By: Lime Green Giraffe Social Director, Emily D.  

Once across the Lime of Shadows, instantly, I could feel a difference. The air around me was cooler and still. Behind me, I heard the rest of the crew gasp as they too realized the difference. I looked back across the Line of Shadows, it now seemed like Gailia was the darker one. Typical villany, I thought. I have seen enough Disney movies where the bad guy tries to make the good guy seem bad. 
“Dear lord!” exclaimed Grave, who was usually very sullen and quiet, very grave, as one might say. “This land is filled with an essence!” 
“What and ours isn’t?” I replied, a bit stung. 
“Oh no, your essence is dimmed by the monarchy. It’s still there, just not easily felt.” he replied, unfazed by my concern. 
“WHO DARES TO TRAVEL INTO OUR LANDS OF NIGHT?” boomed a voice from above. All eyes lifted upward in shock. The voice came from a rider in a silver chariot, bejeweled with sapphires and opals and obsidian. At the sight of this, I turned around to check on my group. Harmony looked as if she would faint any moment. Gracie looked a bit scared, but not much. Grave looked as if he would try to put on a brave face but he was genuinely scared. And Reglin, oh Reglin, looked ready for battle.  
“It is we, a group of travelers!” I shouted back to the rider, who was now descending. His face became more clear after every passing moment, until, it was finally visible. His face was pure white, and nearly wispy. On the contrast, his hair was as black as the shadow of midnight, with wisps of grey and white. At first, I thought his eyes were as dark as his hair, but upon a closer look they were actually a dark red. Very dark red. This was one of the few Shadowland fates I knew. This was the King of the Shadowland beings. Shadow himself. 
Shadow’s chariot landed. The horses were made of smoke, a dark, thick, creepy-crawly smoke. It turns out, the chariot was real, too. Please don’t ask me how I know. (Okay, I kicked it…) Shadow climbed out of the chariot, his face gleaming with surprise. 
“There have been no travelers here since the day the Shadowland beings were banished. Who are you really?” he asked us. 
“We are travelers. Here on a quest. I am Princess Sombra of Gailia. The people with me are beings of light; War, Cheer, Harmony, and Grave. Our quest is to find my lost mother and defeat Jok.” 
“Princess Sombra, are you certain there is no other beings of light with you?  I swear I felt another. Fate, I believe it was.” Reglin stiffened beside me. 
“I am not certain,” I replied. “But it is still possible. I have a fight to pick with Fate, so please tell me if he is ever found. Oh, by the way, I have always been taught Shadowland beings were evil, but you are not.” 
“You see, we are not evil. There used to be no Shadowlands. Gailia lived in harmony, but people became distrustful of us and our evil names. They thought the way to true harmony was being fully good. But you see, every harmonic person is equal. For harmony to peacefully exist, a person cannot be fully one or the other. They must be both. For instance, a shadow is most apparent on a sunny day. It is gone at night. Does that make me evil? I think not.” 
I pondered what Shadow had said. He was right, after all. I knew I was not a being of light. But I wasn’t evil, was I? Reglin seemed to understand what I was thinking. 
Sombra, you are not evil. You are you, and you are good,” he murmured, standing right next to me. So close, I could feel his breath on the top of my head. The strange thing was, I was okay with this. Once, a suitor had gotten this close, and I kicked him in the shins, flipped him over my back, and tossed him to the ground. But see, not even my father was able to get this close! I was really uncomfortable when people crowded me. So why was I letting Reglin do it? I had no clue. Or maybe, no that couldn’t be a possibility, could it? What if… I was in LOVE with Reglin! 
Within my heart, I knew it was true. He had been there for me in my hardest moments. Remember, I still had cancer! It wasn’t easy to travel uphill and down for days. Once, I got so sick, I fainted off my mule and landed in a river! Granted, I revived once I hit the water but Reglin still had to fish me out of the creek because I couldn’t swim! If I was in love with him, was he in love with me? If Love’s gift really came true? 
I excused myself from the conversation. 
“Excuse me, but I really think I need to sit down. I’m feeling a little faint.” I said. 
“No need, Princess.” said Shadow. “I was just about to leave. Hopefully I see you again!” he called, rising up into the sky in his chariot. “Goodbye!” 
I felt sick to my stomach. If Love’s statement was true, that had to mean only one thing. Reglin loved me too.  

**Chapter 4 - Meet the Bad Guy **

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