02/16/21 - Regaining My Pride


A few days had passed since A'erina had blacked out, the last thing she can remember was being helped onto a cart after fighting for her life.

“I think it's time you woke up, you've been asleep for a couple of days, I think I've counted three.”
“Did I… Did we make it?”
“Yeah, those travellers we saved returned the favour. You're safe, and alive.”
“I need to find out who wanted me killed.”
“Worry about that another time. You need to recover first, you should try opening your eyes.”
“I'm tired though, can I sleep a little longer?”
“You've slept enough for now, you need to let him know you're okay.”

A'erina's eyelids began twitching with movement, until she slowly opened her eyes, sitting on a chair near a bed she was lying in, was the young Hyur she remembers seeing before she passed out.

“You… ”

“Ah, you're awake! Thank goodness! I've been here for three days, miss! Waiting for you to wake up, I was worried you might not wake up. I asked my father to remain by your side until you awoke. How're you feeling, miss…? Oh, I don't even know your name!”

“My name is Erina, Most people call me Rina, though. If you want to go the whole distance though, it's A'erina.” She'd say, pointing at her ears as if to say “ Miqo'te.”

“Very, well, Miss Erina. It's a relief to see you okay. We brought you with us to Idyllshire and you're being seen to every few bells. You were really beaten up, it's a miracle you were able to be upright when we found you. What happened to cause all these injuries?”

“I… I don't know. Someone wanted me dead. I need to find out who and why. I can't remember how many there were. But they wanted to kill me.”

“Seems to me like they almost did. It's a good thing we happened to be on our way here at the right time, then. It was the least we could do since you helped us out before.”

“Thank you, so much.”

“Not a problem, miss! I must make my leave now, if you need me to return, just ask!”

A'erina nodded at the Hyur as he left. She scanned the room with her eyes, finding nothing of interest to look at as she slowly let her eyes close again, but not with the intent on falling asleep, but more so she taking it in that she was alive.

“That Hyur is kinda cute.”
“I'm done with Hyur's.”
“Well, I think he's cute.”
“I don't see it. “
“He was probably only staying close to you because you're naked.”

A'erina opened her eyes quickly, she ached, and was sore all over, its asmuch as she could do to move her hand over to the edge of the blanket covering her, lifiting it up slightly to reveal that she was infact naked.

“Why'd they take my clothes offa me?!”
“Probably to make it easier for the healing, or your wounds. You're probably gonna need some new clothes when you can stand again.”
“I can't even see any of my stuff in the room, I can't feel half of my body…“
“Hey hey, take it easy, you've been through a lot. No one is going to be interested in wearing your clothes anyways, and it's not like anyone is going to find you. Just rest, will you?”
”…Fine, but just for a little bit longer.”

A'erina closed her eyes, again, not sleeping, just resting.

Outside, the travellers were busy stocking their cart up and were nearing their final preparations before moving on again. The Hyur lad metup with his father

“She's awake, Dad!”

“Good to hear! But we can't stay, we've got a job to do and a living to earn, son. I agreed to let you stay until she woke up and I've fulfilled my promise, but we cant spend too much longer here.”

“A-ah, yes, of course. Sorry…” the boy look slightly disheartened. ” Do you think she will be okay?”

“Absolutely. I find a linkpearl in her bag, dont know her name but I spoke into it, let anyone that it might be connected to know that theres a redheaded lass who's been through hells in Idyllshire and to come as soon as possible…. So, hopefully someone got the idea.”

“Her name is Erina. She told me, do you think I should tell her to contact someone she knows or find someone here who might know anything about her?”

“Son, she's going to be fine… Besides, she looks ten years older than you. Get your head out of the clouds and help load the cart, will ya?”

“Ah, you're right, sorry dad, head from the clouds, got it!”

The Hyur and his father went back to loading up their cart with various items you would find with travelling merchants and traders.


F'loki had only been Idyllshire for a few days now, but he had been working almost the entire time he was there. Tending to gardens, carrying cargo, shifting rubble, gathering materials, babysitting, testing new dishes, patrolling–anything he could do, he would be. Without cease. The only time that anyone seemingly saw him doing anything besides working was drinking at the local tavern or the odd nap under a tree. Despite this nauseating work ethic, he did come at a decent time, as business had recently hit Idyllshire once again.

For now, he was currently the evil lord being attacked by Lario, the little Xaela hero. He had just been run through with a particularly well used wooden sword, and was going through his final moments on the plain as the hero went to inform the people of his triumph, leaving the poor evil lord to lament on his final breaths while laid out on the grass.


It was no good in sleeping, she could barely move, aching all over. Even moving her arm put was painful. She forced herself into a more upright position. As she surveyed the room from a better angle. Over on a chair the other side of the room in the corner was her satchel.

