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    Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 2nd August 2019, 12:53 pm

    Job Title: 100 Year Free-form
    Rank: 100 Year
    Job Location: Anywhere
    Solo Word Count: 12,500 words
    Group Word Count: 25,000 words
    Additional Requirements: N/A
    Job Description: Whatever the player chooses
    Enemies: Whatever the player chooses
    Reward: 155,000 jewels

    Job Sign-Up Page 30, Post Number 747


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 2nd August 2019, 1:50 pm

    -Nebdoui, early morning-

    Landing on the village outskirts like she had so many times in the past, Leona dismounted her Winged Lion summon and dispelled it. She had received a letter from her mother concerning Leonidas, her older brother and the village blacksmith. He needed help with something but would not say what it was in the letter. He would only discuss the matter in person. Not entirely sure what she could possibly do to help Leonidas short of give up everything and return home, his younger sister arrived in Nebdoui with the intention of doing everything she could to help him.

    Clad in the green-and-gold outfit her mother had gifted her several months ago and wearing both her Adaptable Armor and her ever-present Argent Gloves, Leona dusted herself off after a sudden gust of wind blew sand into her face and on her clothing. On her back was Kasim's Ram Dao and hidden in her boot was her knife. She had not used the ram dao in a long time because it was a heavy two-handed weapon and Leona did best with a one-handed sword, but she needed to learn how to use a two-handed weapon. The sparring match with Sol of West Fiore Trading Company had taught her that knowing how to use a two-handed sword was not a bad skill to learn. Spurring that need to learn was the fact that she had been entrusted with Shoki by Priestess Sumika of Midi and it was a two-handed katana... at least for the female Wizard Saint, anyway.

    Leona walked closer to the village and saw fewer tents in the village than she did on her last visit. She had gotten the feeling that Nebdoui might not last for much longer. In between bandit raids, slaver raids, and people tiring of a subsistence lifestyle and wanting a more stable life in the Tri-Council Cities, Nebdoui was slowly but surely losing people. Leona felt powerless to do anything in the face of a problem of that magnitude... there were some problems in the world that simply could not be beaten by sword or by spell. Despite her titles and power, Leona was not equipped to deal with those problems, a fact which gnawed at her the deeper she walked into the village.

    She did an eyeball count and noticed that there were ten fewer tents standing than there were during the last visit. She also noticed that the village's "cemetery" had gotten bigger by almost two dozen graves. Things looked grim, but Nebdoui was not ready to become just another forgotten desert ruin yet. Nebdoui was still stubbornly clinging to life, no doubt thanks to the tireless efforts of Chief Elijah and Joshua. The ring of the blacksmith's hammer on metal was but one sign of the village's refusal to be swallowed by the sand upon which it was built.

    Leona made a beeline for the blacksmith's tent but was stopped a quarter of the way by her mother, who was clutching an armful of scrolls.

    "I see that you've gotten my letter, Leona." Sophia said to Leona. Leona nodded.

    "I understand that Leonidas needs help. Is he running out of apprentices or something?" Leona asked her mother. Sophia closed her eyes.

    "I don't know. He won't talk about it to anyone besides you." Her mother replied. Leona did not like the sound of that. She had a feeling that a fight between them was in the works. Even though he possessed knowledge of Wind Strike Magic, she was not afraid of facing her brother in battle... she was the Wizard Saint of Courage and one of the strongest mages alive. Instead she was afraid of driving a wedge between them that would last the rest of their lives.

    "OK. I'll go talk to him." Leona asserted and was about to resume moving forward when the flap to the tent opened and out strode her older brother.

    "Leona." Leonidas greeted her in his usual curt fashion. Compared to him Leona was a social butterfly. He looked like he had not gotten much sleep lately.

    [Word Count: 702]
    [Total Word Count: 702/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 3rd August 2019, 4:56 pm

    "Leonidas." Leona replied to him with a minimum of words. He was in one of those moods where he was not inclined to make small talk, so engaging in small talk would be pointless. Leona strode up to him and entered the blacksmith's tent while he held the flap open for her. Once she was inside he let it fall closed and they began to speak about the issue that Leonidas summoned her to discuss.

    -Inside the blacksmith's tent-

    "I'll give it to you straight, Leona. Things aren't looking good for us." Leonidas launched into the topic without preamble as he walked in front of the forge, then stopped and looked at it. Sitting in a nearby metal trough of water was a finished scimitar, which was undoubtedly the source of the metallic clanging the Wizard Saint heard when she had first entered the village. The news that Nebdoui had fallen on hard times was far from news to Leona.

    Leona had learned that much from just looking around the village, so there had to be something else that was bothering her brother. What exactly was the problem she had been called to solve? Her mind again wandered to the issue of apprentices.

    "I've lost most of my apprentices to bandit raids, slaver raids, or their families moving to the Tri-Council Cities to get away from the first two causes. I had eight apprentices when I first became the village blacksmith. Now I have just two. I'm having a hard time finding more to replace the ones I've lost and I'm still on the hook for making weapons for Berreb, so I have to make almost all of them myself." Leonidas started explaining the quandary he was in. Leona now saw why her brother was so stressed when she got here, but there had to be something else to the story, something he had not told her yet. He soon got into it when he picked up an empty metal bucket and presented it to her. He then gestured to two wooden barrels that were used to hold ore... they were nearly empty with only a smattering of iron ore at the bottom.

    "My worst problem is that I'm running out of iron ore to use for weapons. Bandits have taken over the mine where I used to get the ore, so I'm gonna need someone to reclaim it for me. Our allies are busy with their own battles and the village militia's needed to protect the village, so it's gonna have to be you." Leonidas said to Leona. Leona took a deep breath. So this was what she had been called to deal with?

    "I'm sorry that it had to be you, but you're the only one who can really help us." Leonidas said almost apologetically. Leona was not terribly upset by what she had just heard. She had become something of a hometown hero and she was looked up to by the villagers who were left, so it was only natural that a native of Nebdoui be sent to solve Nebdoui's problems. She was not even bothered by the prospect of fighting bandits because one of her goals was to take back the desert from outlaws who used Desierto as their playground.

    "It's no problem, Leonidas. Just tell me where I need to go." Leona replied to him. Leonidas frowned at her in reproach for making the job sound like a simple walk in the park... or the desert. The Wizard Saint was not intimidated by her brother's expression of disapproval as he walked over to the back of the tent and grabbed a steel longsword.

    "I'll go with you. There's going to be plenty of other bandits between here and the mine and you'll need all the help you can get. Besides, I'm the only one besides Chief Elijah and Joshua who knows where the mine is, so you'll need me." Leonidas informed her as he put on his sword belt and buckled it. Leona immediately and strenuously protested his declaration.

    "No way. If you die, the village doesn't have any other blacksmiths as good as you are. You're too important!" Leona protested. Her brother raised his left hand to silence her protests then and there.

    "I've completed the order for Berreb and I've cleared my trip with the chief, so it's final. I'm going with you and that's that." Leonidas shut her down with finality. Leona fumed. With the force of the chief's permission behind him, there was nothing that the Wizard Saint could do to prevent her brother from accompanying her on the mission. Why did he have to come along? What was it that he had to prove?

    "Fine." Leona answered tersely after being confronted with a decision that she could not stop from being carried out. Sophia entered the tent and spoke to her children, focusing on Leonidas.

    "I heard that the chief gave you permission to go with Leona since you're the only other person besides the chief and his son who knows where the mine is." Sophia said to her son. He nodded and grabbed a pair of metal gauntlets, then slipped them onto his hands.

