Chapter One

She had always loved the moonlight, indeed, it was a beautiful thing. She had always loved the way its gentle glow illuminated everything, especially the forest. She loved to look at the glow of the trees and the leaves and everything, she loved the Earth itself. She always came out here, ever since she had ran away from home, and she would come out to the forest when the moon was full and just stare. Of course, there were sometimes when there would be two moons, or three, or even all five moons would make an appearance. Each moon went through a different phase, and at times it was truly beautiful.
The light of the moon.
She despised it at this moment.
With her heart pounding in her ears, she ran, wishing for the first time ever that the moons would go away and take their light with them. She hated the fact that it was the moonlight that was keeping her from losing her attacker, she hated the fact that it was the moonlight that made it seem like there was a bright spotlight on her that was simply screaming, "Here I am, come and kill me please!"
The Meedian woman, dressed in a normal brown dress and brown boots, ran through the forest as fast as she could, not looking back to see if her attacker was following, but knowing that he was all the same. She considered using the Elements, but she could only control Earth, and that wouldn't really help her escape her assailant at the moment, especially when her Earth powers weren't that powerful. If the moon wasn't shining, she could have tried to hide by now, but because of the moons, it was so bright that it might as well have been day and her attacker was quite fast so losing him would be difficult, even if she did know this forest well.
She should have stayed at the tavern, she should have stayed at her work place and went home with a friend. She shouldn't have gone out to go stargazing, she should have known just by looking at the man that he was dangerous...

She had ran away from home at a young age, not wanting to be forced to marry someone she didn't love, and ran to a small village and was adopted by a local elderly couple. From there she ended up getting a job at the tavern when she was sixteen, and had been working there ever since. She was only eighteen now, and she really wanted to live to be nineteen.
He had come in, and she had known it was a he by the mannerisms and build. He had been dressed in a large hooded cape with black boots on. They were plain black boots, a bit faded from wash, and caked with mud. You couldn't see his face or his outfit because of the cape, and as soon as he came in, everyone in the tavern had known. It wasn't the fact that you couldn't see anything about him, many of people came in like that, travelers, and it wasn't a big deal. No, it wasn't his looks that made everyone almost break their necks to turn to him. It was his aura.
Of course, not everyone can see a person's aura, in fact, only a very few number of Meedians can. It was more like a feeling, as if you could feel something about them, and Meedians put two and two together. As the music stopped and heads were sharply turned, everyone regarded the hooded figure as he walked in and sat down at the bar, saying nothing.
It took a full five minutes for everyone to snap out of it and continue business as usual, the feeling they got from that man was that bad. It was as if the man had taken a full fledged bath in a pool full of evil and darkness and then sprayed himself with a cologne equivalent. It was obvious that even after the five minute stare that people were having a hard time keeping their eyes off of the stranger, even if they tried to keep it discreet. What were they going to do if he suddenly decided to start ranting, raving, and destroying everything? For someone that evil, the thought had crossed everyone's minds, and a thick air of nervousness and fear began to permeate the room.
She had not been adverse to this effect as she had asked him if he wanted anything else or if he wanted a room. The Tavern was also an Inn, and she was in charge of room duties that day. She heard the silent gasps as people looked at her, wondering if she had lost her mind. Sure, she had a job to do, but the man was clearly evil, and someone to avoid, no matter what.
He never said anything, he just simply turned slowly at her and stared, the hood making it impossible for her to see anything. She stood there, motionless, not knowing what to do next, and very, very frightened.
You... a voice came into her head. She blinked, not knowing where it had come from. She had no mental links with anyone, so someone being able to come into contact with her mentally was very difficult, and she disliked the fact that someone was able to peek into her mind without her permission.
"Valeria..." a voice came in. It was her boss. "You're shift is over."
A rounded Meedian came in, he was tall and quite built despite his overgrown belly, his orange eyes narrowed more so than the normal. His beefy arms were crossed over his chest, his orange fur slightly standing on end as he regarded the hooded man. He had always been a fatherly figure to Valeria, and it was clearly obvious that he did not appreciate the man's business or the fact that Valeria was talking to him.
The young Meedian girl gulped and didn't move until the owner put his massive hand on her tiny shoulder, looking down at her so that she'd get the point. Leave. Now.
"Y...yes sir!" she exclaimed, running quickly to the back room, grabbing her things and leaving.

Her home was only two minutes away, however, she wanted to relax, and she wanted to be close to the Earth, which was always soothing to her. As she looked up at the moons, she shifted her bag onto his shoulder and sighed, grateful to be away from that...creepy man. She shuddered as she thought about how he had "looked" at her.
The more she thought about it now, she should have noticed the set of eyes focused intently on her, as if they were trying to bore into her soul, her very being.
Deciding to do some stargazing, she walked North instead of East, heading into the forest ahead of her. This forest was popular, especially because of the cliff that looked out into the night sky, where a lot of young Meedians went to make out or just be together. Valeria had never been with anyone in her eighteen years of life, and she really wanted to keep it that way.
As she entered the forest, she took her boots off and placed them in her bag, wiggling her toes as they touched the ground. She could feel the Earth Spirits flow though her body, giving her welcome as she entered and making the ground as soft as possible for her while she trekked through. She said hello to the trees, patted the ones that responded to her, and smiled as the flowers began to bloom slowly for her, they're way of saying hello.
