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After the Battle [Training/Solo]

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Grabbing a drink after a round of fighting in the coliseum was nothing new to Ayero, in fact she often ended up at a tavern one way or another after a victory. But this time her visit had more purpose. She allowed herself a few hours of rest before setting out to the appointed meeting place as the sun dipped at the horizon and began to cast slowly creeping shadows along the city of Remano. The nights became bitterly cold with winter settling in, causing her to think twice before leaving the inn without grabbing her winter cloak. After ensuring that her brother would be looked after for a few hours while playing with the inkeep’s children, Ayero makes her way towards the north side of the plaza.

Light, warmth and noise spill out of the pub as she pushes the thick wooden door open, hitting her senses all at once as she steps into the room. She’s immediately more relaxed from the familiar ambiance, the scent of ale causing her taste buds to reflexively crave the bitter drink. She gives the tavern a quick scan, and seeing that Khalim has yet to arrive, wonders if she is early. Shrugging it off for the time being, the Fanalis woman takes a seat at the bar and offers the bartender a friendly nod while getting one in return. Ordering herself something to drink, she turns and relaxes her shoulders against the wooden counter, waiting for both her drink and the magician.

The wait was not long, as the man in question placed some coins on the bar and looked to the bartender. ”First rounds, for the charming lass and I, are on me.”. Khalim had arrived shortly after she had ordered her drink and had approached the bar with a genial smile. He wore a simple, yet well-cut, garb that accentuated the man’s physique. He took a seat beside Ayero, poised forward in a focused manner while speaking and listening to her. ”So, how are you enjoying your day today?”

The young woman quirked a brow at Khalim’s choice of words, straightening her posture and crossing her arms over her chest as he spoke to her. She couldn’t be sure of exactly what he wanted to discuss with her, but she was aware enough to know that involved the occupancy of her country. Regardless, he intrigued her enough to agree to speak with him further. She eyes the man carefully, taking in his appearance before responding honestly. ”Alright, so far.” She pauses as the barkeep brings their drinks, picking up her mug and bringing it to her lips. She revels in the bitter yet familiar taste of the drink, sighing softly as the cool liquid slides down her throat. ”I haven’t seen many magicians in the coliseum.” She comments with a sideways glance to the man.

Khalim had caught the shift in Ayero’s body language as she crossed her arms. His demeanor, however, did not change. His drink came up shortly after Ayero’s, and he allowed a companionable silence for a short moment after she had made her observation. ”Its true. Warriors have an advantage, though I suppose some may consider it a disadvantage, in that they are more readily able to advance and adapt during live combat. The coliseum has its uses for such individuals. Magicians, on the other hand, advance through the study of the relation of Rukh and the power it holds over our surroundings. They may learn some adaptation in combat, but a majority of our ability to ‘sling’ spells comes from an understanding of the power that moves the world.” He continued to speak to her in a friendly manner, with a conversational tone, occasionally taking a drink from his mug between sentences.

”Hm…” She lets out a small sound of thought into the mug as it lingers at her lips after another drink. She swirls the liquid in her cup gently, staring down into it as she contemplates his words. She didn’t know much in the way of magic, but after spending time around magicians such as Yakuroro and Ariella, the Fanalis woman gained at least a basic understanding. ”Why did you choose to fight in the coliseum?” She addresses him with a curious lit in her voice, flicking her dark brown eyes upwards to meet his. She had the feeling that the mage had not fought her with his full strength and it bothered her. To the Fanalis woman, it was almost an insult.

Khalim swirled the remainder of the drink in his mug, looking upon it pensively before turning his face back to Ayero. ”It was my first match in the coliseum. I had plans to continue fighting in it until I found a strong warrior.” He chuckled, finishing up his drink and ordering another one. ”Perhaps it was the guidance of the Rukh, but it seems to me that I’ve found the perfect partner in my first match. I can tell from your skill in the coliseum that you’re a dependable warrior.” Khalim paused from speaking, and it seemed as if he were awaiting Ayero’s reaction to his words.

The defensive look on her face drops, replace by one of slight surprise as he explains his reasoning behind challenging the coliseum. A bit of pride swells in her chest at the indication that he found her to be a capable warrior, and she tries to smother the feeling of slight embarrassment that comes with it. Up until recently, the Fanalis woman had done her best to remain unnoticed so as to not find herself in any unnecessary trouble. But the recent events that had taken place in her home country stirred up a new host of feelings in the young woman, and she slowly began to give in to her Fanalis instincts more than she had in the past. Her strength, she realized, had carried her further than she thought it would.

