Fiery Resolve

At the southern border of Soleste, South Praiju struggled to remain free from the toils of war. Millions of civilians died from drinking contaminated water and other unsanitary conditions brought on by the death toll. When monsoon season swiftly came in and caused further devastation to all the cities, the Tribunal Council was forced to intervene with aid. An exemption from the Infantry Lottery was enacted to preserve the surviving families. Hopes were dashed that stabilization and normalcy would return soon.
Maaz Faruk was an inquisitive young boy who wanted to follow in his deceased father’s footsteps as a military pilot. His maternal grandfather was the Sultan and mother was a highly acclaimed astrology lecturer. Most of his older siblings either worked as attendants in the royal palace, or as educators throughout the state. There was no particular expectation of young Maaz, which allowed him the freedom to choose his own path growing up.
Maaz had fallen in love with a girl named Priyah from a neighboring village. Maaz invited her to have dinner with him at his family’s compound. Priyah asked to invite her three sisters, since they had never been near the palace before. Her three sisters boasted about the event to their schoolmates, who asked to be invited as well. On the night of the dinner, twenty-five students arrived at the family’s compound. Maaz’s disappointment turned to rage as he watched the girl of his dreams leave the party early with another boy. He then climbed to the roof of his parent’s living quarters and cried, while the party down below got out of hand. In a disillusioned frenzy, he tore off his tunic and set it on fire. He returned inside to warn the uninvited guest of the fire. The guest paid him no mind until they noticed the fire roaring above. The blaze spread uncontrollably for several hours. Nearly all fourteen houses within the compound were demolished, but fortunately, no one was hurt. 
Weighed with the heavy burden of guilt about what he had done, he was inconsolable. For a brief period, he fell into a deep depression over his unrequited love and the fact that he had brought embarrassment to his family. He requested to enroll at Calvary Academy to redeem his honor. At first, his mother denied his request. She feared that his sensitive nature would not balance well with military life. The Sultan reminded her they were all facing hardships because of the ongoing war. With his family’s blessings, Maaz set his ambitions high to redeem himself in their eyes.

The Waring Robins, Ch. 6

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