"Work Hard, Live Well"

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Rage of the Red Dragon
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Previous Chapter - Confronting the Past: Mother and Daughter Reunite


A few days passed since the event between both the Phantom Breaker guild and Nature Hunter, which ended up with some of the Breaker mages in serious injury as many were left in the medical wing to rest and recover. The government had grabbed whatever supplies and research information that was left behind from Sabriel abandoning the sub-division.

However, the one person who felt more pain than anything was Fiona. Since her abandonment, she had felt like all of life's purposes has flown right out the window. She didn't know what to do or what drove her anymore, all she had was an empty shell of her former self who sat in the Breaker Garden's, looking at nature and trying to find some sense of herself in it.

"Still moping around are you?" said a voice, snapping her out of her thoughts. She turned around to see the taller man who had accompanied her newfound sister to the region.

"Call it what you will, but you have no idea what it's like, I've lost my mother, my home, I have no drive for anything" Fiona said as she got up and moved away from him, not wanting anyone to try and make her feel better by belittling her.

"Oh, I don't know about that." Zumma said, walking after her. "Every one of us has lost parents in some fashion. Geno had is entire family wiped out by dark mages, Shelly's mom died right after she was born..." He paused for a moment, malling things over in his head. "And I was a damn street rat from the moment I could walk." He caught up to her and petted her on the back. "Trust me, your situation isn't that unique in our profession."

Fiona simply glared over to Zumma, hating how he could say things like that so easily. They may have had different experiences, but she had no one left to turn to other than her sister, and she didn't know if she could survive with just her. The thoughts began to cause her pain as she began crying.

"Hey, what are you doing?" came a voice from behind them both. Turning back, the two of them saw Shelly running towards them. She wrapped her arms around Fiona to comfort her, them looked up at Zumma. "You made her cry." she said puffing out her cheeks.

Rubbing the back of his head, Zumma sighed. "Sorry. Your dad's a hell of a lot better at this than I am." Shelly only pointed at the door she had came through, making Zumma laugh before complying.

Watching him leave, Shelly then moved in front of where Fiona was sitting to face her. "Hey, are you ok?" She asked concerned.

"I just...  I don't know what to do anymore, I feel as if nothing in this life is really here for me, all I ever knew was the next task that my mother wanted, without that, I am nothing" She said beginning to cry again as she felt Shelly wrap her arms around tighter.

"You don't know what to do, because you never needed to decide for yourself right?" Shelly asked. "But don't you think it would be better to follow us back to our guild instead of staying here by yourself?"

As Fiona's sobbing slowed a little Shelly remembered something. "You know, my dad once told me about how Kat came to join our guild." Sitting next to her, Shelly looked out over the gardens while explaining. "She's real strong, but doesn't enjoy hurting people at all. The village that your mom left her with tried to kill her just because she didn't want to fight." Looking back at Fiona she continued. "And as Zumma rudely put it, we all have some idea what your going through."

Fiona stopped her crying as she rubbed her eyes and looked over to Shelly. "Is that true?" She asked with a confused look on her face. In her mind, her sister seemed like she could do anything if she put her mind to it, especially since she was raised by their mother.

"Yeah." Shelly said while looking down at the ground. "Some of our mages found her and helped her recover. Our old guild master is an amazing doctor, she patched her up real good. But Kat didn't really know what to do with herself for a while." Perking up, Shelly seemed to have had an idea. "You know, you might get more information talking to her about it."

"Where is she?" Fiona asked as Shelly helped her up off the ground and rubbed her eyes while also rubbing the dirt off her knees and her butt.

"Probably in that big room at the main entrance." She Answered. Taking Fiona's hand again, the two of them began to wonder through Phantom Breaker's vast halls. Though they got lost a couple times, they eventually found there way to the guilds main hall. As they looked around for Kat, several mages glared at Fiona as they passed. Fiona felt herself grow tense as the watched her, but forgot all about it when Shelly called to Kat, who was sitting at a corner table with Geno.

"Hey guys. What're you up to?" She asked, ignoring a small circle of people forming around them a couple tables away.

"Um well..." She felt the eyes right behind her as she felt nervous, "Do you think the two of us can go somewhere and talk privately?" Fiona asked looking to Kat.

Glancing between Kat and Fiona, Geno stood up and walked towards the crowd. "Hey, you lot. I'm up for a bit of sparing, and I want to see which guild packs more punch. Who's with me?" He asked slamming his fists together. Several forgot about Fiona and jeered and Geno's challenge, following him as he marched outside. As one of the last to leave, Shelly turned and winked at Fiona, then the room was empty.

