Chapter 16: Home, Sweet-ish Home
I looked at the wall. It certainly shrank the last time I saw it. I could actually see the top. Bragor must’ve dropped by to lower it.
“WHO ARE YOU?! STATE YOUR BUSINESS!”
“How long was I gone? Did I grow too much? Is it because my clothes are really, really, really dirty and outgrown?” I turned around, so they couldn’t see my face.
Questions, questions, questions. You were gone. . . for about a year. You’re what. . . eighteen now? Well, almost? Yup. In a couple months.
“How old is that?”
Ah right. You’re dumb.
“I am. Thank you.”
“WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS?!” They called back to me.
“Hold on a sec!” I shouted back. “So how long was I there for?”
A long time. Won’t the Fire Seeker be surprised to see you again.
“Yeah, right. He’s probably going to attack me or something,” I laughed.
“MOVE AND I SHOOT!”
“With what? That thing? Are you kidding me? Not gonna happen again,” I laughed at their poorly made spears.
“WE WILL FIRE THESE AT YOU!”
“Did someone say fire?” My eyes lit up.
“WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS?!”
“Don’t recognize me?! I’m the Market Thief!”
“CALL THE HEAD OF THE GUARDS! IT’S THE MARKET THIEF! WE CAUGHT HER!”
“Market Thief is old news. We don’t care about her anymore.” The other guard in the tower sounded a lot more laid-back than the one pointing a spear at me.
“Well, that’s just mean,” I said.
“What? Why not?” the crazy spear guard asked.
“Don’t you remember our instructions? About the Lord of Fire?”
“Good to see that the guards are still focused on me,” I smiled, landing on the edge of the tower windowsill after jumping. They looked at me, back to the ground, and back to me. “What?”
“HOW?” Crazy-spear-wielder guard waved his spear at me.
“Lord of Fire, duh,” I said as I walked through the guard tower to the other window leading right into the city.
“Wh-where have you been?” the lazy guard asked.
“Somewhere. Training. With the voice in my head. So, good day,” I said, walking through the tower.
“How do we know you’re not a faker?” Crazy-spear-wielder guard shouted at me. I grabbed the spear by the wooden handle and flames immediately started to spread. The guard immediately dropped the spear onto the ground and scrambled away from me.
“I really hate spears,” I commented as I burned everything to ash and smoke. “This should be enough. Bye!” I jumped out the window leading out the window.
~ “When jumping from a high place, you will always, always crash!” Cahin yelled at me. I had just fallen from one of his huge flame attacks.
“Supportive,” I mumbled.
“The main thing is use the lighter technique of fire.”
“Flame isn’t all you can control. Do you remember. . . smoke?” Cahin conjured just a wisp smoke in his hand. It was a very thick gray, but it didn’t go up like normal smoke. “You can control the smoke so it doesn’t harm other people. It also can help you from falling, and crashing. If you just conjure smoke at your feet, and keep it at your feet, it will make it so you look like it was a simple flight. However, this is a spiritual place. You have to burn things to control the smoke. Lots of concentration is required too because this is more of the Spirit of Air’s domain. The only reason you have control over this is when it’s still hot or freshly from a fire.” ~
I jumped from the tower and had smoke billow from my feet. It helped slow me down as I came closer and closer to the ground. I let the smoke dissipate into the air once I got a few feet from the ground. I fell down faster after the smoke was released, but at least I didn’t create a crater or something in that matter.
“How’d she do that?”
“I hated this stupid gate anyway,” I said, looking at the gate. With a single kick, flames burst out of my bare, dirtied feet. The flames were so powerful the gate was shattered into little bits. “Whoops,” I chuckled to myself. People took cover immediately when they heard the crash. The flames reached outwards and caught the flying splinters and burnt them into an ash before they could reach anyone. As the flames died, I walked inside the city. People started to go back into their houses, unsure if I was the actual Lord of Fire, or just some person with really magic tricks.
The guard bell was ringing and guards came to make a barricade with me. They stood in a single formation, blocking my pathway with as much attitude as they could.
Oh, how it annoyed me so.
“HALT! You are violating Code: L-42 under which no perso—” I shot some flames toward him ready to hit him.
~ “You must remember what I taught you. The flames are a reflection of you. If you become too angry, the flames become hot enough to melt metal and hurt a lot of people. So remember to keep your anger in check,” Cahin said to me while we were in the True Realm of Fire.
“So, what should I do so I don’t hurt people?” I asked.
“Here’s what you do: you keep the flames contained. You don’t allow the flames to catch on anything. Keep it with itself and in control. The more you contain it, it’ll cause less damage, and always keep it quick when it contacts direct skin. Be careful If you become too angry, the less it listens to you.”
