#My name is Joshua. I currently live in Minneapolis Minnesota. I am a graphic design student at the art institute. I love anything that I can get my hands on that has literature in it. This is my first piece that I am attempting. I hope that someone finds it enjoyable to read. If you want to comment on it hit me up at sksrua@hotmail.com. If you think it sucks cool too I really will only take everything in stride. What else could I do?




Black Diamonds in the sky tonight is no time to die. We will discover new desires. Set the night on fire.

"This village is like all the rest. Why are we here again?" Kato whined to his superior officer. "Well boy, were here cause the king wants him found." The senior personnel said to the prince with the utmost respect. Kato being of slight build with shining blue eyes wanted to be just like this man. He was rugged and weathered to all that nature had to offer. When they went out on routine excursions. The only problem with this trip was that they were supposed to look for someone that wasn't easy to find.

The man they needed was to be found in this region of the countryside. His tale is one of wonder and amazement. He is supposed to be the greatest wizard of the time and they couldn't find him. The Major was trying his hardest to find this mystery man and he was at the end of his rope with all of it. He has seen more than most in his duties than any of his colleagues. The fact that the prince was with him was not of any note. The prince was under his tutelage for war and weapon training. He thought of that boy as one of his own children, if he had any. He knew that he had to be gentle yet firm with the boy so that he under stood what was needed and also so that he didn't turn into a tyrant. The kid was young and impressionable. The Major thought with a little toughening up and discipline he could take the boy to where he needed to be.

Kato was probably different than most of the boys his age. He was 17 and he was going to be the leader of one of the largest countries in the land. His father, the king, was a fierce man who scared the hell out of him but couldn't be rivaled by any man. Kato was slight in his features. He has blue eyes, blonde hair and a build that was almost elfish in the way he was proportioned. He was a disappointment to his father due to his beliefs in equality and peace with everyone. Brute force isn't everything. His father sent him on this mission so that he would be out of his father's hair. Kato just wanted to be happy in his life and with what he did. His father disapproved of everything Kato did.

Elandor was a village that they were in was small compared to the ones that lead up to it. With a population of maybe three hundred it was, in Kato's eyes, a place he would not like to stay in. The village had a head council and a village mayor. The mayor watched over trade and any disagreements.

"Well, since we aren't going to find him here can we leave now?" Kato asks the Major. "Yeah, lets go kid," the Major replied. They traveled east out of the village down a road that ran threw woods. They stopped just before nightfall to rest the horses and camp for the night.

"Why can't we find this mystery man?" Kato asked

"Well, we don't have much to run on the description is very weak, and we don't have many leads so we have to go village to village due to the reports of his whereabouts." The Major replied

"Well, I hope we find him soon cause I could use a bath and a good night in a bed for a while."

"Me too Kato, me too."

"I'll take first watch Major." Kato offered

"Sure kid, just wake me when its midnight." The Major replied thankful of the offer. The night started quiet and didn't show any signs of being the bearer of anything that would disturb the Major and Kato. When it came time to change shifts, the Major was ready for anything that could happen. He sharpened all of his blades and worked on making more arrowheads. In the morning the packed up and put the fire out. They headed into the next village after their midday meal of dried meats. The village was the same with the same looking buildings and people. The only thing that stood out was the way that people acted. It was like someone or something mesmerized them. They were crowded around the center of the village. Kato and the Major had to push to see what was going on.

"What the hell Major, why can't these people move or something?"

"Patience Kato, we are almost there, just follow my lead and we will figure out what is going on ok?" the Major replied coolly

In the center of the village a young man was doing a few tricks that would be normal for any street performer in a large city or even a decent sized town. Kato couldn't understand what was so spectacular about what he was doing. The Major on the other hand was dazed with the street performers act. Kato and the Major watched till he was finished and applauded.

"I want to meet this young man Kato. Lets go." The Major ordered. "Fine Major lets meet this street performer." As they approached the young man the crowd dwindled and made it easier for them to get around all of the people that showed up.

