Blood. A substance, vital for our survival. Providing oxygen to our organs and muscles, making it possible for us to heal from our injuries. A thick, red substance.
But not for all of us.
To others, the substance is not red at all. And in our World, that colour defines us.
It’s a mutation altering our DNA, modifying the very colour of our blood and giving us abilities previously believed to be nothing but fairytales. Yet, not all are affected.
The mutation is irregular and can’t be isolated from the rest of our gene pool. No one knows how it works, and no one can figure out how people are chosen to receive its gifts. It isn’t passed down through generations or activated during a specific time of day. It is as random as life itself.
Although, maybe not as random as we are believed to think.
One human being is guaranteed to receive the gifts of the mutation. The Royal family’s first child. The Golden Heir.
It is an exception to the rule that has kept our world safe throughout the millennia and still leaving us to wonder about its mysteries.
It all began about four millenniums ago when a European explorer stumbled across a cave hidden beneath the surface of the ocean.
The cave’s interior had been coated in a foreign golden stone, like nothing the explorer had seen before. Resembling the chemical found on the periodic table but with a density and features quite unusual and unique.
The curious explorer took home a sample to study but discovered something he could never have predicted.
Merely days after returning to his island, the stone’s irreversible forces had already reconstructed his DNA. Thus, making him the first of us.
His blood had turned blue as the colour resembling the depths of the ocean itself. Giving him the ability to make water bend to the will of his mind.
His name was Jonathan Pavo. The founder of our civilisation.
But Pavo wasn’t the only one who was affected by the stone.
By bringing the stone to the surface, he had unleashed a revolutionary phenomenon. Particles from the material had become part of the very air we need to breathe, and slowly, more people would find that their blood was no longer red and that they could command things beyond their wildest imaginations.
When Pavo first discovered this curiosity, he gave up everything he had to travel the world and wrote about his findings.
He met many people during his journey and found that they didn’t all share the same ability.
Some could control air; others could control fire. But it wasn’t just the four elements.
He met a woman who had the ability to make plants grow at an unnatural rate and a man, able to heal the wounded, even from the deadliest injuries.
He discovered a link between their abilities and the colour of their blood, and he decided to name them; the Iridis. His native language for rainbow.
While he was sailing across the vast seas, he would spend the time practising and learning about the limits of his powers.
But it wasn’t until he met his future wife, a Fire Iridis, that he discovered his true potential as an elemental.
He described her in his journal as the most beautiful and caring person he had come across during his life. Her eyes were like the fire igniting in his heart the first time he saw her. Her skin as brown as the chocolate orchids he remembered from his childhood in his grandmother’s garden, tainted with a hint of the orange colour running through her veins.
She showed him how she had learned to create lightning and manipulate light—abilities belonging to the blood-colours of black and yellow.
She taught him how to heal wounds and freeze the water to solid ice, opening his World for new opportunities.
Elementals showed to be able to master other abilities that were fairly similar to their element but were limited to only two additional talents, allowing each skill to be grouped into one of the four elemental categories.
Pavo and his wife continued their journey, educating others in their new reality and how to control their powers. As a result, they attracted numerous followers, and within long, they were treated like gods.
From here, the World changed.
Earth’s name was revised to symbolise a new era. An era of peace and unity. Heliac. The rising star.
Heliac was divided into four realms to fit the elements to their suitable environment. The Inferno Realm, the Ocean Realm, the Sky Realm, and the Terra Realm.
People were satisfied for a few years before the first war began—the war between the Reds and the Iridis.
In fear of dictatorship and slavery, the Reds rebelled, leaving death and despair everywhere they came.
They were no match for the Iridis, and Pavo was forced to claim the throne to ensure peace and minimise the casualties.
A final realm was created - The Golden Realm. A place of diversity and ruled with kindness by Pavo and his wife. Adeena.
The King of the Golden Realm was to maintain peace in Heliac and make sure that the other realms would be able to communicate amongst each other and follow the common rules.
Pavo spent the rest of his life trying to ensure that a war between the Iridis and the Reds would be an unlikely scenario by writing laws and statements, protecting the Reds against discrimination and enslavement. Reminding everyone that no one was worth more than their neighbour.
But Heliac changed after Pavo’s death. People became greedy and longed for power.
The system that Pavo had fought hard to maintain crumbled in some parts of the World, leaving us with classes and hierarchies. Even amongst Pavo’s own bloodline.
A new system was established, leaving everyone with an equal chance at life but a leaning advantage for the colour-blooded.
However, respecting what Pavo and Adeena had built, they allowed the Reds to be part of whatever society they desired if they proved to deserve it. Even part of the Elite.
To avoid another war, they needed to ensure that the golden rulers would always remain powerful—rulers with the powers to fight back if anyone should decide that Heliac wasn’t the ideal World. Thereby, the Royal Trials were born. An event where the royal firstborn was to marry another elemental Iridis through a series of trials created to test their abilities as rulers.
Within the year of the heir’s 22nd birthday, 24 Iridises would be chosen to participate in the Trials until the firstborn would take a final spouse - six contestants from each of the four realms.
Last season, it was an Air Iridis who won the heart of the Golden King.
She was beloved by the people and kind to everyone she met.
I don’t remember her, but my mother often told me the story of her achievements and about her sudden disappearance. It was only a few weeks before I was touched by the Pavo mutation, and my blood turned pale blue, equivalent to that of our lost Queen.
I was eight when I came home, crying after scraping my knee against the gravel playing on the road behind our house.
At first, they seemed thrilled about being gifted with a daughter able to control the air. To most, it would signify an improvement in quality of life and fortune. We didn’t have much, and my parents struggled every day to bring food to the table. It would have changed our lives.
But notifying the Guardians of my powers meant that they would have to send me off to the Sky Realm to be taught by the masters. Alone.
That was never a choice for my parents. I was too young, and they had no resources to follow me there, so they decided to keep it a secret.
Koa is the only person outside of my family that knows about my secret. My best friend.
We were born in the same hospital on the same day, leaving him only a few hours older than me, but we have been together ever since.
He is my rock and my saviour by a longshot.
I’ve never been good at keeping my mouth shut, and that has gotten me into trouble more times than I care to admit.
For the past 12 years, Koa has been helping me in teaching myself to avoid letting my emotions getting the best of me and revealing my secret by accident.
But my powers are growing stronger every day, and they’re becoming more difficult to manage by the minute. So, I will have to put in the extra effort to avoid the dungeons.
I turned 20 last month, and tomorrow will be my first day working as a maid with my mom in the Iridis Mansion. We’re running out of money, and my younger brother isn’t able to work yet, so I will have to work even harder.
And be careful not to reveal my true colours.