She really loved this forest.
Continuing her walk through the forest, she held out her arm, marveling at how the moonlight and the shadow of the leaves decorated her pale arm, how it decorated the entire forest in its light glow. The path she walked upon was slightly worn, but it was only because the Earth shifted for her, otherwise it would be somewhat difficult to get through the way she was going. She liked going the longer way, even if it was harder, because the scenery was so much more beautiful. As the ground elevated she could see on her left the moons through the trees, each their own different shade of silver, almost seeming to smile down upon her.
The grass below her became thinner as she cross paths and headed towards the top of the cliff. The Earth Spirits had left her some time ago, and it seemed oddly quiet as she concluded her trek up the cliff.
There were no trees past the bottom of the cliff, simply a deep green grass and the darkness of the night, the lights of the universe lighting it up and giving it life. A sense of calmness swept through her and she sighed loudly, forgetting the scary looking man, her job, everything as she collapsed to the ground and looked up at the sky, loving the view that was given to her, letting her eyes slowly droop down as she began to fall asleep.

She had never heard the intruder, in fact, she didn't hear anything as she slept. In her dream she had been flying through the night sky, her eyes soaking up everything like a sponge as she drifted through the clouds, her arms spread out wide, her dress and hair blowing wildly in the wind. She closed her eyes and cried out in joy, moving her arms close to her so she could expand them once again in a burst of speed...
Instead, she couldn't move her arms. She tried, but her arms just wouldn't budge. She felt herself drop a bit in altitude and frowned, confused and a bit worried. She tried to move but just kept floating through the sky, slowly dropping. She felt herself grow heavier every minute, and she didn't know why. She tried to shift her body a bit, nothing.
And then suddenly, she was falling sharply, the ground becoming more and more of a reality as she neared it at break neck speed. No one heard her screams, no one heard her cries for help as she fell towards the ground.
Wake up...
A face. She suddenly saw a face, it wasn't a normal Meedian face, it had no light fur, just skin. Eventually she could see the body, tall and built, it was a male, and very tanned. She looked up at the face again and saw deep brown eyes and dusty brown hair. His eyes narrowed as he regarded her and she was suddenly back in the forest, but it was a different part of the forest, a clearing. She knew where this clearing was, it was South, deeper in the forest. She had been warned all of her life not to go into that part of the forest, as it was very dangerous, and lots of bad things happened there. The man was standing in the middle of the clearing, he had just appeared there out of nowhere, that intense gaze boring into her very being. For some odd reason, she felt that this look just...wasn't him.
"Wake up." he said "Get up and come here."
Her blue eyes widened as she looked at this man...no, he was so familiar and yet...
"Tha...that place, I was warned not to go there...please, just help me!"
If possible, his eyes narrowed further "Go there if you want to live. If not, stay where you are and get raped in your sleep."
That jolted her awake, her eyes simply snapping open as she looked straight into the darkness of a hood. The hooded man was on top of her, holding her down as he continued to take off her clothes. Her eyes widened as her mind slowly came out of its dream state and she hit reality hard. It was that hooded man from earlier, and he...he...
He was trying to rape her, just like that man in her dreams had said.
Her first instinct was to scream, which got an irritated grunt from her assailant and a sharp slap to the face. Her next instinct was to squirm as much as possible, continuing to scream. That move got her punched in the face as he began to now rip her clothing off, trying to hold her down at the same time.
She could feel the Earth Spirits below her, frantic and scared, unknowing of what to do. She could sense their fear of the cloaked man, and she knew that her fear probably matched theirs. She tried to steel herself and calm the spirits so she could summon them and free herself. As she struggled, her attacker released her left arm for a moment, and she chose that moment to strike him, which in turn removed his hood.
They both paused for a moment as the hood was removed and his head tilted back from the force of her blow. He slowly leaned forward and she gasped.
This man...he was Meedian! She felt nothing but intense evil from this man and yet he was Meedian, bright as day. But then as he glared at her she had to rethink for a moment, because his eyes were unlike any eyes she had ever seen on anyone. They were a black, his iris a deep silver. He looked Meedian, light yellow fur with spots and all, but those eyes...
Stupid! I told you to run dammit!
Valeria gasped at the sharp words in her mind and gasped again as she was punched in the face three more times by her attacker.
"Little bitch..." he muttered "You'll pay for that."
She had to get away, she had to get away from this man. She dug her fingers into the ground, feeling the Earth Spirits coming towards the surface, wanting to aid their friend. She could feel the ground shift beneath them, her attacker, noticing it as well, looking around with a startled expression on his face. Their hands began to sink into the ground which distracted him long enough for her to freely move her hands away from him and through the Earth as if it were water, kick him in the groin and move from under him as he said a string of curses and tried to get his now stuck hands out of the ground.
"ETATES!" the man roared "How long do you think you can keep the little bitch from me?!" he continued to struggle through the hold the Spirits had on him, slowly beginning to lift his hands, dirt and all, from the ground. Valeria took this as her sign and took off running through the forest, the Earth Spirits helping to guide her steps.
