Chapter One

Seven Years Later…

                “Keitaro!” Yelena yelled as she found her son sitting on the very sturdy straw roof of their small log cottage. She was soaking wet and not happy.

Yelena was rather short for her age but then again most people were short in Magnar. She had long brown hair that she kept down but neat and though she was much older she looked about twenty-five.  

“Yes mother?” Keitaro looked at Yelena and smiled. Keitaro also had brown hair but unlike her he just kept it like whatever it looked like that morning. He was also every girl’s dream guy. Strong, cute, reckless and knows how to use a sword.

“What in the name of Karimah were you thinking?” Yelena yelled. Keitaro was impressed. Throughout his life he never thought he’d hear his mother use such language. Normally it was her who was getting after him for saying those things.

“What are you talking about?” Keitaro asked a little confused.

“I’m talking about rigging the well.” Keitaro began laughing as he remembered what she was talking about. Yelena stalked into the house for she knew that no amount of yelling was going to do anything. She stopped by a wooden table that had a small painting on it. Picking up the painting she sighed heavily. The painting was in a small wooden frame and had three figures in it.

It was a picture of their family. Yelena stood in the right with Keitaro in front of her. To the left of Yelena was Xanti her husband who was found dead in the Crescent Forest after he decided to fulfill his silly dream about destroying the horrible creature that had disturbed the peace of their small village. Yelena was devastated when she heard the news but no one had taken it harder than Keitaro.

Keitaro and Xanti had had a close relationship. Xanti was the one who had taught Keitaro how to use a sword and many other things. Being the leader of the village required a lot of work so Xanti had made a promise that he would do anything his son wanted to do during his free time. Keitaro used to be a carefree fun-loving boy who was interested in anything. Nowadays he just caused trouble. He’d been caught many times and that didn’t improve his relationship with Yelena.

A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. Quickly she put the painting down and hurried over to the door. Opening it she was surprised to see Reidar standing there. Reidar was Xanti’s older brother and had taken over Xanti’s job after he left to go to Crescent Forest.

Reidar looked a lot like Xanti. The same like brown hair and green eyes. Their builds were even the same. When they were young most would ask if they were twins.

“Reidar! What a surprise.” She said after he bowed to her. Yelena gestured for him to enter. He followed her into a room with a small fireplace and a few chairs. “If I had known you were coming I’d have cleaned up a little.” She said apologetically as she sat down. Reidar sat down in a chair across from her.

“No need. I’m just here for a quick visit.” Reidar smiled “What’s Keitaro been up to now?” he said noticing Yelena’s wet clothing.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with that boy! I mean he’s not a boy anymore but he sure doesn’t act like his age!” Yelena threw her hands up with exasperation. Reidar smiled

“What’d he do?”

“He rigged the well and made it so that whenever someone pulls the bucket up it dumps the water on them!” she glared at Reidar as he chuckled

“Now that’s a trick you can blame your husband and me. We sort of taught him that one before Xanti ran off.” He stopped laughing but continued to smile. “If you need me to I’ll go talk to him in just a minute.”

“I would love that. He always listened to you and Xanti so maybe he still will.” Yelena sighed sadly “I’d just wish he’d give me the same respect but you don’t get everything you want.” Reidar put a hand on her shoulder.

“I’ll find out what’s got him and see if I can work something out with him.”

“Thanks Reidar. Ever since Xanti was killed you’ve really been a great help.” They stood up and Reidar embraced his sister-in-law before responding.

“That’s what I do Lena. I help out my family.”  He flashed a quick smile before going out to find Keitaro.

Keitaro was sitting on a rock next to the Gillespies River skipping stones when Reidar found him.

“Hello Keitaro.” Reidar said once he was within earshot. Keitaro turned to see who it was and smiled at his uncle.

“Hey uncle what a surprise. I didn’t know you were coming.” He stood up and shook hands.

“Do you mind if I have a word with you?”

“No of course not! What do you need?” Keitaro sat back down on the rock and Reidar joined him on a different one.

“Is something bothering you?” Reidar asked. Keitaro sighed.

“Mother’s got you to do this didn’t she.” It wasn’t a question. Reidar shook his head.

“Nope I came here on my own free will. Are you going to answer my question?”

“She doesn’t understand me like father did. When he was still alive she wasn’t telling me what to do every day.” Keitaro threw stone into the water.

“Maybe that’s because once he died you were the only thing she had left. She loves you.” Reidar said softly

“If she loved me she’d leave me be!” he got ready to throw another stone. “She wouldn’t let me avenge my father even if I did what she wanted.”

“That’s where you’re blind.” Reidar said before Keitaro could say more. “Don’t you understand that she doesn’t want you to meet the same fate as your father? She’d let you go if she knew that that was what you wanted. But she’s scared that you’re going to plan to do that. In the name of Karimah don’t let your pain stop you from seeing what you’re missing out on.” Reidar paused for a moment to see if Keitaro was paying attention. Keitaro had released a new stone and watched it as it skipped six times. “Don’t throw your life away just because you think you’re misunderstood when you’re not.” Reidar stood up and turned to leave.

“Please,” he said as he turned back around. “Just think about what I said.” With that he walked off.

The End

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