Once upon a time, there existed a giant tree that was the source of mana. A war, however, caused this tree to wither away, and a hero's life was sacrificed in order to take its place. Grieving over the loss, the goddess disappeared unto the heavens. The goddess left the angels with this edict: "You must wake me, for if I should sleep, the world shall be destroyed." The angels bore the Chosen One, who headed towards the tower that reached up unto the heavens. And that marked the beginning of the regeneration of the world.

The opening verse to the "Ballad of World Regeneration". Every child, from Luin to Palmacosta, to my little village of Iselia, learned it, usually before they could walk. I reflected on this verse as the sunlight blazed through my windows, forcing its way to my eyes despite my wishes otherwise. Sitting up, I decided to get it over with and quickly opened my eyes to the incoming light.

Big mistake.

"Ow!" The words came unbidden as my eyes burned from the light, while I flinched and moved away from the light. Apparently, it was brighter than I thought outside. Also apparently, I had drifted over to the side of the bed in the night, causing an all too familiar wake up routine as gravity took over and my body came crashing down on the floor.

"Colette? Are you okay?" The voice was familiar, as was the tone-worried, but not terribly much so. This did happen about once or twice a week, after all.

"Just fine, Grandmother!" I stopped a groan from my throat as I climbed to my feet. As I glanced at the mirror near my window, I couldn't help but laugh. What would the priests say if I accepted the oracle looking like this? My pajamas were half falling off, my eyes looked like someone had rubbed dirt on them, and my hair was standing more up than down, giving me a monstrous look. Regardless, I grabbed my hairbrush and began the long process of fixing my hair. While I was doing this, the smell of breakfast being cooked floated up to my room, not helping the situation at all. I always woke up hungry, which was further complicated by the fact that there was a large amount of foods I refused to eat. Nevertheless, by the time my hair was finished, I could tell that it would take all my willpower to keep from simply eating my own hand out of desperation.

I reached into my closet and pulled out the clothes I would wear today. The white coat with blue trim, the similar looking shirt, and the black pants-all of it designed to identify me as someone different than the rest. In a cruel twist of fate, they were also my only clothes suitable for traveling much of anywhere. Interestingly, they were also suited for making me appear as unattractive as possible. As if that needed much help. My hair was always dirty, my face too fat, and I had a flatter chest than most boys. Still, none of that mattered in who I was.

I looked at the map on the wall. Every map of Sylvarant, no matter how fancy or simple, had the location of the Tower of Salvation in the center. Even when the tower wasn't visible, the location never changed. I faced east, towards the tower, knelt down, and put my hands together. "O holy goddess of mana, I beg of thee, hear my words." Please, Goddess Martel, guide me through this day and the trials that await me. Grant me the strength to fulfill my duty. Prayers were never said aloud. They were a sacred communication between the devout and the Goddess, and none other. I rose from my floor and hoped that I had been heard.

As I stumbled down the stairs and to the table where Father and Grandmother were already seated with breakfast, I thought about what the day would bring. Professor Sage would be covering the World Regeneration today. Not surprising. Today is the Day of Prophecy, after all.

After I ate breakfast, I continued to get ready for school. My white gloves were sitting on the dresser, right where I'd left them. My boots, matching my clothes, were near my bed, ready to be tripped over. In the corner sat my belt and my chakrams. Like every Iselian, I'd been trained in self defense all my life. Between wild animals, monsters, and the Desians who had a human ranch only a few miles away, being able to fight back was quite useful. The chakrams themselves were special. While the makeup was plain, there was a gem in the edge of each that would call it back to its owners hand on need. This was useful if for no other reason than because the chakrams were the one thing I hadn't managed to lose at some point. I put the belt on and clipped the discs to it.

With this, I was now ready for school, so I walked downstairs and said goodbye to my father and grandmother.


I turned to the voice of Grandmother, wondering what I could have forgotten.

"Remember that I will be at the temple for the oracle today."

"Oh, yes, thank you!" I'd forgotten she'd be there. I turned and left for the schoolhouse on the other side of the village.