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10.3.2017 - A mysterious light filled the Sea of Skies. Those who wielded great power and abilities found themselves back at square one, as if reset.


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Josh Dragovalor
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Post Count : 13
MAG : 4
Eight months ago...

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They were gone...

They were all gone...

His world, everyone in it... The Order that had become his family, the people he had met over the years. Gone.

All he could see around him was darkness. All he could feel was... Nothing. He fell but he did not feel air rushing against him as though he were merely falling from the sky. No... It was as though he were falling in absolute nothingness. It was a familiar feeling, that...

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"Dad!"

"No, go! Go now!"

"Dad, why aren't you coming?"

"I'll be right behind you, just go!"

"O-Okay!"

---------

"Dad...?"

"Dad... Please wake up...

DAD! WAKE UP DAD! PLEASE WAKE UP!"

-------------

He emitted a low growl, there was the feeling... That emptiness...

He hated it.

And for a moment, he almost gave into that hate. He almost let it consume him. He could feel... Something grow around him in that moment. A feeling that stunk of a tempting power... And yet it made him sick to even be near it. And yet, at the same time, that sick temptation was... Addicting. It was almost irresistable.

But he knew... He knew that there was always a light in the darkness. There had always been, before...

-------------

"You're absolutely filthy, where are your parents?"

"My... My mom died when I was little, sir. I... I lost my dad... A-a-a few days ago, sir... A monster got him, he told me to run and... And... I-I don't have anywhere to go, I've alone and I don't know what to-"

"It's okay, it's okay... Hey kid, how old are you?"

"Ten..."

"Ten? You serious? Listen, let me talk to my friend for a sec..."

-------------

"You're sure?"

"Yeah! The kid was able to survive for what is clearly a substantial amount of time. Yeah, sure, he's clearly starving, his clothes are filthy, and he hasn't fed himself well. But the kid's only ten and he's managed to at least stay alive. He hasn't starved to death, hasn't caught the mange, and no monster has eaten him yet! He must be at least decently resourceful, you got me? He might have what it takes to be a Rider!"

"But at his age?"

"I mean, it's that or the kid dies in the wilderness. Or we take him to that damn orphanage, and after the shit I have seen there, no way am I letting that old hag get her hands on another kid to lash. The kid has a better chance surviving the trials then he does there."

"You understand the trials could kill him, correct?"

"Isn't it better he gets a chance to survive, then to be guaranteed to die?"

"... Fine. But if he dies, it's on your head, Pygan."

"Oh don't give me that, Segat. I'll train the boy myself, if you're so worried."

"You? Train someone? What would you train him to do, be a drunk?"

"Blast you, I'll train him to be the best damned Rider in this world! Alcaea won't ever see a Rider as fine as Rider...

Hey! Kid! What's your name?"

"... J-Josh sir."

"Rider Josh! That's the name of a legend in the making, I tell ya!"

"This... Is not going to go well."

"Ah, shut your pie-hole! The kid is gonna be great!"

------------

"I send you to fetch supplies, and you bring me back a boy?"

"Ah, shut your pigeon-head, Grandmaster! This kid, 'ees got the gift, see? He survived on his own for several days, 'an he's only ten!"

"And yet you still wish to subject him to the Trials?"

"Come on, I'll train him before he takes 'em!"

"And you won't get bored like you did taking care of the fish, and leave him to die!"

"I forgot one time, blimey!"

"That one time killed three goldfish."

"I know, I know! Geez, you gonna remind me everytime? It was so long ago, can't ya just forget about that?"

"It was last week, Pygan."

"Oh details, details!"

"I don't think you're up for this task, Pygan."

"Oh come on! He's gonna die if we send him to the orphanage!"

"And he has a better chance there then he does under your tutelage."

"Is that a fact?"

"Yes."

"... Know what? Blast you. Blast you, and blast you all! I'll show you! I'm going to train this kid to where he'll ace the trials! Just you watch! He'll become the youngest Rider in history, and one day, he'll outdo all of you! Just you wait! Just you watch! If my name isn't Pygan, I will turn this kid into a Rider!"

----------------

"Well, kid... It's been two years, we been together. Your Trial is today. Pass, and you become one of us... A Rider. You think you're up for it? Cuz uh... If you're not, we can postpone, ya know... Wait till 'yer a bit older, ya know?"