Determined to get it, and not ask for help, she forced herself out of the bed, collapsing into a pile on the floor.she could barely feel her legs, and the way the pain shot through them, up her spine, that the attack on her was more serious on her than she had thought. Maybe it would subside if she kept moving, she thought, she dragged herself across the room on one arm. Her other arm was broken and despite receiving healing magic, it would be a natural process to see it fully heal. She eventually made it to the chair, wrapping the blanket over herself and making her way back to the bed with her spoils. She tried several times to climb back on, failing miserably until she felt a little force pushing her up and back onto the bed.

“Why, you don't need to help me.”
“I want to help you, I need to make it upto you. Look at what I've done to you.”
“I dont blame you, you know.”
“But your legs…“
“I'll be fine. I'll worry about that later. I've got something to do which you told me to do…“

A'erina went fishing in her satchel, luckily everything was in there, nothing added, nothing taken away, the linkpearl that the merchant had used was also put back in a small inside pocket where she had kept them. She pulled it out and immediately put it in her ear.

”…Hello? Someone?”


F'loki had been busy being a banished evil lord, but as his ear began to jingle, he jerked up from his spot, a wild look in his eyes even as he ignored the boy's immediate protests for not playing along. But then he caught himself. What if he was hearing things? Or what if calling out was an accident? He clearly was not the one she wanted. With that series of depressing thoughts, he laid back once more, resuming his deadman roleplay.


” …Anyone?”

A'erina sniffled and a tear rolled down her cheek, she just need to hear a voice that wasn't her own.

“No one there?”
“No… Maybe no one does miss me.”
“Keep trying or say something. Even if no one answers, it will make you feel better.”
“I guess…“

She held her hand up close to her ear and talked into her linkpearl, whether anyone had theirs in and could hear her or not was another question.

“I'm sorry… I just want to hear a voice right now, anyone's. I thought I needed to get away from everyone but then I realised I need you more than any of you need me. I'm… I have been out in the Hinterlands since I left… I got into a fight and…”

She closes her eyes as shes talking, reliving what had happened and how she was almost killed, followed by more tears. ” …I miss everyone. I just need someone to talk to, to tell me it's going to be okay.”


F'loki stayed silent for a long while, not sure if he should say anything.

“I can hear you. What happened exactly?”


A'erina was relieved to hear a familiar voice in her ear.

“I… I don't know. I was out in the Hinterlands and someone wanted me dead, a whole group and…” She tried to get the image of her biting and tearing chunks of flesh off her assailants out of her min to no avail

“…I'm in Idyllshire right now, a group of traders brought me here. I can't leave this room though, I can barely move without it hurting.” She cut herself off and remember what she had promised herself when she thought she had lost everything.

“I'm sorry for leaving without saying anything… Please don't be mad at me.”


“Well thats….convenient-ish….I guess.”

“You know where in the city you are? Traders does not exactly narrow it down too much.”


A'erina looked towards the window, seeing nothign but sky and clouds. “I can't see outside, I can't get up to see. One of the traders is a young Hyur, looks about Twenty one with blonde hair, he might be with his father… What do you mean convenient? Are you nearby?”


“I'm….in the city. For work.”

“I'll have a look around.”

There is a sound of the pearl clicking off.


“Ah, Ca–” A'erina shook her head. “ Nevermind, then. ”

“Atleast he spoke to you, atleast you know he's here.”
“Yeah, but, He's probably going to lecture me.”
“Sooooo…? If he does, then it means he cares.”
“He cut it off though, so I guess he'll find me eventually, the place isn't that big from the… Three time's I've been here. We'll see.”

A'erina rubbed her arm, where she had been hurt, it was tender and the smallest of touches caused her to wince in pain. she wiped a few tears from her face before nodding to herself

“Alteast someone heard me.”


After what probably seemed like much longer than it was, F'loki seemed to have appeared outside wherever A'erina was being kept, knocking on the door rather abruptly after a while.


A'erina had finished running her fingers through her hair to atleast try and look even the tiniest bit presentable, Although with the black eye, and bruises, cuts and marks now covering her body, her hair was the only thing she could really do anything with.

“You can come in.” She half expected it to be the Hyur again, but kept her eye on the door, Not quite sure where she was still other than being in Idyllshire.


F'loki enters after yet another pause, seemingly not really wanting to look at anything. He places his hands in pockets and leans against the doorway, looking instead towards the floor.

“So….Hinterlands, huh?”


“I just… Needed to get away for awhile. Don't ask me why, because I don't have an answer. Call it whatever you like, self discovery or somethin'.”

She was fixated on him even if he wasnt looking at her.

“Did you atleast not fight with him? It was the one thing I asked you not to do… I should have sent more than a letter but…”

A'erina recalled her day with her family and a little smile came across her face.

“I spent a day with my sisters and we all got along, I almost couldn't leave, and I couldn't tell everyone else like that because I would have stayed.”

She tried to sit up, so she was a bit more comfortable. Keeping her smile on show instead of showing how much pain she was in.

“I'm so stupid.”


“Well Eligor did get your letter, but he was nice enough to let me read it.”

