Mysteries Start Small: New fan-made RP start go initiation

Postby RedSquirrel456 on Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:11 pm

"This isn't the Guardsmen Headquarters, you know," said Dornigan, seeing everyone stand firmly at attention inside his office. "You may all be seated."

He watched carefully, keeping his hands folded over themselves as the others took their places, the small and cluttered office space looking quite full with all the visitors. Why, he had no idea when the last time it was since he had this many in his office at once! And never for anything so important. Vilnas stood wringing her own hands behind him, her face remarkably straight given the past few hours' events.

"So," started Dornigan. "It seems that we have been rendered quite impotent for the moment."

"Why exactly is Aven even in the hospital?" asked Trajan, keeping his mind focused despite any feelings that might have been floating about inside his head. They couldn't leave that child alone for more than five minutes before he got himself into some sort of trouble.

"As Kahlin may have already pointed out to you," replied Dornigan levelly, "there was trouble at the Artifactor's Guild. I've heard from a few of the staff that there may have been a murder..."

"One they think Aven is guilty of," finished Kahlin. Vilnas stiffened considerably. Dornigan nodded to the younger Rac'Conan.

"Yes, well, now that we are all here, except for our Guardsman friend, I believe those who had an eyewitness account do give it. Kahlin? Do catch us up with what has happened while we were, ahem... indisposed," he said carefully. Even he was a little miffed that, despite the fact nobody had a way of knowing, the majority had spent the last few hours in comfort and safety... and Trajan in a bed, even. Fortunately, nobody had leaked anything to Vilnas about the massage.

/=/

"I've already said I had nothing to do with this," said Ampiere rather forcefully. The Guardsmen had imprisoned him so quickly and efficiently it either meant he was well on his way to court, or they wanted to move him along as swiftly as possible to avoid paperwork. The Guard interrogating him stared indifferently across the long table, which besides the chairs, was the only piece of furniture in the bland, stone room. Several hovering lux lights (most directed over Ampiere's head) provided the only light in the room.

"You mean... despite the fact that you willingly joined a conflict that, by all accounts, was already being handled by the Guard itself, attacking a high ranking wizard planning to run for the Council, and even went so far to deny any connection with the guilty party after all this, you want us to believe this was just an act of chivalry on your part?"

"That wizard had his wand pointed straight at the guy's head. He might have been ready to try and murder him for all I knew!"

"And he would have been duly prosecuted, had he done so, but he was attacked first by the boy," replied the guard calmly. "You put yourself in a very dangerous position to help a murderer. That boy very deliberately attacked several members of the Guard, maimed a student of the Wizard's College, and beheaded one of his betters. When he was going crazy boiling away the skin of anyone who got close to him, he didn't look like he needed help to us."

"But before all that, he-" protested Ampiere, trying to get a word in edgewise, but the Guard cut him off with a wave.

"That is quite enough. We have more important matters to deal with tonight... don't worry, you aren't going to be officially prosecuted, you aren't guilty of anything... so far as we know. But then, attacking people with lux summoned lightning does raise a few... suspicions." He raised an expectant eyebrow.

"Is there something else you would like to add before we close this session and place you in your holding block?"
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Postby Fusion on Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:56 am

Amp sits back in the chair and crosses his arms.

"Nothing I haven't already said."

Trying to get these guys to belive me is harder than getting Mom to take my word that it was actually Kiynt who took the cookies while she was outside.
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Postby BlasTech on Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:17 pm

Kahlin stood in response to Dornigan adressing him and began recounting what had happened since he'd left for the hospital. Although he played down the fact that he'd wasted a good deal of time looking for Jasper, as opposed to Aven, the majority of his account was accurate.

Just like a report presentation he thought pity it still scares the fur offa me he half joked to himself. It was possibly a bit of false modesty, as he was a fairly good public speaker, but that wasnt to deny that he felt decidedly uncomfortable as the center of attention in any circumstance.

