Fresia walked across the plains around her hometown. She did so every night, repeating the day's lessons and generally thinking about everything that came to her mind. She enjoyed this time alone as much as she enjoyed being in a room full of people having fun. Although she mostly didn't speak and only came across another person once every 2 weeks or so, she felt completely at peace with the way she was on those walks.
Her black braid bounced on her back as she started walking at a faster pace, determined to make the extra effort and walk past another field in the same time she usually took so she'd be home in time for her evening chores. She was to clean up the shop and re-arrange the displays so people would have to walk through the store to find what they needed. Maybe it was an underhanded trick, but Fresia had enough business sense to know that as long as she wasn't bullying people into buying her conscious could live with it. Though it had needed some convincing to get to that point.
Tonight though, Fresia heard the sounds of an instrument being played. Curious and open being her two main character traits, Fresia did not think twice and just rushed toward the sounds she was hearing.

Harud sat on a large boulder at the corners of a field where vegetables were grown. He held a multi-stringed instrument in his lap and played it with all the knowledge an instrument-builder could muster. truth be told he wasn't that good. He came from a musical family. His father built instruments, as did two of his elder siblings. His mother sang and had passed her voice onto his sisters. As the youngest child in a family of five where the other four children were outstanding in the eyes of their parents, Harud knew that he could do little to impress. So he had given up trying.
Harud was quite content living a low-profile life. He was freer than his siblings and because of that he felt he was happier. He could not sing the arias his sisters did, nor could he play the pieces his brothers often performed in front of audience. But he could build instruments. He could play and sing and have fun. It didn't matter to Harud that he might not be a genius.
So Harud sat there on his rock, holding his instruments and urging the plants to grow with his music. The piece he was playing was simple and his voice coarse. But he knew the plants would enjoy his company since very few people seemed to actually talk to plats these days. He sang of his dreams to find a girl and marry. To maybe find the place to build his own shop and earn a living. He worded the love he had for the woman of his dreams and their unborn children. He told the vegetables of vacations to come and years to be. And they listened, Harud was sure of that.

From a distance Fresia watched the young man play and sing. He had a nice voice and seemed to be enjoying what he was doing so much that Fresia hesitated to interrupt him. She felt like a type of magic would cease if she opened her mouth and talked. So she just watched his long brown hair obscuring the face she really wanted to see and listened to his songs. Laughed when they were funny and cried when they were sad.
Almost without noticing she moved closer. Until she was so close she could see him breathe. She gasped as she awoke from her trance and with that made her presence known to the young man.

"Who are you?" Harud asked when he looked up.
He felt a familiar heat gather in his cheeks and knew he was blushing. Fresia meanwhile was still trying to gather her thoughts to form a sentence. She knew who the young man was by now, his family live on the opposite end of the town and built musical instruments. That was most likely why he'd played so nicely.
"Fresia." she told Harud and then said, "My parents run a food and wine shop."
"Darau Beverages?" Harud asked.
"That's the one."
"No kidding, I go there sometimes." Harud blushed again.
"Oh, I don't often work in the shop." Fresia said noticing his discomfort, "You wouldn't know me from there. I'm studying to become a teacher so I'm usually at school during the day."
"It's been a while since I've been there." Harud said, nervously stroking the hair out of his face.
"How old were you again?"
"I'm 17." Fresia said.
An uncomfortable silence fell. Harud felt troubled about what to say next and finally just looked down at his instrument and plucked it's strings. Fresia opened her mouth and started talking to keep Harud from running off, or something like that.
"Your song was really good. I liked the melody too. And you don't often come across somebody who sings so well. Sadly I'm tone deaf and I can only squeak."
Fresia laughed nervously but was stopped when she saw Harud looking at her. Now she herself started to feel uncomfortable and nervous. She fumbled with the buttons of her dress and waited.
"You thought I was good?"
"Just how tone-deaf are you?"
"That's not funny. I may suck at singing, but I know when it's done right." Fresia defended herself.
Harud blushed and waved his hands, "No, it's just that... No-one has ever told me I sing well."
"In your family?" Fresia asked without much believing what Harud said.
"Well, my sisters and brothers are all better at music."
"Oh." Fresia said, feeling the danger of a silence creeping up again.
Suddenly she remembered that she was supposed to be home in less than ten minutes to do her chores. She might just make it if she ran.
"I'm sorry... I have to go." Fresia started.
"Oh, I must be boring you." Harud said.
"No. No No! Nothing like it." Fresia quickly replied, "But I have to do chores."
"I'll walk you back then." Harud shrugged, "It's nicer to have company."
Though it would help if he talked. Harud stealthily looked at Fresia and noticed that her face was rather pretty. His cheeks instantly flared red and he wondered if she found him odd. the thought alone made him feel depressed. He'd better say something...
"Do you like draks?" he asked.
"I do." Fresia answered.
"I touched one once." Harud smiled.
"Really?" Fresia asked and dozens of questions about draks popped up into her head. There was a lot of information on draks available, but the crucial things she wanted to know, like how they felt and what it was like to pair one etc. were hardly ever discussed.
"They once told me I'd stand a good chance pairing one." Harud said wondering why he felt the need to impress Fresia with something he would never realise anyway.
"Why didn't you go?" Fresia asked with a look that made him feel like he was a fool.
"I couldn't leave home. My dad wants his sons to continue his shop."
"And it takes three to do that?" she asked, feeling like slapping Harud.
Pairing a drak was like the ultimate dream of every child on Icarus. Well, maybe not every child, but once it had been hers as well. Though she had never been judged and the dream of being a teacher had replaced her very first dream somewhat, sometimes, she still dreamt of being a mobile knight-teacher who fought the evils of illiteracy across the continent. Dreams are allowed to be silly after all.
Harud sighed and said, "I don't think I'm good enough for a drak either."
"So. I don't think I'd stand a chance pairing but I'd damn well try if I'd gotten the chance."
"Yeah, you would." Harud nodded, "You're brave."
"No I'm not." Fresia added.
"You're walking home in the dark with a boy you don't know."
"People who sing to plants aren't dangerous."
"But they don't get ahead in life." Harud added.
"That's something you decide on your own." Fresia shrugged, "I believe people make their own destiny. If you wanted you could leave home tomorrow and be at any castle within the next week. It doesn't take that much preparations."
"So why didn't you ever leave to be judged? You could come back even if they rejected you."
"So maybe the both of us should go."
"Should we?"
"Why not?" Fresia bluffed, "I've always wanted to visit that new castle, Acicade. They'd probably need teachers there."
Harud laughed, "Well what do you know, that's where the knight who judged me came from."
"So, let's go."

Stats and Draks:
Harud and Ore Jasshos (m)
Fresia and Night Cophis (f)

Castle Descas
Harud and Fresia are aspirants at Acicade Castle