The sky was darkening in Terra, over Navea as a braided, black haired girl with gold eyes walked the streets, the lamps lighting her path. A young, pink haired, pig-tailed girl slowly floated beside her, her hot pink eyes looking at the black haired girl curiously.
"Mas-I mean, Maria, are you okay?" The girl asked the black haired girl, who looked back at her.
"Yeah, I'm okay Sachi, don't worry. I just have this weird feeling in my gut." Maria stated, smiling.
"Weird feeling? ...You're not sick, are you?!" Sachi shouted, worried.
"Wh-what? No! Sachi, stop!" Maria shouted as Sachi summoned a healing spell, but the tip was black.
"EEK! What's happening to my staff?!" Sachi shouted, eyes wide in worry.
"SACHI?!" Maria shouted worried, and reached for her Eidolon.
As her hand touched Sachi, a blue glow surrounded them, and a bright flash appeared, before it faded, the two girls missing.
Maria's eyes snapped open at the cry. Her head turned left and right quickly as she looked around in worry. Sachi was next to her, her pink eyes closed- she was clearly still in a daze. Glancing forward, her eyes widened at the sight. A black-haired, pony-tailed female, with brown eyes and a white, flowing dress stood a couple yards in front of them, wielding what was obviously a shuriken and kunai- weapons of a Ninja. A tall, bulky monster made out of rocks stood in front of her, raising its rocky fist to pummel her, but she held jumped back, throwing her kunai, which seperated into multiple kunais, at it, piercing it and making it stumble back.
"Stay away, pathetic Formor!" the girl shouted, and a large fireball appeared in her hand, growing larger and larger while the monster was dazed. The monster shook its rocky head, shaking away its daze, but it couldn't dodge the fireball which the girl launched at it, which had grown to such a size that when it landed it was almost like a bomb went off. The monster jumped back, its arms flailing slightly as it took damage.
It shook its head, and charged forward with incredible speed for something of its size, bringing its rocky fist down quickly onto the woman, who screeched as she was hit and flung back towards them. Sachi's eyes opened at the shout, and she looked to Maria, but when she saw it wasn't Maria shouting she looked to the other woman. Sachi leaned closer with a "who is that?" and Maria simply shrugged, though she was afraid that the girl was hurt. The lady shook her head, blood dripping from her wounds. Maria gasped and jumped up, but Sachi tugged her back, afraid. The lady growled and jumped at the monster, slamming its head, and killing it. Maria took this as her opportunity to get a bit closer.
"Are you okay?!" Maria shouted as the monster fell, and Sachi growled.
Her Envoy didn't really understand when to be wary of strangers, but she floated up beside her either way.
"Are you going to be okay?" Maria asked, kneeling toward the girl, worried at seeing the dripping wound.
"Wh-?" The lady spun around, holding her shuriken tightly, though she relaxed her grip when she saw them. "Oh. Um, yes, I'll be alright."
"Are you sure?" asked Maria in worry.
"Yeah, I'll be alright. Been through worse," the woman replied, pushing her bangs out of her face.
"If you say so," said Maria, confused because the woman's outfit- a fancy white dress fashioned with roses and gold pieces- wouldn't allude that she was a battle-hardened kind of person. "So, um, who are you?"
"Oh, me? I'm Amthyest, the Shining Hero," the lady, Amthyest, said with confidence, despite her condition and the fact that Maria seemed a bit older than her. "Though, Amy's a fine nickname."
"The Shining Hero?" Sachi asked, raising an eyebrow, while Amthyest merely nodded.
"Well, nice to meet you, Amthyest," replied Maria. "I'm Maria, and this is my Eidolon, Sachi." She gestured to the pink-haired girl, while Amthyest merely tilted her head.
"Eidolon?" she asked.
"Yes, an Eidolon." Maria said smiling, before she gazed at the girl curiously.
"Aren't you an Envoy of Gaia as well? You seem really strong, so surely you're an Envoy." Maria stated as if it was the most obvious thing, and Sachi looked at Maria blankly.
'She didn't just say that...did she?' Sachi thought in disbelief.
"An...Envoy of Gaia?" the younger girl repeated in confusion, brushing her hair out of her face. "No, I don't think so. I've never even heard of an 'Envoy of Gaia' before."
"You haven't..?" asked Maria in disbelief, raising an eyebrow. What other explanation could there be for this girl's unnatural strength? thought Maria. She's almost, if not as, strong as I am.