As a student he had a good memory for things and was able to recount the snippits of conversation he'd heard almost word for word as well as the general location of Aven's room, his condition and the inferences he'd drawn about the "conspirators" (he used that term for want of something more appropriate) names and occupations.

"Aaand ... thats about everything i can remember. After that i decided to, um, get out of there before the guards or the other three people could get a good look at me."

Out of habit, he asked "Were there any questions?"
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Postby GrayTiger on Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:57 pm

"I have one. I wanna hear more about this dagger. It seems to be the center of all this somehow."
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Postby BlasTech on Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:26 pm

Kahlin smiled "Well, technically that's more of a statement.. " he joked, stalling for time, as he made a semi-panicked glance at Master Dornigan. He hoped that the older would field this question as it was really more in his area of knowledge.
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Postby GrayTiger on Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:19 am

Ayshe's tail swished in irritation. "Alright *master* wizard," he said very sarcastically. "Perhaps this will suit you better. Would you rather explain in detail everything you surmise about this dagger OR would you rather I send your parents the bill for the meals you all ate and use of the rooms you are all staying in?"
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Postby BlasTech on Sun Jun 11, 2006 2:02 am

Kahlin's ears went flat as he narrowed his eyes in anger.

"It hadn't occured to me that you were only involved in this for mere profit Sir" he said coolly to Ayshe, reciprocating the other's sarcasm when he used the title.

"I have told you all i know, and in as much detail as i can, short of recreating the runes we saw. I was not present for the actual attack on Aven, nor do i trust my recollection of the runic patterns seeing as i was blasted off my feet a few seconds after."

"If that does not suffice for you, might i suggest you take it up with Master Dornigan, or someone who has more knowledge of the thing."

He probably should have stopped here, but he couldnt just lie down and take the other's lack of manners "Furthermore you may bill me for the food at your earliest convinience, i do not wish to remain indebted if all it is to you is petty leverage."
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Postby Doink on Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:33 am

Greystar blinked in surprise at Ayshe's rather blunt coercion methods. Faris, on the other hand, remained calm.

"Don't get your -hic- tail in a knot, Kahlin," she remarked flatly. "I think we're all a -hic- little impatient today."
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Postby Tbolt on Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:00 am

Trajan's ears slowly rotated back as he listened to the verbal altercation.

“Faris is right, that applies to both of you, Ayshe, Kahlin. Fighting each other isn't going to get us anywhere." he said.

Trajan continued, "What do we already know? Yesterday, somebody tried to take Aven's dagger, and they ended up zapped pretty good. Later, at the artificer's guild we tried to have the dagger scanned with the result being a minor explosion. It is obvious from our talks at the guild and the whim that the two are bonded and the dagger is probably booby trapped. Lady Vilnas, Aven has been acting as nervous as a mock tentacle in a trap jaw nest, has he always been this way?”
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Postby GrayTiger on Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:43 am

Ayshe's tail now thrashed from side to side. "This isn't about money or leverage. It's about a young kit lying in a hospital bed right now unconscious, seriously injured, and with the crime of murder hanging over his head. A crime I may add, that I suspect isn't even *his* doing."

Ayshe took a step towards Kahlin. "None of you noticed how antsy he was during dinner. Not the normal fidgeting of a kit...something was eating at him. None of you saw him slip away after Trajan was attacked. Not a kit simply wandering around or 'wanting to be alone'. He was called away. I saw it in his eyes. I suspect deeply that dagger is linked to him somehow and not just your normal everyday lux-based bond either. My guess is that now dead wizard examining the dagger probed it too deeply and it responded by summoning Aven to come to its aid. In case you haven't been paying attention it's done it twice before already. He doesn't own that dagger. The dagger owns HIM."

Ayshe calmly sat in a chair. "I don't question any of your loyalities to Aven. But I do agree with Lady Vilnas in one respect. You people took responsibility for his well-being and safety and so far you've failed at it twice. And if it hadn't been for that vigilante Trajan would be dead. Frankly I wonder if any of you truely understand what you got yourselves into." Ayshe's eyes flashed blue. "I can lead you to several graves of people who shared such ignorance five years ago."

