Episode 26: Order of Mercury

Lukas and Courtney decided to take a break from their shopping to eat at a café. There were tables and chairs set outside the building. Each table had a huge umbrella shading the guests from the sun's rays. The two sat at one of the tables across from each other.

At Courtney's feet rested about three or four bags filled with random things, all from different stores. "Thank you so much Lukas for helping me pick out my parents' present." She said pleasantly.

"You're welcome. It was no trouble." Lukas replied. "How's your cake?"

Courtney had a cup of tea and a small petite cake she took a bite of. "It's just delicious! Why didn't you order anything?"

All Lukas had out in front of him was a tall glass of water and the sterling silver spoon he was fiddling with. "I'm not really hungry, and I don't like tea or coffee."

"Aw, you're no fun!" She cut a small piece of the cake and picked it up with her fork. "Here, try it!"

Lukas was hesitant at first as Courtney placed the fork right in front of his face, but went along. "Haha, alright." He opened his mouth and waited for Courtney to place the cake in his mouth.

The girl's cheeks turned red as she slowly moved the fork to Lukas's mouth and he gently chomped down on it. A bit of the cake fell from his mouth and onto the table. "Oh, sorry!"

Lukas wiped the crumbs the fell to his lap and chuckled, "It's really good."

"Really? That's good! We can share if you'd like!"

"Hmm… Ah, what the heck." He took out the fork that was wedged between his other silverware inside his rolled up napkin and the two began sharing the small cake.

"So what should we do next?" Courtney asked enthusiastically.

"Well what else do you need to buy?"

"Er, well nothing really… But we have the rest of the day so why don't we have some fun?"

"Yeah I guess that'd be fine." Lukas said, taking a sip of water from his glass. "In that case, what would you like to do?"

Courtney lightly bit down on her fork, trying to think of something. "Hmm… I don't know! It's the guy's job to think of stuff to do!"

"Whatever that means…" He sighed, leaning back in his chair. "Wanna catch a movie down at the theatre? Ben, Vanessa, Zayn and I used to always go there."

Courtney's eyes lit up with delight. "That'd be perfect!"

"Alright, we can decide what movie we want to see when we get there."

A waitress suddenly walked up to the two, seeing the empty plate on the table. "Are you two finished?"

"Yes ma'am. Thank you." Courtney politely said. She had a small purse on her lap that she started digging through.

"One chocolate truffle cake and tea miss?" The waitress asked, handing the bill to her. She then turned to Lukas who didn't order anything. "Can I refill that water for you, sir?"

"Uh, no thanks. I'm good." He said scratching his head with a crooked smile on his face. He could sense the coldness off her voice.

Courtney noticed it too and giggled quietly to herself.

"Here, give me that." Lukas snatched the bill away from Courtney. He then pulled his wallet out from his back pocket.

"W-what are you doing?"

"Isn't it obvious? I'll pay for it."

"Wait, y-you don't have to pay! You didn't even order anything."

Lukas handed the money along with the receipt back to the waitress. "I don't need the change."

"Oh, um thank you very much sir! If there's anything else I can do please let me know!" She delightfully accepted the generous amount and took off with the empty plate.

"Hey now, you didn't have to pay for me!" Courtney complained half-heartedly. "And you really didn't have to give her such a big tip; she was sorta rude to you!"

"Can't blame her. Servers have a hard time maintaining a constant pay, so when someone wastes their time by not getting anything it only makes sense they'd be upset." Lukas explained as he finished his glass of water. "Besides, I pretty much ate half your cake so it's no big deal."

"Well, okay." She looked down at her small blue purse, hiding her blushing cheeks. She kept smiling and then forcing it away, which made her look a bit awkward.

Lukas noticed it pretty easily. "Um, you ready to go?"

"Yeah!" She abruptly shouted. "Oh, um, I mean… yes." Courtney stood up and picked up her bags. Lukas followed suit and the two began to walk toward the front gates.

"Hey…"

Lukas turned to her as the turned onto the sidewalk. "Hmm?"

"I… I've been having a really," she muttered, staring at the ground, "a really nice time with you so far."

Lukas smiled at her. "Same here." He glanced down at the bags she was carrying in both hands, along with the purse over her shoulder. "Here," he reached for her hands and took the bags from her, "I'll carry these for you."

"Oh, okay." Courtney timidly said smiling. The two continued walking down the crowded streets when Courtney suddenly stopped.