Her mind ran as rampant as her legs while she tried to figure out what the man was talking about. Etates was the Lord who resided over the Earth, and the Lord that she worshiped as her Deity since her major element was, in fact, Earth. The man seemed to blame Etates for her escape, when it been her. Did her attacker not know of the Elemental Powers that Meedians possessed? The ability to control the Element that they were born to control, the personal bond that a Meedian would have with the Spirits of that Element was what helped them channel their powers, how was this basic principal that was taught to every Meedian child missed to him?
Well, it really didn't matter now, especially since it helped her escape, and especially since he didn't control Earth as well, which made her very, very happy. It wouldn't last long, especially since the man seemed pretty strong, and had been breaking through his hold before she had even started running. She had to get away from that man, get to the clearing that the brown haired man had told her.
And so, she found herself in her current situation, running from her assailant as he quickly caught up to her. It was unreal, was he able to summon the wind to assist him in his pursuit of her? That was impossible, he didn't even understand what she had done to him, and it was such a simple concept.
The trees zoomed past her as she continued to run, the Earth guiding her steps, making her movements fluid as she tried to memorize the path to the clearing. It wasn't too difficult with the Earth Spirits helping her, and she found the clearing opening up before her eyes. As she came through the trees and into the clearing she saw the man standing, just like in her dream, his brown eyes filled with mischief and humor. He raised a large hand and smiling, waved at her.
"Bye bye."
A root from out of nowhere lifted from the ground, tripping her and making her fall. As she fell, a large hole in the ground appeared, welcoming her.
She barely even had time to scream as she fell into the hole and the ground closed up around her.

The Meedian male followed close behind her, muttering a string of curses in two different languages until he came into the clearing, looking around frantically for Valeria. His sharp eyes raked over the small clearing, finding nothing. No girl, no smell of her, no trace of her, nothing. She couldn't have just disappeared, and his nose was not failing him, she had indeed came in this direction. So then where in the Void had she gone to? Could she perhaps fly and he didn't know it? No, that was impossible, Arian would have to assist her to do that, and he wasn't anywhere around the area. So then where did she go?
He tread carefully into the clearing, looking around warily to see any sign of her, or anyone else.
Etates had helped the girl earlier, so perhaps he was doing so now, but the Meedian couldn't figure out where Etates could be hiding the girl and that annoyed him to no end. He had to find her, if word got out about their existence before it was too late, things would come to a sharp halt and they'd be set back almost another fifty-thousand years. Lanak wouldn't be happy about that at all.
The male thought about calling out to the girl, but of course, that would be stupid, she wouldn't answer anyway if she were hiding. How the Void had she managed to get away?
He didn't hear the noises coming from around him, so concerned in finding the girl, and it was already too late by the time he had figured it out.
He felt a sharp pulling on his right leg and he looked down, his dark eyes focusing on the rather thick tree vine that had decided to wrap itself around him. He pulled his leg, trying to free himself of the thing, but it tightened around him, slowly creeping up further and further up his leg. As he continued to struggle, he felt his left arm pull violently in the opposite direction of his right leg, and he looked to see another vine around his arm, creeping up towards his neck. Now seriously alarmed, he tried to frantically pull away, using his good leg to push himself forward and trying to pull away with his trapped hand. This only made the vines grow tighter, and two more joined the fray, grabbing his other arm and leg. He struggled frantically, unleashing a very un-Meedian howl in frustration as he was unable to get free. The vines tangled around his neck, not choking him, but slowly tightening its hold on him. They had completely wrapped around his legs, waist, arms, just about his entire body, and growing stronger by the second. Soon, he couldn't even struggle, just stand there as the vines took over, keeping him in a seemingly iron grip.
When he thought things wouldn't get any worse, the vines began to grow, taking him with it as it lifted him off of the ground and about six feet into the air, not caring if he liked it or not. He struggled, to no avail, to get back to the ground, and maybe even away from the damned vines. Once to the height it desired, he felt more shifting, some of the vines around his chest loosened and from what he could tell, since he couldn't look behind him, the two vines were hovering over his body, almost waiting for something.
And then it hit him, a strong sharp pain shot though his body as the two vines impaled themselves just below his collar bone going through and twisting, the two points facing him. He howled, his voice echoing throughout the entire forest as the pain rushed in and blood began to seep out of his body and through his clothing. He could feel his legs twitching from the pain, his eyes burning with unshed tears. How he hated a solid body! If only...if only....
And then the pain returned with a passion, only this time through his upper thighs. He roared in pain again, his fingers twitching with the new pain, his mouth moving up and down uncontrollably as he stopped screaming long enough to let in air, gasping it in as the tears flowed, the pain all too unbearable. He could feel the vines moving through the newly made holes in his body, the pain increasing as the vines got thicker the more they moved through him. He could feel blood streaming down his legs, soaking his pants, his shirt nothing but a bloody mess already. His body became nothing but a twitching mass, the vines bending him so that his back was in an arch, the two vines that had pierced through his body wrapping around under his arms, coming to rest at his shoulders. Finally, the vines stopped moving, simply holding him there as he bled, his blood beginning to seep down into the ground and being devoured by the vines that he now noticed had simply came from out of the ground, and not from anywhere in particular.
It was then that he heard the rumbling. It was soft at first, but soon became louder, making the ground vibrate and the pain slightly increase, but now only soft moans came from the Meedian male too exhausted to scream, too much in pain.
