Ha ha, Hakumaiu, you've stolen my favourite character name
Im sorry everyone if this is long...and I wouldn't mind comments/suggestions/critisim about the story
My fingers brushed against the cold stone as I crouched behind the cave entrance. I could feel the adrenaline pounding, driving me to fight. I fought against it, fighting against every instinct just to remain still. My eyes closed, but it only strengthened my other senses. My ears twitched to the slightest breeze a hundred miles away. I parted my lips slightly, tasting the air. Something was coming.
I slowly opened my eyes, letting them adjust to the dim lighting. A shadow crept from right of the entrance and my tail twitched in preparation. I licked my dry lips. Steady...
A small creature popped rounded the corner. I didn’t even let it have a chance. Within a second I had leapt from my crouched position and seized it by the waist. She screamed.
“Vehriahn!” She accused as I whipped her around. Her dazzling electric blue hair obscured my vision as she pounded me with her tiny fists. “Put me down! Put me down now!”
I chuckled at her and placed her gently on the ground. Her tail swished back and forth angrily with her brilliant amber eyes seething in fury. If she wasn’t half my height I’d be terrified, but I could only laugh.
“How dare you-” she stabbed a small clawed finger in my face, “how dare you scare me like that!”
I raised an eyebrow and we stared each other down. Our only movement was her tail’s constant flicking. Finally I broke the silence.
“How dare I? Why, like this.” In a move that I had perfected over the years, I tipped her onto her back and tickled her sides. She squealed and fought against me with all of her battle skills that ran in our blood. But I, of course, was better. Much better.
“You....stupid... Keiger... brother!” she gasped between fits of giggles.
“Oi!” I shouted grabbing her and forcing her to look into my eyes. The playfulness had left me.
“Did you just call me a Keiger? Did I just hear right?” I snarled. I didn’t mean my anger, but she had to know that it wasn’t right. To be called a Keiger was the worst insult to our race. It was the lowest of the low. They had no honour, they were merciless and despicable. She quietened, and I could see the fear and regret in her eyes. But her angry blaze ignited yet again.
“Yes, and you deserve it,” she snapped. I swatted her ear and she cringed.
“Don’t Kyra, you know it’s not right. Never call anyone that.”
She squirmed under my grip but I didn’t release her. Finally she stopped struggling and her gaze softened. “I’m sorry...”
I sighed and ruffled her hair. “I forgive you. Let’s go back.”
She stood up and shook her long blue hair out with a protest on her lips. “But I didn’t prove that I was the best fighter yet!”
I glanced at her cute pouting face and laughed. I scooped her up gently and placed her on my shoulders where she grabbed my ears. It hurt, but I didn’t mind.
“Don’t worry, I believe you. You’ll be our next champion, right?” I lightly teased. She tightened her hold on my ears and her tail whacked my back in excitement.
“Of course. I’m going to live up to uncle Renvolf’s name!” she exclaimed. My expression lost its playfulness as I remembered him. Those cursed Keigers, they should all die of starvation, dehydration and....shrivel-ation, and give us back our land while they’re at it.
“Yeah, we’ll live up to the Kahn family name, right? Shall we go to Unif’s for tea?”
“If she’s not training,” Kyra agreed. I nodded.
“That’s all we ever do. Train.” I muttered under my breath. Not even Kyra with her accurate hearing heard me.
I refused to look at the gravesite as we walked past. There were too many. Too many families completely obliterated while fighting for their family, honour and land. Even Kyra turned quiet.
“Vehriahn!” A male voice shouted and I spotted my friend running from the training fields. The tip of my tail twitched in annoyance but I smiled.
“Ferif,” I greeted. Ferif was one of our greatest warriors. His blue orb eyes were startling against his honey golden complexion and made him popular among the females. Like me, he had grown his mane, our highest symbol of honour. But unlike me, he wasn’t the top fighter.
“Are you going to join training today? Or have you got babysitting again?” he teased with a wink at Kyra.
“I’m not a baby!” she shouted. But her face was flushed. I resisted the urge to growl. I hope she grew out of her childish crush on him, he wasn’t good enough for her. No-one was.