He thumbed at his nose before shrugging at nothing.

“So, should I be telling your family what happened or what? I feel like they would want to know you are basically unable to move out in the middle of nowhere.”


“What… What am I supposed to tell you? That one day I woke up and all I could think about was killing him, so that everyone can go on living without his presence always loomin' over us? ” She forced a sarcastic laugh. “ I suppose seeing me like this shows that if I can't even handle myself against a bunch of nobodies, there ain't a chance in hells I've got of even doing anythin' to him.”

A'erina moved to the edge of the bed and put her feet over the edge. “I can move enough… I'll tell my family when I go back, I didn't say when I'd be back, just that I'd be awhile. They don't need to know, aslong as I'm alive, that's all that matters. ”

She sat there for a little bit in awkward silence as she looked at him. “ I'm sorry… Please don't be mad at me. ”


“What am I supposed to be mad about then?”

“Don't get mad at you for running off without a word, no getting mad for not talking to me, no getting mad for you nearly getting nearly killed off somewhere by yourself while you're soul searching or whatever, no getting mad at you for attacking my sister–where is the damn line where I'm actually allowed to feel angry?”

“Do you have to die first?”

“Do I?”


A'erina closed her eyes and let out a sigh. “What do you want me to say? I've never stopped you doing anything. You want to feel angry, then be angry. You wanna be sad? Be sad. I'm not going to tell you how to live your life but if I'm going to be a part of your life then you need to tell me what you want from me.”

“Why? He's got a dumb way of showing he cares. If that's even what this is.”
“No, you're getting hotheaded, I need just asmuch rest as you do right now.”
“So? All I could think about since I came out here was how much I missed him.”
“Don't make me confront him, this is all you.”

“…No one has to die. I can't do it anymore, watching myself do what I did to those people… It terrifies me. ” A'erina looked at the floor herself now “ Coming out here made me realise I need others more than I thought I did. I made a mistake and it almost cost me my life, and if that makes you angry, then I really am sorry. ”


F'loki closes his eyes and crosses his arms.

“Tell me something. Are you a genius?”




“Neither am I. My sisters? They are all amazingly proficient at being fucking idiots. The thing about that though…”

“I'm right there with them at the top of the pile. King dumbass, you know? Thats what I was trying to say, but I'm too stupid to really get anything right.”

“We shouldnt be trying to make decisions or mature whatever the hells because we think its the right thing to do. I'm not going to understand anything unless you talk to me. Even if I feel…well, any way about that at all right–I'm still right here. I'm not going anywhere, so just talk to me. Don't be afraid of anything I think or feel because at the end of it I'll still be right here. Are you not the same?”

“I'd rather be fucking pissed and near you than happy while you're bleeding out on the other side of the damned world.”


There appears a tall figure at the doorway, looking in. Topped with neatly tied up snowy hair and focused white eyes, the temple knight had followed the sounds and located the woman. From where she stood, she was unaware of F'loki, only resting her gaze on the forlorn A'erina. Her sword hangs at her hip as ever, and a crate in carried in her left arm, pressed against her body.

“Miss A'erina? Do my ears hear for true? I expected not to find you here of all places after your letter. Are you quite alright?” She looks the woman up and down, unsure.


“I never wanted to leave, I felt like I had to, too much shit goin' on and I needed to get away. It was a mistake and I've paid the price for it. I could have lost everything important, my family, my friends, even you. I thought I was going to die and the only thing I thought about was how upset you'd be with me for not talking to you.”

She placed her feet on the floor and took a deep breath, she figured he wasn't going to come to here so she'd try to go to him. “We're more alike than we both realise, y'know? I ju–” She was just about to attempt to get up as Luna barges in.

“That fucking linkpearl.”
“I forgot, alright? How was I supposed to know anyone else would be listening?”
“But its Luna, of all people.”
“She's not that bad.”

“ …I'm sitting in a room feeling sorry for myself, with no clothes on, looking like I just got my arse handed to me by a fuckin' primal. Do I look alright to you?”


The knightess walks into the room, setting the crate down on a table nearby and moving closer to the bed. Coming right up to A'erina, she begins examining the woman's wounds and bruises closely. “By the Twelve Miss A'erina, if I didn't know better I would presume you were assaulted by a primal. What happened to you? Out with it.”


A'erina looked at F'loki standing the other side of the room and looked at him as if to ask for help as he had been completely overlooked.

“Got into a fight with a number of people which I lost. I'm just grateful to be alive. Not much to say other than that…” She pointed across the room towards the door where he was standing. “You could atleast say hi.”


He cleared is throat.

“No, its fine. I can come back later if you've someone here for you.”


Luna looks up, surprised. “Oh, I do apologise. I did not realize there was another. I am one Luna Neaucant.” She offered a bow to the man.


A'erina buried her face in her hands. “ Seems like I'll be comin' home sooner rather than later… ”


“Well I really should get back to the kids, but I’ll be around.”

