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Assassin's Pledge: Awakening

Assassin's Pledge: Awakening

The Red-Eyed Demon stalks the landscape of Cre' Est in his hunt to survive the last remnants of Te'i Sai. Along the way he will chance to meet people who will change his life forever.

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Topics: adventure, ap, assassin, original, pledge, romance, and violence (Add Tags »)
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Introduction

Welcome, everyone, to Assassin's Pledge: Awakening!





The remnants of Te'i Sai, formerly the most powerful assassin organization in the world, seek vengeance against the Red-Eyed Demon for dismantling the organization and turning it into a husk of its former self.

Embark on a journey of self discovery and learning to live in this harsh and unforgiving world where around every corner is something or someone who can and will kill you. If it's not Te'i Sai, it's a brigand or rogue. If it's not one of them, it's a thief. If it's not a thief, it's a mercenary. If it's not a mercenary, a bounty hunter. If not a bounty hunter, degenerates. And if it's not human, it's a ferocious animal.

Did I mention this world is FULL of massive and dangerous beasts who, outside of civilization (and sometimes wandering into civilization) are man eaters or, at the very least, highly aggressive and territorial?

Well they are!

Traveling from one city to another is almost always a risky journey. For those who know the hunting and mating patterns of said beasts, it's not so bad. There are ways to mask yourself from them.

Are you game to survive in this world alongside the Red-Eyed Demon as both of you undergo a journey of self discovery and change? Will you be among those who help the Red-Eyed Demon eliminate the last of Te'i Sai once and for all?

He can't do it alone, after all!

He will need help from any brave enough to share in his battle to set the continent free from the dark designs of the Grandmaster which are upheld by those remaining.




Characters




This is the character skeleton for the RP. Please copy and paste it into a character profile for the RP and, once you are accepted to the RP, you will be allowed to begin posting immediately!

And as for why the bio is so short? I want to know who your character is by learning about it IC. So a simple one paragraph bio with the bare basics of your character is all that's required this time!

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[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Picture:[/b] (Anime preferred, thank you!)
[b]Age:[/b]
[b]Height:[/b]
[b]Weight:[/b]
[b]Voice Example:[/b]

[b]Basic Personality:[/b] (Please write at least one paragraph for your character's basic personality traits. Five to seven sentences will suffice. Thank you!)

[b]Basic Background:[/b] (Please write at least five sentences with a basic description of your character's background including: who their parents are, where they were born, how they grew up, and where they are in life right now. Thank you!)

Rules

Rule #1) No God-Modding, Metagaming, or Power Playing

Rule #2) Please communicate often, especially before joining. If I don't receive a notice from you of your interest in joining the RP, I will not accept a character from you. Thanks!

Rule #3) If you have questions, ask sooner rather than later. I love questions, and you can ask me as many as you'd like as often as you like and I will always be happy to answer them! :D

Rule #4) Your characters may not be from or have a background link to Te'i Sai. Period.

Rule #5) Have fun!

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Character Portrait: Kyero
Kyero played by KumoriRyuu
"My purpose in life is my own to find. Nobody will tell me where I belong or what I can become!"
Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna "Kyero is the Red-Eyed Demon, but he's also a human being."
Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura “By this sword I live, by this sword I will restore my family name.”
Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral "They took everything that I had, and I will have my revenge."
Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth "... ...! ..."

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Kyero's ears and brain filtered what he was hearing below into relevant and irrelevant. Talk of anything other than attacking Atlum was marked as irrelevant, as it was non-threatening. But everything about attacking Atlum again, and everything he was hearing about using Linde as bait drew his attention.

"I say we roast that little village and take whatever survives as our pay in lieu of the boss getting sliced."

"Are you insane? He gave our word, and he always led us right. If we break his word now then we-"

"Who gives a fuck about that? He's dead! We follow our own rules now!""

If you want to violate the boss's word, you need to go through me." Said a rather burly one who swung a double-bladed axe while taking a stance.

"You wanna fight me? Fine! Let's go ya big brute!"

The one talking of burning the village swung a sword and prepared to do battle with the much larger one. They squared off and charged one another with the others around making a circle and keeping the blocked in to fight. The charge turned into a clash of blades as the weapons struck one another, and an ugly brawl broke out between them ending with the axe wielder disemboweling the sword wielder. As his insides spilled to the floor he coughed up blood and fell to the ground a minute later.

Anyone else wanna go against the boss's word?! The brute shouted.

There was a lot of murmuring, but nobody spoke up or stepped forward.

The boss gave his word that our days of raiding were over. We all knew this life wouldn't last. We stole more than enough money to all live like kings! Enough is enough! Now let's-"

A dagger was thrown through the crowd landing squarely in his jugular on the right side. He coughed and gagged and choked on his own blood before falling to the ground and going still about twenty seconds later. The one who threw it appeared from the back. A lanky fellow with a lean build and a sinister look on his face.

"All this talk of staying true to the word of a dead man grows tiresome. We didn't get into this life to be nice or stop when we thought we had "enough." We are bandits. Brigands. Thugs. Degenerates. We don't do "nice." We take what we want when we want it. And one little man with red eyes and a fancy blade isn't going to change that. Nor will his other little friends. We are still seventy strong at least. They are four or five people at most. The odds are so in our favor it may as well be a guarantee. So..." He brought out another dagger.

"Anyone else feel like being "nice" to these village idiots?"

Silence...

"I didn't think so. Get some rest and prepare "

Kyero had heard enough. He turned to Aetrius and Lonan.

"Here is what we need to do. Since that one clearly isn't afraid of me... Yet... We need to scare him to scare the rest."

Kyero looked back, and saw him sitting in what had to be the boss's chair with two large goons beside him. Obviously he had now assumed command. Kyero looked to Aetrius and Lonan.

"Aetrius. I need you to make your way to that corner," he said, pointing to the northwest corner of the room, "and be ready on my mark to destroy the chandelier hanging there over that tunnel entryway without being seen."

He looked to Lonan.

"Lonan. I need you to climb up and be ready to close the shutters of that skylight as well." He said, pointing to an open skylight at the center of the room with two hinged wooden doors.

"I need you both to be on point to my signals. It is vital that your timing is perfect and that there is as little light as possible in this room when I make my move. If he can see me, this will all be for nothing. And we will be vulnerable to a massive counter-offensive which my lone smoke bomb isn't going to save us from. Once you are in position, give me a wave. When you're both in place, I will wait for the right moment to signal you both to begin. Are you ready?"

