Having the wind flow around you in a caressing wave was relaxing. A good thought if there ever was one.

Silver eyes opened, only to close again beneath tattooed eyelids as an elegant figure held his arms out as if to absorb the wind's coolness; its power.

The navy blue-purple cloak that rippled in the breeze now pulled on the figure's shoulders, vainly trying to pull him backwards into the air as if to vanish with the seeds carried with it over the horizon. His waist length silver-blue hair followed suit, waving in elegant arcs over his shoulder and arm.

The breeze came to a stop, his hair coming to rest behind him once more. A lightning bolt shaped tattoo, over his right eye, shrank as the lid sheathed to reveal the silver eyes that could pierce into one's soul. Why was he in this situation?

He looked to the overcast sky, a thin smile appearing on his lips at the thought of looking to little wisps of rain and cloud for guidance in life. His gaze fell down wards to the yellowing leaves of the trees, a wary deer staring back at him, and then to the dirt path ahead. As his feet started to move again, the occasional fallen leaf crunched beneath his leather boots. Fall had only begun, so many of the leaves were still in the trees, clinging stubbornly to the woody branches. A smirk came to the elven face. It was ironic how alike men and these trees were: clinging on to the inevitable, much like their constant fear of death.

A yellowed maple leaf floated in front of him, and a swift movement caught it between his middle and pointer fingers. It crinkled in his hand, shattering to thousands of pieces to be distributed about the earth by the wind. He watched with pale eyes as the fragments fluttered about like frenzied insects. His eyes widened, then narrowed in concentration. Had these simple shards of leaf explained the way he was?

They twirled in a small spiral of wind, many of the pieces ricocheting off of the grass and branches. Those then simply fell to the ground in the many piles of leaves and other debris. Was that all that a life truly was? That would explain many things: he had always done what life had intended him to do; he had danced with everything else in the gigantic bursts of wind. So had he, apart from other beings, ran into a tree branch, and separated?

Damn, he hated to think so much… he started off again in his destination-less path. He would be willingly swept off wherever fate wished for him to go…

But then again, it wasn't like there was anything else for someone like him to do, anyway.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Wow, this was boring.

Chocolate eyes glanced over the fall scene. No monsters, no evil wizards plotting to destroy the world, no stinky ogres, (though the smell that often accompanied them wasn't ALWAYS necessary,) no trolls, no oafish bandits begging to get their hides tanned… how was a hero-well, hero-in-training- supposed to have fun if there was no butt to kick?

Trence sighed, jutting his jaw forward to blow a rogue strand of curly brown hair, which was nearly the same shade of brown of some of the leaves around him, from his eyes. He glanced with amber eyes at the oversized sword dangling from his waist. It was just a typical broad sword; sturdy, had a few magical encryptions that were supposed to keep it from breaking and protect the wielder…

What a load of crap.

He sat up slightly from his seated position leaned against a tree to get better access to the sword. Unsheathing it, he awkwardly lifted it, nearly toppling over at the weight. Why did his family heirloom have to be such a bulky and awkward thing? In fact, it looked like a piece of junk. The blade had not been sharpened in some time, and was dull from disuse. The hilt and handle were undecorated, merely covered in a thick layer of black leather. It was large enough to be held with both hands, but the five foot sword would have to have been carried by an enormously strong individual for one hand to have been effective.

Stupid family blessings… why couldn't he have gotten something good, like the ox? True, his ancestors had helped a "demigod of the monkey sort," (that was one of those moments in which he wished his uncle and caretaker had been educated,) it still didn't do that much.

There were other blessings, like the phoenix… oh, MAN that would be cool! Trence shivered in his chain mail with anticipation… flight and man, the power. Pyrokinetic powers, with flight, and …well, not much else, but any kind of power would have been nice to have been passed down by blood to him. What had he gotten stuck with?

The monkey.

Not a bear, not a wolf, not even a lion or cougar or anything of that sort. Just a stupid, butt-scratching monkey.

Oh, if only he had the blessing of the thunderbird… that would be so COOL! He stood up, his armor rattling. True, he did have enhanced agility and strength, but that elf guy who had had it was long gone, wasn't he? He was dead, long gone, kaput, and…

Walking down the path right in front of him….

Duh. He nearly smacked his forehead with his hand. Elves lived a really long time, six thousand years was nothing for them, right?

Hey stayed in his position, watching the blue-haired figure approach. The legendary Karacan: the slayer of ogres, trolls, and beasts of all sorts was approaching. He nearly shivered in anticipation. HE, of all people in the world that was walking down this path was here…

It would only take a few more short moments until the path to his dreams, which had been paved before him, would finally unfold.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

"Prince Karacan?"

