Chapter 11:

Chapter 11. Foreign

Legacy of the Forgotten

"Grand Father Haco"

I said, with my throat tightening, trying to hold back the despair that dwelled within my heart. Obviously my grandfather knew I'd react this way, he effectively abandoned me after my accident. So why now of all times did he choose to be a real grandfather?

"Fire fly listen I-"

He tried saying but I cut him off.

"You didn't even left a finger to protest against my father, who casted me out. I-I don't  know what else needs to be said, but I won't consider you family. So just state your business with me and get the fuck out.

The old King signed and nodded before stating his business.

"You're half brother is having his wedding in two weeks. I know you two weren't the closest but he wanted you to come and try to mend broken relations."  

I couldn't help but scoff at my grandfather's words while I rolled my eyes and replied.

 "Andrea never really cared about me when we were younger. So why after all this time did he send you to talk me?"

King Haco signed and stood up, before taking out a red envelope from his cloak and put on the table.

"If you don't believe me, that's fine. However I'd at least try to talk with Andrea before jumping to conclusions. After all you two grew up with a mother, so you should at least be there for each other."  

Haco put his hood up and began to walk out. While I look at Randelias and simply said.

"What the fuck dad?"

"Okay I know why your mad, but in my defense. I couldn't really see who he was, cause you know? The fucking cloak."

He said before reaching for the envelope. I shake my head and walk into forging area to start my passion project.  I didn't really care what my dumb brother wanted, cause I'm not apart of that family anymore. I just wanted to be left alone to work on my passions and maybe find happiness. However my hopes began to dwindle as Randelias began to speak in a more concerned tone.

"Alice I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything but I think you should pay your brother a visit, cause if you don't we'll be forced to close down."

I walk back into the rear of the shop and snatch the letter from Randelias to rear whatever my blasted brother wrote, with said letter being written as such.

"Dear Alice, I know we haven't seen each other in many years but I feel that you should be reintroduced into the family. I'm sure grandfather has already told you that I'll be married soon, but I know that the last time you were here was after your accident. I feel that I have wronged you by not seeing you or protecting you, even now my heart weighs heavy with knowing that I have failed you in that aspect. Nothing would please me more than to at least talk to you in person about this. If you don't then I'm afraid I'll have no choice than to close the shop your and that older gentleman have.  See you soon."

I couldn't help but crumple up the letter, as my anger boiled over.

 "Ugh that's it. I'm going to fucking kick his ass!"

I barge out of the shop, throwing my leather apron to the wind as I made my way through the marketing sector. Finally after about twenty minutes of walking I marched up the stairs to my former home, but then I froze at the top of the stairs. My heart beat felt painful as it was almost beating out of my chest, as my own father waited for me sitting on top of this throne in a room completely made from gold. It looked like he hadn't aged since that very day, as there were no gray hairs in his long black hair nor in his beard, not even a line in his seemingly flawless skin. However what remained even more unchanged were his red eyes filled with resentment, and a hatred for me; for not being the child he wanted, nor the one that was deserving of his love. His voice finally broke through the silence with his low rumbling voice. 

"Well, if it isn't the reminder of my failure. What brings you back into prepossessing place?"

I did my best to reply but my voice was shaky at best as my body began to tremble.

"I-I'm looking f-"

Andrea's voice came in just in the nick of time, cutting me off in the process. I looked around to see where his voice came form as there two openings on the left and right side of the throne room, that led upwards into the rest of the castle. I looked to the right, for my brother to walk out through the left entrance, wearing a casual black pants, and a dark red cloth wrapped loosely around his neck that left his tanned slender body exposed. His dark hair in a ponytail similar to my own, with his being more towards the top part of the back of his head instead of near the neck like mine.  

"She's here at my request father, now leave her alone."

Our father scoffed and replied a bit annoyed. 

"Fine then but don't forget to watch yourself now boy.  I'd be angry beyond belief if her failure existence somehow rubs off on you."

Andrea just shakes his head and takes a deep breath, before walking back through the left side opening, signaling  me to follow him. I scoff, thinking that he could've told me instead of just being a cocky asshole about it. 

"Instead of just walking away, you could've given me a wave of the hand to follow."

I said, in a annoyed tone. 

"Where would be the fun in that? Of course I jest, but I really needed speak you."

Andrea said as they reached the top of the spiral staircase. 

I caught up with him and saw that we were now in the library section of the castle that sat above the throne room. The shelves were made of some Ignious Wood, of course I was surprised. gently running my hand across the wooden shelf. My brother being the captain obvious at the moment just simply said to me.

"What didn't think we had trees anymore or something?"

I turn around and put my hands on my hips. 

"This place was always a dessert Andrea. So there's no way this was from our country."

Andrea simply shook his head and laughed.

"Oh sis, you never failed to surprise me much like when we were kids. C'mon let me show you."

He said as he ran towards another set of stairs, not wanting to play keep up with him again, I run after him.  We both run towards the very top of the castle, into the balcony area where he leaned by the ledge a little exhausted while I lean over to catch my breath. 

"That was a pretty good race sis."

I rolled my eye and stand up straight, and walk over to the ledge to see why he led us up hear. The moment I laid my eye on the land around the kingdom, I was immediately shocked by the sight. This land, know for its heat and desert was now a place where where grass grew. Sure there was still hand but there was dirt as well, with patches of trees scattered around, with leaves that were a orangish color. When I was just a kid, who was recently taken in by Randelias; I used to dream of this country changing for the better, for this land of hot sands and metal to be something more. I almost gave up on that now seemingly far fetched dream, believing that such a romanticized future was just impossible. Yet here I stood on top of my home that I was long casted out from, with my brother who says he wants to make things better between us, and now faced with the changed biome of my homeland. Yet despite being faced with all these good things, I knew that there was something he wasn't telling. I then turn my head towards his direction and I ask him.

