Chapter 2: War Alliance

On the outskirts of one of Balwar Kingdom’s villages, Zuriel and his soldiers were fighting off the invading enemy that had launched a sudden attack toward the village they were staying at. Zuriel shoved his sword into an enemy soldier and then yanked out slicing his sword at another invading enemy soldier. Zuriel was sweating as he swung his sword in different directions toward the enemy, connecting with flesh and blood.

Zuriel leapt back from an enemy attack and glanced at his other soldiers who were beginning to falter in their movements. Zuriel gritted his teeth and then jumped back again yelling, “Fall back!”

His men obeyed, running toward the village, but then the enemy began to fire stones covered in flames at them. Zuriel managed to smack one stone away with the flat of his sword, but to his horror, the flames of the stone began to spread along the grass at a rapid pace. Zuriel dashed away avoiding the rising flames as did his men.

As the flames grew closer to him and to the village, he felt that it was coming to an end and that Balwar Kingdom was finished, but then he heard the sounds of horns followed by the feel of a wave of water covering the flames. He glanced back as did his men and saw at the hills closes to the village a whole army of navy blue approaching with swords drawn, magicians with the different elements surrounding them, and archers in the trees. They seemed like heaven sent to the exhausted Zuriel and his men.

At the head of this huge army sat Shuyu on top of his white stallion and armor with the dragon grasping a ruby seal, the symbol of Azseldo Kingdom. Shuyu drew his blade and directed it toward the enemy soldiers with a smirk on his lips.

“ATTACK!”

The soldiers of the army charged down the hills toward the enemy, while the archers fired their arrows from a distance and the magicians summoned the elements to assist the soldiers. In a matter of moments, the army was upon the enemy soldiers.

Screams from the fight echoed throughout the area as Zuriel and his men stared in disbelief. Zuriel heard the footsteps of a horse and glanced over his shoulder, only to see Shuyu riding up to him. Zuriel and Shuyu met eyes as Shuyu descended his horse.

“By the look on your face, I believe that the messenger of your king never reached you,” stated Shuyu. Zuriel shook his head and asked, “You made an alliance with my father’s kingdom?” Shuyu nodded and then smirked adding, “With the promise that I get to marry your sister.”

Zuriel’s eyes widened as he muttered, “A promise of marriage for an alliance?” Shuyu nodded and then mounted his horse again. He smirked at Zuriel saying, “Let’s end this war together, brother-in-law.” Zuriel frowned saying, “You’re not my brother-in-law yet.” With those words, Zuriel and Shuyu charged toward the enemy side by side with their swords drawn.

Back in the castle of Balwar Kingdom, a few days after the turn of the war in Balwar Kingdom’s favor, Yanira, wearing a short sleeved green shirt and brown pants with brown shoes, was climbing up the outer walls of the castle with his bow and quiver over her right shoulder. She gripped the thick stones of the wall and pulled herself up, while pressing her feet firmly on the edges of the stone for support. She soon reached the top of the wall, pulling herself up and sat on the edge with her kegs dangling over the side. Yanira smiled looking across the horizon of the kingdom that was bathed with the rays of the rising sun.

The sun was a reminder to her that the war was finally in their favor since the alliance was made with Azseldo Kingdom. Their army had increased thanks to the support of Azseldo Kingdom and villagers were finally finding refuge for the long war. Her wish for the war to come to an end was slowly coming true.

Yanira noticed a seagull flying overhead and immediately jumped to her feet and loaded her bow. She aimed at the seagull and then released. The arrow whistled through the air before connecting to the heart of the seagull. The death was instant making the lifeless seagull fall from the sky.

Yanira then held two fingers to her lips and muttered, “Irmazu No Kayishu Fibimi Sino.” The wind began to encircle her and then rushed toward the falling seagull. The wind enveloped the seagull and then delivered it to Yanira. Yanira grabbed the dead seagull as the wind began to settle around her. Yanira giggled saying, “The spells of the priestess are really easy.”

