Stephanie's life was like any priestess's life, a loving attendant for the faithful and needy. The days went by like the Arkawa River, a constant, steady flow of people and time, but one thing made each day interesting. The friends of Stephanie's church, as well as her music, were practically her life, and today seemed no different. However, Stephanie would soon find out that her day was going quite the opposite of average. The young woman's dream, what she had been pondering ever since it took place that night, was about to come reality. Stephanie was standing outside the church she attended, giving bread to the hungry like any usual Tuesday, the muffled melody of the organ giving pleasure to her ears like a delicious dinner. As she went inside to fetch more bread, she heard a scream, followed by the sound of shattering wood. Stephanie's protective instincts kicked in immediately, and she dashed outside, dropping the bread onto the ground on her way out.
When the woman ran out, the poor had fled and there were townspeople running in all directions. Soon, she saw uniformed men and women apprehending anyone they could find, and Stephanie soon found herself facing against three opponents.
"Don't resist and no one's gonna get hurt, priestess!" One of the men said, his tone deep and that of an authority figure. "We've been ordered to round up everyone here, so there's no point in fighting back anyway." At this, Stephanie stood firm, and a feeling of disgust filled her mouth.
"How dare you barbarians desecrate this sanctuary!" She shouted back, readying herself for a fight. The woman realized what she had instigated, but this didn't change her mindset very much. One of the clothed men standing on the right leaned back and let out a thundering laugh. This man looked quite built, and his head seemed too large for his brain.
"Hah! What a jewel! Levi would like this girl, eh?" He said.
Levi? She had heard that name before, but before she cound think any longer, the woman to the left dove forward, taking a powerful swing at Stephanie. She had her mouth covered, and remained silent, even during her attacks. Her midnight hair barely peaked out from the cloth wrapped around the rest of her head, but it looked like she was wearing something on her ears. Stephanie instinctively ducked, just by a narrow margin, as she could feel the wind from the would-be devastating punch hit her hair. Immediately after the woman got her ground, Stephanie punched the hefty man in the gut, retrieving a satisfying grunt of pain from the him as he fell backward.
Suddenly, the Choral Prelude stopped, and Stephanie could hear struggling from inside. Stephanie suddenly felt a sharp pain in her side, and she fell on the ground as the sensation went through her hips like a lightening strike. The woman, who had previously tried to attack her, struck the priestess above the hip. Before she could do anything else, the deep figure picked her up and tied her arms behind her back with stiff tape.
"Alright, missy, you're gonna do as your told! Now come with us, or we'll just drag you by your hair." He said. Stephanie wouldn't let up, and weakly kicked him in the shin with her hard black boots, causing him to clutch his leg in agony. "Damnation! Get this girl with the others!" He said, taking a few hop-steps back as the other two dragged her to the town square, where the other townsfolk were being held. Stephanie was then shoved into a sit onto the rough stone flooring to the side, but she continued to struggle noisily. As she looked at the others, she could tell that some too tried to resist, but in vain. Some had gained cuts and bruises from the raiders, and it pained the poor woman to see her people hurt.
Suddenly, Stephanie felt something bash her on the back of the head. She gasped as the shock made her black out for an instant, followed by a sharp command to pipe down. The headache began to ring inside her head and she gave up, ashamed of failing to such low lifes. Stephanie looked down at the ground, not even listening to the man who spoke before the town. That was, until she heard a familiar name. Stephanie's head rose immediately, and the name Amelia triggered the entire dream again in her mind. Was this man Levi, the person who was leading this pillage? Surely it couldn't be, but the more the authority figure spoke, the more she watched him, the more she began to recognize it all. This was the person she was supposed to be leading with. Stephanie was shocked, she didn't even know what to think, and a nearby resident picked up on her dumbfounded look.
"Hey, Miss Berenice, are you okay?..."