Sunday, July 10

Chapter 1

Not sure why the double spacing is messing up only on this chapter.  -Tiff

A man's heavy honey brown eyes took in every detail of his surroundings.  But all, he could see, was a poor village, called Grinstead, their homes were made of logs, which were held together by mud. The roofs were thatched with straw. They generally had one room with a hole in the ceiling to allow heat and cooking smoke to escape. 

His name was Leon Shields, and he's a Templar from Norman Church. A couple of days ago he volunteer to retrieve his headmaster's blade from Durham Village. It wasn't because he's trying to win his favor over in any way, considering he had already managed to do that, once upon a time ago in the past. He just felt like it would do him some good. Well, at least to get away for awhile. Since he's having the most difficult time focusing on anything, other than the dream he had last night. It was a recurring dream...  about a beautiful woman, who teases him with her undox, sexual ways. It made him feel quite special and powerful at the same time. She, herself acted like, he's the only man, she had ever taken pleasure in, seeing how reacted, especially his body. Lust was always a quick factor with this woman, and it's hard to resist, such a temptation. 

However these feelings were forbidden by the Templar Hood. A originally before, they been allowed once, but marriage was banned from their circle.  After the church had notice headmasters were appointing their own sons to positions of power within the church. Then from that day forward, during prayer, we always told to recite, “An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided.”

Exploring the market... the sound of steel ringing could be heard from the forge just outside of the walls of the city. A massive man was hammering away at a red hot piece of steel on top of an anvil. His hammer came down, again, and again, and again. Before finally with a set of tongs places the heated metal to fall into a small barrel full of water. The blacksmith wiped the sweat from his forehead as he finished with the metal. 

Leon saw wares presented at tables, from bread, meat, and cloth. There weren't any wealthy wares, nor really anything that interested him anyway. While browsing, he stumbles across his old and closest friend, Fenix Spencer. The two of them haven't seen each other in years. Well ever since Fenix had been exile from the Templar Hood, for refusing to obey the dress code. 

Leon thought fate had brought them back together. Fenix on the other hand just blew it off, saying,

"It's just a coincidence Leo." Leo is a nickname Fenix had given him, when they were just lads. Although it's just his way of half assing everything, including saying people's name. 

And of course he claimed how much better he has been without the Templar Hood; how they've always held him back from reaching his true potential. Regardless, Fenix seemed to be happy, seeing him, but he's still holding onto some old grudges. He wanted to finally settle the score, to see who's a better competitor in a sparring session. Of course he claimed how much better he's been Leon knows the only thing Fenix had gained out of his absence, was muscle, but he still lacks any cunning wits. Just to prove it, he accepted the challenge, to show him that the skills of a Templar couldn't be outmatched by his barbaric fighting methods. 

The two of them prepared to spar outside of the village, where the ground was covered by vegetation growth, for domestic grazing animals, such as sheep, pigs and cows. 

Leon stood wearing his steel plated armor chest piece, which appeared to be bloated for extra protection. It's lined with decals, that are similar to religious symbolism, consisting of a red cross. Directly over the breast area, is a strip of refined bronze, that's coated with steel, to give it a shinier look, yet at the same time, it's cheaper to make. He wore no shoulder pads, but merely chain mail underneath. Bestowed upon his groin lay a thin sheet that resembled a skirt around his waist to protect most of his lower region, right above his knees was chainmail that covered his legs, instead of conventional armor leggings that made it difficult to maneuver. The kite shield is constructed from cold hard steel, and it too carried the same symbol, of a red cross.  

The rays of sunlight glistened from the slightest movement of his doubled edged broadsword.  His brown eyes narrowed beneath his helmet, all the while staring at his opponent.

Fenix's attire was quite different from that of Leon's. A boar head coated in copper with its tusks still intact; was mounted on his left shoulder, attached by a leather strap, which crisscrossed the middle of his bare chest. On the opposite side of his shoulder, there hung a distinct rucksack, with a lion's head in it. He mostly likely wore it during battle as a scare tactic to opposing enemies. 

The only protection on his body was from his waist down. It's where a leather kilt could be seen, followed by a pair of cowhide boots; he crafted himself from a cattle hunt. Surely but lastly, he wields a two handed battle axe, that's exactly fifty-eight cementers, and has a very distinctive crescent shaped blade.

Fenix releases a vibrant, yet repulsive charging scream to invoke fear within Leon, to no avail. 

Leon stood his ground momentarily, waiting for the appropriate moment to make his move. Fenix, unfortunately for himself, immediately took off into a sprint. His emerald green eyes widened with excitement, all the while he draws in closer and closer. Now within range, he pauses and uses the momentum, which has been gained from running, to swing his axe. 

Leon scurried to the left to avoid the sudden swing. Moving back, he regained a bit of a distance in between the two of them. He held his shield, now on the inside guard, with his elbow facing his adversary. In mid step he stopped with his left foot out in front of the other. 

Fenix came to rough halt, then turned around to continue coming back his way. Leon flipped his shield to an open position, predicting he could make him attack his left side. Seeing the opportunity, Fenix slashed his battle-axe at the advantage, but before it could make contact. Leon raised his shield and bashed him dead center in the face. 

Fenix was unable to recover quickly enough from the unexpected, yet cunning blow. It gave Leon an opening to kick him in the chest. 

The kick was harsh enough to cause Fenix to temporarily lose grip of his weapon. 

Off balance, Fenix fumbled into the ground below. Dumbfounded, he looked out from in between his long blacks strands, of untamed hair.

“You fell for it again, you're hopeless...” Leon shook his head out of disappointment.

“Shut up!” Fenix felt like his pride was hurt more than his bruised face.

Leon continued to lecture him, by saying, “Fenix I've told you before, you can't always rely on just strength. You should be more responsible, instead of being so careless about everything. You should think before you take action next time.” 

“I am the most responsible person I know, Leo. Whenever anything goes wrong, I’m responsible!” Fenix licks his thumb, then grazes it across his eyebrow. 

Leon annoyingly tossed his shield and weapon to the ground, before removing his helmet, to reveal short dark, shaggy hair. Simply, he embraces the helmet to his chest, right after throwing himself back into the grass. 

“I’m glad to have run into you Fenix." He smiled,  Lately I've felt like a headless chicken running around, lit on fire. Well, what I'm saying is that... I'm not sure if I'm well suited for the Templar Hood anymore." 

Fenix joins him in the grass, just like old times. They used to lay out in the pastors, enjoying each others company.

 “If I were you, I wouldn't go back." He chuckled, "Hell I've left myself!” 

Shortly he adjusted his arms, folding them over along the back of his head. His eyes capturing the clouds, passing over ahead. 

“Wait, did you just say "left"? You mean you were exiled.” Leon reminds him.

“Whatever, same thing, I say! But yah know, what can liven up every man's heart? Well its a no brainer, liquor of course! You'll be good as new, I reckon!" Fenix said with the biggest grin upon his face. 

