ChibiGuradelWarning Spoiler Alert: This page contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
I'm not like most players though... why would I quit when it's just getting fun?
— Shadow, to her CotS beast's Tangible Reflection while severely wounded in Flower
Kaede Aomine (Real Name)
Real Name (Kanji/Kana) 青峰楓
Real Name (Romanji) Aomine Kaede
In-Game Name Shadow
Epithet(s) Soldier of Glacier's Hollow
Miss Maiya (by Rayde)
Personal Information
Status Alive
Age 17
Birthdate August 6, 2008
Gender FemaleIcon Female
Height 164 cm (5' 4")
Blood Type A+
Handedness Left
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Dark Brown
Relative(s) Unknown
Game/Professional Status
Level 18 (before reversion)
10 (chapter 3, after reversion)
12 (chapter 11 to chapter 16)
16 (chapter 19 to current)
WPB Type Fusion
Class Soldier
Subclass Strength
Equipment Farrow
Affiliation(s) Dozer's Souvenir Shop
Coalition (Former)
Third Corruption
Occupation(s) High School Student
First Appearance New Player

Shadow (シャドー, Shadō) is one of the main protagonists of the web novel series Zenith: Across Worlds. She is first seen in chapter 3. In real life, her name is Kaede Aomine (青峰楓, Aomine Kaede). She was entrapped in the MMORPG, Zenith: Across Worlds, when she first starts the game.

One of the founding members of the Third Corruption, Shadow picked Soldier for her class and is currently level 16.

Appearance Edit

Standing at around the average height for her age, Shadow is a teenage girl of an olive complexion. Her eyes and hair are brown. She is most seen with her hair up in a ponytail, with her bangs left loose to hang over her eyes and to the sides, framing her face. She does not have any tattoos or scars.

On her torso, she wears a collared, dark blue military style jacket, the sleeves rolled up to below her elbows. Under it, is a black tank top while, tied over her jacket sleeve on her upper left arm is a white cloth. At her hip, she wears a thick black tactical belt; several magazine pouches are strapped to it towards her back. While her forearms are bare, her hands are protected by sturdy finger-less gloves that are dark gray with a lighter gray underside. Being tactical gloves, the knuckles are slightly reinforced with a hard material. Below, she wears dark gray skinny cargo pants. The holster for her main weapon, Farrow, is strapped to the outside of her right thigh. The ends of her pants are tucked into the tops of her footwear, which consist of black military boots. She wears her personalized dog tags, her class accessory, around her neck on her chain.

In combat or in preparation for a quest, she removes her belt and straps on a tactical vest that offer more protection. Compared to standard military vests, the vest she wears is thinner and of a lighter material, to allow for more movement. When the quest she is completing at the time is at a location with a hot temperature or requires even more movement, she takes off her jacket wears only her tank top and vest.

In Contest the Competition she was briefly seen wearing a dark blue cloak over her clothes before the CotS Opening Ceremony. Later, in the arc epilogue, she had briefly worn the bronze medal she had won from the competition.

Background Edit

There is very little information on Shadow's background. As seen from her flashback in New Player, she is one of the select players that was allowed into the beta run of ZAW. Her comments suggest that she was not in the alpha, which is also supported by no mention of her participation in the prior test when brought up in conversation by Glass and Rayde.


Although she often shares jokes with the group and occasionally outbursts along with her friends if she is passionate about the topic, she remains somewhat quiet during discussions. As seen during slow challenges in the Second Annual Clash of the Shops, as well as some time spent with the other members of , she can easily become bored or uninterested. Some have described her as "apathetic" considering that many questions on her preferences are answered with, "I don't know", but this has since been proved to be only on such things as her preferences, suggesting otherwise simply an indecisiveness. Upon her first meeting Rayde, potentially saving a stranger from the Ice Serpent, and from her thoughts throughout CotS about deaths and how much she cared for the other Coalition members, it is clear that she is not indecisive nor apathetic about items important to her or actions that embrace the values she believes in. Despite this, she is very trusting of people, including strangers, often leading to her downfall.

Equipment and Abilities Edit


  • Farrow: Shadow's gunblade, the combination of both a sword and gun. Stored in its more compact form, the gun, the weapon is said to easily switch from that to the sword form and vice versa with a flick of the wrist. The blade is held in a compartment near the muzzle when folded; because of this, it reserves a shorter than average blade than a full length sword. Designed in a center band around the firearm's main body is her insignia, a blue sword aimed upwards that is encircled and wrapped by spines vines. In contrast, the muzzle, blade compartment, and grip are black and the blade and gun body are silver. Magazines are fed into the magazine well located below the grip. Each magazine holds ten rounds, and Shadow may have at maximum seven magazines on her person at one time. Most often, two magazines are stored on her belt for quick-grab, one in her gunblade, and the other four in her inventory. In Flower, it was stated that although it has ranged capabilities, Farrow's lack of scopes or zooming allows for only a short to medium-long attack range.


Unlike most characters, all of Shadow's abilities have been seen in the current state of the light novels. Save for her Defend ability, her abilities reflect her strength subclass, which focuses on offensive tactics and the damage inflicted on the opponent.

