The Fire God

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Summary

After her sister is sold to auction, Leora decides to set a trapped god free to save her. However, her god of fire has lost his power and must use her and her mage powers just to function, living off her like a leech. Leora finds herself growing closer, dangerously warmer, to this deity and his unusual charm. Leora and her exiled god must race to rescue her kin before she is sold off like cattle and lost forever.

Genre:
Fantasy / Romance
Author:
A. A. Wright
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
20
Rating:
4.8 5 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

“You better hurry, he’s still by the welcoming tree but not for long!”

“Thank you Ida!” I wheezed as I ran past the elderly woman. Despite the ordinariness of the day, it was indeed special. Never before had a mage recruiter ever shown up to this barren village. It had been several years since the last official wizard visited the town. And on the last occurrence, a terrible sickness had flooded the land. While the man was successful in bringing health and life back to the village, he did not stay long.

There was no time to even think of being drafted into the capital. But now – finally now, a real recruiter mage had shown up to the village. “Hey, Leora! You goin’ to the tree too?” A young boy named Igor happily skipped alongside me. He was a thin child, almost always covered in dirt. But his most noticeable feature was his nosiness. Igor’s most favorable hobby was to involve himself in everyone’s business, no matter how mature it may be.

“Yup! No time to chat though.” I quickened my pace down the long windy path we called a road. “I’ll tell you about it when I get back!” I called out way ahead of him now. With no time to waste, I broke into a run and cut across the grassy hills. Small houses made of stone and wood scattered about. Their inhabitants slowly returned from their day of harsh labor, trudging along the incline of the slopes.

After turning past the livestock barn, I could finally make out the welcoming tree. Despite its name, the tree looked anything but convivial. It once stood tall in the sky. With some villagers recounting it could touch the clouds. But after the last ignis war, it was struck by lightning right down the middle. The magnificent tower had snapped a few people’s worth from the soil, timbering down until its top met the ground. Held up by a few strong pieces left in the base, the tree created a triangle-shaped entrance to the village.

At last, I could begin to hear the booming voice of the mage. “Any one of you could be our next mage fighter!” He announced to the small crowd before him. I joined their side with a stammered breath. The man was dressed in a beautiful black and gold cloak and his waist was adorned with a belt of shapes. His hair was long and as bright of a blonde as the sun. “For those that wish to enroll, we will be leaving Gera in two days.” He then motioned for a suitcase that he had sat down next to the rotting wood.

“What, that’s it?” I couldn’t help but mumble.

“You missed all the demonstrations.” A low rumbling voice greeted me. I knew this man without even looking; Brax Dourock.

“Shit…”

“That’s what you get for working in the mines past safe hours.”

I frowned and finally turned to the man. He was much larger than I in both height and width. Just by looking at him, you could tell the earth shivered from his presence. Something that was surprisingly attractive, in bed. “Shut up, it’s not like you haven’t done it.”

“Yeah but I’m also a lot stronger and faster than you.” I rolled my eyes and returned my attention to the mage. He had been passing along a small piece of paper amongst the crowd. And now it was my turn to take it.

“T-thank you.” I took the flyer, wanting to whisper more, but my words fell silent. The mage was pristine and smelled of delicate petals. He sensed I had something to say but decided to grin and continue his task.

“Ehh it’s all bullshit.” Brax dismissed.

“It is not bullshit!” I spat back to him before carefully reading the page. It had a very detailed drawing of the current mage fighter squadron at one of the best academies in the world: Kaiegh University. “Mages are amazing.”

Brax rolled his eyes and proceeded to crumple his flyer and throw it to the ground. “It’s bull. You don’t just become a mage. You either have it or you don’t. They just do this shit to get extra money in their pockets. I mean look at him.” He gestured at the mage as he continued with his handouts. “How much you think that cloak runs for? Ten, maybe twenty Zeolites?”

“It’s not about the money Brax! It’s about the magic and protecting those with it.” I looked longingly at the photo in my hands. “I’m going to go ask father if I can go.”

“No, you’re not.”

“Yes. I am!” Brax reached for me then but I pulled away. “You know the rules. Only touch me when I say you can touch me.”

The large man beamed deviously. “Oh, I know very well.” He moved closer despite my clear disinterest. “When can we meet again?” His dark eyes twinkled against his sunburnt skin. In the light, I could have sworn his undertone was blue.

“With this news? Not any time soon.” I snarked and began walking back to my home. “I’ll see you at the mines.”

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.” Brax grumbled and kicked the earth. While he certainly was not bad in bed, he wasn’t good enough to get in the way of my mission. Having a recruiter come was the first miracle of the day. The next one I would have to perform myself. And that miracle would be convincing my father to let me leave.

Ever since my mother had died from the arctl fever, he had been insistent on my involvement with the household. But the more responsibilities I put on, the more he began to poison himself with spirits and sadness. A few years ago I started to work in the mines just to keep our land. From dusk till dawn I would continue to mine for various precious metals and the incredibly sought-after Zeolite.

So far, mining has been the hardest labor I’ve done. My muscles went from that of a frail girl to a sculpted woman. My hair, which was curly enough, became distraught and tangled while my once clean skin remained consistently stained by dirt and soot. My feet and hands have been covered in such horrid callouses that I no longer have sensation in some areas. And all of my nails have been worn down to stubs. A couple of fingers and toes littered with broken and cracked bits.

