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Volcano-head [Djinn Equip Training]

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1Volcano-head [Djinn Equip Training] Empty Volcano-head [Djinn Equip Training] on 06/12/15, 03:58 pm



”Here.” Ayero tossed a thick, rolled up cloth towards Hojo, watching as the man fumbled with the sudden heavy weight of the carpet. He quickly deduced what the object was, his eyes catching sight of the Balbaddan patterns decorating the rug. ”A magic carpet?” He arched a brow at the young woman. ”What happened to yours? Did you lose it to the dungeon?”

Shaking her head, Ayero offered an explanation. ”I want you three to head back to Kou. I’ve got a few loose ends to tie up here, but its best that someone goes on ahead to report in.”

Hojo hesitated for a moment, meeting Ayero’s stony face with his searching gaze. He didn’t sense that the woman was hiding anything or up to anything bad, but she’d been rather standoffish as of late. Though quiet, she did seem to be at peace the most when they would occasionally land the carpet to forage for food. From little snippets that she would tell him of her adventures, she seemed to prefer living off the land. He wondered how she was able to live in a large city like Remano, but didn’t think to ask her until now. Shouldering the carpet, he bowed his head briefly to the woman.

”As you wish. Leave it to us, but be careful.”

It had been about a week since Ayero departed on her own, several days after her own group had left for Kou. She trusted them enough to be on their own, and thought she didn’t start off far behind, the gap between them would grow more and more.

While she did stay behind to make sure that everything was in order with Balbadd and their dungeon clearing tax, Ayero felt as if she needed the solitude more than anything. Unconsciously, she gripped Eligos’ pendant tightly with one hand as she directed the carpet with her other. It had been a while since she had been alone (sans her beasts which traveled with her nearly everywhere) especially with her trip to the Kou Empire. She didn’t have much time to do any deep reflecting since the trials of Eligos, putting her duties as an ambassador above all else.

Eligos. She had entered Eligos with the intention of claiming his power, and succeeded in doing so. And now, she did not know how to use it. The more days that passed, the more she doubted that accessing Eligo’s power would be a simple affair. She didn’t know how to go about doing it, and it bothered her to no end. She’d overcome many trials in her life, but much of that had to do with physical and mental strength—and while she knew that would be a part of leaning to wield Eligos’ power, she still had difficulty grasping the magic part.

She knew that she shouldn’t let it be a deterrent, but it simply was. Magic tools were simple to use, as the user had to do little but aim it. It was the magicians who did the actual work, using their deep knowledge of the inner-workings of magic to create a device that would allow anyone to “perform” magic. Her ignorance of magic was not willful, but she never had much use for it until the past few years. She’d known magicians in passing, but it wasn’t until she became close friends with a few powerful mages that she recognized how ignorant she was on such an impressive topic.

Ayero uncurled her fingers from the eagle feather pendant she wore around her neck. The metallic charm had a small, neat magic circle etched into it.

Volcano-head [Djinn Equip Training] 4RvWC1o

It was strange to think that such enormous power was contained into such a tiny vessel. Furrowing her brows, Ayero released her metal vessel and let it fall onto her chest, dangling from the thin leather strap she wore around her neck. She wondered if it was alright to wear it like this, or if she should be keeping it in a safer place. She started wearing it around her neck only recently, hoping that seeing it more would remind that she needed to attain Eligos’ power.

”I wonder what they would have to say about this.” Ayero looked out toward the horizon, her mind turning towards Ariella and Azix for the moment. One was ambassador for Kou and a powerful magician in his own right, the other was some sort of divine being—as she understood it—who could not only wield enormous power, but could bring that power into this world for others to claim. Still, it warmed her heart to think of them. As important as they were, she couldn’t help think of them as friends first and foremost, before their titles and reputations.

She hadn’t had much time to meet with either of them between Eligos and Buer, each of them busy with their own duties. Azix’s knowledge of dungeons and Djinns proved to be invaluable, so she knew somewhat what she was dealing with. Unfortunately, they hadn’t had much time to discuss training said Djinn. As she understood it now after meeting Buer, accessing and training the power of a Djinn would probably be at least a little different for everyone.

