- + Weapons: Swords
- + Investigation
- + Mediator??
- - Authority
Lilith stood stripped to her breast-band and shorts in the middle of a yard mostly filled with dust, smoke, and piles of scrap metal. Her Vulpix, Rai, was curled up on the pile of her clothes. The Vulpix was basking in the heat from the forge, her eyes half-closed and her tails loosely draped over the ground. Her fur glowed likes embers under the weak morning sun. Her Guardian had hair spiky with sweat, and her cheeks were flushed dark pink. The lack of clothing showed a small pink scar, like a tiny rose, on the back of her left arm. She wiped her hand over her forehead and coughed on the smoke.
The Sigilyph that'd been floating above the roof swept down, bringing a gust of fresh air and getting a grateful look from the Guardian.
"So, whadda you think?" asked the man who'd peeked his head out from the door of the forge. He was a young man, though it was hard to tell with the massive beard he sprouted ("My old man says I'll catch it on fire someday, but I bin lucky so far") and his well-muscled arms more than twice as wide around as Lilith's. He was a head taller than her as well, and probably could have been mistaken for a small tree. Behind him watched a slightly slimmer woman, her arms loosely crossed and soot streaked across her cheek. They were clearly siblings.
Lilith flipped the sword over in her hand and considered it. There was less of a weight to it than her last sword, as the siblings had promised, but the balance of it was similar. She knew that as easily as breathing - it hadn't come after the training from Guardian Spencer, although that had made the grip of a sword feel natural in her hand. But it was still something for training, a tool she could use. It wasn't familiar like the feel of Silence's fur against her face.
She knew how to choose a decent sword because she knew a little about metal and a little about price. She couldn't pick a sword up and instantly know how good it was, like her mother. She still couldn't, but she thought was getting closer. The sword she was trying now had felt steady, and sailed smoothly through the air when she went through a few practice drills. The shift in weight kept throwing her off - her old sword hadn't been too heavy, or so she'd thought when she trained with it. When she wore it all day, every day, and when she'd used it for real, she realized that being able to lift her sword just one more time was important
Lilith held the sword up and winced - she had been running drills since sunrise - looking at it in the sunlight. The gray was a different shade than her last one, she was pretty sure. The siblings said they'd shifted the alloys to make it lighter. She'd tried a few others too, but one was far too heavy and the other had a way of shifting her into moving forward that she didn't like. One of the things she was proudest of was Guardian Spencer admitting that she had a gift for gracefully backing up in a fight (although he'd said her habit of then trying to circle around was "weird, are you a 'mon or a girl Fauve").
She turned to the siblings in time to see an elbow shove through them and a panting runner drop into the space between the two bushy-haired smiths. The runner had a loose white shirt with a blue harp stitched across it, a sign that they were specifically a Guardian runner. It'd been something that started with the Schism when everyone was needed everywhere and runners couldn't be spared for Guardians. Most of the Guardian runners were the children of Guardians - this one had straight black hair and a Driftloon's string around her wrist. Lilith thought her father had to be Guardian Falun. Lilith studied the girl, who had her hair tied in a bun that was falling apart, and felt something strange run through her body, all the way down to her toes. She could've been me,
she thought, If the Schism happened when I was young mother would've made me a runner, and I would've been alone because she'd need Silence with her and maybe I would've gotten my own pokemon to look after me. But then I'd never have met Sigi, or Rai.
"Guardian Lilith Fauve?" the girl asked, and barely waited for Lilith's nod before continuing, "There's been sightings of a Roselia in the city. It belongs to Renard Hale and he's requested the Guardians' help recapturing it. The Captain said you could be spared. Renard Hale lives down Marchdogs Road."
"I understand," Lilith replied, "Thank you for finding me. What's your pokemon's name?"
The runner paused in chugging down a flask of water, and sheepishly wiped her mouth.
"Nalu. Bye, Guardian Fauve," she said, dropped a sloppy bow, and slipped back between the siblings. Lilith could hear her footsteps pick up as she left.
She turned to the siblings, who were exchanging looks. Rai had stretched up and left her pile of clothes, and Sigi had dropped down to hover around Lilith. The Guardian was already bounding over to her clothes, throwing on a shirt and shimmying into her leather vest. She emerged breathless and grabbed the sword that had been floating in the air, waiting for her to finish.
"I think this sword is good."
"You 'member," began the sister, "it's a bit more fragile? It won't handle well in the cold."
Considering she'd lost her last sword by dropping it in the ocean, she didn't really think it mattered.
"I remember," Lilith said. She paid for the sword, stretched, and returned Rai to his pokeball before letting Sigi fly her up into the sky. Another day, they might have spent hours flying over Fough Place and looking for the missing Roselia, but Sigi didn't have the energy for it. His exhaustion was like a thick white fog in her mind and the only reason she knew it wasn't hers was because she could feel the sand underfoot (hers had no sand, only water and rocks and moss-covered branches). She rubbed at her eyes and yawned. Let's go to Hale's house first,
she decided, Maybe he'll know something about where to start looking.
Sigi agreed even as he lost a little altitude, and they drifted down towards Marchdogs Road on the wind currents like a particularly odd bird pokemon.