Another fic connected to my other ones. I have to learn to stop doing it... The good news is that it doesn't make much difference. This story is set after the current events of "First Love?" but before they got banished to the Netherworld. I wasn't going to post it now, but I hate waiting.
Disclaimer: Except for the characters and the plot that I created, I don't own anything.
Chapter 1: The Young Wizard
Bai Tsa sighed while walked observing the scenery at her right side. It was a relatively arid place, which did not please her at all. She and her siblings were heading to Dai Gui's palace to visit him.
After the family had separated and each one of them formed an empire, they had decided that eventually would visit one another. They had not been winners, after all. They had a great loss and most of them had not overcome it.
The water demon saw a line of people and some small demons some meters away. Human slaves. And the demons held whips to make sure that the men would do their work. Dai Gui was known for being one of the most merciless demons with mortals.
"Bai Tsa" Tso Lan's voice called and she turned to see her brother.
"You look absent-minded. Is everything all right?"
Tso Lan looked away in thought.
"You have not left you empire very often. When you visit us, you look like you are being forced into it."
"No... It's just that-"
"Brother Dai Gui!" Xiao Fung shouted when he saw the earth demon approaching.
"Greetings, brothers and sisters." Dai said and they all bowed.
"Long time no see you." Tso Lan remarked.
"Yeah, you, Bai Tsa and Shendu never leave your homes." Xiao added.
"Dai Gui has been having some problems."
"What kind of problems?" Tchang Zu wanted to know.
"Come in, first. Outside is not the most appropriate place for this talk.
"I hate this palace..." Bai Tsa muttered angry and Po Kong, who had to shrink to walk freely for the palace, gave her an ironic smile.
"Do not complain. He never liked Atlantis either."
The two female demons turned their attention to their brothers when Tchang Zu asked again about Dai Gui's problems. The earth demon still took a while to respond.
"A war is about to begin. The people from the western Asia are threatening to invade this region."
"Western Asia?" Shendu confirmed while Tso Lan took a map and placed it on a table.
"Yes." Dai Gui replied.
Soon everyone was concentrated on the map, trying to come up with good strategies. Bai Tsa was the only one who did not join them. She and her brothers had practically just finished a tragic war, and she really did not feel like starting another any soon.
"I'm going out for a walk, ok?" she said but nobody seemed to have heard her. She snapped angry and left the room.
"Wars... What's so good in them, anyway? After one we get centuries to rebuild everything so that someone then destroys it all again..." she muttered while walking in the arid scenery near Dai Gui's underground palace.
And she stopped when, from a ravine, she saw several human slaves working hard under the dangerous look of demons who were at least three times bigger than them. They were all men, so they could do the hard work. Women and children used to have other duties, like being servants in the palace or in the manufactured production.
In that region, there was a 'race' of people with specific physic characteristics, like dark hair and dark eyes, but Bai noted that in these people had green or blue eyes and fair hair. Exactly the type of people who lived in her territory. Would it be possible that Dai Gui was stealing her mortals?
She considered going to ask one of the demons around there, but noticed a movement from the corner of her eye and turned just on time to see a figure moving away. Bai Tsa narrowed her eyes and followed it. Fortunately, there were many rocks that she could use to hide and watch the fugitive. When she approached a bit more, she could see it was a man.
He was wearing simple and patched clothes – typical of slaves – and also blue pants and blue long-sleeved shirt. His skin was slightly tanned, his eyes were sky-blue and his hair was pale blond, looking white. It was tied in a ponytail and reached his waist. Men with long hair were not rare in this time, but they usually had it reaching their chest, unless they were western wizards.
So he was a western wizard?
Bai did not have to wonder about that for too long, because the man got to a small waterfall and whispered some magic words that sounded like Latin, while he intertwined his hands, his index fingers together and pointing up. The falling water split and opened way for him to pass. For Bai Tsa's surprise, the spell did not just open a way, but also created a portal in the cave behind the waterfall. The man went through it and the water was about to go back to normal. Without thinking twice, Bai Tsa rushed to it, going through it right on time before the portal was closed.
It looked like she had just been teleported to another dimension. She was not in a cave, but in an enclosed room. The portal was the only exit.
Bai Tsa almost forgot about the man who in front of her, his back turned to her. Only then she noticed few shelves with some books and magic artifacts. Then now she was sure that he really was a wizard.
The man grabbed a very old book with beige cover and read it for a while, until he found what he wanted. Bai Tsa stood in total silence and watched him in interest. Perhaps that wizard was a spy from the east who was here researching a way to defeat her brother Dai Gui. If so, it was worth keeping an eye on him until she could be sure of some useful information.
