Dex and Ashe were at the Pyre Guard camp, Ashe was making some breakfast for the group, Dex sat against a tree nearby, the camp was located on the very edge of the nearby woods.
"How do you like your eggs, Dex?" Ashe smiled, looking up from the pan at Dex, who still looked half asleep.
"Oh... uh, fried should do me fine" Dex yawned, he stood up and walked over, "Here, let me make the eggs, you can look after the bacon and sausages" Dex offered.
"Thanks" Ashe cheerfully smiled at Dex. The troops had headed back into the ruins of Rivenlake before the break of dawn, so the surrounding camp was almost empty. Roisin unzipped the door to her tent, yawning.
"Morning sleepy" Dex chuckled.
"Mmmm, morning" Roisin mumbled as she wiped the sleep from her eyes. "Do I smell breakfast?" She perked up upon smelling the bacon cooking.
"Yep, a proper full Ishtallian Breakfast!" Ashe chuckled.
Dex began frying the eggs, he looked up at Ashe.
"Hmm, Ashe, you're not originally from Ishtall right?" Dex asked.
"Nope, I grew up in Disceath, we only moved to Ishtall when I was ten" Ashe replied, half focusing on the bacon.
"Must have been weird moving away from somewhere eternally cold to somewhere so... temperate" Roisin said as she took a seat at a nearby dining area.
"Yeah, I couldn't believe you guys only got snow at a certain time of year" Ashe chuckled.
Ariel stumbled out of hers and Ashe's tent.
"Morning!" She smiled.
"Morning!" The others replied.
"Hmm, so Dex was just asking Ashe about where she grew up, what was it like for you... growing up in the Empire?" Roisin asked.
"Bit of a heavy question for the morning, Ros" Ariel chuckled, taking a seat at the dining table. "Hmm, well, it was... 'restrictive' more than anything" she continued.
"Restrictive?" Roisin asked.
"Yeah, you'd think with my mother having been such a high ranking official, Headmistress and eventually Empress, I'd have had more freedom, but it wasn't so" Ariel began. Dex and Ashe began serving up breakfast and took their seats.
"I never saw outside the Academy walls until I was 15, that's how bad it was." Ariel continued.
"The Araneian Academy, hmm that doubles as the Imperial Palace, right?" Dex asked.
"Yeah, I guess they wanted to have the palace on the most powerful spot in the Kingdom, so they built the palace on top of the Academy itself. I studied there for a few years" Ariel explained.
"Hmm, did you ever visit Gravitia Academy, or the city of Demi itself?" Ashe asked.
"Despite Demi falling under Imperial rule, many high ruling officials refuse to travel there, as there is an ever present feeling of rebellion boiling just below the veneer of peace and order" Ariel said, before starting her breakfast.
"I mean, you can't blame them for that" Dex replied, in the middle of eating a piece of bacon.
"Yeah, I never did, but I stood helplessly watching the city from afar, I wish I could have done something for them" Ariel sighed.
"Maybe we still can... at some point" Roisin smiled, trying to cheer Ariel up.
Ashe looked at Roisin and frowned. "Don't think just because you have some special new ability that we are capable of taking down the Empire, Roisin" she said, sounding frustrated.
"I... I didn't mean it like that" Roisin looked down, and sighed. "I just meant to cheer Ariel up" she continued.
Ashe looked regretful, and tapped Roisin on the shoulder.
"Sorry Ros', I just worry is all" Ashe sighed. "That Lumina that your Uncle mentioned... she's dangerous, and if she becomes aware of you" Ashe frowned "I don't want anything bad to happen to you" she sighed.
"Me too" Dex smiled
"Me three" Ariel added.
Roisin smiled, but then frowned slightly.
"We also have your brother to worry about" Roisin sighed, looking over to Ariel.
"You'll be able to kick his ass, Ros, not because of any silly power you may or may not have, but because your team will have your back" Dex cheered, the other two cheered too.
"I hope so" Roisin smiled, the three finished their breakfast and prepared to leave. Dex left a letter for Manners to see, and also a bit of money as a 'thank you' for letting them stay.
The group made their way back to the airship and boarded, they had seen a few troops in town, and said their farewells. The Airship slowly ascended into the sky, before shooting off towards the desert of light.
The remainder of the journey took just over an hour, the group landed at base camp just before 2pm. Atlas and Pyre were ready to meet them at the airpad, Atlas looked slightly angry as he saw the team stepping off of the airship.
"What on Crystalla possessed you to steal an airship, Roisin!" He shouted, marching up and pointing at her.
"I... needed to see you about something" Roisin backed away.
Atlas grunted and relented, he turned his back and walked back to where Pyre was stood.
"Find them somewhere to sleep for the night, they're leaving in the morning" Atlas told Pyre before walking away.
Pyre waiting for Atlas to leave earshot. "Sorry about him, he is only worried for your safety. This place isn't exactly hospitable" Pyre apologized on Atlas' behalf.
"It's okay, I understand, I guess" Roisin sighed, kicking her feet against the floor.
"I'll try to calm him down, you obviously didn't fly 300 miles for a social call" Pyre smiled. "Follow me, I'll show you to your accommodations" Pyre said, motioning for the group to follow him.
Dex put his arm around Roisin, as the group headed off further into the compound.