copyright 2003 by Obsidianstars

My story, my characters, my plot, don't steal ^__^ okay?

"No! Wait!" Groping at their wind-blown clothes, the delicate figure shouted in protest. His eyes wide with fright at the final judgment that had been sentenced upon him. The executioners, garbed in black and silver took a hold of his arms and on either side, they dragged him away. Murmurs of relief and contentment echoed throughout the court and the boy watched as the scene disappeared. All the while he was watching intently on the other side. He, Gabriel, had a devious smile as if he knew what the outcome would be. 'Gabriel… I won't turn back to you!'

Two guards closed the heavy, wooden doors and bolted it in place. This room was a death room… this room… held the very threat of torture surrounding him…

"No!" He thrashed about, "I'm good." His futile insistence did nothing to reach the two executioners. 'I'm good'…he sobbed in his mind… 'I'm not… any more…' "I'm not…" He shook his head tears splattering to the ground, then caught a glimpse of the glinting tools behind him. The tools meant to hurt someone. He cringed, staring at the huge, needle-like torture box. He would not go in there… not needles… not spikes… not… any of this! "No!" He screamed for the third time, and like every other time, his attempts fell on deaf ears. With a spurt of determination, he tore the sleeves of his robe with two instantaneous yanks and pulled free. He felt the familiar rush of energy rush to his fingers as he ran with muscles in his legs that felt like warm rubber. Clumsy. He felt immensely and ridiculously clumsy as he tripped and skid across the tiled white floors in the dark room.

The sounds of running feet were close behind. So close, he didn't know whether he'd make it or not. 'Just to the doors!' If he only reached the doors, he'll be safe! There'd be no judge behind those doors; no jury either. With his last efforts, he pushed himself up onto his feet and shoved the bulky guards away. They weren't easy to deter as they clutched onto his arms.

"Don't let him get to the door!" One of the executioner's voice boomed within the room causing the guards to shudder. A split second of their time was all he needed to bolt between the guards' defense. One of them had the sense to hold on tighter, slipping off the silver bracelet that had encircled his wrist. He knew the guard had some how taken it off, but his mind had registered it as unimportant and threw it in the back of his thoughts while he detached the bolts. His nimble fingers had done this before. There was no door in the universe that wouldn't allow him, Kuroyuki, in… none that would dare keep him out… right? Who was he again?

He shoved the doors open and widened his eyes to the glistening light, the sweltering heat… and was suddenly thrust through.

He twisted to see who had shoved him. The executioner, with his black hood over his head, grinned at him as if knowing… that he'd never make it. Feeling the rush of intense heat around him, he believed that smile. He'd never make it in this humidity.

He reached out with his hand, up at the doors and whispered, "Gabriel." The last thought he whispered as his memory slowly slipped away.


Prince Kawari cursed as he climbed the steep dunes of this side of the continent. Of all the things he could be doing on this leisurely Day of the Sun, he was out playing with sand! His father, King Aosora, had forced him to leave the castle to investigate this "rare find" that the Mag'dabs had been fussing over for the past few days. They had finally written a letter to the king in regards of what to do. The letter had some how found its way into Kawari's care. His elder brothers had wistfully declared of other businesses they must attend to. No one wanted to come into the Asarahb Desert. The heat was enough to kill most of the cacti around the area. Kawari found it absolutely preposterous that the Mag'dab tribe insisted to live in such harsh conditions.

As he climbed the last golden dune, Kawari took in the breath-taking sight before him. Temples of intricate designs and marble structures displayed themselves before him in their highest splendor. White, green and blue colors sprinkled over the Mag'dab's homes and worshipping areas and a small pool splashed in the center of the entire city. A temple dedicated to the Water God, Sar'dum, lay just before the large fountain.

Kawari chuckled to himself. It seems this place has gone under renovations since the last time he'd visited.