“So you want me to be calm?”
“Hell no! Fire isn’t a calm element. Calm isn’t what drives fire. Never be too calm, just don’t be too angry. Just the right amount of angry.” ~
The guard was frozen on the spot as he watched the flames flicker right in front of him. He didn’t even notice me as I walked right past him. The flames returned to me after I was a safe distance away from the guard, melting back into my body. I calmly went past the other guards as they ducked into the side streets, along with all the regular people.
“Is that. . . ?”
“It has to be.”
“It can’t be.”
“Hey, bitch!” I heard an all too familiar voice confront me. I turned around, and there was a possibly older Haroj, standing in front of me, coming from the alleyway.
“Oh, miss me? Because I didn’t miss you.” I rolled my eyes, knowing that’s what Haroj hated the most.
“Shut up!” He thrusted a dagger at me, stopping before my face.
I stared at the dagger as if it were nothing. “Betray me, then try to stick me with a knife? Classy,” I smiled. “Where did you steal this from? It’s cool.”
“What’s with the dirty clothes? I thought all nobles wouldn’t be caught dead in dirty clothes,” Haroj sneered, threatening to jab the dagger in my eye.
“You are still as unpleasant as before. Has he always been like this?” I called out to the children that I used to train.
“Ever since Kaira left,” Yulik shrugged. Enucia elbowed Yulik in the ribs. “What?”
“Haroj told us not to tell her that!” Enucia whispered harshly.
“Oh, that’s right!” Yulik shouted. “I didn’t say anything! Forget I said anything!”
“Uh-huh. No. I’m going to remember that Haroj missed me,” I chuckled.
“I really am going to stab you,” Haroj threatened.f
“Yeah. . .” I snapped my fingers and a flame shot out and swallowed the blade of the dagger. “. . .no.” Right after I said that, the flames swirled around the dagger to shoot it into the house behind me.
~ “You can use your flame as if it were an extension of yourself. The less body parts you use for it, the smaller and less powerful it is. Fire is different than other elements. While other elements, like water and earth, control better when the user is calm and such, fire is different. There are positive emotions and negative emotions for each element.
“Fire is the only one which has anger as a positive emotion. Anger can control fire because it’s passionate. Too much anger is the problem. That’s when the fire becomes uncontrollable. Other positive emotions for fire are passionate feelings. When a host is too calm, there’s nothing to feed the fire. If the host is too passionate or has an abundance of negative feelings, there’s too much to feed the fire and then the fire spirals out of control. You have to find that perfect balance of anger, happiness and calm to be able to control fire well.” Cahin twirled a single finger, and a small flame danced around. “Also you have to show your emotions. If you keep it bottled up, it’ll be a violent storm inside and out once that bottle breaks.”
“So, what should I do?” I asked.
“Just make sure that you don’t explode with anger. If you do--” Cahin had an explosion go off behind him. “--boom.” ~
“So, you done trying to kill me or are you going to try again because I don’t have all day for that,” I asked. Haroj’s face flushed with anger as he tried to assess his situation. “Okay, you’re done,” I patted his shoulder before walking away.
“I’m not!” Haroj shouted before hitting me right in the back.
I stopped moving, impressed that Haroj would take it that far. I turned around with a large smile plastered on my face. “You started this, remember that.”
The color drained from Haroj’s face when both of my fists were engulfed in fire. “You hear that? I think the other kids are calling me. I need to go.”
“Really? All I heard was a coward who’s trying to get away from something he started,” I chuckled, taking a step forward.
“Really? You might want to get your hearing checked because it sucks.” Haroj took a step backwards.
Once you’re done beating sense into Haroj, you should do it to Fire Seeker.
“Got it,” I said before I chased Haroj down.
The guards hadn’t changed. They were still stupid. They kept trying to get in my way and capture me or something, I wasn’t sure. All I knew is that they were stupid. It was so annoying pushing them away one after the other as they tried to tackle me. I wasn’t exactly sure what the hell they were doing.
~ “There are times where you can control fire without making a gesture. It takes a lot of concentration, but it’s great for surprising enemies. It usually takes years for hosts to master it, but you have my help. But I still suggest to use it in moderation because the concentration it takes is really taxing and you wouldn’t want to have to deal with that all the time. So I suggest use it when you really need to or when you’re pissed off and you need to surprise them,” Cahin explained.
“Can I use it on the guards?”
“I guess. But why?”
