Samira just stared at Gisen for a moment. She couldn't really tell if the bunny girl had caught her teasing or not. Naturally Gisen could probably hold them both all by herself, but it was not necessary. More importantly, it was strange for someone to not add in their own input to a plan or even completely take over in general. That was not something Samira was used to. Plan making was generally something others did and she followed. For her to be suggesting how to fight the battle as if she were the more experienced and dominate fighter in the scene was out of the norm for her, or so she had always believed in the past. Even more strange was how the tables were flipped. At one point the bunny girl had been the guild master of Samira's first guild, a monster hunting guild that the summoner truly had zero business being in given her lack of battle or even hunting expertise. Gisen was the one that was experienced there, and the one that was considered the leader and above the others in that same community of mages. It was odd for that feeling of depending on someone else's leadership to not be there anymore. Now she seemed to be the one making the plan, as simple as it was, while the bunny shaped rock nodded without argument. It was a little bit surreal and unsettling. Perhaps a simple side effect and evidence that Samira had still not quite gotten over the stability that was pulled from under her and left her with having to try and rebuild her life structure. It wasn't really coming together as swiftly as she would have liked, or as easily. In the future she would have found a different guild to join, but whether that guild would ever be what Lamia Scale was to her was another story. And even still, it was the present, where Samira was just one of those mages that were tagged as guildless for whatever reason. Chances were, with her mental condition and having been away as long as she had been, Gisen was as well.
Of course, there was a thought in the back of her mind during all of this. Perhaps Gisen had always been that way to an extent. It was just a matter of Samira not being the one calling the shots in things such as battle plans. Perhaps she didn't really know the bunny girl as well as she and others had really thought despite the previous roles they had a while back. That was somewhat disheartening since with Gisen's condition having people that knew her well would have been beneficial, but now it was actually possible that Samira was not the best suited memory recollection. There... likely were not many that would actually tie in to the previous memories of the elemental. More notable occasions of them even being in the same room was a small amount, even as far as new guild member recruitment. There had been that time when Gisen had gathered the members together and told them all that she was an elemental instead of an average looking animal girl. Samira couldn't remember what brought on the need to declare that secret to the members, if she ever knew in the first place, or if anything came about it afterwards. She had just been a new member then. Declaring such an inward secret, while should have been a memory trigger due to its significance at the time, was unlikely to happen with just her present. The times of random recruitment and also the party with the guild Crystal Swan was also of very little importance to trigger any sort of memory even if they both were there.
That left the memories of whatever missions they had worked together on inside the locked away memories. A very small amount indeed. Technically, the one they were on now was only the second. Two. That was it. In the near future there would have been a third added to the list regarding a candy delivery escort, but Samira was no prophet to see into that. So what was that one significant mission that was still somewhere in Gisen's mind and hidden away still? The claiming of Pandora. The far off continent of monsters, and the less than modern natives that lived there, that had been recently discovered and the guild wanting to claim it as another base of operations. That had been a mission where it took a team of Lamia Scale members to accomplish. Even then though Gisen had not been the one leading it. Or it didn't seem like it at the time since the plan was being made and told by another one of the Aces at the time. Perhaps if the one that was doing all of that were there instead then that memory would have popped up, or even Hebisha, the lamia of Lamia Scale. The mascot had been paired with the bunny girl, after all, so something would have likely triggered and a memory unlocked. Samira had been alone in the first part of the mission, and then teamed up with the one leading the mission after that. That... barely counted as she and Gisen completing that mission together then, huh? One could say there was more to the mission that led to the final objective and naturally that might have taken all of them working together in the same vicinity, but Samira couldn't really remember those details clearly for whatever reason. Nor her spirits. It was just something that seemed to be accepted as it happened and that was that. No questions asked. Maybe they just all passed out afterwards, were drugged to have their memories clouded, or drunk during an after party celebration. So, barely any missions done together and not too many events of significance that would have caused memory triggers. Any of the more background passing each other in the halls of the guild or small talk wasn't getting it done. Samira once again wondered if the two of them really knew each other much at all. If twenty questions were asked about Gisen she doubted she could answer many of them. A shame Aiyana was not a contact on her iLac. As far as Samira was aware of, that was probably the one that knew Gisen the longest, and Samira could have really used her help and advice right about then for the amnesia case.
