Disclaimers:  Again these characters are MINE!  *clears throat* Please, don't take them or borrow them without permission.

Notes:  A good Naga King claims the treasure of a rival.  

More Notes:  Another part of the same universe that Azure belongs to, though he isn’t in this story.  In my little universe,
Nagas are warm-blooded, and they don’t necessarily HAVE to eat meat, though it is their preferred meal. Male Pregnancy is
also a possibility in this universe. Any mistakes made, just account to the strange little world I’ve created. I hope you enjoy my
story.   Also, female Nagas are referred to as “Nagi”, as that is the term used for them on Wikipedia where I did my research
before attempting any of these stories.

Even More Notes:  There will be more stories following this one.  This is just an introduction of two characters who are VERY
important to this universe of mine.



A King's Treasure



The battle had raged for several long days.  Of course, it had started outside the walls of this vast fortress, but he and his
forces had managed to break their defenses at dawn.  It was nearing nightfall now and his troops now swarmed the halls of
this palace, battling the soldiers of his enemy.

Cahir was a strong and powerful Naga, with hair as black as a raven's wing.  It hung long down his back in a single thick braid
reaching below his waist.  At the very end of the length, a metal spike was attached.  With ease he could swing the plait
through the air, wounding or killing an opponent if he so chose.  

He had been in many battles in his life, and had suffered many injuries.  There were scars littering his muscular frame, none too
large or deep enough to have caused much harm when he'd gotten them.  The worst he had received was the wound to his
right eye.  The eye was irrevocably damaged, leaving him blind in it.  He now wore an eye patch to cover the milky eye that
contrasted his fully healthy amber-shaded one.

His horns were thick, protruding from either side of his head to curl slightly then shoot straight back behind him.  He was a
warrior king in his prime and he knew how to use every facet of his being to his advantage during a battle.  Whether weapons
or his own physical attributes, he had never lost a battle.  And this day he had vowed to destroy the dictator king and make his
land a part of his own.  He almost smiled as he battled this despicable serpent, parrying his blows easily enough.  Cahir's
opponent was cunning, but not all that physically strong.  The vile Naga had relied on threats and bullying to get the people to
obey him.

In the end, though, all the dirty tricks couldn't save him, and Cahir was the victor.  As he liberated the cruel Naga's head from
his body, there was a deafening silence in the battle surrounding him.  And then a cheer rang out from his troops as the
remaining opposition simply threw down their arms.  Cahir was not surprised by this.  He had suspected such a thing might
happen.  People forced into fighting did not fight with their hearts.

He nodded with satisfaction and motioned to the head that stared up at him with unseeing eyes.  "Let the people see they have a
new king!  Place this on the castle wall for all to see.  I rule over you now!  Show me loyalty and you will be rewarded!"  
Another cheer spread through the crowd, from Cahir's men as well as the troops of his deceased enemy.  He did not stay
around to listen to the merriment though.  Instead, he slithered into the palace halls, seeking out the treasures of the fallen king.

Cahir found the treasure vault easily enough.  The servants of this palace were all too willing to help him.  He was pleased to
see how easily he had gained control.  The tyrant had been feared and hated by his own people.  To them, Cahir was a
welcome change.

As victor, he was free to choose any and all spoils he saw fit.  He looked around the room, finding it well-stocked with gold
and jewels, an abundance of coins that were probably taken from the poor farmers and merchants who had paid his outlandish
taxes.  The man had been starving his people, bleeding them dry with his greed and malice while he lived in corrupt opulence.  
It was a good thing he was dead now, or else Cahir might have taken his head again for the knowledge of just how much he
had horded away without care to the comfort or lives of his citizens.

Cahir planned to take all of this.  He would give some back to the people, spread it among his troops.  Of course, a generous
amount would make its way to Cahir's own treasury, but that was only natural.  He was the winner of a great battle, victor of a
war.  The spoils were his to claim and do with what he desired.

An out of place door at the back of the vault made him pause and he moved closer, curious to know what was behind it.  As
he made his way inside, he blinked in surprise.  It was a bedroom of some sort.  Odd, that he should find such a thing within a
vault.

