In the beginning, there was only Chaos. From Chaos came Cerius, the God of Creation. With his power, he created the earth and sky. Proceeding his magnificent creation, he created the six gods from his own body to watch over it.
From his lungs, he formed them into Flion, God of Fire; his eyes into Watius, Goddess of Water; his brain into Gallion, Goddess of Wind; his bones into Eion, God of Earth; and lastly his heart formed into the twin Gods of Light and Darkness, Brion and Dakus.
After all the gods were born, Cerius' empty body flourished the earth with animals and life yet his spirit still lived on, flowing through the earth as natural energy to instruct and rule over the Gods. From there, Flion would soon form the first men out of the same earth.
Thus was the creation story.
The long stems of grass brushed against the bare legs of the hunters as they steadily ambled through the field. They crouched down low, keeping their heads just above the tip of the blades as they surveyed their surroundings.
Jabari kept trained eyes on their target; a large deer nibbling on his afternoon meal, as Kichea examined her father's movements thoroughly. Each step was careful and precise, lightly flattening the soft, wet dirt under their feet, to keep the deer oblivious of their presence.
Once they were close enough, the hunters slowed their pace. Kichea remained still as Jabari, armed with a spear, inched closer.
He pulled back his arm, gripping the shaft tightly. At once, he sprung up and threw it through the deer's throat. The deer hoarsely wailed in pain before its strength gave out. Within seconds, it fell dead, blood seeping out of the wound.
With a sigh of relief for the successful hunt, Jabari pulled the spear out of the deer's throat and looked back at his daughter.
"Did you follow all of that?" he asked.
"Y-Yes, sir." she answered, walking towards him and gazing at the carcass in wonderment. This wasn't the first time she had seen one, but the sight of seeing her father killing the beast in action made the moment memorable.
"Pray for this fallen soul, Kichea."
After a moment of prayer, Jabari pulled out a rope from his bag and used it to wrap the dear's legs together. With a heavy huff, he carried the carcass on his back and Kichea carried the bloodied spear in her small hands.
Jabari was a tall, dark man with scars on his back, a reminder of his past hunts and hardships. He had a clean head void of any hair, and strong black eyes that contained much history. Above his waist he wore nothing, displaying his muscular build, and from the waist down he wore a red loincloth with green patterns that ended just above his knees.
Most of the scars on his body were simple battle cuts from his dangerous encounters with the wildlife. There was one large scar that ran across his back, whose origin Kichea could not determine.
Kichea was a young, petite girl. She had olive green eyes and smooth brown skin. She wore a ragged red gown with green patterns on the shoulder tips and the ends of the gown. Her brown hair was short, ending an inch above her shoulders.
Exchanging a nod to each other, they began to walk back in the direction they came.
From a mile over the savanna grass, the brown straw huts of their village came into view. The village was decently sized and homed about a hundred of the Swais, their tribe.
Few people walked about the area of the village, the elders watched children play, the women sewed clothing, and the village adviser checked all the provision at the food storage bay.
Jabari halted at the bay to lay his gathering within the pile.
"Ah, Jabari!" the village adviser exclaimed, grinning upon noticing him and his gathering, "Quite a beast you've killed today! I expect nothing less from the greatest hunter of our village!"
"Make good use of our provision," the hunter simply said as he took his spear from Kichea.
"Yes, as always!" the adviser nodded as the two left, "Oh, and good luck with your ceremony tomorrow, Kichea!"
Kichea replied with a bow and then continued to walk alongside her father. The villagers all shared the same colored complexions, some lighter and darker than others. While there were some who were better off than others, such as those with larger families, everyone lived relatively happy lives.
The two walked until they reached a small, well kept hut with red drapes acting as the entryway at the near end of the village. Like every hut, it was fashioned neatly out of straw and wood.
Upon entering, they were greeted by a young woman. "You're back, welcome home, dear," she smiled at them.
Jabari nodded in welcoming as he sat down to stretch his muscles in exhaustion. Kichea paced over to the washing dish, proceeding to dip her hands into the water to clean them of blood and dirt.
She glanced at her mother, whose beauty was easily recognized among many. Her brown hair was tied under a red bandana and she wore a slightly tattered red dress with green patterns.
Kichea's mother glanced back at her, a worried expression in her olive green eyes, "Dear, please tell me you're not allowing her to engage in your hunts?"
"She's just watching me, nothing more."
"And I suppose that's your way of saying it's none of my concern?"
"There's nothing to be concerned about, I assure you. She stays a good distance and minds not to speak to scare away the prey. Everything is fine."
His wife eyed him suspiciously, not noticing any changes in his direct tone to tell if he was lying to her. She sighed and returned to sewing clothing together with a needle and thread.
