Zero Year Chapter Three

In the last chapter, we witnessed the commencement meeting of the UPFR. Later we join Nyarai and Azrael on a visit to Azrael’s parents house. In this chapter we meet The Eartherian Royalty.

Chapter Two BYR

Key information/terms

  • RFYT(Realm Youth Fighting Tournament): The RYFT is a fighting tournament held every two years when the best fighters across the realm come to compete against each other in ages groups 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-17, 18-19. It’s a mixed gender competition.
  • Eartherian Training Suit: Oneies jump suits that weight anywhere from 50kg to Ojwang’s custom made 350kg suit.
  • Gyata wood: A material similar to wood but as strong as titanium. 
  • “Oh Jiwe”: Short for oh Jiwetembo. In the west it’s the same as saying oh God.

Key Setting

  • In the UPFR The Queen has her own personal estate made for her by her friend Head Chair Khari.

Key Characters

Picrew: https://picrew.me/image_maker/296093

Princess Zula Abimbola fourth of her name

Alias: Princess/ Four/ Bug

Age: 16 (26/01/1378)

Home Nation: Central Udongardhi, Haribitem (Earth Queendom, Western Realm)

Occupation: Secondary student

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/ Not expressed yet

In story fact: She’s probably been outside of the castle no more than 90 days total her whole life. The only other places she’s been to are Dod and Jerissi (Abimbola loyal nations). Zaire is the only person she really knows her age. Her limited social circle doesn’t help with her Autism.

Zaire Anansi Abimbola-Akinjide

Alias: Greenie / Nansi

Age: 17 (01/02/1377)

Home Nation: Central Udongardhi, Haribitem 

Occupation: First year University student studying Theoretical Ashe Science

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/Not expressed yet

In story fact: Zaire thinks sarcasm is a personality trait. He purposely sticks out his tongue when being sarcastic so Zula can pick up on it. Though he pushes her buttons at times, Zaire is very protective of Zula. He decided to attend Uni online so that he can still go to school in the castle with Zula.

Queen Zula Abimbola third of her name

Alias: Queen of Eruption/ The Dormant Volcano

Age: 48 (13/05/1346)

Home Nation: Royal islas of Dod, Haribitem

Occupation: Queen

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/Lava (Solar)

In story fact: Gasira is known as the greatest Queen of the 8th cycle. despite her greatness, she has been suffering from an unknown ashe related illness for an unknown amount of time. It was first detected 21 years ago.

Ojwang Akinjide

Alias: Ojwang of Power Ashe / Rhino / Crumbler of Mountains

Age: 48 (25/09/1346)

Home Nation: Royal islas of Dod, Haribitem

Occupation: Earth Kingdom/ Castle Stone Guard Commander 

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/Base

In story fact: If Gasira is the greatest Queen, he is definetlty the greatest CSG Commander. All of his merits are tied to Gasira’s. He is considered the physically strongest person in the realm and he likes to remind people about it. He is an actually mountain 209cm (6’10 ¼) and 195kg (430lb).

Olufemi Abimbola

Alias: Femi / Mchanga (A slur for sand wielding Abimbola)

Age: 53 (01/01/1341)

Home Nation: Jerissi, Haribitem

Occupation: Hand to the Queen and head advisor of Abimbola royal council

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/Sand (lunar)

In story fact: Femi was not Zula’s first choice as her hand. But she felt his talents were better fit be side her because southern Abimbola would not follow an “Mchanga”. 

Deka Cocoa

Alias: Big sis

Age: 30 (08/11/1364)

Home Nation: Dod, Haribitem

Occupation: Zula’s Main caregiver

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/Lava

In story fact: Because of the Queen’s health, Deka has done just about everything but breast feed Zula. They have a very close relationship and they can be codependent at times. She also has guardianship of Zula.

Kaikara Abimbola

Alias: Flame

Age: 27 (23/12/1367)

Home Nation: Jerissi, Haribitem

Occupation: General of Abimbola army

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/Lava (Solar)

In story fact: She has three older and three younger brothers, but is her mother’s only child. She is actually named after the Evil Queen Kaikaras (Seven Generations) of the 3rd cycle. 

