Author’s Note: Before you begin reading the prequel, just a few things of note. I am really iffy about posting it. I am having computer issues and as some of you are aware with the original version of The Exiled Prince I had computer and game issues which forced me to change things. Ultimately, those changes forced the characters and plots to take directions that they would not normally have. It was a very frustrating time for me. I really do not want to experience that again, so I have been hesitant to post these chapters even though they have been done, just in case my computer does stop working. However, we cannot plan for the unforeseen events such as our computers just randomly giving up on life one day. If I wait around for it to happen, it could be years or days. There is no way of knowing. If something does happen, I do have everything backed up. Let’s hope nothing happens to the backup as well. -_-
As per the story. With The Exiled Prince we do not really ever learn why Tationy reacts the way she does to events and characters. For Example, why is she so nervous around the historical version of Hiko Kari? This is a question that is never answered in The Exiled Prince. There are plenty of other things that are never fully explained. The point of the prequel is to introduce Tationy, but more importantly it is to help explain Tationy’s reactions in the reboot to characters and events that appear and happen in the historical setting.
Also, you might notice that a lot of characters have had some changes. For example, Kyo and Semei are both closer in age to Hiko. In previous stories that they all appeared they were considerably older. Kyo in The Exiled Prince was the same age as Erobus. When Tationy and Hiko meet Erobus at the Kari Village he is an old man well into his seventies and Kyo is dead and replaced by Baito as Shield of the Kari. In The Exiled Prince Reloaded, we learn that Kyo is the brother of Tadayoshi who is Hiko’s father. We see that he has a son that is five years younger than Hiko. Semei we learn met child Hiko when he was going through his trials. In the prequel we see their ages adjusted so they are both just a year older than Hiko is. These changes will be unknown to those that have not read The Exiled Prince and The Exiled Prince Reloaded, but are worth mentioning to those that have previous knowledge of these characters in other stories.
You might notice during the story that some text is centered, italicized, and in some cases might have character names before them indicating which character is speaking. These conversation pieces are background conversations that are happening in the general area of the scene. They might not seem important, but they actually are. The reason I address this is only because people might wonder why there is this little snippet of conversation. These conversation pieces are important to add to character personalities, to show what the main character and characters around are hearing, but also because of something we learn about Tationy later in the story. So, that is food for thought as you are reading through the chapters.
Lastly, we learn some things about Tationy and Hiko during The Exiled Prince Reloaded. The prequel runs in a similar fashion to that story, only in the sense that it tells the story of the relationship of Tationy and Hiko. The Exiled Prince Reloaded was a “What If” story based off what had happened in The Exiled Prince. While the two stories were standalone, the prequel and the reboot, along with any stories that come about from either will be best read in sequential order. So with that said, if you read The Exiled Prince or The Exiled Prince Reloaded, understand that they are previous attempts at telling the story of Tationy. Hopefully, The Exiled Prince Rebooted Prequel and The Exiled Prince Rebooted will turn out better.
Kyo Kari leaned against the basketball hoop outside the dormitory where he was the residential adviser. He was a senior at Sofore Academy, Captain of the swim team, President of the Student Body, and Head of the Honor Society. School life kept him busy. He rubbed the back of his neck as he mumbled to himself, “She is late.”
Earlier that day he had been pulled into the office of the Dean of Administration where they discussed a recently enrolled student. She had arrived to Sofore Academy just three weeks prior. Having gotten a glance at her file, she was different from the elite and wealthy that attended the boarding school. Brought up in humble beginnings by a single parent the prospect of attending a school like this one was completely out of her reach.
The Dean of Administration said that he did not like to talk ill about people, but even as Kyo listened he could tell that the man took delight in the story. As rumors go, the girl’s mother was the daughter of the most powerful woman in Aslann, Miso Yamada. Supposedly there had been some sort of scandalous matter that got her mother disowned, but none of that mattered now because with the death of the matriarch of the Yamada all of her fortune was left to the daughter she went out of her way to reject.
This girl being at Sofore Academy was no coincidence, she was a legacy from a very long line of Yamada women that attended the school. Of course, Kyo could not help wondering why her last name was Tylo instead of Yamada. There was little time to consider it as the Dean informed him that he would be placing the girl in his care. It was unusual for the Dean to go out of his way like this for a single student. Kyo suspected it had something to do with the girl’s mother. Even though she had been poor and disgraced she still had some pull; not at all surprising considering she was Yamada. It was said that Yamada women were truly beautiful and could wrap a man around their finger rather easily. Needless to say, when he finally noticed a girl walking up the path he felt a bit of disappointment.