'Aww, starting to realize that with this one nothing was really lost?' Samira's mind felt heavy and an aching pain coursed through her brain just as easily and smoothly as the sinister voice did. The snake spirit that was more of a parasite than anything else. He had been dormant for a long while. If she recalled he had left her alone ever since she defeated him during the second trial mind games, and again when Sagittarius pushed his corruption back from her mind. It was a bandaid solution apparently, and now that bandaid was starting to come off. The other spirits connected to her mind were still there, but separated. Still they were in their normal reality and unaware of anything or his presence. The most they could conclude was that the summoner had zoned out completely, when really even her mental self was separated from reality as her body stood there as normal. Time had seemed to slow for Samira and the spirit as their mind-states entered a different reality. It ran on its own logic and was unaffected by the real world that appeared to be non-moving, although to those outside that state things were moving normally. Several minutes in the mind reality equated to barely mere seconds in the normal one. A good thing all things considered since Samira was in the middle of a giant frog invasion. The dark environment of the mindspace had only a single thing in its vast containment that far out in Samira's mind. A large swirling red celestial portal that remained constantly opened. It served as the spirit's connection to her while in his little prison until called, but this time purple particles moved around, as if mimicking a small snake. 'You have lost plenty in recent times, but the elemental that vanished was barely something worth losing. It is entertaining to know you have reached the point where you see that you know nothing about this "friend". No doubt that she knew next to nothing about you either before the case of... amnesia, was it? Odd for a rock to even have the capability to lose a mind in the first place.'
The particles swirled around the summoner as it teased and by the point it got to the mock laughter Samira just waved the particles away with her hand. She wasn't even going to bother replying to the spirit's words. The comments went ignored, and her annoyance was suppressed. Rather than take on a more hostile demeanor towards the one spirit in her arsenal that she detested being around or seeing, Samira remained calm. For now. He was of little priority and there was still a mission to do. Any hostility she would have had could end up carrying over once her mind self was back in the normal reality and body. She would have to take a pass on that this time around. So instead, the more difficult approach would be taken. Already though she wanted to lash out and make the parasite go away instantly. The laughter was an echo that repeated again and again. "It has been some time since you have come out as you are now. An odd time for it in my opinion. There is no crisis to my well being here, and I would not assume you consider Gisen as a threat."
'Hm?' The spirit particles reformed and the head of the particle snake faced Samira. It laughed, amused by the suggestion of the former guild master being labeled as a threat. The idea of that was ridiculously funny and, to him, was something only possible in the realm of imagination. 'A threat to my digestion if I was not aware that she is a rock, I suppose. That spirit that was once with her, Gaia, seems to be missing. She has no recollection of who he is and he has not reached out during her time of confusion. Hardly threatening. He was once capable of hearing us but without him, well, she's just a wee wabbit that is unaware. Her other magical capabilities are questionable at best until seen for me to judge. This Zephyr that taught her what sounds like god slaying magic I have never heard of.'
"Interested in the 'god slaying' part of that new magic of hers?"
'Hmmmmm, are you implying that I am cautious of those that bear the god slaying namesakes in their magical capabilities? That would be concerning for those that resemble or have the essence of gods, wouldn't it?' It was logical reasoning. He and the other spirits of the Nassar line were created with the essence of the gods they copied and represented. Whether or not actual god slaying magic would work to the fullest on them was something none of them really wanted to find out. At least, not during a battle with a foe that held the magic. Or even an ally really. There had been too many of those in the past that might as well have been labeled as foes with friend benefits. Ridiculous. 'But, no. I am just very bored and decided to say hello. Maybe I could even come out and play with those frogs. I promise not to destroy the entire village in the process. Oh, look at me. Making promises I can't keep. All right, I promise to try and not destroy the village in the process. That sounds more reasonable of me.'