"Nope." Amthyest shook her head. "I'm a Milletan, but that's about it."
"A Milletan?" repeated Sachi and Maria at the same time, having confused looks of their own.
"Yup! That's the name for people who come from outside Erinn," responded the girl cheerfully.
Maria thought for a bit...where exactly was she? The place she was at didn't feel like any area on Terra she'd been...and the energy of this place wasn't related to the Cube of Gaia, she could tell. So...if she wasn't at Navea, or any other place...where was she?
"Um...this may sound strange, but...where the hell am I?" Maria replied, starting to worry...what if she wasn't even on Terra anymore?!
"So that's why you're talking about Envoys of Gaia and strange things like that," commented Amthyest. "You're obviously not from around here!"
Amthyest turned, gesturing to the shore and water around them. "You're in the Beach of Scathach, in Belevast, on Erinn," she announced. "Geez, you're lucky I was here if you're new to this place. The Formors 'round here are harsh!"
"Scathach, Belevast, Erinn...Formors..." Maria trailed off, gold eyes shinning in worry.
"Um...Maria...I don't think we're on Terra anymore." Sachi commented worried, and Maria nodded.
"I agree...I don't think this is Terra. I don't even feel the Cube of Gaia's power flowing through the world." Maria stated, bending down to touch the ground.
"Um...this is going to make me sound crazy but..." Maria trailed off, not sure how to word it.
"We're...obviously not from this world. You see, we come from a world called Terra, where things like Envoy's, and Eidolon's exist." Sachi explained, and Maria slapped her forehead...so much for trying to not sound crazy.
"I see." She nodded slightly. "It's not as crazy as you think, actually," she added, smiling slightly.
Maria and Sachi tilted her heads. "I don't get it," said Maria. "How's that not crazy?"
"Like I said, I'm a Milletan, a person who comes from outside this world." Amthyest smiled gently. "I ended up here randomly a while ago, too!"
Maria hummed as she placed a hand against her chin...thinking. If Amthyest had just appeared here, then did she know how to get back home? Not only that, but how she said she's a Milletan made Maria and Sachi wonder...was this often for her.
"You said your a Milletan, correct?" Maria asked, earning a nod.
"Exactly what are Milletans? In Terra there are only humans, Makar, Eidolon's, demon's, and dwarf's. Is this a common occurrence for you to appear somewhere randomly?" Maria asked, interested by this new information.
"It's exactly as I've stated- a person, any person, from another world who comes into Erinn, which is this world. Milletan is more so a blanket term, since really any race could be a Milletan. Humans, Elves- like me- and Giants can all be Milletans, though there are a good amount who are just natives," explained Amthyest.
"As for the appearing somewhere randomly.." she paused, then shook her head, her ponytail swaying behind her. "Nope. I was transported into the Soul Stream, with the deity called Nao, who explained to me I had arrived there and was going to pass into Erinn, and then she teleported me here. But aside from that, there's no random teleportation."
"That's interesting, I hadn't expect people could teleport between worlds." Maria explained, before looking around.
"Do you know where a place to rest is? I feel like we should get somewhere safer." Maria said, looking around, cautiously.
"There's a trading post up there," replied Amthyest, pointing backwards. "But I can take you to one of the bigger cities pretty quickly, too."
She pulled out and flicked open a book, which was labelled "Moonlight Traveler", skimming through the pages. "Hm hm hm..where's Tir.."
"Thanks for doing this all for me, and yeah...going to a bigger city would be best." Maria stated, and she nodded at Sachi.
Sachi nodded back, before she disappeared, pink sparkles left in her wake...the Eidolon was tired.
"Hey, it's no problem," Amthyest replied, grinning. "Here- take my hand now, I can teleport you to a city."
Maria smiled back, grabbed her hand, and closed her eyes. If it was anything like her teleport, she'd have to keep her eyes closed so she wouldn't get dizzy.
It happened to be the exact opposite of that- it was a smooth, quick teleport, no shaking or spinning. When Maria and Amthyest opened their eyes, they were on some kind of alter with a blue, glowing crescent moon on it. It was fully night now, but they could both make out a small field that the alter was in, with a path leading to a bridge that crossed over a small stream and lead through farms to a cozy town.
"Welcome to Tir Chonaill," Amthyest announced, grinning again.
"Wow...I could get used to this. Kind of reminds me of Port Skandia with the cozy looking town." Maria commented with a soft, slightly sorrowful smile.