“Of course not, little Kyra. You’re our top warrior like your brother, right?” he grinned. She nodded. Ferif turned to me again. “So...are you going to accept Unif’s offer of one of the commanders?”
Inwardly I froze, but I put on a lazy smile. “I’m thinking about it.”
He laughed as he and slapped me on the shoulder. “Of course, you have to keep the ladies waiting.”
I didn’t bother pointing out that I had a different reason, or the fact the great leader of the Turgas was my cousin. He already knew the latter.
“I’ll see you around, okay?” I offered and he shrugged.
“I might be difficult to find. But, I can tell you this. If you find a huge throng of women then I’ll be there in the centre,” he grinned and I rolled my eyes. Jerk.
We went our separate ways. As I walked I inhaled the beautiful scent of home. We lived in one of the only meadow areas amongst the plains. There were the exotic scents of spices, usually associated with our passion for victory. Hidden among them were the whispers of the sun, a taste that brought fire in our eyes. But I loved the calm feeling that the sands brought, filled with the song of battle which left no time to think, just act. It was amazing how the adrenaline ran through my veins.
“Vehriahn?” Kyra interrupted my revelling. I looked at her with a soft smile.
“Do you think we can ever win against the Keigers?” She searched my eyes earnestly, begging for an answer. If I was a good older brother I would have lied. I would have protected my beautiful thirteen year old sister from the truth.
“No. I don’t think we can like this.”
“Hey Unif!” I shouted when I entered her residence.
“Vehr? Is that you? Because I would run r-” her voice shouted. Before I could register her warning my mother stormed in my direction. She grabbed my ear and pulled me down to her level. I exclaimed in pain.
“Did you take Kyra to the Keiger territory again?! Did you?” She shouted. I cringed away from both her voice and the pain.
“How many times do I have to tell you Vehriahn Tor Kahn?”
“You do not go there. It’s where t-”
“-those vile Keiger vermin live who killed father’s brother live, I know. Now if you can just release my ear...” I interrupted. Her eyes glared holes into mine. It’s well known that Kyra got her temper from our mother.
“You bring shame to our name!” she shouted, but she released my ear. I stood up to my full height while rubbing my ear. What a huge insult. I needed to find a mate and get out of this house.
“Don’t say that aunt, he’s the best fighter of his age group,” Unif protested as she came out. Like all the other women her age, she was dressed for the dessert, however she was probably one of the most beautiful and vicious females of our race.
“Unif,” I greeted, trying to get out of trouble. Unfortunately, I found another.
“What is this about not accepting the role of Commander? I thought you would have seized the opportunity,” she glared at me with hard eyes. I squirmed under her gaze and looked away.
“I want to spend time with my sister,” I responded with a white lie. It sounded weak.
“Is this true?” rang mother’s icy voice. I flinched as I turned back to her. “You dare give up this honour?”
I sighed. I’d lost my appetite. “I’ll go think on it, okay? Look after Kyra, I’ll be back.”
I left before they could start accusing me again. Women were so frustrating. I wanted to go far away where they wouldn’t find me. Why couldn’t they leave me alone?
I punched a nearby tree, barely remember in time to not use my full strength. As it was the tree now leant at an odd angle. I needed to cool my head and get away from this honour-ruled society.
My feet led me back to where I was playing with my sister. Into Keiger territory.
The dessert night air was chilly as I sat on a cliff rise. The moon cast eerie light over the landscape, but it was beautiful to me. I inhaled the scents of the world I loved so much and relaxed in the peace that this night brought. If I went with the army I would never have moments like these.
I began to think deeper about this. Would I give everything up to go into a place for battle? Would I leave my sister to grow up by herself? What if she was bullied again? What if she got into trouble while I wasn’t here? What if...when I saw her again after many years of useless fighting, she no longer loved me?
It was midnight when I heard some strange scratching noise. Instantly, my feline instincts took over. Wondering what it was, my tail twitched in excitement.
I slowly crept over the rocks towards the sound. A hunched shape lingered amongst the rocks. I couldn’t see it clearly with the dim lighting. My eyes flickered up. No wonder, a cloud had covered the moon.