The decorations were garish and gaudy, showing that the former king had held no sense of taste whatsoever.  The pillows
piled on the floor were lacking in good taste.  One even had an out of place golden tassel.  Beyond those pillows though, there
was nothing within this ugly room.

Cahir blinked at the sound of a frail whimper and took a closer look.  With a smile, he realized that the 'tassel' he had seen was
actually the tail of a very young Naga or Nagi.  The coloring intrigued Cahir, for he had never seen such shading before.  It
was quite a brilliant gold, like the coins of the vault Cahir had passed through to get to this hidden room.

He coughed a little and let his smile be heard in his tone.  "You aren't very good at hiding, little one.  I can see your tail."

A pair of tiny, pale hands shakily appeared from beneath the mound of pillows and pulled the tail back underneath with them.  
The action was accompanied by another whimper, and the sound of the child crying softly.

Cahir chuckled gently, thinking the action was too adorable for words.  It was something that his own daughter, Cahira, would
have done in the same situation.  Ah, but he missed his children.  This journey had been a long one and it had been some
months since he had seen his girls last.

He shook his head, drifting from his thoughts and returning his mind to the situation at hand.  Rather than pull the child out of
hiding, Cahir closed the door and leaned back against the wall beside it calmly.  "Will you come out?"  His lips quirked as the
pillows shifted a bit a couple of times and the child remained stubbornly hidden.  "That's just too bad then.  Because I have
some kola berries here, and I think you might like them."  He reached to a pouch he kept hanging at his waist - just below the
armor covering his chest and abdomen - and pulled it free.  It contained berries found only in his homeland - kola berries.  
They were typically a vibrant red when ripe, oh-so sweet and oozing with a delectably sweet juice.  The ones he had, had just
come to full ripeness.  He held the pouch out, shaking it a bit.  "I promise that no harm will come to you.  You must be
hungry."

He felt a pang as a slightly battered child emerged from beneath the mound of pillows.  It could be no older than Cahir's own
daughter and she was nearing ten, though he suspected by its slight size that this child was younger than her.  

Cahir's eyes were drawn to the strange coloring of this remarkable little creature.  Scales of the purest gold glittered in the light
of the torches framing the room.  Cahir had never seen such shading before.  His own scales were a deep blue, his underbelly
silver in shade.  This brilliant creature looked almost like a statue, a golden idol one was meant to worship.  Its hair was
remarkably light, long and trailing down its back in a flaxen waterfall.  Skin as pale as milk, eyes wide and bright like sparkling
sapphires.  Cahir was overcome by the look of it.  The child was so slight though and so fair of face, that Cahir had no way of
knowing whether it was a Naga or a Nagi.

Cahir bent, smiling all the while as he held the pouch out to the child.  "Tell me, little one ... are you a boy, or a girl?"

The child screwed up its face, a cute pout forming on its features.  "I'm a boy!" he said proudly, puffing his chest forward.

"Ah, you must forgive me.  You are so beautiful, I could not truly tell for certain," Cahir chuckled, letting his eyes roam over
the boy.  He saw now that the child was dressed in a rather ridiculous costume, containing heavy veils and jingling chains.  It
would have been easier to tell the child's gender had he not been wearing these clothes.  The headpiece alone had to be quite
cumbersome.  And then there was the makeup covering his face, obscuring his features.  His lips were colored a dark red, too
dark for his pale coloring.  Cahir chose to say nothing about this though, not wanting to upset the child further.  "Have a
berry.  And tell me how you came to be here."

The little Naga sniffled and kept his head down as he quickly took a kola berry.  He simply held it in his hands, his tiny fingers
toying with the delicate skin of the fruit.  "His Majesty, my master ... he took me from my home after killing my family.  They
didn't want to give me up, even though I'm a ... a abomi-bomi--"

"Abomination?"

"Ah-huh.  That's what the elders said I was.  I don't know what it means though.  They said lots I didn't understand."  The
child rubbed at his eyes, smearing the heavy makeup that had darkened his eyelids.  Tears were forming in those glimmering
eyes, and it made Cahir's heart twinge in sympathy.  "Master ... Master took me from them anyway.  He ... he made me
watch.  Told me it was a lesson in ...in obedience."

