Hello all again. As always I thank you in advance for taking the time to reading my stuff. This is just a set up and description, so don't expect anything overly dramatic or shocking. (It's only the first chapter, jeez, give me some time.) I do hope I manage to entertain and enthrall.
Now then, to the story!
I always thought it would be simple. It would be an easy process, uncomplicated and sincere. How wrong I was. I was mature enough to know that was not how the world worked. I refused to acknowledge this though, despite all that I had already gone through. It had been two years already and I refused to accept that this would be the same. I convinced myself that this would be different, that this would be simple, that this would not hurt anyone. I insisted on keeping just one part of my childlike naiveté, foolish to keep it with that one part. That's why I overreacted and jumped at the first chance when I learned it was not simple. What a fool I was.
Light spilt over the horizon, swords of empirical silvers, pinks, oranges, yellows, golds, and reds. With the coming of dawn, the heavens flooded onto the lone ship, drowning all in its shining dominance. With light came new warmth, a new life to a new-born day. Within the ship, as the essences of dawn shone through the porthole and spread its way across the room, Isaac awoke easily.
Isaac's eyelids fluttered slightly, before he brought a hand up to rub away the tiredness in his eyes. The Venus Adept had a truly unremarkable look for one who was questing to save the world. He had an athletic build, muscular and toned, certainly impressive. His facial features, though, were what belied his inner strength. He was the typical 'shining knight' that girls dreamed to come save them from danger. His hair a golden, dirt-brown, not of the ethereal shine one might imagine of a hero, protruded out in controlled unkempt spikes. Beneath them, around his neck, was a long yellow scarf that had rested there since he had inherited it at birth. It was horribly dirty and stained after the years, washed only by rain or baths, but Isaac refused to remove it. Above it was his face rather effeminate for a young warrior, still young and rosy-cheeked for the girls' dreams. His eyes were a bright and youthful shining sapphire-blue. Within, they held love, ease, confidence, and modesty.
He yawned as he stared up at the wooden panels of Babi's Lemurian Ship. Even after nearly a year, he still marvelled at both the craftsmanship and the ship's ability. He had promised to look for Lemuria, but he was forced to give up on it after the news from a complete stranger.
My, my, you travellers have the same aura as those five who passed through here recently. They had strange powers and a ship very similar to yours. There was a man, dark-haired and dead-set, a young golden-haired girl, a man far older than myself, and a crimson haired girl who with her blue-haired companion.
Felix was alive. He wasn't sure how he felt about this news. Felix used to be one of his closest friends, but he betrayed him, he betrayed everyone from vale, betrayed everything they believed in. Isaac had taken an oath to stop him, he had sworn to do whatever it took to prevent the Beacons from being ignited. Would he have to fight Felix? Would he have to kill his previous best friend? What if Sheba and Jenna were helping him, he would have to fight them too. They had Alex as well, and he was the strongest Adept he had ever seen. He fumed slightly as he thought of Alex. That man told him that Jenna had been with the 'blue-haired man'. How could she?
"Mmm, morning."The presence beside him said.
He looked down at the wondrous body at his side. Mia rubbed her tired eyes as she let out a yawn. Mia's eyes moved over his as she opened them in the morning light. Her large cerulean orbs reflected his sapphire ones perfectly. Each change of light shone a new shafted reflection onto the surfaces of her eyes only to be changed again. Her dark pupils occasionally swallowed by, occasionally swallowing, the short streaks of varied azure and cobalt that surrounded them. Her hair spilt from her head elegantly, almost like tresses of watery currents that meandered through the land. It seemed like water as she elegantly glided around the ship, glide as she did with her delicate pace, flowing behind her in delicate waves of rippling movement. The careful strands framed her subtle features. She was a naturally beautiful young woman, even though she would never accept or agree to such comments.
"Morning, Mia. How'd you sleep?" Isaac asked, inhaling the sweet scents of Mia's hair.
"Wonderfully, thank you." She propped herself up slightly, looking down on the young man, "What time is it?"
"Only about six, maybe earlier." He answered simply.
The healer groaned and fell into his chest, complaining about how early it was. Isaac had to agree, he would much prefer to just stay with Mia right here like this for a while longer, but that was not wise, "C'mon, Mia, get ready, I'll be waiting outside." He said, giving her a quick kiss.