"No. Please go slither away back home until I call you." Which, in Samira's current mindset, would be never. That one was too unpredictable and uncontrolled. She would have benefited more from summoning Kukulkan if she needed to have a battle of a giant reptile versus giant amphibians.
'Aw, I'm crushed at being denied to aid my dear summoner in this "significant" task. Very well, but if you are not using me then you should probably act swiftly. Just because you stand still does not mean everyone else outside this space are.' The spirit's laughter echoed again as the magic particles that made that cheap and false form disappeared. Samira's inner consciousness was also transferred back to full reality, where only seconds had passed since she zoned out. She acted as if nothing were out of the normal, whatever normal was really when it came to her. Samira doubted her normal was the same as anyone else's. The snake and that short conversation was pushed back, as were her previous thoughts. There was no longer time to dawdle.
The frog that was her intended target had not remained idle for long. With the hunters having been chased off, that left very few left to act as a distraction. As such, it wasn't hard for the monstrous sized frog to take notice of the summoner. She needed to be removed as well! Or become a snack. It was hard to choose really. Just as before with the hunters, it made use of its tongue as a weapon. Like a whip it lashed out at a swift speed. The force of the impact could have very well severely damaged anyone non-magical, or even a mage that lacked any defense at all and took the full hit. But, Samira had that easily. A jack of all trades when it came to defense, support, and offense, but perhaps a master of none. Either way, the attack had smacked right into a shimmering barrier that instantly swirled around her, courtesy of the ever watchful spirits that were capable of reacting in a quicker fashion than herself at that current moment. The barrier did take some damage, of course, but not by much. The attack of a single non-magical frog was not quite up to par with a defensive ability that had been enhanced several times over.
The frog's 'weapon' had gotten stuck onto the barrier, and the confused amphibian had the mind to pull it back and bring the attachment with it. Snack it was then! Except for one minor thing. The summoner had disappeared, leaving only flames of sun fire that scorched the tongue and made the frog quite unhappy. It croaked in pain as it reeled its tongue back. By that point Samira had taken any and all focus off of the other frog, assuming that Gisen or even Raphael had taken off to deal with it themselves as had been the plan. In another burst of flame, Samira appeared on top of the giant frog, the newly attached falcon-like wings on her back that allowed for that fiery teleport radiating more heat as the power of a false sun coursed through the bright feathers. Now that she was up there, what would she do? She had plenty of options going through her mind, but many of them were completely redundant and unnecessary. In the end, she decided to just take a simplistic approach before the frog decided to hop in an attempt to throw her off. Or if it came up with any other brilliant ideas such as using its tongue again. As much as she wanted to just cause an explosion to fry the frog up, it was too close to the village and the... petunias. That damn protect the award winning contest flowers sidequest. So instead Samira opted to use the power of that same spirit's energy that the wings came from and the explosion would have come from. Using the selected spell, her green eyes changed to reflect the swirling sun energy of the wings. Looking down at the frog's head that she stood on, incinerating beams shot out of her eyes and went through the green slimy skin. The beams eventually made impact with the brain and well, that was that. The frog's body fell to the ground as she teleported away to safety. It was actually less messy than she originally thought it would be. Not even a weapon had been required. The frogs were easier than she had anticipated.
It was likely Gisen's side was just as easy, but there was a reason for that other than the oversized amphibians being non-magical and not exactly as monstrous as the common monster. It was just the first wave. The first is never the hardest, it is always the easiest. An introductory tutorial and warm up. The ground began to shake, a sign that more giant hoppers were approaching the village, and no doubt with their size the towering army of frogs could be seen. The villagers really should think about relocating when this was all voer and done with at that rate. Samira could only sigh and wonder how they dealt with it year after year after year. Over and over again like some tower defense game tradition. That had been what the situation had become now. The village was the core, and it was up to Samira and Gisen to set up and act as defenses for the horde of amphibious villains. There was even a time out period in a sense. As the frogs got closer, Samira summoned a spirit but in a form that resembled requip more than anything. He took the form of a small clock that attached itself to the main necklace she wore. Chronos was not a spirit that would have enjoyed being on the battlefield among frogs, and Samira only needed him for one thing anyhow. Using him in his temporary form, a surge of invisible energy soared in a circle around the village and the incoming frogs until it had reached as far as it could go. The result was the frogs being paralyzed, time having stopped for them and keeping them stationary for some time. At least long enough for Samira to use the facilities of the abandoned house nearby. She only had time to waste for one wave of frogs. Wave two required a potty break before it started. One could ask why she just didn't use the time freeze before, and that was just her not really thinking about it. It made things too easy.