He could feel a large chunk of Earth come out of the ground and the vines shifted, straightening out his body so he could face it. The chunk wasn't in any particular shape, it had just shot out from the ground, and he watched as chunks of rock fell to the ground as the new mound stopped growing, larger chunks beginning to fall off. Chunks and chunks of rock began to fall off until it began to form a shape of a man. Not a Meedian man, but a more humanoid looking male. Slowly, the rocks became dirt, and before long, the dirt began to melt off revealing shaggy brown hair, unruly and shining within the moonlight. Then the tanned bandanna, tied tightly around his head, followed by tanned skin that seemed to catch the moon in a beautiful light, giving him a soft glow. His eyes were a bright green, and they had a strong light of amusement in them as he regarded his prey. He was fairly built, and as the dirt began to roll off of the rest of his body, the Meedian began to realize just who this person was.
"E...Etates...." he whispered, hoarsely
The Lord of Earth stood in front of the Meedian, one foot merged with the Earth like a large root, the other foot resting against his calf. His muscular arms were crossed against his chest, and he tilted his head, smiling.
"Well, well, well," Etates began "What do I have here?"
The Meedian's eyes widened. So Etates was here, and he had been protecting the girl. Damn, damn, damn. If Kinnan found out, everything would go to shit, they'd be set back, and he would get the blame. What bothered him was the fact that Etates was here, instead of further north. Etates' home was no where near this location, how was that bastard able to find him?
As if he had read his mind, Etates' grin became wider. "I was sitting at home, y'know, looking at some rather good looking Meedian women, and I said to myself 'Etates, you know what?' 'What?' I said, 'I sense a Larka around here somewhere, and I really think I should go check it out, since he's messing with a rather cute looking girl' and I said 'self, I think that would be a really good idea.' And so here I am," he emphasized his point by spreading his arms out and shrugging "Her name is Valeria, in case you didn't know, and she worships me. It's my duty as a patron deity to help out the beautiful women in need y'know." his face became sinister "So why the fuck are you here anyway Larka scum?" he growled, his very voice hard like rock as he glared at him, his green eyes flashing from yellow to brown to green again "You obviously had a death wish coming here."
"Screw you Etates!" the Larka screamed, despite the pain "This isn't your turf, what the Void are you doing here anyway?"
The Larka came face to face with Etates as the Lord moved in close, his face still having that sinister look on it.
"The Earth is my turf, dumbass." he said, grinning "You Larka's keep thinking that just because we have a specific location that we just fart around all day in it or something. No, my brilliant friend, as long as there is Earth around me, I am home. Honestly, I thought you guys would have figured that out by now.
Etates smiled, leaning back as the vines pulled tighter, making the Larka scream in pain, closing his eyes and sighing.
"Music to my ears you know that?" he asked "You guys come here and try to do whatever you can to make people miserable, so, it feels kinda good to hear you guys get it in return.
Despite the pain, the Larka spat out something in a different language to Etates. It was a harsh word, not Meedian at all, and sounded like something between a Larkan roar and metal grinding against itself. Etates winced, his eyes opening, his grin never fading.
"I love you too." the Lord said, still smiling "Now honestly, tell me why you're here, and I'll stop torturing you. If you continue to be a thorn in my side..." more screaming from the Larka as the vines pulled tighter "I'm going to have to be a mean bastard, and we really don't want me to do that, do we?"
Etates shook his head as the Larka spat out more obscenities, screaming at him in another language. The Lord sighed, crossing his arms as his eyebrow began to twitch in annoyance. He nodded once, twice, and then he silenced the Larka's speech by making the vines began to pull in opposite directions, replacing talking with screaming.
"Shut up." Etates snapped "Your babble is driving me crazy." he put a hand to his temple "Not to mention giving me a headache. Okay, so let me see if I can get this straight..." he looked thoughtful for a moment "You were here just to get with some Meedian chick, and in order to do that you had to go into some sort of solid form, which happens to be Meedian form surprisingly, and you're doing this for what reason? I mean, I figured out why you were here, but why you're going around trying to rape Meedian females is beyond me. I was under the impression that your people were trying to get with the Moon Maidens not Meedians. I mean y'know, Prophecy reasons and whatnot."
"S....screw you...Etates..." the Larka spat, his venom beginning to leave him "I...I'm not telling...you...anything."
Sighing, Etates again shook his head "It'd be a lot easier if you'd just cooperate with me. Honestly, I have no problems torturing you for the next few thousand years, and you can't shift forms because I got you in your solid form, so it's up to you really. Do you want to sit here and rot in pain, or do you want to cooperate and give me answers?"
"Y...you'll kill me as soon....as you're done with me."
"Ah, true, so true. You've figured me out." he shrugged "What can I say?" he grinned, a very happy looking grin at that, "So then, will you please just tell me anyway, and save me the trouble of ripping you apart limb from limb? I mean, I really could be doing something, or someone, else right now, and the sun will be up in a few hours. Parties are very common around where I live and well, I've been known to be a party animal every now and then. I really do like to party, so I mean, just be nice and tell me what I want to know so I can go and get drunk? Please? I'm asking you nicely, any other Lord, especially my brother, would have killed you by now."
"They....'re not sadistic."
"HEY!" Etates snapped "I resent that. I am not sadistic...or whatever the Void you just called me, I've been told that I'm a very fun loving person!"
