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Trials and Travels (Semi-lit)

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Akira Inoue

 

Akira was about to answer Noe when Kai came in. She blinked then was about to speak again when Noe started leaving. Akira frowned a little and said "w..wait... What happened to your arm? Remind me to make some salves for it. Also, is that letter from the painter boy? I saw him leaving your room and put a flower petal on him so that I could talk to him later to see what he was doing in your room." She then blushed and said "But you can tell me later, I'll go check on the others..." With that she stood up and started to head out as well.

 

--

 

Akilana Kuno

 

Akilana almost, emphasis on almost, showed surprise when she ran into Leith, or shall she say he ran into her. She held it back though and bowed, as was proper for a servant, and said in a monotonous voice "It's fine." Before she brushed herself off gently and got ready to walk off again.

 

(she did not walk off, and it will take a bit to break through her shell, he'll have to keep trying xd.png I didn't say it be easy.)

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"That there is, and preserving it in art is good because there seems to be less and less each day," Cielo replied to the first part of Loren's statement about his goals. About he desert though, she straightened and looked to the east as if she scould actually see it much less see across it from where the two of hem were standing. "Why do you want to cross the desert? I understand you could feel that it's a challenge or something, but there's no practical reason to go across on your own as an artist is there?" she continued.

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Kai glanced at the letter as Noe got ready to head out. He only read for a moment before closing it as Noe returned. He didn't speak until Akira had moved off to rouse the others.

 

"I think it's addressed to you, I... think I'd need your permission to read it." He held it out to her, only having read the very first line. "It's from Loren."

 

He paused, thinking back to what Loren had said. "He's an interesting guy, he doesn't want to be part of the conflict between the two clans... I'm going to ask him to come with us. Someone who doesn't want to be part of the conflict is the type of person who is needed most to resolve the conflict. It's the people who rush after such things that bring war, he told me something... strange last night... Actually... everything that happened last night was... strange." Kai's speech slowed a bit, he was still trying to wrap his head around all that had happened, what Noe had said, what Loren had said... it was a little like information overload.

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Loren, for the first time since he starting talking to Cielo, laughed softly as he looked out east, his mind racing on what could lie beyond the desert. "Maybe it isn't just to draw things...but to see things, read things, explore a realm that has been untouched by the people here. It may not be practical to some people, but to others, it would be a life-changing experience" Explained Loren, starting to get a little worked up. He had been planning this for years and years. He had heard tales of people who tried to cross the desert, only to turn back on the fringe. What little they discovered was magical to Loren.

Edited by Lore_Master

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"Don't hurt your head kaimaru!" Noe said with a laugh as she motioned for Kaimaru to come along. She had already read the letter and knew that Loren was going to leave at high noon. "Loren want's to leave at high noon. I still don't fully get why, but he asked me to come along, sooooo, he is going to come along with us so as to not be rude from your invitation Kaimaru." she said glad that thigns were all working out. She didn't want people to leave, she wanted them to stay close. Despite Noe being quiet, she really did enjoy the compony of other people even if they made her upset, or rather uncomfortable. The contact was still enjoyable.

 

Isa finally made her way out of her bed as she groaned with the frustration of having to wake up later than usual and not wanting to get up. "Yuaaaakiiii....are you awake yet?" she asked as she turned to Yuaki's bed and threw a pillow where she suspected the other girl's face to be. "Wake up...." she mumbled as she walked over to her dresser and pulled on a pair of burnt yellow, cloth pants that were softened on the inside, but rough on the outside. Her was of a light, cream colored linen with sleeves that came halfway down her upper arm. Over that, she wore a vest made of leather dyed to look like her pants. Her hair was still done the way that Yuaki had done it the night before. so she let it down and brushed her hair out thoroughly. She enjoyed the idea of having the rainbow part of her hair separate so she quickly separated the parts and used them to tie a high ponytail while pinning the strands in perfect place. After cleaning her face, she stepped outside her room to watch Noe walk by quickly with Kaimaru. It surprised her that Noe's arm was suddenly injured, burnt, and rather grotesque looking at the moment.

 

Leith was rather put off by Akilana's posture and the way that she spoke. However, he had seen this tactic in several people and he calmly rolled his seafoam green eyes and ran a hand through his hair to brush it back a little bit. "Well, to apologize correctly, may I buy you your breakfast? There is a nice shop just outside of the academy that has pastries as well as a delicate meat that is wonderful when warm." he said his voice calm and almost English in the way that he spoke with such formality. His accent could have been taken as one from Triton, but then it would shift to an accent from Whisper, or from Aero....possibly even Univerum.

