It has been some time since last I was here. Shall I continue the story? Well then, come near. A woman had attacked the ball, her guards and their magic destroying the hall. The prince would have been crushed flat, but his best friend would have none of that. Controlling the air, the wind as a blade, Kazahaya responded, Rikuo saved. But the woman was delighted, laughing at the aftermath. She called Kazahaya 'your highness'; does she know the empath?

At the woman's words, the men who had entered with her were instantly still, no longer throwing around careless bursts of power around the destroyed hall. The four guardians of the young man she had addressed were in disbelief.

'Your Highness'? A declaration of a highborn? Yes Kazahaya most certainly looked the part, especially given his current regalia, but the young man had never once alluded to his heritage or his life ten years previous.

Could the young man truly be of the Royal class?

The young woman once again began speaking, her voice like ice, her words like venom.

"No one could believe it when you disappeared. Imagine; the Crown Prince of Median, vanishing in the night. And of course, you knew how to hide from all our attempts to find you."

Kazahaya remained completely still, his eyes never once leaving the woman's face, his body never once faltering in its obvious defence of the Northern Prince. This action was all Rikuo needed to be prepared to use his own skills to get them both out safely. The woman kept speaking.

"The King was furious; still is actually, that you would desert your position. At first, he had been convinced that you were abducted, but then he found your royal seal. Tell me your grace, why leave everything you have ever known, and everything you have ever worked for? The time for your coronation draws nearer by the day, your eighteenth birthday the marker for when you are to inherit the crown."

Though passive, the five people left in the room from the ball were listening intently, four in shock that their darling little empath was of royal descent. Some thing said, however, had the royal physician's mind turning over itself, searching desperately through years of knowledge trying to make a link.

Median.

The Westman had heard the word before, many times, when in reference to the arithmetic studies, and in the sciences, but he had also heard, once and in hushed whispers, the word used in a very different context.

No matter which quarter one belonged to, everyone had heard of the mystery isle, the hidden land. Every so often, a ship would be travelling from one of the quarters for reasons of trade or visitation, and upon its arrival passengers and working crew would have vanished, though there had been no stops along the course. And sometimes, the entire ship, passengers and crew, would never arrive at all.

It was said that they had been spirited away, taken to an uncharted island by the works of unknown magics.

When he had first heard it, Kakei had dismissed the notion, placing it to people's hope that the ship hadn't sunk, or the people ending up overboard. The result of grief-stricken minds and no-more.

There had been no pattern towards the people or the ships affected. People and ships from anyquarter.

No one had ever been able to accurately tell when and where the disappearances occurred, only that they happened some where in the middle of the journey.

Median. The middle point.

The hushed whispers returned to his mind, and the psychic grasped desperately for the words that he had heard so many years ago.

Where had he been? The docks, taking a walk on his day off.

What had he been wearing? The soft yellow robe which Saiga had gifted to him.

Was he holding anything? No ... wait, he had been holding the remnants of some fruit.

What had he heard?

Diving back into that moment, Kakei briefly wondered if this was at all like what Kazahaya went through when his powers came into play. Replaying the memories in his head, the blond man found himself reliving the memories, walking down the docks.

He could see the two men huddled closely together, not an odd sight for the way the docks attracted fierce winds. What had caught his attention with those two?

"How could the Prince be missing?"

There.

That one sentence had caught his attention, and he had started listening, thinking it was his own prince that had disappeared from sight.

"He must have boarded one of the barges as it came by. Word is that his majesty is furious, so all of the off-landers need to keep an eye out for him. You know as well as I what'll happen if the prince o' Median is lost."

And with that, Kakei had left, the mumblings of the two men telling only that Prince Rikuo wasn't the missing party.

It had been a few days later that Kazahaya had appeared at a ball.

At the time, the physician's concern had been to the child's survival, the words exchanged between two unknown men completely removed from his mind. Now however, ten years since he had heard them, the link was made.

Kazahaya had run away from his homeland and come to the North.

The very same young man whom the Westman's thoughts had been dwelling suddenly spoke up, answering the unknown woman's question in a voice barren of his usual brightness or cheer.

"As I have stated from the first moment I was able, I do not hold, nor have I ever held, any attachment to the throne of Median."

The woman grew irritated, but remained still, her eyes piercing the post-cognitive man before her.

"How can you say such? You were destined from the moment of your conception to take up the duties of the Kudo line. If not you, than who else is to rule Median?"

The Northern Prince couldn't help but to place his gaze upon the man before him, the man who had saved him twice now, and was called his best friend. The idea of that same man being of identical status to his own still unable to become true in Rikuo's mind. In the Northern palace, Kazahaya had been given a multitude of duties, which he had never shied away from. Was the young man truly capable of forsaking familial and royal duty as the woman said?