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Okumi Chrysanth
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Touched by Linde’s care for her, Okumi could only smile behind her mask and nod. She didn’t want to impose on this woman any more than she already had, but she’d be lying to herself if she didn’t admit that she wished with every fibre of her being that there was some other solution. She’d long ago resigned herself to the idea that she’d never be rid of this disease – at least, not until she was dead – But... If Linde truly felt she could help, Okumi wouldn’t stop her from trying. No doubt if she ran into the same dead ends that her father had, she’d give up and apologise to Okumi. Still, the shrine maiden was optimistic. There was always a chance that things could change…

At the offer of tea, Okumi nodded again, though she was hesitant at the idea of drinking it in front of Linde. She knew that if she held her breath and only uncovered her mouth she could probably do so safely, but her paranoia and duty to those around her meant that she would often prefer to isolate herself rather than risk accidentally exposing someone to the illness. She did love tea though… Perhaps she could make her way to somewhere private to drink like she had at the inn?

Then there was the matter of her outfit. As Linde drew attention to how dishevelled Okumi looked, the shrine maiden did feel a tinge of embarrassment cross her cheeks, but thankfully her mask tended to hide such things. At the same time, her eyes sparkled and her mood lightened substantially at the prospect of shopping. Her parents had always scolded her a little for being so material, but Okumi did have a fascination when she was younger of going to town and browsing the shop windows. She rarely if ever got to buy anything, considering they were just a self-sufficient shrine that only got the odd donation. Since her self-imposed exile, she hadn’t risked trying to go shopping, both due to her lack of wealth, as well as inability to communicate well in a sale. The very idea that she got to buy something for herself was very exciting, but again… She certainly didn’t want to impose on Linde any more than she already had.

Her expression faltering a little, Okumi shook her head, and then, in the best gesture she could think of, pretended to pull out her pockets. She was trying to indicate that she didn’t have the funds to go on an extravagant trip to have tea and go shopping in a nearby village, but she wasn’t sure that would get across to Linde. She then gestured back to the mountains, forming the house box once more and pulling on her kimono a little, referring to the fact that she still had some other clothes at her shrine. They were the same old boring clothes she always had, but they were hers that she made, and she couldn’t really get anything better. Trying to change the subject so that Linde wouldn’t insist on further generosity, Okumi formed the question mark again, before moving her hands up to her eyes in fists before opening them, simulating a flash. At the same time, she tried to present herself a bit more cold and distant, sitting up and adopting a stance similar to a certain someone Linde knew. She was of course referring to Kyero, but the question she was asking was perhaps unclear…

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Linde smiled when Okumi seemed to brighten at the prospect of tea and shopping for a new outfit. But then her expression faltered slightly, and she started miming again. Linde paid close attention, a calm smile on her face as she nodded with each passing moment. And finally Okumi finished her communication.

Linde chuckled.

"Thank the Gods I'm a doctor and have learned all about silent forms of communication." She laughed.

She gave Okumi a bow.

"You are most kind, miss Okumi. I appreciate the modesty on your part, telling me you have no funds. My guess is that you do not wish to impose, but please consider this tea and shopping for a new outfit as a gift from a new friend." She said with another bow.

"As for Kyero, I'm afraid I didn't quite understand what you were asking about him. But I know he was the subject... Were you asking about his eyes? Or was there something else you wanted to know?"

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán witnessed what went on, the battle for leadership in terms of the equivalent of a Saharan Honor Duel, and then the means of assassinating the bigger man by someone with more guile. He gave a small silent prayer to Heresta to receive the two warriors slain. ”Heresta’s Palace of Warriors, open up your doors, receive the men who fought and died. Receive them and judge their life and deeds accordingly.”

But it did become clear, the one who now lead them had no intentions of leaving. He had to be dealt with however the scare tactic Kyero had planned work. He listened to his instructions and gave a nod and began to make his way towards the Skylight, prepared to do his part and ensure it was perfectly timed.

If darkness is what Kyero wanted, he’ll get it. He kept himself hidden and gave a wave towards Kyero indicating he was in position of the Skylight prepared to shut them at his signal. ”Lets do this! The time to put fear into their hearts comes! Heresta guide this battle of intimidation!”

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius' eyes winded at the sight that had taken place, as for a bounty hunter like her that was a sight to behold. She looked at the other two and nodded at Kyero's orders for what he wanted her and him to do. With swift ease, and becoming one with the darkness, she ever so gracefully climbed over to the corner of which she was placed, she placed her hand on her hip, withdrawing her dagger and getting it at the ready, mentally preparing herself for the mark. She looked back at Kyero through the darkness and gave a nod and a wave, as well as singing On your mark, Kyero, she looked back at the red haired male and nodded as well, taking note of his placement as well. She awaited her order eagerly.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Kyero waited patiently for Aetrius and Lonan to get into position. Both moved with precision, which was excellent. Aetrius might make for a good assassin if she were so inclined someday. But it was time to focus.

Kyero looked down watching what happened below like a hawk, waiting for just the right moment to signal the dousing of lights.

"So what do we do first?" Asked one of the thugs near the new self-appointed leader.

"We rest and prepare our weaponry and armor for a final assault. If those five stand in our way again we will not stop. We will overwhelm them with sheer numbers. That's all wee need."

NOW.

Kyero gave a wave of his hand, signaling the others to do their part. Aetrius expertly used her dagger to slice the rope holding the chandelier, causing it to fall and crash by the lower entrance into the massive cavern, dousing much of the light on that side. Lonan, near simultaneously, slammed the two hinged doors closed and held them in place until he found a latch to lock them that way and move to a better position just in case something went wrong.

Kyero took that as his cue, and disappeared into the darkness.

"What happened?!"

I don't know! I can't see a thing!"

Someone get a lantern or something!"

The confusion was clear, and a moment later the leader was in the middle of the room in the dark. His outline was just barely visible.

"Someone get a fucking light in here!"

At that moment, a red light appeared almost exactly ten feet away from him.

"What the-"

A second light appeared.

"What is this?"

The lights grew brighter and brighter, and before long it was clear what they were and from what, or rather whom, they were being emitted.

"Oh... So it's you. What do you want?"

There was no response, but the eyes grew brighter.

