If you were to ask him what Echo meant to their world, Efran would have a hard time coming up with a definitive answer. To some, they might be considered a nuisance. To some, they were heros, protectors. And to some, they don't even really exist. For Efran though, Echo had always been home. He grew up in it, thrived within it's walls. Well... most of the time. "Efran, are you quite ready yet?"
He heard his father call from outside of his room. It was a rare time that he was home and not on the Echo ship. 23... you'd think he'd let me go by now.
He let out a soft sigh and got up from his bed. He made one long pass over his childhood bedroom before walking out to greet his family. "Son, it's a big day, why are you so slow?"
His father called from the living room when he heard Efran finally exit his room. Their home in Kharan was... extravagant to say the least. His father always prided himself on his family's craftmanship. He'd heard the stories a million times over about how his father's father's father's father built the place and they just kept expanding over the years until it became this wonderful and ornate castle built under the ground of their home.
That was all well and good, but Efran didn't care much for the life of the wealthy. He'd spent his formative years out in the wilderness, the mountains and down to the woods of Barallia on occasion. He had longed to see the world, explore it's every nook and cranny and by all accounts, he was able to. His father was a well known Hunter for Echo who had scouted him well before Efran was born. The young Efran had spent any time not spent out in the wilderness with his friends on the ship, running around, meeting people, learning new things.
He even went on a few assignments with his dad once he was deemed old enough. He was a masterful Hunter by the time he was 18 and went on his first mission to rescue a nearby Barallian town where he'd met Isa. Since then, he had been visiting her at the Orphanage from time to time to bring her new toys, check on her. He felt... responsible. Almost like a great and heavy guilt for not being enough to save her family. "Yeah, yeah. They won't leave without me."
He started back, stretching as he walked to the kitchen. "...Right?"
He heard his mother chuckle at him. "Oh, my sweet boy. No, they won't leave without you, but best not to keep them waiting!"
She told him, walking over to hug him and then place a plate of eggs in his hand. "Eat, my love."
She told him. He groaned and sat down at the table to eat, eager to get on the ship and get started with his new crew. No one had told him anything about them, so he was eager to meet them...
Somewhere in Tarcanis"UGH! Why won't it listen to me???"
A young woman screeched, whipping around to face the man behind her. He was tall and hooded, brilliant white eyes glowed from under it. "Because you are not powerful enough yet."
He replied, his tone conveying his utter distaste for this girl. She was small for her age and utterly immature to match. "I'm going to blast it out of the water!"
She screamed, her bright blue hair almost appearing flame-like as it bounced around atop her head. She lifted a large bomb wrapped in white parchment. The hooded man lifted a pale finger and placed it over the bomb, stopping her. "It will do you no good dead. Just..."
He sighed, "Focus. You've done it before, right?""With a category one!"
She barked, whipping around to look at him again, scowling. "I'm going to tell Daddy that you're basically useless as an instructor!"
She told him, already starting to storm off. "You'll do absolutely no such thing."
He replied calmly, his hand reaching out to grab her. The young woman felt a wave of calm wash over her at his touch and then a chill ran up her spine. "I'll... do no such thing..."
She replied, almost robotically, her eyes going wide.