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High Priestess Tarot: Esperia

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High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:24 pm


How had it come to this? It was a question Esperia asked herself as she gazed ahead onto the sea. Unlike usually the young lady's expression was not one filled with joy and excitement. Instead, there was a look of exhaustion upon her visage as if she was an adventurer who had traveled for far too long and lost the very spirit that made them an adventurer.

In all honesty, she was tired. Closing her eyes didn't help her erase that feeling either, in fact, no amount of rest seemed to cure her of that feeling of lethargy that she was experiencing right now.

It had been a few weeks since the eventful encounter, the encounter that had left quite an impact upon her, literally. Her gaze shifted to her side, and from the shoulder-blade down to her fingertips, her entire left arm had been wrapped in bandages. It was the price Esperia had paid for playing the hero: the loss of her left arm.

Although the people of Hargeon had been grateful for her help, and the hefty reward she earned from the kingdom had helped her with getting a prosthetic, it was still as if she had lost something, a phantom pain that lingered.

It was an odd feeling, even if the prosthetic functioned normally, a mere thought was enough to make her fingers curl up into a fist, but it still felt odd, awkward in a way. Why did she even bother stepping in that day? It had been neither her duty or responsibility to interfere, and yet she did. It was a frustrating thing, that awareness that even if it had not been her responsibility, she was the time to get involved into people's problems even if it was not her business. A gentle sigh escaped her lips, a shake of her head following as she attempted to banish the gloomy thoughts from her mind.


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:32 pm


Rushed footsteps resounded on the pavement behind her, a brief glimpse showing there were several children playing without a care in the world. It reminded her of something, something bittersweet and innocent: She remembered the days she used to play like that. Without any worries, just enjoying every day that life had to offer her. Back then she had her elder sister who used to dot upon her, but the hardships of reality had taken her away from her- no, it was the vile existence of that which the world called evil that had taken her sister away. It was because she wanted to prevent people from having to experience such suffering that she had chosen to become an adventurer and joined the Blue Pegasus guild.

Nonetheless, as the young lady rose onto her feet she couldn't help but wonder at the cost of that decision. Looking at her bandaged arm she felt like she had lost more than just a limb, and yet even if she was hesitant, there was something that beckoned her onward. It was an odd something to describe, but it was only a matter of time before she would realize just what exactly it had been that had made her so determined to help people.

However, for now she wanted a bit of sanctuary, some peace and comfort away from the hustle and bustle of the port, and it was for that reason Esperia started to walk toward the outskirts of Hargeon. Walking past the lively marketstalls where vendors greet her, but even as she smiled kindly at them in response to their greeting, she still felt a bit uncomfortable. She never considered herself a hero, nor did she aspire to become one. But then why... Why did she decide to help the people of Hargeon with their pirate problem?


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:41 pm


It took only a short walk till the port made way for the outskirts of the forest she liked to traverse when she sought some peace and quiet away from everyone. Once inside the forest she walked quietly, merely following one of the many paths within the forest while thinking back on the recent events. She had recklessly gone to fight a group of pirates on her own. Although a part of her wanted to say she had done so because she simply wanted to help the people of Hargeon, there was also the fact that she had desired to prove herself. Of course, this idea had backfired quite clearly, as evident in the end results of this attempt of hers. Even now she couldn't help but look hesitatingly at the bandaged arm. Ever since she had woken up she had not taken off the bandages, part of her didn't want to do it, the other part didn't dare to. And yet, perhaps now that nobody was looking it would be a good time for her to at least give it a try? Slowly unwrapping the bandages of her arm she gazed quietly at the prosthetic arm, and after a moment she could feel tears gathering in her eyes. A warrior might had felt glad he was still able to use an arm like this, but for Esperia? The sight only filled her with shame and regret. Even if the arm moved exactly like her old one did, a mere glimpse showed that it was clearly a prosthetic, and it was that blemish that made her feel as if it didn't fit for the one who was meant to become the Demon Lord of Lust. Heaving a sigh she was about to lean back against a tree when a sudden rustling of nearby leaves drawn her attention, her body shifting in a combative stance as she expected a wild animal to appear.


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:54 am


And yet it was not a wild animal that emerged out of the bushes. No, instead a small trembling silhouette emerged from among the trees: a child. Esperia's gaze softened as she saw the face of the child, filled with tears and fear in her eyes as she looked up at Esperia.