Yanira suddenly heard Lucina calling her name and glanced down to the inner wall of the castle. Lucina was glaring up at her with her hands on her hips. Yanira smiled saying, “Hello, Lucina.” Lucina groaned yelling, “Don’t ‘hello’ me. I keep telling you to wait in your chambers until I retrieve you and don’t tell me it is because I took too long again!”

Yanira puffed her cheeks saying, “But I wanted to try some spells and the sunrise was very beautiful today.” Lucina sighed placing a hand on her forehead.

“I know you have mastered some of the spells in such a short time, but please consider that you are still young and still need training.”

“I know that, but it’s fine for me to be a kid sometimes,” stated Yanira. Lucina rolled her eyes and began to mutter the same words Yanira did to summon the wind in her aid. The wind lifted Lucina up raising her up to Yanira’s level. Lucina stepped onto the stone wall before Yanira making the wind disperse.

“Being a child is good and all, but I am old and need you to learn as much as you can when you are still young,” stated Lucina. Yanira sighed and nodded. Lucina smiled and sat Yanira down.

“I thought today’s lesson should be about marriage,” stated Lucina. Yanira tilted her head.

“Marriage?”

Lucina nodded and pulled out a rolled up scrolls from her baggy red sleeve. She unrolled it and showed the words upon it to Yanira.

“This is an ancient scroll of the priestess lineage concerning marriage. Unlike the royals, who are engaged by the parents’ wishes, priestesses, such as me, are meant to marry our soul mates.”

“Soul mates?”

Lucina nodded, continuing.

“Soul mates are people who are meant to be together since they are born. This connection is so strong that nothing can split them apart, not even death.”

Lucina pointed at a heart symbol with two dove wings in the center and stated, “This mark will appear on the person meant for you and only soul mates can see each other’s mark.” Yanira touched the mark in the scroll and then looked at Lucina asking, “When will I meet my soul mate?”

“When the time is right. In my case, I met my soul mate when I was seventeen during the festival grain season, sadly he passed away when we were twenty from the black illness, but after him, I have never married again and he is forever my one and only true love.”

Yanira smiled saying, “It sounds really romantic.” Lucina nodded and then frowned adding, “There is a word of caution though. If someone, not your soul mate loves you deeply and true then he will see your soul mate mark as well, but you will know he is not your soul mate since the soul mate mark won’t appear on him. Be careful of this since this could mean harm to you.” Yanira nodded in understanding.

Yanira placed a hand to her chest asking, “Where would the mark appear?” Lucina smiled and pointed at Yanira’s chest where her heart beats.

“Over your heart of course,” stated Lucina and then closed the scroll and stuffed it back into her sleeve. She looked over at the sun rise in the distance and then added, “You’re still young, so you have all the time in the world to find your soul mate.” Yanira nodded with a smile.

Lucina smiled as well, but her smile faded as she looked deeper into the distance. Lucina narrowed her eyes and pointed forward asking, “Tell me Yanira, what do you see in the distance?” Yanira narrowed her eyes looking in the direction Lucina pointed out and then gasped.

In the distance, fast approaching, were soldiers on feet or riding black horses waving a flag that held a silver falcon with an emerald in its talons, the symbol of the Chuluan Kingdom. Wind mages hovered over the army and at the head of this army was the King of Chuluan Kingdom, Neelam Sarari, wearing armor with the symbol of Chuluan Kingdom on the chest plate.

Yanira sprung to her feet with wide eyes saying, “How did the enemy get so close to the castle?” Lucina stood up as well placing a hand on Yanira’s right shoulder.

“I don’t know, but we must warn your father quickly,” stated Lucina urgently. Yanira nodded and was ready to leave with Lucina, but paused when she saw blades made of wind heading directly toward them. Yanira forced Lucina to duck as the wind blade whistled pass above their heads. The wind blade connected to a pillar of the castle and then vanished into thin air. Yanira panted from the rushed adrenaline as did Lucina and then heard a sarcastic chuckle from above. Yanira peeked upward only to see a male wind mage hovering before the wall of the castle facing them.

