Arora nodded in understanding with Sakura. She was glad Yukimura understood her position somewhat, even if he couldn’t join. Something did leave a puzzled frown on her face, try as she did to keep it hidden with a smile. What did he mean about a brother missing?
Arora couldn’t ask just then. Sakura was right, they had to go. They walked in near silence, Arora glad to have Lucien next to her. Arora smiled at Sakura when she bowed. This little sister of hers was very sweet. Arora was so glad she wouldn’t need to fight her.
Before she could say anything she heard voices, and two more people. Sakura knew them, and they way they were approaching they clearly weren’t looking for a fight. Arora laughed,”The more the merrier really. Next step… Well, we ought to let everyone recover and catch everyone new up on where we’re staying. This was a good day, but it’s not enough for us to properly stop the fighting yet.”
Arora tapped her chin thoughtfully,”But it might be enough for us to go to Nohr and try to talk there…”
Nohr where her adopted siblings lived, and where she’d grown up. Unlike Hoshido they weren’t reeling from the loss of a Queen. They would be tougher to confront if they fought, but with the new allies it could be possible.
Yukimura stood shocked. “But my lady the Queen…”
“Would have wanted it this way,” Sakura said lowing her head. “She would have wanted me to stand by my sister no matter what.” Yukimura open his mouth to say something but then closed it instead and nodded.
“Yes you are correct my lady I’m sorry for rushing to a concussion.” He bowed to Arora. “And I’m sorry Lady Arora for attack you. Our queens death has put us all on edge. However I can’t follow you I must stay behind and watch over our home. With your brother missing on one of the few left in charge.”
Sakura nodded in understanding. “We will find them don’t worry.” She then turned to Arora. “We should get going.” She lead the way out of the fort and done a path away from the area. After ten minutes of walking the end up by a lake. Lucien had walked next to Arora the whole way back. When the stop Sakura turned to the two of them before giving a small bow and saying. “Thank you for letting me join please take care of me?”
Suddenly two voice called. “Lady Sakura” they called as two people showed up. One was a short girl with long blond hair with a katana at her side. The other was a tall pegis rider with long red hair. “Wait for us Lady sakura” Sakura was supprised to see them Hana, Subakiwhat are you both doing here.
“We are your retainers my Lady we will follow you any were.” Hana said.
As Sakura and her retainers talked Lucien turned to Arora said. “It seem two more have joined our group. What our next step.”
He seemed unwilling to surrender, and Arora felt disappointed. A voice interrupted them before they could do anything or she could speak further. Arora looked puzzled, and was clearly surprised to see Sakura and Kaze there.
Better than being there, they seemed to understand at least some of what she was trying to show them. Enough that they were willing to join her. Arora’s face broke into a big smile,”I would be honored to have you both.”
That was the formal answer, which Arora managed before saying quickly,”I’m happy. I’m really happy you believe me. Thank you.”
It meant something that Sakura and Kaze didn’t think she was a traitor. If she could convince them, then maybe the whole thing was possible. She looked at Lucien out of the corner of her eye. They could convince others. Once they got to Nohr, Luna might join them. She felt optimistic, perhaps overly so.
Finally, the battle ended. They had other knocked everyone out or hurt them in a way what they couldn’t continue to fight. No one die and one reminded to fight them. "No not after what you did." Yukimura said as he blocked another blow. "I will defeat you."
"That enough Yukimura" A small voice called out. Every one turned to see Sakura and Kaze. "She hasn't betrayed anyone. Look around none of you men and dead or badly hurt." Kaze nodded and said, "If she truly betrayed us she wouldn’t have gone out of her way not to hurt anyone."
Yukimura took a second to look around and noticed that none of his men were dead. "But she..." He tried to say.
"But nothing I watched the fight she has done nothing but tried to talk to you and you haven't listened." Kaze said walking up to Arora. With a slight bow he said. "I wish to join you on your quest my lady. The Igasato clan has always served the royal family and so I will stand by you." He then took a knee in front of her.
Sakura then walked up as well. "I wish to join you as well big sister. I don’t believe that betrayed us and that you wanted to stay neutral." This shocked that not only had one join but two. He looked at Arora to see how she would react.
It was a lot harder to fight and not kill any of her opponents. It took longer, and took more energy. She was glad for all the help she did have, because with their help they made progress to the gate.
It was slow, but they made their way in finally. They hadn’t killed a single person. Beat him and make him listen. Arora didn’t say anything to Lucien, she just pushed forward straight to Yukimura.
“I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to hurt anyone. You have to believe me now.” She tried to talk even as they fought. She wasn’t fighting to kill, still determined to only disarm or incapacitate. It was the only way to really [i show] her intentions. There was only so much she even could say, her actions would have to speak for her.