The blue haired figure froze in his tracks. That name… the memories that it stirred…

His head snapped to the side so that he might gaze at the being that had spoken. "That is what some call me." The purple cloak rippled around him once more, lapping around his dark blue tunic.

"Yes, well, my name's Trence." The younger man held out his hand for a handshake.

Hm. This boy of twenty or so didn't seem to fear him at all, and was in fact friendly, which was something that he himself hadn't been for quite some time. His icy eyes traveled from the leather gloved hand to the rest of the comedic sight in front of him. Oversized bronze armor that was expanded around him like a giant balloon, a sword that was at least two feet too long for this… child. Beneath the armor, he could see a thick chain mail, and then beneath that, a finely woven shirt of some sort, too expensive for a commoner to possess; he was probably in the matriarch. His legs were equally armored in the shiny metal; to say the least, the elf was glad that this boy had not polished his armor, for the glare from sunlight was nearly blinding now even with the dozens of rusty blemishes dotted across its surface. Behind him was a bright red cape (embroidered with elaborate yellow stitches as a border), two or three feet of it dragging on the ground behind him.

A smirk nearly came to the elf's lips, though remained hidden. Instead, he glanced once more at Trence's hand with an expression in between disinterest and annoyance. This boy was nothing more than a fool. Possibly…no…more than likely a royal one at that.

He turned as another particularly strong breeze flowed lazily through the trees, tossing his cloak once more into the air.

Trence stood for a moment; hand still extended, and looked quizzically at the blue clad figure that was steadily making his way down the path.

"Okay, I guess he doesn't talk much." He broke into a short trot as he shortened the distance between them. "Hey! I'm talking to you, you know!"

He continued walking, his stoic face not even giving a sideways glance.

"Hello?" He waved a hand in front of the elf's face, looks of annoyance crossing both of their features. "Haven't you ever heard of rude?"

"I believe that it is a series of practices that mimic what you are doing, is it not?" The silver eyes glanced an irritated look at Trence.

"I wasn't the first one to be rude."

"Does it matter?" The monotoned voice was accompanied by another nearly aggravated look. A thin and elegant elven hand waved Trence's hand out of his face, while its owner continued walking down the path.

"Look, if you would just give me a moment of your time?" He began trotting again, trying to keep up with the elf's longer strides. "Please, if you would just—"

Clunk!

The one called Karacan shook his head in both amusement and shame as the boy's oversized sword snagged between two rocks hidden in the leaves, stopping his progress.

"Gah! Now, as I was saying… hey, can't you at least just LOOK at me?"

His paces stopped, allowing the comedically armed boy to stagger ahead a few steps. "Whew! Thank you! Now, I need your help with something."

"And how could the great Karacan serve you?" he said, sarcasm slithering off of his voice.

Either too stupid to get the sarcasm, or else unhindered by it, Trence continued. "I need you to train me."

"What?" Though still in his usual monotone, a hint of surprise shone through.

"Train me! C'mon, you're the legendary Karacan, aren't you? You've slayed all kinds of demonic beasts, plus ogres, trolls, dragons…"

"You seem to know all about me, don't you?"

"Well, I've read many different books on you." He puffed out his chest in pride, only to have his too-large helmet to fall over his eyes.

The elf's eyebrows raised slightly in amusement. A book about him. Yes, this boy was definitely a fool…

"Plus I want to be a legendary hero!" Trence exclaimed, pushing his helmet back into place atop his head.

Karacan's brow furrowed slightly in confusion. Since when did a boy just outburst like that?

The boy with brown hair blushed slightly, realizing that he had just looked like an imbecile…more so than usual. "Right. Um... well, I just need you to train me long enough so that I can either go off on my own, or else I can travel with you, too…"

Karacan let his foot tap a little in impatience while he talked. Normally, dealing with humans was easy; their stupidity often times led them to be tricked easily, but this one was just TOO stupid for any of that to work, he could tell already. Maybe he should try a different tactic…

He held up his hand for silence, the boy looking up at him with eyes eager with anticipation, obviously expecting him to say something wise, or "I will accept you as my student."

"The mosquito that ignores the hand that waves it away will meet a short end."

He nearly smiled at the confused expressions that formed on the lad's face. If there was one thing his mother had taught him, it was how to confuse others with the positioning of words and phrases.

As Trence contemplated the meaning of it, he began to walk away, and the clumsily armored boy followed, like a dog, still pondering the meaning.

"What does that really mean?"

Karacan sighed silently. This was going to be more difficult than he had thought… "Try to figure it out."

"But I hate guessing. Does it mean that you'll take me as your student?"

"No."

"But WHY?" he whined. "I'm a good fighter!"

