Title: Guardian of Fire Island
Summary: Keahi is known as the Peace Keeper on an Island known as Fire Island. It is his duty to quell the Volcano's fury should it erupt...by giving up his life. He is resigned to his fate - until he meets an unusual man called Masou...
Warnings: Yaoi, Boyslove, fantasy.
Claimer: All characters and events belong solely to me, and are not to be used without permission.
AN: Hello and welcome to my second attempt at original fiction. I must admit, I'm kinda excited about this story and I hope it's well liked. Also, thanks again to everyone who had read and reviewed "Mate of the Werewolf". Please enjoy!
Chapter 1: The Peace-Keeper and the Fire Princess
Stepping out into the warm morning light, Keahi Khatsho blinked his deep golden eyes a few times to adjust to the bright light. Fixing the marron bandanna tied around his forehead, he quickly threaded his fingers through his messy black hair, trying his best to hold them back as a small breeze picked up, playing idly with his wayward bangs. Silky strands of his hair spilled over the bandanna and lined his face, the ends tickling his chin.
Deciding that the battle with his usually messy and dishevelled hair was a losing one, Keahi instead straightened his clothing, running his hands down the black and gold embroidery tunic, of which was worn over a loose fitting shirt that was the same colour as his bandanna, a pair of loosely fitted black pants and black boots finished his look.
After he deemed himself reasonable, Keahi began his journey along a winding, sandstone path that lead him from one grand structure, a building known to all as the Fire Temple to another, a even more majestic estate known as the Fire Palace. It was situated high upon a grassy hill, overlooking the bustling markets situated near the ocean front, the temple located further away from the market place.
And as he walked, Keahi took a moment to appreciate his surroundings that still, even after his 21 years of being alive, left him in awe.
The Island was beautiful, pristine and lush, the sandstone buildings of the Fire Temple and the Fire Palace stood starkly out against the landscape of luscious green trees, the stone reflecting the bright sunlight in a golden hue. Small, shanty grass huts lined the white sand beaches, the people of this island living in harmony with nature.
The scenery was not unlike the other islands that chained out across the sapphire blue seas. Except, of course, for the large dormant volcano shadowing the centre of the island. And at the very peak, behind the smoky mist, a constant flame burned, the flames dancing across the ground like playful sprites. The fires had been burning undaunted for as long as living memory or written word could say.
This was Fire Island.
And the volcano at the very centre of this exotic place is known as Obsidian Volcano, the home of the Fire God that protected everyone who resided there.
And it was this same Fire God that Keahi may one day have to give his life to.
Looking up at the peak of Obsidian, Keahi sent a silent prayer to the Fire God that he could live for just one more day. For as long as he could remember, he had been preparing himself for his fate.
Since birth, he had been known and referred to as the Peace Keeper. It was his duty to act as a means to appease the Fire God. And, ultimately, sacrifice himself in a ceremony known as the Sacrificial Ritual. The ritual had never been performed in living memory as the written began shortly after the last eruption of Obsidian, so there was much speculation of what the ritual entails. And from the ancient writings held within the catacombs and ancient libraries, it was assumed that the Peace Keeper will be used as a gift to quell the Fire God's anger.
Which involved the Peace Keeper being taken to a platform at the very peak of Obsidian Volcano, his hands bound where he was then, quite literally, pushed into the lake of Lava hidden at the very top of the volcano.
And the person to do that was someone of the immediate royal family and was none other than the Fire Princess herself, Flamenca Ashesh.
Also known as his cousin.
Despite his circumstances and the knowledge that any day could very well be his last, Keahi was at peace with his destiny...or, he would be if his 'cousin' wouldn't find such joy in the aftermath of his sacrifice.
"Ah, good morning, Master Keahi," Fudo, a respected elder within the Fire Council greeted Keahi as he walked into the Council Chambers.
"Oh, good morning, Elder Fudo," Keahi returned the greeting with his own, bowing his head in a sign of respect.
He was attending a council meeting, yet another duty of being the Peace Keeper. As well as being a Fire Priest as a lot of people tend to forget about in regards to him. Keahi may not be the most powerful Fire Priest within the Fire Temple, but he was one nonetheless. Many just tend to overlook that fact, instead focusing on reminding him of his fate of being the one and only Peace Keeper.
Still, he tried not to let that get to him. He was a Fire Priest and took his role within the Fire Temple seriously. It was his duty to act as a guide and a medium between the people of the island and the Fire God who watches over them all. He was much closer to the people and was more acutely aware of their troubles and trails of the land better than anyone residing in the Fire Palace could possibly be. Which was why he attended such meetings in hope of helping the very people he will one day die to save.
But as his cousin liked to tell him constantly that the only reason he was allowed to attend these meetings was because he was related, distantly apparently, to her. After all, it's not like he actually had any say on any matters they discuss nor was he the most knowledgeable and skilled Fire Priest.
Returning the other greetings he received from the other Council members, Keahi resisted the urge to sigh. He must admit that he, himself, didn't know why he continued to attend these meetings. Although the elders of the Fire Council were usually open for suggestions and words of a different perspective, especially from a Fire Priest, which doesn't always have to be him personally. But it seemed that no matter what Keahi said, Flamenca always had an argument against him or would just blatantly ignore him.
Even though there was very little Keahi could say or do about his treatment, it still irritated him as it was quite apparent that she really didn't care much for the average people who grow their food and build their structures. He had to be satisfied with the codes of conduct that Council held, which did not always go her way. The inner workings of the Council involved debating and the casting of votes, so ultimately the decisions made were that of the majority.