"HEY YOU!" the Major bellowed over all the noise the people were making. The young man looked up and looked around for who was yelling out at him with a little bit of fear in his dark eyes. As Kato and the Major got closer the young man was dumb struck with trying to figure out why two high ranking officers of the royal guard would want anything to do with him. He was shaking by the time the two approached him and was beyond nervous.

"Can I help you?" the young man asked in a quivering voice. Kato responded, "Yes maybe you can. We are looking for someone and we hope that you can help us with that."

"Well, I will certainly try to assist you in anyway I can. My name is Dakota. What is yours?" Dakota asked genuinely.

"My name is Kato and this is Major Damon of the royal guard." Kato replied.

"Well, whatever you need in your search just ask and it will be yours."

"Alright, lets go someplace quiet so that we can talk." Kato told Dakota treating him like a he was going to be more trouble that he was worth. Damon watched as the prince proceeded to talk to the young man and wished he had trained the boy on civility to his people. The prince has a good heart but he doesn't think when he talks. Damon decided to have a little chat later with him to set him right about this kind of behavior.

Dakota didn't bother with the tone that Kato was setting in his voice. He was too infatuated with the prince. Dakota was a young man of nineteen and couldn't look away from Kato. As they went to the local tavern to sit and talk about what the prince and the major was looking for, Dakota decided that he was going to travel with them to find what ever that was just so he could be close to Kato.

Kato took notice of Dakota and all of the man's looks at him. He looked closer at him to see if he would be worth making into a friend. Dakota was toned with a look that a farm boy would have after many years working in the fields. He wasn't bulky or over muscled. He was though stunning to the prince after he actually looked at the man. Kato noticed that Dakota had pale green eyes with a sparkle to them that sort of pulled you into them. His hair was jet black and cut short. He also noticed that when Dakota talked he had this quirky nature that was refreshing to hear and it made him smile.

Oh my, he is smiling. Man, he is gorgeous. Dakota thought of Kato. As they drank ale and talked about the wizard, Dakota remembered vaguely talking to an old man when he was on his travels to this town that fit the descriptions that both Damon and Kota were giving him.

"I believe I can take you to where I saw him last. If you would like me to of course." Dakota offered.

"Yes that would be perfect. Thank you Dakota." Damon said. They decided that they would leave the following morning after the two men got some rest in the rooms that the tavern had to offer. Dakota sat with Damon while Kato set up the rooms with the innkeeper.

"Do you think that I will be able to travel with you all the way back to the capitol?" Dakota asked Damon nervously. "I don't see why not young man as long as you do your part and don't cause any trouble for me and Kato we will both enjoy your company I'm sure."

"Our rooms are ready Damon lets get some rest. I got us all separate rooms and we should be able to get going after we break our nights fast." Kato said to both of the men. He was happy that he would be able to on the trip to get to know Dakota more and also to get someone else to talk to that was closer to his age.

Late that night, after the men settled into their rooms, Damon spoke with Kato about Dakota traveling with them and his attitude when he was first speaking with the young man that would be helping them find the mysterious wizard.

"Kato you have to have civility when you talk to your people or any other person. If you keep acting like everyone is beneath you then you wont have anybody tolerating your presence."

"I'm sorry Damon that I acted like that I was just frustrated that we are on this journey with no real hopes of finding who we are looking for. I just want to go home and do what I want to do instead of doing what my father demands of me."

"I know its frustrating boy, but your father just wants you to toughen up and learn about the world and he thinks that the wizard will be able to help the country grow. You need to do this for your self and for your people." Damon countered. Kato wanted to please Damon and improve his behavior.

In the other room, Dakota was relaxing in his bed reading a book trying not to overhear the conversation that he could hear in the other room. He knew that Kato was sorry for acting like he did and Dakota really didn't care about those kinds of things. Dakota decided that if the other boy acted like that again though he would let him know so that he wouldn't have to have another one of his conversations with Damon.

The next morning the trio set out for the south bound road that would lead them to hopefully the wizard. Dakota told the others that it would take about three days to get to the place that they would find the old man that fit the description. The area was in the mountains and the men had to travel through heavy woods and across the river Drafini. Kato was worried that Dakota would be leading them to something foreboding and dangerous. He was still wary of the newcomer and didn't want to trust someone that could captivate him so easily. He was trying to figure out why he was attracted to this man so completely and not to a woman back home. The more he thought about it, the more he had to know more about this person.

