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    Helping Stella Herschel

    Lucia Winchester
    Lucia Winchester

    Alt Account- A-Rank- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Player 
    Lineage : Power Of Apocalypse
    Position : None
    Posts : 183
    Guild : Luminous Rose
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 201,436

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Bringer Of Light
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Helping Stella Herschel Empty Helping Stella Herschel

    Post by Lucia Winchester 14th May 2021, 11:56 pm

    Job Details:

    Job Title: A Rank Free-form
    Rank: A
    Category: Uncategorized
    Job Location: Anywhere
    Solo Word Count: 5,000
    Group Word Count: 10,000
    Additional Requirements: N/A
    Job Description: Whatever the player chooses.
    Enemies: Whatever the player chooses.
    Reward: 50,000 jewels OR a custom Legendary weapon/armor/item - Must specify which when handing in the job.

    Job Sign-Up: Page 12, Post Number 290


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Lucia Winchester
    Lucia Winchester

    Alt Account- A-Rank- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Player 
    Lineage : Power Of Apocalypse
    Position : None
    Posts : 183
    Guild : Luminous Rose
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 201,436

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Bringer Of Light
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Helping Stella Herschel Empty Re: Helping Stella Herschel

    Post by Lucia Winchester 15th May 2021, 12:36 am

    -On the outskirts of Hargeon Town, mid-morning-

    Wearing her casual outfit with blue backpack on her back and brown boots on her feet plus Shining Light in its holster on her right hip, Lucia calmly walked towards Hargeon Town, the port town where she had gotten both her passport and her handgun Shining Light several months ago. However, Luca was not here for a trip down Memory Lane. She was here to help a mage named Stella Herschel with a job that required traveling beyond Hargeon Town.

    Stella needed Lucia's help because Stella had recently become a B-Rank mage and was still learning how to use her spells. As a result Stella wanted someone stronger to travel with her on a job to carry a valuable book to a client who lived in Capital Crocus named Harold Pryce. Stella was not expecting any real trouble on the way to Capital Crocus, but she still wanted to have a more experienced mage for a partner in case she ran into trouble from local hoodlums once they got to the city.

    Lucia walked to the outskirts of Hargeon Town and soon saw a tall, blonde young woman wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, red sneakers, and a black leather jacket with sunglasses over her eyes standing in the middle of the road. The young woman was carrying a nondescript brown package. Lucia felt her magic signature and learned that it was at the level of a B-Rank mage, but she still wanted to be certain she was speaking to Stella Herschel before she did anything else. The taller blonde noticed Lucia and waved at her.

    "Hey there. Are you Lucia Winchester?" The taller blonde asked Lucia.

    "I'm Lucia Winchester. Are you Stella Herschel?" Lucia replied in the affirmative before asking a question of her own. The other blonde nodded.

    "Yeah, I'm Stella Herschel." The taller blonde answered. Now that Lucia knew that she was speaking to Stella Herschel she relaxed a little. Stella looked into Lucia's eyes and then paused a moment before asking a question.

    "Say, your last name's Winchester. I know another mage whose last name is Winchester. Would you happen to be related to a mage named Diana Winchester?" Stella asked Lucia. Lucia blinked.

    "Yes. Diana's my younger sister." Lucia answered in the affirmative. Stella lowered her sunglasses and her blue eyes met Lucia's with a "You've gotta be kidding me!" expression on her face. Lucia noticed Stella's star-shaped pupils and got an idea of how the other blonde had gotten her name.

    "You sort of look like her because your heights are almost the same and you both have blonde hair. There's also a slight facial resemblance, but it's really slight. Her hair's longer and straight while yours is shorter and wavy. Her eyes are green while yours look blue or gray." Stella gave Lucia a physical description of the latter's sister. Lucia smiled.

    "You are the third acquaintance of my sister's that I've met. If I may ask, how did you meet my sister?" Lucia asked Stella how she came to know Diana. Stella put her sunglasses back on and smiled.

    "I met her on board a gambling boat on a three-day cruise to Crescent Island. We had rooms that were not too far from one another. We also tried to watch the Colorado Action Special while on the boat, but the film projector kept messing up on us." Stella answered. Lucia blinked. Since when did Diana go on gambling boats? And what was the Colorado Action Special?

    "What's your impression of her?" Lucia candidly asked Stella what she thought of Diana. Stella smiled.

    "Diana's kinda odd. She's so detached from everything. She's so calm that it's kinda creepy. But she's a good person who stays calm no matter what, even when Francesca Corlone's deliberately trying to provoke her into fighting." Stella gave her impression of Diana. Lucia could readily agree with the "detached" and "calm" parts of the description.

    "Who's Francesca Corlone?" Lucia asked her partner. Stella frowned at the very mention of that name.

