The Statue of the Goddess Zenyna was the most noticeable site in Fedimian. Day or night, the figure would be surrounded by devoted followers offering their prayers for salvation. However, there was another small group beginning to form in front of the statue. They consisted of a squire, a templar and a paladin
"Ms. Gaudin? Do you think the rest of the guild will come?" asked the young squire. With soft blue hair in a baby perm, he sat behind two other figures looking through their camping supplies. With a small frame, it was clear he was the youngest of the three.
"I'm sure they will be here soon. And I told you to call me Bella, Pelleas." the templar responded as she looked over the stairway up to the statue. Dressed in a traditional templar uniform, Bella looked out onto the horizon with her soft green eyes as her blond short cut hair waved in the wind. To her side was her family rapier passed down through the ages a Spada with a falcon crest on the guard. On her back, she wore her Cavalry Shield.
"Sure thing Ms. Gau … I mean Ms. Bella. What do you think Santos?" Pelleas asked the paladin kneeling in front of the goddess statue. After finishing his prayer, Santos stood up to rejoin the group. His black hair styled into a shadow perm that concealed his left eye. He had a tall, slender build that was almost completely hidden by his Paladin Master uniform.
"If the goddess wills it, they will surely be here." Santos said in a calm and relaxed manner. "Look, someone in coming right now."
"Really, who is it?" Bella said excitedly before finally spotting the man walking up the stairway. Dressed in a doppelsoeldner uniform, the man stomped up the stairs as if ready for a fight. His fiery red hair tied back into a short ponytail revealed a small scar on his right cheek. On his back was his Pensara Two-handed sword, chipped and warped by many a battle. "Oh. Hello Siegfried" The templar said as her enthusiasm deflated just a bit.
"Hey Belladonna, I see you wanna waste everyone's time with another one of your field trips." Siegfried said with a dismissive tone. "We could be assaulting the Earth Tower or the assisting the Saalus Convent."
Bella stood firm as the doppelsoeldner approached. "These "field trips" are important to building guild harmony. Besides, you know both of those places are beyond us right now." She said.
"Are you guys gonna start fighting now? Your arguments get really old really fast."
All four guild mates jumped as the voice rang out in the plaza. "Artemis! Where are you hiding?" Siegfried called out. From a barrel behind Palleas popped out a musketeer with brunette hair pulled back into a ponytail, much to the squire's surprise. A bored expression covered Artemis' face as she slipped out of the barrel.
"Artemis! I didn't know if you would come or not. But I'm glad you're here." Bella said as her face lit up with excitement.
"Sure, whatever." Artemis said as she stood beside the shocked squire and tinkered with her weapon.
Siegfried also approached the squire and ruffled his hair. "How ya doing Palleas? Are you still practicing the Crosscut I showed you?" He said with a big grin.
Fixing his hair, Palleas gave the doppelsoeldner a smile in return. "Yes sir! I've been trying to practice it night and day." He said.
Glad to see more of her comrades arriving, Bella waited patiently atop the staircase for the rest of the group. The next three to arrive were a monk, an oracle and a wugushi.
"Arty!" the wugushi yells as she ran right pass Bella. Her green long wave twin tails smacked the templar in the face as she ran by. Arms out, she wrapped Artemis into a big hug. "It feels like it's been forever since we've seen each other."
"We just had a mission together last week Scarlett" Artemis replied, obviously uncomfortable with this kind of affection.
"Scarlett, it's good to see you again." Bella said to Scarlett as she reached out to shake the wugushi's hand.
"Bella! I can't believe this is going to be your last action as Guild Leader." Scarlett quipped as she rubbed her cheeks against Artemis'.
A little taken aback, Bella retracts her hand. "Where did you hear that? I'm not quitting as Guild Leader."
"Lighten up Bella, it was just a joke. " Scarlett said as Artemis tried to peel her off.
Before she could reply, the oracle arrived atop the stairs riding on the back of the monk.
"Are we there yet Kiki?" The oracle asked the monk as the two reached the top of the stairs. Her face was covered by her long white braided hair.
"NO! Stop asking Delphi." Kiki yelled as she stopped right in front of Bella. Her black hair pulled back into a double bun to show her full face and bright blown eyes. "Oh. We are here. Hi Bella, I hope we're not late" She said waving to the temple
"Delphi! Kiki! No you're just in time. Quick question though, why are you carrying Delphi, Kiki?" Bella asked the two.
