Chapter 9: Ember Palace
“Why won’t you quit?!” I shouted at the Fire Seeker. I was sick of him and his stupid face and his stupid actions and his stupid chases and his stupid. . . stupid.
“It’s my job not to,” Fire Seeker shrugged.
“Asshole,” I muttered.
“Aren’t you mature? I’m quite worried for the future of Pyra if you’re the one in charge,” Fire Seeker scoffed.
“Then why don’t you say I died or disappeared or something and you take over?” I suggested.
“That was fast.”
“As much as you’re not qualified, I can’t do that.”
“Excuse you, I never asked to be able to control fire.”
“Well, I never asked to be the only Fire Seeker, but here we are.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“Very little of what I do does.”
“I see. Lord Bragor, Lord Sorak, she’s all yours.” Fire Seeker stepped back and blended into the guards while Lord Bragor and Lord Sorak took a step forward. Before I could actually do anything, four tall walls sprung out of the ground. It quickly boxed me in, leaving me no room to do anything. I couldn’t move my arms or my legs. I could barely move my head. It was pretty terrifying. It almost felt as if they were closing in on me. I wanted to get out of there. I needed to.
Calm down. Panicking isn’t going to get you anywhere. If you panic, fire won’t come out. Here, is this better? You big baby. A tiny flame appeared in front of my eyes. All the tension seemed to melt away as I watched the tiny flame. It looked like it was taken from a candle and just placed in the air.
“Hm.” That was the Fire Seeker’s entire response.
“What is wrong?” Lord Bragor asked.
“You know as well as I do that that isn’t going to hold her for long,” Fire Seeker sighed.
“He’s right. This isn’t to contain her. This is to slow her down and allow the people to evacuate,” Lord Sorak chuckled.
“When you put it that way--” I started to say. I stared at my hand, imagining fire flickering on there.
Just don’t imagine it. Tell it what to do. Command it! Be a dictator! You’ve done it before! Do it again! The Spirit of Fire shouted excitedly at me. I took the advice and opened my palm just like before. Command it! You’re still too soft! Shout at it!
“I’m trying!” I shouted at the Spirit of FIre.
Try harder! Shout at it! Command it!
“GET OUT HERE! TEAR THESE WALLS APART!” I shouted. Fire burst out of my entire body and destroyed each wall. “DON’T BURN THE HOUSES!” I shouted again. The flames stopped expanding and shrank back to me. It whipped around me, ready to do what I said.
You don’t have to actually shout at it, but hey, whatever burns your boat. The Spirit of Fire chuckled.
“Uuuuuh, bye!” I waved to the people before running through the marketplace.
“Just like you said,” Fire Seeker sighed.
“I never expected her to shout at her powers,” Lord Sorak said.
“She will be very entertaining to be around,” Lord Bragor said.
“Yes, she will.” That was the last thing I heard before I heard a rush of water behind me. Stones started to float in the air.
Go into this next alleyway. Trust me!I complied and tumbled into the alleyway. I looked out into the market and saw a pillar of stone rush past me right up to the sky. The pillar was so thick, it would’ve knocked me into the sky easily. Not to mention me probably dying right on the spot.
“Thanks, Spirit of Fire,” I weakly said.
You’re welcome. My name is Cahin, by the way. I hate it when people keep calling me “Spirit of Fire”. It’s gross. Spirit of Fire informed me. Damn you.
“Thank you, Cahin,” I weakly said. I turned around and went down the alleyway, hoping to lose them.
You can’t lose them. They’re trained. They can’t be shook either.
“Thanks for the pep talk,” I said sarcastically as I ran through the alleyways. I turned three times before heading straight into Lord Sorak, who had ice spears ready to stab me.
“Please just come with us,” Lord Sorak said while throwing more ice spears at me.
“Saying ‘Please’ and throwing ice spears at me don’t go together!” I yelled, throwing the flames that made the wall at Lord Sorak before running.
And heeeeeere’s Lord Bragor!
“Where?!” I turned and looked for him.
Look up. When I did, there was another pillar of stone about to crash on me. I set a dome of flames, hoping that would break the stone’s impact. The pillar hit the flames only to have the flames push back.
“Amazing! I had never thought that fire could push something back to this extent!” Lord Bragor praised.
“Are you chasing me or testing me?!” I yelled at him.