Laughing a bit to herself ,Kat pushed out a chair for Fiona and said. "So what did you want to talk about sis?"

She looked over to Shelly, nervous about asking, but Shelly simply smiled and hugged her before leaving the duo alone to speak, "Shelly told me that when you went to her guild, you didn't want to kill anyone at first, but I don't understand that since Mother often made Me kill anything." Fiona asked closing her eyes as she waited for her sister to do something to her.

"Did she now?" Kat said, with a tired look on her face, though it was hard to tell if she meant Shelly or Sabriel. "Well if it makes you feel better, things where different back then. But I doubt our situations would be different had we made a different choice."

"How different?" She asked as her curiosity peaked, she wanted to hear how her older sister and her mother acted together before she was born.

"She only started her 'science' thing after doing a mission for our village." Kat said looking up at the ceiling. "Before that, she was much more..." She took a moment to find the words. "Human." As Fiona listened intently, Kat continued. "It was probably around 25 years ago."

Flashback 25 years 

Before the Turmoil

Snow fell outside a stone hut at dusk. Visibility was steadily declining as the sun diapered over the horizon, casting less and less light over he mountain top the hut was located on. Lights from inside the hut lit up the surroundings as a small hooded figure trudged through the snow. Snow blew inside the hut as she opened a door on the front and entered, quickly closing it behind her to keep out as much snow as possible.

A young Kat took off her hood, and dug through her pockets to retrieve what looked like a small bird made of paper, decorated with small flowers and other childish things. "Hey Mom, Dad. Looky what I made." she said, holding it up proudly to a man and a woman sitting at a small stone table.

"Oh wow, this is incredible sweetie" A younger Sabriel said with a kind smile on her face as she placed on top of one of the mantles, next to a portrait of Kat when she was a baby along with her and her husband. "So how was training today?" She asked looking back at Kat who took off her cloak and went to sit by the fire.

"It was awesome." Kat said, warming her hands by the fire. "We're learning to climb later, so we might be going down the mountain." Both her parents laughed a bit before Kat turned around to face them. "Hey Dad, do they really have groups of mages down there? My teacher called them Guilds or something." She asked.

"Oh yes. There's loads of them all over Earthland." Her father answered. "Some have gotten quite famous for there actions." he said, though looking back at Kat, he saw that she was rocking back and forth as she sat, half asleep from the long day's training.

"Well, it seems training really did a number on you didn't it?" Sabriel said as Kat rubbed her eyes, trying the best she could to stay up, "Come on, let's set you in for a nice nap and you can eat when you wake up, I made your favorite too" Sabriel said lifting her up as she smiled sleepily, lying down on top of Sabriel's breast like a pillow, something she often did as a baby.

After entering Kat's room, Kat rolled out of her mothers arms and onto a bed. "Hey mom. Are you going somewhere tomorrow?" Kat asked curiously as she wrapped herself in a blanket.

"Yes, tomorrow the village wanted me to help out with some evacuation in their neighboring tribes, since I know more about when and where it would actually hit, they want me to make sure there aren't any surprises, but don't worry" She said with a smile kissing her daughter on the forehead, "I shouldn't be gone too long, plus you can spend some time with daddy" Sabriel told Kat with a kind smile on her face.

"Yeah ok." Kat said yawning. As Sabriel got up to leave, she could hear Kat snoring before she had even left the room.

"Wow, even when sleeps, she inhertited your snoring" Sabriel looked over to her husband as he chuckled and got up to hug her, "You seem worried about me leaving" She said looking at him.

"Any husband would be." He said simply. "But I'm wondering what sort of life we're giving her in a town that includes combat training in their schools."

"I've had similar thoughts, but I keep thinking that maybe she will use those skills wisely, after all she did inherit my brains" Sabriel said with a smile as she kissed her husband, "However, I'm more worried about the evacuation, especially considering how the shift can be unexpected" She said looking at her husband.

"I'm sure you'll do fine. Besides..." He stopped to grab a blanket and drape it over Sabriel's shoulders. "You got the brains of the family remember?"

"True..." Sabriel said as she went over to the stove, pouring a cup of hot cocoa for her and her husband as she went back and passed one to him, simply looking at her cup with a distant look.

Noticing her in deep thought, her husband asked "So what's got you so bugged then?"

Sabriel looked over to her husband, she quickly shook her head and smiled at him, "It's nothing really, just nervous is all" She said smiling before taking a sip of her hot cocoa and enjoying the warmth of the fire.

A few days later, Sabriel left for her mission, leaving Kat alone with her father as she continued going to her classes, training more and more as she began to hone her skills to become much better. After the fourth day, the entire village saw the arrival of their neighboring tribe, all of whom were glad to be saved. In the middle of the crowd, Kat and her father were looking around, awaiting the return of their loved one.

