Story Disclaimer: I don't own Soul Eater or Soul Eater's characters.
CHAPTER ONE — PROLOGUE
Every witch is influenced by a naturally destructive instinct known as the Sway of Magic. Some feel this evil tug stronger than others, but hardly any witches are able to resist this instinct.
Within the tomes of the ancient Witch Library, the annals of times long past can still be read, the now-faded words barely decipherable.
Some four thousand years before the current era, the records make a mention of a juvenile witch of a mere several centuries who, during one of the Witch Masses, had openly rejected the sacred laws that were set forth by the First Witch Queen.
After the young witch escaped the outraged Mass attendees, the records regarding her existence are illegible for nearly a century. When the witch is finally mentioned again, full pages of text are dedicated to cursing her. Careful examination of the hatred scrawled across the page reveals that she was named Hecate, and that she had performed numerous unprecedented transgressions against her own kind. Page after page, year after year, Hecate continued to commit crimes against all witches, until it was finally declared by the current Witch Queen that Hecate would need to be brought to justice. The punishment was death.
The crime was the murder of at least twenty-three witches and the attempted murder of four others.
And so, for the first time, witches were organized into squads, determined to work together against a common enemy, forming the most formidable army the world had ever known.
Hecate's location was discovered within a year. The Witch Queen seized the opportunity before her enemy could flee and ordered the three closest squads to attack. The annals of that era show the decision to attack before amassing a greater force would prove to be a costly mistake.
The single survivor was barely able to recount what happened before succumbing to her injuries. By order of the Witch Queen, her exact words were recorded and placed in the archives:
"We had her surrounded and…outnumbered. One squad circled above Hecate in…skies. Make sure she wasn't…wouldn't be…to get fly away. My squad and another…other squad surrounded her on the ground. It was easy. She didn't even try to run, either. Just stood there, not running…easy. She looked…scared, on her face. Scared. Surrounded by…surrounded…
"We attacked…easy. She only managed to kill…one of us. She…pathetic. We…her. Tortured. All of us, even…were flying…came down. …Circle. Middle…she crawled around. We were all yelling…hurting…her. She…covered…blood everywhere… Eventually, she curled…ball. We…yelling and…hit…kicking. She…still…
"About…take her head. Kill her, but…wavelength got all…twis-twisted…"
[The patient has fallen unconscious.]
[Witch Queen has given us permission to attempt to force her into a semi-aware state. If the procedure is successful, her chances of survival will be significantly decreased. If it fails, she will die.]
[Success. She is panicking and confused, but she is talking coherently nonetheless. She does not seem to remember that she had begun to tell us what had occurred. When we inquired about the Hecate's wavelength, she appeared frightened and began to babble. We are trying to calm her down so she can continue describing the events regarding the encounter with the Hecate.]
"Her wavelength was ebbing as we continued to torture her. She even stopped screaming whenever we hit her particularly hard. The ground was slick with blood. One of the squad leaders finally had the sense to stop us. She stepped forward and was about to take off Hecate's head using magic. It was then when I sensed the Hecate's wavelength shiver. That's when she sat up—she moved so quickly…but it seemed as if she were a puppet. Her body…was limp when she sat up. Since her head was bowed and her hair was…heavy with blood, it hung in front of…of her face, so I wasn't able to see her…face.
"Slowly…head still bowed, Hecate turned her head towards our sister who was…about to strike Hecate down. Seeing Hecate moving again, it…angered her somehow. The squad leader s-screamed her mantra. Before she could re…lease…the spell, Hecate…was in the air…don't know how…above and over our circle…jumping clear over the squad leader…landing next to…soul. The sister she had…killed. She ate it. The soul. We were…shocked…
"Whenever she killed one of us before…always…soul there still. All…ways. We were angry…then. All of us ran at Hecate, chanting…mantras. But Hecate…disappeared…. Her shadow…moved…. Got darker. Black void. It surrounded her, protecting… I felt…her wavelength…strong… Hecate was consumed…Madness! Disappeared…swallowed up by the darkness…into the ground. Could feel…everywhere…Madness… She…behind us…attacking. Disappears… Appears… Kills. Attacks with shadows…everywhere! No escape…Madness…Hecate…"
[Coroner's report: the patient's most likely cause of death was the combination of extreme blood loss and trauma, although I'm certain that the experimental procedure that was performed to force her into an unnatural conscious state played a role as well. The autopsy revealed that she was also suffering from shattered bones in her right arm and both of her legs, as well as numerous puncture wounds of various depths to her torso and limbs.]
[Including this patient, the casualties of the conflict between the three witch squads and Hecate now number twelve.]
[It seems that Witch Queen will soon dismantle the squads and call off the search for Hecate. If Hecate has indeed become one with the Madness and she continues to consume souls, she will become a Kishin. It would be wise to let her be, just in case. The Witch Queen is not willing to sacrifice any more of her sisters to bring justice to such an abomination.]
The witch known as Hecate had finally submitted to the Sway of Magic that all Magic Users experience. But, alas, Hecate had ignored the influence of the Madness for so long that when she finally grew too weak to ignore its siren's call, she became absorbed by it. Although her wavelength was corrupted from the instability of the Madness, she miraculously was able to retain both her sanity and her beliefs regarding her own kind.
Not much is known about Hecate after she had escaped. It is said that she was found by a local, who took her in and treated her wounds. As he nursed her back to strength, she never once forgot her reasons for temporarily allowing the power of the Madness to flow into her body, nor did she cast aside her beliefs. Eventually the witch came to realize that she had fallen in love with the human who had cared for her.
Hecate gave birth to an innocent little girl—a witch. Years passed. Hecate's husband passed away, and the child grew slowly older. Hecate came to the realization that her daughter was able to resist the Madness, just as she was able to do.
