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Linde Xe' Almna

"Kyero is the Red-Eyed Demon, but he's also a human being."

0 · 886 views · located in Cre' Est

a character in “Assassin's Pledge: Awakening”, as played by KumoriRyuu

Description

Linde Xe' Almna

Image





Age: 21
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 135 lbs
Voice Example: Linde

Basic Personality: Linde is a very kind and compassionate woman who, as a doctor, seeks only to heal and do right by others. Her love of life drives her every decision, and she would sooner cut both her hands off than allow them to be used for killing someone else. However, she does have an edge to her. As the daughter of a Cre' Itian general, she has been taught confidence, self discipline and self respect, and the mindset of a proud warrior. She will kick your ass, and tend to your wounds directly after no matter the circumstances. To date, Linde has only let one person die in her care... And it is a death that haunts her every day.

Basic Background: Linde was born as the daughter of a Cre' Itian general who taught her a warrior's discipline and pride, and a mother who was a doctor and taught her nurturing and kindness. Blending the best of both worlds, Linde became a doctor herself and a self-appointed protector of her community in the capitol city of Cre' Est. She earned the nickname the "Angelic Knight of Cre' Est" for her kindness and tenacity in combat whenever her community was threatened by bandits, rogues, thieves, or whoever. Linde's most famous feat was defeating a mercenary named Carnal, and after soundly defeating him took him to her clinic to tend to his wounds before sending him on his way. However, Linde has one bit of baggage hanging onto her... Which you'll learn about in the RP.

So begins...

Linde Xe' Almna's Story

Setting

Characters Present

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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Linde's eyes trailed to Lonan, her eyes slightly wider than normal.

"Sekhai smoke is a paralyzing gas created by Te'i Sai. It paralyzes the lungs to cause death by suffocation, and is meant almost specifically for situations like this. But the problem I have with it is that it's too easily carried by the wind. If Kyero uses it inside the caves and it leaks outside, it could spread to any other number of villages and settlements for miles around and turn them into ghost towns."

Linde looked back to Kyero.

Kyero. I'm sorry. But I can't let you do it. You must know of another way to deal with them."

Kyero shook his head.

"I'm afraid I have no other suggestions, Linde. The likelihood of it spreading to nearby settlements is low, and I found it worth the risk."

"It's not worth the risk! Not even close! We're not using it!" She barked.

Kyero sighed, seeming to relent to her declaration.

Setting

Characters Present

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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Aetrius groaned and winced as Linde tended to her wound yet again, baring it the best she could without the use of a numbing agent or alcohol. She sat there as still as she could until Linde had finished, this time doing double stitches instead of one row. She sighed when she finished and put back her clothing, keeping as much of her body covered as she could. She wasn't a prude, but she was self conscious of what had happened over the years. When she was done she climbed into her single bed and laid there on her back, looking at the ceiling, and that is how she remained all night. She couldn't think of anything but her sister and how to get to her. She knew she had to get there, and get there as soon as she could, but like Linde said, she wasn't in any shape to go on a long journey, nevermind even fight.

She went with the others to eat in the morning, allbeit she didn't eat much, if anything. Her mind was too busy trying to think of her plans. To leave the others and go on by herself and possibly end up getting herself killed, or wait until she could heal enough for her to get Kieran like the others suggested. All she knew is that when she could, she would be leaving for her sister. No second thoughts. When they all left the tavern, and found Kyero, she went to be by herself for a while. She went to the stables where her horse was put and sat down on a barrel next to Bree. She placed her head against the horse' head and sighed, "I don't know what to do, Bree...I finally know where she is...but...what now?" she said to no one but herself in all reality. She needed new armor as well, as the bolt itself caused damage to the suit as well as when Linde had cut into it the first time to help with the wound. But for now she was dressed in her secondary set of armor that she had brought with her. She sat there for a few minutes, just thinking whether to leave or not, she needed help and sadly Bree was of no use to her.

Setting

Characters Present

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’s eyes briefly widened at Linde’s explanation of what sekhai smoke was, and the potential outcome it would have with it. He was about to ask if there was a better way to execute the idea when the two of them argued like a married couple, with the resulting suggestion vetoing. ”Well, good to know who is the more cautious thinker out of the duo.” He remarks. ”But still, Now we know where they are and how close they are. If poisoning or smoking them out won’t work, then why not trap them in the caves? Bury them alive and let them think twice about harming innocents.”