"I don't see her dad." Kat said, sitting on her fathers shoulders. Her dad didn't say anything, but continued to survey the crowd for Sabriel. "When she get's back, you can show her that medal you got from the chef." Kat said excitedly, as her dad smiled.

Through the crowd, Sabriel could been seen walking as she moved along with the group. Seeing both her husband and Kat, waving one of her hands high to show them where she was.

"Dad Dad, over there." Kat said, turning her fathers head to face in her direction. He started walking towards Sabriel, but Kat became impatient and jumped off his shoulders and ran to her, wrapping her arms around her leg when she arrived by her side. "Welcome home." Kat said, looking up at her mother with a huge smile.

Sabriel looked down and smiled as she picked up her daughter, tossing her in the air as she caught her and hugged her tightly, kissing her head as she looked over to her husband with a loving smile as he came closer to her, "I've returned" She said with a smile.

"I noticed." he said, kissing her on the lips. He then patted Kat on the head. "This one wouldn't let me forget it." Kat grinned up at the both of them as her father rubbed her head. Taking Sabriel under the arm, Kat's father walked both her and Kat back to there home.

As Sabriel got comfortable, Kat was busy running around the house preparing something for her to drink. Placing a cup in front of her, Kat asked. "So did you hear Dad got a metal from the village? Because he did you know."

"Oh really, what was the medal for?" Sabriel said as she thanked Kat, bringing her on her lap while she sipped her tea.

"Same old stuff." He said waiving his hand like it was no big deal. "Doing good work for the village counsel and all that. But never mind that, how was the job?" He asked intently.

The question made Sabriel look into her cup, making Kat and her husband notice as she took another sip of it, "It was alright, we managed to save everyone before the storm hit, it was a close call no doubt, I actually believed that it was one of the strongest storms I've ever seen" Sabriel replied as she finished her drink and began to think for a bit. "But I'm just glad to be home to my family" She said kissing Kat on the head and smiling at her.

"Awesome." Kat said, rubbing her eyes. As she yawned, her father scooped her up and put her in bed, exhausted from the long day. She fell asleep immediately as snoring began to eco through the house.

Her father stuck his head out again and said. "Might as well head to bed now. She'll be on your case all day tomorrow to hear about it."

Sabriel was in her train of thought as she walked over to him and kissed him, "I'll be in soon, there is something I must look into" She said smiling before she went to her private reading room, beginning to crack open one of her oldest books and studying it.

Two Weeks Later

Kat was rushing through the snow again, this time with a large pile of papers in her hands. Quickly moving through the door to her house, she ran up to Sabriel, who was sitting at a table surrounded by books. Kat heeled up her bunch of papers and said. "Mom, Mom, I got my marks from class today. Come on look." She said, slowly getting more impatient as Sabriel continued writing notes. "Moooooooommmmm. Look." She said again, pushing her papers overtop of Sabriels notes.

"Huh, oh..." She quickly looked over the papers and gave Kat a quick kiss on the cheek before handing them back to her, "Yes very good dear, try a bit harder next time though" She said absent minded as Kat looked at her with a sad look on her young face. "Go show your father dear, I'm sure he'll be excited by them".

"Um, yeah, ok." Kat said a little confused. Running over to her father in the next room, she presented her school papers to him. As he red them over she looked back at the entrance to the room her mother was in and asked. "Hey Dad. Is Mom mad at me?"

"No, of course not." He said quickly. Trying to bring her attention away from that particular subject, he said. "These are really good marks. We'll have to take you out to that restaraunt you like as a reward." He began patter Kat on the head, but she didn't appear to be listening.

"Why's she acting so weird then?" Kat asked, still not turning away from Sabriel's room. "She's been like this ever since coming back from that job."

Her father sighed, taken aback by how observant her daughter was. "Well..." He started slowly, not really sure where to start. "Sometimes, people change if they see something really bad." Picking Kat up, he sat her on his lap. "She could have seen something that's been bugging her for a while, and that's just how she's dealing with it." Though Kat seemed to believe him, he himself wasn't quite sure that what he had described was actually fact, or just the easiest answer to accept. "Come on, let's go get her. We'll go to that place you like to eat at." he said, trying to change the subgect. It was much easier this time, as Kat smiled and nodded.

The two managed to pull her away from her studies, though she was still in thought throughout the entire meal, only stoping at times to eat or respond to the questions, making Kat sad and her husband worried as she continued down this path.