Princess Imani Adeleke first of her name

Alias: The Eclipse Princess

Age: 21 (07/04/1372)

Home Nation: Galorewin, Haribitem

Occupation: Princess 

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/ Lava & Sand (Eclipse)

In story fact: She’s actually very confident in most aspects of her life, but when it comes to the possibility of her being the Queen after Zula 3rd makes her question herself. She is very ashe sensitive. Meaning she can sense the emotions of others through ashe. Its constant emotional stimuli overload and the source of her anxiety.

Xolani Adeleke

Alias:  Copper Sand / Xo

Age: 33 (24/08/1360)

Home Nation: Galorewin, Haribitem

Occupation: First advisor of the Adeleke Royal Council

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/Sand (Lunar)

In story fact: Xolani is actually a princess and only Zula and Imani have a stronger claim than her. During Secondary school, Xolani turned down her claim to the throne (Technically she’ll always have claim) making a two year old Imani the only Adeleke princess. When her older sisters died, she took in Imani and Kato.

Kato Adeleke 

Alias: Sandstorm / Golden Sand

Age: 27 (06/10/1366)

Home Nation: Galorewin, Haribitem

Occupation: General of Adeleke armies

Ashe Element/Influence: Earth/Sand (lunar)

In story fact: Kato thinks very highly of himself. Probably the most self-confident person in the series but he doesn’t think he’s better than anybody. He feels everyone should love their selves as much as he does.

Magma & Mango

In the Rock The Queens oldest daughter is arranged to marry the  son of the Royal guard General closest to her age (If both parties consent to it ofc). When the Princess reaches age of courting (14). (Not to be confused with the age of consent. That’s still 18) her and her arranged courter are gifted lion cubs. Zula’s cub magma is a girl and Zaire’s cub Mango is a boy.

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ZERO YEAR DISCLAIMER: Though many of the Zero Year’s elements are inspired by and based on existing African Cultures, Zero Year is not an accurate representation of African cultures. The purpose of ZY is to appreciate and pay homage to African Culture via a fictional story and world. Zero Year is not real and shouldn’t be treated as a canon of African Cultures, traditions, practices, and people.

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Chapter Three: Royalty of The Rock

Part one: Twelve to Thirteen

          In the Courtyard of the Queen’s stay, Zula and Zaire had been sparring since the commencement meeting ended. Their sparring matches tended to go on for hours. Neither of them accepted defeat easy. They both stood on opposite sides of the yard trying to catch their breath. 

Zula was brown skin with brown eyes. Was a bit short for an Eartherian but she was due for a growth spurt in the coming months. Her brown hair was done in four equal sized puffs held in ruby hair ties. She wore a red and gray 50kg training suit. 

Zaire was dark skin with emerald green eyes. He stood 193cm (6’4) but slender for an Eartherian weighing just under 90kg. His hair had a black to green ashe ombré. His sides were faded and on top of his head were short plaits with Gyata wood beads. He had on the same 50kg training suit as Zula.

            Zaire was bent over across the courtyard from Zula trying to catch his breath.“Wha… What’s the score?”

           “Twelve all,” Zula said wiping the sweat off her head.

           “I mean the score without you cheating,” he laughed.

           Zula stood up folded her arms and smirked. “A Princess never cheats. She just has another set of rules.”

           Zaire stood up, stretched his arms and cracked his neck. *Spirit State: Ashe Awakening* His eye glowed emerald green as he laughed. “Well if you’re going to cheat.” 

           Zula began to center her ashe *Elemental control: Boulder Manipulation* five large chunks of the ground started flowing in the air. “Coward!”

The boulders came flying toward Zaire. He jumped over the first, ducked under the second. Kicked the third. He dodged the fourth by the skin of his teeth but and he wasn’t quick enough for the fifth. It sent him flying across the yard. 