He thought it was a good plan, but the problem was if the caves had two or more entrances/exits. The problem was also that they were well defended down here, which might make it impossible.”Its either that or another alternative, even evacuation of the remaining population. I’m willing to help figure something out if need be. Unless of course, there’s another little present to give the Bandits to make them feel sorry that is.”

At this point however, he was hoping Heresta would bless them with a strategy that’d benefit everyone. He then looked around and half wondered where Aetrius walked off to. ”Probably tending to her horse. I should check on Hawk when I get the chance. He’s probably gonna scold me for wasting silver and not getting anything to recompense for it. On the other hand, who died and made a horse Financial advisor?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura

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Linde huffed.

"You raise good points, Lonán. If it has more than one exit burying them is a waste of resources and time."

She glanced to Kyero.

"Any ideas?"

Kyero was thinking, index finger and thumb resting under his chin.

"Give me a moment..."

Linde sighed.

"I have one idea we can try, but it will be time consuming and require a good deal of coordination and cooperation."

"... And?"

"We need to thin the herd to send the greatest message. Those with numbers fall not to shows of force, but superior intellect and tactics. The best way to do that with our numbers and resources is to set traps at staggered intervals around the cave entrance to slow them down or kill them as they leave and spread out. Dead falls, hanging nooses on a trigger, small poison gas bags hidden in leaf piles, and more. Like I said, it will be time consuming and require coordination and cooperation. But if we can set these traps without getting caught or allowing any of them to escape the area, we can thin the herd and destroy their morale. They'll be an easy clean up afterwards."

"But our physical conditions..."

"Will not be an issue. If this works, I can take care of the stragglers on my own without risking further injury to you all. But I could use your help setting it all up."

Linde wasn't crazy about leaving it to him to clean up the stragglers, but their bodies were still too raw from what had happened to risk a fight. They would have to trust Kyero to do his part when the traps did theirs... If they did theirs.

Setting

Characters Present

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 written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
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The night was peaceful. With people retiring to home to rest and eat, Okumi set about her work lit only by the moonlight and the faint orange glow of the nearby lanterns. Some would have found it eerie or disconcerting, but to her, she felt an odd obligation as she moved about her work. With her injury to her shoulder it wasn’t particularly fast or efficient, but she hadn’t grown up as the kind of person to complain about that. The trundle of the wheelbarrow wheel squeaked as it moved, along with the soft sound of dirt being parted faintly filled the air. The maiden continued making the trip back and forth from the streets to the graveyard, depositing the bodies, digging graves and getting each into their own separate tomb for rest as she buried them. Not just the villagers. Even the bandits that she and the others had slain. While sounds of bar brawls and raucous laughter came from the inn and taverns, Okumi separated and isolated herself, but continued to do the work that needed to be done.

It was the early hours of the morning by the time she finished, and already, her body was protesting the strain. She was fit, but doing such work while injured wasn’t necessarily the smartest idea. Still, every single one was buried, their graves marked by twigs and a small note. She probably could have left at that point, having already done more than could be expected of her, but even if her traditions and beliefs were thought to be foolish, she’d continue to carry them out. She’d continue the legacy. Standing in prayer, she gave her respects to those parted. Even if some of them had been reprehensible in life, in death, they would have the opportunity to be cleansed of their sins. One day, everyone would find peace if that is what they sought. All things deserved a respectful burial, and the opportunity to return once more to the Earth.

Taking a brief look around her for any bystanders, Okumi saw none. Pulling down her mask, she took a deep breath of the night air. It was only at times like this, when her job was done, and everyone was safe and at rest, did she feel like her burdens were lightened. Staring over the mass of graves she had made, Okumi felt a mixture of melancholy and pride in her work. “May your body find rest, and your soul seek peace.” Okumi spoke, barely more than a whisper, before pulling her mask back up to her face. She’d planned on staying at the Inn, even before Linde’s offer. Though she was still cautious about having her injuries inspected, she was satisfied that sharing the same parchment she’d given to the doctor about her disease would be sufficient for Linde to take proper hygiene and medical care. Turning to head back to the inn, Okumi expected she wouldn’t get that much more sleep, but she was somewhat used to that with her lifestyle. Her body could rest when she was dead.



