Zardien – Lightning’s Fire, Light’s Roar Ch. 3

Summary: The tale of Kilivirain and Kera

Archival Note from The Jewel Riders Archive: This story is presented as it was originally published on Stormy’s “Avalon” fan site in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is presented for archival purposes and for the enjoyment of the Jewel Riders fandom. If you are the author of this story and wish to have it removed from the Jewel Riders Archive (or wish to share more!) please email us at archivist@jewelridersarchive.com. Happy Reading!


Chapter Three: The Legacy of Kera
By Kilivirain (for I, Zardien, could not do it justice)

Preface: I, dear reader, could certainly tell you this tale…a tale of
love and romance…of sorrow and endless nightmare…but I could never do
this tale justice. For I am merely a spectator; anything I would tell
you about this tale would most certainly not give you the first hand
effect…to understand how truly deep it was. There is only one who can
tell you this tale…every detail and thought…every kiss and tear…every
bit of happiness and tragedy. That man is Kilivirain…not the Kilivirain
we know now…a Kilivirain of a different time…when he was younger, and
still knew what heart was…for yes, dear reader…this tale is what made
Kilivirain what he became. Normally, a first-hand count would be bias to
the teller’s feelings…but not this one…Kilivirain would remember
it…every moment precisely…every event in full description. And so I step
down, fair readers, for this chapter…a story in the past, not in the
present date…a story only that which it changed forever could tell
right…a story straight from the eyes of Kilivirain, not I…in the age
where he did know love…the legacy of Kera.

————————————————————————————————————

Sixteen, yes. I remember it well. I was sixteen. A happier day…when I
still knew the words “father” and “brother”. When I knew the word
“friend”. When I knew the word…”love.” Yes…that was the year I still
went to the village festivals…still enjoyed all the dancing and laughter
that went around. My father always used to host them; even with the
minimal resources in such a remote place as Western Crevonia…he still
managed to surprise us with something bigger and better every year. This
year, the two villages of Western Crevonia met at the West Meadow, along
with the baron and those in his kingdom.

Everyone of us knew each other…with so few people it was impossible not
to…well, at least I thought I knew everyone. My brother Thomas was
showing off as usual, flexing his muscles and acting macho in the hopes
of gaining every girl at the festival. I tell you, he could have gotten
most of them…but if he ever loved one of them…well, that I’ll never
know. Thomas had always been a womanizer…something I’d be lying to
myself if I said I wasn’t jealous of. He had all the shallow
traits…looks, physique, and the ability to dance well. The village
girls flocked to him…I mean, being a small area, he was one of the few
guys around who was good-looking. Most of the girls told me that I was
much better looking than he was…in fact, downright abnormally
handsome…but they told me I lacked his machismo to go out and show how
great he was. (Well, that wasn’t their choice of vocabulary, which is
not to be expected of village folk; but heck, I’m was never one to use
simple words. It’s just not me. Not that the village folk never had the
potential to be educated; it’s just the unfortunate fact no one would
ever bother to teach them. That was always something that bothered me. I
KNEW these people would have made great scholars…it pains me now that I
look back that I never bothered to try to do something about it.)

Still, if you asked Thomas a simple question about arithmetic or how to
treat a girl respectfully, he couldn’t give a straight answer to save
his life. Intellect and charisma; now that was a department the poor guy
was lacking in. Still, looking back on the situation, he WAS the one
with the girls. Touché, Thomas.

I myself always stayed with the crowd, trying not to be noticed too
much. I was a little shy back then…heh…my, how things have changed. I
stayed with the crowds and just enjoyed the overall brilliance of the
festival each year…that then was satisfying enough for me. This year,
they were going to focus much on dancing…but those were for pairs.
Thomas, of course, had a new girl every dance…each one begging to be
chosen for the next one. I, as usual, alone, sat in the shadows just
enjoying the sun’s glint on the sky…wondering if I would be doing that
forever…I don’t know what happened. Maybe the glint was foretelling a
full moon that night…maybe the very stars had integrated it. But a faint
tap came upon my shoulder as I was gazing into the blue beyond, saying
through the silence I was hearing deep in wonder…”would you like to
dance?”