Edited by LoveLost

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Akilana blinked and said in the same tone "No thank you, I am a servant, it wouldn't be proper." She was mildly surprised, but didn't show it, someone was actually attempting to talk to her a second time and that this time he was inviting her to breakfast. But she was sure it was a fluke, to be serious she kept telling herself it was. If it wasn't it would crush what she thought the world was like, which wouldn't help her in her opinion. As she thought this there was a quick flicker of her emotions in her eyes, turmoil was the best to put it, confusion, sadness, ignorance, and many other rather bad emotions flashed all at once for one measly second before her mask appeared again. She shook her head and said "Now then.. I should probably get to cleaning..."

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"I suppose the unknown will always hold appeal to people because it simply is unknown," Cielo responded kindly. She watched Leron draw for a little longer before asking, "If you do plan to cross it, when do you plan to do so?" she was curious, did he plan to cross it now? If so he didn't seem to have much in the way of supplies on him. Really it wasn't her issue, but she found she couldn't help but involve herself and question people like this.

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Kai was silent for a moment as he figured out exactly what Noe had meant, and then gave her a half-smile. "Ok then, but I think I'll let you do the talking. The first thing I've found out about females... they can usually run circles around me with words and I can't keep up." He scraped the dust from the walls, floor, and ceiling as they walked, adding it up until he had enough to cover his lightning symbol.

 

"I want to thank you again, for not... making a big deal of my background." He paused. "But if it's alright with you... and Loren, I'd like to keep it a secret, you may be right in saying that it's nothing to be ashamed of and it doesn't make me a bad person, but that's not how everyone might see it. I don't want to divide the group before we even start out."

 

A thought popped into his head and exited through his lips. "It occurs to me that you like storms, and I like storms, and you like rain... and I hate rain... but you can control rain." His eyes took on a mischievous look, something not usually present on his face. "Maybe next time there's a storm I'll join you in enjoying it... if you promise to keep me dry... and that your... friend... my. lighting won't show off by trying to turn me into yesterdays burnt turkey yes?"

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((So sorry this took so long!))

~Yuaki~

 

"Yuaaaakiiii....are you awake yet?"

"Mmph."

Thwump!

"Mmmph!"

"Wake up...."

 

Yuaki groaned in resistance as a pillow thwumped her face, mock-suffocating her. She stuffed her face in her own pillow, grabbed the pillow that had been thrown at her and threw it where she thought Isa might be. She was way off and the pillow harmlessly hit the door, scaring a servant who was passing by on the other side. Finally, after ten final seconds of resistance to the morning, Yuaki managed to sit up in bed and stare at the wall with a menacing look, as though it had thrown the pillow at her.

 

Yawning, Yuaki pulled her messy hair back from her face and blinked, looking around. She saw Isa getting dressed and decided to do the same, but she did so without a word, faking grumpiness at the pillow-thrower. Her grumpiness quickly faded, however, as she got into her clothes for the day. She wore brown leather pants that were durable and flexible, coming just down to her ankles. For a shirt she wore a dark blue tanktop type shirt under a long-sleeved white shirt. Yuaki was a believer in wearing white, for she figured any stains the shirt could and would get could simply be used as evidence in various situations; it was pretty hard to tell where a wound was bleeding from under a black shirt. Yuaki then quickly splashed her face with water and rinsed her arms thoroughly; since coming to the Academy, Yuaki had feigned an interest with water, as though she truly was related to Water Elementians.

 

Yuaki then glanced over at Isa and saw that she was brushing her hair. Yuaki almost blurted out a joke, but something stopped her. She picked up her own hairbrush, trying to think of what had stopped her... then it hit her; yesterday's speech. She swallowed hard, glad her back was turned to Isa. Everything the king had said, about making choices and war and such... it was so much to take in one night. For sure they would be meeting with Elementians of the Shadow Alliance, and Yuaki wondered if any of them would recognize her. She sighed, brushing her hair fast enough so that Isa couldn't see that her hands were shaking. That's it, then; after all this time of living in peace, I'm going to meet up with my own kind and be forced to reveal my identity. From there... well, things will have to proceed as I always knew they would. Oh, I'm such an idiot! Why did I become friends with Isa?! How stupid AM I??? I knew I shouldn't have, and I did anyways! And now I'm going to pay... but I have to be loyal to what I know is right! Yuaki feared meeting up with her own people, especially those with elements.