Taking to the sky Lucien took after some enemy fliers. It wasn’t going to be easy they wear out number and had to fight thought at least fourteen to fifteen men to reach the leader. Fighting past the front gate would be the hardest though as it could hold the most at any given time. He would leave the ground troops to Arora and the other. He would handler the skies and any people who tried to sneak up behind the group.
On the group Azure and Jakob stood near the rear of the group to support and heal if it was need. Jakob could heal as well as fight but as the group didn’t have a sole healer they would need his ability. Azure was a lit deferent in her ability to support. Her voice could help other fight on longer or her opponent to just give up. Gunther and Valentine help fight up front. Gunther years of training man him way better than most other. And Valentine moment with her blade made it easy for her to duck and cover while fighting other. Togeather they hand started to just forward without killing any one.
Lucien had a little trouble with trying to do the same. He had to knock off the rider for their steads then catch them midair so they didn’t fall to their death. The small Pegues made it hard as they could turn quick then him. However after a few tries he finally was able to get rid of all pf them. When he was done he moved to cover the rear guard as the pushed. He wait as the other group push the last of the dictions into the courtyard. “It up to you now to beat him and make him listen” he called out to Arora as she pushed in.
They had quite the walk in the morning. Everyone seemed to be in pretty good spirits though. It was quiet, but not too tense.
At least until the wall came into view. Then Arora felt a tightness in her throat. She got more nervous as the wall loomed closer. Either they would be welcomed or stopped.
Being stopped wasn’t a surprise, but the hostility still made her flinch slightly. She couldn’t back down though, and started to plead, to explain what she was trying to do. “You have it wrong, I’m not betraying anyone. I just want peace.”
She was shouted over, and it was clear the other side was only interested in fighting, not in talking. Arora sighed, looking at Lucien,”It seems that way. So be it, we’ll fight. See if they’ll listen once we knock them down. Try not to kill anyone. We want peace, not senseless bloodshed.”
Arora drew her sword. Her dragon form still felt a little clumsy, but she supposed she could try if the battle turned that way. The element of surprise then would help balance any lack of practice, but for now she was familiar with the sword. The first warrior she faced was strong, but far too slow to keep up with her. She aimed not to kill him, but simply prevent him from fighting further.
With Arora suggestion Lucien agreed, playing some game did help everyone take the edge off. It was help everyone get tired out before going to bed. The next day was going to be ruff and they need to bed ready for it.
After everyone wake up and got together they ready themselves for the day head of them. Lucien was a little surprised when they came out at the bottles cavern but did question it as they had moved when he was asleep. It took most of the morning to get to the southern fort of Hoshido. It was massive a wall that protected the southern part of Hoshido. As they walked up too it a man stepped out. Yukimura, that leader of Hoshido army and a friend of Arora mother. He looked anger to see them.
“Why have you come back traitor?” he asked looking down at them from the entrance of the fort. “You got a lot of gut showing your face after what you did to your family.” Lucien listened as Arora tried to explain herself but he wouldn’t listen. “No I will not listen to any of your lies. Prepare to fight I will bring honor back to Hoshido name.” He finally yelled running back into the fort. Several men then ran out and took up arms.
Looking at Arora Lucien asked. “Your order? It looks like they want to fight more than talk. Maybe after we knock some since into them, they will listen.” He took out his dragon stone as he waited for his orders
Arora smiled when she saw Lucien and nodded,”It should be. Jakob always makes something delicious.”
She ruffled her damp hair as she walked, looking more thoughtful,”Yeah, tomorrow. I really hope it goes well too. I hope he’s had enough time to cool off and not be angry. I think that’ll be important in trying to reason with him.”
Especially since she couldn’t tell him about the most compelling reason to help her. It would be tricky to convince him and avoid that subject entirely. She frowned slightly, then decided to not dwell on it and worry Lucien. She looped her arm in his and tried to sound like she wasn’t worried,”So, if we’re going out tomorrow morning we should try and relax tonight. Maybe we can try and get everyone to play a few games after dinner to unwind. That might even help us all sleep better, what do you think?”
Lucien had found Jakob fixing dinner in the mess hall. “Good evening,” He called when he noticed Lucien. “Good to see you finally awake.” Lucien gave a small smile.
“Thanks I didn’t think it would have been so long. What did you guys do while I was gone?” He asked taking a seat.
Jakob scolded. “Sorry but I can’t really talk about it as something happened. Don’t worry it nothing bad but you’ll just have to trust me.” He counted to cook but had a sires face.
Lucien wondered what could be wrong. First Arora was blocking part of her memory off then Jokob won’t even talk about it. What was going on? He just had to trust the other and he did.
