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Memories of the First [Training/Solo]

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#1Fiammetta Barone 

on Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:33 am

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There were a lot of benefits to an occupation with the Rune Knights. The ability to be paid for noble work aside, the job also came with its fair share of perks, from ease of travel through Fiore to access to a greater array of weaponry, and some great dental to boot. That wasn’t even mentioning the more personal gain that Fiammetta had derived from her service with Fiore’s trusty guardsman. Indeed, the fact that it allowed her to build up enough repute to decrease her father’s prison sentence was an incredible boon, and it meant that each and every day Baldo Barone got closer to finally being released and returning to the family that had been sorely missing him for so long.

Every day, the wounds of Baldo’s disappearance healed bit by bit, and the promise of his eventual return only sped up that recovery. The other orphans were becoming more self-proficient in his absence, at least, and it seemed like everyone was ready to contribute to the struggling institution however they could. Whether it be Amadeo and the sales he made through his hunting endeavours, or Leonarda setting out under the watch of Claramond to do odd jobs, why, even Salvatore had apparently taken up a part-time job within a certain fabric store in Baska. Truly, it seemed like everyone was doing their part, and of course, Fia herself was pitching in as well with the funds she made from her occupation as a Rune Knight. Overall, one might’ve guessed this profession had no downsides at all, but really, that wasn’t the case at all. There was one thing people often failed to consider.

How it affected the ones they loved.

It was a dangerous job, of that there was no doubt, but almost all who undertook it understood that danger to some degree, and were willing to brave it and minimise it throughout their risks. But even if they felt confident in their abilities to avoid and endure any threat that came to them, there was no saying their loved ones would feel the same. Truth be told, there was no more difficult position than the spouse or lover of one of these brave knights, who had to watch their dearest person head out on deadly missions, unsure if they’d come back alive. As common as it was, this wasn’t actually something Fiammetta and Esperia had had to experience. At least, not until now.

News came in from Fia’s superiors, and had thrown all of the knights into a frenzy. The orders were clear and concise, requiring no further explanation. She and her colleagues were to perform an attack on the Phantom Lord headquarters, and destroy the guild once and for all. Naturally, Fia had taken up the task, alongside many allies of hers within the Rune Knights, but this decision had not been completely accepted by her lover, Esperia. Naturally, the girl was very worried, hurt even by the prospect of Fia going to Oak Town to carry out this mission. It wasn’t something the Barone girl brushed aside, certainly not, but ultimately, it become apparent that it was something she’d have to sort out later…

For now, Fia just had to do what she could, and that meant preparing for the trials ahead so she could be sure to return to Esperia’s side when it was all over. In the interest of doing just that, Fia found herself on the outskirts of Crocus, a usual training spot of hers given that it was rather difficult to hone her magic indoors, at least, not without causing some unwanted renovation in the process. After arriving at her workout spot, Fia removed her jacket, leaving just her sarashi underneath as she began her routine warm-ups. She’d already had most of her training session planned out, but little did she know, there would soon be far more to this simple bit of practice…

WC: 654
Total WC: 654/2550

#2Fiammetta Barone 

on Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:35 am

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The area available to Fia was a nice wide space, situated in just the right position to both allow her the sheer area she needed to unleash her Titanic form, yet also positioned well to conceal her from the prying eyes of those who she’d rather not unveil her full powers too. The latter aspect was mostly thanks to the environment around her, not only were there a number of very tall trees surrounding the clearing, but there was also a large cliffside along one edge of her training area, a dangerous one at that, meaning there was little to no choice of coming across anyone trying to hike up it or situating themselves atop the great rocky environment.

As she entered the core of the environment, stripped down to her exercise gear, Fia got right into her warm-ups. Jogging around the clearing to get her blood pumping, some stretching to make sure she didn’t end up injuring herself stupidly. After that, the intensity was ramped up a bit, as Fia went into push-ups, sit-ups, and some general drills and routines that she’d learned during her time in the Rune Knights. Although the girl certainly knew how to hold her own before joining the Knights, it was also very much the case that being in the group had honed her skills even more, and taught her many more useful tricks to utilize in her specialty: Hand-to-hand combat. She’d gone from an impractical and clumsy brawler, to using her raw strength for skilful and efficient close combat techniques that aimed to dispatch her opponents quickly, whether it be by restraining them, or putting them to sleep.

By then, Fia was working up quite a sweat, her workout routine was nothing if not strenuous. And it had only gotten more ruthless since the revelations at the Crocus garden. It was simple, Fiammetta Barone knew she could not afford to be weak, not when herself and everyone she loved was on the line. With her sarashi drenched with a thin layer of sweat that made her whole body slick, Fia decided it was about time she got into the real meat of her training. It was time she pushed to the limit that strange magic she’d been blessed with. Or, rather, cursed with.