Silence. Etates looked at the Larka, but he refused to speak or even look at the Lord, his loyalty great to his master.
Etates moved to pull the vines tighter but paused. A Earth Spirit moved up through his leg, a signal of danger. His sharp green eyes scanned the area, looking for the intruder. He paused for a moment and then he bent his leg as if to leap, jumping up and over the Larka, his foot detaching from its root-like hold. As he jumped, a small controlled wave of water came through the trees, hitting the spot that Etates previously occupied, bouncing up and over the Larka, moving to the center of the clearing, lifting up as all of the water joined together, and formed a large wall, facing Etates.
There was a green light and then Etates turned to face his enemy, his battle gloves appearing as he took on a defensive stance. The Lord's eyes narrowed, recognizing this form.
"Kinnan..." Etates spat in obvious distaste, his green eyes shifting to brown as they narrowed dangerously. "Finally decided to come out of your five thousand years of hiding you bastard? The Void you doing here anyway?"
The wall of water, seeming to flow upwards, began to shift, becoming more shapely. Soon there was a liquified version of a man standing before the water seemed to just roll off of his body. The pale man stood in front of Etates, regal as ever, as he regarded the younger man.
Kinnan, the Lord of Water, was no one to toy with. Despite the fact that he was smaller and less built than Etates meant nothing. His wavy blue hair was tied back into a small braid, and his sea-green eyes looked upon the Earth Lord in amusement. He wore a light blue long sleeved shirt and long white pants which were wide and baggy. He had a gauntlet on his left wrist, making his shirt sleeve bulge up a bit, and his armor was beautiful as always, a simple golden trimmed breastplate with blue decorating in the middle. Kinnan had, as long as Etates could remember, always dressed in his finest clothing, whereas the rest of the Lords had tried to go for more simple looks, Etates especially. He felt a deep rumble in his throat as Kinnan looked him up and down like an inferior being.
"Etates," he said, his voice like smooth silk "I see that you're still dressing like a beggar."
"Kinnan..." Etates mocked "I see you're still dressing like a pansy assed bitch. What's the occasion?" he asked, annoyed
Instead of looking angry, Kinnan simply smiled "Nice comeback. I've come for the Larka. Give him to me now and things won't have to get ugly. I expect complete obedience in this issue." his blue eyes met Etates brown ones, showing to him that he was more than serious.
Etates looked at him as if he had grown a second head. "Kinnan, have you lost all sense that was within that head of yours?" he demanded "Who do you think you are, coming here and making demands of me?" his stance shifted "I'm not giving you this Larka, you know the rules of the Hunt, he's mine, and I'm going to get my own answers from this bastard and you are not to interfere got that?"
"I need him Etates." Kinnan said "I won't say it again, give me the Larka, or I'll defeat you the same way I did five thousand years ago."
That pissed off Etates moreso than he was going to admit. Kinnan had defeated him over five thousand years ago, and very easily, but that was five thousand years ago, and he had been doing some training and some improving. He grinned as he suddenly realized something.
"You ain't getting him you blue haired pussy, so go ahead and try to get through me to get him, I guarantee it won't be easy." okay, so it was a blatant challenge, Etates was willing to back up his words though, so it'd be okay right? Right?
By Chaos, Etates... he scolded himself Next time, make sure your theory is right before you start shooting off that damned mouth of yours.
A blue light came from Kinnan's hand as a crystalized Trident, his signature weapon, appeared. He clutched it and smiled "Last chance to comply, boy."
Growling, Etates took a defensive stance, knees slightly bent and his arms up to block the coming attack, "Come and get some Water bitch!" he spat
Kinnan's knees bent and he then launched himself into the air, his Trident spinning above his head as he went to strike at Etates. Grinning, Etates stepped forward right when the Trident came down for the strike on his head, blocking the attack with his arm. Kinnan's eyes widened in surprise as Etates' grin spread even wider.
"Surprised?" Etates asked, pushing Kinnan back as he moved forward, his free hand balling up into a fist and connecting solidly onto Kinnan's jaw, satisfied as he heard the shattering of several bones and a muffled howl as the Water Lord scrambled back, holding his jaw and glaring at Etates. Kinnan then smiled, much to Etates' annoyance, as his jaw became clear water and then back again, his face healed.
Okay, so I forgot he could do that. Etates thought, Should have remembered that, oh well, his jaw probably hurt like hell when I hit him, and that makes me feel good.
"You've gotten a little stronger." Kinnan said, adjusting his jaw, the Trident disappearing.
"Better believe it bitch." He noticed Kinnan putting away his weapon and gave him a look of disdain "C'mon now," he began "surely you don't expect to beat me in hand to hand combat?" Everyone with common sense knew that out of all the Lords, Etates was unmatched in hand to hand combat, it was the sole reason that anyone used weapons against someone like him and his brute strength.
Kinnan looked at Etates, shrugging "Never know unless you try. Come Etates, show me what you've been doing for the last five thousand years."
Etates' stance went from defensive to offensive as he charged, moving to strike Kinnan in the jaw once again. Kinnan dodged the fist meant for him and Etates shifted, spinning to deliver a kick to the chest. The Water Lord's body became liquid as he moved away from the kick, making Etates jump back as well as he shook his now wet foot in disgust.
"Ugh..." he muttered "That's so sick Kinnan."
