Chapter 1

"I'll always be with you, kitten. For as long as there are stars in the sky."

Niyx Raedon's last conscious memory was of Alexandra Jennings, his kitten, sobbing over his body.

Kitten, his weakened mind tried to whisper. Don't cry.

But the effort was too much, and so with that, his vision darkened and then disappeared altogether.

Niyx Raedon floated out of the body that had once been him. He floated high, high above his kitten and Mount Paedris. Suddenly he felt an overwhelming urge to close his eyes, and so he did, drifting above the clouds.

Niyx Raedon woke up in an unfamiliar place. The room he was in was pure white with accents of gold. He sat up quickly, noting that the bed he was on was probably the most comfortable bed in the world, and swung his legs out of bed and onto the ground. Glancing down, he started in surprise as his gaping wound had healed completely. Shaking his head in wonder, Niyx stepped outside of the room and promptly stopped. Why? Because he was standing on a cloud.

Niyx wasn't scared of many things, but heights was one of those few. Swallowing deeply, he took a tentative step forward, and then another. Just as he was about to take another hesitant step, a person appeared in front of him.

Niyx bowed his head, saying, "Aes Daega."

"Niyx Raedon." The Tia Auran nodded at him, a small smile on her face. Now that Niyx's head was clearer, he could see evidence of a wound on her torso. Not much, just a small speck of blood here or there but enough for Niyx's Meyarin senses to tell that she was… dead.

"Where are we?" he asked aloud, his mind wandering.

"El L'randae de la M'uerti," responded Lady Mystique. Niyx's inner translator scrambled to decipher her words, and finally translated them.

"The… Life after Death?" he asked. "Does that mean…" He trailed off, leaving his sentence unfinished.

"Indeed, Niyx Raedon. You are dead." She responded in answer to his unspoken question.

"But what about Aeylia? Mayra?" he asked, saddened.

"They must learn to cope, as do we all. However, here is some news that may reassure you. The name of this place is not just a name. There is a meaning for it, but all will be revealed in due time." She answered mysteriously. Before he could ask her more, she disappeared again, leaving Niyx to inch his way across the clouds.

Muttering under his breath about "cryptic Tia Aurans who are too mysterious for their own good", Niyx wasn't paying attention to where he was going. He nearly bumped into someone, and looked up to apologise.

"Oh! I'm so…" The apology died on his lips as he saw the figure in front of him.

Slim, yet strong and beautiful, with wavy brown hair and silver eyes that seemed to pierce your soul.

"Liluthia?" he asked. "What are you doing here?"