He leaned forward in his seat and pointed his cane at Kahlin. "It's obvious you don't trust me with Aven's safety. But given your track record so far why should you be trusted with it?"

Ayshe's words seemed to come down on the group like a sledgehammer and the room was dead silent. "There is no room for goofing around folks. When a student screws up in the classroom he gets a bad grade. When a hero screws up a mission people die. I'm on your side, but you need to get your tails in gear or Aven doesn't stand a chance."
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Postby BlasTech on Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:42 pm

There were many things he wanted to say, many arguments that he wanted to make, but he held back although he was still furious that Ayshe would belittle the others in this room as if they were incompetants.

He stared at the ground for a minute. He has a point though, so far we havn't been doing that good a job

"Master Aushwaan, you may not approve of our methods, I must concede that I do not appreciate our results. But you have to understand that every person in this room does care about what happens to Aven and that we are here to offer, offer our services and aid. If he should choose to reject us and seek solitude, there is precious little we can do about it short of stripping away his self determination."

He cast a concerned glance at Aiden, the young priest who had been the one who noticed and allowed Aven's last departure. The adept's head and eyes were turned towards the ground, so Kahlin couldn't tell if the other understood that his actions did not constitute a failure in his duties.

He did, however, notice that several of the others were getting tired of the fighting. "Now, however, is not the time to debate Aven's mental capacity nor is it time to fling insults and accusations of mistrust." he held up a hand to forestall any counterattack "that said, it is also not the time to accuse you of not caring and i apologise for that" he closed his eyes hoping that Ayshe would reciprocate ... when nothing came he continued.

"You say that you are on our side, i would ask you to prove it by joining me in putting this argument aside for another time, at least until after we learn what we came here to learn." he bowed to the other and resumed his seat.

He was sick of it, sick of conceding, of giving ground for the greater good when all it served was to stroke their egos and fuel their sense of being right at his expense. With his back to the others he squeezed his eyes shut against the conflicting emotions that boiled inside him. His respect for Ayshe's achievements fought against his annoyance at the other's rudeness and obvious lack of respect for everyone in this room. How dare he treat them as if they were nothing more than fools destined for an ignorant grave. How dare he insult me as if im nothing more than some ... some ... cripple, clinging to his parent's purse strings! Who was he to treat the group's experience and judgement as irrelevant, and to attack Kahlin for merely trying to pass on the question to the one person who could answer it?

Okay, so he saved the Seven villages, does that mean he cant be wrong though?

His pride and optimism also fought with his sense of failure, fueled by the voice in his head that said just what Ayshe had been saying; they were no heroes, they were screwups and would never amount to anything more.

He squeezed out the lone pair of tears he'd been holding back, tears which soon vanished into his fur.
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Postby Doink on Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:55 am

Greystar hung his head in shame at Ayshe's accusation. Faris gently lifted it back up and soothingly leaned him back in his seat. "It's okay," she whispered. "You've done nothing wrong."

What in the deeps is he thinking? She cast a suspicious glare in Ayshe's direction. How were we supposed to know that Aven was in so much trouble? And why is he so critical of our performance in the alley? Greystar and I did pretty #$%@ well for racs forced into a new situation!

"So what do you suggest -hic- we do now, MISTER Aushwaan?" she hissed through gritted teeh.
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Postby RedSquirrel456 on Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:59 am

"Doctor Evergreen..." The doctor looked up from his desk to the young nurse who had walked into the room to assist him in juding the boy's condition and any needs he may have once he awoke. He wasn't better, but he certainly wasn't getting worse. She was pointing at the young boy's scraggy forelock, parting some of the hair to offer Evergreen a better look as he approached.

"There are scars on his head," she declared with some surprise. "They look fairly ragged."

The doctor nodded carefully. Jasper, presumably still under the bed, listened intently.

