By: Selenity Jade ()

Chapter One: Waking
Rated: PG

Keika refused to believe that this life was what the gods had envisioned for her. She refused to believe that those around her would forever scorn her. She would not live out her life as the human trash living among the beauty that was the elven race.

She would leave the village one day. She would leave behind the xenophobic elves and set out on her own. She would meet other humans, if there were others. She was too good for the treatment she received on a daily basis by the spiteful elven women who were jealous of her exotic looks. Her straight raven hair, her dark violet eyes, her full figure, and her dark tan skin. She didn't deserve to be insulted for something she had no control over, for being born human. For being abandoned.

She was sick of being called fat just because she wasn't as slender as they were. She wasn't rail-thin, so what? She was just well endowed compared to the elven females. She wasn't fat! And while she may not be as unearthly beautiful as the elves, she wasn't hideous either!

She blinked open her eyes, focusing immediately on the smooth wood ceiling. Her ears picked up the familiar songs of the local birds and insects. Her nose was filled with the early morning scent of dew. Hearing soft footsteps from the outer room, she turned her eyes towards the wooden door. The steps got louder as they approached, and she was expecting the soft knock on her door.

"Yes, Dai?" she called softly.

The door opened and the silver-haired elf that she had learned to call father peeked his head in. At least this was one elf to learn there was more to her than just her humanity. "You should be getting up, Keika," he scolded gently in his soft voice. She often wondered if elves were even capable of being anything but graceful, quiet, and beautiful.

"I know." It was impossible to tell just how old the elf was. She knew he was very old, even by elven standards, but he didn't look anything but beautiful and young. And not for the first time, she wondered just how long elves lived. Were they truly immortal? Or did they just have expanded life spans.


Sighing, she pulled herself out of the comfortable bed and set her bare feet on the cool wooden floor. She glanced up at her foster father in amusement at his irritated look. "Yes?"

"You have chores to do before I test you, Keika."

"Yes, I know."

Rolling his eyes - a habit he picked up from her, he gave her a good glare. "Hurry up, Keika. The King expects us there tonight."

Frowning, she fumbled around in her closet for something to wear. "Why? So he can stare at the human he was forced to allow live?"

Dai sighed. "Keika, you must understand-"

She waved an arm at him irritably as she emerged from the closet with a small green shirt and a short skirt. "I understand just fine, Dai. Outside of you, all elves are xenophobic hermits."

"Wrong word. We aren't hermits, we just like our seclusion from mortals."

She snorted. "It's stupid. They all hate me because of something I can't change! And they hate me even more because I'm not beautiful like they are!"

Dai got an odd look on his face. "Keika, have you looked in a mirror lately?"

She glared at him. "Every morning!"

"Then you should see that you are beautiful. Just a different kind of beautiful."

Sighing, she sat on the edge of her soft bed. "Yeah, except if I stay here I won't be seen as anything other than the clumsy, ugly, worthless human. I'd like a mate someday, Dai. I'd like a family, or friends even. Outside of you, that is."

Nodding, he padded softly over to her and sat beside her. "I understand, Keika. I do, but because of the King even if a male wanted to take you as his partner, he wouldn't because of the disgrace and ridicule he'd receive. I never said it was right, Keika. My race is stubborn and old. We're very set in our ways."

"I know, Dai. I don't hate the elves, despite what I say. I'm just angry. I'm twenty-three years old, Dai. I won't live as long as an elf and pretty soon, I'll be too old to find a man for me." She glanced at her foster father. "Dai, I want to leave."


She nodded. "Leave the Clan. Leave and go out there in the world. Meet other kinds of people, maybe even humans. I want to go away from all this here."

His emerald eyes widened slightly in dismay. "Keika, you wouldn't know the first thing about surviving out there!"

"Yes, I would!" she exclaimed jumping to her feet. "I've been studying weapons, magick, and languages for years! I've been taught it all, Dai."

"You'd need the King's permission," he protested again.

"So? I'm sure he wants to get rid of me just as much as I want to leave!"

He shook his head. "Even if he does, he wouldn't want you out there on your own, possibly endangering our people. To his way of thinking, I mean," he put in quickly as her face began to darken with anger.

"Dai, I'm an adult now. I don't need a bodyguard or a watcher. Besides, no one would want to go with me."

He sighed. "Fine, we'll bring it up when we see the King tonight."

She smiled and startled the old elf by giving him a big hug and a small peck on the cheek. "Thanks." She released Dai, knowing the elves distaste with affection, and asked another question. "What's the King like? I haven't met him before."

He shook his head. "The King is old and stubborn, but he's our hero and our leader. There isn't much else, Keika. You'll see when you meet him."

Rolling her eyes, she padded softly towards the door, pausing just before she exited the room. "The Prince is returning today, isn't he?"

Dai nodded. "Yes. He left not long after you were brought here, and returns tonight."

"Where was he?"

"Traveling. As next in line for the throne, it's kind of tradition to meet other clan leaders and other races. Some of those races didn't realize he was an elven prince, of course, but we like our rulers to be well versed in the world."

"When will he take up the throne?"

Dai shrugged. "When the Prince celebrates his three hundredth birthday."

She blinked. "When's that?"

"Two years."

"Ah. I see." She grinned at her foster father mischievously. "I'm going to bathe, Dai. I'll start my chores after that. And then you can test me."

He rolled his eyes. "Hurry."

"Of course!" she stated happily, disappearing out of the room.


AN: Well, well.