Hi everyone! My name is M.Hunter Traubel Trainee and I'm a new author on this site. This is my first story, so please go easy on me. Anyway, enjoy!
Chapter 1: Return to Toize Valley
It has been three years since the party of eight split, each leaving on their own journey. Within that time, they had accomplished their goals. The linked worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla experienced a new era of peace and prosperity. There was no more discrimination, no more vying for mana, and no more lives lost for the Chosen or exspheres. However, as one journey ends, another one begins. For one group, the journey has not ended, it was just beginning.
Regal stood before his lover's grave up on the Sky Terrace. It was the three year anniversary of the rebirth of the Great Kharlan Tree, now known as Yggdrasil. He had changed since then. He got rid of his prisoner's garb and removed his handcuffs, as he promised, and now wore an office suit, similar to the one he wore at the dinner party. His wore metal bracelets on each wrist and cut his hair short, riding him of the ponytail and some loose strands. He also had removed his greaves from the previous journey, leaving him in plain dress shoes.
Regal sighed, "It's only been three years, yet it feels like an eternity. I'm sorry I haven't spoken with you for a period of time, I was preoccupied with my work." He bowed slightly, "I only wish you were here Alicia, to see the new world that we have created. There is little discrimination among half elves, no lives lost for the sake of the Chosen, and… no innocent lives lost for the purpose of exspheres. Now there will be no innocent victims like you, lost because of exsphere experiments."
He paused briefly, "Presea is doing well. She has regained her body and seems to be feeling better. I only hope in the end, she doesn't suffer the same fate you had. I swear upon your grave that I will protect her, no matter how grave the situation, I will protect her."
"President Bryant?" A voice called, startling Regal. He turned and saw Presea Combatir, his assistant. She had indeed grown since three years ago, she no longer looked twelve, but around her thirties. She wore an office uniform as well, complete with a light black blouse and matching skirt along with heels. Her pink hair went a little past her shoulders, and in place of the two pigtails was a single ponytail. She wore a bracelet on her right wrist which contained a key crest, and also negated the effects of her cruxis crystal. Regal was able to find it in the Toize Valley Mine before it was closed down, and with Altessa's help, he was able to create a key crest that could negate Presea's crystal. He gave it to her for her birthday and within a month, she returned to her normal age.
"Presea, you can just call me Regal." Regal said.
"I know. it's just that 'President Bryant' is more formal. I'm sorry, was I disturbing you?"
Regal shook his head. "No. It's alright. What is it?"
"There's a call waiting for you. He says it's urgent."
"Do you know who it is that's calling Presea?"
Presea shook her head. "He's not an employee here, but he says it's important and wants to speak with you over the phone."
"Okay, thank you Presea. I'll be right down."
"I would like to stay here for a moment Presi- I mean, Regal. I would like to talk with Alicia as well."
"Very well then, I'll head down to my office." Regal walked over to the elevator and headed down to his office, leaving Presea alone atop the Sky Terrace. He entered the large office, which was now refurnished with sofas and two fancy chairs facing the desk. He walked over to the desk and picked up the phone.
"President Bryant speaking." Regal greeted.
"Mr. Bryant, how are you sir?" The man asked.
"Fine, thank you. What is the reason of your call?"
"Well sir, the Toize Valley Mine was shut down three years prior correct?"
"Yes, that's correct." Regal answered.
"Well, I believe that the mine is operational." Before Regal could ask, the man continued. "I heard mechanical sounds in the mine earlier today and since it is run by the Lezrano Company, I thought I should call you and ask about the mine. Do you have any knowledge of this President Bryant?"
Regal was surprised, but hid it from his caller. "No. This was not known to me. I'll investigate the mine immediately."
"Wouldn't it be wiser to send one of your employees?" The man asked.
"No. The mine is my responsibility, therefore I shall investigate." He hung up the phone and opened up a compartment in the bookcase, where he kept a second set of clothes in case of an investigation. Regal liked to check on things himself instead of sending his representatives, so he was out of the office often. When that happened, Presea was in charge, and she ran it just as Regal did. Although she was an assistant, she could be called co-president of the Lezrano Company. Regal changed from his office clothes to more casual clothing. He wore a white shirt, blue pants, leather boots, leather gloves, and power greaves. Although he never faced any form of resistance, Regal still brought greaves along with him whenever he went to investigate.
He picked the phone again and dialed the number for Presea's office. He recounted the phone call for Presea and asked her to oversee the company until he came back, which she as always, accepted. After thanking her, he took the elevator to the first floor and took the elemental railway to the Altamira entrance. When he was out of the city, he pulled out his rhieard from the wing pack and set off for the Toize Valley Mine.