“A little of both!” He said as he forced the pillar harder down onto the dome of flames. I forced some of my energy into the strength of flames, cracking the stone even further.
“Can you stand Earth and Water?” I heard Lord Sorak’s voice. I looked behind me, and there was a wave of water tall enough to probably flood the entire capital.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” I looked at the swirling water, ready to attack me.
“No. No we are not. Ready for impact?” Lord Bragor asked Lord Sorak.
“Nope. But I guess you’re not gonna care, right?” I chuckled.
“One,” Lord Sorak counted off until my doom.
“Two,” Lord Bragor continued.
“Three!” I felt like counting off to my own doom as well. Lord Sorak chuckled right before the wave crashed right through the alley. It almost immediately washed away the flames. As soon as the flames disappeared, the wave lowered and froze around me. Before I could even attempt to get out, the stone pillar fell right down on my head. It just hit my head, didn’t crush me, but it hurt! Holy hell flames and the demons to match! There was a pounding in my head and something started to trickle down my scalp, It felt warmer than the water that had doused my body. Some part of me knew it was blood, but I didn’t really connect it right then. I was more focused on the fact that everything was blurry and everything hurt. It didn’t help that the next second I was vomiting uncontrollably.
There was yelling and shouting. Next thing I saw was a blur of green, blue and red. Someone picked me up. I just remember that they were warm. That was it. My vision was pretty much gone and my hearing just knew that there was yelling, but it was all muffled and slurred together. I was out the next second.
The first thing I realized when I got up was that I was surrounded by something really soft. I thought I had died or something because it was so nice. I was never around nice things. I felt myself smile as I let myself sink into the softness.
“You’re up,” a voice said. I couldn’t place it. I knew who he was, I just couldn’t think at the time. When I heard his voice, the first thing I tried to do was run. Instinct, I guess. But the first thing I actually did was curl up in pain from moving even the slightest. “I need a medic, quickly,” the voice from before said.
“Yes, sir,” a young woman’s voice said before rushing off.
“She really took a beating.” I knew that voice too.
“I am amazed at how strong she is.” I knew that one too. I couldn’t place it because that took energy I didn’t have.
“Stop. Talking.” I said slowly. It took all of my energy to say those two words, but it was worth it. They stopped and I tried to somehow calm the pain, but then the door slammed open and all my hard work went out the window. I screamed out the pain while clutching my head. It was pounding and screaming didn’t help, but how else was I supposed to deal with the pain?
“Couldn’t you have been more gentle?!” yet another man voice had to come in and scream. This one was way older than the other three, I could tell by the wheeze in the voice. This was not good for any health of mine.
“You poor thing,” a very breathy woman’s voice said as she spread a cool cloth across my forehead, helping the pain just a little bit.
“She’s worked up a sweat. Get me the herbs the Lord of Life has sent,” the old wheezy man said.
“Right away,” the young woman from before said. I heard her light footsteps run out of the room.
“You’ll be fine,” the breathy woman assured me.
“How bad is it?” I heard the first voice I recognized pipe up.
“A part of her skull is cracked,” the old man said after inspecting my head.
“That does sound quite serious,” the second voice I recognized noted.
“You really shouldn’t have moved her. It could’ve been worse,” the old man said. “Where are those herbs?!” The old man shouted.
“Here they are, doctor!” The young woman shouted.
“Great, you there, Fire Seeker! Hold her head! Don’t let it drop. Lord Sorak, please cool down the rag. Lord Bragor, please close the curtains. Too much light can hurt her.” Yeah! Those were the voices.
“I feel really bad,” Lord Sorak whispered to Lord Bragor.
“So do I. However, we acted like we were supposed to,” Lord Bragor said.
“So, it’s Fire Seeker’s fault,” Lord Sorak said.
“Don’t go pinning this on me,” Fire Seeker said patiently.
“This doesn’t seem good. I’m going to have to do a bit of stitching. Nothing much. Here we go. If someone could get her to drink this, that would be great,” old man wheezy said.
“Won’t this burn her throat?” Lord Sorak asked.
“Nothing burns her,” Fire Seeker replied.
“Right.” A liquid entered my mouth and went down my throat. It felt nice to have something in my stomach for once. It took a couple of painful minutes, but I fell right back asleep.
I woke up again, this time with almost no pain. Well, that was good. All of that pain was nauseating and annoying.