"You say who else as though there were no other candidates for the role. Those who want it. Those who feel they could do Median well. The women of the Kudo line." The woman's gaze suddenly seemed scandalized, obviously the idea of women being in a seat of authority looked down upon in her homeland. Kazahaya's gaze sharpened, the intense, knowing gaze that had long ago caused many the young lady, and several the young man, to make their confessions to the empath. "And of course, that includes you yourself, big sister."

The tension in the air escalated; the words from Kazahaya's mouth unthinkable for the nature the boy had always displayed. Saiga could feel his hand clenching, the short nails biting into his skin. Kazahaya had always put forth that there was no-one for him to contact, had he not? Ever since he had first been asked by Kakei, Kazahaya had insisted that he was alone.

Saiga's eyes, hidden behind their darkened spectacles, suddenly snapped open.

No, the boy had never once stated that he had no family. Kazahaya's exact words from the day Kakei had asked rang through Saiga's mind and the hidden meaning behind them now clear.

"There is no-one I can contact."

Can contact. If the young boy had made any contact with family or friends, the entire point of him running form his homeland would have been set to waste, and judging just from the woman, now apparently his adoptive son's sister, Median was a dangerous and violent place to be.

Said sister was trembling, her fists shaking in reaction to being acknowledged by the young man in front of her. A dark, twisted smirk worked its way on her face and when she again spoke, her voice sounded desperate; haunted.

"I am a woman, brother, in no way suited to the throne; you know this. Even suggesting it shows that you have been in the outside far too long. It is not safe, little brother, you could get infected by them, and that's bad."

The woman was sounding far less intimidating, her voice resembling that of a brainwashed child, told over and over that they must never disobey. The Queen actually examined the woman, and found quickly that she very easily was related to her friend.

Though the styling was vastly different, Kazahaya and his sister shared the exact same golden hair, hers long and straight, ending at her waist. They both held very lithe figures, though where Kazahaya's made him seem too thin; on the woman it enhanced her attributes of womanhood. Just as Kazahaya, the newcomer was wearing the robes of the North, a red and yellow dress with golden trim, followed by an embossed golden dragon on the front. And, finally, her eyes.

The eyes that were so innocent and dear on Kazahaya, yet seemed so vindictive and cruel on her.

Hazel eyes, with deep green flecks littering their depths.

"If it is bad to be in the North, then I don't wish to be right in Median, sister." Kazahaya finally averted his eyes, darting them to the prince behind him, before once more directing his gaze to the woman and her soldiers. "For what point, other than to lead, have you also been taught as I was taught; economics, the sciences, politics, social studies. For what reason are you just as educated as I, if not for you to take the throne. Surely on your way here you would have seen the great opulence of the North. That is created by the current Queen. The North has no King at present, and even if it did, her Majesty would still be the one in charge."

The young man's words seemed to send the young woman into a frenzy, and suddenly she screamed, clutching at the sides of her head trying to block him out. Without warning, the woman lashed out, a great flame snaking from her hands, flying in the paths created by her motions. The flames obediently followed her commands, travelling where they were directed, destroying all that came to block them regardless of who or what. Within seconds, the young woman had wiped out all of her men, their scorched corpses falling sordidly to the floor.

Miraculously, and with a bit of singed hair from Saiga, the five had remained unharmed.

As they stood, the woman began cackling, her laugh shrill and wild.

"Don't you see, brother? We still have the bonds of blood! Just as you gain control of your name, I gain control of mine! Do you not thirst to be able to use this power? The power born from our mutual birth?"

So speaking, the woman flicked her hand open, creating a small ball of fire floating above her skin.

"As long as we are within hearing distance of one another, we have always had this power, brother. His Majesty, our Lord father, used to have us test ourselves against one another, remember?" The woman suddenly flung her hand towards the young man she spoke to, the flame following her command. "And I was always the victor! My flame completely absorbs your wind Kazahaya!"

The Northern Prince moved to grab the blond in front of him, but a single gesture and glance from his friend, stopped Rikuo in his tracks.

Calmly, almost languidly, Kazahaya raised his own hand and made a snapping gesture with his wrist. The oncoming trail of fire suddenly changed course, the path of the flame moving away from the empath and the prince.

The Queen and her two companions sighed in relief, that their friend family were safe. The intruder however was shocked, looking briefly to her hand before sending another burst of fire at her target.

Once again Kazahaya deflected the attack, the fireball flying of in an opposite direction.

"Just as you said, sister; your flame absorbs my wind. But that does not make you the victor, given that I can redirect the flame, simply by giving it more 'food' to follow, an idea I had not yet formed when last we clashed." The woman from Median grew furious and sent a stream of fire balls towards her brother. Kazahaya raised a single hand. "And it is not all I have realised."

