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Picking Up the Pieces

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Arashi stood there thinking to herself. Oh boy, all the things about Genji possibly concerned her. The elemental hybrid was mysterious as it is, knowing where Arashi was almost all of the time, as well as knowing who Arashi was before she even introduced herself. 

"Yeah, that's okay Ashenfire."

Unknowingly to Arashi, Ashenfire and Annabelle, Genji was watching from a distance keeping an eye on the dragonkin's movements and actions, well hidden behind a tree from about two hundred meters from where Arashi and Ashenfire were standing.

Arashi didn't know alot about the dragon, only raising some suspscions about him maybe being related to her past memories that were erased. She didn't know why she couldn't remember her past to begin with, as it was just...odd.

However, Genji knew alot more about Arashi than he let on. He was surely testing Arashi's strength in that fight they had before for a reason Arashi didn't know of.

"Hmmm. That strength of hers is way weaker than I hoped. I let her beat me so I could test her strength ..but no wonder why the experiments weren't complete before that idiotic knight messed up our plans with her!" Genji sighed, muttering the words under his breath.

By the sounds of things, he had something to do with Arashi personally and was watching her to test some things.

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Ashenfire looked out into the distance, lost in thought as he wondered about whether he should have been here or not. There was the feeling of being watched, but he wasn't sure if that was from Annabelle's threat or something else. Generally his instincts were good about telling him what he needed to know, but the events of the past had thrown everything he knew into question. 

"Perhaps we can walk somewhere, and you can tell me more about how you have learned to contain these urges?"

It would not be long before Annabelle began to feel somewhat woozy, her head feeling lighter for reasons she couldn't explain. Of course, the obvious reason was that there was a leech working hard to drain its new victim of all the sanguine liquid she possessed. Already it was three times its original size, growing with each gulp, Annabelle already finding it difficult to think properly. 

"I don't...I don't feel well..." She tried to stud up, but fell deeper into the water instead, making a loud splash as she struggled to stay conscious. With her vision starting to get blurry, she wasn't sure how she was going to get out of that pond, let alone how to survive whatever it was that was killing her. All she knew was that for some mysterious reason, her right leg was getting a lot heavier than the other.

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"Hold on. I'm going to check on the kid, then we can talk about it right?" Arashi walked torwards the pond where Annabelle was bathing in, noticing she collapsed into it. "Hey...uhhhh, is everything okay?" With some concern on Arashi's face, she picked up Annabelle by her left arm, dragging her out of the pond. 

Then she noticed the water bug that was hurting her sister on her leg. Arashi laid Annabelle down, pulling the leech off of her with her draconic strength, freezing it in her hand using the ice she had absorbed eariler. Off course it was pretty much an icicle by now but she really wanted somebody to kill it for real. 

Arashi tossed the frozen leech on the ground beside Ashenfire. "Kill that thing. That's all I ask." She pointed to the bug before lifting her sister up over her shoulders as Arashi dashed off to the nearest settlement.

Ashenfire would have to be fairly fast to catch up with her.

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It would be a difficult journey ban k to the settlement, but Arashi and Annebelle would make it in time for her to get treatment. While they were busy with that, Ashenfire stayed behind deliberately, knowing that his instincts were never wrong when it came to being watched. Killing the leech was a simple matter, all it took was a quick stomp of his plated boot to end the wretched creature's life. Now that distraction was taken care of, it was time to locate the stalker who thought themselves so clever in trying to hide.

"Reveal yourself, and I won't feel the need to end your life. If you make me look for you, I can promise you there won't be enough of you to identify the body postmortem."

There was still a long road ahead for the draconian to reform himself, but that didn't mean he couldn't make some missteps along the way. Though he didn't know where Genji was, his scent was still present in the air, all it would take was some time before he found him. With one deep breath he took in the latent mana in the air, catching a faint whiff of the dragon before making his way towards the forest.

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Arashi hurried to the settlement, looking for some help as she went there. She seemed to know Annabelle was in rough shape and wanted to save her instead of the other one round.

Eventually she found a healer, accidentally kicking the door down with her left leg with a crazy amount of strength.

"My friend needs help!"

Whatever would happen after Arashi's breaking it, she'd have no idea.

As Ashenfire made himself torwards Genji, he would notice nothing but a scarf in his place where he was. The draconian would possibly get annoyed at the fact the one he was hunting escaped after all.

