Far off from the Kingdom and its populus, across the great plains and into the desert edge, the Euphorian military trains its soldiers. For those who have volunteered for the upcoming expedition, their day was rather light in preparation for the journey ahead. A young man, dark skinned in complection compared to most of the others, washes his head from sweat after an early morning spar with his peers.
“Let’s go Talos! I’m sure you’ve got things to do today just like the rest of us!” a training instructor calls out to him.
“Moving sir!” Talos responds, wiping his face and jogging back into formation with the others.
“Well boys, that was quite the exhibition you gave today,” the instructor begins, “For most of you, enjoy this early day off before returning in a few days. For the rest of you, who have chosen to take part in the 154th expedition, take this time to have one final day with your family, your friends, and loved ones. I know there are some who have experienced this all before, but for most of you this will be a new, life changing experience. I only wish you the best of luck in your endeavours, and to come back safely to all of us once it’s over. May my blessings ease your curse.”
“And may the curse be lifted from us all!” the group responds before being dismissed. Talos quickly rushes back to the barracks to grab his belongings before heading out. Many who see him wish him luck as he passes by, making his way to the mana rails. He steps onto a large rectangular train like vehicle, amongst others waiting to head home as the conductor takes a large light blue crystal from his pocket and locks it into a gear. A large metallic panel motions up from underneath to protect people from falling out as the train slowly begins to move, slowly picking up speed before rocketing off effortlessly back towards the kingdom. Within no more than an hour, the group reaches the massive town that rests before the castle walls, overflowing with life and prosperity. Talos departs from the train with his bag and starts making his way inward, passing by many shops and markets. On his way he makes a quick stop by the liquor store, purchasing a large bottle and placing it in his bag before continuing on into the residential area. Many soldiers were pacing around him, all rushing to get home as they each reached their destination to see their parents, spouses, and even children. Talos continued to move on, rushing by every home before finally reaching a gate that had a dirt path leading into a small estate. He throws his bag over the gate as and jumps up, vaulting himself over the walls. He squats low into his decent to grab his bag again as he then begins to walk calmly towards the house as many children were in the yard playing. Some looked up from their games to give him a wave, to which he responded with much excitement. Upon entering the home, a young boy runs up to him.
“Big brother! You’re back again!” the boy yells out in joy. Talos bends down to pick him up and rests him on his shoulder.
“I am, but only for the day this time. Do you know where Ronis is right now?” Talos asks with a smile on his face. The boy nods and points outward, leading Talos through the open halls of the house. All around were many children playing and cleaning, with a couple of adults alongside them for supervision. Talos makes his way towards the back of the Estate, going out into the back yard as he looks out to see an older gentleman sitting in a chair beneath the shade of a great oak, reading a book to a circle of children.
“Long time no see old man.” Talos says walking up, as he places the child down from his shoulder, who runs over and sits with the group.
“Ah, you’ve come back once again. I keep telling you not to return unless you wanted to take up a job here.” Ronis chuckles. He places a tab in his book before closing it, getting up from his seat to give Talos a handshaking hug.
“I know, but today’s different. I’m sure you know what tomorrow is right?” Talos asks. Ronis gives a small nod of understanding before looking back to the children.
“Allow me to finish this story to the children. In the meantime, make yourself at home, get a decent wash and some food. I’ll be with you shortly.”
“What and borrow some of your out of style rags again? I’d be better off washing with the stuff I have on now.” Talos jokes, causing Ronis to quickly swing his hand up, backhanding him in the temple. Talos attempts to dodge but still gets scrapped a bit.
“You’ve definitely improved, yet you still aren’t fast enough.” Ronis grins. “My home, my rules, now go and get yourself freshened up,” he orders before walking back to his chair. Talos rubs his head, giving back a grin of his own before walking back into the house. He quickly does as he was ordered and takes a much needed wash, then spends most of his time relaxing around, helping out with the daily needs around the estate. Within no time at all, it quickly became late evening. Talos relaxes back into the couch as most of the children go off into their upstairs rooms to rest, while many of the adults leave to go home. Ronis walks into the living room and sits in a chair across from Talos.
“That was quite a long story you read to them, huh?” Talos teases, giving out a slight yawn.
“Well once they catch an interest, it’s quite difficult to put a book down, wouldn’t you agree?” Ronis replies.
“Can’t say I can. Reading was never really something I enjoyed doing, unless it had some pictures to go with it.”
“Hymph, naive as ever still. Lack of pictures can lead to the greatest images of all: your imagination.”
“You never rest from an opportunity to spout some teacher nonsense, huh?” Talos complains, picking up his bag from his feet and placing it on the table.
“You never take the time to process any of it to keep me from having to do so.” Ronis retorts. “In any case, what brings you here on your final day before embarking outward?”