He was dreaming.
This wasn't a big surprise, he always dreamed when he slept. Sometimes he dreamed of fire, other times he saw great battles. Most times though, all he ever saw was darkness, though he could still hear screams and cries. No matter what he dreamt though, it was always hazy. Like looking at the events through a fog, barely visible except for a few rare moments. He never really paid attention to the dreams though, he'd forget them as soon as he awoke, but this time things were different.
This time things were clear.
Well, clear as things could be in a dream. He was in some hall, he could tell that much. Across the hall, a tall dark figure stood there, staring at him with disgust in it's eyes. Next to him stood a being of what seemed like pure light, and just to look at him hurt his eyes. The only thing he could clearly make out was what looked like a Mark of Naga.
The Light spoke, a faint echo to it's words"Come on Sekai, you fight with us, no destiny can change that."
The Shadow then spoke, a voice of venom that send shudders up his spine "YOU FOOLS! Destiny cannot be overwritten, you merely struggle against the inevitable."
Sekai stared on, attempting to figure out what this dream meant. As he beg-"Milord, up ahead"-an to focus, everything seemed to deteriorate. Sekai continued to focus, wanting to glean as much as he could from this strange dream. "Frederick, what is it?" Sekai quickly realized he had no more time, just as the Shadow was swallowed up, leaving him with only the Light. Sekai narrowed his focus, trying to break through the light and see who this person was. As he awoke, he was able to see blue hair, what looked like a lightning spear break through the Light's chest, and a laugh that sounded hauntingly like his own.
"Chrom, we have to do something..."
Chrom? The prince of Ylisse?
"What do you propose we do?"
Sekai opened his eyes, and as a bright flash assaulted him, he saw two people standing over him. He recognized them as the prince and princess of Ylisse, Chrom and Lissa, and wondered what in the hell they were doing standing over top of him. The two noticed he had awoke, and seemed relieved.
"Hello there," Chrom said "you do know there are better places to nap then on the ground you know. Here, let me help you up..." Chrom extended his hand.
Sekai's gaze immediately fell to the mark on his shoulder, and he felt his own hand burn slightly.
"Thank you Chrom," He said as he picked himself up "but I am quite alright."
Surprise flickered across their faces, then a man who Sekai recognized as Frederick, the everpresent knight of the royal family, stepped forward.
"So you know the prince do you?" suspicion and apprehension was clear in the man's eyes.
"Not personally of course, but I do try and keep up with the local politics of the places I visit."
"Visit?" the princess, Lissa asked. "What do you mean?"
Sekai stared at her, but only for a moment. "I'm what you may call a nomad. I spend my life wandering the world, learning all I can of cultures."
"They also hold no loyalty to any country or cause," Frederick said "And only care for themselves." It would seem that the big knight was not a fan of him.
"That's a bit unfair Sir Frederick," Sekai calmly stated "By not having ties to any country, it allows me to not be blinded by patriotism, and align myself to the side I truly feel is right in a war."
"It merely lets you claim to hold no loyalty to the brigands, and then enter the village and burn it down." Frederick clearly stated.
"Frederick, enough." Chrom stated, clearly disappointed in the knight's behavior. "Not everyone we meet is a brigand or assassin in disguise. I apologize for my knight's over protectiveness," Chrom said turning to Sekai "He can be quite paranoid."
Sekai nodded at the man, momentarily staring at the blue hair on the prince's head.
"It is quite alright, he is merely doing his duty. Blindly trusting everyone you meet is just begging for a blade in the neck if you ask me. But I do promise that I am merely a traveler, and only wish to live my life in peace."
This seemed to put everyone at ease, then Lissa perked up and asked.
"Sooooo, why were you taking that dirt nap anyways?"
Sekai had long ago learned how to keep his face as blank as a new tome, but even he almost let his confusion at the "dirt nap" he had taken show. Truth be told, he remembered walking when a shadowy figure had appeared and pointed at him. He'd felt a sharp pain in his head, and then all had gone dark. It was obvious not much time had past since then, since there was only a little dirt and a few scant pieces of grass over his cloak, so that left the question of what had happened to the figure. He quickly decided to keep this part a secret, at least so that way they wouldn't consider him insane, and instead went with a different truth.
"Most likely exhaustion," he stated. "I ran out of water yesterday, and it is quite hot out." This was certainly true, he even pulled out his water skin and shook it, clearly showing that it was empty and dry.
Chrom pulled out his own waterskin and tossed it to Sekai, who caught it clumsily, surprised at the action.
"Here, have some of my water. But what of any companions you have, surely they wouldn't just abandon you?"
Sekai took a single gulp of the water, feeling great relief as the cool water hit his throat. As much as he wanted to drain the thing, he capped it and handed it back to the prince, who took it back, though he did hesitate for a second.
"I travel alone, I've never been much for large groups of people, so I travel alone unless circumstances dictate otherwise. It has it's benefits, but also it's downsides as we have all clearly seen."
Chrom nodded. "Yes, well it is only a mile or two to the next village, so I ask if you'd come with us." Sekai was about to argue when Chrom lifted up his hand, clearly having predicted Sekai's reaction. "Only until we reach the village. Passing out the way you did is bad, and I'd hate to think you passed out again along the way and awoke to brigands or worse."
Sekai stared, trying to think of a good reason to get away from this group as quickly as possible. Naga only knew how quickly their kind demeanor could change if they saw the mark on his right hand and knew what it meant. But try as he could, he couldn't think of any way to get away from them without rousing suspicion, and that was a dangerous path to tread. He stared one last time at the mark on Chrom's shoulder, then he grabbed his bag and began to walk.