"What's wrong?" Lukas asked, turning around.

"I… I wanna give you something Lukas." The girl timidly stammered out, looking away from him.

Lukas walked back up to Courtney, noticing her flushed fash. "You okay?"

Courtney reached into one of her purse and began digging for something. "I bought this to thank you for coming to Regala with me." She pulled out a petite black box and showed it to him.

"This had better not be a wedding ring…" He mused smirking.

"Hah! You wish." Courtney smiled back as she pried open the small box. There was a thin, golden chain curled up inside. "For some reason it reminds me of how beautiful your Solblade is. Even though you don't like using it, I think you should always know that your Solblade is something you should cherish."

Lukas's eyes widened in surprise as the girl pulled out the necklace from the box and placed it in his hands. "This looks pretty expensive… I can't accept this Courtney."

"Don't worry, it wasn't that expensive!" Courtney teased. "It would make me happy if you took it without making a fuss."

The boy stared at the girl's determined face for a moment. "Thank you…" He then wrapped his arms around Courtney, embracing her tightly.

"W-what, hey, it was no big deal!" She squealed out embarrassedly as Lukas let go of her.

"C'mon, let's head to the theatre before it gets dark."

She nodded joyfully, and the two took off down the road once more.


The halls of the castle were long and glamorous, as one would imagine. Statues and busts resting on small cement columns were on either side of the hallway. There were also other expensive looking things, such as metal cladded body armor belonging to knights propped up as if they were alive. The diamond chandeliers hanging above from the tall ceiling glistened in the light that illuminated the entire corridor.

Roy casually strutted down the long hall. At the end of the hallway was a set of tall doors; two guards dutifully stood right outside. Hanging around the doors, Roy was surprised to see a few other people: the rest of the Generals of Gun-Force were waiting for him. He quickly jogged to their side.

"Hey, I'm surprised you guys came to see me off!" He kindly said as he approached the group.

"After the years we've spent together, you think we'd let you go without saying anything?" Laylin asked.

"Well thanks mate."

Toran took the man's hand and firmly shook it. "We've known you've wanted to step down for a while now… But you never told us your reason for wanting to until just the other day."

"I'm sorry guys. I know it's a selfish request…" Roy replied quietly.

"Nevertheless, it is a noble one." Aaron calmly said.

"Aaron is right." Laylin assured him. "Your new duties will coincide with your duties as General of Gun-Force 2."

"You won't be getting paid as much though." Meredith quickly added with a smirk.

"Hah! How very true." He exclaimed. The man then slowly turned his attention to the young girl leaning against the wall; the beautiful blonde kept her brooding gaze away the entire time, not saying anything. Roy stepped in front of her, waiting for her to react.

She slowly glanced up to him. "W-what?"

Roy smiled at her. "Out of all the Generals, I do believe I will miss you the most Ashley."

"Is that so?" She asked uncaringly, looking away again.

"Three years ago, you were appointed the General of Gun-Force 3; you were fifteen at the time, the youngest General in Satala's history. In a few days, you'll be turning eighteen and you'll be an adult." Roy gently placed his hands on Ashley's shoulders. "I know things have been hard on you ever since your Commander left around the same time you were appointed General. You've been in charge of your entire Gun-Force on your own, so it's only natural you hate me for leaving like he did."

Ashley kept quiet for a moment. She then muttered, "At least you let us know far in advance… He just left… without… without even saying good-bye."

"You are a child among adults."

"Huh?" She quickly looked up.

"Don't disappoint me; you're gonna do great things." Roy teased with a playful smile as he patted her shoulder.

"I-I know that, jackass." The girl exclaimed, pushing his arms away.

"At any rate, suitable replacements have been selected for my position and they are now being trained. My position will be filled within the next few years. It's only a matter of time before they find someone worthy of being Commander of Gun-Force 3 as well; someone worthy of being your Commander… Keep your head up til then." The General then stepped back to face everyone. He quickly straightened himself and saluted each of his comrades. "It's been fun mates."

The five remaining Generals saluted him back. They all watched as the guards opened the tall doors that led into a majestic room. Roy walked inside the room, turned around, and smiled at the others as the doors closed tightly.