After a few more minutes Jokab said. “And we are done. Would you please find lady Arora and the other for dinner?”
“Sure,” He said walking walking out to find the other. It only took him a short time to find them as most were with each other. All though he was shocked to see Gunther. After tell them dinner her when and found Arora coming out of the bath house. “Dinner ready” He said walking up to her. “Jakob made it so should be good. Tomorrow the day then hmm. The day we go and talk with your brother. I hope everything goes well.”
Arora wandered near the baths and waited for Lucien to finish. She found a spot to sit and wait, and thought about how she might approach the people in Hoshido. How to convince Ryoma to end the fighting?
When he left, Arora got up and went in to bathe and try to relax. She waved to Lucien, then went into the building. She intended to take a little longer, and try and wonder what she might say to Ryoma and the others. As she soaked in the hot water she gave it thought, watching the steam. She could reason that their mother wouldn’t want that. Her mother had seemed like a kind, peaceful woman. Surely she wouldn’t want war if it could be avoided. She would have to reason with them without even hinting at Valla.
Keeping that secret for so long had to have been hard on Azura. Arora sighed. There was a lot of work ahead. She was so grateful to Lilith for this little sanctuary for them to rest and plan safely.
When she felt she’d soaked almost too long Arora got out of the bath, the sun much lower than when she’d started. It was probably time for dinner, and Jakob or someone was probably looking for her, or would be soon.
Lucien took a quick bath not really wanting to soak. The sun had started to lower showing that the day was coming to a close. Now that he was back they could start moving with their plans. First step to head to Hoshido. Hopeful someone would listen, they had too right they called themselves Arora famiy so maybe after so time cooling off they would understand.
He watched the sun high in the sky as it slowly makes it way down. How would this all end he wounded. Was he ready for another war? Could he handle it? Question like these pledged his thoughts as he watched the sun dropped. After about a half hour he got up and sighted he wondered what everyone else what up too?
He had been doing this since he was young. Arora stretched, glad to move on to flying. She hoped that might come easily enough to her.
It didn’t come quite as easily as she wanted. She wasn’t awful, but clearly struggled with remembering to move her wings quite right. Flying up to the wall was clumsy work for her, but getting up and gliding down helped her learn to do it right, and by the end of the hour she was tired but getting the hang of it.
She changed back to her human form after he did. The exhaustion stayed with her when she changed, though her body felt different. Wings that had been aching turned to aching shoulders. A bath sounded good. Arora ruffled her hair and nodded, then blushed. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Go on, I’ll wait.”
She acted almost offended, but really she liked that he was flirting with her. It would take some getting used to, plus without Luna here she felt a little hesitant. It was selfish but getting Luna was them was one of her bigger priorities. For now she’d have to put it on hold to go to Hoshido, but it was still on her mind.
"You have to always be ready for an attack," Lucien laughed get off of her. "You must understand as well as I have two sisters and most of my childhood was doing this with them." He could still remember the day of him and his sister playing in the tree with his mother watching over then. His father coming to visit everyone an a while form his adventures with the shepherds. Simple time before the war took everything from him.
He then took a few steps back. "Okay then let's move onto fly okay." With that he took off and settled himself onto a wall a few feet away and ten feet up. "Come on try to move up to me." He said as he watched. After spending an hour on work on her fly. He chooses to call it a day. "Well let's call it a day. I don’t want to overdo it on your first day." He turned back to his human form and was cover in a thin lay of sweet coving him. "I'm going to go bath for a bit. You should too when I'm done." He then gave a cheeky grime. "Unless you want to join me I'm not against it." He laughed walking off to the bath house.
Arora shook her head, just getting used to how it felt. She was so high up, but still on the ground. Lucien for once actually looked small. It felt so weird to look down at him. She did as he suggested, shifting her wings up and down. It felt a little odd since she wasn’t used to even having wings. She spread them out and pulled them in a couple of times, then tried moving them like she would to fly, but slowly. She could feel the air her wings pushed even at that slow pace. She knew she would be able to fly, but as for how gracefully or for how long, she couldn’t guess.
Lucien jumped at her before she could process what he meant about getting used to her new body. A play fight. She laughed, struggling to try and get him off her. It wasn’t too hard for him to knock her down the first time, she was a little clumsy and he clearly knew what he was doing. She pushed herself back up,”Because you caught me by surprise.”
The play fighting was a good tactic. While she didn’t have the experience to really beat him the first few times, it got her focused on trying to win. Without worrying about how odd it felt she was letting her instincts guide her and was quickly getting used to how to move comfortably in her new skin. The clumsiness she had at first was lessening as she got used to her larger body. It was taking longer for her to eventually lose. After yet another loss to Lucien she huffed,”You’re too good at this.”
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