"It's just water, quit acting like a baby."
Etates grunted, spikes coming from his arm as he twisted and brought his arm across his body, the rock spikes shooting from them. Kinnan was startled from the sudden attack, leaping up into the air, but one got him in the leg, making him falter and land harshly on the ground. He sat up just in time to see Etates coming down, fist first, to connect with his body. Quickly getting up and jumping out of the way, he snickered as chucks of dirt came up as Etates' fist connected with the ground, the snicker quickly fading as the Earth Lord came up through the dirt cloud and uppercut him in the chin, followed by a spin kick to the side, causing Kinnan to land, once again, harshly on the ground, bringing up some of it as he did.
I underestimated Etates Kinnan thought to himself I was under the impression that he was still at the same level he was so many years ago, but obviously I was wrong. He's a lot stronger than last time, and with me being so far away from any type of water my powers have diminished somewhat. He's still not too much of a problem, but if Arian gets here, things will become difficult. I will have to make this quick then.
Kinnan grimaced as Etates grabbed him by the collar, lifting him with no effort off of the ground so they could be face to face.
"C'mon...tell me..." Etates said, a huge grin on his face "Who's bitch are you?"
Kinnan's eyes widened at the bold question and then he laughed. He laughed and laughed and laughed, almost close to hysterics. He actually had to hold his stomach while Etates held him, laughing.
"It wasn't that funny." Etates snapped "I was being serious."
"I know, and that is why it's so...hilarious!" Kinnan said, genuine laughter in his voice "Oh my, I don't think I've ever laughed this hard in well...ever! Etates, you do have such a good sense of humor, I can see why now everyone is the way they are around you." Kinnan was able to calm himself long enough to pull something out of his pocket. "However," he began "I simply do not have time to waste on you today, my friend, so I'll be taking that Larka and departing."
"The Void you will!" Etates snapped and then he frowned, noticing that Kinnan had pulled something out of his breastplate "The fuck is that...." he began and then he realized exactly what it was a bit too late.
Kinnan brought the device directly in front of Etates face. It was a spherical object, black in color, however, as he pushed it in Etates' face, small cylinder like shapes began to come out of it, and the ball turned from a dark black to a bright white.
"Shit, a Starball!" Etates roared and let Kinnan go, trying to shield his eyes all too late. The Starball erupted in a brilliant flash of light that lit up the entire forest and the city below, completely blinding Etates as he flailed around screaming, his eyes totally burned out of his head.
Kinnan knowing that he had very little time before Etates would heal himself, went to work.
It was long after the light had died and the ball, now completely useless, laid a few feet ahead of Etates. He was sitting down, pushing two small mounds of dirt into his eyes, pausing as the healing properties of the Earth went into his body, reconstructing his eyes and the part of his face that the Starball had burned off, becoming a part of him. He muttered a stream of curses as the tingling sensation became a bit less and his vision began to return. Slowly the dirt turned into flesh and his singed hair returned completely back to normal. He stood up, finally healed, looking around.
Kinnan was gone. So was the Larka. The clearing was a mess and he was pretty pissed off to boot.
"Fuckin' pansy assed Kinnan, who the fuck does he think he is coming in here, taking my shit and then throw a fuckin STARBALL in my face!" Etates muttered, furious. "Lemme get my hands on a fuckin Starball and shove it up his ass, see how he likes that..." as he spoke, the ground began to merge back into itself, the grass growing to normal length as the clearing became its former beauty. As he turned to leave, obviously irritated, the Earth Spirits began to tug at his pant leg.
"What?!" he demanded "Just what the fuck is it?!" he shook his leg, trying to get the Spirits to leave him alone.
Girl... they said Valeria...
"Oh." Etates put his hands in his pockets "Her. Right." still annoyed, he waved his arm "Get the hell up!" he exclaimed, a large mound of dirt and rocks appearing in front of him, breaking away to reveal Valeria, asleep and floating in front of him.

She opened her eyes slowly, her eyes narrowing as she tried to adjust to the sudden light. The man from her dream stood in front of her, his eyes now a brilliant shade of green instead of the deep brown that she remembered. He looked highly irritated about something, his arms crossed across his broad chest as he looked at her.
"Are you alright?" he asked, sounding as if he could have cared less.
"Um...I am fine." Valeria said and jumped a bit as she felt herself touch the ground. Had she been hovering? "Who...who are you?" suddenly, as if remembering the hooded man, she took a step back, looking around frantically for him. What had happened? All she remembered was tripping, the Earth opening up to her, and then darkness. She realized that her torn dress was gaping open, revealing a good part of her chest to the man. She gasped and covered herself with her arms "Is...is he...?"
"Who the Void knows." Etates snapped, looking off towards the right of her, frowning "Someone took the bastard. He won't bother you again okay?" he looked at her finally "And next time your boss gives you a hint to go home, go home okay?"
Valeria gasped, looking at him with wide eyes "How...how did you know that?" she asked
This time Etates grinned, pointing to his head "I know everything my dear, don't you know?" he flexed his muscles, in better moods now that he had someone to impress, looking at her "I am the great and powerful Etates, Lord of all Earth and lover to beautiful women!" he winked at her "I know you know of me, because you worship me right?"