The wind mage wore deep purple long sleeved shirt with the Chuluan Kingdom Symbol sewed into the right of his sleeve and raven black pants matched with sturdy boots. Unlike the other wind mages’ brown hair, his was a deep blue like that of a cloudless sky and long enough to reach the mid of his back. His eyes were equally as blue and the crescent moon scar on his forehead was affirmation that he was indeed a wind mage, if the wind surrounding his body wasn’t enough. He looked around his twenties based on his young features.

The wind mage smirked at them as the wind increased around him.

“Who would have thought that I would meet others besides the look outs?” mocked the wind mage. Lucina stood up quickly pushing Yanira behind her.

“You are part of Chuluan Kingdom, are you not?” demanded Lucina. The wind mage nodded placing his right hand to his chest as he spoke.

“My name is Erion Bevaluri of Chuluan Kingdom and I have come to end Balwar Kingdom.”

Lucina narrowed her eyes and stated, “This is madness. The war leaned to our side when we made the alliance. Going straight for the kingdom’s castle is cowardly.”

The wind mage, Erion, chuckled as the wind increased around him.

“Cowardly? Cowardly was making an alliance without Chuluan Kingdom’s knowledge. Our kingdom is meant to win this war and if it means doing a surprise attack then so be it.”

The wind erupted from Erion’s form pushing Lucina and Yanira back. Lucina glanced at Yanira and whispered, “I need you to go and warn your father now.”

Yanira nodded and stepped back falling over the edge of the castle wall to the inner castle. Yanira held her hands together tossing her bow over her back and muttered, “Irmazu No Kayishu Fibimi Sino.” The wind wrapped Yanira slowing down her fall and placing her gently on the ground. Yanira then took off running into the castle.

Erion noticed Yanira’s running form and tried to throw a wind blade at her, but Lucina blocked him and muttered the same words Yanira spoke sending wind flying at Erion and forcing him back. Erion tumbled back, but used the wind to support him and glared at Lucina. Lucina smirked and stated, “I believe you were in charge of getting rid of the look outs while the army approached, but never expected Yanira and me to be up here and see all.”

Erion growled and stated, “I heard there was a priestess in this kingdom, who could for tell the future. Who would have thought it would be you?” Lucina smirked and stated, “I can only see the future when it is granted to me, but my sight had nothing to do with your failed mission. My dear student deserves the praise.” With those words, Lucina leaped up and pointed her fingers at Erion yelling, “Agnika No Kayishu Fibimi Sino!” From the tip of her fingers, flames formed and fired at Erion. Erion surrounded himself with wind as a shield, but was still forced back by the force of the flames.

Lucina then flipped to the side and held both hands together yelling, “Hutudan No Kayishu Fibimi Sino!” She split her hands and in an instant the front of her turned into a fist made of earth and punched Erion across the sky. Erion tumbled in the air and then shot wind blades at Lucina. Lucina pulled a steel fan from her sleeve and smacked the wind blades pass her form. Erion growled in frustration as the wind increased around him.

Lucina smirked unfolding her steel fan and stated, “I will not let Balwar Kingdom fall.”

Meanwhile, Yanira ran down the castle hall trying to get to her father and mother’s room, but she slid to a stop when she felt a chill run down her spine. She glanced over her shoulder and saw a man she had never seen before, dressed completely in black with half his face concealed only revealing his blue eyes. Yanira hid behind a knight sculpture and held her breath as she examined the man from a distance. She noticed the symbol of Chuluan Kingdom on his sleeve and clenched her small fists. She loaded her bow silently and waited for him to get into firing range.

As he got closer, Yanira took notice of the blood on his clothes and felt her heart race. There was so much blood and Yanira didn’t even want to know where the blood had come from. The man got closer to Yanira’s location making her heave out a sigh as she extended the string of her bow.

The moment he was in firing range, she jumped from her hiding spot and released the arrow at him. The arrow went through the man’s left leg making him give out a scream of pain. Yanira loaded her bow again and approached him cautiously with seriousness in her eyes.