"Are you lost little one?" Esperia spoke, her tone sweet and gentle as she took a step forward and crouched in front of the child so she could talk to her at the same height. The child nodded her head lightly, sniffing as she continued to sob softly. "What is your name? Are you from Hargeon?"

The girl nodded her head again, after a few sobs mustering the courage to speak: Silka, that was her name and she indeed lived at Port Hargeon judging from the fact she mentioned living near the sea. "What a beautiful name Silka~ My name is Esperia, it is a pleasure to meet you~"

The soft yet playful tone of Esperia seemed to help calm down the child little by little as Esperia soon continued. "I happen to be a member of Blue Pegasus, and I was currently on my way back to the port~ Do you want me to take you home?"

The lost child her eyes focused on Esperia, the idea that she would finally be able to find her way home again seemingly serving as a beacon of hope for the child who nodded her head again toward Esperia.

For a moment Esperia instinctively raised her prosthetic arm, but noticing was she was doing she quickly withdrew her hand and offered her regular hand instead. It would do her no good to show off her arm to such an innocent soul. No, she was fortunate enough that she at least had one hand left that could gently hold the child's hand.


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:04 am


However, it seemed that the child was not the only one that found her, for in the distance Esperia's ears picked up the sound of rustling leaves and a moment later the source of the disruption became revealed: a wild wolf emerged from amidst the trees, seemingly drawn to the noise.

Quickly Esperia put herself between the wolf and the child, both arms spread as if she was shielding the child. It was fortunate that it was only one wolf, nothing that a well-aimed offensive spell couldn't take care of! Raising her healthy arm forwards she was about to aim the palm of her hand at the beast but the moment she attempted to channel mana through her limb, she felt it became unresponsive!

Her eyes widened in disbelief, and the wolf seemingly decided she wasn't a threat and lashed out at her, snarling as it lunged toward her! Without a weapon and her magic refusing to work could she really fight even a simple predator? It seemed her answer was soon given as she felt her prosthetic arm sweep in front of her and a surge of mana coursing through it, the end result being that from the palm of her hand a small sphere of icy energy was launched at the wolf, that upon impact knocked the creature backwards with a small blast!

The wolf collided against a nearby tree and let out a whimpering cry, turning tail and running away from her. For a moment Esperia couldn't help but remain stunned at the sensation she had felt just now. It almost had felt like she had wielded the Icy Kiss, but without a weapon in her arms, how could such a thing be possible? Shaking her head lightly Esperia quickly turned her attention back to the child.

"Are you alright Silka?"


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:11 pm


The child nodded her head lightly, although now she thought further on it... looking at the child she didn't seem to notice the earlier fear that was dominant in the girl's eyes, no it was something else. Was it hope, perhaps a bit of naive admiration? She couldn't blame the child, after all, she herself had once reached out in search for a hero years ago, although those days were long gone now. "Good~ Let us go back to the port now, shall we?"

However, as she turned around Esperia found to her surprise that the child stepped by her side, her small hand gripping lightly into the fingers of her prosthetic and she whispered a few words that seemed to make the world pause for Esperia: "One of your hands looks really soft miss Esperia." It was true, if there was something she took pride in then it was the fact that Asmodeus had done a great job to ensure her looks would be quite nice when she grew up! Perhaps that was part of the reason why she had considered the prosthetic a blemish upon her looks, but it was what followed that changed that way of thinking: "But your other hand is very strong and cool!" Strong and cool, and soft and nice...

As she looked down upon the child she smiled gently at her, raising her free hand to pet the girl's head lightly. "Mhmm~ One hand I use to encourage my friends, to support and make them all smile, while the other hand I use to protect them, to keep away those who would hurt them."

It was such a simple truth: the prosthetic was not meant to be a blemish, it was a testimony to show how far she was willing to protect those dear to her!


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:39 am


As they walked through the forest Esperia quickly came to notice that her decision to defend the child had quickly earned the little girl her trust. She had started to talk in a lively manner about life at the port, about how she admired that both the guards and Blue Pegasus were helping to keep the port and its people safe. It brought a brief smile to Esperia's lips as the child began to ask about her own adventures.

While Esperia had plenty of stories to tell, she was fortunately smart enough not to go too much into detail about Asmodeus her existence. While Alisa might had formed a certain type of friendship with her, Esperia knew a lot of people feared and were distrustful of demons, something that came as no surprise considering the Demonic Incursions and the past propaganda of the more zealous side of the Holy Knights. Even now she was not entirely certain if Asmodeus was truly an ally, or merely a benefactor who saw use into helping her. However, the end result still remained the same: One day she would become a Demon Lord herself and force a change for the better.