This got Etates his expected reaction as she stared at him in disbelief and then knelt down, bowing to him. "My Lord..." she said
"Hey, hey now, it's not that serious." he said, smiling "I'm really a humble guy, once you get to know me." when she didn't move, he rolled his eyes "You can get up now, oh humble follower, blah blah blah..."
She looked up at Etates, frowning. He was not what she had expected at all. She had been told that the Gods were powerful, strong, and most of all, serious. The man that stood before her was strong, and he was powerful looking, but serious was not the word she'd use to describe him. Maybe silly or goofy. He seemed pretty full of himself as well. He didn't really seem like a God to her, maybe she should test him?
Standing up and dusting herself off, she looked up at Etates "How do I know you're really the Lord of Earth?" she asked
"How many hairless, short eared Meedians do you know that look this damned good?" he asked "And how many of them can open up a hole in the ground easily and then pull you out like it was no big deal?"
He had a point. She looked at this man again, still a bit in shock at what she was seeing.
"So...you're really Etates?"
"Yeah."
"Um...."
"What?" he asked, frowning "Still don't believe me?"
She shook her head lightly "Well no, it's not like that at all. I believe you now...it's just that...well, um..."
He raised an eyebrow, "Well what? Spit it out."
"I thought you'd be a woman."
"Whaaaat?" he yelled, making her flinch "How the hell can you confuse the LORD of Earth to be a woman?" he flexed his muscles "This look like woman stuff to you?" he began to take off his pants "Does a woman have this....?"
"No! Stop!" she exclaimed, trying to hide her laughter. He was so angry that it was cute. He was like a large child almost "I'm sorry...I didn't mean to mistake you for a woman, it's just...you know...Mother Nature and all that?"
"Mother Nature my ass." he snapped "A guy takes care of this, so there. Me, I'm the one who makes this shit all pretty and stuff, ME. Why is it every time something comes out lookin' nice, it's a woman's fault? What? A guy can't make nothin' look interesting?"
"So..." she continued "You make all the flowers and such as well?"
"Plants, and everything that comes from the Earth is my domain, excluding Metal, and Water. Those are controlled by their respective bastards." he snapped, seeming a little annoyed at the two Lords. "But yeah, I'm a guy, and I reside over Earth." he gave her a serious look, and she really felt that it didn't fit him "And I'm not a God, regardless of what you guys think, I'm a Lord yeah, but I'm no God."
This was a little more hard to swallow than the fact that he was a guy "Of course you're a God, you and the other Lords are worshipped at temples all over Meedia."
Etates shrugged "Yeah I know we are, not by choice believe me. We weren't meant to be considered as Gods or anything, we just control elements and stuff." he smiled at her "If you want to worship anything, you should worship her Holiness, Chaos. She's the one who created us, and She's kinda like that Supreme Ruler over all and stuff.
Valeria shook her head "I'm sorry, but that's just a little hard to believe, I've been worshipping you since I was a child, to me, you are a God."
He smiled then, but it wasn't a cocky smile like usual, it was just a smile. He walked up to her, putting his arms around her as he moved in closer. "Like I said, I'm no God, but I am a powerful being, why don't you just try believing in my existence instead of worshipping me? That's somewhat the same principal, and I do exist, so it works right?"
Valeria felt her face turn a bright shade of red as he neared her, his arms, which seemed so strong, were wrapped tightly around her in a close embrace his lips just above hers as he neared for a kiss.
"Ahem."
Groaning in annoyance and letting Valeria go, he turned to see who it was behind him who got in his way of a seemingly good make out session.
And he started.
Shit. Lunaria. He thought She is so going to kick my ass.
The Moon Maiden of the third Moon of Meedia, the youngest sister out of them all, Lunaria stood in front of Etates, her silver hair glistening within the moonlight as if the light was shining just for her, crimson eyes which held no emotion stared into Etates' emotion filled ones. She was dressed in a simpler outfit than the one she usually had on, it simply being a long, white, silk nightgown that hugged her figure and made her dark skin stand out sharply. She held something in her hand and Etates looked at it.
"What's that?" he asked
Her eyes narrowed and she looked at the letter and then looked at him "Yuena told me to bring this to you." she said and with a flick of her wrist, the flattened square object came flying at his head.
He grabbed it skillfully, recognizing it to be a letter. He opened the envelope, lifting up the simple white card that said:

Council Meeting, be there.
Kinnan.

"That son of a bitch has some fucking nerve to send me this after he just tried to blow my fucking face off not five minutes ago!" Etates yelled, his rage back at full bloom now as he crumpled the letter up and threw it to the ground, stomping on it for good measure. Valeria stood, totally confused at what was going on, looked at Lunaria who didn't seem to pleased with the situation.
"It'd be an improvement, that's for sure." Lunaria snapped, crossing her arms and looking away.
"Now look here..." Etates started "Just because you're cute doesn't mean I'm going to let that comment slide. You try having a Starball shoved in your face and see how you like it."
Lunaria turned to him this time, completely startled "He threw a Starball in your face? Did it hurt much?"
"It hurt like hell!" he exclaimed "I'm going to go to this council meeting just to kick his pansy ass!" but Etates was confused, it had been over twelve thousand years since the last meeting, why was Kinnan calling one now after all this time? "But...why would he be holding a council meeting? And why..." he looked at Lunaria, who was giving him a quizzical look, and decided not to say anything about the Larka incident. He'd say his fill soon enough.
