An Unhurried Demise
Nine years ago in the land of the Yugorns, Motaren is the only country that is slowly dieing. The Yugorns have no answer to why the grass doesn't grow, why most of the soil has turned to stone and why water has risen up from the ground making their home swamplands.
Yugornian homes are raised upward, above the marshes. Docks are their pathways to other homes or other buildings. The docks lower on to ground that has not moisten. Large willow trees tower over some homes, blackberries invade the remaining land and cold winds coming from Slule's coast gust their way through the wasteland.
North of the village, through the bayou forest of willows, there's a great palace. The design looks like an ancient temple for sacrificing living to gods. This place is where the ruler of Motaren does all his work. He doesn't live here; he lives in a building called the main house behind the palace. Separated by a courtyard, the ruler's blood related family also live with him.
Sarovi (Sah-row-vee) became ruler at the age of seventeen when his father died from an unknown illness. Sarovi is known through out the land as the immortal king, mainly for all the battles he has been in, not one man nor one creature could slay him. In his life now, he is finally preparing an invasion on Kodallia. In human years, Sarovi is about forty-six, to covert that into Yugornian, he's about as young a thirty year old. Sarovi has many more years ahead of him for Yugorns can live up to hundred and thirty.
Sarovi himself appears to be quite heartless but in fact his family is his weak spot. In the main house, he walked in a large bed/living room. His yellow eyes looked around then headed to the living room part. There, he looked out to the balcony, where a beautiful Yugornian woman sat absorbing the sunlight. Walking in, she noticed him and smiled, slowly sitting up right.
"Good morning," Sarovi's voice was softer then usual. The woman is most fair then other Yugornian woman. Her long wavy hair is as black as a raven, her eyes are a creamy yellow tone and her thick eyelashes batted every time she blinked. This woman was no other than Sarovi's unknown wife. No one outside the family has laid an eye on her and non-Yugorns believe that Sarovi isn't married. As he sat down beside her, she asked, "Did you talk to him yet?" her voice is very harmonious. Sarovi slid his eye across and exhaled.
"No. Not yet."
His wife named Belva reached her hand to his. "I feel that he's too young and isn't ready for such a responsibility."
"I know, but that is why at his age the humans will not consider him a threat," He explained. Belva looked at her hands that were now on her lap. As Sarovi was about to say something comforting to her, there was a sound of someone knocking on the balcony door. This made Sarovi stand up. Before them was another Yugornian woman but this one was more boyish. She wore her reddish brown hair very short. Her face features are similar to Sarovi's. Her expression was nothing like Bleva's, her yellow eyes were cold, her pupils were always as thin as slivers, not once did she smile.
"What is it Nanya (non-yah)?" Posed Sarovi as he opened the door.
"I bring good news, brother," Her voice was dark as if mocking him. Sarovi turned to his wife and bowed his head then walked out of the balcony, even out of Bleva's room. In the hallways Nanya followed. "May I speak brother?"
Leaving the main house he said, "You may." His voice was now serious.
"My youngest has been accepted by the humans. He is a Kodallian Knight."
He stopped and turned to her. "Perfect," He grinned.
"Those foolish humans. They must have been surprised of his oddness, how kind and generous he is," She growled while swishy her fury tail. Sarovi started walking again and his sister followed. Through the courtyard, he changed the subject.
"Where is my son?"
"He is in the throne room as ordered," Although she was very dominant, she never challenged her brother.
Inside the Palace with its sixteen ft. high ceilings, greatly trimmed walls and traditional furniture, Sarovi walked faster to his destination. Finally they entered the throne room, they walked on a long rug that led up to his throne. Large banishers hung from the ceiling with the royal symbol printer on it. Sarovi spotted his son along with his oldest nephew and some Yugornian warriors.
The Yugorns bowed their heads expect for Sarovi's son, who instead ran into his arms. "Onimaru (Oh-nay-mah-roo) my son," He said gently. The boy's the age of seven (in human years) and unlike his parents his hair is like his aunt's. Sarovi had his son sit on his left arm as he faced the others. "Leave us," He spoke calmly. When everyone left, he placed Onimaru on his throne. Sarovi's face was emotionless. Onimaru, being different than other Yugornian boys, is more sensitive and noticed that something was troubling his father.
"(Ah-oo-tay)?" Onimaru spoke quietly and used a Yugornian word that meant, "Father".
"Onimaru, how would you like to go to Kodallia?"
"Hmm…" Onimaru seemed uninterested and played with his father's cloth belt.
Sarovi sighed. "Onimaru listen to me. You are going to live in Kodallia for a little while with your cousin."
Onimaru looked up at him. "Will you and Oh-way-toe (mother) be there?"
Sarovi looked sadden and couldn't find the words to tell his son. His right hand rubbed the side of Onimaru's face.
"(Ah-oo-tay)?" Onimaru started to worry for he wasn't answering.