(Word Count: 3094
Total So Far: 8245)
4-3-20 Edit to complete this solo
After quite some time, Samira finally emerged from the house she had randomly invaded so she could use their bathroom. Although, she had found something else in that house that had caught her interest and was the reason she had taken so long. Suitable attire had been obtained. Slightly too big but still capable of serving its purpose of protecting her real clothing and skin from the battle. Was she worried about rips in the fabric of her clothes or wounds from the fighting tearing into her skin? Of course not. They were fighting giant frogs. She didn't want any of that frog slime on her! Or really any of their insides in case one or two exploded. Being covered in such substances would be disgusting indeed.
"All right, I am ready." Samira said as she took a step out the open door. A slow step that proved to be difficult due to how bulky the protective suit was. Wobbling was more of an accurate term for what she was doing than walking. There was silence though, which seemed to be a bit odd. Another silent moment passed as she wobbled around so she could stare at the right, and then again as she stared at the left. Well things sure got a bit... Eventful while she was busy getting into her "armor." Bodies of giant frogs, and even some smaller ones, littered the place. Looking over to roof where the old woman was earlier also had a change. Now the woman had a giant grill lit up with pieces of the frogs cooking on it. Well, she wasn't joking about wanting to eat them. At least it wouldn't go to waste, she supposed. No doubt the whole village could live on those frogs for a while provided they were preserved properly. Another wobble around allowed Samira to see that the petunias were also kept safe from harm during... Whatever happened.
"About time you got out here. I was starting to think you got lost in there." The comment was coming from one of her many spirits. She wobbled to turn herself in the direction of the voice right beside her. There she located the spirit that spoke, as sarcastic as ever, though he was busy looking at a hand full of cards rather than at her or the "battlefield". Other spirits were also a part of the game, and even Chaac had returned... With a pile of fish that he was now cleaning and cooking over a fire. Well that explains what took him so long to get back. He got caught up catching fish from the river. "I am not going to get lost in a small house." Samira replied back, her voice echoing and distorted due to the transparent helmet that covered her head and face. At that point the spirit lifted his head and arched a brow curiously at the new... Costume his summoner was wearing. "Why do you look like you just walked out of the ocean after some deep sea exploration?"
"For protection, of course. I do not wish to be touched by frogs."
"You do have several shields and barrier spells you can use instead, you know."
Samira took a slow step down the small set of stairs between her and the rest of the dead amphibian covered lawn. "Those are not necessary." Another slow step that the spirits painfully watched in even slower motion. At that rate she may as well stay still. Samira wasn't going to get anywhere with a pace that matched a snail. "What are you all doing anyway? Is the invasion of the village over?"
Samira's question was not answered right away. The spirits took a couple of turns asking if the other had a certain card. She was left to stand there. Awkwardly. Waiting. The sounds of crickets playing in the background from no response. Finally, it was broken. "Playing Go Fish, and not exactly. The frogs come in waves for some reason so there's lots of downtime. They also follow the same pattern so the whole defense thing is automatic by this point. We've even made side objectives to keep ourselves from passing out from boredom seeing as the protect the petunias isn't really a challenge and gathering frog meat has been completed several times over for bonus points."
The woman thought that was odd and looked baffled. Seriously? What om- the thought passed by, incomplete, as she shook her head and cleared it away. Whatever. The why wasn't important right then if it was indeed factual. "What 'wave' are you on?" She dared asked.