"Mother," Kichea said as she dried her hands off with a cloth, "may I go outside?"
"Why of course, sweetie." her mother smiled, pleased by her manners.
Kichea bowed to her parents and walked out of the hut.
"She's such a good child." her mother remarked with a smile. Jabari grunted in agreement as he began to clean his spear, a rare smile forming on his face.
Once outside, Kichea ambled her way towards the riverside. Wives and mothers were either using the river's fresh water to clean clay plates or to wash clothes while the village children played within it.
Kichea didn't waste any time staring at them as she was focused on reaching a leafless tree that rested near it.
Leaning against it was a boy around her age. He wore a blue robe with white patterns around his small body and had short black hair. Upon walking up to him, he gazed at her with his grey eyes that seemed to be clouded in boredom.
"Surprised you ain't late, Kichea," he said in a young yet rather plain tone, "Took it your father finished hunting early?"
Kichea nodded in response and stood next to him, staring at the children and women in the river. For minutes, no words were exchanged between the two. It was always like this since neither were the talkative type.
"Adhama," Kichea muttered, breaking the silence.
"Do you think... marriage is a good thing?"
"How should I know?" he shrugged, "We just gotta deal with it."
The red gowned girl paused, collecting her thoughts before speaking again, "But what if we end up..."
"It won't happen," Adhama interrupted, "Our gods are not aligned for it to happen. You'll most likely end up with someone born under Gallion than Watius."
"I'm not really sure about this at all. We were always told it was best for the village to marry according to the gods we were born under during the seasons."
"In the spring, Gallion rests in the east and Brion raises from the west. The children born under these gods shall wed in harmony and produce the next generation of Swais." Adhama recited from their teachings from the elders. "Never has this ever been changed or altered, Kichea. We must follow these traditions or we will anger the gods."
"Hello, guys!" a young, cheerful voice called out to them. The two turned to see a young boy running up to them. Aside from a slight patch of hair on his head, he was relatively bald. The boy wore a green robe with white patterns and had glimmering black eyes that could warm anyone's heart.
"Sorry if I'm a bit late!" he apologized with a warm smile, almost out of breath, "How long were you two here?"
"Not long, Daudi," Kichea answered, welcoming him with a bow.
"How many times do I have to tell you? There's no need to bow to me." Daudi sighed, "Aren't we friends?"
"Y-Yes, my apologies." Kichea looked away with an embarrassed face.
"So, where's Hawa?" Adhama asked.
"Surprise!" a girl wearing an orange gown with yellow patterns shouted as she leaped out from the other side of the tree. She had shining, amber eyes and long brown hair.
Both Kichea and Daudi yelped in surprise, but Adhama remained as emotionless as ever.
"Aw, darn," the girl pouted, puffing her cheeks, "I was sure to get a reaction out of you, Adhama."
"I knew you were behind there this whole time," the blue robed boy said and then stood up, "Now, may we go to the jail house?"
"Y-Yeah." Daudi nodded.
The four children departed back to the village, carefully moving about so the adults wouldn't realize their true destination. They eventually reached the jail house where troublemakers would spend for long periods of time if they dared to insult the village chief.
It was an odd place, Kichea thought. Not many would even think to question the chief, so why was this here?
The children entered the jail house, not at all surprised that the watchman was asleep on his job since there were barely any prisoners. However, there was one prisoner that stayed there.
Behind a set of wooden bars laid a sturdy man on a makeshift bed of leaves. The elders had simply told them one thing about this man.
Stay away from the white man, for he shall plague your mind with sin.
However, children as they were, their curiosity piqued and they had to see why this man was so dangerous.
"Hmm? Who's there?" the man grumbled in heavy, low tone, turning in his bed to glance at the children. His sole cold, azure eye sent chills to their bones, the other eye covered in blood stained bandages. The white man pushed aside the fringes of his messy, brown hair with his giant, dirtied hands.
The children couldn't respond to his question, for they were unable to understand the language he spoke. They'd never heard such an odd language before.
The white man grumbled unintelligibly, waving a dismissive hand at them and returned to his sleep.
Adhama gulped before speaking, "L-Let's go." he said, his voice trailing off. The others nodded in agreement and headed for the entrance of the jail house.
The prisoner suddenly shouted, halting the children in their tracks. They fearfully looked back to see the white man glaring at them with a widen eye of interest. "You... girl... you hold the same power as I do?! I knew I sensed something when I arrived here... Tell me! How long have you had it?! Can you control its output?!"
His words were nothing but indistinguishable bawls to them. They feared he had suddenly gone mad and was attempting to break free from his prison.
"Why are you kids in here?!" The watchman shouted as he entered the jail house. His attention was more focused on the prisoner, whose hands were tightly grasping the wooden bars. "Back away, white man!"