"I do not know yet," He whispered. Onimaru reached out his hand to his father's. As his fingertips touched the roughness of his father's skin, Sarovi's free hand went to the back of his son's head and pulled him forward. Onimaru rested his head against his beloved father's stomach and laid his hand in his father's gentle grip. Sarovi's heart grew sadden and Onimaru greatly sensed it. For the strange behavior his father has now, Onimaru knew that he was going to be sent away from his family. Sarovi's clothes absorbed tears from the child. Onimaru felt embarrassed too show his face, for this would be considered weak for males to cry but Onimaru couldn't stop; he kept burying his face deeper into his father clothes. Sarovi looked down at his son with an understanding face, while his fingers ran through Onimaru's thin hair. Gently, the tips of his fatal claws rubbed across his scalp.
Sarovi carefully pulled Onimaru away, both stared at each other. "Ah-oo-tay, do not get rid of me," His voice was unsteady. Sarovi's eyes widen and before he could speak, Onimaru continued. "I promise, I will not be weak no more. Please. I will be strong like my oldest cousin," Onimaru pleaded. Sarovi's heart broke for his son's pain.
"I am not getting rid of you. Onimaru I would never do such a thing," He said lovingly and hugged his son. "If you do not want to go, you do not have to," As they separated, Sarovi wiped away Onimaru's tears; this made him happy again.
"Run along now, mother wants to see you."
Onimaru smiled and quickly ran, leaving the throne room. Sarovi sat in his throne and slouched back. He sighed while his eyes scanned the room. Just as his mind was clear of things a couple of Yugorns ran in the room.
"Sarovi! Sir!" Sarovi jumped to his feet. "Humans!"
"They are just out of Motaren and they are headed this way! It is an invasion!"
"No," He said to himself irritated. "Half of you go to the village and the others go to the main house and warn everyone!" He ordered. As they left, Sarovi walked out of the room, down the hall and into another large room. While he walked he heard the iron bell that alerted Motaren of the invasion. In this room, his highly trained men lined up. Each of the warriors were waiting eagerly for Sarovi's instructions.
"All of you will be located to the village. You all will be on your own, you can decide on how you want to fight. I do have this order; do not let any of them through! I want all those humans killed!" The warriors growled with the longing for human blood. Each one ran out of the palace with great speed. Sarovi hurriedly headed to the main house. The iron bell echoed faintly outside, it gave the evening a haunting feel. When Sarovi jogged across the courtyard, he could smell smoke from fire. He instantly stopped and saw in the distant the clouds of smoke rise up into the sky. Sarovi growled with annoyance, for the humans are using smoke to blind the Yugorns and block out their senses. He turned around disgusted, for the humans have the upper hand. He entered the main house swiftly. All the servants and relatives rushed to the back of the building so did Sarovi. Entering the back room, he walked passed others, desperately looked for his family. A group of warriors signaled Sarovi that the family was behind them.
"Do not worry sir, we will protect your family."
"Good." Sarovi was finally as ease knowing his family is safe. He looked behind the warriors to his wife and walked to her. She desperately reached out for him.
"Sarovi, what's happening?"
"The humans are invading. They think they can stop my terror."
"Please be careful."
And with that he kissed his wife good-bye and hugged his son who was in his grandmother's arms. When he turned around, he saw Nanya's husband and his three children rushed in, heading towards him. Entering the group, Sarovi asked, "Where is Nanya?"
"She should be at the palace entrance."
"Alright. I will be right back." But before he could leave, Nanya's husband got Sarovi's attention again.
"Forgive me Sarovi. I am sorry for being such a useless male. But my wife and me sVdiaed roles. I am not much of a warrior."
"You are not useless it is your job to make sure your children's well being is protected," He told with confidents.
Sarovi rushed to his sister. Looking around he saw that the palace was completely empty. Running outside, Nanya was sure enough there.
"Did you see my family back there?"
"Yes, they are safe with mine."
Nanya faced towards the village, the sun was all most gone and the view of fire troubled them. "Once the sun leaves the advantage will sVdia," She confirmed.
"As they head further into the swamps, the easier it is to strike," He added. "Do you want to be out there?" He asked.
"No. Smoke is my weakness. Besides I would feel bothered that I left the palace wide open for them." Sarovi agreed by nodding. "They are Port Coater humans," She added. "To me, it sounds like their threatening us not to attack their child Kodallia."
Sarovi grunted. "Straight on? Is that the queen's plan?" He wondered out loud.
"What a stupid plan. They are bond to fail," Said Nanya.