Zula sprinted toward him in an attempt to make it a close range fight. As soon as Zaire looked up, Zula was in his face. *Elemental production: Stone fist* Zula’s fist was covered in stone about to smash Zaire’s face in.

            *Ashe technique: Stealth* He hid his physical presence and moved out her striking distance.

            Zula punched through the rock that was behind him completely missing Zaire. “Arghh!!! Stop running fr-

            Still in stealth, Zaire kicked Zula across her face throwing her across the yard. “Was your guard down or am I that good,” he laughed as he ran after her. 

As Zula tried to get up he kicked her in the gut before she could stand. “How do you plan on winning the RYFT if you can’t beat me?”

            *Ashe Technique: Sensory Location* Zula caught his location and tried to sweep his legs but he flipped out of the way. “Pray to Jiwetembo we aren’t in the same bracket.”

            Zaire tried to get another free lick, but this time Zula grabbed his arm before he could land his punch. “Gotcha,” she laughed.

            She picked Zaire up above her head ready to slam him into the ground. *Split technique: Underground surprise* Suddenly, the ground beneath her broke open. The surprise made her lose her grip. Zaire’s split came jumping out of the ground and kneed Zula in the stomach sending her flying into a wall. 

            Zula jumped up and wiped her face. “Even awakened you don’t hit hard enough. You’re supposed to be twice as strong not twice as weak.” 

            “Yeah well it feels like I’m winning so,” he said as he and his split ran toward Zula.

            “I’ll stop playing then.”

            Zula traded punches with Zaire and his split. He had the numbers but not an advantage. Zula saw an opening and grabbed one of them by the inside of their upper arm and kneed him in the gut. *Ashe Technique: Fakes* She was confused. Her knee went through him. She grabbed the wrong one.

            Zula looked around for Zaire to pop out. As she turned around, he was in the air behind her ready to land the final blow. *Element Production: Stone fist*

            “Too easy,” she said while centering. *Element manipulation: Stone Submission* Zula manipulated the rocks that was Zaire’s split. Zaire was still in the air defenseless. He fell to the ground as the rocks covered Zaire’s upper body. 

“Accept defeat Greenie,” she said as she put her foot on his chest.

“I haven’t been defeated. I can still win.”

“When are you going to stop with the tricks and learn how to fight?”

“I’m a strategist not a trickster.”

“Whatever you want to call yourself add loser to it.”

“I’m not a loser until I accept defeat.”

“Fine, I’ll stomp your face in.”

As Zula raised her foot, He swept her other leg from under her. To break her fall she stopped centering her hold on Zaire broke out. He quickly flipped up and dug his hands in the dirt. *Element Manipulation: Soil Swallow* The ground beneath Zula opened up and swallowed her up to her neck.

  Zaire sat with his legs crossed in front of Zula. Magma and Mango were walking toward them. “Do you accept defeat Four?” he laughed.

“You cheated.”

“How?”

“I had you pinned already.”

“I told you I didn’t accept defeat and you still let your guard down. You have to be better Four if you’re going to live up to the Zula name,” he said poking her nose.

“Do not lecture me!” she said as she pulled her head away.

“You rely on your strength so much sometimes you don’t think.”

“Are you calling me a stupid brute?”

“I literally never said those words.”

“You’ll never be a good Commander running away from fights!!”

“I was being helpful but you are being rude. Let’s go mango. The girls aren’t being nice,” he said walking away.

            Deep in the soil, a worm had crawled on her foot. Chills shot straight up her spine. “Ahh! What is that? Zaire wait! It’s a worm! Help me!”

            “I know you can manipulate without centering four. Just focus your mind and not your hands.”

            “No, it’s on my toe. Stop please! I’m sorry.”

            “I believe in you Zula.”

            “I’m going to break your nose!!!!”

            “You don’t think she’ll break it again do you mango,” he asked holding his nose.

Part Two: Celebration Shuku

Deka was in the kitchen preparing tea. She was an Eartherian with dark brown eyes and black hair done in a long braid. She was still in work uniform. Zaire walked in and he saw Deka preparing tea. He put mango down and tried to sneak passed her. 