One month later

Time had passed as the young family seemed to be more and more distant, Kat and her Father had not seen their loved one Sabriel for days at a time, often saying that she needed to go out and do some research on some of the natural fauna through the mountains, often only returning to greet them before going back out to the field. 

One day, she had come to eat as she was eating with her family for the first time in weeks, with a smile on her face as she presented them with a good meal. "Eat up everyone, I hope you enjoy these new recipes I made" She said smiling before sitting down and passing a cup of tea to each.

"Is this what you've been researching?" Kat asked, munching on her mothers home cooking. "Because their really good. You could work as a cook with stuff like this."

"How has that been going?" her father asked, though not fully out of curiosity, and it showed in his voice.

"Well these have been made to test some of the stuff I've been researching, I know I've been distant the past few weeks, but when I finish, it will be different, I promise" She said giving her daughter a warm hug and a deep kiss for her husband as Kat mocked them, earning a playful hit on the head by Sabriel as they continued eating.

After finishing their meal, Kat feel asleep from being stuffed as her father placed her back in her bed, but stopped when he heard the door opening and closing, realizing it was Sabriel who had left. He quickly gave her a good night kiss, locking the hut behind him as she followed her footsteps.

The tracks led deeper into the woods and right into a secret cave, which made him suspicious as he entered, looking around until he found a room, but what shocked him was what was inside of it. Different forms of sliced up animals, moving vines, and other monstrosities.

"You weren't suppose to see this for another week" A voice said as he turned over to find Sabriel holding a plant that was wrapping around her lovingly.

"Suppose to?" He asked confused. "What the hell is all this?" Watching the plant move, he changed his question. "What the hell have you been doing here?"

"Communicating with nature" She said smiling as the vine went over to grab a vile, handing it to her as she smiled and pet it, "When I saw that storm hit, it was a thing of beauty, such raw power and majesty, and it hit me. Why not find a way to control it, and the better way is through all forms of nature, especially the most adaptable of it" She said grinning as her husband stared at her with shock.

Looking around at the various items lining the walls of the cave, he said. "Are you serious?" Focusing his attention back on Sabriel he continued. "What about Kat? She's been worried about you because you're always running off nowadays." Though he was speaking, his words hadn't seemed to reach Sabriel, who was preoccupied with observing the plants movements. "Hey, are you listening Sabriel?" He asked again. Growing agitated with her unresponsiveness, he pushed the plant away and took her by the arms. "Forget all this, you've got a family waiting for you to come home. Let's just go back to how things were." He pleaded.

Sabriel simply looked at him with dull eyes, "Go back... to where all my intelligence, my research abilities didn't amount to anything...." She said walking over to a nearby table of tools, looking at them as she hid her movements. "Maybe you're right...  I do have a family waiting" She said walking back to him as he smiled and hugged her.

However, the sound of stabbing made him grunt as he looked down to see a jagged blade lodged right into his heart, making him cough up blood as he looked at her sadistic smile, "A new family, one that will allow me to surpass these limitations. Good-bye my love, you will be the first to feed the children" She said giving him one final kiss before taking out the knife and watching him fall to the floor. She grabbed her medallion before the vine grew larger, transforming into a mouth as it chomped down on him, eating him with ease as she pet the plant one more time.

Hazardous knowledge

Hearing shuffling sounds from outside her room, Kat slowly got up from her bed to investigate. It was still very early in the morning, so Kat grabbed a blanket to keep herself warm in the cold nights air. Yawning as she pushed open the door to there living room, Kat was surprised to see her mother packing things into a suitcase. "Mom?" She said, causing Sabriel to jump a little. "What are you doing?"

"Sorry to wake you, I'm packing up, there is rumors about a place where nature is said to grow rapidly, it will make a great spot for my research" She said as Kat looked at her with a confused look on her face. She then noticed something strange, she looked around the house, but couldn't find her father anywhere.

"Mom, I can't find Dad." She said as a growing feeling in her gut told her that something was terribly wrong. As Sabriel ignored her, Kat got impatient. She walked over ant began tugging on her mothers arm in an attempt to get her attention. "Hey Mom. What's going on?" Before she got an answer, she felt something wet running down her arm. She looked to investigate, but in the low light all she saw was some black liquid covering the palm of her hand. Looking back, she saw the same thing covering Sabriels sleeve. "What's going on?" She asked again, more afraid this time.

"I'm sorry sweetie, but daddy had to leave and become part of something. I would bring you with me baby, but I'm afraid you're just something in my way. The elders of the village will take care of you from now on, I hope you find your way honey, good-bye" She said with a bored look on her face as she wrapped her cloak and walked out of their home, blowing out the last flame that was in the house as Kat stood there with shock on her face.

