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|More from NightBird||Action/Adventure, Romance, Drama||PG||None yet||None|
|Prologue (Birth of a Nation)|
'The death of Avatar Taur brings partial grief and complete joy to the Fire Empire. 17 years in the future, a young noble maiden called Zorin receives shocking news.
The night sky above the Fire Empire had become a black canvas were a thousand colors lived their ephemeral existences. The fireworks made the moon look shy that night. The frenzy of the sky was the same in the land. Millions of souls took the streets and began to celebrate in the cities, towns and villages. Even the smallest settlements in the continent were in festivity.
Banners with the Sages' insignia were waved, in every corner street-artists began their acts, men got hand of their finest liquors, and women dressed on their most expensive ornaments. Thousands of voices fused and simultaneously praised the sages, the nobles, life and their gods. The chaotic and lively scene was a mixture of primitive nationalism, and hope. Who could tell that after the death of an Avatar so much joy would be born?
"Honorable council..."The voice of a young sage echoed in the Council Chamber. After meeting with the Sage's and Fire Lord's gaze he bowed in a respectful gesture.
"The parade is about to begin. His majesty Fire Lord is requested to deliver his speech. Respectable elder sages and His majesty Fire Lord Zolor, with your permission I retreat." The young sage stated as he exited and bowed again.
He spoke to the fifteen sages who sat in a table shaped like a half moon. On the far-side of the room in a highly decorated throne sat a man dressed like a noble. He had a golden hair-piece and his red cloths were adorned with golden contours. The man gave airs of bravery and leadership, which clashed with the sages' aura of peace and fortitude.
The Chamber was the meeting place of the Council of Elder Sages and the Fire Lord. These were the wisest sages, only handful had attained such level of wisdom, patience, and determination to rule the Fire Empire. Their decision did not only had governmental importance, but also economic, and spiritual. The Fire Empire was a theocracy, in which everyone participated and to a certain degree understood the universe thanks to the sages. Schooling was free, and most of the time peasants children who shown the abilities and virtues of a Sage became one eventually. The Fire Lord in the other hand was a title which was donned by the most influential noble heir. The nobles themselves had to choose who would represent them before the Sages, and who would serve as the empire's figurehead.
"We will continue this discussion later. We cannot leave the masses waiting." The man in throne, the Fire Lord, said in a respectful tone.
"Indeed, it's time." One of the Elder sages replied with a fatherly tone.
"We cannot postpone this issue anymore. Sages have been found dead along the empire. Seven corpses in three months, that's not a coincidence. The public is ignorant as we managed this crisis in secrecy. The Nobles are behind this! I know it!" Another sage yelled to the Fire Lord Zolor.
"Sage Seon, the nobility are not behind this. It has been centuries since the Red and Black Flame Wars ended. I doubt any noble still holds animosity over the war. Moreover, we own our privileges to sages. I deduce the sages' Honor Guards were being negligent and some radicals took the chance." The Fire Lord replied.
"Zolor! Who but a noble would dare to hurt a sage? Indeed, you nobles own all to us. But it's obvious that we are being exterminated." The sage said as he rose from his seat in violent fashion.
"Honorable council, the Fire Lord is clearly attempting to undermine the situation. I propose to start an in-deep investigation to find and deliver their fair castigation to the criminals. I propose to you brothers, to start a commission to solve this crisis, I propose myself as head of the commission." Sage Seon announced in a slow but critical tone as he gave malign gazes to the Fire Lord.
"We'll discuss this after the parade. For now, let's us go to there. This crisis will be addressed but later. Fire Lord Zolor we await you." Yet another sage stated as he made his way to the door.
Soon everyone in the room began to get out. Zolor lead the way, and the sages followed close to him in no particular order.
Along each side of the hallways, two parallel lines of younger and minor ranked sages bowed respectfully to the Fire Lord Zolor and the Elder Sages. The hallway's silence began to fade and faintly sounds started. The crowd was on vulgar frenzy. A cacophony of a thousand screaming voices began to be heard. Music recalling military exploits along grandeur of the Fire Empire soon joined the voices in what seemed to be an endless magnificent demonstration of passion. This was multiplied by ten when the figure of the Fire Lord and the Sages appeared from the main balcony of the Imperial Palace.
"All of them are waiting for your words, Fire Lord." A sage who walked behind Zolor said in machiavellian tone.
Zolor began to make his way to the edge of the balcony closer to the crowd. The balcony was well high above the ground, everyone below could see him. A broad road were the soldier would march later separated the palace and the crowd. In this road, soldiers made sure no one got to close to the road.
"People of the Empire listen!" The Fire Lord screamed with an authoritarian tone that as soon as heard silenced the masses.
"Today... we come together as an empire entering an age of glory. No other nation on this world can pride itself to have their heads as tall as us. We have made strife into happiness, tamed pain and planted seeds of a golden future that today sprout majestically. I as leader of this nation cannot be more proud of my subjects. A Fire Lord is but a reflection of its Empire. Our age of glory is at hand!" An uproar began is the masses which interrupted the Fire Lord.
He lifted his hand making a signal and the crowd grew on silence.
"As you, I with a heavy-heart received the news of Avatar Taur's death. For who can have joy in his heart when such an admirable Avatar parts from our world? Taur fought all his life to see the Earth Confederacy at peace, which was an overwhelming deed that no one thought possible until Taur himself demonstrated us wrong. Taur was what an Avatar should be! But let's move on from the past and see the bright world Taur gave us. Every soul in this very moment is weeping tears of pain, Avatar Taur will be missed. But how can we be in such ecstasy when we lost the light of our days? We celebrate because our messiah, the next Avatar, will be born here..." Zolor after saying this was again cut short by the screaming and wild crowd. Moreover than ever they began clapping their hands and screamed with every force they had.
