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Selena froze. Somehow she'd been cut off from the rest of the group. Camilla and Beruka weren't visible in the sky, nor were any of her comrades on the ground. They'd been fighting a group of bandits who'd been terrorizing a small town but now all Selena could see were Faceless surrounding her. She had her sword, at least, but it wasn't going to be a fair fight. How had the Faceless even gotten there? Had a mage just abandoned them? They couldn't get to the town; most of the residents were elderly and that's why they'd petitioned the king for help, not knowing they'd get the entire royal family out to the rescue!

"I'm better than all of you," Selena said softly. "I can do this."

At least they weren't Risen; more than once, Risen had pinned her in like this. She'd nearly been killed more than once. That fear never truly left her, either, even though it was long in the past. It started to drag up from deep inside, mixing with the ice in her veins. There had to be a way through-- Or at least a weak point or...

She hadn't died then, any of those thens, because she hadn't been alone.


Selena tightened her grip on her sword and picked what seemed to be the smallest and slowest of the bunch. With one strike, then a second, it faltered and then fell. But there was no time to--

The next one went up in flame an instant later, and another fell. There was the sound of wings and hooves and somehow, suddenly, everybody was there. She wasn't alone. Odin beamed at her before casting a second spell. Laslow gave her a little nod... Camilla and Beruka both caught her attention for the quickest of moments and then...

She was catching her breath. She'd only managed to fell two of the dozen creatures, but she felt like she'd taken on an army.

"Are you okay?" Elise asked as she rode over. "I can heal you!"

"I'm fine," Selena replied. Not even a scratch, actually. Somehow. Unlike back then...

"The last of the bandits mentioned Faceless," Camilla said as she landed her wyvern nearby. "I knew I could count on my beautiful Selena to find them for us. But don't you put yourself in that much danger again. I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to you."

"I'll be more careful," Selena replied. She would. But she liked the praise, too, even if it had mostly been an accident.

She said nothing when Odin and Laslow flanked her for the walk back to town. She should have known they'd be there for her; that everyone would. They were friends, after all...

And friends kept each other alive.