 

Yuaki turned to see Isa stepping out of the room. Smiling suddenly, she skipped after her. Maybe things wouldn't be so bad. Maybe they'd never meet up with other Elementians. And if they did, at least Yuaki knew what to do. She was delighted to see the cute monk walking down the hall... and very un-delighted to see him walking with Noe, who had a really gross wound on her arm. "Ouch," Yuaki commented with just a hint of rude sarcasm. She then turned to Isa, as though Noe didn't exist. "When did that happen? It looks like a wound from lightening." Oh stink! Nooo stupid mouth, don't say that! Urgh! Yuaki's face didnt' show it, but her inner self was facepalming over and over again; she had just identified a wound as caused by lightning, as though she had seen such a thing many times before! She quickly spoke up to cover her ground; "Sometimes when the lightning would strike the water back at home, some of our swimmers would get similar wounds. That's why we're told not to go near the surface during thunderstorms." Whew, that ought to do, Yuaki thought. Still, I have to be more careful... after what the king said, and now that I know Ayame was a spy on the Shadow Elementians... I just can't risk being discovered now. My whole life has been a secret, but all I want is peace. If I'm discovered now... peace will never be attainable.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Aketsu

 

Aketsu was up early in the morning, more antsy and nervous than usual. As usual, he dressed in peasant's clothing and wore very old shoes. He brushed his longer-than-usual hair and washed his face. He did everything he normally did in the morning, but his mind was not on what he was doing. Every time he thought about what King Aslano had said, he couldn't help but feel... well, like something was wrong.

 

"The Shadow Alliance has gathered their strongest Elementians together. Most of them are older than those of you sitting here with only one being younger, and a strong Metal elementian. From sources inside the castle, the Shadow Queen is growing in power and we may not have long until our entire world is encased in shadow once more." The thought enraged Aketsu. The good King Aslano was attempting to negotiate with the Shadow Alliance, and this was how he was treated? This was how the entire Light Alliance was treated? Aketsu mused that it was no wonder his home, Aero, had been the last to agree to stop capturing Shadow Alliance Elementians. Why should they stop? Except that it is the king's wish, of course. He must have his good reasons, for a good king he is. This thought calmed Aketsu a bit, but the events of the previous night had still set him on edge. What had started out as a general celebration of graduating had turned largely into a joke, and then into a very tense situation. Isa and Noe had ended up not getting along again, and Aketsu did feel bad for Princess Isa. It had to be hard, being the Rainbow Child.

 

"This is where it comes to each of you, to decide. What is needing to be done is a way to beat these other powerful Elementians and find a way to bring peace to this land. Kaimaru, I can see that you are probably wishing for a diplomatic way to work things out, but it is not to be so with Zillah ... she is a ruthless killer and will take any chance to tear our unity amongst the Light, down. I cannot stress how important it is for each of you to make your own choice. Otherwise your heart will not be in the mission, and you will more than likely be either captured or killed." Well, Aketsu had made his decision with all his heart; he would do whatever Princess Isa would do. Normally Aketsu would choose to do whatever King Aslano wanted him to do, and he was in this case as well. Only, King Aslano hadn't been specific; he had said to simply choose. That was not specific enough for Aketsu, and so Aketsu had 'chosen' to protect Isa. Whatever she chooses to do, I will do.

 

Fairly satisfied with his own choice, Aketsu was back to his normal self; smug, with a look in his eye that said he knew something. He exited his room, still deep in thought. He found it quite intriguing that Ayame had been the spy on the Shadow Alliance, going so far as to make it to the city of Queen Zillah herself. He smiled at the thought, but then suddenly the smile turned to a sharp frown. If we are able to send spies to their main palace, practically within the reach of their leaders, and Elementian spies at that, couldn't they do the same to us? What if there's an Elementian spy among us? Aketsu immediately thought of Kai, but his thoughts sailed towards others too. Loren, Yuaki, Cielo... could they be trusted? Aketsu shook his head and sighed; now he was just being paranoid. But whatever happens, I will protect Princess Isa. I will die ten-thousand times before I'll let a scratch land on her finger. Satisfied, Aketsu walked out of his room and towards the kitchen in hopes to grab some food before graduation.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

~Jahanshah~

 

He had been dreaming a wonderful dream. The entire world was made of metal and shadow in the dream. Everyone traveled through shadows and wore metal. Everything was clean and dark and beautiful. The shadow trees that Queen Zillah owned were strewn across the land, and metallic crystals grew from the ground. It had been a wonderful dream, and yet Jahan knew upon awakening that it was simply his desire to return to his metal clothing.

 

For the first time since he was four, Jahan had slept on the wooden ground. For the sake of comfort, the young prince had slept right next to his coffin of metal, but not in it. Truthfully he was not very rested and had barely fallen into a deep sleep at all when a rap on his door made him sit up with haste.

 

"My Lord."

 

Jahan took a moment to remember who the voice belonged to and then swallowed. Aamina; that was her name. In a moment he was at the door, Daedureth in his left hand. He hadn't bothered changing clothes the night before, for the metal he always kept on his skin really kept him quite clean and he never stank like ordinary people did. Jahan opened the door, pleased that Aamina had awoken him. "Today--" he paused, noticing for the first time that his voice had changed. The shadows danced around the fingers of his left hand and he cleared his throat.