The man met with Yanira’s eyes and muttered, “A child?” Yanira pulled the string of her bow pointing the arrow at his forehead.

“I may be a child, but I have a weapon, so tell me why you are here?” demanded Yanira. The man closed his eyes holding the arrow in his leg.

“I was sent by Chuluan Kingdom to kill the soldiers here before the army arrives, so no one can protect the royal family.”

Yanira gasped and asked, “You killed the soldiers?” The man nodded and seemed to smirk under his mask.

“Even if you tell the king now, it is too late. Balwar Kingdom will fall!” he yelled and then began to chuckle. Yanira frowned and kicked the back of his neck as hard as she could making him fall unconscious. Yanira kicked him again for good measure and then ran off again toward her parents’ room.

Yanira soon burst into her parents’ room forcing them awake and yelled, “Chuluan Kingdom’s army is coming. We have to run!” Alistair and Irina didn’t need to be told twice as they left their bed and rushed toward Yanira. Irina picked up Yanira cradling her in her arms, while Alistair grabbed his sword and began to lead Irina and Yanira out the bedroom door. They rushed down the hallway only to notice the bodies of the soldiers lining the walls. Irina gasped covering Yanira’s eyes with one hand, while Alistair showed a look of sadness.

They soon reached Xema’s chamber door and burst in waking up Xema from her slumber.

“We must go now, Xema!” ordered Alistair. Xema obeyed only grabbing a robe to cover her nightgown clad body.

They once again ran down the hall and toward a portrait of the royal family. Alistair placed his hand on part of the design of the portrait and began to turn it left right and then left again. They heard a clicking noise and the next thing they knew, the portrait opened up revealing a secret passageway.

Alistair stepped in first and urged his family to follow. Xema stepped in after Alistair and then Irina stepped in next still holding Yanira. Yanira felt a chill run down her spine and shook her head. She pried herself away from Irina and landed on the ground to her feet.

“Yanira!” exclaimed Irina. Yanira stepped away from her mother and stated, “We shouldn’t go in there.”

“What?” asked Alistair. Yanira showed a look of distress repeating her words.

Xema knelt in front of her little sister asking, “Why, Yanira?” Yanira gulped and stated, “Something feels wrong in there. It feels like the end.” Alistair noticed Yanira shaking and stepped out of the passage with Xema making Irina confused.

“What are you doing dear?” asked Irina.

Alistair looked at Irina seriously saying, “Yanira claims there is something wrong and I trust my daughter. We need to find another way out.” Irina nodded, but still looked unsure as did Xema.

Alistair knelt in front of Yanira and asked, “Where do you feel we should go?” Yanira clenched her small hands and stated, “The Chestnut Tree, it should be safe.” Alistair nodded and urged Irina and Xema to follow as he picked up Yanira and ran down the hall again.

They ran to the castle garden and then into the maze turning into different paths of the maze until they reached where the chestnut tree stood with the leaves of white and pink dancing in the passing wind. Yanira jumped from Alistair’s arms and ran under the chestnut tree. She pressed her hands to the tree with desperation in her face.

“I wish…”

“Yanira?” asked Alistair in concern, slowly approaching her as did Irina and Xema.

“I wish help will come to save Balwar Kingdom before it is too late!” exclaimed Yanira. The wind around the area increased making them close their eyes.

“I will do anything for you, princess.”

Yanira opened her eyes and could have sworn that she saw a man with white hair staring down at her with golden eyes and a smile, but he soon faded along with the wind. Alistair, Xema, and Irina opened their eyes and ran to Yanira’s side.

Alistair knelt next to Yanira and asked, “What did you do?” Yanira was silent staring up at the Chestnut Tree, but then felt like her heart was fluttering making her smile and look at her family.

“I think the war is over.”

“What?”

Yanira tugged on Alistair’s arm toward the exit of the maze and said, “We need to see to make sure, hurry, hurry.” Alistair followed his eager daughter with bewilderment as did Xema and Irina.