    "Yeah. Don't bother trying to talk me out of it." Leonidas casually gave his answer. In the face of such obstinate behavior Sophia could do nothing but join her daughter in frowning. Both Jarnefeldt women were beside themselves in irritation, but Leonidas ignored their obvious displeasure and continued to prepare for the lengthy trek through the desert that he and Leona would be taking.

    He grabbed a brown backpack of supplies much like Leona's and walked past Sophia and Leona without even slowing down, opening the tent flap and letting it shut. With sword, gauntlets, and backpack of supplies, Leonidas was on his way to the mine with or without his illustrious younger sister to help him. Sophia turned to Leona and their eyes met.

    "He can be so stubborn sometimes. Try to keep him alive, OK?" Sophia requested of Leona.

    "I'll make sure he gets home." Leona assured her mother. With that Leona hurried out of the tent to catch up with her obstinate older brother before he got too far out of the village. Something told her that this trip was going to be rough in more ways than one.

    [Word Count: 1,094]
    [Total Word Count: 1,796/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 5th August 2019, 9:35 pm

    -On the village outskirts-

    Leona had to hurry to catch up with her brother because he was already on the village outskirts; he was walking past the "landing zone" for her Winged Lion summon and showed no signs of slowing down. The blonde hustled to his side and finally caught up to him after a minute of brisk jogging. She was not happy that Leonidas tried to leave her behind despite him requesting her help to reclaim the iron ore mine... or maybe he put on a show of leaving her to get her to quit standing around and get a move on. Either way the Wizard Saint was miffed and did not hesitate to show it.

    "What's the deal, Leonidas? Why did you leave like that?" Leona pointedly asked her older brother, struggling to match his stride.

    "What deal?" He asked nonchalantly as he kept walking briskly. Leona frowned when he did not even face her when he answered. She was getting nowhere fast. It seemed like he had something against her because he would not answer the question about why he had left so suddenly. Was he envious of her status as Wizard Saint and Guild Mistress of Silver Wolf?

    "I don't know why you tried to leave me behind after asking for my help, but whatever. Let's just get going." Leona suggested. Moments later they saw a cloud of dust on the horizon and both Jarnefeldts assumed the worst. They were in a position to stop a bandit raid before it got to Nebdoui, so stopping it was exactly what they would do. Leonidas unsheathed his longsword and stood his ground while Leona raised her hands into the air and called in some backup.

    "O FABLED HARPIES, O SISTERS THREE, LEND YOUR STRENGTH UNTO ME!" Leona recited the chant that called upon her tried-and-true summons. Moments later the three sisters appeared in a kneeling position at Leona's feet and stood up, then took to the sky.

    "Hey girl, what's happening?" Sylvia asked.

    "She's on a date with a hot guy! Can't you tell?" Daphne commented. Leona frowned. This was not the time to discuss her love life.

    "We might wanna save that for later. There's a bunch of angry guys on horseback heading our way!" Sandy politely reminded Leona and Daphne. Leona set aside her irritation and focused on the situation in front of them, which was unquestionably hostile. Arrows rained from the sky and landed in the dirt around Leonidas and Leona, kicking up small puffs of sand wherever they landed.

    "Get them! Bunch 'em together!" Leona instructed. The three harpies climbed higher and made a beeline for the horsemen, of which there were twenty-one. They must have been a scouting party for a larger team that was on its way to Nebdoui.

    Leona hurriedly removed Kasim's Ram Dao from her back and hurried to her brother's side. Leona shifted the heavy sword to her left hand and prepared a Wind Bullet with her right hand. Leonidas mimicked the gesture and made a gun with his right hand as well. They each picked a single tan-clad horseman and aimed carefully at their target, then fired the Wind Bullet when the time was right. The siblings knocked a horseman apiece out of the saddle and onto the desert sand just before the enemies reached their targets; shortly after their small victory the bulk of the enemies thundered into battle against the siblings.

    Moments later Leona's harpies descended on the group and began harassing the riders, giving Leona and Leonidas time to fight the group after it had lost its cohesion. They cut down the two dismounted horsemen and stood their ground as three of the men broke away from the harpies and attacked the two blond mages. Leonidas cast a Fast Ball that hit the horse in the face and made it fall on its side, dumping its startled rider onto the sand. He then ran over and stabbed the man through the head before the latter could pick up his sword to defend himself.
    The other two were on the way to Leona when they wheeled their mounts around and charged Leonidas while the older Jarnefeldt attempted to remove his sword from the dead enemy.

    Leona saw this and mentally ordered Sylvia and Sandy to swoop to Leonidas' rescue. Leona then called on another summon to help Daphne keep the pressure on the main body of enemy horsemen. Leona raised her hands and called upon Tempest Avian.

    "TEMPEST AVIAN!" Leona called out. The mechanical owl arrived in a standing position and took wing.

    "How can I help you?" The faithful summon asked from the air. Leona saw a chance to stop the raiding party before it could regain cohesion and come after the pair as a team. Tempest Avian would help her accomplish that goal.

    "Use Steel Flechettes on that group!" Leona pointed towards the targets, who were firing arrows at Daphne. The lone harpy was doing an admirable job of avoiding the return fire but needed help before she got hit. Tempest Avian wordlessly flew higher, then hovered in place for a moment before flapping his wings.

    "GET CLEAR!" Leona telepathically instructed Daphne. The black-haired harpy needed no encouragement... she flew away from the horsemen a mere moment before the rain of steel feathers descended on the tightly packed riders. Leona heard the frantic whinnying of horses and screaming men as panicked horses threw their riders off and ran away from the fighting. She saw dead and wounded men lying on the sand along with a few dead horses caught in the flechette storm.

    Ten men retained enough control of their mounts to charge at Leona while firing arrows, but she broke them up with another rain of flechettes launched by Tempest Avian. Leona dodged the return fire and saw four men fall from the saddle with feathers sticking point-first out of heads and chests. The remaining six men aborted the charge... they wheeled their mounts around and gathered their wounded comrades from the sand, joining with a group of five more riders who had recovered from the first flechette storm and riding away in the same direction they had come from.

    Leonidas walked up wiping the blood from his longsword with a cloth set aside for that purpose. Leona looked around and saw that the pair had dispersed the scouting party, leaving ten dead men and several thin blood trails behind as a mute testimony to the victory.

    "Thanks for the helping hand, Leona, but we'd better keep going. They'll be back with their friends." Leonidas suggested. Leona agreed. She dispelled Tempest Avian but kept the harpy sisters to serve as her eyes in the sky.

    "OK, let's keep going." Leona agreed. Together the Jarnefeldt siblings continued their journey to liberate the mine held by bandits. They had a long journey ahead of them and they would face opposition every step of the way, but Nebdoui was depending on them to retake the mine and get the iron ore flowing again.

    [Word Count: 1,208]
    [Total Word Count: 3,004/12,500][/color]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 8th August 2019, 5:15 pm

    -Central Desierto, one hour later-

    Leona and Leonidas continued trudging through the desert under the hot midday sun. They had dealt with the scouting party of what they took to be bandits or slavers, but the siblings had not yet found the main body of the group heading for Nebdoui. Maybe the spirited and unexpected resistance from the Jarnefeldts had convinced them to seek easier prey elsewhere, but Leona doubted it. A bounty had been placed on her head by the outlaws of Desierto and there was no shortage of them looking to collect. She was sure that the scouting party would not turn down the chance to become famous and collect a hefty bounty once they brought her head to the person who had placed the bounty on her to start with.

