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PostPosted: Fri May 13, '11, 2:35 am
Long Agos and Worlds Apart

Alys woke up with the sun in her eyes. She was sleeping comfortably in the grass. For a moment, she believed she was resting her head on Rune's muscular chest, but soon she realized it was her own arm. This idea sounded like an alarm in her mind and the hunter girl opened up her eyelids. Her sapphire eyes met the cerulean blue of the open sky from Motavia. After focusing her thoughts, Alys sat up instantly and looked around. She saw some green bushes, small trees and occasionally some rabbits and squirrels running. She could hear the birds singing as the day began. However, her greatest fear had become true: Rune was nowhere to be found. He must have left while she was still sleeping, dreaming of the unforgettable moment they have had the night before.

Suddenly aware of her half-nakedness, Alys buttoned her bra and tried to straighten her dress, which had been her blanket for the night, before wearing it. In the process, she became aware of a tingling sensation inside her, making the memories of the night come back to her mind. Alys daydreamed for a while. The stream of thoughts took her back to the most magical moment of her life, in the arms of her beloved Rune, and took her back to the cruel reality. Rune had left her.

With her spirits down, Alys prepared to return to the hunter's camp once more, but for the first time in her life, alone. She had enjoyed the previous day, as if it were the last day of her life and it had been perfect, but now she had to face the bitter reality of life, where the future mattered. And she had no plans for the future. While packing up her things and thinking about her alternatives for the future which would soon become the present, she noticed a small piece of paper lying on the grass. Her heart started racing, for she knew it was left there on purpose and by whom. The only thing she didn't know was what was written on it, but it didn't take her long to lay her anxious eyes in the letters which combined formed her love's farewell words.

Dear Alys,

Sorry for leaving you like this. You know I love you and I wish I could stay forever by your side. But you also know I had to go. I know these parting words are not the best way of parting with you, but I preferred to have the sweet smile you had in your face while sleeping than the tears in your eyes you'd certainly have in a proper farewell as the last picture of you in my mind, my love. I swear, no matter what, I'll always have you in my heart, dear Alys.

So long. Stay with all my love.


PS: Don't mind the stains on this letter. Those are my tears for having to part ways with you.

The young hunter couldn't hold back the tears. To feel the wrinkles in the paper caused by his tears was the proof Alys needed for assurance of Rune's love. Before it, she was still in doubt whether he was being forced to leave or if he was leaving by his own will. That would not change anything, for she would not have Rune with her. However, at least it made her feel reassured that her decision the night before was not in vain, that she hasn't been fooled by Rune, that he really loved her. So she returned to the hunter's camp with a mix of sadness and relief in her soul.

Arriving at the camp, no one asked her questions. Even so, she didn't feel comfortable anymore. The sight of her simple and worn tent seemed more depressing. The familiar faces of the camp were nothing but strangers to her. In fact, the only thing that kept her among the renegade hunters was Rune. This new conclusion led Alys to make a decision that would change her life forever. She decided that it was time to leave back that part of her past and try her chances at the official Hunter's Guild, in Aiedo. Not that her ways of life would be much different: she would still be a freelancer mercenary, doing jobs for money. But the Hunter's Guild worked as a syndicate, so she would receive training, advice and legal support. Most of Motavian citizens who would contract hunters trust the Hunter's Guild, so there would always be a good offer of jobs. Other advantages would be being more respected by general citizens and customers; it had not been rare for Alys, as a renegade hunter, to be hired for illegal jobs and to have to enforce the payment of the fee after a job has been done. Being registered in the Hunter's Guild would save her from these dangers and annoyances.

Before the sun had set again, Alys had already packed up her things and left the camp that had been her home for the last few months, without even looking back. She didn't care to tell anybody she was leaving. It was a common practice to leave the camp without questions being asked; the other hunters would only notice her absence once she was halfway to Aiedo. The only memories of that camp she wanted to preserve were imprinted deeply in her heart already. Memories of her first real love. Memories of Rune. Memories of a man she wasn't sure she would see again. But a man who was responsible for her maturing process, for who she was today. A man that would always be part of her.

With the image of her beloved Esper in her mind, Alys crossed the main gates of Aiedo, ready to start a new life.

The days slipped away like the grains of sand in an hourglass. While Rune finished his training in the Esper Mansion and started performing his duties as an Esper and secretly as Lutz, Alys started her adult life in Aiedo, became a professional hunter and her skills and sense of responsibility earned her a fame amongst the hunters. After a few years, Alys Brangwin would be a name recognized everywhere. She had the life she always wished for: she was independent, she could pay her bills, she was successful in her career, and she didn't depend on anybody, especially on any man. Alys had read about the stories of old, where women were independent and strong, and she was disappointed by the reality in recent times, where most women were just housewives. She had had some superficial relationships with some men, but none of them was like Rune. Not that she was still madly in love with Rune, but she would not accept anyone worse than him for a serious relationship. The memories of Rune were still fresh in her mind after all those years, but she didn't long for him anymore. She accepted the fact that Rune would not return soon, if he ever would. She turned the page in a way that Rune was still part of her, but now only part of her past.

Seven years after Rune's departure, during a Hunter's Guild mission, Alys dismantled a small gang of young men who was performing small robberies in Aiedo's countryside. One of the criminals arrested was a 13-year boy, who had a troublesome childhood. Though the boy was rebellious, Alys noticed some hidden potential on him; he was not a rogue by trade like his companions, but just a confused boy. Alys decided to take him as a hunter apprentice and tutor him. It had not been an easy task, for she had to deal with Chaz moody personality. But the years provided Alys enough experience to help Chaz in maturing. The hunter could exercise her motherly instincts without the pains of being a real mother, and her strict discipline proved to be of great benefit for the rebel teenager.

After three years, Chaz was still somewhat rebellious, but he had improved a lot meanwhile, to the point of becoming Alys' full-fledged partner in Hunter's Guild missions. The first mission would change Alys life completely. After investigating weirdness and calamities created by a mysterious evil man of Zio name and cruel fame, Alys, Chaz and Hahn, the later a scholar that was helping investigating the origins of biomonster attacks; they were taken to the destroyed village of Molcum. There, Alys met a familiar face. From the moment she caught a glimpse of the tall blue-haired man, her heart started being faster and an overflow of emotions flooded her mind. But this time, the emotions were different from the emotions she had the last time she had seen the charming esper. After a silly argument between Chaz and Rune, Rune joined their group. However, though Alys knew her feelings for him were still fresh in her heart, he had not really returned to her life yet. Moreover, before falling in his arms again, she wanted to make sure the Rune she loved still existed, and was not only part of the past, as the old teenager Alys was just part of the past.
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