Chapter 2:

The Land of Rivals

The World After

“Sorry it took so long to find an exit.” said Araya as he stood back on his feet, his voice modulated, his calm and yellow eyes glowed in the thick darkness and his straight yellow hair was rough from all the fights he endured. Bookmark here

"At least you found an exit.” Mariam said trying to be optimistic in the situation. Bookmark here

As they were approaching their way up the stairs, they heard the door open again, “what was that!” she whispered. “Did you come with someone?” Bookmark here

“No…” Araya replied before disappearing and reappearing almost instantly. Bookmark here

“Who was that?” She asked nervously, Bookmark here

“one of the soldiers… my soldiers.” He replied, a bit uneasy with what he said. Bookmark here

“What?!” she said in a shocked expression, “You didn’t need to kill one of your own soldiers.” She said. Bookmark here

“I had to, if he found out about you and the baby, he would have tried to kill you both!” he replied “You know I won’t let that happen.” Bookmark here

Mariam kept quiet, she knew he was right.Bookmark here

In Raibarumura, for the Phoenix clan, it’s strictly prohibited for men to marry women from the Dragon clan. If anyone is found doing this, they are to be humiliated in front of their clan for 24 hours, then killed immediately after. Bookmark here

“Fine, but at least knock him out then teleport him somewhere else.” she said trying to make her point Clear Bookmark here

“I would have done that if I could.” he said “I only have enough chi to teleport short distances now.” Bookmark here

“WHAT!!?” she shouted. Bookmark here

“Are you serious, you have more chi than even normal Phoenix clansmen!” she exclaimedBookmark here

“Hahaha, well I may have a lot of chi, but it can still run out you know.” He explained as they began walking up the stairs again. Bookmark here

“Yeah, but you could teleport to the edges of Raiba over like forty times in a row” she said as they came out of the basementBookmark here

“I have limits, and not to mention there were many things I did outside.” He continued to explain, “Like looking for an appropriate exit to leave from, not to mention fighting multiple Dragon clansme-” Bookmark here

“Hmmm… Limits, many things to do?” she interrupted asking in disbelief “Hahaha wow. Suddenly being a father makes you have so many excuses.” She said with a smile on her face chuckling at her husband’s embarrassed looked, but this smile quickly faded. “Araya, do you think we’ll make it out of here with our son. I mean, will we get to see him grow, or… will we die here trying to save him.” Bookmark here

Araya looked at her somewhat confused. As he was about to answer, the door opened up revealing a large group of soldiers from the dragon clan.Bookmark here

“Don’t try to move,” one of the soldiers said, “or else.” He lifted his sword and pointed it directly at his son and wife just beside him. Bookmark here

“Mariam, stay back!” Araya demanded in a very commanding tone, “You know I could take you all on right?” He asked ready to draw his own blade from his back. Bookmark here

“Hahaha that’s really hilarious. We both know you don’t have enough chi to try anything to us, you’re still too weak.” the solider grinned with the sword still pointing at Araya’s child. Bookmark here

“Fine, Have it your way.” As Araya said this, he pulled out the golden sword from the sheath he wore at his back, cut off the hand that held the sword pointing at the child so fast that no one, not even the solider himself, noticed the severed hand still holding the sword on the floor. Bookmark here

Before a reaction could even be registered, Araya cut off the soldier’s head just as quickly. Bookmark here

“Who else.” He asked the other soldiers with a face that was more intimidating than a lion’s. Bookmark here

The others hesitantly approached to see if they had a chance, but before any of them could lay a finger on him, all their heads were on the ground detached from their bodies, ejecting blood all over the floor. “Let’s go” he said.Bookmark here

 Mariam nodded in agreement as they made their way out to the bloody battle field.Bookmark here

….Bookmark here

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“Grandpa Furoto!” I exclaimed with a nervous smile on my face. “When did you get back? You said you would be at Jikanmura for a month. It isn’t even two weeks yet!” Bookmark here

Gramps stared at me looking like he knew exactly why I was outside the village. “I just came to check up on the village” he said looking at the city “and making sure you don’t get into any unnecessary trouble.” He added. Bookmark here

“Me Trouble? Never.” He obviously didn’t take my words to heart, I mean, would anyone? Bookmark here

“Well, let’s get back.” Bookmark here

I hesitantly nodded in agreement as we walked into the front gates of Raibarumura.Bookmark here

I knew what was waiting for me back in that death trap of a city, with all those torch holding weirdos. As we made our way back to the city, gramps turned and looked at me. I knew exactly what he wanted to ask “Kai, have you been keeping up with your training?” Bookmark here

“Ohhh…umm…not really?” I said a little nervous. Bookmark here

Gramps looked disappointed and I couldn’t blame him for it. He expected that someday, I would be the pride of Raiba, a legend just like my dad and himself. He always told me I was a prodigy that had everything it took to become the best guardian this village could ever have. But as I’ve said, the village didn’t like me, so I didn’t really care about them. Besides, the whole guardian thing is just so political now. They’re just there to look all cool and do nothing.Bookmark here

I’m sure you’re trying to understand exactly what a guardian is and the "change" it’s gone through. Guardians, are basically protectors of a village and are the panicle of what a clansman can use their chi to do. They are the leaders of the village’s military force and on a few occasions, the village’s leader themselves. They were always considered the strongest of their clan because of the knowledge they had in using their clan’s forbidden techniques which is only accessible to the royal family. Bookmark here

“You know, the chances of you becoming my guardian apprentice is actually quite high,” grandpa said. “I don’t want you to waste such an opportunity.” Bookmark here

“No thanks!” I declined (again…). Bookmark here

Apprentices are the members of the clan who are chosen by the current guardian to become guardians of the future. Apprentices are trained by their guardians to be better fighters and tacticians. Unfortunately, I’m not the type to train earnestly, so being an apprentice is something I’m not interested in. Bookmark here

“I think there are people more motivated than me to do anything” I said “so why don’t you pick those guys.” Bookmark here

Before gramps could answer, a large familiar group of people holding torches approached. “How did you guys even know when I came in?!” I asked a bit shocked and nervous. Bookmark here

“And, why are you holding torches in broad daylight?” gramps questioned while stroking his beard looking somewhat uuuh… intrigued? Bookmark here

“This son of a devil stole a book from my shop!!!” The shop keeper exclaimed. “He has to die right now!”Bookmark here

Gramps instantly just threw a pouch of money at the shopkeeper. The crowd as they saw this, dispersed immediately, and looked disappointed. Bookmark here

“Let’s go on kai” he said. But, my attention was totally on what I just witnessed. “Kai?” he tapped me. Bookmark here

“Ohh… sorry grandpa” I said still thinking. ”Hey gramps, why… do they hate me?” He was silent… (as usual…).Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.