He makes another small wave and leaves.


There is a pause as the woman watches the man depart, clearly confused. “Very well then…” She quickly turns back to look at A'erina, examining her again. “Truly I wish that I had brought Lucatiel with that she might offer additional aid, but you are in horrendous shape. You are alive, but I am not sure by how much. What do you plan to do - surely you can not return home unassisted?”


A'erina went to say something as he left, but was already gone before anything came out. She sighed as disappointment adorned her face. She looked at Luna.

“I've been seen to, I just need some more time rest. Not much can be done from anyone now, my body has to do the rest on it's own.” A'erina made sure he feet were grounded, attempting to try standing up again. She gritted her teeth as she could already feel the pain as she tried to stand in her own, immediately falling back onto the bed. “ I can't fuckin' stand…” She sniffled a bit, clearly upset at not functioning properly but also because F'loki had left earlier than she had wanted him to.

“…I thought I was going to die. I got beaten by a bunch of nobodies that wanted to kill me… Then I had to watch myself rip and tear them to pieces. It's terrifyingly difficult to watch but when I have no choice it makes me realise that I'm nothing more than a monster.”


A hand comes out as Rina falls backward into bed, thankfully unneeded. She still steps in closer, ready to grab the woman if she falls should she try again. “You are quite right, you need rest and time to heal. Yet I would wager you wish to do so closer to home, not out here in Dravania.” As Rina sniffles, Luna's countenance softens a bit further, concern taking over even further.

“I would hardly call them nobodies if they managed to inflict such devastation upon you. I would sooner think you upset the Empire itself than some dregs or bandits.” Intentionally or not, she does pause at the 'monster'. “I would hardly call defending yourself monstrous, Miss A'erina. If this relates to that… beast business you spoke of far in the past, even that nary makes you a monster.”


“…What are you even doing here? How did you know where I would be.” A'erina gets comfortable on the edge of the bed again. “ I had hoped to be out here longer, but this attack on me has cut that whole thing short, I can't really go anywhere for awhile, now.” She also felt the need to point out the obvious. “ I also have no idea where my clothes are, and I dont see them, nor do I see my sword.”

“…If you would have seen what I did… You would think the same, Luna.”

“You know I did what I did to keep us alive.”
“I don't hate you for it.”
“But you're scared of me.”
“Just something I have to live with.”
“What happens when it's one of your friends…?”
“We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.”


“Small deliveries between Ishgard and the various factions nearby fall under my purview from time to time. Bring aught to the Goblins, and return with aught to Ishgard. I do believe this time I was told it was some sort of glass materials. Would that I could say I was here specifically to aid you, but I did not know of your presence until mine linkpearl went off.” She pauses for a moment. “As for returning you somewhere more comfortable, I suppose I could arrange a teleport for you. Perhaps Lucatiel could bring you to your home or I could bring you to the Mist. I dare say I could not go so far as Ul' Dah from here.”

At the mention of clothes, she looks around as if hoping to see them. Her eyes fall back on Rina's, considerably warmer than usual. “Miss A'erina, that is nonsense. I have seen all manner of horror and grotesquery in and around war and battle. Without even seeing the remnants of your confrontation, I know that anything which resulted from it is hardly that befitting a monster. There is no sense telling yourself that, you should not work to defeat yourself suchly.”


“I discovered I can get around via teleportation myself as I came out here… but I doubt I can do it again. ” She shuffled back onto the bed a bit more “ Maybe that's what he sees in me, if I can see it, he probably does too.” She held out her hand and looked at her fingers, small spots of dried blood could still be seen under her fingernails. “ Maybe not a monster, but an animal, then. It didnt care about what was happening as it using me to bite and claw at them like I was a damned Coeurl.”

“I suppose if it really helped, I could stay at the hearth until I'm able. Just uh… I need my things… An'I refuse to leave without my sword… And… You know… Clothes”


“It shall be no matter. I will have Lucatiel come here and bring you back to the Hearth while I finish my delivery. You have experienced teleportation by others surely, it will not tax you.” She is about to put her hand to her linkpearl when A'erina continues. “He? Do you mean that man that was in here momentarily? If something like this is such an issue, perhaps he had best look elsewhere - life is filled with darkness and it creeps into our every breath at times. Miss A'erina, you are no more a monster than myself or anyone else. Even if this beast of yours caused violence, it seems to have done so in order to protect you. Hardly what i would call monstrous.”

She nods at the woman as she acquiesces to staying with her, now putting her finger to her linkpearl. Only one side of the conversation was audible, though it was not too difficult to wager what the other was saying.

“Yes, hello mon cher Lucatiel. I have need of your teleporting. You remember our trip to visit the Goblins, yes? Yes, yes, you were quite keen on them. Well, in Idyllshire I have located Miss A'erina and she–” The woman winces, almost wishing to pull the pearl out for a moment. “Please calm yourself. She is here and quite wounded, you will need to teleport here and bring her back to the Hearth. Make a bed for her on the couch outside my room, if you will. Thank you kindly mon cher. I will see you at home tonight.”