The healer groaned afterwards again and fell into the bed as he pulled himself away, reluctantly of course, and left so that Mia could change from her night-clothes. The morning air had a bite behind it now that he had relinquished the warmth of both his blanket and Mia. He leaned, still very tired, against the cool wood of the door in the hallway, reflecting on the fact that he had allowed two Beacons to be ignited. He certainly felt far stronger now with the Venus Beacon offering him power, Mia told him she felt the same, whereas Garet and Ivan felt weaker. That was understandable, Venus and Mercury opposed Jupiter and Mars respectively. So, was stopping the Beacons from being lit really a bad thing.
He shut himself up instantly. Of course it was a bad thing. It was giving Adepts more power the direct cause of the wars in the past. That was the very problem so he would stop it no matter what. Even if he had to kill again.
He had killed two people. He had murdered two people. It may not have been in cold blood, it may have been self-defence and for the safety of the world, but it was still murder. If he had been anywhere else than on an Aerie when he had, he would have been thrown into a dank prison with his team, maybe he would have suffered the death penalty like some did in Tolbi.
"Isaac!" A voice yelled from down the hall.
Isaac turned with a tired smile. Ivan was rushing toward him with his ever present boyish grin. The boy was interesting if nothing else. He was weedy and small by the standards set by the rest of the group, even by Mia, even if battle had toned him up slightly. He was the smallest person in the group, he was however, glue, in a way. One couldn't get rid of him, not that you would want to, if you tried, and he held everyone together. His personality was this very glue. He was excellently entertaining and a joy to be around. He was naturally light-hearted and easy-going and next to him you felt the very same. It was fantastic really. Truly, this ability was credited mainly to his incredible mental ability, a natural boon to a Jupiter Adept. He could find anything in a situation, anything at all, and use it to break the ice or cut the tension. He was clearly young as well. His short hair was a blinding array of blonde when the sun hit, it was a very light shade. It framed his head perfectly beneath its messy assortment of locks. His face was almost that of a baby's, full round cheeks, and large round eyes. The eyes though showed him truly. They were a deep purple, holding wisdom as deep as their colour. He was massively wise, but that too was fought by his immense immaturity, when he wanted to be.
"Garet's falling asleep at the wheel. He wants you to take over."
Isaac yawned and nodded, "Can do, just wait until I get changed."
Ivan stood still, although still was not right. He stood on the same spot but he was incapable of not moving at least some part of him constantly. Isaac swore he had some condition or something. He hadn't been like this when he first met him. He had been quiet, shy, and thoughtful. At some point he just changed into this new hyperactive boy.
"It's Garet's fault." The boy stated instantly, "He's infectious. Speaking of which, you didn't catch anything off Mia last night did you? Just cause she's a healer doesn't mean she's clean."
"Ivan!" Isaac snapped although he was laughing, "Mia's not…"
The two turned to see Mia looking back and forth between the two of them curiously. Ivan erupted into laughter and ran back up onto deck. Isaac's face flushed a furious red and, shaking his head to Mia to state he didn't want to pursue the topic, retreated back inside his room to get changed.
Five minutes later he was ascending the stairs to the deck. Mia was sitting in the common room, quietly reading, and Ivan was juggling seven different fruits and one of his Djinn, who was squeaking out some warnings at the boy. Pushing open the door to the deck the morning air stung his skin with the salty sea breeze. Garet was at the wheel humming happily to himself, although Isaac swore the hums were more him talking to himself.
The nineteen year old had a truly imposing build, tall and muscular, very heroic. He was heroic too, noble and steadfast. He refused to let any friends be hurt, he refused to give up, and more than anything he refused not to defend. He was naturally a guard and wall for his friends, defending and protecting them. He rarely ever scolded, usually leaving that to Isaac. He exuded confidence and reassurance, excellent qualities for a future mayor of Vale. He was a child though, the oldest of the group, but certainly immature at heart. Not to say he wasn't mature, by no means did he lack maturity, when it was called upon he was probably one of the most mature people in the group. He was the heart of the group, sociable and entertaining no matter the situation. His visage reflected what he was at particular time's best. Above his broad shoulders were a strong jaw, wide smile, and unwaveringly kind eyes. They were a deep auburn, almost red, but more golden brown than any. They were very naturally kind, to meet eyes with him made one realise you were with someone who cared. And he could make you laugh too, he could so easily entertain. Part of that may be the sight of his hair, an extra foot of red hair stood straight up from his head after years of training. Watching him eat was also rather hilarious as he inhaled any meal within two minutes, regardless of size.
