In the peaceful countryside surrounding the City of the Wind, a young foundling boy lay on his woven cot. He slept soundly, dreams of sword fighting filling his head. A small instrument buzzed softly as the sun rose. The boy awakened, grabbed his sword and sword belt off of a hook on the wall, and went outside to watch the sunrise. He took a deep breath as he prepared for another day learning the art of becoming a swordsman.

The young boy sat on a stone as the sky became a light blue color. He thought back on all of his previous lessons, and the memory of his master saying that he was almost ready for the ultimate mission. But what was the ultimate mission? What would he need to do? What would be required of him? Just then, his master came outside accompanied by the soft creak of the sliding door.

The master was a small round creature with dark blue skin. A large mask covered his entire face, and his glowing yellow eyes pierced the dark of a V-shaped hole in the mask. He wore gray shoulder pads fringed with gold. A capital M with a sword through the middle marked the pad on his left arm. A cape the color of a shining sapphire covered the bottom half of his body. He was a century's old pariah, banished for his strange personality. The boy himself was the same type of puffball, though his skin was pink, and he was half his master's size.

The master quietly walked over to the stone and said, in a strange unknown language, "Good morning, young one." The boy greeted him in turn, then waited for his assignment. It came. "Today, we shall fight with our swords, then practice using the element of surprise." They walked over to a small field, then turned and faced each other. They bowed, then drew out their swords. The boy's glowed an iridescent silver as it left its sheath. The master's generated from a spark of lightning, then appeared as a golden, spiked sword with a blood-red ruby set into the pommel.

With a sudden twitch of his purple feet, the master sprang forward. The boy did the same with his bright red feet. They met in midair, and rebounded backwards with a clashing of metal. The master ran forward before the boy could completely recover and, with a fierce depredation and a flash of golden steel, he incised the boy with a series of small cuts. The boy yelped and quickly jumped forward in a counter attack. With vehement alacrity, the two met once more in a flurry of color and sound. With a strong slash, the golden sword flew through the air and landed twenty feet away, perpendicular to the ground. "Very good," spoke the blue puffball. "Now let us garner our swords and move on."

The master retrieved his sword, then accompanied his pupil to a small wooden stand. They inserted the points of their swords into grooves on the bottom, then used leather fetters to hold them in place. They hung their sword belts on hooks carved into the back of the stand. The boy followed his master to a grassy hillside and gazed out at the surrounding landscape.

"Now my young one, let us skip the remaining exercises, as I believe that you are ready for the ultimate mission." The boy jolted with surprise at the unexpected turn of events. "Wh-what do you mean, master?" "It is time for you to go out into the world and discover who you really are on the inside. I will miss you dearly young one, but it is time." The boy smiled as a calm acceptance replaced disbelief. He nodded quietly and monitored the land with his master.

The rest of the day was spent packing his things and spending intimate time with the man he had come to respect and love. He settled down into a fitful sleep as he thought about what was to come. He awoke in a daze, then grabbed his things and went outside. He was surprised to see his master sitting on the stone. It appeared that he had been out there all night.

"Come young one. Go fulfill your destiny and discover yourself." And, with a tender hug, the young one departed and walked off into the sunrise. A single tear appeared, then slid down the master's mask as he said, "Goodbye… son."