The sun was just peaking out from beyond the horizon as Neicia Aedric awoke, along with the rest of her family, some more groggy than others. Her mother was preparing breakfast already, as she was always up before the sun to ensure that everyone else could get to work as soon as possible. Her youngest brother, Athem, who had only just turned six, had slept in her bed with her that night, as he often had nightmares when he slept by himself. While all four kids slept in the same room, Neicia was eldest she got her pick of the beds, and she chose the one closest to the door so that she could be the first one out every morning, meaning she got the best of whatever their mother had prepared for breakfast.
She may have been an over all generous person, she liked to encourage some healthy sibling rivalry where ever she could. She made her way to the dining table as soon as she was able to stand up, carrying both her, and Athem, as she also liked to make sure her other two brothers did not bully him too much in the morning. With her almost being in her twentieth year, she had to admit she did feel a bit of motherly emotions when it came to her baby brother.
When she walked into the dining room, Athem holding on to her neck tiredly while she supported most of his weight, with her blonde, almost white, hair was a mess atop her head, she found her father sitting at the table, with his nose in a book, and his pipe in his mouth. He usually got up with his wife, simply on principal alone, as he thought it to be unfair that she should spend they earliest hours alone making food for everyone. While he did not often help her, she was glad that he did it for her.
"Mornin', papa." she said tiredly, stifling a yawn as she did so.
"Mornin', sweetheart." he replied, not looking up from his book, and she simply assumed it was a good one if he was not immediately tearing himself away to give her a smile with his greeting.
She set her brother in his chair, before heading into the kitchen to see if her mother needed any assistance, as she was usually already ferrying breakfast into the dining room by the time Neicia got there. She entered the kitchen to find her mother just finishing up putting food on dishes, ready for transport.
"Ah! Neicia! Help me take this out, will you, dear?" her mother requested as soon as she laid eyes upon her daughter.
"Of course, mama." she replied with a smile, immediately striding over to assist her mother, taking up the large bowl of porridge, and returning to the dining room while her mother got the smaller bowls, and spoons for everyone. Upon returning to the dining room, her other two brothers, Valden and Kye, had arrived, and were being shitheads to each other. She could not help but roll her eyes a little bit at their, well, childishness, especially since one of them was 17, only a couple years younger than her.
At the same time, however, it was a welcome, average morning for her, after almost a week of scrambling about trying to get the harvest done, today was a day of relaxation, for the most part, in order to get them ready for another busy week. With the seasons changing fairly soon, it was coming time to switch crops, and get the current one fully harvested, and the days of calm were definitely important to getting this done, as taking care not to over-exert themselves would ensure they were well enough to get it all done.
She set breakfast on the table, and her mother handed out the bowls, and spoons to everyone, allowing her family to serve themselves before taking her own portion. While eating, they discussed who would be doing what tasks that day, and Neicia was, as usual, volunteered to take this weeks rations into town for the rest of the townsfolk. She had no problem with this, of course, as she quite enjoyed going into town, and it meant that everyone in town would be happy to see her. Her younger brothers were tasked with cleaning up the animals, while Kye was to help their parents with equipment upkeep.
By the time Neicia was about ready to head into town, the sun was halfway trough its journey up the sky. The rest of her family were also at work with their own jobs, all at a fairly leisurely pace. She secured the last rope, to ensure that nothing was lost on the bumpy road in, before going to the front of the cart, and nudging the ox that was strapped to the cart, prompting it to begin walking. She strode along side the beast, with her head in the clouds, as there was little else to do on the trip, aside from maybe talking to her animal companion.
She imagined herself on fanciful adventures of glory and grandeur, and while she did not actively desire such a life, it was fun to imagine, and she figured it would be interesting to perform such heroics if even once in her life. All in all, though, she was quite happy with her life as it was, as she had a wonderful family, and a peaceful life. There was just something about the simplicity of it all that made her love the life she lead so much.
The walk last about an hour, before they finally reached the main portion of her little town, greeted by smiling faces, and friendly gestures. As they finished up their tasks at hand, many people approached the cart to collect their share right then, and there. Neicia was happy to provide them with this weeks harvest, passing vegetables out to any, and all who came, even offering a share to a man who was passing through town. Once everyone whom was immediately available had been provided, she moved on to going door-to-door, giving those who were not readily available their own shares. Most of those she visited were elderly, though a couple of them were craftsmen too busy with projects to be out, and about.
Once she was finished with her rounds, it was time for her to begin collecting things for her family, starting with Mae's bakery, on the opposite side of town from her home. Going through town, she collected bread, some dairy products, as well as some new clothing for her younger siblings who were getting too big for what they had. Hand-me-downs were rare in her household, as usually by the time one child was done with their clothing, it had seen too much wear and tear for anyone else to really get any use out of it.
Finally, a little bit past mid-day, it was time to head back home. She gave her farewells, and began her walk home, this time talking to the ox about what they had done that day, there was nothing horribly exciting that actually happened, but she loved the smiles that she brought about whenever she did these trips. Talking about it made the happiness she felt last that much longer, so even if the creature did not understand, or at the very least not care, about what she was say, it was still worth voicing.
As she neared home, however, she was greeted by a sight she never, in her wildest dreams, imagine possible. Her home was ablaze, her family was rushing towards her, most of the animals were with them as well. As soon as he saw her, Athem full sprinted over, she could see tears all over his face, snot dripping from his nose. She had come to a full stop, a hand covering her mouth, and the ox grew more uncomfortable with each passing moment.
Her brother collided with her at the full force of which his tiny legs could carry him, and he sobbed into her leg. Her hand absent mindedly rested on his head, as she tried to absorb what she was seeing, as everything she knew was slowly turning to ash. She could feel her knees trying to give way, but she refused to let them, as she began coming to terms with what had happened, realizing that she had to at least try and be strong. Her jaw clenched up a bit, and the rest of her family drew close, carrying chickens, and leading the other two oxen.
"W-what happened?" she asked, still staring at the blazing building.ns 220.127.116.11da2