The room was well spaced and decorative, just as every other room in the castle was. There wasn't much furniture in the room, as it appeared to be used to recognize certain people; portraits hung on the walls all over and there were different objects displayed in glass casings. Beautiful curtains complimented the tall windows that showed the world down below; apparently, they were high up in the castle.

At the far end of the room, a man in a black suit stood staring out one of the windows. His hands were behind his back, simply observing the outside world.

"Ah, Your Majesty!" Roy exclaimed as he proceeded into the room. "It's been far too long! How have you been?"

The slender man at the window slowly turned around. He had a calming, smooth expression balanced by his thin beard. "General Roy Halstead…" He said with a strong voice. "You've been looking forward to this day for two years now. I thank you for your patience."

"Please Your Majesty," Roy said as he knelt to his knees in front of the man, "I'm not necessarily glad to be leaving; my reason for…"

"No need to explain to me." The King casually said, placing his hand up. "I already know."

Roy glanced up to see someone walking from deeper within the room, where different artworks were kept. The man strutted with a rather composed demeanor, retaining a serious expression on his face. His long blonde hair flowed down to his back in an elegant manner. The black and gold uniform he wore testified to his authority.

"My Commander!" Roy exclaimed with a smile as he stood to his feet. "I'm glad you came to see me off Commander Adhelm."

"You think too little of me Roy…" The man sighed with his eyes closed, as he took his side next to the King.

"Not true at all! It's just that everyone's been giving me a lotta shit for leaving…"

"Roy, please watch the way you speak in the presence of His Majesty." The Commander calmly ordered.

"Haha, it's quite alright Gilliam." The King grinned, placing a hand on Gilliam's shoulder.

"Roy!"

The three men glanced behind to see a small girl sprinting out from the back. She wore rather elegant clothing, which would have appeared to be casual were it not for the intricate designs and jewelry all over.

"Hey! Abigail!" Roy bent down to his knees and stretched his arms out. The small girl jumped for the General, hugging the man tightly.

"Daddy said you were leaving!" The girl exclaimed. "Does that mean we won't be able to play anymore?"

"Of course it doesn't! It means that I'll just have to visit you when I can to come play!"

"Yay!" Abigail hopped up and down in joy. "Oh and Sister wanted me to tell you good luck wherever you go!"

"Well tell her I said thank you very much Princess." Roy said with a smile. "Speaking of, where is she?"

"She's with her new Knight Lord to-be." Abigail answered. The girl then leaned closer to Roy and whispered in his ear, "I think her new Knight Lord is hot, but Sister doesn't seem interested!"

Roy playfully gasped, "No way!"

"Way! And he's her age too!"

"You're a little too young to be worrying about stuff like that." Roy chuckled as he rubbed the girl's head. "Now run along and play with your cousins. I'll see ya later."

"Okay!" The girl giddily exclaimed as she ran to another door, leaving the room.

"She's quite fond of you." The King said with a smile, watching Roy stand to his feet. "Should I be worried considering your charm with the ladies?"

Roy laughed, "I have no idea what you're talking about Your Majesty."

"At any rate, I think it's time we get this over with… Gilliam, what do you think of the boy's request?"

"Wanting to form your own private investigative team inside the Royal Satalian Intelligence seems to stem from a personal reason. Am I wrong, Roy?" Gilliam calmly asked him.

"Hmm, not really Commander. My personal reason is to see Silver Blood disbanded once and for all; I believe, given permission, I can help speed up the process." Roy explained.

"I'm sure there's a deeper reason, but I won't bother asking about it." The man sighed. "I see no harm in allowing him to do so, my King."

"But did not Duke Dalton Markham ask you to help him in Glendale?" The King asked. "I believe he assigned you to research where in Glendale the facility Nano is located."

Roy nodded, "Yes, and this new team I plan on creating will start off with that assignment."

"Very well…" The King solemnly stated. "General Roy Halstead… I, King Aldwyn Leodrake Satala, hereby strip you of your position as General of Gun-Force 2. You are granted permission to lead a team of your choosing to investigate Silver Blood's activities; select your members wisely."

Roy glanced to who was now his former Commander; though he kept a vacant expression, the man nodded, signaling his approval for Roy's actions.

The King continued, "Roy Halstead, from this day forth, until Silver Blood is disbanded, you are now Special Agent Unit Chief for RSI's newest division: the Order of Mercury."

The Ex-General dropped to his knees and tucked one arm across his stomach, bowing down to the prestigious man in front of him. He held back a grin that tried to take over his serious expression. "Thank you, Your Majesty!"


