The magenta haired youth had decided as it was getting closer to the time of giving that he would do a round trip of Fiore and by a few things here and there, there was of course how he would get all that stuff back to the guild hall or even to the people they were meant for but that was a problem for tomorrow's Alma to worry about. Todays Alma was all about the rush of seasonal shopping and had spent a few days writing a list of who he wanted to buy for and for what kind of thing he thought they needed. It wasn't like it was a big list but he was pretty sure he wouldn't find things in the same place and this gave him a reason to play hooky when it came to his responsibilities to the guild while exploring. It wasn't exactly like even his guild master knew who he really was he signed under a pseudo name when entering Silver Wolf, this wasn't because he had done anything wrong or he intended to do anything of the sort, no this was because he had not only run away from his influential family and hiding from them but he didn't want to be known as the heir of the Miten family. He had found that as soon as people find out you're rich then they tend to want to get close to the power teet and get as much as they can as quickly as they can. Well there was that and he would never be allowed to do anything on his own due to people hoping to cash in with the 'we helped your family so you should reward us' or they would just down right take him back to his gilded little cage. He was through with being used by not only his family and others while being told what was expected of him but wanted to make it on his own; albeit that it hadn't been easy thus far for the magenta haired youth.
He had tried to decide where he would begin his trip but even looking at the map hologram coming from his archive lacrima he had no idea where to start. It wasn't exactly like he could ask anyone either because this what most would refer to as a 'me day'. He had every single intention of enjoying and spoiling himself in every place he went as it had been a while since he had done such a thing. "I wonder if there are any festivals happening."
he said looking to the map still as he walked out of the guild hall and started down the phoenix mountain, it was snowing but he was starting to get use to that given the time of year but still didn't put on a jacket. At current he was wearing a loose set of black cotton trousers, a white cotton long sleeved t-shirt, a brown set of shoes and his normal set of glasses. The only difference from what he normally wore to now was he actually threw a white scarf around his neck on the way out. "That should keep me warm. Now, where should I begin?"
he spoke to himself once more as he headed towards the place he now got a transport from. He was actually getting better at booking transport in advance so he knew that there would be a car waiting for him at the bottom of the mountain that would take him wherever he wanted to go. That however was the problem... he had no idea where he wanted to go first. After a short while he managed to get to the bottom of the mountain and moved into the car without any issues. "Aren't you cold sir?"
the man in front said looking back to him making Alma lookup "I'm wearing a scarf."
he said back somewhat confused "You really should wear a coat in this weather, you'll get ill otherwise sir."
Alma could hear that the other was concerned for his health and nodded "I'll pick one up at our first destination."
he said looking down at the map again "Where to sir?"
the man asked awaiting to hear where he was driving to.
Alma could only shrug "I actually don't know where to start today, I am intending to do a round trip of shopping in Fiore."
he said to the elder man, now he looked at him the man had long black hair, tanned skin, emerald eyes and wore clothing native to that of his guild masters home land of Desierto or at least what they wore in cooler weathers but in bright festive colours. "I see."
he wasn't expecting to be gone for a few days but knew that Alma paid well and so would have plenty of money to provide a good christmas and start to the new year for his family. "Do you know of any festivals going on?"
he asked the other who looked up as if trying to remember something before going into the glove compartment on the passenger side and began to look for something. After a long minute he brought out a booklet and started flipping through the pages mumbling about how it was the wrong month or that such and such had been boring when he had visited til he finally opened up a page and held it out for the magenta haired teen to read "Let's see here..."
he said looking over everything on the page "Oh! That seems magical!"
he said looking to where it was located "Okay Clover town is where we start."
he exclaimed happily strapping himself in "Very well sir."
he said giving Alma the booklet to look over as he started driving towards the town in question. Given the time of year and where they were currently he didn't expect to much traffic until they got to the cities and bigger towns, one thing that the driver did expect was going to be a nightmare was somewhere to park but he had expected that Alma would have that sorted as well. The magenta haired youth must have fallen asleep because the next thing he knew he was feeling a cold chill over his body waking him up and the door opening "Oh, are we here already?"
he asked watching as the elder male nodded "And parked in the bay you reserved, I will do some shopping while I await your call for us to move on."
he said to the youth."I'll book us some rooms in case we stay the night."
