- job info:
Job Title: Planting the seeds
Player Requirements: N/A
-2000 word minimum per player
Job Location: Hargeon City
Job Description: Just outside of Hargeon city is a farm. However, the farmer has hurt himself and can’t plant his seeds for this year and needs them done soon. He is willing to pay to make sure these seeds get planted.
-- credit to Kusanagi
Zenshin's quest to help the people of Fiore despite his magical power being almost absolutely gone had brought him to a farm outside of Hargeon Town. According to the job request on the bulletin board, a farmer needed a mage to help plant his seeds for the year because he had gotten hurt. Hargeon Town didn't have that many farmers to begin with, so if the seeds were not planted it wouldn't simply result in an old farmer going out of business, but it would also likely lead to some citizens of Hargeon Town going hungry, an event which could and should be avoided if it can be helped. And helped it can be, hence why the white haired mage of Sabertooth knocked on the door of the farmhouse and patiently awaited the farmer to open up. Instead, his wife opened the door. She was an old lady only a little shorter than Zenshin was and had greeted him warmly with a large smile and a glass of lemonade in her left hand.
He was more than willing to come inside and partake in the lemonade and have a small chat with the two before getting to work. The old women led him to the kitchen where he found a quaint wooden table and four wooden chairs, one of which was taken by the farmer who put the request out. "Hello Zenshin, it's nice to see such a young mage help a couple of old farmers like us out" the old woman began as she took his lemonade glass from him. "It's no problem, but..." "I'm a divining mage. With the power of my crystal ball I can see a little bit into the most likely future and learn about whatever is in that general frame of time. My divination usually come to pass" she said, her smile never leaving her face. "I didn't expect to be helping mages, I'll be perfectly honest. Usually those who call upon the assistance of mages don't have the ability to cast magic themselves" he informed them, a bit surprised at the antique magic he had just witnessed.
"The thing is, my young mage, is that magic is no longer what it used to be. It's all very flashy and we just don't have the kind of power that you once had, Zenshin" he said, pulling out a wand and speaking some strange language. Before he knew what happened, that horrible book that Zenshin carried around with him appeared in the hand of the farmer who had hired him. "We might be old, but our memory is strong. You were once a Wizard Saint, though you dropped off the map because of... that" he said, pointing at the silver band around Zenshin's hand. "I'm sure you of all people could understand that with such a kind and lovely woman such as her" he said, prompting the old lady to laugh a little. The farmer nodded and cast another spell on the book. After another moment, he sighed.
"I understand the excite you must've gotten from acquiring this tome young man, but forbidden knowledge is forbidden for a reason. They always come with some kind of curse. Lydia, could you tell me what kind of curse this book imparts?" he asked his wife before she came up to it and put her hands just over the book. "Oh dear... this takes away the magic of the one who touches it until they learn.... I don't know. It's very vague, though through the acquisition of some kind of knowledge they may actually become stronger than they were before. While this is a book of forbidden knowledge, it actually has the magical signature of a tome of rebirth. Those allow the user a redo as far as their power goes, though they're also forbidden. In the wrong hands they could make the protectors of Fiore into magic-less mages." she said, telling him what he already knew expect for the part about learning some kind of lesson. "You will be able to cast your magic again after learning whatever the book has deemed is the most important lesson for you to learn. I'm sorry I can't help you more, though be careful about dealing with forces such as these. It's very dangerous" she told him with genuine concern in her voice.
"Thank you Lydia. I wasn't sure what I was even dealing with to be perfectly honest. I thought that books of forbidden knowledge only curse readers, not those who simply lay their hands on the darn things. I'm also a bit surprised at how seemingly well you two control your magic. What ranks would you say that you would generally fall under?" he asked, curious as to the power of these farmers. "Rankings? You mean that system created by the Magic Council to differentiate the skill between mages in order to lower the casualty rates of jobs? Well. Lydia and I have been around for a long time, so I would have to say that we're... A-Rank mages?" he said, pausing a long while before giving Zenshin an answer. "An A-Rank mage needed a D-Rank to come and do their work? Forgive me if I'm a bit skeptical as to my need of being here"
"You see, John here is a proud farmer. He has never once used his magic to do farm work that his own body could. Instead of using his magic, he decided to call down a mage to do the same. We would ask you kindly not to use your magic when planting the seeds, for it could contaminate the plants and make them inedible, but we all know that we don't have to worry about that." she said with slight pity in her voice. "Alright, that makes sense and I learned something new today. I had no idea that magic could make fruits and vegetables inedible"
They both nodded in unison. "Not many do and magic has unfortunately spoiled a lot of people. Most aren't willing to do the manual labor that would seemingly be much simpler with the use of a couple of spells. Why do you think there aren't that many farmers around Hargeon Town, or any town really. It's actually a bit of a problem" he said. "Everything you need is in the shed just through the back door. Plant all the seeds that you see next to the hoe you'll be using." she said, gesturing towards the back door, a gesture that Zenshin kindly nodded to in acknowledgement and followed.
