At his pace, it didn't take long to get to where the voices could be heard. However, as he got closer, he found the voices were raised and angry. It would appear like a heated argument was brewing. He soon arrived at a clearing with a lake and waterfall with four figures. On the lake's edge stood three, and from the colors of their robes, each was a member of the Lorecia Clan. In the water, however, just down to her inner robes was Moushira. There was a frown on her face as she looked between the three.
"I'll ask again, where is the rest of your group?!"
One of the figures which seemed to be the leader shouted to her. He takes a few steps forward. His skin an olive gleam with deep purple eyes and shoulder-length sand-colored hair. Moushira let out a sigh, more than annoyed at this point.
"As I said before, I don't know, we parted ways about a half-hour ago."
That didn't seem to please the boy at all as his fist start to clench.
"Hn, he dares to leave one of his own alone? You must have proven useless."
His words were hissed in a sneer. Whatever anger that seemed to brew from his voice didn't seem like it originated from her but in fact from her group members. A fact that didn't seem lost to her as she shakes her head with a laugh.
"Ah, I see. Basa must have upset you?"
Given how the boy then grunted in displeasure at the name, she assumed correctly. She then puts on a smile and bows to the three.
"Forgive my clan members, my lords. They are still fresh to the world outside of Scorched Steppes. "
The boy merely scoffed and crossed his arms.
"You think a simple apology will suffice?!"
Moushira pauses for a second, assessing the boy in front of her. Given his stance and attitude, it was clear he was a firstborn. Extreme flaunting of pride and arrogance were usually dead giveaways of such an upbringing. Moushira then grabs the stick to which she using to fish. There was another stick, with fishes caught prior which were laid out on the shore.
"How about I supply a meal, my lord? Would that suffice?"
The cruel smile that pulls to his face didn't bold well at all. His eyes raked up and down her figure in a vulgar manner and he then stalks forwards a few more feet.
"Hmm, I have a better idea of how you can repay me."
His statement taints the air with vile intentions. The frown the pulls at Moushira's lips was icy as snow and her once warm eyes hardened.
Hearing the name called, everyone turns to see Naxio moving closer. His face was nervous but determined. He quickly moved to the shore, right before Moushira but facing the three young men who were still leering at the young woman behind him. The leader of the three looks to Naxio which an indifferent look.
"Mizune Clan? What do you want?"
For a few seconds, Naxio is lost for words, not fully thinking before leaping.
"....le-leave her alone..."
A pauses for seconds before laughter erupts from the three at Naxio tragically weak command.
"Haha... A-are you serious?! Are you truly apart of the legendary Mizune clan? What a meek little rabbit."
Naxio's frown deepens but his gaze doesn't waver. The leader of the group doesn't appreciate the defiant look in his eyes.
"You are seriously going to defend some no-name clan? This must be a joke!"
A crackle of bright almost white lightning dances around the boy's hands. Sensing a fight coming, Moushira seems to move slightly closer to Naxio.
"Ah, whatever. They never said anything about fighting, and I want to see if the Mizune clan is all the rumors have said."
Suddenly the boy flicks his wrist and a whip of yellow light forms from his hands. Fear crawls up Naxio spine quickly and mercilessly. Lorecia Clan is known wide and far from their affinity for lightning and inhuman speed. Remember his lesson that a single touch of a whip from the Lorecia clan was enough to render a normal person paralyzed. However even with that knowledge neatly tucked in his mind, his body refused to move.
"Naxio-Li, please just leave. I'll be fine."
Moushira smiles softly at him. She knew her clan's place in the hierarchy and causing trouble wouldn't make much of a difference. However, she had to admit she was pleasantly surprised at the normally docile-looking boy who stood in front of her. She wasn't ever expecting this amount of backbone from the boy.
Everyone even Naxio seemed surprised at that clear and firm refusal. Though it was clear he was scared, he refused to leave her side. She was his first friend and he remembers the words of his late caretaker well.
'Always protect those you care about Naxio, that is one of the major founding points of the Mizune Clan, even when the others seem to have forgotten. The Mizune Clan is the highest flower which braves the roughest storm not because of our status or our success but because of our bond between family and friends around us.'
Her words rung clear even years after her death. He wouldn't leave Moushira. A fact that only angers the opposing Lorecia Clan boy more.
"H-hey, Ven maybe we shouldn't?"
"Yeah, we still have a ways to go until we get back."
The protest of Ven's clan members fell on deaf ears as he snaps back.
"Shut up! I'm going to teach them a lesson once and for all!"
