We'd lived here for a long time, being forced to move when my siblings and I were only eight years old. I remember the crown ordering guards to force us into the woods to find a place to build shelter. They gave us necessary supplies for a week's survival and left us to die of exposure. But my Father was quick on his feet, building the small cottage we call home, in a matter of days. Of course, since then Gaia has been able to add on to it, giving us a larger living room and separating the girls' room from ours. Which was for the best. Their tastes were much too bright for my liking.
But what possibly made our living conditions terrible was that my Father wasn't around for a lot of things. He was constantly called away on missions. His pay wasn't adequate, however. Not a single citizen of the "great" kingdom of Valer didn't know about Renian Demonis, the warrior who was famed for defeating opponents with a single strike from his scythe. But the crown, a man named Tritan at the time, knew of the supposed destiny of my siblings and I and refused to pay my father enough to be able to send us anywhere else, forcing my mother to become a merchant.
She began a garden and worked hard to bring in food year-round, even in the winter months, with my help of course. She normally took Senterra with her to Valer to sell what we had grown, but often times she would take a different sibling. I remember the hopeful glances people gave me whenever she would take me with her. So many unfamiliar eyes that hoped I was here for them, but I just wanted to sell some fruit.
Though not all of the looks I got were based from the hope that one day I would save them. A girl about a year younger than me would always hang around our stand and keep me company while my mother was busy selling our produce. We quickly became friends. But not long after, we became more. I would often tag along with my mother and Senterra so I could see this girl again.
However, I was seen as too much of a threat to be allowed even inside the kingdom walls. Thus, I knew the real reason as to why my sister was taken over everyone else. An ability that held no offensive capabilities, unlike mine. Though I would still see this girl. We'd meet at the halfway point in the woods to stare up at the stars until the sky turned blue with the sun.
"It's kind of sweet, though! Nova has his own little--" My sister, Senterra, begins, but is interrupted by Shade.
"Dog?" He laughs loudly.
"Shade... who let you out of your cage?" Pandora counters, hitting him on the nose with a newspaper.
"I was gonna say--" Senterra tries to fix her sentence, but is interrupted yet again.
"At least he's happy! Unlike our little miserable waste of space." Gaia snickers towards Shade, who stomps off angrily to our shared room.
"Light! I was going to say light!" Senterra screams, sinking into our dad's large comfy chair.
"That little bird she carries around is weird, though. Can we agree on that?" Pandora asks, but I shake my head slightly.
"He's pretty funny." I say chuckling. It's true! The bird has a personality all its own! Her pet--or familiar, if you will--is a hawk that she has named Klimmek.
"If Kalliope ever visits us, that bird has to stay outside!" Shade calls from the room. Kalliope is the name of the girl I have fallen for.
"I'd put him outside before the bird." Sheath mutters.
"I heard that!" Shade yells from the room.
"Good!" Sometimes the bickering between my siblings was funny, though many times it was tedious and counter-productive.
"Children, please!" My mother begs as she walks in the door. Her hands are empty, but we can hear the coins in her pocket.
"You sold them all?" Senterra asks, clearly surprised.
"I sure did! You should have seen their faces! What did we do different this time?" She asks, looking to Pandora, Senterra, and I.
"I planted Iriglacia around the garden and trees to keep the soil clean." Senterra proudly announces. Iriglacia flowers are one of the most precious flowers on our entire known planet. If used right, it can heal the most fatal wounds. But it has other uses too! Ones that aren't related to the people. In fact, we still don't know many of its uses. Though we do know it keeps the soil clean and pure, making for delicious fruits and vegetables.
"We'll need to keep track of those, won't we." My mother smiles, patting Senterra on the head. "Any word from your Father?"
"Yeah." I speak up, grabbing the envelope off the kitchen table. "Courier came this morning. It's addressed to you, so we didn't open it."
"Be sure to tell us all the details of Devera!" Senterra, who still has high hopes that the settlement is beautiful, calls out to Mom as she goes to her room with the letter.
"I wonder why she didn't read it out here." Gaia wonders aloud, scratching his head.
"Sparing our ears, I'm assuming." Sheath laughs. Our father was renown for his spontaneous actions. The letter would likely leave mom flustered.
"He has a way with words." Senterra begins, bouncing in the large chair. "You've seen Dad's poems! The love letters he wrote to Mom! They left her speechless!" Senterra defends. Her innocence just makes me chuckle.
"I don't think that's what Sheath meant, Senterra." I laugh, running my fingers through my hair. It was getting to be mid-day. We'd be training soon and I wasn't ready for it.
"Oh... Well what else would she have meant?" We all laugh at Senterra's obliviousness. She's easily the purest of us. Our laughter is short-lived as we're all shaken immediately as explosions sound off from Valer. As we run outside we can see the fire in the sky. Mom runs out close behind us.
"Those damn rebels!" Mom shouts, shaking her head. "Disrupting the peace. You'd think Valer would have crushed them by now."
"I don't know." Senterra begins. "The leader seems adamant. They're a small group, but they're really strong. They have to be. I wonder what drove them this far."
"Whatever it was... Let's just hope it stays the hell away from us." Aqua says, placing her OceanBow on her back. I hadn't realized that everyone had run outside armed. It's sad, but that's our life now.
"Don't let it distract you." Senterra says cheerily. "It's time to train!"