“Terra ! Terra ! come on you slow poke ! The summoner is coming to our village today to evaluate us if you don’t hurry up we gonna miss him !”
A little girl shouted out her voice full of energy,youth and excitement as she turned her little red head behind her pointing her also red eyes towards the youth that came behind her showing a bright smile and sparkling eyes that could even rival the stars in the night as she faced the youth on top of the small empty hill she stood on.
Looking at the two children that were on top of the small hill you could immediately guess that they weren’t older then 8 or 10 years old their childish and young features were just like that of any ordinary children in this world,the who was walking up could be considered ordinary with his short brown hair,brown eyes,white skin and skinny build while the girl looked slightly more unique with her strikingly long red hair and dark red eyes even her skin was something else a lot more darker then simply being tanned most likely taking after her mother coupled with having a more rounded build and thighs that were developing rather nicely for a child her age.
The youth hearing the girls sudden outburst of excitement and urgency didn’t immediately answer and simply moved up,slowly,or rather what he considered “casually” as it was the only speed he even considered walking with even on top of this small hill that can be barely considered a hill rather then a bulge or a slope.
The youth was quite adamant about this speed in particular he wasn’t tired in anyway he just didn’t like rushing like the little girl up ahead of him,he thought that running wasn’t necessary if it wasn’t needed he thought that losing energy meaninglessly like so would only tire you quicker as the day went by,a day in which you could accomplish much more things instead of rushing like this meaninglessly.
His motto after all was “God made time and man made haste” its not something he always told himself or anyone else in this world,but it was something he followed in his mind that made him the person he was today be it for good or bad.
Though in the end it was weird for a 10 year old to have such out look in life any person who would have heard his thoughts would have immediately attributed those facts to be simply an excuse to be lazy and in a way it was true any person could be lazy him included.
But today was not just any “day” to be “Lazy” or follow his life’s motto even the youth knew that as today was a very important day for every person that was born in the Ethereal Mist empire it was a day that would forever decide the “fate” of that person and what they would do from now on.
It could be regarded as they day of becoming an adult.
Or whether you will live rich or poor for the rest of your life,there were a lot of ways to interpret this day.
But generally it was known as one thing.
It was the day of evaluation.
To see whether or not a person had the talent to become a summoner or not.
A massive step in life that would decide what plans god had for your existence.
At least thats what Terra always thought in his mind.
He sighed finally reaching the top of the small hill as he stood next to the little girl who still had a face that excitement written all over it,any person by now would have been put off by Terra’s slow pace,but the girl didn’t mind one bit she knew terra since she was 6 years old,he was after all her only playmate and friend in the village,not that the village had only 2 children,but rather it was because Terra was the only child in the village that would even play with her which is how she already got used to his weird mannerisms.
The wind blew on top of the hill,even though it was a very small hill it was still enough to see the village up ahead of them their home to be exact,Terra standing on top of this hill very much liked this sort of breeze neither cold or too fierce,but just right to relax and sit down and maybe take a nap,the shuffling grass underneath his shoes also didn’t help this comfortable feeling he got as he stood on this small hill,huge milky white clouds hovering above his head making him get lost in thought as he looked up absent minded.
Finally,the little girl couldn’t wait any longer seeing her friend spacing out again she pouted her cheeks seeing him like this and swiftly grabbed his shoulder shaking him out of his daze,this sort of routine was already normal for these two friends and Terra didn’t feel one bit annoyed by it as he turned his brown eyes towards the little girl that stood next to him both of their hair respectively shaking in the wind as they looked at each other.
“Ignis..don’t worry I don’t think the summoner would come just yet looking at the village it doesn’t seem like anything is happening we’re most probably not going to be late”
Terra said his relaxed tone and carefree words were like the wind brushing through the leaves,but even so the girl called ignis wasn’t relieved both of them were very young at the moment and both of them had an idea of what their life was going to be and what they wanted to do Ignis especially thought of this countless times after all it was something she dreamed of ever since hearing of it back when she was really small.
The determination that was in her eyes could be said to be something abnormal for a child her age to have,but that was beside the point,the way she looked at the village above the hill was like looking at a matter of life or death.
And in a way this was indeed the case for her.
“Ouch ! Why did you hit me all of a sudden !”
Ignis immediately cried out in pain,holding the side of her head as she glared at Terra that stood next to her in annoyance and confusion,Terra in turn didn’t even bother to look back at her as he made his way down the hill towards the village looking up the sky while holding the back of his head with his hands in a relaxed manner as he walked.
“Ignis stop thinking and start walking even if something happens don’t worry about it”
He said,his voice this time not holding his usual relaxed or carefree voice,but rather a voice of assurance and trust,it was surprising to see something like this from children their who would usually only care about what was in front of them rather then what would happen.