I turned slowly. Was it a dream? A faint reality that could not have
possibly been conceived by mortal man? But I must have not been mortal
at that instant. For at the very moment, I was looking at the face of a
goddess. And surely no mortal could see the face of such divinity. Eyes
as blue and radiant as the crescent moon upon the waters at
midnight…hair more gold than the royal crown …face far fairer and
smoother than the sky itself. Truly this could not have been real…yet it
was. She was Kera…the very name of divine essence itself…the sixteen
year-old daughter of the local coppersmith of Valaria, one of the two
local villages in Western Crevonia. Why had I never noticed her before?
Perhaps I indeed had heard of her…but seen her…no. No eyes of mine had
seen such treasure…ever.

I was empowered…totally filled with the stars of her eyes…yet totally
helpless to the soothing tone of her soft voice…I did not speak with my
mind that moment…I spoke only with my heart…though I could only get out
the unconditional utterance of “yes” before I was totally paralyzed to
her overpowering beauty. And with that…I could never remember it all…my
mind was too encumbered with her very presence…we danced…over and over
again…a overture in the clouds I wished would never end. She looked at
me in the same fashion…as if destiny’s toll would have it no other way.

The music ended eventually, as did the dancing…how I wished wouldn’t…and
the festival came to a close that day…but the night…the drawing
evening…that had only just begun. The rest left…the festival could be
cleaned up the next day…and everyone needed some sleep, anyway. Well,
most everyone. Never in my life had I ever felt so awake…yet at the same
time never had I been in such a paradise of a dream-like state. But I
know it wasn’t a dream…we snuck off into the woods after everyone was
gone…to a small spring in the middle of the deep forest…I tell you,
there was magic in that spring…everything around it was enchanted with
the power of its magnificence as the moon reflected its small light
upon it.

We spoke…what about, not even she could remember…for it was not the
words that night that spoke. It was that around us…the air breezing past
us…the water trickling from the small spring…the very essence of
life…that was what talked to us. And we had only met that day…irony as
most would see it…but she knew as well as I…irony has no chance when
matched with destiny’s wish. Then again, I was never the one to agree
with irony…the effects that night were purely a sign of a sparkle woven
into the stars. She was everything…the very majesty of brilliance
contained into a vessel of pure dreams. And love…I tell you, readers…not
even the Fates could have controlled. Every word spoken…every hope and
wish transferred between us…the bond became stronger……the wonders more
fascinating…the love more real…

And in such, every night we would meet by that spring…talking about our
philosophies upon which life is so unique…enchanted by the magic that
seemed to emanate from that spring…never had I kissed lips so fair…mere
words could never describe such a divine wonder…I can only tell you I
felt my entire reasoning for living…for desiring to go on…for wondering
about the world…in a kiss with her. And every kiss led on henceforth, to
passion beyond comprehension…I often wondered if it was sacrilegious for
a mortal to think he was worthy enough to be enchanted by a goddess in
such a form…yet it happened, and Kera spread upon me the brilliance of
the ages. After the close of every night, we kissed once more, as to
say…”I love you always” one more time to ensure the other knew it…for no
love, I can assure you, could have been held together stronger than the
one we shared…I never wanted to end…and I knew neither did she…yet we
always said goodbye…the next night where we could meet again at the
spring the only thing that we could ever think of.