"You want to kill me? Then come at me! So long as I know where your eyes are, I can kill you. So come!"

The sound of a dagger being drawn filled the room, followed by the sound of two other daggers being drawn. But before the leader could attempt any attack, another had rushed the red eyes. A slight shift in their position, and a splatter that was only visible because of the light of his eyes. Black liquid flew through the air in a massive stream blocking his eyes from the leader's view for a moment before he was able to see them again. A cry of pain, and then the sound of a body hitting the floor crying out in pain filled the room with an eerie echo because of how empty the chamber was now.

Another tried to rush, and again a shift in the position of the eyes, a splatter of liquid, screams of pain, and echoes of said screams resounding through the chamber and the halls beyond.

But what had the leader sweating now in the dark was the fact that the eyes never blinked or looked away. It was as if they were frozen wide open and staring a hole through his face.

"What do you want?!" He yelled.

The eyes narrowed, and grew even brighter. But despite how bright the eyes grew... There was no face illuminated with it. It was just a pair of eyes floating in the darkness.

"What do you want?!?" He screamed again.

He couldn't take the silence anymore. He rushed forward and attacked, but paused as he seemed to hit a brick wall. There was a sharp pain in his chest, and the eyes slowly disappeared from view as darkness once again took over.

A moment later, someone pulled a few levers which opened the skylight and the new self-appointed leader was dead in the center of the room with a single blade wound to the heart and lying in a pool of his own blood.

The red eyes, and whoever they belonged to, were nowhere to be seen...

"What the fuck?!"

"It was the red-Eyed Demon! He did this! He killed our leader [u]again[u]!"

"Anyone else think it's a good idea to attack Atlum?!"

Bedlum erupted through the caves as others rushed in and out through the various entrances. Kyero was back in the rafters, having pulled on a black face mask so only his eyes were exposed which was how his face was never reflected. He lifted the mask and sighed as he nodded to the others to join him. And together they watched with satisfaction as the bandits all began turning on one another and fought amongst themselves until at last they shouted what the group wanted to hear.

"No more! No fucking more! I'm done!"

"Same! I'm out of here! I'm not dying for a few more gold than I already have!"

And the others were all in agreement. Kyero pointed to the skylight, and they all left through it as the cavern was cleared of bandits. Once above ground again, Kyero smiled as he looked at his companions.

"Well done, both of you. I could not have managed that alone. The village is safe."

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius smiled at the chaos that had begun below them in the rafters, a sight to behold for sure. Panic, pure and utter panic, all due to the three of them, a genuine wide smile crossed her lips as satisfaction hit, a smile no one would bare witness to as the room was shrouded in pure darkness. Atlum is safe....For now... she thought to herself. She slowly rose to her full height, and as the others hopped through the skylight, so did she. Once it was done and over with she looked around the darkened night sky, and stretched. She looked at her companions and gave a small genuine smile to Kyero and Lolan, "Good work indeed, boys. But it was simply child's play, but Atlum and the people of it are safe, for now." she gave a slight nod and crossed her arms, thinking for a moment as she placed her hand on her chin while in thought. She looked back at Kyero and Lolan as a small rumble came from her stomach, "W-wouldn't mind accompanying me for some well deserved food after we get back to Atlum, would you? And this time, I won't end up murdering someone." she said with a slight chuckle, and began to walk back to the village, but turned on her heel to look at the others, "At least I don't think I'll murder someone else tonight....Not in my plans anyway." she chuckled again at her dark humor and headed back towards Atlum after a thankfully successful mission.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Okumi Chrysanth
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Okumi sighed to herself as her attempts to dissuade Linde from supporting her financially were a failure, the Shrine Maiden too polite to refuse such a gift a second time. As such, she felt obliged to accompany her wherever it was that she wanted to go, but she did still feel a bit guilty that she forced to rely on her for so much. She’d have to try and make it up to her at some point, especially since Linde considered the two to be friends. Okumi liked the idea of that, but somehow, she felt someone as important and respected as Linde would go on to much greater things then the forgettable shrine maiden that was Okumi. Considering Okumi was settled where she was, and Linde seemed to travel, it was doubtful they’d get too long to get to know each other, but it wouldn’t hurt to make the most of it for now. Perhaps she could make something for Linde back at her shrine before the doctor left?

Pondering this, it then became apparent that although Okumi had managed to get across that she wanted to know more about Kyero, Linde wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to know about him. She’d been hoping to get some general information, as there were many questions Okumi had about him. Surely her curiosity would be sated at some point, but for now, she felt it prudent to talk about Linde as well, given how kind she’d been and the amount of focus she’d put on Okumi. Gesturing with another point to Linde, the shrine maiden then mimed her ‘Kyero’ pose once more, before forming a heart with her hands, and then a question mark. Linde might misinterpret it, but Okumi was asking about Linde’s relationship to Kyero and how she got to know him. They seemed close, which Okumi found curious given their somewhat opposing natures. Of course, if she got the chance, she’d ‘speak’ with Kyero personally and find out more about him, but for now, Okumi was curious about these two and their connection.

Looking out towards the direction Kyero and the others went, she wondered how they were going, and whether they’d wait for them before their shopping trip. After all, she wasn’t sure when and where they’d meet up, or how long this mission of theirs would take. Still… She really did hope it went well, even if it did take longer. She’d seen enough bodies to last a lifetime.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Linde watched Okumi do her miming once again, and this time when she saw the heart she blushed slightly and stuttered over her words.

"I-I-I mean... We uh... We're not in love, if that's what you meant by the heart." She said nervously.

She looked away, trying to get rid of the blush with a brief moment of meditation to calm her mind. But it was no use. Her heart was aflutter and she didn't know how to stop it other than talking about something other than romantic feelings.

"You see, Kyero and I met almost several months ago and he uh... He uuuhhh... He was doing something important. He also knew a childhood friend of mine who was helping him. He and I were not friends at first. I kind of tried to kill him, actually." She laughed nervously.

"And uh... See we... We got to talking after that and sort of became allies first. After that we became friends. And we grew closer because..."

She froze.

She looked away again, looking at the ground with a quiet sadness.

"We uh... We both lost something not long ago... Someone... And it... It made us both realize how valuable our relationships are even if they're not that strong on the outside."

Linde looked at Okumi, still blushing and sporting a somewhat bashful smile.