"...I wish I could change what happened." Maria mumbled, rubbing her right arm, a bandage still there.
"Port Skandia?" Amthyest asked, raising an eyebrow as she started to lead Maria down the path to the wooden bridge. She stopped for a moment, looking to Maria's bandaged right arm.
"What happened?" she asked in worry.
"I...I had gone back to a small fishing village called Port Skandia, it had been my home for 3 years, but i left to discover where I truly came from, and to find Saari." Maria said as an armored woman, wearing white, blue, and purple armor appeared, the outfit looked slightly dragon-like, and her long white hair gently flowed in the wind, her sharp blue eyes looking between the two.
"Did you need something, Maria?" She asked, but Maria shook her head, and the woman disappeared.
"I meet Saari after 2 years after I left. After joining the Church in Navea, and working alongside them to try and stop a man named Reinhardt, I had been busy. I was soon given a chance to rest, and Belenus, the Grand Bishop, told me to go home and see how everyone was doing. So me, along with 10 others, went to Port Skandia to see how everyone was. The group had wanted to visit the place I called home for a long time...but..." Maria sighed, and rubbed her injured arm again, it hurt to speak about it.
"W-when I got there...it wasn't the same. The forest around Skandia was charred, the tree's dying, almost like a wasteland. I ran into town with the others, only to see t-the village, h-had been destroyed." Maria stopped for a bit as Sachi appeared, and wiped her tears away.
"Sorry, it's hard for Maria to speak of it, so I'll explain. After we got there, and noticed all the building had been destroyed, we began looking for possible survivor's. We noticed one building was still standing, and that was the lighthouse, the light for the top kept anything away. Me, along with Maria and the rest went to the lighthouse, and knocked since the door was locked. That's when Sheila, the chief's wife of the village, opened the door slightly." Sachi explained, before Maria stopped her.
"The put things simple, the village had been attacked by demons, and a fellow Envoy of Gaia, called Akane, had tried to protect the village as well. But she was overwhelmed and outnumbered, and was seriously wounded. After I located the demons, I had my friends get the remaining villagers to safety, as well as Akane, and I fought the demons, defeated them, but was fatally wounded in the process. I only lived due to Quelane, my miasma serpent; Saari, the armored woman who appeared, and Sachi, my Eidolons." Maria said, and showed her bandaged arm.
"This is the last thing that has to heal...but that's because this arm was nearly destroyed." Maria explained as they reached the bridge.
She always had trouble speaking about what happened to the cozy, fishing village, but once she started, she kept going about what happened. She blamed herself for being too late to stop the demons, and she had felt the weird spike of Gaia power at Skandia, but had passed it off as nothing.
"I see..." Amthyest nodded vaguely, leading them over the bridge and up a path. "No towns in Uladh have been attacked by Formors lately. Lately isn't even a good term- they haven't been attacked ever since the Goddess gave her life in the Wars of Mag Tuireadh, the wars between Humans and Formors. Ever since then, Formors have been contained in dungeons, which were forts they'd captured during that time. The only ones that are out of dungeons are trustworthy ones who have learned English, are rather weak, or changed to fit in with Human society."
They passed a bank, grocery store and clothing store, now passing through the square of Tir Chonaill, lightened by lampposts. "Like despite being directly by dungeons, Tir Chonaill is very peaceful. The only real dangers here are wolves, but like I said before, they're pretty weak, except in groups, when they can kill. I was actually killed by them when much weaker, but thankfully, the deity Nao revives us if we have certain stones on us when we die, but that's the only way we can be revived. It only works on Milletans though, because others can't see her..you may be able to, but since you didn't come through the Soul Stream, I don't know."
She lead the other female up a path and to a house with an middle-aged man standing in front of it by a lamppost. Amthyest and the man had a short conversation, before Amthyest turned and led Maria to the house. She pushed open the door. "Here, I usually stay here when staying in Tir Chonaill if not at the inn, though I usually stay up all night. You can sleep here, I'm not tired."
"A-are you sure?" Maria questioned, her timidness coming back.
She was in a new place, learning new things, didn't know anyone, and of all time her timidness comes back?! She rubbed her head, before looking at Amthyest.
"Are you sure your not tired? I mean...you just fought off a giant creature, and you're not tired?" Maria questioned, a little shocked.
Whenever she fought a creature, by herself, she'd end up sleepy.
"Nah." Amthyest shrugged, leaning against a lamppost. "I pull all nighters all the time, anyway I'm so used to fighting Formors that it's fine now."