Etates felt gentle fingers touch his arm as Valeria came to stand beside him. When he looked at her, she wasn't looking at her, but rather Lunaria.
"Hello..." she said "Are you a Goddess? You look like one of the Goddesses of the Moon."
"I am a Moon Maiden." Lunaria snapped, "I'm not a Goddess." she turned to Etates "I'll leave you and your girlfriend," she ground out, making Etates wonder if she was jealous or not. "alone."
"Well you do that then, sweetie." Etates said, "I didn't expect you to get jealous."
"Jealous?! Jealous!" The Moon Maiden glared at him, looking pretty murderous "Who would be jealous of an overconfident, overbearing man like you?"
"So....does this mean you won't have sex with me? I'm really good in bed, or so they tell me. I'd make it worth your while cutie." he said and winked at her, blowing her a kiss.
"I hate you!" she exclaimed, disappearing.
Laughing, Etates turned to Valeria. "Sorry about that, that's a friend of mine, she's always edgy like that. Sorry she was rude."
Valeria shook her head "It's fine, she was a..." she paused, not wanting to say Goddess "Moon Maiden, it is perfectly okay, I'm an inferior creature."
"No you're not." he said "Meedians and us...we're not better than each other. I mean, we got our differences, but Mother always said that we were one in the same."
"Mother?" Valeria asked
"Chaos, the one who created this world, us, Meedians, She is the Mother of all, and that is who I worship."
Valeria nodded, understanding "So...like you are not a God to us, perhaps she is not a Goddess to you?"
Etates shook his head "No, Chaos created us, so She is our Goddess. I didn't create Meedians, so I wouldn't be your God. Get it?"
"I...think I do." she smiled at him "Yes, I think I get it now."
He put his arm around her, making her blush "So your Highness, shall I return you back to your village?"
Taken totally by surprise, her blue eyes snapped up to look at him, "H...how did you know...?"
"Princess Valana di Karlia, daughter of King Vanir di Karlia." he nodded "I never forget an important face your Highness, although you have aged in the past few years. I had heard you had ran away, trying to escape from marrying a guy named...uh...Zenan right? Imperial Prince and all that." he winked at her and answered the question that she was about to ask "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me."
She sighed, putting a grateful hand to her chest as she leaned against him. "Thank you very much. It means a lot to me. I love my new family, and I really don't want to go back home. I can't marry that man, he's horrid."
"I believe it." Etates said and tugged slightly, pulling her along as he began to walk her back to the village. "I heard he was a real brat."
She nodded, then decided to change the subject "Etates?" she asked "Are...how old are you? All of the stories about you say that you're thousands of years old."
"Fifty thousand, to be correct." he said, causing her to gasp in shock "Yeah, I kid you not, I'm fifty thousand years old, don't look it do I?"
"...No...you don't."
"Lords usually don't die unless they're killed or they return to the Void, or to Chaos so to speak. The original Lord of Earth did this after he had me. My brother and I were one of those brats who were born, and not created."
"Who is your brother?" she asked
They soon left the clearing and were heading to the village, and Valana looked around at everything. It seemed so different with Etates around, everything seemed so more pronounced and beautiful, as if the forest was showing off for him. She felt mixed emotions, one part of her felt odd at being around someone who she worshipped as a God like he was a regular customer, another part of her enjoyed his company, as he was quite pleasant to be around. She couldn't stop blushing with his arm around her shoulders and she found herself wondering if she'd ever meet him again.
"His name is Arian." he said "He's the Lord of Wind, and he's my younger brother. You wouldn't be able to tell by looking at him, he's the calmer one. Real gentle and stuff. He's a good kid, sometimes I just wish that he'd be a bit more assertive." he stopped them at the entrance of the forest, Valana looking out at the Tavern, the lights going out as the morning sun began to light its way to the surface. He released his hold on her and Valana felt disappointed. She took a step forward, but then turned back to him, looking uncertain. Etates gave her an odd look and then shrugged.
"What's on your mind?" he asked
"....Will I ever be able to see you again?" she asked
For a long time he simply stared at her, as if pondering the question. Then he smiled, closing the distance between them as he pulled her into a tight embrace and before she even knew it, his lips were on top of hers, warm and inviting. Her eyes widened in surprise at the sudden gesture, all she could do was keep her hands on his chest as she felt his hands move up and down her back. He kissed her slowly, his lips feeling like satin against hers, moving with a type of expertise which only made her think that this wasn't the first time he had kissed a girl, although this was the first time she ever kissed a man.
And then it was over, he released her and took a step back, admiring her startled look.
"Sure." he said "If you ever really want to see me, just go to the clearing. I'll know if you're there and I'll be there when I can." he winked at her "You're a great kisser by the way, I envy the man you end up with."
And then he was gone, as if he had never been there at all. Shaking slightly, she brought her hand to her lips, the feeling of the kiss still lingering on her. He had smelt oddly of cedar and forest, she didn't know why she had noticed that, she just had.
She was allowed to see him again, but only if she really wanted to. The Lord of the Earth was going to allow her to see him, her, a lowly Meedian.
Her heart pounded against her chest and she placed her hands there, trying to still it. Such a wonderful man...he was so, so...
I...I think I'm in love. She thought to herself and still blushing, she turned and headed for home.