Morning couldn't come soon enough. She wasn’t sure why, but she’d had a restless night. That wasn’t to say the bed was uncomfortable - It was better than the bedroll and items she’d prepared at home, but there was something nagging in the back of Okumi’s mind. Maybe being in an unfamiliar place or amongst so many people left her body on edge? Regardless, she was tired given her time last night, and the poor rest wasn’t helping that. But it was a new day. Work didn’t wait for the weary. Having woken earlier than the rest intentionally, Okumi ate and drank in privacy, before the later meet up for dining in the commons room. There, she sat and watched them recharge and eat, politely denying inquiries into her own eating habits. Afterwards, the group made their way outside to meet with Kyero, returned from his scouting mission.

Listening to the discussion and plans for eliminating the bandit group, Okumi looked away, paying attention, but not enjoying the subject of discussion. She understood the intention of the group, and protecting the people and town of Atlum was a noble thing indeed. However, no matter how misguided her thoughts may have been, she found it senseless to go openly seeking to kill so many men. Was pre-emptive violence really the only answer? And when would it stop? Should everyone adopt that attitude, would war never end? Would people ever grow to trust their neighbours? Okumi found herself restless thinking of such topics. If she were to defend this town, was this how she wanted to do it?

For a moment, there was silence as it seemed the plan of attack was settled on. Taking a step forward, Okumi realised this was her chance to speak. Or rather, to display her opinion. Well… To do so would take time and a lot of work. Writing on such a complex thing wasn’t going to be easy, so she’d need to be brief and get the main point across. Pointing to herself, Okumi shook her head, then made a simple motion of her thumb to her neck, wrenching it across. She then gave a short bow with her hands together, a clear apology. Gesturing to herself again, she pointed up the mountains, ‘walking’ a pair of fingers on the palm of her hand, before tracing out a box with a triangle on top of it in midair in front of her. Taking a few more steps in that direction, she turned to face the others before waving, intending on making her leave. She had to return to her home. This wasn’t the kind of life for her. Killing, even to protect others, she didn’t have the stomach for it. She was a shrine maiden. And as a shrine maiden, her job was to honour the dead, not bring about more. Returning to her temple, she’d return to her simple, peaceful life.

At least… That’s what she thought at the time.

How wrong she could be.

Setting

Characters Present

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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Linde shook her head.

"No, we have to find another way Kyero. Even with traps and your skills, there will still be too many of them."

"Do you have a better suggestion?"

"I... I don't know."

Kyero sighed softly.

Linde, meanwhile, noticed Okumi as she began to make her way to what Linde could only presume was her home. The box with a triangle on top was a universal sign for 'Home,' and Linde jogged over to Okumi and gently gripped the fabric of her outfit at the elbow.

"Miss Okumi. I-... I'm sorry."

She gave Okumi a small bow.

"I almost forgot you're a shrine maiden. The thought of killing people must be horrifying for you. I'm so sorry."

Linde offered Okumi a smile.

"We will find another way. I am not fond of the idea of killing that many myself, no matter what they did to this village. There must be another way. A better way. Wouldn't you agree?"

She kept a grip on the fabric of Okumi's outfit, gently gripping between her thumb and index finger, and turned to look at Kyero.

"Please." She whispered.

Kyero took in a deep breath, looking down deep in thought as the subtle glow beneath his hood became a bit more visible.

"A non-violent solution." He whispered.

The glow faded, and he looked up to Linde from beneath the hood.

"... There is a way that could work, though I prefer the thought of eliminating them to this."

Linde let go of Okumi, watching Kyero intently.

"It will require some reconnaissance. I was only able to get far enough into the caves to confirm it is in fact the same group. But I don't know what they intend to do yet."

He turned to look at Lonan.

"I propose that you and the one named Aetrius come with me into the caves to uncover the intentions of these bandits. If we confirm they seek further harm or damage to Atlum, then I will require your help to employ an ancient fear tactic to frighten them away from this land forever. I will explain if this chance arises."

"And if we confirm they have the intention to disband as per your deal with their leader?"

Kyero sighed in irritation.

"Then we will leave them be."

Linde smiled and returned her gaze to Okumi with a small bow.

"Miss Okumi, while Kyero takes them to investigate the bandits, would you please stay with me a short while longer? I am curious to learn about the shrine you come from, if you are willing to share."