Delphi let out a yawn letting Kiki answer. "Well it just worked out that way. Delphi didn't want to walk all the way up here and I needed a bit of a workout. Need to be in top shape when we're out there busting heads." Kiki said excitedly.
"That's great but this is going to be a more peaceful outing." Bella responded. A bit let down, Kiki grabbed a seat beside Pelleas as she laid Delphi down on a pile of blankets. Adjusting her uniform, Bella waited for the last two members of the guild to arrive. She didn't have to wait long though as a female alchemist strolled up the stairway followed by a male sorcerer.
"Yoho Bella! I hope we're not late either." The alchemist said as she gave the templar a light hug and a dainty kiss on the cheek. Her black long-wave perm highlighted her sharp green eyes and thin face. Wearing a silver framed monocle over her right eye and a recreation of the Wizard master uniform, she was the very definition of style. "Come along Andris, you shouldn't doddle so much".
"Catherine! I'm glad you're here." Bella said reciprocating Catherine's affectionate greeting. "Andris, it's good to see you too." Bella added as she turned to the sorcerer. He seemed to be labouring behind Catherine quite a bit. His brown hair fashioned into asymmetrical short cut that covered the right side of his face. But it did nothing to hide his tired blue eyes and sickly face. It was easy to see though that he and Pelleas were about the same age. Worst yet, he seemed to be carry a giant sack filled with an assortment of goods.
"Y-yes Lady Catherine. It's good to see you too Lady Belladonna" Andris said as he crawled up the stairs. Not content to watch the young man suffer, Siegfried walked up to the sorcerer and grabbed the have sac of goods.
"What? Are you trying to crush the boy Catherine?" He said as he threw it over his shoulder.
Catherine merely gave him a laugh. "This is all part of his training Siegfried. I'm going to mold him into a proper wizard, right Andris?"
"Of course" Andris said as he continued to follow behind Catherine closely.
With the entire guild here, Belladonna jumped onto one of the stone slabs and used it as a makeshift stand. Clearing her throat, she tried to get everyone's attention before giving the speech she prepared.
"Ahem… A year ago, Siegfried, Santos, Artemis and Catherine and I traveled to the Sanctuary and fought the Demon Lord Naktis. The battle was long and tenuous but we were able to defeat her and reclaim a part of the Great Cathedral. To honour Mavis' teaching, we created the Knights of Mavis. A guide in remembrance of his lessons" Bella says with a hint of pride.
"However, the guild has fallen on hard times. Our attempts to battle the Dullahan and Starving Ellaganos went poorly. Our guild wars with the Order of Orme and the Bloody Kepas have drained the guild's resource. People have come and gone but the Knights of Mavis are still here! And it's time we return to our roots. That's why we've gathered here today"
Santos then stepped forward and turned to the group. "Even after word of Naktis' defeat spread, people still fear her curse and have all but abandoned this vital spiritual journey. It falls on us to help restore faith in Maven's teachings and the Goddesses" He said.
Bella then drew her rapier and pointing it to the sky. "We, the Knights of Maven will travel Pilgrim's Way. We will make the pilgrimage from Starving Demon's Way all the way to Apsimesti Crossroad on foot. Santos originally proposed the idea and I couldn't agree more. I believe after this pilgrimage, the Knights of Maven will come back stronger than ever!" She yelled.
Santos and Pelleas gave their templar a hearty round of applause. Kiki, Catherine and Andris joined in too eventually. Artemis and Delphi only seemed to be paying half attention and Scarlett was busy tampering with her poison pots.
Siegfried stepped forward obviously annoyed. "A Pilgrimage is a pretty grand undertaking. It's strange that you didn't talk it over with your Vice-Commander." He said.
Bella stepped off her stand to answer him. "I tried to ask you about it, multiple times. But you said you had better things to do. Believe it or not, hashing out details is the Vice-Commander's job as well" Bella said. Siegfried backed down as the Bella turned to her squire. "Is everything ready Pelleas?" She asked
"All set Ms. Bella" Pelleas said as he tied up the rest if their camping supplies. With the meeting over, everyone grabbed their backpacks and made their way to Starving Demon's Way with Bella and Santos taking point.
Just as the group was leaving, Siegfried leaned over and whispered into Artemis' ear. "How did your investigation turn out?" He asked. Artemis didn't respond and merely nodded as she handed the Doppelsoeldner a few slips of paper and continued on. Giving them a quick glace and stashed them away in his side pouch. The two then made their way to Starving Demon's Way with the rest of the guild.