At the gates to the city, the Mag'dab's high priest greeted him. "I would like to guide you to the area where this strange… being has stumbled upon our lands." He spoke with cautioned words and indicated with his knobbed fingers several dunes West. The old high priest bowed and took his camel. He made a motion for someone to bring another camel for Kawari, but the prince raised his hand, declining the offer. Prince Kawari traveled everywhere by foot. Pack animals had no purpose; they were just another life to watch out for. Prince Kawari believed mostly in traveling alone. It was much more convenient to take care of only himself. He'd studied the art of self-defense from thirteen different teachers, each teaching a different subject and mastering each one within the year. Thirteen years of mastered self-defense. Next month, he'd complete his twenty-fourth year. But among the Ground clan, appearances didn't mean you were what you looked like. Kawari was twenty-four, however, had the appearance of a young eighteen year old. This was because the Ground clan's power radiated within two distinct abilities.

One ability that differentiated them from the Water, Wind and Fire clan was their age limit. As soon as they reach eighteen, the years after that act as a sort of suspended animation in which they hold that appearance until they are killed. They maintain their prime physique and heightened ability, which is also one of the reasons why the Ground clan was the strongest out of the four and ruled Irunda, this planet. Unfortunately, there was a hindrance to this power. Once they contract an illness such as a small cold or a slight flu, they are bedridden for the most part of the next two full moons. The women of the clan are more susceptible to quick deaths and need more tending and caring to than the men.

The second ability they possessed was invisibility. To be able to portray the scenery around them through their body. This helped them to spy around the castle or their own land to seek out any rumors of revolt or assassination schemes.

Prince Kawari narrowed his eyes and could see the faint outline of a body laying face-down in the sand, just ahead. The high priest, along with four followers, quickened their pace and Kawari found himself doing the same, intrigued by the strange person who had managed to find a way into the Asarahb Desert.

Within seven feet of the body, he halted, then stepped back quickly. His silver sandals, embedded with emeralds and rubies, kicked up fine grains of sand, which whirled into the air. The wind blew very lightly here but Kawari's fine gold hair caught every breath the wind whispered.

He scowled, "A human?" and threw an arm to his mouth in distaste.

"That is what we had thought at first." The high priest stared down with age-old eyes at the young, sunburned face. "But if it was a human, it would have never managed to find a way into the Asarahb Desert. It would have surely died miles before this point. Humans can't withstand the extreme temperatures of the Asarahb Desert for more than an hour. This location is a week's journey, assuming he came from the north. There are no other human civilizations we know of toward the south.

Prince Kawari let his arm drop and held his head high, straightening his posture, "You mention this human as 'it'? Meaning you haven't discovered the gender?"

The high priest gave Kawari a sly look, "Can you, your Highness?"

Prince Kawari glanced back down at the human, pressed into the sand as if he'd fallen from somewhere up high. Even the sand had been cast about him like ripples in a pool. Long, silver hair reflected the sun's last rays. It hid most of the human's face and slid over chapped lips. Kawari kneeled down and reached out to examine the human, turning the body over. The silver, dangling earring caught his eye. It was a simple looped earring with a diamond that seemed to have been cut in fourths. One fourth of the diamond winked at him on that silver looped earring. Kawari shook his head and continued his search for this human's identity. The robes hid any indication or hint as Kawari stared at the chest area. He withheld his indignation and pressed a flattened hand against this human and nodded with certainty, "It's a 'he'." Kawari declared, standing up… slowly.

Kawari took in the details of this human's face. Long, silver eye-lashes matched his hair. He was dusty from the sand and he noticed the torn sleeves. If he had been hot, shouldn't he have dressed in appropriate clothing? Kawari snorted, such stupid beings. And yet he couldn't help but continue his probing. His white robe seemed to have saved him from some of the heat and his sandals were made from some type of metal he'd never seen before. Silver-black metal with sapphires studded in them. It was then, Kawari noticed this human had long legs. Perhaps he was really a she?

"What shall we do with him?" The high priest asked, emphasizing the last word. "Leave him for the Sand Crawlers? Sacrifice him to Sar'dum? The Mag'dab people will not be pleased. We had a difficult time holding them back from taking him in our city. For he resembles the Water God."