"Finally!" The Mars Adept complained, turning to Isaac as he approached, "You took your time! It was freezing last night! You've got the next night shift."
"Good morning to you too, Garet." Isaac smirked, claiming the wheel for himself, "Sleep well?"
"Funny." He laughed, as he walked away, "I'm so damn tir-"
There was a loud thud the next moment. Garet had collapsed onto his side, literally denting the heavy wooden planks with his weight. Isaac relinquished the wheel and ran to his best friend's side. The fool was snoring loudly. Isaac shook him asking if he was alright. Not two seconds after Isaac got to him did Garet start laughing. Isaac gave him a quick punch in the arm he had landed on as Garet called him 'too predictable'and that the pain of falling over was 'worth it'.
"Idiot." Isaac muttered through his quiet chuckles as he gripped the wheel again. He could see Jupiter Lighthouse far to the north. They were so close, he would stop its ignition. He had no choice.
Mia sighed, pushing away her book. It wasn't particularly interesting. She had purchased it in that small town, Yallam, where they learned of Felix's continued life. It was supposed to be a romantic novel, but so far she was unimpressed. She figured she could write something better, although somewhere within she conceded that she may not be able to produce something of any particular note.
She turned her eyes to Ivan who was still juggling his various items. Several more had been added in at some point or another, including another Djinn. The boy wasn't really focused on it, it was so effortless for him, seeing as he was currently dancing around the common room to a self-composed song. She was amazed at the young boy, he had so many talents, yet he had no desire to pursue any once this quest was over. He could have so many different occupations, composer, writer, poet, sculptor, artist, acrobat, comedian, the list went on.
Mia turned her eyes back down to the book on the table. Once this was all over…? What was she going to do once this was all over? She always thought that she would just go back to Imil, resume her duties as clan healer and tutor. True, the newly flowing Hermes Water made her duties as healer relatively redundant, seeing as the only malady to afflict the town was, more often than not, the common cold. So, what would she do? She had seen so much in just two short years. Her eyes opened, she experienced so much that she had never known during her sheltered life. Even the books, scarce as they were in Imil, told very little about the outside world. They all detailed the past, or Mercury.
Mia stood up quickly, while Ivan was in the middle of a song about a 'golden-haired priestess', and moved out to the deck. She deeply inhaled the saline ocean air. She closed her eyes, relishing the scents and sounds of the most powerful natural occurrence of Mercury. She always felt at home on the sea, as opposed to Isaac and Garet initially. The two, for the first month or so, suffered from terrible sea-sickness. Mia had to stay at their side constantly as they piloted their ship so as to keep them steady and on course, without fear of painting the deck a truly undesired colour.
Walking to Isaac, Mia hummed contentedly to herself, reflecting on how they had come to be together. It had been a sudden thing, it surprised her really. True, she always had those little fantasies about Isaac in some of her more lonely moments, but she never thought that he felt that way. The way he always talked about Jenna made it seem like he loved her. Mia had to admit she did become just a little jealous whenever Isaac would talk about Jenna like he did. She swore he used to worship the ground she walked on. Even Garet seemed very surprised that the two ended up together, considering he knew better than any how Isaac felt for Jenna. Granted, Mia attributed that to the fact that Garet had a little crush on her as well. It was cute and everything, but Garet was like a big brother to her and she never really thought about him like that.
"Hey there." She said gently, wrapping Isaac up in a hug.
"Oh, hey, Jenna."Isaac said plainly, distractedly
"What!?" She asked, moving around to face him.
Isaac snapped his gaze to her, looking right into her eyes, "Huh? Uh, sorry… Mia. How are you?"
"Worried." She stated instantly, "What's wrong with you? You seem distracted today."
"Guess I'm worried." He shrugged simply, "I don't really wanna have to fight Felix and the rest of them when we catch up to them."
Mia could sense that he was hiding what he wanted to say. She was jealous of course. He wanted to say Jenna. He was worried about her. She chose not to pursue the conversation, she knew he didn't want to and she certainly did not want to hear another story about his childhood crush. She had heard enough as it is and was quite sick of them, although she would never admit it. Isaac was always happy when he reminisced, him and Garet, so if that's what it took to make them happy during these times then she could handle that.