Sighing heavily, the Fanalis woman tapped the snake wrapped around her torso, running her hand fondly along his black scales. Kabu lifted his head from her shoulder, having burrowed his face in her hair to protect it from the wind. Through a series of head and hand gestures, Ayero communicated what she needed from him. Moving slowly, the snake wound his way down Ayero’s arm and towards the edge of the carpet. He took the corner of it into his mouth, allowing Ayero to let go and flop onto her back. She would let the snake fly the carpet for a little while, using Tomato as a lookout. They wouldn’t need to turn otherwise, as there were few disturbances so high up in the air. The carpet simply needed a source of magoi, lest it fall from the sky.

Throwing an arm over her eyes to blot out the sun, Ayero resumed her train of thought. She started off as a simple girl from the mountains who knew little of the outside world. When she left her village, she could neither read nor write. It dawned on her how much things had changed since then. In her travels she had gained basic literacy, mastered sword combat, solidified her beast taming skills and learned to efficiently wield a bow. Her growing skills in combat and leadership earned her a comfortable rank within in the Fanalis Corps, and with it came many perks she didn’t think she’d need. While a part of her yearned to move around and be free, she appreciate the importance of having a place to call home. Her status and income allowed for her brother to go to a good school, where the young boy was currently studying.

Ayero had arranged for Vin to go to one of Remano’s top boarding schools, wanting the child to get an education. It was something she thought she had never needed, but the world was changing. Vin was a smart boy, and if he did well in school he wouldn’t have to fight for a living. Not that there was anything wrong with fighting—there was great honor to be had in being a soldier—but it was dangerous, and she knew firsthand how life was living by the blade. If he went to school he could become a teacher, or a government official. Something stable that would give him a comfortable life.

Until this moment, she had always thought of herself as a simple girl from the mountains. Despite her abilities and military rank, in the back of her mind she still considered herself a simple person who had no need for studying, magic, politics and the like. But the world was changing, and Ayero decided that it was best to embrace it.

”Uh…Lava, Eligos!”

Ayero held the eagle charm gripped tightly in her hand while striking a confident battle pose. They had landed several hours ago, and after a quick hunt, the Fanalis tried to awaken Eligos. Kabu was in the process of digesting a whole wild rabbit as he watched Ayero with Tomato. Both beasts recognized the word “Eligos”, but otherwise had no idea what their red-haired companion was up to. Usually she used a time like this to train, but her blade and bow were laid out on the magic carpet. Instead she was just standing there, holding the eagle pendant. And yelling. At nothing.

Frowning, Ayero nearly glared down at the eagle face staring back up at her. She knew enough to know that a certain set of words released the Djinn from its vessel. She had even witnessed Azix equip into his Djinn form, so she had somewhat of an idea what to do. But how was she supposed to know what the magic words were?

With a look of determination, Ayero thrust her fist outwards once more.

”Kill, Eligos!”

Her voice bouned off the hills, full of resolve. And yet, nothing happened.

”Destroy, Eligos!”

”Erupt, Eligos!”

”Incinerate, Eligos!”

With a heavy groan she would only emit when alone, Ayero flopped onto the ground. Tomato hopped forward curiously towards her companion, not entirely concerned as she could see that the fall was deliberate. When the bird gently tapped Ayero’s forehead with her beak, Ayero felt almost as if it was adding insult to injury. ”You don’t think I’m a failure, do you Tomato?”

When the bird tilted her head to the side and chirped, Ayero smiled softly at her creature friend. The smile faded as Tomato moved towards her torso, watching the bird with curious eyes. It only took a few more moments for Ayero to realize why the bird had come over in the first place. The pouch of seeds and nuts Ayero used to reward Tomato for responding to commands had fallen from her person, and the bird was taking advantage of the treats spilled out onto the ground. With another exasperated groan, Ayero jabbed her fist toward the sky.

Closing her eyes, the warrior focused everything she had into her arm. With more dungeons rising and more King Candidates appearing, she couldn’t be left behind.  She was sure that news of her dungeon conquering reached Reim by now, and she couldn’t bear the thought of returning virtually empty handed. She had to learn how to use this great power. She owed to Octavius for all that he had done for her, to the people of Reim she sought to protect. With those heavy thoughts on her mind, Ayero called out to the hills once more.

”Decimate, Eligos!”

Eliminate, Eligos!

”Slay, Eligos!

Suddenly, a startlingly familiar feeling engulfed Ayero. While she was trying to place it, a thick black mist twined along the arm that was holding the pendant. Her heart nearly leaping out of her chest, Ayero sat up suddenly, transfixed on her arm. [i]”Is this really happening?! Did that do it?!” She realized the feeling to be similar to that of using a magic tool, in the sense that the vessel was drawing magoi from her.

