Sun Forged Oath

Before I Can Go

Vanguard entrusts Summer when she has to choose where to go

Carry You: 

Relentless Vanguard and Okami each startle wake from their dreams, and with a look realize they have experienced a shared First Age memory: a powerful weapon in a hidden manse to the southeast of Thorns, which only the two of them together can access. Not continuing on to ensure the rescue of the Lunar pains Vanguard, even after the others convince her they have it covered and that it's better suited to other skill sets than hers given the plan Koi has in mind. 

Before she leaves, Vanguard pulls Summer apart from the rest of the Circle. Inari is at the Eclipse’s side, and Okami at her own, but the Dawn seems unbothered by their presence and doesn’t ask to send them away for privacy. 

Vanguard catches and holds Summer's hands tightly in hers and speaks quietly but intently. Her back is to the others, and so only the three of them can see as her usually cool demeanor cracks just enough that a swirl of guilt and sadness can be seen in her eyes. 

“I know it might seem odd, but this matters to me. It doesn't to the others. It’s not that they don't care, it just apparent it doesn't mean as much, and I feel worried that… look, we can talk about the why later, there's not time here, but for now just know it’s important to me. I'm going on this other mission because I trust you to hear my voice in my absence. And I'm not saying this because I doubt you. I needed to say it, for me, before I could make myself go. Please, Summer, just… just please get her out if you can.”

“If it’s important to you, it’s important to me – the why doesn’t matter,” Summer squeezes Vanguard’s hands, her expression earnest. “I give you my word – if there’s a path, I will find it.”

"Thank you," Vanguard says, a touch of relief entering her pained eyes. She holds the other woman's hands for another few heartbeats before releasing them and taking a step back. As she moves away, before she turns back to where the others could see, the calm and stoic veneer slides back into place. 

"Well, then, let's go."

As they ride away, Okami glances at his Solar. He expects her to look back towards Subdued Summer, but her umber eyes stay fixed calmly and steadily ahead of them. 

“It’s a pity you can't be in two places at once,” he finally says. She smiles in response. 

“Really? It feels like I am.”




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