1 Waking Somewhere Unfamiliar

When Olivia opened her eyes, it looked as if she hadn't. She was engulfed in a cold darkness. She stretched out and came to the rather quick conclusion that she was in an enclosed space. Panic spread throughout her body, gasping as she frantically felt the walls around her. Maybe there was something here to help her. She didn't know what, but she knew she couldn't just sit here.

As she searched, she realized what she lay on was stone, and around her, the same. A crypt maybe? Coffin? Was she buried underground? She felt dizzy and sick. Olivia banged on whatever was above her, pain shooting throughout her hand. She hissed and pulled back, holding her hand close to her chest. With the pain grounding her she was now painfully aware that she was naked. She sighed and dropped her hand, looking back up. There was light now, she had moved the lid just a tad. She felt relief at the prospect of not being underground. Still, she was stuck, and she had no idea of how to begin her escape.

The oxygen around Olivia was dwindling, despite the new crack. She had over reacted to her situation, and as a result, drained the area of what she needed to breath. She needed to calm down now, let the air flow back in from what break in the lid of the coffin she could make. She closed her eyes, and took in a deep breath. Outside of the coffin were birds, and the sound of wind blowing through leaves. It was peaceful, and calming. Olivia's heart stuttered at the sound of the crunching of a foot on leaves. It sounded as if whoever was out there was carrying metal, as it clanged together loudly. She wanted to call out, but at the prospect of it being the one who brought her here, and whoever they are finding her naked on top of that, she kept quiet.

"Why are we out here again, Draig?" A voice spoke, belonging to a man definitely. By the sound of the name, the other was a man as well. Olivia tensed. She didn't know what to do if two guys had taken her. She was a terrible fighter.

"The farm down the road reported loud noises and bright lights." Draig replied. Did they not know of her existence? She decided to wait a bit longer before calling for help.

"Isn't this for guards to do, not knights?" The other asked again, sounding annoyed and tired. They were knights?

"Yes, except what if it's something magical?" Draig said matter-of-factly, "This is Kim's burial site. A guard wouldn't be able to fend off something that wants to start up trouble here. You know this, Gaian."

"Yeah, I guess you're right." Gaian groaned. The footsteps had gotten louder, much closer to the coffin now. Olivia had to make a decision, scream for help or wait for them to leave? She didn't know if she could truly trust them, they may know that she is in the coffin and planned this conversation to trick her. She took a deep breath, focusing her eyes on the small bit of light shining into the coffin.

"Looks like nothing is here, should we go?" Gaian asked. Fuck, she needed to choose quickly. They sounded friendly, they sounded like they really were knights, really just searching the place for anything suspicious.

"I guess so." Draig replied. Fuck, just go for it.

"No! Help! Please help!" Olivia called out.

"Hello? Where are you?" Draig asked.

"The coffin. I'm in a coffin."

"Coffin?" Gaian asked, speaking more towards Draig than to Olivia.

"Please help. I just woke up here. I can't get out." Olivia said, interrupting their whispered conversation.

"Okay, we'll get you out." Draig said. Olivia felt relieved and relaxed a little, but tensed again when she remembered that she was naked. It shouldn't have mattered, she needed to get out of the coffin, but she felt herself giving quite an embarrassing warning, "I'm uh..I'm naked." The footsteps towards the coffin started up again, walking towards her.

"That's okay." Gaian said. The footsteps stopped where she was assuming was right next to the coffin. The lid was pushed open, and Olivia found herself squinting up at the sky. A hand appeared holding a cape towards her, and she took it timidly.

"To cover yourself." Draig said.

"Thank you." Olivia said, "Um...do you two mind facing the other way? I need to sit up to pull this on."

"Oh! Of course." Draig replied, and after a second or two added, "Alright, we are facing the other direction." Olivia sat up slowly, making sure they weren't lying, and when she was in a comfortable position, she pulled the cape over herself.

"Okay, I'm covered." She said, and the two turned around. "Can you help me out of here?" Draig nodded, and reached for her. He scooped under her legs, and wrapped his arm around her back, holding her bridal style. She gripped the cape closer, staring up at him. He had short, brown hair, and a scruffy beard. His eyes were green, and she faintly noticed the presence of bags under his eyes. He lowered her to the ground. As her feet touched the surface of it, she felt her knees buckle. She fell forward into the arms of Gaian. She briefly looked up at him. His hair was longer, and his beard was a lot shorter than Draig's. He was obviously younger than the other knight, and the bags under his bright blue eyes were definitely less noticeable. Olivia blushed and profusely apologized for stumbling.

