Chapter 1:

A Noble Perspective

Azure Sins (Pure ver.)

Sights of the landscape reflected off a young woman's eyes, glancing at the large city surrounding her. Cement homes standing strong together, having small shops on each side of a wide single road leading through the district. Daily thousands of citizens walk the stone streets of their hometown Freya, the first of six major capital cities across the nation. The massive walled civilizations, politically and socially, ran by the wealthiest nobles in each region. Their combined wealth brought a common order and law through the nation. It has since solidified by their support of a well-known organization known as The Temple. Having few Cathedrals outside of capital cities, their position among society representing what peace and faith remained ever-growing through time. Eventually, The Temple organization became a powerful and influential social and political power in most places under the control and protection of nobles. One cathedral held the young woman's attention, looking at its massive size and elegant stained glass design even from the distance she currently stood from it. She soon broke her trance-like stare and returned to the clipboard in her hand.Bookmark here

At a storefront, the woman stood with pen and parchment in hand, her eyes moving across the paper as she wrote. The young woman Aisellia Noel Rae, was a noble's daughter who bore long silver hair, bound in place by an elegant headband. Aisellia's blue eyes raced across the parchment checking off a mental list of its content. She's commonly deemed one of the most beautiful nobles. Her face having gentle facial features, soft figure, and crystal blue eyes that could easily entrance a soul was evident. The workers moving equipment around her taking glances at her attractive features while she remained occupied with her list. Her social class could easily be seen indifference from those surrounding her, although she had dressed simply in a short skirt, a collared shirt accessorized with a bow, her attire still looked elegant compared to the common folk's clothing. Workers expeditiously moved in and out of the store, moving various things ranging from crates of supplies to large bags of food and necessities.Bookmark here

"Almost done loading up for tomorrow Aisellia!" The blue eyes woman lifted her eyes from her writing and turned to face the speaking worker standing beside her.Bookmark here

"Hm? Oh, thank you, Laura. Everything went smoothly since we have you to get these guys moving quickly."Bookmark here

"Anything to help!" The woman exclaimed. Laura's smile growing larger as she watched Aisellia finish marking things off her list. Her smile toned down to just a smirk as her eyes scanned Aisellia from top to bottom. Noticing the woman's gaze, Aisellia raised an eyebrow, tilting her head slightly, looking curiously at the woman.Bookmark here

"Just thinkin, you've come a long way in the last few years. Just how many businesses do you operate for your family now?"Bookmark here

"Only just a couple haha! They're just small stores. But I guess it was all worth it if my parents are trusting me to represent our family name on this expedition with the Temple."Bookmark here

"Exactly! Only the Temple could convince nobles to come together and put together supplies and stuff to go outside the city...fooor?"Bookmark here

Aisellia giggled seeing as Laura forgot or simply possibly didn't know what the purpose of the expedition was for which came to Aisellia as no surprise. She was a construction worker of the middle and lower districts, but she had taken a personal liking to Aisellia after their first few encounters many years ago. Laura was not of a noble family nor one of the few families funding the venture, brought together by The Temple attempting to aid civilizations outside their walled capital.Bookmark here

"To help with good faith and relief effort. I guess some people really high up in the temple received a request from a small village no one knew existed near the mountains to the south. I heard there were problems there before which left that village in dire need of food and medicine."Bookmark here

Aisellia responded, filling in the blanks of her overall knowledge of the expedition.Bookmark here

"Oooh, I get it. Maybe they plan to help them and probably expand with the village or something. Most people who live in the capital never went outside the walls since it's dangerous out there..."Bookmark here

Laura said, both smiles fading to the thought of unknown danger yet both went silent, their eyes drifting to one side, seeing soldiers in steel armor pass the two moving down the line of carts. Once they passed out of earshot, the two women nervously looked at each other.Bookmark here

"Hey,'ll be careful out there, right? You've always believed me since we were little girls."Bookmark here

"Growing up inside a capital...I've never seen or heard of one like everyone else, but...We met when we were little, you came here then and you've told me stories of what you've experienced..."Bookmark here

A somber look befell them both, their heads lowering with their eyes. A few seconds of silence passed before Aisellia began to speak once more, prompting both of their eyes to meet once again.Bookmark here

