Since Sabertooth’s material demise Kenna had been locked in the building that now served as temporary headquarters for the guild to operate from. It wasn’t as impressive as the previous guild, but it was big enough to support majority of those who wished to remain on one spot. While all were busy to find a place for the new guild to be built, she’d been confined to her room. Not leaving, barely eating and certainly not conversing with the outside world. Her grief was too great to properly function within society at this point. So instead she decided to shun it. Little did she know it only worsened her mood, to the point the young maiden slumped back into her unknowing, unsociable state of mind. Even Akhator didn’t wish to deal with such a miserably heap and had let her be, only spurring her to eat when her body was nigh to collapse. He was glad she at least obeyed those orders. Kite Wilhelm, the acting guildmaster of Sabertooth, had been checking up on her every now and then, and had even convinced her into looking into the odd happenings at an abandoned guild. It had pulled her out of her slump only slightly, but she deemed every beginning was hard. Yet she was not ready yet to leave the guild on her own. The danger of losing herself, failing her job or even worse… Kenna wasn’t ready to deal with all of that just yet. Death was unbecoming of she who had yet to discover her destiny. So Akhator had said.
It had been one of those nights days afterwards, when his words had still laid fresh upon her mind, that Kenna had found herself wide awake after a rather particular dream. A dream she forgot the details of as soon as she opened her eyes, but of which the feeling remained within her. A need to find something she had lost. But what was it she had lost, among all those things? She sat upright and pulled the blankets up to her chin, covering herself up in a war cocoon of cloth as she stared into the darkness of her small room, and at the light from outside that shone through her small window. A sigh escaped her lips, and with it a soft current of wind blew through the room, caressing her skin. It startled her. There was no any type of breeze could get into the room… so how? The Etherborn let out a short yelp as she looked back in front of her and noticed a shadowy figure looking back at her, eyes flaring red pupils in the darkness. Its arm extended towards her with a beige cylinder object in it. It extended said arm until it nearly reached her, then dropped the parchment and disappeared the moment it touched her bedlinen. ”W-what was…. Akhator, was that you?” The fire god replied almost instantly within her mind. ”If only. I’m just as baffled as you child, mostly because I didn’t even feel its presence...utmost concerning.” His voice betrayed he was frowning, even though he didn’t have a physical body to do so. Avide replied right after. ”Milady, same counts for me. Neither seen nor hurt until you noticed it.” Kenna sighed, had to dismiss her worry regarding the shadow as the parchment he left before her instinctively called out for her attention. Her fingers slid across the smooth paper, broke the seal upon it with a single snap, and started reading the contents of what seemed to be a request… addressed to her personally.
Mysterious Individual wrote:
I’ve seen you from afar. You seem strong, but I want to see if you are truly worthy, and therefore I wish to observe that strength for myself. Thus I bring this challenge before you; head towards the Forest of Lost Cries, where sunshine no longer penetrates the ground and defeat the forces that have tainted to world within. If you succeed, the path towards your salvation shall reveal itself before you... as will the reward.
We shall meet again if you fulfil my expectations.
It was as such that as soon as the sun shone its rays upon the rooftops of Ace of Spades that Kenna had set out for Spooky Forest. Unknowing why now of all times she did not seem bothered by going out alone. Something called her from far away. The letter bearing the request to her had a more powerful message than just that. It felt like her gut told her that by taking on this request rather than to dismiss it, she would gain that long-lost thing she dreamt of. She’d recognise it when she’d come across it, she reckoned. With that intent she had left the village behind. At the rise of dawn, without any of her companions to join her. Avide had been confined to remaining at home, to the large dragon’s disbelief. He must be sulking somewhere right now.
For two days she travelled at a relaxing pace, taking train, carriage and her trusty legs to carry her to her destination, which now loomed in the distance like an omen. Spooky Forest. It brought back some memories she’d rather not be remembered of, if she had to be fair. Yet she could not deny what had happened here before had made her stronger. Today this challenge would do too. The trees, nature and very atmosphere in the vicinity changed the closer she got to the actual forest; life seemed to trade for death, and light for darkness. Followed by a deafening silence as she stared at the forest before her. The looming darkness. The eerie feels. The ravenhaired Etherborn swallowed an upcoming lump and stared at the forest. Akhator, as supportive as ever, sneered within her mind for her wavering bravery, and saw it affect the maiden in the way she’d expected it to do. ”I’m not scared! Watch me, you presumptuous Aho.” ”Cute, now off you go scaredy cat. Ain’t got all day to piss your pants.” Kenna muttered some utmost colourful cussing vocabulary underneath her breath, all directed at the fire god’s soul within her as she stampeded off into the forest. Nigh aware of the many dozens of eyes already following her every move.
Total Wordcount: 1050/10 000