The light of Ielle had only just begun to peek over the horizon as a small fleet of Xanite boats slid across the water into the Toranese docks, already alight with activity as fishermen, sailors, and dockhands prepared to start another day of hard labor. Among them all, however, were a group of young men and woman chatting excitedly with one another, backs laden with heavy packs full of traveling equipment. these were the current generation of Tamers, ready to take on the Rites and seek fame and fortune, or at the very least, new experiences to help them all grow into proper members of society. The Toranese looked over the groups with smiles and fond farewells, even wishing a few of them luck on their coming journey. One such youth, however, hung back to watch the others move into the city proper.
"Hmph. Not like you to hesitate."
Xander jumped at the voice behind him, turning to see his father walking up with a slew of nets slung over his shoulder, rubbing at his neck with a free hand as a yawn bellowed out from his large frame. Xander coughed into a closed hand as he regained composure, shifting his bag a bit before turning to his father with a grin to try and reassure him.
"Ah, it's just a bit of nerves, that's all." He took a step back, unsure of what else he could say. Of what else he even should say. The silence that hung between the two was almost palpable. You need to say something. This is awkward. Just blurt it out, even if it's stupid.
"So, uh. . . guess this is good-bye, huh? Kind of wild, ya know, me going out into the world by myself. Hopefully, I don't manage to set the whole continent on fire."
"Heh, I wouldn't put that past you, all things considered." A beat. His father keeps rubbing his neck as he looks out across the ocean. "Look. . . be careful out there, okay son? I know that things have been. . . tense between us for a while but I don't want you to think I don't care for you. That I don't worry." He was looking at Xander now, grey eyes boring into purple as the young man felt a hand on his shoulder before he was pulled into a hug. Xander's eyes widened at first, and he remained frozen for half a second, before easing into the rare display of affection and hugging the large man back.
"Geeze, when did you become such a softy, huh? Talk about embarrassing."
A chuckle, deep and throaty, was all he got in response as his father released him, rustling his hair with a playfulness that Xander couldn't remember seeing for quite some time. The two bid farewell to each other, grabbing each other's forearms in a proper Xanite goodbye before heading off on their separate ways. While Xander didn't quite know what to make of his father's sudden display of emotion. . . he had to admit, it definitely helped him be a bit less afraid of what was to come next. With a wide grin on his face, Xander fished out his relic from his pack, twirling it around with a practiced flourish before he bolted towards the city gates. Before he could even think about facing the first Arena challenge, he had some friends to make.
The city of Toran had gone from a quiet ghost town to a bustling metro as Ielle rose higher and higher in the sky, and it wasn't until well into the morning that Xander came back to the city, covered in scuff marks and bruises, but positively gleaming with exuberant pride and cheerfulness. The reasons for his cheerfulness were quite plain to see, as he was positively surrounded by a bevy of Natrelmon. Most immediately noticeable of them all was the one he was riding on, a grumpy-looking Grianos that seemed less than pleased to have some brat riding along it's back, followed by a rather bored Bovent lazily chewing cud. A Loutilla sat on the Bovent's back, it's purple-red petals fluttering nervously as it kept peaking over the Bovent's head at the Grianos, only to dive back down whenever the rocky lizard seemed to glance their way. While to most, these kind of Natrelmon weren't terribly uncommon for the area, the ones on either side of the young trainer's "mount" drew a bit more attention. Strolling along with the Grianos was a Doshe, it's steel carapace shining brightly in the sun's light as it proudly scuttled with its trainer. From time to time the Doshe would give a slight hiss towards anyone that got to close, though that was often cut short by a curt word from Xander as he didn't want it to become happen with the young steel type.
The other strange sight was the Mythari gliding just a bit overheard the group, dipping down every so often to trot along the ground next to Xander and chastise the Doshe when it tried to spook a passerby when Xander was distracted. A rather magnificent specimen, the muted colors along its body still shone gloriously in the light of Ielle, with small bits of crackling electricity dancing off them every so often. A curious blemish on the creature's body, however, was a rather prominent line of scar tissue that traced one of the wings on its left side, as well as a similar line of markings that traced themselves upon its legs as well. It was during one of its rare trots along the ground that it gave a glance at the scowling Grianos.No need to be so grumpy, Gigi. Just because you got caught by Xander is no reason to act so rude to everyone.
The projected thoughts were done so in a way where the whole group could hear and while Xander frowned at his Mythari for its unneeded provocation, the 'Gigi' took to answering the response by attempting to bite at the Mythari, who quickly evaded the attempt with a chuckle before escaping back into the air. Geeze, she's a testy one, isn't she Xander?
"I'd be irritated too if someone kept poking my buttons the whole way to town. Cut it out, Mythi, and I mean it!" A telepathic chuckle was all he got in response, causing the trainer to let out a sigh as he dropped his face into his hands. Mythi had never been this way before it had evolved, and it was proving to be a real pain in the young trainer's ass the way he liked to provoke others the way he did. With another resigned sigh, Xander gave Gigi a pat on her back as he rode in a vain attempt to calm her down. "Easy there, girl. I know that Mythi can be a bit of a jerk, but he means well. . . I think. besides, I promise you things won't be so bad with us, so can you at least give us a chance?" The only response was a low growl that didn't stop until Xander ceased patting her. He couldn't help but sigh for his third time in under a minute, wondering what it'd take to get Gigi to respect him as her trainer. Lili and Buck, the Loutila and Bovent he'd captured earlier that day as well, both were much more willing to co-operate with him than the surly Grianos despite not knowing him for any stretch of time. Guess it was just his first real challenge as a tamer.
It would be this strange group of man and mon that Mallory would come upon in her search, though she'd find herself set upon first as Mythi swooped down from the air to snag the food out of her hand, sending her a telepathic message to the extent of "this is mine now" as it flew up high up into the air. Meanwhile, Doshe had also noticed Mallory and scuttle up to her, circling around her legs in an excited manner not to dissimilar to that of a young Eishound.@Fallenreaper