Black Ambitions ~ Chapter 1, Red Dragon

The oriental girl looked into her full length mirror and frowned. Despite the fact that the dress she was wearing unbelievably beautiful she wished that she didn’t have to wear it. It was a long red dress that clung to her figure like a second skin, golden tigers twisted round the dress from the bottom up. She sighed and looked from the mirror to the floor. She was only 15, and now look at her, uniting two clans via marriage. Another girl quickly ran into the room and smiled at her.

“Come on Merain. Cheer up. Today’s your wedding day.” The girl said grabbing a brush. She took the brides hair from the two pigtails and started brushing the matted black hair.

“I don’t want to go along with this, Lei,” She said sternly, spinning round to the girl. “I’ve never even met this Wufei guy before. What if he’s one of them men that think that women should stay home and do house work. I’ll fall behind on my training, that’s if he will even let me train. There’s no way I’ll earn the name of Nataku.”

“You have to get this idea of being a warrior out of your head Merian.”

“Why? I’d love to be a warrior. It’s where I belong, I will earn the name of Nataku, even if I have to die in battle to do such a thing.”

“But you’re getting married Merian! I’d do anything to be in your place,” Lei said happily, turning Merian round and continuing to brush her hair.

“I’d do anything to get out of this, Lei. You just don’t understand. Arranged marriages are unjust, you should marry for love, not because it unites two clans.”

Merian watched her reflection again as her air was tied up and a head dress was placed on her head.

“There you look beautiful Merian. Wufei’s a lucky man.”

“He’s not a man. I’m not a woman. I’m not a bride no more then he’s a groom. We are still young. Too young to be married.” Merian turned to Lei and took her hands, “Thanks Lei. For everything, but I’d like sometime alone for now.”

“Sure.” Lei bowed slightly and left the room.  Merian glanced from the mirror to the door. Once she was sure Lei had gone she put on a pair or red sandals and quickly left the room. She didn’t get very far until she bumped straight into someone.

“I’m sorry,” Merian said bowing her head. When she heard no reply she looked up. It was a boy about her age; he was looking at her in shock.

“Nice dress,” he said, “Is there a special occasion?”

Merian blushed, the boy was gorgeous. His shoulder-length black hair shone in the soft light. He had beautiful black eyes and skin that would be soft to the touch.

“Y-yes,” she stuttered, “It’s for my wedding.” The boy’s expression changed. He was no longer shocked or smiling. He looked angry. He forcefully pushed past her and carried on down the corridor without another word. Merian blinked. “Hey!” she shouted, soon forgetting how pretty this boy looked, “push me like that again and I’ll make sure you’ll regret it.”

The boy stopped and looked over his shoulder, “You won’t make a good wife if you act like that.”

“Yeah? Did you ever think that I don’t want to be married?” Merian shouted back.

“Neither do I,” the boy said walking on. Merian went to shout back but stopped, a hand rising to her mouth.

“Wufei?” she muttered in amassment, “That was Wufei?” Her face turned red in anger, “I have to marry him! The injustice!” she shouted running as fast as she could in the dress and sandals. She heard Wufei again, he was shouting extremely loud, so loud she could here his words outside a closed room.

“I don’t want this Master! I don’t care about its advantages or what it means to the clan. Don’t make me marry this Merian girl.” He shouted.

“I’m sorry Wufei but this is what your mother wanted. Wuhan had arranged you to be married to Merian when you were just two years old. Would you really dishonour your late mother in such a way to not marry this girl?”

“Besides,” came another voice, this one Merain recognised, it was her father. “My daughter is a beautiful woman and with her marriage you’ll finally take your true place as leader in your clan. The dragon and tiger clans will be officially allied to protect against the other clans. You know of the constant threat from the Bear clan. With this marriage we can defend ourselves against them.”

“What difference will it make? Tiger and Dragon have fought together against the Bear and failed. What makes you believe a marriage will change that,” hissed Wufei.

“Please Wufei. Just allow this marriage to go along for the good of the clans.”

Merian’s fist clenched, and teeth ground, “Father!” she shouted bursting into the room. “Can I voice my own opinion?”

The three turned round to look at her in shock. Wufei found a smile creep into his face. Her Father nodded, “Yes daughter. What is it you wish to say?”

“Allow me to live with him first. Let me marry for love. Not because it’s been arranged. If I fall in love with him then I shall agree to marry him because I would want to. I would prefer that then marrying him now, as a stranger. That is if Wufei agrees of course.” She glanced to him and blushed deeply.

The boy nodded and smiled, “I do agree.”

Merian’s father and Wufei’s master turned to face each other in silent conference before nodding, “Yes. Okay. You have 4 months to decide if you should wish to marry him.”

Merian smiled, “Thank you.” She turned to Wufei and bowed, “I guess I should introduce myself properly. My name is Long Merian.”

Wufei bowed to her and smiled “Chang Wufei.”

“Wufei.” His master spoke out, “This is extremely unusual. You are to act as if she is your wife to the clan, and you will also take lead of the clan from now on, as if the marriage had gone ahead. Should anyone ask, Merian, your name is Chang Merian.”

The two faced him and bowed.

“Thank you Master,” they both said before leaving the room together. Merian glanced to the boy beside her. If she had to be honest, she could see herself actually falling in love with the beautiful boy.

“Thank you Merian.” Wufei said facing her.

Merian smiled, “its okay. I just didn’t want to marry someone I’ve never met before.”

“Me neither.”

 

 

“Wufei? What are you doing?” Merian asked approaching her possible husband to be.

“I’m busy,” he said simply, scanning the book in front of him.

“But Wufei it’s such a beautiful day. Why don’t you come outside?” Merian asked with a smile.

Wufei closed the book and looked to the girl, she was frowning to him, “it’s going to rain soon.”