The elf turned a skeptical eye towards the lad. Most DEFINITELY a fool. A fool with an ego too…

Karacan stopped walking, glancing down at this young man who was acting even more childish than a . . . well . . . child. "Okay, let's start with a simpler question: why type of animal is a mosquito?"

"A bird?"

No, you idiotic excuse for a living thing…. "No, it's a type of insect that sucks blood…"

"You mean like a vampire?"

"Yes, but only in very small quantities. It's a pest."

"Oh, I see. You're just warning me of little kids that are pests that will annoy others and get themselves hurt because of some bigger older kids or something along those lines might hurt them?" Trence grinned at his self-proclaimed cleverness.

"Apply it to our situation." The elf said simply.

He pondered a minute.

"But what 'short end' are we talking about here? I mean, you're one who helps people, and— HEY!"

He had to run this time to catch up. "Why can't you just wait for me?"

"Give me a valid reason and I might consider it."

"I want training from you, and—"

"I want you to get it from someone else. I cannot give you what you seek from me."

"But you're—"

"'The legendary Karacan?'" The elf sighed. "I told you, I cannot give you what you seek."

"Pretty please?" Trence ran in front of Karacan, giving him the best puppy dog eyes he could muster.

"Doesn't it bother you that you're acting like a little girl?"

"As long as it gets me what I want, it doesn't matter." He danced around a little bit in a strange jig.

"As long as I get what I want,

"It doesn't matter in the what happens in the

"meeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaan time.

"I'll do what ever it takes,

"to get that thing that I've

"always waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant—ted.

"I'll- oomph!"

"Do you ever be quiet?" Karacan's gaze was cold as his hand covered the ultimate torturing device.

The boy pushed away the elegant hand. "I will if you agree to train me."

"I'm not going to train you," the elf spat.

"Then I'm gonna keep on singing until you train me. I'm—"

Gong!

Thud!

"Why don't humans have some method of disabling their mouths?" The elf said wearily, massaging his left wrist.

"I heard that!"

Karacan looked in surprise as the youth rose from to his feet, despite the enormous dent that had been placed in his bronze helmet.

"That was a clever trick that you did on me, but I see now what you want me to do…"

"Look, boy, I just..."

"You want me to prove myself by sparring you, is that right?"

"No, I merely—"

"Yes! That's it! Once I've proved I'm strong enough, you WILL train me!" The was an audible "shing" as the enormous sword came out of its sheath and the youth came charging at the sighing elf.

A stupid fool with and ego and a head thicker than a troll's. Not a good combination…

An exasperated sigh came to his lips as the youth charged, the sword swinging wildly. The first swing, as was with many amateurs, was a vertical strike.

Trence's vocal cry echoed through the forest as his incredibly powerful and quick (or so he thought) swing came down with a crash, sending a large dust cloud up.

He panted slightly from the oversized sword, but he had hit something, he had felt it. He squinted through the dissipating dust, and his eyes widened in surprise. A boulder, that he did not remember being there, was now sliced into roughly even halves, Karacan smirking at him from behind the crevice where the boulders met.

"You lack so much training with that excretion that you call a sword that I can see why you would seek my help. But, alas, I cannot help you." He smiled once more as the final words slid silkily out of his lips.

"But how did you…dodge my attack…"

"Quite simple, really. You were so damn slow that I'd be the fool if I didn't see it coming."

Trence ripped the sword out of the ground. "I'll show you!" He charged forward again. "Yah!"

Boom.

Dust cloud.

More insults.

"My dear boy, you're already panting like dog. Are you tired already?" His voice, as always, was still monotoned, though retained a hint of taunt.

Trence nearly growled, and charged again. Karacan remained motionless, eyes closed, only one finger raised.

Fiver meters… four meters… three… and the elf had still not moved.

Trence yelled as he brought both hands up over his head once again in a vertical downwards sweep. Centimeters away now. Why wasn't he blocking?

Suddenly Trence felt like he was in slow motion, as Karacan's eyes opened slowly. Oh so very slowly. Only this time, they had no pupils or irises.

The boy's eyes widened in surprise as electric blue light shone out of the elf's eyes, and a lightning bolt slithered its way down his blue tunic's sleeve to rest in his hand as a small sphere of light.

Then, right before the young man's eyes, his image blurred, then suddenly reappeared some distance away.

Trence tripped and regained his balance, only surprise the only emotion on his features.

"But… how…"

"Not much to it, when your opponent is so stupid he believes everything that he sees."

That did it. "What the hell are you talking about? I saw you right there!" He pointed with his left hand a few feet in front of him.