She stopped rather suddenly and kept a good deal of space between them. The fact that she kept such a distance he found suspicious, “Are you Kyo Kari?”
Her voice was breathy and did not fit her character. Here, she was a rather frumpy almost boyish girl with a bedroom voice. He realized much to late that a heat had risen to his cheeks and he stammered. There had only been one other girl that managed to catch him off-guard like that. Kyo closed his eyes, releasing a small amount of breath to collect himself as he pushed away from the basketball hoop, “Yes, you must be Tationy Tylo. You are late by the way.”
“Tsk,” The sound of disapproval came sharply as she looked away and rubbed her neck. It was obvious she had something she wanted to say, but was refraining. This defiance explained the marks that he noticed on her record and must have been the reason for her attending so many schools.
His lips pursed as he tried to decide if it was even worth addressing now. He could not really correct her on something she had not done yet even though he thought it was going to be an issue later on. Turning on his heels he began walking, “You will be in room A2. If you need assistance moving your belongings here let me know.”
As he moved he noticed that she had not started walking right away. So, he glanced back which she seemed to take as an indication to follow. When they had gotten to the common area for the “spirit dorms” he held the door open for her, which elicited an unrecognizable expression. He thought it was annoyance at first, but then realized that it seemed more like she was uncomfortable or uncertain. She was an oddity. There were very few people that Kyo could not figure out, but even he had to admit he was not certain what to make of this girl.
He had not offered any words right away, allowing her a moment to take in the common room. Kyo made note how she crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the bookcase. She seemed unhappy, maybe even lonely. He considered that perhaps this was why the Dean assigned her to his care. “This area is usually filled with people between classes. When you are here, be respectful of others. There is a refrigerator and microwave that is usable by everyone. It is important to keep them clean. On Saturdays at four o’clock we do dorm-wide tutoring sessions. They are mandatory for those whose grades fall below a C, but anyone can participate or offer guidance.”
She was silent though he was certain she was listening, “In the mornings a group of us get together at six and do a ten mile run. If you would like to join us you are more than welcome.”
“I am not into sports.”
“You do not have to be. It is about balancing what we take into our bodies and physical exercise. Most of us do not eat well due to classes, club activities, and social lives. So, a few of us thought it might be nice to do something in the morning together. We have some that run every day and others that run once a week. There are a few that just walk the ten miles and talk. We encourage everyone to participate, but it is not an obligation.”
“Are you some sort of sports junky?”
Her question surprised him. It was rather direct and some would probably take it as outright rude. He, however, was used to people with rather brazen and direct personalities so he simply chuckled under his breath and responded, “I am Captain of the swim team, does that count as being a sports junky?”
“Isn’t swimming more of a hobby or summer activity?”
Her question did not offend him because it was not the first time he had been asked something like that. Those that knew very little about the training involved in swimming often thought of it as more of an action like running or sailing than an actual sport, “Many sports are limited by when they can be played. Baseball for example, unless it is taking place in a stadium with a dome is a sport usually reserved for spring and summer. Swimming, however, is both an indoor and an outdoor sport. Here, at Sofore the swim team is the only club that is active all year. Other sports clubs usually get a break during one or two of the seasons.”
“Ahh,” Her response a soft whisper. He was not certain if his words satisfied her question, but he took that she did not ask another as a good sign that it might have.
Kyo gathered his thoughts. He had showed her the common area of the dorm. He decided it was probably for the best to get the rules out of the way, “There are just a few rules. Breaking any of these can get you expelled from the dorm and in some cases even the school.” He considered each rule, “No smoking.”
“No drinking. No pornography.”
“Loud music can only be played between noon and seven in the evening.”
“No protesting or activism.”
“Well aren’t you just a buzz-kill,” She responded dryly.
He could tell she was being flippant, “Your neighbor in A1 is special.” There was a subtle arch of her brow which caused him to laugh when he realized that what he said might be taken the wrong way, “When I was a freshmen I was assigned to this dorm. The resident adviser was very easygoing. He did not care what you did, felt it was no reflection upon him. In my year and also assigned to the dorm was your neighbor, Eri Maiba; resident vegan, activist, feminist. She and I butted heads a lot.”
“Everything. Well anyway, this year I was made resident adviser and the first week she spent protesting my authoritarian ways.”
It was subtle, but he caught a glimpse of a very brief smile pass over her lips. If his first impression of her was accurate he doubted she smiled very often. “Vegan, activist, and feminist; I am sure she is delightful if you are an animal or another feminist.”
Kyo found her comment curious, “Are you not a feminist?”