Suddenly clenching his fist, Kazahaya's face grew soft, though still far more serious than what the Northerners and Westman were used to. The Median woman's attack abruptly stopped; the flames withdrawing into themselves before extinguishing. The woman stood in shock, once again shaking, though this time from fear. Kazahaya's voice rang through the destroyed space, clear, strong, and most definitely the voice of a ruler.

"Just as I can control and create the wind, I can cause it to disappear, leaving nothing for your flames to feed off. And my powers are not restricted to your flames, Kei."

The woman recoiled, a hand rising in preparation of an attack that never came. She did nothing, said nothing, but stared at her brother. The other four were in shock, still unable to move despite the war that was waged between the two. It was as the girl had said earlier; they g ain control over their names; Kazahaya held sway over the air, the wind, and his sister, Kei held control over fire, no doubt the character of her name being the same deriving of Kakei's firefly.

Tsukiko still stood behind the empath, her eyes still set on her brother's best friend. She had had no idea that Kazahaya was so strong. Kazahaya had always given the impression of being some one delicate and fragile, someone that they all needed to protect. And yet, without a glimmer of worry or weakness, Kazahaya was single handedly felling an opponent with no small means of power. How he had gotten this strong was a mystery.

Or had he always been this strong, and they never let him stand on his own?

It was a standstill between the two born in the middle point. Kazahaya was obviously in a better position, his ability to create, control and kill the air giving him a clear upper hand. Yet he did not strike. Rikuo understood with every passing second that the empath would never strike to kill. Not only would he be forced to suffer the consequences of murder, let alone to murder of a family member, the boy's power would no doubt pick up the girls emotions as she was slain.

If Kazahaya killed her, he would also be killed.

That, however, quickly ceased to be a problem. A Vicious snarl from the gardens brought all their attention outside. It was one of many rebel bands, seeking the destruction of the monarchy to establish their own hierarchy. They began attacking, continuing what Kei and her men had started.

Arrows, spears, rocks and even men, came flying towards the two monarchs and the three around them, quickly followed on foot by the other brigands. Quickly raising both hands, as though he were pulling something from the ground, Kazahaya summoned a shield made from the air throughout the remainders of the hall.

Taking the momentary surprise to their own advantage, both Saiga and the Northern Prince leapt to the attack, knocking several of the invaders to the ground and ensuring that they were not soon to rise. Kakei stayed close to the Queen guarding her from collateral damage and the few who managed to sneak past the two Northern men. Kei herself had already been knocked out of commission, choosing to defend herself from her brother as opposed to the rebels, and had been carried off to one of the horses.

And Kazahaya.

Both royals and the boy's adoptive parents kept glancing at the post-cognitive psychic, simultaneously worried for his safety and interested to see what he would do. Kazahaya was making a series of motions with his hands and body, not unlike that of a dance, and the resulting paths of wind knocked down all who strayed too near.

The boy had been adorable. The young man had been a beauty. But the man before them now, had no words that would do him justice. He was both beautiful and handsome, strong and gentle, fierce and kind, a warrior yet a healer. All the men struck by his blades of the breeze were not cut, nor dying. The men hit by the whips of wind were not broken or dead. Those caught by the arrows of air were not pierced and not wounded. But none of them were able to attack any further.

A deep voice rang through the night and all froze as it sounded.

"There is no way we will be able to follow through with our plans tonight. We shall retreat for now. But seeing as we have the young lady, we should bring along someone to make sure she isn't lonely, right?"

The rebels started smirking and before another word could be uttered, a blast of smoke filled the air, destroying any and all sight.

Kakei and Tsukiko drew closer together, Rikuo and Saiga standing back to back. It was then that they realised what the leader of the rebels meant.

"Kazahaya!"

The four headed quickly to the gardens, just leaving the smoke nest in time to see an unconscious Kazahaya slung across the back of a horse as the rebels fled the scene.

A single shimmer of silver shone beneath a curtain of gold.

There was no possibility of catching up to the attackers, at least not safely. While the other started shaking in horror and sadness, Rikuo fell to his knees, and began punching the earth, leaving small indentations in the dirt.

Again, he had failed to protect the one who meant the most to his heart. As the palace guards finally arrived at the scene after protecting all the guests and visitors, the Northern Prince let loose a howl that echoed through the dark night.

"KAZAHAYA!"

The tale has ended, just for now. When we resume, I shall tell you how. How the rest of the story goes. How from this moment the story flows. Kazahaya and Kei, taken by the rebeller. What shall I tell next?

The Storyteller.