The beliefs held by one were passed down to another, from mother to daughter.
Hecate trained her daughter for the rest of her life, which was cut unexpectedly short. One morning, the young witch awoke to find that her mother had committed suicide in the night—the Madness that Hecate had battled for so many years had worn down her spirit and body to the point where she could no longer repress it. The young witch was devastated by her mother's unexpected death.
Still, she was determined to take her mother's place: armed with only her magic, her beliefs, and her witch mother's surname, the new witch went out into the world to earn her place as the next Hecate.
The young witch would have made her mother proud. She killed many of her own kind in the name of her beliefs. No witch army was ever established to hunt down this new witch hunter, for fear of history repeating itself. Centuries passed, and the young witch grew older. Soon she felt the call of Madness, and realized that the Madness that had corrupted her mother's soul was genetic. She searched for a human with a strong soul and mated with him, not out of love, but because of her desire to pass on her beliefs. She gave birth to a daughter and taught her, just as her own mother had done so many years ago.
And so the cycle continued. As each new witch adopted both her mother's surname and beliefs, she would also take an oath to uphold the beliefs even when faced with death, and, when the Sway of Magic began to voice its seductive call, to pass on her knowledge before killing herself.
Each new generation from this bloodline would feel the call of the Madness sooner and sooner. Before long, the witches who held the beliefs of Hecate would only live a few centuries before feeling the call of the Madness. Over time, this bloodline of witches became known by the surname they shared.
Several centuries before the present era, a witch who carried this surname realized her time had come. She gave birth to non-identical twins, both of them witches. One twin was a normal, healthy child, blessed strongly with Magic. The other child, however, was an extreme rarity among witches, albeit not completely unheard-of.
As was tradition, the mother taught her children everything she knew. Before she killed herself, she bestowed upon her children the surname and the destiny that name carried.
Side by side, the twins fought and killed for their beliefs, just as it had always been since the time of Hecate. Alas, it was not meant to last, for while both stood in darkness, only one was destined to walk the path of light—the other would fall prey to the Madness.
In a clash between siblings, Hell holds no candle.
The survivor of the battle would continue to uphold those sacred familial beliefs until the time came to pass on the ancient surname: Bane.
Evil, fear the Witch Hunter.
All beings that fall into Madness and use it for evil deserve to die.
It is their destiny to be cleansed from this world.
And I am the one to do it.
CHAPTER EIGHT — RESCUE (preview)
Wallace blinked furiously as the torch roared softly to life. After spending what must have been weeks in the dark, makeshift dungeon, he felt he couldn't wait for his eyes to adjust. As eager as he was to be set free, he was even more curious about the rescuers he had conversed with only a few seconds before. He could tell from the voices that they had to be a man and a woman, but with the light from the torch, he would finally be able to put faces to their voices.
Squinting, he peered out into the illuminated space. The woman—he assumed it was the woman based on her hair alone, since she wore a loose-fitting black coat that obscured most of her figure—was faced away from him, kneeling as she worked on picking the lock of a cell on the other side of the room. The torch lay on the ground next to her; Wallace glanced away from the searing light, deciding instead to search for the woman's companion. With a start, he realized the man was standing not three feet from his opened cell door. Wallace blinked and choked down a startled cry. The man stepped into the cell. "Do you have pockets?" he asked softly. Wallace recognized the voice—it was definitely the male rescuer. He looked the man up and down, slightly taken aback.
He was just a kid. Wallace estimated him to be in his late teens or early twenties—it was hard to tell. His shadow-covered face made it difficult to accurately judge his age: he was a pale white, with cropped black hair and dark bags under steely gray eyes. The face reminded him of a soldier who watched his best friend get killed right in front of him. A nearly skin-tight sleeveless black shirt accentuated his build, Wallace observed. He was muscular, for sure, though not excessively so. Black cargo pants with countless pockets and a pair of black combat boots completed the ensemble.
"Avez-vous poches?" he repeated. "Do you have pockets?"
Wallace nodded. The man knelt down beside him and handed the freed prisoner a piece of folded paper.
"Take this. Don't lose it. I want you to lead your fellows out of here, using that tunnel over there." He jerked his head to the left, indicating the direction of the tunnel. "Follow it. Eventually you'll come to a ladder. Once you get outside, find the closest inn and stay there. If we don't find you by the next sunset, call the phone number written here," he whispered, tapping the folded sheet. "This will get you in contact with people who can help you further." The man rose to his feet and made to leave.
"Wait." Wallace's voice cracked. "Wh—"
"Hey, Sven, are you going to help me or not?" a hushed voice called out.
Wallace watched as the woman pranced lightly to the man's side. She was just six inches shorter than the man—Sven, she'd called him. The black trench coat floated gracefully around her, but it seemed too large: the hemline was only barely off the ground. Her coarse sandy-blonde hair was braided into a thick braid that reached to the middle of her shoulder blades. A black bandana was tied behind her head and underneath her braid, most likely to keep stray hairs away from her face. Now that she was closer and facing him directly, Wallace noticed that she was older than Sven—she appeared to be around twenty-three years old. She was tan-skinned and blue-eyed, and she wore nearly identical clothing to Sven except for her top: she sported at gray shirt instead.
She now glared playfully at her companion.
"It seems like you're doing just fine without me, Isabelle," Sven whispered. "Keep working. I'm going to take a look around."
Isabelle crossed her arms and sighed quietly as Sven slipped past her before following him out of the cell. Wallace unfolded the paper and read the number neatly scrawled across the page.
APPROXIMATELY SEVEN HOURS EARLIER:
Chapter Two — Hatred of the City
Posted: June 2011
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