Ignis of course still held her head in pain,but after hearing Terra’s words of reassurance she couldn’t help,but smile and believe in those words innocently.
She soon quickly started to follow behind Terra with a big smile and eyes sparkling like the stars in the night.
This was indeed the start of their life and the day of departure.
The door to the town hall suddenly crashed open the sound of the door opening attracted the attention of many people most notably the children that stood in front of the town hall and the adults surrounding them forming a circle around the children.
Soon after the door opened 5 children came out of the door all 5 of which had a look of utter disappointment written on their faces,their crooked backs and lowered heads made them look as if they were dead row prisoners and as they walked out of the town hall the voice of a man could be heard coming out of the town hall.
The voice was coarse,strict and deep it had no unique characteristic other then sounding a bit frustrated to some and as soon as those words were heard another 5 children inside the group were pulled out and lead into the town hall to be evaluated for once again the door closing onto the children and the adults alike as they could only wait for the results to come.
“Ahh…it seems like this year there won’t be any summoners from our village once again..”
“No need to be so disappointed its not like we didn’t know something like this would happen its no wonder since our village doesn’t even have a speck of summoners blood or heritage in our mids we can only pray for some kind of miracle to happen…”
Already a few adults were discussing the current matter of the situation the children that just came out each respectively went back to their families each treated different with some showing regretful faces and trying to comfort the child while others fuming in frustration and scolding the child unreasonably for not being born with the talent to become a summoner.
At this very moment a youth with short brown hair and brown eyes stood amongst those children he as well came to be evaluated as today was the day he would be officially tested whether or not he had the aptitude to become a summoner himself,his calm and relaxed attitude made him look slightly unique amongst the crowd of children who were either anxious or excited while talking with each other,the way he looked at those numerous adults around him that gave the children hopeful or yearning looks made him think about a lot of things that he didn’t really want to think about right now,he wondered would he also end up like those children ?
Would he be disappointed ? Ashamed ?
Would his parents scold him or comfort him ?
Was he fine with the way he lived right now ?
Those were questions that only now assaulted the mind of this 10 year old and even those questions were fear inducing he didn’t look to the slightest bit fearful or anxious as this was not the way he acted…calm and steady wins the race…he never liked rushing things compared to other children in the village he preferred to be a bear or a turtle instead of a bird or fox even if he didn’t have a talent for summoning he knew that it wasn’t the end of the world.
For a second the boy turned his head back to the crowd of adults searching with his eyes he looked for his parents finally discovering them standing not too far off smiling at him and waving at him gently,the boy also didn’t feel like thinking about these complicated things anymore and instead put a smile on his face waving back at his loving parents temporarily forgetting about the problems of this world,instead indulging in the clouds up above.
The village they lived in was called Turtle Village,it was one of the numerous villages located inside the Lionheart duchy and was just like any other village that existed anywhere in the Ethereal Mist empire they belonged to.
The youth was called Terra Lizar,he was one of the villagers in this humble village and lived together here with his family that consisted of only 3 people which were him and his two parents.
Terra had only just turned 10 this year and even though he was still a child he already worked on the fields in his village since he was 6 years old,his over all build was ordinary for a child his age,he had short brown hair,brown eyes and white skin his body was naturally very skinny making him look a bit thinner then he actually was,his face could also be only said with one word as it was just as ordinary as any person on the street.
The village was of a very humble background of farmers that lived through generations inside this village growing grain,it didn’t have anything special other than that neither could the village be considered wealthy or poor as the villagers never really starved in here or ate anything luxurious that could make your mouth water.
And in terms of clothing it was the most basic cotton and skin,and when it came to entertainment the people had to think for themselves to keep them occupied,but even so Terra never considered himself unfortunate or dreamed about greater things in life,he was a simpleton,not ambitious nor greedy and in any way,he was like a lone frog inside a deep well,his world only encompassed the village and forests nearby other than that he had no clue of anything beyond of what was outside the village borders neither did he long to see what was there.
In short he was very satisfied with how he lived his life everyday up until now,he didn’t have any complains neither did he wish for anything else other then to stay in his village and live an ordinary life of a villager with his family that he dearly loved.
In a sense that was his ultimate happiness,to live peacefully.
But even so his wishes weren’t considered as he was just a child who didn’t know better and just like any parent they would only wish the best for their child to grow up and become a great person who can shoulder them one day,and Terra was a obedient child even though he had some amounts of dislike towards the idea of becoming a summoner he still never dared to go against his parents words he was but a simple boy who yearned affection just like anyone else,saddening his parents was out of question and even if he didn’t have the talent to become a summoner,he would at least try to not make his parents disappointed.