"Kyero is a friend. He is the Red-Eyed Demon and an assassin, but he has learned the value of life even if his choices and strategies don't always reflect that. But he's trying. Little by little we've made progress with him, and he wants to turn over a new leaf. But so long as Te'i Sai is out there he can't really rest or be who he wants to be. They're hunting him, you see. And together we're trying to ensure he survives..."

She wanted to say more, but she had to stop herself.

"Forgive me... I have been rambling. Anyway, let's get you that tea! I know a lovely little restaurant in the village the survived the chaos, and it's not far!" She said as enthusiastically as she could manage.

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Okumi Chrysanth
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Okumi listened intently to Linde’s story, stifling a small giggle at how flustered Linde became at the notion of romantic feelings between Kyero and her. The idea that Linde once tried to kill Kyero was amusing on some level, especially with how well they seemed to get on now. It warmed the heart to know they could overcome their differences. Still, it was clear the conversation steered somewhere Linde hadn’t intended as her face fell, and a sombre silence filled the air. Okumi understood what that sort of loss felt like, and could respect the lessons that it seemed to teach people. At the same time, it was yet another example of how the world could be cruel. Still, there was no sense dwelling on the past, and it seemed Linde felt the same as she brightened once again, speaking of Kyero fondly and how he’d changed. It truly did seem like something admirable, though the idea of Linde and Kyero being hunted was disconcerting…

It had all been quite the interesting tale, Okumi nodding appreciatively as she came to understand the dynamic between Kyero and Linde some more. Honestly, she would have been happen to continue listening to Linde run through her history, but it seemed the doctor had remembered her earlier promise to get some tea and go shopping. As Linde jumped to her feet and declared she knew a lovely place in town, Okumi nodded, smiling as she sat up and made her way to follow Linde’s lead. Briefly, Okumi glanced back towards the direction of the cave, pausing to watch before picking up pace to catch up to Linde. They’d be fine, right?



Tea at the restaurant was enjoyable, if a little strange. They sat outside and got to discuss a few more things about each other, Okumi doing her best to accommodate Linde’s probes into her shrine, along with the occasional query regarding her illness. In turn, Linde spoke a bit about herself and her training. It was very impressive the breadth of knowledge Linde had in medicine, made all the more impressive by her fighting skills. She certainly was a multi-talented wonder, and it really was no surprise that she’d earned the nickname of Angelic Knight. Okumi had to wonder if she’d ever be known by a nickname. The Silent Maiden? It certainly sounded cool, but perhaps a little ominous or sad… Certainly not as impressive sounding as an Angelic Knight, but Linde probably was more impressive than Okumi, so it made sense.

When the tea arrived, it took quite a bit of convincing from Linde to have Okumi let her guard down and drink in front of her. Despite her pleas, Linde only managed to convince Okumi to drink by covering her own mouth. Although she was still hesitant, the shrine maiden stuck to her promise, lifting the bottom of her mask briefly in order to sip before immediately pulling it back into place. It looked weird, and she certainly was drawing the odd look from those passing by – though that was probably more to do with her strange tattered and bloody outfit than her odd drinking habits. Regardless, the two got to enjoy their tea in peace, taking it in turns to drink until they were finished. With that finished, it was time to move on to getting Okumi presentable once more.

Dragging Okumi along by her hand, Linde seemed more excited than the shrine maiden, which was a bit of a surprise to Okumi. After all, she was the one getting a new outfit (Which she was pretty excited about herself), but Linde was talking about all sorts of things in terms of design and showing off that it almost seemed like Linde was shopping for herself. Stepping into the store with Linde, Okumi slowly made her way around the racks and shelves of clothing, taking it all in steadily. There were many different kinds of outfits and styles, the whole thing a little bit overwhelming to the uncultured shrine maiden. She didn’t know where to begin, and so ended up standing awkwardly turning around in the middle of the store. After watching this for a few more moments, Linde stepped in to assist, taking Okumi to the changing stall and, after briefly appraising the girl, offered to help by fetching clothes for her to try. Nodding with only a slight blush, Okumi was happy to let Linde make the choice for her, especially since she’d be paying. All she had to do was let Linde know when she found one she liked, and that would be that.

The first outfit was… Interesting to Okumi. The jacket was small, barely reaching to her hips, though it was in a lovely turquoise colour. Underneath, she wore a small, loose black shirt, and to finish it off, she had a small pair of shorts in a creamy white colour. Wiggling her hips as she pulled the outfit snuggly into place, it certainly felt very different to her kimono. Briefly, she posed to look at herself in front of the mirror, bending over slightly. It certainly showed more skin than she was used to… Cautiously stepping out of the changing room, hands behind her back, Okumi blushed as Linde circled around her commenting and gawking at how wonderful it was. Suddenly feeling very self-conscious, Okumi covered her cheeks, watching Linde give her a thumbs up, but at the same time, holding out another outfit. Wait, she wanted her to try this too..?

Moving back into the changing room as Linde pushed her along, Okumi looked back to the mirror again and smiled. Well, it certainly was fun trying things on. A little more experimentation wouldn't hurt. Next came a blue outfit, the navy tank top and sky blue skirt was a complementary mix, rounded off by a white sheer shawl. Taking a few moments to look it over, Okumi realised that there was also a lace choker, which she simply connected around her neck before stepping out to greet Linde. After another period of fawning and receiving positive feedback, Okumi was given a set of different outfits, the shrine maiden suppressing a laugh as she went back to the change room. This truly was fun. She’d always had two brothers, so the only person who’d come close to understanding her interest in things like this was her mother. And even then… Her mother was pretty minimalist. She had no real interest in such things, but did her best to feign interest for Okumi’s benefit. She missed her… But for now, she had a friend. Someone genuinely encouraging her. And for the moment, that made it all okay.

From there, Okumi kept trying on different pieces, surprised by the variety of things they had. One moment she was in a ball gown, the next, something akin to military wear, a yukata, and even a styled knitted blue dress; but finally, she managed to narrow herself down to a couple of different outfits. She wanted a dress. She knew that from the beginning, but she wanted something different to her normal shrine maiden outfits. That said, the first one she thought might be okay was something simple, a plain White Dress, with some thin shoulder straps and only a few frills to make it stand out. The other outfit was a bit more elaborate; a mixture of black and white into a more covering piece. With the long sleeve white turtleneck underneath the black buckled and tied dress, it provided a nice contrast, and even came with some pantyhose and a ribbon. Having tried both, Okumi went to Linde for a final opinion,holding up the two different dresses to try and gauge which her friend liked. After all, she was buying it, and her opinion mattered to her greatly.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Tea time with Okumi had been absolutely lovely. They had managed to connect a little more with Linde sharing about herself and Kyero, and Okumi sharing what she could about her shrine and illness. The tea was heavenly for this time in the early morning, and Linde relished the chance to simply sit and sip tea with another person. She hadn't had the time in some number of weeks, and she had missed it dearly.

