represent perfection.”
”True. The finest of the fine blades. Rumours speak of it to be the best sword the world has ever seen. Whether or not it is the truth, I do not know.”
”Heh… before we start, may I ask your name?”
”While I do bear a name, it is not a name that I will reveal to one who is standing before me. But if you wish, you may refer to me as Snow.”
”What a queer nickname. Enough talking, then…” 666 started rushing towards his opponent, Nightmare held in a ready position. As he approached Snow, she lowered Snowflake, then made a small jump backwards to dodge 666’s swing. She swiftly moved towards him, thrusting towards his chest with Snowflake. Deflecting it with Nightmare, 666 knew that she was good. He leapt backwards and thrusted the blade of Nightmare down in the snowy ground, still holding on to the handle. He grabbed his right forearm with his left hand, and started running towards Snow.
”Ignition!” As he came close to her, he swung the blade upwards. But the attack left her unscathed as she blocked the swing with Snowflake. She looked at his eyes. 666 looked in the direction her eyes should be, but she was still in the shadows of her robe.
”Is that weapon a precious thing to you?”
”More than that. It is the most important object in the world to me!” He jumped backwards, stood straight up and held out his right hand with the sword. ”It is the legacy of a dead friend who gave his life for me.”
Snow gave off a small laugh. ”What a heartwarming story. I have myself lost a friend… but no, I have not lost one friend.” She paused for a moment. ”I have lost everyone I have ever known, never to come back.”
”What… what ARE you?”
”I wonder.”
”Hmph. Back to business.” He put his arm straight out to the right, and started to spin Nightmare around in his hand. But this time it was Snow who made a move, approaching 666 quickly. Just as he grabbed hold of Nightmare’s handle and slashed with great force towards Snow, she seemed to disappear. But only moments later she stood beside him, holding her blade in front of his eyes. He ducked and attempted a leg sweep to make her fall, but she dodged it and positioned herself a small distance from 666.
”You have astonishing reflexes. Very few of those which I have faced in combat has been able to hold their ground for as long as you have, despite this battle taking place in this weather.”
”You and the snow…” 666 deactivated Nightmare and put it back in it’s holder, but not letting go of it. He spit out the cig he had been smoking on the ground, looked at Snow and pointed at her with his left arm. ”I feel like ending this.”
”We are in agreement about that particular subject.” She lifted Snowflake, holding it vertically in front of herself. They dashed towards each other, both taking a leap as they approached each other and slashed. As they landed, both stood still for a few moments. A piece of Snow’s robe fell to the ground, which was followed by a slight laugh from her. ”The matter has been settled. Perfection seems to have gained the upper hand on bloodshed.”
”Possibly…” With that, 666’s forehead protector fell to the ground, cut in two with a straight vertical slash in the middle of the central 6. He sheathed Nightmare, bent down to pick up the two pieces of his headgear, then turned around… ”And no-” …only to notice that there was something missing. ”What in the world… where…?” Snow was nowhere to be seen. As he looked at the ground, he noticed that something else was amiss. They had been moving around in most of the area, but on the ground there was only footsteps from one person – himself. ”Who or what was that woman?” Still confused, he left the field and went back to the town where he had recieved the mission.

He left the following day after giving report of the encounter, albeit with modification to the real events. He informed them that he did not know if she would appear again or not, but that they had nothing to fear. As he was walking on a forest trail away from the town, he came across something lying on the ground. He looked at it for a few moments before moving on. On the path he left behind him, there was a deep blue piece of cloth lying on the ground, across it being a snowy footprint.

Story is © Magnus von Göes Karlström 2006
All characters are coyright respective owners.

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