“…I want my clothes, I dont care if they are unusable and have more holes in than I do. Do not let Lucatiel find me something to wear.”

“…And that man happens to be my… you know what? He is my boyfriend I don't care about calling it anything different. I thought I would never see him again, and I only got to see him briefly but… It's enough. I wanted to talk to him a bit more but, it can wait.”

“You didnt really apologise to him.”
“I know. What can I say without making things worse.”
“Are you going to do what he asks? Are you going to speak to him more?”
“Of course, not being around him is killing me.”
“Probably not the best words to use right now.”
“You know what I meant.”


The buzz came from A'erina linkpearl, as Astra played around with an orb with in her livingroom. 'Not really like her to reach out,'


“Sadly I do not spy your garments anywhere here. I may have to purchase you clothes for now. I do not control Lucatiel, if she wants to share her dresses with you, that is between you and her.” She takes another look around, not finding anything of note. “If he truly is your boyfriend, I do hope the two of you find some way to make up, rather than him walking away when you are in need. He will be more than able to find you at the Hearth if he wants to talk further. Surely they have stored what you had somewhere nearby… Lucatiel will be here shortly, surely.” The woman continues searching around the room for a moment, hoping to find anything of A'erina's.


A'erina didnt remove her linkpearl and looked at Luna for a moment as if she knew anything before poking it. “ Hold on, Luna… Someone… Hello?”


Astra eyes went white as she viewed A'erina, “You don't look very well. What's up? Need me to come there?”




“What do you mean what…This is A'erina right?”


“What do you mean” I don't look well, “How can even see me? Fuckin' magic.”


“Long story, will tell you another time. But yes something to do with magic.”


“Luna is here, I'm fine though, I'm in Idyllshire, but you don't have to come. ”


An eyebrow is raised towards A'erina by the knightess, but she remains silent.


“Idyllshire… it been a while…. You sure? I don't just read cards you know” She sighed, her voice was quieter, “Can least help the pain go away.”


There is some muffled protesting outside that gets louder as time goes on. Finally, F’loki’s voice could be barely made out as he got closer.

“…et people see you. We’ve got a mission anyway, and she’s already got her—“

F’Loki is pushed into the room, then aside by a tiny arm at his chest. There’s a look of alarm and surprise on his face, which is quickly replaced by him bringing a hand up to pinch his nose.


It was Alkaid, wearing some strange blue traveling gear. Her gaze locked onto A’erina immediately, and she crossed the room like a raging gust before stopping before A’erina, bending down to stare into her eyes directly.


“Pardon, who exactly are you?” Luna steps forward, no next to A'erina and ready to put herself between her and Alkaid. “This woman is in no condition for gawking at.”


Alkaid does not reply, so F’loki speaks up instead.

“Bit of a special case that one. Best to just leave her be for now really.”


The woman's gaze goes from the interloper to F'loki now, looking down her nose at the man. “Special case or no, Miss A'erina is in need of caring hands, she is not a carnival attraction.”


“That’s great, really. Sound advice. Only the girl is not touching her, and you aren’t an authority here. I won’t tell you how to run your tavern so don’t tell her friends how to be around her. Please.”


“I think healing magic has all but run its course for me now, Astra, I just have to let it all heal naturally now on it's own… I appreciate the offer though. ”

A'erina was suddenly the main event. Under normal circumstances, she'd be happy as a pig in shit that she got the attention. But things were a bit different right now.

“Luna, it's fine, You don't need to be so defensive.” A'erina looked at Alkaid now up in her personal space. “Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes. I haven't seen you in awhile, Alkaid. Where did you get off to and are you doing okay?” Clearly not concerned about herself, she'd smile at F'loki's return too. “ If she's here then that means you're both busy, and it's just by chance that I'm here when you're here.” She sacrastically let's out a sigh. “ And here was me thinking that it'd be part of some romantic twist of fate that you'd be here.” Followed by a small chuckle. “ But if Luna is here too, that makes it more like a series of unfortunate events!”


“The girl followed me out here but I am here by coincidence. I certainly wasn’t out here looking for you.”

He leans against the wall again while Alkaid finally speaks up.

“You are hurt. Why are you hurt?”


There is a pause as Luna groans something in Ishgardian to herself, discontent to stand by idly but doing so at A'erina's behest. She still sends a dirty look towards F'loki now and again, gazing down her nose.


A'erina just shook her head at Alkaid, knowing she wouldn't talk about anything.

“I just got into a fight I couldn't win, that's all.”


“Then you should have run.”


“They had me cornered… Surrounded, even. I had nowhere to run. I'm not going to come to a place like this and bring trouble with me. I just proved to myself that I'm not as strong as I think I am, and that I can't be depended on for anything.”


“Why were you alone?”