Right there and then, Fenix stood up, and offers a hand to help Leon back to his own two feet. 

“Liquor does that for you, not me.” Leon, accepted his hand, but he wasn't very interested in getting drunk out of his gourd, even if it numbs his troubles. It still wouldn't get rid of the problem to begin with.

Fenix dangled his arm loosely around Leon's neck from behind. “Trust me; would I ever lie to yah, Leo?” He smiled more innocently, trying to portray that he’s never wronged him before.

Leon slightly frowned, knowing Fenix's past actions always told him otherwise. “Do I really have to answer that?” He asked. 

-----

The doors of the Brothel Hole swung open onto a wall of noise. The voices of a hundred or more workmen, now finished for the day, blast out through the open door as each fought for him to be heard. Wenches sprawled across the littered floor, covered in half eaten food. Their overpowering smells reek of greasy meat, half rotten vegetables, and unwashed armpits.The folks attending didn't wear anything, well that was worth gazing at anyway. Most lacked money to pay for tailors, so most of them had to spin their own wool, in order to make their own clothes. 

Leon thought their clothes was a reflection of most of the furniture's condition in the room. It has the typical, wooden oval tables and stools. Overhead, the chandeliers cast obscure shadows, over the animal trophies mounted upon the wall.

They ended up seating themselves at a table, near the back of the tavern. Fenix casually folded his arms over along the back of his head, then propped his boots up upon the table. Occasionally he whistled a tune or two, while leaning back carelessly upon his stool. 

Leon seated himself properly, but kept his helmet on, since templars weren't ever allowed to be seen out in public, without their armor on. 

"I've always wondered you never wore a helmet, and even till this day you refuse to wear one. It’s the very same reason you got exile from the church. You never could obey the dress code.” Leon never could wrap his finger around it.

“Dress code my ass! There's no point in hiding a handsome face like myself. Especially behind those buckets you folks mistakenly call helmets!" Fenix fiddle with his bracelet; which was made of fish bones twined together with a spiral wire.

One of the wenches approached their table, and rudely interrupted their conversation,
“What do you want? Are you two going to sit there and blather? There are others to serve 'ere,”

“An auger here will do.” Leon responds, not intrigued by the tone of her voice. He thought that she could at least show some respect in the presence of a Templar afterall.

“Wait an auger? I demand two fires-spits ales pronto, woman!” Fenix commandingly slams his fist against the table.

The wench hurried away, but it wasn't quick enough to avoid Fenix’s long googly-eyed stare at her plump bosom. 

Leon felt himself slumping disgustingly down; wishing he would have been used to this by now; the man is always making a fool out of himself in public.

Approaching their table was a red haired woman, who despite being ruled by her basic desires, wasn't exactly an unreasonable woman. Once, someone much older and wiser than herself, had told her, that the selfish pursuit of your own desires for your own good, was a form of Satanism; but that didn't really mean anything to her, nor had it dissuaded her from the life of a whore. 

Her attire was a dead giveaway, of what she concerns a wealthy, somehow healthy, profession. It was more than obvious, she was purposely displaying her breasts, for those who care to see. They barely kept concealed, due to her partially red unlaced bodice. The sleeves of her blouse were pulled up, and tied at the shoulders. Her white skirt is decorated with a black lace, that has an elastic black belt for a tight fit. Beneath the skirt was a pair of tall leather boots, which reach just a little below the knees. 

The only thing that came to Leon's mind was, this whore must be pretty damn busy, being able to afford those clothes. Suprisely it made her stand out, in a poor town like this; he’s willing to give her that at least.

Nearing their table, she would seductively hissed, “Nice armor you got there, mind if I help you take it off?” 

Erotically she ran her finger across the front of Leon's armor, but he snatches her hand away. 

He wasn't too keen to be touched; by anyone of a filthy nature, even if he was safe inside of his armor. Never the less, it still made his skin crawl. It wasn't long till he's reminded of his dream again. Deciding, he no longer could bear this any longer, he left. 

Fenix tried calling out to him, but he simply is just ignored. 

"Forget him then!" Angrily he snapped, "It's foolish to let all these beverages go to waste." 

Well at first, that's what he told himself anyway. In the end, he was a bit delighted, since he will have even more to himself, to indulge. 

Quickly his attention is diverted by the wench, returning with the drinks. She slams them harshly against the table, causing the foam portion of it to spill. “Damn gal, I would hate to see how you man-handle other things.” 

The wench didn't pay any attention to his comment, and continued on to finish her rounds. 

The red head may not have won over her first pick, but she wasn't going to turn away seconds. Fluttering her eyelashes in a devilish manner; One could say it was a look, which most typical men would say; she’s after something of a value.

Puckering those luscious lips of hers, she said, “Mm... I've never seen such a strong handsome man like you 'round 'ere before...” 

Fenix was too occupied with himself, to the point he didn't really care about the woman. Although she was literally throwing herself at him. He grabbed both mugs, and gave himself a toast, by clanking them together. 

"Cheers mate!" He exclaimed, before tilting his head back, to chugged them, at the same time.  In result, a lot of the contents of the ale ended up splattering all over himself.

Still desperate for his attention, the red head leans in closer, and asked in a whisper, "The name's Holic, mind if I have a sip?" 

Humbly Fenix sets the mugs back down onto the table. Then he repulsively wipes the remaining residue off with his forearm.

 “Only a dumb broad would come between a man and his drink. You should have been taught better! You know, like a better man, a real man, like me." 

A few other jealous whores, took notice of Holic; trying her best to grab the attention of one particular man. Most of the gals in general, around here are ridiculous enough to get fancied up to meet a wealthy man, who is willing to marry them in one night. Men usually don't fall for their schemes, unless they are drunk of course.

A blond haired whore, lingers on over, because she didn't want to miss her opportunity with him. She claimed Holic doesn't know anything about treating a good hunk of man like Fenix. He wasn't too sure who pushed who first, but they ended up wrestling on top of the table, until it had completely flipped over, due to their combined weight.  

“Moments like this remind me how great it is to be a man.” Fenix cups his hands together, then momentarily shook them towards the ceiling out of praise, lipping the word, thank you god. With all this excitement, he ended up taking another gulp.

The blonde haired whore, was short of breath, and barely manages to say, “He needs a real woman, a wife to attend to his every whim! You're just a stupid dried up cow!”

Fenix spat his whiskey all over the place before he yelped,

“W-wife?” 

(This must be my cue to go…) 

The conflict kept him too intrigued to actually make any attempt to leave though. Proudly he stood from his stool, and punches himself in the chest.

"Gals, gals…look! There’s no need to fight, there’s an enough of me to go around 'ere. I can please each and every one of you guaranteed!”

