Disclaimer: I don't own the characters…they belong to the creators of Arc the Lad

A young girl dressed in exotic clothing is sitting by a fountain playing an exotic glowing instrument. Suddenly, five airborne warships approach from a distance above the green fields. Getting ready to flee, she gazes upon the glowing stone in her hand, saying, "Let the spirits guide me…" She quickly stands and realizes that her instrument is still by the fountain. She quickly turns around, takes it into her hands and runs away.

CHAPTER 1

The Sprits' First Appearance

The start of our story takes place in the peaceful town of Yewbell. The people of this town are under no power but themselves. They have no ruler. Though, at one time they had a King. Nafia had come to them, barely alive, soaking wet and holding an infant in her arms. At that moment, their country, Nidellia, was in the middle of a fierce war. The king had been killed and the castle was burned to ruins. But still, they immediately took her into their care, with no questions asked. And even though Lady Nafia was not completely healed, she rose up and led them to victory. And in the wake of the king's death, rather than restoring the Monarchy, Lady Nafia set up a new government in which everyone was equal.

17 years later…

It was growing close to mid-morning in the peaceful town of Yewbell. Most of the townspeople were already up and about, doing their chores. Though, most were just out for a walk to talk with their neighbors about the latest gossip.

A sword duel between a middle-aged man and a teenage boy, with a strange mark on his arm, was being held outside Nafia's home. The young boy was doing surprisingly well.

"You're showing a lot of improvement," said the man, watching proudly as Kharg did a high flip to dodge his attack.

"Hey, hang on! We're not finished, yet!" said Kharg, as he pushes away from Lloyd with his sword and does a back flip to place distance between them.

There was a young girl, about Kharg's age, watching them and cheering Kharg on. "Wahoo! Go Kharg," she exclaimed.

"My own daughter won't even cheer for me," said the man jokingly, frowning at Kharg.

"You are getting slow, Lloyd," joked Kharg, "I think it's time that you hand over your title."

Lloyd laughed quietly at Kharg's comment, "I'm not sure you're ready for that."

Kharg raised his sword above his head with one hand and held the other out in front of him in a challenging gesture.

"I'm going to show you just how ready I really am," said Kharg, smiling.

Kharg jumped into the air so suddenly that Lloyd almost didn't have time to jump out of the way. Kharg then whipped around and ran at Lloyd with such force that when their swords made contact, Lloyd had his knocked from his hands.

Kharg extends the point of his sword towards Lloyd's neck and says, happily, "How's that?!"

Lloyd stumbles back slightly and says, "Nnf, well done!"

The duel was over and Kharg was the ecstatic victor. He was so happy that he could barely control his excitement.

"Looks like I'm the new commander," exclaimed, Kharg.

"Not so fast," said Lloyd, "You have bested me once, which only proves one thing…that I have taught you well."

"Oh father, you could at least congratulate him," said the young girl, picking up her father's sword and carrying it to him, "Kharg's been training really hard for this moment."

Lloyd took the sword from her and looked at her sternly. "I've told you time and again, Paulette, you must address him as Lord Kharg. It doesn't matter that you've been friends since you were both young. I'm always telling you not to be too familiar."

"Don't worry about it," said Kharg, "The monarchy was abolished ages ago now, and Paulette's a year older than me, anyway."

"It doesn't matter whether the monarchy exists or not," said Lloyd, "Our responsibility to protect the royal family of Nidellia doesn't change." He walks past Kharg to Paulette. "Paulette, I hope you've been practicing like I've told you."

Paulette nods. "Of course I've been practicing!" she exclaimed.

"You're not as skilled as Lord Kharg," Lloyd points out, "Even though it is your duty to protect him. That won't do!"

"Yes, Sir," said Paulette. She frowned and looked to Kharg, who was about to protest but was stopped by an older man running up the hill towards them.

"Banjo, what's the problem," asked Lloyd.

"Commander," said Banjo, stopping at the top of the hill, "May I have a minute, something's been troubling me…"

"Of course," said Lloyd, walking over to him. They walked down the hill, leaving Kharg and Paulette behind.

Paulette appeared to be nervous about something, though Kharg couldn't think of what it might be.

"I wonder what's happened?" said Paulette.

"Let's go and find out," said Kharg.

Kharg and Paulette run down the hill to check on Lloyd and Banjo.

"Ah, Lord Kharg." Said Banjo, "I was just telling Commander Lloyd…a short while ago I saw a suspicious old man on Scrappe Plateau."

"Suspicious?" said Kharg.

"Yes." said Banjo, "He wasn't from this country. He was muttering to himself and seemed to be wandering around looking for something. He was pretty creepy, so I didn't speak to him, but it's been worrying me."

"I can't imagine there's anything around there he could be looking for…" said Lloyd.

"I'll go and take a look." said Kharg, "One old man's not something to get the whole Defense Corps out for."

"Hmmm…" said Lloyd, "Very well. Go check it out. Thank you." He took a bag out of his pocket and gave it to Kharg. "It's not much, but maybe this money will help you prepare, Kharg." He then turned to his daughter. "Paulette, you go, too," he said, "But, don't get in Lord Kharg's way."

"Yes, Sir," said Paulette, quietly.

"Right, I'll be getting back, then," said Lloyd to Kharg. Then he and Banjo walked away.

"Ok. I'll come along with you, then…, Lord Kharg." said Paulette.

"Hey, don't call me that," said Kharg, looking away, "I feel so awkward when you're that formal."

"Hey!"

Kharg laughed.

"But… I really don't mind, you know." said Paulette, "I'll call you 'Lord Kharg' if you like."