Yanira dragged them from the maze and back toward the castle wall where she original began and where Lucina was standing at with Erion lying unconscious before her feet. Lucina glanced down at Yanira and stated, “I see you got your father.” Yanira nodded and asked, “But was it necessary?” Lucina smiled and muttered the wind spell making the wind surround Alistair, Yanira, Irina, and Xema. The wind carried them to the top of the wall and placed them down gently before vanishing.

Lucina knelt next to Yanira and pointed into the distance again.

“Tell me what do you see?”

Yanira looked into the distance and smiled at the sight.

The enemy army was in complete ruins and standing over those ruins were her big brother, Zuriel, and the king of Azseldo Kingdom, Shuyu. Zuriel rode a black horse and Shuyu rode a white horse raising their swords in victory with their soldiers cheering around them.

Yanira looked at Lucina happily and said, “Big brother and Shuyu came on time to save the castle.” Lucina nodded and then smiled saying, “You might not believe it, but they just appeared in a flash and took down that army. They must have seen this treachery coming.” Yanira nodded with a giggle, while Irina, Xema, and Alistair stared in disbelief.

Xema glanced at Alistair and asked, “Could Yanira’s wish for help be the reason why they came so quickly?” Alistair smiled and shrugged his shoulders saying, “All that matters is that with that army fallen we may win this war.”

Lucina smiled at Alistair and stated, “Actually, you already won this war.”

“What do you mean?”

“The army that had fallen just now was being led by the King of Chuluan Kingdom himself. With the king gone, the war is won.”

All were silent as the information sank in and then Alistair burst into a bright smile and cheered with his family. Lucina chuckled in delight and then looked at Yanira again asking, “Do you remember what you read from the history book concerning Chuluan Kingdom?”

Yanira nodded stating, “Chuluan Kingdom had a long lineage, but the current king Neelam Sarari’s queen was barren, so he had a female wind mage bare him an heir. That heir became his only son and would rule the kingdom if he were to die whether from illness or in battle.”

Lucina nodded and then glanced at the unconscious Erion.

“What the book didn’t mention is that the young heir changed his last name so he could train to be a wind mage like his mother.”

Yanira gasped in realization and asked, “So the wind mage here is…?”

“That is correct, he is Erion Sarari, only heir to the Chuluan Kingdom throne,” stated Lucina. Alistair heard Lucina’s words and approached the fallen form of Erion. Alistair knelt before him and noticed his steady breathing.

“So you didn’t end his life?” asked Alistair. Lucina shook her head and stated, “I believe your majesty has the right to decide his fate, but be forewarn: this man may come back for revenge against you for his fallen Kingdom and father if you do not end his life.” Alistair sighed and drew his sword ready to impale Erion in his slumber, but he paused in his actions when he felt Yanira’s small hand against his. He looked at Yanira, who had a look of concern.

“I know killing him would prevent future trouble, but I don’t want to see anymore dead bodies today,” stated Yanira in a solemn tone. Alistair stared at Yanira and then at his wife and Xema, who looked just as concerned. Alistair sighed and sheathed his sword.

“Priestess, please seal his wind magic. I will strip him of his royal rights and make him a servant of Balwar Kingdom.”

Lucina nodded with a bow and stated, “It will be done your majesty and I will also add a slave seal to his chest to make sure he obeys your commands.” Alistair nodded in approval and then looked back at his family with a smile.

“How about we change into proper clothes to welcome back everyone?” stated Alistair making his family.

Yanira used the wind spell to bring her family down, but when she was about to go down herself, she felt Lucina’s hand on her shoulder making her look at her. Lucina leaned toward Yanira’s ear and whispered, “I didn’t tell your father, but I have a feeling this boy Erion will help you with your destiny.” Yanira nodded and then glanced at the unconscious Erion.

“I hope the slave seal won’t hurt,” muttered Yanira and then stepped off the edge muttering the wind spell to carry her down to join her family.