Setting

Characters Present

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 felt all the more prepared to help with the traps. But it seemed that Linde felt that there was enough lives lost in and for Atlum’s sake. When Okumi announced her preparation to head for her home, Lonán could only nod. It seemed to turn the pressure on Kyero via Linde to think of a better solution.

He watched as the supposed Red Eyed Demon ponder in thought for a minute or two and then rehearsed what seemed to be a recon mission with two outcomes. A scare tactic or leaving them be, and it consisted of just him, Kyero and Aetrius.

”Scare tactics.” he said with a small click of his tongue, feeling slightly disappointed in going the nonviolent route but understanding the rationalization of enough blood has been spilt for this village. Both by the Storm and the Bandits specifically. Besides, the Old Wolf pulled several scare tactics in his day. He even dressed up as a devil one time for the purpose of spooking his grandmother’s clan, the day they first met. The resulting beating she gave him, according to the man himself, was worth seeing her beauty go pale with fright.

Mentally shaking his head, Lonán put up a small accepting grin. ”All right, better then nothing. Lets go find Aetrius and tell her the plan then. The sooner we go, the sooner we can ensure the village’s safety.” He confirmed with a nod. He knew that he’d have to leave Hawk behind on this one. Caves are no place for a horse, even for a stallion as brave as him. But it couldn’t be helped.

Setting

Characters Present

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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Kyero nodded.

"Very well."

He glanced to Linde.

"I will keep them safe. You have my word."

"Mm. Please do. Because if you don't, I think you know what's waiting for you." She said with a kind smile.

Kyero smirked as he lowered his hood to hide his eyes.

"Of course."

He turned to Lonan.

"Come."

He led Lonan away as Linde remained with Okumi, turning to her with a smile and tilting her head slightly.

"I do hope you'll forgive me for prying, miss Okumi, but... You are afflicted with a grave illness, aren't you?"

Her smile shifted slightly.

"Even if I wasn't a doctor I could have put that together from your mask and your use of hand gestures to communicate. And as a doctor I can't turn away from this. Will you tell me your affliction? Maybe I can find a way to help you, or at least make your condition more tolerable?"

Meanwhile, Kyero and Lonan reached the stables where they met with Aetrius.

"We have decided to survey the caves and discern the true intentions of the bandits. If they intend to disband, we will leave them to their devices. If they intend otherwise we will frighten them out of Cre' Est forever. Will you accompany us? I could use your help."

Setting

Characters Present

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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Aetrius was lost in her thoughts, what was she supposed to do. She knew she should stay and heal, and help with the villagers of Atlum, but Kieran was still out there....In Veilbrand that is. She was pulled from her thoughts when she heard separate sets of footsteps entering the stables. Aetrius looked up and saw Kyero and Lolan. " We have decided to survey the caves and discern the true intentions of the bandits. If they intend to disband, we will leave them to their devices. If they intend otherwise we will frighten them out of Cre' Est forever. Will you accompany us? I could use your help." she heard Kyero say.

She looked up at the two and thought for a moment then spoke up, "I honestly do not see why you would want my help in this, seeing as I'm as injured as I am...But...If it's recon that you need, I can easily help with that. When it comes to stealth I may as well become one with the shadows." she said with a slight grin, she crossed her arms as she paced a bit to think further, "You said caves, correct? I remember seeing them when I arrived. Shouldn't be too hard to track those bastards down. And if they want to fight, we fight fire with fire...Calculative that is of course." a slight chuckle came from her, then she looked back at the boys, "When do we leave? I'll prepare at once."

Setting

Characters Present

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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Aetrius nodded understandingly as he stated he's prefer to leave as soon as possible, for both of the reasons he stated. She went back to Bree, gently petting her, "I have some stuff I need to do, okay? You behave no, got it? Or no fresh apples later when I come back." she chuckled as she pet Bree for a moment, then grabbed her bow and quiver, equipping both to a leather strap on her back placing her cloak over the weapons to conceal them, and grabbed Bree's reins. She left the stabled with Bree in tow and walked back to where Okumi and Linde were talking currently.