"You know you don't need to," said Kharg, facing her, "Just because I'm the son of the old royal family… The people of Yewbell all treat me with great care and respect. It's not that I don't appreciate it, but I'd like at least you to treat me normally."

"Ok then…Kharg," said Paulette, smiling brightly.

"Right, let's get going." said Kharg.

Paulette shook her head. "Wait a minute," she said, "Shouldn't we let Lady Nafia know where we're going? Otherwise, she won't know where we are if something happens. She's at home, isn't she?"

"I think so," said Kharg, not quite understanding, "But… I don't think it's really necessary to tell my mother everything."

They both turned and walked back up the hill and entered Kharg's house. When they entered the house there was no sign of her anywhere.

"Huh?" said Kharg, "Mother's not here…?"

Then they heard a soft voice.

..I…..the wind's…..

..new…..era…..

"Did you just hear someone talking," asked Kharg.

"Yeah, but I couldn't make out what it was saying. Maybe, it was Lady Nafia?" said Paulette.

"Oh, well…" said Kharg, "Maybe Mother's in her room. Come on."

"I think I'd be more comfortable waiting out here," replied Paulette.

"Ok," said Kharg, entering the bedroom, "That's fine."

He closes the door behind him and ventures a little further into the room. He looked around and noticed that she wasn't in there either.

"No." said Kharg, "Not here either…"

Hmmm…maybe I was just hearing things, he thought.

A sparkling stone sitting on a bookshelf caught his attention. He never noticed it there before.

"Huh…?" he said, "What's that shining…?"

He walked over and then hesitantly reached out to touch it.

"What's this…? A stone…?"

He stopped as the glow around the stone suddenly grew brighter. A shimmering stream of light slowly rose from the stone. The light swirled around in front of him, forming a small sphere. The light then faded away, leaving behind a small, strange looking creature, which was floating in the air in front of him.

What the… thought Kharg.

..I am…..

..the Spirit…..of the wind…..

"S-spirit…?!" stuttered Kharg.

..For aeons…..

..countless aeons…..

..A new…..age of union…..

..Listen carefully…..to my voice…..

The Spirit of the Wind then disappears.

"What was that…?" said Kharg to himself, "A spirit, huh…? Yes they were in the stories mother used to tell me."

Kharg is confused by the Spirit, but soon remembers when his mother told him the story of the disappearance of the Spirits, recounting the Divine Ruler, the Great Hero and the Holy Mother who defeated him, and the rise of the Deimos – inhuman creatures that inhabit half of the world.

Lady Nafia's story is as follows:

Long, long ago, people lived in peace with the Spirits. But a Divine Ruler with an evil heart appeared, and he used the power of science to try to rule the world. However, many brave people stood up against this ruler. Borrowing the power of the Spirits, they defeated this evil ruler, and they sealed his body inside an ark. Well, the Divine Ruler came back to life thousands of years later to take his revenge for being imprisoned for so long. Coming back to life and escaping the ark, the Divine Ruler had taken a very strange form, one never seen before on this earth. And then he tried to destroy the world.

However, there appeared a Great Hero and a Holy Mother, who carried on the will of all those brave souls of the past. And they stood up to fight this evil Divine Ruler. It was a long and fierce battle, but in the end, they defeated the Divine Ruler, and sealed him in the ark once more.

However, as a result of all this, the world was badly scarred, and the Spirits disappeared from the face of the earth. But something else appeared in their place, beings called "Deimos". Humans and Deimos loathed each other, and this led to fierce confrontation. In time the world was divided in two, with humans living in one half, and Deimos in the other. And eventually, it became strictly forbidden for humans and Deimos to associate with one another…

"Funny how I remembered that." thought Kharg, "But I wonder… was that really a Spirit just now? Why would it suddenly appear to me…?"

He leaves the room and walks over to Paulette.

"So, was she in there," asks Paulette.

"No, she must have gone out. Sometimes she goes off on her own somewhere." said Kharg, casually.

"So," said Paulette, "That voice just now was just our imagination."

"No," said Kharg, "That was… That was a Spirit."

"What," exclaimed Paulette.

"The Spirit of the Wind…" said Kharg.

"A Spirit!" exclaimed Paulette, "Like the ones in folktales and legends?"

"Yeah…" said Kharg.

"Are you all right, Kharg," asked Paulette, growing concerned for her friend, "You sure you didn't see it in a dream? There haven't been any Spirits around for years and years."

"Yeah…"

"And, in any case," said Paulette, "they only used to show themselves to chosen people."

"Really…?" said Kharg, "I guess it must have just been an illusion. But…"

"Come on, then." said Paulette, changing the subject, "If Lady Nafia isn't around, then we should hurry to Scrappe Plateau."

"…Yes. Let's go."

Together, they exited the house and wandered down to the shop to get supplies they might need should they run into any monsters.

On they're way to the town exit; a young girl walked up to Kharg and spoke to him.

"Lord Kharg," she said, "My mom is so mean to me! She said no matter how pretty I grow up to be, I can't marry you! That's not true is it?"

Kharg thought for a moment. Smiling, he said, "No, that's not true."

"Yay!" exclaimed the girl, "Lord Kharg, please wait till I grow up, OK?"

Paulette pulled him away from the overly excited girl.

"Now why would you say something like that," she said, smirking, "It wasn't very nice to lie to her."

Kharg gave an exaggerated sigh and said jokingly, "You're right, I should tell her I change my mind."

"NO!" said Paulette, grabbing his hand and dragging him towards the town exit, "You'll just end up slashing the hopes and dreams that you have stupidly created for her."

"Ok. Ok."

They then ventured out of town and made their way to Scrappe Plateau.