When Yanira was out of sight, Lucina tore open the front of Erion’s shirt and began to chant, “Agydapret” repeatedly as her eyes began to glow red and the tip of her right index finger turned pitch black. She lowered her blackened finger to his chest and began to draw a circle that burned to the skin. Within the circle she drew a black rose with thorns. The drawing soon began to glow red making Erion cringe in pain in his sleep. When the red glow faded, Lucina’s eyes returned to normal. She narrowed her eyes staring at the symbol.

“Your freedom is no more.”

Meanwhile, Yanira was in her chambers brushing her short red hair. She wore a silk pink gown with rose designs on the hem and hip and off the shoulder sleeves the same color as her dress. On her feet were pink slippers with a rose crest making them look like ballerina shoes. Yanira, after brushing her hair, added a pink rose comb to the left of her hair and then smiled in delight.

Yanira exited her chambers, but then noticed the servants that remained alive in the palace moving the bodies of the soldiers out of the hall using a large wagon. Yanira frowned remembering the man that ended their lives. Yanira rushed to one of the servants, shocking the female servant, and asked, “Did you see a man in black while cleaning the bodies?” The female servant shook her head.

Yanira puffed her cheeks in dissatisfaction realizing that the man had gotten away during the confusion of retrieving her family. Yanira sighed and walked pass the servant, after thanking her, and then headed to her parents’ room.

Yanira knocked lightly on her parents’ room asking, “May I come in?”

“You many enter, Yanira,” stated her father’s voice from the other side of the door. Yanira entered her parents’ room and saw that her father was wearing his royal attire of a king and her mother was wearing a violet dress with jewels of different colors lining her long sleeves. Yanira walked up to them and then bowed saying, “I am ready for the arrival of the victorious army.”

Alistair nodded and patted her head saying, “I can see that dear Yanira.” Yanira giggled pushing her father’s hand away gently and stated, “Stop it father, you’re messing up my hair.” Alistair chuckled and then knelt in front of Yanira with a smile.

“You know Yanira, while you were dressing, I had the servants check the secret passage and they found traps set everywhere in the hall as well as an explosive, the same explosive that destroyed the walls of our Kingdom. You preventing us from going in saved our lives, so thank you.”

Yanira giggled with a nod saying, “I just wanted us to be safe.” Alistair chuckled and then looked at Irina saying, “Can you go retrieve Xema from her chambers, while Yanira and I head to the throne room?” Irina nodded and then walked pass Alistair and Yanira and out the door.

Alistair held Yanira’s small hand and led her out of the room with a warm smile on his face. As they walked down the hall, Alistair glanced at Yanira and stated, “You know Yanira, if Zuriel wasn’t the eldest son then I would have made you queen of this Kingdom.” Yanira puffed her cheeks glaring up at her father.

“Don’t say that. Big Brother is going to be the best ruler when he takes the throne. Even better than you,” stated Yanira. Alistair chuckled saying, in a joking manner, “That hurts.” Yanira giggled in response.

They soon reached the throne room and pushed the doors open. The room was empty of any people making the silence deepen around the area. Yanira clenched Alistair’s hand lightly making Alistair give a reassuring squeeze to her hand.

“We lost many men because of this sneak attack, but we will recover as will the kingdom,” stated Alistair. Yanira nodded, but with a saddened look.

The remaining people of the castle prepared the throne room the best they could for the arrival of the victorious armies of Zuriel and Shuyu, while Alistair, Irina, and Xema sat on their thrones observing the servants. The throne meant for Yanira though was left bare. Yanira was among the servants helping to prepare the banquet tables. She organized the cooked food on the table and decorated the tables with silverware and dishes that looked of fine China.

Xema leaned toward Alistair and asked, “Is it really appropriate for Yanira to help the servants?” Alistair chuckled saying, “You should know Yanira by now that she is determined to help, even if she is of royal blood.” Xema giggled placing a hand to her bottom lip.

“Well she is a bit of a tomboy with her strange habits since she was young, but that’s what makes her my adorable unique younger sister.”

Alistair nodded with a smile, while his wife giggled on the side.

