It calls us back to who we truly are.
It had been quite some time since they had gone to the beach and relaxed. Granted, relaxing anywhere was much harder to do while several months pregnant with twins, but that was hardly a source of complaint for Serilda. Besides, after everything they had been through recently, they deserved some down time. Plus, it was always nice to see Vandrad and Mercury. Mythal and his adoptive brother had grown quite close to one another since they met, and Serilda felt that bond had only deepened once they had been able to finally connect Vandrad with his birth father. The Bellum prince had opened up more and more as time went on, and it was great to watch their friendship blossom. And Mercury, well… Mercury was always a source of great amusement, even if it was mostly at Vandrad’s expense most of the time. And while the mysterious woman still had yet to talk about herself very much over the course of the last year, she had proven her reliability and put her own life on the line for them in ways that Mythal and Serilda would never be able to repay, so they were more than happy for her company.
At this point, the only thing about today that was partially out of left field was that Serilda and Mythal had also taken the time to invite Shen Kadokawa. The former staff sergeant had only recently returned to Fiore after months of immeasurable hardship following his involvement in the recent skirmishes that had taken place along the border between Pergrande and Bellum. The poor young man had lost his entire squad and been the only survivor of his battle, forced to travel across the lands by foot in order to make it back to Fiore and the Rune Knights months later, only to find that much of his home life had also changed in that time. It had been a jarring experience, and while she didn’t say as much out loud Serilda was worried about his emotional health. They had decided to encourage Shen, now their most recently promoted general, to join them at the beach festival in hopes that a bit of leisure time would do him some good.
Speaking of leisure time, Serilda was making full use of exactly that. Given how far along she was there was little she could do regarding most festivities, so upon arriving at the beach in Hargeon and finding a spot for them to set themselves up, the noblewoman had sat down in a reclined beach chair beneath the shade of a large umbrella and simply relaxed, enjoying the warm air mixed with the cool breeze and the salty scent of the ocean. In her hand was a cold can of sweet iced tea that she sipped from occasionally to keep from overheating. Nearby, Xiuhcoatl was rough housing in the sand with her brother Gren, Mythal’s wolf that had been born to the same parents as Xiuh, though from a younger litter.
With a soft, happy sigh, Serilda glanced around the beach to check on the others. Mercury had managed to convince some of their party to form a beach volleyball team with her. Interestingly enough, Victoria had expressed an interest in giving the sport a go. The Seal of Conquest had shed her armor for a crimson colored two piece that showed off exactly how good a shape she was in, despite her old age. Serilda watched from afar with a smile as the match commenced, wondering how hard the rest of the party was having to work to hold their strengths back in order to keep from annihilating the team on the other side of the net...