"I found as much after a cursory kenning before that terrible trio visited us. There's another on his chest, just below the left ribcage. By all appearances it seemed to be from some kind of stabbing activity." The nurse shook her head sadly.

"Hard to believe the kind of trouble even the young ones get into these days," she said quietly. "Ever since the Near War, everything's been going topsy turvy so... so fast. He looks so innocent, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was fresh out of one of the gangs."

Evergreen shrugged his assent. "I notice that very few things surprise us anymore. Nurse, I will handle things tonight. You will need to notify the Guardsmen once he wakes up... they'll probably be here by next morning anyway, though, wanting to 'clap him in irons' or some rot. They're more concerned about incarceration for the public good than anything else." He went back to his paperwork as the nurse was dismissed until later.

/=/

Dornigan and Vilnas watched as the others squabbled, calmed, squabbled again, and then quieted once more in the space of a few seconds. It was time to take charge before things began unwraveling even worse than they already were. Vilnas took the intitative. Some of these people were still barely more than youngsters, and she wouldn't stand for them having a nervous breakdown, ... and especially right in front of the curator. Despite the stress she was feeling and how admittedly frazzled she appeared just under the skin, Vilnas, ever attempting to appear collected and grounded, stepped forward, putting her hand lightly Kahlin's shoulder as Ayshe looked to the side with another reply in mind.

"I suggest we stop thinking this is about self determination-"

"I believe," said Lady Vilnas, "that enough is enough. Trajan has asked a pertinent question, and it is now time for answers.

"Aven has always been a rather quiet child. He came to officially work with us under Master Barret about eight years ago. I remember him then. Meek as a well fed bog dragon, and always ready to help with one thing or another. The only things he hurt before the swamp expeditions started were insects, and even then he almost always tried to put them back outside again. His newfound nervous nature doubtless coincides with the increased activity of the dagger, especially if he is..." Here she took a deep breath like the next word needed a touch of fresh air before it graced her tongue. "Bonded... to it. The idea is wholly repugnant to me... but evidence clearly suggests otherwise. As Ayshe said, this dagger is contributing to his behavior in a way that it certainly should not be doing. Believe me, I have cared for that boy for the better part of eight years... the only other person who would know him better would be Master Barret, and he is dead."

Dornigan cut in now. "The finding of the dagger we are all aware of. Four years ago, when the events with the misplaced human boy were reaching their resolution, Barret recovered it in an expedition to the southernmost reaches of the Dire Swamp. It being Guild business, I was able to oversee its handling and transportation. Rightfully it was his... at the time we had no idea it had any historical significance whatsoever. Just some flashy trinket a poor soul had lost along with his life in the swamps. Barret had it given to Aven. He kept it like it was a treasure from before the Wandering... until three years ago. Some business in Freedom Shore."

"They were there on Guild business," said Vilnas. "They were to recover a minor Dwarven artifact a fisherman had found near the shores of the Smoke Lake. The Guild wanted to recover it, because it was in fact not an artifact at all, by all accounts. It came to be there shortly after the human incident concluded. While waiting in storage, an unidentified thief broke into the warehouse, and stole it. Aven was able to give chase... but of course failed to apprehend the perpetrator. Being trapped in a museum, while filled with adventures in the swamps, he was brave as a Questor, but as dangerous as a swamp jelly in a real fight. He was stabbed, tossed through a few windows, and left for dead. Nobody ever saw the Dwarven item or the thief again."