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"What the...all right fine get her on the table and I'll see what I can do." Said the healer, a middle aged man who directed Arashi towards a clean white wooden table where the blood drained Annabelle was carefully laid down upon. After a quick check up, he placed a blanket over her, going from the table to the cabinet of medicine every so often.

"I'll need you to wait over there until I'm finished, she has one hell of a leech bite." After cleaning and bandaging the wound, he carefully got her to drink from a vial which brought a little bit of color back to her skin, though she still seemed rather sick. "That potion should do the trick, you just need to wait for her to recover a bit and then you can take her back home, just make sure she doesn't do anything strenuous for a while."

Slowly Annabelle opened her eyes, her mind trying to make sense of everything that was going on around her. First she was bathing in the pond, then she felt light headed, then next thing she knew she was here back in the settlement. When her eyes finally found Arashi, she smiled, knowing that it was because of her that she was alive today, wanting to hug her though she found it difficult to summon the energy required to move. Nevertheless she was able to sit upright, the doctor helping her so she didn't over exert herself, Annabelle gave a weak chuckle before looking over at her.

"We really gotta stop almost dying, won't look good for our reputation."

Ashenfire was frustrated that his prey had eluded him, but he would make sure to keep watch for now on, having found proof of the culprit in the first place. With a grunt he tossed the scarf to the wind, the garment flowing in the breeze as it traveled to a new destination. He would wait back at the spot he had met Arashi, as he did not know the way to the settlement, watching the humans as they worked on constructing the training grounds. Perhaps what he required was purpose, something to do to keep his mind preoccupied, allowing him to chase away the thoughts of slaughter and aggression. Perhaps it was time to pass the torch as that old saying went.

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Arashi waited till her adoptive sister was well enough, before at least taking her back and getting her clothes on. It took her a while to do so but it was worth the time. 

Eventually she came to the spot Ashenfire was standing, placing Annabelle down in the tent. 

"Hey, stay there sis, alright? Don't leave. You just had a leech bite, we're gonna have a look at that pond okay? Just rest. Me and Ashenfire will be fine."

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As they returned from the settlement, Annabelle was starting to feel good about herself enough to move a little more on her own. It would be sometime before she was able to fully function as before, but otherwise she had a feeling she was going to be okay. With her sister by her side, there was nothing the young woman felt was actually capable of stopping her. 

They were greeted at the construction site by Ashenfire, who had something important he wanted to tell the two. Annabelle was intrigued, as she never thought he would have much else to say to a human besides something snide or intimidating. Whatever it was it must have been important, because it appeared that he was having difficulty finding the right words.

"Today I have made my choice and I have chosen that it is time to settle down, to pass the torch so to speak. If you would have me, then I would be glad to train the students at this place when it was up and running."

Annabelle was genuinely surprised, almost shocked even, as the draconian laid out his offer to her. So far all he had shown her was disrespect and disdain, but now he was offering to teach the students that would be coming here? Whatever happened while they were gone must have changed him rather drastically. 

Eagerly accepting him as the new instructor at her training grounds, Annabelle looked out to the ongoing construction. Soon this place would be fully built, and she would be able to help others to defend themselves, just as she promised herself that she would. 

"I'm going to name this place The Grindstone, and its going to be the premier place to become a warrior, just you wait."

[Quest Over]


Annabelle and Arashi travel to the Midlands in order to reclaim Annabelle's childhood home. Once there they discover it is infested with demons, and work to remove them begins. With much time and a few brushes with death, they are able to exterminate the demons that infested the land.

Afterwards, Annabelle claims the bounty placed on the demons, using the gold to begin construction on her new business. She vows that this place will be a training ground and protection agency, where new warriors will hone their skills, while the local farmers can stay safe from danger. Though the construction will take a fair amount of time, Annabelle is willing to do what it takes to make her dream come alive.

During this time many things happen, with Annabelle putting her father's remains to rest and a run in with dangerous characters. One of these was the former champion of the Drakkos people Ashenfire, a dragonborn who was cast out and looking for a new life. After pledging himself to be a teacher at her training grounds, Annabelle is ready to begin taking in students.

Short Summary:

Two sisters go on a quest to retake and reforge a home.


Now that the Grindstone is open for business, will there be anyone willing to come to train? What obstacles will arise to challenge Annabelle? Can Ashenfire contain his ruthless nature in order to teach students swordsmanship?

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