Aetrius held the reins out to Linde as she spoke, "Linde, please watch over Bree while I am gone. Make sure she doesn't get into any mischief, or get lonely. She tends to do get lonely when I am gone." she chuckled, for Bree to only huff at her owner and smack her with her tail. Aetrius glared at Bree playfully, "Looks like no one will be getting dinner tonight then." she chuckled, and pat Bree once more, then turning to Kyero and Lolan, "Whenever you're ready, Kyero, we may leave." she eyed Kyero and Lolan, her and the latter were both equipped with long ranged weapons, and Aetrius had her blades with her just in case things went south. They would have what they needed, so she hoped anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

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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Kyero nodded as they walked back to Linde and Okumi, where Aetrius handed Linde the reins asking her to look after Bree.

"You have my word, Aetrius. We'll keep a close eye on her and keep her company." She said with a cute little giggle as she held her hand out for Bree to sniff and nuzzle before petting her neck and nose.

As Aetrius said she was ready, Kyero nodded.

"Very well. Then let us be off."

He began to lead them towards the edge of the village. From there it would be roughly a twenty minute walk until they reached the caves.

Setting

Characters Present

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 written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
Image



Okumi stopped as her sleeve was grabbed, a little startled, but not letting it show on her face as she turned back to face Linde. Watching her speak and apologise, Okumi could only faintly smile in appreciation of her concern. Shaking her head, Okumi gave the ‘Okay’ hand sign once more, indicating that Linde needn’t worry about the maiden’s feelings on the matter. They were mercenaries, warriors and assassins. The way they dealt with a situation would be fundamentally different, but she couldn’t entirely fault them for it. She just… didn’t want to be a part of that. It seemed that Linde was in agreement with Okumi on that point, which wasn’t entirely surprising given that she was a woman of medicine. Nodding at the assertion that there had to be a better way, Okumi turned in full to face back towards the group, particular Kyero as Linde’s pleas were directed his way.

The new plan was a lot more acceptable to Okumi, provided that it panned out. She liked to think they could trust the bandits to reform if they said they would, as surely strong men like that could find honest work and livings. If not, some preventative threats were far better than simply slaughtering them through what Okumi frankly thought of as gruesome means. Hopefully this could all be resolved diplomatically, in a peaceful and fair way. Nodding to herself, Okumi realised that Linde was bowing to her, turning to give her undivided attention as the woman requested her to remain, at least while Kyero and the others did their work. It seemed she wanted some company, or at the very least was curious about Okumi’s heritage. Most guests to her shrine usually had questions, so she wasn’t entirely surprised. Nodding to Linde, Okumi looked about for somewhere nearby to sit, moving over to a conveniently sized boulder to rest. Still, she wasn’t entirely sure how she was going to talk about her shrine to Linde; but at the very least she’d try.

Thinking on this as the others said their parting words and made their way for the cave, Okumi gave a small prayer and bow before waving goodbye. Waiting for Linde to come over, Okumi felt prepared enough, and so she began attempting to communicate. Hooking her hand into a ‘C’ shape, but letting her thumb hook downwards, Okumi placed her fist below it, slightly separated. The result was something akin to a question mark. Pointing then to Linde, then to herself, Okumi traced the house symbol in the air again, trying to determine what exactly Linde would like to know about her shrine. If it was simply about where it was or how she came to work there that would be simple enough, but if Linde wanted to know more about the type of worship that was going to be a little more complicated. Although she could do it, it was difficult to do a sacred dance on uneven soil, not to mention Linde might not even recognise the origin.

After waiting for Linde’s response, it seemed that the woman had something else on her mind, and perhaps tactfully, had waited for the others to leave before asking. She was direct and to the point, striking at the heart of the matter as Okumi flinched slightly at being called out. She’d managed to avoid further discussion of it with Linde at the inn since Aetrius’s wounds were far more pressing, but it seemed that Linde already had her suspicions. Looking away only for a moment, Okumi turned back towards Linde before nodding. Pulling up her bag from where she’d placed it, the shrine maiden retrieved out an old, battered looking journal. Opening it up to one of the pages marked with a tab, she then presented it to Linde to read, looking away once more to give the woman privacy to read.