Kawari nodded. His features, of not they had not been sunburned, would be as pale as snow and hair glistened like ice in this desert. Draped in white like a fallen angel, he lay helpless in this desert. "Take him in and nurse him back to health. I'd like to ask him myself to confirm if he's really just a human. It would create a stir within all the clans if they were to find out he wasn't human. I don't sense any of the clans' aura around him, nor do I… sense a human aura."

The high priest nodded and beckoned to his subordinates to pick up the young boy and take him back to the city. "Will you be resting with us until his health fairs well?"

"I believe I will. Desert traveling is not one of my hobbies." He nodded and the priest acknowledged his request.

"A room shall be prepared at our temple. I will send for my best doctors."


The next morning, Kawari stretched his arms in the air, feeling his muscles tense and loosen. He threw his legs over the side of the Mag'dab bed. This wasn't quite a hospital room as compared to the castle, but it was sufficient enough for him. He stared at his reflection in the mirror while undressing from his night clothes. Kawari was slim and slightly muscular from his thirteen years of training and remaining eight years of continuous practice. His short golden hair was ruffled from sleep and hard jungle-green eyes glared back at him. His skin, he mused, was slightly tanned due to the desert's sun.

Kawari dressed and just finished buttoning his shirt when a servant knocked at his door, "Your highness, the boy has awakened."

'That was quick.' Kawari thought with surprise, "I'll be right out." He stroked the comb through his hair until it curved under his chin. 'Either that priest has some damn good doctors or that boy heals fast.' Kawari glanced in the mirror once more before leaving to investigate this mystery further.

He could hear the priests of the temple from the Grand Room trying to coax a word out of their guest. Kawari graced the room with his presence, holding an air of command as he strode cat-quiet toward a large cushioned couch, fluffed with over-sized pillows and luxurious blankets. There the boy sat crouched, with a satin purple pillow defending him. He glanced over the frills and stared at the priests who anxiously looked at him, wondering if he could actually be Sar'dum, their Water God. The boy hid back behind the pillow and squeezed his eyes shut, as if these priests were vile monsters ready to molest him at any given moment.

"Enough!" He threw his hand down, slicing the air and demanding the priests step away from him.

"But, sire…"

Kawari's eyes flared with anger, "Are you questioning my authority, priest?" He clearly stated the priest's status. All six priests stepped away and cringed in the corner of the room. He walked up to the couch and stared down at the young boy without tilting his head. Lowering his head to commoners, much less a human, was never heard of.

"What is your name?" He asked sternly.

The boy flinched and remained as silent as possible. Kawari could hear his own breath… and the boy's. "I am Prince Kawari from the Distant Kingdom. You need not fear me." 'What the hell did I just say to a human?' He also took note that his neck had lost its posture, bending slightly downward to better survey the boy. All he could see was his quivering body and silver hair sliding over the purple satin pillow.

It took immense patience, but slowly, two bright aquamarine eyes appeared above the pillow. Kawari felt himself drown. Those eyes seemingly held no end to the hues of greens and blues wrapping around his iris. Eyes like the ocean's depths framed by silver eyelashes and hair that mimicked the shimmer of ice under a full moon.

Kawari's posture had failed him completely as he kneeled before this strange boy. "What is your name?" He asked again, in a much more gentle tone.

"I can't remember." Kawari's body shivered, the hairs on his arms prickling. The boy didn't seem to realize his voice had an alluring affect. 'If satin had a sound, this is what it would b', Kawari thought, still entranced by his eyes.

"You can't remember? Or you don't want to tell me?" He asked once more.

The boy's lips turned downward in a frown, "I told you I didn't know… K-something." He managed weakly before collapsing back, sliding down to lay against the heaps of pillows. Kawari watched as the boy played with his earring, sliding his fingers around the loop and running a thumb over the quarter-of-a-diamond.

"Ku…" He watched as the boy concentrated, "Ku…"

"Kuku?" Kawari lifted an eyebrow and stifled a laugh.