She recalled for Okumi how her work as a doctor forced her to travel a lot and leave her own clinic, the Almna Apothecary and Clinic, in the hands of her nurses and a family friend. That time spent away was like spending time away from family. Everyone in the clinic knew each other very well and were as close as blood in many cases. Despite no romantic feelings among them, the friendship and familial bond was very strong. Linde loved her employees and all of her patients as well, even those who gave her a hard time when they came in. A few young men would deliberately injure themselves to spend time with her, as she was in high demand as a bachelorette back in Cre' Est. Everyone knew she was single, and being twenty-one years old she was in the prime time of her life to find a husband.

She was not ready to settle down though. She felt something missing. Like something in her heart hadn't completed itself yet. And that before she could marry, she needed to find the piece that finished the puzzle that was her heart. She apologized to Okumi for rambling on, but Okumi tried to assure her it was no trouble.

When they finished their tea Linde took her shopping for clothes at a local tailor, picking as many varied outfits as she could for the shrine maiden which were just normal, everyday clothes. Despite her work, Okumi seemed to want to just try looking normal, and she tried on each one seemingly having a good time throughout the experience. Finally, she held up a white dress and a black dress with more of a covering to the body checking which Linde thought looked better.

Linde happily pointed to the white dress and took it from her, folding it up and preparing to walk it to the counter to purchase it.

"Perhaps I am biased, but I think this white dress draws out more of your feminine charm." She said with a giggle.

With the dress chosen, she walked to the counter and brought out her coin pouch. She had approximately five silver on her at present. She'd need to get more soon. Perhaps a visit to her clinic would be in order...

After having paid the man behind the counter, she handed the dress to Okumi to wear as they left the tailor. Linde, meanwhile, held onto Okumi's old shrine maiden outfit and folded it up nicely for her to carry as they headed to the edge of town to meet with the others. And thankfully they didn't have to wait very long.

On the horizon came three figures who walked calmly back, seemingly unharmed and in good spirits. As they drew closer they found that it was indeed their new friends. Kyero in the center wearing his cloak with hood drawn followed by Aetrius and Lonan. When they arrived, Kyero relayed the story. Linde was slightly saddened that a small handful were killed, but it was better than a wholesale slaughter. A few lives of those more aggressive and bent on conquering than fleeing were a small price to pay in the end. Still, Linde said a silent prayer for the men who assaulted Kyero and lost their lives while he intimidated and killed the self-appointed leader.

"Aetrius is hungry." Kyero said.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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As they entered the town, Aetrius could see two people standing at the end of the entrance of the town. As they got closer one could see that it was indeed Okumi and Linde, perhaps they were waiting for them to return? Well, waiting for Lolan and Kyero to return anyway, least that's what Aetrius thought. As they grew closer, a small smile appeared on Aetrius' face as she looked at Linde, but then just as quickly it disappeared. She remained silent as Kyero and the others exchanged words, telling the two other girls what had taken place. Her attention was taken back when she heard Kyero mention her being hungry.

"H-hey now, last time I didn't even eat that much...If anything. Sorry that I need food?" she said as she looked down with a somewhat embarrassed look. She looked back up at the others as she spoke, "Since Atlum is safe for now, I need food and rest since I plan on heading out early tomorrow for Veilbrand first thing at day break. If any of you want to accompany me, feel free to, just know it's going to be a long trek there, and I don't know what we'll find there...Just make sure you really want to. Not going to waste time if no one actually wants to go with me. You have enough time to think it over..." she said, and started to walk to the tavern by herself, to only stop and turn to look at the other's before she continued her way to find food, "Companions would be appreciated, but this mission isn't your burden to bare....Just mine.." her voice was rather soft and sad as she said those words. Clearly this meant much to her, but as to why the others wouldn't know why exactly yet. She wasn't very keen on talking about her past or personal issues such as Kieran, and why she mattered so much to this seemingly heartless individual.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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As Kyero mentioned Aetrius was hungry, Linde chuckled as Aetrius began her response. However, she quickly moved into saying that she was going to head to Veilbrand first thing tomorrow. And to that, Linde had something to say once Aetrius was finished speaking.

"Aetrius, I must insist that you remain with us here in Atlum for at least two more days. Your injury is still fresh and at risk of re-opening. Especially with your activity going after the bandits. I would like to check both your and Lonan's bindings in the next half hour or so, since we are on the subject. Not to mention the wound was quite severe. Your bandages will have to be changed at least twice a day and the wound cleaned for the next two days if we are to be certain there is no infection. And if there is infection, I will need to treat it the moment symptoms arise."

She walked towards Aetrius and put her hands on her shoulders.

"I understand the burning desire to save someone you care about, especially now that you know where they are. But please have patience. You can do nothing for them if you let your body deteriorate before you reach them."

She smiled sweetly.

"Stay with us here for just two days, Aetrius. That's all I ask. Please just give me two days to be your doctor, and everyone else's, so that I can confirm you are all fit to travel and are past the point of worry for infection or other medical complications. For you and Lonan especially, having taken crossbow bolts, you are at the greatest risk. Because the cut on my shoulder was clean, the local doctor's stitching has handled the binding of the flesh much cleaner than those I did for your wounds. Yours will take more time to heal."

She let go of Aetrius' shoulders and took a step back.

"Will you give me these two days, Aetrius? To be your doctor? I promise to accompany you to Veilbrand either way, but I would feel better if you took these days to rest instead of travel."

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Lonán followed the group into town, feeling particularly proud of himself that his contribution in the plan against those that wanted to stay helped coax the bandits to leaving Atlum alone. Hopefully to get them time to both rebuild and have the Military send for a guard. In the latter case he’d be no longer needed to aid them. Which meant two things, he needed to hopefully earn compensation from the Mayor, if he was still around, or leave to find the next prospect.