"Seventy three. I'm hoping we can get to an even one hundred, but things have slowed down quite a bit the last few rounds. Probably running out of frog invaders or they branched out to a different village for once."
"That is... seventy three? One hundred? You are teasing me with those numbers, correct?" She just couldn't believe it. It was if the annual invasion was just some sort of game and everyone just accepted that a long time ago and went with it. How could the giant frog population even sustain such an event every year?!
"Here comes the next batch!" The old woman cried out and then went back to cooking with absolutely zero alarm for the next amphibian apocalypse.
Okay, apparently the spirits weren't making it up unless the old woman was in on the joke. "This is a bit ridiculous. Surely after years of being slaughtered in the defense of this village there would not be this great of number returning here. Closer to extinction should be a more accurate number. To come in... Waves, as you say, is also an odd approach."
The group of spirits didn't react and remained at their little card game group. "Yea it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, does it? Just another one of those days. We have a lot of those."
"True enough." Samira had to accept the ridiculous situation for what it was with that logic. That day was just one of many that didn't make any sense or was just categorized as facepalmingly stupid. She started to proceed forward so that things could be taken care of, with high hopes that it was also the end so she could leave. The card playing spirits stopped her though and dragged her back. They insisted that they be the ones to handle the giant frogs. Not that they wanted to. It was just easier given Samira's "armor." She wasn't going to be doing much even if she did bother to try. The fighting would be over before she could. "What am I supposed to do then?" Samira asked, unsure whether to be annoyed or grateful.
"Guard the petunias." The spirits then left the circle, and their cards, and took off to take care of the incoming amounts of stupid. There Samira stood, alone, besides a tumbleweed that rolled on by. Now how that got there she didn't know either, and it felt as if it were purposely created with a timer by a spirit who just wanted to emphasize that she had been ditched. How rude.
Slowly but surely she made her way over to the petunias, which still stood perfectly and unharmed. They were pretty and colorful, as they should have been if they were supposedly going to be used for some sort of contest. Though, they seemed to be the only flowers remaining intact. Tulips were slashed to pieces, roses burned, daisies picked... 'Why do I have the feeling one of their side objectives was to destroy the competition?' There probably wasn't going to be any contest at all at that point. Though, that crazy old woman probably would still consider herself the winner by default regardless. Well, no matter. She would guard the petunias! From the frog invasion. Yep, it still sounded stupid when repeated.
Time went by naturally. Wave after wave was completed just fine and with little effort. As Samira watched from her post she could see and confirm that what she had been told was true enough. Gisen still hadn't returned from wherever she was. There was a bit of worry in that regard, but the summoner was content in knowing that the bunny girl had pulled through her last set of challenges and lived. She had amnesia, yes, and probably suffered, but she was alive and for the most part fine. If it happened again she would just repeat her success story as another chapter. Gisen was tough enough for it. And so, Samira let the worry and concern pass on by and remained positive. Having to deal with the rest of the invasion alone was no big deal, and quite possibly would have been overkill with both of them there. It technically already was. There even came a point when some of the frogs had managed to get past the defenses, which meant Samira could finally be of use and participate! It didn't last long. The frogs were simply not much of a match. One could probably be relieved that it was so easy, but Samira had to sigh a bit. She missed the more tougher monsters, and these frogs, even in a group, just couldn't compare. Oh, well. As long as the village and its inhabitants were safe in the end. That was all that really mattered. Though they really needed to stop making it a yearly occurrence. Samira also made a mental note to look on the bright side and consider that the next job she was assigned or took on would be a bit more challenging.
