Summary: From the four corners of Paraglasia come four elements. Fire, water, earth, and air. Tyson, Prince of Fire, is almost at his breaking point. So he runs away, which of course, is forbidden, because mingling between the Kingdoms is outlawed. On his journey to who knows where, he meets Zephyr, an air-kingdom soldier, Terran, an earth-kingdom peasant, and Naida, an elusive water-kingdom Princess. Besides fighting the Darkness threatening to take over Paraglasia, they have to deal with being teenagers, too.
Warnings: None at the moment. May be slight language and things will be implied.
Hi, I'm Juliet, and I'll be your author for this fic. This chapter, once again, got carried away, but lots of plot is introduced. Foreshadowing is present, too. Enjoy!
Step, step, turn. Step, step, turn.
Zephyr was bored. Out of his mind. See, he wanted to attend the University like all of the other eighteen year olds, but somehow his dad roped him into joining the military. Of course, the Air Kindom had no use for a military, but he apparently needed to join anyway. That was the problem with his father. No matter what Zephyr wanted, his father always thought he knew what was best. But he didn't. Not at all.
He kept up with Paraglasia, and he knew that one student from each Kingdom was coming there to study. Zephyr envied them, being able to do such a thing. His father went to University, why couldn't he?
"Attention!" The Commander barked out. "At ease." Everyone relaxed slightly, but tension was thick anyway. "To your barracks! Oh, and Faxon, please speak to me. You are dismissed!"
In the Air Kingdom, boys were adressed with their name, and then their father's name. So, Zephyr was called Zephyr Faxon. He walked casually up to the Commander and said, "Yes, sir?"
He grunted and pulled a small box out from behind a shed in the training field. "Sit."
The brown-haired, ice blue-eyed male obliged and sat quietly.
"What's going on with you?" The Commander asked, his worn face concerned and crinkled. The Commander was known for being one of the best trainers for the soldiers, so if Zephyr actually wanted to be a soldier, then he would feel honored that he was training under him. But, since he didn't, he wasn't.
"Nothing, sir," he responded respectfully, eyes hardening, making it easier to lie...which he wasn't supposed to do. Ha. See if he cared.
"You seem so..." the Commander started, "Distracted."
"I am anything but, sir," Zephyr admitted, flicking his long hair out of his eyes. He kept it long to annoy his parents. They were so overbearing it was almost funny. Almost.
"I don't really believe you," Commander said gruffly, his gray eyes piercing Zephyr's soul. When did he get so poetic? He needed to be quiet now.
"What's not to believe?" Zephyr asked, with a touch of snarkiness. If Commander noticed, he didn't show it, simply saying, "Alright, fine, go back to the barracks."
The barracks were located in the University, and luckily for him, he could spy on the people from the Fire, Earth, and Water Kingdoms. He walked casually to the University, and during the short walk, quickly assessed the familar surroundings. Tall, white buildings made of marbles, and sky blue accents gracing every corner. The higher up you lived, the more you were liked, the richer you were. It was a caste system, really. He walked up the majestic steps to the University,weaving inbetween the columns.
The University was a marvelous structure, with high, arched doorways and wide hallways. There were approximately one hundered and two steps leading up to the gold-rimmed arch doors the lead into the foyer of the University, and he would know, because he counted them one day in his solitary free time. It was white, and beautiful, and he knew that it might surpass the granduer of Heaven.
The point is, it was very beautiful. So, hiding behind a column in the front of the University, he was very shocked to see a silvery-white carriage (the word cart wouldn't fit at all) drawn by two white horses he knew were found in Water Kingdom (because only tan horses were found there.) Then, he saw the most beautiful thing he'd ever laid eyes on his life step out.
Her face was pale, heart-shaped, and her skin looked like milk. Her hair was the lightest of blondes, falling in extremely long, graceful curls around her face. The white flowing dress had a train, and it flowed out behind her. But the thing that confused him were her eyes. They were ice blue, very pale, and they shot daggers through anyone who dared to meet eyes with her. She was the epitome of beauty, but her eyes...she seemed so cold.
