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The Blade Dancer
Prologue


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Take a bunch of wishes…

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            Dusk faded to night over the normally quiet hamlet of Vault, and over those contained within, including the residents of the village of Vale, which was now buried beneath layers of earth.  The Valeans made good on the promises of hospitality from the people of Vault and had a massive party, celebrating everything from the safety of the townsfolk to the return of the wandering warriors and the missing adepts.  It was a festive occasion, with much food and drink, and no shortage of music and dancing.

            Mia, however, felt left out.

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…wrap them up in a memory…

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            It was true that all of the outlanders felt left out to some degree, but Picard had been pulled into a discussion by some of the elders who wished to know more about Alchemy and Lemuria, and Ivan and Sheba were being hounded by a group of small children to try and guess what they were thinking by using Mind Read.  That left Mia as the only outlander without something to do…that is, until a certain Venus Adept stepped up behind her and laid a hand on her shoulder.

            “Mia…can I talk to you for a minute?”

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…tie it all up with a ribbon of sorrow…

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            Mia blushed, glad that the darkened corner of the inn hid it, or so she thought.  She knew who it was, and turned her head slightly, already expecting the shock of blondish-brown hair and the sapphire eyes that she saw.

            “Isaac…” she whispered.

            He smiled.  “C’mon, just follow me.” With that, the Venus Adept took her hand and led her from the inn and into the streets of Vault, beneath the starry night sky.

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…and then…then, Isaac…

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            The pair walked along until they were at the northern edge of Vault.  Isaac motioned for Mia to climb the ladder up onto a wooden watchtower, atop which a bell was fastened.  She clambered up the ladder, and Isaac followed, then both sat, looking out across the small town, nestled in a companionable silence.

            Mia was the first to break the silence.

            “Isaac…I’m…sorry about your village…” she began.

            “No, don’t be, Mia.  I have my parents, and that’s all that matters.  Vale is the citizens, not the property…I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true,” the Venus Adept told her, turning to give her a warm smile.  Mia couldn’t help but smile back.

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…then you’ll know…

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            They sat in silence for a while longer then, but Isaac gradually turned to look at Mia, who was looking at the stars.

            “Mia,” he whispered.  “I told you…that I wanted to talk to you…”

            The Mercury Adept turned to look at her friend.  “Yes…” she said.

            “I…” Isaac said, catching her gaze and not letting his own stray.  The multitude of emotions that flitted through Isaac's eyes seemed to amaze Mia. “I…Mia…”

            The two adepts grew closer and closer to each other, and Isaac’s sudden lack of words seemed to be mutual.  Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity, the two met in a fleeting but undeniably electric kiss.  Both drew back, shocked, after only a second, but then met again in another kiss, this one longer and conveying things Isaac had not had the chance to say.

            Eventually, the adepts pulled away from each other, both blushing furiously.  Isaac found his voice again, after a time, and said what was hovering in the minds of both.

            “…I love you.”

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…just how much I miss you, Isaac…

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            It was only three days later that Isaac went missing.  Nobody could explain it, and nobody could describe it, either.  Isaac had gone out with Garet and Felix to the edge of the destruction zone that surrounded the crated that had once been Vale and Mt. Aleph, and the two other adepts claimed that he simply vanished before their eyes.

            Mia was heartbroken.  She and Isaac had finally been inseparable, after hearing him say the three words that she had most wanted to hear.  Now, however, he was gone, and nothing promised that his return would be swift.

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…but I know…

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            A month passed, then three months, and Mia began to despair, and then six months passed-half a year--and then Mia’s sight narrowed with resolve.  She took up a blade that Isaac had once used, before picking up the legendary Excalibur and the Sol Blade--the Masamune, a light sword with a faint blue sheen. The blade seemed to fit perfectly into her hand.

            It was then, even before she had completed her training with swords, that she knew her destiny--to travel the land, to seek out Isaac.  She knew that he was alive, and that she would find him.  That was all that there was to it.  And as the months passed and Mia grew startlingly proficient with the Masamune, everyone knew that a new heroine had been born.

            The Blade Dancer.

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…I know that you are still alive, Isaac.

And I will find you.

I promise.

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