He was opting to do the latter when Linde explained to Aetrius to stay two extra days. He actually began to see the logic when she listed off the injuries commonly suffered between the Bounty Hunter and himself. He felt like an idiot for not putting his health into consideration. His Mother would have smacked him for that, as well as The Old Wolf for possibly saying otherwise.

Sighing the Saharan nodded. ”It would seems the good doctor has a point my friend.” Lonán said in interjection. ”Besides, I need to meditate on my next move too, though I will consider your invitation to heart given your motivations, alongside other things.” before he could elaborate, his stomach began to rumble and groan, begging to be fed.

He frowned as he looked at the offending stomach. ”Correction, I’ll have dinner first. Then I’ll meditate on it.” He said with an embarrassed look on his face as he grinned sheepishly before he prepared to follow Aetrius and whoever else wanted to go eat a meal before doing what he said he was going to do afterward. Meditating was a long process anyway, so he’d wait until later in the evening before he did so. For now, he’d celebrate the major victory over the Bandits with his newfound friends, and feel happy knowing he helped save Atlum.

Word would spread of this, and Honor would be gained back home. It was what mattered deep in Lonán’s heart, second only to his friendships slowly budding into bloom. He’d cherish both if he was to continue the Great Battle that Men called Life.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Food was in bound for the young hunter, but before she could get another step in, she felt a hand on her shoulder. She groaned and looked to see Linde, she listened to her speak and tell her not to leave yet, but to wait. Aetrius wanted to argue, to deny her plees to help and stay and heal. To just leave in the morning, but...Aetrius saw her logic regrettably. She hated that Linde was right, in every way as usual. She groaned, her head fell and after a moment of silence she looked back up at Linde and spoke, "Fine...I'll stay...but two days only. After that I'm leaving, understand?" her voice was surprisingly calm and soft as she spoke to Linde. She nodded again and looked at Lolan, "Okay...Thank you, both...I...I appreciate your willingness to help..." she said with a slight smile, and turned back to Linde, "And yes, Linde...You may, be my...doctor, if that is what you want that is." a slight blush overcame her face and she quickly turned back to where the direction of the tavern was, and made her way there. Trying to overcome the embarrassment she felt, for some unknown reason to her, as well as her need of food.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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The overall consensus was food first, medical after. Linde could live with that. She gave both Aetrius and Lonan a small bow before gesturing for Okumi to come with them. She leaned in and whispered to Okumi that she didn't need to partake in food with them if she felt too concerned about lifting the mask. Linde would deliver her a meal later tonight after she checked her wound.

The offer was there, if nothing else to help ease her concern of removing the mask in the company of others.

And so they journeyed to the tavern to eat and relax. As Linde entered the tavern and sat down with the others at the table, waiting for the server to arrive and take their orders, she asked how the others were faring with their injuries. Her wound had been a clean slice to the shoulder, which didn't hurt as much because of the fact that the skin was cut so well that it didn't cause fraying or splitting of flesh or muscle which was often at the core of the pain. With a handful of stitches and an anti-inflammatory salve and bandaging applied, Linde's wound was fairly easy to dress.

But for Aetrius, having taken a crossbow bolt to the side, was the one she was most concerned with. The softer flesh and typically underdeveloped muscles in the sides of the core were often the easiest to destroy. She didn't doubt that Aetrius was well conditioned and her musculature fairly well balanced, but all the same she was worried about the wound. Those softer tissues and muscle groups, when not developed evenly with the rest, could take longer to heal due to being looser and more flexible, prone to shifting around with bodily movement which could delay the healing process.

Aetrius assured her that she was fine. Sore, yes. But fine. And after inquiring about Lonan's arm wound, she was satisfied that he was telling the truth when he said he too was just sore but otherwise doing fine.

Okumi was next, having taken a knee to the face and a crossbow bolt through her shoulder near the clavicle, she too was in jeopardy of the same problem Aetrius could potentially have faced. The muscled in and around the clavicle were much weaker than those of the chest (specifically the pecs) and the deltoids. The clavicle was mainly connective muscle and tissue. Very vulnerable to harm and strain from such damages. Okumi made an "Okay" thumbs up, indicating much the same as the others. Sore, gestured by rubbing her wound, but a thumbs up. She was okay.

Linde was glad they all seemed to be all right. Kyero had elected to remain outside to wait for them, as he wasn't one to venture inside crowded areas like taverns. His eyes were impossible to hide in such places, and they didn't need that kind of negative attention.

Their food arrived, and they all ate in relative silence though there was some pleasant conversation exchanged before moving to the inn to rest for the night. Once they arrived, Linde visited each one of them in turn in their rooms. Lonan was first, as his room was right next to Linde's. She removed the bandaging on his arm and cleaned off the wound with a disinfectant solution before wrapping it in new bandages. She also checked his head where he was hit by the club, asking him a series of questions and testing his visual concentration and coordination by having his eyes follow her hand through multiple patterns to confirm whether or not he had a concussion or had just been dazed by the blow. And luckily it had been the latter. Had the blow been a bit lower, he'd have had a concussion for sure and this would have proven difficult for him. The bite on his side was healing well, but she dressed it anyway before bidding him goodnight.

Next was Aetrius. For her, this would be a very uncomfortable situation due to the fact that, in order to reach the wound and dress it properly, she'd need to request Aetrius remove her clothing enough to have bandage wraps around her torso...

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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After they went back to the tavern and ate, having pleasant small talk even for her, they all retired to their rooms after they all settled down. Aetrius bowed out first and went to her room. She removed her belt and weaponry, placing them on the edge of the bed, and her boots, placing them under the bed. She sat down on the bed, legs crossed and began reading a book. Moments later there was a gentle knock on the door that garnered her attention.

"Door's open." she said with an all too relaxed tone, going back to her book.

When the door opened in stepped Linde, she put her book down and gave her her undivided attention.

"Yes, Linde?" she asked, who only came a few feet away from the bed.

"It's time to dress your wound, Aetrius. Would you mind if I sat down?"

Aetrius reluctantly nodded and looked back at her.

"So, where do we start?" Aetrius asked rather nervously.

"I would like to request that you remove the armor and clothing covering your torso. I have the easiest access to the wound if you aren't wearing anything around the point of injury. Try not to worry. We're both women and I'm a doctor. Modesty isn't an issue with me." She said with a smile.

Aetrius was hesitant, highly hesitant. Not just because she was a doctor, but of her scarring.

