It has now been 7 years since the last of the Mist had been cleared from the earth. 7 long years since Vahn, Noa, and Gala had systematically destroyed the Mist generators throughout Drake Kingdom, Sebecus Islands, and from the Karisto Continent. Vahn had gone back and rebuilt Rim Elm with the help of Ixis, the Biron Monks, and with the help of the survivors from Drake Castle. Not only that, Vahn made sure to get/stay together with Mei. He had never forgotten her through out his journey, he held tight to her pendent that Mei had given him after liberating Rim Elm from Zeto's grasp. Noa had gone off on her own, and using her experiences from growing up under the wolf that Terra had controlled, she had successfully raised Cort as her own son. She had made her base just north of Drake Castle, just on the Southern base of Mt. Rikuroa, which had since grown to be as lush at the northern side of the mountain.
Gala on the other hand, had decided to keep his personal vow to the Monastery. After defeating the Mist, he went back and get permission from Master Zopu to train young students who came to the monastery, despite the fact that Gala had broken the rules. But none of this kept him from coming and visiting both Vahn and Noa every now and then in both Rim Elm and Drake Castle. As the years pass by, the truth about the past drifts further and further from the (then) youngsters memories. As the tale drifts into myth and legend, the true heroes of the past are obscured into half-myth-half-truths to the point that neither in name nor ability is truly what happened. But the time is coming soon for those Heroes to step out of the sands of time and back into the forefront of history.
It was early in the morning on the continent of Karisto, and Dr. Usha was rising from his sleep.
"Ahhh......I'm just getting too stiff to continue doing this. I think I need to upgrade my bed, or make it softer." Mumbles Dr. Usha, as he gets up from the bed.
After Dr. Usha finishes wakes up, he wonders over to the kitchen to see what people were making for breakfast. As he gets to the breakfast table, there is a loud "thump" on the outside deck. Curious about the noise, the good doctor heads out to the deck and notices a young Soren, note more than 17 years old, laying out on the deck moaning.
"ohh....I knew I came in too steep for the landing." said the young Soren as he got up from his rough landing. He was brushing off his leather-covered mechanical wings.
The Sorens, in the intervening time since the clearing of the mist, had started to leave their camps just west of Karisto in greater numbers. They had decided that the time had come that they would interact more with humans, mostly the people in the Sol Tower, although they would make trips to various places around the world. Another thing that had changed for the Soren was that they had started to develop mechanical wings to fly with, on the off chance that the mist or anything else would inhibit their movement from their camp to the rest of the world and back. So the Soren decided to outfit everyone, but the very old with a new set of wings, so they would be able to continue to fly.
"My, my, I seem to have a visitor. A Soren no less. And what would your name be young man?" Asked Dr. Usha.
"I'm not all the young, I'm already 15 years old! My name is Hawk. Would you be Dr. Usha? I have brought urgent news from the Soren Elders for him." replied the young man.
"Oh my," said a quizzical Dr. Usha, "I am the Dr. Usha, do go on, what news have you brought from the Elders?"
"There have been reports of a mysterious island far off the east coast of the Continent where the mist still floats freely. In addition, it has been reported that some of the Sorens have been attacked while scouting out the island and severely injured. I have been sent here by the Elders to get your help on this situation." Hawk had been repeating this to himself over and over during his flight out, just so he would not forget what he had been told.
"Oh dear! This is terrible news. But I must apologize, but I am too old and infirm to be able to help you, but I know a few people that would be able to help you. The only question is weather they would be able to answer the call again to help." Said Dr. Usha.
After Dr. Usha composed himself, he offered some help to the young Soren.
"You must have had a good long flight from your camp this morning. Would you like to sit down to have some food or a bit to drink before you head off again?"
Hawk responded hesitantly, "Why yes, I would love to have a bite to eat and a bit to drink. I'm quite famished because I was not able to grab anything before I had left this morning."
Dr. Usha let out a hearty laugh, and went off to help his wife cook a good breakfast for Hawk. After the meal was done, Hawk stayed around long enough to help with the dishes. When the dishes got done, Dr. Usha made sure that Hawk was bandaged up before trying to takeoff. Luckily Hawk's liftoff worked out better than his landing, and he was on his way back to the Soren Camp. Dr. Usha then turned to his wife and said, "Now how long do you think it would take to gets Grantes up here?"
At the base of Dr. Usha's Research Center, a middle aged man with a green tattoo on his face entered a large and empty courtyard. He steps up to the cone and calls into it, "I was told to come and visit Dr. Usha. Something about it being very important?"
A voice on the other end comes out, "Oh my yes, my husband has been pacing around all day mumbling about some continent or something or other. Please do come on up."
A short while later, the man makes the short elevator ride upwards to the main research building. After stepping out of the lift, Dr. Usha greets the young man with: "My Grantes, you sure have not aged a day since we've last met. Either that, or my eyes must really be going on me. Ho ho ho. I need you to do me a favor and relay a message for me to 3 old friends of ours."
"Hmm? You won't happen to mean Vahn, Noa, and Gala?" Said Grantes.