"I don't believe what they say. They don't believe just because they haven't experienced coming across something like that. I trust what you learned from living through it instead of just what others hide from being seeing or heard yet. I trust you more than anyone here in the capital. Ever since we were little girls you're the only one I could really trust."Bookmark here

Aisellia smiled, her words surprising Laura, stunning her for a few seconds before it brought a tear and a large smile to her friend's face.Bookmark here

"Thanks, I just wanted to warn you to be careful. I know you're going to have guards, noble reps, and a priest with you, but...just try to make sure you take care of yourself first and foremost out there."Bookmark here

Laura thanked her, taking a step closer to Aisellia out of excitement to hear her friend's words. She took Aisellia's hands into her own in joy. Leading the two to once again exchange smiles between each other.Bookmark here

"Of course, the temple was against it but one of the supporting nobles hired a group of knights for extra protection so we should be decently alright. It'll only make it more stressful if I go out into the world expecting everything that could go wrong to happen. Don't worry Laura, I promise to be back. We should only be gone for a couple of weeks if everything goes smoothly."Bookmark here

"Makes sense, you're a Noble's daughter and just about the only person coming from a rich family that's done some real work in their lives. Who else's daughter learns to run one of their parent's smaller businesses and completely turns them around in the middle quarter. I'm even still surprised rich people are putting their money into something other than their own pockets."Bookmark here

She said, bringing a finger to her lips as she attempted to think of any examples in which her words were false but failed to do so. Suddenly her eyes widened, her gaze returning to look at Aisellia with haste.Bookmark here

"I don't mean that with your parents of course hehe!" Laura said as she laughed nervously which only made her friend giggle.Bookmark here

"It's alright Laura. I just might also be one of the few nobles in this city that can see the overindulgence of wealth and status. Doing very little for those outside of the High District."Bookmark here

She said, turning the other way to look up at the cities skies and further into the city.Bookmark here

The Next Morning...Bookmark here

Five horse-drawn carts could be seen exiting the city through its guarded/heavily gated entrance. Armed soldiers walked along each side of the carts in formation. Inside the rear cart, however, a group of people sat at the back of the cart. The Priest, sitting up front alongside the driver. One of those people was Aisellia, who sat looking over her own writing while the others conversed among themselves. Suddenly a voice broke her concentration, and by the way, her face turned sour at the sound, it was a familiar voice but one she seemed to be annoyed by.Bookmark here

"Well, Aisellia! I heard your family might be helping but to think they'd send you out with the rest of us"Bookmark here

Aisellia raised her head, seeing a young noble male of blonde hair and blue eyes speaking to her. His all-white clothes were notably flashy, wearing a fur poncho with jewelry around his neck and fingers. She remained silent for a moment, glaring at the male, letting a few seconds of silence pass before she spoke.Bookmark here

"...I can bet you convinced your family to join in so you could follow me didn't you?"Bookmark here

Shock overwhelmed the blonde-haired male, or so he pretended to feign to be drawn back by the statement. Quickly bouncing back with his rebuttal.Bookmark here

"....Of course not! Why would someone do such a cur-like thing! I'm offended you would even think that!"Bookmark here

Looking at Dan, Aisellia knew he failed to notice out of the six nobles in the cart, half of them were women and with all of them being nobles they somewhat knew each other by family name at least. All the women were already glaring at him as well, all being familiar with his obsessive ways and attempts to "swoon" women. Aisellia being stalked by him the longest since they were teens, their families often working together on business.Bookmark here