She looked up at her and stuttered a bit.

"I...I uhm....Not really comfortable doing that...Not cuz you're another female or doctor, just....My own reasoning, it makes me rather, uncomfortable..." Her voice was rather distant, and the relaxed tone in her voice was all but gone by now.

Linde smiled at Aetrius.

"I understand. Many patients in the past have been reluctant to reveal their bodies to anyone. Even doctors. It's happened to me as well, many times. But I think I have a way around your discomfort. At least in part."

Linde shifted her weight and gripped her own shirt, lifting it up along the side of her body showing the same spot on her own body where Aetrius' wound would be, but nothing more.

"Would you be more comfortable lifting just this much of your shirt and lying on the bed for me? It will be easier for you to hold the clothing out of the way and easier for me with you lying still."

Aetrius thought for a moment, that would be more comfortable for her. But having to hold it up would cause her side to be tensed up and harder for Linde to work with. She sighed and stood up, slowly grabbing the bottom of her shirt, then stopped and looked at Linde, pausing for a moment, then she spoke.

"Just....just promise to not be...disgusted by what you see?"

Aetrius asked, her voice held some sort of sadness in it, but the reasoning was left unknown at the moment for Linde.

"Fuck it..." She muttered under her breath, and gathered enough courage to remove what needed to be done for Linde to address the wound properly. With her leather gloved hand that wasn't injured she removed her over cloak and shirt, tossing them aside.

What was left was her long, rather think pants and boots and gloves, her chest was tightly bound with chest binding, making her basically flat and modest for the most part. It helped in combat and helped free up her mobility, among other reasons. She slowly turned back to the bed where Linde was sitting. Her back was littered with a plethora of scars littering her body, all ranging in sizes, shapes, severity, and recent damage tissue. They were a mix of A multitude of scars big and small on her back, as most of those are due to whips, and then a few dozen scars from arrows and bolts all over her body, especially her abdominal region and arms. Indicating as to what she has been through, and how many close calls this one human has endured. As well as her tattoos that were now visible. One on the center of her back and one on her right shoulder. She kept her eyes down and away from Linde, ashamed to look her in the eyes.

She stuttered as she spoke.

"I-is this good enough? I-if I need to r-remove more, I will..."

The usually calm and collective and apparently confident Aetrius was now gone, leaving the now current shell that was Aetrius in her most vulnerable state. Which usually appeared when people could ask and would usually ask about her scarring and tattoos, which usually caused her to panic and stutter.

Linde observed calmly as Aetrius removed her clothing in full along her upper torso, revealing her scars and numerous wounds received from over the years doing whatever it was she did. And Aetrius' demeanor upon completion of this task was... Surprising. But as she spoke, stuttering and looking down seemingly embarrassed beyond recognition from who she was before, Linde slowly stood up and put her hands on Aetrius' shoulders.

"You've already gone out of your comfort zone, Aetrius. I would be nothing short of inhuman to ask more of you. Here... Lay down."

She gently urged Aetrius to lay down on the bed, keeping her hands on her shoulders and using her thumbs to give her flesh a tender massage.

"Just relax, Aetrius."

She grabbed her tools, washed her hands, put gloves on, and began to work. She began by undoing the bindings around her abdominal area, leaving the bindings covering her chest in tact to help with her comfort level. And as she worked, her hands were incredibly soft. Incredibly tender. Almost as if the woman who fought five bandits didn't exist. Her hands were so gentle that it was almost like a completely different woman was working on her now.

"These scars all tell tales of your exploits, Aetrius. You should not be ashamed of them. Even if many of them look to be caused by something humiliating, you bore the pain and pushed through to become who you are today. You have nothing to be ashamed of." She cooed softly.

She removed the patch over the wound, and began applying her solution to keep it clean of infection while checking the stitching as well. The stitching did seem a bit loose, so she had to clip them and re-stitch the wound. And even while stitching she was gentle and the prick of the needle barely registered with her skill to use it in just the right way.

"So, Aetrius. Would you tell me more about yourself while we have some time?" She asked.

"I'd like to know more about where you come from and how you got to this point. Or at least what details you're willing to share. I will not pry into matters that are too personal to discuss." She said.

Aetrius slightly blushed as she was calmly talked to by Linde and guided over to the bed and laid back down on her back, watching as Linde busily got to her work of taking care of her wound. She could barely feel the needles and alcohol being used as not only did she have a high pain tolerance over the years, but the medicine used worked wonders. She would have fallen asleep if Linde remained silent, her eyes opening as Linde spoke up, asking about her scars but offering Aetrius to refrain from explaining if it was too personal.

She sighed and remained silent for a moment, looking up at the ceiling as she was lost in thought. Where would she start first? Most were self explanatory for Linde to figure, multiple crossbow bolt scars practically made her look like a pin cushion of sorts. Others were obvious slices and stab wounds, the most prominent one was on the same side as the wound Linde was currently working on. It was a long, rather good sized scar that ran along her side. She chuckled as the memory came back to her.

"The scar right below your hand, that one... Heh, got that one not by fighting if you can believe it. Instead, years ago when I was living on the streets....I was running away by an angry store owner as I stole what was my dinner. I hopped a metal, barbed fence. But as I was hopping over it, my side got hooked and it tore into my side. It was a poor sight to see if you asked anyone that saw. Twelve year old me hooked on a fence like a piece of meat." She chuckled a bit, but groaned as laughing caused discomfort as Linde was still at work on her wound.

Linde listened to the story Aetrius told her about the long scar on her side beneath the latest in what was obviously a series of crossbow injuries. And Linde couldn't help but chuckle a little to herself as she finished stitching Aetrius' wound. And when Aetrius groaned, Linde placed her hand over Aetrius' stomach and gently massaged it to help ease the tension in her muscles.

As the mind encountered pain, the core was often the first muscle group to respond. And not often positively.

"That must have been a sight." She said with a tiny hint of glee.

Linde sat up straight and looked at Aetrius calmly, but with seriousness.

"Mine is but a single reminder of a deadly encounter, but nevertheless the fact that I am alive is nothing short of the Goddess's mercy." She said quietly.

Linde slowly removed her gloves and placed them in a bag before putting it in the trash, and then stood up beside the bed, facing Aetrius.

"Please pardon the display, but..."

