I was supposed to finish this fanfic as an entry for NineMoons' RNPCs Are Love contest. But alas, I was neck-deep in work that time so I was only able to finish this during my idle time. Nevertheless, I do hope you'd enjoy reading this feeble attempt to come up with my favorite RNPC's back story on how she got to Granado Espada.
Life was not always like this...
Everyone is so consumed with thoughts of war. Back home in Illier, things were a lot more quiet, life was a lot simpler. I remember my childhood years in my country where everyone took on life's challenges one day at a time. Illier is probably the best place to enjoy life in all it's simplicity. Thoughts about home has made me miss the rolling countryside, the smell of baked bread from the local bakery and of course, the sound of the incessant pounding in the smithy from which my father worked day in and out.
I grew up in Illier's capital city of Andora, which is by far the busiest, most robust part of the country. My father, Edgardo, was reputed to be the best swordsmith in all of Orpesia. Riza, my mother, was the daughter of a Vespanolan viscount who was quite the charmer. Their marriage was arranged, ironically, by my mother's parents. At that time, father was making quite a name for himself in his business. People told me that even the Vespanolan royal guards' weapons were made by my father. And back then, such favors from the Queen were equivalent to a noble title.
Maman* was a quiet and reserved person who took on to the marriage quite easily. I believe that even if their union was arranged, she loved Papa very much. As a little girl, I would always catch her looking at Papa quite intently, as if memorizing his face. Papa would often catch her looking at him and would smile warmly, making Maman blush furiously. As a child, I thought it was a game they were fond of playing, and I find it endearing to this day.
With my parents' diverse background, I was raised both in the smithy and under society's watchful eyes. Maman would often bring me to parties held by courtiers, noblemen and other titled families. I didn't relish this kind of environment, for I've always thought of these people as fluffed up and stuffy. But Maman told me it was necessary as the daughter of a noblewoman.
On the other hand, Papa would teach me the ropes of his business. At a young age, I would assist him in his work, and at times, let me wield his hammer. Papa insisted on perfection in everything he does, and he has taught me well. By the time I was old enough, I forged my own dagger, which I still keep with me.
To tell you frankly, I enjoyed being in the smithy more than I ever did in people's manor houses. I was immensely pleased doing blacksmith work, and Papa was rather proud of me for taking his work to heart. Although Maman never openly expressed her objections (if there were any), she understood my preference and began to include me less in her social tête-à-têtes.
Such was our life back then, but as people would say, peace is just a prelude to something monumental.
The three-year war brought about by the conflict between Brestia and Vespanola drove the entire continent of Orpesia into chaos. The once peaceful and prosperious Illier was transformed into a major military area. Papa became a sought-after person for top-class weapons, and this overwhelming demand got him working like a madman for months on end.
The work drove him insane, I guess. His mad desire to create perfect combat weapons led him to his death. The plague of the war and his esteemed reputation got to his head to a point that I barely recognized the kind, spirited man that he was before. On his deathbed, I vowed to take up his work as my own. I clutched his rough, callused hands and watched the life ebb from his eyes, and on that same day, I took on his profession as a blacksmith.
Maman, who kept mum on my work in the smithy before, now opposed my decision. As the only child as well as the only daughter, she did not approve of me taking up a man's job. I firmly put my foot down on this matter. It was a decision I made of my own will, and this is something I had to do for myself as well.
And so a month after Papa's death, I enlisted myself on the next ship bound for the New World called Granado Espada. Leaving home was painful for me in a way. My life was there. But in order for me to tread this new path I took, I knew I must start on my own.
I arrived in the Vespanolan stronghold in Cite de Reboldouex wherein the Pioneering Office gave me enough capital to start my own smithy. The city was probably the hub for all families starting out with their quest in this new land. And since I am the only blacksmith in the area, people naturally flocked to my workshop for weapon enhancements. Life had been busy from here on, and I rarely noticed the passage of time as I grew more and more attuned to the sight, sound, and smell of working with metal and fire.
As I got into this new place, I was able to meet new people and learn their stories. The exchange of life stories and the forging of friendship became as persistent as the hammer pounds steadily on heated steel. Life is tough in the New World, but as the gods would have it, such challenges have their own redemption at the end.
I am Idge Imbrulia and this is my story. Wherever life will take me, I will face it the way I was taught how—with much courage and strength.
*Maman is the French word for "mother". I think I read somewhere that the reference for Illier is France because of its affinity to arts and culture.