    Leona was not concerned. She was the Wizard Saint of Courage and had dealt with their kind before on many different occasions. They had come after her before and had either died in the attempt or were forced to run for their lives when she had overpowered them and let them live in an act of mercy. Leona would use their greed to her advantage and eliminate any who came after her.

    Leona's thinking was interrupted when she heard the sound of squawking carried on the wind but did not know where exactly it was coming from. Her harpies were capable of human speech, so it was not them. It had to be from desert birds. Her older brother soon clued her in to the source and pointed towards the sky.

    "Leona, look. Vultures." Leonidas grimly commented. Leona looked towards where he was pointing and saw over a dozen black-feathered birds with long wingspans circling over a site of interest to them. The Wizard Saint had a feeling that she knew what had drawn them there. There was carrion for them to eat that had been provided by outlaws who had wiped out a group of travelers making their way through the unforgiving desert. It was a story that was all too common in the bandit-infested desert country.

    "Yeah. I'll go investigate." Leona said to Leonidas, who reached out to grab her left arm. She brushed aside the half-hearted attempt and strode briskly ahead. She knew that there were probably no survivors, but she had to check before moving on. Leona's heart raced as she broke into a run, kicking up sand as she went, hoping against hope to find someone who was still alive.

    "Look after my brother!" Leona telepathically instructed the harpies.

    -The site of the massacre, ten minutes later-

    Leona arrived at the site where the vultures were circling overhead and what she saw made her heart sink.

    In the middle of a flat area of the desert there were two overturned wagons riddled with arrows and clusters of people who had been killed and left to rot where they fell. Most of them were riddled with arrows in the back, but a few had scimitars sticking out of their backs from where they had been dispatched in close quarters. Blood stained the sand a dark brown where each person had fallen.

    Leona looked around the site and carefully approached the wagons to get a closer look and scared off a pair of vultures feasting on the exposed arm of a dead old man with a scimitar sticking out of his back. The horses lay dead in their harnesses, their sides and heads filled with arrows. Bodies were located in clusters where people had bunched together in a vain attempt to bargain for their lives. In front of them were bags of Jewels and pieces of gold and silver jewelry gleaming on the sand, suggesting that the hapless travelers offered up their possessions in exchange for their lives but were violently rebuffed.

    All their valuables had been left on the sand where they had fallen. There was only one outlaw group that she knew of who would kill people and not even bother to steal their valuables. This had to be the work of the Crimson Sashes.

    Farther away from the wagons were individual corpses where people had attempted to run for their lives before being chased and killed. The Wizard Saint observed the grim scene and closed her eyes when she had seen all that she could stand to see. Leona was far too late to be of any help to them now.

    Leona made a lap around the site and was unable to find anyone who had been left alive... she tallied the number of dead to be around thirty-three people. The blonde saw her harpies in the distance and knew that Leonidas was close. Leona walked away from the massacre and greeted her brother.

    "Was anyone left alive?"" Leonidas asked in an attempt to be hopeful.

    "No. They're all dead. All thirty-three people." Leona answered grimly. Leonidas looked towards the site for a moment, then looked away. A vulture had landed on the back of a horse and was starting to eat a hole in the middle of its back. Three more soon descended on the dead horse and began their grisly work.

    "Damn." Leonidas hissed. Leona shared his sentiment as she faced him. The harpies looked around for threats and Sylvia looked to the right.

    "I see something heading our way. Men on horseback in black clothing with red sashes. Four of them!" The harpy warned them. The Jarnefeldt siblings drew their weapons and stood their ground. They would kill these enemies of their people and avenge the innocent people who had been killed today.

    The pair saw the four horsemen charge towards them with weapons drawn. True to Sylvia's word they were all men in black clothing with red sashes, marking them as Crimson Sashes. The Jarnefeldts would not spare these men because they did not understand mercy. Violence was all that they understood.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 4,004/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 8th August 2019, 11:34 pm

    The Jarnefeldt siblings stood their ground and waited for the Crimson Sashes horsemen to draw closer, then made their move. Just like last time Leonidas and Leona fired a Wind Bullet that knocked off a horseman apiece, then killed the Crimson Sashes before they could get up. The other two Crimson Sashes men wheeled their mounts around and retreated from whence they came, but they were not going to get away that easily, not if Leona had something to say about it.

    "Knock them off their horses!" Leona telepathically ordered the harpies. They nodded and flew after the retreating riders, easily catching up to them and grabbing their shoulders with their talons. With only a little bit of effort the winged sisters succeeded in dragging them off of their horses and onto the sand. The Jarnefeldts ran towards the enemies to catch them on the ground but were unable to get to them before they stood up. Now they would have to engage in a clash of swords with the bandits.

    Leonidas engaged his opponent at the same time Leona engaged hers. The Wizard Saint brought her ram dao down in a two-handed chop and the swift Crimson Sashes swordsman deftly dodged the heavy blade by stepping to the side. He transitioned into a spin and threw a spinning kick at Leona's face, which she dodged by ducking under it. He wasted no time in smoothly shifting from hand-to-hand combat to swordplay by stabbing at her. Leona turned aside the scimitar with her left Argent Glove and stepped into the stab, dropping her ram dao and punching the opponent in the face with a Mach Straight using her right hand.

    He staggered backwards and Leona quickly picked up her sword to press the attack before he could recover. He recovered in time to parry Leona's attempt at a stab and caught the blade under his left armpit, holding the sword firmly in place and leaving the blonde open to attack. The Wizard Saint had forgotten that Kasim's Ram Dao was sharp only on one side and was now going to pay the price for that ignorance.

    The Crimson Sash chuckled and drew back his scimitar for a stab at her throat, but Leona relinquished her grip on the trapped sword and ducked down, pulling her knife from its concealed location in her right boot. That was a surprise to the Crimson Sash as his eyes widened just before Leona lunged forward and stabbed him in the torso. He staggered back and  put his free hand over the stab wound while holding his scimitar out to keep her at bay.

    "Hang on, Leona!" Leonidas called out. He had won the fight with his opponent and was now hurrying to her aid. While Leona was distracted with the arrival of her brother the Crimson Sash knelt down and scooped some sand into his left hand to throw at her. The Wizard Saint looked back just in time to see the sand coming and threw her left arm in front of her face, blocking the sand and feeling a strong impact against her Adaptable Armor that made her fall onto her back.

    "LEONA!" Leonidas yelled as Leona lay on the ground with the enemy standing over her with her ram dao in hand. The scimitar was sticking out of her chest and had gone through her armor and outfit top to where she could feel the tip of the sword pushing against her skin. Leona was momentarily paralyzed by panic when she saw the blade sticking out of her armor, but her brother arrived and began to fight with the Crimson Sash as Sylvia and Daphne grabbed her wrists with their hands and slowly pulled her away from the fighting.

    Leona did not resist. She lay on her back and was slowly dragged to safety, where Sylvia and Daphne attempted to remove the sword lodged in her Adaptable Armor.

    "Like, stay still!" Daphne irritably commanded her mistress as the raven-haired girl pulled on the sword with both hands. The scimitar was slowly budging, but it was also pressing dangerously close to Leona's chest and could punch through at any moment. Soon Daphne's hands moved off of the grip and Leonidas' strong hands gripped it.

    "I'm gonna pull the sword out. Hang on!" Leonidas instructed her before pulling straight up. The weapon shook and its tip threatened to go into Leona's chest, but soon the threat was removed and Leona sighed in relief along with the three harpies who had clustered around her. Leonidas casually tossed the weapon aside and helped Leona to her feet.