"Hey kid! Get up already! You're making the customers uncomfortable!"

Lukas quickly sat up from the table; he noticed a bit of drool had slid down his mouth. The boy wiped away the saliva and then rubbed his eyes. He glanced around the diner; others were eating their meals with friends and families. Some eyed the boy, noting his messy hair as well as the tired look he had. There was a homeless air about him that the others noticed.

"You've been sleeping here in the corner for the past four hours! I tried to be nice since you actually paid for your pathetic breakfast, but you need to leave now." The manager sternly told the boy.

"My apologies…" Lukas said in a low, rough tone. "I didn't mean to fall asleep here." The boy stood to his feet with his bag, reaching into his pockets. "This is for any trouble I may have caused you." He threw a few crumpled bills on the table and began walking out of the restaurant.

The sunlight outside was blinding. Lukas rubbed his eyes for a moment, trying to adjust to the brightness. The area around was packed with people; there were many markets and shopping centers around the location, but it wasn't too big. This place was more of a quiet town with very small shops scattered on the dirt roads.

Lukas rubbed his face as he observed the scenery around him; there was a shadow of facial hair on his face. He began walking down the side of the street. Many people were walking in the opposite direction; the boy accidently bumped into a large man.

"Hey, watch where you're going punk!" The man turned around shouting.

Lukas ignored the man and continued walking. He suddenly felt a hand grab his shoulder, stopping him.

"Didn't you hear me asshole?!"

The boy turned around to face the muscular man. "I heard you. Is there something you want from me?"

"A fucking smartass, huh? If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a smartass!" The man slammed a fist into the boy's jaw, sending Lukas straight to the ground.

Pedestrians walking nearby glanced back to see what was happening; when they saw Lukas, they shrugged and continued going about their business.

Lukas spat out a bit of blood as he rubbed his sore jaw. "Can I go now?"

"Not until me and the boys teach you a lesson!" The man gestured to his two friends behind him; they both walked up to Lukas and began kicking him.

The boy curled into a ball, trying to protect himself from their relentless kicking. He simply sat there taking the blows one after another.

After a couple minutes, the men grew bored. "Psh, that'll shut that smartass mouth of yours." The man then bent down to Lukas's side and pried his bag from him. He went through the bag, tossing out Lukas's clothes in search of something valuable. He pulled out a small wad of cash and threw the bag back down at Lukas. "You're lucky this is all I'm taking. Let's get outta here…"

Panting heavily, Lukas sat up and watched the men walk off. He then proceeded to pick up his clothes and shove them into his bag. People continued walking down the side of street, occasionally stepping on one of his clothes. After he managed to gather all his belongings, Lukas stood to his feet and walked over to the building in front of him; it appeared to be a larger market than the others.

The boy took a seat on the grass, his back against the small building's wall. He pulled out a bottle from inside his bag and opened the lid to take a sip. "Damn it…" He hoarsely whispered, realizing there was barely any water left. The boy let out a shaky sigh as he leaned his head back to stare at the sky.

"Are you okay, sir?"

Lukas slowly glanced to the girl who suddenly appeared in front of him. She looked rather young, in her early teens. "I'm fine." He replied in a raspy voice.

"You sound thirsty." The girl said. She carried a couple of grocery bags in her arms. Reaching into one, she pulled out a bottle of water. "Here."

The boy took the bottle from the small girl and began to chug it down his throat. He drank nearly the entire bottle in one shot. "Thanks…"

"I saw those thugs beating you up earlier. You're not from around here, are ya?"

"No, I'm from Valora."

"Valora… Frelia?! What are you doing all the way here in Glendale, and in Elgin of all places?"

"Glendale's district of Elgin borders Carthage…" Lukas answered. "That's where I'm heading."

"Did you walk all this way?"

"Yeah…"

"It'll be dark soon; do you have a place to stay?"

"I'll find a place…"

The small girl placed her bags down on the ground and crouched down beside Lukas. "You could come stay the night at my house. I'm sure my parents wouldn't mind. We have a lot of unused rooms."

"Do you always make it a habit of finding strange men to take home?" Lukas asked the girl.

"No you jerk! My family lives on a farm out in the country side. It's right before you enter Carthage. I just figured since you look like crap you could stay in a cozy bed tonight before crossing into Carthage."