"Do what you want."
Chrom stared at the man walking in front of him. Lissa was currently badgering him with questions, which he was answering in a reserved manner. He'd also remained the same way during their meeting, most likely feeling out of place waking up to the prince and princess of a country.
Such strange hair he has, Chrom thought.
Which was true. It was as black as a cave at night, and he wore it to his shoulders, with a bang or two falling over his forehead. He also had a sharp face, giving him the appearance of someone always in thought. Chrom had also rarely heard of anyone travelling alone for any extended period of time, leaving him to wonder why Sekai, as he had introduced himself shortly into their walk, chose to. Before he could continue this line of thought though, Frederick whispered into his ear.
"Milord, are you sure this is wise. We have no idea who this man is or why he travels alone. We could have a criminal in our midst right now"
Chrom sighed. He knew Frederick meant well and only cared for his and Lissa's safety, but there were limits to paranoia.
"And what would you have had me do? Just leave him there, disoriented? Besides, we are merely making sure he gets to the village safely, and even if he tries something, I'm certain we can handle him."
Frederick sighed. "As you say milord, but I still don't like it."
Chrom smiled, then sped up a bit, also wanting to talk to this strange man. He had certainly made what started a boring patrol of the borders into an interesting encounter. He caught up just as Lissa asked another question.
"How long have you been traveling, cause no offense, but you don't look like you've been walking very long."
Sekai kept the same gaze that he seemed to have plastered to his face.
"I'm nearing my fifth winter actually. I'm done with Ylisse, so I'm currently going to Regna Ferox, and once I am done there I want to travel around Valm."
"What about Plegia?" Lissa asked
Sekai's gaze hardened.
"Let's just say I wish to remain as far away from Plegia as possible."
"Why?" Lissa asked. Chrom wanted to slap his hand over her mouth, she could be so blind sometimes. Thankfully, Sekai must have realized this, and instead of being angry over the nosiness of the subject, merely smiled, a strange sight to see due to how serious Sekai seemed to act.
"Have you ever gotten Plegian sand in your boots? It stays there for quite some time."
Lissa snorted, though quickly covered up in embarrassment. Chrom laughed a little, and he swore he heard even Frederick chuckle.
"So, why do you wear that strange coat?" Chrom asked "Surely it gets hot in there?"
Sekai looked over at Chrom and stared for a couple of seconds. Was there something on his face?
"It's my mother's. She died shortly after I turned five." His eyes clouded with sadness. Chrom couldn't blame him, his own mother had died shortly after Lissa was born, and he still felt a sharp pain whenever he thought of her. "As for if it gets hot, the robe actually keeps me very cool. Something about it's material I think."
"Wow, that's pretty cool, but I'd hate to get caught in the desert or something with that heavy thing on." Lissa said.
"Well, it's actually designed to be worn in deserts. That's why it keeps me cool."
"Wow, whoever designed that must know their stuff."
"Well, Plegians live in the desert, so we had to find some way to wear clothes without dying."
Lissa and Frederick also picked up on that, but Chrom quickly shot Frederick a glare, who seemed ready to stab Sekai right now.
"You...your Plegian?" Chrom asked, though he berated himself for how suspicious the question sounded.
"...Yes, that's not a problem right?" Sekai stated calmly, though his body tensed and his hand went into his pocket.
Chrom would have to handle this situation delicately.
"Recently we've had some problems with brigands wielding Plegian weapons attacking our border villages. Also, Plegia's king, Gangrel, has been making some very...worrying movements lately."
Thankfully, Sekai pulled his hand out of his pocket, clearly showing no hostility.
"That explains this reaction. I know I have no way to prove this, but I promise you I wish no hostility to Ylisse or her people."
"That may be so, but I'm afraid that for now, I will have to-"
"CHROM!" Lissa shouted, pointing to the village which had appeared on the horizon.
A village that had smoke coming from it.
"Dammit," Chrom said "Lissa, Frederick, we need to get down there, now."
Lissa nodded her head in agreement, but Frederick quickly glanced over at Sekai.
"Milord, what about him?"
Chrom looked over at Sekai. Personally, he felt he could trust the man. Strange as it was, Sekai seemed as trustworthy as Frederick. But he was also Plegian. And thanks to the recent political climate, he knew no one would be happy with a Plegian wandering around Ylisse alone. But...
"Unless he's on fire as well, he can wait. NOW LET"S GO!" And he turned and started to run towards the village.
Lissa ran after him, with Frederick waiting for a second before chasing after his two charges.
"Wait, what about-..." Sekai called out.
But they were gone.
"NOW LET"S GO!" Chrom shouted and ran off.
Lissa ran after him, and Frederick stared at him for a second before running off with them.
"Wait, what about-..." Sekai called, but they couldn't hear him. "a plan..."
Sekai sighed and ran his head over his forehead. He was actually thanking the gods for the lucky moment he'd just had. It would have been difficult to talk his way out of that mess, and he kicked himself for having forgotten about the recent problems Ylisse and Plegia were having. He stared at the the three, who were quickly disappearing as they ran towards town. They had no plan or knowledge of what was waiting in that town for them. Probably brigands.
They were probably going to die.
Sekai shook that thought from his head. Chrom had the Falchion, and Sir Frederick was obviously trained to defend the two. They'd be fine. Sekai quickly backtracked the road in his mind. About four miles back, he could take a path that would be seven miles to the next village. It would increase the time it would take to get to Regna Ferox by a few days, but nothing to destructive to his schedule. He looked over one last time towards the village on fire, and remembered the three who were just rushing into it...
Gods damn it.
He ran off, hoping he could catch up before anything to disastrous happened.