    "She's bad news, Lucia. She's nasty to everyone she meets and she likes to throw her weight around... the larger the audience the more she tries to push you around so she can look like she's in control. If you can help it, stay away from her. Hell, don't even be in the same city she's in if you can help it." Stella replied to Lucia's question with a warning to stay away from her. This "Francesca Corlone" sounded like a bully. Lucia wanted to avoid Francesca if she could because the former disliked needless conflict, but if push came to shove Lucia would stand up to Francesca.

    "Oh." Lucia replied laconically.

    "Yeah. Say, we've got quite a distance to cover. Want to get going to Capital Crocus so we don't spend all day traveling in the midday sun?" Stella quickly changed the subject. Lucia nodded.

    "Sure. Let's get going." Lucia said to her partner. Together the two blondes left Hargeon Town behind and set out for Capital Crocus. They had plenty of ground to cover and not all the time in the world in which to cover it.

    [Post Word Count: 868]
    [Total Word Count: 868/5,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Lucia Winchester
    Lucia Winchester

    Alt Account- A-Rank- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Player 
    Lineage : Power Of Apocalypse
    Position : None
    Posts : 183
    Guild : Luminous Rose
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 201,436

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Bringer Of Light
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Helping Stella Herschel Empty Re: Helping Stella Herschel

    Post by Lucia Winchester 15th May 2021, 9:10 pm

    -The outskirts of Capital Crocus, four hours later-

    It was early afternoon when Lucia and Stella finally reached the outskirts of Capital Crocus. They had not run into any trouble on the way here because it was daytime and they must have passed by the bandits while the outlaws were asleep after a night of lying in wait to ambush travelers or prowling the roads in search of prey. Now that they were close to their destination the need for vigilance was not quite as intense, but they still needed to keep an eye out for trouble from local hoodlums.

    Lucia and Stella paused a moment to catch their breath and determine where they were taking the package Stella was holding. Stella handed the package to Lucia and pulled a piece of paper out of the right pocket of her leather jacket. She unfolded it and read it.

    "According to this job notice, Mr. Pryce lives at 1416 Monarch's Bridge. Unfortunately, I have no idea where that is." Stella informed Lucia. Lucia shrugged her shoulders.

    "Me neither." Lucia admitted.

    "Well, this is gonna be fun. Capital Crocus is a big place and neither one of us know where we're going." Stella commented sarcastically. Lucia kept quiet. It was not the latter's fault that Stella did not know her way around Capital Crocus, but chances were that the comment was not directed at Lucia. It was just the taller blonde's way of talking through a setback. Lucia took it in stride and moved on.

    "Maybe we can find a map or a brochure. Maybe we can even find a friendly local who's willing to point us in the right direction." Lucia suggested. Stella shrugged her shoulders.

    "Maybe, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that. Anyway, let's get going before traffic gets really bad. The pedestrian traffic's bad enough, but the vehicular traffic's even worse and some drivers around here are... reckless, to put it lightly." Stella suggested to Lucia and added a warning about how bad the city's pedestrian and vehicular traffic could get. Lucia nodded.

    "OK then, Stella. Let's get going." Lucia said. Stella folded up the job notice, put it back in her right jacket pocket, and took the package back from Lucia before walking into the city proper.

    -1416 Monarch's Bridge, two hours and twenty minutes later-

    Thanks to directions from a kind local, Lucia and Stella arrived at 1416 Monarch's Bridge more than a little tired but otherwise intact. Other than aching feet from the lengthy walk and having to endure quite a few unwanted touches on the backside from handsy teenage males and young adult males during the walk on the crowded sidewalks, the two blondes had made it without too much difficulty. However difficult the walk on foot was, they were thankful that they had not decided to drive or to ride on public transportation.

    Just as Stella had said, the lanes were full of vehicles and there were quite a few traffic jams. There were also quite a few reckless drivers who had gotten into fender benders because they were either looking at their iLacs while driving or they were people who considered obeying the speed limit and obeying traffic lights to be polite suggestions. There were even a couple of verbal fights between irate drivers that were threatening to escalate into physical brawls. Monarch's Bridge was a relatively peaceful neighborhood with nice houses and sensible drivers who obeyed the speed limit.

    "Well, there's the house we're supposed to make the delivery to." Stella said to Lucia, pointing out the house at 1416 Monarch's Bridge. It was nice-looking two-story home with a newly added garage and a lot of security cameras. There were cameras positioned above the front door, at the sides of the house and above the garage, and in the back yard that was further protected by a six-foot-high wrought iron fence. The house looked like a small fortress, but maybe all the security cameras were a sensible precaution considering that Mr. Pryce might have a vintage car in the garage he was looking to protect.

    "Which one of us is gonna ring the doorbell?" Lucia asked Stella.