Lukas stared back at the girl; he waited to see if she would leave, but she simply stared back at him. "You seem like a very happy girl; you must have great parents…" The boy stood to his feet, brushing off the dirt from his pants. "Okay… I'd love to stay the night; assuming it'd be okay with them."

"Good! I'm sure it will be!" The girl picked up her groceries and shoved them onto Lukas. "You're carrying them mister! Oh, what's your name?"

"Lukas Elserin."

"My name is Naomi Alstein!"

"It's nice to meet you, Naomi." Lukas kindly said.

"So why do you want to go to Carthage anyway?" Naomi asked as they proceeded down the busy walkway. "There's really not much going for that place ever since that war ended."

"Yeah I know…" Lukas quietly replied. "I have a couple of close friends up there. Since I have nothing better to do, I wanted to visit them."

"When was the last time you saw them?"

"Over nine years ago…"

"What?! But that was right after the Silver Blood War ended. Does that mean you grew up in Carthage?"

Lukas nodded. "Yes; I managed to get out, but my friends weren't so lucky."

"But how do you know they're still there after all this time?" Naomi asked.

"I don't…"

"Well I hope you get to see your friends again!" She exclaimed.

"So do I…"


The two finally escaped the busyness of the suburbs and were now in a completely rural area. Green pastures stretched down far toward the horizon. There was only one home in the entire field; it was a rather large one, however. A huge bed of flowers greeted the two as they approached the home. There was a straight line void of the flowers as a path directly to the front steps of the house.

Lukas caught sight of a woman sitting out on the porch; she was incredibly beautiful and looked surprisingly young for whom he assumed was the girl's mother. She was reading a book when she suddenly glanced up to see the two.

"Mom!" Naomi ran up the front steps and embraced her mother. "I brought the groceries!"

"I see that. It looks like you brought home a little boyfriend too." Her mom giggled, glancing up at Lukas.

"Oh please mom, he's too dirty and old to be my boyfriend. This is Lukas; he's traveling to Carthage from Frelia." She informed her mother.

"By foot?"

Naomi nodded. "He was getting beat up by some guys and they stole his money so I was wondering if it'd be okay for him to stay here for the night."

Lukas stepped onto the porch and placed the grocery bags down to his feet. "My name is Lukas Elserin. It's nice meeting you, ma'am."

"Call me Serenes. It's nice to meet you too." The woman replied smiling brightly. She then turned back to her daughter and said, "I'm fine with him staying in the guest room. Just make sure your father is okay with it."

"Yay! My dad is really cool! I'm sure he'll let you stay!" Naomi ran too Lukas's side, shaking his arm.

The front door suddenly swung opened and a man stepped out from within. He was a rather handsome young man; everything from his hair to the gray suit he wore was perfect. His expression was very soft, almost appearing sad, but it was more expressionless than anything.

"Oh, Dad!" Naomi ran to the man's side and embraced him. "I'm home!"

"What do we have here?" The man quietly said, observing Lukas.

"My name is Lukas Elserin. It's a pleasure to…"

"Stop suppressing your Rei-Ki Lukas. It's comes off as rather suspicious."

H-he could tell I was suppressing my Rei-Ki that quickly? Lukas thought, completely took a deep breath and relaxed himself. "I… I apologize. I didn't mean to come off as suspicious. I've been suppressing my Rei-Ki for so long it's just habit."

"That's better." The man said with a subtle smile. "You're very strong for your age Lukas; it's not surprising why you choose to hide your strength. My name is Seth Alstein. It's nice to meet you."

Lukas took the man's extended hand and shook it. "Uh… likewise…"

"You hungry? I'm just about done making dinner." Seth kindly said.

"I'd like that very much, sir."

"Please, call me Seth. I've been called 'sir' more than enough in a lifetime." The man gestured Lukas inside the home. "Why don't you go ahead and take a shower before we eat? You got an extra outfit in that bag?"

"Yeah."

"I'll get Serenes to wash those clothes you got on. Naomi, go ahead and show Mr. Elserin where the bathroom is. Oh, and give him an extra razor so he can shave."

"Sure thing. C'mon, this way Lukas!" The small girl grabbed Lukas by the hand and tugged him into the home.

Seth watched as his daughter led him upstairs. He then turned to Serenes, his wife, as she wrapped her arms around his.