"Wait a minute!" She called after her, darting out the door. Though the snow on her bare feet stopped her in her tracks. "Mom, I don't get it. Where's Dad?" She called again as Sabriel continued to walk away. "MOM, ANSWER ME!" She screamed out, as Sabriel disappeared into the movement of the blizzard.

Back to the Present

"She even took Dad's old medal." Kat said, tracing her finger around the rim of a cup. "That's probably why you have it now."

Fiona looks at the medal that she was wearing, "I... I didn't know that...." She quickly took off the medal, handing it back to her older sister. "Take it, it's the only thing that reminds you of Father, you should keep it with you" She said as Kat shook her head and pushed it back to her.

"It's also the only thing telling you that he even existed in the first place. Besides, it looks a lot better on you than it would on me." She said with her usual goofy grin.

"I wish I could've met him" Fiona said putting the medal back on, "Let me ask you, what do you think I got from both mom and dad?" She said more casually leaning on her sister's shoulder.

Toughing her finger to her lips as she thought, Kat said. "Well, we both got his black hair, and I got his eyes." She started, then blushed a little. "And... People tell me that I snore like he did." She said sheepishly, making Fiona giggle a little. "But I don't think you should get hung up on things like that. Your who you are, not who your parents made you to be." Kat said as she threw an arm around Fiona's shoulders.

"Haha, true, though I can say that the two of us do share one similarity with our mother" Fiona said as she tried to make a joke and poke Kat's boob at the side as the two laughed a good bit.

Though the sounds from fighting outside had intensified, Geno came flying back through the main door, followed closely by Shelly. "Hahaha. Alright breakers, time for round two." He said before jumping back into the fray outside.

Sighing, Shelly walked back to Kat and Fiona's table. Seeing the two laughing, she pulled up a chair and said. "So are you feeling better now?"

"Yeah, the talk really did a lot of me, it also gave me a bit of insight of what I should do. You're right Shelly, I need to find myself, and I think joining with my sister and her guild might be the best thing to ever happen to me in a long time" She said getting up to hug Shelly tightly and twirl around with her in her arms.

"This was your idea?" Kat asked as Fiona and Shelly stopped turning. Shelly only nodded while blushing a little. Kat then jumped up and hugged her and Fiona, pressing her between the sisters breasts. "Well, thanks little one." she said, twirling them both around again.

After putting her down, Shelly's face was bright red and her eyes wobbled from dizziness as she crossed her arms in front of her small chest. Paying it no mind, Kat said. "Alright, we did what we came here to do." then she took Fiona's hand and held it into the air. "Now let's go home."

Second Parting

After grabbing their gear and clothes, the group headed out to the docks, awaiting the boat that would transfer them to a ship that would send them back to their home. Many of the Blazing Soul Mages had already said their good-bye's, and were now waiting for their newest member.

Kat looked over to see Fiona running towards them as Fiona went to meet up with her, "Sorry about that, the Guild Master had to give me some clothes for my journey" She said turning back to look at her home, she had a feeling of sadness in her heart, "Is it wrong of me to say I'll actually miss this place?".

"I'd say it's not." Zumma said while leaning on the dock's railing. "You've lived in this place for your entire life, It's only natural you'd grow attached to it."

"Besides Lass." Geno cut in. "The Phantom Breaker's and our guild are partners, I'm sure you'll have the chance to come back if you desired."

Fiona took in a deep breath, looking over to them as she nodded, "Well that's true, though I'm just...." She started fiddling with her fingers as she leaned to her sister's side. "I'm just nervous about going to a new region, especially with a new guild" She said as Kat rubbed her head.

"Don't worry about it." Kat said with her trademark grin. "We sort of grow on people, Just leave it to your sister." Flexing her arms as a joke.

Fiona laughed heartily as she let her sister bring her closer to her, "True, though I'll actually say that I'll be the better sister" She said as Kat began to bring her closer, trying to jokefully smother her head with her boobs, but stopped when they all heard the boat coming their way.

"Alright guys." Zumma began to say. "It's been fun, but it's time to head on home!" He said as Geno, Shelly, and Kat cheered. Fiona did as well after a moment, not sure if it was right that she did so. Nobody was bothered by it, which made her smile.

As she looked out to the ocean, many thoughts ran through her head. Things had changed so drastically for her over the last few days that she couldn't keep focused on just one question at a time. Were where they headed? What would this new guild be like? How would they treat a former dark mage? So many thoughts that they all seemed to bunch together. Giving up on thinking about it, Fiona disided that it was just best to wait and see what the future holds. "Can't be much worse than Mom was." she thought to herself.

Next Chapter - First Day of New Beginnings

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