    "Are you OK?" Leonidas asked his sister. Leona felt the impact site with her fingers and discovered that the armor had absorbed most of the impact and slowed the blade's progress enough to prevent the stab from being a kill. However, her outfit top beneath the armor had a hole in it.

    "Yeah. I'm OK. My armor saved me." Leona replied. She took off the Adaptable Armor and set it on the sand before turning her back on her brother and undoing the outfit top to examine her chest. A quick glance that showed that aside from a small red indentation where the sword's tip had pressed against her skin, she was perfectly fine. There was no sign of injury at all.

    "You clearly have a hard time using it. Why did you bring that heavy sword with you?" Leonidas asked Leona as the latter closed her outfit top again and picked up the Adaptable Armor to put it back on. There would be more fighting with bandits before the day was out, so wearing the armor was a good idea. It had saved her life just now.

    "I was loaned a two-handed katana by a priestess from Midi and needed to learn how to use a two-handed sword, so I figured that I'd use Kasim's Ram Dao for a bit of practice." Leona explained her choice of weapon to her brother, slipping on the armor after finishing the sentence. Leonidas frowned at her while handing the ram dao back.

    "Well, you picked a bad way to practice. The Crimson Sashes are Nebdoui's oldest and worst enemy. You can't afford to play around with them... you've gotta kill them fast before they can kill you." Leonidas chided her in front of her summons. Leona frowned at the mini-lecture. She already knew that she could not afford to hesitate when faced with the Crimson Sashes, which was why she always carried a knife for backup in case she was disarmed. That precaution saved her life when her ram dao was taken out of play by the crafty Crimson Sash.

    [Word Count: 1,146]
    [Total Word Count: 5,150/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
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    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 13th August 2019, 8:50 pm

    -Northern Desierto, one hour later-

    The Jarnefeldt siblings trudged through the desert in silence after Leonidas verbally reprimanded his sister in front of her summons. Leona did not take kindly to the reprimand and hated being treated like a child. Leonidas had raised a good point about the weapon, but his delivery of that point was what made the Wizard Saint angry with him. Thus the pair walked in silence for the better part of an hour before the older Jarnefeldt broke the silence.

    "If you're practicing to use a two-handed sword, why didn't you bring the two-handed katana to use instead of that ram dao?" Leonidas asked Leona as the siblings pressed deeper into Northern Desierto. The Wizard Saint had an answer ready for him. She had had an answer ready ever since the awkward silence started but did not

    "The katana's not mine to keep, Leonidas. It's on loan from a priestess in Midi. I don't want to disrespect her by swaggering around with it like the sword's mine." Leona answered in a non-confrontational tone of voice. She had resented the way he presumed to lecture her about weapons after the skirmish with the Crimson Sashes. The blonde chose to avoid a confrontational tone and try to start the discussion over by leaving the ill feelings behind. He seemed to get the message and dialed back the tone of his remarks as well.

    "So you have a katana from Midi, huh? What's its name?" Leonidas asked her.

    "Shoki." She answered. The taller blond looked at her with an expression of confusion.

    "It means "Demon Queller" in Midi's language." Leona quickly provided the meaning of the sword's name. Leonidas looked like he understood what it meant but did not seem to be clear on what was so special about Shoki. She soon explained what made the sword so special.

    "Shoki's a special sword made by a priest in Midi centuries ago. It's a weapon that was specially made to fight demons, spirits, and people who pledged themselves to dark powers." Leona started explaining the katana's purpose. He looked interested in the explanation and gave her his undivided attention.

    "It came in handy against samurai zombies in full armor. Normally when you fight zombies the only way to kill them is to destroy their brain. But when I found and used Shoki I didn't have to aim for the head. I could cut through the body and the sword would burn them with blue flames, which let me kill them without too much effort." Leona told her brother how Shoki's special power made fighting the undead a lot easier than the task would with ordinary weapons. His interest was completely engaged when she described fighting the zombie samurai with Shoki. Then he sported a puzzled look and spoke again.

    "You said that a priest had it made, right? I thought priests were all about non-violence. Commissioning a sword doesn't sound very non-violent to me, especially if the priest actually used it." Leonidas voiced his confusion to her. Now that Leona thought about it, his confusion was fully justified. She too thought that priests were supposed to be committed to non-violence, but maybe Midi's clergy had a different philosophy than the clergy of other countries. If there was a particular debate that she was the least educated to take on, it would be theological debates. She could speak with a fair degree of certainty on Court Heiromesh and was learning more about the world of magic with each passing week, but she was not adept at spiritual debates, a subject that was more in fellow Wizard Saint Mura Kensho's wheelhouse.

    "Yeah, I'm confused too, but I guess that Midi had a huge demon problem centuries ago and that this particular priest wasn't going to sit back and let his people be murdered without doing something about it." Leona theorized. Leonidas hmmm'd and nodded his head. Her theory seemed to make sense to him because he did not attempt to refute it, at least not yet. He would not get the chance because Leona's summons warned her of incoming danger in the form of a wagon full of armed men escorted by nine men on horseback.

    "Hey Leona, there's a wagon heading your way!" Sylvia telepathically informed her mistress. Leona received the warning at about the same time Leonidas drew his sword and the sound of the wagon reached her ears. The wagon rumbled into view with its cavalry escort and true to Sylvia's word all the passengers were armed with scimitars. The wagon rumbled to a halt a short distance from the siblings and the men hopped out... they were all dressed in tan robes with a golden scimitar pin on the front and there were eighteen of them.

    "Truly we have been blessed with a bounty of goods to sell. We dropped off our last haul two days ago and now we have a chance at premium merchandise. These two would sell well on the market!" An obese man in white robes and a white turban said from the comfort of the wagon. At his side was a muscular and shirtless bald man wearing brown pants who must have been his bodyguard and second-in-command. Leona and Leonidas looked at each other and frowned. They had just encountered a slaver gang and they had been appraised for the market!

    "The girl would fetch a high price. She's just the right age to have plenty of children. She's also quite the looker." The white-robed man commented on Leona. The implications of his remark were all too apparent to her and caused her to shudder in disgust. If she was caught the most she had to look forward to for the rest of her life was being a particularly unpleasant variety of trophy wife.

    "As for the man... we could use a strong man like him in the arena. He can earn his buyer a lot of money." Leonidas' appraisal came in. He did not like his appraisal any more than Leona had liked hers. Both siblings knew that they would be in for a fight. They were heavily outnumbered and knew what was going to happen to them if they lost, which meant that they would have to do anything in their power to make sure that they did not lose. The slavers would soon regret backing the Jarnefeldts into a corner.

    "GET THEM!" The robed man ordered his small army to take them alive. The men drew their scimitars and advanced towards the siblings. Leona drew her ram dao and held it in the ready position. What happened next was going to be messy.

    [Word Count: 1,150]
    [Total Word Count: 6,300/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Lineage : Nemean Lion
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    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
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    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 14th August 2019, 11:35 am

    The small slaver army formed up into a rough semicircular formation, then charged the Jarnefeldts in an attempt to overwhelm them with numbers. Unfortunately for the slavers, their intended prey had the means and the will to fight back. Their intended prey also had magic. The slavers closed in before being rebuffed with two Wind Blasts, one from Leona and the other from Leonidas.

    Those who had not been staggered by the spells closed in for melee combat in a ragged formation that was more "every man for himself" than a coordinated effort. Leonidas parried the sword swing of his opponent and slashed him across the chest before blocking the downward chop of a second slaver. Leona engaged her opponent with a downward chop that broke through his guard and followed up with a second heavy diagonal slash that dropped the man and almost threw the blonde off balance. Sensing an opportunity, a second slaver engaged Leona almost immediately and their swords met in a clash of steel.