"Do not be fooled, this cannot be it," Sarovi listened to the wind that blew by. Suddenly he heard a crumbling sound coming from the sides of the palace. Him and Nanya jumped to the side and saw the human Knights climbing over the stonewall. Without thinking Nanya sprinted towards them, using her claws she slice them. Sarovi noticed they weren't the only ones, he saw a few more Knights entering the main house. With all his might, Sarovi ran to them. Inside he saw that they sliced their way through with their swords, killing everyone in their path. Sarovi's eyes enlarged for he saw Nanya's husband struggle to protect the royal family. Sarovi ran to them while slicing with his claws at the human's neck, automatically killing them. Just as Nanya's husband's claws punctured through the human, Knight's sword stabbed him in the stomach. Sarovi grew in rage and did not just punctured the human; his claws slit the throat and throw the body against the wall.
Belva immediately removed the sword and added pressure to the wound. The oldest son called out his father named repeatedly as his father's eyes slowly closed. The young boy named Kahjun yelled out when his father died. Onimaru, who was already frighten, was confused to what his cousin was yelling about. Tears fell from Yugorns faces, for a good man has died. Sarovi felt helpless for how would he tell his sister.
Nanya and some warriors ran in saying, "It is done! They are retreating!" Nanya looked over to her family, her jaw slightly dropped, her pupils shrank, she grew a strange feeling inside she never felt before. Slowly she walked to her died husband. She looked to her oldest who was crying on top of him. She didn't know how to react, in shock she turned to her brother.
"I failed. I could not stop it from happening. I was not fast enough," He said in sorrow. Just then two head warriors ran in, "It is not over! The humans are coming them the west and east!" Nanya automatically growled and picked of the sword that killed her husband and flew out the door. Sarovi turned to the three remaining warriors that are protecting his family, "Stay here. I'm putting an end to this," He said grimly.
When he left, Sarovi's mother faced Belva, "I am worried. The more and more he puts himself out there in the front lines, the more the humans will want him died," She spoke Yugornian slowly. Belva grew frighten as the warriors moved the dead bodies aside. She still didn't respond to her mother-in-law's comment, she just stared at the blood that stained the stone floor. She then looked to her nephew who sat in the corner crying. Looking at his siblings she asked, Karash and Tenmi, "Why don't you comfort your brother?"
The middle child, named Karash was almost identical to his bother Kahjun. "I tried. He just pushed me," He said with a worried look on his face. She signed and looked to their younger sister, Tenmi who walked over to Onimaru. Belva got up gracefully and walked to Kahjun.
"Little one, don't worry about hiding your sorrow," She said harmoniously while placing her hand on his shoulder. Once her hand touched him, he quickly turned to her, trembling. "Oh, There there," She reached out and held him. Belva focused on him for the other children were so young, they didn't understand death like Kahjun.
"Nanya is going to hate me," His voice was unsteady.
"Why do you say that? She's your mother. She doesn't hate you."
"She really does when I cry. I cannot help it. She ignores me when I am not strong. My father is the only one who loves me," His crying got worse that it was hard for him to talk and breathe.
"Your wrong. Your family loves you very much," She whispered. As she held him, she raised her head up, listening. All the remaining Yugorns were listening to the sound of the war right outside. Belva turned to her mother-in-law, "Their getting closer." She grabbed Kahjun and huddled back in the group. Onimaru hid his face in his grandmother. Echoes of man and Yugorn fighting outside the building frighten the women, servants, and children inside the main house. Belva and some others laced their hands on theirs knees and bowed their head on their hands, praying to the creator that all their loved ones will be safe.
Suddenly the door flew open; Sarovi and some warriors ran inside. The warriors stayed by the door fighting off the human, which were visible to the ones inside. Sarovi ran to the back of the building, moving crates and kicking a rug away from a hidden door that led underground. Opening the door, he turned to his family. "Get in." The royal family quickly went down the stairs, followed by the others in the room.
Human Knights swung their swords while Yugorns grabbed the swords enduring the pain as the blade slit their palms. At the same time as the family went down the stairs, Onimaru took a quick peek to the humans. His eyes enlarged, "Who are these beings?"
Before Sarovi closed the door on them, he told Belva to head to Kodallia. Inside the dark tunnel that the Yugorns made, the males in the group took the lead. Walking in an underground stream, the passage way led into many other tunnels.
Belva held Tenmi and with her free hand held Kahjun's hand. The grandmother carried Onimaru and held Karash's hand. Onimaru leaned upward to face his grandmother. "Dama (grandmother), who were those beings?"
"Why, they are humans. Remember our lesson about them?" Her words came out raspy.
"Oh yes. They are the ones with all the emotions, huh?"
His grandmother was interested in what he said, then turned to Belva. "What a strange child you have."
Belva was stunned to her mother-in-law's comment. "He is the only Yugorn who has not said a bad thing about the humans, not even what they have done to us."
Belva looked at Onimaru who had hid his face back in his grandmother. "Onimaru doesn't hate anything, I raised him that way."
"Was that a wise idea?" She question her daughter-in-law.
"What do you mean?"
"Did you not think of his future? He will be look down on by his own kind and he cannot look to the humans."
Belva looked to the water they were walking in. she couldn't respond.