Eryk Solbourne was not always a hero in Team Fanghook. He was not always an [Adventurer] who explored Mystix and fought villains of various sort.
But for the past six months, he has been a part of the Dstiny Deck System, and he has been training up his skills as best as he can. And this training is about to lead to his first-ever adventure. He has recently joined the Adventurer’s Guild, and on a trial basis is being brought along by the [Warrior] Borguk on a journey that will soon prove to be utterly formative to the rest of his life... And his next life as well.
With 18 Destiny Points in hand, he is almost to the next level. Soon, he will reach past F-Rank and become an E-Rank [Adventurer.] The Achievement Board will finally become active to him, and he will be able to gain more Destiny Points and more Destiny Cards even faster.
Eryk has been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Since he was a child, since the attack on North Spire, he has dreamt of becoming a hero that could avenge his homeland and bring glory to his people.
Or, nominally it would bring glory to his people. In his heart of hearts, there is a much simpler, much easier explanation for why he wants to achieve these goals: he wants the glory. He wants to be the one who succeeds, who gains the fame and fortune that comes with being the world’s greatest hero.
He wants his name, the Solbourne legacy, to be etched in the history books forever. Even if he won’t admit to his passions beyond simply avenging his homeland, it is clear how he truly feels.
And so with that in the back of his mind, Eryk trains outside his tent, practicing the art of swordplay and keeping each of his forms steady and solid.
He stares at the sunflower in front of him. Imagines it as a vicious enemy, perhaps a werewolf or a vampire, or even a mummy. Gets a grip on his handle. Slices. Sheathes it back as quickly as he can.
The quick draw sword slice.
The sunflower in front of Eryk splits in half vertically, its two sides bending down by the stalk and then snapping away from each other.
He bends down and collects the sunflower seeds he has gained by defeating this mock enemy. They make for a scrumptious meal. But not as scrumptious as another Destiny Point would be.
Malia steps out of the tent and stretches, letting the full brunt of her body be exposed to the rising sun. The morning light bounces off her elven skin and she glows like no human ever could.
Eryk tries not to stare. He attempts to glance away... but finds himself unable to avert his eyes.
Malia catches him, shakes her head, and smiles. “Do you like the view?” she asks.
“Your beauty never ceases to amaze me,” I say. “I don’t know if it’s your whole race, or if it’s just you, but... I can’t help but stare. I apologize if that is upsetting to you in any way, but you are simply radiant.”
“Oh, it certainly isn’t upsetting to me,” she says to him. “Gaze on me and give me the company I so dearly crave.”
And so Eryk lays down his sword. He sits down in the grass and watches her perform some morning stretches. The sun rises, and so does the young man’s spirits as he looks on the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on.
The people of North Spire hold a prejudice to those who marry or sire children with those from outside the North Spiran towns. An elf would be so far away from that that it is no longer a human that he would be dealing with.
Eryk would probably never marry anyone but a North Spiran. But the fact his mind diverted itself to such a thought is a sign of just how deeply she cares for the woman in the apple of his eye right now.
“Every moment I see you, Malia, you seem at peace,” he tells her.
“Is that so?”
“It may be my love that has blinded me.”
She looks at him, keeping her neutral smile but with a twinkle in her eyes suggesting something more. “Love, you say?”
“Yes, love, I say,” he says. “Out here in this grassy plains, overlooking the Furtherfelt Mountains and the Felthand Lake, I could rest here forever with you. I wish nothing more than to stay sitting, watching you exercise and seeing your glistening body against the sun’s glimmer. If I could keep you here in this moment for the rest of time, I would take it. Therefore, I will consider my feelings love.”
She chuckles. “Eryk, you have such a strange manner of speech.”
“It’s the North Spiran accent. My apologies.”
Eryk knows it’s a lie, all he said just moments ago. He knows his ambitions for the glory of becoming the first S-Rank hero in a millennium far outstrip any feelings he holds towards Malia, no matter how strong they may be at the moment. But he can’t help but say it anyway, because a part of him truly does hold the opinion that the current status quo would be perfect.
If only he wasn’t a part of the Destiny Deck System and a member of the Adventurer’s Guild, he could abandon everything in an instant.
Of course, Malia was too. Perhaps the two of them could become an adventurer duo, exploring only the outlying areas around the Furtherfelt Mountains and fighting the monsters that take roost here across the four seasons.
It would never work, but it is an interesting thought for Eryk to ponder on. A fruitless fantasy is all it will ever be.
“Do you know when the others will return from their scouting trip?” Eryk asks.
“No, I do not,” she answers. “I expected them back last night. But it seems we will have the area to ourselves once more. Will you spend the day training again?”
“Perhaps,” Eryk answers. “Or perhaps I will spend the rest of the day soaking in my affection for my companion.”
“You know,” Malia says, “just because I am letting you look on my body does not mean we are lovers. It does not mean I will let you sleep with me.”
“I figure it is merely a matter of time,” he says, “before my tremendous strength and compassion win you over.
“Unlike Thalia I have some sort of standards when it comes to men.”
“I will strive to meet those standards, then,” he says. “Tell me what they are and I will conquer them.”
“Make me some breakfast and I’ll consider it,” she says.
“Right away.” He gets up and start back towards the tent to gather supplies.
“Wait,” she says, “I need to get some clothes on first. I’ll follow you in.”
Eryk and Malia enter the tent together.
After a moment of discussion, they decide to stay in there a while longer.
And they end up missing breakfast entirely.