“She’s alive,” I heard Lord Sorak breathe out in relief.
“Now don’t go cracking her skull again. This time, she was lucky,” the old man warned.
“If she doesn’t try anything foolish, we won’t have to worry,” Fire Seeker said.
“Shut up,” I called out to them.
“She’s already starting to look better. Just deliver her meals to her for today and tomorrow. Also make sure she doesn’t try and escape,” the breathy woman said.
“How long do you think it will take for full recuperation?” Fire Seeker asked.
“Seeing how she’s an Elemental Lord, she’ll be up blasting things away before we know it,” the old man chuckled. I heard the footsteps leaving the room and clicking the door shut.
“What do we do now?” Lord Sorak asked.
“I guess we wait until she tries to escape,” Lord Bragor said.
“I’m going to make sure that she doesn’t,” Fire Seeker said. I heard footsteps coming toward my bed.
“You shouldn’t touch her,” Lord Sorak warned.
“I’m just going to make her unconscious,” Fire Seeker said. Before I had any time to protest, senses were gone.
For the third time that day.
“Ow,” I said as I rubbed my neck. The horrible pain was completely gone, but I felt a little sore. I opened my eyes, but was met with just darkness. I blinked my eyes several times, wondering if I was really awake or in a dream.
I had a little flame materialize in my palm, lighting what was here. The first thing I noticed was there were stonewalls surrounding me. The second thing was that I was in a huge bed that was covered in red and orange sheets. There even was a red towers coming off of it trimmed in gold at the very end.
“Hey guys? I’m awake now. Get these walls down,” I called out.
“Alright, I guess we have to give her food now,” Fire Seeker said.
“Okay,” Lord Bragor said. He made a slot in the wall and placed a large tray through it. He made a stone table for it, and closed the slot. I crawled toward it with one of my hands and both of my legs. I came to the tray and noticed a candle on it. I moved the flame from my palm to the candlewick and took a look at the food. It was so fancy, I could barely tell what it was. I smelled meat. . . I think. Whatever it was, it was covered in sauce that was chunky. Well, it was food and it was awesome.
“Is this for me?” I called out.
“Who else?” Fire Seeker said
“Tone down the sass, mister,” I called out.
“Don’t call me ‘mister’.”
“I will call you whatever I please, mister.”
“Lord Bragor, could you let one wall down?”
“I fear for both of your safety if I do that, so no,” Lord Bragor said.
“I think it best if Fire Seeker left the room, what do you think, Lord Bragor?” Lord Sorak piped up.
“I agree,” Lord Bragor said.
“I will not be leaving,” Fire Seeker said stubbornly.
“You should!” I shouted.
“You stay out of this,” Fire Seeker growled at me.
“If I could leave, I would, but, y’know--” I tapped the wall.
“You must be starving. You should eat,” Lord Sorak called out.
“Yes,” Lord Bragor agreed.
“Fine, fine. I guess I’ll eat,” I laughed. I looked at the food again, sighing as I realized I had to use those dumb utensils to eat it. Couldn’t they have given me simple food, like bread or something. I knew that I had to use a fork and knife, but the problem was that it took longer for me to use those than my actual hands.
So, that’s what I did.
“That was great! Got any more?” I said.
“You already ate all of it?” Fire Seeker called out to me, bewildered.
“Yeah. I was hungry. What do you expect?”
“I don’t know, maybe for you to chew your food and not inhale it.”
“Did you even taste it?”
“Yeah. It was amazing. If that’s what I’d be eating all the time, I would gladly stay here.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Fire Seeker said.
“Hey, Fire Seeker!” I called out.
“Yes, Lord of Fire?” He replied, dryly.
“Well, I am kinda sorta the ruler of Pyra, right?”
“There is no ‘kinda sorta.’ You are the ruler of Pyra.”
“So I can make laws and stuff, right?”
“When can I start doing that?”
“Well, it depends on what you want done.”
“What about a building?”
“Building? That’s not exactly a law.”
“Okay, how long would it take for me to have a building done?”
“Depends. What are you planning on the building being used for? Where will it be located? What will it be made out of? What are the plans?”
“Well, obviously I have to think a little harder.”
“Stay right there, I’ll help you out with the plans.”
“Where would I go? Kinda trapped here. Wait, you’re going to help me?”
“That is what I just said.”
He paused. “Why not?”