Chapter 1: Chance Meeting
It was around midday in the kingdom of Carnava and the sun was shining while partially hidden behind the clouds. It was a relatively nice day and a cool breeze blew through the air. By a cliff overlooking the ocean a young woman sat quietly next to the gravestone of her former master while her feline familiar lay next to her. He purred and kicked his legs in his sleep as she scratched behind his ear which brought a small smile to her face. The wind began to pick up blowing her long violet hair around her face. Her outfit was in by most standards very revealing but she liked it. It suited her so she wore it regardless of the comments and rumors it stirred from people. She glanced down at her hat lying on her lap while running her fingers along the crown a top it. She let out a deep sigh and picked her hat up putting it on. Her gaze shifted to the large gray clouds that began covering the previously blue sky and the faint rumble of thunder reverberated in the atmosphere.
"Wake up Josie it's time to go," she said giving him a light kick.
Josie stretched and yawned before rising up and looking at her. "We're leaving so soon Fatimeow?" he said floating after her.
"It'll rain soon; we don't want to get caught out here in the rain so we better leave," she said in a cold tone. He sighed to himself and followed her.
Bye Master. The brief thought almost escaped her lips in the form of words but she held them back.
"Fatimeow are you feeling alright? You've been acting kind of strange lately," Josie asked as they followed the path.
Fatima said nothing and continued to walk hoping that he wouldn't inquire any further.
"Are you sad because master isn't here?" he hesitantly asked knowing Fatima didn't like talking about Mattias. She abruptly stopped walking and looked back at him with a glare.
"That's enough Josie. I'm fine. I've accepted master's death and come to terms with it." He backed up a little until her gaze softened and she turned and pet his head. "Sorry, just don't worry about me ok? It's nothing I'm just a little tired from all the walking that's all."
She turned and continued walking with him right behind her as the sound of thunder could be heard in the air again. They had walked for an hour before they finally reached Azul forest where Fatima and Josie lived in a small house that had been recently built. It was a small wooden cottage that was a light brown color on the outside. It had a total of 3 windows; one kitchen window, a bedroom window, and a living room window. They were about 15 minutes away from the house and the rain was just starting to fall. Fatima was looking up while a few drops landed on her face when she heard a rustling in the bushes nearby. Josie's ears perked up and he looked in the same direction. Thinking it might be some of the more aggressive wildlife Fatima prepared a spell but stopped when she saw a hand sticking out of the bushes.
It's a person? she thought stepping closer. She moved the bushes to the side and saw a man lying on the ground. He had black hair and he looked very pale. He had on a long gray trench coat and black boots. His shirt was black as well and it was torn in several places. He had several bruises and cuts all over his body and he appeared to be unconscious. He was clutching a sword in his right hand as well.
"He looks hurt Fatimeow. What should we do?" Josie asked floating around. She thought for a second while checking him over then proceeded to lift him up.
"Let's get him inside Josie," she said throwing one of his arms over her shoulder and pulling him up.
"Is that really a good idea?" he asked again as she started to walk toward the house.
"If we leave him here he'll die and I'd rather not have a corpse lying outside the house." Fatima answered.
As they were walking he began to come to and weakly looked over at who was helping him. Fatima noticed this and glanced over at him.
"Thank…you…miss," he barely managed to say before his consciousness faded again.
The rain was just beginning to fall as they got to her house and they quickly got inside before the downpour started. Having no where else for him to lie comfortably, Fatima moved him to her bed.
"Fatimeow do you know anything about treating injuries?" Josie piped up as Fatima grabbed bandages and anything she could find.
"Well I'm no trained doctor but I can at least patch him up a little. In the meantime you go to the magic academy and bring back a healer once the rain stops." Josie nodded while he watched Fatima go to work.
She took off her hat and laid it on a desk while she pulled out the bandages and everything.
"Josie get me some water," she said as she grabbed a pair of scissors from the desk. She cut his shirt down the middle and opened it so she could see all of his injuries. He had numerous bruises and cuts all over his chest and arms. Josie brought back a bucket and a small red cloth that Fatima used to clean him up a bit. She then glanced down to his pants and a slight blush appeared on her face.
Fatima snap out of it. He could have injuries that need treating….down there. Damn it why am I so flustered all of a sudden, she thought looking at him. He winced a bit in pain and was running a high fever. I have to admit he is handsome. He kind of reminds of that half-assed master only a lot more…mature looking. She decided to leave his lower body alone and soaked the cloth in the cool water putting it on his forehead. After a few minutes he relaxed a bit and she, recalling what Mattias had once taught her about treating injuries, cleaned and bandaged his wounds as best she could. Once the rain stopped Josie flew off to get a healer and Fatima stayed to keep an eye on their guest. He was asleep so she took a seat next to the bed with one of her favorite books and began reading.
After about 15 minutes she heard him stir and looked up to see him looking up at her. She shut her book and got up from her seat walking up to the bed.
"How do you feel?" she asked looking down at him.
"Alright I guess…where am I?" he said weakly. "That's not important. Hold on for a second," she said walking to the kitchen. She came back with a steaming cup on a tray.
"Drink this it'll make you feel better," she said putting the cup to his lips.
She made him drink it all before sitting back in her chair and crossing her legs.
"So who are you and what happened to you out there?" she asked twisting a bit of her hair around her right index finger.
"My…name is Alastair and I ended up in the forest after being attacked by these…creatures." She perked up a little and looked at him curiously.
"Creatures? You mean the wild life around here? There are some animals that are somewhat dangerous but nothing that could kill an armed person." He tried to sit up but ended up falling back down to the bed.
"No…they weren't ordinary animals. They were black with large wings and claws and there were at least a dozen of them. They…were even talking." Fatima's eyes widened and she leaned forward quickly which startled Alastair a bit.
"Talking!? Are you sure!?"
He nodded while rubbing his head. "I couldn't make out what they were saying because their speech was fragmented and low pitched but they were definitely talking," he said to her. Fatima stood up and turned her back to him crossing her arms. It's impossible! He's describing beast fiends! But they shouldn't exist in our world anymore! But then again he doesn't appear to be lying either. He could still be mistaken though, she thought. "Are you sure they spoke words? I mean you did take some pretty nasty injuries…perhaps you hallucinated?" she asked with a small smirk on her face.
"No…I encountered those things on Mt. Redhelm. I was on my way to the magic association to see someone and those things came out of nowhere while I was resting. There were too many to fight on my own so I ran for it. They chased me all the way to this forest but for some reason they wouldn't enter it. I'm lucky I was only hurt this badly. They could've killed me," he said slightly annoyed at her disbelieving tone.
"Wait, who were you coming to see at the magic association?" she asked curiously. "Oh…I was coming to see a friend of my father's the master Mattias."
Fatima's eyes widened and she stared at him in utter shock. "M-master…Mattias…!?"