And today was the day as the law of the empire stated every year a summoner would visit every village in every duchy of the empire to evaluate the children between the age of 10 to 15 to see whether or not they had talent in what was called “Summoning”.
Now what is summoning ? In a broad term it is the act of “calling” or “Summoning” a creature to become your servant and do your bidding,these people who summon those creatures are referred to as “Summoners”.
Today,Terra was going to be evaluated and tested whether or not he had the talent to become a summoner,there was not many things a village out in the boonies knew what a summoner really was other then knowing they could call out fierce beasts and creatures,but stories and legends talked about these summoners as almost godly beings or deities,warlords of slaughter and great saints that swept the heavens and shook the earth even Terra liked those stories and sometimes even pretended to be one of those great heroes in those stories.
But even then pretending was pretending and having the ability were two and complete different matters altogether,dreams could shatter in a matter of seconds and if you asked Terra right now whether or not he was confident in himself then you would most probably just hear a few words of disinterest coming out of his mouth as if he didn’t care whether or not the sky would fall or rise.
And just like this.
Time passed in a blink of an eye.
Once again the door to the town hall crashed open and just like last time 5 children exited the door showing the exact same disappointment on their faces as they walked back to their parents being either comforted or scolded for being talentless.
And just like before the voice rang out a cycle repeating itself as the door got shut tightly waiting to be evaluated,the crowd of children were getting smaller and smaller with every batch moving forward it wasn’t very long until the boy was close to get called out himself.
“Te…Terra…I..I am scared what…what if I don’t have the Talent ?”
As Terra continued to get lost into the clouds up above he could feel someone gently pulling the hem of shirt and speaking up to him,the voice was sweet and smooth,but right now the could be heard from that voice was fear and anxiety.
“Ignis,didn’t I already tell you ? Stop thinking about it and don’t worry you can’t change what had already been destined,instead of fearing your failure you should think about your success…”
Terra replied in a more softer tone then usually moving his childish face towards the little girl next to him as he stared towards the long red hair of that girl and her dark red eyes that were looking up at him in a upturned manner making her look like a small animal which was cute.
Her skin was also a lot more darker compared to the other children her features even more so distinguished and unique inside the group making her stand out as most of the children had either only black or brown hair coupled with black or brown eyes and fair or white skin which was the norm for the people of this empire.
And as it stood Ignis wasn’t someone from this empire,she was actually someone who had heritage in the neighboring empire of the Ethereal Mist empire which was called the Black Flame empire where people like her were the norm.
The reason why Ignis was in this country though and not in her native country was also simple,you see her mother was a woman from the Black Flame empire and the father was a man from this empire,60 years ago a great war was waged between the Ethereal Mist Empire and the Black Flame Empire the reason for the war wasn’t quite specified,but that didn’t matter as after the war both sides suffered from heavy casualties and loss,both sides also ended up halting the war and making a ceasefire agreement between each other as the damage they suffered was too great to really continue the war without mutually causing the destruction of one another that both empires wanted to avoid.
Finally after the ceasefire agreement both empires immediately took up their stand and simultaneously ordered to lock down their respective empire borders to make sure nothing would happen that would breach the agreement as they still didn’t trust each other.
At the time a large amounts of troops from both sides were still in the neighboring countries of each other send to wage war,but because of the ceasefire agreement between the two empires neither of these soldiers could do anything anymore nor received any orders on what to do and because the borders were locked none of these stranded soldiers could possibly cross the border without getting killed as it didn’t matter whether they were citizens or not since the decree was already set by the emperor which was absolute no matter who it was.
In the end the soldiers realized that they had no way of going home anymore as long as the borders were still locked down this in turn made them realize that they had no other choice,but to live in the country of their enemies which resulted in many small scale events happening all over the respective empires be it conflict or discrimination both sides went at each other as long as they had the means to do so.
But after more then a half century later people started to accept one another again,the flames of war never really extinguished,but low enough to not cause anymore conflict and even sprout affection for another underneath the pile of insults and discrimination that happened on a regular basis nowadays.
Ignis and her family were very much slighted in the village for being people of the Black Flame empire,their distinguished looks amongst the people of the Ethereal Mist empire made them the perfect target to pick on and while no one really dared to cause violence in the open they were still looked down upon.
Even now Terra could hear lot of the children around them whispering with each other and giving Ignis a dirty look one or two,Ignis’s family especially her mother were the same too the village actively avoided them and gossiped about them making them much more so a target to bash on.