I edged over to a patch of dead-looking trees. The creature continued its strange scraping. The wind was blowing the wrong way so I couldn’t use my nose. I could only use my eyes. Suddenly the cloud moved and the moon shone again. I froze.
It was a Keiger.
A snarl formed in the back of my throat, but I swallowed it. Even the slightest sound could give me away. Should I kill it? Surely one less Keiger was a bonus to us all. Instead I studied it.
I had never seen a living Keiger before. I inhaled sharply, surprised at what I saw. This defied everything I knew about Keigers.
It was a female, with beautiful- I mean, hideous, black and white stripes. Tiny fangs prodded from the edges of her lips, and her delicate- I mean, weak, arms were covered in battle wounds, proof that she was a fighter. Silky hair- I mean, hair that looked dead fell to her waist, covering her face as she worked. As she turned from her task I saw the most amazing ice blue eyes. I gave up trying to lie. I couldn’t breathe.
How could something this beautiful be so dangerous?
Suddenly her eyes focused on me, and we both froze. I cursed mentally. Her slender tail began to weave back and forth in the air, and I could see her muscles in her legs tighten to run. Her fingers twitched to an empty spot on her belt. Neither of us had a weapon. She must have realised it too, because some of the alarm faded from her frightened eyes, yet she still did not relax.
“Turga,” she hissed, as if the very name was a poison. I wanted to snarl in reply, but as I examined her again I couldn’t bring myself to. I don’t know why, but I didn’t want to hurt her.
“Keiger,” I greeted in an even tone. That seemed to surprise her, but she grew more wary.
“Why are you in our territory?” she demanded. Her voice had an astonishing accent that wanted to draw me to her even closer.
I didn’t want her to run, or to kill me, so I spoke casually with a shrug, hoping that she would find me harmless. “Because I’m stupid.”
This brought the faintest smile to her lips, and my pulse quickened. She was too beautiful.
“Idiocy will lead to your death, Turga,” she said wisely. I resisted the urge to laugh.
“Hey, I said I was stupid, not an idiot,” I growled softly, but she noticed the playfulness in it. Her eyes lit up.
“Well, you look like one,” she retorted. I laughed then.
“Well, you know the saying. Takes one to know one,” I responded. I then frowned. Were sayings still the same even though we were different races? Were our races that different?
She grinned, a deadly weapon against my breathing. “I’ll accept that.”
I examined her from head to toe, and she shuffled uncomfortably. “So what is this Keiger doing here?”
“It’s my land.”
“It was my land,” I growled out of habit. She looked startled and I sighed. “Sorry, a reminder of what we have lost.”
An awkward silence stretched out between us. I wanted to continue talking but she was a Keiger. Should I return? Anything is better than this silence between me and this beautiful creature.
“My father banished me from the city for a night because I refused to obey his order,” she answered quietly. My eyes snapped back to hers.
“That sounds harsh.” My mother had the same punishment when we were younger. “Why here though? You are the first Keiger that I’ve seen.”
She tilted her heard and I nearly stopped breathing. But she didn’t answer my question. “So do you come here often?”
I considered my answer. If I said yes, she could find me another day and kill me. But I didn’t want to lie to her. “Perhaps.”
She flashed me her fangs in a smile again. “So, besides being stupid, why are you here?”
“I’m sulking,” I replied truthfully. Her laughter rang through the clearing. Pleased, I leaned against the tree and slid to the ground, visibly relaxing. I should be able to react fast enough if she attacked, but I didn’t want her to realise that her presence made my heart race.
“What, lost another battle again?” She teased and I flinched. Why did she keep bringing up her race superiority?
“I’ll let you know that I’m the best fighter in the city,” I said hotly. She raised her eyebrow, disbelieving. I noticed her leaning on the huge rock and I smiled. She liked my company enough to let her guard down. “Well, at least in my age group. My sister is pretty good too. What were you doing before I rudely interrupted you?”
She hesitated as she looked at the ground. I noticed several little stone carvings. From this distance I couldn’t see them clearly enough, but I was in no hurry to get closer and scare her, or get attacked.
“Can I have a look?” I carefully asked. She glanced at me before tossing one of them. I gently caught it in one hand and held it against the moon. My eyes widened.
