It was well into the evening by the time Aeon reached his destination. He reached the top of the hill, dropping his pack to the ground as he scanned the horizon. For the most part, Derrulin was a country that consisted of flat lands. To the west, he could just barely make out the Dragon's Tail, the vast mountain range that separated the western countries and the Spire Sea. To the north, Aeon saw nothing but stretches of land, and the barest hint of the Magri Forest, home to the Wood Elves. To his east, Aeon could see the ever-present glimmer of the Gran Arcadia Tower, though only because of the innumerable lights within the Tower. To his south, Aeon knew the vast Spire Sea was beating on the shores of Eiloth; he had come from the port city of Nishr. Now, however, Aeon focused his attention on the old, beaten down fortress before him, the reason he had come here to begin with. The old, crumbling stone walls were in disrepair, having long since been abandoned by anyone. However, there were fresh palisade walls set up, giving away the presence of someone. Or various someones. The fortress was inhabited by a group of bandits, who had been terrorizing small villages. Derrulin's military was far too preoccupied to deal with bandits, and so Aeon had seen a bounty poster up for the head of the bandit leader. However, Aeon planned on turning him in alive, for the bonus. Aeon surveyed the scene for a while, and was able to see several men standing guard. Luckily, the band was noted for being strictly human, and so Aeon knew their vision did not match his. They were completely unaware of him as he watched them. Eventually, Aeon decided it would be best to strike early in the morning. Fighting in the night might allow the leader to escape, and that would defeat the purpose of the whole trip. Grabbing his pack, Aeon made his way down the hill again, and a further ways down. He'd start a fire, have something to eat, and rest. It wasn't long before Aeon found dry wood for a fire; there were plenty of sticks and twigs in the sparse woods. Using a flint, he started a fire, allowing it to catch before he moved on. He had luckily caught himself a few rabbit earlier, anticipating this situation. Removing a small pot from his pack, he was eventually well on his way to making a rabbit stew. His stomach grumbled at the smell, though he resigned himself to waiting for it to be properly cooked. With his pack on the ground, Aeon sat down, setting the long, curved sword on the ground next to him. The katana his mother had entrusted him with. After two hundred years, he still remembered the day she died. It was the first time he had witnessed the cruelty of mankind. She had hidden him away with this precious blade, and tried to fight off the marauders. Perhaps only half of them had died by the time they had killed his mother. And he could only watch in terror. To this day, Aeon was ashamed at his own fear. He had been fourteen, he should have been able to defend her. But he could not fight, his mother had wanted him to grow up to be a scholar. He would have been killed on the spot. And yet, he had watched his mother cast blinding Celestial Magic, cutting down the men one after another. It was a luckily thrown dagger that had wounded her. But she still did not fall. His mother had summoned up a powerful Magic, and blasted several of them away. At the time, Aeon had not known what Magic she had used, but he knew now his mother had cast Demonic Magic. And to this day, he did not know why or how she was able to do so. Sighing, Aeon tightened the bandages around his right arm, and focused once more. He began listening to the sounds of the woods around him, noting the odd chirp of a bird here or there, the rustle of a fox, the creak of a branch. He needed to find others, Aeon knew that. The Silver Dragon had told him that he needed to find others who were exceptional, because something was happening. And Aeon needed to stop it. But he couldn't do it alone, not by a long shot. He'd need the help of others who were willing to put this war aside and fight a greater force. But he hadn't found anyone. The Silver Dragon had told him to trust in Fate, for she would aid those who were deserving. And so Aeon resumed his life, tracking down and capturing or killing bandits. The money was nice, but it was knowing that there was one less murderer free that drove Aeon to do what he did. But he needed to find others. And soon.