“Oh that’s not true and you know it isn’t. There’s no a single cloud in the sky.”

“It will. Besides I’ve got work to do. There have been 3 unnatural deaths this week, I need to get to the bottom of it. It’s my duty as leader of this clan.” Wufei said, putting the book down and opening a scroll. “Of the 5 clans in this part of the mountains there have been numerous deaths within each clan, even the Bear clan. Meaning that an outside force is doing such a horrible thing. There’s a meeting tomorrow where we’ll have to discus this matter. I have to prepare.” He took a brush from in front of him, dipped it gently into the ink and began to write in the scroll.

Merian smiled, “Okay Wufei. But when you finish come down to the field and train with me. It maybe the last time I get. It’s…” Merian took a deep breath and continued, “It’s been four months Wufei.”

Wufei smiled and put his hand under Merian’s chin and brought her face to kiss her, “I know. But it won’t be your last training session I promise. I’ll be taking over your training from tomorrow.” Merian’s face lit up and she flung her arms around him.

“Oh Wufei thank you, I’ll be Nataku after all.” She said happily kissing his cheek, “I love you Wufei.”

“I love you too. Go, I’ll be finished here soon.” Merian nodded and left to go down to a field in a clearing in the mountains. Wufei watched solemnly as she left, when she was out of sight he held his hand in front of him and watched as a flick of flame suddenly appeared in his hand, “I hate lying to you Merian. But if anyone found out, I’d never be allowed to marry you.” He looked back at the book he had been reading before. A mage’s book he had found in the study of his house. Who had owned it previously he had no idea, for magick was a forbidden practice in the mountain clans. Even though Wufei was the strongest fighter in the dragon clan he still felt weak. When he found the mage’s book he challenged himself to learn the magick and found it preferable to combat. It required a lot of concentration and dedication, a practise Wufei he couldn’t do with ease, and so he continued to practise.

He let the flame go out from over his hand and sighed. He put the book back on its shelf and left the house to meet Merian on the field. As he walked he felt a nauseating feeling in his stomach, something wasn’t right. He broke out into a run, making his way to the field as quick as he could. When he got there he saw the reason for the sickening feeling. A large black creature stood over Merian, the very skin of the creature radiating with an aura black magick. Its mouth opened wide and roared to the girl.

“Merian!” Wufei shouted running towards her, “Run!” She ignored him and jumped up hitting the creatures face with a fierce kick, but the creature swung out and threw Merian across the field. She screamed out before silencing when she hit the floor. “No, Merian!” Wufei got to her and cradled her in his arms, seeing she was still alive he lay her down on the grass and looked to the black creature. It was much too large to defeat and would probably be immune to physical attacks. “You’ll pay.” He hissed, flames growing around his hand, the flames grew untill he had a large ball of fire floated above them. He threw the ball to the black creature. It cried out before collapsing to the ground and disappearing in a cloud of black smoke. Wufei watched the cloud shoot off into the air and disappear out of sight. He couldn’t help but think it died to easily. He looked to were the creature had landed, a small white rabbit lay dead.

He quickly turned to Merian and picked her up. “Merian? Are you okay?”

“Wufei… You’re a mage… I knew it.” she said weakly, resting her head on his chest, “I saw that… book you always read… I’m sorry Wufei. I don’t… think I’ll be able to… marry you now.”

“Don’t say that.”

“I died in battle. Do you think I earned the name of Nataku?” She closed her eyes and smiled, “I love you.”

“Merian, no Nataku. You did live up to the name of Nataku. A female warrior stronger then all. You’ll be okay, you’re Nataku. You haven’t died in battle you’ll live on.” Wufei got no response. “Nataku please, you haven’t accepted me as your husband yet. Nataku!” still no response. “NATAKU!”

Wufei picked her up and slowly carried her back to the village. Once in the village people looked out of their windows to see their leader carrying the limp body of his ‘wife’ in his arms. His eyes were clouded over, his face still dripping with tears that dropped silently. He walked directly to his master’s hut. Once there, he entered and lay Merian down before him. The elderly man looked in shock at her.

“Wufei? What happened?”

“She was attacked by a creature of these lands that was tainted with the darkest of magick. I cannot accept the role of leader of this clan, not without Nataku beside me. I return the duties to you, Master.”

“What are you talking about?” His master asked in confusion.

“I’m not fit to rule this clan.” He held his hand out and created another flicker of flame, “I’m a mage. I’m to be banished from these lands. A punishment I’m to accept gladly. I’ll find the person who did this to Nataku. I’m no longer part of this clan. Meaning I’m able to leave the mountains and find the true reason for her death.”

The master looked to Wufei, and saw his determination. “So be it. Chang Wufei, for practising the art of magick you are to be banished from this clan and all mountain clans forthwith. You are to leave the mountains and never return. Do with your life as you wish, but you are forbidden to return.” Wufei nodded and turned to leave faulting slightly. He held onto a golden dragon pendant he had round his neck and took it off. He put it round Merian’s neck.

“My last wish is for her to be buried with the pendant of the Dragon Clan.” Wufei said, wiping the last of his tears and turned away, hearing his master for the last time.

“Of course.”

His master sighed softly. “I’m sorry Wuhan.” He muttered to the empty room, “Your son seems to have followed the same path as your father.”

Wufei packed light, a few clothes and his mage-craft book, then left the village, and the mountains behind him.

A small pair of golden eyes watched him as he left and constantly flew above him, and out of sight, even once he had left the mountains. The owner of the eyes was a small red dragon, which looked more like a small serpent with wings. It slithered through the sky watching over him constantly. It had heard the silent plea of a woman to look after him before the woman had died, and that’s what it planned to do.

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One Response to “Black Ambitions ~ Chapter 1, Red Dragon”

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