She heard Mango’s paws tap across the tiles and looked up for Zaire. “I was just about to get you two. Where’s Zula?” 

“Uh Zula…Oh there was a worm or something. She went straight to her room.”

“A worm?!?! I should go help her.” Deka placed the tea set down and headed her Zula’s room.

“Wait Deka slow down she’s 16 you don’t have to baby her.”

“Zaire that’s my job.”

“Deka dear are you still bringing my tea?” The Queen asked from the other room.

“Yes, your majesty. Zaire if you did something, I won’t stop her when she gets you back.”

Zaire and Mango raced down the hall to the living room. His father, Femi and the Queen were all sitting at the round table. 

Ojwang was the peak of Eartherian genetics. He stood 209cm (6’10) and weighed 195kg (430lb), but his body had grown soft over time. His black hair and beard were beginning to gray. He and his son shared the same complexion.

Femi was a much smaller man compared to Ojwang. He had blonde hair, pale skin and blue eyes. He was reading something on his tablet.

The Queen was Zula 30 years in the future. Her brown hair braided under her bonnet. She planned to do a braid-out the next day.

Zaire sat in the chair between his father and the queen with Mango in his lap. “Father just the person I was looking for.”

“How was the spare?” Ojwang asked.

“Smells like it was good,” the Queen said.

“Really well! I can feel my stamina in the spirit state increasing.”

“That’s great to hear!! The Future of the CSG is bright!!!”

“I know you two kept score. Who won?” Femi asked.

“Zula finally got me twelve to thirteen.”

“Really? You had her the last few times. I know she’s excited to win again,” the Queen replied.

“Yeah, I think she punches harder than you,” he said punching his father in the arm.

“They call me Ojwang of Power Ashe. Crumbler of Mountains for a reason now.”

“Oh Jiwe. No one has called you that in over a decade,” The Queen laughed.

“That’s only because you’ve kept peace in the realm.”

They all laughed and were having a good time, until there was a large flare in ashe. It caught everyone by surprise. Ojwang stood up,  Femi stopped reading, The Queen stopped smiling, Deka almost dropped the tea, Mango flinched and Zaire was holding his nose. 

“Oh goodness. She’s going to break his nose again,” Deka said to herself.

“Who’s Ashe is flaring like that,” Ojwang asked.

“I was just getting used to this nose mango,” Zaire said under his breath.

“What about your nose Nansi?” the Queen asked.

“Well it’s getting late everyone I think I’ll head on to bed,” Zaire said trying to leave.

“ZAAIIIIRRREEE!!!!!!!!!,” Zula yelled from outside.

Ojwang grabbed him by the shoulder and throw him back in his seat. “Sit down!!”

“Whaaat did you do?” Deka said as she entered the room.

“She started calling me names and then I wanted to teach her a helpful lesson that she really could benefit from. Auntie ZG save me!!” he said as he jumped behind the Queen’s chair.

“What compels you to try and ‘teach’ people lessons?” Ojwang asked he sat back down.

“Why’d you get her all riled up?” Deka said as she placed the tea in front of the Queen.

The Queen played with Zaire’s hair as he clunged on to her. “Bug isn’t going to hurt you Nansi. She’s almost an adult she needs to learn to manage her anger.”

“Ha! You were no better at her age,” Ojwang laughed.

“Where is he?!?! I’m going to break his nose!” Zula said as she stormed into the room.

“Aht! Aht! Act like you have some sense,” The Queen said. 

“But he-

“Do I have to repeat myself Zula?”

“No mother.” 

“Yeah listen to your mom,” Zaire mocked sticking his tongue out.

“Now come here and show me your face it. Looks like you’ve awakened.” Zula walked over to her mother giving Zaire a dark glare. The Queen held her face and looked into her eyes.

“Blink twice.”

“Now close real tight.”

“Open. No more flashes you’ve fulling awakened Bug,” she said kissing her forehead.