"It's alright, don't worry about it." Gaian said, helping to steady her to her feet. She held onto his shoulder while she allowed the feeling in her legs to return.

"How long have you been in there?" Draig asked, appearing next to her with some water. She took it gratefully, gulping down large sips, before handing it back.

"I..I don't know. I just woke up here. That's all I remember." Olivia replied. Draig and Gaian gave her a perplexed expression.

"All you remember?" Draig prompted, "Do you remember what happened before you passed out? Who took you? If you were even taken? Anything at all of where you came from?" Olivia thought for a second, and then shook her head. Everything before waking up in this place was a complete blur. Draig sighed at her response and stepped away to think.

"Do you at least remember your name?" Gaian asked. Olivia nodded.

"Olivia." She said, and at his expression that prompted her full name, she added, "Patterson." Gaian hummed.

"The first name sounds native to here, but," He thought for a moment, "I've never heard the last name before." Olivia nodded, and pursed her lips in confusion. Why couldn't she remember anything about herself? Draig had left and now returned with two horses, interrupting her thoughts.

"She says her name is Olivia Patterson." Gaian said to him, now ignoring Olivia as he spoke with Draig. She let go of his shoulder, and looked around. It looked like she was in a cathedral, as what remained of the roof, though riddled with holes, was high reaching and pointed itself into an arch. There were a few pews around, and what remained appear to have been destroyed. She turned her gaze to stare at the coffin she was in. It was completely stone, and behind it was a surprisingly preserved statue of a woman. She had long hair, and a great sword held above her as if she was going to strike something down. The woman felt oddly familiar to her.

"Who is this? I think I know her." Olivia said, turning around to the two men. They stopped talking to stare over at the statue as well, then back to her.

"It's good you've retained somewhat of a memory." Draig said, "This is Kim Hollow, the last Hero of Old."

"Hero of Old?" Olivia asked, turning to stare back at the statue.

"Yes." Gaian said, "A Hero of Old is said to be gifted with power from the God and Goddess. Kim was the most valiant in history, defeating an ancient demon in battle who is said to have been her father. His defeat was prophesized to bring peace for hundreds of years to come, so there hasn't been a returning of a Hero in centuries. Unfortunately, the battle deeply affected Kim, and she went into slumber for a hundred years. People built this cathedral around her resting place, but one day, she stopped breathing...and turned to dust. People continued their worship for some time, but eventually the story of the last Hero of Old stopped being told to children with the idea of worship, and became more of a fairy tale, so the cathedral was abandoned. The priests kept her lid closed, out of respect for her sacrifice to protect this realm."

Olivia hummed in response. "Do you think a new Hero will rise?" She asked, her hand grazing the edge of the coffin.

"Some do, most don't." Gaian replied, "The few that do are mostly magic users, who believe that at the end of the prophesized peace, a new darkness will arise and our realm will once again require a Hero to save us. The people who don't believe Kim was the final Hero, and that the Heroes of Old will forever be legend." Draig huffed.

"Enough with the story-telling." Draig said before Olivia could ask any further questions. "We've got to get you to the castle. From the color of your hair, it's obvious you are of some noble blood."

"What does hair have to do with anything?" Olivia asked, following after Draig when he turned to walk towards the horses he brought back.

"Well, red hair as vibrant as your own could only be nobility. Commoners averagely have plain hair, like brown and blonde. Nobility have colors such as red and pure white, like Kim's hair was." Draig explained, "Excuse me." He grabbed Olivia by the waist and lifted her up to the saddle. She grabbed the saddle and steadied herself. Draig pulled himself up behind her and moved his arms around her to grab the reins.

"Strange that she is of nobility when the name Patterson isn't heard of." Gaian noted. Draig nodded behind Olivia, not responding as he prompted his horse to move. The animal started into a trot. Olivia winced at the scraping against her legs.

"Have you never ridden a horse?" Draig asked.

"No...I don't know." She replied, her grip on the saddle tightening.

"Well, I'd hold on tightly, it's a long way to Redstone City." He said, and Olivia's grip dug into the material of the saddle. "Hya!" He commanded, and the horse quickened into a gallop.

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