By midday, they had made decent headway on the journey. They stopped to rest the horses and to eat their midday meal. Dakota sat on the ground by the small fire that was going juggling a few colored balls. Kato watched with wonder at how nimble the young man was. He seems so care free and without worry. Kato thought of Dakota. Kato sat down beside Dakota to eat while Damon cooked up a stew for everyone. "So tell me more about yourself, Dakota."

"Well, I come from a very small town on the out skirts of this realm. Its called Kratos, it's in the north mountain range called Helios' Crown. I was a farmer and I worked in my father's fields till one day he caught me doing something he didn't approve of and told me to leave at once. Is there anything more you'd like to know" Dakota asked at the end with a tear in his eye remembering that day. Kato didn't know what to say and sat quietly beside Dakota. Damon came over and put his hand on the boy's shoulders and said, "Well, we will be here for you if you need to talk about it more ok?" Dakota just nodded his head in response and finished his meal. They packed up and traveled till it was late in the evening and dusk had went by already. Dakota had not said a word to anyone other than what was necessary for what he was doing for them.

That night Kato hear what sounded like little whimpers what were coming from Dakota's bedroll. Kato got up quietly and moved over to place his things beside him and laid out his bedding. Dakota was dreaming of his past and didn't wake for the young prince. Kato pulled himself up to him and held onto Dakota as tightly as he could. Dakota seemed to calm down after this sign of affection from Kato. While Kato slept, Dakota woke in the middle of the night to find he had this young man wrapping his arms around him. He put his arms around Kato so that he was even closer to him.

In the morning the boys looked at each other and smiled. They knew that it was right to hold on to the other and not to feel ashamed by that. Dakota wanted to kiss Kato so badly but didn't due to the fact he didn't think it would be appropriate after his night. He had a nightmare of his father beating him and disowning him after he caught him and his best friend kissing in the barn's hayloft. He wished that his best friend was with him now but he knew that it could never be. It was a life he left behind that day and only in his dreams is he worried about what happened.

Kato on the other hand didn't know what to think or do. He felt like he should do more but was also content with Dakota in his arms. He didn't know what he would have done if he went farther with this at the moment. He just wanted more time to sort out what he was feelings for this young man.

Damon was just smiling at the two. He believed that you should love or be with who ever you wanted to be with. He called for them to get up and to get their things packed. Coming back to reality, the two young men quickly did as they were ordered and everyone was underway shortly there after.

"We have a small village that should be coming up a few miles before we get to the road that leads to the mountains. Its small and hidden away but it will allow us to get more supplies and probably a night in a bed," Dakota told the others.

"Great, I need to get some more things so that if we need to climb any of the passes to high to get to where we are going then we will have it with us. Also, a bed sounds good right now," Damon, replied happily to the news of the village.

"Yes, and after that it should take us to probably midday to get to where the old man was the last time I was out this way. He lives in a cottage on the side of the mountains."

A couple miles away from the village, the clearing that they came to for their evening meal set them. The village was in sight and they could see the first row of houses with candles in the windows and also the smoke coming from chimneys. They were happy that they would be able to relax before heading out again from there. After eating, they made their way into what appeared to be a disaster. The houses that they thought had smoke from their chimneys actually had been houses on fire. The whole village looked to be deserted and any sign of life to be gone. Kato was horrified by this atrocity. Dakota and Damon were completely silent as they all went on looking for anyone who could tell them what had happened to all of the people.

"I can't believe someone or something could do this to anyone. Its unspeakable," Kato told the others.

"We need to find any survivors and see if they can tell us who did this," Damon told him in a grave voice. Damon was worried that this could possibly start another war. He had seen tactics like this used when other nations wanted more lands or to take over the kingdom. He was aware that the danger was just beginning for them and made sure that all of his weapons were with in his reach. Dakota made sure that he had his throwing knives that he uses for his performances in his sleeves. Dakota had perfected his ability to throw them when he lived on the farm and was now worried that he would actually have to use them for their real purpose.

