The Four

A Fire among the Plains
Gives birth to four
Four shall rise
Among the evening star one will fall
The chaos plague will be cured
When four becomes one.

Joe didn't know if he would live another day.
Jack didn't know when he would see a peaceful day.
Jay hoped her secret would stay hidden forever and life wouldn't change
Joan never wanted to see the people who plagued her dreams.

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2. The Four: Orders

“So?”

Jack watched Tiran set two cups, filled to the brim. Jack wasn’t going to drink any, he never liked the taste of alcohol.

“We’re in a predicament.” Tiran pushed the cup towards Jack and took another sip. “You kind of went crazy yesterday.”

“I-“ Jack couldn’t even give an excuse. He broke their promise. The one they made as little kids when Tiran saw how strong Jack’s connection with Aura was. The Aura was how Jack made a flaming sword. Jack sighed sitting back in the chair. The crowded room was so content. Groups were drinking, laughing, and even yelling at others. There was ever an arm wrestling contest in the middle of the room. The only table that wasn’t having fun was Jack’s table. How can they be so happy when the world was at war? Not just against other races but also religious.

“I saw.” Tiran set his cup on the table. Jack nodded numbly. He was surprised that no one in the room had recognized him. He was the only one in the room with bright red hair. “You’re getting stronger.”

“Or I just know how to use my Aura”

The thin man lost at the arm wrestling match. “Your still getting stronger.”

“When is that a bad thing?” Another man sat down ready to beat the winner.

“Your drawing attention” Jack smirked in annoyance. Of course, that’s what he was worried about. Not congrats on getting stronger.

“Wasn’t that the whole plan?” Jack glanced at Tiran who nearly choked in his drink.

“Plans change, Jack. It isn’t the same atmosphere as before. Kingdoms are going to be destroyed and there will be was” The Winner won again. The crowd was going wild. Yelling and betting for another to beat him. “You’re in the King’s eyes”

“The King?”

Tiran took Jack’s drink. “You defeated a Gordum, idiot” Another man sat down. This one looked confident. “I’m supposed to deliver you to the King, tomorrow. Everyone is watching you, Jack. From what I’ve heard the gossip of one man defeating a Gordum has reached Sandrim. I was just on a mission there, less than a day ago. It usually takes longer for anything to reach there.” Jack nodded watching the arm wrestling.

“What’s the delivery?”

“You, alive, tomorrow at the private gardens.”

Jack shook his head. Now that meant he was in huge trouble. “I wonder why not the throne room. How soon for the war?”

“It’s a ticking time bomb. One wrong move and-” Tiran held out his hand. The smallest flame lit in his palm. Jack covered the flame.

“I’m sorry”

“Too late for that” Tiran finished off the drinks. “Besides we’re are in too deep.” Tiran moved his hand away and his gaze fell on the match. “Too many pockets.”

“Don’t give up on me, kid” Jack smiled, and Tiran nodded. A mischievous smile spread across his face.

“Don’t mess up” Jack laughed.

 

“Your Highness”

Jack knelt on one knee and bent forward. He could see his reflection in the floor. He looked to calm for meeting the bloody king.

“Tiran! I knew trusting you with this important task was right. Stay, boy” The King’s booming voice echoed through the gardens. These plants were not grown in the Kingdom of Blash. They had to be plants from the other Kingdoms.

“Yes, you Highness” Tiran was next to Jack also bowing. The King was said to make all his subjects to bow whenever he was in the room. What pettiness.

“Jack Strong. A nickname, I presume. Stand boy.” Jack slowly stood up but didn’t not meet the gaze of the King. His gaze fell on the Queen. She looked like she was looking at horse dung. So, the rumors were false. The Queen was not a gentle soul who didn’t care about status.

“So, you defeated a Gordum?” It was actual smaller than the one Jack defeated when he was a kid. Hence the promise was created. The promise he broke. “Where do you hail?”

“Sandrim, your majesty.”

“Sandrim? When did you leave?” The Queen asked. She touched her finger to the clear pot on the table top. The water instantly boiled.

“I lived there for three years, before coming to train here. That was thirteen years ago.”

“Ah, and your parents?” When had the Queen taken over the conversation. Was she always the one speaking? She flicked her hair and sipped her tea.

“None, your majesty.”

“An orphan? That’s not rare. Did your parents- remind me, dear the village… Sandrim was it? Didn’t something happen there?”

“The village is recovering from the failed-”

The Queen had interrupted the King with a wave of her hand. The King wasn’t in charge. The Queen was. So, it’s her fault. Jack’s fists curled. “Failed? I thought it went smoothly. Never mind. Answer my question, orphan.”

“No, I was an orphan before the collapse of the Seal.” The Seal had a prison for the enemies of the Goddess Volca. After sealing them away, the Goddess had fallen into a deep sleep. People say she’s been sleeping ever since. The broken seal had released hordes of enemies.

There was a reason Jack had made a promise to lie low, “Tiran, I heard that this boy made a claymore from fire. Along with injuries, a dislocated shoulder and a bite in the other shoulder. Somehow, you are still standing here. Is that what I am to believe, orphan”

Jack swallowed his anger. “Protecting the Kingdom comes before my own life. I took an oath to the throne”

“Well let’s see it.” The King glanced at her in shook. Jack stole a glance at Tiran who looked petrified. “Make the claymore, orphan” Jack knelt back to the ground.

“I do not wish to defy orders but I’m afraid the space given to me might turn to ash. The road is still scorched from the claymore.” It was bigger than a claymore.

“Just make something. Not many can make a fully functioning weapon out of pure fire.” Jack angered the Queen. He could hear it in her voice. Jack stood up and looked the Queen directly in the eyes. She didn’t even blink. Jack held out his hand. A small dagger would quench her curiosity, he thought. The bite burned suddenly. Rubbing his shoulder, he focused on his hand.

How had he done it? He tried thinking back but his shoulder was burning, breaking his memory. Blue flames glowed slowly. Jack stopped thinking about it. He dropped his hand. The blue flame hovered in front of him. Except it wasn’t a ball of fire. It was a short dagger. Simple like the ones Tiran wore.

Jack grabbed the blade and offered the hilt towards the royals in front of him. The King looked shocked at the gesture, but the Queen looked pleased. Something in her eyes frightened Jack. The dagger faded slowly. Jack let his hand fall to his side and knelt back on his knee.

“You both are dismissed.”

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