Where the Wallflowers Bloom
The Love Problems of Drunkards ✓
Finishing watching the very sad and pathetic drunks cry, Étoile and Rei had decided to visit the fortune teller after their conversation. Entering the sandwiched building, they parted the thick fabric door and entered. What had awaited them was nothing but darkness; what little glow entered could revealed the wooden floorboard, but vanished as the fabric settled. Surrounded by complete darkness, the duo was initially disoriented until a voice pierced the confusion."Welcome, moon and star."
A single blue flame formed from nothing in the center at the room. No bigger than one's fist, it revealed very little of the room, save for a small wooden table and the figure sitting behind. Up close, Magnolia's presence was considerably easier to discern. Layers of thin fabrics draped on her body managed to conceal most of her motions, yet still leave her figure to be viewed unabidable. Her face was concealed by a black veil attached to a circlet far more ornate than a hokey town like this."I've been expecting you."
Her hand moved over the table, her sleeve dragging along the surface, only to reveal a crystal ball resting on the table."You've come a long way. Care to reveal your fate?"
Gil listened intently to the requests of the duo. "Not really much coin we can spare here,"
he apologized, "so doing this is more of an act of charity. But I think we can part with a few supplies."
He took a break from caring for his patients and entered an adjacent room. After a few moments, he came back out holding a rudimentary cloth bag. Rather, it was more of a blanket tied into a bag with some rope. Even though the bag was barely a quarter full, it held some bare necessities: a large canteen, a small brick of food that looked as though it were a bizarre love child of mush and jerky wrapped in parchment, two torches, a finger-sized stick of iron and a sharp piece of flint, and a plain kitchen knife tied to a broom handle."That's all we can spare for now. Feel free to keep them. Oh, except the knife. We only have two of them and we're still trying to find the other one. As for the path, it shouldn't be too hard. There's a worn out dirt road that splits every so often. It leads right out of the closest gate. Just keep on the left most path and, whatever you do, don't ignore the paths and head straight north. On the leftmost path, about three and a half hours in, you should reach a mountainous pass. You know, mountain on one side, cliff on the other. Just continue up for an hour and a half and you should reach that hermit's house. If it gets too late, feel free to stay the night. That weirdo's fine with company."
Gil went back to look after the patients, continuing his observations and check-ups."Not really much about the journey. Goblins inhabit the wilds, but the guards usually clear all of them from paths. The medicine man is a bit of a basket case,
the small, pushy nurse stifled a laugh, but he's harmless. Oh, and good luck."
After leaving the city, Korrey had found himself on the path to the hermit. His partner in crime had gotten cold feet, choosing to stay safe in the confines of the town. All that was left for Korrey was to travel.
His small journey had lead him past acres of farmland. Cows, horses, and pigs all roamed freely within enclosed pastures while fields of golden wheat warmed the land around them. If it weren't for the occasional guard walking the same path as he was, he wouldn't have seen a single soul. The farmland, however, didn't continue forever. By the time he had reached the fork in the road, the wheat had been replaced by untamed vegetation. Bushes of berries, thin trees, and traces of wild animals had given the path a more dangerous appearance. Hidden behind the trees left of the fork, the summit of a mountain barely managed to break the treeline. It was a long walk, but the mountain was his destination. That was to say, unless something happened.
About thirty minutes into the forest, a singular goblin holding an undersized club stood in the middle of the path leapt out at Korrey. It was ready for a fight and was eyeballin' the loot that Korrey held.
Tien said, "geomancy is all about strength. It's also not really good up from a distance, so you gotta get in everthing's face. Hence, maul."
Tien made a bizarre motion, as if he was unsheathing an invisible weapon and using his free hand to outline the non-existent hammer. "And I'm not really thinking of anything weird? But uh, if you're psychic, I apologize. Anyways, I was talking about why you'd need an animal, but you explained it, so you pretty much removed any sort of comedic confusion about the situation. So uh, illusion blood bag. I can quickly grab one on the way."
He put two thumbs up and aimed them behind him.
When approached by two more women, his energetic, over the top face shot straight to the moon. He had a dumbass grin, contrasting with his "cool" face. "Not skeleton hunting, treasure hunting. Yea, what Kat said was all right. Except the ruins are more southeast. If you go straight south, you end up in a real tough spot, so don't do that.
He paused for a hot second then looked at Lexa. "That woman's just a worry wart. It ain't running to your death unless you die! Since you guys seem to have your junk in order, let's meet up at the south gate in about twenty minutes so I can grab all of my shit! If you ghost me, I'll be a very sad man!"
One Boy vs A Few Hundred Skeletons
An Old Man and His Guitar
With a newly acquired bat in hand, Nano was prepared to smash bone skulls. Besides the bizarre looks he had gotten from onlookers, disturbed that he would even think to use the sacred man-portal-fountain to quench a hot piece of wood, nobody was really impressed by him messing around with his wood in public.
The trip southeast was uneventful. Following the paths was always boring. Besides the occasional greeting from a guard or farmer, it was entirely boring. About 15 minutes out on his journey, the farmland vanished into rolling plains. While Nano was a good 45 minutes away, the ruins were still visible—even if it was only a solitary black blip in the distance.
Arriving at the ruins, the great stone architecture was humbling. Half destroyed buildings had sunken within the ground, pillars had been toppled, and statues had been defaced by weather and adventurers. The largest structure was, of course, the castle. Still remaining (mostly) above ground, the castle was a testament of
whoever made it. While the main entrance had been collapsed, it was—or at least seemed—possible to scale it. Towards the left of the castle was a ladder, toppled over by wind. It seemed to be barely high enough to climb into a tower's window. On the right wall was a hole. Brick had been pushed out from the inside.
All that was left was his plan of attack.