Ivan, bored at last with his juggling, expertly tossed each item back to its respective place, largely the fruit bowl on the table. He fell into the couch in the room, which he had claimed as his when they first boarded the ship going as far as to burn his name into it, still singing his song about the priestess. He was bored, and it was so easy for that to happen on this boat. For whatever reason monsters rarely boarded their ship, and whenever they did they were no real challenge. He felt he was losing his battling edge, mentally of course since physically he could not do much. Thankfully they had constructed a target range in the bowels of the ship, but that required Mia to ensure a fire didn't leave them without a ship, and she was currently being lovey-dovey with Isaac.
It was so odd, he never saw the two of them together. Garet and Mia? Yes he had seen that, but Isaac? He wasn't sure what to make of that. It had happened so suddenly one day, shortly after they had learned Felix was still alive, three days to be precise, and they had been together since then. Only two weeks, so far, but Ivan still wasn't comfortable with it. Their auras just didn't seem aligned, their minds weren't properly matched for each other, it just didn't seem right. He had always thought the old idiom to be correct, that opposites attract. In that case it would have been Garet and Mia, seeing as they blatantly contrasted each other.
He conceded that maybe he was just young, although he had recently turned seventeen. Maybe he just didn't understand the dynamic of relationships. Still, he was always uncomfortable around them when they were together, but it had never been like that before. The air was different when they were different. One may have said it was the air of love, or romance, or something, but Ivan didn't feel that, not that he could say he knew what that felt like. He was not an idiot though, he knew what it felt like to love, perhaps not to have returned love and a relationship, but certainly to love, and it was different from what the two exuded when they were together.
He watched Mia walk back through the door, looking very disconcerted. He never liked seeing his friends upset, although he would never console unless it was very evident or necessary.
"He didn't get any in your hair did he?" He laughed as Mia sat down.
Mia's face flushed an impossible shade of red, greatly, and humorously in Ivan's opinion, contrasting the cerulean frame of her hair, "Ivan!" She snapped.
"Whoa, sorry, didn't know you wanted your quickies kept secret." He winked to her, only serving to embarrass and frustrate the healer anymore.
Mia shuddered visibly, "How did you ever become so dirty-minded? You used to be so polite."
"Garet." Ivan stated easily, without missing a beat, "Guy's just one big bad influence. I'm surprised he hasn't got to you yet actually."
This made Mia giggle slightly, although she seemed determined not to smile as she tried as valiantly as she could to conceal the laughter. Ivan, feeling quite proud that he had managed to cheer Mia up, even though it was in no way difficult for him to do so, beamed back to her.
"So, what was up?" He questioned gesturing between her and the door.
Mia frowned slightly, "Nothing." She muttered quickly. The healer paused and Ivan said nothing, waiting for the continuation. Seven seconds later she did, "Isaac's distracted, and really worried."
"About?" Ivan urged, rolling his left hand in the air.
Mia's head sagged down slightly, "Just about having to fight when we catch up to Felix."
Ivan knew there was more, but didn't ask for it, knowing better than to, "You can't blame him. Last time we tried to stop a Beacon from being lit Saturos and Menardi died, and we saw what should have been Felix and Sheba's death, remember? I'm betting he doesn't want a repeat of either event, considering the enemy this time. There's Felix and Jenna, his best friends at one point, an innocent girl, an old man, and your cousin."
"He can kill him for all I care." Mia growled vehemently.
Ivan had not been expecting that, "Whoa, never thought I'd hear you want someone dead, Mia." The healer looked up, but Ivan curtailed her attempts at explanation, "I understand, Mia, no need to explain."
Mia nodded thankfully and the two lapsed into silence. Ivan continued to look at his only female friend, and quite frankly his pseudo-mother, as she simply stared down at her lap. He may have dared to read her mind, but the silence was absolute and the sounds of his Psynergy activating would give him away. Though, the silence was broken not soon after anyway by quiet sobs. Ivan rushed over to his friend's side quickly, seeing a small collection of tears in Mia's lap.
"Hey, hey," He whispered, wrapping her up as best he could muster considering his small frame, "don't cry. C'mon, cheer up. Don't think about Alex yeah? Who knows, it might not even be him with Felix and the others, could be someone else entirely?"
"How many people do you know with blue hair?" Mia questioned, though her tears had stopped.
Ivan had no possible answer so he took to sitting there with his friend, gently cradling her. She always got so emotional whenever Alex was mentioned. He had been Mia's one childhood friend. She had been picked on by the other kids of Imil because she was a 'freak' in their Psynergy-lacking eyes. Alex always stood up for her, fighting them off. So when he disappeared, although she was now grown up and the kids no longer teased her, she was crushed. Ivan knew all too well how that felt.