“Father!” called Yanira, getting Alistair’s attention. Yanira held up an empty plate and asked, “Can I add some lemon cookies to the banquet table?” Alistair nodded with a smile. Yanira cheered and ran out of the throne room with a female servant attending her.

Yanira ran down the hall smiling, but slid to a stop when she felt a breeze go through her hair followed by a small voice, “I will protect you.” Yanira shook her head and continued to go down the hall with the servant by her side, not noticing a white fox standing in the hall behind her. It watched Yanira walk into the kitchen of the castle and then walked through the walls of the castle like a ghost.

Afternoon soon arrived and the banquet tables were ready with the colors of both Azseldo Kingdom and Balwar Kingdom. The flags of both kingdoms hung over the tables in glory and fluttered in the fresh aroma of the dishes prepared on the tables. All the royals, including Yanira, sat on their respected thrones, the servants lined the wall where the soldiers once stood, and Lucina stood next to Yanira’s throne with her steel fan in her right hand.

Yanira glanced at Lucina and asked, in a whisper, “Is the Wind Mage OK?” Lucina sighed and whispered, “He will sleep until the next day, but I can’t say he will be alright knowing that his kingdom is no more as well as his freedom.” Yanira nodded and then glanced at Alistair, who looked ahead with seriousness in his eyes.

“Father, are they close?” asked Yanira. Alistair closed his eyes and clenched his fist using the power of a royal, which was to sense when someone of your blood was near. He could feel his heart race and his blood begin to boil. Alistair then opened his eyes with a smile.

“I believe they are just outside the door,” stated Alistair. At his words, the doors to the throne room swung open revealing Zuriel, Shuyu, Shuyu’s retainers, and their army. Zuriel smiled at Alistair and bowed his head saying, “I see that you knew exactly when I would be returning.” Alistair nodded, while Xema, Irina, and Yanira smiled at the sight of him.

Zuriel, Shuyu, and the others entered the throne room taking a seat at the tables with their country’s colors and flag. Zuriel and Shuyu approached the throne side by side with smiles on their faces.

Alistair smiled as well saying, “Our priestess claims that the king of Chuluan Kingdom was within the army that tried to do a sneak attack. Is this true?” Zuriel and Shuyu nodded. Shuyu held up a brown bag and stated, “I have here the head of the king of Chuluan Kingdom.” He tossed the brown bag to Alistair’s feet making Alistair jump slightly when he noticed a blood stain on the bag.

Shuyu gestured to the bag asking, “Would you like to check the head of the late king of Chuluan Kingdom?” Alistair shook his head saying, “I don’t want to give my wife and daughters nightmares.” At those words, Shuyu glanced at the girls of the family and noticed their pale looks. Shuyu nodded in understanding and glanced at Zuriel saying, “I think it is best you show the proof this time.”

Zuriel nodded and pulled a crown that was hanging from his scabbard. The crown had an emerald as the head stone with holdings that resembled that of talons from a predator bird.

“As you can see father, I hold the crown of the late king of Chuluan Kingdom. I removed it from the head before Shuyu bagged it,” stated Zuriel, eyeing Shuyu, who shrugged with a smirk.

Alistair nodded saying, “So this war really is our victory.” Zuriel and Shuyu nodded. Alistair stood up from his throne and announced, “The war is won, so let us rejoice this day!” all applauded and then began to feast.

Zuriel approached Alistair, while Shuyu went to his retainers, who sat closes to the thrones at the edge of the table. Shuyu sat on a chair and took a glass of the finest wine to his lips. Raul leaned toward Shuyu’s ear and asked, “Aren’t you going to bring up the agreement of marriage?” Shuyu smirked saying, “Let’s just enjoy the feast for now.” Raul and Kaysan both nodded taking a sip from their glasses.