The handwriting inside was neat, but different to Okumi’s. Much more tight and compact in the ligature. Of course, what Linde didn’t know was that this was her father’s journal, and contained what research he had done into their illness. The page itself covered more of Okumi’s status as a ‘carrier’ of the disease, in that she seemed immune to its negative effects, but was capable of spreading it to others. Coined in the journal as ‘The Wilt’, it seemed to spread through airborne particles from the carrier or the original source, a vibrant purple flower. Assumedly, the disease was also in the bloodstream, so it was likely that Okumi’s fluids were also capable of spreading it if ingested or let into the body through other means. Those that contracted the illness took on a variety of symptoms, including muscle fatigue and weakness, dizziness, difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pains and hallucinations. Bloodshot eyes seemed to be an early indicator that one was about to come down with the more debilitating aspects of the disease. Following these symptoms, the body would then have difficulty regulating temperature, as well as trouble maintaining fluids, leading to both dehydration and the ‘Wilting’ aspect of the illness.

No known cure was found, though as Linde flipped through the pages a little, she saw that there were newer entries added by Okumi, indicating that animals seemed unaffected and didn’t seem to be able to be carriers. Time until death seemed to vary, but the soonest that she’d witnessed someone contract and die from the illness was three days. The airborne nature of the virus seemed to have a limited lifespan, in that it didn’t linger on surfaces or in the air too long if Okumi did choose to speak or breathe in open air, however, she hadn’t done any testing regarding this. Okumi had an assumption that those the disease killed were also capable of spreading the disease in the same fashion as her, but was uncertain if once dead the bodies would present a further health risk. In the earlier pages of the book, there were more traditional, dated entries from Okumi’s father, chronicling his family coming down with the illness, and his slow descent into the symptoms before death, watching his children and his wife pass before he too, succumbed.

Sitting and waiting as Linde read, Okumi felt… Embarrassed. Ashamed. Guilty. Exposed even. All of her history was laid to bare, but what felt worst of all was that chances were, Linde would feel one thing: Pity. Okumi hated being pitied. Not only did it reinforce the helplessness of her situation, but she didn’t deserve it. Everything was her fault. She’d been the one to bring this plague on her family and her home village. While her father had worked hard even through the pain to try and find a cure, she’d just blissfully been ‘taking care of them’, despite being the cause of their ruin. It was a bitter reminder of how cruel the world could be. Still, despair didn’t help anyone. She’d have to learn from those mistakes, carry her burden and find a way to absolve herself of those sins by helping others, and continuing the teachings of her mother. She couldn’t let her family’s legacy die just like that. She’d do what she could until her last breath.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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As she sat down with Okumi and asked her questions, Okumi seemed to hesitate before nodding and handing LInde a book.

Linde flipped through the pages gingerly, taking in every word possible. The neat writing made it easy, and as she read from the start to the end, Linde's face fell further and further until, at last, she closed the book and set it on her lap.

She was quiet for a long time. Her eyes were closed. Her hand rested on the book's cover. Her legs were drawn together, heels flat on the ground. Her back straight. And her face calm, despite her saddened expression.

She opened her eyes, and slowly looked at Okumi.

"Miss Okumi..." She said quietly.

She raised the book to her chest and gently hugged it, gazing into the ground with a thousand yard stare.

"Do you mind if I keep this book for a while?" She asked, almost unconsciously.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

0.00 INK

#, as written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
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Having been lost in a daydream recalling happier days that she could never return to, it was Linde softly calling her name that brought Okumi back to reality. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been reliving those moments, but it must have been quite a while, and Linde seemed to have finished at least a cursory reading of her father’s journal. Meeting her gaze, Okumi could sense it in her eyes and in her posture; that awkward stiffness and sadness when someone found more than they had bargained for; that they didn’t know how to respond to what they now knew. All Okumi could see was that Linde was saddened by what she had read, and as the shrine maiden had suspected, had little more to offer than pity and sympathies. Not that she expected more than that, there wasn’t much anyone could do for her.

So when Linde asked to keep hold of the book for a time, Okumi wasn’t sure how to react. Immediately she felt defensive. After all, it was her father’s book. One of the last remnants she had to remember him by, so she was highly protective of it. Not only that, but it had a record of all the important information she had transcribed about her disease, which was crucial for both her, and anyone she felt the need to share that with.To her, it was one of the most valuable things both personally and for sentimental reasons, only equaled by that of her mother’s naginata. But… She wanted to trust Linde and others. Perhaps she just wanted to read it in more detail, or truly did think she might be able to research some sort of cure or suppressing medicine. So long as it returned to Okumi before they parted ways… That would be alright.