"And ever since then, the dagger became... troublesome," said Dornigan. "Strange activity involving lighting up in the swamps, or sparking here and there. We considered it perfectly useless, and broken... figured Aven would get it fixed. Unfortunately he and it became more insperable than ever. We knew it was his, and never bothered him about it. And he seemed fairly normal." He sighed and rubbed his eyes in the manner of one fatigued. "It should have seemed so obvious looking back... but they were both terribly trustworthy, Barret and Aven. I would go so far as to say they almost had a sort of father-son... thing going on. For another couple of years leading up to this, we noticed Barret become a tad more reclusive... with himself, and with Aven. We didn't think particularly much of it... until Barret died in that foolhardy expedition to the swamps. It was, in theory, another freelance mission for what little treasure one can find there. Aven had been ecstatic about it... planned on buying "the biggest birthday cake in Sanctuary" with the spoils. Until of course, it ended in the disaster we are left with. Whatever happened to Aven after Freedom Shore and his failed vigilantism, it possibly led to his being bonded to this thing... and after some consideration, I can't help but think Barret had a hand in it."

"I'm certain of it," snapped Vilnas. "That old codger was always hiding things... Aven had no business being with him, I see that now." She seemed contemptful of whoever even got close to the boy without her permission anyway, given her natural prediliction of not trusting anyone, so Dornigan merely rolled his eyes.

"Any proof of that seems to have died with Barret, who had all the answers we may need. Vilnas had his offices turned upside down recently. All they found were maps, unimportant letters, and books. Except for the scrap of paper leading to that map which pointed out a very faint description of Moard Mannasan's supposed hiding spot, with no information regarding anything else, he left us with very little, except what we may have missed in initial investigations... and I'm sure we probably missed something... and Aven and the dagger themselves. Who, I am afraid, are out of reach. Out of sight, and out of mind. Until Jasper gets back with a more updated report on what's been going on, or news scrips inevitably get hold of something as raucous as a boy murdering a respected lux user, the only thing I see that we can do is figure out who wants the dagger and Aven, and why, and how best to keep them from causing harm."
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Postby GrayTiger on Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:31 pm

Ayshe sat very quiet and focused as he listened.

"I'd like to look over the stuff from his office if I may, with Kahlin and the twins. My family has privilages with the Archievist Guild so we may be able to use the library afterhours."

"Trajan, I assume you still have some friends within the guardsmen ranks?"

"A few," came a reply through gritted teeth.

"We need to find out what they are gonna do with Aven if he regains consciousness....*when* he regains consciousness." Ayshe chided himself for his slip of the tongue. "If they press charges for murder he could be looking at life in prison. Or considering the Tumbledown gang wars, they might just hang him."
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Postby Tbolt on Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:25 am

Graves, the price of error, the thought struck hard within Trajan. He could think of twenty four graves, one of which contained his wife. A dozen or so in addition that Trajan sent to the Deeps by his own hand that day, including one nobody ever knew about.

What could they have done differently, tied Aven to his chair? Glued themselves to his tail? What should they do differently? In that aspect Ayshe was right, reacting to the problem was getting old, they needed to take more proactive steps.

"I believe," said Lady Vilnas, "that enough is enough. Trajan has asked a pertinent question, and it is now time for answers...”

Trajan could have fallen over, that Vilnas would have graced one of his questions with something like a positive remark surprised him. He kept his reaction to a shift in position in his chair, ostensibly to realign his tail better.

“... until Barret died in that foolhardy expedition to the swamps. It was, in theory, another freelance mission for what little treasure one can find there...”

Trajan half smiled at Dornigan's comment regarding the swamp. The swamps still held a lot, but it was probably better that what remained stayed hidden, a lot of it wasn't worth the price to recover.

Considering Ayshe's last comment, Trajan thought out loud:

“This is the Seven Villages, the justice system is fair, not rash, they will not execute him out of hand like the Khrastii**. Master Kahlin, if the bonding between the blade and Aven is as deep as Master Aushwaan suggests, how easy is it to break such a bond or forge it to another individual?”

“Well, if worse comes to worse, we could kidnap him out of the hospital and drag him to the swamp on a leash,” Lady Vilnas's tail flared appropriately at that comment, “but somehow I don't think that would engender an enormous amount of trust from the lad. He's already spooked out on us twice...”