The watchman grabbed a stick nearby and swatted at the man's hands, prompting him to retreat back into his cell. During the commotion, the children ran out of the jail house, running as far as their little legs could take them.
They finally stopped at the riverbank, taking the time to rest their aching feet.
"I knew..." Hawa said, speaking between breaths, "going there was a bad idea... We shouldn't have gone there."
"Now we're all going to get in trouble." Daudi said, staring at the ground, depressed.
"Well, you'll probably get a slap on the wrist, Daudi," Adhama said in a bitter tone, "The chief wouldn't harshly punish his son over something like this."
"Why you say that, Adhama? We all wanted to go see him together!" the green robed boy retorted, "I wouldn't let my friends take all the blame!"
"Stop it, you two!" Kichea intervened, "Fighting each other won't solve anything!"
The two boys scoffed, turning away from each other. Hawa tapped Kichea's shoulder.
"Adhama's been acting strange towards Daudi lately," the orange gowned girl whispered to her friend, "Do you know what's going on?"
Kichea shook her head in reply. "I've never seen him at like this. I don't think Daudi would do anything to hurt us."
Just as she began to ponder over the conflict, Kichea saw something that interrupted her train of thought. Her father walked into the chief's hut, a scowl evident on his face.
She immediately began to wonder why her father would meet the chief with such a face. Could it be he received bad news or was about to?
She'd never seen him look like that no matter how grim life seemed. Like the time food was running low for the village. He would insist the gods would provide their people with plenty of food and soon enough life would be restored back to its natural course.
So whatever could be the problem?
"I'll be right back." Kichea said to Hawa.
"Oh, okay..." Before she could finish, Kichea had already made her way off to the chief's hut.
Instead of peeking in from the entrance, Kichea decided it would be best to climb the tree above the hut and listen in from there, that way there would be a lesser chance of her getting caught. The chief was a reasonable man at times, but when angered, he was a completely different person.
At the base of the tree, Kichea leaped onto it, placing her feet on a foothold and ascended to the branches in a rather quick pace. Climbing trees was rather easy for her, having played hide-and-seek often.
Reaching the lowest branch, she balanced herself over the hut's roof and brushed a patch of straw aside to peek inside.
Her father stood before the village chief and the village adviser. The chief was dressed in the finest robe known in the village, having a shade of green that showed his authority well. His black eyes contained strictness that demanded the utmost respect.
"Jabari," the chief spoke in a deep tone, one of disappointment, "As our village's strongest hunter, I hold you higher than any other man. However, therein lies a great fault in your character that I cannot deny, and that is your mind."
"My mind, sir?" Jabari questioned, confused.
"Yes," the chief nodded, pacing about the hut, his walking stick clinging against the ground, "You're a smart man, which is good, though you have a way to let things flow differently." He stopped in front of Jabari, staring deep into his eyes. "I'll be direct. Have you been teaching your daughter how to hunt?"
Jabari stared back him, taking a moment before replying, "No, I have not."
The chief walked around him again, "So why are you taking her along on your hunts if not to teach how to do so? Quite odd to show your own daughter how a hunter hunts and not to stay at home to learn how to be a good wife instead."
"Kichea knows how to be a good wife, sir," Jabari insisted, keeping his stare and voice calm, "I am simply showing her how I work, so she may respect the hunter. Children do not know how we struggle in those fields, only by the stories and wounds we bring home."
"That much, I can agree with," the chief nodded and then stopped again behind him. "However, such actions can bring about her... power."
Kichea's eyes widen, her father responding with the reaction.
"I have been lax far too much with her progression," the chief continued, standing in front of his seat, "It has increased as she has grown, to the point I cannot ignore it any further. First, the white man has come here, and who knows of what further danger she will bring to the village.
"I am sorry, Jabari, but I have made the decision that she must leave here when the sun rises the next morning. It is final."
A heavy silence hung over the hut. Kichea was utterly speechless by the chief's decision. She couldn't understand anything that was going on, not a single thing.
However, there was a slight glimmer of hope. Surely her father would protest against...
"I understand, sir. Thank you for informing me." Jabari said, bowing to the chief before leaving the hut.
Kichea's body froze stiff in shock. Her heart almost stopped, feeling as if someone grasped it until it could no longer beat. Her own father's words struck her like an arrow, moreso than anything the chief had said.
Without a word of rebuttal, he agreed to toss his only daughter out of the village...
She felt empty. Had she not remembered where she was standing, she would've fallen off the tree branch. She wanted to climb down the branch and question her father and the chief on their judgment.
However, Kichea just laid on the branch, emotionless as she watched the sun set in the horizon. She knew when she saw the sun rise again, she would have no home to return to.