Clenching her fists and tightening her muscles, Fia prepared to unleash her strength, as vapor began to seep from her body. Just as she felt muscles begin to swell, Fia was suddenly stopped by an annoyingly familiar call from nearby. It seemed she’d been followed, much to her dismay, by a certain conniving kitty cat….

”Training again, I see. A purrfect little distraction, isn’t it?” Salem Saberhagen, the former magus-turned-feline spoke up from nearby, causing an annoyed low growl from the Barone girl. She and her companion had been on rough terms ever since the garden.

”Yeah, what’s it to you? Guessin’ yer just here to observe yet little Titan experiment some more, huh?” She barked at him, before going back to preparing her transformation. She wasn’t about to let the annoying little pest interfere with her training plans.

”Purr-haps I am. Would you blame me for being curious about how exactly it is a Titan magic user gets stronger?” Salem hummed casually, watching as Fia gave him the cold shoulder and continued her transformation. Vapor erupted from around her, and from it rose her maximum Titan form. Not something she’d normally be using, but she just wanted to show Salem how much she could kick as, if she was being honest.

”Oh, and I’m also here to warn you…” Salem said in a surprisingly light tone.

”OH YEAH? BOUT… WHAT? MORE… THREATS?” The now Titanic Fia growled, as she began to train her rage against the nearby cliffisde. Rearing back a titanic fist, Fiammetta began to perform basic combination punches against the rock formation, her fists undamaged thanks to the sheer endurance and power she had on hand.

”Actually… I wanted to talk about local occurrences…” Salem hummed a little smugly, as he stepped back away from Fia. ”Like reports of landslides near a certain cliff…”

”HUH…?” Fia groaned, looking up in confusion as a slight rumbling of the clifftops above was heard. A look that came far too late, as a significant piece of rock crumbled from atop, landing on Fia’s head and causing the Titan to fall back and crush trees underneath her sheer weight as she fell unconscious.

Only briefly, had she blacked it.