Silence came over the village and lasted for a long period of time. No more giant frogs or their minions had shown up for another wave or three. It was finally over. After wave one hundred five. An odd number to end it on, but still, it was over! That or the frogs just didn't want to invade during the night. The colors of sunset had already taken over the sky's once blue hues to imply that night was approaching. Too bad there was still a huge mess all around the village. Some of the villagers and other hunters were making their return, but cleaning up was going to be an all night endeavor even with all of them helping. Samira decided to remain and help with that as well, and had even ditched the costume now that frogs were nothing to worry about. But first, there was a celebratory cook out. With frog as the main entree. What strange people they all were. One could consider that one good point was that they didn't let all of the frog meat lying around go to waste. The other hunters had even collected other various parts to use for whatever. Samira supposed there was more loot to be gained than simple jewels during the annual invasion. Not so much for her, but for the others around her. Most of her spirits also joined the party, and a few had even started to aid in the clean up process. One thing was clear once the scale of the mess was considered. There was no one going to sleep that night. And no one really wanted to. Even the children stayed up to help. Besides the ones too young and small, of course.
The sun rose as they worked, and long into the day they continued until the village was decently restored and cleaned up. Life could resume as normal! Unfortunately someone saw fit to destroy the crazy woman's petunias during the night, but aside from that everything went smoothly. Samira had even forgotten the earlier conversation she had with a certain spirit. Once the village was in a satisfactory state, everyone returned to their homes for some rest. The hunters went to the local inn to do the same once they were rewarded for their efforts, despite them all running away earlier. Samira had stayed behind at first, thinking that there could be a second day of disaster, but she had been informed by a passing local that the invasion only lasts for one day. That one day had passed on by. The rest of the year would be quiet. Samira was given her reward for her part of stopping the madness. She had refused at first, but the villagers would not take no for an answer. Not only was she given a large amount of jewels, but also way too much frog meat that she could never possibly eat before it rot. That part of the reward she would just give to her spirits to split and do what they wanted with. They seemed to like it well enough the night before. The villagers had also said that she was welcomed to visit anytime she wanted, and to even participate in the village's defense next year. Samira politely thanked them for their words and rewards. All there was left to do now was depart and make her way back home to get some rest of her own.
One final attempt at locating Gisen was done, but it was a futile effort that produced no positive results. Well, maybe she'd get a letter or something later. Or Raphael might pay another visit. Regardless, the previous day was a good one overall. With that in mind, Samira left the village, taking a portal created by Janus. Instead of heading back to where she originally was before Raphael had poked her to go to the village, the summoner instead went to her place in Hargeon Town. She had many places actually since she traveled a lot, but after the guild of Lamia Scale disbanned she had bought a small place there as well to call home. It was more sentimental than anything really so she could keep close to the town of her first guild. That day though, after seeing Gisen, she felt the need to go there for a bit and enjoy a bit of nostalgia. She appeared in the building, her room to be exact, and headed straight for the shower in the connecting bathroom. Once that was over and done with hours later, Samira neglected taking a nap for a bit and instead sat at a chair that sat in front of a wooden desk. On top of the desk was a closed journal. One of many that Samira owned and had yet to be completely written on cover to cover. That would be its future fate in the end, just before being added to the shelves of many journals that were completed before it. That journal wasn't even the only one that she was currently writing in. It had been left there for some time and hadn't been written in since her first guild had been dis-banned. Samira opened it and skimmed through some of the writings on the filled pages before flipping to a clean one.
Summoning up a pen from her celestial vault, Samira began to write on the empty page. She wrote of Raphael and how the little companion would pop up to nag her about finding Gisen. Of the result that finally came of it where she ended up at River Village and actually located the bunny girl. That interaction and also the information regarding her whereabouts were also added. The frog invasion and that weirdness was added in great detail. All the way until the events that had transpired led her back to that room where she was currently writing. It took a while as well as many pages, but it was all now documented for future reference. She had expected an interruption to occur during the writing session, but all was quiet. She wasn't sure whether to be pleased at that or disappointed since she was still thinking word from her former friend would reach her. Oh, well. Patience was a thing she valued and so she would wait to hear word again, even if it took a long while. For now, Samira would be content with what she had already been given. She closed the journal and dismissed the pen. After a long two days, she could finally get some rest. And so she did. Her next set of adventures and missions were waiting for her while she slept. Where they would lead and who she would meet to fill the void of all the missing friends and acquaintances was left to be determined. It was something to look forward to.
Additional WC: 2758
Post Total: 3094 + 2758 = 5852
Samira Thread Total: 11,003