Esilka seemed especially fascinated about the stories she told about the flower festival, and while the mentioning of it also brought a sense of sorrow with it, for it made her remember Fia who had still been missing after all those years, the mentioning of the festivities and the events that were held back then clearly seemed to excite the child who kept asking one question after the other.

Indeed, it was innocence like this that she loved, to protect innocent and naive lives like the one she was holding in her hand right now that had made Esperia decide to walk this path. Perhaps the title of 'Sweetheart' was not misplaced at all.


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:55 am


As the two walked along the path the port of Hargeon slowly came back into view, the sight of it stirring the child's enthusiasm once more as she guided Esperia into the port, talking about how her mother owned one of the merchant stalls at the market of the port, and how her mother might have been worried. The words made Esperia chuckle softly, idly wondering if the child even realized the cause behind that concern.

Still, it made her think back about her own family. About how her mother used to be overprotective of her also, and how her father despite being stern always had the best interests of their family in mind. Not that those memories would done much nowadays. After all, they were just that: memories and her family had long perished in the siege by the Werewolves upon their church. No, she was someone who should live in the here and now rather than the past.

As she allowed the little girl to guide her toward the market a worried feminine voice called out to Esilka, the child seemingly spotting her mother as she ran quickly toward her, being pulled into an embrace as the two had a touching reunion.

Soon the mother started explaining how she had let her daughter out of sight during the morning rush at the markets and that she had been missing since then, and even the guards couldn't find her anywhere near the port, so they had started to fear the worst. It was an understandable concern: with the recent plague of pirates it was difficult to not worry about a sudden disappearance, but luckily that was not the case this time. The child had merely ventured into the woods out of childish curiosity after chasing an animal and couldn't find her way back. So in the end, it was a problem that had been resolved.


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:02 am


Surprisingly enough the mother soon asked what she had wanted for a reward, a kind gesture but in all honesty? Esperia was not one to care about the material, it never was something that appealed to her. Perhaps it was for that reason that rather than asking a momentary reward, she instead asked for one of the fresh apples the merchant had on display at her stall. The request seemingly surprised the woman, but she soon smiled and nodded her head, speaking words of gratitude as she handed Esperia one of the apples.

It was only a moment afterwards that Esperia separated the apple into two halves and offered the child one half, saying it was a reward for having experienced such a long adventure. It was endearing to see the girl giving such a enthusiastic reaction, sitting down beside her at the side of the road as both continued to talk for a while longer.

Indeed, it were rewards like the stories and meetings like those that offered much more excitement to Esperia than money could have provided, and after a few more hours she bid the family farewell.

Walking along the street Esperia had to admit it was a pleasant feeling: the act of helping others, to support them during their time of need, how could she possibly not enjoy seeing such innocent and bright smiles? Still, it seemed that as this story was about to reach its conclusion, a hint for a prologue of a new tale was soon about to begin, because Silka soon rushed up behind her, tugging her arm lightly to drag her attention and mentioned she a saw a poster that might had been of interest to her. The words caught her curiosity, and soon she let the child guide her to the area she had seen the poster at before. What could it have possibly been?


High Priestess Tarot: Esperia Empty Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:10 am


A short walk later and Esperia found herself in front of a poster that seemingly belonged to Blue Pegasus? As she read about it, it seemed that the guild was planning some sort of festivities soon, a rumor that she had heard about before from Alisa's musings, but it seemed the guild was finally about to start putting the idea into motion. It was an endearing idea, one that actually sounded exciting also! She could already hear Asmodeus playfully musing about the idea of swimsuits, and for once Esperia had to agree that such an event might have not been a bad distraction for them.

With everything that had been going on recently they had little time to relax till now, and with those festivities she might be able to see some familiar faces and meet some new people again. Although for a moment she couldn't help but notice the child gazing at her, as if she wanted to ask her something.

A soft chuckle escaped her lips, a hand rustling over the girl's hair as she spoke with a smile lingering on her lips. "I'll ask if you can come along also~ and if not I'll bring you a present once it's over~"

The words were enough to convince the child, who after a cheerful exclamation that it was a promise soon parted ways with Esperia who was left alone to ponder about the festivities. Would Liana be there? Maybe there would even be some new people for them to meet! Although for once she was just glad to see some familiar faces again. Although she didn't say it out loud, but with everyone out doing their own stuff, she couldn't help but feel a bit lonely. But for now? For now she had some festivities to look forward to~

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