"Long Live the Empire! Long life to the sages! Long life to the Fire Lord!" The multitude yelled repeatedly.
He stood as if he was a giant. An aura of respect and glory permeated from him. His beard began to be moved by the winds, as if the wind currents loved him as much as the crowd below him and caressed him passionately. Now with a powerful stare silenced the crowd again.
He continued with his authoritarian yet full of finesse tone. "Our next Avatar, the savior of the world will be born to one of us. The breasts of one of our women will nourish him. We are in our Golden Age! We are but the most powerful nation on this world. Let's unite and pray that our Avatar is born with our spirit of fire. Let's us pray the he will be endowed with the virtues that makes us such a great land! Let's us pray that Avatar will be born in humbleness and this will clean his soul. Last night I had a dream, a dream were our Avatar was the greatest one to be born. I wish nothing less and with all our hearts we must continue to work our peace and prosperity! So says I, Fire Lord Zolor."
The Fire Lord's words struck everyone in their hearts. His tone was glorious and enticing, even those who were cynical were lead to believe his words.
Soon, the uproar began again. The crowd was exhausted but even with tired lungs and sore throats their screams were heard lauder than ever. Soon the military parade started. Hundreds of red-dresses soldiers looking like falcons began to descend from the street in segmented battalions. An infinity line of soldiers which movements were mechanical almost perfect held the flag of the Fire Empire. Four columns with robust and fiery-looking youth marched in sync. All of them raised a hand to the sky and fire emanated from their fingers. The fire rose to the sky and formed a giant dragon which danced graciously in the night sky as fireworks began exploding again. For the whole night the frenzied and crazed people intoxicated with passion and hope roamed the streets celebrating. For the rest of the parade, one battalion of each the Fire Empire's military branch marched cheered on by the crowd.
"Zorin, wake up!" The voice of an old lady struck the ears of a beautiful young maiden who was sleeping on her bed.
"Gooaah away. I went to sleep late... Wake me up in an hour..." Zorin mumbled while she put the sheets of her bed atop her silky black hair.
This was another morning in her life. It has been six months since her father sent her to the Earth Confederacy due to her rebellious ways. She did not mind it. No school, no ceremonies, nothing to worry about. She actually enjoyed living here, it was peaceful and she had to do no physical work.
"I did not wanted to do this..." The old lady said while she took a deep breath and moved her fingers up and down.
Zorin screamed in fear as she ran across her room trying to extinguish the fire the burned on her sleeping cloth. She soon put off the fire, and stared with malign eyes to old woman who laugh louder than thunder.
"This way I used to wake up your brothers! This brings me so many pleasing memories!" The woman said as she continued laughing.
In the meantime Zorin began to stretch her arms, and yawned hard. She then rubbed her eyes with her hands, and stared at the woman.
"Breakfast..." She stated with a sleepy-looking face and half closed eyes.
"Since you are awake get ready. I have important news for you!" The old lady said as she began to make her way out of Zorin's room, while laughing.
Zorin got ready mindlessly, thinking what she would do today. She might go fishing, but she disliked the idea of getting wet. She could go to the town, but she hated the smell of the markets and the food sold there. Then she remembered what date this was, her 16th birthday.
"Such luck... Now I need tolerate those idiotic noble girls coming over..." she though in hate about having another birthday party with the other Fire nobles living in this region of the Earth Confederacy.
This zone was where many Fire Nobles spent their spare time, the Fire Empire was a wonderful land, but this little corner in another continent was relaxing and had its little magic. The flora and fauna were beautifully carved. One could walk and find the brightest colored flowers or the greener grass one could dream. The climate was subtle and sunny, perfect for a summer vacation or perhaps a weekend get away from a noble's duty.
"I hope my meal is ready!" Zorin screamed as got out of her morning shower.
"Hurry down Zorin! Great news await you!" the old woman replied.
The house was a rustic one. The house had vast gardens and tall walls. Much of the house style was derived from old peasant's home. Thou of plebeian-like design it was equipped with all the luxury a noble needed.
Zorin came down from his room in the second floor. She arrived in the kitchen wearing the dress her mother had given to her as a gift. Zorin was a beautiful girl, and more than anything a prodigy. But she was a rebel, her parents and family got tired of her and sent her away. They hoped that this would make her change. They guessed wrong.
"Zorin!" The old woman said on a cheerful tone rushed to hug her.
Zorin hug her back. She rarely missed her mother, but she could not control herself when she found herself embraced in her mentor's maternal arms.
This old woman begged to go in exile with her, to share her destiny. She had raise and taught all of the Tsao's children. But Zorin was special for her. Even as a baby Zorin was attached to her. Zorin's first world "Mom" was dedicated to her. She understood Zorin's reasons for rebelling. That's why Zorin loved her so much.
"You are a woman now. I remember when I saw you as a baby. You have grown so much, like a flower you grown and are ready to bloom." The old woman said.
"Zorin..." She mumbled.
The old woman felt a crushing pain in her chest. She hid her feelings with a smile, like she always did in front of Zorin.
"You are getting married... a noble heir has been found worthy of marrying you..." She mumbled while the turmoil of emotions grew inside her.
Zorin's world fell apart after listening to these news.
For the collective works of the author, go here.