While riding along in their storm coach, they all chat excitedly about the trip and their plans for the holiday. Cecil mentions how he wishes to visit the village of Midel. He and Luke had researched the old books in the clubroom and found out more about Cecil’s childhood. They learned that Midel must have been the place where he and Kage were born and that his mother, Terra, was part of the Kushieda clan, a now extinct clan of powerful mindbenders. He wants to return to his birthplace to settle his feelings and perhaps learn more about his past.
Lloyd meanwhile needed to find the mysterious Master Fei. Unfortunately, he had no idea how he would find his new teacher. Apparently all the information Fei had given the Principal on where to meet was the general area and the cryptic message of “When the student is ready, the master will appear”. Although this troubled Lloyd somewhat, he and the rest of the gang all agreed that the most important aspect of the holiday was to finally get some time to relax and have fun.
Little did they know that while they had all been speaking freely to one another, the coach driver (the same one who had taken Lloyd and Cecil to Dorfstadt) had been listening in on their conversation. And as the coach arrived at its destination, he quickly excused himself and unbeknownst to the others went to contact his fellow members of BLITZ what he had found out.
The group was far too busy to notice anything as they stood staring at the amazing airship waiting in front of them. ‘Highwind’, the famous Nipponese airship was a triumph of Nipponese and Teutonian engineering. The group eagerly boarded the ship and met the captain and his crew. Mere moments later, they ascended, heading straight for Nipponia.
The first hour flew by, but as the group began settling in, a cry came from the ship’s lookout. A ship was coming straight for them, hoisting a black flag…pirates. Immediately there was panic, the ship was a civilian vessel and not made for combat. They barely had time to react before the pirates were upon them, boarded the ship. It soon became clear that their enemy was Captain Peg Leg Pete, though thankfully not a trained stormknight himself, he had prospered thanks to only targeting civilian ships too weak to defend themselves. This time though, he had gotten more than he bargained for.
Cecil, motivated by his deep-seated hatred for pirates leapt between the two ships to engage the captain directly, furiously trying to pierce him with his lance. Meanwhile Lloyd, Mashiro, Ryoko and the rest of the crew fought to handle the boarding pirates. Though fierce and ruthless, it eventually became clear that they were not a true match against students of Eisenkrone. But as the battle began turning in their favor, tragedy struck. Cecil, who had been fighting the Captain and the few pirates who had remained, overextended. In his anger he had played in to Pete’s hands and as his crewmembers distracted him, the captain pulled out his flamepiece and shot Cecil at point blank range. Cecil leapt to avoid a lethal blow, taking the hit to his foot instead, but the impact was so great that he missed his landing and fell overboard… Lloyd immediately took a rope one of the pirates had used to board the ship and leapt to catch him, he caught Cecil’s hand, but due the pirate’s continuing attacks, Cecil lost his grip and fell towards the cloud and to his death.
Then a miracle happened. As she saw Cecil falling, Mashiro’s desperate need to save him awakened her storm powers. Without hesitating, she leapt off the ship after Cecil, and as she touched him, white wings sprang from her back and seemingly without effort, she caught Cecil in her arms and flew them back up as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Mashiro was an angel, a very rare storm power sometimes manifesting in those with a strong will to protect others. Relieved to see Cecil being safe, Lloyd swung himself up on the pirate’s ship and swashbuckled his way to Captain Pete. After Mashiro’s angelic powers had healed the worst part of Cecil’s wounds, he rejoined the fight and soon after the battle had been won. The Pirates were captured and taken in to holding and their ship toed behind Highwind.
Everyone gathered around Mashiro, happy and surprised, everyone except Mashiro. Of course she was happy to have been able to have save Cecil, but she explained that her family, especially her father, hated angels and their like, due to their chaotic nature. Thus her father hunted them whenever they were found. With the sobering realization that their stay in Nipponia might not be as carefree as they first thought, the clouds made way for water, and land. They had arrived!