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NoteEdit

This is a precursor to one of my fanfics on fanfiction.net (called "The Forgotten Hero" check it out if you like this). It centers around young Ruth, a girl born and raised in the Nether. Enjoy!

Authoress: TkaiaWolf

The Day Everything ChangedEdit

Ruth let out a fearsome yell as she leaped into the air, sword flashing in the moonlight as it slashed down, cleaving a zombie's head in two. Quick as lightning, she brought her sword around to shatter a skeleton, and slice open a giant spider. Victorious, the young warrior raised her blade skyward as the villiage cheered their approval, celebrating their heroine's victory.

"Very good. You're getting better." Ruth whirled around, lowering her toy wooden sword to see her mother enter the room. The young girl smiled happily and ran into her mother's arms, letting her pick her up and swing her around. Ruth's hazel eyes crinkled in a happy smile as her dark brown hair, kept loose about her face, swung wildly. Her mother set her down.

Ruth stared into her mother's violet eyes. Though she was quite young, she appeared older, her dark hair streaked liberally with grey. Her face, though smiling, was sad; the face of a woman who had seen far more than anyone had any right to see.

"Do you really think I'm getting better? Do you really think I'm a good fighter?" Ruth asked excitedly, jumping up and down on the spot.

"Yes, sunshine, I truly do." Her mother replied, smiling a little wider. Suddenly, she turned around as a deep pulsing sound reached her ears. "The portal has activated. But He is still here." She murmured, picking up Ruth and running to a nearby window.

Across a great lava sea, a bridge of netherbrick suspended by great rock pillars spanned the firey ocean, leading to a platform holding an intricately carved obsidian frame filled with swriling purple energy--a Hellgate. Though this Hellgate usually remained deactivated, pulsating noised emanated from it now, and, slowly, a shape began to form within its swirling center. The shape began to take form, until, finally, a man was thrown through the portal.

His face was scarred, old, and angry. He weilded a knife, and wore only a leather jerkin and cotton clothes beneath. He looked around at the hell he had traveled to, unafraid. The mother let out a small moan of longing and fear. "Karpath. Oh, my Karpath." Minthor whispered. In her arms, Ruth's eyes widened.

"Papa." She murmured, staring at the man across the lava, drinking him in. Suddenly, she noticed another man approaching him. "Papa, look out!" She screamed. Karpath whirled about to look at her. His eyes met Minthor's. For a split second, they both seemed young again. Then an obsidian arrow sprouted out of Karpath's chest.

Minthor screamed as Karpath staggered about to look at his foe, his knife clattering to the ground as he dropped it. The bowman was terrifying--skin white as snow, eyes as red as the lava beneath him, and robes seemingly crafted of shadow itself. Israphel stalked slowly, mockingly, towards Karpath, who fell slowly to his knees. Karpath said something indescernable from Ruth's distance. Israphel looked at him for a moment, and, without any change of expression, kicked him into the lava below.

Minthor turned away, sobbing quietly into her childs head as her husband fell, but Ruth watched, horrifically transfixed, as the father she never knew fell into the lava below. Slowly, she forced her gaze back to the bridge, where Israphel stood, staring at her emotionlessly. Their eyes met. Ruth stared at him for three, four, five long seconds before Israphel finally turned and walked away. Ruth watched him leave.

As soon as he was out of sight, she leaped from her mother's arms and sprinted down the corridor, dodging shadowy skeletons and grotesque pigmen as she ran, ran to the bridge. She slowed as she reached the bridge's middle. On the floor before her was the knife her father had dropped before he died. Ruth picked it up, and swung it. Much better than an old stick, she thought, and strapped it to her belt.

"Besides," She muttered, "I can't kill a man with a stick. And I have to kill Israphel."

No longer was Ruth, daughter of Karpath, a child. She was Ruth, huntress. And the Dark One was her prey.

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