However, Khalim’s explanation wasn’t quite enough for her. ”And what interest do you have in Reim’s warriors?” She slowly drains the remainder of her glass, her gaze tilted upwards to give him a curious yet guarded look as she does so.

Khalim shook his head. ”That would best be spoken of somewhere more… Private. The bar isn’t the best place to discuss personal affairs.” He paused for a moment, to allow what he said to sink in, before pointing towards a table. ”Over there should be sufficient.”



The mention of privacy and personal affairs likely had a different context in her mind than what he intended, if the way she nearly choked on the last bit of ale was any indication. Her chest lurches forward as her throat spasms and she lowers the mug, raising a fist to her lips and coughing as faintly as she could. A tinge of pink appears on her cheeks briefly before she wills it away, shaking her head at her own reaction. ”Very well.” She clears her throat and agrees in a stern tone in an attempt to resume her tough yet wary persona. Once she  had agreed, he made his way to a table at one of the corners of the room, away from prying eyes and ears. She waves off the raised brow of mild concern over her actions from the barkeep and picks up her refilled mug before following him to the table.

Once the two had settled into their seats, Khalim continued where they had left off. ”Hmm. How to put this… I am a professor for a small school of magic. We mostly keep to ourselves, as we don’t want to make big waves. But in the city next to ours, there is a group of warriors that tried to take our school over. It was a long battle, but in the end we managed to persevere. We kicked them from our school, even though there were renown for their martial abilities, and we’ve been fixing the damage to our school and landscape ever since then.” Whether Ayero knew that Khalim was referring to the Magno-Kou war that took place just a couple of years back, the man was unsure. He continued anyways, providing a more at-home connection that she would be much more likely to note. ”Since then, we’ve kept our eyes more closely on our neighbors, and it seems that these warriors had decided to gain control of a city on the other side of us. Like I mentioned earlier, you’re a talented warrior yourself, and I was hoping you might be interested in helping this neighboring city out. I would like to share my knowledge of what we encountered when they attacked our school, but I don’t know where to find those who would benefit most from that. Your words in the coliseum made me believe that you might have an idea, though?”

Ayero listens silently to Khalim’s explanation, focusing intently on his words. She was vaguely aware of the war between Kou and Magnostadt several years prior, but didn’t know much about the latter country seeing as how it was not the most welcoming place for non-magicians. As such, she didn’t hold much interest in the conflict seeing as how it didn’t have much to do with her and her own goals. The connection became solidified in her mind when he brought up the city allegedly to the other side of his school. She takes a slow drink while contemplating his words, trying to organize her thoughts. While she wasn’t about to go and blurt out what she knew of the rising resistance, the experiences of a seasoned veteran who had fought against Kou itself could be key. With this in mind, she raises her face and attention from the glass and fixes him with a penetrating gaze, its intensity something she was occasionally unaware of when not keeping herself in check. ”You are correct. I am interested in…providing aid. I would be grateful for anything you could tell me, Khalim.”

Khalim’s rigid features relaxed slightly as he leaned back in his seat. Though he relaxed, there was still an air of confidence that coiled around the man. One that was born from experience. Between the time Ayero spoke of her interest, and Khalim said his next words, a top-off by the barmaid was offered. Khalim nodded and held his up, paying little attention to the new woman who had come to fill up their mugs. He took a drink from his, and set it back down on the table as the barmaid left the two alone; he looked to be holding his ale down fairly well. Taking out a paper, Khalim spoke while writing information down upon it. ”I could tell you a lot of things, but it wouldn’t be everything. A lot of it is written down. To keep it clear and from being forgotten. And, like I mentioned earlier, public areas aren’t the best place to discuss these matters. Especially the details. I can tell you where I’m staying, if you’d like, and you can think on my offer before contacting me with a good meeting place…” Sliding the contact information over to Ayero, Khalim paused for a moment before the smile that had faded away earlier slowly twitched back on his face. ”Now, I believe you were not entirely satisfied with our previous encounter. It’s not within my heart to leave a striking woman disappointed. Care for another competition? I bet I can hold my ale better than you.”



Her eyes travel down to the paper briefly before returning to the man’s face, intrigued by the promise of information that could be used against the invaders from the east. Taking the piece of paper in hand, she absently slips it into her metallic chest plate while raising her mug for another drink. She quirks a brow from behind the glass at his following words, finding that he had taken note of her displeasure with their arena match…not that she did much to hide it. The compliment directed towards her causes her cheeks to flush briefly, the blush subsiding by the time she brings her mug to rest on the table. A challenging spark lights up her eyes and a wry smirk slides its way onto her face. ”You may have more experience than I, but have you ever taken a Fanalis on in a drinking competition?” She casually forgets to mention that she’s only a half-blood, but it would be hard to assume from her looks and demeanor alone. ”In any case, I accept.”

