The World After
Gramps and I kept walking, the silence between us like ice. I was about to ask my question again, but then, I met HIM.
“Hey there mister ugly.” The guy I hated more than anyone else in this village. The one who always found a way to get under my skin every single time!
“What do you want Rai, I’m not in a good mood right now.” I asked in a very irritated tone.
“That’s wonderful!” he said with a grin on his face obviously trying to annoy me, and honestly, it was working. “You deserve depression you know.”
“Just leave me alone already!” I demanded,
“Or what, you’re goanna punch me? Hahahahhahaha yeah right, I’d like to see you try.” He exclaimed bringing his face closer obviously threatening me to do so. My hands were squeezed, itching to punch. I knew couldn’t because he was a prince, the Phoenix prince I might add.
He was royalty, but I was just really irritated. Gramps was there looked at me with a concerned. “Kai! Don’t do it!!”
‘Just one punch gramps.’ I thought to myself, ‘Today is the day I give him a lesson on what happens when he messes with me’.
Before I could even raise my hand, “Rai, what are you doing?” a man came to our location. He was tall, had short yellow hair and eyes which were traits of most phoenix clan members. He had a goatee for facial hair, and wore a long white cloak with gold lines at the sewn edges. The cloak had the image of a phoenix that was sewn to the back.
“Don’t tell me you’re trying to piss that boy off again.” the man asked glaring intensely at Rai.
“Dad!!” Rai exclaimed “What have I told you about being mean to locals, especially him?” The man asked.
“S-Sorry sir” Rai responded. Grandpa and I immediately bowed our heads in unison
“Long live King Rancour!” Gramps exclaimed. “Hahaha, you too Sensei.” Rancour chuckled.
After a little talk between gramps and the Rancour, we (gramps and I) continued the journey to my place. “Hey grandpa, why does he call you sensei?” I asked
“Well Kai like you I trained him.” He replied,
‘But why does he still call you that?’
“You know, Rancour and your father were in the same group I had to pick my next Apprentice from, they always got on each other’s skin, like you and Rai do. But, they did hold me in high regard.” He continued “Both always tried to earn my admiration. They argued about the most mediocre things like who gets to do this or that and even physically fought at times. They did care about each other though.”
“Well, I don’t care about Rai.” I said to Gramps, trying to justify that relationship with HIM was nothing like that.
After our excruciating Three hour walk, we finally made it to the center of Raiba or as it is called by everyone at the time, the Royal’s meeting ground. It was essentially a large wall that separated the dragon clan from the phoenix clan, and also a place where the royal families of both clans had their meetings. It was where I lived. I wasn’t too proud, but what could I do?
“Gramps,” I called.
He turned to me with a gesture of “what’s wrong”.
“Ugghh… I’m tired. The stairs are too high.”
“Common Kai, you’ve already made it this far, lets’ go.” Gramps said in a commanding tone.
“Ugghh… fine.” Grandpa never made it easy on me.
“Huff huff… finally… huff huff…huff… w…we made it!” I exclaimed,
“You’re getting lazy Kai”. I walked up 200 plus stairs, give me a break.
The door leading to my room was in front of us “Umm… are you going to open it? It’s been a while since I’ve been in there.”
“Haha, you don’t need to gramps.” I nervously said,
“OPEN KAI!” Furoto commanded. I knew I had no choice in this.
“Y-yes sir.” I sheepishly replied. ‘Shit! I knew I should’ve cleaned up.’
We entered the room. Closing my eyes, I prepared for the worst. The room was a mess. Books from the shelf on the floor, bed was looking miserable, and the floor looked like rats danced on it. This was definitely the worst my room has ever been.
“Erm Kai, why is your room so unkempt?”
“Ummm…” that wasn’t what I expected at all. He normally would shout at me and complain about the room, this was a totally new thing to me “S-sorry gramps.” I apologised.
“Sigh… sit down boy.”
I reluctantly sat on the bed still waiting for that scolding. Gramps sat beside me.
“You’re going to be fifteen in a week, the age of a man.” He said stroking his beard,
“I know grandpa…” I replied.
“I see so much promise in you, I just want you to see it too.” He explained, “I want you to show this village why you should be the next guardian, to continue a legacy your father left behind…”
“But, how can I show anything when the whole village hates me.” I asked “What do you see in me that can’t be found in anyone else.”
“I… Kai, you need to understand that everything I do has a purpose. I need you to understand tha-”
“HOW CAN I WHEN YOU NEVER TELL ME ANYTHING!!!”
Furoto was shocked, he never saw me angry to that extent until now. “
You always shut me out when I ask questions you find uncomfortable, and it pisses me off.” I exclaimed with a brittle voice.
“I ask why THEY hate me? But, you keep quiet,” I said with tears forming in my eyes. “I ask what you see in me, what makes me so special, but you don’t tell…” My frustration peaked. “WHY!!!!? DO YOU HATE ME!!?”
Furoto didn’t know what to say, he was never questioned like this before. “… Kai… I-”.
But, before gramps could answer me,*knock**knock**knock*, “You should probably get that Grandpa.” I mumbled while cleaning the tears from my eyes. Furoto stood up, goes straight to the door and opens it.
“Rancour!” Gramps exclaimed.
“Sensei, I hope I’m not intruding, but could we talk?” Rancour asked while bowing his head.
“Of course.” Grandpa nodded.
“We’ll finish this later Kai.” Furoto said
‘No we won’t.’ I thought to myself while Gramps made his way out of the room leaving me by myself… as always.