She did not blink.


Another groan from Luna, though she puts a hand up to her ear for a moment. She nods and puts a quick hand on A'erina's shoulder gently with a quiet “I shall return shortly.” She leaves the room, heading out to gather some clothes and Lucatiel.


“I was alone because I wasn't thinking straight, I needed to be alone so I could deal with myself. ” A'erina would nod in Luna's direction as she left the room.

“I thought it would be easier to be on my own, can't drag anyone down with me, that way, and can only blame myself when somethin' goes wrong. ”


“Is there a difference between dragging now or dragging later?”


“Nope… Do you not think I already feel like I've been really fuckin' stupid?”


“Not enough.”

She returned to her full height and turned around, exiting the room without another word.

F’Loki watched the scene quietly, but he seemed to cringe a bit as Alkaid walked by.


She turned her attention to F'loki upon Alkaid's exit.

“I promise to try talking to you more… Just stay close enough for me to do that, 'kay? Although you should probably follow her right now, hm?”


“She’s mad but….yeah, I’ll go talk to her. Be back soon.”

He moved towards the doorway, but paused to rear his head back and throw out a retort.

“Oh yeah, don’t go anywhere.”

He laughed sarcastically and departed, tapping at the door frame.


She instinctively flipped him off as he left, yelling down the hallway.

“Where the fuck am I gonna go?!”


It was a small amount of time before two figures darkened her doorway once more. “Riiiiiiiiiiinaaaaa!” Lucatiel, ever cheerful, came bounding in holding a clothing-filled bag, which she happily handed over to the woman. “Here you goooo! We made sure they were pretty plain! Oh my gosh, you look terrible! Well it's okay, I'll be bringing you back home and then I'll take care of you! And then Luna will help when she gets home too!”

Luna, meanwhile, pats the girl on the head in an attempt to calm her down just a little. “Caution, Lucatiel, she is quite wounded. Do not over-excite her lest she re-open some wounds. You will be on dressing duties with her until she is healed.”


A'erina opened the bag peering at its contents and nodding. “ It'll do. You dont need to worry about all that extra stuff, though, I'll be fine in a few days. Besides it's not like I'll be able to go anywhere… You got here quick…”


Lucatiel looks over A'erina, biting her lip. “Good grief, this is like what Luna comes home with, but even worse than that! I don't think you're gonna be better that fast Rina! Umm… Let's see! You've got clothes, so you should put them on! And then umm, if you're ready after that, I'll teleport you!”


“You think I don't know that? I didn't ask to be attacked by them. If not for It helping me, I don't think I would be here right now to complain about the healing process or how long it's gonna take 'til I've recovered. ” A'erina let's out a long sigh. “ …I failed myself, I failed my family, I've failed you and the rest of 'em. I came out here to get away from that feeling, and I had some real stupid ideas in my head that would probably see me worse off than I am now if I'd have acted on those instead of just comin' out here to put my mind in a better position.”

She paused for a moment, and nodded at Lucatiel “ F'loki said he'd be back soon, an' I'd like to see him before I go back with you, if that's okay. But I'm also not leaving without my sword, you know that it's important to me.”


“It? Wassat! Well whatever it was, I'm glad it helped you cuz you're still here!” The girl nods, smiling at A'erina. “I dunno that you failed me, I can't think of any ways that you did! I was sad that you left and I kept trying to go look for you, but Luna said you didn't wanna be found.”

There is a beleaguered sigh from the knightess. “I have lost track of how many times she asked to go find you, both with my assistance and without.”

“Weeelll whatever your ideas were, you're alive and here, so that's what's important! And it doesn't matter what you need help with or how long it takes, we'll make sure you're taken good care of!” She nods once more, smiling widely. Her grin grows wider as the name F'loki comes up. “OoOoOoOo F'loooki! Well! I understand! I'm not gonna teleport you out before you two have some time to talk!” In a smaller teasing voice she quickly adds. “And maybe a little kiss for good luck!”

Luna groans once more, putting a hand on the girl's shoulder, causing her to look up. The woman, however, directs her dialogue to A'erina. “Miss A'erina, you may inform Sir F'loki about where you shall be staying and that he and your other friends may visit during waking hours. I will not have them interrupting your rest in the slumberous nights, however.”


“Thank you. For once, I mean it. I'll… tell you what I can remember when things aren't so hazy… The man… His goons, they were strong, it wasn't natural. I want to be able to get to the bottom of why they were after me. They had a boss, that much I know, the men I killed were just underlings except the one barkin' orders… He was, too much for her, She wouldn't let me fight… Refused to let me die.” A'erina looked slightly worried about what she was about to say.“ She asked me to call on her more but I can't… The things she can do which I can't, all I can do is watch, it makes me sick but it's always going to be there no matter what I do.”

