The attention from the Grand Companies was nice, but awkward. Constant attempts by the Grand Companies of Eorzea, the military arm of each nation, to recruit the Tenth Round and Dawn Warriors to their respective sides were not met well. The Tenth Round ultimately decided to remain neutral, leaving the Dawn Warriors deciding how to go about settling the recruiting problem. That, ultimately would be a battle they'd have to fight on their own. Due to the battle with Ifrit, Jarik and Vael opted to take a back seat regarding their duties until they'd fully recovered, leaving Torvan and Ari to play resident adults.

"Okay people, I don't have much to say, it's hopefully gonna be a slow time for a bit. Let the Feds get scattered out of here before anything else comes up." Torvan looks to the back of the break room, "I'd like to think our beloved Archons won't bring us any more homework?"

Papalymo brushed Torvan's joke aside with his own, "If I have any, I'll make sure to bring it home written in crayon, warrior!"

"You do that! Maybe bring me a purple-flavored one?"

Torvan wasn't comfortable with the thought of being a leader for any amount of time, this was Vael's thing, she was always their leader, going back to day one on Qufim Island. He had combat skills, yes, but people skills? No. Other than prodding his friends, and flirting with Gwen when they worked together, he wasn't the most confident speaker. Now, with two of his pillars taking a back seat? It was down to he and Ari to shoulder the load.

"Torv, grab a notebook, we got a meeting."

"Why a notebook? Surely I can't just-"Ari cut him off.

"Because boss-lady wants to go over a possible lead she's been following up with Yda and Papalymo on. Gridania, I think, she's trying to confirm. I dunno."

"Ariana, Torvan, thank you for coming. I presume you both are aware of the Sylph tribes? Correct?"

Ari answered first, "Aye ma'am. Little, floating plant guys, right? Kinda like heads of cabbage?"

Minfilia appreciated that she wouldn't have to explain it like they were children. "Yes, you could say that, we've been requested by the Gridanians to investigate their worship of the Primal, Ramuh. To ascertain if and when they'd consider summoning him, and to try to establish ties with them to prevent the Tribes from doing so diplomatically."

Torvan raised his ears up, "So the goal isn't to stop a possible summoning? It's to build ties to the tribes to preemptively keep them from feeling they need to do so?"

"Yes, I'm sending Casoso and Swarwint to the Shroud to be our eyes on the ground, along with Yda and Papalymo. They should be meeting with the Twin Adders soon."

"What would you like us to do then?" Ari wasn't entirely sure why they'd need to be involved if there were already people handling it.

"There is another matter I'd like the two of you to look at, regarding the Ala Mhigan refugees. There is a settlement in the south of Thanalan called Little Ala Mhigo, who I fear may be steered towards attempting a summoning of their own. Rhalgr, of the Twelve is the patron deity of Ala Mhigo, my concern is of reports from the Flames that a man in a black robe has been seen conversing with some of the refugees at the settlement."

"Ma'am, I don't follow. We can look into the issue with the refugees, but I'm not sure what it has to do with the Sylphs, other than what, the guy in the robe being seen amongst them?"

"Yes, Torvan, that is what I mean. Are you familiar with the Ascians?"

"Vaguely, I know they go around starting problems because they can, nothing further than that though."

"Good, what if like of you is to try to gather information on them, both the Ascians, and the refugees, and determine if this figure in the settlement is possibly tied to the Ascians, and is attempting a summoning."

"Consider it done, we'll let you know when we've found something." Ari ended the meeting, with a new problem ahead of her. How were they going to try and get the information they needed? Ul'Dah's treatment of their neighbors after the Garlean occupation hasn't exactly been stellar, and she knew that both she and Torvan would be working with the Flames, Ul'Dah's military arm. It'd be a question for once she got home though. It was getting close to the end of their day.

The two boarded the ferry back to the residential districts of Mist, where they had settled in, as Ari called Jarik to see if he was still resting, or back into his studies. "Hey babe, you alive? Not at the kitchen table reading three spell books and a PDF on some ancient magic tome again are you? Good, maybe getting your ass kicked by a god will make you actually get some rest for once, I worry about you. Getcha a nap in babe, I'll be home soon. Love you, bye!"

"He sounds like crap, he tried to study this morning he told me, and couldn't do it. Still reeling in pain."

"Damn, thing must've did a number of him. Just wish we could've done something to help."

"I know, we had other work to do though, Copperbell wasn't going to clear itself, and it at least let us get out and fight a bit."

"Yeah, you know me though, if I can help, I want to try."

"To a fault bro. But you can't be everywhere, let us all share the load."

"S'pose yer right. Focus on what we can all handle. Though if things go bad with the Sylphs and they summon a primal, they better call me."

A retainer stumbles through Mist, scrambling to complete her list of tasks, she's lanky, uncoordinated, a young Elezen woman not totally in sync with herself. As she cuts through a yard to try and make a delivery on time, she spies an elf and a human walking towards the Moraby Towers, an apartment building in this ward of the town. She calls out, "Hello! Yes! You! Is this where Wiji Copoji lives!?"

The elf calls back out, "Can't say he does! You lost kid!?"

She thinks to herself, "Oh gods, I'm so fired. Don't let the phone-"

Her phone rings angrily, she knew the tone that was coming as she answered. "Elewyn! You're late! Again! Don't even bother delivering the package, you're done! Get out of my life! Goodbye!"

She looks crestfallen, this was the only job she could find, running packages across La Noscea for the lowest amount Wiji would pay, and even then, it was pulling teeth to get a paycheck out of him. The human looks over to her, "You good? Could hear that prick from here. Come on, walk with us dude, seems like you're not in any hurry now."

She didn't have anything else to lose, she just got fired, in public, over the phone, so she opted to walk with the pair. She introduced herself, "Elewyn Bausard, now former retainer. You lot don't look to familiar, new arrivals?"

The Elf introduced them, "Torvan Hillway, my associate is Ariana Smith, not too new, but, recently moved into Moraby. Heading back in from work, that guy sounds like a real nice dude." She noticed the pair didn't sound Eorzean, their voices sounded rougher, more pronounced, like they were American or Canadian, if she was getting those countries right, she'd never been on that side of the galaxy.

"Maybe not my place to ask since we've only just met, but, where are you heading?"

Ariana gave her a warm answer, "Pizza place down on Fourth, going to meet our roommates there for dinner. Welcome to come with if you'd like."

Elewyn was taken aback, she didn't expect them to invite her out of the blue. "Are you sure? You don't know me!"

"And? Don't need a reason to help someone get back on their feet. Hey Ari, can I call up Gwenny and ask her if she wants to come out?"

"Sure, more the merrier I guess."

The trio walked together to the spot, where Vael, Jarik, and now Gwen were waiting. As the group all sat together and talked, Elewyn finally felt like she had found her people, she had only met this group, but, they treated her as though they'd known her forever, and she had a place to belong. Growing up, her home life wasn't the most stable, which only carried into her adult life. Scrambling from job to job to make rent, taking whatever work she could to keep herself going. She knew tomorrow would be a new battle to keep herself afloat, but tonight she felt like she belonged somewhere, like she was a part of something. She talked, laughed, and made fast friends with the group she now knew as the Tenth Round. Little did she know that this would be the first step towards becoming more than she ever thought she'd be.


About the author


Bio: I’m a wannabe writer that wants to get some of the stories floating in his brain out before it gets too smooth in there. I blog some too, you should check that out. Might be interesting if you enjoy any of this.

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