Compared to my idol-like sister, I was nothing but a work mule. Scarlette, even at just thirteen, was strikingly beautiful. It was no secret that everyone in the village compared us with one another. Scarlette, who took after our mother, had beautiful wavy red hair and black as night eyes. Her skin is porcelain like a doll, and smooth as cream. I, on the other hand, was constantly dirty, rough, and sported dull curly brown hair. It seemed the only thing we had in common was our mother’s onyx eyes.

By the time I had reached our shack near the woods, the sun had fallen past the horizon. Crickets chimed their song alongside toads and frogs. Flying bugs whipped and whizzed past my face while some landed on my skin, begging for blood. Swatting the annoyances away, I hurriedly entered our home. It was quite small, elevated off the ground by nothing but rock and wood.

“Father?” I called out. “Scarlette?” There was an uncomfortable silence as I lit the oil lamp by the door. It wasn’t nearly late enough for them to be asleep. My sister for sure would have been up ready to tell me about her day while I ate cold leftovers. “Scarlette are you here? Scarlette – Oh!” I jumped as my father’s figure entered my view. “You scared me. Where’s Scarlette?”

“Already sleeping.” His rough and lazy voice answered. “What, what do you want now?” I raised a brow and glanced into the room just past my father, Yasin. Sure enough, through the dim light, Scarlette’s body lay sleeping on our thin matt. Her chest rose and fell slowly underneath the thin sheet we called a blanket.

My father stiffened and cleared his throat, annoyed by my presence. I swallowed hard and paused for a moment. I knew I couldn’t collect my thoughts for long as his patience was quite thin. “They came today.” I brought out the mage’s paper and handed it to my father. He squinted hard at the page, using his lamp to help him read. “Please father. Please can I go!”

“Of course not.”

“Why not?!”

“Because I’m the head of this family. You need to stay and work.” His face was wrinkly and stern while his body hunched into a curve.

Heat began to rise to my face. “You know I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life!”

“This is your life.” He continued to spat. He took a shaky step away, ready to end the discussion

My lips formed a tight line, the skin cracking. “This is not my life! I’m not meant to mine forever and you know that. Mom knew that!”

“Don’t speak for your mother.” He instinctively looked back to Scarlette.

“Then don’t speak for me. I am twenty-five now father. I should be able to join the mage fighters. I should be able to leave this place.” Our shack was hardly a home. The floorboards were rotted and riddled with water damage from our faulty roof. In the middle, a hole filled with a large pot and coal resided. The only division in the house lay just to the left, a room we all slept in. “You can come with me! You and Scarlette! I’ve already talked to her about it. I know she loves the idea of being in the city. Imagine the opportunities we could have there.”

There was significant silence from the old man. “Scarlette doesn’t want to go to the city. She wants to find love.” This was true, but Scarlette was only thirteen. A girl her age should be learning about the world rather than chasing after fleeting feelings.

“Yes, she does!” I insisted. “I’ll go wake her up and she can tell you herself.” Despite her age, Scarlette was very well-spoken. Just like our mother, she always knew what to say to get her way.

“No…” My father raised the paper in the air and stopped my movements. I waited patiently. After some time amassing his thoughts, he licked his dry lips and started once again. “If you can find a big enough Zeolite from the mine…Then I’ll let you go.”

In an instant, my being was enveloped with hope and bliss. My feet felt like they were leaving the ground and my heart pounded loudly. “Really?!”

He lowered his brows as if confused by my reaction but nodded. “If you can find one. Then it can pay for travels and we can go.” His voice lowered in volume, clearly wanting me to do the same.

A childish squeal left my lips as I pounced on the man, embracing him tightly. It had been years since we touched, let alone hugged. “Oh thank you! I won’t let you down.” I tore away with haste and went back to the door.

“You’re leaving now? But it’s dark.”

“Of course! I have to. Otherwise, someone else will find the Zeolite before me. Don’t worry, we got those shipments of Lumos stones the other day.” I hurriedly grabbed my pickaxe and shovel in each hand. “I gotta go. Thank you, father.”

Without hearing another word, I rushed out the door and towards the tapering mountains. I lived in the biggest mining district of the Kingdom of Knighia, but in the smallest village named Deerbreak. It’s the last village before the Bhakh Mountains to the west, and the neighboring Kingdom of Dilargunstan to the north. Dilargunstan is our biggest buyer of goods, though their money doesn’t have as much value in Knighia.

Dilargunstan is the land of creation. It’s the kingdom where everything and anything is made. It is a rather rich country but a tough one to reside in. Dilagrunstan is the most industrial of the nations and is nicknamed by our people as the Blacksmith country.

Knighia, on the other hand, relies heavily on imports from other nations. Everything is much more expensive here than in any other country for this exact reason. Well, that and because Knighia is the land of mages. Knighia is a strong kingdom that is home to the largest mage academy in the world. More mages have been born in this country than any other, and therefore revolve their entire political and military system based on it.

I had been stuck in Deerbreak for as long as I could have cognitive thought. My mother and father, naturally, were born and raised here long before they had children. The thought of venturing out to distant lands was never big on my father’s mind. I’m not even sure he’s ever left the village before.

But knowing that I could prove, not only to myself but to my family, that life flourishes outside this humble village powered me. Despite working nearly all day, I felt no tiredness in my muscles or mind. Instead, vigor filled my being. A feeling I had missed like an old friend.

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