A'erina pulled out the contents of the bag and set them down at her side. “ …Couple of weeks ago I woke up and I had this dream… I wanted to kill Eligor, I couldn't on my own, but she succeeded at the cost of my l– our life. Everything went back to normal for everyone, things were good. I woke up and I felt like it was real. After we got back from our trip with Astra… I dunno… I had to get away, I can't attack my friends unprovoked… I almost lost F'loki because I attacked R'lamiza… I say it like that, he probably could have killed me there and then.” She sighed after speaking. “ I don't know what I'm going to do anymore. I can't even take some time to reflect alone because someone wants me dead. Maybe once I'm recovered I'll just stay at home and continue work in my lab, it's the only thing I'm good at… Not much of a fighter anymore.”


The warmth and concern on Luna's face returns as she listens. “You are quite welcome, Miss A'erina. If you wish to investigate into why you were targeted, you may do so once you have recovered. None of this foolish heroics stumbling out into the world to try and find out while still bed-ridden. I will help where I can. As for this beast within business… If you have such fear of it's power, then you must needs hone it and learn to work with it. I know not how specifically, but if needs be I shall help in that regard as well.” Her lips almost begin to twist into a surprised smile at the mention of Eligor, but she stops herself.

Lucatiel seems basically lost for some of the deeper thoughts, but overall agreeing. She nods her head with Luna's affirmations and smiles at A'erina as ever. “Whatever you need Riiina, we'll help! You're not gonna lose F'loki cuz we will make sure you don't! Or at least try! But, umm, attacking Lami is very bad! She's your friend! So you're gonna let us take care of you, and you're gonna heal up, and then we'll figure out the rest, okay? You don't need to be someone who goes out and fights, not for a little while!”


F’Loki returns after a while with what appears to be some kind of lunchbox in hand.

“So no luck with Alkaid but—figured you haven’t eaten. Hope you like meat buns and broth!”


A'erina just absorbs all the words spouted by both Luna and Lucatiel, not really having much to say in response that hadn't already been said, other than objections and protests. She looks awkwardly as she holds the clothes in her hands, looking at the two of them. “ Are you going to stand there while I put the clothes on…?”

Upon F'loki's entrance, getting dressed would be delayed “ She's fast, you know. I watched her outrun Novine once. It was actually kinda funny. For a Lalafell, Novine's pretty fast, which was surprising… But Alkaid was faster. So unless you're hiding some of that swiftness, I doubt you'd have caught her anyway. But I guess you can find her pretty easily without need to keep up with her, anyway.” She held out a hand to take the box off him. “ …I can't remember the last time I ate… Thank you! But uh, I was just about to put some clothes on. I don't want to stay here much longer. ”


Luna and Luca exit the room with some minor Ishgardian grumbling, choosing to stay right outside.


“Oh, you’re leaving?”


After taking the food off F'loki, she opened it up and peered at it. “ That's the plan, I'm not going to stay here, I don't even know where here is.” A'erina picked at the meat buns, with a mouthful, she carried on. “ I don't look that bad, do I? I feel fine just… a little pain, that's all, it'll pass!” She continued eating and talking. “ I just want to go back to my normal, boring, uneventful life. I want to sit by my fire, reading a book, in the warm away from the rain. I want to spend some time down in my lab, doing somethin' that I know I excel at… Speakin' of, d'ya still wanna come down there and help me out when I'm able to? I know I said we would but then I just upped and left, won't happen again, atleast not anytime soon.”


“Well you do still owe me a work date.”

“So I suppose that’s a yes.”


“Then as soon as I'm home, you can visit, and I can show you, even though I don't consider it work. It'd be nice to have you around for the day though. I'm just done with it all… No more fighting, no more leaving on my own. I just want to be in my lab, in my home, where I'm safe. Although… Nah, nevermind. ” A'erina set the box down on a bedside table, and grabbed the clothes. “ I'll probably be staying at the Hearth, Luna's Place, You know where it is. You can come see me if you want but uh… Don't expect me to be mobile.”


He smacks a fist against his chest, smiling.

“As it happens, I learn quickly on the job! I’ll drop by once we are done out here but I’ll have to find Alkaid first. She can be hard to get a hold of.”


“Could always ask her nicely to come back. Might make finding her easier.”


“She’s hard headed.”


A'erina shrugs as she was out of Alkaid locating methods, she looks at the door, clothes in her hands, and then looks towards him.



He snaps his fingers.

“Can’t blame a man for trying.”

He makes a mocking gesture at taking a peek before departing the room, immediately bombarded after by the voices of curious children.

Apparently they had been hiding a healthy distance away from Luna waiting for him to reappear.


She smiles regardless of the gesture. She needed a playful attitude right now as opposed to a serious one. She removed the blanket from around her and had begun putting the clothes on. Boring and plain clothes were the best, no one would say anything and she was covered up. She eventually gets down to her lower half and struggles a bit, but manages to do so in her own time. She fishes a hairbrush out of her own bag and starts to brush her hair as she hears the familiar voice of the merchants boy.