"My yes." Said Dr. Usha, as he launched into the report he had been given just a number of hours ago by the young Soren.
"I see. This is quite a significant development. There had been rumors of this floating around for a number of years, but I am surprised to hear that it has finally been confirmed. I shall travel down to gather them right away. Luckily I had received a pair of wings right after mist left the land the first time and that shall make the trip go faster." said Grantes.
"Indeed, just hurry as fast as you can down there and inform them of the situation." Said Dr. Usha.
Grantes nodded and walked back to the Elevator. "I'm certain they'll understand what they need to do." And with that, Grantes was off to Buma as fast as he could travel to pick his own set of wings, he would need every bit of speed that he could muster. After getting his wings on, he flew up and over the cloud tops, speeding like a hawk that is out to catch its prey. Over the mountains of Karisto, over a small sea, across the Sebucus Islands, and over the mountains covering the Ancient Wind and Water caves, crossing Biron Monastery, flying over the open plains of the Drake Kingdom to a small village on the southern coast called Rim Elm.
Waking peacefully from a long slumber, Vahn got up from his and Mei's bed. It had been a long while since he had felt at peace, not since the end of the trouble with the Bio-Castle had Vahn been at such peace. As he rolled over and got up out of bed, he noticed that Mei was not in the house at that hour, but Vahn was not too worried, because Mei would occasionally spend part of her mornings either at the beach or at the Genesis Tree in the middle of town. To get himself ready for the day, he decided to leave his house and walk down to the beach to watch the waves roll in. As Vahn got to the beach, he hears a familiar voice yelling to him from the sky:
"Hey buddy!" said a voice from above.
Vahn looked up and smiled at Grantes as he landed on the ground.
"Morning buddy, long time no see. How's it going with you and Cara? I trust that you two have not gotten into too much trouble recently?" inquired Vahn.
Grantes chuckles a bit as he lands, "Nah, you know I've been straight since that incident a few years back at the Sol Casino." But then his face becomes a quite a bit more serious as he relays the message to Vahn.
Vahn, who had broken into a smile at first, now was wearing quite the frown on his face.
"You've got to be kidding me. We defeated the Mist 7 years ago, in this very spot. How could it be back???" demanded a very confused Vahn.
"I'm not completely certain myself, but I only know what information that I had been given by Dr. Usha."
After a minute or so of silent contemplation, Vahn finally looked up from the ground and looked Grantes square in the eye. "If the Mist is truly back, then we must go out and defeat it. We have to nip it in the bud while we still can." Vahn said, not fully knowing or realizing what lied in store for him and his group. "But if I'm going to go and check out this mysterious new continent, then we'll have to stop by 2 places and pick up some people to bring along on this trip.", Vahn said, finally lightening up a bit.
Grantes said, with a wink in his eye, "Well, we wouldn't have it any other way. Let's go and tell Mei that you have to head on out."
"I will, but it is going to be hard to convince her to be able to let me go." Said Vahn.
So Vahn and Grantes went over to the Genesis tree to find Mei sitting on one of the benches around the tree.
"Hey honey, look who dropped into town to visit us." said Vahn.
Mei looked up from the tree that she had been gazing at and toward the 2 men that had just approached her. "Well hello there Grantes, you old rascal. How's it been??"
"Oh, I've been doing alright, keeping myself out of trouble." replied Grantes.
"That's good to hear. What brings you into town?" said Mei.
"I've come to pick up Vahn. He is needed to check out a mysterious continent that apparently has Mist flowing out of it."
Mei had much the same reaction to the news as Vahn did. "What a great joke, I must compliment you for working on your sense of humor since we've last talked." But seeing the stoned face response from both Grantes and Vahn told her everything she needed to know. Her face fell from a state of happiness, all the way down into a state of despair and anger. "Why couldn't you be joking?? I thought that every thing had been taken care of?"
Vahn steps in, "So did I; but apparently someone or something has brought back the Mist. I must head out immediately and deal with this treat at once."
One tear ran down Mei's check, then another, and soon enough she was crying. "Why…why do you have to leave me and our life? How come you can't leave this to anyone else to take care of? I was so scared the first time you had left the village, and I really don't want to see you leave again."
Vahn leans over to give her a tight hug and whispers in her ear, "I would not be entertaining thoughts of leaving the village, unless I thought that there was no other way around it. Now I promise you that I will come back to you again, and in one piece. I guarantee it."
It takes another full minute or so before Mei calms down enough to respond to Vahn. "Alright, I will hold you to it" *Sniff* "But so help me if you don't, I'll come out there with your dad and sister to look for you."
"Thanks hunny. I promise to make it back, just for you. Now Grantes and I have to leave to get Gala and Noa" Vahn said.
"Just make sure you hurry back here." responded Mei.
And with that and a final hug between Vahn and Mei, Vahn and Grantes were flying to the North-East toward the Biron Monastery to get Gala.