And what was even worse,Ignis’s family was also the poorest family in the village they barely would meet their status quo in terms of food every year,and it wasn’t because they were lazy or anything just like Terra’s family Ignis’s family were also farmers,but because they were treated differently their income was much different from one another with people constantly taking advantage of them in these hard times paying them less for their work or even not paying them at all.
It was already hard to get some sort of work to gain money or food,Ignis’s family especially so as they needed it very much and didn’t dare to make a ruckus because they were paid less then normally since they needed every penny they got and didn’t want to make those employers unhappy.
Fortunately the father of the family was a experienced hunter,his wares were very much sought after inside the village which were the different furs and meats from that he hunter from the forest it was also because of him that the family didn’t completely starve to death.
But even then their father was still just only one person making one person work on the farm and go hunting everyday would really take huge tolls on him usually villagers have a set schedule in which they do their work keeping 1 day each week to properly rest,but in Terra’s knowledge he never saw the man resting ever not even once.
And mostly Terra knew where this huge amount of fear came from in terms of Ignis,looking at her,Terra was once again reminded of the day they met,it wasn’t really anything special,but it wasn’t anything ordinary either if you asked the simple truth then Terra would say that he simply asked Ignis to play with him.
But in Ignis’s mind things weren’t as simple as that,the day she met Terra was also the day she acquired an eternal playmate for herself because she was a person from the Black Flame Empire every parent in the village made sure that their kids would avoid her telling their children that they weren’t allowed to play with her no matter what.
Unfortunate for them Terra was told no such things from his parents,his parents were one of the more accepting people of the Black Flame Empire there wasn’t a clear reason as to why,but as it seemed Terra’s father had friends who were from the Black Flame Empire so did his mother which is how they met each other too.
So when the day came for the children to finally be able to go outside and play for themselves Terra came out to see his village,even then Terra had a laid back attitude as a little child even before he turned 6 he already sneaked out of his house multiple times to see the forest next to his village he went missing a lot of the times,but always came back home unscathed.
That day when Terra was getting to ready to leave the village and into the forest he coincidentally met Ignis who was sitting on a tree trunk all alone in sadness,the children were all avoided her and playing with each other leaving her out.
He didn’t like running all too much and he wasn’t as energetic as other kinds his age and preferred to sit rather then stand,at the time the kids did want to play with him,but because Terra thought that they were a hassle he actively tried to ignore them so he could get to the forest in peace.
Ignis on the other hand was a bit of an exception,he misunderstand back then thinking that she was a fellow soul just like him and even then he was a bit curious about her skin color that it made him approach her for the first time asking her.
“Hey do you wanna play with me”
Of course Terra’s form of “playing” was actually something complete different than that of a normal child,but Ignis didn’t know rather she was very happy that someone approached her she didn’t know what to say or what to do other then quickly stutter and say.
“C..can I ?”
And just like that a friendship was build,soon enough it became clear to Terra that he was mistaken about his new found friend,but after only playing with her once and seeing her happy he couldn’t bring himself to not play with her again which is how their relationship continued with each other.
Terra’s and Ignis Respective parents didn’t mind them two playing with each other even though the villagers did at first scorn Terra’s family at first it quickly wore down as Terra’s father was one of the combat instructors in the village with big influence.
“Terra ! One day…One day I want to be rich ! I want to leave this village one day and see the world become strong and protect my parents !”
She would say,there weren’t anymore words with such conviction said by a 6 year old it was even more frightening to know that she understood a truth of the world at such young age that she could proclaim something so ambitious as her goal,but Terra didn’t mind even though both of their goals in life were completely different Terra still liked being with Ignis as a friend.
Which is why he knew so clearly why becoming a Summoner was so important to her right now.
Back in his mind there was even a dark thought in his head hoping that Ignis could stay,but Terra knew better then that he cheered for his friend to leave the village and fulfill her dreams.
“Ignis don’t worry I believe in you whatever might happen I am still here”
Terra spoke trying his best to cheer for his friend,his thoughts were ultimately innocent like a white sheet of paper he meant what he said from the bottom of his heart while looking at Ignis with his brown eyes.
Hearing Terra’s encouragement Ignis temporarily didn’t know what to say,she once again ended up looking down hiding her face,from the side you could even catch her blushing slightly,but because her skin was dark and her hair was long it wasn’t easy to detect.
Ignis was very young she was only 10 years old,but because she was a girl she matured faster then guys and quickly understood the matter between males and females subconsciously hearing Terra’s honest opinion made her heart beat for a moment as she mumbled to herself.
“But…but what if I won’t see you again ?”
The mumbling was very low not even she could hear what she said as she clunk onto terra for support until.
The Door crashed open and as 5 heads disappointingly left the door a loud voice came out.
Now it was their turn.