Oh. My. Abares. I freaking love this city!
Every clothing that each store offers is so cute, I was even gonna try one until I noticed the store owner looking at me weirdly. That's when I noticed that she's looking at me weirdly because the dress I picked is only suitable for people with completely human bodies. I blushed in embarrassment, carefully put the dress back on its original place, and walked away.
I keep on forgetting that I'm actually not completely human anymore. Maybe it's because I'm now used to my harpy physiology. I also noticed that I can walk normally now, unlike back then when I walked like a baby who's walking for the first time. Because of my body, people also began to look at me strangely though without the lustrous stares the men made at Danielle. Thank Abares. I understand a few disdain, even scared, looks strangers kept throwing at me and I don't blame them. After all, I'm so white I might even look like a bird ghost or a bird demon from eastern folklore.
One thing that surprised me, though, is that some of their looks lingered quite a bit longer than the rest. When I turned to look at them, I can clearly see the awe and fascination in their eyes. Maybe it's because of the holy auras my kimono and my headdress are releasing? I looked at my talons and realized that because of my harpy body, I walk slowly and slightly cross both of my legs while walking. Yeah, I maybe used to this body, but walking with talons for feet is still a little hard to manage. As far as I can tell, I'm a very holy harpy priestess that walks with elegance and grace (ego level: over 9000).
That's when I heard someone.
"Well shuffle my feathers, you look like so gorgeous!"
I was startled by the noise the woman made. I looked up until I realized I'm standing under a tree and there's nothing but a pair of birds perched on different branches. I paused, thinking my hunger must've affected my brain and I'm beginning to hear voices, until I heard another man shouted. "You noticed? Like, thank you!". That is when I realized the conversation is not coming from humans: it came from the birds.
Yep, I can understand bird talk. I noticed this even way back when our group is still adventuring towards Brightwing. Everyday I keep hearing birds talk nonstop. They range from "Out of the way, beak-brain!" to "Darling, your plumage is fabulous!" to "Hi, is there any worms available around here?" to "I AM A MALE BIRD IN HEAT AND I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE EGGS WITH HOT SINGLE CHICKS RIGHT NOW". Back then, if we chanced upon meeting adventurers walking past by us and noticed the mortified-looking harpy among our group, now they know why. The thing is, I haven't even told them about my trait, and I plan to not tell them. It's not as if my ability to talk to birds can
save our lives in the future.
"How did you manage to make your feathers look all glossy and smooth?", asked the female orange bird.
"Oh, I went like all natural. Don't you know mud-bath? It's like super famous among the birds now!", her red bird friend said.
"Mud-bath? Ew! Why would you even bathe in mud? I can't even!"
"Yeah trust me, at first I was also like disgusted, but once you tried it, it's not like even bad at all!" "Uh, hi."
Both of the birds stopped and looked at me. If birds can show expressions, they surely looked surprised a half-human, half-bird can speak to and understand them.
"Y-you can like talk to us?", the red bird asked with awe in its voice."Yeah and I can't help but overhear your conversation. What are you girls talking about?"
The red bird fanned her wing. "I was telling Sisa here about like how wonderful mud-bath can be on your feathers!"
Sisa exclaimed. "Again Fani, gross! Mud on our feathers is like hard to clean off. Why would I even bathe in yucky mud that looks like poo?"
"That's because you can't just bathe in any mud", Fani said. She perched closer to Sisa and I leaned closer to them. "The secret to achieving this glossy plumage is... hot mud spring", she whispered."Why are you whispering? It's not like someone can understand what you girls are talking about besides me"
, I whispered to them.
We were silent for a few seconds.
"Oh... you have a point there", Sisa said.
"Anyways," Fani continued, "there's like this hot natural spring up in the mountains near Brightwing where the mud surrounding the spring is heated up along with the spring but it's temperature is like not that hot compared to it. Stories say a lady bird was so desperate to look beautiful that she bathed in the mud around the hot springs and continued to a river not far from there to bathe the mud off. When it came off, her feathers were so glossy and smooth she looked like the most beautiful bird the gods have ever created.
Upon hearing this story, dozens of other female birds flew to the mud spring to try it out and they all, like, looked so beautiful afterwards! It's like so amazing I can't even".
Sisa pondered about this for a moment. "So it like, works?"
Fani exclaimed, "I mean honey, LOOK AT ME" while displaying her feathers.
"Well you do have like a point there, but I bet I can't even stand one second being covered in like yucky mud.""Well Sisa, you'll never really know unless you tried it, right?"
, I said.
Fani flapped her wings. "That's what I want to say hon! What's your name again?", she asked."Sorry I didn't introduce myself earlier. My name's Himitsu."
"Himitsu, you're like super right. Okay Fani, take me to this mud spring you keep talking about", said Sisa.
"Finally!". Fani turned to me. "Thanks for like convincing my friend to come with me. Hey, let's all fly there together! It's not that far", she said to me.
I shook my head. "Sorry but I've got something important to do here in Brightwing. Maybe some other time?"
"Oh definitely. Until we like meet again! Come on Sisa!", Fani said.
"Okay, okay! Bye-bye Himitsu! It was nice talking to you!, Sisa said."Thank you as well! See ya later!"
I said as they flew away while I waved my wing in goodbye. It's really a good feeling when you've made new friends in an unfamiliar place. They might be out-of-the-ordinary friends but still, a friend is a friend no matter what it is. I looked for the rest of gang and caught up to them near an entrance to the magician's guild. The symbols above the entrance made no sense to me at all.
"Let's learn what we can here and then we'll need to secure lodging for the night. We are certainly lucky the auto-translation from the game still works for conversation otherwise we would really be in trouble. Unfortunately our translation services don't seem to extend to the written language here." Danielle squinted at the sign above the magician's guild which had a bunch of symbols that didn't mean anything to her."I'm afraid not, Danielle"
"I don't suppose anyone has one of those translation devices from the game do they?"
, I said. "Do you think since this is a magician's guild, the symbols can only be interpreted through magic? Heck, why don't we just approach someone and ask what it means. I don't want to rush you guys, but I'm starting to feel like I can eat a dozen horses right now. By the way, nice outfit."