"Father...where's grandma?" A little girl, confused and intimidating by the scenery, tugged her father by his pants, trying to catch his attention. She was in an open field, with other people as well, all heads down and quiet "Why is everyone sad...? I don't like this...".
The girl was confused. She didn't understand what was happening, and that scared her. She appeared to be only 10, and had very little understanding of things as it is. All she could see is a hole in the ground, and a black box being carried by several men. The girl was oblivious to the truth.
It was a funeral.
Field Trip Plan
"...!" Aph woke up, startled. It was just a nightmare, but one that got to her. She composed herself, trying to not let the dream affect her.
"Aph?" Amon's voice caught Aph's attention. He was wide awake, and was looking at her with concern in his eyes "Why are you crying?" It then that Aph noticed. She was indeed crying, she had tears rolling down her cheeks, but she didn't even notice up until now. "Did you have a nightmare?".
Aph quickly whiped her tears, and put on a forced smile, trying to appear her usual cheery self "Ah! It's nothing! I just had a bad dream is all!" Aph spoke in a happy-go-lucky manner as usual, trying to change the subject "But, let's not focus on that~ How did you sleep?".
"Aph. I've only seen you cry once." Amon wasn't fooled by Aph's facade "And it was when you told me about your family...What did you dream about?" He wasn't going to let this slide so easily.
Aph's expression changed in seconds. Becoming bitter and somber. It almost looked like she was irritated at Amon "You stubborn bastard, hehe." Her smile was obviously not one of happiness, but a broken one."I dreamt of my grandmother's funeral." Aph replied, simple and to the point "I'm sure you atleast know what a funeral is, right?".
"...Yes." Amon suddenly felt guilty for insisting on letting Aph answer him "Sorry...I didn't know.".
"Don't bother. You said it yourself, you didn't know." Aph rested her head on her hand, still putting on her fake smile "Grandma is the one who taught me this magic...and the one who always told me to be strong. She told me, from the age of 5 'till 10, to be strong. I abided by that. After she died, grandpa decided to finish what she started...until my 16th birthday..." Aph's smile vanished, remembering such things actually saddened her.
"...Anyway..." Amon tried changing the subject, knowing full well Aph didn't enjoy talking about that "We should try and get some direction to where we can find the others. I'm thinking maybe Asteria can help." Amon suggested to Aph, who's expression immediately returned to her typical cheery self.
"Ah! That sounds good!" Aph clapped her hands together in joy "With her position, we can definetly take advantage of it, and abuse it for our benefit! Good idea, dear!".
"That's not what I meant..." It seemed that Amon preferred a serious Aph, over a cheerful one. Amon got off his bed, standing back up. It has only been a day since he last saw Asteria, and he has gotten better. Enough to walk that is. "I'll go talk to her. You try and get everything ready. Food and whatnot. I feel like we'll travelling alot.".
"Good thing I have Callus then~" Aph cheerfully replied.
"My stallion, the one I brought with me. Named 'em Callus~ Don't even know if it's a boy though." Aph said, referring to the stallion horse, with the yellow fur outside "I got him from some sucker at a colliseum.".
"...On second thought, why not come with me? I'm sure you and Asteria ca-...".
"No." Aph immediately rejected Amon's offer, before he can properly finish. She was still not too happy about Amon almost sacrificing himself for Asteria.
Amon remained silent for a bit, but cleared his throat "Well, wait here then . We'll go around town for a bit after I'm done talking with Asteria." Amon said, grabbing a nearby pair of pants and white shirt to wear instead of his patient clothes "I feel like we have alot to share since we got seperated.".
With that, Amon left the hospital. Though, he couldn't do it by walking outside like normal, because he feared the doctors would not let him, so he took the logical route. He climbed out the window up to the roof. Amon stood on the hospital roof, looking around town "Let's see...if I remember, her house is...over there!" Amon simply went a direction he believed Asteria's mansion was at. Having been escorted in and out of it, he should probably know the location.
At the time Amon was already on his way to try and find Asteria, she was at her home. She was sitting in her bedroom, infront of a desk, wearing her captain uniform, and a pair of glasses, writing, or rather trying to write, a report of recent events. After the amusement park's destruction, Asteria had to send a report to the higher ups to explain what happened, since she was there. The only problem was explaining it. "A goddamn robot, a woman turned to a man and an explosion then whiped out the entire park, and said woman turned man protected me with his her life...How am I supposed to explain this without sounding crazy or getting Amon into trouble? I guess I can make up a lie but...I sometimes hate my job." Asteria took off her glasses, rubbing her eyes in frustration "I need to bring this report in another two days. Can't even cover it up, since the people there had to freaking recognize me and tell the whole goddamn country." Asteria sighed, shaking her head in frustration "I should take a bath to calm down for a bit...Would definetly be less of a headache.".