The black smoke faded, giving way to Eligos’ weapon equip. Ayero found herself staring at a rather large blade.

Volcano-head [Djinn Equip Training] 7tnZN2R

The weapon’s material had the color and consistency of cooled lava, the blade being lined with what appeared to be molten lava. It almost seem to pulse with heat an energy, as if there was fresh lava flowing within it. Ayero marveled at the axe for a moment before clambering to her feet and straightening out. ”Incredible…” Even though she was technically alone, Ayero felt the need to contain her giddiness inside. Could Eligos see her? Was that how this worked? She didn’t want to appear unprofessional in front of him.

Drawing in a steady breath, Ayero released her hold on the equip. The black sword disappeared into a cloud of smoke, leaving behind the eagle charm in Ayero’s hand. ”And again….Slay, Eligos!”

For the next several hours, Ayero would practice activating her weapon equip. The more she worked, the similar she found it felt to using a magic tool. However, the force of the weapon equip felt far grander than that of a tool, and Ayero knew that she still had yet to tap into her weapon equip. She was determined to become more intertwined with Eligos and his power, but this was enough for today.

Fatigued by the constant use of her weapon equip, Ayero finally collapsed to the ground. Sprawled out ungracefully, the woman used the last bits of strength to pull her limbs closer to her and roll over so that she was somewhat comfortable as she drifted to sleep nearly instantly.

Later that night, a shadow cast by the moonlight crept along the grassy hills. Ayero and Tomato were asleep, the bird nestled into the woman’s red hair like a nest. Kabu was draped across Ayero’s torso, awake but resting as he was largely nocturnal. The snake caught the shadow from the corner of his large red eyes and raised his head to investigate.

A thin needle suddenly pierced Kabu’s neck, causing the snake to jerk in alarm. But the toxins quickly worked their way into his system, paralyzing the creature. Tomato began to stir slightly, but was silenced with a paralytic needle before she could even wake up fully. Several more needles found their way into the sleeping Fanalis woman, ensuring that she’d remain asleep for quite a bit longer.

[Djinn Equip Training: 2277/4000]



”Nnng...” When Ayero next woke, it was night. A full day had passed, but she did not know that.

As she opened her eyes, Ayero would find that her vision was more blurred than usual when waking up. Struggling to regain visual focus, she tries to bring a hand up to her eyes only to discover that they were bound together. Her heart leapt into her throat as she became more aware of her surroundings once her vision began to fade back in. She was bound at the wrists, thighs and ankles with thick rope and chains, laying on the wooden floor of a covered cart. Panic and rage filled her eyes as she tried to move, but found her movements to be slow and clumsy. While scampering to get up, the cart went over a bump and she hit her head on the side of the wagon.

The collision of her skull against the solid wood cause a loud bang, and chuckle sounded from the corner as the cart was brought to a halt. Ayero groaned in pain as she sank back down onto the floor, wanting nothing more than to remove her bonds and rub at her injured head at the moment. Her gaze suddenly turned venomous as her eyes flickered upwards toward the source of the laugh.

A woman with startingly pale skin sat cross-legged in the corner of the cart, roughly a foot from Ayero. Her jet black hair contrasted with her milky white skin, as did her black and gold clothing.

”I wouldn’t try moving again if I were you.” A thin smirk draped the woman’s lips as she held up a thin needle, a not so veiled threat.

The strange woman was barely able to get the words out before Ayero snarled at her. ”Who the fu—“ Suddenly, the canvas flap at the back of the wagon opened, letting in a flood of light. It spilled across Ayero’s form briefly, causing the Fanalis to stall and squint before the light was blocked by two figures.

”Oh my, I see you are awake~”

Volcano-head [Djinn Equip Training] LowBD9w

Both women had the same pale skin and type of clothing, with vaguely Kouen features. One of them stepped forward to grab Ayero’s chin in her hand, the golden ornament in her hair glinting as it reflected the sun.

”Now, now, don’t look so angry. It is your own fault for falling asleep alone in the plains. Even the dark of night won’t hide that red hair of yours.” The woman’s words were almost scolding and her smile dripped with bad intentions as she squeezes her fingers around Ayero’s jaw.