“I’m not that good,” she muttered when I remained silent. I shook my head
“No,” I breathed as I continued to twist the carving in the light. It was a Turga, which was strange. But what was even stranger was who the Turga was. My uncle. How strange that a Keiger should be carving him. “It’s beautiful... like you.”
The words slipped out before I could stop them. I froze, no daring to look at her. How could I say that so clearly? Instead I cleared my throat and talked to the ground. “So, uh, do you usually carve Turgas?”
“Umm, not really. I haven’t seen a real one before. I based this one on a painting we have on the last fight. Except I didn’t include his wounds. And that it was a painting, so I didn’t quite know...” her voice trailed off, a relief from her jumbled words. Her cheeks were flushed as she studied the moon with arms wrapped around her knees. How cute.
“This is Renvolf, right?” I confirmed. She nodded. “I’ll point a few things out, because I know him better than you. His ears aren’t that tall, they should be a bit rounder. And his tail was never that slim, he had broken it once so there was a little kink. But you managed to capture his battle eyes. At home, his eyes were softer and more caring. You should come to our city and carve him for us. He’s our hero.”
“Did you know him well?” she asked cautiously. A small smile touched my face.
“Yeah. Everyone loved him.” I tossed the little statue back. “Would you like me to...stay until you’re no longer banned? No-one will miss me.”
She noticed my lie and shrugged, recognising that I didn’t want to go back. She wrinkled her nose. “I dunno, you’re kind of annoying.”
I blinked and stood up, ready to go. I thought she enjoyed my company. But the sheer flatness of her opinion of me was startling. “Well, if that’s how it is, I-”
“Stop, stop, I was only joking!” she laughed. She looked at me with those enchanting eyes again. “Please stay. My name is Savannah.”
I hesitated, captivated. There was that feeling again, drawing me to her. Eventually I sat down, closer than before. “I’m Vehriahn.”
She gave me a small hesitant smile. And that is how our friendship begun.
I stretched, yawning like a huge cat. My ears flickered, catching the sounds around me. My eyes lazily opened and I could feel my pupils slit in the sun. Then I bolted upright. Had I fallen asleep in Keiger territory?!
Adrenaline pumped through me as I examined my surroundings. There was no movement. There was no Savannah.
Sadness filled me but I pushed it aside. She said that she was only banned for the night, so of course she would return back to her home. She hadn’t killed me even though I was asleep. I smiled at that.
I stood up warily in case there were other Keigers around. Seeing none, I gave a sigh of relief. As I walked back to my home, a slow steady smile spread across my face. I had fallen in love.
And I wanted to see her again.
Every night for the past week I visited the same spot, but Savannah never returned. I was beginning to feel despair, but I continued to persist. The feelings I had for her were relentless.
I lay in the moon beams again, wondering if she was even allowed out of the city. I wondered if she even wanted to see me again. Suddenly I heard a stick snap and I jumped to my feet. A growl rumbled at the back of my throat, and my hand twitched to the air on my back where I usually had my sword.
“Easy there tiger,” Savannah joked with a grin, raising her hands. Instantly I felt peaceful as I took in her appearance. Nothing had changed, she was still the most amazing person I had met. Despite myself I laughed.
“Please, I’m a lion.” I rolled my eyes. Her smile widened.
“Have you been waiting for me all this time?” She curiously asked. I shrugged with one shoulder, not wanting to seem too desperate. Pity filled her face. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t find the right time to escape. Rather...I didn’t know if I should come back.”
The last part hurt. Obviously she didn’t care for me like I did towards her. I gazed searchingly into her eyes. “What made you come back then?”
She sighed and sat on the ground, not too far from me. But not close enough. She shyly ducked her head. “I couldn’t stop thinking of you. My hands....I just...”
She gave up trying to say whatever it was and reached into one of her bags. I flinched, but she only brought out a handful of stone carvings. I gasped.
They were all of me. Each statue was beautiful, and I’m not being egoistic. But there was one of my laughing with head held back, one with me sleeping, and one which stared intently, searching for hidden answers. “These are amazing.”
“They are better than my normal ones, which puzzle me. Can... can we talk again? You’re the only one who actually listens to me.” She said almost sadly. Something had upset her and I grew angry. Instead, I smiled, and sat close to her, almost touching. I dared to breathe.