“Because they always piss me off.” ~
I’m pretty sure those guards were dumber than I was because they would not give up. When I finally got to the stairway that led right up to the Ember Palace, I laughed. No way was I walking up all those damn stairs. No, I was going to take the really cool way: the fire way. I lifted my wrist and all the fire that held the guards back surrounded me. I pointed right at top and I was launched from the stairwell. The fire raced me to the top and then caught me right in front of those large, red doors.
I kicked the door, flames melting the locks, and the door swung open with fire bursting into the room. I heard clanks of armor, and I brought all of the flames to my arm. The amount of them started to decrease as the guards started to shake.
“Seriously? I’m gone for a year and you guys don’t recognize me? I’m hurt,” I swung my arm over the length of the line of guards, and a flame knocked them all over. I walked up to the throne reserved for the Lord of Fire. I skipped my way up to the top and sat on the cushioned golden seat. Finally, Fire Seeker for ran into the room. He was breathing heavily as he stopped right in front of the throne. “Hello. Miss me?”
“Hello, Kaira,” he said coolly.
“At least act surprised!” I shouted.
“I know you weren’t leaving forever.”
“But c’mon! I was so cool! You didn’t see any of my fire awesomeness?!”
“Not at all.”
“You suck.” Then a flame appeared out of my right hand, and boiled the water whip that had come out of the air. “Wow! Sorak’s here! Hi, Sorak!” I jumped out of the throne to wave hello to him.
~ “The flames can sometimes appear out of you, warning you of oncoming attacks from other hosts. You have to listen to the fire. That’s one thing a lot of Lords of Fire forget to do. You have to listen to them. Otherwise, you can be seriously injured by a surprise attack, or even worse, or die.” Cahin instructed me.
“So, how will I know?” Suddenly, flames popped out of my arm, and latched onto another branch of flames.
“They’ll react on their own. The more power you have yourself in your flames, the quicker, and better they react to these kinds of things. Feed the flames when it happens. But remember, it doesn’t react unless it’s another host. Regular humans don’t pose that much of a threat to the fire.”
“But regular people are the ones with the spears and stuff.”
“You lived through a spear stabbing once. I’m sure you can do it again.” ~
“Bragor’s here too?” I asked, flames reaching out from my left hand, and breaking up a boulder that was flung at my head.
“What happened during the last year?” Lord Bragor asked.
“I was training with the voice in my head,” I said. “It was great.”
Stop referring me to the voice in your head. Cahin said indignantly.
“But you are, and they probably would believe I was training with you. Some people just don’t get it,” I shrugged.
“I’m assuming you’re speaking to--” Fire Seeker snapped his fingers, trying to remember something. “Cahin?”
“Yup! My little soul roommate,” I tapped my knuckles against my head. “So, you guys miss me?” I asked Lord Bragor and Lord Sorak.
“Yes,” they both answered immediately. I smiled toward them, feeling back at home.
“If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, one of these days, we should spar,” Lord Sorak said.
“Would people get hurt?” I ask, remember all those past scenes that Cahin showed me.
“Not at all,” Lord Sorak said, confused.
“Then I’d love to! Have you guys stayed here all the time I was gone?”
“No. Akyro has been taking care of things. Very well, as well may I add,” Lord Sorak said.
I paused for a moment. “Who the hell is Akyro?”
“Him,” Lord Bragor jabbed his thumb at Fire Seeker.
“He has a name?” I raised an eyebrow and smirked.
“Smirk all you want, but remember who was the one keeping this country from sinking into debt and poverty.” Fire Seeker smirked back.
“Is it you?” I asked in a high-pitched innocent voice.
Fire Seeker sighed. “Yes.”
“Are you done here?”
“I don’t think so. You see, I have a whole set of plans that I recently implemented that you wouldn’t know how to run and how could I, in good conscious, let an illiterate, impulsive, resplendent, ignorant Elemental Lord control it?”
“It’s good to see you’re still an asshole.”
“I can’t say the same about your irritating nature.”
“You missed me.” I smirked as I leaned towards him.
Fire Seeker paused, trying to keep a straight face. “I’m probably going to miss the peace and quiet more.”
“So you admit you missed me!” I shouted.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself,” Fire Seeker flicked my forehead.
“You attacked me! Treason! Arrest him!” I shouted wildly. Guards stood around, unsure what to do. Of course they did. They hated me. Why would they do what I said?
“Yeah, yeah. Come on, you’re absolutely filthy and need new clothes,” Fire Seeker said.
“Just try to move me,” I folded my arms as I sat back down in the throne. Fire Seeker shrugged and he picked me up. “Was not expecting this.”
“It’s good to have you back.” Lord Bragor smiled widely.
“It’s good to be back.” I smiled as well.