In an adrenaline-fueled moment of panic, Ayero lashed forward and snapped her teeth at the woman, only to receive a solid kick in the stomach by the third woman who had yet to speak to her. The force of the kick surprised Ayero and she fell back down, the wind knocked out of her momentarily.

”Oh Kali, you’re always so quick to dole out punishment…but we’re not slave trainers. We just have to keep her alive until we get to Heliohapt. Once we find a buyer, we can let them do the rest.” The woman grinned devilishly again at Ayero before turning her attention up towards the other woman sitting in the cart with a suddenly sour expression.

”You haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping her down, Kiva. I thought you said that your poisons could properly sedate a Fanalis? It’s a good thing we tied her up.”

Kiva’s upper lip curled slightly as she was chided. ”It’s not as easy as it looks, Kovu. There’s a fine line between sedate and kill.”

The woman now identified as Kovu rolled her eyes before turning her attention back towards Ayero. ”Imagine our surprise when we found you just laying around. Pretty face, in good condition…why, we could get quite a bit for you.”

”We’d get even more if we had her trained properly!” Kali pipped up from behind her, but stopped when Kovu raised a hand to silence her before continuing.

”You had quite the cache of weapons and magic items on you, too. Don’t worry, they’re safe with us…but not for long. Collectively they’d be worth quite a pretty sum. Unfortunately, those beasts you had with you aren’t, so we left them.”

With that, Kovu closed the tent flap and disappeared along with Kali. Before the cart began moving again, Ayero felt the small prick of a needle on her skin and began to feel sleepy almost immediately. Deciding to play the part for now, Ayero slumped back down to the ground, her face away from Kiva as she did her best to curl into the fetal position. The poison was not strong enough to put her to sleep if she fought its effects, but it did drastically decrease her mobility. Deciding that it was for the best, Ayero closed her eyes and relaxed her body the best she could, pretending to be asleep.

[Djinn Training:3114/4000]



The act seemed to work, and Ayero had forced herself to calm down enough in order to think. She’d had run-ins before, but this was further than anyone had ever gotten to actually capturing her. Her thoughts first went to her beasts, worrying for the safety of Kabu and Tomato. Though they were strong, they had rarely fought without her and were both out of their natural environment. She had to find a way to escape and track them down.

Slowly, she opened one eye and glanced down at her body. While moving around before, she was able to get a decent grasp on the strength behind the bonds. They would restrain a normal man, but a struggling Fanalis would be able to break them. But Ayero was heavily drugged, and any attempted struggle would likely be met with more sedation or punishment. Then again…the woman, Kovu, did mention that Kiva didn’t know how to properly take down a Fanalis. Did this mean that they hadn’t captured someone of her kind before?

Slowly, signs of the women’s inexperience began to sink in. The botched sedation, weak bindings, leaving her beasts instead of killing them…these were all mistakes that the women had made that Ayero could potentially use to her advantage. They didn’t seem to be slave traders either, more like slave hunters—they had the foresight to strip her of her weapons and tools, though. Glancing further up her body, Ayero was careful not to move her head as she caught a glimpse of the small metal charm between her breasts. Ah yes, another mistake they had made.

With this in mind, Ayero allowed herself to drift into a heavily drugged sleep.

After the initial heavy shock had worn off, Ayero decided that it was best to think. She couldn’t become completely calm—who could in this situation?—and she figured that she didn’t need to, anyway. Calm was something that happened when you were out of danger and relaxing peacefully at home. Instead of being calm, she treated her current situation as if she were in a battle by forcing herself to be alert and focused. There were differences between being captured and being in the heat of battle, though; for one, time moved much differently. In battle, a fraction of a second could mean defeat or even death. Thinking and actions had to be quick and decisive. But here, time dragged on. All she could do now was lay on the floor of the wagon and think, drifting between drug induced comas. A sense of urgency began to eat away at her as each day passed, and she was careful not to let it influence her into rash decisions.

She could fight well with her bare hands, but she was bound. Even if she could break the bonds, there was too high of a risk that the women would put her down before she could escape. Again, her thoughts drifted to the metal charm around her neck and she knew what she would have to do to get out.

Laying on the floor of the wagon, Ayero sifted through her memories of Azix and Cimeies. She knew that the Djinn responded to a chant used by the wielder, lending them their full power not confined to just a weapon. Ayero didn’t know if the power of her weapon equip would be enough to guarantee her escape, but she had never attempted a Djinn equip before. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

About a week into their journey, Ayero awoke to the light and sound of rushing fire outside the cart. Through the cracks in the wood she could see Kovu, the ringleader, wielding some sort of magic tool that created great bursts of flames. Shrieking animal sounds were heart shortly after, but died out quickly. The smell of charred flesh and burnt grass remained in the air for the next day or so.