Cahir clenched his teeth, but forced himself to remain calm.  This little hatchling deserved kindness after his ordeal.  "And what
are you doing in this bedchamber?"  The little Naga immediately started crying and Cahir's insides twisted with the knowledge
of what this room was intended for.  "You're too young," he whispered, shaking his head.  "Far too young."

The little Naga sniffled.  "Doesn't matter.  He wants me, that's all that matters to him.  He said I'm special because I look so
different ... And ‘cause I see things no one else does."

"Oh, and what do you see?" Cahir asked, trying only to keep the child calm.

The child shrugged, fiddling with the berry he hadn't so much as tasted yet.  "I saw you.  Master didn't like that.  He hit me
when I told him."  The child looked up, biting his lip before shyly smiling.  "I saw you and I knew you would help me."

"Really now," Cahir spoke softly, easing to rest on the pillows beside the child.  So this young one was a seer, Cahir found that
most intriguing.  Obviously the former king had intended to rape this boy and take him as a mate, despite his youth, if only to
keep him close to control him.  "Why did you hide from me then?"

"People were yelling.  It was scary."  He rubbed his eyes again, and then bent to take a tentative sniff at the berry in his hand.

"I'm sure it was," Cahir soothed, cautiously moving the end of his tail toward the boy.  When the boy remained still as Cahir's
tail curled about him, Cahir felt he was calm enough and slowly reached his hands out.  "Let's take this off of you," he
whispered, his fingers carefully pulling out the pins that kept the ridiculous headpiece on the boy.  When it was off, he casually
tossed it over his shoulder, not caring to see it again.

"Thank you," the child replied, his eyes cast down.

Cahir watched the child play with the berry for another moment, before gently teasing him.  "If you don't want that berry, you
can give it back and I'll find something else for you to eat."  He eased his tail along the child's as he spoke, offering comfort in
a gentle touch.

In response, the little Naga promptly popped the berry into his mouth and chewed slowly.  He sighed softly as he swallowed,
his tiny fingers drifting to lie on Cahir's tail.  "Thank you, sir.  It was very good.  Thank you."

Cahir smiled at the child.  The boy was polite, and that pleased him.  "So, little one, do you have a name?"

The boy bit his lip a moment, remaining silent.

Cahir found the boy's shyness to be quite charming.  "Perhaps if I introduced myself first, you'd feel better?" he offered,
pleased with the way the child was relaxing within the embrace of Cahir's loosely coiled tail.

"I know who you are," the boy replied, fiddling with the end of his own tail.  "I knew who you were before you came in here.  
You are Cahir ... a king from really really far away."  With that, the Naga child finally looked to him directly for the first time.  
"My name is Nacisse."

Cahir almost gasped at the impossible blueness of Nacisse's eyes.  Not even the rarest of jewels held such a pure hue.  He bent
forward to get a better look at them, curling his fingers beneath the child's chin to keep his face tipped up.  "You have very
beautiful eyes."

Those perfect eyes widened in fright, barely an instant before Nacisse darted away.  Before Cahir knew it, the little Naga was
hiding under the pillows again.  He had moved faster than Cahir could react.

Cahir fought the laugh that caught in his chest at the child's pathetic attempt to flee.  "Why are you hiding?" he asked, even as
he began flipping the pillows aside to find the boy.

There was a pathetic little sniffle.  "You're going to eat my eyes," he cried.  Then Nacisse sobbed and let out a frail whimper.  
"I don't want to be blind!"

Cahir knew now his folly, so he decided to tread more carefully from then on.  One last pillow was tossed aside and Cahir
found his prize.  The tiny Naga was curled within a small nest of the pillows that remained, his hands covering his eyes as if to
shield them.

"Why would I do a thing like that?" Cahir asked, stroking gentle fingers along one of the boy's arms.

Nacisse sobbed.  "Master said that's what he was going to do.  He said ... I was to be his mate and then he would eat my eyes
to keep me with him forever."

The larger Naga simply urged the child close and hefted his slight body up, cradling him with care.  "There, there.  I won't eat
your eyes.  They're far too pretty where they are.  Now, let me see them."  Cahir smiled as Nacisse peeked at him over the tips
of his fingers.  "See?  I won't harm you, little one."  He gently wiped a tear from Nacisse's flushed cheek, frowning at the
smearing makeup.  "Come, you could do with a bath.  I'm sure you'll be far more comfortable once cleaned off."