"What's on your mind, dear?" She asked.

"Something's familiar about him…"

"He kinda reminds me of you when we were younger."

Seth smiled at the woman. "Please don't talk like that; turning thirty-five last month was more than enough to make me feel like an old man."

"You're silly." The woman kissed her husband on the cheek, and walked into the home. "Let's make our guest welcomed."

"I plan on it. He's doing dishes tonight."

Upstairs in the large home, the small girl Naomi dragged Lukas to a door at the end of the long hallway. Lukas noted the house was rather elegant and well kept. He watched the girl run inside, and moments later came out with a couple of bathroom supplies.

"Here you go." Naomi handed Lukas a dry towel. "Oh, and here's a razor; dinner is around eight, so take your time in there."

"Thanks a lot." Lukas watched the girl run down the hall before he entered the bathroom. He was a bit taken aback, considering this bathroom was about the size of his room at his home. There was even a hot tub next to the stand-up shower place. Everything was neat and decorative.

After the boy had stripped, he stepped into the roomy shower. Hot water was something he hadn't felt in days.

Once done with his shower, Lukas stepped in front of the wide mirror. He rubbed his face, realizing the stubble added to that homeless air he had. The boy grabbed the razor and a can of shaving cream.

Back downstairs in the dining room, Serenes was setting the table for five people, placing bowls of steaming food throughout the center of the table. Her daughter helped, distributing different silverware to each seat.

"Naomi dear, could you get your brother? Dinner is ready." Her mother kindly asked.

"Okay." The girl ran out the dining room to fetch her brother.

Just as she left the room, Lukas entered, wearing a change of clothes. His face appeared much brighter than it did before, and he had a cleaner look to him.

"Ah, Lukas. Come sit here." Serenes pulled out a chair on one side of the table. "Dinner is ready."

"Thank you very much, ma'am." Lukas said as he walked to her side.

"I'm not nearly as old as that bum on the couch so please call me by my first name!" The woman giggled.

"I heard that." Seth's scowling voice came from another room. He soon entered the large dining room from the kitchen and took a seat at one end of the table. "I'm barely a couple years older than you…" The man glanced over at Lukas and grinned. "You clean up pretty well Mr. Elserin. Naomi tells me you were taking a pretty good beating when she came across you. Need anything?"

"No, that's alright. It wasn't that big of a deal. Thank you though."

"I figured you were alright." Seth quietly said. "Tell me Lukas, what's your Rei-Ki type?"

"I'm a Type-S." Lukas replied, slightly confused.

"Based on the strength of your current Rei-Ki energy I wouldn't be surprised if you had a Solblade since you were a child; am I wrong?" He softly asked.

"I was able to manifest my Solblade when I was ten."

"Ten? Impressive; you can even suppress your body's natural Rei-Ki exertion. Can you sense others' Rei-Ki?"

Lukas shook his head, "No… No matter how much I try, I can't seem to improve my perception of Rei-Ki."

"It takes a lot of time. I wouldn't worry too much about it if I were you." Seth assured him in a calming manner.

Naomi suddenly popped back into the dining room and her little brother quickly followed, running to their seats. The boy stared at the stranger in his house for a moment before asking, "Who's that?"

"Tobi, this is Lukas." Serenes said taking her seat at the table. "He'll be staying the night in the guest room so be nice."

"Okay." The small boy inattentively replied; he reached for one of the bowls and began pouring his meal. Soon afterward the rest filled their plates as well and began eating the meal.

"Naomi," Seth said, "did you know Lukas has had a Solblade since he was ten."

"Oh wow, that's amazing!" The girl exclaimed. "I just manifested mine a couple weeks ago!"

"Really?" Lukas asked surprised. "How old are you?"

"I'm thirteen! Wanna see my Solblade?"

"Not at the dinner table, young lady." The girl's mother sternly intervened. "Why don't you tell us a little about yourself Lukas?"

"Well…" he quietly began, "I just graduated from South Frelia High School in Valora, Frelia about… three months ago. Right after graduation I decided to head to Carthage."

"Elgin, Glendale is a long way from Valora, but I don't think it takes three months to traverse that distance." Seth said.

"I've… been doing a lot of thinking along the way…"

"What about your parents or siblings?" Seth asked.

"I'm an only child." Lukas responded. "My mother actually encouraged me to go to Carthage."

