Check out the sequel to "The Last Sunrise", now up in the Chrono Cross section!

(And now for a teaser! ^___^)

The ship pushed steadily through the waves, cutting a glistening stream through the pearly water. The boy stood staring down into the wake of the ship, his eyes absent as if he was contemplating something terribly important. The other soldiers watched him vaguely, mostly to make sure he hadn't thrown himself overboard. There was something sad about the boy—a solemn quietness that set him apart from the others. The other soldiers had tried to be as kind as possible to the boy, handling him as if he were made of glass. No one knew much about him, if there was much to be known.

The boy sighed, and turned towards his fellow soldiers. They all turned away, trying to not to stare at him. The boy groaned inwardly, then turned away from the soldiers again, focusing on the water. He didn't care what the others thought about him. He'd gotten that reaction from most of the people he'd bothered to associate with in his life—the misunderstanding, the pity for the "poor little lost boy". It made him sick. He would show them all… Show them all that he wasn't some helpless kid. He moved his hand to his katana, and drew it, looking at his reflection in the sunlit blade.

He looked a little older than he was. That was one thing about his appearance that he could be glad about. At least no one would take him lightly. Everything else about himself, however, he despised. Every time he looked at himself in the mirror, it was like a dagger through the heart. All over again… He shook his head, sheathing the sword. Again he felt the presence of eyes behind him, but this time he didn't bother turning around to see the faces. He knew them already—fake concern, the eyes wishing that he would go away so they wouldn't have to fane worry any longer. He decided to do them a favor. He quickly turned around, colliding with one of watching soldiers. The soldier was knocked back, but he leapt onto his feet and immediately began shouting.

"What's wrong with you, boy?!" He cried, his face red with anger. "Why don't you watch where you're going?!"

"Why were you standing so close then?" The boy replied coolly. "Am I that interesting?"

The soldier glared more, as a ring of other curious men began to gather around them.

"You're a scrawny freak, that's what you are!" Cried the man, bringing his fists up. "Acting like you're on some kinda high horse… Who do you think you are?!"

The boy smirked a bit.

"Who do you think I am?" He asked. He still stood there as if calm. The other man stared at him, as if sizing him up. The boy wasn't much to look at—he didn't seem threatening at all. He was scrawny, pale, and thin. He had short blond hair that parted to one side, and pale green eyes. The man glared at the much smaller boy, his eyes burning.

"I think… That you're an arrogant idiot!!!" The soldier shouted, before dashing at the boy. The boy kept a serious look, then calmly stepped to the side. He brought his knee up, catching the soldier in the stomach. The soldier's face lit up with surprise, and he fell back, slamming into the ground. The boy grinned a bit.

"Who… Are you?!" He choked out, gasping.

"For the record, if you really must know…" The boy said softly. "You can call me… Rune."

*The Mysterious Boy, Rune, has traveled all the way from Guardia with the intent of finding and killing Lynx. No one knows who he is, or why he hates Lynx so much. But, Rune holds within him a dark secret… A secret that may someday undo the very fabric that holds the world together…