Zula’s mood change within an instance. Zaire could no longer brag about it. She could to it too. “What color? Orange? Red?” She asked in excitement.

“Emerald green, just like your grandmother,” The Queen said as a tear rolled down her face.

“Copycat,” Zaire said with his arms crossed.

“You know what that means,” Deka said as she hugged Zula.

“Celebration Shuku?”

“Celebration Shuku!”

“Shuku would be amazing right now,” Ojwang said rubbing his stomach.

          “Mom said no sweets.” Zaire said. 

           “Yes Ojwang of Power Ashe has grown soft over the years.” The Queen laughed.

           “I am a grown ass man. Your mother doesn’t run me,” he said poking Zaire in the chest.

           “And imma tell her you said that too,” Zaire said under his breath.

           “Should I tell the Adeleke to join us?” Femi asked.

           “Oh yes, I forgot. Invite them and Kaikara too. Zaire! Zula! Go wash up you smell like outside. And study something when you’re done. Deka will bring you Shuku. After that, Deka don’t let me ask another thing from you tonight? Okay.” The Queen said.

           “Yes, Ma’am,” Zula and Zaire said.

           “It’s no problem at all your majesty.”

           Almost an hour later, the Adeleke and Kaikara had joined them. Everyone was eating shuku except for the Queen. Xolani ate her shuku with a fork and knife. Kaikara was dark skin with curly red to orange ashe ombré hair in a pineapple bun. Xolani and Kato were Light skin with red hair. Xo’s was in bantu knots while Kato had a fade and waves under his durag. 

           She watched everyone eat as she sipped her tea then finally decided to speak. “The summit itself can be a bore but I hope the Stay is treating you well. Khari over saw construction just to fit my liking.” 

           “Everything is wonderful,” Zolani answered.

           “Oh yes everything has been just great,” Imani added.

           “Kaikara what about you? Are you all settled?” the Queen asked.

           “Yes, I’m fine. It feels like home almost.”

           “Magma and Mango have better table manners than you too. Such savages,” The Queen scolded watching Ojwang and Kato stuff their faces.

           “I’m not a savage. I can flip the switch. This shuku is just so good,” Kato laughed.

           “Kato dear you’re in the presence of our Queen this would be the time to… flip the switch,” Xolani said.

           “He acts like a child,” Imani said to herself.

“Femi you can be so quiet sometimes. What are you working on over there?” the Queen asked.

“Making sure Lord Shaka’s birthday gift is perfect.”

           “Be sure you send my note too.”

           “As you wish.”

“Good. The 50th is an important one, but I wish my friend was here with me. Democracy is lovely but one ten-year term wasn’t enough. His replacement was awful, and the new one. What’s his name? he’s not so much better. Did you see him today?”

“That address was rather tacky,” Xolani laughed.

“Why did he drag Lady Obi like that? I thought they were friends?” Kaikara asked.

“Political separation. She’s not good for his image anymore.” The Queen added.

“Yes, but you can’t do that and propose her proposal twice.” Xolani laughed.

“Shaka would never do anything like that. If he was still in power, the Wave might actually be my favorite Nation.”

“Really. Gasira? Over Dakarai and the Lightning?” Ojwang asked.

“Dakarai was my mother’s friend. He’s like my uncle, but Shaka and I came up around the same time. Imani what are your-

The Queen began to cough violently almost throwing her out of her chair.

“Your Majesty.” Femi asked.

“Do You need water?”  Xolani asked.

“Is everything alright?” Kato, Kaikara and Imani asked in unison.

All of them were worried except Ojwang he was a bit upset. It took her awhile to gather herself again. “I’m fine it’s just a cough. Nothing life threatening. Imani what are your opinions on the leaders of the realm?”

“Well I… uh-

“Take your crown off love. Were just talking. Beside the Rock is in a time of transition. You have the most important opinion at the table.”

“I imagined Prime Minister Gila to be friendlier. I don’t think I made a good impression on him.”

“No worries Massai is a bit introverted is all. Your address was just lovely today. Very heart warming. I really loved it. Your public speaking has improved.” 