"I can do it, Uncle Pygan!"

"Aw, you... You're a good kid. I just... I just worry, you know? Sure, you've got the gift and all that, I won't deny that... But the Trials ain't easy, ya know? This is a trial for grown-ups. This is the first time we've trialed a kid. You sure?"

"I'm sure, Uncle Pygan!"

"Ah, a boy after my own heart... Alright, one more round of sparring then? A quick round, then dinner. Can't have ya going on the Trials on an empty stomach, boy!"

"Yes, sir!"

---------------

A light, even in the darkness...

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"Do you wish to forfeit? Understand if you do, you will fail the Trials."

"No!"

"You need to understand that your life is at risk here-"

"No! I'm not giving up!"

"... Very well."

-----------

"Well... I'll be damned. You have passed the Trials, and have earned your place amongst our ranks. Welcome to the Riders, young Josh Dragovalor. Now, to choose an egg... And meet your partner. You two will be bonded for the rest of your lives... Remember that. And cherish each other well."

"I will, Grandmaster."

-----------

The question now was... What did he do? He had nothing... He had spent 11 years with the Riders, counting his two years of training... He had met hundreds of people. Slain hundreds of monsters in defense of this world... And now, nothing. These monsters had come... None of their weapons worked. His own sword had broken in the scuffle. Not even the attacks of his partner, Jongori, damaged these creatures. There was nothing he had been able to do, but watch as his world disappeared into the void... Along with everyone in it.

He floated in nothingness... Until finally he crashed at the bottom of a staircase. The staircase, it felt like it went on forever, as he climbed... But he kept climbing. Finally, he found himself on a flat surface, that spread around a decent amount of ground. The broken steel blade still in his hand, he would look around...

... Before one of the black creatures would strike.

He would get the blade up, but in it's state, it was useless. It would be knocked out of his hands, and he watched as it fell into the void below. The creatures advanced on him once again, and he stared, those brimming brown eyes widening, pupils shrinking. He felt his breath hitch as he knew what was to come. He had seen it... These things struck down everyone around him, he watched as they were swamped, overwhelmed... And when they finally stopped, there was nothing left... Except for more of these creatures. They had killed the people he cared about, they had killed the Grandmaster, killed the other Riders... Killed his mentor, Pygan.

They had taken his world from him... And now, they were to take his life as well.

He had heard of other worlds, once in a fairy tale... If there was still a realm here, where he was... Did that mean other worlds existed, truly?

Then that meant these things would hurt people there too...

Oh, how he wished he could help... He had watched everyone around him die, his entire world be destroyed... His loved ones vanished around him and turned into more of these creatures. And many others would have to suffer, too... If only he could help... If only he could make sure they didn't have to suffer like he did...

No... He had to.

Somehow, he had to.

He had to get out of here. He had to find his way to another world, he had to find a way to beat these things! He didn't want anyone else to have to endure this again! Never again!

He had to survive here!

The Heartless would leap at him...

"NOT YET!"

He would quickly roll, dodging their pursuit as he would take off full speed. But all he found was nothing but the void below at the end of the flat, solid ground. He would turn to see the Heartless approaching.

"I'm not giving up yet! You hear me? You won't stop me!" He would cry out toward the creatures, as he prepared to fight, even if it meant he had very little chance of survival.

His determination, his will to help others, his wish to defend... And his unwillingness to give in. Maybe that was why...?

As he would charge the creatures, a weapon would appear in his hands. It was instinct, sheer instinct that he let out a cry as he struck. The weapon would slice through one of the creatures, and they would fade away...

It was only after that he realized what had happened. He would look down at the weapon, it was shaped sort of like a mix of a sword and a key... Interesting.

A mischievous grin crossed his lips as he would eye the creatures.

"You won't have me yet..."

And with that, he would fly at his foes with a renewed vigor.

Or at least, that was the last thing he remembered.

He opened his eyes to find himself in a town he had never seen before. He was bewildered as he looked around, trying to find where the monsters he had been fighting had gone...

He looked down at his hand... And the key-like weapon was still there.

He had to ponder...

"That was no dream... But then what was that...?"

He supposed he'd just have to find out.

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