Maria just stared for a little bit before a yawn escaped her, and she blushed with a sigh.
"A-alright then. I'll see you in the morning." Maria said, laying down.
Amthyest stayed out all night, until morning came. She yawned, looking slightly drowsy, drinking a yellow potion.
"Morning Amthyest, how-what're you drinking?!" Maria shouted when she saw Amthyest, wondering what the heck the girl was drinking.
It looked poisonous in Marias' opinion, and even Sachi had her jaw hung open a little.
"What, this?" She shook the potion, the remaining yellow liquid sloshing from side to side. "It's a stamina potion. I drink it when I get tired." She finished the stamina potion and pulled out a blue one, downing that also. She licked her lips, glancing back to Maria. "You look so shocked."
"Never heard of a stamina potion, and it looked poisonous. In Terra, we only have normal red potion to regenerate our health, but Sachi takes care of that for me." Maria said, looking at her floating pink Eidolon, who smiled and hugged Maria.
"Our potions are pretty big, but it all depends on the size you get." Maria said, and took what looked like a small jar out.
"This is a Improved Potion, one of these heals me instantly." Maria stated, before she put it away.
"It works like that for us, but we have Mana and Stamina potions too." She yawned, before abruptly standing up and shouting, "Oh! Oh oh oh! I nearly forgot!" She beamed slightly at Maria.
"I'd been thinking all night and I think I finally know how to get you home!" she shouted triumphantly.
"Really?! Awesome!" Maria shouted happily.
Though this world was interesting, she needed to get back to Terra. Reinhardt was still on the lose, she still needed to unlock her past, and her friends...she didn't even want to know how bad they were freaking out.
"You really know?" Sachi asked, eager to know the details.
"Yes!" exclaimed Amthyest. "The deity Nao I mentioned, it's her duty to escort people in and out of Erinn. She's a really sweet lady and I bet she wouldn't mind taking you home!"
It was also noticeable Amthyest was holding a glowing, diamond-shaped blue and white rock in her other hand, tossing it up and down eagerly.
"What's that for?" Maria asked, pointing toward the rock, curiosity in her eyes.
"If it was cube shaped, I'd almost mistaken it for a miniature Cube of Gaia." Sachi commented, looking at in as well.
"Hm, this?" She tilts her head. "Oh, it's a Soul Stone. You can use it to summon Nao, so I thought if I used it, we could get you back to your homeworld."
Maria and Sachi smiled at one another, glad to finally hear they could go home.
"That's great!" Sachi shouted, smiling happily, and Maria laughed.
"A Soul Stone, eh? Reminds me of Eidolon Fragment's. Their like the soul of a Eidolon, and if enough are gather, you can help forge a Key to call upon them." Maria explained, looking at the stone.
"Well, it's not really Nao's soul..Usually, it's more like a distress signal, that if we're in danger, she can help us." Amthyest shrugged slightly, then smiled a bit.
"But we can still use it to get you home!" she exclaimed, beaming.
"Alright, sounds promising. What do we do? Or where do we go to use it?" Maria asked, excited.
While she liked this world, she still wanted to get home. Terra needed her, and Reinhardt was still on the lose. But now she wondered something...why and how did she get here?
"Wait, now I'm curious." Maria said, catching Sachi's and Amthyest's attention.
"I wonder how I got here, and why I'm here. Has there been anything really weird going on?" Maria asked, gold eyes showing concern.
"We don't really need to go anywhere." Amthyest paused, frowning slightly as she considered Maria's next question. Teetering from one foot to another, she glanced back to Sachi and then Maria.
"No, not really," she stated finally. "Nothing but you and your..um, Eidolon, coming here."
Maria frowned as she thought this over...The Cube of Gaia, Astraea the Guardian Goddess, wouldn't have sent her here for nothing. It seemed to Maria that someone, or something sent her there. Or...maybe someone brought her there.
"But it seems to odd to just be a coincidence. I feel like I got sent here, or brought here for some reason." Maria stated, trying to understand what was going on.
"Are you sure there hasn't been anything bad going on, like anything with those...Formor's? I had to have been brought here, or summoned here, and without Astraea, the Guardian Goddess, or the Cube of Gaia to communicate with, I won't get answer's from them. Do you think...a Goddess here, might have brought me here?" Maria asked, looking worried...what if something really bad was happening?
"No, the Goddess wouldn't have...wouldn't have sent for you." She shakes her head. "She has enough Milletans here to help her..and I don't know of any other Goddess or deity that could have or would have brought you here..."