 

"Today the Shadow Queen shall surely make known where we are to begin our journey, and exactly what she wishes us to... find... when we're there." Jahanshah knew one thing; the Queen wanted someone to pay for all the lives that had been taken by the Light Alliance. True, the Shadow Alliance had begun the war, but the Light Alliance had shown no mercy when the war was over; prisoners of war were killed and any Elementians of the Shadow Alliance were executed (murdered, in Jahan's opinion) if they were found anywhere near Light Alliance territory. The Shadow Alliance, on the other hand, had been forced to release all prisoners. The thought of it made Jahan angry in a way he had never been angry before. Though he did not realize it, since he had come to possess Daedureth, Jahan's emotions had been a bit wilder than they had before. Still, his anger was real, and he turned a sharp eye to Aamina.

 

"I promise you, you will have your revenge. Only be patient, as we all must." Jahanshah then walked past her, through the hallways that would lead to the actual palace-part of the huge structure. It was time to learn what was going on--surely the Queen was waiting for him, since he had apparently woken up a bit late. He was glad he had slept in the clothes he planned to wear for the journey, for by doing so he had saved time. He found himself not hungry yet, and decided to eat later. That was his one weakness, he realized; like all Elementians, he still had to consume food and water to survive. He wondered if that weakness could possibly be overcome? Could metal serve as his food, and shadows as his drink? He pondered the thought as he walked towards the main palace, expecting Aamina to follow. He left his coffin and bag in his room, but told a servant he passed by to bring the things to the center arena, where he planned to meet the others ((let's say he informed Marcus and the others he wanted to meet them there)).

 

It wasn't long until he entered the main palace area. Unlike the day before, no guards attempted to stop him or ask him what he was doing; apparently they had all gotten the hint when the Queen had given him Daedureth. Jahan wondered if the sword had had a previous name but decided not to ask; it was his now, a gift he would cherish forever and use for whatever the Queen wished. He went deeper into the main palace, and he felt his heart beat faster; it was still hard for him to believe what the Queen had said, and it all seemed like a dream. Yesterday he wouldn't have dared simply walk into the palace, and even today he was a bit humbled by the greatness of it all. The shadows increased around his left hand, but he quickly quenched them and made them sink back into the sword; he knew if he was going to have the sword around, he would have to control the shadows. If he didn't, they could just flare up whenever they wished and might give him away to the enemy. To his surprise, the shadows seemed to respond as though reading his thoughts; they playfully flickered and quickly disappeared, not even attempting to rise again. Jahan looked curiously at the sword for a moment before continuing to walk through the palace.

 

He stopped as he came to the beginning of the hallway that would lead to the room of Shadow Trees. On the other side of that hallway was the room he had been given his mission in, but he didn't dare even traverse the hallway; he had great respect for Queen Zillah and although she had hinted at a new position for him, he was certain he would always see her as that much greater. After all, she was a pureblooded Shadow Elementian, and Jahan was just a mutt. Instead he simply stood at the beginning of the hallway, awaiting the Queen's presence... certain she knew he was there.

 

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When asked when he was planning on leaving for the desert, he sighed and looked at his finished drawing. "In two weeks. I'm planning on travelling to Univerum to spend some of the money I made from commissions for supplies. Then, a week after that time...I'll be travelling the sea...to the desert, and beyond..." Said Loren as he gently ripped the page from the stand, it was ready to be sold.

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Tractus

 

Tractus was aimlessly wandered through the halls of the glorious Academy, for he had nothing better to do. He thought of Luna and Akilana. To be honest, he was truly frightened. Luna had may or may not have called him from Univerium, utterly changing the course of his life forever, and now, he had to fight in a war that he didn't even know about. He just needed a shoulder he could cry on, a person to talk to, someone he could trust. She looked like she had no emotions, but he was pretty sure that they were somewhere, and, lo and behold, there was Akilana with some other boy. It's now or never...

 

"Akilana, could I ask you something?"

 

Edited by gistofeverything

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"That does sound quite a bit ambitious, I wish you luck. All the same what will you do if you run into something that wants to eat you? You can't be sure something out here won't try to attack you," Cielo responded. She looked over the finished drawing with admiration as she waited for a reply. Loren certainly had the artistic talent she was lacking when it came to drawing or painting or anything else. Her artistic abilities lay in poetry and singing instead.

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Loren sighed, that really was the big question. How would he fight off anything that wanted to hurt him...even his abilities would only provide so much help. "Then, I guess I better pick up a weapon and learn to defend myself with it..." Muttered Loren with a tone of sadness, he only justified himself fighting if it was only self-defense. He looked at the painting and wondered if anybody would like it.

Edited by Lore_Master

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Cielo looked dourly at Loren for a few moments before saying, "Learning a weapon is all well and good, but why not try traveling with some companions till you do learn one? Or better yet wait till you've learned one completely. Still I get the feeling already you're not helpless, Loren." She wondered what he thought of possibly putting off his trip or getting other people to go with him, but mostly she was curious as to what really drove him to do things like things.