    "Two of you, go help Leonidas! The last of you, stay with me!" Leona telepathically instructed her winged summons. Sylvia and Daphne formed one team and dove on two of Leonidas' attackers while Sandy stayed with her mistress and fended off a slaver who attempted to grab the winged girl's ankles. Sandy retaliated with a kick that gashed the man's forehead and drew blood that trickled into his face.

    Leona kicked her opponent in the torso and swung her ram dao horizontally, cutting him across the stomach and forcing him to back off while a new opponent took his place. The harpies were doing a good job, but she needed more help. She knew just the summon to call.

    "SKY CHAMPION... SUMMON!" Leona thought with an interruption as she was forced to block a chop with her sword, which was heavy and not well-suited for defense against other weapons. The summon appeared to Leona's left and stood on his feet, brandishing his purple energy blades.

    "What do you need?" Rafale asked Leona telepathically. Leona was on the losing end of a blade lock and was forced to step back and cede ground to her adversary, who smiled to expose yellow teeth. She needed help quickly but did not want to tip off the slavers.

    "See those... those men in tan robes with a golden scimitar on the front? Attack them!" Leona told him. Rafale nodded and stepped over to her opponent's side, plunging his energy blade through the man's side and through his heart, killing him instantly and handing the beleaguered Wizard Saint a moment's respite as three men about to attack her suddenly reconsidered their course of action when Rafale glared at them. Meanwhile Sylvia gave Leona a status report about her brother.

    "Your brother's holding up nicely, Leona. He's already killed three of those men and is busy fighting a fourth." Sylvia reported.

    "Great. Thanks for looking out for him." Leona thanked Sylvia for the update while she squared off against one of the men who had recovered his courage and rushed to attack while she was distracted. Leona stepped forward and brought her ram dao down in a two-handed power chop, burying the blade in the opponent's head after cutting deeply into it. The hapless slaver paused in place and wobbled before falling onto his back with the ram dao still buried in his head. The two slavers looked at her, then spun around and ran away towards the wagon rather than risk sharing their colleague's fate.

    "GET HER, YOU COWARDS! SHE'S JUST ONE GIRL!" The man in white robes berated the running men and swung at them with a club.

    "But sir, she just buried a heavy sword in his head! We can't capture someone that strong!" One of them cited his reason for staying well clear of the Wizard Saint. The muscular bald man looked at her and tilted his head. Meanwhile Leona drew her knife from her boot and battled another man who was not daunted by what had happened to his colleague.

    "Sir, if I'm not mistaken, that blonde girl's Leona Jarnefeldt. She's a Wizard Saint." The bald man said to his master. The robed man looked at her, then back at his second-in-command.

    "She's a Wizard Saint, you say?" The man inquired greedily.

    "Yes sir. The Wizard Saint of Courage." The bald man answered as the two men who had fled looked on. The robed man turned back to the fight and witnessed Leona block a sword swing before it could be completed with her left Argent Glove before hitting back with a Mach Straight that hit the attacker in the chest and sent him sprawling to the sand. Another man engaged her with a whirling horizontal slash from his scimitar that Leona ducked with fluid grace.

    "A Wizard Saint would sell for an awful lot. However, I don't know if I can throw enough men at her to capture her. That blond man's a good fighter. How many men has he killed so far?" He asked his second-in-command.

    "Five, sir." Came the answer. The master smiled.

    "Let's leave for now. We'll come back with more men and catch them later." He said. The bald man nodded and pulled out a flare pistol, firing a red round into the sky that sounded in a loud, protracted whistle before bursting. The surviving slavers saw the flare and disengaged from combat, fleeing back to the wagon and leaving their dead where they lay. Two minutes later the slavers had fled with their cavalry escort, leaving the Jarnefeldts in control of the battlefield.

    "That was too easy." Leonidas said warily to his sister. Leona put away her knife and struggled to pull the ram dao from the head of the enemy she had accidentally buried the sword in. She planted both feet on the dead man's chest and pulled hard but to no avail. She tried again and succeeded in removing it but fell onto her back, sending the sword over her head. The blade buried itself in the sand while the handle fell down and hit her in the face, causing Leonidas and the harpy sisters to laugh.

    Leona recovered from her embarrassment long enough to stand up again and clean off the sword before putting it away. Something was off about the slavers and how they fled when they still had plenty of men. Why did they retreat so suddenly?

    "I don't think we've seen the last of them." Leona opined to Leonidas and her summons.

    [Word Count: 1,136]
    [Total Word Count: 7,436/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
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    Lineage : Nemean Lion
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    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
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    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 14th August 2019, 11:23 pm

    -Northern Desierto, two hours later-

    After the battle with the slavers Leona and Leonidas opted to keep going and press deeper into the desert before they had to fight yet another gang of outlaws roving the sandy expanse in search of victims. Despite the unrelenting heat of the blazing sun and the risks associated with traveling through the desert in the hottest part of the day they had made good time. Leona did not even bother to put away her ram dao and instead held the grip in her right hand while balancing the blade on her right shoulder. Leonidas had sheathed his steel longsword and was a few steps ahead of Leona while the harpies flew overhead to watch for trouble.

    "Hey Leonidas, how close to this mine are we?" Leona asked her brother as they trudged through a flat patch of desert that did not have a single dune to break up the monotonous scenery.

    "Another three hours." Leonidas answered without breaking stride and without looking back. Leona silently despaired when she heard the answer. Another three hours of walking in the desert was ahead of them?

    "OK." Leona said in defeat. Another three hours of walking in the desert would be in store for her before they reached their destination. If she had already been to this mine she could just fly her and her brother there on the back of the Winged Lion and skip most of the hassle of travel through the desert. The silver lining to this trip was that if there was ever a need to return to the mine Leona could just fly them there and spare them another arduous walk under the scorching sun.

    In the distance they spotted a charred wagon with what looked like human corpses scattered around it. Leona figured that she was already too late to help but would try anyway.

    "It could be a trap, Leona." Leonidas warned her. Leona ignored him and sprinted by, hoping that for once she could save someone in distress instead of getting there only to find corpses.

    "Stay with Leonidas!" Leona instructed her harpies as they dropped down to follow her to the scene. They wordlessly broke off and stayed with her brother as she hurried to help.

    -Five minutes later, site of the charred wagon-

    Leona hurried to the scene and made the grim discovery that she was again too late. All she found were eight corpses of elderly people dressed in simple white robes that had giant splotches of red around the chest where they had been run through with swords and a wagon that had been set ablaze. Leona felt her spirits reach a low ebb as she circled the site to search for any survivors but came up empty-handed. From what she could tell a group of religious pilgrims had crossed paths with bandits who killed them, then plundered their wagon for valuables, stole the horses and burned the wagon. There were no signs of which way the attackers went; the shifting winds of the desert had long since blown away any tracks they may have left behind.

    Leona wordlessly turned away from the scene and walked towards Leonidas, who had hurried to the scene with his winged escort in tow. She was feeling the lowest she had felt in awhile because she had arrived too late for the second time in one day.

    "Is there anyone alive?" Leonidas asked her. Leona looked him in the eyes and shook her head.

    "No. They're all dead. Bandits attacked and killed a wagon of elderly people on a pilgrimage." Leona answered him glumly. Leonidas looked towards the sand. The Wizard Saint frowned, then waited for Leonidas to lead the way again. There was nothing she could do for these people.

