Arturia sat on Asuna’s bed, they’d returned to the inn where she’d been staying. Asuna was on the floor, holding Arturia’s cloak.

“I didn’t expect you’d know how to sew.” Arturia said.

“My sensei taught me, he said it was important if my clothes ever got messed up in a fight.”

She took her red scarf and pulled out a single loose thread, then got to work at repairing the hole.

“Is he the one who taught you to fight?”

“Yup! Right on the money.” She said as she worked, “Old man Iromashi.”

“So… why are you all the way here in Glade? Is it part of your training perhaps?”

Asuna shook her head and finished the stitching, “Yeah and nah, Iro left and didn’t come back so I’m out looking for the old coot. What about you? You’re from up in Sherene, right? That’s farther away than my place in Veridia. What’s got you all the way down south too?”

Arturia clenched her fists slightly, remembering the way the man had melted at her touch. “I’m going to the Sanctum. I’ve heard it’s a holy place, with many clerics.”

“Gonna join them?” Asuna admired her work, you could hardly see the red peeking out of the black cloth.

“I… I have a curse.” Arturia averted her eyes. “I want them to cleanse me of it.”

“A curse? Like some old hag put a hex on you?” Asuna seemed puzzled.

“Not like that, at least I don’t think… It’s been this way since I was a child, everything around me always ends up rotten and festered. I have magic but I’m no sorcerer, it’s dark and twisted. Nothing good has ever come of it.”

Asuna got up and sat beside Arturia, placing the cloak in the girl’s lap. “Well it certainly helped me out! You saved me on that boat, remember?” She smiled and patted Arturia on the back. “And you don’t seem like a bad gal, you’re my friend now after all.

Arturia felt that flutter in her chest again. “A friend…”

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