"Okay," Nacisse replied, a timid little smile curling his lips.

"Now that's what I like seeing," Cahir cooed.  "Your smile warms my heart."

A pink tinge colored Nacisse's cheeks, but his smile widened despite his shyness.  Little arms reached to Cahir's neck and held
onto him, the golden tail of the small one wrapping around Cahir's torso.

Cahir nodded, if only to himself, and rose, lifting the little Naga.  He knew that Nacisse would probably follow him on his own,
but the child had been through so much already, that Cahir wanted to pamper him a little.

As he stepped out of the treasure room and back into the main corridor of the castle, an older Naga came toward him.  By the
male's garb, he knew the man to be a temple priest, one of the Elders of this small country.  

"I see it still lives," he said coldly, holding his hands out as if he expected Cahir to toss the boy over to him.  "Give it to me, and
I will see to its disposal."

Cahir frowned as Nacisse shuddered against him, the small body of the child pressing as close as possible.  He narrowed his
eyes at the man, holding a comforting hand against Nacisse's back.  "What makes you think I have any intention of letting you
harm him?"

An incredulous look entered the elder's eyes.  "Sire ... you must listen to reason.  The old master killed a fine upstanding couple
to gain possession of this monstrous abomination and then went quite mad with lust and power.  I strongly advise that you
dispose of this creature now before you become as bewitched as its parents and the old master did."

Cahir scowled at the superstitious nonsense the man was spouting.  "And what makes him an abomination?  His coloring is
unique, yes ... as are his seeing talents, but ..."

"It will not eat live game!" The elder announced, as if it were a terrible crime.

Cahir shook his head and addressed Nacisse.  "Is this true?" he asked softly, coaxing the boy to look at him with a curl of his
finger beneath the child's chin.

Nacisse nodded, fear vibrant in his wide blue eyes.  "Yes, sir.  I-I tried once, but I couldn't.  It was so scared and it hurt."  He
pressed his hand over his own chest, rubbing over his heart slowly.  "I couldn't take it.  It hurt so much."

"I see," Cahir smiled, tenderly stroking his hand through Nacisse's soft hair.  With gentle urging, the boy settled against Cahir
again, his head pillowed on one shoulder as he clung to the warrior king.  Cahir then settled his gaze on the elder, frowning at
the foolish Naga.  "Surely, even in this rural kingdom, you have heard of empathic Nagas who cannot eat anything that has a
heartbeat.  This child is a rare treasure, not an evil omen.  His parents wished to keep him safe, and that cruel tyrant wanted to
own him and control him.  I will not have you harm someone so precious."

The elder scoffed.  "You will live to regret your choice, my king.  That one can bring nothing but grief."

Cahir was barely able to repress the urge to hiss at the insolent serpent before him.  "If you wish to keep your tongue, I
suggest you leave my sight now.  You should learn to respect those who hold your life in their hands."

The priest bowed slightly and turned away with one last hate-filled glance at the child that Cahir held so carefully.  He was
muttering something about ill-tidings under his breath as he slithered off.

Cahir watched him go with a scowl.  He looked down to Nacisse, only to find the child trembling in his arms.  "Fear not, little
one.  I'll see to it that no harm comes to you." He eased a hand along Nacisse's head, stroking the silky soft hair.  "I meant
what I said.  A Naga with your coloring and talents is a rare and precious treasure."

Nacisse smiled, a timid and nervous expression, but it still warmed Cahir's heart.

There was silence as Cahir carried the child to the bathing chamber.  He disliked the fact that the little Naga was eyed with
everything from distrust to open hatred.  No child should be put through such scrutiny.  Cahir made up his mind then and there
to remove the child from this harmful environment.  Children were meant to be happy and bring joy to those who saw them.  
Cahir smiled fondly as he thought of his own children.  His daughters were so young that everything was new and wondrous
to them.  He wanted to see that expression of wonder on Nacisse's face.  He wanted to wipe the worry and fear from a face
that should have none of those things.

Nacisse deserved to be happy and Cahir knew he was the only one who would care to see it happen.



The End for Now