Khalim’s smile widened at her show of confidence, simultaneously pleased that she had taken him up on the challenge. ”Truthfully? I can’t say that I have. But everyone has their first time, so I suppose that means I’m in your hands for now.” He began to drink from his mug, calling the barmaid over as he did so. When she got to them he had but one request. ”Please bring us a case of your ale. A competition is on.” Those last words were punctuated with a playful look towards Ayero. He settled their tab, with the addition of the case of ale to it, on the spot while awaiting for Ayero to finish the rest of her drink.

A case?” She raises a brow, leaning forward with interest. ”I’m certain that we’d run a single case dry before we’re satisfied. Well, at least I would.” As if to punctuate her point, she downs the rest of her own drink with a satisfied exhale and turns to the other woman. ”Another case, if you would, ma’am.” She reaches into one of the inner pockets of her cloak and fishes out enough coin to cover the second case. As the barmaid bustles away to go prepare their order, the halfling deems that she was sufficiently warm enough to remove her outer covering. Unfastening her cloak, she drapes the thick material over the back of her chair. ”You’d better give this competition your all, this time.” She fixes him with a smirk, crossing her arms over her chest.

When Ayero requested a second case the man ‘whew’ed’ at the sight, as if to say ‘this is quite the tall order.’ The magician gave Ayero a hearty laugh as she paid for the second case. When she warned him to give it his all, he eyed the two cases of ale before nodding. ”It looks like I have no other choice! Very well, may the strongest gut win!” He laughed again, grabbing a bottle from one of the cases after setting his mug to the side of the table. He began to ask Ayero questions about herself, taking up an interest in her past; where she was originally from, where she has traveled, what she would like to see. He was careful with how he worded the questions, immediately backing away from any subject Ayero didn’t seem to want to discuss and changing the topic or drinking another ale and pretending he had never asked the question in the first place.

[Begin Training for Venoshock]

Ayero obliged to most of the man’s questions, her answers varying from vague to more detailed based on the subject at hand. Normally she wouldn’t be so open with someone she didn’t know that well, but the alcohol in her system as well as Khalim’s interest in helping her loosened her up considerably. She told him of her beginnings in the small mountain village, how she’d left at a young age and traveled around various countries, at first with a caravan and then on her own. She left out the mention of her eldest brother and the tragedy that befell her family, her mind not even willing to touch those thoughts and spoil her good mood. ”How about you?” She finally asks, setting down an empty bottle and reaching for another. ”What’s it like living in the magician’s country?” She recalls, in the back of her mind, how Ariella had spoken distastefully of her homeland.

Khalim smiled fondly as he put away another ale. Though she had made mention of man’s country, instead of alluding to it, he did not seem to mind. Or perhaps he, too, had forgotten that they were keeping that under wraps. ”The students are curious, and the teachers are anxious to both teach and learn. The various tools that are made there… It is a great place. Though people are people, I suppose.” Khalim thoughtfully swirled a bottle around, similarly to what he had done earlier with the mug of ale. ”You’ve got your ‘overly curious’ types of students who make trouble, and some of the teachers aren’t always looking out for the best interests of the students… And then there are those who have that air of superiority…” He shrugged. Some of his words were off, just slightly, as he picked up a new bottle of ale before continuing to talk. ”Some of us are trying to change things, but we don’t really have a majority backing…” As if realizing he spoke too much on what he believed was a boring topic to Ayero, the man suddenly laughed and attempted to bury the topic away. His voice’s slur was slightly more pronounced after his latest ale. ”It looks like you’re getting closer to the end. Will this be my victory?”

[Training for Venoshock: 376/1500]

Last edited by Ayero on 06/01/15, 12:22 pm; edited 2 times in total



She does her best to focus on his words, genuinely curious to hear what Magnostadt was like from another magician’s point of view. But her mind is hazy due to the alcohol, and soon she realizes that he probably has her beat. She nods along with his explanation, but gradually her attention begins to unfocus as she reaches for her next bottle despite knowing that she wouldn’t be able to take much more. But her pride and determination to win pushes her to continue, disregarding her youthful foolishness. ”Huh?” She starts suddenly, squinting at the man across from her. ”Pffft…as if.” Despite her words, she seems to have trouble removing the cap of her bottle with her less than coordinated movements.

