"Amidst the blue skies, a link from past to future. The sheltering wings of the protector..."
"They shield all, from good and ill, shrouding us in ignorance and bliss...."
Episode 1: To the Skies! A New Saga Begins
It was September 9th, according to the old calendar. The sun was shining, or, rather, ADMIN's approximation of sunlight was beaming down from above Ambrosia's artificial sky. Though the fact that it was a sunny day was determined by an algorithm, Ambrosia's residents still took the weather as a good omen. Throughout the massive floating habitat, people were outdoors, eager to experience one last summer day. At Blue Yonder Academy, the mood varied little, save for the air of dismay coming from some of the students. The first day of classes was always a chore for some, even at a boarding school. Others. however, were making the most of it.
“Hey, I’ll make you a bet.”
Yushiro Midori took another sip from his can of cola. In spite of the hustle and bustle of the first day of school, he and his best friend, Akira Hoshi, had managed to take a few minutes to enjoy the warmth and sun of the September day before their next class. Yushiro absentmindedly tapped his heel against the brick wall he was sitting on as Taketo crawled its way up his backpack, perching itself on his shoulder after some effort.
He gestured toward the fence in front of them, through which both teenagers could see several of their peers running laps; the unfortunate victims of PE teacher Dirk Noir’s latest… training regimen. His Coach Soldier Wolfbark wasn’t far behind them.
“Quick, pick a ‘horse’.” He turned to Akira with a playful smile.
“A bet, is it? Well, I, the man Akira, will not back down from the challenge,” The best friend replied, amusement laced in his v oice as he looked up from the spot he was standing, leaning against the wall. “Although, for my sake, let’s not make the prize something outrageous like last time,” he added as his eyes scanned over the field. “I pick… that one,” He said, poi nting to a random guy with metallic blue hair running with the pack. It seemed as good of a choice as any, considering he had no clue about the physical abilities of any of the students.
“Alright then…” Yushiro scanned the pack a moment. “Her.” he pointed to a girl near the rear of the group. “So, what do I get when you lose?”
“Ara, ara, I don’t know,” Akira muttered, running his fingers through his hair. “I’ve already given you an extra Musashi from last time, and free lessons at the Dojo don’t really matter, since you pretty much have them,” He pondered a bit, stroking his chin as he did. “How about if I win, I, the man Akira, shall help you, the man Yushiro… wait, no. That doesn’t work either. I might as well go for the old ‘Duel the first person I see, barring you,’ thing we do,”
“Sure, why not? It’s not like you’ll lose a game of Duel Monste- ah, there she goes!” Sure enough, Yushiro’s “horse” caught Wolfbark in her peripheral vision and took off, passing everyone in front of her. "Go go go!"
“I swear, I, the man Akira, have a hard time winning any bets,” The tall student muttered. “And here I thought I had it in the bag… at least it’s not a round of Monopoly with you again. I really need to improve in that game,”
“Dude, lets not go there… Monopoly got violent last time.” He finished his can and slid off the wall. “Welp, I guess you’ll have to find a game next. Maybe go easy on them this time?” Akira raised an eyebrow at the request.
“I don’t know if I, the man Akira, am capable of that,” Akira answered. “That would mean I just resort to stalling, and that’s no fun for anyone,”
“Guess you’re righ- uh oh.” The girl that Yushiro had bet on tripped, and was soon helped off the track by a suddenly much less rabid Wolfbark. Akira blinked once. Twice.
“Wait, does that mean, I, the man Akira, have actually placed a bet right?” Well, this was a historic day. What was next, money falling from the sky as pigs flew over a bacon moon?
“That’s... not supposed to happen…” Yushiro stood there dumbfounded, staring blankly forward as a comically large bead of sweat ran down his face. Then the bell rang, and students began to pass in front of them.
“... Does this mean you’ll have to be the one to ‘go easy’ on them this time?” Akira asked as he continued to process what just happened.