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Marcus

-Fire

"yes my love, I slept really, really well." he said and gently kissed her cheek before just looking at her again. He was far too happy to let anything ruin his day and knew that things were going to get heated here pretty soon. He grabbed a few rolls for the two of them and placed them into a bag before grabbing her bag and his and heading to the door. "If we don't hurry, Lord Jahanshah is going to be rather upset with us my love." he said seeming to overuse the word even if he did mean it completely and full-heartedly.

 

Leith

-Water

 

Leith was obviously put off by what Akilana said and decided to call something like it was. "Well then, if you are going to act like a servant, and not take what the king has given you, then go be one and don't come with us as an Elementian and don't graduate either." he said and huffed off. To him, it seemed that she was ungrateful for the wonderful gift that the king had given her; a place as a student instead of a servant. At first she was allowed to work in the castle as a servant then was moved to the rank of a student because no servant could be a student at the same time, it was impossible. He passed by Tractus and completely ignored the two of them until he was outside and stood in the center of the training arena and decided to work on his combat skills for a little while. It took him a little bit, but he soon built up enough water to make enemies as well as his signature whip.

 

Noe Amani

-Weather

 

As they walked down the halls, Noe couldn't help but smile when Kaimaru said that women had a tendency to talk circles around him. "Well, we women can talk quite a lot....even if it is about nothing at all." she said then giggled as she realized that she did that all too often to her friends. After pushing through the front doors and waving to the guards with a cheery smile and shout of "good morning!" to each of them and calling them each by name, she then walked further into the town.

 

"Kaimaru, as I have told you before, your secrets are safe with me. I usually don't like secrets when they are those petty, oh please don't tell kind, but with yours, they are honest secrets. Only time will let them show." she said and then looked around the town from the point where the walkway from the castle met the main road.

 

"I'd like to watch a storm again with you Kaimaru. It would be fun....just as long as the lightning doesn't show off again like you said and I'll do my best to keep you dry as well." she laughed happily before realizing that he called the lightning his. It was a weird twist of words and it only made her laugh all the more. "I know it's weird calling lightning a friend, but it has a mind of its own....at least to a Weather Elementian...all of the storms have personalities and all of them have their own quirks." she said as she looked at the hustle and bustle of the town.

 

"Good morning miss Noe!" came the call of several of the shop owners there as she passed by. "Good morning Mister Leway! Good morning Mrs. Steat! How are your children today?" she called out to one of the older women who held a crying babe on her hip. "Oh they is right good madam!" she said as she tried to comfort the baby. "I can take her around the town for you Mrs. Steat." Noe offered as she walked over with Kai.

 

Mrs. Steat was a rather medium sized woman of great height. She was from the mountain ranges where a small city had been formed many years ago and the people were rather large. With a look of wariness towards Kai she handed the baby to Noe who smiled and gently tossed the baby up into the air who came back down giggling and cooing as she placed the little girl on her hip. "I'll have her back before the ceremony."

"Eh yes good gal! Goin' out ta save us all! Just make shar ta keep that there tempah in chick" The older woman said with a chuckle as she went back to making some sort of pastry and disciplining her other children.

 

"Kaimaru, this is Elisha (Eeleesha), one of the sweetest babies in all of the town." she said and smiled as the little girl hid her face in Noe's shoulder before peeking back out at Kaimaru. Her pace through town was one that was slightly at leisure because she was going to miss the place that she grew up in.

 

Aamina

-Earth

 

Aamina chuckled slightly as Jahanshah cleared his throat. It wasn't a usual chuckle either, it seemed to be clogged and laced with some sort of derision, but it honestly wasn't. She just found it funny and hardly ever laughed anymore so it sounded rather odd. "I hope she does my Lord, otherwise will we head into a blind fight." she said as they walked along, well, Jahanshah walked along. Instead she seemed to glide along since she felt far too lazy to walk. Instead the stone moved her along while her hands were behind her back. She never responded to him about getting her revenge and instead just continued to follow him until she had to stop for a moment.

 

Her eyes looked rather puzzled as she coughed hard a few times and from her mouth came small bits of molten rock onto her hand. "Sorry my Lord." she said and crushed the magma with her abilities as it cooled and hardened into some sort of gem. After throwing them out of a window, her pace picked back up to his as they walked through the main castle. It was always a fascinating place for her, almost as if it was a place of safety for her since she had come here to escape. Instead of letting the thoughts take her captive though, she pushed the thoughts out of her mind and looked around for the queen.

 

"My Lord Jahanshah, I shall return." she said and disappeared into the stone floor, but a ripple could be seen every now and then as to where she was. She appeared on the other side of the room and stood there looking and watching as the Queen appeared as a shadow in front of her.

