Okay, so this isn't the FIRST totally original fic I've put up at FF.N…but it's the first in a while. ^_^ Also, a certain somebody is trying to keep me from even writing this… - -

Khatien: *bound, gagged, and strapped to a pole with several rolls' worth of EB Green* MMMMMMPH!

What? I can't hear yoooooouuuuuu! ^_^

Khatien: *murderous look of rage*

Hehe. ^_^ BTW, in Malkarian history, Erosc was also the name of the planet that split into both Earth and Malkar. Kaya means Earth, too, and according to Khisarian grammar, Makaar (Malkar) becomes Makaariin, and Kaya (Earth) becomes Kayaiin. Comprende? Bueno.

DISCLAIMER (er…claimer): I own EVERYTHING, comprende? And if you see any names that happen to belong to you or somebody/something else, it's a COMPLETE coincidence. There have been many occasions where that has happened to me. - -

~:~:~

A loud gunshot sounded across the Senaiin countryside. The shot hit its mark; a wild, untamed Nyarnes, easily reaching speeds that could surpass the swiftest runner. The shot was fired by a young boy of eleven Kayaiin years. His soft, blue eyes sparkled with excitement as he set down the large khisoran rifle. To him, it seemed like all of Malkar had heard it. His father grinned as a visitor stared in amazement. His expertise in using the dangerous military weapon efficiently had come to him through his father, who was a famous five-star general. He'd bragged about his son's sharpshooting skills around the base, and even used him as a motivator. "That's my Erosc," he'd say with pride. "That's my Erosc, who can take down even the most unruly Wild Bladier with one shot." None of this had ever gone to the boy's head, however. Erosc knew that if he got too arrogant, he would start lagging behind and eventually lose his ability altogether. So he stayed calm and modest. To be honest, the first time he ever set eyes on the khisoran rifle, he'd been chilled clear to the marrow. His father had often told him gruesome details about the danger of a full-power khisoran; about how it was said that it could rip a soul straight from a man's body, and that was how it got its name. Now, though, he grew more comfortable with it, and never needed to use it at full power.

"Impressive," noted the visitor. Erosc didn't know who he was, but he suspected that he was one of father's friends from the military, so he stayed quiet.

"Did you expect anything less?" His father turned to the onlooker, who stared straight ahead.

"No…not exactly…but I thought that maybe you were, well…exaggerating. A bit."

"Not at all, my good friend." He laughed.

"Dad," Erosc interrupted. "What should we do with the carcass?"

"Ah, burn it," he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. "The beast is no good once it's dead."

Then why did you have me kill it? Erosc thought angrily as he resignedly walked over to the carcass, pulling a dora lighter out of his rucksack. He could hear the merry talk behind him as he stared into the cold eyes misted over with death. He felt somewhat sorry for the animal; it was no fault of its own that its only purpose was to be killed. Why wouldn't it let the stable boys tame it? He grew angry with himself as he turned these thoughts over in his head, flicking the dora lighter on, spewing a three-foot radius of flame. It instantly caught onto the sleek fur of the steed, spreading over the flammable flesh. He stood back and watched it burn. The jovial laughter behind him seemed very faint now, as his own thoughts swept over it. He brushed back wisps of his dark blond hair as he mused on the matter. Then, as his consciousness returned to reality, he headed back to the others. "The grass is wet. We don't need to watch it."

"Ah, yes, but we still should," he corrected his son. "Sarun might not be looking upon us with favor tonight."

Erosc groaned as he watched the deceased form slowly succumb to the flame, the fresh blood boiling and fueling the fire. It was indeed a sickening sight to watch a Nyarnes burn, for their bodies are, oddly, highly flammable. Nyarnes bones were often used as a replacement for firewood. But none of that mattered as he turned to face the sunset against the mountains, and he knew from all of his teachings that everything Sarun did had a meaning, no matter how subtle.

~:~:~

"Erosc! Come here!"