“Yes, I can. We have all night. And, if you want to see me again, we can, every night from now until forever. And I’ll protect you from the things that scare you. I won’t hurt you.”
It had been a month since I first met Savannah. It seemed like I had known her forever. I knew all of her secrets, hopes and dreams. Around my neck I had a stone pendant of a tiger and a lion butting heads. Anything and everything she did was incredible.
Life back at home continued while I met with her daily, but I stopped taking Kyra to the Keiger territory. Obviously this annoyed Kyra. She wanted to continue ‘hunting’ the Keigers in their land so that she could claim it as hers. I lied and said that I didn’t want to get in trouble with mother again. She didn’t believe me.
I fiddled with my favourite dagger as I made my way to the great hall late in the afternoon. Thankfully Kyra didn’t have to go, it was way too boring. It was the monthly meeting of our battle plans against the Keigers, but obviously this time my heart wasn’t into it. Instead, my heart was into a single female Keiger, who was more beautiful than anything else.
I nearly groaned. I was getting sappy.
“Vehriahn!” Ferif shouted and I waved at him. These days my smiles came easily, and I was close to even enjoy being in Ferif’s company. Close.
“Hey, how’s things? I haven’t seen you in a while,” I greeted. He frowned.
“You’re right. What’s up with you these days? You’re never around.” He pulled me to the ground beside him and I sat down. I mentally cursed. I hadn’t been to the training grounds for a few days because I was catching up on my sleep.
“I...” my voice trailed off, but thankfully Unif saved me from giving an answer.
“Order! Order!” she shouted. Instantly all the men quietened. I always found that funny. She rubbed her temples. “Before we start, the Renm family have had a baby boy this week. That’s the only announcement.”
“Unif, have there been any advances on either side?” shouted an old man across the room. She turned her steel gaze to him.
“No, we’re still at a standstill. The Keigers beat us back every time we move forward.” She looked at me. “But, I may announce someone who can change the tides. Vehriahn, can you please come to the front?”
I froze as all eyes turned to me. This was new. She couldn’t be... declaring that I was going to be the captain, right? I knew that she would attempt something soon, but not this big.
Suddenly a huge wave of cheering filled the room and I felt sick. I slowly stood with my head down. Panic took control of my mind. What should I do? Should I accept the honour and the role, and kill people like Savannah? What if I had to kill Savannah?
Taking a deep breath, I looked at her. I didn’t want to do this. But I had to. I had to protect the one I loved. I wanted peace, peace between our races so Kyra can grow up happily. So that Savannah and I can live together.
“Unif,” I inhaled deeply. I had to say it now. “...I do not want to fight the Keigers.”
Everyone turned silent.
“Can you please repeat that,” Unif hissed. I could feel my hands trembling so I clasped them behind my back and squared my shoulders.
“I think we should try to make peace between our races. Both of us have lost many lives. We should work together.”
Silence met me. I could feel the cold sweat trickling down my back.
“So, you are saying that we should make peace with the Keigers? Those creatures,” she spat, “who killed our beloved hero, Renvolf Kahn?”
I flinched as she brought in my uncle, and her father. “Yes.”
This time angry murmurings broke through. But it all faded into one cry. “Treason!”
“I can’t believe you.” Ferif stood up and glared at me. He spat at my feet and left. Several other men and women joined him, giving me revolted looks. I held my ground, I couldn’t back down now.
“Kill him!” Shouted the old man. I doubted that would happen, Unif wouldn’t let me die. Another shook his head.
“No, give him to the Keigers since he loves them so much,” he jeered. I bit my lip, that wouldn’t be a good idea.
“Cut his mane off.” The elder woman suggested. Everyone froze. I felt the blood drain from my face.
They can’t take my mane.
I looked helplessly at Unif, but she wasn’t watching me. She nodded her head slowly.
She didn’t just say that. She couldn’t have. Suddenly it was me facing all of the Turga warriors. They grabbed me by the ears and pushed me onto the ground. I struggled against them, and I could feel myself beginning to hyperventilate. Not my mane. It was the representation of honour, everything that we lived for.