    -Northern Desierto, one hour later-

    The Jarnefeldts had walked in silence ever since coming across the murdered pilgrims. Leona was upset with herself and wondering if she really deserved the title of Wizard Saint. She was good at killing evil things that threatened people, but she was not so good at saving people before they could be killed. Wizard Saints were supposed to be able to save life as well as take it.

    First she had failed to save 71 of Nebdoui's villagers before they were burned to death in their tents by slavers who set them on fire rather than let her free them. Second she had failed to save the wagonloads of people who had been murdered by the Crimson Sashes earlier in the trip. Now she had failed to save the elderly travelers from the bandits who had killed them.

    Leona felt the weight of her failures as she kept walking forward with Kasim's Ram Dao on her shoulders. She shuddered when she thought of that name. Kasim.

    That was one of her biggest failures as a mage. She was unable to save her friend from the Abandoned Cabin before he turned into a zombie, but she was just in time to kill him and claim the sword he had left to her since he had been unable to have children before his untimely death. She had claimed his sword and she had not even used it all that much.

    Leona felt the weight of her departed friend's sword on her right shoulder with every step she took and wondered what Kasim would think of her now.

    What would he think of her walking around the desert with his sword on her shoulder?

    "Leona..." Leonidas called out from just behind her. The Wizard Saint did not hear him as she brushed past him and kept walking forward.

    Would he still want her to have it after everything she had done up to this point?

    "LEE-ONA..." Leonidas called out again, his footsteps quickening as he struggled to keep pace with her. The blonde kept walking without a single word to her brother. She just wanted to be alone right now. Her brother was not going to give up so easily. He sprinted in front of her, grabbed her by the shoulders, and shook her shoulders with both hands.

    "LEONA!" Leonidas shouted in her face. Leona finally snapped out of it long enough to answer him.

    "What is it?" Leona asked him in an exhausted tone of voice. She was physically and mentally tired. Her doubts were beginning to eat at her and make her wonder why she ever chose to be a mage if she could not help anyone with her magic.

    [Word Count: 1,098]
    [Total Word Count: 8,534/12,500]



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
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    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 15th August 2019, 6:58 pm

    Leona and Leonidas faced one another as the harpy sisters looked on in silence. Leonidas was wanting to know what had put the Wizard Saint in such a melancholy mood and Leona did not want to talk about it because the way she saw it there was nothing to discuss. She had been too late to save innocent lives twice today and those failures were eating at her. The cause of her mood was that simple.

    "Why are you so down all of a sudden, Leona? Is it about those people from earlier today?" Leonidas asked her.

    "Yeah." Leona replied glumly.

    "You grew up in Desierto, Leona. You know what it's like out here. You should be used to it by now." Leonidas said to her. The Wizard Saint's green eyes flashed in anger. That kind of thing was not what she wanted to hear right now. Leonidas made it sound like that was how life had to be. He made it sound like that innocent people had to die for someone else's pleasure because that was how life had been for centuries.

    "Yeah, I know what it's like, Leonidas. I lived through it. I lived through the bad days in Nebdoui. Remember that famine that hit the village and killed over one hundred people when I was twelve? I do." Leona started her angry retort. He must have thought that she had gone soft living in the Phoenix Mountains and away from Desierto. He must have assumed that she had forgotten the hardships and perils of desert life. He was mistaken.

    "I know that outlaws like to prey on the people who don't live in the Tri-Council Cities. We've come across the remains of their raids plenty of times. Hell, Nebdoui was hit by outlaws at least twelve times by the time I turned twelve." Leona continued with a passion fueled by anger. Leonidas seemed to regret even bringing up the subject, but she was not going to back off. He was going to hear her out after he dared to play the "You've forgotten what it's like in the desert" card on her.

    "It doesn't have to be like that, Leonidas. We don't have to live in fear from the outlaws. I'm not going to fear them anymore. I've got the means and the will to fight, so I'm gonna fight." Leona told him in no uncertain terms. Leonidas recovered from his shock and challenged her again.

    "Why are you mad at me, Leona?" Leonidas calmly asked her.

    "You think I don't remember what it was like out here, brother. But I do. I remember it all. I remember the slave raids on our village. I remember when the Crimson Sashes raided and I had to kill two of them just to stay alive." Leona replied. Leonidas did not get angry but instead took a different approach with the irate Wizard Saint. He asked her another question.

    "Why are you so determined to fight, Leona? Is it because you were named in honor of the lions who saved our parents from bandits before we were born? Or is it because you were named the Wizard Saint of Courage by the Magic Council?" Leonidas asked her.

    "Maybe it's both of those reasons." Leona answered cryptically. Her brother did not buy that answer and his face showed it.

    "Or is it because you think that fighting's all you can do?" Leonidas asked point-blank. Leona closed her eyes.

    "Yeah." Leona answered bluntly.

    "All the Gods and Goddesses of Ishgar are smarter than me. The other Wizard Saints are smarter than me. Even the members of the guild I run are smarter than me. It feels like I'm just pretending to be a scholar. I attend lectures and scribble notes and work with magical artifacts, but holding a pen and writing notes doesn't make me a scholar." Leona admitted to him. She was not a real scholar, but was only pretending to be one. She had done very little to advance the understanding of magic but had done a lot to advance the understanding of how to fight supernatural entities by her work with the Order of Lightbringers. She had served as extra muscle in exchange for up-to-date books on the various threats that inhabited the Cursed Lands.

    "Then why do you keep the title of Wizard Saint if it causes you so much pain? Why keep going if you don't think you're smart enough?" Leonidas asked with a stern expression.

    "Because it's what I'm best at." Leona answered firmly. That was clearly not a good enough answer for him.

    "Why do you need a fancy title to do that if all you're gonna do is fight? Why don't you just quit to make room for someone smarter?" He inquired harshly.

    "I fought for the title of Wizard Saint! I fought serial killers in Hargeon Town! I fought cultists in Beanstalk Village and infiltrated their temple in Spooky Forest! I fought slavers here in Desierto! I helped put an end to the Red Sand Bandits!" Leona angrily recited only a few of her accomplishments. Leonidas remained unmoved by those feats and asked her yet another question.

    "Even though you think you're not very smart and you think that all you're good for is fighting, would you give up your Wizard Saint title and your rank in Silver Wolf if it meant being true to what you think you really are?" Leonidas asked her.

    "No. I've seen too much of the world and done too much to just walk away from it all now. There are people out there who need someone to fight for them. Since I'm the Wizard Saint of Courage, I might as well be that someone." Leona asserted to her brother. Again he was unmoved by her answer.

    "Is that how you really feel?" He asked her.

    "Yes. That's how I really feel." Leona firmly answered. He could ask as many times as he wanted, but she was not going to budge on that point. She had made her decision and she would stick to it.

    [Word Count: 1,052]
    [Total Word Count: 9,586/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 15th August 2019, 10:52 pm

    Leona stared down her brother, who appeared to have been unmoved by anything she had said to him, even the frank and painful admission that she did not feel smart enough to be in the company of Earthland's strongest and most famous mages. He walked towards her and put a hand on her shoulder. His facial expression which had been stern for so long finally softened.

    "Don't ever forget what you just told me, Leona." Leonidas said to her in a gentle tone of voice. Leona blinked. Leonidas had never spoken to her like this before. He had never really tried to connect to her, but here he was trying to connect with her at a time when she needed a connection the most.

    "I know that living up to your title isn't easy, but you can do it. Even if you're not the smartest mage in Earthland, you've got what it takes to prove that you're the Wizard Saint of Courage." Leonidas assured her. Leona knew that this heart-to-heart talk would not completely solve her issues, but it had gotten her through one of the worst days she had had so far. She felt the gloom of her previous failures slowly dissipate and a ray of hope finally begin to shine through. Maybe she was not beyond help if at least one person truly believed in her.