“I don't share my personal possessions, NOT with anybody! The prettiest one here is the only one well suited for someone of his magnitude. But of course everyone knows I, Holic, am the only one capable of fulfilling this role.” 

With that being said, she smothered his face against her chest, nearly suffocating him in between her breasts.

Stammered Fenix drools, “Fenix likes, Fenix likes...”

“Ye~ hath no sense!? One suckling of them suckers, they’ll shrivel up and fall off!” The blonde sneers with a single hand placed securely upon her hip.

“Gals, there's only one way to solve this! All yah have to do is remove your garments, all of them! And whoever has the biggest rack can have some quality, one on one time with me! Since I've gotten a peek already at yah, you can be first…” Fenix tried to reach up to grope the blond, but she slaps him clear across the face. It was hard enough to send his head flying in the opposite direction. 

 Not fazed by the slap, he attempts once more, so she slapped him again. Still desperate, he gave it another go, but he received the same result. 

“You put the goods in my face and don't expect me to try a sample?! What the hell kind of democracy is this anyway?” 

Out of frustration, he took one last chug outta his mugs, drinking whatever was left. 

When the very last ounce touched his tongue, he smashed them against the floor. The little temper tantrum got him a lot of unwanted attention. Now all eyes were on him, and he was about to get into a heap of trouble.  Rejection or not, he went for it. Wrapping his arms around Holic, he forcefully pulls her in close for a sloppy wet kiss. 

Screaming at the top of her lungs, she retaliates with hard punches. The bartender called out from behind the counter; he was trying to determine what all the commotion was. Fenix wasn’t sure what the bartender might have in store for him, if he stayed around long enough.

You're a filthy ass pig!” Holic came to the blonde rescue, by busting a stool over the top of his head. “You are so two-faced, that any woman who marries you, would be married to a bigamist!”

Leon overhears the thrashing Fenix was taking, from the outside, where he was leaning comfortably against the wall, right beside the door. "Any moment now..." He snickered a bit. 

A second passes until Fenix is seen, being thrown out the door by the bartender and two other customers.

The bartender was heavily red in the face and was screaming non stopping, “Don’t you ever come back ‘ere ever again! I don’t take too kindly to broken merchandise!" 

Fenix looked over to Leon for sympathy, but he refused to give him any “Broken merchandise, what did he mean by that, the women?Isn't that the truth…" Fenix busted out laughing." 

"Thick as a ditch..." Leon quietly sighed, disapproving of his idiocy.

-----

My name is Blazerine... and I just woke up from a horrible nightmare, but the truth is, it wasn't a nightmare, the reality of it all was real. They said time travel was impossible, that mankind was surviving on a dream, that we were only limited to "here and now". And oh, how wrong they were.

The world I once knew was everything as it should be. Humans roam in the latest inventions of mankind. But here.... wherever here is. They build and destroy without thought, by having more than enough resources to do as they please. 

Casually, she rubs the sleep from her eyes, with her leather black gloved hands. A brief moment passed, before she found herself staring at the lower half of her body; lying against the cracked floor boards. Climbing to her feet, she thought, how long has it been now? How long has it been since her arrival? 

Then she caught herself staring into a broken vanity mirror. The mirror appeared to be in poor condition; it looked like someone had intentionally punched their fist directly in the middle of the glass. The lower bottom of her face could be seen, only showing freckles throughout the middle of her cheeks and her nose. Looking down, she pushes aside a few of her brown curly locks, before making her way closer to the vanity counter. There she snatches the pair of tinted blue sunglasses, and placed them upon the bridge of her nose. Half folded, near the edge, is her trench coat. The back of it is marked with the letter,s I. C, short for Irving Corp. She ended up buttoning her white blouse, before yanking the coat over herself.

The next thing she did was, reach out to unlock the latch of the door, but the door itself fell completely over, barely attached to its hinges. 

“So much for that...” She shrugged. 

Now stepping through the empty door frame, she entered into the unfamiliar world once again. It was a beautiful day outside; the clouds were mixing in with the blue of the sky, the trees were scraping, the birds flew freely throughout their territory. God's most profound creation was nature, well that's what they said anyway. But come to think it, maybe that's before mankind had discovered the time machine. 

At least it didn't seem too bad during the day, compared to what it was like at night. The air smelt rather different; in fact it seemed almost barren of toxic pollution.

She looked off ahead, only to spot a road; well what she thought could be a road. A dirt path is really unheard of from where she comes from. Thinking she'll give it a shot, she follows it, hoping it'll lead her somewhere worth going. At least where there's maybe some people to found. 

Although the road was an easier route, she wasn't exactly used to walking such a great length. Sighing, she mutters, “I would take the Rust-bucket any day instead of this.” 

Occasionally, she uses a sleeve of her coat to wipe the sweat away from her forehead. From an outside view, it would only be logical for someone to remove heavier clothing to help alleviate the heat, but for some unknown reason, she didn't bother. 

After walking for several miles, her feet tiredly drag a little bit further, before she stops for a breather. While resting, she takes this 
opportunity to use her sunglasses, giving them a slight pinch on the upper right frame. LCD images appeared within the lenses, detecting life form readings through scattering indifferent materials away from organic matter. Life form readings were immediately detected while zooming in on the small set of buildings, which are remotely built nearby one another.

“More poorly constructed buildings...” In her eyes, they came across as nothing more than mere shacks, compared to the magnificent buildings she was used to. 

Well whatever, she thought, there were at least people. And communication boundaries won't be a problem for her. 

It didn't take long to reach the destination. However she aimlessly wanders on through a crowd, out of curiosity  Vendors were overheard, shouting about their wares at passersby. Most of the wares were presented in open stalls. Bread, meat, ale, candles, cloth, wool and all sorts of goods were offered. 

The merchant's children played nearby the wooden carts. The carts were also a temporarily shelter where their families ate and slept. Most of the women wore clothing made out of woolen cloth, consisting of basic colors off white, gray, brown or red. The dress was fastened by a girdle, around the waist and their heads were covered by a piece of material. It was circular shape, draped over the top of her head, held by a band around the brow. The men wore a woolen tunic covered by a leather vest. Their large boots covered up most of their woolen trousers. And hanging from a belt, is a coin pouch and a sheathed knife. 

A drunken man held a rounded pear-shaped instrument made from a single block of wood. The string instrument sustained the power necessary to play a continuous melodic tune he sung.

“Come hither young lad; don't mind my breath of ale.

As I tell you of a most wondrous tale,

Listen young lad, to entertain you I will not fail.

I'll tell you the story of a brave Knight who prevails.

The tale begins with the Knight in his privy

His stomach felt sick, rushing in still wearing his armor.

Oh how I felt the man's pain, I t’was filled with much pity

I could hear the Knight's roar of his thunder!

Well the poor Knight huffed and puffed, sweat poured from his brow.

With each push he would explode with a howl.