"How did you do this Andrea?"

He simply gave a carefree smile and extended his hand to me before speaking in a airy tone.

"Oh Alice, you worry too much but if you really want know I'll tell you. Just take my hand, and all will be revealed dear sister.

Faced with no other option, I begrudgingly take his hand and we shake on it, signaling that we can move forward as siblings. 

"So how'd you do this Andrea, I know you aren't a miracle worker, so what did it take?"

The explanation that came from him shocked me beyond belief as his voice sounded untroubled. 

"Well, we had to make use of the Dark Hearts somehow. They die in the mines after many  years of hard work, securing the very ores, that we use to build and make things with. The very swords we give the men who fight against the sand drakes, was probably made with materials secured by some dying Dark Heart child who couldn't withstand the abuse we put them.  Surely you understand that after so many die, we had to figure out what to do with the bodies."

I was so shocked but knew if I didn't say anything, that I'd be sent to those very mines those poor souls were banished to. Forever working, slaving away in a place were light would never reach them; a place where hope dies and is replaced with somber melancholy and pain. I force myself to speak, trying my very best to not choke on the words themselves. 

"Y-yeah... of course."

I look to the ground unsure of what to do, before looking up at Andrea, who had his arms crossed. His expression made it look like he wanted to say something but remained silent as he checked my language. Fortunately for me one of the lesser black knights lit up the alarm flare before Andrea could say something to me about my reaction to his words. We both look towards the front of the kingdom as ground starts to shift with a long neck emerging from the sand and dirt mixed ground. The head of this serpentine figure was akin to that of snake with a long pointed V-shaped like snout, and a pair of eyes that we'd see in some lesser serpentine like animals. 

"It's a Sand Drake my Lord!"

The guard shouted, as big creature began to move towards the kingdom.  

My brother looked excited for this, as he expression showed menacing grin with his hands forming small orbs of fire within in his palms. Andrea then spoke one phrase the surprised me. 

"Oh Blessed be the flame."

This phrase is something my people usually say before a conflict when their lives were on the line.  

I remained silent as I was unsure of how to feel about my brother at that moment in time. I guess he wasn't paying much attention to me as he leapt down from the top of the castle with much of a care. This completely caught me off guard, making me look over the balcony  to see him conjure a flames from his hand to propel him towards the massive Sand drake. I watched Andrea stand alone against the massive serpent, that was until a small shine in the distance hill caught my eye. What happened next surprised me as Andrea threw his arms back to meet the creature in mortal combat, a massive thin ice spear of shot downward into the serpents head, making the massive creature fall with it's head landing at the feet of Andrea. 

Andrea meanwhile was just in shocked at what just happened. He spent hours secretly setting up this situation just so he can have this chance to hunt and feel the thrill of battle. His rage was on full display as fire surged around him, with the clouds rolling over to compliment the setting sun. He looked around demanding who took the kill from him, who sullied his honor by interfering with his trail by combat. However someone did speak up, catching his attention as averaged sized person appeared at the other end of the snake. They had long blonde hair covering their face, with darkened hands that had blackened veins that extended up to their forearms. This infuriated the young heir of fire has not only had his honor been damaged, but by a Dark Heart no less. 

Meanwhile the stranger unaware of his rage just waved, speaking in a foreign tongue that was not native to the land of Prosperum Ignis.  It didn't matter to Andrea though, this lower being disrespected him in the worse way possible with the payment needing to be in blood. Andrea dashes towards the stranger with a flaming sword being forming his right hand, getting ready to have his vengeance. Luckily at the last second Andrea's attack was blocked by a another sword that was being wielded by a taller knight in white armor and a helmet that resembled a tiger. The white knight pushes Andrea back into the sand when the knight pushes on crossed blades. Andrea was astonished by the strength of this knight, before looking back at the Dark Heart who now had a massive man, with long crimson hair by his side guarding him. It was obvious to Andrea that the two knights were from the same place as their armor sets were very identical with the main difference being their helmets, each one resembling different felines. 

However before he could calculate the situation he saw two more people running towards the Dark Heart's side, one smaller male akin to his size in greyish white armor. He immediately recognized that this man was a lesser knight, using his knowledge of blacksmithing to deduce that the armor he was wearing was made using quite a bit of lesser materials and not the pure ore to forge it. This was shown by the armor retaining more of a greyish color, unlike the other two knights before him that processed a pure white color to them.  Yet all of this failed to make him wish to back down, until he saw a women with them. Her long blonde hair matched that of stranger that interrupted him, making him wonder if they were related.

Andrea just huffed as he knew he'd lose this encounter, really hated to admit that he'd need back-up, but he proceeded to call for it none the less.  He lowered his head towards the sand and dirt mix ground and reluctantly spoke.   

"Come to me, scorched servants of fire."

He took a deep breath as as four smoking figured erupted from the kingdom as if they were being launched by catapults and landed along side the Prince of fire. The four foreigners were surprised by this kind of arrival as the Scorched Knights slowly stood up, with their burning gazes being the only thing that broke through the smoke. 

Andrea looked at the four strangers, and said in a bitter tone.

"You can either give up, or be burnt to nothing. "