But in the time… She dreamt.

~~~~~~~~~~

”Evi! Wake up!”

WC: 758
Total WC: 1412/2550

#3Fiammetta Barone 

on Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:37 am

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She stirred a little, strands of soft brown hair shifting against her pillow, but she could not yet muster the strength nor will to rise fully, and thus, only ended up squirming a little underneath her covers. A futile rejection, however, as that call soon came again, even louder than the last.

”Come oooon Eviiii!” A desperate and childish cry echoed in her ears, as the barely awake young woman began to become more agitated, squirming again and wrapping herself deeper into her snuggly little sanctum of blankets. A grave mistake, it would soon be revealed, as her shortish blonde compatriot quickly took advantage of the brunette’s extremely vulnerable state. After a great leap, the brown-haired sleepyhead would find a sudden weight upon her, prompting a groan before small hands grabbed the blanket-covered brunette and shook her in a gesture that made it clear she wasn’t taking no for an answer.

”I said get up! C’mon we were gonna go into town today!” The blonde whined, as she softly shook about the groaning and grumbling brunette, who began chuckling at her partners childish little attempts to get her up. ”Alright, alright, I’m getting up! Just gimme a few more moments…” She muttered as her tired body was mercilessly tossed about, before suddenly, the brunette counter-attacked, twisting around and slipping her hands out, which quickly shot out at the blonde, grasping her softly around the neck and pulling her down into a passionate embrace as their lips pressed, before releasing the grasp.

”Didn’t get much sleep last night… But I’m feeling awake now.” The brunette uttered softly, her weary and tired face now exposed to the blonde, who could only stare with concern and affection, as well as understanding for the plight of her lover.

”It was the nightmares again… Wasn’t it?” She inquired sympathetically, not looking at all angry, but simply… Worried. Sorrowful. Regretful. All of these things in some strange mix.

”…Yeah…” The brunette gulped, unable to muster any further comments on the matter, and instead opting to brush the depressing subject aside. ”Hey, don’t worry about ‘em, Ziska. Lets just head into town, and maybe tonight, you can gimme somethin’ else to dream about.” She quipped confidently, using the charm she always kept on standby.

The blonde smiled, tilting her head bemusedly before climbing off of her lover, allowing her brief respite from the pin as she headed for the exit of the room. ”I’ll make breakfast, so just hurry up and get ready, Evi.” She commanded before making her complete exit.

The brunette sat up in her bad as she left, feeling more than ready to head into the day ahead. With a stretch and a groan, she clamoured out of her dozing domain, before moving about her room as the morning routine was enacted. She threw on her simple tunic, put the rags she slept in aside in the pile they kept for all the washing they swore they would get around to. The woman stepped over to the mirror, where she made sure her appearance was in check, tying back her hair and ensuring all her scars were covered. Wounds of war were not the kind of thing one showed in public.

Then, it was just a matter of preparing for their little excursion. Food and water was packed, naturally, alongside some more unorthodox daytrip items. Like bandaging, and a small firearm. Better safe than sorry. She never knew when they might come, after all. As she did all this, Evi found herself looking at the old mementos she kept upon one shelf of their room. The pass-phrase an old ally had left her, the claw of a beast they’d slain, the bullets she’d pulled out… And her last resort. The syringe… Left there, hidden, in a soft case.

She ripped her eyes of memories of the past, and instead, turned her attention to the happenings of today, as she went to have breakfast, and soon after, ended up leaving the humble little wooden shack they owned in the middle of the woods with her dear lover. A quaint little establishment, from which one could even see the castle town in the distance…

WC: 698
Total WC: 2110/2550

#4Fiammetta Barone 

on Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:40 am

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There was a specific routine to their expeditions out of the safety of their home, one that the pair dare not break under any circumstance. Evi always took the lead first, heading outside and jogging around the area twice, using a certain landmark to guide her way: A small rock formation, that bore a striking resemblance to hand reaching from the ground, to the point where one might’ve initially assumed some golem was lying beneath the dirt. The truth was far stranger.

The next thing Evi did was check for any non-animal footprints. If anyone had been sneaking around, she’d head back at rush Ziska inside. But, fortunately, she saw nothing unusual, aside from some deep, odd-looking impressions around the “golem’s hand”, and markings on the nearby trees. Probably just a migrating herd of some sort. Evi wasn’t about to cancel their date because of it, certainly not. Ziska had been looking forward to it for some time, after all.

The last thing to account for were Evi’s last few traps and markers she had placed around, and by then, her work was only a quick and sloppy check over, before she returned to Ziska’s side. She didn’t want to waste any more time delaying their date, after all.

”So, we good to go?” Ziska inquired cheekily as Evi jogged back, the taller brunette quickly swooping up her lovers hand in her own, before smiling heartily at her. ”Of course we are, Ziska. This place is safer than anything, how many times I gotta tell ya that?” The brunette said smugly, as she pulled Ziska closer. The blonde snuggled in close, smiling softly.

”You don’t have to tell me at all, actually… Just being with you is enough to make me feel safe.” She said with a firm and resolute tone. She’d long since accepted the danger of their situation, and had always understood how much caution was needed if they wanted to continue living as they did.

Evi just smiled harder, leaning her head down on Ziska’s as they walked the route toward town, by now leaving any of the failsafes they had behind them. ”Y’know Princess, that’s why I-“

”Huh?”

Princess?

Who did she call… Princess?

Where was she? What was going on? The brunette looked down at hands but… What? Were they her own hands? The world faded away around her, and she felt like screaming. Ziska, Esperia, Fia, Evi, then, now, who, who, who!?

Who was she? Was this a dream? No… It felt like…




With a start, Fia awoke, bolting upright and immediately putting a hand to her pounding head. Her breaths were heavy and laboured, as the impact of what she’d just seen… What she’d just lived through, remained deep in her mind.

”…You… Did you see it?” A familiar voice inquired. Nearby, Salem sat, the cat looking at his master absolutely flabbergasted. Fia just groaned, shakily getting to her feet as she answered the cat.

”Saw what? Stop being so friggin’ vague, damn cat…”

Salem did not hesitate to answer. ”Memories. The memories of one of your predecessors.”  He uttered simply, prompting a confused look from the still utterly bewildered Fiammetta.

”The hell are ya talkin’ about?” She asked angrily. But Salem just shook his head for now, realizing it was too soon to tell, so there was no use with the full details now.

”It’s just… Something I saw in my master’s notes. Possible… Connections… Between users of Titan Magic…” He explained in a surprisingly dignified and academic manner, telling Fia he was being pretty serious.

But whatever. For now, it was just a dream, so she brushed aside the cat and went back to training. Yet… Now, she did feel something strange within her. A surge of power, almost, but it didn’t quite feel like new power. Rather, it made her feel… Complete…

Like it’d been within her all along.

But, that could wait. Right now, all she wanted to focus on was readying up for the trials ahead, though, as she’d eventually come to learn, her trials and things she’d seen were unmistakably linked…

[END]

WC: 684
Total WC: 2794/2550

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