She didn’t know what was going on at first, but realized what had happened after Kali loaded the still-smoking corpse of a deer into the back of the cart. The smell was nauseating, and Kiva—the woman watching her—became disgusted and left to sit in the front of the cart with the other women.

As the three bickered over the state of their meals for the next few days, Ayero gawked at the beast’s corpse and rolled over onto her side. This how they hunt? I’d be surprised if that thing was still edible. After wrinkling her nose, she fought back the nauseous feeling in her stomach in favor of focusing on her metal vessel. Closing her eyes, Ayero thrust her chest out and moved her bound arms slowly upward until they could grasp the pendant dangling near her breasts.

Closing one hand around the eagle charm, Ayero relaxed her body as much as she could without letting go of the pendant and let herself drift into a state of meditation. It was something she had learned of in Kou on her trips to the temples, but even warriors used it to calm and center themselves. For the past few days, she tried to drift into a meditative state, hoping that it would lead her to her Djinn equip. Steadying her breathing, she focused on Eligos and what he stood for.

[i]”O’ Djinn…strength and purity….honor….strength and honor….destroy…overcome my enemies….protect my family…become a champion….Eligos…..wield my blade….”

The flap of the cart was thrown open, and a grinning Kali stared down at Ayero. Her bright smile faded quickly though, a sneer replacing her pretty grin upon seeing that their captive had been speaking to herself.

”What? What are you mumbling about? What is it that you have?! Give it here!” With unprecedented force from someone with such a delicate frame, Kali ripped the eagle pendant from Ayero’s chest with one hand and punched the Fanalis woman in the face with her other fist. The punch slammed Ayero back to the floor, where she hissed in pain. She had taken shots to the face before, but that was uncalled for.

Kali frowned as she examined the eagle charm, unimpressed. As she did so, Kovu came up from behind her with a sour look on her face. ”Kali! What did I tell you about damaging the merchandise? She’ll be worth much less if you hit her in the face. If you must discipline her, do it on her back or the back of her legs.” Turning toward Ayero, Kovu frowned and grabbed Ayero by the chin and forcing her head upwards. She turned Ayero’s head from side to side before squeezing the sides of her jaw, causing her to open her mouth. Satisfied, she let Ayero’s head drop from her grip and turned back to Kali.

”You’re damn lucky it was only her eye and not her nose or teeth. A broken nose or lost teeth are harder to fix than a black eye. Those go away on their own.” Noting the pendant in the other woman’s hand, she arched a brow. ”What is that?”

”This thing was on her. She was holding onto it, praying or something.” Kali’s line of sight went from Kovu to Ayero as she waved the pendant. ”No God can help you now, bitch!”

”Enough.” Kovu rolled her eyes and grabbed the charm, tossing it into the back of the cart. ”Just unload the deer and cut away the burned flesh so we can roast what’s good over the fire.”

Ayero had grown steadily weaker during her captivity, being given water and a small bit of whatever leftover food they had every other day or so. Grains and vegetables were rare, so overcooked and burnt meat was her staple. She was still focused on her goal, the sense of urgency eating away quicker at her. At times it nearly drove her crazy, and the women no longer had any need to sedate her as she was so physically exhausted.

As the women stopped to set up camp one night, Ayero decided to make her move toward her metal vessel. The small charm sat in the corner of the cart, and Ayero could not move without Kiva noticing. She was luck that Kovu did not throw the charm outside—then, she would truly be out of options. But that only urged Ayero on. She had to do something quick before she became completely useless from lack of food. The meat, though hardly palatable, still had protein…she had not lost all of her strength just yet.

Inching herself slowly along the wooden floor, Ayero was careful not to make sound or generate any movement. It had taken her nearly half an hour of slow, purposeful movements, but she had finally reached the corner of the wagon. Reaching out with her bound arms, the Fanalis woman grabbed the pendant and closed both hands around it.

Letting her eyes fall closed, she began mumbling to herself when she heard the canvas flap of the cart open.

