Aven watched in silence as Nessa faced down her two assailants; primarily, he was observing her footwork and martial style, two extremely defining characteristics of a fighter. Not surprisingly, instead of planting her feet, she began to shift around in place, preparing to dodge to either side. The first to strike didn't account for this whatsoever, his weak attempt at a stab thwarted by the slightest of movements from Nessa, as she leaned away from the ill-advised attack. She was certainly no pushover: there was a lyrical sense to her footwork, smooth and flowing, while congruently swift and calculated. It was a harsh foil to his own, which relied on abrupt, postured stances, focused on forcing his opponent to abandon their own flow in favor of his. Nessa's magic, as well, played a key role in the fight. It seemed as though it took little effort to summon, meaning it was likely a well practiced, basic magical effect, a theory quickly supported by the burning of the bandit's hand, disarming him. A smile spread across his face at her banter, she seemed to enjoy speaking during combat. Given how weak their enemies were, though, the two of them could've played a game of chess while fending them off with one hand each, so speaking was hardly a strain.
Thus, it seemed odd to him when the second attacker managed to flank her, curious indeed: he knew she'd seen him, yet her footwork made no sign of responding. Was it intentional? His question was answered quickly, and he whistled softly as Nessa widened her stance, flinging the larger man straight over her shoulder to crash onto his constituent, knocking the breath from both of them. Mental note, head locks were a no-go on Nessa, filing that away for later use. Aven made his approach as she questioned them, only to receive a snide remark. Two chipped teeth and a broken nose later, the bandit was unconscious, and as far as Aven was concerned, good riddance. The whole lot of them reeked of greed, their hearts so filled to the brim with the vice that it was hard to even glance their way. "More than he deserved; you're a Saint, as usual," Aven grinned, twirling his cane. "I'd hoped they could be a good warm up, but could hardly be called a fight."
Kept his cool? That was true, but it sounded as though she was unconsciously devaluing her own contribution. "I keep my cool because I must, to be quite honest: Circle magic is muddled by stray emotions, such as passion and righteous anger. For most magics, like yours, emotion is fuel on the fire, I'd go as far to say it's a strength of yours, Nessa!" It was a principle he'd run across very early in the development of his Circle magic, the lack of variability in it's execution based on emotion. The brightest of magical researchers, whom Aven would not even dare compare himself to, all agreed that a major strength of magic was it's natural link to the user's emotion; some texts even detailed that the purer a magic was, the closer it was tied to the mental state of the user. It was a very well supported theory, judging by the current state of knowledge on Slayer Magics, and a very intriguing one at that, as it suggested the logical conclusion that if one were to achieve perfection over magic, it would not respond to their thoughts, but simply manifest their will. A frightening prospect, indeed, and one that Aven planned to eventually study firsthand.
He followed Nessa's example, rummaging through the pockets of the bandits he'd knocked out, finding most of the same things, until the last, who had a small map concealed in his jacket pocket. Aven waved Nessa over as he inspected it, the contents detailing an encampment not too far from their current position. His lessons in cartography came in handy, finally! Useless profession, otherwise, though he did have a knack for getting lost. Ironic, to say the least. He laid the map down on the unconscious bandit's chest, using him unashamedly as a dirty makeshift table, and traced their location to the marker on the map. "We've definitely found our heading: if the supplies are anywhere we can still retrieve them, they'll be smack in the middle of the men who stole them." He glanced in that direction: having a map was perfect, they could formulate a plan far ahead of time. He rolled it up, keeping it in his hand: important or not, that filthy piece of parchment wasn't going to get close to his tailored pearl white suit.
As they took off toward the North, Aven struck up a question. "So, what's our strategy? A hit and run tactic could suit us nicely, but depending on how much magic they can use and whether they have an adequate amount of ranged firepower, it may be wiser to brute force our way through the lot of them." He was torn on it, himself: the advantages of a blitz were many, as they could chain the element of surprise into major losses in their attack force, and couple that with the inability for them to regroup, an advantage Hit and Run normally sacrificed, as it put the defenders on high alert. On the other hand, employing guerrilla tactics correctly, they could effectively minimize the risk of underestimating their opponents, and gauge the enemy's fighting strength before committing too heavily to the brawl, as with an all in strategy. Either way, the camp was close, so making preparations now was a must.
As she answered, he made a small motion with his cane, a Healing Circle appearing on his back alongside a small grey circle, which shattered, and immediately after, two more Healing Circles appearing stacked on top of each other on Nessa's back, all three glowing a beautiful light green. Those circles took a while to charge to their full potential, so it was wise to set them up preemptively to injury, time they currently had. If charged to full, he bet the two Circles could bring Nessa from unconscious to nearly fully healthy in an instant.
Magic Power: 250.
Multiplication Glyph, Hei: No cooldown remaining.
Displacement Circle: No cooldown remaining.
Protection Glyph, Kha: 1 post cooldown remaining.
Blink Circle: 3 post cooldown remaining.
Healing Circle: 4 post cooldown remaining.
Word Count: 1036.
Word Count Total: 2409/4000.