The Kolarin Cycle, Book One: Wildfire

(Haven't edited yet, there may be a few mistakes)
I came up with the idea for Wildfire a while ago but i was busy at the time and i never got around to it, but now i've finally started so here it goes. Wildfire is about a boy named Castir who was abandoned by his mother when he was little, she had given him into the care of a travelling circus of thieves, he quickly learns the skills of an acrobat and starts being sent on more dangerous missions, but the death of a loved one followed by the biggest heist of his life could ruin his.

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20. Chapter 19 A Life Of Lies

It had been three days since the group had finally arrived in Calor. Their time in the Tree had proven that no matter how often you lived in there, you could never find your way around. Whenever they asked for directions all they found out was that nobody knew where they were going either. The Tree was a maze of carved tunnels and rooms, almost every room was made out of wood, except for the blacksmith in one of the roots, the walls, floor and roof had been lined with stone too stop anything from catching fire.

The training room was beneath the tree, hidden amongst the roots. It wasn't that hard to find, all you had to do was continue going down until you reached the bottom floor. Castir found it easier to climb out on one of the platforms that serve as places for people to rest from climbing the stairs. He jumped from platform to platform as a way of finding his room about halfway up the trunk.

Only once had he been to the very top, and that was to recount on the journey he had undertaken with his friends. A small building was hidden amongst the branches and leaves, there was even a small garden with a pond and red bridge as decoration.

'The Caloran's love to decorate.' He remembered Rosemary telling him as they walked towards the building.

Castir now spent most of his days training and sitting in his room. He hardly ever saw Naran or Emelra as they had rooms on different floors.

The woman Emelra and Glacieus had protected was in one of the hospital floors recovering from trauma and two broken bones from being squeezed by the vines.

There was a soft knock at his door, followed by two hard ones. Castir opened it and found a young boy running on the spot in front of him.

'Can I help you?' Castir asked.

'Yes, follow me the Master wants to see you.' He said before whizzing off down the hallway.

'Wha-wait up!' Yelled Castir as he raced off after him. He was fast, much faster then Castir. He didn't seem to either tire or get lost in the tunnels of the tree.

Castir was a natural runner as was all Buran's but this kid was something else.

He continued to scale stairs, bound down corridors and push open doors in a seemingly random pattern. But eventually Castir found himself wheezing outside the small stone building at the top of the tree.

'What's your name kid?' Asked Castir. The boy was still running on the spot, not even close to being out of breath.

'Jet.' He said, before he began to run around the building in a circle then back to Castir.

'Fitting.' Castir mumbled.

'In there, Master wants to see you,' said Jet before running inside.

Castir followed and found the Master at the back of the room, still blanketed in shadow.

'Castir, I assume you have recovered from your trip?' He asked to which Castir nodded in reply.

'Good, in two days you and four others will set out on a mission, your leader will have that mission and will brief you before you set off.'

Castir nodded in agreement then began to move towards the door.

'I'm not finished with you yet. Your lucky I'm putting you on this mission, the council didn't wish me to tell you this. But they are disappointed in you failing in the mission to capture Aine-'

'We did catch her, but when we were separated she got away-' Castir cut off.

The Master held up his hand silencing Castir.

'I don't want to here your excuses, I want to here the thud of Aine's head falling to the ground!' He shouted. Once Castir was sure The master was finished he apologised.

'Now leave, I need to think a little.' He said, waving his hand lazily toward the door.

Jet appeared from a side door and grabbed hold of Castir's wrist and dragged him out of the room and back to his own.

'Castir, do you think you could teach me to throw knives?' He asked as they jogged back to Castir's room. Castir had only managed to make Jet jog rather then sprint, so he could catch his breath. But Jet refused to walk, or even stand still for a minute.

'Sure, we can start after supper tonight, meet me in the training room.' Castir agreed as they came upon his room.

'See you then.' said Jet, as he raced back down the corridor to who knows where.

Castir sighed. 'That boy could grow up to be a skilled, and admittedly unique fighter.' He said to himself as he laid down on his bed to rest.

* * *

Jet was already in the training room after supper, he was grasping throwing knives in his hands and was trying to throw them at a target

'Wait a second speedy, your holding them wrong.' Castir said hastily, seizing the knives from the boy's hands.

'This is how you hold them.' He instructed. Holding the blade with his thumb, index and forefinger. 'These knives aren't like mine. I can hold the hilt with mine, but these must be held at the blade.' Castir explained focusing on the target.

'Don't you cut yourself?' Asked Jet. Castir broke focus and looked at the boy. He was obviously Buran, due to the spiky red hair and sharp green eyes.

Castir shook his head before asking, 'can you shoot a bow?'

