This article, New Faces and a New Direction, is property of Zicoihno.

Time to take Action

It was a calm day, the weather was great with a cool breeze along with a sun that with brilliant radiance. The atmosphere in the HQ of the Fiore Royal Military was pleasurable as well, but today was a important one indeed. The military would make its' move and show who is boss.A magical vehicle pulled up to the giant sprawling military headquarters, Xena Daniels stepped out and made her way into the building.

She walked down the hall feeling pretty relaxed, "Should get to the office" she thought to herself as she yawned. She walked up a few flight of stairs to a set of huge double doors opening them. "Yo I am back...Anything interesting happen here?" she shouted stretching her arms.

The lieutenant on call was a bit shocked by the abrupt entrance, "Oh Commander Xena, I have some paperwork waiting for you also there are a few reports you need to go over along with....ahem... a call for inspection at a base in the mountains." the lieutenant said as he shuffled through some papers.

Xena sat down in her chair and started munching on some cookies, she rolled up her sleeves and took a sip of coffee. " I'll get to that stuff later I suppose" she said ignoring the matter as a whole, " Suppose?" he asked. "Don't worry about it ok." said Xena continuing to eat. " My goodness I forgot, you have a meeting at this moment with Lord Raimo." he said. Xena nearly spit out her coffee and jutted up

"You tell me this now, you gotta learn to prioritize your memos man!" Xena said with a an irritated expression. She barged out of room on her way to the meeting room. She walked up to a giant pair of ornately crafted double doors, she pushed them open to enter the meeting room.

There was a very large round table was set, almost all the Generals were present along with one of the Commanders. "He is here but no Oros or Franz...seems they had other business" she thought as she walked to the far side of the table to take a seat." Looking lovely today Xena.... those two are off doing some business at the new branches in southern Fiore, they are aware of what will transpire in this meeting. At least I think so." he said with as he leaned back in his seat." John Giotto, now is not the time for your banter..." she said while folding her arms. "Bad mood?" John said laughingly.

Xena got annoyed by the nonchalant responses" Must you always be so layed b---" SHUT UP BOTH OF YOU! she was cut off by a middle aged man as he walked into the room. She turned to the door " Sir...Supreme Commander Raimo " she said as she regained her calm composure. He walking towards the back of the meeting room to a central and specified chair for himself, he took a seat and exhaled.

"It is time...time for us the military to make strides again. Time for us to be active in the world of magic once more, we cannot be lazy in these times. So from now on the Military will be on duty. Generals most of you will move to the branch bases and establish your authority. From now on we will be combating dark guilds and unruly legal ones, the rune knights are too weak to deal with all of this. And always remember mercy must always accompany justice!" said Raimo. All the officers applauded the words of their leader. Xena smiled thinking things were gonna get interesting. John looked out the window realizing his lazy days were gone.

Raimo stood up "Generals move out!" he shouted, all the generals made their way out the room. "Guess your happy things are moving again eh Raimo-san" said John standing up. Raimo laughed "Bwahaha...Time for many of them to start taking the initiative, hard battles are ahead." he said. John turned his head to look out the window once more gazing off into the distance "I suppose so....." he thought.

Old faces and New Acquaintances

It was a sunny day with typical summer weather, the blue sky looked serene. Sanjo Vista was walking down a forest road not to far from Greenleaf town. He had a medium sized sack on his back, he making his way to a place to see an old face. "Nice day...maybe taking a walk was not a bad idea. I should pretty close to it now" he thought to himself and he continued to walk.

Then he stopped and looked up at the clear blue sky and sighed, deciding walking would become trouble some and a drag he suddenly took flight soaring into the sky. He flew through the sky at high speeds nearing his destination.

" This is it" he thought to himself. Before him was a glorious castle set on a floating peace of land high above the sky, high in the sky safe from ever present harm and danger- the guild building of the Pink Petal Guild one of the top guilds of Fiore. He landed on its' outer grounds and began to make his way to the open doors of the guild. " Well here it is, wonder how that kid has changed, it's been a while." he thought to himself as he continued walking. Meanwhile inside the Pink Petal Guild....

