Wednesday, 15 October 2008
04:34:56 PM (GMT)
And so the training began. Nobody expected to be able to beat Shikuro, but
they didn't expect to fight him. Eichiro told them that it was just for safety's sake
while they're on their trip to The Moon Isles. The trip was sure to be full of perils
Mana didn't have much free time, because Fishi and Eichiro was pushing her to her
limits. Magic in the morning, swordplay in the afternoon, and the royal language in
the evening. The only free time Mana got was used sleeping.
When she went to and from classes, she'd check apon the others. Sera had been taking
archery. Every time she fired at one of the straw dummies, she'd always hit lethal
spots. Sera would say to herself it was a game, or a contest, to give herself the
courage she'd need to shoot at real people. She would also try curving the arrow's
path with magic. She'd put two targets up, one behind the other, and use magic to
swerve the arrow around the first dummy and hit the second one with the same deadly
Mana would also look into the dojo to check on Shiki. She would be covered with
bruises as she trained with her instructor, a husky elf named Novae. He'd taunt her
to get her to do better, and always critisize her,but she seemed detirmined to bring
him to his knees. Mana was still suprised that she chose hand-to-hand
fighting,without weapons. Mana soon realised that this could pose problems in the
future. She would see Kiri go deep into the forest and throw daggers and short knives
at logs with targets on them, with as deadly accuracy as Sera. Ato would go off with
Etsuya and train with a two-handed broadsword, as Etsuya was also a master of that
too, to Mana's suprise. Ato would also pry information from him, feeding on it like a
ravenous boar. He'dask questions like how to use magic effectivly, what sword
techniques to use at what time, how to survive in the wilderness, the questions came
without end, and Etsuya seemed a bit overwhelmed. The rest of the group, Like Kiyomi,
Takuya, and Hanako, she had little knowlage on what they were doing. She learned that
Kiyomi was practicing magic that intensified sound, but what would she use that for?
Perhaps she had some bizzare plan up her sleeve. Takuya would head in the direction
of the elves sprinting track, where they help some of what Mana called, the elvish
olympics. And the she-elf, Tamiu, would always watch him. As far as Mana knew, Hanako
would to the herbalist and alchamist. Mana assumed that she would be learning
healing. It would come in useful too. Mana never did like that kind of science, so
she left it to Hanako. As for her, she was being pushed hard too. Fishi spent the
next while teaching her spells that would come in useful, like making a light for
dark places, like Eichiro had done in the abandoned temple. Mana still had a habit of
pushing herself too hard, and she'd often faint, only to wake up to Fishi scolding
her that she'd kill herself if she wasn't careful. When she would do well, he'd give
her advice for the future, and if she did badly, he'd tell her to try again. He
wasn't nessicarily nice, but he wasn't strict either. He was an even mix of both. Her
fighting skill with a one-handed sword had also improved with Eichiro's instruction.
They would use roughly carved wooden swords for their spars. The blades couldn't cut
flesh, but it's blows was still enough to leav large bruises on Mana's body. They
would spar for hours, testing Mana's indurence. Eichiro would give her lots of tips
in mid-spar and afterwords. They would let their bruises heal as Eichiro taught her
his royal language when the sun set. They would light a small fire as he taught her,
little by little. The hardest part for her to learn was the complex grammer of the
language. At first, she said sentences so poorly, they sounded like a jumple of
words. There was also a lot of suffixes that she had to learn for different classes
of people. She had trouble remember calling Eichiro by the proper suffix,
Eichiro-maji. It stood for a prince or a princess or someone else of the same class.
By the time she got back to Etsuya's hut each night, she would collapse on her bed,
not bothering to eat. Her stomach would gurgle loudly, but she didn't have the energy
to eat exept in the morning, where she'd eat as much as possible. The only thing on
her mind after each day was sleep.
On the 8th day of training, Mana had gotten heavy bags under her eyes, and her
stomach would growl like a starving beast. When she got her sparring sword for her
class with Eichiro, he seemed to notice immidiatly.
"Mana, what happened to you?"
"Lack of food, loss of sleep..."
"Well, we can take a break if you want..."
"No,I'm not going to get any better at this lying around."
Before Eichiro could respond, they heard a familiar sound in the distance.
Mana barely had enough strength to turn around and see Taheiji flying up to them.
Taheiji was actually approching at an almost alarming pace.
Taheiji landed on the ground, not bothering to soften it. The ground shook from the
"Master, Chosenplayer, Queen Arisa has requested audience with you two at her castle.
Mana seen saw that Fishi was already with Taheiji. Eichiro and Mana dropped their
sparring swords and climbed onto Taheiji's back. Mana actually had trouble getting
on. She figured she might have to use magic to get up.
"Rïsa mah ahmé Taheiji-kani Bróchk!"
Mana soon rose up onto Taheiji's back,behind Eichiro, who was alreay up.
"You're getting good at both magic and my language. I'm impressed."
Mana simply nodded as Taheiji took a few starting hops, then took off into the sky.
When they reached the camouflaged castle again, they immidiatly hopped off and
hurried to reach the throne room. Mana had trouble finding the strength to keep up
with the others. Her limbs felt heavy, and breathing seemed to hurt, but after what
seemed like hours, they reached Arisa's throne room. The young queen sat with her
elf-dragon wrapped around her, alert and ready. She didn't sit apon a throne, like
somebody would expect. Arisa quickly noticed the trio.
