Chapter 3 - Start of a Journey
by Ashna

GOMEN NASAI!!! My ability to write just went pppffftttt and I haven't touched ANYTHING in months! I is so sorry! I will write more again. My hand is feeling better so I write! Hell I'll even try for the cheesecake again since people are STILL complaining that I stopped. Funny people. Anyway hope you all enjoy!
Oh and Empress forgive me for what I did to the band. Remember how I said I was going to use them in this fic? Well... Sorry?


After a few days of lounging about and recovering from their travels Takeru, Yamato and Koushirou sat down in Koushirou's quarters to discuss why Takeru had been pulled form the field after all this time. Yamato's face looked grave and Koushirou chewed nervously on his lip.

"Several months ago some very strange things started happening in the magical lines in Nanika. Stranger still because no one in that country uses magic. It's strictly forbidden. Even forbidden to speak of magic," Yamato started from the foot of Koushirou's bed.

"What is truly worrisome about this Takeru, is that slowly the magic is being.. How to say... drained away from the land. We only took note of this when farmland on the borders started having drought like reactions from their crops. Yet the weather has been perfect for the season," Koushirou said from his position on the windowsill, having gave the only chair to Takeru.

Takeru nodded following where this was headed.

"So the attention of the High King was brought to note when we discovered where the problem is. He contacted us because we can pass into Nanika without being challenged. We sent a team out about a month ago but..." Koushiro faulted his face troubled.

Yamato finished for him. "There was a surge of power felt just a few furlongs inside the border. No one saw what happened but we felt it even here. They are dead. Or at least we hope so."

"Just like that? A full team of professional, just gone?" Takeru gasped unsure if he could understand the implications of what his brother and his lover had just said.

"One of our best teams. I might have wished Istu to the bottom of a well but not this," Koushiro said turning away from the view of the stables he had from his room.

"So it was them? It's hard to believe that they were stopped. Wasn't Toshiki several levels above you Koushiro?" Takeru asked eyes wide.

"Yes he had reached adept level several years after coming here. I only just made it last year," Koushiro said quietly.

Takeru sat there trying to understand. A top team of professionals was sent openly into a country, normally known for it's peaceful ways and aversion to magic, then were killed by magic before they'd traveled two hours into it.

"So none of them survived at all? No bodies?"

"One did survive but I wouldn't call it surviving. Akemi was found just inside the border two weeks later. We don't know how he got there... But his mind was broken. He must have been linked to Toshiki when it happened. We couldn't find out anything from him. Whatever happened has erased any traces of memory from him. He didn't even know me," Yamato finished painfully.

He'd been quite close with the group throughout their training. Their highjinks and pranks now well known in the city. Takeru sighed having a feeling he knew where this was heading.

"So I was called in for what purpose?"

"The council thinks it best if this is investigated by stealth this time. We won't say we're coming and our cloaks will be left behind. None of us are particularly well known in that area of the world so no one will know us. We might not be as strong as Istu and Toshiki but with Koushiro along we'll have the backing we need," Yamato told him gravely.

"All right then. When do we leave?"


Daisuke bounced in the saddle eager to be off. Even the prospect of coming up against a powerful wizard and high risk of death didn't deterred him from his cheery manner. Taichi was grinning as well, walking his horse beside the younger boy, both chatting happily about this or that.

Yamato and Takeru shared a grin at their partners' attitudes, such stark contrasts against the brothers' more easy going manner.

Koushirou was taking to the trip not quite so well as the young brothers and their partners. His talents being more inclined to study than active usage he was unsteady and awkward on his mount. He was learning but it was slow going. The first few nights had left him with saddle sores and had him showing off a more vile tongue than some thought he had.

"Why did they pick me for this?" Koushirou moaned miserably.

"Because you're the strongest Sorcerer we have. You were stronger than Toshiki just... You read too much instead of using your powers. We need your back up here Koibito. SO deal," Yamato said with a sympathetic smile.

"Easy for you to say you like this type of thing. I much prefer my books..."

The two continued to squabble light heartedly as Takeru looked out at the fields they passed. The gently swaying wheat reminded him of his dreams with Ken. Dreams that had not occurred for some time. In fact, he hadn't seen those quiet violet eyes in over four months. He worried just that much more every morning. Especially since even his own side of the dreamscape was locked from his sleeping mind.

He was sure if he just worked past that troublesome block he would find some clue as to what had happened to his far off love.

*Tonight. I will ask for Koushirou's help. He knows more then me about these things. Maybe then I will know what happened.*


Atror Susrirdolor walked into his chambers with a smug smile. Things were going exactly as he had always planned. Even the meddlesome sorcerers sent by the High King had been no match for his growing powers. He's gathered those self assured little fools and given their fresh minds and power to his creature. One could not call the little prince anything more than that. His humanity and sanity where long gone as far as the ambassador could tell.

The Prince sat waiting in a chair by the fire, watching the flames with no real interest. His dark violet eyes dominating a face blank of any true thought. He sat limply as if the effort to carry his body was too much. The boy was often tired by the end of the day. Slowly Susrirdolor would drain away the boy's power, adding it to the store he was building from the land itself. That power was what made it so easy to cull the noisy brats.

"How went the... Interrogation my Prince?" Atror said sitting in the other chair, opposite the boy.

The blank eyes rose and awareness flooded back. It was a mad look, one filled with hate and anger. Nothing but aggression and greed.

"They were less than cooperative. Quite stubborn in fact. In the end I merely stripped their minds. Not quite as useful anymore but they still have power. Though, the one is useless now. He was merely the brawn of the group. I will dispose of him shortly," Ken said with a cruel smile absentmindedly cleaning some dried red substance out from his fingernails.

"So messy when they start to bleed like that," he fussed turning to a dark corner of the room.

"Toji go get something to clean my nails. They're filthy and I can't quite go to court with them like this."

The little green haired boy darted quickly to the door, every limb trembling with fear. Knowing that if he made a mistake or if even Ken thought he made a mistake he'd feel it in his skin shortly.

"Why do you keep the boy? He's a liability my Prince," Atror murmured not liking the one bit of defiance Ken had shown him by keeping the boy.

"He's Mine. I keep him," Ken ground out glaring at Susrirdolor.

Susrirdolor nodded his consent. Though that bit of defiance still worried him.


THERE!! A new chapter! Woo that took me awhile to get out. Yay for reading David Eddings to get me inspired. Was the kind of epic style reading I needed to know how to keep this going.


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