Jet nodded before reaching for a nearby bow and quiver.

'These are mine.' He held them up proudly.

'Shoot that target back there.' Castir said. Jet drew his bow, the red feathers touching his lips.

Castir rested his hands on his shoulders, to try and get him to stop running.

'You won't be able to shoot if you don't keep still.' Castir instructed, laughing as he struggled to keep the boy's feet still.

'I can't, that's why I want to throw knives.' Jet replied, dropping his bow and arrow disappointedly.

'Ok, I'll teach you to throw.' Castir decided finally. The boy grinned broadly, then looked eagerly at Castir.

They went well into the night, practicing throwing from a still, or on the spot position, and running towards the target and running horizontally to the targets. The boy was a quick learner.

Eventually, Jet's mother came down and dragged him away to bed, leaving Castir to go back to his room alone.

The next day there was to be a festival followed by a ball held in the Tree. Castir had no intention on going and was content to sit in his room and sharpen his knives, but Emelra had other ideas.

'Castir, it's a BURAN festival, you my friend are Buran.' She said when she came to Castir's room carting suits for him to try on.

'I really don't feel like going, I'd rather practice.' Castir said scooping up his bow.

'Fine.' Emelra said before stalking out. Next Naran entered, looking shaken up. 'What did you do to tick Emelra off?' He asked. Before sitting himself on the large bed in the centre of the circular room. 'She wanted me to take her to the ball that's coming up.' Castir replied. He pulled an arrow out of the quiver and looked along it's length, checking for any imperfections, with distaste he threw it in the corner. 'Bent.' He grumbled with disgust.

'I'm going with Sage, you should come too, that way you can keep me company as those two get acquainted with the Council.' Naran offered. 'You wouldn't want to get to lonely would you, ok I'll go.' Castir agreed.

'Do you give me your word?' Naran asked eagerly. 'Yes, I give you my word I will attend the ball tonight.' Castir hurriedly replied.

'YES!' He screamed in a somewhat female voice. Naran's body began to shimmer like rippled water, and then Emelra was sitting on his bed pulling off a familiar mask.

'Turns out this is like your key and cloak,' she rolled up her sleeve, and sure enough a black outline of the mask was tattooed into her arm. Castir's mouth gaped open in surprise, to which Emelra stepped over and closed it for him.

'You swore.' She said as she walked out.

* * *

After a few traditional speeches, and the banquet filled with delicious fruits, nuts and berries, as this particular festival was to celebrate the start of the season of plenty,  meaning no meat was allowed to be consumed for the entire day. Castir fidgeted in his tight dress clothes. Emelra was over talking to Rosemary about something and Sage had just joined them so Naran wandered over to where Castir stood.

'You know they expect us to dance with them.' He was wearing slightly looser dress clothes then Castir, but looked to cause no less discomfort. Castir nodded solemnly and looked over at the couples dancing the women garbed in long elegant dresses the man in clothes similar to Castir and Naran's.

Sage finished her part of Emelra and Rosemary's conversation and dragged Naran onto the dance floor, he struggled to assume the proper positions, Sage having to place his hands exactly where they were supposed to go.

 He mouthed 'help me' before he spun off attached to Sage.

Castir leant back against the wooden wall. The ball room was located in the centre of the Tree, it took up almost and entire floor.

Castir stood attempting to stifle his laughter as Naran was whisked this way and that while Sage was lost in the steps. He didn't notice a woman approach him.

She was short, with long brown hair tied into many braids then tied together at the top of her head. She wore a short black dress and red high heeled shoes. Bright red lipstick was elegantly drawn on her lips, and dark eye shadow made her light blue eyes stand out.

'What's a handsome young man like you doing here all alone?' She asked innocently.

Castir marvelled at her beauty, when he tried to reply it came out as a cross between a hiccup and a moan. She giggled at his stupidity then tenderly touched his arm, her nails were long and painted.

Emelra glanced over and saw a woman in a short black dress running her finger down Castir's jawline. Jealousy bubbled up in her and as the woman dragged Castir onto the dance floor by his collar she seized a wine glass from a waiter that walked by. She approached them undetected as they were inside a huge group of people. Trying to avoid detection? Or just being sociable. Emelra wasn't sure but she certainly didn't like the way the hoe put her hands around Castir's neck. Eventually they separated and Emelra took the opportunity, standing slightly behind Castir, she tossed the wine glass over her shoulder and straight onto the young woman. Staining her dress and covering her skin. Then Emelra disappeared into the crowd.

The lights in the ballroom flickered for a moment then a huge rumble emanated from below them.