Her eyes squinted, her lips pursed, and he thought for a moment that he had stuck his foot in his mouth with his question. “No, I am not. I don’t need feminism because respect is not something you are born with based on your gender. It does not matter if it is two men or a man and a woman, no one is created equal. Respect and equality is something you earn through hard work and perseverance over time. I do not need it because I do not see women as weak or oppressed. Just like men we choose our paths and when it does not go as we wish it, we should take responsibility and not blame it on men or society. Modern feminism is filled with misandry and victim-culture. I don’t hate men and I am not a victim no matter what happens in my life. I believe in empowering both men and women through education not by stifling the voice of one over the other.”
“I see you and Eri are going to get along.”
“It will be fine. I don’t much care for people so I doubt she and I will ever say much of anything to each other. So what else? I am sure those are not all the rules.”
With a nod, Kyo finished discussing the rules such as no drugs, no fighting. Not that it mattered much, the more he listed them off the more he thought about each resident. The student body under his charge was probably the worst rule-breakers at Sofore Academy. He suddenly had a bad feeling about her arrival and they only parted company when he was certain he had gone over everything.
Kyo’s day, other than showing her around, progressed much as it always did. He was probably the busiest man on campus. When he was not dealing with club activates he was handling the unruliness of the students that he oversaw in the “spirit dorms”. Not to mention assisting teachers with the occasional grading and attending meetings which the Dean of Administration asked him to participate in. It was not until later in the evening he really had a moment to slow down. From where he leaned against the building he could hear Eri in her room behind him cheering and clapping.
“We got spirit, yes we do.
We got spirit, how about you?”
Surprisingly, Eri was the only feminist cheerleader he knew. Of course during their freshman year she had ranted and protested about objectifying women as decorations for a football team. Amazingly enough it was the former cheer captain that set the girl straight by challenging her views of cheer-leading. Up close and personal, Eri got a look at the competitive sport from the athleticism in tumbling and stamina to more academic and social pursuits like time management, studying, teamwork, and using your voice to inspire those around you. In the years that followed, Eri really made the team her own.
His thoughts were distracted as his eyes focused in on four members of the basketball team. They were always like this; loud and noisy. Last year the entire “spirit dorm” had banded together to win the coveted dorm of the year award for their contributions in athletics, academics, community, and social affairs. They were granted anything they wanted, of course the basketball team members took it upon themselves to get a hoop for the courtyard.
Kuro: “You think you can one-on-one me, Hiko?”
Hiko: “I am going to blow right by you and there is nothing you can do to stop me.”
Sadamitsu: “He is pretty cocky Kuro, thinking that our Captain is a pushover and is going to let him by so easily. Don’t worry though, if you fail at stopping him, I control under the boards.”
Semei: “As if I am going to let you, Sadamitsu.”
Sighing, Kyo considered this lot seemed far more energetic today. “Something must have happened,” He thought to himself as his eyes shifted toward two individuals walking along the path.
That bad feeling he had came back in force. Kyo had thought that there was something about her arrival. Impending doom was probably over-dramatizing it, but now that he saw her again walking with Abe Sosa star baseball player for the Sofore Wildcats that bad feeling overtook him again. Their voices were not exactly loud, but he could hear bits and pieces of their conversation over the rambunctious voices of the basketball players.
“You should have told me you were here.”
“Why Abe? This place is pretty grand it is not like we were actually ever going to come into contact with each other. It seemed mote to go out of my way to announce my presence.”
“That is not what I meant and you know it.”
There was tension it was obvious as Abe and Tationy moved toward the “spirit dorms” and even the basketball players took time away from their game to stop and watch the two. Kyo had only informed a few people of the girl’s arrival to the dorm. Mostly her neighbors, on either side, Eri Maiba and Hiko Kari. The others would meet her eventually, but just in case there was any trouble or she needed anything when he was not around Kyo had wanted to make certain there were people in place to assist her. Unfortunately, whatever this was between her and Abe would most likely have a negative impact on any help she would get from the majority of the people in the dorm.
Abe Sosa was a narcissistic egomaniac. It was not as though he was the only one with pride and confidence in abundance there were plenty just like him, but this guy had an antagonistic personality that got on the nerves of generally everyone though it was he and Hiko Kari that tended to have the most verbal altercations. Keeping the two of them separated was hard enough with them both living in the same dorm, but knowing that Abe and the new girl Tationy had some sort of prior relationship was going to put most people on edge around her.
Kyo kept his eyes focused on them as they walked by, only now and again catching parts of their conversation. It was as though they were trying to speak in hushed voices, but at certain points emotion would get the better of the two and parts would breakthrough the noise of the dorm courtyard. There was a time when they stood outside her room and whatever they were talking about seemed to put both of them on edge. He hated that he was curious about what was transpiring, but if it affected the dorm as a whole he needed to know about it.
