golden sun @lunarsparrows
golden sun published on 12/28/18!

How strange it feels to fight against him, rather than by his side.

 

The Dravkan soldier he had been fighting falls without a sound. Keiji dodges an arrow and cuts down another, each one stopped right before it would’ve hit him.

The Dravkan soldier he had been fighting falls without a sound. Keiji dodges an arrow and cuts down another, each one stopped right before it would’ve hit him.

 

Bodies fall onto barren soil around him, and he barely flinches when he hears the screams of those cut down by blood magic. Even now he can see the telltale crimson glow of magic from Regnuth mages working their spells, draining the enemy’s blood and turning it against them.

 

The war between Dravka and Regnuth had gone on for almost five years, started when an assassin from Regnuth had infiltrated the royal court and killed the king of Dravka. The easy relationship between the two kingdoms had crumbled instantly when the killer couldn’t be found, joint practices were halted immediately, and soon it erupted into a full-scale war.

 

He can hear Kuroo shouting orders in the distance. Having his familiar presence near him is a small comfort, though he’d probably never openly admit that to Kuroo.

 

Of course, thinking about Kuroo also meant that he would think of Daichi and Kotarou. He tightens his grip on his daggers, trying to stop that train of thought before it went too far, ignoring the ache in his chest whenever he thought of the latter.

 

An explosion nearly throws Keiji off balance and he curses, scolding himself for getting distracted in the middle of battle. He locates the source of the explosion and finds a young fire mage behind a rock, orange hair wild in an unsuccessful attempt at covering it with the hood of a dark blue cloak.

 

He raises his daggers, hesitating, before turning away. The mage didn’t look like they could be older than fourteen, and he-

 

A sword nearly cuts him in half, and he barely manages to jump out of the way in time. Keiji is slashing with his daggers again, magic humming through the air. He doesn't manage to hit his attacker, and there's a blur of silver and the rasp of metal against metal as their blades meet.

 

He looks up and his heart stops.

 

Kotarou.

 

They're frozen, eyes wide and hearts pounding. Time seems to slow, and the sounds of war around them fade into nothingness.

 

“Keiji?”

 

Keiji's heart sings.

 

It's been years since he's heard his name spoken in his voice. They had stopped seeing each other after the first year, duty coming first before all else—including his emotions.

 

They had been foolish. Memories of hurriedly whispered confessions, of hasty “I love yous” and “I know” echo distantly in his mind. Stolen kisses and pained smiles as they held hands, a golden owl on a delicate chain pressed into his hands before they parted ways again. Their last meeting.

 

Even now, the charm rests hot and heavy on his chest. He sees the silver ring on Koutarou's finger and his chest tightens, trying to repress the desperation he feels.

 

Duty before all else, he repeats in his mind. A familiar mantra carved into his very being, but one that is useless now.

 

“Akaashi, get down!”

 

Kuroo's voice cuts through the haze of memories, shattering the trance they were both in. Kotarou jumps away, and Keiji ducks. A flaming arrow sails past them, and he can feel the heat on his head.

 

They look at each other. Koutarou's eyes, pools of honey as bright as the sun, seem to be pleading with him, begging him to return.

 

Keiji hesitates.

 

Duty before all else, his mind screams.

 

His heart, however, sings a song of hope and rebellion.

 

A second passes.

 

Then he whirls around. Kuroo's face is unsure before he catches sight of Keiji's face. It turns into one of resignation, and his lips form words.

 

Stay safe.

 

Keiji nods.

 

He grabs Koutarou's hand, and together, they sprint in the direction of the forest, where a small, hidden cottage lies.

 

His body may obey his country’s call to duty, but his soul has always belonged to the sun.

basically, i came up with names for the two countries akaashi and bokuto are fighting for—akaashi fights for regnuth, and bokuto fights for dravka, a neighboring country in this fantasy world thank you for reading! find me on twitter as @lingwens
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