author's note;; it took a week, but here it is <3 chapter two. I hope you enjoy, and that the characters are a bit more... in character this time. o__o;; If I still haven't gotten your information, I do need that, if you please, as soon as possible. Other than that, enjoy again. <3
“Let me get this straight,” said Hail incredulously again, “NONE of you noticed that, oh, maybe we’re sleeping on grass, or, the flowers in the pots are gone, or maybe even that the walls and the people and the whole TOWN is gone?”
“That’s not true!” Fallenpebble cried. “You did!”
Everyone except the warrior emitted a shallow laugh. “Very funny,” she sighed. “My point being, it’s painfully obvious, and why was I the first one to point it out to you?”
“Give us a breaaaaaak…” Fallenpebble muttered sleepily to the angered warrior. “We’re still half asleeeeeeep…”
Hail relaxed a bit, though not without tension. Looking around her, she saw nothing to place her gaze on; it was simply an empty field everywhere she looked. There were the two bushes from the entrance that used to sit on the ends of the sign that announced your welcome into Alussa, but now there were only the bushes, dotted with deep red in a sea of lush green. To the left, where there used to be the item shop, and happy townsfolk ready to talk to you and answer just one question, there was now a dirt path, and where Greeter Guy was, dew-dropped blades of grass now fluttered in the wind. This was, obviously, the one and only improvement of the whole town.
Thorn turned her head to Hail, her hair flying along with the trees. “Look, Greeter Guy’s gone!” This was clearly the only happy news that the party could share.
“Are… are you guys travelers too?”
An unfamiliar voice brought the whole party out of its haze; a voice none had ever heard before. They all turned to see a young girl who looked to be around the age of fourteen; her chestnut brown hair partly obscuring her bright hazel eyes and rimless glasses, a flowing mage robe quiet different from the one that Thorn sported—yellow pants made of velvet, a black shirt, and a dark blue robe covering most of her back and pinned at the front with a large off-yellow pin emblazoned with a star. Unattached blue sleeves went from her elbows to her hands, serving as gloves.
Fallenpebble snapped away from her mind to answer the girl’s question. “YEP, WE’RE TRAVELLERS TOO!” she screamed. The girl’s eyes widened. “I’M FALLENPEBBLE, THAT’S THORN, THAT’S SHADOWSOUL, AND THAT’S HAIL AND SUNNETH!” She pointed over towards the cleric and warrior, who were currently huddled quiet close together accidentally in an attempt to get out of earshot from the fangirl. “THEY’RE MARRIED!”
It didn’t take long for Sunneth to come rushing up towards the thief, but Hail stayed glued to the grass she stood on and turned as red as a lobster.
“W-w-we-we’r-we’re not m-ma-married!” Hail stuttered out, but the girl only bit her lip and closed her eyes in a wince.
“WHY DID YOU BITE YOUR LIP IF IT HURTS?” Fallenpebble screamed, noticing her slight wince
“It’s a nervous habit!” the girl screamed back. “Scream a little louder, please, I think I can still hear out of this ear!”
Sunneth clasped her hand over Fallenpebble’s mouth. “That’s just Fuhpuh, she doesn’t ever shut up. I’m Sunneth,” said the cleric, outstretching her hand to shake the stranger’s. “I’m a cleric. You?”
“I’m Starri, I’m a mage, but my best element is water.” She shook Sunneth’s hand with a little hesitation. “She’s not… always like that, is she?” Starri asked, nodding her head towards Fallenpebble.
A short wind blew through, blowing the cloaks of the mages and everyone’s hair around. Hail still stuck to where she stood, beet red with her head down and her hair in her eyes.
“What about her?” Starri pointed towards Hail. “Who’s she again…?”
“That’s my Hayul,” answered Sunneth immediately. “Hail, Thorn, Shadowsoul—my sister, by the way—me, and… Fallenpebble.” She pointed to each member of the party in turn with their names.
“Wait,” called Thorn, “you’re a mage too? What’s your specialty?” She was too far away to hear most of the introductions.
Starri turned her head towards her robe, a deep ocean blue. “I’m not bad with most elements, but my best spells are water elementals.”
From far behind Starri came calls of “Hey, when are we coming in to the picture?” in unison.
The mage laughed. “Just about now,” she called. “Let me introduce the rest of my party; Autumn, and Pine.”
Pine was obviously an archer; on her back was a leather quiver, and she held a wooden bow in her hands. Loose gray pants fell down to her brown shoes, and a plain long-sleeve gray shirt hung around her small frame, highlighting her broad shoulders. Her dark brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail, her eyes bright and shining despite standing in a depressing field of what used to be a prosperous town. Her expression was unreadable for most of those who had never seen her before—Hail was still deep scarlet and unable to face anyone new.