"Here it is..." he murmured to himself and Bai could note he had a strange accent that sounded like a mix of Latin and the language spoken in the region of Britain. That turned it hard to guess where he was from, but certainly he was not from this place.
Suddenly, he turned to the portal. Bai Tsa flinched and thought she would not have to time to hide, but luckily he was so concentrated on the book that did not even saw her. He went through the portal and the water demon hurried to it as well. When she was back, she ended up in the lake.
The wizard quickly looked at the lake but did not see anything wrong. The still glanced suspiciously at it before reading the book again and walk away.
Bai Tsa reformed her head and sighed. It was in times like this that she was glad for being the water demon.
Then she remembered. Magic was prohibited to mortals, except official chi wizards who usually assisted the demons sorcerers. And this man certainly was not an official wizards, his clothes showed that. And the mere fact that he had hidden books in a secret chamber was very suspicious too.
She got out of the lake and continued following him. Bai Tsa always admired western magic, and had to admit that she was curious to see what he was planning to do.
A squirrel passed next to him. This area in particular was not so arid and was not a surprise to find some small animals. And since this one seemed to be the only one around, it ended up being the human's guinea pig. He pointed at the squirrel while confirmed something in the book several times.
"Strigare, saxificusum!" he said in a loud and clear voice and the squirrel immediately froze, then turned into stone. He smiled in victory and Bai Tsa widened her eyes. For all her life she had learned eastern magic, which was considered to be better than the western one. However, she believed that some western spells were much better. She just proved that by watching this spell. If she used eastern magic to obtain the same result, the process would be divided in two parts and consequently longer. But this human did it in three seconds!
"Amazing." a feminine human said behind the man, who turned around to see woman dressed in a Roman white toga. Her hair was black and reached her waist, and her eyes were blue, lighter than the sky. He stared at her both in surprise and in suspicion.
"What?" he asked closing the book and holding it tightly as if he were protecting it from the woman. But Bai Tsa was just fascinated.
"That spell you just did. It has not just frozen that squirrel, but also turned it into stone in few seconds." she replied smiling slyly and he stepped back. Bai Tsa approached and stretched her hand to reach the book.
"Can I see it?" she asked but he retreated even more.
"Why?" he asked looking angry and she sighed.
"I always liked western magic. I think it is very interesting."
He looked at her up and down.
"You are not after me...?" he asked carefully.
"No, I just want to see the book." the water demon said already losing her patience and he, after some hesitation, finally handed over the book to her.
Bai Tsa grinned when she took the book in her hands. Even after she moved away to Atlantis, she never had the opportunity to read a real western magic book. Tso Lan always motivated her to read the eastern ones, therefore impeding her touch with western spells.
She sat in a huge stone in the ground to read it. It was all in Latin, but that was not a problem, since Latin was the language spoken in almost all her empire.
"Tell me, can you understand everything in this book?" she wanted to know.
"No, of course not. I am just a slave. Lord Dai Gui ordered me to take that book to him. I just got curious halfway and tried an easy spell." he answered smiling friendly and Bai narrowed her eyes in suspicion.
"Then why is your hair so long?"
"B-Because..." he hesitated thoughtfully. "It's... a promise I made a long time ago."
"I see." she said closing the book. "Well, let's not leave lord Dai Gui waiting, right? You better hurry." she said giving the book back to him and deciding she could ask her brother to continue reading it later.
"Thank you." he politely said getting up. "See you later." he said while turning around and turned to go away. She sighed and since she had nothing better to do, she decided to go back to the underground palace.
"Bai Tsa, where were you?" Tchang Zu asked as soon as he saw his sister entering the room where the demonic family was.
"I told you I was going to go out for a walk, but nobody listens to me!" she snapped and nobody seemed to have heard her. Apparently they were all very concentrated on war strategies again. It seemed that everybody was excited with the idea of seeing other human massacre, which Bai Tsa really dispensed. She snorted and left the room, violently slamming the door.
"So what's her problem?" Xiao Fung asked and Hsi Wu shrugged.
"Who cares? She is always on a bad mood, anyway!" Shendu snapped.
"Yes, she looks like someone I know..." Po Kong commented looking at him and the dragon hissed angry, but did not say anything.
"Perhaps someone should talk with her." Tso Lan suggested and Shendu crossed his arms.
"Do not even count on me!"
"Nobody was going to ask you, anyway." Hsi Wu stated.
"Dai Gui is going to talk with her." the earth demon said.
"Me too." Tso said and they two left the room to look for her.