(He totally did that...)Bookmark here

All three women said simultaneously in the depths of their individual minds, sending a detestable glare in Dan's direction. The other males seeing it, one chuckled to himself and the other stuck gazing ahead upfront past the driver and the Priest in white seemingly ignoring their conversation. The other woman continued speaking with the noble male, chuckling at all of their simultaneous glares as Aisellia shifted her body away from his direction, sitting her notebook into a small bag resting on the seat near her.Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: (Out of the families he had to be one, unfortunately. Dan Aifried, His family is one of the main Noble families who hold status and political power in the capital and undoubtedly the wealthiest. They're considered the royal family of the capital as its leading family. One of the girls, along with the guy she's talking to are part of those high-ranking families. Cana Sigfried and Ian Maliago, The red-haired woman with matching eyes is Cana. Her family runs the capital's largest distillery and has plenty of high-class taverns in the high ground. Ian's family is about as condescending as nobles can get, but their money goes towards too many things that only they can keep track of. The short girl of long blue hair and matching eyes is Sheilia Ciest, another Noble daughter whose family is one of the wealthiest. Most of the High-Class social events have their name on it somewhere to a degree. The guy who's been looking out the front and I...our parents happened to acquire a business wealth enough to become Nobles. They rose from the middle class but as far as this expedition is concerned we supplied our resources and those three who are practically royalty funded everything else. In a way, it made our families a lot of money. We're pretty much here to account for everything and help while the royals are pretty much just the faces of it all.)Bookmark here

The man wearing white cloth attire sitting beside the driver looked over his shoulder, smiling at the young man looking in between himself and the driver, soon turning to see the rest of the group. While the man of cloth's gaze graced over the young nobles individually, passing by Aisellia who continued sitting silently in her own thoughts.Bookmark here

(Everything was assembled and put together among the families by the Temple, Father Leon is the coordinator and supervisor to all of us and the whole expedition.)Bookmark here

Time passed as they traveled. The road was long, moving from a stone road to dirt road paths en route to their destination. The noble's continued how they had been, Aisellia mostly spending her time jotting down her thoughts and reading over them. Unfortunately, she was occasionally interrupted by Dan and his not-so-secret advances. After a long trip, the expedition group found themselves halfway to their destination. As the sun began to set, the group pulled onto the side of the path and sat up camp. The guards and Priest stood to watch by the carts while the noble children and other merchants who rode in other carts sat at separate bonfires. On a flat stone, Aisellia sat around the fire engaging in conversation with one of the other noble girls.Bookmark here

"So Ian" One of the noble girls Cana began, speaking to the male she held a conversation with on the cart, her short friend sitting by her side together sharing a log to sit on.Bookmark here

"Do you believe in the spooky rumors of the free marches?"Bookmark here

"There are plenty of rumors about the free marches."Bookmark here

He responded jokingly shrugging his shoulders attempting to quickly evade Cana's question, earning a playful smile from the two girls. Their conversation gained Aisellia's attention, her eyes shifting from the fire over to the conversing trio curiously.Bookmark here

Sheilia Ciest: "You know which one, the stories of dangerous monstrosities that roam the around killing anyone and anything without prejudice."Bookmark here

Dan Aifred: "Come now Ian, we're all aware of the stories."Bookmark here

Ian Maliago: "Of course. They're just that, Stories. It would be closer to the truth in my opinion to believe misfortune and powerful bad spirits. Demons are just a story to keep kids indoors at night I'm sure."Bookmark here

Cana Sigfried: "Oh?"Bookmark here

Sheilia Ciest: "Ian's family is part of The Temple higher-ups, so he would probably know more of the truth than what we could guess." The girls sat back in their seats, their excited smiles fading into pouting.Bookmark here

"We'll all find out the truth eventually, after all that's the reason each one of us weaseled our way here. Am I right?"Bookmark here

Dan openly stated and questioned the nobles present. His statement took everyone by surprise, evident by their expressions with Dan standing near the bonfire, everyone's eyes reacting as if they all had a secret that was just revealed.Bookmark here

"Otherwise what are the real chances such an important relief effort needing to be done, and Families of our status...send us instead of long-time servants or older trusted ambassadors?"Bookmark here

Looking at Dan, being the center of attention, managed to cause a moment of guilty silence from the group. Until Ian began chuckling.Bookmark here

Ian Maliago: "I admit Aifred, you're smarter than I thought."Bookmark here

Dan Aifred: "Ha! Finally, someone sees my brilliance! I had my own desires, but in the drafting process for this expedition, I stumbled upon a list and saw all of your names which was odd but I decided to help you guys out and make sure it was us chosen."Bookmark here

Sheilia Ciest: "I see, plus it would be a lot more boring and difficult if it was just a bunch of over baring workers out here with you."Bookmark here

Dan Aifred: "Indeed, everything is better in the company of beautiful women! However the only one I didn't even have to talk to the temple or my parents to approve. The only name I didn't have to push for is Miss Rae over here."Bookmark here