"I'm glad you came so quickly. I realise that if you and your friends stay here any
longer, we'll be too late to intercept Shikuro and his new accomplice! We must act.
Chosenplayer, Prince Eichiro, and your friends must depart for The Moon Isles.
The shock of the annoucement caught everyone off-guard. Fishi finally managed to
"But your majesty, with al due respect, aren't you rushing it a bit? Mana and her
friends still need a lot of training!"
Arisa's lips slipped into a smile.
"I've been watching them. They seem capable of travelling there in one piece.
Besides, isn't Eichiro skilled in a lot of skills? He could train them."
"What??" Eichiro shouted.
"All seven of them?? Arisa, I don't think I'm up to training all seven of them."
"Well, wheather you feel capable of it or not, they still have to go. I will give
them all light armour for the trip. Fishi shall also accompany you."
Mana and Eichiro looked at Fishi, expecting objection. Instead, he merely smiled.
"I expected as much. I've been wanting to explore this world we live in for quite
some time. Very well, I'll go as well."
Not like he has a choice. Mana observed, quickly smiling. Arisa's Elf-dragon
snorted, green smoke coming from it's nostrils. It almost seemed like it
"Very well. Tell your friends to pack what the have and bring what ever supplies they
need. I'll supply it at once. Now, get going!"
With the three dismissed, they ran back to Taheiji and hopped on. Mana was relieved
she didn't have to use magic to get on again. Taheiji soon took off, in the direction
"Why all this fuss about me? Why do I have to be the hero here? Why do I have to beat
Shikuro. I've never been needed or wanted before. Why me?"
"Mana, that's all in the past. Things have changed. You are the Chosenplayer,
destined from the day you were born to follow this path. You wouldn't have been able
to avoid it, even if you wanted to. And as for Shikuro, many people have tryed to
stop him, but none have returned. They were either killed, or subjected to Shikuro's
"I'm not sure if I can either..."
Eichiro placed his hand on her folded ones.
"Mana, you're not alone in this journey. Me and your friends will be right by your
side. You'll be fine."
Mana managed to smile before Fishi,who was in the front, interupted them.
"Really, Your highness, They way you're courting her, I'm suprised you haven't
forgotten about Muskinatu."
Eichiro flintched at the name.
"I wasn't coarting her. I was giving her reassurence, for she felt unsure about this
whole ploy. I don't blame her either. This is all still pretty new to her."
He took his hand off of hers, and remained facing forwards for the rest of the trip.
The news of their departing spread like wildfire, not just with the group, but with
all of Giaga. But the elves were respectful, they didn't swarm the group. They mearly
wished them good luck if they saw one of the group members.
Mana packed what she had, her extra pair of clothes, her flute... Her loss of sleep
really slowed her down. She didn't know if she would last the trip to The Moon Isles.
When she packed all the food and water she could, she hurried to the west outskirts
of Giaga, where they would depart.
When she arrived, she was a bit suprised to see seven horses were there along with
the rest of the group. Taheiji was there as well, as Eichiro's steed.
She soon managed to find Sera and Shiki in the group. Sera's face went to shock at
"Whoa, what happened to you? It looks like you were run over by a hoard of pigs!"
Mana simply growled at the remark, offended.
"You're late." Shiki said to Mana. She ignored it.
Mana soon noticed that Arisa was there as well, with enough armour for an army. She
quickly announced that each set of armour was made for one special person, and that
she labled them to show which one belongs to who. Everyone in the group soon found
theirs and slipped it on. Mana had a bit of trouble getting her chestplate on, but
Sera soon came to help.
It almost seems like a field trip. Mana thought.
"You have all been assigned to horses that fit your needs. I will show you who get's
The group looked around at each other.
"I can understand most of you have never been on a horse. It's really quite simple.
Eichiro will show you how once you get on."
A bit of the tension eased. Mana watched as they all got their horses. Sera got a
brown mare with a strong build, named Mari. Shiki got a shorter grey steed named
Kenshin. Ato got a black steed with large build named Kark. Kiyomi got a grey
speckled mare which was a bit more timid named Inora. Mana was last. She got a white
mare who seemed noble and brave named Aya. She stroked the horse a few times before
she started to get on.
Mana and Arisa turned around to see Eichiro walking towards them.
"What is it, your highness?"
"Please, I can tell Mana is very exausten from training, and she can't rest on her
horse. Would it be ok for the meanwhile, if Mana rode on Taheiji and got some rest
while I ride Aya?"
Arisa paused for a moment.
"As you wish, your highness."
Eichiro grabbed her hand and gently pulled her to Taheiji.
"Thanks for letting me ride him, but will I fall off?"
Taheiji uttered a low growl from the back of his throat, sounding like thunder.
"I will not allow you to fall, Chosenplayer. You have my word."
"Thank you, Taheiji-kani." She smiled and hopped onto Taheiji's back and got herself
comfortable. Eichiro got onto Aya, and with a few last words from Arisa and a lesson
on riding a horse from Eichiro, they were off.
Off to The Moon Isles.
A/N: Wow, that took a long time. About a month. Sorry! But, it's here, at last!
Last edited: 15 October 2008