With that said, Asteria walked to the bath, still as big as a pool, and with steam everywhere "Huh, don't remember it being this steamy..." Asteria said, carefully walking inside, covering her naked body with a towel. She had to wait a while before she could take long baths, only being allowed showers and sponge bathes, because of her bullet wound and bandages. But now, it was once more safe to go in.
Asteria got into the warm waters, relaxing her body "Aaah...this is what I needed. Suddenly, every bit of anger and pain in my body is vanishing..." Asteria lied against the bath edge, calming down. "Maybe I should leave out any details about Amon and say it was two people...and that the robot was just some Dark Mage...then again, I also need to explain how I was shot..." Asteria lightly scratched the scar left by her bullet wound on her stomach. It was located on her right abdomen, but near her belly button, and was quite visible "I'm going to hate being shot now, I swear...".
"I know the feel..." Amon said, agreeing with Asteria. He was sitting on the far side of the bath, so noticing him immediately, especially within the steam was difficult. Notably, he didn't have his bandages on, fully exposing his body, as well as the scars he recieved and burns.
"...I am going to count to ten, and when I reach ten, you better not be here." Asteria said, as if threatening Amon.
"W-...Wait! I just came to talk!" Amon tried clearing things up before having Asteria at his throat.
"Then why are you in my bath?!" Asteria wasn't very fond of this situation.
"Not like I wanted to! I just came in and was offered a bath because I smelled like blood and sweat all mixed into an old dirty bag!" Everything went silent after Amon's attempt at justifiying himself "Then again, that's what the butler and maid said...".
"...Eight, nine..." Asteria decided to keep counting, and not give Amon a second chance in this situation.
"Okay! Okay! I'll get out. Just don't...cut me or something." Amon said, turning around, revealing the many scars on his back, all burn marks from the attacks inflicted onto him by Ares, all appearing next to each other, in varying shapes, and even covering other scars. Amon's back was an absolute mess by this point.
"Wait." Asteria told Amon, stopping him before he exited the waters "...I guess I shouldn't be so ungrateful after you almost, y'know, died to keep me safe.".
"...Oh my god, who are you?" Amon was leginimately surprised by Asteria's shift in personality.
"What does that mean...?".
"Just pick a personality. Are you angry at me for seeing you naked twice, or are you not so angry at me seeing you naked twice?" Amon cannot choose words wisely.
"...Just tell me what you want." Asteria said, though she was evidently irritated.
"Sorry..." Amon apologized regardless, feeling like he should alteast do so. Amon cleared his throat before continuing "Well, me and Aph need help to go find everyone else. We'd go now, but we don't have a...direction. Or map. And I have no idea where to head to or how Seven is. I usually took a guide, so...".
"Ah, I see." Asteria placed her fingers on her chin "You're too damn of an idiot to figure out what to do.".
"I...Not dignifying that." Asteria giggled at Amon's reply "You don't have to help us, since you already did alot, but...please, this one final request. I only want you to help us find them. We just need a direction to head to." Amon clapped his hands together, bowing his head, and raising his hands above his head, as if begging Asteria for help.
"...I think I know what to do." Asteria replied "I'll show after the bath.".
"Why not now?".
"Because I need to write a report that makes me sound not crazy and make sense, and I have a headache." Asteria was visibly irritated because of her job and recent events.
"Sorry..." Amon apologized again, feeling he did something wrong.
A while has passed, and two exited the bath. Though Asteria told Amon to wait a few minutes after she left, presumably feeling embarrassed. Amon was escorted to an antique room by Asteria, filled to the brim with things that looked like collectibles and rare items. The only problem Amon had in all of this is that he was still wearing nothing but a towel around his waist.
"So, why the humiliating naked walk in your house?" Amon asked Asteria, who was rummaging through a closet for clothes "...Hello?" Suddenly, Asteria tossed Amon clothing, all white and black in color.
"Here, put those on. I'll need to do some more digging, so wait here until I come back." Asteria said, leaving the room and Amon behind.
Asteria later returned, seeing Amon wearing the new outfit she gave him. The uniform was a Rune Knight outfit, so it was mostly white in color, with a few black portions, though the long boots were all black. It looked like a traditional military garb, complete with a white cape that could cloak his entire body, and a hoodie. It had a long black collar, and possessed white gloves on each hand. However, the part where the cape is tied together at the front of his chest wasn't tied properly. His shirt was also rather long. Infact, the black belt around his waist made it appear as if the lower portion of his shirt was a skirt.
"How's it look?" Amon asked, trying to properly tie the cape together.
"Wow, you actually put it together without reaping it." Asteria said sarcastically. She walked over to Amon, tying the cape together at the front for him "Aaaand there." Asteria stepped back, taking a good look at Amon "Yep. It does fit you.".
