Fire flies danced in the moonlit sky, avoiding the curling smoke emanating from the billowing fire. The nine elemental masters, the young queen, and the fencing champion all sat around the warm flame, roasting marshmallows over its golden wisps. The brightly colored flowers of the palace courtyard reflected their flame enhanced colors from the darkness of the gardens. Their perfume was strong enough to still cling in the air despite the strong scent of the campfire’s smoke. Crickets and cicadas chirped and buzzed giving music to the warm summer night. The soft rustle of leaves accompanied by the crackling flames added to the calming atmosphere created by the clear, dazzling night sky and all below it.
“I love spending summers in a castle. I swear, I’ve never had a better fire than the ones we’ve had here.” Fiona said, her amber eyes glowing a bright golden color in the campfire light.
A puzzled look crossed Cam’s face.
“Fiona, you didn’t even like going near fire until just this year. You hate any memory of your family home that burnt…”
“That’s enough out of you little girl.” Clara scolded the black haired, eleven year old.
The damage of the words had already taken effect as the red haired girl looked into the fire that seemed to dwindle with the fire elemental’s pain.
“Fiona?” Lorelei’s voice dripped with uncharacteristic concern for her friend. “Are you alright?”
“Of course I am, why wouldn’t I be?!” The flames shot up at the fifteen year old girl’s outburst.
Everyone, pardon the day dreaming nature elemental and enraged fire elemental, managed to save their marshmallows from the flames just in the nick of time. May didn’t even take notice that her tasty treat had been turned to ash, remaining, captivated by the blinking bottom of the firefly that hovered in front of her face. Deciding their marshmallows were cooked enough the nine others silently made their S’mores, hoping not to provoke Fiona’s famous temper again.
The redhead sighed before apologizing. “I’m sorry; I thought I’d gotten over their deaths.”
Her boyfriend, Zack, sat down beside her and gave her his S’more. She reluctantly took it and nibbled slightly at the corner while leaning against the skinny lightning elemental.
“Don’t worry about it; we’ve all had our fair share of loathing our pasts.” Ash said; his warm brown meeting Fiona’s blazing gold and soothing her inner fire.
“I got so tired of living at home, I ran away and became the leader of the Crystal Glen bandits. Those were best two and a half years of my life.” Lorelei said a playful twinkle in her violet colored eyes.
“One would think living as a lady of the castle, helping to govern a flourishing kingdom would be the best year of your life, not scraping by on what you’ve stolen from royal carriages and being chased down by the new rule.” Clara said, indignantly tossing her golden curls over her shoulder.
“Nah, it’s like my old home but surprisingly less formal.” The black haired time elemental shrugged.
Sora slowly clapped. “What brilliant words from a crucial member of our proud kingdom’s government.”
“Be quiet little miss know-it-all or you’ll wake up with your bed in the moat.” The sixteen year old growled.
“Oh and how do you intend on doing that?” The white blond haired air elemental inquired with a smirk.
“Cam.” Lorelei replied simply.
The teal eyed girl water elemental giggled. “I’d totally be in on that.”
“Sora you know better than to aggravate the prankster duo, you’ll pay dearly every time.” Zack chuckled.
Lorelei huffed and bit fiercely into her S’more.
“I still don’t understand why you left your life as a mayor’s daughter behind. Personally I would have died for a life like that. All of the parties, the popularity, no doubt everyone in your town knew your name, not to mention everyone important.” Clara said.
“Ugh, that would be dreadful.” Eden muttered, her black hair falling to hide one of her silver eyes.
The blue eyed blond shot her twin a disapproving look before continuing to speak. “Meanwhile we had to skip from town to town for as long as I can remember every time I reached the top of the social chain Eden would lose control of her element again.”
The shadow elemental ignored her light elemented twin and continued to eat her S’more.
“I can vouch for Lori in the point that being the child of an upper-class member of society isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maman and Papan always expected nothing less that perfection from me in everything. When my fencing abilities excelled they put me in competition after competition and that’s all they ever cared about. Not that they came to any of the tournaments. I was undefeated until a certain master of all the elements had to fill in for my opponent because she broke his leg. I probably would have won had the lady not cheated.” Kevin mused, his crystal blue eyes looking at the seventeen year old queen.
