This is the first chapter.
"Can you tell me that story about the sun again?"
A little blonde-headed, blue eyed girl stared in wonder as her father told her the facinating story of how the sun came into being.
This story, being her favorite, involved the dark spirit's malicious plot to steal the light from Sirus the star and use it's power to destroy the universe. Just when all hope seems to be lost, a hero named Barbarus takes up his sword, which is named sun, and defeats the dark spirit in a collosal battle that ends in an explosian that shakes the universe to the core. Though the explosian killed Barbarus, it also warped the light of Sirus, thus creating a new star that was named after Barbarus's sword.
"And that is how the sun was created." Her father finished the story with a wink.
The girl looked out towards the beautiful, bright red sunset and sighed. She figeted a little, but soon sat up and looked into her fathers eyes.
"Why did Barbarus have to die in the story, daddy?"
Her father smiled and said,"Because in every good, dramatic story the hero sacrifices his life for the world, or in this case, the universe."
This answer really did not satisfy her, but she decided not to make a fuss about it. The girl sighed again.
"Daddy, why is the sunset red?"
Even though she already knew the answer to that question, she continued to ask it over and over again.
"It's because..." He trailed off. A tear collected beneath his eye, then rolled down his face.
"Ever good person that dies..." He choked," Their blood is splashed up onto the sky so that they can be remembered by their loved ones."
The little girl looked down at her small, skinny, dirty legs and sighed.
Is mommy's blood up there too?"
"Yes, Lottia" Her father answered wipeing the tear from his eyes. He smiled and brushed her thin blonde hair out of her face so that he could look into her eyes.
"I love you, Lottia" He held her close to him.
"I'll never let you go. I promise you, I'll never be so careless again. I'll never let them take you from me like the took your mother."
Lottia wanted to cry out loud in her father's strong arms and stay there forever, weeping and feeling sorry for herself. She fought that urge. She knew that she had to be strong for her father. She had to hold him up and soothe his hurt heart, so that he could live peacefully. Lottia knew that if she went down, her father would follow.
The moment of healing love of a father and his daughter ended abruptly at the sound of a loud thumping that was comming toward them from behind.
Her father looked over his shoulder and mumbled something under his breath.
Lottia looked behind her and caught sight of the general of the kings army riding upon his valient white horse toward them from across the peaceful meadow.
"Stand up, Lottia." Her father whispered in her ear as he stood up.
Lottia stood up straight and tall and watched as the young Octavious slowed to a stop and gracefully dismounted from his beloved horse.
"Good day, Brutus." Octavious greeted her father. "Lottia." he nodded toward her.
"Good day, Sir." Her father greeted the general with a slight bow.
"Lovely evening, isn't it."
"Yes, sir. That it is."
Octavious patted the silver sword that hung from his side thoughtfully.
"I suppose you are wondering why I am here."
Lottia heaved an inward sigh. It was obvious that he had come to give her father another mission. Even though Octavious was very nice to her, Lottia disliked him because it seemed like everytime she saw him, it was because he was going to give her father an extremely dangerous mission. It was like Octavious's very presance was a bad omen.
"Aye, sir, I would like to know." Brutus replied respectfully even though he knew just as well as lottia of the general's intentions.
"I would like to give you another mission." Octavious announced.
"How dangerous will it be?"
"The usual." Octavious replied coldly. "As you know, we are at war with the elves in the city of Talmora."
Lottia's father sighed. "Which is located in the forest of dreams."
"The very center." Octavious agreed.
"We need you to spy on them, and watch for any military movements."
"Why do I have to do this?" Brutus complained. "I just got a break and I want to be with my daughter. Why can't you send Delcharz or... or Antony. Why me?"
Octavious crossed his arms. "Because you are the best man I've got. And you are the only one with enough skills to pass through the elves territory without being detected."
Brutus looked dejected.
"You will be doing a great service for your kingdom." Octavious said.
"Fine, fine. Have it your way." Brutus sounded disappointed.
Lottia was extremely disappointed. Every time her father went on a mission she spent all that time worrying about him. She could not think straight or do her chores properly when he was away.
"Please, Octavious." Lottia begged. "Don't make daddy go away again."
Octavious kneeled down to meet her at her level and put his hand on her shoulder.
He smiled and said," Don't worry about your father. He will be fine. He will come back home just like he always does. He will be back in a couple of days. Here before I forget." Octavious pulled out an old looking trinket and placed it in Lottia's outstreched hand.
"Thank you" She said.
She wondered how this was supposed to make up for him taking her father away.
" This is a very old pen. I've had it since I was your age." He winked at her then stood up and faced her father.
"Come, Brutus, you have work to do. We will have a short briefing before you go, so that you can know what to expect."
Brutus looked at Lottia and said, "I'll be fine, Lottia. I'll send Gertrude over to the house to watch over you until I get back. You know the way home right?"
"Good." Her father smiled at her. "I love you." He kissed her on the forehead and patted her cheek. "Deach Confraumorph"
"Deach Confraumorph." Lottia said, her heart sinking as she watched her father walk away with Octavious towards the city.
Lottia turned away toward the hillside and looked out toward the sunset. Little stars glimmered faintly against the strong red sky.
"Mommy." She whispered, "Please keep daddy safe. And please help him to come back soon." A tiny tear escaped the corner of her eye. "I miss you, Mommy."
Lottia tumbled down the hill towards the creek that separated the hill from her home. She knew that her mother would keep her father safe no matter what. Her mother was a powerful dragon keeper, and dragon keepers could do anything.
Lottia stopped at the edge of the creek and stared at the muscular young woman, Gertrude. Gertrude was sweet and loving and single. Lottia guessed that she felt bad for her and decided to take care of her when her father was away. No matter how nice Gertrude was, she could never take the place of her mother.
"Lottia!" Gertrude yelled excitedly waving her hand.
Lottia stepped gingerly into the icy cold water in the creek and tried her best not to fall over into the current. She then picked her way through the tall grain that surrounded her house.
"Lottia..." Gertrude picked her up by the waist and hugged her. "It's so good to see you."
Lottia hugged her back and giggled. "Gertrude?"
"Why can't I go with daddy?"
Gertrude smiled. "Because it's too dangerous for a seven year old."
Gertrude set Lottia down on her bare feet and wiped some dirt from her face. "My my, you dirty child. If I put you in the pig pen you would fit in just fine with the pigs. You'll have to wash up before you go to bed. And in the mean time, I will be preparing your dinner.
"Yes, Gertrude." Lottia said.
Gertrude took Lottia's hand into hers and led her into the house.
As the sunset disappeared from the sky and the darkness took it's place, the twinkling stars became more noticeable.
Lottia looked into the sky from her bedroom window and searched for the constalation "Draco". It was said that all of the dragon keepers that die in this life, live again in the world of the dead, but a little remanant of their spirit is left in the sky, in Draco.
"I will see you again one day." Lottia whispered as she closed her eyes. "I love you."