Chapter 1
Edgar leaned on an iron door of his bedroom, blowing blond hair out of his eyes, but he didn't really know what he was looking for. Just looking for the sake of looking for once. Even kings could do that every once in a while he thought as he watched his small son's even breathing as he slept. What a chaotic world the boy had been born into, so unlike the peaceful world Edgar had grown up in. Peaceful by comparison, anyway.
He sat down heavily at his desk and scanned through the paperwork quickly. His eyes were aching, he knew they were red. So many things to do, things to see, things to repair, tools to build, new weapons to be forged, and so many anti-monarchy groups to be hunted down. He leaned back in his chair. Maybe not many groups. It was just one in particular, the others were easily picked off, but the Arlordens...

They claimed to have been on the land, before the first Figaroan, Lord Gerad Figaro the first, more than a thousand years ago, had set foot on what would be the future nation of Figaro. The Arlordens wanted land, but Edgar couldn't give it to them, nor had his father been able to before him. The land that Figaro Castle rested on was just too precious to give up. It was their home, their own land, while the Arlordens had free access to the rest. What Edgar couldn't understand, was why the Arlordens wanted the land on which Figaro stood. He guessed that, not being an Arlorden himself, that he wouldn't be able to understand why they wanted it so badly anyway, even if they explained.

Edgar took out a colored out drawing of the Arlorden chieftain, Kodaka Arlorden. Straight and tall, his statistics were on the same sheet. Six foot eight, around one hundred and seventy pounds, but by no means a fat man. He outweighed Edgar himself in every aspect, except Edgar's skill with swords and his gift of toolmaking.
Still, he was an opponant to be wary of. Tanned by the sun and trained by the desert itself, Kodaka was a dangerous man, but he was also getting old. But no matter what advantage Edgar had, he still felt... uneasy of the man. The artist had successfully captured the dangerous light in Kodaka's eyes, and the light grey orbs burned through Edgar. There was also something strange about his pupils. Edgar squinted in the dim light. They were shaped like... fires, perhaps? He sat back again and shivered.

The man was unnerving. But there was also something... familiar... a sort of warmth in the same cold eyes, but in the face of another person. He pondered about this, pouring over the papers, examining every bit of data he had, but... It was of no use.

Gerad whimpered and cried in his sleep and Edgar soothed him before glancing wearily at the papers again. It would have to wait until another day, he decided. Or night. He sat down at the desk again. Why put it off? The more he did tonight, the less he would have to do tomorrow, and the more rest he could get. His vision blurred slightly. Would he be able to stay awake even if he wanted to, was the question.

His wife, Lynna, his beautiful Lynna, glided into the room. He put his head down on the desk in resignation, at the sight of her disapproving countenance. What a rogue he had been, flirting with every girl he could see. He certainly hadn't deserved Lynna. But then, she was the only one who snapped back and him, the wildcat. She hadn't deserved him. She pushed her brown hair out of her face. A plain face, she said, but he didn't think so. He wanted to hit himself. Why was he admiring her when he had work to do? The nation's running smoothly depended on him.

She stroked his hair and said something to him, but he couldn't understand. She looked at him worriedly and wiped sweat off of his forehead. She said something else. It was hot, so hot. He couldn't keep his eyes open... he couldn't breathe properly. Her face slid in and out of his view, multiplying, blurring, or just disappearing. He tried to stand up but his knees wobbled and she pushed him back down, feeling his forehead. She said something else, her voice quick and high, like when she was upset, and she hugged him tightly. The contact burned him and he gasped in agony, as he was suddenly plagued by icy coldness.
He heard something distant in his head... something... someone screaming, someone was there. Who was it, who?

Gerad woke up and stared at them both, terrified. Edgar's muscles turned to water and he couldn't control them. His breaths were labored and uneven. What was happening? Lynna screamed something, and Edgar saw no more.