In one of the many rooms of the underground labyrinth, Bai Tsa was seated in a rock bench and sighed in annoyance. Lately, neither her siblings nor her mortals in Atlantis have been a good company to her. Everybody had such a superficial relation with her that it was beginning to depress her.
"Bai Tsa." Tso Lan's voice called and she lifted her gaze to see two of her brothers approaching.
"What is it?" she asked rather sharply.
"Is something bothering you?" the moon demon asked and she got up to walk forward and turn her back to them, crossing her arms.
"Does that really matter to you?"
"Of course yes, you are our sister."
"And Dai Gui feels guilty, because he knows that you dislike his palace." the earth demon added. Although Bai Tsa did not believe them – after all, they were not exactly the most caring beings she knew – at least she felt better with them than with Shendu or Tchang Zu, for example.
"Lord Dai Gui!" a guard interrupted entering the room and bowed.
"What is it?" Dai asked in his usual cruel tone.
"He tried to challenge you again." the man answered.
"Bring him here." the demon ordered and now Bai was not angry anymore, but curious to know what they were talking about. He? Again? Then it was someone persistent, since her brother quickly understood the situation. The guard left the room for a brief moment and was back with other two guards, who were dragging a man. He was reluctant and tried to break free, but gave up when the guards stopped in front of their leader.
Bai Tsa widened her eyes as she recognized the man.
"You!" she exclaimed and he looked at her.
"Yes, me." he said in a sarcastic tone and she frowned a bit confused, as well as her brothers.
He raised a brow. "I knew you were not a human. I guessed you were the water demon."
"You knew it? Then... you really are a wizard!"
"Rather obvious, don't you think? Judging by his appearance and his chi, you could easily say he is not a common man." Tso Lan said and Bai was angry again. She was not just deceived, but her brother had to worse everything by commenting it in front of everyone.
"You said you were just Dai Gui's servant!"
"Well, I lied. That way we are even, because we pretended to be a human as well." the man said shrugging.
"How do you dare?"
"It's not my fault if even though you are a demon sorcerer you are so naive." He smirked sarcastically and Bai Tsa could feel her blood boiling.
"Enough!" Dai Gui interrupted. "What did he do this time?"
"He abandoned his position, tried to cause a revolt, invaded the palace, killed and wounded several guards, stole a magic book and planned to attack you with spells to kill you, sir!" the first guard answered and the man just rolled his eyes, looking bored.
"Why you..." Bai Tsa hissed through her clenched teeth.
"Dai Gui..." Tso Lan said in a alerting tone to warning him that their sister was losing her self-control. The earth demons nodded and turned to the guard.
"Do not kill him yet. He shall be important in the battle against the western Asia. Take him to my sons and tell them to feel free to torture him. When they are done, keep him arrested for three days."
"Yes, sir!" the three guards said and left dragging the man away. Now Bai was calmer. Calm way too much to be something normal.
"Any problem?" Tso Lan asked. After a while hesitating, she shook her head. "No, it's nothing."
"Do not worry, he will no longer bother you." Dai Gui promised and the water demon glared at him before leaving the room and her two brothers confused.
"She is very fickle." Tso commented and Dai nodded.
During the dinner, Bai Tsa tried to enjoy it, but that was impossible. The food that pleased Dai Gui was horrible and everything there was a mess. All of her siblings were arguing for some reason, even Tso Lan, who was scolding the earth demon for having let his wife to another continent when a war is about to begin.
The three youngest were obviously uneasy with the presence of Dai Gui's sons, Di Zhen and Di Mian. They still were relatively young, but extremely violent and physically strong. No wonder their father had appointed them to torture, which varied from light slaps until mutilations and death. Some of the siblings did not agree with that, especially Tso Lan and Bai Tsa, who did not like useless violence. Then again, that was not of their business.
And the two little demons were quite agitated and pleased, since they had spent hours torturing rebel slaves and even some weak demons. And today they had to torture a human who has been causing troubles for a good while. They said that the only thing that spoiled their fun was that their father had ordered them not to kill the man.
Eventually, Tchang Zu got sick of the confusion and demanded them to shut up. The silence did not last too long, but at least the arguing was not so out of control. Bai Tsa was the only one of the family who had not eaten at all. Not just because it had an awful taste, but also because she was very possessive with her things and cold not stand when someone dared to boss around her mortals or stole them. She was sure that wizard was from her empire. Perhaps not a slave, but a subject from the continent.
"Did something happen, sister Bai?" Hsi Wu asked waking her from her thoughts and she glared at her host.