The elemental masters laughed at him.
“Dude all she said was ‘Nice moves Pretty Boy’ and you broke down into a stuttering mess that she defeated in ten seconds flat.” Zack laughed, his black framed glasses sliding down his slightly pointed nose.
The auburn haired fencing champion’s copper colored face turned the color of the pink rose residing in May’s curly brown hair.
“Well at least your parents paid attention to your activities. I had seven older siblings and two very busy parents.” Cam pointed out.
“At least your only friends weren’t the village elders like poor May over there.” Lorelei teased.
The green eyed nature elemental snapped back to reality. “What? Did someone say my name?” she looked at the rod where her marshmallow had been before turning to ash. “Did I forget to put a marshmallow on my stick again?”
The group laughed at the oblivious seventeen year old while her boyfriend, Ash, put his arm over her shoulder.
“Anyways, Kevin, I do not see your complaint in the matter of your parents demanding too much from you. I too grew up with my mother and father demanding excellent grades from me so I could set an example for my two younger brothers. I don’t complain about that, it made me the intelligent person I am today.” Sora said fixing her wire rimmed glasses.
“I do not complain about my family’s parenting style, I simply point out it is not as easy as other would believe.” The handsome seventeen year old replied calmly.
“Do you want to know what’s not easy? Growing up without powers. I never heard the end of those taunts until Cassy came along and gave me powers.” Zack said using his fingers to brush is shaggy black hair out of his face. He paused when his deep blue eyes met the stern crystal blue gaze of Kevin. “Sorry man, Cassy offered to give you mind powers, you’re the one that turned them down.”
“Powers are not a necessity as others seem think they are. I wish to go through life and prove myself to be more than just my magic powers.” Kevin said.
“Yes, you want to have your looks instead, Pretty Boy.” Fiona smirked.
Kevin pouted looking away from the red haired fifteen year old.
“Sorry, Cassy wasn’t saying it so obviously someone had to.” She said with a shrug.
“That’s true… Is everything alright Cassy? You haven’t said anything for a while. Is there something bothering you?” Ash asked his little sister worriedly.
The seventeen year old queen looked up, obviously startled out of thought, her green eyes looking around the group with unreadable emotion.
“What was that? Sorry, I’ve been a little distracted. After all the monthly meeting of the leaders is tomorrow and everyone knows Mayor Laurence always has something to complain about.” The sandy blond haired girl said with a warm smile.
Nine of the ten others nodded in agreement, Ash on the other hand continued to look at his sister suspiciously.
“Remember the time when he insisted we send Cam to his house to fix his plumbing? He complains about everything.” Lorelei laughed.
“Or the time his watch when missing and he insisted the Bandits of Crystalglen had gathered again and demanded Ash and Lorelei be banished from the kingdom.” Fiona pointed out crossly.
Cassy sighed, her sand colored waves bouncing as she shook her head. “We’re just lucky the watch ended up being under his bed. I could have lost Ash again if enough people turned on them. Not everyone was happy about us taking in the two leaders of the bandits and making them representatives of the country. That gave people another reason as to why a sixteen year old peasant shouldn’t sit on the throne with her ragtag team of misfits. Mayor Laurence is just one of the people that haven’t given up even after a year. I hope it will end when I turn eighteen next year, after all I’ll be a legal adult, free to make my own decisions. Next year holds a lot of hope for me, for us.” Cassy said with a sad smile.
“Ah anyone who doesn’t love you is crazy, you’ve been saving their tails for over a year now. You obviously care for the kingdom or you wouldn’t put your life on the line like that.” Cam said with a cheerful grin.
“Except the of course the fact no one in the kingdom besides us knows of our activities. If they did there would be a huge panic because they think Cassy slayed Douglas before even taking the throne.” Sora said bluntly.
“So what do you tell the people when you all suddenly disappear or there are strange explosions in the forest or when you constantly have to rebuild your castle?” Kevin asked raising an eyebrow.
Zack shrugged. “Food poisoning, bandits, out of state threat, foreign affairs. You know the usual monarch excuses.”
The fencing champion shook his head. “I’ll never understand you people.”
