“Run me through the plan again,” demands Garen, my personal Defender, pacing back and forth in front of me.
I chuckle, falling backwards onto my bed. It swallows me as I sit, which makes me huff. Garen pauses his pacing and delivers a swift kick to the base, which pops me right back up.
“Thanks!” I exclaim, giving him a wide smile. He narrows his eyes at me, and I laugh. To most, his demeanor is incredibly off-putting.
Naturally radiant silver hair, a spotless dark brown complexion, sharp teeth, icy blue eyes. Well, his eyes are actually a very average shade of blue, he just looks a bit mean. So, icy works too. His features are hard; sharp jawline, defined brows- which are naturally black, not to mention the same colour as the scales on his wings. His genetic code is a mystery, I know.
My point is, he’s a bit serious. He’s not always like this, though. When we were kids, he was extremely mischievous. Then his adoptive father, one of the head Guardians of the kingdom of Psuraelis, passed away. He was old enough to step into his role as a Guardian, and ever since he was assigned to be my Defender, he’s had a bit of a stick up his ass.
“Bao,” he snaps, drawing my head out of the moon. I give a sheepish smile before taking a deep breath, sorting out my thoughts for what felt like the billionth time that morning.
“First, we contact the kingdom of Tradillis. We ask for an alliance, which may or may not go in our favour.”
Garen nods, shuffling his wings a bit behind him. I love it when he does that- the sound it makes reminds of skipping stones on water. “Why wouldn’t they accept?”
I tug on the ends of my braids, sitting upright on my bed. “Their last attempt at an alliance led to a war, not to mention how prideful their Monarch is. It’s going to be hard to convince her of anything, so we have to make it seem like it’s her idea. But, given the state of their kingdom, they should be eager to accept help. Plus, we were all unified before the war,” I add, grimacing a bit.
The images of the Tradillian lands have spread all throughout Coras. The Great Union of Coras, which had previously consisted of the Tradillis Kingdom, the Azana Empire, the Gemarian Tribes, the Psuraelis Kingdom, the Ipania Dynasty, the Webresia Kingdom, and the Western Eneryn Tribes, is now down to the last four.
The war was terrible for Coras. While most of northern Coras had gotten defensive training against dark magic, the southern parts believed their machines and weapons could win the war. Unfortunately, they were greatly mistaken. Luckily, the northern kingdoms of Coras won the war, and have slowly been aiding in the reconstruction of southern Coran lands.
The war ended nearly thirty years ago. The dark magic from the Xalloneian soldiers, the second strongest army in Ethenos- across the Treacherous Sea- have left much of southern Coras’ soil barren and un-breakable.
As the south focused mainly on weaponry and stripped resources (which was forbidden up until the formation of the Great Union of Coras), they had the most trouble undoing the terrible magic in their lands. The Tradillis Kingdom, Azana Empire, and Gemarian Tribes all belong to southern Coras, and therefore were hit the hardest.
Most of this information is taught to the general public, but my amazingly extensive knowledge on it is thanks to my incredibly debilitating curiosity. I pestered the King for years before he gave all of that up.
The only reason he did was because I, Bao Yujo, was appointed the official Amity Conservator of Coras.
Big deal. Big, big, BIG deal!
I’m the youngest Amity Conservator to ever have taken the position. I’m fairly certain I was only appointed because of my emotional magic but I like to think it’s because of my charming personality.
The Amity Conservator does exactly what it sounds like- conserves the fragile amity between nations. Coras, Ethenos, Salinda, Vissily, and Polianus are the nations of this planet, separated by terribly hazardous waters. Hence why no war has ever been fought outside of our respective national land.
Which is why the war (which had originally started fifty years ago is a huge deal. I’m supposed to be the one who goes down to Ethenos, the nation that attacked us, and smooth everything over.
A dangerous job, for obvious reasons. Which is why I came up with my plan. Getting the help of Tradillis, along with-
“Gods damn it, Bao! Quit zoning out, this is important!” I jump out of my historical stupor, wincing at the volume of Garen’s voice.
I look up at him, softening. He’s rubbing his claws (I call them claws, but they’re really just super long, sharp nails) together, and his wings are quivering.
I can tell he doesn’t like the idea of me going across the Treacherous Sea. I stand up, coming to stand next to him. I’m incredibly small next to him, as his dragon genes put him up at almost seven feet tall.
We stopped measuring against each other back when his father died. I used to be taller than him, when we were little. I stopped growing halfway through five feet, and he shot up like a beanstalk.
I move around him, planting my hands at his shoulder blades, right where his wings sprout from his thick skin. My hands move down over his wings, soothing him.
I could use my emotional magic, but we promised each other we’d never use our magic on each other without consent. Which honestly, really only went for me. His magic is the same of a dragon, so his fire breathing and incredible strength were an obvious no.
“I know you’re scared, Gem,” I mumble. I started calling him Gem when we were kids. Much like a dragon, he likes shiny metals and stones more than anything- which I find absolutely adorable.
I smooth my hands down over his quivering scales, resting my forehead against his spine, feeling for his breathing and heartbeat.
“I know I can do this, okay? I’m more than ready for this journey,” I continue. I feel him force his breathing to slow down, the muscles in his spine moving deliberately.
“Would you like me to help?” I whisper, stroking his wings softly. I feel him tense for a second, but his quiet ‘yes’ makes me smile.
I move my hands from his wings, wrapping my arms around his torso and hugging him tightly.
“You’re calm,” I mutter, hearing my own voice get deeper. “You’re in control of your emotions, your body, and your mind,” I affirm.
My magic doesn’t need physical contact, nor does it need reaffirming words. I could be saying something completely different, but as long as I’m maintaining eye contact or focusing on a target the result will be the same.
After a few seconds, I feel his heartbeat ease into his familiar rapid thump. I release him, moving around to his face. His soft smile makes me beam. He rolls his eyes at my expression, ruffling up my hair.
I bat his hands away, whining. “Hey, these braids take forever! Hands off,” I pout, reaching up and patting the top of my head, checking for unruly wisps.
I run my hands down my long black hair, tugging the ends. The braids end just past my hips, and they’re incredibly thick.
It took me years to develop the style, but it’s signature to me. I love my hair so much.
I snap myself out of my thoughts before Garen can, craning my neck to look up at him.
“Alright, I need to present my plan to the King. Are you coming?” I ask hopefully. Garen and the King have a love-hate relationship- as in Garen hates him and the King thinks he’s the best thing since sliced Psalva.
A Psuraelian delicacy.
Garen is shaking his head before I can even finish my sentence. “You know you’ll never get his attention if I’m there,” he points out, shuddering. I laugh a bit, shaking my head.
“All right then, royal pet. Wish me luck,” I tease, giving him a wink as I turn on my heel. I think I hear him yell an obscenity after me, which makes me laugh.
I take a deep breath, venturing towards the royal quarters.
I can do this. I've only got the fate of Coras on my shoulders, right?
Hi, guys! I know I said I'd try to work on Rebel (and I am!!), but inspiration struck me for this one. I don't know where this is going or if this is even going to continue for very long, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless! I'm working on a chapter of Rebel now, so hopefully that'll be out for you guys soon.
See ya later, ducklings!