Nodding cautiously, the reluctance of Okumi to let Linde hold onto it was clearly visible in her hesitation as well as her eyes, but it seemed that for now, Okumi was content to share it with Linde. Pointing to the book, Okumi then held a hand over her heart, before clasping her hands together in a pleading motion. Finally, she made a cradle out of her arms, as if holding a baby and rocking it. She really wanted Linde to know how important that journal was to her, and to take care of it. She didn’t want to lose one of the last pieces of her family.

Setting

Characters Present

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 Okumi nodded and mimed the importance of the book, Linde smiled. She stood up and walked over to Okumi, taking her left hand and putting it on Okumi's shoulder very, very gently.

"I give you my word I will take good care of this book. What I want to do is study the records your father kept in more detail, as I believe there is a way to either contain or cure this disease. Everything has a weakness, after all. And I will either find this disease's weakness or at least find a way to help you contain it so that your being a carrier no longer endangers anyone else."

She let go of Okumi's shoulder and tucked the book into her pouch at her hip.

"Would you like some tea? And perhaps to go shopping for a new outfit? We can't have you wearing a bloodied and battle-worn shrine outfit like that, now can we?" She said with a giggle.

Back with Aetrius and Lonan, Kyero remained in a half-crouch as they moved closer and closer to their destination.

"If things go south, I have one smoke bomb left to cover our escape. It will last for approximately two minutes before dissipating. That should be enough time to cover ground enough to stay ahead of them."

Their goal came within view as they crossed the treeline. Kyero ducked down low behind the bushes, urging the others to do the same.

"There's the entrance... One guard, just like last night. He should be easy enough to get past. Once we're in, the cave system has support beams on the sides connected to rafters at the top. We stick to the rafters and work our way into the caves until we find either someone we can interrogate for information, or until we overhear something about what they intend to do next."

Kyero made a small bird call which got the guard's attention. As the guard stood up, he glanced to Lonan.

"Be ready to take him down once he's close enough, and don't let him sound an alarm." He whispered as the guard began approaching their location out of curiosity.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral

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Aetrius watched as Lolan had managed to skillfully and swiftly knock the man out and Kyero drag the unconscious man into the bushes for extra measures. Silently she walked into the cave with the two men, her cloak slightly flowing in the night breeze as she sauntered in, her footsteps were of a mouse, not even an echo could be heard. She looked around as they walked, memorizing their way in and the current surroundings in case if things did go against them.

She heard Kyero whisper to them to come over and that he'd help hoist them into the rafters. She let Lolan go first after silently arguing who would go first, Lolan tried to be a gentleman, but Aetrius insisted he went first due to weight comparisons as well as efficiency, etc. She smirked when she was hoisted up and silently followed the two in the rafters, eventually hearing chatter coming from below further ahead. She moved past Lolan and got down as low as she could in the shadows, and listened to the current conversation at hand.

"The boss gave his word, that was our word as much as his." one said eagerly, "But we're a proud gang, we don't bend to other's wills." another of the group countered the first one's point rather aggressively. They were clearly at a stand still in their part, some wanting to go with the agreement, while some wanted to go back and attack Atlum, surprisingly not too shocking to Aetrius. She looked up at Kyero and Lolan, to see their shadows and motioned with her hands that she hadn't a clue on what to do, seeing as they were even confused themselves.

"We have the numbers, armor, weaponry. They don't." another one chimed in. "But they have that woman with the mask, as well as the man in the cloak, and the red haired guy. They're skilled warriors, shouldn't take them so lightly." said the man in the corner. Aetrius nodded, a small grin on her face, were they scared of the small band of stragglers? Apparently so. She listened in further to see if they could acquire anymore useful information from the bandits. "There was that rather attractive woman with them, could use her as bait seeing how fond they were of protecting her back there. the first man who had spoken up first. Linde, Aetrius thought. Were they going to be so foolish as to use her as a means to an attack? She shook her head and thought, what if they were that dumb, maybe they were, but there was no chance they were about to let Linde be used against them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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#, as written by Tanman
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…

Setting

Characters Present

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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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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#, as written by Tanman
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.

Setting

Characters Present

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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#, as written by Tanman
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.

Setting

Characters Present

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.

Setting

Characters Present

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.

Setting

Characters Present

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."

Setting

Characters Present

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.