"Ahh...that was good stuff!" a young woman shouted as she set down a empty glass, she turned from the counter to look at the proud and great guild she so loved filled with a good amount of members. "Hey Mimiko how was that mission yesterday, went well I hope?" she asked a seemingly young girl. Mimiko turned to her "I finished it easy, I cant wait to take on some real missions. Besides Shazzy it's time for a challenge right." she said haughtily.

Shazzy rolled her eyes, " I am not a fan of this side of you Mimiko, the time for big league missions will be soon. Dont get to much on your high horse." she said a bit annoyed at Mimiko's well hidden ego. Mimiko suddenly stood up " You know what, you are well aware of my skills!" she said haughtily. "Enough of this the both of you, stop this dumb and pointless bickering. I am telling you, you young kids argue over the slightest things! Act like comrades for goodness sake." an elderly woman with a staff said as she sat down.

"Mistress?!" exclaimed Shazzy, "Lady Esmerelda ." said Mimiko. She exhaled " Stop arguing, Mimiko you are aware things take time- learn to have patience it will help you in the long run." said Esmerelda, not a fan of bickering between comrades. "By the way mistress have you seen Shisuke lately. He went on a mission yesterday and should have been back already?" Shazzy asked with a worried expression.

Esmerelda poured some tea into a cup and took a sip, " Dont worry about Shisuke, he can take care of himself. He is strong without a doubt." she said. Shazzy fingered her hair a bit "I know but still...". Esmerelda smirked as she shook her head.

Then a young man stepped in to room "Hey everybody" he said as he took a seat next to Shazzy."Where the hell have you been. I was actually worried humph!" she shouted. He chuckled while scratching his head " I fell asleep on the roof. I came back from the job and decided to star gaze and ended up falling asleep. sorry" he said. Suddenly he felt a slap on his back and turned to see who it was.

"Yo! Shisuke it's been a while eh? I dropped to see how my little brother was doing." he said while laughing. Shisuke was stunned " Sanjo nii-chan?!" he said. Sanjo smiled " Is that the greeting I get for my little bro?" he said. Shisuke laughed and hugged Sanjo, "Really? I did not expect you to drop in, thought you would be busy with whatever it is you do." Shisuke said smiling since he was so happy to see his brother. " Oh by all means Golden Lion just drop into my guild unannounced." Esmerelda said giving Sanjo a stern look. He chuckled, "Oh Lady Esmerelda long time no see eh? I hope you don't get mad at me just showing up." he said. She sighed and waved turning her attention back to her cup of tea. "So your my Shisuke's brother? He is rarely this happy out of no where." Shazzy said." Oh yea well he is my adoptive broth--" "Yep I'm his big brother." Sanjo said interrupting Shisuke.

"Oh aren't you Shazzy the Monster, strongest female mage of Pink Petal" he said taking a seat on a bar stool. There was alot of murmuring in the background as everyone was shocked to see the Golden Lion Sanjo there. "Wow I am honored you know my name" Shazzy replied. " I feel like I have met you before" he said scratching his head and then turned to Shisuke.

" So what is she to you, your girl? Good job if so, she is quite the looker eh?". Shisuke was a little embarrassed by his brother's question shook his head in agreement, " Yea this is Shazzy my girlfriend." he said. Sanjo laughed "Well you grew up quite a bit Shisuke ! hahaha!" Sanjo said while laughing. " I guess we should take this conversation Sanjo-nii." Shisuke said getting up, Sanjo and Shazzy followed him.

They walked into a large corridor, Sanjo leaned against the wall. "So how's mom and dad, also how are Siata and Drake doing" he said looking at Shisuke. "They're good, also I find it funny that even while in a guild I often visit them but you don't. You have not visited home in 2 months. " Shisuke said waiting for an answer.

Sanjo sighed, "I have been busy with jobs. So how are you know...job wise." he said. "I am good, I already told you I am an S-Class mage. Things are going good" said Shisuke. Shazzy stepped forward, "Babe I know you two are "brothers", but what happened to your real parents though?" Shazzy asked.

Shisuke clenched his fist and became tense, he shrugged of Shazzy who had been leaning on him." What the hell Shisuke?!" she shouted. "I have one father, that is Raimo. Dont bring up my parents ever again!" he shouted as he walked off. Sanjo sighed "It's along story Shazzy, a sad one at that. All I can say is my father and grandfather did all they could to save him." he said, Shazzy was in shock. Sanjo turned away and began to walk," I must be going now.....Also Shazzy take care of my bro...he loves you." he said as he vanished. Shazzy exhaled, "I need a drink..." she said walking back to the beer hall.

The Light Moves?

"I hate paperwork!" exclaimed Xena in her office. She had been doing quite a load of paper work since arriving at HQ, it was really getting to her somewhat. She had called for a cup of coffee but even that was taking too long to arrive, she was frustrated. There was a knock at the door, Xena looked up "Come in..." she said. Her assistant came in with another load of paperwork in his hands, the sight of the paper set Xena off. "What the hell?!" she shouted at the young man, he dropped the papers and shivered in fear of his mad superior. " It's your paper work, it has piled up." he replied.

She rolled her eyes, " All this paper works, and that incident to take care of. Where the hell does all this paper work come from anyway?!" she said shuffling through papers. Then the alarm went off, the over-speaker began to sound "Hostile dark guilds moving near Hialea City!". Xena got up and rushed out to the room to the central mission office.

On her way a few lower officers walked up next to her giving her a briefing on the issue, "Alright" she said as she walked into the large office filled with many cubicles and desks with people monitoring the different areas of Fiore and mission to be given. Many of the people were in shock, as it had been a while since a issue was so severe a commander was needed to intervene.

" Commander Xena, we are prepping an airship for you at the moment." said an unnamed worker. She smiled, "Thanks!" she replied. The office was busy as many officers were off on missions and were still setting up their new branches in the other parts of Fiore. " Everything is almost set" said another worker. "Ok, so I will be going now. " Xena said then suddenly someone interjected. "I am going." said a voice. A very tall and muscular man walked towards the airship hangar port.

Everything and everyone stopped, "Franz ?! " muttered Xena as a cold sweat ran down her face. The a young woman got up, " I though Lady Xena was going?" suddenly a number of people shushed the young worker. "Hey rookie, thats one of commanders Franz Kainu. Don't mess with him, he ain't the one for subordinates questioning him. Don't consider it a warning but friendly advice." said a young man sporting a lab coat with a smirk on his face. "Oh Iker? You were here huh?" exclaimed Xena.

"Yo Princess, yep my vacation was over 2 days ago. Long time no see eh?" he replied. The young woman sat down a little embarrassed at the past situation, Xena walked over to her. "Dont get sad kid, just don't get in Franz' way."she said. The young woman nodded in agreement, "I will keep that in mind".

Clash in the Forest

Richard Aria was trudging through the forest as a short cut to a small town he was making his way too. The Magic Council had gotten a tip that dark mages were collecting there and sent Richard, one of the highest skilled subordinates, to deal with such a threat. He knew he had to rid the town of the dark mages but at the same time wondered if the people there were conspiring with the dark mages. Realizing time was of the essence he begen to dash a high speeds beginning to feel a bit anxious.

"Something is off...what is this ominous feeling?!" he thought to himself. He picked up speed to reach his destination quicker, he landed at the location only to find a horrid sight. The whole town had been set ablaze, the ominous flames were strong and bright. Richard's eyes widened in shock, "What? What the hell?" thought a confused and worried Richard. He clenched his teeth mad at himself for not getting there in time, then suddenly felt a strong presence and went on guard. From the gruesome flames walked forward a thin figure that soon was shown to be a man in a black cloak type clothing.

The figure continued to walk from the flames towards Richard, slowly but without hesitation. "Who the hell are you! Did you do this?!" he shouted becoming angry at the situation as a whole. The man remained silent as came to a halt. The mysterious man looked up, having eyes that showed no emotion or thought. Richard was worried as he pulled out a scalpel(his signature weapon). "I'll ask again...did you do this!" he commanded but the man uttered no response. "No emotion, no response? I can feel serious power from the guy but something is off. But he is a threat, those eyes..." he thought as he began running strategies though his head.

The man smirked as he began to speak, "What if I did?". Richard was enraged, "You bastard!" he shouted. The young man edged his foot, "What does Magic Council trash want with me?" He said plainly. Richard could not tolerate the young man's words any longer, "That's enough Bastard!" he shouted as he dashed towards the mysterious man with scalpel in hand, it began to glow. He went for a clean swipe but his opponent dodged and vanished.

He appeared a few meters behind Richard. "If I must...." he said plainly. Black flames surround parts of his right arm. " What is this. He shows no emotion, it's like he is not here but is. This guy and those eyes..." Ricahrd thought. A cold sweat went down the young mage's face as he was perplexed on why his opponent showed no emotion.

Richard twirled his scalpel and dashed towards the mysterious opponent. Richard attacked as the man swiftly dodged the first few slashes and countered with a strong frontal kick. Richard blocked with both arms causing a small shock wave at the collision. His scalpel began to collect static and flashed a little. "Paralysis Scalpel!" he said as he slashed downward at his enemy. The man smirked at the moment, Richard instantly sensed something to be off. The young man in that moment waved his finger as a giant black flame emerged destroying what was in it's path.

It slashed through creating a large explosion. Rubble fell from the sky landing on the ground. A giant deep trough in the ground showed the apparent great power beyond the attack. The man stood there as his hair blew in the wind calmly looking at the giant billow of smoke caused by the explosion. Suddenly Richard emerged from the smoke in the air. He landed on his feet, part of his shirt was ripped from the attack. "Serious power behind that one, seems I have to take this serious then.." he said as he regained his composure.

"You engage the enemy and risk not fighting efficiently? Foolish..." he muttered. Richard seemingly took a stance, "Now you want to talk huh...too late." Richard said. He leaped up the air towards his opponent as a magic circle opened on his hand. "Crystal Make: Javelin !" he shouted as he formed a spear formed from magic enhanced crystal. He landed near the man and attack. Suddenly a black sword appeared in the mysterious young man's had as he parried Richard's attacks. They exchanged blows on level, moving at high speeds hard to be seen by the untrained eye.

Richard dodged a slash as he flipped backwards and landing skillfully to throw his spear. "Crystal Make Tower!" he shouted as a tower a crystal formed from a suddenly appearing magic circle under his enemy. The man lifted an eyebrow as he lept into the air to escape the trap/ He launched another black flame blast at Richard, this time in a cylinder shape. Richard created a series of magic shields blocking the attack, the ground near him began to crumble. Richard jumped out of the way on the right side of his enemy.

"This guy, black flame magic? Biggest challenge I have had in a long while." he thought to himself. The mysterious man charged at Richard, the two clashed causing a large explosion. Both emerged from the smoke jumping back with a few scratches. Richard wiped blood from his mouth and surveyed the situation. He was taken a back by his opponent's fearsome power and realized the man was a great threat, too great to leave alone. Then the mysterious young man cleared his throat, Richard suddenly focused on his opponent.

The man stared at Richard and then look around seeing the destruction their fight caused. "You asked earlier who I was? Is that right?" he said calmly. Richard rolled his eyes, "Obviously, spit it out.". The man smirked at Richard words, " Though I am not obligated to answer, might as well enlighten the magic council fool. I am Apollo." he said as he began to walk away. Richard clenched his teeth in frustration, "You think this is over!" he yelled. Apollo turned towards Richard with his once again apathetic face, " Things are moving, the great peace this age has, will fall in due time. Fear Olympic Code...." he said vanishing.

Richard was in shock as he lost all trace of his enemy's magical power and could not track him. He was pissed as he did not take this dangerous Apollo. Many questions were running through Richards head, he knew he had to look into this. "What is Olympic Code? I need to report this." he thought. The mage deciding that this was of the upmost importance left the battlefield to make his way back to Era.

continued in: A New and Frightful Enemy