-Sakuramori, Florence's apartment, six hours later-
Florence, Victoria, and Abigail had all left Franklin Kerwes' office in Hargeon Town and had returned to Sakuramori, where the sun was due to set in a couple of hours. It would take more than two hours for Victoria to reach Ace of Spades or Abigail to reach Oak Town, so rather than risk being on the road during prime bandit roaming hours, the mages decided to stay at Florence's apartment until the next morning. Florence was more than willing to be their hostess for the night and was concerned about the mission they would undertake in three days. Victoria and Abigail sat in the living room across from each other and were discussing what special gear they needed to bring for the journey through Sin.
"At the bare minimum I'm gonna need to take my Azure Armor and Crown of Persephone." Victoria told Abigail. Those two items were an integral part of Victoria's meager equipment and had helped keep her alive during the last two fights with the rogue scientist that they were being sent to eliminate. The Azure Armor was the only thing that had kept Victoria from getting permanently hurt by the backfuls of glass she had received after being slammed or knocked into computer consoles during her fight with Alexander Kerwes. The Crown of Persephone let her heal herself and others back to health... or at least kept them alive long enough for them to receive professional medical care. Victoria would need both items for what promised to be the final confrontation with Franklin's wayward son.
"All I really need's my Sky Blade. I don't use armor or other items." Abigail told Victoria. The experienced Sabertooth mage deemed it wise to advise her companion to get some armor.
"You may want to get some armor for this job, Abby. We've gotta fight our way through who knows how many Sin monsters before we actually reach the target. I may not be able to protect you the whole time." Victoria suggested with sincerity.
"I don't know what kind to get, Victoria. I'm gonna need something stronger than leather armor. I can't wear plate armor because I haven't been trained to wear it and we won't be able to take too many breaks once we land in Sin." Abigail told her friend. Victoria was at first going to loan the blonde her Azure Armor but then saw that there was a difference between their physiques. Abigail had a bigger chest than Victoria, which would make wearing the Azure Armor considerably harder for the blonde because the armor was originally made and fitted for a man. Victoria's flatter chest meant that she could wear it without any alterations.
"I don't know what to tell you either, Abby. All I know to tell you is to find something good and wear it for this job." Victoria said, wishing that she could help her friend somehow. Florence strode into the living room with a white mug of coffee in hand and a smile on her face.
"I might have an idea that can help. I know someone who owns an armor shop in Hargeon Town named Defensive Gear. Tell them you know me and they may give you a deal on some of their better gear." Florence suggested to the pair. Victoria and Abigail looked at each other. While the side trip may take some valuable time out of the time they needed to prepare for the trip to Sin, Abigail might need the armor. Since Florence had dropped a valuable lead right into their lap they both felt obligated to at least take a look at Defensive Gear's wares.
"We'll definitely check it out. Thanks." Abigail thanked Florence, who raised her white coffee mug in acknowledgment. Now that the issue of armor had been settled, the pair next discussed what other supplies they would need for the trip. Franklin had warned them that there might not be any supply drops during the mission and that they would have to carry everything they needed with them when they got on board the helicopter that was to drop them off in Sin.
"I'm gonna bring my backpack and fill it with everything I need. We're gonna need food, water, possibly extra clothing too." Victoria informed Abigail.
"I'll bring a backpack too. It's not like we're gonna find supplies just lying around waiting to be picked up. Pergrande definitely won't help us with supply issues, so we're effectively on our own." Abigail replied. Victoria frowned when the blonde mentioned Pergrande, that kingdom of mage-haters whose irrational distrust of mages could doom them all one day. The less said about them the better.
"Yeah." Victoria commented laconically.
"It seems like you two have this under control." Florence commented with a measure of respect for the pair.
"We already know what we need to pack. All we need to do is get Abigail some armor and we'll be prepared." Victoria replied to her friend and mentor. Florence then asked a question of the pair.
"Are you sure you two want to go through with this?" Florence asked them. Neither mage had to take very long to come up with their answer.
"We've already committed, so there's no backing out now. Besides, I'm gonna finish what I started." Victoria confidently replied to Florence.
"I'm with Victoria. We're committed, so we're gonna see this through no matter what." Abigail agreed with the Sabertooth mage. Florence appeared to be impressed with their commitment to the mission and did not try to dissuade them from following through.
"Well then... good luck with your preparations." Florence wished them before ducking back into the kitchen to refill her coffee mug.
"Are we really up to this? Will we be able to fight through Sin, fight the scientist, and get out alive?" Abigail asked Victoria with a little concern on her voice.
"Yeah. We've worked together several times before and our abilities complement one another. We've got this." Victoria assured the blonde mage. Abigail seemed to cheer up and agree with the brunette.
"You're right. We've got three days to get ready. We'll be ready for this." Abigail said to Victoria. Victoria nodded in agreement and stood up to go get something to drink. Abigail followed her into the kitchen and the pair then stood in the kitchen and drank Strawberry Slam beverages under the watchful eye of Florence, who was on her fourth mug of coffee. Virtually everything had been discussed and settled... all that remained was to get Abigail some armor, wait for three days to pass, and answer Mr. Kerwes' call when he called for them to board the helicopter to Sin.
[Word Count: 1,158]
[Total Word Count: 4,292/3,500]