Then, one night, on a night around one year later from which we first
met, we said goodbye as usual, only waiting for the next night to
come…but I was naïve, my fellow listeners, I was naïve. For I thought
night could only bring joy. It would only be the next night I would
realize…for the first time…the night also brings darkness…

I don’t know the full story…I wish I never had. Apparently there had
been some sort of revolt…some sort of commotion upon the village of
Eastwind, the second of the two villages in Western Crevonia. There were
some inhabitants…farmers, I believe…in that town unhappy with the wages
they had been making on crops. They appealed to the baron to help them,
but being the driest season of the year, the baron told them he could
not do anything until the seasons got better. Oh, how I wish he had said
otherwise…almost as if fate desired him to say it. The farmers who were
complaining…maybe it was the dry weather…but some way or another they
were easily in a agitated mood enough to be affected by any kind of
talk…and this…this was just too much for their heat-fried minds to
handle. And so, the small group of farmers made a small riot attack
against one of the local forts…there were so few soldiers, it was easily
taken…and all the soldiers posted there were killed in the fury. When
news of this reached the baron, my father, he was enraged as well…no
doubt the heat got to his mind as well…but I assure you it wasn’t just
the heat that affected these men…it was fate tolling its judgement upon
me. For my father demanded that such an action would not be tolerated,
and sent soldiers to Eastwind to burn a few houses and find those
responsible for the riot…

However, it turned out from information as they arrived in Eastwind that
a few of the villagers responsible for the fort attack fled to
Valaria…though to this day I would never forgive my father for such a
rash act…he sent soldiers the to Valaria, figuring he might as well have
them burn a few houses there while rounding up the rest of the
riot-starters to teach the other villagers a lesson about not messing
with the crown. Crown…hah…such a petty concept…there was more to this
than just a lesson, my friends…there was the powers of darkness creeping
upon my soul…beckoning to step forward…

I had decided to come to Valaria that evening to sort of give Kera a
premature greeting in preparation for the night’s song…but little did I
know it would be such a song of sorrow…of depression…a song that not
even the willows that wept upon the riverbank could comprehend…for
when I came to Valaria…I saw smoke…bursting red flames in many areas…so
much chaos I couldn’t quite keep my own mind straight…for only one thing
was on my mind at the moment…the one house that happened to catch one of
the soldiers’ torches…my mind raced with anger, worry, dismay, sorrow…I
knew not what to do…what to think…I thought, “maybe she’s not in
there…”…what a fool I was…to think I could have outwitted fate.

A scream…I only remember sections of how I ever managed to get over to
that house…but somehow, I did…somehow, I reached the window…and there
she was…the goddess…in mortal terror. I dashed for the door as fast as
possible…Lord help me I only wish I could have been faster…for my fast
was not enough…When I opened the door, I found it had been blocked by a
table and chairs…perhaps what Kera had tried to used to extinguish the
blaze…burning…so much fire…there was no way I could get through…yet I
knew she saw me…screaming and pleading for help…tears filling the white
innocence that was her…when a spark flared upon her…and then another…my
eyes could see nothing but terror…but utter hatred of life…I ran for the
windows, but they were blocked…and curse this house for having a chimney
in repair…I did everything…I bashed the windows with rocks…swung at
walls and anything I could hit with my mace…pulling forth full strength
until my body was broken in several places…and I could no longer move…I
could only stare…stare at the flames…at Kera…oh what did I ever do to
deserve such madness…what did SHE ever do?…but it was too late…and
before my very eyes…the goddess was burned alive, along with the house
into ashes…and all I could do was stare…tears in my eyes and screaming
her name with all my might…hoping someone might here me or the fates
would have pity on me. No such luck…destiny had always been against
me…why would it be any different here? ..And as the sun gave rise the
next day, I sat with broken bones and motionless to nothing more than
ashes where the house used to be…and tears…they have never stopped…for
destiny could never rob me of those…that I vowed. I would get even with
destiny…with fate…no longer would I be a victim of this cruel
madness…now, I would be a creator of it…I would have…my revenge…

And so, I end my tale…but I tell you now, destiny showed its true colors
to me on that night…its true intent…to put me in sorrow. But I will
never succumb to it…I instead, will control it…for if destiny chooses to
be against me, than I too, shall be against it, and thus shall all feel
the wrath of this tormented soul.

 

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