"You thought you did, but it's amazing what electricity can do to the brain." He held the ball of light, small bolts of electricity leaking off of it, near his glowing eyes. "All that it was, was an illusion. And if you rely entirely on your eyes in battle, you'll never amount to anything at all. Of that, I can guarantee. You have a great blessing, Trence. If you learn to use it, then you could be a legendary warrior."

"Huh? You know about my blessing?" How was that possible? The hand-shaped marking was over his heart, beneath armor, chain mail, and a shirt. How did that elf know?

"You smell like a monkey."

"WHAT?!"

"And look like one too, I might add."

Wait a minute… elves didn't have good senses of smell! This wasn't Karacan! This was an imposter!

"You're not Karacan! Elves can't smell blessings, even right up close! What the hell are you? And what has been done with prince Karacan? He's alive, isn't he?"

The elf didn't answer immediately, but instead watched a slight rustle of leaves blowing through the trees. "I'm something that should not have been forgotten. Goodbye, Trence. Hopefully we will not meet again…" With that, he threw the ball of light into the ground, and with a small cyclone of electricity and cloud, the elegant figure dissipated into nothing.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

"My lord?"

Calloused hands rested on furrowed brows deep in thought.

"My lord?"

Was the legendary Karacan actually possessed? Or was that figure just an imposter who had trained similarly…

"My lord!"

"Hm?" The hands fell into a robed lap as weary chocolate brown eyes glanced up at the owner of the voice.

The owner smirked one of his trademark smirks, blond eyebrows cocked. "Well, well, the king has been caught THINKING, has he?"

He couldn't help but grin. "You never fail to amuse, do you Kazak? Always the jokester…"

"Well SOMEONE has to be…" the elf muttered half to himself and half to his "lord," who he treated more like a brother anyway. "From the dreary days that this castle's been having it needs all the sunshine it can get…"

"And I suppose that you're the sunshine, then?"

Kazak shrugged his broad shoulders. "The ladies seem to think so." He puffed out his chest, his short blond hair falling in clumps about his head. For an elf, he was very well built, muscles in all the right places, incredibly beautiful green eyes that never failed to attract the ladies…he was the perfect flirting machine…except for the one fact that he lacked the brain capacity to woo a girl with words, which was often the most secure way of doing it.

Though none of this seemed to hinder him in any way: he kept on doing the same old routine…flirt, smack, pound, and scream. Only to have it start all over again with another girl…

That comment met rolled eyes. "Only in your dreams, my friend, only in your dreams."

"Maybe you should try to get a girl." He shrunk back at the glare with low eyebrows and dark brown hair coming down over the now menacing brown eyes. "Just a suggestion, you know, Trence."

The king sighed once more, his head resting in his hands. He didn't need to look to see the vacant throne next to him. "I know…"

"Well, I'm off to shed some of my divine light on the ladies. If you feel like joining me, feel free to tag along. Maybe you can have one of 'em when I'm done…"

Trence smirked. Getting a girl wasn't hard. It was getting one that wasn't after his money. Satenoosquez was an incredible kingdom bragging spacious fields and an easily-accessible port. It was booming. People were flocking from OTHER kingdoms, like the prosperous Rotán and Heilsberg. There was nothing more that anyone would have wanted…

Except, of course, the suitors. He himself wasn't that attractive of a character, barely five feet ten inches, (which was short considering most of the men in his kingdom were over six feet, some close to seven,) many of the beggars on his streets towered over him. However, it was his short, though stout, figure that had saved his life many times. Being slightly shorter than his counterparts and enemies always gave him an upper hand at getting to a person's stomach, thus making an easier kill.

Though, in his rule so far, he had only been in defense, not an actual war. Unlike his father, who had been known as "the war machine"…. He got into a war every other year! Although, Trence had to admit, he had been one of the best kings that they their kingdom had had in millennia.

Kazak saw Trence's "deep in thought" mode come on, so he waved and then turned to leave, whistling an elven tune that the kingdom knew so well.

"I see no clouds in the sky

but I keep preparin' for rain.

I can see no sun,

but I squint anyway.

"I see all the stars,

but say 'the sun shines brightly,'

Oh you never know what life

will be tomorrow…"

Trence blocked out the song in his mind as the elf's voice echoed down the hallway. Truly, elves were a breed to admire. Most were fair and noble, "above it all," so to speak. But every once in a while, you would get the oddball, like Kazak, who was just the screwiest person, human, dwarf, elf, or otherwise, that he had ever known.

He sighed. The sun was setting, and he would need his rest. After all, hunting a rogue warrior was no easy task…

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Phew! Hey all, I know that I'm a very little know author, that hasn't written anything in like what…8 months or so? But any reply on this would be greatly appreciated. I'm still a basic writer, and critiques help a lot!

CPhoenix