"Ah, allow me to introduce myself fair Mystery Lady who is no longer a mystery!"
Rose bowed with a flourish, one arm on her chest and the other behind her back as she straightened herself out. "I am Rose Fortis, the greatest pirate this land has ever and will ever know!"
It was then that Bella's words fully registered to Rose, a light blush dusting her cheeks as the card slid out of her sleeve and into her hand. "I would never steal from a beautiful lady such as oneself! I was merely borrowing it. It's like you said, one can never be too prepared in a strange new world."
And what a world it was, filled with magic, giant doggos, goth generals, the list goes on and on. "These cards are quite the resource really. I was wondering what this one did, if you would mind explaining? You were the owner of said card after all.""And I'm Kanbaru Otoko, the wondrous water mage of good fortunes. And I suppose now, the more sensible member of this partnership."
Kanbaru sent the pirate an aggrieved look, one that the sticky fingered thief would know was more for getting caught then for trying to swipe what she saw was a Serei card. Raising a hand to pinch the bridge of her nose she pantomimed shame in the hope it would temper any reprisal from the noble looking lady. "You really must forgive us. It's a strange land to us and Rose here is awfully exciteable, though I do share her interest in that rather ornate card of yours, if you would be so kind as to elaborate.""It's not nice to steal dear, and even crueler to compliment the one you stole from."
Despite her words, Bella regarded the two girls with a cool expression, taking in introductions and excuses in the same manner. "Ah, but youth is always so filled with excitement, aren't you? Though it's funny to call them a resource when you don't have one yourself~"
Bella said, looking directly at Rose. "It is a nice card though. I hear it contains a powerful warrior from this world so it must be fate you "borrowed" it from me. Or maybe it was choice or chance~ From what I heard, that warrior resting in your hands has powerful control of the natural world, if you catch my drift. It's only natural I'd be drawn to a handsome fellow like that."
Her words were brushed off with little regard, mere pleasantries being exchanged between the dashing pirate and the beautiful noble. "A powerful warrior you say? Perhaps I should summon this warrior and see what his capabilities are..."
It made sense, to begin gathering a crew since Akiko had effectively gone MIA. Yet something told her... something told her that this warrior might not be as cooperative as Akiko's card was. Further questioning would be needed. "Out of curiousity, if I decide to summon this warrior and we find ourselves not getting along. Would I be able to like, unsummon him so I can just use him as a transformation?""Hmm? Oh sure you can unsummon it. And if you can't, well, I've still got my own card to use against him."
Kanbaru said with a shrug, dismissing any concern as she pulled the Henry card from her sleeve. She had a vague notion of what he could do and what he'd offer her should she consume him, so Kanbaru felt secure in her safety over whatever warrior this world spawned. Then again, maybe that was Henry's greed slipping through. "Though do we really want to do this on a busy street? I couldn't hold my arm out straight without smacking someone here."
It was cute, almost charming to see the girls answer their own questions by themselves. It was almost like Bella wasn't even needed and indeed, she would have left them to it were it not for the obvious notion lingering. "Still, all the same, you did take my card without asking and without permission. That's still a very unkind thing to do."
Bella pouted, resting a finger on her cheek as she watched the two naughty girls. "Though, I guess it's not really stealing if I was trying to give it away in the first place. It's just my luck to come across a pirate and a sales pitcher. Surely if you want the card indefinitely, you have something to trade me in return~?""Are you perhaps, asking for me~?"
Rose held a hand up to cover her mouth in a demure fashion, eyes narrowed as she stared at the not Mystery Lady. "Alas, I could not chain myself down, no matter how beautiful the maiden! Tis the curse of one who seeks the horizon!"
Another change in dramatic pose, the back of her hand held to her forehead and a faux forlorn look on her face as she stared into the sky. "But perhaps, I could offer you..."
A twirl of her hand, some sleight of hand, and a rose was offered to Bella, formed of pure magic. "A rose, almost as beautiful as you. Almost."
Follow up with a wink, and perfect.
The bluenette scoffed at the pirate's theatrics before stomping her heel down. A tactly placed patch of ice shattered under heel like a pane of glass, lending a grandiose air as she raised her hand in offering to the noble. A trickle of water curled from within her sleeve, winding around her arm till it formed a stalk of thin ice shining radiantly in the midday sun. Blooming into a rose of her own she stepped in close, just an inch beyond Rose's own offering to the noble. "No, she requires a rose to surpass all conventions of beauty. Take mine as well, and grasp a treasure whose beauty will never melt before the sun, much like your own!"
