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Hi,my name is Melody.I guess you're here to hear my story,and I really don't want to do this,but here it goes...

When I was only 9 years old,I came home from school one day to hear from the police that my parents were dead.They told me that a mysterious man dressed all in black snuck into my house,and killed my mom and dad.He was wearing a mask,so nobody saw his face,but I wouldn't accept the truth.I yelled at everyone who tried to calm me down,saying that it wasn't possible.How could my parents,the two best alchemists I had ever seen,be killed so easily.

After a year or so of denial,I finally got used to the fact that my mom and dad,the two most cherished people in my life,were gone for good.I also told myself that I wouldn't just sit around and do nothing.

So from that day onward,I began training with a sword as hard as I could.My parents never had time to teach me alchemy,and I really wanted to learn,but I knew I couldn't do it without the best of the best helping me.So I learned to battle with a sword.

After a few years,I felt like I was ready to start what I had been working on all these years.I packed a bag with supplies,and put on the two most treasured pieces of clothing in my wardrobe.One was an old black cape that belonged to my father,and the other was a pair of black arm gauntlets that belonged to my mother.

Once I was ready,I left my hometown of Liore.In case you haven't guessed already,I was leaving on a quest,a quest to find the creep who killed my parents,and kill him.To avenge my parents was the only priority on my mind,and nobody could stop me from doing what I had to do.

I had been on the road for about a week,and I must say I was doing pretty well.I had no trouble killing whatever enemies or monsters got in my way,and I was keeping my strength up easily.It felt like I never even left home.I guess I inherited my survival skills from my father.He always had the answers,even in the toughest situations...

Anyway,I was walking down a deserted road,when suddenly I saw giant puffs of black smoke in the distance.I rushed to see what was going on,only to find a terrible scene in front of me.

The small village that I knew was close by was being swallowed by huge flames before my eyes.Every building as far as the eye could see was engulfed in flames,and there was so much smoke I could barely see a thing.I did hear the sounds of crying children and women screaming.The men were yelling to each other to get water from the nearby lake in an attempt to put the fire out,but nothing was helping.

I knew I couldn't just stand there and do nothing to help,but I didn't know what I could do.If I were an alchemist,I could probably use water alchemy to put out the blaze,but I couldn't.So I did the best thing a girl like me could do.I quickly lead everyone except for a few dozen strong men a while away from the village,where I knew they would be safe.By the time I got back to the village,the biggest of the fire was gone,and only a couple of buildings were on fire now.All we had to do was get the last of those buildings.The rest of the village was soaking wet,so there was no chance of the fire spreading again.

As soon as the fire was out,and all the villagers were safe in their homes,I went to talk to the village leader.I wanted to know how such a big fire ever started in the first place.I asked him if anything suspicious had happened lately.

"Well," he started, "I do remember seeing a man come through the village .He said he was just passing through whenever someone offered him a place to stay,and it was true,he entered one side of the village and exited the other,just like that.He said he was looking for something,or rather,someone,and that the person wasn't in the village.Either that's true,or this guy wanted to leave this place as soon as possible."

"So what happened next? When did the fire start?"

"That man came around just earlier today,and then the fire started just before you showed up,young lady.A few townsfolk say they saw someone jumping around on the rooftops before the town set on fire.A man dressed all in black,and wearing a mask..."

As soon as I heard those last words,my heart throbbed with anger and fear.A man dressed in black and wearing a mask? No,that couldn't have possibly been the same man who killed my parents! It just couldn't be...could it?

This was getting more and more strange... "Well,I think I've bothered you enough with my questions.Thanks a lot."

"It's not a problem at all,young lady.Oh yes,as a thank you for earlier,why not stay the night in our best hotel,on the house?"

"Could I really? Thanks so much!"

"Like I said,it's not a problem.One more thing,though."


"I get it from the questions you've been asking me that you're planning on investigating this disaster a little further.If you are,I think you should see this." Out of his pocket he pulled out a small piece of steel,shaped to look like a feather.Painted on the back of the feather,in what looked like blood,was some sort of symbol. "I think this might have something to do with whoever did this to my village."

"I'll hold on to that,thanks."