Meanwhile the Merchants son walks down the hallway holding a sword and a headband. He sees the numerous guests outside of the room.

“A-ah, I'm glad you found the room… is Miss Erina okay? I… Uh… The Healer that tended to her removed her clothes and we had them cleaned but they were unusable, I had hoped to get her something to wear myself but ah… I do not quite know what the lady would be comfortable wearing.”


Luna looks at the son of a ~~shepard~~ merchant, her icy expression still worn. “Miss A'erina is awakened and lucid, but I dare say she is considerably wounded. As a companion of hers, I must thank you and your healer for attending to her so thoroughly. Myself and my ward shall tend to her from here on.” The woman bows, Lucatiel following suit albeit somewhat sloppily. “I have brought her clothes for now, though if that is her blade I dare say she will be quite pleased to be received of it.”


The boy nods at Luna, before looking in the direction of the room, trying to peek but at the same time not making it look to o obvious. “ Ah, I see! That's wonderful, she seems to have been through a lot. I would very much like to know of her recovery if we cross paths again. She saved our lives, so we are in her debt. Bringing her here was the least we could do, we're just travellers though, but we know a few people here who could help, so that's what we did. It's a relief she has such friends to take care of her.” The boy held out the sword & headband for Luna. “ Please give those to her, and give her my well wishes. I don't want to disturb her much longer and we've already lost some time ourselves. ”


“Ah, it is impolite to gaze into a woman's room as she changes young man.” She chides the boy with the tone of a disappointed teacher. “Yes, it would seem she was in over her head. Or perhaps not. But either way the cost to her body has been great. Full glad am I to hear of her good deeds for you and yours, I must admit that it surprises me.” She takes the proffered personal effects from the boy, holding them cautiously. “I shall make sure she receives of these as well as your kind words. I am sure she is quite thankful as well. You and yours are to be lauded.”


After being cautious, but caught anyway, the boy turns somewhat red, but hands them over to Luna. “ T'was the least we could do, it was raining after all and she looked much worse than she does now. Although it is strange to see her hands less… Ah, nevermind. Perhaps it were nothing. ” The boy turns on his heels and begins departing. “ I can't stay however, duty calls! Take care!”

A'erina heard the commotion outside as she brushed her hair, and chimed in as he left. “ You can come in, I'm dressed. ”


There's a giggle from Lucatiel, mostly stifled, as the boy runs off red-faced. Her and Luna re-enter the room at A'erina's behest, with Luna walking over and placing the sword against the bed and the headband on the sheet. “These were returned to you. You need not search them out, thankfully. When you are fully healed, I would suggest thanking the family that saved you once more, but that is for the future.”

Lucatiel looks up at A'erina, smiling. “Did you get to say goodbye to F'loki? I bet he'll come visit you! Maybe he can have a nice dinner with us all one night!”


A'erina reached for her headband, sliding it over her head, tying a knot and proofing out her hair to fall over it. She then immediately grabs the sword not letting it sit there long at all “ Oh, how mommy has missed you.” She looked at the hilt, bits if leather were frayed and damage, and the blade itself had become more damaged than normal. “ Ah shit, I'm gonna have to ask me mother to look at this when I can. Either that or… Give it back. Give up this whole fighting thing.”

“Easy for you to say.”
“We're gonna work on something for you.”
“You realise what you're saying is more than likely going to keep putting you in this kind of position, right?”
“Yup, but I have you to get me out of each time, don't I?”
“I trust you to come up with something safe, atleast.”

“He's… not outside anymore? Fuckin' hells he moves around a lot.” She peered at the doorway expecting him to come barreling back into the room. “ I told him I was going with you but uh.. guess I didnt say goodbye? I don't usually say it… It's fine though, it's no problem, it's not like I'm not going to see him again or somethin'.”


Luna raises a brow at the woman's comments about her own blade but keeps silent. “Perhaps you should reserve such a decision until you are fully recuperated. Even if you do not intend to pursue a warrior's life, keeping a sword to defend yourself is wise.”

“Umm, nope he's gone! We can wait a bit longer if you want, before I take you home! But if you're ready, put out your hands and we'll go!” Lucatiel smiles and nods, ready.


Looking a bit disheartened, A'erina looks herself over, holding onto her effects. “ …I think I'm all set. I practiced a lot, before I came here and I managed to do it myself, so if you need me to help you with the aether travel, I'll give it a shot. ” She held out a hand for Lucatiel. “ I'm ready. ”


The girl grabs A'erina's hands carefully but firmly. “Nope, I've got this! I'll just take a nap in a bit!” She smiles, turning to Luna for a moment. “I'll see you tonight Luuuuna! She's in good hands!”

The knightess waves her off politely with a smile of her own. “Very well, I am counting on you Lucatiel. Do be careful, Miss A'erina.” She leans into a deep bow.

The aether around Lucatiel and A'erina becomes strange, and after a few seconds the two are whisked away to the Hearth from Home's garden.

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