Khalim shook his head, still slurring. ”No, no. I think we’re done. Let’s count the… bottles.” He paused, having forgotten what word he was looking for if for just a moment. He leaned over the table, his face close to hers, as his hand moved over to the bottle that was in her hand. Khalim missed the bottle and accidentally brushing against Ayero’s hand before readjusting his aim and grabbing the bottle. He was attempting to gently remove it from her grasp and set it to the side.

She lets out a low whine of protest as he reaches for her bottle, the noise cut short as his hand brushes against her own and she realizes how close he is to her. This realization effectively silences her and evokes a deeper flush on her cheeks, part of the red tinge already present from her inebriation. ”Nng….fine.” She relents as she lets the grip on her bottle slacken, allowing Khalim to remove it from her hand. ”You just…scared ‘cos you couldn’t catch up.” She declares, tilting her head to scan at the numerous empty bottles around them. She tries to count them in her head thrice, but loses track quickly each time. However, she’s insistent that she’s the winner.

Khalim shook his head, even as Ayero insisted that she was the winner of the match. ”No, just count the bottles. I’ve… got… more…” He started counting the bottles again, first his and then hers. As he looked towards Ayero’s he squinted. With the distance between Khalim and the bottles, some of them appeared to be duplicates. The magician swore under his breath. ”Well I’ll be… I… I think you did win.” Khalim laughed, once more, and brought his hand to the back of his head, rubbing it in embarrassment. He turned to the barmaid, calling her over. ”Hey, ma’am, I won’t be able… To finish the rest. Give it to… The other patrons.” He looked back towards Ayero as he slowly stood up from his seat. ”As the winner… Did you want me to help you… Back to your inn?” As he attempted to walk to her side, it looked as if he was the one in need of assistance back to his inn.

”Ha! Told you.” She announces smugly and leans back in her chair, jumping a bit as she felt a falling sensation from the movement. At his offer she shakes her head, immediately regretting the action as it set her world spinning. Waiting a few moments for her dizzy spell to wear off, the young woman stands up in preparation to leave and to show Khalim that she’d be fine on her own. But she misjudged how unsteady her legs were, nearly falling as she turned to gather her cloak from the back of her chair where it was resting. ”Maybe, uhh…yeah.” She changes her mind and reaches out to grasp his arm.

The two of them, together, leaned against one another for support as they made their way out of the bar and into the night air. ”So… Where to?” Ayero began to lead Khalim by pointing in the direction they were to go, and the two steadily made their way forward. When one stumbled, the other caught them. Through this system, they were able to make it three quarters of the way back with only a few falls to show for their troubles.

Yet, as they had been moving, a suspicious man began approaching them from behind. He had watched the flow of ale that happened between the two, and the free exchange of coin to pay for it. With them being sufficiently drunk, the robber believed now was the best time to get a cut of his pay. Knowing that once these two had gotten sober, they may try to find him, he resolved himself to murder the two in order to cut off that possibility. Running quickly towards the two, with a light footed step, the murderer closed in on the man, who he believed to be the larger of the threats due to him being less tipsy than the Fanalis. Only a small sound from one of the last steps he had made would alert the two to the impending danger.

[Training for Venoshock: 1206/1500]

Last edited by Ayero on 06/01/15, 12:23 pm; edited 2 times in total



The young woman is largely unaware of any threats that could have been lurking along one of the narrow side streets they turned down, largely due to her inebriation. But she’s startled to attention when the quiet noise of the would-be killer’s footsteps reaches her ears, causing her to turn slightly with a suspicious eye towards the darkness. A gasp hitches in her throat as she turns in time to see a cloaked man brandishing a dagger, aiming for Khalim. In one unsteady drunken motion, she sweeps her free arm out to grasp at the man’s shoulder in an attempt to push him away. While this normally wouldn’t be any problem for the Fanalis, her current state caused her attempt at moving him to be far less forceful than usual. Luckily, Khalim was already unsteady on his feet and the push from Ayero was enough to send him stumbling out of the way. Gritting his teeth, the murderer suddenly shift the position of his arm and brings the blade at her instead, catching her in the side of her abdomen. He stumbles backward as he’s pushed away by the Fanalis woman, and Ayero clenches her teeth and sucks in as she slumps slightly, bringing a hand to her laceration near her waist. Reaffirming his grip on the dagger, the mysterious man moves in to finish the job just as a large black serpent winds his way out of a nearby alley.

Kabu had been hunting in Remano’s side streets when he had heard the commotion and noticed a familiar scent. Deciding to check things out, he enters the confrontation with a violent hiss, rearing his head up as he takes stock of the situation. Seeing the man with a knife and his master hunched slightly as if she were wounded, the snake lets out another hiss before lurching forward and sinking his fangs into the shoulder of the assailant. As he did so, Kabu poured an incredibly high concentration of his natural poison into the wound his fangs had made before letting go after Venoshock was complete.