I fought like a wild beast, but I didn’t want to hurt them. A woman grabbed my arm and jerked me onto the ground and I lost my balance. I snarled as another held me down, tying my hands and feet. They then dragged me to Unif who held her favourite knife. That was her birthday present from me last year. I could see the hatred of me accepting her father’s killers in her eyes.
“Vehriahn Kahn, from this day forth until your mane grows to its full length, you are not allowed to participate in any of the Turga activities,” she ordered. I exhaled. My gaze found hers and defeat filled me. She wouldn’t save me. I had insulted her beloved father.
“Yes Unif,” I whispered in a quiet voce. Pity filled her eyes. But that didn’t stop her from leaning over and slicing a lock of my bronze mane. Lock after lock fell off as my mane was slowly taken away. I was shaking in fury and the floor around me was covered. It wasn’t until midnight that I was allowed to leave.
I had no honour.
I was not worthy.
Therefore, I was a disgrace.
And should not exist.
The next night I ran to Savannah. I didn’t care if anyone saw me. I didn’t care if a Keiger killed me. I wanted her. I wanted to be near her.
She was waiting there as always, stealing my breath. When she saw me horror filled her eyes.
“What happened to you?” she gasped. I shrugged, not meeting her eyes.
“I’m not hurt. I’ve just lost my mane.” I replied. Strangely Savannah noticed the pain in my voice and how close I was to breaking. She reached up to touch my cheek.
“Doesn’t it mean so much to you?” she asked. I nodded slightly and tears filled my eyes. I bit my lip and looked away. Now was not the time.
“Oh Vehriahn,” she sighed, and hugged me. Surprised, I let my arms slowly circle around her. She fitted perfectly. I inhaled deeply, taking in her wondrous scent. She let me stay like that for what seemed like forever. Too soon she pulled away and looked deeply into my eyes.
“Why?” she asked. I sighed and reached a trembling hand to pull a strand of hair caught in the fluff from the top of her ears. I wasn’t used to beautiful creatures this close.
“I tried to stand up for the Keigers.” I replied slowly. She searched my eyes and found that I was speaking the truth.
“Thank you,” she said, and kissed my cheek. That made it worth it.
I returned home at dawn and found Kyra waiting for me. She didn’t question where I had been, but her eyes fell onto my missing mane. She bit her lip but stood tall.
“Welcome home brother,” Kyra greeted. My love for her increased. She hadn’t shunned me.
I kissed her on her forehead. “Thank you, little cub.”
Affection filled her eyes at the baby name. I hadn’t called her that in years.
“Breakfast is on the table. Yesterday I did one of the trials. I’ve beaten the record. It was yours,” she gave me a cheeky smile and I faked a swipe at her. She dodged.
“Well, I expect you to be better. You had a brilliant teacher right from the start.”
She pouted. I laughed at her and sat down. The food was cold, and didn’t have the usual flavours. It took me another moment to realise that it wasn’t my mother who had made it, it was Kyra.
My gaze settled her from across the table. She emptied her second bowel and her eyes met mine.
“Vehriahn? What’s up?” she asked. I hesitated. All night I had been debating a decision that could put our relationship to the test. I desperately wanted her to meet Savannah. I wanted Savannah to know me and my family more. But I didn’t want her to meet my mother. Was it time? My heart ached ‘yes’. I took a deep breath.
“Kyra, tomorrow night, I have a surprise for you,” I stated casually. Her eyes lit up.
“Really? I love surprises. Is it that dagger I’ve wanted for aaaages now? You said that I could get it soon!” She sprang from her seat. I laughed at her and pushed her down again. Then, I would make it two surprises. I would give her my dagger and introduce Savannah. Then, I would ask Savannah to be my mate.
And I would be the happiest man alive.
“Hey Savannah, did you want to meet my sister tomorrow?” I asked shyly as I traced patterns on her hand. She filled my senses. My nose was full of her strange Keiger scent, my ears listened keenly to every move she made, my eyes constantly watched her, my hands brushed against her soft skin and I could taste her exoticness in the air. She stiffened but relaxed as she leaned against my chest again.
