If she stopped walking for just long enough and lost focus for just long enough, Saras mind would wander. It would travel far, far away until she was right back where this all started, watching her home be reduced to ashes.

”So, uhm… are you gonna pay for that? ” An old man who was beginning to get impatient asked.

Sara blinked.

She looked around to try to recall what exactly she was doing.

[Oh, right.] Sara thought as she looked down and saw a hot dog in her hands. [I was getting some food.]

”Here, ” Sara said quietly as she reached into her pockets and pulled out a couple of silver varols. She dropped them into the old mans waiting palms and the street cook smiled.

”Thank you. Come again, please. ”

Sara bowed and walked away.

Slowly, the sounds around her began to feel like they were growing louder. Maybe Sara just wasn as distracted, however. She looked around, trying to center herself on the present moment. There was a beastborn rabbit-eared boy running away from some guards. There was a little girl begging for money, wearing stained rags. The hot dogs scent siphoned into her nostrils as the sun weighed heavily on her shoulders.

[I should train once I get back.]

Keeping her eyes low, Sara only paid enough attention to what was around her so that she didn slip back into those memories. That meant that, although she wasn running into anyone, she did not notice the familiar face in front of her until she was almost so close she could touch her.

”Sara? ” A voice called out.


The raven-haired girl looked up and found one of her classmates standing there.


The amber-eyed student had a curious but innocent look on her face. Sara blinked a few times. Sara had been caught completely off-guard.

”H- ” She paused, clearing her throat. She hadn been ready to talk again. ”Hello. ”

”Hey, ” Rin greeted her. ”Are you on your way back to the academy? ”

”Yes, ” Sara answered quietly.

”Oh, come on then. Ill walk with you. ”

Just like that, Sara was no longer on her own.

She wondered, though, if Rin didn have anything to do. Strangely, if anything, it seemed like shed been looking for Sara specifically. Was that the case? Maybe because of this question simmering in Saras mind, she couldn help but keep her eyes on her.

As they shortly arrived back at the academy the curiosity in Saras heart grew too big to contain.

”… Is something wrong? ” Sara asked.

”Hm? Uh, no, I just… Well, ” Rin giggled nervously, ”I wanted to ask you for a favor. ”

[A favor?] Sara thought, tilting her head.

”Theres… Well, don worry, Ill explain once we
e inside. Oh! How about we head over to the Meditation Center? There shouldn be anyone there at this time. ”

”… ” Sara looked away. ”Sure. ”

A while later, the two of them were sitting down in that place where Rin would normally train with Maria. Except, right now, it was just the two of them. Because of that, it was strangely silent as Rin and Sara sat with their legs crossed, opposite each other.

”Okay! ” Rin said, clapping her hands. ”So, uh, first things first, do you remember the whole thing that happened with me a few months back? ”

”… Thing? ” Sara asked, raising a brow.

[Is this something I am supposed to know?] She wondered. [Well… A few months ago I wasn too concerned with anything that happened to anyone around here, so, Im not sure I know what shes referring to.]

”Don worry, ” Rin replied, ”Ill explain. ”

Rin then proceeded to go over several things that happened to her that Sara knew about but only on a surface level. She explained that she had gone missing as a result of some strange mages and that she arrived at a cave full of dead bodies and ran by what looked like cultists. She then escaped and spent some time roaming the lands until Eve, Cara, and someone from the Mages Guild eventually found her.

It was all interesting, sure, but Sara didn quite know what any of this had to do with her.

”I am… sorry that happened, ” Sara muttered.

”No, no, its alright, Im… Im over it. Well, kinda anyway, ” Rin added. ”Thats not all, though. So, a while ago, I ran into people here, in Libera, who might be the same people. ”

That got Saras attention.

”… Here? ”

”Yeah, ” Rin answered. ”Im not sure, but… Im going to find out. They invited me to a party this weekend. Im planning on going and investigating a little. The issue is that, well, if they are the assholes I ran into back then, I might be putting myself in danger by going to that party. So, thats why Im talking to you. ”

Sara quickly put two and two together.

”… You would like me to assist you? ” She asked in a low voice.

”Yep, ” Rin replied, nodding. ”I asked Dylan and he said youd be good for the job. And, well, we worked together that one time, remember? I think you
e really strong. Id appreciate it if you could come with me and, well, you know, have my back out there. What do you think? ”

This was more than Sara had been expecting.

Assisting others like this hadn been part of Saras goals. Shed come to Libera for reasons that could only be described as selfish. Reasons that would surely let everyone around her know how dark her heart had become if they heard about them.

However, all it took was one thought for Sara to formulate an answer here.

[What would my father do in this situation?]

The moment she posed that question to herself, the answer was obvious.

”Sure. ”

”W-What? ” Rin asked, pulling back. ”Seriously? ”

”I will go, ” Sara declared, bowing her head. ”You… You require my assistance. I will aid you. ”

[Thats the life I would have led if my home hadn been burned to the ground, after all.]

Sara kept her head bowed for a moment and then glanced up as Rin remained quiet. The moment her eyes locked with the other girls, Saras eyes widened.

Rin looked stunned.

[Is it that-]

Before she could finish that thought, Rin pulled her into a hug.

”Thank you, Sara, ” Rin muttered. ”You
e… You
e a lot nicer than I thought. Honestly, I was kind of scared of you before. ”

Unfortunately, Sara could barely hear those words.

Mainly because her mind was completely focused on the fact that Rins chest was pressing hard against hers.

Which was hard to ignore given that Rin was massive in that regard.

[Why…? My face feels like it is burning,] Sara thought, trying to calm herself down.

”It is no problem, ” she muttered and Rin finally pulled away, letting Sara breathe again.

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