”What the—you’re able to move around?! Kiva! Get in here! It looks like we need to sedate her after all.” Kovu snarled for the other women. With Kovu’s sudden appearance, Ayero’s eyes snapped open and she felt a surge of adrenaline coarse through her body. With the vestiges of her strength, she pulled her head up and leaned in against the back of the wagon. Her eyes blazed with the strength of a warrior who was being challenged, a look that Kovu hadn’t seen since they first captured the woman. She gawked for a moment as Ayero stared at her with an expression of unyielding defiance. A moment of intense silence passed between the two before Ayero spoke, her voice hoarse with strength behind it.

“O’ Djinn of strength and purity, lend me your untainted power. Dwell in my body and transform me into a champion among champions! Slay, Eligos!”

[Djinn Equip Trained: 4753/4000]



As the name of the Djinn left her lips, a surge of power unlike anything she had ever felt before engulfed Ayero. Her body became engulfed in plumes of black smoke and ropes of flowing lava, but she felt no pain from the sting or burn they would normally bring. In an instant they exploded outwards, destroying the cart and forcing Kovu and the other women back. Ayero looked down at them, the fact that she was floating in the air not yet registering completely. Her limbs, though tired and weak felt somewhat revitalized, as if there was some sort of energy flowing through her that kept her body temporarily upright.

Volcano-head [Djinn Equip Training] U4nZZnk

She had little time to notice the new armor that had covered her body, nor could she detect the glowing of her eyes or chest. All she knew was that she had never felt so powerful, in an almost ethereal way. Looking down at the three women, Ayero felt a sense of urgency, this one far stronger than before. It dawned on her that she had achieved her equip, but that was in the back of her mind. Right now she was working off of instinct and the high of achieving her Djinn equip for the first time.

The blade in her hand was the same as the one from before that she held in her weapon equip. This was something slightly more familiar to Ayero, but thankfully she knew what to do with a blade. Raising the sword, she fed her power into the blade and watched as it began to glow intensely. Tightening her grip, Ayero lashed her blade to the right in a wide arc, a whip of lava extending from the sword as she did so. The hot lava crashed down onto the trio below, enveloping their bodies in molten lava that quickly hardened, rooting them to the ground indefinitely.

And just like that, the ordeal was over. There were muffled scream and noises from below, but those died out quickly. The adrenaline was pumping through Ayero’s veins, and she knew that it wouldn’t be for much longer. She needed to think of what to do next, and quickly. Back to Reim? To Kou? No, she needed to pick up the rest of her life first. With her thoughts settled for the moment, Ayero began to fly in the opposite direction that the slavers were traveling in, hoping to find her beasts.

She didn’t make it more than a few miles before the adrenaline wore off and her Djinn equip began to fall apart. The last thing Ayero remembered before blacking out was falling from the sky as the feeling of Eligos’ power faded from her body.

[Training Eligat Immobulus: 452/1500]


Djinn: Eligos
Type: Sword
Theme: Lava
Chant: “O’ Djinn of strength and purity, lend me your untainted power. Dwell in my body and transform me into a champion among champions! Slay, Eligos!”
Flight: 15 m/s
Cost: 20|10
Cool-Down: 8 posts
Appearance: In Eligos’ full equip, Ayero is covered in a suit of crimson and gold armor. She wears a Reimian-styled helmet with two wings placed on either side, and two poles bearing red and crimson flags jut out from the armor at the back of her shoulder blades. The armor around her bust is slitted, revealing what appears to be active lava within her chest plate. Her lips darken to a charcoal color and her eyes gain a bright, lava-like glow.



A splitting pain shot through Ayero’s head before she even opened her eyes. This caused her to grimace with her eyes closed, her movement drawing the attention of the old woman in the hut. Seeing the red haired woman scrunch her face, she moved closer to her, the fabric of her clothes swishing as she did so. Ayero heard this and forced herself to open her eyes, greeted by the blinding light produced by a small fire in the center of the hut. Ayero blinked at the woman, trying to focus as the searing pain pulsed throughout her entire skull now. Leaning over, she vomited as a sudden wave of nausea took over and gave up for the moment, letting her body rest for a moment. She could hear the old woman say something that she couldn’t understand, and turned her head slowly toward her.

Worry was etched into her wrinkled face as she held out a ladle full of milk towards Ayero. The young woman gave her a suspicious glance before deciding that while there was much strange about this situation, there was little suspicious. Leaning forward with the help of the old woman, Ayero slowly drank from the ladle. The milk was warm and mild and helped to soothe her stomach. Once she had drank all of it she laid back down. ”Thank you.” Her words were simple, and she watched as the older woman just smiled in return.