Autumn, however, was bubbly and waving at the new arrivals. Her hair was down, falling a little past her shoulders. She was quite literally wrapped all up in the color tan—her long pants, buttoned-up shirt, everything was a shade of tan, except for a few multi-colored spots of what looked to be paint here and there. Even her hair was a bit stained with a rainbow mark.
“Hayul,” Sunneth called, running back over to the warrior and letting Fallenpebble loose after one death glare, “come and meet the new people.”
A shocked expression met the request, but she didn’t have time to argue; the cleric wrestled up new strength and grasped the taller girl, almost dragging her near the others, though the other travelers were quite patient with them. They whispered among themselves until everyone in the other party was assembled into a line, Sunneth and Hail next to each other, Fallenpebble far, far away.
Each introduced themselves, shaking hands, exchanging greetings here and there. “Since we’re both going the same way,” said Starri, glancing back and forth at Hail and Sunneth, “why don’t we stay with each other for a while? It’s not like there’s anything better to do, in this… barren shadow of a town.”
Though Hail didn’t notice the glances, she had small suspicions that it was a bit odd to join up with those that she just met, but shrugged it off. “Sure, why not,” she answered approvingly. “We were just going to rest for today, anyway. There’s not much that we can really do here. Monsters aren’t really around here; there seems to be some kind of force field or something.” Sighing from boredom, Hail began to walk off in the other direction. “C’mon, everyone, it’s better than standing around,” she called.
As night came upon the travelers, Fallenpebble was the one cheated into setting up the tents. Hail had made sure that each person had one in her party before they went into the town, and the three that had just joined them each had one as well. She wasn’t as much ‘cheated’ as ‘offered and accepted’; but they drew straws, and Fallenpebble was the one with the red twig.
Left with the menial task of setting each tent up, she took care to do it right, lest she be forced to do something else. Placing each stake into the ground with care, she repeated the process over and over while the rest of the party went to talk amongst themselves.
When she had finally finished, she called “I’m done!” to get their attention.
Hail turned around and narrowed her eyes at the girl. “Fallenpebble…” she whispered, her voice eerily quiet, “…why are there only… seven tents…?”
“Iunno,” Fallenpebble replied cheerily, with a hint of slyness on her face. “There were only seven tents in our shared inventory.”
“And another question, Fallenpebble… why is… our biggest tent… missing!?” Hail gritted her teeth, knowing what had really happened.
The thief in question put her hands up. “I don’t know! Really, I don’t know where it went. Maybe you dropped it.”
In spite of her rage, the warrior let the subject drop. Instead, she whirled around, her heels spinning on the ground below her, and said, “Okay, so, where’s everyone sleeping?”
To save herself, Fallenpebble had already stolen the biggest tent they had left. Starri, Autumn, and Pine pointed towards their three tents, the ones that were obviously a little different because the place of purchase was different. Shadowsoul pointed towards the tent that was, incidentally, marked with her name on it already; and Thorn stepped towards her tent, which looked quite the same as the last one, which was, of course, the smallest.
Hail exhaled, her breath disappearing in the night, and swirled back around. “Okay. Where’s my Sunf sleeping?” she asked towards her party members.
Shadowsoul gave a sheepish grin. “Uh, sorry, my tent’s filled with stuff, and… I can’t really move it.”
“You know I’m an electricity mage; plus I’m a static electricity magnet. If you even pass through the door, you’re going to get shocked all night,” Thorn explained, with a frown. “Sorry, Sunnethchu.”
Fallenpebble was nowhere to be seen.
Sighing, Hail muttered “why did she have to sell that large tent…” under her breath, and proceeded procure two sleeping bags from their shared inventory. “Sunf, take one. You are going to have to sleep with me tonight.”
A small, almost inaudible giggle came from Fallenpebble’s tent.
“Alright… come on,” called Hail.
After Sunneth found her way to the tent, Fallenpebble slipped out of her tent, and made a beeline for Hail. “Hey, Haul,” she called quietly, motioning for her to join her behind her tent.
“What do you WANT, Flanz?” retorted the warrior, shooting her an evil glare. “I’m not going to get a good sleep tonight, because of you, and—“
“I saved some money up for you,” said the thief. “I thought you should have it, and buy the one thing that you’ve been meaning to for a while.”
Hail was taken aback. “…what? I haven’t been meaning to buy anything… I… think…?”
Fallenpebble had to contain her screams. “You know what I mean! An engagement ring for Sunneth, stupid!”
Hail’s eyes widened. “WHAT!?”
Her outburst echoed the thoughts of Starri, who wandered out after Fallenpebble’s near-screech. “But…” she said, almost whispering, though she was thankfully near the two so her speech could be heard. “…I thought you and Sunneth were already married, Hail!”
“…FALLENPEBBLE, GO TO BED.”
You have gained 9000G.