JICHIA: A Tale of the Sea
Disclaimer: Poseidon, Escaflowne, Phantom of the Opera. In the Category of Things I DO NOT OWN.
NOTE: So much for devoting full force to Not A Total Waste of An Evening. But this one just begged to be written today. Hope you like this one.
The Great War of Gaea between the Allied Forces and the Zaibach Empire had ended two years ago. All the remaining survivors of that struggle had long since set that sad chapter aside and had strived to rebuild their lives from the wreckage. A time of peace and prosperity had settled on Gaea, with no disturbances from old enemies or strange emissions from the Mystic Moon. The forces of destruction which had ravaged the planet had succumbed to either retribution or utter obscurity.
After the departure of the strange girl from the Mystic Moon, Fanelia King Van Slanzar had devoted all his energies to restoring his kingdom to its former glory. Fortunately, the vicious attack on it by both the Dragonslayers of Dilandau Albatou and actual dragons had left many survivors. These refugees had effectively hid themselves in the surrounding woods, aided by the beast-men who had been friends of the king and his now deceased elder brother, Folken Lacour. Much of Fanelia's natural resources was renewable and so remained intact. With the help of his latest allies, Allen Schezar VIII of Asturia and his men, the two Princesses of Asturia, as well as Duke Chid of Freid. Fanelia was well on its way to recovery and all her people were happy to have a dedicated and loving king leading them. King Van was content enough with the progress of his country although a certain cat-girl would sometimes spy him sitting on the roof of his newly-built castle, gazing at the Mystic Moon while clutching at a pendant hanging from his neck.
Asturia was experiencing a similar surge in economics. King Aston and his allies from Cezario and Daedalus had taken it upon themselves to annex what was left of the Zaibach Empire and to take charge of all its remaining assets. The kingdom was being well-managed by the second princess, Eries, who was both training her third sister and heir to the throne, Millerna, on the duties of a queen. Princess Millerna was also busy preparing for her upcoming (and long-awaited) nuptials with Lord Dryden Fassa.
Allen Schezar VIII continued to fulfill his duties as one of the Knights Caeli. He was especially content, after having found his long-lost younger sister, Celena Schezar, after a mysterious absence of ten years. Out of respect for the brother, no one questioned how his sister had suddenly reappeared. No one mentioned anything about how the girl had suddenly appeared in the battlefield, interrupting a deadly duel between her brother and the Fanelian king. No one mentioned how the girl was dressed in Zaibach armor, particularly that of Dilandau Albatou. No one whispered about how the girl remembered nothing of the past ten years or about how she would occasionally have a murderous glint in her eyes. Such things were better kept unsaid. After all, there were more important things to talk about in the present.
One day, King Aston summoned his daughters and announced to them that a special celebration would be held to strengthen international alliances and to exhibit the progress Asturia had been experiencing in the aftermath of the war. The two princesses were to be attending this function due to the king's current state of infirmity.
"But father," protested Millerna, "there are so many more important things to attend to right here in Pallas. Now is certainly not the time for us to be gallivanting to some frivolous ball and enjoying ourselves while our people are still reeling from the effects of the war."
And although Eries said nothing, her expression was one of agreement with her sister.
"This will not be a mere ball, Millerna," explained the king, "this is a major opportunity to fortify economic ties with our allies from all over. It isn't capricious at all. You'll be doing a service for your country by attending. It is even being held on a vessel designed by the top mechanics from the former Zaibach Empire."
"Zaibach?" asked Eries, "Father, do you really think that is wise? Considering the atrocities they caused two years ago, I don't think I would trust their motives so easily."
"You are too pessimistic, Eries," replied the king, "I am well aware of what Zaibach has done but as you may know, we have been having treaties and agreements with that fallen nation. Rest assured I know what I am doing."
"But father," began Millerna, who was immediately silenced by her sister. Apparently, the king would brook no opposition. The sisters had no choice but to comply.
On their way out of the throne room, Eries suddenly thought, Something's coming. This trip will not be an ordinary one.
She dismissed the thought immediately. It was unwise to get all worked up about a mere feeling.
But somewhere in the fabric of Gaea's fate, a thread quivered.