"Dai Gui, we need to talk."
"Sure, what is it?"
"It is about that human who invaded your palace today. Isn't he from my empire?" she asked and her siblings sighed, already knowing where this was going.
"You have not changed at all, my sister. You are so selfish." Xiao Fung commented with an amused smirk.
"Nobody has the right to rob me!"
"Dai Gui understands you, sister." the earth demon said calmly. "But he is not from your empire, he is from mine." he assured.
"Oh, yeah? And how do you know that, hm?" she asked crossing her arms.
"Dai Gui would never rob someone of the family. That human is from the north island."
"Oh, oh, what's the name of it? Bitrain?" Xiao asked snapping his fingers trying to remember.
"Britain!" everybody corrected at the same time.
"Yes, that's right!"
Bai Tsa took a deep breath, trying not to get angry. "Britain has once been part of my territory." she reminded.
"But it is not anymore." Po Kong said.
"That is what happens when you make stupid bets." Shendu added.
"Shut up, you lost territories for the same reason too!"
"The point is, Britain is officially Dai Gui's territory and he has the right to do whatever he wants with to that human." Tchang Zu said willing to put an end to the subject with that argument, but the water demon was not going to give up.
"He is not from Britain. His accent is too strong."
The demons sighed heavily and some of them slapped their foreheads.
"Bai Tsa, please! Why is that so important to you?" Po Kong asked.
"He deceived me, he's from my empire. I am the one who has the right to punish him, not Dai Gui."
"He is not yours!" Shendu yelled.
"If you don't believe it, just ask him." Dai suggested and she stood up.
"That's exactly what I am going to do!"
The dungeon definitively was not a very pleasant place. It was very dark and there were skeletons everywhere. The only reason why the place was not in worst conditions was because Dai Gui's sons were always there and they did not appreciate much filthiness.
Tonight, the place was silent. Dai Gui was forming armies with the captured criminals and rebels instead of keeping them arrested. And the few ones who were in this prison were sleeping.
Some cells were even spacious so that it had space for all the prisoners in times of wars and revolutions. And when Bai Tsa got to the end of the corridor, found the wizard in a normal cell. Surprisingly, the cell was open, and she had to wonder why he had not tried to escape.
She did not even needed to turn into water to go in. He was lying next to the wall, his face down and his eyes closed. His clothes, specially his shirt, were bloodstained. When she approached, he opened his eyes and raised his glance at her.
"I didn't expect... to see you here..." he said with some difficult, lowering his glance again.
"Have you already noted that your cell is completely open?" she asked.
"Yes, I have. Either two the brothers forgot to close it or they are getting more and more distracted..." he murmured still sounding tired.
"And why don't you just get away?"
"Because... I still can't move... But they would... come after me anyway..."
"How many times have you gone through this?" she asked raising a brow and he tried to smile.
"I can't even count it on my fingers..."
She sighed and knelt down.
"Whatever, I came here just to ask you a question."
"Then ask it."
"I want to know where you came from. Where were you born and where did you use to live?"
He still took a while to answer. Bai could not say if he was still thinking of an answer or gathering strength to do it.
"I was born in Britain." he finally said and the water demon clenched her fists angrily. Then Dai Gui was right, after all.
"And where did you live before coming to the continent?"
"I lived almost all my childhood in the Roman region near Gaul, but then I went back to Britain. My visits to the continent were not rare, though." he finished, trying to get up. The best he managed to do was to kneel. "Why?"
Either Bai Tsa did not hear his question or just ignored it, because instead of answering, she observed his long white hair that was covered in blood for having touched his back. He took a while to realize she was staring at him and huddled a bit embarrassed.
"What have they done to you...?!" she asked and he smiled nervously.
"Oh, this time they went easy on me." He unbuttoned his shirt and let it fall a little so that she could see a part of his back. "It was just this."
Bai Tsa could not help widening her eyes as she saw that his back was covered in horrible wounds and scratches. He wore his shirt again and while buttoning it, noted she was still staring at him.
"You haven't answered my question yet." he stated and she seemed to have woken up from a trance.
"What? What question?"
"I asked why you wanted to know where I was born."
She got up and looked away. "Nothing. I have to go now." she said before leaving the cell and then the dungeon. When she met her younger brothers, Xiao smiled at her annoyance.
"He really is from Britain, isn't he?"
She did not reply, just snapped angry and pushed her way past them. Shendu and Hsi Wu chuckled. "At least she didn't bet any territory."
Bai Tsa ignored them and entered her room. It was all right now. Since that man did not belong to her, she did not have to think about him anymore.
To be continued...