The peasants, they laughed and mocked poor Sir Howell

Is there no cure for his irritable bowels?!

He hath tried everything he could, from leeches to gypsy magic,

But everyday his belly would still go on a riot

For God's sake, even finding cures was a trial tragic,

Until Sir Simmons introduced his new strict toadstool diet!”

(What the hell did I just witness?)

Feeling almost traumatized, Blazerine approaches a crowd, which is gathering around one of the stalls, from the far off left.   

The vendor of the stall, wore a mantle made of thick woolen material; it fell from his shoulders and halfway down his legs. The hood entailed an opening at the throat, and it's closed with a button and a loop, allowing the hood to sit closely on his face. The tunic looked out of place, due to the puffy trousers. To top it off, he wore black tights, which didn't really help conceal his overlarge figure. Although he was a very colorful character, made of multiple colors, from yellow, white and blue. 

He held a vial containing some sort of a yellowish substance and announces. “What does this liquidizer do, one might ask!? This isn't any ordinary liquidizer you see here! This is the piss from the legendary dragon, Ignatius! With just one sip, blindness will be cured! Anything else, you can ever imagine, will no longer cripple ye~!”

A toothless man asked him, “How’s we knows if you just didn't take a piss in there yourself!?” There was a bit of a chain reaction from there on out. 

The minds of the crowd were beginning to wonder whether or not it was all just a hoax.

The vendor coughed a bit nervously, before continuing to speak. “Well... - How obscure, how can you accuse me of such treachery!? I risked my very own life to retrieve such a malicious amount, for the sakes of your well-being!” Of course not one word he spoke was the truth, but he tries to convince them otherwise, by maintaining his composure.

 The only possible way he could make them think otherwise, is by using a volunteer; a naive fool. Out of the corner of his eye, he spots what appears to be a very wimpy; looking young man. “You there stranger, you'll be my first volunteer!

Blazerine looked around curiously to find the man the vendor had picked. Soon she realizes the crowd was motioning in her general direction.

“Who me, but I'm not a –“ She pleads, but the vendor insisted, by scurrying through the crowd in order to reach her. 

When she felt a hand placed upon her shoulder, she mutters nervously, “No, no, no, no... I'm not the right person for this!” Frantically she waved her arms in retaliation, but it didn't make much of a difference. She was still being pulled over to the front of the stall, for everyone to see. 

With a cackling laugh, the vendor said, "Don't be shy!", and slapped her harshly across the back.

 The impact was hard enough to send her fumbling forward, off balance. The crowd suddenly disburse in panic, while screaming; "It's the black mark of death!"

It happened so fast, she didn't know what to think or how to even react at this point. 

The vendor seemed more terrified than the rest since he completely turned pale. Stuttering with his words slurring, made it impossible to understand him. And the closer she got, the more he seemed to freak out. She watched him drop down over onto his knees, and beg desperately, for his life to be spared. He preached how  he would never scheme ever again, if she is willing to let him go.

Blazerine realized everybody was acting like she was contagious. Shortly she comes the realization, that her sunglasses were no longer intact. She suspects they must of have fallen off, due to the stumble.

Hunching over to search the ground, she luckily finds them, throughout all the commotion. Eventually arising to her feet, she is taken back by surprise. An object whooshes across her left cheek, grazing it. That's when she felt a trickle of blood run down her cheek.

Quite stunned by what just happened, she stood there for a moment or two, before deciding to turn around, to figure out what could have been sharp enough to break the skin. 

When she was about to get a good look at the object. Another one flew right above her head and missed by inches. 

“Whoa, too close for comfort!” She decides to flee , by jumping down into the crowd to blend in. If possible she wanted to attempt an unnoticeable escape. 

Moving quickly, she hopped over a small wooden fence. Landing inside, she nearly trips over into a livestock, of gathering chickens. 
 Startled by the intrusion, one by one they chased after her. They were trying to peck at her feet. Every time she looked back, a pair of their little beady eyes, stared right back into hers. The clucking grew louder as more join in on the chase. 

Quickly, she reaches the opposite side of the fence and jumps down into a large pile of hay. This is when she tunnels an eye hole, enabling her to see what lies ahead. 

The nearest building with an open door had a sign, which read “The Smithy.”

There was no way of knowing whether or not, there would be someone inside, waiting to do her harm, but she had no other choice. 

Pushing her way through the hay, she ended up stopping, to plant herself back in, to hide from several men running by. Once there was no sign of them, she shoved herself through, and raced to the building.

Upon entering, she slammed the door shut and slumped up against it from behind. Breathing hard, out of breath, she found herself now facing a room. A room filled with a variety of different items. Slipping her sunglasses back on, she taps the upper corner. The data within the lenses began to define the origins, of the selection of weapons displayed. 

Showcasing the weapons imagery within the screens: Originating from the Middle Ages is a sword, a bladed weapon, consisting in its most fundamental design of a blade and a handle. The blade is usually of some type of metal honed to at least one sharp edge and often has a pointed tip for thrusting. The handle, called the hilt, can be made of many materials, but the material most common is wood-covered by leather, fish skin or metal wiring. 

“It can't be I don't believe this...” She quietly said. 

A blacksmith shuffled out from the back, his demeanor seemed genuinely nice, but she was still startled nonetheless  It was mostly due to the fact, that she thought nobody else was here. 

He wore an oversize, long sleeve shirt beneath his brown smudged apron, which expanded wide enough to wrap around his stomach. His lower garments consisted of a simple black pair of pants and boots. The only thing that came to Blazerine's mind was some sort of chef, however the hammer he carried, made her think otherwise.

“I never saw a head visor by the likes of that before... Neither that equipment you're wearing there. Who manufactured it, if you mind telling?” The smith humbly asked.

Blazerine hesitates by rubbing the back of her head out of nervousness, forgetting to answer, and ends up asking a question herself. “I'm sorry for barging in on you like this, but do you mind telling me what year it is?”

“What kind of funny question is that young-ling? It's 1348... ” The smith scrapes his dirty hands across his brown apron. Although it didn't seem like it would do very much, considering his apron was already filthy.

“1348...” Blazerine repeated  unsure whether or not she wanted to believe it. Deep down, she had to, but it was a matter of knowing, there probably wasn't anything she could do about it. Well, unless somebody has some sort of time device just lying around, but that really seems unlikely. 

The smith scratched at his beard while he stared, lost in thought.

 “Oh, I know who you are!" He declared, "Your Grand Headmaster Jared's pupil aren't yah? I bet he still thinks old Gallet still can't whip up a good new blade for him, huh?

I'm sure as flies gathering on a cattle's pile of shit~, he'll be pleased once he gets a hold of this!” He slaps a strong hand roughly against her shoulder.

 It almost threw her completely off balance, but she managed to stay in place. She didn't want the incident that occurred earlier to happen again.