"Well...alright then, I guess it's okay." Maria said, sighing.
"We'd have to get back anyways. The Shadow Knight is still on the lose, and I know that Akane, Darius, and the others are strong, but I don't think they can stop him without us." Sachi explained to Maria who sighed, nodding her head.
"Alright...what do we need to do to use the Soul stone?" Maria asked, pointing to the stone in Amthyest's hands.
"Oh, well, we can stay right here..." Amthyest paused, holding the Soul Stone in her hands. Then she narrowed her eyes slightly, the stone glowing in her hand. Then it flashed and they teleported, together, to a white area in a white space, with doves fluttering around and something like an altar in the middle.
"Whoa...where are we?" Maria asked, looking around with Sachi.
"This is the Soul Stream, Nao's home," answered Amthyest cheerfully. "Though she...doesn't seem to be here at the moment," she added, frowning slightly.
"--Aha!" She shouted suddenly, and Maria and Sachi looked up. On the altar they could see a graceful woman slowly spawning in, her white, flowing hair tied in pigtails that reached nearly to her hips, wearing a black dress patterned with flowers and black shoes. She floated just above the altar, a peaceful smile on her face.
"A-Are you Nao?" Maria questioned, eyes wide in awe.
Nao was beautiful, she reminded Maria much of Astraea, the Guardian Goddess from Terra. Except Astraea had blue eyes, long blonde hair, wearing red and gold armor over a white dress. But still...the smile that Nao gave reminded Maria of Astraea.
Nao opened her blue eyes and let out a gentle laugh. "Yes, yes I am." She glanced to Amthyest, adding, "I see you brought friends. In a predicament?"
"Yeah, I suppose," replied Amthyest, who seemed pretty casual around Nao. "Got some friends from a different world here. Think you can help them out?"
"Sure I can, it's my job, after all." Nao smiled slightly again.
"Thank you for everything you're doing for us. I know you must be pretty busy, seeing as your a Goddess, so thank you." Maria said gratefully, smiling with a tilt of her head.
"Is this a common occurrence, for you to help others back to their world I mean?" Sachi asked, hot-pink eyes wide in awe.
"It's not a problem!" Nao smiled a bit, while Amthyest stretched.
"It's Nao's job to," Amthyest said to Sachi. "She keeps order over the Soul Stream, also keeping order over people who come and go, so she helps them to get here and she helps them to get out."
"Still, thank you." Maria said smiling, and Sachi smiled at Amthyest.
"I see...so it's like when Astraea used to use the Cube to control how much energy when into things." Sachi stated, and Maria laughed.
"Thank you for helping us out Amthyest, I don't think we would've survived without your help." Maria explained, smiling at Amthyest.
"Heh, it's no problem!" Amthyest smiled back, while Nao turned, starting to form a portal.
"So, this is how Nao sends people to a fro places?" Maria whispered to Amthyest, not wanting to disturb Nao.
"I guess so," replied Amthyest, chuckling a bit. "I've...never really seen her do it before." Nao finished forming the portal, stepping back slightly.
"So...do we just walk into it?" Sachi asked, floating over toward it a little bit.
"Reminds me of the portals in Terra's Temples. There are portals before the temple entrances, meant to trick intruders, but if you know the layout of the land, or if you're an Envoy of Gaia, you can see these things." Maria observed, tilting her head a little.
Nao nodded to Sachi, before glancing up to Maria. "Seems interesting."
"The portals at the temples are interesting, for if you walk through one, and you go the wrong direction within the portal, as you can control yourself, you get swarmed by demon's." Maria said, and stood.
"Thank you again for everything you've done." Sachi said, giving a soft smile.
"No problem," replied Nao, while Amthyest smiled and nodded.
Maria smiled, and jumped into the portal, Sachi right behind her, and then the next thing Maria and Sachi knew, they were falling into water. Maria kicked to the surface, before gasping air in and shaking her head, Sachi floated toward her.
"You okay?" Sachi asked, and Maria nodded.
"Yeah...just happy to be home. I hope everything will be alright in Amthyest's world." Maria said, and kicked to the shore.
Back in Amthyest's world, she smiled a bit as she watched them go, then left the Soul Stream. Teleporting back to the calming confines of Tir Chonaill, she ran her hand over a pendant that she took out of her pocket, and sighed. "Surely, everything will be alright," she muttered, but she seemed unsure.