 

"My dear child, not afraid?" she asked her in an acid tone of voice.

 

"Not any more my Queen." she said and took a knee. The queen smiled approvingly and whispered something in her ear as she gently touched the spiky pendant that hung from Aamina's neck then pressed it into the girls skin making her wince. "I promise."

 

What the queen had told Aamina is that she would have her revenge come the right time when she could kill the the man that had killed her baby brother and all of her other siblings just to make her into a tougher warrior((This is from her point of view. In all honesty the other siblings had rushed the man to kill him and he had to defend himself)). The queen knew that she was from the mountains and the man that had killed them was from the Mountain Hideout and had been a Light Elementian from the Light Alliance and in fact, he was the leader. However, the threat of the conversation was that Aamina had better not botch the mission and not kill him no matter the circumstances.

 

"Good." Came the queen's reply which was only slightly heard as she walked with Aamina back to Jahanshah

 

The Shadow Queen

-Shadow

 

Queen Zillah walked up to Jahanshah and gently bent down to kiss him on his cheek. When she stood back, she looked at him with more admiration than she did her own advisors which made them jealous as they seemed to materialize out of the walls beside Jahanshah. "I am sure that you are curious about what you are to do?" she asked then smiled as she brought all of them with a flick of her hand and use of her shadows into the combat room. On the right wall of the room hung her black armor that hissed whenever anyone came to close to it. Along the shoulders of the armor were larger dragon teeth while the forearms of the armor were covered with smaller teeth of both dragons and other mysterious beasts.

 

"Jaed, Naam, Ahlan, Veer, Hajib, Locross, please give our good Prince the run down of the entire operation." she stated the beast-men as they walked with dignity to a large table. The eldest of the beast-men, Locross smiled at the "Prince" and bowed to him and Aamina as he brought them to the table. Locross was a snake like beast-man from across the sea as were all of the other advisors so that they could give the Queen unbiased information. "You highness, Earth girl," he said to each of them then waved his hand over the table and a large map of their entire home appeared in lifelike detail. "This is your mission from our queen. The Light Alliance has long since stopped killing your Elementian brothers and sisters which means that somehow they have all agreed to either release, kill, or torture enough Elementians to get whatever information they have needed or they have formed a treaty. However, this is not enough for any of you, including our gracious queen. They must pay for what they have done. Your first assignment is to infiltrate the closest Light Elementian City, which is Cumulus. I know that Sola isn't that far away, but a direct attack would be foolish. Tear down the structure of Cumulus and leave it to rot. This is your first task."

 

The queen then nodded to the second beast-man, Veer. "I am Veer and i have the second case. From here you attack, or infiltrate Triton and restock at Electra. Univerum, we prefer you avoid and head on to Aero. From there you will go to Sola once most of the other cities have been attacked. It will destroy moral and make Sola easier to take care of. However, we will keep you updated from any other spies that we hear from."

 

"There, do you understand you two? You and your followers are to take out the specified leaders of these cities. You are to either kill them or maim them enough that they will be out for months." the queen said as she stood up wondering if they would catch that this was a ruse to see if they would follow orders even if they disagreed with them.

 

Isa

 

Isa looked at Yuaki and nodded wondering why she felt that she had to keep such knowledge covered up. Lightning wasn't all that uncommon which meant that it wouldn't have been uncommon for her to see such a burn. "One of her friends must have caught her." she said all to used to the way that Noe spoke about her storms. She shrugged the whole thing off and walked off to the kitchens with Yuaki in tow. "you know, you sure are hard to wake up." She said to Yuaki with a giggle as she remembered throwing the pillow at her. "And you stink at throwing pillows...and aiming." she said and then laughed instead of giggling as she walked into the breakfast room. Aketsu was already there and she found herself nervous about sitting near him. "What do you want to eat?" she asked as she looked at the cereals, fruits, a few meats here and there and a few eggs as well with some bread.

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Skylar

 

"I'm glad," Sky said in reply as he kissed her cheek and then looked at her. She looked back at him before he walked away, grabbed their bags, and then heard what he said as he headed towards the door. "All right I'm coming," she said in reply as she quickly went to follow him. "We don't want Lord Jahanshah to be upset with us if we're late." She smiled a bit after she said that last part and then grabbed his free hand before walking out the door of their house.

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Akilana blinked as Leith left, her only sign of even realizing. She was about to walk off again when Tractus came back. Akilana turned around and said in her regular monotonous voice "Yes?." It was a question but since it had no emotion really it sounded more like a statement. Akilana was a bit curious on the inside why so many people were talking to her now.