“U-um... yeah sure...” She mutters, while rubbing her now throbbing shoulder. Having no idea what he is talking about, she thought it might be best to play along. But there was no way of knowing, what he would do if the real person turns up. 

“You sure are a bit scrawnier than I thought a Templar would be! Don't worry young lad, I'm sure you'll fill out eventually! Now just wait 'ere, I'll go get that blade of his out from the back!” He excused himself, while leaving her pretty much dumbfounded.

(Lad, wait, does that mean - he thinks I'm a guy!? That’s the second person to have thought that. I'm not so sure if I should feel offended or relieve. )

It didn’t take long for him to return with the blade he spoke of. It was odd looking, at least compared to the others already displayed. The guard curved upwards, instead of down. The most noticeable part of the blade was the large Celtic circle design with a cross in the very center, where the blade meets the hilt. Quadrilateral shapes were cut out in places throughout the steel and the bottom was cut off sideways, leaving a slanted edge.

(This is way too primitive if you ask me...)

He places the blade inside a leather sheathe, which is attached by a leather brown belt loop. She was a bit surprised, when he extended her left arm out far enough, to pull the belt loop through. The belt is then adjusted to hang from her left shoulder; all the way to the opposite side of her neck. 

After she was set, he slapped what appeared to be a rolled up parchment into her hand, “Be sure to give this map to your headmaster too. I circled the areas for those who still need god's guidance."

“I-I’ll be sure to tell my headmaster.” She nodded, still playing along. (I better get out of here before the real guy he’s waiting for actually shows up.) Not even a second later, there was a knock on the door. She jumped right out of her skin, feeling instantly jinxed.

Outside the door, a man yelled, “There’s an outbreak of the black mark of death.”

“The black mark of death..?” Blazerine repeated.

“No one is permitted to leave their homes until they’ve been examined for symptoms.” The rest of what he said couldn't be made out. His voice was trailing off since he's in too much of a hurry to spread the word.

Gallet thought it was strange that Blazerine wasn't familiar with the common knowledge about the plague. “What exactly are they teaching you in that church of yours anyway?”

A long awkward of silence occurs between the two before she gave an unsure response. “To…pray…?” At the end of her sentence, she was giving a slight nervous smile, with her eyebrows raising high. 

He didn't get a chance to say anything once the door opened. Instinctively the first thing, she did, was hide behind him. There was a tall dark figure entering the room. The robes were soaked in wax to repel any infectious vapors. The most distinctive part of his outfit was the mask. The eyes holes were covered with heavy netting, and the long beak-like part contained a strong smell of aromatic herbs and spices.

Blazerine had no idea in hell what it could be. Whoever, whatever it was, Gallet had given quite a warm greeting, despite its eerie looks. 

No matter what, she didn't want to go anywhere near it. When the figure moved in closer, she realizes it's a mask. It looked almost to be some sort of primitive gas mask to her. Suspiciously she was looked at for the longest of time.

Gallet broke the silence, by mentioning how times are changing. How all the folks of Freyrgard have heavily influenced many into wearing fancier garments. 

 Eventually, the masked man had given them permission to evacuate the village.

“I’m volunteering to stay here; you’ll need a strong pair of hands around ‘ere” Gallet announced, before turning around to face Blazerine. 

“Best if you get going young lad, you better not upset that headmaster of yours.”

Stepping outside, Blazerine was greeted by two horsemen. They both wore protective armor consisting of chainmail, a rough mesh made of fine chain, woven together to create a cloth-like material, a linen shirt and a trouser underneath with a pair of heavy woolen pads. Each wielded a pole arm, a large two-handed edged weapon, which has an ax head. The ax head are affixed to the wooden shaft to give it a longer reach. The shaft gradually thickened towards the bottom but thinned at the very end to form a grip for the rider. 

The masked walked out, followed by Gallet; who's now wearing a thick damp cloth, around his face, from nose to chin. He looked back only to give Blazerine a humble nod.

The horsemen escorted her to the outskirts of the village, leaving her to continue down another dirt path. Despite being alone once again, she felt a bit of relieved after what happened.

 Looking off ahead, she wondered where this path will lead her. 

The map Gallet had given her stuck halfway out from one of her coat pockets. Soon she decided to examine its context; however it was quite difficult to make out the information. Even with the help of her sunglasses, the data isn't able to decipher any of the locations on the map. For some reason, none of it has ever been recorded in history. 

“That’s so weird…” She thought, "Could this be the ensemble of a parallel universe or did some event erase its existence completely? Perhaps I myself, colliding into this world may have caused a negative outcome. These are all possibilities; however there's nothing that could be done about it now. Whatever consequences are, I will take full responsibility." 

Nightfall approached a lot sooner than she had expected. And whenever she exhaled, her breath was visible in front of her face, along with the sudden wisp of leaves, gusting the past. Temporarily, she takes shelter underneath a large oak tree, not too far from the road.

Sitting beneath the tree, she looked upwards, only to see its claw like branches reach out endlessly for the starry sky. All of its branches were mostly barren, just like all of the other trees nearby. Well, what leaves were left, shook violently into the rattling winds, overshadowing the chirp of crickets. 

Frequently, she would rub her gloved hands against the sleeves of her trench coat, to create a friction of warmth. Soon as she thought, I'm freezing to death, how could this possibly get any worse. A branch fell, inches away from her body. Jumping up, startled, she screamed, but it wasn't the branch itself that frighten her; it's what came down with it. 

A hairy, yellowish - green creature stood, approximately four feet tall. Protruding from it's nose is snot, drizzling surpassed it's pointy chin. A alligator like hiss escaped from its opened mouth, along with slime, which oozes out from in between the crack of its crooked teeth. The strange, yet foul odor filled the air, making her embrace an arm against the front of her face, to help deduce the wretched smell. 

Whatever this creature was, it didn't seem very shy, not at all. He seemed pretty eager to get closer to her. 

“N-n-nice… little guy…” She laughed a bit at first, but when the creature approached even closer, she laughed harder than before. 

In bad situations, Blazerine gets really nervous and tends to laugh a lot, also especially whenever she's embarrassed. 

Whether or not the creature was going to attack, she wasn't going to stay around long enough to find it. That's when she hauled ass through the oncoming trees. However, the weight of the blade made it all the harder for her to run. Without a second thought about it, she unbuckles the leather belt from her shoulder and tosses it aside. 

A minor distraction kept her from recognizing what was straight ahead, a natural incline. It sent her tumbling down, causing her body to rotate helplessly, without control, end over end. In blur vision, the world kept spinning before her eyes. Finally, what she thought could be the end of this horrible ride, by landing in a ditch, turned out to be a lot deeper than it appeared. Suddenly she impacts cold muddy water, and accidentally swallows quite a mouthful of it. 

Frantically, she scratched desperately at the walls, which were now surrounding her. In hopes of finding something, anything to grab a hold of, to prevent herself from slipping even further. In her efforts to escape, roots were pulled, one by one, but they were too weak and brittle to sustain any amount of weight. 

