A/N: My first fanfic. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me. Disclaimer: Don't own it.

The ringing of metal on metal echoed throughout the practice yard. Several servants were standing at the fence, avidly watching the two fighters. Red- brown eyes watched closely, trying to determine which way his opponent would attack from. He brought his sword into a horizontal guard across his chest and braced his feet waiting for the attack.

The second fighter brought his shield up and stopped short. His opponent was standing completely motionless with his eyes closed and sword in a horizontal guard.

A blood red glow was developing at the base of the blade, where a red ruby was set in the blade.

Letting go of all finesse he charged at the standing fighter. The glowing sword blocked his downward swing. and the handles locked, leaving the two fighters struggling to untangle their weapons. There was a blinding flash of red light, and the shield-wielding fighter was thrown back against the fence with a resounding crack.

"Damn it Kai! That was uncalled for!"

"If you were actually practicing, then this wouldn't have happened."

The fighter with the shield staggered to his feet and started towards his opponent. A smaller blonde hopped over the fence and got in between the two fighters.

"Tyson, calm down. You're not going to gain anything by attacking him."

Tyson lowered his head, the weak sunlight glinting off of his midnight blue hair. "I know that Max. But who put him in charge of training the knights?"

Kai's voice drifted over them, carried by the slight breeze. "If you must know, The King put me in this position. I wouldn't have taken this position of my own free will."

He turned at the feel on insistent tugging on his armor. Looking down he saw a small boy, one of the castle pages at his side.


The boy jumped at the sound of Kai's voice. Looking up he fiddled with the edge of his black and white tabard. Swallowing nervously he managed to stammer out his message.

"The K..King wishes to see you immediately Sir."

Kai rolled his eyes and slipped his sword, Dranzer back into the scabbard that rested across his back. The page scurried away, obviously eager to be away from the stoic Knight-Captain.

Walking over to the fence he vaulted over it in one smooth motion, landing with the grace of a cat on the other side.

*Last I checked I was here to do nothing but train the knights. Although it would be nice to leave court for a while. All the females out for my head are making this stay a less then pleasant experience.*

Climbing the stairs he moved to one side to allow the ladies to pass. One of them shot him a coy look before returning to her conversation. He shook his head and leaned against the wall closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. *God! You'd think I was an exotic fruit! All I want is some time away from here. But no, I have to train the pathetic excuses for knights*

Kai pushed himself from the wall and ran a hand through his hair, pushing the slate colored strands out of his face. He managed to get to the audience chamber without being ambushed which was a miracle in itself. At times some of the more "persistent" of the court ladies would try to enjoy his company. Unfortunately upon reaching the doors the two members of the Royal Guard stopped him, informing him that the King was busy and would be with him as soon as possible.

Turning to the windows he looked out at the landscape in front of him. The sun was well on its journey across the sky, nearing the noontime. Just beyond the wall the city was unusually silent for this time of day. As he turned away from the windows his reflection caught his eye.

His skin was unusually pale, a color usually the ladies that refused to go outside had. Blue triangles adorned his cheeks, remnants of a forgotten childhood. Dark, serious red-brown eyes took in everything around him, down to the smallest, most insignificant detail. Slate colored bangs dominated the front while in the back dark blue, almost black hair was common.

Kai was snapped out of his thoughts by the sound of the door opening behind him. Turning he saw a small man backing out of the room in a deep bow. Something about the man was grating on his nerves. The man in question straightened and turned to look at him.

"Ah, you must be the illustrious Knight-Captain that I've heard so much about. Let me introduce myself. I am Naoll, humble mage at your service."

Kai looked over the man and could see nothing in his appearance that could cause the uneasy feeling he was experiencing. The mage was dressed in black velvet robes with runes and symbols of power embroidered in silver and gold thread. His brown hair hung in limp, greasy strands. He was ugly, with a squashed nose and beady eyes. A scar ran down the left side of his face and ended beneath his chin. Still, the feeling of unease didn't abate and it seemed Dranzer shared his feelings. The ruby was glowing and the light could be seen even through its leather shroud.

Naoll stood on his toes trying to get a better look at the glow from behind Kai. "Oh! You have a possessed blade. How wonderful! May I see it?"

Kai gave him a cold look before answering. "No. I don't like having other people handle my weapons."

One of the Royal Guards came over and bowed low. "Excuse me Sir, but the King wishes to see you now."

He turned on heel and took his place next to the door. The mage nodded and walked off calling over his shoulder "It was nice to meet you. I hope we can talk again."

Kai totally ignored the mage and walked into the King's audience chamber.