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Loren remained silent, he couldn't keep this up much longer. He closed down his stand, placed his sketch book in his bag and got up. "...Your right, I'm not helpless. But I rather not use my skills to harm, its not the way its supposed to work..." Explained Loren, still not revealing what he's talking about. He looked up at the sky, the sun was at high noon...and Noe hadn't shown up. "Goodbye Cielo, it was nice chatting with you" Said Loren as he left the town and went down the path into the forest. He felt like the land was on the brink of war, and by the time that happened, Loren planned to be beyond the desert.

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Kai stared at the giggling and squirming mass in Noe's arms as if it was a foreign object or maybe a tiny green alien. His look was puzzled and perhaps quizzical but definitely curious.

 

He reached out a finger towards the child who immediately latched onto it, causing him to withdraw it in surprise and that causing the child, Elisha, to begin to cry. Realizing he'd done something wrong, Kai returned his finger to the child who ceased crying and began exploring his large hand with its tiny ones, and even attempting to put his finger in its mouth. Kai tried not to flinch and just let the child do as it pleased, the look on his face was comical, it was obvious he had no idea what he'd just gotten himself into.

 

"Yes.. children, babies..." he bit his lip as Elisha began trying out her newly growing teeth on the edge of his finger. "We don't have either at the monastery... not this young at least... it's so..." and it took him a moment to come up with a word to describe the wriggling mass in Noe's arms, "strange doesn't quite cut it... cute I guess, odd, helpless, small, odd again...loud." He nervously continued to talk while trying to convince Elisha that he needed his finger back, she wasn't taking no for an answer however.

 

"What do I... do with it?" he turned finally to Noe for help, obviously at a loss for how to properly act around and deal with the infant.

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"That's all you needed to admit to yourself, Loren. Just that you can fight, but that you shouldn't always," Cielo responded as Loren began to pack up. When he bid her fair well, she nodded amd brushed her bangs from her eyes before saying, "Safe travels Loren, I wish you the best of luck in your travels." With that done, she headed further into town. It was graduation day, and as such it was required that she attend for her own graduation.

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Tractus

 

"Yes?"

 

"Akilana, let me be honest with you here. I'm truly frightened by all of this. only five days ago, I was minding my own business in my own home city, and then I was called here by Miss Luna. She said that she couldn't even begin to call that far, but I believe that she has powers that she hasn't begun to tap into yet. I'm positively cartain that she has a far greater skill level than I do, and she won't even acknowledge that. On top of all of this, I have to go to war with people that I have no business doing this with, and I'm frightened, so, as a fellow Elementian," He offered his hand to her, "would you be a friend of mine?"

 

Celeste

 

Celeste was walking barefoot along the cold stone floors, not quite awake yet, and in desperate need of food. She also needed to find Lord Jahanshah, to inform him of her interest. She was almost eager to go to war with those rich Light Alliance snobs. They made her mad with every thought of them, and she was trying to be in a good mood for her Lord. That was the only way that she would ever have her vengeance, which she so ardently wanted...

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Noe giggled at Kai as the little girl seemed to really keep fancying him as she giggled at him and started to speak in unintelligible baby talk. "Well, all you do is let her do as she wishes, however if she does something naughty, like bite your hand rather hard, then you calmly tell her no and she might cry a little bit, but then she usually goes on doing some-" she stopped as she glanced at the fountain where movement caught her eye. "Here, hold on to her....the only thing is don't drop her!" she said as she handed the small baby quickly to Kaimaru and dashed off with a sprinter speed to the edge of the forest. "Loren!" She shouted hoping to stop him. "Loren wait!" she said and her voice cracked slightly into a singing voice which carried the sound further. She ran as hard as she could and finally found herself facing Loren. "You can't leave. You're one of us and you can't just go around always avoiding the war! We have to protect our families, and our friends, you understand this right?" she asked him desperately wanting him to show his face to the king and admit that he was Loren Tryst, the wind elementian.

 

At this time, young Elisha was looking up at Kai and smiled at him while placing her small hands on his chin. Her dark gold eyes were the color of sand as was her hair. The baby that he was holding was a young Earth Elementian who wasn't to taste her powers until later on in the war. But as she held her hands on Kai's chin, then pulled them back, small imprints of earth were left on there where her tiny hand were.

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Akilana blinked and was now confused. No one ever wanted to be her friend. It was a lie, it had to be. That's what she grew up learning. No one liked her. No one payed attention to her. Suddenly the emotions reached a breaking point, her mask broke and standing in the place of emotionless Akilana was now a scared, sad, little girl more or less emotion wise. Akilana backed up shaking her head. Those words shattered her world, the world she grew up to know. Tears started streaming down her face and she soon bolted pass him. She wasn't paying attention. Her body said 'get away, don't let him see' so she ran. She didn't stop till she crashed into Leith, panting, tears streaming down her face. Mask no longer there, and emotions swirling in her eyes. Confusion, sadness, fear, even anger. She was angry that Tractus shattered her world. She was confused that anyone even wanted to talk to her. She was sad because deep down she always was, because she was so alone (even if it was because of her attitude) and she was scared, her world was broken, nothing was left to explain this. It couldn't be denied now.