    "Thanks." Leona said to her older brother. The heartwarming moment was short-lived because the Jarnefeldts and their winged companions spotted a group of familiar-looking horsemen thunder out of the sandy wastes and straight towards them. The harpies took to the air as Leona brought her ram dao into the ready position and Leonidas drew his longsword.

    "Looks like we'll have to hug it out later, Leona. Right now we've got Crimson Sashes looking for blood." He dryly commented to her. Leona was mildly amused by the comment because she had known that he had a wit as dry as the desert.

    "Yeah. It's been almost four whole hours since something's tried to kill us. It couldn't last forever." Leona commented as she quickly did an eyeball count of the incoming enemies. They numbered fifteen men on horseback charging in a side-by-side formation to flood the area and overwhelm their prey with numbers. They must have figured that someone had killed their advance team at the first massacre site and sent out a larger team to find the culprit and exact revenge. They had found the culprits all right, but their quest for revenge would end in failure.

    Leona telepathically dispatched the harpies to knock the riders from their mounts and they flew towards the men to carry out their mistress's will. In the meantime Leona aimed and fired a Wind Bullet that dumped one man from the saddle by knocking him backwards and making him fall off head over heels. His horse ran away and the dazed man was left to fend for himself while his colleagues continued charging towards the Jarnefeldts.

    Leona aimed a Silver Tempest spell and fired it at an approaching rider. He was hit by the horizontal column of air and slumped right while clutching his head, falling from the charging steed and onto the sand. Thirteen riders remained, but they were closing in too fast for her to dismount all of them in time. Leonidas' right shoulder connected with her left shoulder and he spoke to her.

    "We need to do this together... Wind Blast!" He said to her. Leona got the message and quickly shifted her sword to her left hand, then raised her right hand and readied a Wind Blast. Leonidas did the same and the pair aimed for the center of the formation, then fired their spells simultaneously. A few of the riders saw what was coming and broke away at the last moment, but most of them were committed to the frontal charge and were hit, knocking eight of them off of their horses as the steeds reared and threw off their riders before galloping away.

    Sylvia divebombed one of the riders who avoided the spell and was chased away with wild scimitar swings. The few men still on horseback formed up into a circular formation and kept the harpies at bay while the men who had been forcibly dismounted rushed towards the siblings to kill them. Leona shifted her sword back to her right hand and Leonidas separated from her so that they would have enough space to fight. Leona's sword required a lot more space to use than Leonidas' plus the heavy blade depended on gaining momentum and keeping it to be effective.

    Leona stepped forward and swung her ram dao in a downward vertical strike, cleaving through a Crimson Sash's shoulder and halfway down to his abdomen before the blade was stopped by bone. She somehow withdrew the blade in time to raise it to defend herself from two downward chops aimed at her head. She held the blades high, then pushed upwards and broke the lock before clumsily transitioning into a 360-degree spin and performing a horizontal power swing that cut through the stomach of one man and forced the other to back away to avoid harm. Leona had never done such an attack before, so she was thrown off-balance after the spin and the sword was easily knocked out of her hands by the other Crimson Sash.

    The Crimson Sash laughed when he thought that he had disarmed his opponent and had her at his mercy. He yelled and raised his sword for a two-handed downward power chop, but Leona stepped forward and used her Silver Blade spell to inflict a deep gash across his chest. The sudden shock of seeing a bleeding chest wound that stretched from his right hip to his left pectoral caused the man to scream and hurriedly disengage from Leona. Two more enemies rushed in to fight her at once before she could retrieve her sword.

    "HERE!" Leonidas yelled, throwing a scimitar in Leona's direction before returning to the fight with an outlaw who was clutching his bleeding chest. Two of the Crimson Sashes who had fought her brother lay dead at his feet. Leona saw the scimitar land near her feet and she ducked down and scooped it up with her right hand, avoiding a decapitation swing by doing so. She rose just in time to avoid the second man kicking sand in her face; the sand crashed harmlessly against her shins.

    Leona felt the grip of the curved sword in her hand and felt a renewed sense of strength. Instead of a clumsy but strong two-handed weapon she was now using a lighter and faster weapon, one she had been trained to use. The fight would be a lot easier now that she could alternate between spell and sword to utilize a varied and balanced offense.

    [Word Count: 1,170]
    [Total Word Count: 10,756/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 15th August 2019, 11:52 pm

    With her new weapon in hand Leona took the offensive against the Crimson Sashes by slashing at a man who had gotten too close to her. She made him raise his sword to block and kicked him in the right knee when he leaned into her during the blade lock. He yelled and backed away, allowing the Crimson Sash who had kicked sand at her to close the gap and chop at her left shoulder with his sword. She sidestepped and leaned away from the blade, then stood straight up and hit him in the face with a left-handed Mach Straight. He staggered back and the first man re-entered the fray with a power swing that she blocked with her sword.

    Leona parried his thrust and slashed him across the chest while his blade was knocked aside. He yelled again and backed away, allowing the second man to take his turn making another assault on the Wizard Saint. Leona was ready and dodged the flurry of slashes by stepping backwards, then lunging forward for a stab when he drew his sword back for a downward slash. Her blade punched through his chest and out of his back... she caught the sword he dropped in mid-air and attacked the man she had wounded moments ago with a Wind Bullet that caught him in the chest and propelled him backwards. He flew back a good fifteen feet and rolled on the sand until he came to a stop.

    With him out of the way she fought a third man who had come to take his shot at killing the Wizard Saint of Courage. He rushed in and lunged at her with a stab. Leona spun around him and did a quick spin attack that resulted in him being cut across the back. He yelled and staggered forward, then drew his arm back and threw the scimitar in his hand at her. Leona shrieked and ducked just in time to avoid catching it in between the eyes but was punched in the face by the man, who had take advantage of the distraction to close the distance and attack her in hand-to-hand combat.

    Leona dropped her sword and blocked a punch with her left Argent Glove, then watched the man do a spinning kick that connected with the side of her head and left her momentarily disoriented. He quickly followed up with a series of four rapid punches to her chest and a punch to her face. Leona took the first four punches and ducked under the last, hitting back with a Mach Uppercut that launched him up a short distance and sent him sprawling to the sand. She rushed over to him and planted her left foot for balance, then raised her right leg above her head and focused magic into her right heel for a Sky Hammer spell.

    The Crimson Sash was on all fours when she brought down her right heel in an ax kick that connected with the back of his head, driving his head down into the sand and knocking him out. Leona backed away before one of the Crimson Sashes pulled his head out of the sand, grabbed his ankles and started pulling while two more jumped in front of her with scimitars raised. The two were in an aggressive posture but were not actively trying to attack her... she backed up further and watched the unconscious man be pulled to safety while the two men stood guard and a horseman rode up.

    The unconscious man was carefully hoisted onto the back of the horse and draped across it, then the rider wheeled his mount around and galloped away. The three men then ran away from the puzzled Leona to riders holding horses for them and waving their weapons whenever one of the harpies dove on them. The trio literally jumped onto the horses and rode away with their colleagues, leaving five dead men behind them. Leona was confounded by what she had just witnessed.

    "Did... you just see that?" Leonidas asked her from a short distance away. Leona looked at him and nodded.

    "Yeah." Leona answered with confusion on her voice. She had never seen the Crimson Sashes behave like that before. Normally they stayed and fought to the last man regardless of the circumstances, but today they retreated when they felt like their advantage was lost and they took their wounded with them. What was going on here?