When Abe finally slipped up the stairs toward his dorm Kyo called out to her. There was hesitation, but she did eventually turn and take several steps toward him. Her eyes only settled on him for a moment, then she turned directing her attention to the intense two-on-two basketball game.
Sadamitsu: “Seriously, Semei how do you catch those piece of shit passes that Hiko tosses?”
Kuro: “Kari always defying what normal men can do.”
Hiko: “I thought you said you controlled under the boards, Mitsu.”
Sadamitsu: “Don’t get cocky because you can freely maneuver in the air the way you do.”
Semei: “Cockiness has nothing to do with it. He knows that if he cannot penetrate the key a hundred percent that I will be on the outside catching his reckless passes.”
“Do you want to play?” Kyo asked her as he moved to stand at her side to watch the wild bunch of athletes.
“Have you settled in? Do you need any help moving your belongings over?”
“That is not necessary. I did most of the moving during lunch. After I put my books away, I will go and get the rest.”
“Nonsense, let me help. I can get some of the guys to assist and we can have you all moved over in an hour.”
“Really no, I got it.”
She was stubborn. It was obvious she was keeping her distance which only made her relationship with Abe more suspect. He tried to pass it off as casual conversation, “I noticed you and Abe talking. Did the two of you meet today?”
Her attention drew swiftly toward him. It was a cold hard stare followed by a harsh sound of annoyance as she responded, “No.”
“I do not want to intrude.”
“Then don’t,” She replied as she turned and walked away.
Kyo was acutely aware that he could not force the girl to welcome him in as her confidant. What went on between her and Abe was a personal matter though he was certain whatever it was would affect the dorm they all lived in. That in his opinion made it his business and he intended to get to the bottom of it all at some point. Today though was certainly not the day seeing she had only just arrived and neither of them knew each other in any personal manner.
Even being aware that he could not push things, Kyo found that as he sat at his desk grading papers for Professor Waichia that he was distracted. Her reaction, though not entirely unexpected caught him off-guard. There was something in her tone, something that hinted there was history between her and Abe that was more than just an acquaintance or friendship. Whatever it was felt deep and dark. Staring at the assignments before him he sighed as he thought, “Why does it bother me so much?”
Her tone, the way she looked at him as she turned and walked away, nagged at him. Something terrible happened he was certain. Kyo was not particularly known for letting things get under his skin so this situation between her and Abe, whatever it was, left an unwelcome knot in his stomach. That bad feeling he had only increased when he saw the two of them together. Their body language told its own story. Familiar enough with one another that she allowed him to walk closely, but distant enough that he could tell there had been some sort of falling out. Unable to concentrate he sighed as he pushed aside the papers and headed toward the room of Hiko Kari.
With a single knock he heard the voice of Hiko instructing him to enter. “Who put that look on your face?”
Avoiding the question Kyo spoke, “I would like for you to introduce yourself to the new girl, Tationy.”
“Why exactly do you want me to do that?”
“Honestly, you and her both have brazen personalities. If anyone can understand her attitude I figured it might be you.”
“Was that a compliment or an insult, I could not tell?”
“Hiko,” Kyo said his name sternly.
“I got it, you don’t need to keep pestering me about it. I will talk to her. Wanted to anyway to find out why she was hanging out with that scum Sosa.”
Pursing his lips a moment, “I think they have history. When I asked her about knowing Abe she shut me down rather quickly. Regardless, try not to pick a fight with him the school year just started and I cannot keep bailing you out of trouble.” As an afterthought he added, “And stop smoking in your room.”
“Don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Are you seriously going to deny it when I can see your cigarettes, matches, and an ashtray sitting right on your nightstand? One of these days you are going to burn the dorm down are you going to deny it then?”
Hiko rubbed the back of his neck, “We both know my father will pay to make it go away. What does it really matter what I do? The only reason I was assigned to this dorm was so you and Semei could keep me out of trouble. Just let me do what I want and stop worrying about stupid shit.”
“My brother asked you to be assigned to this dorm so you could learn discipline it had nothing to do with Semei and I babysitting you.”
“You both can keep telling yourselves that, but we both know it is a load of bull.”
“We are not going to have this conversation again. Stop smoking in your room or I will give you a disciplinary mark for your record and make sure you check on that girl. Maybe mentoring someone who is just like you might make you come to realize how your behavior affects the rest of us,” Kyo responded as he turned to leave adding with an exasperated sigh, “Or the two of you will burn the place down together.”
To Be Continued