 

(Dont ask me! Akilana went out on her own on this one! *shakes head* *Akilana laughs* *Bangs head on wall*)

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"That's all you needed to admit to yourself, Loren. Just that you can fight, but that you shouldn't always"

 

Cielo's words left more of an impact in Loren's mind then he thought they would. He walked, albeit at a slower pace as he looked at his hand. Winds began to swarm his hand, creating an almost invisible orb of wind. "I can't fight, even if I wanted too..." Thought Loren as he dispelled the wind, then he heard somebody shouting his name. He stopped and turned around, only to see that it was Noe. She tried to make him stay, but for the first time, his eyes grew sharper, he was getting serious...

 

"Noe, I thought you understood me better..." Said Loren as he pulled down his hood. "I'm an artist, not a fighter. Besides, why do you think the shadow alliance is ready to fight again? Its because your precious light alliance captured, tortured and even killed Elementians, even those that were born after the war...Innocent children Noe..." Explained Loren, his voice growing firmer and brimming with something he hadn't felt for the longest time...anger.

 

"My family and friends believe I'm dead, I'm free to be something then just a 'weapon'...give me ONE good reason why I should even join your war!" Loren said, his voice getting louder. His eyes, once filled with kindness and life were now brimming with sadness and tears.

Edited by Lore_Master

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Kai nearly had a heart attack as Noe handed him the child. He was VERY careful not to drop the small bundle of life that she haphazardly placed in his arms as she ran off. Kai began to follow her, slowly as to not upset the babe, who seemed very fond of his...

 

Kai's pulse quickened as he felt some of the dust he'd been collecting to replace his sand come off of his chin and stick to the child's fingers. That's when he understood... he was holding someone who would grow up just like him. An earth elementarian. How long would it be before she knew that, before her parents found out... before... He didn't know. But it brought a sad smile to his face, that's when Loren's words reached him as he reached Noe.

 

"I've got your reason right here." He paused, gently taking her hands from his chin to reveal the lines her fingers had made. "She's an elementarian, like the rest of us. What do you think will happen to her, if people like you abandon her?" Kai's sing song voice wove around his words and the dust around his feet began to stir, flowing up his legs to cover his lightning symbol from his forehead and reveal the earth one beside it as he closed his left eye, the one resembling a lightning elementarian.

 

"If the light wins, she becomes a member of a society still steeped in the old prejudices of war, she grows up to learn to hate the shadow alliance members. She inherits the sins of her parents and grandparents and the things you spoke of continue. This babe becomes a killer, a hunter, a righteous warrior for the light? Or would you have it the other way?"

 

The dust shifted from one side of his face to the other, covering his earth symbol now and exposing the lighting. His left eye opened and his right closed, the paradigm was reversed.

 

"The shadow alliance finally achieves their revenge. They take back what the light stole from them, they make up for the unjust persecution that the light forced on them ten fold with actions far worse than you are experienced enough to describe. Then what becomes of her? She grows up a slave? a puppet? a trophy of war? worse? Is that the future you choose to live with while you walk away into obscurity and shirk your own responsibility." Kai handed Elisha to Noe as he spoke and then took a step back.

 

All of the dust dropped from his form and face, pooling into his right hand to form the earth symbol as he held it. A spark erupted from his left hand, maintaining the form of the lightning symbol.

 

"You can choose to run, I did for years. You can let fate decide the future of children like Elisha on both sides of the battlefield. But can you live with yourself afterwards? Or will you take my path?"

 

Kai forced his hands together, causing some smoke to rise as the lightning and dusty sand merged in a forced union.

 

"I am a philosopher not a warrior, I choose a third path. Where people like you and I fight not for light or shadow, but for a future. A future in which this generation that sees the sins of their fathers and grandfathers rises up to build a new world in which the two alliances live together in peace as it was before any of our grandparents were born."

 

Kai parted his hands, holding not sand or lightning, but glass, a mixture of the two. The clear, fluid floated between his hands, extremely hot but quickly cooling and hardening. All at once it stopped and fell, and Kai reached out and caught it, grimacing at the heat it still possessed. He held his hand out with the object in it towards Loren. It was a new symbol, a combination of lightning and earth that was neither but its own new shape.

 

Kai stared at Loren as he held out the shape that master Tsume had created from a vine for him six years ago when Kai had first come to the order. He borrowed much of his words from that encounter, for Loren was like he had been. And he asked him the same question.

 

"Which future do you choose for her, and for yourself?"

Edited by Rakashua

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