Zuriel, on the other hand, leaned toward Alistair’s ear asking, “Did you really agree to marry off Xema to Shuyu?” Alistair nodded saying, “Xema didn’t seem to be against it. She’s been very excited for the end of the war just to marry Shuyu.” Zuriel smiled and nodded saying, “I know Xema loves Shuyu and the way he fought in the field, he is very determined to marry her.” Alistair nodded and then urged Zuriel to sit on his throne and eat. Zuriel did just that taking a glass of wine from a servant.

Yanira also ate her meal on her throne, but unlike her family she drank peach juice that sparkled in the light and ate lemon cookies as a side dish with her main course. Yanira would look at Lucina and offer her some cookies, but Lucina would kindly reject saying that she had already ate before the celebration making Yanira puff her cheeks in disappointment.

Shuyu saw this from a distance and would chuckle making his retainers stare at him with quizzical looks.

At the end of the feast, the soldiers that survived the war were sent home leaving only Shuyu, the royal family of Balwar Kingdom, Lucina, and Shuyu’s retainers in the room. Shuyu stood before the thrones with Raul and Kaysan by his side.

“I must be returning to my Kingdom, so I can have my council ready to discuss matters concerning the dividing of Chuluan Kingdom between our kingdoms.”

Alistair nodded and stated, “Send a messenger to let me know when you are ready to discuss that matter.”

“Of course, your highness and I would also like to take my bride with me back to my Kingdom so she can get used to her new surroundings and so she will be ready for our wedding in a week’s time.”

“Of course, we can have your wedding in a week’s time.”

Alistair glanced at Xema, who blushed and began to rise from her throne, but stopped when Shuyu cleared his throat making all look at him.

“Your majesty, may I ask why your eldest daughter is rising from her seat?”

Alistair raised an eyebrow saying, “Well Xema needs to get ready for the journey to your kingdom.” Shuyu smirked with a chuckle.

“Your majesty, I’m afraid you are mistaken.”

“Mistaken?”

Shuyu looked toward Yanira, who stared at him with bewilderment, and stated, “The daughter I want to marry is not Xema, but your youngest daughter, Yanira Castleheart.”

Silence filled the room at Shuyu’s sudden words, but it was broken by gasps of disbelief from the royal family, Lucina, and even Shuyu’s advisors.

“What are you talking about Shuyu?” demanded Alistair. Shuyu glanced at Raul saying, “Can you hand me the agreement?” Raul nodded with a bewildered look and handed the scroll that the king signed to Shuyu.

Shuyu unraveled the scroll and pointed at a paragraph in the agreement.

“I, Shuyu Sou, king of Azseldo Kingdom agree to the alliance with Balwar Kingdom with the agreement that I get to marry the youngest daughter of King Alistair Castleheart and Queen Irina Castleheart: Yanira Castleheart.”

Alistair’s eyes were wide in disbelief as were Xema’s, Zuriel’s, and Irina’s.

Lucina glared at Alistair and yelled, “This is Outrageous!” Lucina held her fan at Shuyu with anger clearly in her eyes.

“How could you make such a ridiculous agreement with this King of Azseldo? Yanira is a child and she is training to be a priestess and she can’t do that as a queen of another kingdom.”

Zuriel stood up from his throne looking at his father with desperation in his eyes.

“Priestess Lucina is right. Yanira can’t marry Shuyu. Please reconsider.”

Alistair gulped and looked at Shuyu with shaken hands.

“Is there no other way? Can you reconsider marrying Yanira? I don’t mind Xema being your queen, but Yanira is important to my kingdom.”

Shuyu shook his head saying, “I want Yanira and if you refuse to give her to me then I will burn this Kingdom to the ground and you know I can since most of your trained men are gone because of this war.”

Alistair clenched his fists and lowered his head in defeat.

“Yanira is your fiancé.”

Xema immediately burst into tears, while Zuriel and Irina were shocked speechless; and Lucina clenched her steel fan in anger.

Yanira, on the other hand, stared at Shuyu with wide eyes. Shuyu met eyes with her and smiled warmly saying, “You’re finally mine, Yanira.” Yanira felt a shiver run down her spine and hugged herself.

Is this really happening?

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4 thoughts on “Chapter 2: War Alliance”

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