[Trained Venoshock: 1500+/1500]

As he was falling, Khalim was already preparing himself to get back up. He had heard the sound behind him and heard the stifled sound of a gasp from Ayero. Though he didn’t know exactly what it was that was happening, he managed to get up in time to see Ayero clutching a wound upon her waist. As if waking up from a daze, the danger they were in caused the man’s senses to focus. He took in the sight of both the snake, and the man who appeared to be lying on the ground in pain with a bloodied knife in hand. Scrambling to his feet, he placed himself between Ayero and Kabu, not knowing their connection. ”Run! I’ll hold it off! Get help for your wound!” The man knelt down, keeping himself ready to spring to either side if the snake attempted to move past him to the left or right. He still couldn’t think clearly, and did not have a wand in his hand to defend himself; had he not brought it at all?

It took Ayero a few moments to register what was happening between the administration of her wound and Kabu’s intervention. She tries to focus her eyes, though her vision is obscured by the darkness and her own spinning head. As Khalim moves to get inbetween her and the snake, Kabu raises his head and hisses at the man, judging him to be a threat with his defensive movements.

”Wait!” Ayero stumbles to his side and places a hand on Khalim’s shoulder in order to get his attention. ”That’s Kabu.” She says, despite the fact that he likely wouldn’t know what she was talking about. Turning her head to the beast, Ayero and Kabu make eye contact. With a trill of concern, the snake glides over and raises his head to her wound. The scent of blood was present even if he could not see it in the darkness, and he nudges Ayero’s hand out of the way before administering his Healing Saliva to the cut. The gash begins to sizzle as the saliva works its healing effects, and eventually disappears altogether. Exhaling a sigh of relief, the Fanalis woman turns her gaze to their assailant. The man lay on the ground, bleeding from the eyes and mouth and gasping in pain. ”Good boy, Kabu.” She manages a small smile as she strokes the snake’s head in thanks.

Khalim paused as Ayero told him to wait. She spoke out the name ‘Kabu’, and he looked to the man lying on the floor. Yet it was the snake that had responded to the name, much to the magician’s apparent surprise. He lowered his guard, allowing Kabu to pass him and watched in fascination as the snake showed what he could only describe as concern for the Fanalis woman before somehow healing her. ”You… You know it? You are a woman of many gifts, it seems.” He chuckled, the worry leaving his body and replaced with amusement. He took another glance at the man on the floor before turning back to Ayero. ”You took a blow meant for me. I… Thank you.” He held a hand out to her, carefully and slowly, while watching for Kabu’s reaction. If this creature was with her, then she was undoubtedly also a beast tamer. Some beasts proved incredibly jealous, yet Khalim would soon see what kind of beast Kabu was.

She nods in response to his question. ”Mhm. Been with me since….Heliohapt. ‘S a good friend, though we’ve had our rough patches.” She smiles down at Kabu who returns her gesture by rising to butt his head gently against her cheek affectionately. As he does so, he turns his gaze to Khalim, his slitted red eyes fixed on the stranger with his master. ”I’ve had much worse, believe me. But we’re lucky that Kabu came along…” She scratches at the snake’s head before letting her hand glide along the scales down his back. ”Go on now, finish your hunt.” But the large snake trills in concern, wary of this strange man with her.

”Go, c’mon. I’ll be fine.” The tone of her voice was less gentle in nature and more authoritative. Picking up the stern note in her voice, Kabu reluctantly glides back down to the ground and slowly slithers back down the alley where he had come from, pausing to give a glance over his shoulder before disappearing. After the snake disappears, Ayero turns back towards Khalim but stumbles, grabbing onto his arm for support.

Taking her arm in his once again, Khalim looks at the wound a final time in concern before that concern fades away. They continue forward through the moonlit night, and Khalim breaks the silence by occasionally talking about close encounters he has had in the past. Punctuating the stories with laughter, the time seemed to pass by quickly and they had arrived at the inn. Khalim insisted on getting her to her room.

Once the two were outside the door, Khalim looked towards Ayero again. ”Well then, I suppose I’ll see you again? I should really be heading back to my inn as well.”

Nodding her head lightly, Ayero agrees and stifles a yawn as she feels a wave of sleep wash over her. It had been a long day, after all. ”Mhm. Thanks again, for agreeing to help me.” She bids the man farewell, looking forward to retiring to her room for a nice long sleep.

[Trained Healing Spit 500+/500]

[Stamina: 190/250]



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