The found an in that wasn't as damaged as the other buildings near the center of the village. They went inside hoping to find anyone that would be able to tell them what was going on. The main room was singed but wasn't too badly damaged. They could tell that water was used to put out the fire, bringing the hope of finding someone in some part of the building. They split up, Dakota going to the cellar, while Kato checked the first level. Damon went up the stairs to look in the rooms and attic.

"There is no one on the main level." Kato yelled out when he finished with the last room. He wandered back to the main room to wait for the others to come back, hoping that they found someone. He prayed that no one was still here that could be responsible for the village's destruction.

In the cellar, Dakota found remnants that someone had come down to get supplies and was searching the supply closets when he heard Kato. The further he went on, the more strange it all seemed to him that no one was hiding in these rooms. They all looked that they could be locked from the inside. They were solid doors with a very heavy look to them. The idea that they didn't have time to do that filled Dakota's mind and it made him saddened by the events that had transpired. He couldn't find many signs of anything and soon went back up to tell Kato and Damon what he had found.

Damon had a different finding when he came to the third room on the second level. There were three teenage boys huddled in the closet. They were identical to each other and looked like they were triplets. It's not something that Damon had ever seen before in his life. They all had shaggy brown hair, deep brown eyes, and a tanned complexion. They look like they knew what a hard days work was. When he tried to talk to them they wouldn't say a word to him. Tears flowed out of their eyes and they smiled to him but not one word was spoken to the major.

He brought them down to Kato and Dakota and went back to look for anyone else that could be in a room or the attic. He found what looked like supplies that belonged to other people that probably rented the rooms and the attic had nothing but old furniture in it. Deciding that no one else was up there, he came back down to the main room. He saw the two young men trying to coax something out of the triplets.

"What are your names?" Kato was asking them with concern in his voice.

"Do you know what happened to everyone else?" Dakota asked worriedly, hoping to get more than the nodding that he was.

"Guys, leave the boys alone they have been through enough with out you two bothering them so soon. What they need is some food and a goodnight's sleep. We leave at dawn." Damon calmly told the others. Knowing that if he had any anger in his voice the three boys might not ever open up for fear of the trauma that the had been through. He pulled the other two a side and talked to them about letting the boys open up when they were ready. "They have along time till we reach the capital so we don't have to worry about time with this," Damon told the others. "We understand," the other two said in unison.

Damon went back upstairs after that to get the largest room fitted for him and the boys. He figured that someone should be with them at all times so that they don't have to be alone in their time of need. He felt that this would most likely be the worst thing to ever happen to a person. Being alone is not something someone wants to be when they have had such a tragedy occur.

Damon called for them all to come upstairs after getting all of the rooms arranged. The triplets were ushered to the room Damon prepared, while Kato went to the next room over. Dakota had the room opposite of that. All the rooms were adjacent to one another. Dakota tried to sleep but couldn't. His mind raced with the thoughts of the evening's events. After his multiple attempts to fall asleep, he got up out of his bed, dressed in his pants, and went to Kato's room hoping that he would be awake so that he wasn't alone. After quietly knocking he waited what seemed like forever, giving up hope that the other was awake he started down the hall back towards his room. Before he got to his door, the door to Kato's room opened and he stepped out looking for who knocked. Kato whispered loudly for Dakota to come back. As they lay down on the bed, Dakota buried his head into Kato's chest and cried for the village and for the boys. Kato had tears flowing out of his eyes like and endless waterfall. After they wore themselves out the found sleep.

Damon placed the boys into the large bed that he hoped would fit them comfortably. He took the cot on the other wall and told the boys that if they needed anything to wake him and he would get it for them so that they wouldn't have to bother being separated from the others. He hoped that they would have restful sleep. He knew that tomorrow he would need to find three horses so that they could ride with them, or a carriage. The fact that everything pointed to the evidence that everyone was either taken or fled as fast as they could didn't bode well with him. He knew that when they brought word to the king that he would demand retribution for this unholy act. Damon was fearful of a war starting in the near future.