I've got to try and approach Solaris here and now, before we leave the city. Maybe Darya can help us! "Solaris, can you wait a moment?" Lunaris reaches out and grabs her wrist as the bossy woman seems ready to rush to bully one of the aides preparing her pack. The touch draws her gaze instantly, the blonde scowling but finally sighing and turning that warrior's gaze slightly downward to look Lunaris in those big, girly green eyes. "What is it, Lunaris? We're almost ready to go!" "Th-that's just it... I think we shouldn't go." The words come out but it seems Solaris isn't certain what she just heard based on her shift from anger to confusion. But that quickly broke as her slightly ajar lips sealed into a scowl. "Lunaris that-" Solaris' voice cut as Lunaris placed a mouth over her hand and yet again surprised her. Lunaris isn't in the mood to put up with this, much less argue. "Father Vohmann was speaking in Strengen, Solaris! And... and he said something awful!" Voice cracking slightly, the magus releases her mouth to reveal a reduced level of anger in the heir. Her scowl diminishes somewhat as those adorable brows furrow, fiery eyes glowing with annoyance at the lack of explanation. And for once, she needn't explain. His hands returning to his staff, his voice growing softer until it was but a whisper. "When I heard him speak, he mentioned... things that make me think this may be a trap. First he mentioned that this was your mother's punishment. And then-" "Her punishment? The bitch treats me like hell and I agree to do this petty job for her and this is supposed to be punishment? You're making no sense! I have no reason to be punished!" Her voice cut over the small street, drawing the gaze of the servants and even some nearby civilians. A passing guard hears the pair, turning his gaze but quickly acting as if nothing happened when seeing what the source was. Solaris turned her gaze to look around, uncertain and cheeks-flushing with a pair of embarrassment and anger. And for the first time in so many years, the girl raised her off-hand up to twist a lock of her golden hair gently around her finger in worry. "But... I... should listen. If this has truth, then... getting angry now would expose us in the heart of her grasp. What else did you hear?" And now it was time for Lunaris to blush. "W-Well... the second part... involved you and I being raped for pleasure and you being used to bear a child." No loud scream was good, right? Lunaris tugged the pink scarf up over his face, watching the tomboy shake with the anger that wasn't allowed to be let loose. Or perhaps it was genuine fear at the idea of how close this could have come to being the end of the two of them. The leader inside the heir of Solfria was thinking now, turning her gaze toward her blade's hilt then toward the guard passing away. Perhaps thinking of a plan but not finding one, it was a difficult sight for Lunaris even if she had tortured him sexually for the last few years. And now was a good time to prove his worth, at the very least. "Considering Darya knows I can speak other languages," he gently taps his earring with the knotted end of his staff to emphasize their bond, "I think... we are safe to assume they did not include her in the plan. But... it could be a test, so there's no telling if we're doing as they expect, if this is real... we're going very blind." "Then we stop going blind." Solaris' words instantly follow, her resolute attitude returning with a smile across those thin lips. "Darya was supposed to head to the southwest on her own mission today. To some ruins from the ancients, if I recall. So we'll cut to the south as they planned... but instead of going east, we go west and find her." The woman turns and waves the servants over with the pair's packs, receiving hers smaller waist-worn pack and then offering larger backpack to her magus. It was an easy fit, even though he had to temporarily pull his black furred pelt off to slip it on. It was hard to figure out if that guard or anyone nearby was a spy, but their plan had been whispered between them now. Even if the enemy knew they knew, they were ready for anything as well. It provided them a fighting chance... and that was all Lunaris could be thankful about. His concerns only grew as they set out and down the road... 10 hours later, Late Afternoon They had traveled some lengthy miles to the south, relatively slow thanks to the pair lacking a steed between them. It was a rare thing for someone to be trained in riding even if they did have a horse. It was times like this that the footsore magus wished that he hadn't studied the ways of magic and considered more practical ventures. Solaris was fairing well, not slowing even a step despite the nearly non-stop march. The urban setting had passed away for the light forestry of the hilly island, the path of trodden dirt familiar only from the few trips around the city they'd had. Living a sheltered life had made each scenic view, however, one that blessed Lunaris greatly with a smile and even helped Solaris with her mood. And then they reached a fork. Two beaten paths, one leading west and the other east, that had grass overgrowing from a lack of use. It was here that Lunaris and Solaris slowed, the female turning to her companion. "I think that the best plan will be to try and rush to Darya... but if we arrive in the pitch black of night and she is assisting them, it could be detrimental. Camping out might be the better option, but if they're following us then they might stumble on us... what do you think, Lunaris? Do you really trust her?" The question takes the young male off-guard, tightening his grip and pulling his hood and scarf down to look at the determined blonde. "Why ask me that now, after we already planned to ask for her help!? Do you not believe in me now!?" "Of course I believe in you, that's why-" "That's why what? You're going to try and question if I trust her!?" The female raises her free hand apologetically, even if her face doesn't change. It quickly reminds Lunaris that this is his leader, the woman he was raised to serve... and the fact he had lashed out immediately brings a flush to his face. "I-I'm sorry... I just... why wouldn't I trust her?" Carefully opening his palm, magical flame of the black arts licked to life between his fingers. With it growing dark, his magic would have far more use than a sword. Without light, Solaris couldn't strike down any foes regardless of who they were. Magic sight, however, could act almost like night vision if used in unison with his latent abilities. But could the pair of them beat Darya if she was somehow involved in this? The idea that the powerful instructor could be involved, despite the proof to suggest otherwise, would make this a test or some oversight in their potential foes. Facing men sent after them would be one thing, but could he face her? Doubt and uncertainty clouded his decision... but the firm grip of Solaris' hand on his shoulder woke him from the mental well that this decision was becoming. "Do you really trust her, Lunaris? What do you propose we do?" --------------------------------------------------------------- Spoiler: Important History & Unlocks Origin Cloth: Pink [The Enes Republic] Birthright: Hidden Potential [Perk] Childhood: Sailor's Friend [Speak all common languages + Sailor Skill] Career Training: Arcane Vision [Skill] Spoiler: Equipment Main Hand: Old Wooden Knot-Staff [Staff] [Catalyst] [Ranged] Off Hand: None Armor Set: Magus Apprentice Attire [Light] [Leather] Head: None (occupied) Face: Enesi Origin Cloth (worn as a scarf) Back: None Hands: None (occupied) Feet: None (occupied) Ring 1: Sailor's Earring (right ear) Ring 2: None Waist: None (occupied) Accessory / Pet: None Mount: None Spoiler: Inventory Gold: 100 Spoiler: Quest Log Quest: Rituals of Solfria (Part 1): Head south, then east to locate and acquire the blood of bandits on the Isle of Solfria. Optional: Capture or take the ears for differing rewards.