Prologue

 

“Your baby, sir,” an old lady said, carefully handing a bundle over to a tall man.

 

The tall man gently held the wrapped baby in his arms and smiled. As the baby boy stared up at the face of his father, he started to smile. This made the tall man smile in return.

 

“Ooh!” said a woman’s voice from beside the tall man.

 

A woman nearly as tall as him stood beside him and looked curiously at his baby boy. Then she carefully took the baby from his arms looked at the baby closer. The baby for his part simply stared right back at this new stranger with an unblinking stare.

 

“He’s got your wife’s fiery eyes when she gets angry,” the women said. “As for his features, he looks a bit like you maybe?”

 

“Sis…” the tall man said at his sister’s wittiness.

 

Just then a man came rushing through the crowded people. Catching his breath, he saluted to the tall man.

 

“Sir!” he said. “Sage Ash has summoned for your presence.”

 

The tall man nodded and looked at his baby once more before taking his leave. Villages and countries each possess sages whose job is to predict the future and aid the leaders in protection. Like any other village with a sage, Ash is the sage of their village. He is a strong, gentle and a wise man that carries a lot of wisdom on his shoulders. He often called for the village’s leader, the tall man, for important things only. Often they don’t come in contact with each other unless it involved the safety of the village and its people or ceremonies held.

 

As he entered the shrine he saw the sage looking up at the starry sky mumbling something. Then the sage turned and noticing the man he nodded for him to come closer. The tall man stood next to the sage and also looked up at the starry sky.

 

“What is it that called for my presence in yours, Ash?” the man said.

 

“The stars have taken a definite turn at the birth of your child,” Ash said.

 

“Is that good or bad?” the man asked quickly.

 

The old sage sighed and said “Alas, I am only human to know such things.”

 

“But—!” the man began, but the sage held up his hand to stop him.

 

“Let us hold the naming ceremony of your son in three days’ time,” the sage said smiling. “All shall be revealed there and then.”

 

“Very well Ash,” the man said and left as Ash returned to gaze at the stars.

 

And so three days have come and the populace of the village attended the naming ceremony of the leader’s baby son. It is there the baby’s palm is ready for future prospects along with the alignment of the stars. It was also the time of when the baby’s path in life will be decided by the item it chooses. Thus the time of the naming ceremony arrived and everyone settled into places to witness the event. Most were wondering the kind of life a child of a leader would lead. Obviously the son of a leader will in turn lead the people was what they thought. As the sage raised his hand, silence fell all around as everyone watched in expectation.

 

The sage first looked at both palms of the baby while the baby made laughter noises at his gentle tug. Then he consulted his palmistry book and then looked at the alignment of the stars. This continued for another few minutes before he raised his head and looked directly at the baby’s parents and the look on his face surprised them

 

“Wh-what is it Ash?” the mother asked nervously.

 

Ash looked at the mother, then at the baby and back. He closes his eyes and nodded at something. Opening it, he smiled gently at the mother and revealed his prediction.

 

“The future for this boy,” he said and looked at the boy who was smiling up at this strange stranger, “is filled with flames.”

 

There was utter silence for a moment. Then everyone reeled back in shock at the sage’s prediction. Anyone with such a future or the path they walk upon is filled with flames only meant they would bring death and destruction to the world. Many great forces of evil came into being with the same prediction. Just then the sage raised his hand and silence fell almost immediately.

 

“While it is true the path this boy travels is filled with flames,” he said loud and clear, “but those flames are the protection of the world; flames of protection.”

 

“Flames of protection?” the father said. “Does that mean…” he faltered since he had no idea what it meant.

 

The sage smiled and looked down at the boy. He reached out one long finger to the boy and he took it. The baby then laughed joyfully at the contact of a friendly stranger.

 

“He is blessed by the spirit of the flames,” the sage finished.

 

This raised the spirits of the people as they looked at each other while others covered up their cries of joy. For the last several years their world was slowly started becoming endangered by the forces of darkness. They and their families before they had been praying for the return of the guardian warriors. As it seemed all hope was lost, their prayers have finally been answered in the form of this newborn child.

 

“Thus, this name shall be Ignatius, the fiery one!” the father shouted and everyone chorused their approval.

 

Through the noise and celebrations everyone was doing, the boy watched silently. He did not understand what was going on nor did he care. However, with the future predicted by the sage he will grow into one who will one day wield the spirit of flames and rally the other guardian warriors into defeating the darkness once more.

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