She slowly lifted her shirt, revealing her stomach, breasts, and upper chest area to Aetrius. And along Linde's middle, directly between her breasts and stopping just shy of the base of the rib cage, was a massive, jagged scar from a single puncture wound. Obviously this was caused by a serrated blade of some kind, and it was a grim reminder that not even Linde's body was safe from the marring scars of life.

"This wound..." She turned around, revealing a near matching scar on the back... A full puncture from front to back.

"Was received in a battle against Te'i Sai." She said quietly.

"It was when I met Kyero. He was injured after fleeing from them, and I tended his wounds. But after doing so they found us and presumed I was already his ally. So they attacked us, and I was unable to match their speed or expertise with their weapons. I was stabbed in the back through the chest, and left to die."

She slowly lowered her shirt, turning back around to face Aetrius with a sad, but still somehow charming smile.

"Kyero managed to drive them off and save me. I don't know how he did it. But he did."

She chuckled.

"The Red-Eyed Demon saving a life instead of ending it. Who would have guessed, right?"

She sat down on the edge of the bed, putting her hand on Aetrius'.

"No matter how many scars you bear, your story is your story. Be proud of your marks, Aetrius. They do not define you, but they do tell your story to the world." She cooed.

Aetrius chuckled, and a small smile appeared on her face when Linde found what she told her a bit humorous albeit dark. At least she could make one person laugh, never mind even cracking a small. A first for her. She listened to Linde as she began to explain her scar, sitting up as she gave her full attention. But what she didn't expect was for Linde to start disrobing, quickly she looked away as a blush over came her, only to glance up when Linde had turned around, seeing an entry wound. Her expression changed, her face flushed white and looked somewhat saddened at the fact that Linde could have, no should have died. But due to Kyero, she lived. She looked back at Linde when she turned around and fixed her clothing, not realizing that Aetrius was blushing all the while.

She only blushed more when Linde gently placed her hand on her's when she spoke a word of encouragement to her about her scars. She sighed and nodded. Aetrius pondered for a moment, and then looked back up, she sighed and begrudgingly started to remove her gloves. Starting with the leather gloves themselves, then stopped when it came to the under wrappings that kept her hands hidden.

She paused, and looked back up at Linde and in a soft voice she spoke.

"No one....well, not many people have seen my scars...Only those who are lucky enough to have..." she paused and looked away, her right hand holding the bandage over her left hand. "But....These....these are my worst scars..."

She slowly unraveled the wrappings, they fell to the floor where they lay. Aetrius looked down at her badly and distorted hands. They were marred over by dark, scars obviously burn marks. They were in the shape of chains, leading from wrapping around her palms and lead up to her elbows. Seeing how the gloves covered them perfectly, no one else had to wonder why she constantly wore gloves as well as layers.

"These... These are a reminder... Of the man that took everything from me... as well as the scar on my face... and back..." she said as she remained looking down at her hands that she held out in front of her, hands shaking all the while from fear and the memories coming back to her the day she received her most notably bad scarring.

"W-would you like to know...?" she asked rather innocently, which was odd coming from someone such as herself.

Never did she open up to someone like this before, not even to someone she barely knew. But, something about Linde made her feel like she could trust her, and be honest with certain aspects that others would most likely find repulsive.

Holding Aetrius' hands seemed to help her calm down, at least a little bit. Linde was not blind to the flush in her face, but she passed it off simply as Aetrius being new to this situation. And what she said afterwards only confirmed it. She was not used to people seeing her like this. Showing her past. Her nightmares. Her demons. The scars of numerous clashes and belittling moments... Culminating with the scars on her hands and arms.

She asked if Linde would like to know, but Linde brought up her right index finger and put it to Aetrius' lips.

"... Another time, perhaps." She whispered with a warm smile.

She gently put Aetrius' left hand in both of her own, sandwiching it softly.

"You have shown me so much already, and I thank you." She said, her smile growing even warmer.

"I feel I understand you much better now, and it makes me even more determined to help you find your friend. Kieran."

She slowly let go of Aetrius' hand, placing her hands in her own lap.

"Once I have ensured your wound is travel ready in two days, we will set out for Veilbrand. And we won't stop until we find Kieran." She said calmly, but with confidence and authority.

Aetrius couldn't help but blush more as Linde held her hand closer and tighter to herself and spoke to her as she did so. Her encouraging words did help a bit, but it wouldn't alleviate the struggle she dealt with for so long, the memories, nightmares, constant self hate and regret due to the cause of them. But she nodded, and smiled a bit as well when Linde confirmed wanting to leave with her, no matter what.

"Thank you, Linde...Your kindness...Is something I'm not fully accustomed to...Thank you..." She said with a genuine, but small smile.

Her hands twitched and she finally realized she still hadn't fully dressed herself yet. Aetrius quickly stood up and fumbled while putting her clothes back on, and when she was done she took a deep breath and sat back down, looking back at the floor then back up.

"So...Now what then? Like..Where do we go on from here?"

Linde's warm smile did not falter despite Aetrius quickly moving to clothe herself. And as she sat back down to ask where we go from here, Linde was happy to answer...

"For now, we rest. In two days, Veilbrand. It need not be more complicated than that." She said with a chuckle.

Linde said goodnight to Aetrius, giving her a small bow before leaving, and moved on to Okumi's room. She knocked quietly, entering upon a little tap in response against the door, and walked inside. She sat with Okumi at the bed and checked her wounds, which Okumi was a bit reluctant to show. However, once Linde showed she had gloves at her disposal, Okumi was relieved and allowed Linde to work.

It was a simple procedure to check her wounds, clean it, and re-bandage it before Linde bade Okumi good night and returned to her own room to check her own wounds. Her cheek was still raw and missing a layer of skin, but overall it was her shoulder that was the main concern. Her stitching held well, but the wound was seeping slightly. She cleaned it off before applying her disinfectant, and then re-bandaged herself as best she could.

For the next two days, as promised, Linde kept a close eye on everyone's wounds. She cleaned them, re-bandaged them, and made sure to keep everyone as occupied and content as she could during these two days of rest. The village was starting to settle in after what had happened, and had begun proper reconstruction by the time they departed for Veilbrand the next morning.

And as they all hit the road, now on horseback courtesy of the mayor as thanks for their heroic deeds, Linde was riding just behind Aetrius who took the lead position.

"Does anyone have any stories for the road?" She asked.

Assassin's Pledge: Awakening: Out Of Character (OOC)

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