As the older woman busied herself with herbs and a steaming pot of something, Ayero took the time to gather her thoughts. Despite the fall, she remembered a lot of what had happened to her over the past few weeks. The capture, those awful women and her Djinn Equip…it all came rushing back so quickly that it made her head hurt more. Glancing down, the Fanalis tried to focus elsewhere. She managed a frown when she saw that she had lost much of her muscle tone from being inactive, her ribs poking out from under her sallow skin in a sign of malnourishment. She nearly snorted at how silly she felt she looked, but her head hurt too much to make anything other than simple movements.

She let her eyes wander around the hut, trying to discern what material it was made out of. At least someone friendly found me. She mused to herself. She caught a movement from the corner of her eye and turned her head to face the old woman once more. This time she was offering her some sort of tea from a clay mug. Without the hesitation of the first time, Ayero drank the liquid. It tasted bitter and unpleasant but her mouth was dry so she drank it all. When she was finished, the old woman smiled and pointed to the empty cup before rubbing herself on the head.

Over the next week, Ayero would slowly recover in the old woman’s hut. Other people entered the hut on occasion, either to deliver items to the woman or to seek some sort of healing themselves. Most of them looked at Ayero with both curiosity and anxiousness, a few even spoke to her but left her alone when they realized that she didn’t understand them.

It was during this time that Ayero realized how lucky she was to always have some sort of healer around. Rarely did she get into a fight without her healing beast Kabu, or even some potions to help keep her going until she could see a healing mage. But now she was without either, the woman’s bitter herbal teas helping to dull the pain and stimulate healing somewhat, but not fast enough for her. Communication outside of vague hand gestures was impossible, so she could not even ask the woman if she had seen her beasts. They were hardy creatures, but she had never been separated from them for this long.

At this point, Ayero was able to sit up for periods of time. She was also able to keep down food a lot better, and was slowly gaining back the weight she had lost. Her head injury and broken legs kept her down though, BUT the stronger she grew, the antsier she became. She wasn’t the type to be content with sitting around when there was work to be done.

One day about two weeks into her stay, Ayero was watching the old woman as she mixed up a stew for today’s meal. It was full of meat and some wild vegetables and nuts, things that could be found through foraging. Smiling, the woman held the ladle full of soup up to Ayero for the other woman to taste, when a chorus of shouts sounded outside of the tent.

Ayero perked up immediately, her eyes flaring at the thought of danger. Immediately her right hand went to her left hip, grasping at nothing when she realized that she was without a weapon. Still, she kept her eyes on the door of the tent, prepared to…do something? There wasn’t really much she could do in her current state.

The surprised shouts outside the hut grew closer until the canvas flap finally opened, letting some sort of dark creature slide inside at an alarming rate. Ayero jumped from where she was resting, but the old woman was surprisingly quick. With an angry cry, the woman raised her ladle in the air and brought it down on the serpentine beast, sending soup flying on both the beast and Ayero.

The beast began to cry out, hissing in pain and moving in circles before rushing towards Ayero. Before the Fanalis warrior could wrap her injured head around what was going on, the creature moved to twine around her torso, settling its head into her mane of red hair. It was then that the realization took place, and she placed on hand on the beast’s head, the other on the scales of his body.

”Kabu…! How did you…I missed you.” Ayero stroked her hand along the black scales, kissing Kabu’s head gently as she fought back sudden tears. She had been feeling guilty over the past few days, wondering if her animal companions were alright and how she would even find them. But now she was reminded of how well Kabu was able to detect the presence of livings things that he could not see, and knew that she had misjudged him a bit. Running a hand along his body, she noted that while he did seem a bit underfed, he was no worse for the wear.

Thanks to Kabu’s healing saliva, Ayero recovered rapidly from her injuries. She wanted to thank the old woman for all of her care and help before leaving, but wasn’t exactly able to communicate her thanks. Instead, she filled one of the woman’s jars with Kabu’s healing saliva before she left (which took quite a long time, much to the snake’s dismay). After reuniting with Tomato as well, the trio set out toward where Ayero had freed herself from the slaver’s wagon, destroying the wagon and covering the women in hot lava during her escape. She needed to regain her lost items.

[ Training Eligat Immobulus:1648/1500]


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