He too had been picked on in his youth. He was the only one in Kalay with Psynergy, not like Imil where there were always at least four Adepts. No one understood, not even he did. He couldn't understand why he was different, but he was always excluded and exploited. The kids always bullied him, and his father, the great merchant Hammet, exploited his mind-reading so he could always get the best possible deals for wares. So, since Ivan understood so well, he held Mia tighter to him, until her sadness was spent.
"Thanks Ivan." She muttered.
Ivan beamed to her, wiping away the last remnant of tears with his handkerchief, "Anytime."
Garet yawned as he woke up, forcing himself out of his bed so he did not fall asleep again. They would be docking soon enough and Isaac wouldn't tolerate delay. Garet hated the night shift, as it always did this to him. Worst of all the only things he could do were guide the ship, freeze, use his Psynergy to guide him and warm him, and think. Recently the latter was occupied with just one thought: Mia. Isaac had a habit of doing that, going after whatever girl he took a fancy to. He understood the case with Jenna, quite frankly he was better for her, but Mia was a different story. Garet had really liked her from the moment he had seen her in that small house in Imil healing that elderly man. She looked like an angel and Garet had dared to use the words 'love at first sight' on more than one occasion.
He still couldn't quite understand why exactly Isaac had gone for Mia. Garet always thought that once they had reunited with Jenna that he would get with her. That seemed the most likely story, and it was surely what everyone expected. Isaac knew how Garet felt about Mia no less, did he not care? Maybe he knew that Garet would just step back and allow him to take Mia. That's the kind of friend that Garet was, he would sacrifice his own wants so someone else could be happy.
Still, he couldn't help but fume over that. Isaac hadn't even talked to anyone about it. One moment everything was normal and the next Isaac and Mia were together and Garet and Ivan were left wondering what the hell happened. Isaac had told him later of course, but that didn't make it better. He knew it was pointless to regret anything, he had asked Mia out several times before and she declined, Isaac and Mia were together now so that was that.
His heart didn't feel any better though. Underneath his tough, childish, exterior laid a very soft heart. Maybe it was Isaac who had done it too him, maybe it his family, maybe it was the quest. Regardless, he was easily hurt emotionally. Of course, he was excellently skilled in hiding such pain, but that didn't mean it wasn't there. In fact, that made it all the more painful, but he was strong, and he stayed strong for all of his friends.
After ascending the stairs to the common room, Garet passed Mia and Ivan beginning preparations for a small meal for the team. They hadn't eaten much today, Mia had given Isaac some breakfast, though not much, Ivan wasn't one to eat much, Garet had fallen asleep, and Mia had only had a slice or two of toast. Moving out onto the deck, he let the crisp air of the sea wake him up. The sun shone down on top of him peacefully, reassuring his association with Mars with the heat.
"Yo, Isaac!" Garet called out as he headed toward the Venus user, "They're getting ready to make some food. How's about taking a break and helping out, huh?"
"No." Isaac stated without shifting his gaze from the approaching land of Contigo, "We're nearly there, no time to rest."
"And when we get there and you're too tired from not resting?" Garet questioned, "C'mon man, it'll only be about five minutes, ten max, we can rest for a bit, eat, and head back out when we're done. We don't have much food as it is, so we may as well finish off what we have and get some more after we dock. Let me drop the anchor."
Isaac sighed and, with a nod, used his Psynergy to turn the wooden crank of the ship to drop the anchor. He turned with a weary smile and walked past his friend. Garet eyed his friend curiously as he passed. He knew Isaac well enough to know when something was bothering him, and right now something was most definitely bothering the young man. He would delve into it later, right now he was hungry and chances were Mia would comfort him like she always does.
And as Garet had said, within ten minutes the small amount of food they had was gone and they were sailing again. And it was not long before they docked near another Lemurian Ship.
Thanks for reading guys. I know it sucks... but give it some time, hopefully it will improve. An author's work is always helped by criticism so please drop a review if you can find the time. Also, if you could be so kind, I suck at coming up with a name for chapters so any help would be greatly appreciated. I'll try and have the next chapter up as soon as possible. So, until then, entertain yourself however you do. Hope I can live up to standards other authors have set and I can captivate you.
Until next time,