Seth took a sip from his wine glass, and then placed it back near his plate. "So tell me, why do you want to go to Carthage?"

"I was born in Renvall. I wanted to visit a couple friends; or at least, see if they're still there."

"Renvall, eh? You grew up right in the epicenter of the Silver Blood War. These friends must be really special to make you want to go back to a place like Carthage."

"I guess… I really don't have anything better to do."

"Summer is over; colleges and military academies are back in session. You don't plan on going to either one?"

Lukas shook his head, "No. I don't think I'd really fit in Satala's military."

"Daddy used to be in the military!" Naomi exclaimed across the table. "That's why we're so rich!"

"I was actually in the Silver Blood War. I'm retired now." Seth quietly told Lukas. "You have any fighting experience Lukas?"

"I used to compete in Ikusa tournaments in school." Lukas replied.

"Oh really? Seth used to compete in them back when we were high schoolers too." Serenes said, placing a hand over her husband's arm.

"You must be skilled. Say, would you mind doing me a favor?"

"I wouldn't mind at all; anything to thank you for your hospitality."

The man placed his fork down on the plate and patted his lips with a napkin. "Like I said earlier, my daughter has recently manifested her Solblade. Since you were able to manifest your Solblade unusually early as well, I was hoping you could give her some insight on how to effectively control her Solblade, and maybe even perhaps spar with her a little bit."

"Daddy thinks I'm too weak to spar against him…" Naomi groaned.

"That's not true at all sweetie."

The request surprised Lukas a bit. "I would be more than happy to help her. But, out of curiosity, is there a reason you won't spar with her?"

Seth raised his glass of wine to his lips. "Let's just say… I'm not very good at holding back in a fight." He then proceeded to drink the rest of his alcohol.

"Oh… I see."

The family continued talking for a while as they ate their dinner. Naomi and her little brother Tobi shared all kinds of stories with Lukas until their mom made them get ready for bed. Lukas helped clean off the table and dishes before Serenes had her daughter show Lukas to his room.

The boy entered the room; it was large and well-kept, just as every other room in this house was. The bed was nearly twice as large as the one he slept on at his home. It was right by the window, flooded by moonlight.

"If there's anything that you need, I'm in the room next door." Naomi told the boy. "Before you leave tomorrow, you have to spar with me. Got it?"

"Yeah, sure thing." He replied, taking a seat on the cozy bed.

"Alright then, good night!"

"Hey…"

The young girl quickly turned back around before closing the door. "Huh?"

"Thanks… a lot." Lukas watched as the girl waved with a smile upon closing his door shut. The young man fell to his back on the bouncy bed and stared at the ceiling for a moment. He took a couple deep breaths before getting back up to shut the lights.

The moon shined high outside the boy's window, drowning the inside of his dark room with moonlight. Lukas pulled off his shirt and sat on the ground, leaning against the bed. There was a golden chain that hung around his neck. The boy ran the gold through his fingers, examining every inch of the necklace; it glistened beautifully against the moonlight. He then suddenly felt his eyes and throat becoming dry.

His hand suddenly flung up to his face, gripping half of it as tears began to stream down his cheeks. He tightly clutched the hairs hanging in front of his forehead within his fingers. He tried holding back, but it was ultimately futile.

Lukas began to quietly cry to himself, covering his face with both hands. He slowly slid to the ground, remaining completely still for the remainder of the night.


Author's Note: Welcome to Transcend: Despair! For those of you returning to the story from Season 1, I thank you for your support. Do me a favor and Fav, Follow, and Review! Do it now! Don't read this next sentence until you do. If you're reading this sentence right here and you haven't Fav'd, Followed, or Reviewed I hate you (jk, I lub you).

For those of you who haven't read Transcend Season 1 (I don't know why you would be reading this...), but head over to my profile and read the first season if this chapter has sparked an interest!

So it's been three months since Lukas has graduated. Wonder what Luna's doing right now? Well keep wondering! xD There will be a lot more involvement with the characters from Gun-Force; and I have finally introduce a Commander: Commander Gilliam Adhelm of Gun-Force 2. On top of that, you now know what the king of Satala is like. Oh, and just to be clear, the beginning part of this story shows Lukas's and Courtney's very first date in Episode 5; however, I'm showing events that weren't showed in that Episode (but are implied to have happened). Any questions, feel free to ask in a review! Hope this Season lives up to your expectations!