As Xolani, Zula and Imani talked about the summit, Ojwang, Kato and Kaikara ran out of shuku to eat. 

“So, OG. What do we do?” Kato asked.

“Yeah what do generals do at the summit?” Kaikara added.

“Well there’s peace so we do nothing. This is a vacation.”

“Fine with me,” Kato said.

“Good. I wasn’t prepared. The Queen just sprung this on me,” Kaikara said.

Everyone was talking for a while and then the Queen noticed Femi hadn’t said anything for some time. “Oh, I’m Sorry Femi. Are you ready to give your presentation now?” She asked.

“I’m always ready.”

“Well you should’ve said something. We don’t have all night.

Behind Chapter Two

            This chapter Zula and Zaire are sparring. Zaire decides to teach her a lesson after losing. The score of Zula’s and Zaire’s spar 12 to 13 is symbolic. In the. First two drafts they were 12 and 13. In a flash of anger Zula awakens the spirit state. The Queen late invites Kaikara and the Adeleke to join them for shuku and Femi’s presentation.

Question I think you may have

Will we see Zula and Zaire in the RYFT?

            There’s a possibility. I wrote about 75% of a RYFT Arc in the second draft. The thing about it is so much has changed since then. I’d have to rewrite half and then finish it. The RYFT arc would canon but it won’t have any plot bearing parts. The second story arc takes place well after the RYFT. As much as I’d like to finish it, I don’t see myself having the time to do so.

Does Zula have anger issues?

            I wouldn’t say she has anger issues, but she definitely has a temper. Only Zaire is able to trigger her like that. Also, having a bad temper is in her Abimbola blood.

Why is Zaire a sore loser?

            If Zaire answered this, he said we wasn’t being a sore loser but teaching Zula a lesson. When they asked who won he said Zula and even complimented her strength.

Some before story facts about Zula and Zaire

            They probably spar with each other at least 150 rounds (points) a week. Zula has Zaire by three matches in their all-time record. The fact that they spar with each other makes them a great team but hurts them against other opponents. Zula is really strong so Zaire doesn’t focus on hand to hand combat because it no use against her. Zaire is exceptional with ashe techniques so Zula only uses sensory to combat that. She’ll rarely us another technique.

            They are the only children their age that they know. Traditionally the Princess and Son of the royal guard aren’t raised in the castle. They are raised along with the children of other royal and nobles in Dod like Zula and Ojwang were. Due to The Queen’s health, she wanted to be close to her daughter and broke that tradition. Every once in a while, they’ll visit Dod or the other children will come to the castle, but for the most part its always Zula and Zaire.

            Zula has broken Zaire’s nose four times. Twice he had to get a surgery. Zaire’s never hit her hard enough to break anything (He’s not pulling punches) but he has knocked her unconscious twice. 

These are all of the questions of the top of my head I think readers would ask. If there are any further questions you may have about this chapter please interact in the comment section or on twitter. I’d like to answer at least five of them. If I answered all of your question for this chapter, you’re welcomed to still interact on twitter or in the comments section. What did you liked? What didn’t you like? So far who’s your favorite character? Who’s your least favorite? So far are you team Zula or Zaire? Ask me questions about the process of writing Zero Year or this chapter. Interact with another reader. Share so someone else could read Zero Year along with you. 

Disclaimer:  I’ll try my hardest to answer questions without spoiling you guys. If it’s a really good question with a spoiler answer I’ll repost the question for other readers so they could also think about it. Constructive feedback is welcomed. I want to become a better writer and storyteller. I won’t answer or respond to anything that I feel is disrespectful. Also, I’m a full time student. Bear with me please.

Chapter Four Preview: The Next Chapter is titled “What Have You Heard?” and it will introduce more than five characters from the Wave. What do you predict will happen next?

I’d like to thank you for taking out some time to read Zero Year. It really means a lot that you decided to read. I hope you continue to read. Please like the post, leave a comment and share, share, share!!!!

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