The harder she tried, the quicker she felt herself being pulled further down. Crying out, a shrill series of screams escaped from her mouth, but they were only to be lost, and transformed into a silent cluster of bubbles. Soon after, her limbs grew weary from tireless efforts. And at this very moment, she had an unpleasant awareness of her own heartbeat. It felt useless to try any longer, so she closed her eyes, and surrendered to death. 

----

Leon and Fenix traveled by horseback to Durham Village, after he decided to keep Leo company for just a little while longer. Shortly, they approached the outskirts of the village, only to be told to turn back, upon arrival, due to an alleged outbreak of the black mark of death. 

However, Leon wasn't going to beat around the bush. He questioned the guards procedures, from the simple lack of ash, which would have been left from a fire to burn the diseased. 

"I don't know what type of trickery you're trying to pull here." He said, "I refuse to leave without retrieving the blade I've been vouched for." Then he showed them the letter, that's signed by Headmaster Jared, of Norman Church. 

Wearily, the guards exchanged with one another, fearing a violent outcome might occur, if they were to decline the request of a Templar. The two of them quietly chatted amongst themselves, momentarily, before making a decision. They had agreed, one of them left to get Gallet; the blacksmith. The remaining guard stayed to keep an eye on them. Leon didn't see any harm in it, as long as he got a chance to speak with the blacksmith. 

Fenix and Leon hanged out for awhile, until the guard returned with Gallet. Leon, of course, presented the letter to him, but, unfortunately, learned, the blade was already out of his possession. 

"What do you mean?" Leon angrily yelled, "Nobody else from the church would have picked it up." He knew this for a fact, because no one other than him had permission to stroll in these parts.  

"Somebody must have intentionally impersonated as you in order to steal it. I've seen some bandits do it beforehand." Fenix said.

"It may be possible to catch the perpetrator," Gallet exclaimed, " He's only on foot after all."

"We should try A bidder Woods." Fenix suggested,  "It’s an exclusive area, well-known for bandits to attack strangers along the road. Not many folks are foolish enough to tread these parts alone, especially at night, but it's a good place to hide for starters."

Both of them backtracked down the road until Fenix spots a broken branch, beneath an old oak tree. The branch seems ordinary, however he notices a splat of slime on the far end. Climbing from his horse, he approached closer the branch closer. Shortly he knelt down to examine the substance, by taking a tiny sample of it.

Rubbing it in between his thumb and index, he said, “Someone's been 'ere alright, but whoever it was they weren't alone.”

“What do you mean?” Leon suspected there might be others in on the scheme as well.

“This here is spit from nonother than a Throat-stencher. These little buggers can release a foul odor in the air. Not any ordinary odors mind you. If it’s inhaled for too long, most become delusional or even crazed with madness! Take it from me. I've seen a few survivors, and all of them proclaimed experiencing their worst fears, such as death, 

The folks who don't snap out of it quick enough, are eaten alive, while he or she isn't even aware of it happening." 

“Meaning..?” Leon wasn't very sure where he was going with all this meaningless information.

Meaning that fellow mustn’t have gone too far, probably scared outta’ his mind if anything," Fenix explained, " He should be somewhere ‘round ‘ere, well unless the Throat-stenchers didn't get him first, that is.” Then he wiped his hand clean, by glazing it across the grass.

"That's all I needed to know," Leon said, before stepping down from his horse. Then he continued on by saying, "Secure the horses; I'm going to take a look around for myself."

"Yah sure thing Leo," Fenix replied. 

On foot, Leon comes across a abandoned blade, almost immediately. Surprised, he determines it was, in fact, his headmaster's due to the letter J carved in the sheath. Although he's happy to have found it at last. He couldn't help but wonder why. Why did the bandit discard it, after using such drastic measures to steal it in the first place. When he was about to call for Fenix, the sky lighted up. It was a narrow projection of an indigo light. And it was emitting a variation of intense vibrations, transmitting throughout the air. 

Curiosity gets the best of him, so he runs downhill, making sure his stride is relaxed, and not forced. Instead of swinging from momentum, he let gravity do the rest of the work. 

Nearing the bottom, the intensity of the light overwhelmed his sight. With unsteady ending, he regained his balance with both feet planted on the ground. 

Widening his eyes, he couldn't believe what he saw. “Could it be...?” He gasped out in astonishment. 

Approaching closer, the light began to fade away, slowly revealing a body, of what he thought to be a young man, lying face down in a muddy puddle.

-----

The horses had been frightened by the light, and frantically cried, alerting some throat-stretchers, that had been hidden amongst the trees. Their small stature figures, casted shadows along the ground.

“These little good for nothings dare challenged me!? Well, well, well, you little bastards sure did pick the wrong fellow to mess with!” Fenix hocks up a large glob of spit, mixed with snot into the palms of his hands before he furiously rubs them together. 

Quickly he pries off the battle-axe from his back, as the rain now fell, in great quantities, soaking every inch of his body. 

Beneath his tangled mess of wet hair, he devilishly grinned. 

The throat-stentchers moved in; surrounding him on all sides. Bellowing out in a lustful thrust, he swung his battle-axe. In midway, the edge of the axes’ blade made contact with the four standing out in front. 

Instead of taking the time to pause and swing again at the others, he turned quickly, with the battle-axe still in motion, he creates a complete circle, removing all eight of the throat-stenchers heads off the top of their shoulders, one after the other.

Then he cried out in victory, with his weapon held high, above his head. Out of arrogance, he kicked a couple of their heads away, just for the hell of it.

-----

 Leon carefully rolled the man over onto his back. The only visible injuries, other than his bruised forehead, cuts and scratches on his cheeks. This is when Leon removes one of his gauntlets, and sat it aside.  Now with his bare hand, he placed it right beneath the man's nose to determine whether or not he's still breathing. 

Once he felt the air released against his skin, he continued to check for any further injuries, that may be possibly life threatening, by unbuttoning the absurd clothing. Once inside, the first thing, he noticed, was an orb; shimmering at the end of a sterling silver chain, from around the man's neck. 

Ignoring the orb's presence for now, he ran his hand over the man's lower abdomen. Then he worked his way up, until stopping at the chest. Unexpectedly, the chest wasn't flat, not at all.  

Perplexed by the discovery, he took away his fidgeting hand, and stutters, “H-he's a woman..?”

Swallowing his saliva harshly, he looked off to the side, unsure what to think about the whole situation. He felt rather vulgar and to think about it, he has lectured Fenix about this sort of thing for years. 

What threw him off the most is the peculiar head visor, lying beside her body.  "How useful could that be? Considering it’s too small to cover her head completely.  The head injury might be worse than it appears due to little protection.” He thought out loud. 