    "Normally they don't run away from a fight. They had us outnumbered by more than three-to-one... we were outnumbered three-to-one if you count the three bird girls you can summon. But the Crimson Sashes just picked up their wounded and fled." Leonidas observed. All three harpies crossed their arms and frowned.

    "We're, like, harpies! Not bird girls! GET IT RIGHT!" Daphne huffed angrily. Leonidas was put off by Daphne's fierce rebuttal and turned back to Leona. Sylvia and Sandy continued to glare daggers at her brother as the siblings shifted gears and began to discuss their next move.

    "We'd better keep moving, Leona. I don't want to be here when they decide to come back for us with even more men." Leonidas suggested the obvious and best course of action. Leona didd not argue with that.

    "Yeah. Lemme grab the ram dao and we'll get moving." Leona replied before walking over to the ram dao, picking it up, and laboriously fitting the blade into the sheath she had cobbled together out of leather and metal. She needed to go buy a real one if she kept using the ram dao, but as it stood she would likely stick to her Silver Longsword until she found or bought a better one-handed sword. Once the sword was put away she picked up the scimitar she had dropped onto the sand during the hand-to-hand fight with the Crimson Sash martial artist, then rejoined her brother and the harpies for the continuation of their journey to the iron mine that supplied Nebdoui with its iron ore.

    "It's just a bit further, Leona. I'd say another hour at most." Leonidas informed her. Leona was not terribly optimistic that it would only take another hour because the party kept running into bandits or slavers and each fight consumed precious time and energy. Still, any opportunity to kill off the innumerable outlaws of Desierto was one that Leona would gladly take. Each victory was a small step towards making the desert a tiny bit safer for the common man.

    [Word Count: 1,108]
    [Total Word Count: 11,864/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 Empty Re: Blood And Iron Pt. 1

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 16th August 2019, 12:15 pm

    -One-and-a-half hours later, Iron Mine-

    Coming to a halt in a flat area just outside a tent city set up by the mine's former workers, Leonidas and Leona began to discuss their next course of action while the harpies kept watch. The sun was finally beginning to set, but there was still enough daylight to see that there were at least thirty tents that had been set up in neat grids, which meant that there were a lot of bandits here keeping watch over the mine. The mine itself was situated at the base of a large plateau that dominated the immediate area.

    "I don't think that we can retake the mine by ourselves, even with you being a Wizard Saint and being able to summon the bir- harpies, harpies. We may have to back off and get help from the allied tribes. They owe us a few favors, so maybe between Berreb, Regudo, and the Blue Sky Clan we can put together a strong enough group to retake the mine." Leonidas suggested to his sister. Leona was not inclined to disagree with him. The camp was bustling with armed men who had not seen them yet. She peered into the camp and counted at least forty-five men doing various tasks like hauling tools to the worksite for the night shift, cleaning up after the evening meal, and other dreary but necessary chores that kept the camp orderly and running. They did not know which bandit group had claimed the mine as their turf, but the Jarnefeldts had seen enough to know that trying to take the iron mine by themselves was a suicidal endeavor.

    They beat a hasty retreat from the perimeter and walked briskly back out into the desert to plan what to do next. They needed a quick way back to Nebdoui and Leona had the idea of summoning her Winged Lion to get them there without having to spend the evening walking through outlaw-infested country.

    "We need to get out of here fast, Leona. We need to go before we're spotted." Leonidas urged her while looking back towards the camp.

    "We can use my Winged Lion summon. He's fast, he can seat two people without trouble, and if you're afraid of heights he can suppress it for as long as you're a passenger." Leona told her brother. He looked way of the prospect of riding on a lion's back, but their hand was forced when Leonidas spotted a patrol of two dozen riders thundering from the camp and heading right for them. They had been spotted!

    "No time to argue!" Leona said, raising her hands into the air and focusing on bringing the Winged Lion into this world.

    "WINGED LION SUMMON!" Leona said aloud. The spell activated and the lion appeared next to her standing proud and upright before stretching his wings. Leona sprinted over to the king of beasts and hopped onto his back with practiced ease. Leonidas was still hesitant.

    "C'mon, Leonidas! We don't have time for you to get cold feet! We've gotta move!" Leona urged him. Leonidas nervously looked back towards the incoming riders, then towards the lion his sister was sitting on. The Wizard Saint was getting tired of her brother's hesitation... the riders would be upon them any minute now.

    "C'mon!" Leona urged him, waving a hand. Her brother took a few running steps forward, then paused.

    "Has that lion eaten lately?" He asked nervously. Leona had had enough of this game.

    "GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE, NOW!" Leona yelled at him and glared for effect. Leonidas meekly ran over to the lion and awkwardly climbed onto its back. Once he was on the lion asked where they were headed.

    "To Nebdoui, fast!" Leona answered the question.

    "It will be done." The lion said to her, flapping its wings and running forward to build up momentum for takeoff.

    "This lion talks in human language?" Leonidas asked his sister as the harpies flew alongside them.

    "Yeah. Now hang on. We're taking off!" Leona warned her brother as the ascent began. After a few moments they were clear of the ground and quickly put distance between them and the bandit cavalry. Leona looked back and saw the riders staring at the winged lion while being unable to do anything to stop them. She then faced forward and prepared for the return flight to Nebdoui.

    -The outskirts of Nebdoui, two hours later-

    The Winged Lion landed on the outskirts of Nebdoui and Leona quickly hopped off. Leonidas slowly climbed off the lion and she dispelled it and the harpies. She then walked over to her brother and made sure that he was OK before doing anything else.

    "Hey Leonidas, are you OK?" Leona asked him. He looked a little queasy.

    "I've been better... uh, hang on..." Leonidas said before turning around and vomiting onto the sand. Leona winced and looked away as he heaved and threw up again, then threw up one final time. He then kicked some sand over the mess until it had been completely covered.

    "I get motion sickness easily. That's why I really didn't want to fly earlier." Leonidas explained his earlier reluctance to fly to her before wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Now the Wizard Saint understood why he was so concerned about the winged lion.

    "The lion's the only way I can fly as high as I did. If I flew using my griffon or the harpies, I can't fly above treetop level without my fear of heights forcing me down." Leona explained how she reconciled her fear of heights with using the winged lion for transport. She was still terrified of heights and would most likely be that way for the rest of her life, but flying at treetop level with her other summons helped mitigate the worst of it. It seemed like the Jarnefeldt siblings had their own unique issues with air travel, a fact which was ironic for a pair of mages whose magic was wind-based.

    "Well, you saved our lives back there. Thanks." Leonidas thanked her for getting them out of the dangerous situation safely. Leona blushed in embarrassment. She remembered that she owed him an apology for earlier.

    "Sorry for yelling at you earlier." Leona meekly apologized for shouting at her brother to get him to ride the lion out of harm's way. She felt worse about the incident after learning about his motion sickness because it was not something that he could control any more than she could her acrophobia.

    "It's fine, Leona. We made it out alive. That's all that matters. Now let's go to the village and tell the chief what we learned." Leonidas said to her before setting out for the village. Leona jogged up to his side and settled into a brisk walk to keep up with the taller Jarnefeldt. The pair was unable to retake the mine by themselves, but now they had an idea of what they would be up against. Maybe Chief Elijah could call in some favors and wrangle a force large enough to retake the mine from its bandit owners.

    [Word Count: 1,224]
    [Total Word Count: 13,088/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Blood And Iron Pt. 1 KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)

      Current date/time is 12th April 2024, 8:07 pm