A/N: I'm currently rewriting the first five chapters (or so) that aren't in third person POV to be in third person POV (seeing as how all of the scenes that I've planned out are in third person POV...). I'll also hopefully be improving the chappies from the original ^^;

Deep within the forests of Elrios, birds chirped, animal cries echoed, and sunlight filtered through the great branches of the trees. Among the forest inhabitants, a young boy with spiky red hair sprawled onto the ground. Clad in a black shirt, red vest, white pants, and metal shoes, he wielded a great sword with white columns of steel lined with red. The hilt was wrapped in white cloth and the guard was red with a single thick, white stripe cutting through it. As he laid on the ground, a distant memory rang in his head.

Get up and stop slacking off, Elsword!

The boy huffed for a moment before springing back up and swinging his sword once again, a determined glint in his eyes. As he was training, he couldn't help but notice that the forest sounded a little bit more lively than usual, but he paid it no heed. That is, until he heard grunting and groaning coming from near him. At first, he tried to ignore it, but soon enough it became rather unbearable and exceedingly annoying.

"Will you guys just shut up?!" he snapped as he burst through the bushes. What greeted him were a couple of masked people scrambling behind a wooden barrier.

"Y-you can't pass here!" one of them cried out.

"Tch! What do you think you're doing? You're blocking off the road! What if someone gets lost because of you guys?"

"As if we care in the slightest," one of them muttered.

"You jerks!" Elsword yelled as he dashed at the barrier and swung his sword. With a few slashes the barrier was completely reduced to rubble. "Alright then, who's up next?" he challenged.

The masked men quickly rallied themselves and charged at the boy. However, before any of them could strike, he rushed forward and slammed his sword into one of them, sending him flying. The other two tackled the boy, knocking out his breath as he fell to the ground. He quickly got back up and jumped to avoid their next attacks. Swinging his sword downward, he bashed another one of the attackers in the head with a solid thunk.

Two down, one to go, he thought. The final attacker was swinging his fists around aimlessly. He simply rushed forward and knocked the man skyward with a powerful uppercut from his sword.

"None of you guys even stood a chance," he smirked. "Now then-"

A powerful roar shook the air, sending shivers down the boy's spine. It was just the implications of power in the roar, but there was something ominous about it, like a powerful beast had just been set loose.

"You three!" he shouted at the defeated bandits. "You guys better not move an inch! I've got a lot of questions to ask you guys so you better not try to escape!" Without waiting for a reply he charged off, headed in the direction of the ominous roar.

The girl growled as she finished the last of the Phorus. She had on a simple white shirt that left her chest open with two dark stripes along the top converging into a single stripe down the middle. Long, dark purple sleeves with white cuffs flowed under linen shoulder guards, the same color as the sleeves and tied together with a hot pink bow. Her mini skirt was an even darker purple with a white stripe running along the bottom. Around her waist was a somewhat loose brown belt. She had on brown stockings and purple shoes, topped with two more hot pink bows, one on each. Her hair was a bright, cheery purple tied into two low hanging braids that were relatively short. Dark fingerless gloves covered her hands, with her right one twirling a blue and pink staff with a large, circular end.

"Serves you right for calling the great magician Aisha some bratty girl!" she exclaimed at the defeated Phorus. She frowned as she remembered the roar that shook the air. Now time to investigate the source of that roar...

She pushed through some foliage only to find herself watching a battle unfold between a young red-haired boy and a large, towering, blue monster with giant claws. While the boy had put up quite the struggle, deflecting quite a few attacks and hacking and slashing his way at the beast; in the end he didn't stand a chance as the blue demon made him his punching bag.

At this rate, that boy's gonna die, Aisha grimaced. Brandishing her staff, she pointed it at the beast, sending a flurry of fireballs at him.

"How do you like that?" she challenged. To her surprise, a sudden howl sent both the fireballs she cast and her own self flying.

"He's stronger than I thought!" she hissed under her breath, falling back into the habit of talking to herself during battle. As she painfully hauled herself up, she spotted the monster lunging at her, giant claws outstretched. She screeched in surprise as she teleported hastily, landing directly behind him.

"At this rate, I'll have to...!" But there's no time! she interrupted herself as the beast slashed at her again and again, forcing her to teleport all around the clearing.

"HYAAAAAAAH!" A red-haired figure launched itself at the monster, hacking and slashing with its sword. Aisha's eyes widened as she recognized who it was.

It's the boy!

"Come on!" he yelled at her. "Do the thingy you were gonna do!"

"Right!" Aisha called back. He's surprisingly perceptive! Shaking the thought away, she closed her eyes and focused as the boy distracted the monster. She called upon the power of the El, feeling a shot of joy when a surge of power flowed through her.

Yes! I wasn't sure that it would work, but now I know for sure that I can still awaken and harness the power of the El!

She raised her staff and pointed it at the beast, sending fireball after fireball at him. The red-haired boy joined in, swinging his sword once again. Together, they managed to corner the beast up against the tree. As they forced it back, the beast suddenly charged straight through, knocking the two of them to the ground. Aisha looked up to see the beast's claws. With another surprised screech she teleported behind him, but the monster was ready for that as well. Now I was the one cornered. He sent a flurry of claw strikes at me, forcing me to block with my staff and dodge. There was no opening for a teleport either, as the claw strikes were so quick they threatened to interrupt the spell should she attempt to cast it. Even worse was the fact that the monster simply shrugged off all of the attacks from the boy.

An opening, an opening, an opening... I need an opening...!

"Take this!" the boy roared as an explosion of power erupted from within him.

He can awaken as well?! Aisha gasped. She quickly teleported away and charged up a spell.

"Out of the way!" she called to the boy. "Chain... Fireball!"

A stream of fireballs erupted from her staff, all of them spinning to the monster. To her relief, it was a direct hit. However, the beast emerged from the embers soon after, only looking a little banged up and singed. She took a step back in surprise, but also -to her disbelief- fear. It crawled up her spine and enveloped her in so much more than she thought was possible from a simple skirmish.

It was barely even fazed...?!

Next to her, she could see the boy glaring defiantly at the monster.

"I don't have time to play with you kiddies," the monster growled. "I'll retreat for now, but I'll be back!" With that, he leaped back and disappeared.

"I...it's gone...?" the boy panted as he collapsed on the ground. "I still needed to make him pay for trying to steal the El Shard...!"

Aisha tried to swallow her fear and ease her tension now that the beast was gone. "I don't blame it for running after seeing what I can do," she bluffed.

The boy gave a look at her. "Who are you...?" he huffed as he caught his breath.

"Nice job. I'll admit, you were quite useful in that battle. I'm Aisha, a magician from the south. You?"

"Tch, you didn't have to butt in! I could've handled him!"

"I- I don't think getting beaten to a pulp is 'handling him'..." Aisha chuckled nervously. "A- anyway, what's your name?"

"The El Shard!" the boy burst out suddenly. "Are you trying to steal the El Shard too?!" he accused.

"You IDIOT!" Aisha screamed. "Listen when people are talking to you!"

"HEY!" someone screamed at them. A lime-green haired elf was glaring at them. "Look over there! That bandit ran off with the El Shard!"

"What?!" Aisha and the boy gasped.

"We have to get it back! Come on!" The boy dashed off, followed by the elf girl.

"Tsk, I suppose I have no choice, huh?" Aisha muttered to herself as she followed. Those bandits are going to pay now that I'm helping to get back the El Shard!

This is my first story on this website so constructive criticism is much welcomed ^^;

Side note: Els is in his renewal/alternate portrait outfit with his original sword while Aisha is in her renewal outfit (plus weapon)