Then he comes across is a map sticking halfway out, from her coat pocket. Checking the map, he knew this was all the proof he needed. While examining it, he says,  "The circled areas must be where her group is plotting to hit next." 

Suddenly he overheard Fenix from above, calling out his name.

“I'll be down there in a second!” Fenix skidded down along the hill sideways and lost his balance near the bottom.  Frantically, he flailed his arms, right before landing flat over onto his face. Immediately he stood right away to play it off like it never happened in the first place. 

“Leo, you should have seen...” He paused, only to approach closer to continue his statement. But he realized Leon was fondling with somebody on the ground. 

“Whoa, I didn't know you had a thing for corpses, especially males... Well, whatever, after you're done, I'll hide the body and no one will know! It'll be our little secret!” 

“Fenix's she's just unconscious. You're always the first one to jump to conclusions.” Leon irritatedly muttered, while lifting the upper part of her body from the puddle. Carefully he places a single arm around the back of her head to support it. 

“Really, you sure they're not mosquito bites? I could examine them for you. Well, what I’m saying’ is that I've seen plenty in my time to judge, you know?” Fenix tried to get a better look, but Leon refused to let him get close enough.

“Fenix just because I don't grope every female nearby, doesn’t mean-“ Leon mentioned, but Fenix cuts him off.

“Why would a gal be caught dead wearing ugly clothes like that? Well, whatever, we can just throw that shit~ off to the side. And if she wakes up, I'll hold her down for you, then you can hold her down for me next!” Fenix rubbed his hands excitedly together, all the while giving devilish smirk. 

“Fenix quit thinking with the wrong head! Now get over 'ere and lend me a hand already!” Leon angrily yelled. He knew his armor might be too bulky to carry her properly back to the horses. 

Fenix crouched down to allow the girl to be propped against his back. Then he locked his arms behind where her knees bent. For some reason, he felt annoyed, when the girl's head fell beside his. Standing up, he slipped the girl's arms over his shoulder and began to walk a bit hunched, in order to prevent her from falling. 

“What are you planning to do with this gal anyway? Considering if you're not going to, you know, ravage her and all.” Fenix asked. 

“I've realized this woman isn't any ordinary bandit." Leon proclaimed.

"You don't say?" Fenix said rather sarcastically.

"Fenix do not ever forget the teachings of the church, even if you didn't receive that many. Regardless... I've read about a prophet named Ignaxio Hermes. He's vindicated by the lord and was ordered to  choose five individuals to endure the trials, to become a guardian, a holder of an orb; containing God's gift of power.

Ever since the previous betrayal of a guardian named, Damus Johan's betrayal. Headmasters over centuries have sworn to devote their life to finding the orbs, and reuniting them with their new former guardians. Although it is unheard of for a guardian to be female." Leon explained. 

“If the headmasters have been looking for them that long, how'd she find one so easily?” Fenix thought it was suspicious.

“You do have a point, I’m surprised… Well, there are a lot of questions to be asked, and I think I know someone who may have the answers."

First of all were heading back to Brothel Hole for the night. I'll bribe the owner to let us stay, because of all the commotion you caused earlier. Leon sighed, knowing it'll take more than a few coins to persuade him; in fact, it might take all of them.

"You're going to waste all my loot on this broad?! How am I going to afford my liquor now?” Fenix couldn't bear the thought of not having the taste of some mighty fine liquor.

Leon shook his head and said, “I'm afraid there’s no other choice.” 

----

It took about thirty minutes for Leon to apologize to the bartender. Of course, he paid for the damage, but he offered even more to persuade one night's stay. It was a totally rip off... All that gold for just a single bedroom. 

Fenix dropped the girl over onto the bed, and Leon takes his time, removing all of his armor. Eventually, he seated himself upon a wooden stool. There he began rolling up the sleeves of his surcoat; a robe emblazoned with the red cross of his church, in order to be identified as a Templar outside of battle. Long bands were attached to the sleeves, near the wrists. Some were fastened at the collar by a round buckle, matching the other one around his waist. His long white cloak carries the same symbol and descended to his instep. 

Beside the stool, was a cloth and a bowl; filled with a tab bit of water, sitting on a table. It must of have been left over from the last guest. Soaking the piece of cloth, he rings it out, before placing it on the girl's forehead. 

However, his attention is soon diverted by Fenix; who came storming back in through the door. 

"You didn't do it, did you!? All the gold... why, why...!?  How am I going to fulfill my needs for thirst?” Fenix crumbled into a pit of his own sorrows.

“You shouldn't be drinking that often. You'll end up just like your father. ” Leon sternly said, thinking he's better off without it. "And what did he mean by "YOUR" gold. You stole it..." 

“All, I'm saying, is that gal better be worth the trouble or else, I'll be pissed.” Fenix kicked an empty bucket across the floor, out of annoyance.

“Instead of whining, you can make yourself useful by fetching me some water.” Leon kicked it back over to him.

“Make me useful my ass. I carried her ass 'ere, didn't I?” Fenix muttered while snatching the bucket. Then out he went, angrily slamming the door behind him. 

Walking to the opposite end of the hallway, he noticed a door slightly cracked opened. Call it a man's intuition, but he has a hunch, that there's a naked woman inside. 

To investigate his hunch further, he cautiously walks in, after setting down the bucket outside. 

Peering inside, he prayed, “God please let it be a gal and make her naked..." 

The sight of a woman reflecting within a vanity mirror drew his eyes immediately. Forgetting to swallow, saliva idly ran down from the left corner of his mouth. He stares intentionally, praying again, in hopes she would get undressed. 

Literally his jaw dropped, and his eyes grew wide like saucers; when she began to unclothe. The entire time, he didn't blink once until every last garment had been removed. 

He kept watching her closely, especially when she uses a wooden stool to help ease that body of hers into a lidless barrel; filled part ways with water. Casually she rubs a bar of soap against her ever so milky cream skin. 

Fenix tried to hold back his gasp, by biting down onto his cringing fist. The most, he could only see now, is that little rump of hers. 

However, he could never be satisfied, unless he got to see the rest of her body. This is when he looked to his left, then his right, making sure there would be no opposing witnesses, for what he's about to do. Which was inviting himself in, nonetheless? 

Sneaking inside, the woman softly hums a melody; still unaware of his presence. Fenix gladly approached closer, only to carelessly bump into a table. A vase on the top shook, and he reacted almost instantly to steady it once again. But all his efforts were to no prevail, because the woman had spotted him. She frightfully reacted, by throwing a bar soap. Although the soap smacked his cheek, it didn't exactly faze him at all since he already had been hypnotized by her breasts.

"That's some treasure chest you got there gal!” Fenix never did look directly above at any woman’s face usually. 

 “Y-you, it’s you again!” Holic recognized him from earlier. It was the very same man; who had forcibly kissed her. 

