Arion slept peacefully, gentle rays of Trialus’ sun shining on his face. Being outside on such a day gave him a sense of calm he didn’t often find in his travels. He wanted to stay there, soaking in the rays of the sun and floating in a wave of calm.
He wasn’t allowed much longer to relax before tiny paws thump onto his chest. He huffs, cracking open a blue eye to give a halfhearted glare to the creature sitting on his chest. As a Summoner, he was used to being rudely disturbed by his Spirits. Still, it didn’t stop him from frowning. Dawn, the first Spirit he’d bound to, seemed almost miffed at his expression. Her lithe cat-like form a canvas of white and gold. The violet gem on her forehead glittered in the sun, her twin tails twitching with anticipation.
“Alright girl,” he said, grunting as he shifted her weight. She was heavy, much larger than any domestic housecat yet still small enough to carry like one. “We’ll get going since you’re so impatient today.” Dawn mewled at him indignantly, squirming out of his grip and waiting for him to stand. He did so, hoisting his bag onto his shoulder. On impulse he checked it, comforted by the two glowing soulstones within.
He was ready to leave with Dawn at his heels when the Spirit turned, growling lowly. He followed her gaze, spotting another Spirit standing there. It looked similar to a fox, colored entirely black and wreathed in shadows. Brilliant aqua colored its paws and ears, while golden eyes bore into him. He knelt down, holding out a hand towards it. It had been a while since a Spirit had approached him, but he knew the routine by now. Dawn mewed mournfully, ears flattening in irritation. He wasn’t surprised. She likely didn’t want another Spirit encroaching on her territory.
“Come on,” Arion said softly. The black Spirit sniffed at him, cocking its head. “I’m not going to hurt you.” It crept closer, nearly close enough to touch before it dove. It grabbed at his bag, spilling some of the contents onto the ground. One such item was a silvery soulstone flecked with violet. The Spirit grabbed the stone in its mouth before turning and racing off. “Hey!” Arion called out, shoving his things back into his bag and tearing after it. He couldn’t lose that soulstone.
It became quickly apparent that the black Spirit was leading him somewhere. Just as he thought he’d lost sight of it, it reappeared, waiting patiently. Dawn had caught up easily enough, and yet she didn’t attack the Spirit. Clearly she knew something that he did not. When the other Spirit finally dropped the soulstone, he huffed before picking it up and stashing it back in his bag. He stood, looking for the black Spirit. It was standing a few yards away now, looking back at him. He stood, slowly approaching it.
As he neared he noticed an odd shape on the ground. Dawn mewled softly beside him, ears flattening to her skull. The shape, which became clearer as he approached, revealed itself to be a person. More specifically it was a girl about his age. She was lying facedown in the grass, slashes crisscrossing her arms and back. Blood stained the grass around her, and he wondered if it was already too late for her. Either way, he knelt down in the bloody grass and pulled open his bag.
He pulled out some gauze and tape, turning his attention to the girl’s wounds. Most were thankfully shallow, but two crossing slices on her upper back were deeper. He dug back into his bag, searching for the sewing kit his mother had packed. He worked quickly, snatching the silvery soulstone from his bag. He held it tight, bowing his head. “Please Flare,” he said softly, “I need your help.”
The stone glowed brightly, twisting and morphing. It changed into a small fox, silver fur fading to deep violet at her paws and six curled tails. She looked up at him, violet eyes glittering with an unspoken question. She gave a small bark of question, tilting her head.
“I need a small flame,” he said, “to sterilize the needle.” Flare gave a nod, opening her mouth. A tiny ball of flame gathered at the end of her maw. Arion wasted no time in sterilizing the needle, blowing on it to cool it before threading it. “Sorry about this,” he murmured before pressing the needle into her skin. The girl didn’t move, so Arion hurried to stitch up her wounds.
Meticulously, he cut the fabric away to reveal her wounds. Once they’d all been stitched up he dug into his bag, searching for a fresh change of clothes. Eventually he found an old shirt, wrapping an arm around the girl to haul her into a sitting position. The easy rise and fall of her chest allowed him to relax as he pulled away the ruined shirt and slid on its replacement.
“Let’s get you to a dry spot shall we?” He asked no one as he picked her up. She made a small sound of discomfort, and he tried to be careful as he moved her to another spot. He laid her down, and her Spirit immediately curled up beside her. Arion flopped down nearby, sighing as his exhaustion caught up with him. Dawn mewled, lying down near his legs. “Let's get some sleep huh girl?” He said, patting her head before lying down. Sleep hit him like a wave, drawing him deep into his own unconsciousness.