Still, the vote 'conveniently' when Flamenca's way most of the time as she was a little...feisty at the best of times. Not only was she the Fire Princess, she was also a FireBrand, someone who can wield Fire Magic in special battles. Only a few people, mostly Fire Priests and Fire Guards, can become FireBrands and it's not something an average Joe can wield easily.
Even he, Keahi himself, was finding the casting of fire difficult. There was a knack to it, he has been told, and he just hadn't discovered what that knack was...
Because Flamenca is a FireBrand, she would use her ability to her advantage as many of the Fire Council are elderly, so would not fare as well in a physical battle as she could. And, from what Keahi had unfortunately witnessed, she wasn't exactly fair in her battles either. She would issue her challenges against everyone and anyone who dared to either defy or question her in some way.
It really all depends on her mood for a particular time of day.
Taking his seat next to Elder Fudo, Keapi kept mostly silent and to himself as the other council members chattered amongst themselves as they awaited for the arrival of their Fire Princess. And she was due to enter at any moment now...
The large doors leading into the Council Chamber were flung open in a dramatic display of power and authority, causing the room to fall into a silent hush. A mere moment later the slender figure of a young woman strode confidently into the centre of the room, immediately gaining the complete and undivided attention of everyone seated.
Keahi had to roll his eyes toward the ceiling. It never ceased to annoy him each and every time Flamenca made her grand and showy entrance. It was almost like it was impossible for her to simply enter a room.
With a solid air of confidence, the thick heels of her black boots clicked against the marble flooring as she made her way leisurely to her 'throne' at the head of the large wooden table where the other members of council were waiting. She was wearing her usual clothing consisting of white stockings that came to her thighs and a black and red tunic that was tied around her waist with a white sash, the open side-dress reached her knees, exposing a fare amount of flesh of her legs and sides.
Her flaming reddish orange hair reached past her knees and was held in thick onyx black ribbon, criss-crossing several times before coming to a bow at the end. Flicking a flame coloured bang from her golden eyes, Flamenca finally lowered herself into her seat and crossed her legs sexily before her as she leaned her elbow casually on the arm of her throne. She then rested her chin in her palm and proceeded to look incredibly bored, even before the meeting had even begun.
"Let's get this over and done with," Flamenca all but demanded as she closed her eyes and looked positively irritated. "Unlike some people I could mention quite easily, I have very important and constructive things to do. The island won't run itself, you know?"
Keahi bit his lips together. She was having an oh-so subtle swipe at him. She actually believed that he spent all day doing nothing but sit around and twiddle his thumbs. And nothing anyone said was going to convince her otherwise.
Breathing sharply through his nose, Keahi prayed that this meeting will proceed quickly.
Thankfully, the meeting proceeded smoothly after that and Keahi listened silently as the elders around him began to prattle off the recent harvest estimates, the incline of births and the unfortunate deaths that had happened over the last week. But soon, Keahi found it hard to concentrate due to the incessant tapping of a certain Princess's finger against the arm of her chair.
Tap, tap, tap. It was like it was now echoing around the room.
Keahi sighed softly and shook his head at the Princess's appalling behaviour.
Flamenca had only been the princess of this island for a few months and yet she was acting like she was the greatest ruler this land had ever had or will ever have again.
And what made her behaviour even more frustrating was the fact that her parents, Fire King Jusiah and Fire Queen Nuri were two of the kindest people he had met. They had both passed away under mysterious circumstances and Flamenca was made the new ruler almost immediately, by her command.
How these two beautiful people could have a daughter that had grown up to be so selfish, so underhanded, so pretentious he could not, nor would he ever understand.
It was a true shame how fair this kingdom had fallen in such a short amount of time.
Of course, he could never utter those words aloud, especially not with his cousin or any of her advisors within hearing range. Peace Keeper or not, he would be punished by being sent to the dungeons for a set amount of time.
He has already spent time there for supposedly defying her commands and he didn't particularly want to do that again. He was supposed to spend an entire week down there, but thankfully Elder Fudo pulled a few strings for him and he only spent a couple of nights in the underground cells.
Keahi was quickly pulled back to the matter at hand when he heard something about a request being made on the behalf of the farming community at the base of Obsidian Volcano, asking that they be granted the opportunity to build and fix the roads leading from the harvesting fields to the silos further down the volcano's side as it would make things that little bit easier for them.
Flamenca gave an uncouth snort and waved her hand dismissively. "Rejected," she said. "They've been doing it for years so they can keep doing it. Nothing is easy in life and they are no exception."
"You cannot be serious," Keahi found himself saying a little louder than he had intended to, which immediately earned him a positively glowering and questioning look from the Fire Princess.
"Are you questioning my decisions again, Cousin?"
Keahi hid a wince at the venom that was practically oozing off each syllable. "But this is not what the people of this island want."
"They want what they get," Flamenca retorted harshly as she uncrossed her legs and rose to her feet. She then began to stalk her away over to him, pausing to linger just behind him as she folded her arms under her bust and stare down at him with contempt. "You cannot expect me to bend to the whim of the people. I have an Island to run, it's simply impractical. You are such a simple-minded fool. Why do you bother to attend such meetings? You're going to die one day, anyway."
This time, Keahi did visibly wince. With the way things are, that day will come sooner rather than later. Probably what she was hoping for, he was sure.
"And after you die, I will continue to rule," Flamenca continued, flipping her hair with a flick of her wrist, actually smacking Keahi on the side of the face with her luscious locks. "And, as legend has it, the Fire God will descend upon the island and take me as his wife."
She then walked back to her seat, her head held high and her shoulders back. "You see, Keahi, you are simply in the way of my destiny."
"..." Keahi said nothing as, really; there was no way he could deny any of that. It was all true. He was to one day die while she practically lives the fairytale life.
So, for the rest of the meeting, Keahi sat quietly.