Zephyr was hooked. And he needed to find out who she was. But his attention was diverted when he heard an unfamilar accent talking quietly. In the Air Kingdom, people talked very quietly, softly, and delicately, almost like air. This accent was rough, coarse, and overall rugged. He studied accents in his limited free time, and he knew that it was the Fire Kingdom's way fo speaking.
He followed the voice. There were tall trees, thick trees, everywhere, and he knew the voice was coming from behind one of them. Zephyr looked around, trying to be as quiet as possible. The woods behind the University were alwas quiet, for thinkers often came here to contemplate things that Zephyr could only dream about. He was startled when he saw a black-headed boy sitting on a rock, taking very shallow breaths, and talking to himself.
"I always wanted to know what was out here..." he muttered, almost darkly, "Guess I know now. A neverending forest!" The boy groaned, and Zephyr took one tiny step foward. A leaf crackled, and the boy looked up quickly, startled.
"Who's there?" He whispered.
Zephyr took a breath and stepped into the light, showing himself. "Me..." he said softly.
The boy's face drained of what little color it had (weren't Fire Kingdom inhabitants supposed to be tan? This boy's face was quite pale) and he stood. "Please don't kill me," he pleaded. "I can kill you first, I promise. Report me to the authorities, and I swear, you'll regret it," he threatened. Zephyr thought to himself that maybe he should wonder why someone was breaking the law, and how they got here excactly. But instead, he said:
"My name's Zephyr."
The boy's face hardened. His threats seemed empty. "Tyson," he smirked.
Tyson? The Fire Prince? Realization dawned on Zephyr's face and he grinned. "You're the Fire Prince."
Tyson ran a hand through his black hair, and said, "Yeah. And I'm trying to get the Capitol."
No one has ever been to the Capitol before, with the exception of the Kings of the Kingdoms. If you were the ruler, and sole ruler, of a Kingdom, you could wherever you pleased in Paraglasia. The High Chancellor lived in the Capitol, and it was mighty ambitious for Tyson to try to get there.
The words spilled out before Zephyr could stop them. "Need some help? I know all of the possible routes from here to there." Now he was in trouble. He would lose his position on the military force, and then he would be forced to go to University...wait a minute. This was perfect. It was bad enough to get kicked out of the military, but not bad enough to warrant an arrest and an eternal home in exile. Right? Well, he was about to find out.
"Really?" Tyson asked, shock on his face. "That's awesome. And how do you know this?" His eyes narrowed in suspiscion.
"I'm an Air soldier," Zephyr admitted. Nothing to lose now.
"How..." Tyson searched for the word. "Prestigious."
"Not really," Zephyr grinned.
"Anyway, I didn't really have a plan until now..." Tyson smiled. "But we can formulate one later. Any place I can get some food?"
Zephyr nodded. "Follow me." He began walking back to the University. He knew how dangerous it was. But if he was careful, he wouldn't get caught. "Wait," he said suddenly. He grabbed a hat from his rucksack and tossed it towards Tyson. "Wear this so people won't get suspiscious."
The Fire Kingdom native grinned and tucked his unruly curls in the hat, and began to follow Zephyr. "Where are we going?"
"Th University," he said curtly. "It's pretty much the center of the Air Kingdom. If you're somebody, you go there." At the look on Tyson's face, he added, "Do you know about the students from each Kingdom coming here to study?"
Ty nodded. "Of course. I wanted to apply, but since I have a private tutor, my father deemed it unnessacery."
"So we both have daddy issues," Zephyr muttered to himself. The two walked quietly to the University, and began to weave in and out between the columns, sneaking around, trying to not be seen. Trumpets sounded, and a golden cart pulled up, and out stepped a girl who was so obviously from the Earth Kingdom. The eyes told it all. Green eyes were associated with the Earth Kingdom, and the green dress gave it away.
"She's from the Earth Kingdom," Tyson stated rather dimly. Zephyr rolled his eyes and motioned for him to keep going. While the guards were preoccupied with the Earth Kingdom girl, they walked into the polished foyer. Loud screams startled them.
"I am here on buisness, so you must listen to me!" A feminine voice called out, and the sound of a hand hitting a table resounded around the hall. The voice was smooth, like water. "As the sole ruler of the Water Kingdom, I have taken it upon myself to invest interest in this Kingdom. My Kingdom is dying!" The desperation in the voice was evident. The two boys were frozen in place. "I need you as my ally when the war comes."