He then brings his arm back and his whips raise, ready to crack down with all his fury. Suddenly however there is a flash of silver and a sword come crashing from heaven between the two groups. The design of the sword is graceful and distinct. The ground below it splits slightly where the sword is embedded and the shock is enough to stun both parties back. And what follows is just as interesting.
A figure descends from the sky, graceful and poised, landing on the hilt of the sword with ease. The colors of their robes are shimmering gold with snow-white accents. The material is heavily layered and has armor pieces to tapper it down. It is a young man, maybe a year or so older than Naxio. His hair is a short brown with bangs that hang over his golden-colored eyes. His face is stern yet indisputably handsome. His form is broad and tall, easily making him stare down at the parties below him. In an instant, everyone knows precisely who this young man is and from which clan he is from.
He is the youngest son of the current head of the Ziraniel Clan, the first Great Family. And his name is-
Kaldav's head turns to the Lorecia Clan boys. His face showing no outward expression. In a flurry of words, everyone present quickly remembers their manners and greets the new arrival with the utmost respect. Even among the great families, the Ziraniel Clan is treated close to royalty. Countless achievements and their leading role in the Great War play a prominent part in that.
"Is there a problem?"
His voice is deep and monotonous.
"Ah- no! Of course not, my Lord! We uhh, we were actually about to leave."
Then with another quick bow, the Lorecia boys scrambled away. Kaldav let out a sigh before turning to both Naxio and Moushira who almost immediately bow once again.
"Are you alright?"
He addresses Moushira who blushes, clearly caught off guard, and bows.
"A-Yes my lord. Thank you."
He nods once before his eyes turn to Naxio who hadn't spoken a word.
"Ah, we are both fine my lord."
Kaldav is silent for a moment, his eyes seem to scan Naxio as if he were an interesting puzzle piece. Naxio looks back confused, not sure what the issue was but also not sure what to say.
"..Hn, you're not a girl.."
Silence and then without warning a small giggle escapes Moushira unconsciously. Kaldav doesn't appear bothered, just slightly disappointed with that discovery. Naxio, on the other hand, is a bit annoyed even though he is used to that. Mizune clan is known for having a lot of females and given his smaller stature and untamed hair, he is more often than not mistaken for a girl. He knows that, and it is not like it's the first time but for some reason from Kaldav, it irked him.
"Ahhhh... no my lord, I am not."
Naxio's smile is straining and his tone is polite but indifferent.
Was the only answer Kaldav gave before quite abruptly leaving. He leaps from his sword into the tree in the distance and like a loyal dog, his sword follows soon after. Finally, Moushira and Naxio are alone and in an instant, the waves of laughter she had been holding back erupted from her mouth.
Her laughs were light and playful which Naxio felt like he was being teased. He frowns almost in a pout at her.
"It's not that funny, Moushira!"
"Forgive me, Naxio Yi! Haha!"
It took a few moments for her laughter to die down however once it did, she did give him a soft smile.
"I'm sorry Naxio Yi. But also thank you for your help."
Naxio looks away bashfully, a healthy blush on his face.
"Ah, i-it was nothing. I mean I did not help much."
"Still you stayed by my side, even when you didn't have to and for that I thank you."
She goes to bow to him but Naxio interrupts her.
"Please don't bow. I'm neither your elder nor superior."
He then raised out a hand.
His hand trembled a bit with nerves, the smile on his face was wide but weak and his eyes, full with uncertainty. Moushira's smile widens and she returns the motion.
Unbeknownst to them at the time that this was the start of a friendship that would endure through both great misery and suffering but also happiness and joy. A bond that went beyond simple labels and titles. It would be a bond that may bend under the relenting pressure of the world but never break.
"...axio Yi! Hey, Naxio! Where are you?!"
The pair turn quickly at hearing Naxio's name being called. It was his cousins and judging by their tone, they must have gotten tired of waiting for him.
"Ah, do...do you want to come with us?"
Moushira shakes her head.
"Thank you, Naxio Yi, but no. It would be better for me to go on my own."
"YAH, NAXIO, where the hell are you?!"
That would be Aijah's voice without a doubt. Naxio flinches as he knows if she is upset that means he is bound to get yelled at as soon as he reaches back.
"Go, Naxio. Trust me I will be fine."
He watches her for a second to see if her expression changed but it does not. With a nod, he runs back to his cousin would are more than disgruntled with him on how late he is. The day continues on and the sun dips ever so slightly. The sky changes to an orange hue and shadows are starting to get bigger. This signals that there is only a half-day remained before the end of the true Dawn of the Hunt.