"Sooo...why am I wearing this?" Amon asked Asteria, still confused about what is it she wanted.
"Here." Asteria gave Amon what looked like an ID card "This should help you get around, especially into forbidden areas that are quarantied by the Magic Council and the Rune Knights.".
"Uhh..." Amon was confused. He looked at the card, but couldn't read it, illiterate as he was.
"Basically, as long as you go by the name Walker Ursa, and proclaim yourself a Rune Knight Scout, you'll be allowed to enter any area." Asteria explained "Just don't forget, if they question why they never heard of you, say you recently graduated and this is your first job. You're searching for a criminal named "John Doe", and I am the one who issued the order. Just stay away from higher ups, they'll be able to tell you're lying, since they'll try and get documents or investigate your background.".
"Ah..." Amon allowed all of that to sink in, and tried to memorize it "So, Walker Ursa? Kind've of a...weird name.".
Asteria looked annoyed at Amon's comment "I'm not one for naming people. If I had a child, I'd name it after one of my parents. I'm not good at nicknaming either! Named that one guy Jay, and his name was Tucker! That's how bad I am with coming up with names for people!".
"Well...either way." Amon smiled, putting the ID in his pocket, and extending his hand to Asteria "Thank you very much, Asteria, for everything.".
Asteria took a moment, before shaking Amon's hand "Don't mention it. Least I can do for someone who almost died to keep me safe.".
"But...you are aware you're basically helping a criminal out, right? Wouldn't it be detrimental to your reputation at all?" Amon asked Asteria, frowning and actually sounding concerned for her.
"What am I helping you do, exactly?" Asteria asked Amon, crossing her arms together.
"You're...helping me find my family." Amon replied.
"I'm sorry, but helping someone find his family doesn't exactly sound very criminal-like to me." Asteria said, smiling rather arrogantly and shrugging "So, really, I'm helping a family man, not a criminal.".
Amon couldn't help but feel grateful to this woman. When only a few days ago she would kill him on the spot, and now she's helping him. "...Thank you." Amon said to Asteria, smiling "Thank you, for everything.".
"Oh, please, no need to be so humble. I mean, you need to take care of your wife and the ba-..." Asteria suddenly silenced herself, realizing what she was saying.
"...Wait, how did you know Aph was pregnant? I never told y-..." It suddenly dawned on Amon "...You heard." Amon's tone was more akin to one of disappointment, than frustration or anger.
"I-...I didn't mean to!" Asteria suddenly got flustered, trying to explain herself "I only came back because I-...!" Asteria stopped when she noticed Amon bowing down, bending over, lowering his head to Asteria "...Wha...?".
"I'm sorry for what my wife said, but I assure you, you don't have to worry about it." Amon said to Asteria, sounding like he means what he's saying "You are my friend, and I do not regret protecting you. As I said before, I love you." Amon's casual declaration of those three words seemed to make Asteria somewhat nervous, but regardless, she remained composed as best she could.
"Don't apologize..." Asteria said to Amon, sounding mildly annoyed "It's not like I let what that woman said affect me! Not in the slightest!" She sounded quite proud, trying to show Amon she wasn't bothered at all "Who do you take me for? I am not someone who just gets easily insulted! You fool!".
"..." Amon couldn't help but chuckle. He rose back up, dusting himself "Well, thanks again. I hope to see you again soon." Amon said, walking by Asteria, ready to leave.
"Hold it!" Asteria said, though it sounded more like a command, causing Amon to stop dead in his tracks "I have one more thing to give you." Asteria walked over another closet, opening it, and pulling out a large safe. Asteria placed the code in the safe, opening it, and pulling out a sheathed sword, a katana in a black sheathe, with a golden hilt "This is my father's sword, it's called Atum. I kept it with me ever since he passed away, like I keep my mother's sword, Nemesis." Asteria said, gripping her sword's hilt tightly "I want you to have it.".
"...Really?" Amon was lost for words. For her to give him something that would be so precious to her "I mean...it's your father's. I can't take it. I'm a criminal! You're a Rune Knight Captain, and...".
"Oi, Walker." Asteria cut off Amon before he can go on "You've been promoted to Scout. Quit you're whinning and take my congratulation gift, you dumbass." Asteria said to Amon, smiling.
Amon understood Asteria's intentions, and thus took the sword "I uhh...thanks. Alot. I don't really know what to say to be honest..." Amon examined the sword, though he didn't unsheathe it, primarily because the sword's guard was tightly tied to the sheathe using a piece of cloth.
"Don't mention it. Now off with you! Go catch that criminal!" Asteria saluted Amon, giving him permission to head out.
"I will, ma'am." Amon saluted back to Asteria. Doing such a thing was new for him, and actually felt rather nice. Atleast now, he can add someone else to his list of favorite people. And with that, he was ready to set out and search for everyone else with Aph.