Trajan continued, “Taking him without the dagger is definitely a bad idea as well, do we even know where it is at this point? Oh, and one more thing, did Barret have a place he actually called home other than his office? I haven't had much direct experience with academics since school, but most that I was aware of did not sleep in their offices, and most swamp critters keep their most prized things in their burrows. Has anyone looked in the place he called home when he wasn't in the field?”


**( No, nobody should have heard of them)
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Postby BlasTech on Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:35 am

Kahlin's ears twitched once, the only external sign that he'd heard Trajan's question. When he answered, his voice was heavy but clear.

"Probably very difficult" he said, without turning around "especially in light of our inability to scan it safely. Unless we can find some documentation about the procedure, or unless Aven can tell us about it, we probably wont be able to guess at the transferrent parameters or at the nature of the bonding rune. Any work on the dagger without that knowledge risks damage to both it and him."
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Postby Doink on Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:03 am

Greystar looked at the floor, somewhat disappointed that he wouldn't be able to examine the dagger as well. The twin who held a greater interest in speaking was Faris, who cast her eyes about the room, taking a good luck at everyone who had spoken thus far.

"So you're telling me that our best -hic- option is to just let Aven have the dagger for now, but -hic- keep a close eye on him?" She sounded concerned that this was the best plan they could come up with.
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Postby BlasTech on Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:37 am

"Master Dornigan is right, we arn't in a position to directly do anything with regards to Aven or the dagger, both are beyond our reach. But if we can find out more about who those people were that I overheard, we might be able to find out what their interest in Aven is. By extention we might learn something more about the dagger, why its important and how to safely break the bond. Between what we can turn up about them and Barret's notes we might get lucky."

He shrugged, still not looking at the others.

"Trio, dagger and bond ... three foci for investigation" he sighed, wishing there was more he could do besides sifting through paperwork. At last he looked up at Master Dornigan who was standing in front of the group. "Is there anything else we can do to help?"
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Postby GrayTiger on Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:58 am

Asyhe removed his hat and scratched his trademark snowy white head fur. "Sometimes the best option is the only one left. Our hands are pretty tied right now. Perhaps we should head back to the Whim and call it a night. If I may, I'd still like to borrow Barret's research materials and notes." He looked around the room and could read in everyone's eyes that his words had caused some deep wounds.

He sighed as he stood again and got in front of them. "Look fellas, I'm sorry for being so blunt earlier. But my experiences with Rayne taught me the price of not being careful."

He removed his robe then with one smooth swift motion removed his shirt leaving him bare-chested. Everyone gasped when they saw his left side. Gouged deep into his side like an ugly part in his fur was a horrible scar, the burned skin so damaged that fur would no longer grow. "That my friends, it what happens when you get stabbed with a shocking blade. I let my guard down and the artifact those bastards had used to track Rayne was lost. The wound itself was bad enough, but the electrical discharge once it struck me was almost fatal. I'm alive because my companions had the sense to keep an eye on me. But it didn't end there. Members of my family died as a further result of my mistake. They died and I lived to carry the scars." He sagged a little bit. "I've had to carry that with me every day, knowing it was my fault my family's blood was spilt. Sometimes its more than I can...."

He let slip a low growl, as if an animal was in pain and quickly put his clothes back on. "Excuse me, I need to leave. My carriage will take you back to the Whim. Master Dornigan, please have the research sent there if you can allow it. I...I will meet you all at the inn later. I need some air."

And he quickly grabbed his hat and was gone out the door.
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Postby Doink on Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:59 am

The scar drew the twins' gaze like a magnet. Faris's hard expression softened up instantly, leaving a mixture of regret and concern. He's a real hero, she thought. I'm nothing compared to him. Although Greystar was sitting in open-mouthed admiration, she knew he had to be thinking along similar lines.

If only Dad was here. He's capable of so much more than me...

When Ayshe robed himself again, she blinked and put on her game face, displaying her determination for everyone in the room. That's it. We're going to train even harder now! I'll prove to Ayshe that we can handle anything he can!
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