  • Melee - Power Punch: A powerful melee attack, allowing the user to jump a few meters into the air and then drive a fist to the ground, creating a devastating smash effect in the surrounding area.
  • Dash - Beort: A teleportation ability, allowing the user to disappear from where he/she was and reappear in another chosen location at a cost proportional to the distance.
  • Attack - Linker: An ability that can only be used if the user equips a weapon with melee and ranged capabilities. Once the ability is cast, the user charges with his/her weapon, and hits the opponent twice with an enhanced strength bonus. The user then proceeds to perform a ranged attack following suit, firing a damaging ray of energy.
  • Defend - Alech: A regenerative ability, which heals the intended target at a cost proportional to the user’s ability meter.
  • Special - Star Boom: A special ability that, when used, can allow the user to charge his/her melee weapon, adding a damage bonus, which is then thrown like an aerofoil. The weapon creates the image of a energy-lit disc, which can hit the opponent on its way forth, and backlash the opponent as it returns to the user. If it makes contact the second time, a small explosion erupts at the point of injury.

Chronology Edit

Welcome to Zenith Arc Edit

Shadow is introduced in New Player, where she wakes up in an ice cave located in Mount Zenith. Because she has never played Zenith, she does not realize where she is, thinking that it is still the real world and has been brought to some strange place. Afraid and alone, she explores the cave until she is chased outside by the ice serpent, where she meets Rayde for the first time.



Shadow and Rayde have shared a close friendship ever since their first meeting atop Mount Zenith. Although she endures Rayde's pranks and violence, it is clear that they both enjoy the other's company. The pair has been shown to joke with one another in most scenes, even in times that doing so would distract them from their objective or be a danger to their wellbeing. Additionally, they both exercise a sense of care over the other. In battle, Rayde and Shadow are quick to share their healing and restoration potions. Other times, if one notices that the other is troubled, she will attempt to comfort her to the best of her ability. However, although they may care for each other, this leads to a secrecy between them on Rayde's part, clear in CotS, The Epilogue. Reserving to herself her haunting misgivings about player deaths and her actions in Glacier's Hollow, she deals with the pain by herself in order to prevent further worry to Shadow, who has not noticed as of yet.


A player Shadow befriended during the Second Annual Clash of the Shops, the two along with Winter, Blaze and Lane made up the event's Coalition. After the competition, they are often seen with one another when the main and side four are together. In chapter 19, for example, Shadow and Guradel were pitted against each other in the arena, both of whom had seemed to enjoy the experience until the duel was interrupted.

It is implied that Guradel holds affection for her, often seen through his extreme attempts to heal or save her during the competition, even if the result would clearly be fruitless. Although his sadness was apparent when he would see Shadow and Lane together, he did not act angrily or display any hint of bad-natured jealousy. However despite these, it seems that Shadow has not noticed his affection yet.


Shadow and Lane met one another during the Clash of the Shops event en route to the first objective. Although Shadow had not seemed to care for his actions in the beginning, she later accepted him happily when he opened up to her; they often conversed with one another in between objectives. At times when Shadow had been perturbed or depressed, Lane would be the first to notice and to comfort her. However, although their relationship with one another would be punctuated by seriousness, it was playful and, at times, comical. For instance, in Blind, when Shadow paces around, worrying about their position during the riddle objective, Lane coolly walks up to her and holds her in place, murmuring, "Stop pacing." Since the competition, she often reflects about him, and although her thoughts at times bring her back to the painful memories, she slowly learns to accept his death with the help of Guradel and Rayde, that a very likely possibility being that no one has seen him since.

It is unknown whether or not Shadow and Lane had both liked one another in a romantic sense. They had both seemed to concentrate on each other during conversations and had equal reactions of desperation and heroics when the other was injured. However, Shadow often mentioned that the reason for doing so was that she "sincerely cared for all four of them, even in the midst of those bonds breaking [the betrayal]". On the other hand, Lane would only mention his stories and thoughts to her, be it relevant to the current events or simply to cheer her up, even if doing so would ridicule himself. Additionally, although Shadow is extremely depressed when Winter dies, she has a different reaction when Lane does, as seen when she finally leaves Guradel; she is silent and deceiving, suggesting an emptiness.


  • "I'm so glad I got into the beta... Two more weeks left; the real thing is going to come out in stores soon."
  • "Alright then. Not the greatest day so far."
  • "Let me guess: there's bad news, too?"
  • "... we have to assume that a player died either in front of us or behind us. So, we just have to be wary, you know, in case they really did die ahead of us... it means that the objectives are getting harder."
  • "If there are real people trapped within a game... do even they... get a second chance?"
  • "This is why we use guns."
  • "Lane!... Winter is dead!... She was shot!... She was eliminated!"
  • "That 'three percent'... it matters now, doesn't it?"

Trivia Edit

  • The kanji of her first name in real life, 謡子 (Yōko), means "noh (Japanese word for skill or talent), child".
  • On the inside of the end cover for the Clash of the Shops Volume, there was an info page that listed her preferences and traits which included:
    • Her blood type is B and she is left-handed.
    • She stands at a height of 164 cm (5' 5").
    • She eats any food if it contains strawberries.
    • Her favorite color is blue.
    • Her favorite candy is a chocolate found in Zenith with caramel and cookie.
  • She has been seen eating foods that are flavored or contain strawberry so much that it has become a running gag between the other characters.
  • The fan-made ship names that involve her include:
    • between her and Lane: "Shane"
    • between her and Guradel: "Guradow" or "Shadel"
    • between her and Rayde: "Shayde"
    • between her and Reyn: "Sheyn"
  • To Each One's Own, Sorrow, the second poem that was released with chapter 16, takes place during the CotS Epilogue. It is mainly told from her point of view.
  • In the character song she shares with Rayde, BEAUTIFUL≑SENTENCE, she is the second of the two voices to sing.
  • In the 2nd Annual Clash of the Shops, she places third and receives a bronze medal.
  • Her favorite weather is rainy.
  • Rayde's nickname for Shadow, Miss Maiya, refers to the vehicle Shadow had used during the last moments of the CotS: Dozer's Maiyakami.