The wind picked up blowing the smoke in the faces of Sora, Clara and Eden. The three girls coughed and waved the smoke out of their faces. The gray eyed air elemental flicked her hand upwards making the smoke once again return to its usual stream towards the crescent moon.
“This smoke is doing nothing for my lungs or nasal cavities, I’m heading to bed.” Sora said getting up.
“Nor our skin. It’s best not to be exposed to this inferior cloud of smelliness. Come Eden, we must be off to do my nightly beauty routine.” Clara said pulling her sister up by her arm.
The shadow elemental begrudgingly followed her sister and friend down the path to the closest door.
“For your information the scent of Campfire smoke is most pleasant in my book. But it is true that I’m feeling exhausted. Though it is beautiful, I’m not a night person. I rise and set with the sun.” Fiona said getting up.
Zack followed suit and the couple walked down the path, vanishing into the shadows of the palace garden.
“It’s already time to turn in? But I haven’t even made a marshmallow yet…” May pouted. The nature elemental pouted for a moment before seeing a firefly in the distance. After a moment a squealing she ran off after it, down the same path the others took.
“So if we run do you think we’ll have enough time to make it to our rooms and lock the doors before the others realize we have pranks waiting for them in their rooms?” Cam whispered to Lorelei.
“Cam, my dear prankster partner, I’m a time elemental, we’ve got all the time in the world.” Lorelei replied.
The two chuckled and ran off down the path.
Kevin looked after them before giving the two remaining siblings a worried look. “I better go warn the others.” Then he too ran after the group.
Cassy sighed. “I suppose I should head in too, we’ll have a busy day tomorrow.”
The young queen started to stand but her brother grabbed her. Cassy looked to the nineteen year old confusedly.
“I-is something wrong Ash?” She asked.
“Cassy, I know Mayor Laurence is far from the only thing on your mind.”
The blonde looked away.
“It’s dad isn’t it? The others talking about your family made you think about ours.” Ash said.
Tears slid down Cassy’s face as young girl tried to hold back her pathetic sobs. “It was my fault Douglas got mad, it’s my fault our house was destroyed, it’s my fault everyone died. If it hadn’t been for Master Buwan I would have died alongside dad, and Magen, and the rest of the village.”
Ash hugged his baby sister tightly letting her cry. “Shh, don’t dwell on what happened and what could have happened. The important thing is that we are both alive and we both have a nice home and good life considering the circumstances.”
“A-Ash? How did all of this happen?” The Nardirian queen asked.
“All of what?” The boy asked confusedly.
“This! How did I become queen. How did I end up with so much responsibility and power. How did I end up with a sworn enemy for what seems to be the rest of my life?! I never wanted any of this, so how did I end up stuck with it?” Cassy asked desperately, anger flaring in her tearful dark green eyes.
Her brother’s loving warm brown eyes looked down at his sister’s as he tightened the hug.
“Well I guess when you fought Douglas for power you were obligated to be the one to take said power.” He mused.
“I only fought him because he’s destroyed the village and murdered everyone.” Cassy muttered defensively.
“Which he did because you delivered the message.”
“Which I only did because my bullies were teasing me about being a pathetic coward.”
“So there you have it all of this happened because your bullies egged you on.”
“What a stupid reason, I had hoped to remember some far more noble reason. Not because I wanted to save my pride.” The queen sighed leaning further into her brother’s hug. “I guess that lately more than ever, I wish none of this had ever happened. That I’d never have been bullied so I’d never have done all the foolish things that have lead me here.”
Ash opened his mouth to speak but what cut off by Cassy’s scream of terror as her green eyes widened. The pair looked up at the sky where a giant ball of light streaked through the pelt of darkness towards the forest below. Cassy knew the impact would destroy the forest but she could do nothing but watch in horror as it slammed to the ground miles away, rattling the kingdom to its core. The young siblings embraced each other as waves of light, sound and heat raced towards them, throwing them to the ground where Cassy lost consciousness.
(Sign ups at /287161. I'll try to post chapters at least once a week but once the school year starts it might take longer do to the fact I'm in sophomore in high school taking all honors and AP classes.)
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Bump and Elemental Master
Pilot Of the Yellow Lion
Gang: Me, E, C, S, M, F, E, C, L, A, K
“The real reason girls wear dresses: we're too lazy to put on pants” ~ Me
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