Disclaimer: I, Ebony Nightinggale, do not own anything from the Kiesha'Ra series, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes does.

This takes place not long after the end of Wyvernhail.

Ashes of Burning Hope

Chapter One: sakkri'a'she

I see a girl. She walks from the forest to the market of Wyvern's Court, her face hidden by the hood of her cream colored cape. Golden hair tumbles forth from her hood in waves as she looks left and right out across the market. Though her eyes are hidden, wonder is written all over what was visible of her face.

And then there was nothing but fire. It eats at the trees and ground devouring everything it touches. The girl stands in the center of the fire, screaming at something, or someone, to leave her alone. She gathers the fire in her hands. It leaves the trees and grass and gathers itself around her. She stops screaming.

The boy she was shouting at approaches and holds out his left hand to her. I know the name he calls before he speaks it. "Keyi." He calls. The girl takes his hand. And the vision is gone.

I awoke to some shaking my shoulders, "Hai. Hai, please wake up."

"Nicias?" I opened my eyes and the peregrine prince gave me a slight smile of relief.

"I thought I lost you." He whispered.

"I am sorry to have worried you, my light." I smiled and sat up.

"I need to speak with Salem." He told me, "Will you be alright?"

"Don't worry, I'll be fine. Go have your meeting." Nicias nodded and smiled lightly reassured that I was fine.

"Just don't cause too much trouble while I'm gone."

"So then, no stealing the throne while you're gone?" I teased the peregrine.

"Go ahead and try but it might be kind of hard to steal the throne from the person I'm going to be with."

"Another time then."

Nicias stood and walked toward the door, "See you tonight then?"

"Always."

The peregrine left leaving me alone to ponder my vision.

I had not seen a sakkri'a'she in over a month and one of Keyi in longer. What had brought her to me now? She was older in this vision, closer to twelve then the young girl I normally saw. And then there was that boy. I had never seen him before.

I realized as I sat there pondering for awhile that this was getting me nowhere. My mind was just going around in circles asking the same questions over and over again.

Frustrated with my thoughts I decided to take a wake and try to calm my nerves. I was not going to let Wyvern's Court burn after all I'd gone through to save it last time. But first I needed to clear my head and clam down if I was going to figure this out.

I walked through the market watching the birds and snakes go about their business. Occasionally someone would smile or wave at me and I would smile or wave politely back but mostly I walk unnoticed through the market.

Then I saw her. Just out of the corner of my eye but there she stood. I stepped into a shadow and discreetly watched her.

A girl about the age of twelve walked carefully unnoticed through the market, golden hair spilling from the front of the hood of her cream colored cape, which also cast shadows across her eyes.

She suddenly stopped, turned around, and walked a couple steps in the other direction before changing her mind and walking back the way she came.

She walked awhile and I followed her. I do not know what possessed me to do so but I did.

The girl stopped again, this time in front of a baker's stand. She stared at the breakfast pies putting a hand on her stomach. She started searching through the pockets of her pants and cape before sighing and walking on.

I approached the avian baker who was also looking after the girl, "Could I have two of those please?" I asked pointing to the breakfast pies.

"Sure." The baker handed me the pies and I paid for them before hurrying after the girl.

I stopped beside her and she looked at me in surprise as I offered her the breakfast pie. "Here." I said encouraging her to take it. She started bouncing up and down and saying "Thank you!" over and over again I could hardly tell what she was saying. I laughed a little.

As she took the pie from my hand I noticed that the sleeves of her shirt were so long that they reached almost all the way to the tips of her fingers, "Thank you." She repeated as she took a bite of the pie and pure delight shone brightly on what was visible of her face.

I walked beside her in silence watching her eat the breakfast pie and half expecting the world to burst into flames at any minute.

The girl stopped suddenly looking forward with an awestruck look on her face. I followed her gaze.

We were in the center of the market, I realized, and the girl was staring in awe at the wyvern statue in the center of court.

She walked up to the statue and looked up at it with awe. Then she sat down beneath it and savored the last few bites of her pie.

Something about the girl unnerved me. Maybe it was just the way her hood cast shadows across her eyes but something did.

I sat down beside her, "How long have been in Wyvern's Court?" I asked the girl.

"Umm…" She mumbled fiddling with the corner of her cape, "About half an hour."

"You came alone?"

"No," she mumbled shyly, "I was with my big brother but I ran ahead of him in the woods and I guess I got here first."

"What's your name, little one?"

She looked up at me for a moment but her eyes were still hidden by her hood. She looked back down at her lap before answering, "I'm Keyi."