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Duty to Love Chap 1
calm, creative
demon_chan


Kernya was a delicate young elvaan child. Her father was a strong willed warrior who was never home and her mother wasn’t much of an adventurer at all. Her mother never talked about anywhere farther than La Theine Plateau. Kernya idolized her father, wanted to be just like him, in fact she scorned her mother for her weakness. The ten year old in fact was out and about in San d’Oria was because of her mother. The frail woman had asked her daughter if she wanted to learn how to make some bread. The ten-year old had slipped out of the house when agreeing to the demand her mother left the room for a moment.

Kernya had been swift, running through Southern San d’Oria back alleys making her way to the Northern edge of the Residential Area. It had been a fast paced escape from nothing, but Kernya had a vivid imagination and supplemented her bored spans of time between her father’s absences with it. She ran through the court looking at poor old Exoroche alone again. His father was a merchant and never around. Vaguely Kernya wondered how he would turn out in the long run. It was never fun being lonely.

Ignoring the curious stares she was receiving and continued down the steps to the woodworking guild. It was a sight Kernya hoped her mother would never find out about. Seeing all the strong burly men in their special aprons and carving wood time and time again. Their dedication to the long hours of synthesis made Kernya determined she would have patience such as theirs some day. She wanted a piercing focus that could form paths through mountains. She wanted to be like her father, cutting down monster after evil monster and never once turning form the path that the Noble Knights had drilled into their hearts.

Watching from behind the shelf of large lumber she could see a particularly interesting scene. There was a new recruit to the guild she had not seen before. It was a young lad not much older than she. His shoulder was slumping under the weight of his father’s hand as the man introduced him to Cheupirudaux the new Guild Master. ‘He must be getting inducted into the guild.’ She though curious watching the raven haired boy kneel down in preparation for synthesis. She watched in anticipation wondering if someday she would stands before Cheupirudaux and prove her worth as a guildswoman.

Her stomach fell as the crystal and elements the boy had been working with exploded in his hands. His face showered with crystal dust. Instantly he was on the floor clawing blindly. Cheupirudaux frowned cruelly but he spoke, “It’s alright Cleric. It happens to the best of us. Clear off your face and try again.”

Tears springing to her eyes from his humiliation she felt her heart reach out to him to try again and not run away as perhaps her mother would have. He took several minutes to compose himself without any assistance from the still forms of his father and Cheupirudaux. Against he took the stance and this time out from the elemental vortex a large workbench erupted form the mess knocking the boy on his backside.

“Excellent, this will do, welcome to the Guild.” Cheupirudaux said ignoring Cleric in favor of an almost obscene fascination with the work bench.

“Now- now- what are you doing here Kernya.” A thick voice questioned. Kernya’s back froze with fear. Without waiting for a response her father’s impossible grip took her by the shoulder dragging her out from behind the shelf. Broken form his reverie Cheupirudaux along with Cleric and his father looked up at the scene. “Oh look if it isn’t Dapraugeant’s lovely daughter, you know she comes here daily Dapra.” Cheupirudaux chuckled.

Dapraugeant glared down quickly at Kernya before guiding her to stand beside him in front of the Guild Master. While Dapraugeant, Cheupirudaux, and even Cleric’s father exchanged pleasantries she looked directly and Cleric whose face flushed with intensity as he determinedly kept the gaze. She dare not speak to him and rouse her father’s attention. Instead she settled for a grin which Cleric hesitantly returned.

That was how she would always remember their first meeting. She would always chose to forget her father’s rough glare as they excused themselves and he dragged her away from Cleric and his striking eyes.

-

Several years later when Kernya was freshly 15 and finally allowed to take up arms against the beastman horde would be her next intense encounter with Cleric. They had been light friends over the years for she, as etiquette deemed it improper, they would only meet when acceptable. Today she had talked him into a friendly romp through Western Ronfaure. Her father had only agreed to let her do her first exploratory adventure into the Ronfaure if she had brought Cleric along. He was well trained in the dark and light arts. She had envied the month he was gone communing with greater spirit to active his Artifact Armor. All adventures that chose to went on their perspective quests. Someday, Kernya thought looking back at Cleric in his dorky outfit, she would do the same. Though, perhaps she would choose a class not quite so … poorly dressed.

Knowing that Kernya was prepared she raised her axe in warning and swung at a Forest Hare. The beast angry at the open cut she had inflicted struck back. She felt the adrenaline fill her and letting her mind wander began to cut a swath of blood through the forest. She watched half heartedly at the deaths of her enemies. Watched them hit the ground in their final breath eyes wide open. She covered her eyes on occasion when the burst of pyre flies was too much to bear. Then she would move on and strike at another mob.

She had gone into full bashing mode. Blinded by the blood in her eyes she picked monsters randomly and without discretion. She was so absorbed in her run by killing that she had not realized she was leading them both into Orc territory. Keeping to her goals she had set for herself as a child she was focused only on her kill. She had not noticed Cleric stop paying attention for a moment to speak into a round pearl on his necklace.

She was pretty sure she was fighting a worm. The dark blob always had to swing in order to get enough momentum to hurt her. Losing focus as the lack of the Cleric's periodical healing touch she began to panic. She was almost certain the beast was almost dead, but so was she.
Angry at herself for losing focused she did as she was trained to do in desperate situation and tapped into the hard core skill of her job. She was experience a mild burn out she knew, and be unable to use the skill again for some time but she would rather not die.

Now every strike she knew would hit hard and painful. The monster wiggled madly in pain redoubling its efforts to kill her. Swallowing the intense pain blooming in her all over her body she gave one last powerful strike. She was sure she saw the top part of the blob slip off and die. However, she didn’t care. She was tired and bruised. Slumping to the ground she accidentally slashed her wrist with her own axe. Giving a soft giggle she passed the event off as pointless, she was in to much pain to care.

Looking up at the sky through the tries she wanted to laugh as Cleric’s head popped into view. ‘Magic,’ vaguely even as her thoughts continued to wind in circles she found she could not understand them. Following the aimless strand of thought into the darkness she slept.