It took a split second for Fenix to recognize her. Then he made a sly dog grin, “By the looks of it, you would have won some quality time with me!” He chuckled. 

“You're a filthy disgusting rat! I'll kill you!” Holic threw her washcloth at him, and anything else she could get her hands on. 

-----

Blazerine roused from unconsciousness again, her sight focused on a ceiling. This led her to believe, she had somehow made it back to the cabin, alive. Slowly sitting up, a dampened cloth fell from her forehead, but she didn't really think much of it at the time. 

From what she could tell, the appearance of the room did look awfully different. Mostly it's because the condition seemed well kept.  The only thing familiar in the room; was her pair of sunglasses, located on the table. She knew it was vital to have them on at all times, considering the reaction she had gotten earlier today. Pushing the sheets aside, she maneuvers herself to the edge of the bed. That's when she saw him; a man hunched over in a chair, dead asleep. 

Fearful he might awaken, she quietly climbed out of bed, only to realize her boots are missing. Luckily for her, it's a lot easier to move along the floorboards now, without creating too much noise. 

It took just a few more cautious to reach the table. There she discovers her sunglasses have a crack through the left lens. 

Examining the lens closely, she says, "Well it seems to be functioning well, but there's a possibility it could malfunction in the near future. " 

She didn't dwell on it for much longer and ended up sliding them back on. In that very moment, a hand had suddenly clasped around her left arm. Nearly jumping out of her skin, she finds herself turning around to face the man; who was once asleep. 

Stepping back, she tried to jerk her right arm free while screaming, "You almost gave me a heart attack!" Continuously, pulled, over and over, but it was no use. Finally, she asked, "What's your problem?"   

Without receiving an answer, she swung her free hand, which was balled up into a fist, at his face. Instinctively he caught her hand and held it in place. Gradually he leans in close, with his face a mere inch apart from hers.

(Leon; I’m surprised she's putting up such a fight, with a dislocated shoulder and all.) 

“The name's Leon, what's yours little bandit?” Leon refused to let her go. And when she looked away, he followed her every movement, in order to not break eye contact. 

Blazerine nervously laughed out of embarrassment. She wasn't exactly used to being touched, nor stared at in his kind of manner. "I-I don't have to tell you anything!" She declared. 


“Is that any way to treat your savior?” Leon simply stares deeply into her blushing face, realizing it would be the perfect way to distract her from his true intentions.

“W-what are you doing!?” Blazerine tried to avoid his incoming hand, by leaning even further back. Just the slightest little touch made her feel overly sensitive; regardless of the bruises. 

“I thought the fever might have returned, but you don't feel warm. Although your cheeks are still flustered...” Leon laughed while stealthy positioning his free hand, upon her arm now. 

“Hey, I never asked you to help me! So if you don't mind -” Blazerine suddenly cried out in pain, as soon as her arm was turned inward. Then he brought her hand to rest against her stomach, and twisted it in the opposite direction. He repeated this process, until her shoulder pops back into its original position.  

Leon gave her a sling, which he had created out a couple of old shirts. "Here it'll help keep your arm from swinging about." He said, "And try not to overexert yourself any further until your injuries have healed." 

Then he forcibly places the sling on her, and right afterward made her sit, by giving her a light push.  

“What are you trying to pull -” Blazerine didn't even finished her sentence, when she saw a bundle of bread fall into her lap. Eagerly she ate quickly, forgetting to even chew at one point. 

Blazerine wondered how long has it been since her last meal, and so does he. She was beginning to choke a bit from eating too fast. 

Leon offers his water canister to help her wash it down. Standing back, he stood there watching her drink vigorously until there wasn't any left.

Unexpectedly the door opened, from out of nowhere. "There's your stupid water!" Fenix announced upon entry.  

But all Leon saw was an empty bucket, sliding across the floor. 
“Fenix how could you fail at the simplest task ever, fetching water...” He shook his head in the utmost disappointment.

“Forget the water! You're feeding this broad now!? You might as well buy her a carriage while you're at it!"

Fenix couldn't believe what he's witnessing, 
"Did you even think any of this through? Are you really going to stay with the Templar Hood, to carry out a duty that's already been assigned for your headmaster? Don't you think that's crack?" 

“I do not know who I am destined to be. I must find out!" Leon held a single fist to his chest now, 

"This is the only way I can prove it to myself, and to them, and god. I must find out if I am no longer worthy enough to stay in the graces of the lord himself!"

Blazerine unintentionally made an odd face, while watching them bicker. Fenix notices it at first, but he ignores it. She tried playing it off, acting like she was minding her own business. 

Leon changes the topic completely, by redirecting his attention to the girl. “As you're now aware of our names, it would be only proper if you gave us yours.” He suggested.

“My name is, Umm... mm, My name is Blazerine.” Blazerine managed to muffle out in-between several bites. 

Fenix tried pronouncing her name, “Blaz – er – ine, Blazerine?” 

“Yeah, that's right…” She confirmed, after finishing the rest of the bread.

“You do have an interesting visor equipment. I take it you aren't from around 'ere are you?” Leon noted her unfamiliar attire.

“Yeah, you could put it that way.” Blazerine couldn't help but shrug at the question.

Now that all the small talk is out of the way. Leon wanted to get to the bottom of this sooner than later. “Speaking of equipment..." He said, "Who tipped you off on my headmasters blade?” 

“What?” Blazerine frowned. She had completely forgotten about the whole incident with the blacksmith. 

“Don’t play dumb with us woman!” Fenix yelled out of spite.

Leon rose from his chair to retrieve the weapon, that's leaning against one of the table’s legs. Then he presented the blade up close for her to see. There wasn't much of a reaction out of her, but he could tell that she did, in fact, recognized the weapon, just by the way she looked at it. 

Blazerine wasn't entirely sure, if it's in her best interest to tell the truth.  “Um… well...” She began to wearily say. 

“Whatever your true intentions are, like say for taking my headmaster's blade in the first place. You ought to know the magnitude of this stunt you pulled off, won't be settled easy in the gallows. 

I know you're not from around her', solely based off your looks. But know this...  Whenever you come from, this type of behavior isn't appropriate. It's against the law. If someone else were in my boots, they would have reported you to the authorities, straight away, at once. All, I have to do, is show them this map.”  Leon would not tolerate anyone breaking the law, no matter the intentions behind it, but in this case, his ambitions were overshadowing him.  

“Listen to my words closely." He continued speaking even further, "I will look pass this under one condition; If only you’re willing to come meet somebody with me.” He stares her dead in the eyes now, with a look somebody may say, could see right through you. 

“Meet who and what exactly for?” Blazerine wasn’t sure why anybody would care about her existence, let alone meet her.

“It doesn't matter who it is. Do you accept my terms or not? ” Leon crossed his arms and tapped his foot, impatiently, waiting for her answer.

“It’s not like I have any other choices, do I?” Blazerine sighed.
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