He said looking at Aisellia, winking his eye in an attempt to flirt to which turned her face into an expression of pure disgust.Bookmark here

Cana Sigfried: "Makes sense. Our families are in the high political order, yours Dan being pretty much royalty in the capital while Aisellia's family came from the middle class and moved up. Unlike us, she's done actual work for her family for years."Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "I just worked and organize the stores for a while. But I'm an only child so honestly, everything just came after."Bookmark here

"So you're a boss?" Cana questioned Aisellia curiously.Bookmark here

"Almost, I'm I've grown on the term boss bitch."Bookmark here

Aisellia said confidently smirking and shifting her sitting position. Cana met her smirk smile.Bookmark here

Cana Sigfried: "Ooo, Boss Bitch? I like it! I might have to use that, nobody in the Noble and Royal districts ever comes close to making cool things to say."Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "I Appreciate your subtlety *giggles* but yeah, I learned it from a friend from the Middle District a while ago. It just caught on for workers who didn't exactly like me"Bookmark here

Sheilia Ciest: "Thinking about it, not many lower district families particularly like nobles enough to converse like that to learn cool new words."Bookmark here

Ian Maliago: "But even the common rich still do that, Unless you're not counting the tons of ass-kissing ones."Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "Hmm? I guess it would make sense, I have no problem with them seeing how business usually takes me to the middle district so I'm normally talking to one person or another. Plus I have a friend who stays in the middle so I'm usually updated at some point."Bookmark here

She said, placing a finger to her lips as she thought about her friend Laura.Bookmark here

The Next Day: Inside the cart...Bookmark here

Dan Aifried: "Ho-ho one day Aisellia Rae, one day I hope to make you reconsider my proposal."Bookmark here

Ian Maliago: "Ok I'm curious, a proposal of what?"Bookmark here

Dan smirked confidently as Aisellia's face turned sour.Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "It's exactly as it sounds sadly..."Bookmark here

Cana Sigfried: "...Is it bad that it's that obvious the only reason this infamous perv wants to marry you?"Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "It's bad all around really...He's followed me around trying to peep and creep on me since we were teens."Bookmark here

Sheilia Ciest: "I hear he's always at brothels or in strange areas picking up drunk girls. They say he only takes advantage of the vulnerable drunk girls."Bookmark here

Dan Aifried: "Don't start false rumors about me!"Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "Oh? Have you heard of the word going around about Dan?"Bookmark here

Dan Aifried: "Hey!"Bookmark here

Sheilia Ciest: "Yay we're starting a rumor!"Bookmark here

Knowing they were joking, Dan gave up trying to fight their teasing and sat with his head hung low. The girls, however, and even the silent noble male joined in for the group laughter, unable to hide the humor he found in the joke. Ian chuckled, but looked uneasy, mentally commenting to himself while the other laughed.Bookmark here

Ian Maliago: (I think it'll be better if they didn't know that's what he's really always up to, without the brothels. He's always aggressively flirting with gullible or vulnerable girls. Waving his money and status to get what he wants from them.)Bookmark here

Dan Aifried: "I'm sorry no one's around to hear this lie. Only half a day until we arrive."Bookmark here

Priest: "Speaking of which, in a little while we'll be entering another nation so the climate will be changing, so we'll be stopping shortly ahead so that you all may change clothes for the weather."Bookmark here

Dan Aifried: "Change?!"Bookmark here

Ian Maliago: "Don't tell me you didn't bring anything to adjust to the heat?"Bookmark here

Dan Aifried: "..."Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "Wow, I think I might actually feel bad for him if he doesn't get the heatstroke he probably deserves."Bookmark here

Dan raised his head hearing the words that brought a smile to his face yet as he looked at Aisellia she had a devilish large grin, the thought of it bring her a deep dark joy if he did suffer from a heat stroke.Bookmark here

"The Sandora area is a southern region of high heat waves, it even has a massive desert the spans across the bottom border of the country. It's different from our northern people in Fio which has spring seasons half of the year. So you just might actually die from a heat stroke."Bookmark here

Aisellia had explained to the group the natural climate of their destination. Dan frowned and lowered his head again as the rest of them awkwardly laughed, caught off guard by her grin. With all of them realizing that she held a deep dislike of Dan.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.