“Yeah. From what you’ve told me, I think I would like Kyra.” The way she said my sister’s name was amazing. She fingered at the remains of my mane.
“I’ll meet you here at noon, okay?” I touched a new ring she had on. I felt uneasy about it.
“Yeah,” she agreed softly, not meeting my eyes. Savannah was cute when she was shy. I gently kissed her forehead and leaned back.
On the way to my home I left my dagger in the cave that Kyra and I usually played in. I had polished it until the gems glowed, and enhanced it so that she could wield it easier. I would make her find it while I searched for Savannah.
The next day I was practically bouncing. I couldn’t wait. Kyra would love Savannah, once she got over the whole Keiger verse Turga things.
“Okay Kyra, your present is somewhere in this cave. Let’s see how good your Turga searching skills are. I’ll be right back,” I reassured her. She tilted her head but nodded. Excitement brimmed in her eyes. I gently patted her head and left the cave with a wave. I left her standing there, with her beautiful blue hair floating softly in the breeze, her little honey ears twitching, and her eager gold eyes following me.
That’s how I would always want to remember her.
As usual my instincts tingled in the Keiger territory, telling me something was wrong. I ignored them and happily bounded over to our meeting spot.
“Savannah!” I shouted, and my voice echoed back at me. “Savannah!”
I stopped shouting and sniffed the air, trying to find her unique scent. But something different hit me instead. I froze.
It was part of her scent, the foreign tang that I had grown to love. But now it smelt wrong. It was mixed with other scents, dangerous ones. Keigers. And a lot of them. They were close, but they were heading towards the caves. And then I realised why. They were following a scent that screamed ‘Turga’.
They were chasing after Kyra.
I don’t know how I got there so fast. All I knew was that I was running, faster than I had ever done so before. My feet were aching, but I continued to push forward. I had gained on them, but I was losing energy fast. I slowed down, trying to catch my breath. My gaze drifted across the landscape and stopped.
There was a silhouette of a female Keiger watching me, her ice blue eyes glowing as her striped tail twitched. There was no emotion on her face.
It couldn’t be....Savannah?
Another Keiger came up behind her. It was a huge male with black fur. I felt a growl forming in my throat. He smirked at me and leaned down to kiss Savannah. My Savannah.
My heart stopped.
“No!” I shouted. And then I heard Kyra scream. Something died inside me. I looked at Savannah, despair written all over.
“How could you?” I whispered, backing away. Savannah didn’t meet my eyes, but I could see the pain. But I would never forgive her if... if Kyra....
I turned my back to Savannah and ran towards my little sister.
Savannah was married. It explained the uneasiness of the night before and the ring on her hand. The night I met her...was that why she had refused her father’s order? Because she didn’t want to marry him?
The Keigers are like the Turgas. We are both forced to do things that we hate. We love, we laugh, we cry and we have secrets. There is good in the Keigers, and there is bad in the Turgas.
We are the same.
And I hope all of us will one day realise this.
SEVEN YEARS LATER....
In the cool of the dessert night a figure could be seen sitting on a cliff rise. The eerie moon lighting cast conflicted blue shadows across the Turga’s face. It hardened as it stared out to the Keiger territory. The Turga was still. The only movement was her hair, whipping in the wind and snapping like a silent fury bred over the years.
The Turga slowly grabbed her billowing hair and pulled it taunt. With a swift movement after many years of thief training, her knife fluently separated her fistful of hair from her head. The dagger was beautiful, a memory of one she loved. Stray electric blue strands escaped as she turned her glowing amber eyes to where her brother was killed.
“Hear me, filthy Keigers,” she spat out, her voice loud and clear over the vast distance, “I, Kyra Ren Kahn vow to avenge my brother and uncle. I will not rest until your race has been obliterated, and our land reclaimed. I shall follow the blue columns that have appeared since last week, and acquire the Lime. You will face your destruction. I vow this in my brother’s name, Vehriahn Tor Kahn, who you killed in the raid seven years later. You took someone who I loved, and now I will take everything from you.”
With that she released her fistful of hair and turned away, not watching as it danced in the wind. With her long hair, she lost her mercy.
And Kyra Khan became a part of the Lime Odyssey.
And the legend of Kyra the Ruthless was born.