War? Tyson and Zephyr looked at each other alarmingly.
"What war, you silly Princess?" A male voice said condescendingly. "Why should we believe you?"
"You believed my father," the female said, "so please, trust me! Darkness is coming!"
Zephyr brought himself out of the stupor, and grabbed Tyson's elbow. He dragged him through many winding hallways and vast rooms, before coming to the hallway where the barracks were loacted. "You can stay here," he said in a hushed tone. "Don't let anyone know you are here. You can explore while everyone is training or in classes, but at night, you have to stay in my room and lock the door. Understand?"
Tyson nodded. "I'll be thinking of a plan."
"I just want to find out who that so-called Princess was," Zephyr admitted. "Anyway, the Fire Kingdom representiative will be here soon, so I suppose I should go oversee that. Feel free to walk around, just stay hidden," he said, exasperated.
"Got it!" Tyson called as Zephyr rushed off.
Zephyr grinned as the black carriage pulled up, and a fiery-looking girl stepped out, no pun intended. She looked like a female version of Tyson, he noted, but her eyes were filled with a hatred he'd only seen once in his life.
"Presenting Aki of the Fire Kingdom," the announcer said, and everyone clapped. She smiled slightly, and spun a little, making her crimson dress fan out around her. It was obvious Aki was eating this up.
He rolled his eyes and continued on his way, hoping to listen in on the Gathering of the Elders, an Air Kingdom tradition he assumed that this 'Princess' person was at. Sure enough, he heard the voice call out:
"Preposterous! I refuse!"
A shaky voice called out, "Naida, calm youself. Your father always kept dignity when discussing cross-Kingdom affairs."
Naida. That was her name.
"I don't have to calm down!" She insisted. Zephyr crept closer and peeked in through the open door. She was standing, hre pretty face agitated, and her volume rising. "None of you believe me!"
I believe you, Zephyr felt inclined to say, but held his tongue. He knew what the punishment was for spying...for being caught spying, that is.
Tyson wandered aimlessly around the grounds of the University, admiring the fancy buildings and neatly trimmed plants. It was the picture of elegance and intelligence. He grinned when he saw the small Earth Kingdom sitting on a bench, her eyes wide as she read a book in front of her.
"Is it good?" He asked sharply.
She jumped. "You scared me," she almost glared.
"So?" Tyson tested, seeing if she was easily provoked. "I have the right to."
The girl took a deep breath and ignored him, continuing to read. He cleared his throat and said, "I'm Tyson. I'm the Fire Kingdom representative."
She narrowed her eyes. "I've met Aki, and you aren't her. Please stop talking to me," she said simply.
Tyson sat beside the girl and whispered in her ear, "How do you feel about rebelling?"
She jumped up. "Please stop talking to me!" the dark blonde girl insisted, then she leaned in. "Why would you rebel? Don't you have everything you want here?"
"Not excactly..." Tyson grinned. "Don't you want to have freedom? Freedom to go wherever you want, learn whatever you want? Wouldn't you still be stuck in the Earth Kingdom if it wasn't for the High Chancellor?"
The girl nodded. "My name is Terran."
"Well, let me just say-"
"Tyson!" Zephyr called out, glaring at the dark-headed male. "Quit bothering her!"
Terran looked at Zephyr like he was an angel from above and said softly, "Thank you!" before turning back to her book.
"Come on, we've got to go," Zephyr said between gritted teeth. "I know what we're going to do!"
"I want to go!" Terran said. "You're going somewhere interesting, and I want to go, too!"
"No, stay out of things you don't know about," Zephyr glared, turning suddenly cold towards the young girl.
She stood to her full height (which hit at about their shoulders) and said firmly, "I came here to learn, to make something of myself, so I want to go, too."
Tyson looked to Zephyr, an odd look in his eyes, "I don't know, she could be helpful."
The Air Kingdom native groaned and nodded. "Fine. Fine. She can come along." Why did he feel like he was going to regret this? He shouldn't be getting too any people involved with this, should he?
Naida is supiscious, so she follows the three, and gets caught up in something she wished she hadn't. Meanwhile, Terran continues to annoy Zephyr, and Tyson shows his temper.