he ended up saying seeing how livly the place was "Good call, there is a hotel called home sweet home. Go there and say that Alma wants two of their best rooms."
he said handing him a unique looking card "It's the preferred customer card."
he said with a smile the man nodded and walked away to try find the hotel in question leaving Alma on his own to investigate the area. The sound of christmas carols and children laughing assaulted his ears while the smell of hot chocolate and freshly baked seasonal cookies assaulted his sense of smell, he was so excited in this atmosphere but then he was always a hyperactive kid that seemed to be running on a sugar rush at the best of times at least. Feeling the chill he started to go over to the hot chocolate stand and blinked seeing all the little cups "A hot chocolate tasting station?"
he said unsure if that was what it actually is "That's what it is indeed!"
said a jolly woman dressed in a misses clause suit "We at Marlow's only want to bring the best hot chocolate to our customers so we asked twenty of our employees during summer to make a unique hot chocolate and said at the beginning of December we would release the five most popular at the festival this year for the public to decide the best!"
Alma stood there blinking not quite understanding fully "The winner will get a prize and their hot chocolate will be officially released by the company for an entire year!"
she continued, Alma just nodded understanding that this was some sort of competition for those who made the hot chocolate and he would be helping choose the winner by tasting them all. "Would you like to taste test?"
the woman asked and Alma nodded heading to the top of the table where he was given a card."So what do I do with this?"
he said looking at the card "After you've tasted them all you rate your favourite to least favourite and put it in the envelope provided before putting it in the little ballet box at the end of the table."
the woman said happily "That's it?"
he said "Yup, that's it. You can even get a full cup of your favourite hot chocolate at the end! Thank you for taste testing!"
she said with a wide jolly tone. He was starting to wonder if she should cut down on the sugar but said nothing and tasted the first cup, to him it was nothing special at least by smell on reading the card it said 'cherry mallow cocoa' on tasting it he almost wanted to spit it out as the cherry overwhelmed everything else in the cup, he liked cherry but really wasn't a fan of this one. Putting the cup down he moved down to the next one and read 'spiced apple pie' this was a unique one to him and he drank it, it wasn't to bad as strange as it tasted, it was like drinking a hot chocolate apple. Putting his cup down he went to the third and read 'winter wonderland' and couldn't help thinking 'If you're claiming that then this should be amazing.'
as he picked up the cup he could smell the winter spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, the hot chocolate to his amazement was white and he swore on tasting it he could taste peppermint with the things he smelt and even some toasted marshmallows so far this one delivered, the taste was so subtle on everything but made him want more. The fourth read chocolate mint and he got exactly what it said so wasn't wowed by it but it delivered what it said, the fifth was called 'santa's workshop' on first sip he got caught by cool mint, followed by a citrus and gingerbread flavour which did catch him off guard but by far his favourite had to be the third one he tasted. Taking the pen he marked down which liked the most to the one that he disliked the most before placing it in the envelope and into the box. When he did he was given a token "This is for you to exchange for one of the five sample flavours in a full cup for free."
the woman said "Thank you."
The youth said before heading away from the area believing it might be better to wait until later to get that.
He started moving down the streets and even gave some jewel to several charities and singers along the way, but before long he ended up in an area seemingly meant for paintballing. "What is this?"
he asked looking at someone else "Snowball war, it's Amazing!"
one kid proclaimed "Uh-hu..."
was all Alma was able to get out before he was given his snowball gun and heat grenades "So we just shoot each other like we would do with a paintball gun?"
he asked quirking an eyebrow "Well yeah, but also need to watch out for the other team and the snowmen."
the kid said again making the magenta haired youth blink "Okay then..."
he said looking at the board showing that the team he had been assigned to was still waiting on one more person to join "I hope you and the other person aren't crappy shots."
one of the other kids said making Alma roll his eyes "Actually, I'm a bow user so unlikely to be a bad shot."
he said and left it at that, he knew this contraption he was being made to use was a lot different from the bow he used but was pretty sure he could pull a trigger with less effort than it was to pull a bowstring and release an arrow on a moving enemy hoping for the arrow to hit. For now all he could do was wait for the last person to turn up.Word Count:
2,101~~Word count met will continue as a job~~Left over word count:
601@Aemon TrahaearnActivities Finished:
Hot Chocolate TastingActivities Started: