Ashe and Ariel were sat on the grass outside Wynd Academy, it was now late spring, and the warm sun beamed down on them both.
"So what I was thinking, is, we should all get a place in the city, get a small airship and fly here every day, instead of staying in the dorms" Ariel explained her plan enthusiastically to Ashe, who was listening intently.
"I mean, it's a decent idea, but can we afford to do that? We're still students" Ashe laughed.
"I'll get a job in the city, I'm sure Crystech will take me on" Ariel smiled, a small airship flew overhead and landed in the newly constructed landing bay that had been built into the rock below, with it being able to house many more airships, the old Aircarriages had been replaced too, replaced by small shuttles that carried people to and from Ishtall.
Roisin was in the landing bay with her Uncle, Atlas, who was showing her how to repair one of the shuttles, Dex was sat on a box nearby, watching.
"So what you need to do is make sure the hydraulic pressure in this valve matches the pressure of the fuel coming in from the intake" Atlas explained, Roisin nodded, and looked at two dials nearby which showed the pressure, she fiddled with the valve and the shuttle's engines powered back up.
"Nicely done, kid!" Atlas laughed, he patted Roisin on the back and stood up.
"Can we get some lunch now?" Roisin sighed, her arms drooping in front of her.
"I guess so, come on aboard!" Atlas motioned for Roisin and Dex to board the shuttle, once they were aboard and seated, Atlas closed the doors and flew down towards Ishtall. The city below had been repaired from the damage sustained by the Empire's attempted takeover, and was looking as bright and shiny as ever in the sun.
Aranei was a far cry from Ishtall's gleaming towers, dark clouds permanently hung over the city, with near constant rainfall, the mechanized paradise had now ground to a halt, with Crystech leaving the city before the Empire's attempted coup in Ishtall.
The Throne Room was almost in complete darkness now, only lit by candles dotted around the throne itself, in the throne, the Empress, Amanda Ferras sat, she looked tired, after not being able to sleep for months, ever since that night Lumina came to visit her in the hospital.
Rory had long since awoken, he had escaped not long after, not even saying goodbye to his mother, now the only person who would be there to listen to her was her prisoner, Victoria Iryn, the girl her daughter had impersonated, Amanda visited her time to time, talking to her, and Victoria listened and sympathized.
Victoria however, was fooling Amanda, she didn't care about the worries of an Empress, the only thing she wanted was freedom, and she would have it, as soon as the day came that Amanda completely let her guard down around her.
Rory was sat in the ruins of a Hubun settlement, not too far from the Imperial City of Aranei. He no longer had the sword 'Cruelty', that woman clad in darkness had taken that from him, he no longer had his eye, that damned 'Rabbit Boy' had taken it from him, and he no longer had his dignity, his sister had taken that from him too.
What he did still have was the former Crown Prince's armour, with the hole in the chest from where Roisin had attempted to stab him, thinking about it, he almost flew back into a rage, he grabbed a rock and threw it through a window of one of the old houses.
She is where it all began, if she hadn't had attacked him it would have remained a mere sibling scuffle, and he might have kept his cool. No matter, what happened, happened. Now he was focused on one thing, revenge against all who crossed him.
Rory drew a small blade from his pocket, he ran it over his long hair, cutting it short, he repeated the motion until no hair remained on his head, almost as if he was shedding the lion's mane, and rejecting who he was.
Roisin, Dex and Atlas were sat in a small diner, just having finished their meal. Dex looked at Atlas, he seemed curious.
"So, all I ever hear from Logan and his friends is about how amazing you are, and how crazy it is that you are 'back', but I've never actually heard of you..." Dex chuckled nervously, Roisin giggled slightly.
"Hmm, I guess my deeds have kinda faded into history now" Atlas smiled as he sat back "I was the pilot of a small carrier ship, going from Terrana to Disceath, the Empire had deployed a Dreadnought to block the shipment from arriving. Any other pilot would probably ran off back to Terrana, and I don't blame them... but I wasn't about to be bullied by some Imperials, so I did what any insane person would do, and hailed them."
Dex looked shocked, Atlas burst out laughing.
"I found myself face to face with the Captain of the Dreadnought, you probably know who she is... Amanda Ferras, the current Empress of Aranei, but, what you probably didn't know is we both grew up together, in a village between Disceath and Aranei, we'd been close childhood friends, but that day... our friendship ended, I managed to out run the oversized Dreadnought and caused it to crash-land in the mountain range near West Heralth" Atlas continued.
"I mean, that's impressive, but the way the others talk about you, they make you sound like some kind of god" Dex shrugged.
"Well, after hearing of those tactics, the young Rychard Pyre recruited me into the Pyreguard, the air defence unit of both Pyre Academy and the city of Raryst. I went on to rout the Empire's attempts at ambushing other nations trade attempts, many, many times" Atlas grinned.
"Also he's really good at making pancakes" Roisin laughed.
"Yeah, that's what she knows me best for" Atlas chuckled.
The sun set over the city of Ishtall, another peaceful day came to a close, Roisin stared as the sun disappeared from sight, hoping this peace would last forever.