Bella didn't last a full minute without laughing at the absurdity of all this. It was bare enough both girls had come to the exact same conclusion in mind with the exact same set up and execution too. Though for all their efforts, it didn't make much of a difference. A few seconds later and Bella was holding her arms over her stomach, catching her breath from the public display. "Wow. I haven't had that much fun in a while. Yeah, no, you two can keep the card. I'm much happier getting this as a story to tell the others, ahaha!"
By now some people were indeed looking at the trio as if they had each sprouted three heads. It was a sign Bella's time was up and she breathed an easy sigh."Ah, but sure, I'll take these as souveniers. You girls are like, what, a few years my junior? Thanks but no thanks~"
Bella idly plucked the two roses from each of their hands, idly stepping away with a twirl. "Oh man, I know exactly who to tell this to. And I got it from two cute girls too. I'm so gonna rub that in his face!"
Bella mused to herself, casting a final glance at the two adventurers. "Oh, by the way. I know you heard it already but I'm supposed to tell you again. 'Beware the man who speaks in masks'....yeah, kind of creepy, right?"
Displaying a magic of her own kind, Bella tucked away the roses into her chest before dancing away into the group. If the two bothered to look closely from her parting, all that was left of her, proof of any indication she was there at all, was a fresh tulip planted among the walkway.
Not that the villagers cared, though most did try to walk around it since "magic" was involved.
A few moments of silence passed as both girls tried to comprehend just what had happened over the past minute. In the end, Rose simply shrugged as she tucked away the card into her cleavage. "That was fun. We should do that more often honestly, really adds some variety to the mysterious strangers.""I know, right? She didn't even try to kill us. Real big improvement."
Kanbaru said with a smirk, trying to ignore the many wary looks they got for their performance.
Rose chuckled as they began to walk off in a random direction. "Haha, yeah... But in all seriousness though, I lost Akiko.""I lost everyone. Kinda sorta accidently broke into someone's house and got konked out. So, any idea what were doing here?"
The bluenette shrugged, folding her hands behind her head as she followed along. It wasn't like she could leave a lost pirate all on her own, or they'd wind up hearing about her stealing an airship or some such. "No clue. I was just gonna go looking for some treasure, probably stumble onto whatever it is we're supposed to find. I get the feeling that the world is just like that ya know? Not like it's gonna keep us here for months until we find just the right path. Unless it does."
It was a worthwile question to consider, just how smart was the world that they resided in? Everything in here was data right, meaning someone had to have programmed it all. "I'm thinking of all this like a video game right? Someone made this world, meaning someone made the quest too. They probably want us to find the quest, so any good game designer would nudge the player onto the right path. I figure we'll get our hint soon enough. Who knows, maybe someone will fall out of the sky and give us the quest."
It was at that exact moment that a young boy
fell from the sky, landing directly in front of them.
The ground cracked and splintered under his weight as he rolled to Akiko and Rose's feet, unconscious and battered from some unknown battle. A small groan escaped his lips, even as his wounds began to knit themselves shut before their very eyes.".....Rose, can you ask for a mountain of gold and a bag of holding to fall out of the sky? I want to see if you're on a hot streak."
The bluenette adventurer remarked, blinking away the surprise that came from a boy falling from the sky to lay at her feet. A song was working its way through the back of her head. She crouched down, noting his regenerative powers with a whistle of appreciation, her finger prodding his soft cheek to no response. "But hey, you wished us up an adventure. Nice one, Rose."
Rose blinked lightly in surprise, looking at the sky, then looking towards her hands. "Well who knows, maybe a functioning airship and several hot butlers onboard will drop out of the sky as well."
She looked expectantly at the sky, waiting for her airship and harem, only to be disappointed. "Well it was worth a shot. Hey wait a minute..."
She prodded the boy's ribs with her boot lightly, another groan escaping his lips as she looked at the card she had just received. "This is the guy. I just got his card!"
She exclaimed, completely ignoring the panic of the civilians all around as they scrambled about. Well, not completely. "Anyways, I think we've just about overstayed our welcome here! We should probably get going before the police show up, especially since this time I don't think they'll just let me go!"
She quickly bent over and picked up the lad, getting him into a sort of backpack style carry as she looked around for a clear path. "Ok Kanbaru, my loyal 2nd in command! I think they're called lieutenants on ships. 2nd mate? Gah, pick a direction for adventure!""Heh, well I can't say I don't like the sound of it."
The water mage shrugged, letting Rose volunteer herself for the carrying of the pretty boy. Picking a street that looked the least packed, cutting up to the north with distant mountains to be seen, Kanbaru led the way at a speedy trot. "Careful not to drop him too much. He doesn't look to bruise but we'll need our meal ticket feeling real grateful when we start digging for clues from his noggin!"