They heard screaming and more rumbles shook the Tree. Tables fell over and people began screaming running in all directions. The floor cracked and collapsed in the centre. Castir ran as fast as he could away rom the caving hole, people were falling into the hole, their screams barely heard over the rumbling. The girl he was dancing with had disappeared, presumably down the hole. He kept running, trying to find Emelra and Naran. He saw them standing next to each other, Sage in front of them her lips moving. Suddenly the hole stopped caving in and people who were almost in the hole stopped falling and were lifted to safety. Emelra wrapped her arms around him, she scowled at him and stomped off to help a woman with her children.

Most of the screaming had stopped, and eventually it was dead silent. But one noise was still at large, laughter. As the laughter got louder, three women rose up out of the hole. Seah and Merrin were two of them, but the third a mystery. Merrin was the source of the laughter, a blast of air knocked the people Sage had saved down to the hole.

'Oopsie.' She said cackling again. A blast of magma shot towards her, only just missing it's mark as Merrin flew out of the way.

'HOW DARE YOU TRY AND HURT MY FRIEND!' The mysterious woman screamed before dropping to the ground and tackling Rosemary, they went straight through the side of the tree and out into the night.

Castir glanced at Naran who signalled for Castir to follow him. They ran out of the ballroom and soon after Emelra joined them as they sprinted towards Castir's room where they had left their weapons.

Castir's heart raced, he thought of how Merrin had so easily killed all those people, with barely a wave of her arm, and the mysterious woman who had talked Rosemary out of the trunk. She was more then capable of looking after herself but still… When they reached Castir's room Castir ripped off his jacket and pants, pulling on his tunic and trousers, Naran doing the same. Emelra simply tore off the sleeves and bottom of her dress and strapping on her spear. Castir strapped his throwing knives and cloak on, and tied the key now attached to a thin cord around his neck. Emelra pulled the mask out of bag and attached it to a strange device on her belt.

When they were ready Castir teleported them to outside the ballroom. Inside was a like a war zone, Sage and Thyme fought against Merrin, Thyme in the strange demon form like back in the forest, and Sage shooting huge beams of light at the airborne Merrin. Whilst Wela and two people Castir didn't know fought Seah, a woman in a short black dress and barefoot dancing and singing, attacking with shock waves and snapping her fingers towards her. The other a tall man with a floating curved blade of steel following his arm movements.

Most of the civillians had escaped, but some were lying on the ground with sustained wounds. Oak was running back and forth between them all scattering purple pollen over their wounds.

A blur of green flashed past Castir's vision, suddenly throwing knives were flying towards Merrin, just missing as the agile lady tumbled through the air. The blur stopped and in it's place stood Jet clutching several throwing knives from the training room.

We took off again, much faster then ever before, hardly even seen, running even along the walls and roof throwing knives towards Merrin. All the while Demon thyme punched and kicked at her, and Sage now hurling orbs of yellow light which created small explosions in the air, these still weren't affecting the air anti-elementalist.

'Castir make a portal for everyone to evacuate from, Naran you go and check to make sure everyone has left.' Emelra instructed. She pulled up her mask and assumed the shape of the woman from before, but she was all battered and bruised.

'Seah! I've defeated Rosemary.' She shouted creating a momentary distraction for Wela and the two strangers to land a combined hit on her knocking her into a wall.

Emelra pulled off her mask and threw one of her spears towards Seah's tunned body.

But she came too just in time, to deflect it with purple fire.

'ENOUGH!' She screamed. She gathered a huge ball of blue and pink flames in one hand and a smaller ball of purple flames in the other. She tossed the ball at Merrin and an orb of purple fire surrounded Merrin. Castir had finished wit the portal and almost everyone had disappeared into it. Leaving just Emelra, Castir and Oak in the ruined ballroom. Time seemed to slow down as Emelra sprinted for the portal and Seah slowly dropped the orb of multi-coloured fire. Oak made it to the portal first sprinting through it. Castir yelled something Emelra could not hear because the bomb had touched the ground, time sped back up and Emelra dived through the portal as the fire raced outwards. Castir slammed the door shut just as the flames were about to burst through and the old key fell to the ground.

The portal had lead to the centre of town, Emelra expected panic, but everyone was staring towards the Tree. The explosion hard ripped the Tree in half. The top half had tumbled down into the forest and the entire thing burned. One by one the townsfolk began to cry. Emelra had read that the people of Bura had worshipped that Tree, and now it was dead. With Seah's fire burning, it would not stop until it was reduced to a pile of ash.

Castir was sobbing beside Emelra, he had only been apart of Bura for a little while, and already a large part of his new life was destroyed.  Two dark shapes flew up out of the tree and flew off into the night.

Wela came running over.

'It's Rosie, we can't find her.'

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