That night,laying down on my hotel bed,I was staring at that steel feather like my life depended on keeping my eyes glued to it.I knew I recognized the symbol painted on the feather from somewhere,I just knew it.But from where? That was the question.

"Maybe I should just sleep on this..." I said as I closed my eyes and fell into a deep sleep.

End of Chapter 2
Several days had passed since the fire,and I still had no idea what that symbol meant.In case I remembered though,I kept the feather on a string around my neck,so I could always get a second look at it.I knew I saw that symbol somewhere,I just knew it! When did I see it? Not knowing what was going on here was killing me!

After a while of traveling,I could see a large city in the distance.I could tell from how big the place was that it had to be Central.That was good,maybe some people there could answer my questions about this feather and symbol.But,it looked like another week or so of traveling would get me there,so I would still have to wait a while before there was even a chance of an answer.

Anyway,everything was perfectly normal as I was walking down the dirt road.That is,everything was quiet until I heard a strange noise coming from the bushes.I stopped for a minute and listened,but I saw nothing,so I kept going.Then,suddenly,someone came out and attacked me before I had the chance to realize what was going on.Finally,I saw he was a bandit.Damn,I hate bandits,they're so annoying.

Almost as suddenly as that bandit appeared,I had my sword out and was charging towards him.It was a quick-paced and exciting battle,with plenty of close dodges and powerful and accurate hits.I could have easily won that battle,if not for what happened next.

In about half a second,I switched from battling one bandit to battling 10 of them.Now came the challenge,as there seemed to be a whole bandit camp somewhere close by.As soon as one bandit was dead,another one would pop out and hit me from out of nowhere.Finally,one of the bandits managed to knock my sword out of my hand,and break the blades on my gauntlets.About a minute or so after that,I was knocked out on the ground,covered in bloody cuts and ugly bruises.I knew as soon as woke up,all of my supplies would be gone... least,that's what I thought.When I woke up from what seemed like a 5 minute sleep,I was riding on the back of a horse.All of my wounds were bandaged and healed,and the blades on my gauntlets were repaired and sharper than ever.I also noticed my sword was safe in it's sheath,and I noticed someone sitting in front of me.Suddenly,the horse stopped moving,and it's rider turned around,and looked at me.

"Good,you're awake.You took quite a nasty beating,are you all right?"

I slowly nodded my head as I was trying to remember what happened.Finally,it came back to me,and I remembered the bandits.This man must of found me while I was knocked out.

"My name's Vincent,it's a pleasure to meet you.If only our meeting had been a little different." He gave a little chuckle.Vincent was a tall man,with shoulder-length black hair,and he wore shining black armor and blood red cloth.When I finally sat up,I noticed that his horse,too,had a beautiful black coat,and his saddle and reins were the same shade of red.

"Thanks for helping me out earlier.My name's Melody."

"Melody,that's a nice name.Your parents must be proud to have such a fine daughter."

The mention of my parents ripped the smile right off my face.I simply looked down in depression,and my hands were starting to shake.It had been several years since the murder,but even now talk of my parents puts tears in my eyes.I fought hard to hold back the tears,and I succeeded finally.

"Is something wrong,Melody?"

I finally came back to my senses."Huh? Uh,yeah,I'm fine.Just bad childhood memories is all." When I looked ahead,I noticed we were getting really close to Central. "Wow,who knew you could travel this quickly on horse.We must have gone miles since I fainted."

"Yes,old Ebony here can travel very far in a short time.That's why he's so useful to have around,in case you need to get somewhere in a rush.Melody,you were headed for Central,right?"

"Yeah,I was."

"Well,why don't Ebony and I take you the rest of the way? You still seem tired."

"That sounds great! Thanks a lot,Vincent!"

"It's no problem.I have to pass through Central anyway,so I might as well have a companion for a day or two."

Vincent was right there.We reached Central in only a day and a half.When we got there,I dismounted Ebony,and turned around to thank Vincent for the ride.When I turned around,though,Vincent and Ebony were already gone.That horse really can go fast!

Well,on the bright side of things,I was finally in Central.Time for a nice meal and a good night's sleep for the first time in a month.I was too tired to do anything else,as it was almost midnight when we got to Central.I could ask around about that feather tomorrow.

End of Chapter 3
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