Arriving at the Southern entrance of the Monastery, Grantes set himself and Vahn down and they walked inside to get Gala. They were warmly greeted by a monk who then led them toward the back of the monastery where Gala was currently engaged in some training with some young monks. Grantes and Vahn slowly stand to the side of all the training until it was done, which was only about 15 minutes later. After all the students had thanked Gala, they left the room, so that only the grownups were left in the room.
"Ah, long time no see my old friend. You are looking well today." said Gala. "What brings you out here? Have you come to seek the blessings of Rem?" He said with a slight grin on his face. Rem had been the keeper of time that Gala, Vahn and Noa had met on their previous journey; and ever since then, whenever there was a long break time between meetings, they would always greet each other as such.
A slight grin crosses Vahn's face and he shakes his head. "Nah, we've come on a slightly different mission." Now the grin decreases just a hair, only enough to be noticeable to those who have been around him for long periods of time, namely Gala and Noa. "We are here because we need your help. The Mist is back."
Gala, up until this point, had had a welcoming smile on his face, but once heard news of the mist coming back; it had dropped from his face. He had been instantly struck with a large sense of shock, which was evident, no only on his face, but also in his words. "No....NO, you can't be serious!?!? I thought that we had defeated the mist years ago when we took out the Juggernaut after it had fused with Cort??"
Grantes, sensing how tense that Gala was becoming, stepped in and tried to ease the tension. "According to the report that was given to me by Dr. Usha, there has been sighted a new land mass far off the eastern coast of Karisto Continent. He sent me to pick up you two and Noa and to bring you all up to visit him for more details."
Upon hearing this new piece of information, Gala calmed down a bit. Taking a deep breath, Gala said, "I'm sorry, we just had such a rough time 7 years ago when we cleared the mist away from the land, it just seems a bit astounding to hear that the mist is back again."
"Yeah, it was astounding to me too when I first heard it from Grantes. It left me rather speechless," said Vahn. "What we need right now is your help, especially since you were quite effective fighting with us the first time around against the mist. So would you come help me with this fight?" inquired Vahn.
Gala did not have to think long about his answer, for it was very simple. With a growing smile on his face, Gala replied, "Yes, I would not miss this upcoming adventure for the world."
Vahn finally let out a large laugh and said, "Well, let's get going, we have the last member of the team to recruit."
Rolling his eyes, "Oh boy, up to Mt. Rikuroa now for Noa?"
Vahn nods his head and while moving toward the door says, "Yes, let's go."
So Vahn, Gala, and Grantes leave Biron Monastery heading to the south, and then to the West. After a few hours, they make it out to Drake Castle. They thread their way through the hallways and tunnels throughout Drake Castle, before finally emerging behind the castle on their way up to Mt. Rikuroa. Soon the ground turns brown from the lack of rain of that side of the Mountain, and the guys have to stop and take a short break up the mountain.
"Man, I really hope we can find this little punk soon, I'm getting pretty tired of looking for her right now." said and exasperated Gala.
"Hey!!! Who are you calling little?!?!?" Shouted a high-pitched voice seemingly out of nowhere.
Everyone in the group was rather surprised and quickly spun around to see where the voice came from. It took them another minute or so to find where the voice was coming from, which was finally determined to be coming from a rocky outcropping approximately 50 feet away. Noa's head was poking out of the rocks with a bright grin on her face.
"Hey guys!!! Long time no see." said Noa. "What brings you out to my neck of the woods? Hehehe."
Vahn took the lead talking this time, "There have been reports that a new continent has appeared off the coast of Karisto Continent and that the mist is prevalent there. We need you to come with us, because you have experience fighting the Seru that have been driven mad."
Noa starts giggling rather loudly, "What do you mean? We defeated the Mist years ago, with the help of Terra, Ozma, and Meta. There's no way that is could be back."
Gala rolls his eyes at this remark, "Come on Noa, we're being serious. We wouldnt have come to you if we did not think that we needed your help."
Noa giggles some more, "Oh, alright! If you say so Gala. You always know best! Well if we are going to do this, I need to make sure that Cort is alright while we travel. Hey Vahn, do you think that Mei would have any problems with looking after Cort for me?"
Peaking out from the rocks that Noa was also hiding behind, was a little 7 year kid with white hair and simple clothing on. "Hello! Where would I be going?"
"Sure Noa, I dont see why not. Cort, you'd be going to going to my home town, Rim Elm. Hey Grantes, would you be able to do me a favor and drop Cort off at Mei's house for me? I'm certain that she would be willing to helping us out." Said Vahn.
"Sure, I can fly him back to Rim Elm real quick while you guys get started on your journey. After I drop off Cort, I'll head up to the Soren Camp and see if they would be willing to give you guys a lift to the new continent." Said Grantes.
"Well then, let's get going on our journey! Cort, go with Grantes here, and he will take you to Mei's to stay while I head out with my friends. Have fun." Noa advised.
"Alright I will. Let's go Grantes." Bounced Cort as he was lifted into the air by Grantes as they traveled out to Rim Elm.
"So here we are, 7 years after we defeated this mist the first time around, together again. We shall put it down a second time. Let's get going!" said Vahn as the group departed to the south.