The young sharpshooter was now of fifteen Kayaiin years, and by law eligible to register for the military. That was exactly what he was going to do. Even if he didn't want to, his father wouldn't let him; his skills were too good to pass up. His father was going to retire soon; he could see it in him as he faced the once proud and arrogant general. He was still proud and arrogant, but a bit less so, and he could no longer fight. "Yes, father?"

"I have something to give to you."

Well, what do you know? He wasn't really surprised at all. But he wondered what it could possibly be. His father walked over to a locked closet that he had forbidden Erosc to go near, or attempt to open. He fumbled with the combination for a bit, but then got it open. He still kept it partially closed, however, so that Erosc couldn't see inside of it. "Come here, lad. It's not going to bite." Erosc cautiously moved toward it and opened the door. What he saw made his jaw drop.

It was a full set of armor. It was perfectly smooth at every angle, without any scratches, dents, or the like. The two gauntlets curved forward, ending in a sharp point, specifically designed for tearing the flesh off opponents. He could see handles inside the gauntlets for control. The helmet was round, but then arched back and also ended in a sharp point. The entire thing was a silvery, grayish white. He couldn't believe. Where did his father get this?

"For you. Trust me, you'll need it."

Erosc turned to look at his father and opened his mouth, but no words came out. His father nodded. He understood perfectly.

~:~:~

It was chaos everywhere. Erosc, now of eighteen Kayaiin years, ducked a flurry of blades and sliced the rebelling War Bladier in two with the gauntlet. He could feel a rogue trickle of the warm blood seep through a tiny crack between the arm plate and the gauntlet. He shifted the khisoran rifle up to his shoulder, set on full blast as he shot another one down. It didn't necessarily rip the soul from its body, but the effect certainly seemed so; its entire body was completely crushed to a limp, lifeless bag of skin, fluids, and splintered bones that stuck out of the skin. He felt no sympathy as he wheeled around and struck another one out of the air. The small War Bladier village was believed to be in on some sort of conspiracy; what it was remained a mystery to him. At any rate, the ferocity in him had been awakened. He searched around, and then spotted a small hut with the door tightly shut. Succumbing to the bloodlust that raged within him, he tore through the flimsy door, spotting two fully-grown Bladiers, a male and female. They never cried out as he khisoran-blasted the two of them. He smirked inside the silver helmet, his hunger not yet fulfilled. Then he heard something growl behind him. He whipped around, khisoran at the ready—when he saw something he never would've expected.

It was a tiny War Bladier cub. It suddenly struck him that he had killed its mother and father. His bloodlust immediately melted away with staggering realization. He looked about him, at the chaos. He heard the screams of pain, of desperate souls who couldn't do anything about this. He couldn't kill it, and he couldn't leave it to die, either, since he'd killed its parents. It could be of use in the military; wasn't it part of their names? War Bladiers? He pondered it slowly. Only one thing to do. He scooped up the cub in the gauntlets and rushed out of the area as fast as he could go.

"Father, just listen to me!"

"Why didn't you kill it?!" he roared, not listening to his son. "They have no use whatsoever! Even if you killed their parents, why didn't you just put it out of its misery?! It's not as if they can be trained for the military! They're merely savage beasts!"

"No, father, you've got it wrong. Why else would they be called War Bladiers if you couldn't train them for armed combat?! The name isn't just to discern the difference between them and Wild Bladiers!"

His father groaned, unable to reply. Erosc remained adamant.

"Besides, he's still young, and impressionable. It's not impossible to 'tame' these beings, which you can only see as a lower life form than us. Please."

His father hesitated. Erosc's argument was becoming more and more convincing. "All right. But he needs a name."

"How about Beast?"

"Erosc…"

"What? Going by your terms, it seems quite appropriate."

"I get the idea already! Turn your mind to the matter at hand."

Erosc looked back at the cub as he probed his mind through the many years of archaic Malkarian he had studied. Then he had it. "Elrias. That's what we'll call him."