The Blue Skies: Introduction

"W-what in the hell are you?" A severely wounded apostle roared as he stared at his enemy with mixed feelings of hatred and fear. He had never seen anything like this before. It was as if some unknown force was spitting in the faces of his lords, the God Hand. Looking about, he could see that the hundred or so other apostles were dead, all burnt to a crisp or cut into shreds. This was not how it was supposed to happen.

Griffith! Please, help me! The apostle pleaded in his mind, his foe rising before him. The enemy he was facing looked like a phoenix made of flames, its size easily larger than a city church. A pair of icy-blue eyes pierced into his very soul.

"He will not help you now…" the phoenix laughed in a loud shout. "You must burn."

The apostle had only a moment to scream before he felt himself crumble and die as a firestorm rushed over his body, leaving nothing but cinders. The phoenix's blue eyes vanished soon after, the flames dying down slowly to reveal the source of the power. It was a young man in his early twenties dressed in simple villager's garb, a dome-shaped grass hat resting on his head. His eyes shone like blue pebbles, his irises rippling like waves on the sea. Turning, he tipped the brim of his hat in farewell to his enemies as he walked off along the dirt road heading towards the ocean.

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"Wha-?" was all Schierkecould manage to say as she awoke from her sleep. Looking around, she could still see that she was aboard Roderick's ship, sailing towards Elfhelm. It had been two days since they dealt with the sea god and still everyone was recovering from the incident. Everyone except for the little witch girl herself. Sitting up, she slid off her bed and began to get dressed.

That's the third time I've dreamt about that man since we left that island. What does it mean? Is it a vision? …I really wish my mistress were here. She'd know what this is about.

Her thoughts were suddenly stopped as she heard a knock on the door.

"Uh-yes?"

"Yo! Schierke! Come on up! You gotta see this!" she heard the all-too-familiar annoying voice of Ishidoro.

"Oh great…what is it now?" She yelled back. There was no answer, just the satisfying noise of Ishidoro running down the corridor and up the stairs to the upper deck. Not wanting to keep her companions waiting, Schierke quickly finished what she was doing and left her room to find out what all the excitement was about. Heading to the upper deck, she could see the crew crowded near the starboard side of the ship.

Oh no, I hope it's not another encounter.

But she was wrong in worrying. Approaching the group, she took a peak over the railing and saw what they had been journeying for: elfhelm. It was a large island to be sure, full of forests and a large mountain in the back. It looked to be the several times larger than the cities she saw on their journeys. Plenty big for an entire civilization to live on.

So that's Elfhelm?

From within the crowd, she could hear Puck saying "aahhh…home, sweet home."

Looking about, she noticed that Guts wasn't in the group. Her eyes wandered towards the Port side. Nothing. Then she averted her gaze to the front of the ship and finally laid eyes on him. There he was, standing with his eyes peeled on the island. Near him she could see Caska holding the young boy she was fostering for a while. He was a mystery, that was for sure. And she didn't know why, but she kind of envied him.

Is he Caska's son? I wonder what it would be like to have a parent. The mistress never told me where I came from. Maybe I've got a family somewhere out there….

Unlike herself, she let her mind wander. She was now thinking on things that she never really considered before. It almost made her feel lonely. Still, she was with friends; friends she could call family. She smiled at the idea and brought her attention back to the island.

I hope Caska will be fine. I don't know all the details, but if the elves and witches there can help her, then it's all for the best.

She found herself broken from her chain of thought and quickly annoyed as the loud sound of Ishidoro hollering "kickass!" wafted into her ears.