"No!" The boy replied. "That's not my name." He sat up straight once again and pouted. The way he pouted made Kawari stare at his slender folded arms. The priests had given him decent clothes for the weather. He dressed in a simple shirt and black loose pants, but still looked like a god… or goddess. Kawari licked his lips and continued to watch the boy as he twirled another piece of jewelry-a ring on his left finger. It was made from the same material as his earring and had a quarter-of-a-diamond imbedded in it as well.

"Kuroyuki?" He questioned himself, tilting his head and letting the silver hair spill over his shoulder like a waterfall. "I think that's my name."

"Kuroyuki." Kawari repeated, memorizing and branding that name into his very existence. "I see." He gathered himself under his feet and stood tall and elegant. Kuroyuki watched Kawari, but remained sitting.

"You will be traveling back with me to my kingdom where my father, King Aosora, will decide what to do with you." He announced.

Kuroyuki blinked and stood up just as gracefully as Kawari, as if he'd done it a million-and-one times. Kawari stood a whole head taller than Kuroyuki, which felt strange because normally Kawari had always been the shorter one in the family.

Kuroyuki didn't seem to mind, as if he was used to being looked down upon. Kawari's eyes softened… what the hell was he doing? Sympathizing with someone who could be a human… Kawari's thoughts trailed off as he found himself staring at Kuroyuki's pale complexion. Supple skin the color of steamed milk. His sunburn had completely faded and stood there as if nothing had gone wrong. Kuroyuki did seem to be breathing heavily.

"Kawari, where did they find me?" Kuroyuki asked, staring out through the open windows draped with red curtains, toward the miles and miles of sand.

Kawari thought for a moment, "Just West of here." He decided to ignore Kuroyuki's act of disrespect in calling him by his name and without the title "Prince".

Oh. When will we be leaving?" Kuroyuki tilted his chin up and gazed into Kawari's green eyes. "Soon?"

Kawari grinned, "If you're that eager to go, then we shall be able to leave by next morning's light."

Kuroyuki nodded, "Tomorrow…" He walked toward the window, leaned himself against the sill and stared outside. "I want to leave now."

Kawari turned and stared at the wall. If he stared at Kuroyuki any longer, he wouldn't know whether he'd have the energy to keep standing. What was wrong with him? Perhaps Kuroyuki was some sort of god that had fallen upon this ground? This Irunda? "Then we'll leave now." He grit his teeth angrily.

"Really?" Kuroyuki turned his heel to look at Kawari. "We can?"

"If you can keep up. Since we're late." Kawari left the room before Kuroyuki could see him crumble. Kuroyuki's stare weighed Kawari down like never before. Speeches in public with hundreds of eyes on him didn't come close to what he felt. Kawari bit his lip and stopped short of making it bleed, 'I need to separate myself from him as quickly as I can. The sooner I am able to get home to the castle, the sooner I am able to rid myself of this weakness.'

Kawari nodded, lips pulled downward. 'Was this what I was expecting?' He thought, 'I had hoped father would at least cast him out and let him become a peasant.' He sighed and stepped down, walking toward Kuroyuki, who had found his way toward the old green draperies which hung with satin sashes. He touched and examined it. Kawari stifled a chuckle. Watching Kuroyuki was like watching a kitten take its first step outside.

Chapter 1 end... XD R&R pleeeease?!?! *chibi eyes* ^___^ I promise it'll get better... maybe ^^' Depending if there's any good reviews to base it on!!! Wah! And if you intend to flame me T__T ... um... um... can you at least flame nicely? But remember it's still my first time.... *EXTREMELY sad chibi eyes* ^o^ Thanks!

~*~new note~*~

Ack! I just realized that my italics don't show T__T So I had to go back and find EVERY thought they were thinking and put the little ('') around them. AND I had to go back and find EVERY italicized word to make them all caps! *sigh* ^^''

~*~new NEW note~*~

XD Ooh… I'm so smart! I just learned the html codes so now I've made them italicized!!! *__* If you haven't really figured it out… the italicized words are either thoughts or emphasized words ^__^"'