The weather was dark and getting gloomier by the minute. Thank you mother nature for not forcing me to till in the sweltering Fioran sun he thought as he made his way along the paved stone path from the back of the farmer's house to the shed in which the tools were kept. He found a hoe weathered from many years of use as well as many seed packets for an assortment of fruits and vegetables. There were at least a hundred seeds altogether, probably more, though he wasn't about to waste time sitting here and counting them. Without wasting any more time, he exited the shack and felt a light drizzle hitting his hair and skin. Finally, he began to till the dirt that seemed weathered from having been tilled in the exact same spot many times before. Seed after seed the comparatively young mage tilled the soil until his body ached, and then he tilled some more.
Farming was a lot harder work than he had expected. Fighting creatures and tasting wine would be a lot more desirable than this he thought as the rain got harder and harder until he could no longer hear himself think. He wasn't done, however, and continued doing the job that he had been offered jewels for until every last seed was planted. Before he knew what hit him, lightning struck his metallic arm and instinctively he deflected it into the farmer's wooden house. He ran to the shack, throw the hoe inside, and then rushed through the back door to see if the farming couple was alright, but when he tried getting inside he couldn't. It was almost as if he was blocked by some kind of magical barrier. "Don't worry about us. Some little lightning strikes can't penetrate the barrier we set up around our house during storms like these. Especially not when mages are prone to send that lightning straight into our home" she said, holding her crystal ball and laughing a bit.
He was relieved that she divined this situation happening and saw her gesturing to his right. There, he saw a bucket filled almost to the brim with water and then he saw her looking down to his feet. The signal was clear and he cleaned his muddy feet in the water which is when a doorway shaped opening emerged in the field surrounding the house. Zenshin walked inside, sat on the nearest chair and sighed in relief as the job was finally over. "This is really hard work. I would rather fight monsters than till another piece of land" he said, prompting John to laugh from the other room and make his way into the kitchen. "Magic creates an unhealthy dependence on a force beyond the comprehension of most young man. I'm surprised you even managed to do the job without your power" he said, giving a few congratulatory claps.
"Well, to get this power my mentor had me train for half a year without any magic, so I understand how it feels" he said, prompting a respectful nod from the farmer. "Great teacher you had, then. You can only truly appreciate and understand magic once you realize what it's like to lose it." "Here you go Zenshin. I figured you would be hungry after all that hard work in the fields. I would also like you to know that you're welcome here whenever you'd like a warm meal and a place to stay. Not many would've helped an old couple of mages like ourselves the way you did here today" Lydia told him while handing him a giant bowl of steaming noodles and cooked meat. It was all he could ever have asked for in a meal, really.
"Thank you for your hospitality" he said before picking the bowl up and scarfing down the noodles and meat as fast as he could. "You see, that's the kind of appetite that only hard manual labor could build. No one said that farming didn't have its perks" John said before receiving his own meal. "Here's your book back, Zenshin. I figured we could keep this between ourselves, as most people in the Magic Council couldn't tell a tome of forbidden knowledge from a cook book. Besides, there's something about this one that doesn't seem too bad. It's not exactly cursed, but rather part of the knowledge it imparts is taking away one's magic, so you'll get your strength back in due time. However, be a little more careful when hunting down these kinds of books. Here, take this with you and put a single drop of the liquid on whatever you think might be cursed." she said, giving him a vile of... he actually didn't know.
"What is this? I've never heard of magic to neutralize curses" he asked curiously. "Curses are done by magic and thus they can be undone by magic, as is the nature of the magical. You'd do well to remember that. And as for the liquid, it's a little brew I concocted in this" she said, pointing to a cauldron over a flame in the corner of the kitchen. "Wow. You really are an old school witch" he said, prompting her to bow her head. "I have a soft spot for kind gentlemen, so I figured I might as well give you a separate parting gift in addition to this" she said, also giving him a bag of jewels. "Thank you very much for everything you've done for me Lydia, John. I'll make sure to visit whenever I get the chance" he said, getting up and heading for the front door. "You're always welcome here Zenshin, just don't forget to wipe your feet on the way in!" John yelled to make sure he heard on his way out. With a final goodbye, the Sabertooth mage made his way back to the guild with a bag full of jewels, a vial of curse neutralization, and invaluable knowledge on the nature of the magic surrounding him.
Word Count: 2094