    "I don't know. Why don't you do it?" Stella suggested. Lucia was reluctant to do so because the house was so fortified that she expected a pack of angry guard dogs to be released if anyone got near the place, but she would go ring the doorbell.

    "OK. I'll do it." Lucia said, taking on the task. She calmly walked up the driveway, walked up to the front door, and reached for the doorbell when an angry bald man opened the door and immediately began waving a wooden cane at her. He was well-dressed; he wore a blue long-sleeved shirt with a gray sweater vest over it, khaki pants, and black dress shoes that were immaculately polished and shined. He looked like a university professor or another type of academic.

    "YOU DAMN CORPORATE SPIES! COMING TO STEAL MY BOOKS, ARE YOU? I WON'T STAND FOR IT!" He yelled at Lucia and began to swing at her head with the cane. Lucia put her arms up in front of her face and blocked the blows without fighting back because he was just an old man who might be suffering from dementia or some other issue associated with old age. Stella ran up to the front doorstep and interceded before things could get any worse.

    "If you'd quit trying to beat my partner with your cane for just a moment, I have a package for you, Mr. Pryce." Stella said, offering up the package with both hands. Mr. Pryce quit trying to beat Lucia with the cane and took the package from Stella. As he looked at it he calmed down and forgot all about Lucia. Lucia took advantage of the distraction to back away from Mr. Pryce before he remembered what he was doing and went after her again.

    "This must be that rare book I ordered a month ago! Well, it took them long enough to ship it, but better late than never, I suppose. I thought that it had gotten lost in transit!" Mr. Pryce groused about how late the book's shipping was before lightening up with the last sentence. Lucia and Stella remained silent. Lucia was just glad that he was not trying to hit her with that cane any more.

    [Post Word Count: 1,070]
    [Total Word Count: 1,938/5,000]


    Last edited by Lucia Winchester on 16th May 2021, 10:50 am; edited 1 time in total


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Lucia Winchester
    Lucia Winchester

    Alt Account- A-Rank- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Player 
    Lineage : Power Of Apocalypse
    Position : None
    Posts : 183
    Guild : Luminous Rose
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 201,436

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Bringer Of Light
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Helping Stella Herschel Empty Re: Helping Stella Herschel

    Post by Lucia Winchester 15th May 2021, 10:38 pm

    Now that Mr. Pryce was not trying to beat Lucia the pair stood by in silence as he opened the package and pulled out the book within. It was a medium-sized book bound in brown leather and the title of the book was printed in gold along the spine. They could not see the title of the book because of the way Mr. Pryce held it, but the old man was happy with his new acquisition.

    "Thank you both for bringing this book to me." He said in a much calmer voice than the one he had used when he had "greeted" Lucia with the cane.

    "Um, I have a question. If you don't mind telling us, why did you call Lucia a corporate spy earlier?" Stella asked Mr. Pryce to clarify a comment he had made earlier. Mr. Pryce looked at Stella and frowned.

    "It's those damn spies. Their corporate overlords don't like the fact that I have a collection of old books, but I'll tell you more about it inside. They might be listening in on us now and I don't want them to hear us!" Mr. Pryce started to explain before ushering them inside. The two blondes walked inside the house and he closed the door behind them.

    -Inside Mr. Pryce's house-

    Lucia and Stella stepped inside a foyer that opened up onto a living room that had wall-to-wall bookshelves filled with old books that were all bound in leather. There was no television, but there was a brown leather recliner that had a stack of books lying on the low wooden coffee table just to the left of the recliner. On the right of the recliner was another coffee table that had a blue mug of coffee sitting on top of it. A short distance away was a staircase that led up stairs and to the left was a hallway that continued left.

    Straight ahead was a kitchen with gray tile flooring. They could not see much of the kitchen from where they were standing, but from what they could see it was kind of messy. They could see a stack of coffee mugs sitting to the left of the sink and empty packages of microwavable meals sitting in the overflowing trash can.

    Mr. Pryce locked the door behind them, then turned to them and began talking.

    "Do you see all of those old books on the shelves?" Mr. Pryce asked the two blondes. Both of them nodded.

    "I used to be a librarian when I was your age. My parents were librarians, my grandparents were librarians, and my great-grandparents were librarians, so you could say that a passion for books runs in the family. I don't have any living family and I don't have any friends, so those books are all I've got." Mr. Pryce said in all seriousness. Stella and Lucia felt kind of sad for him. Lucia felt sad for Mr. Pryce because he reminded her of Dr. Abel and how he did not have any family aside from Will. Maybe she was a sucker for sad stories like that, but since she did not have a family aside from her younger sister, Lucia found that stories about family struck a chord with her.

    "Why aren't you a librarian any more, Mr. Pryce? Did you reach retirement age?" Stella asked Mr. Pryce. He frowned at the question.

    "Because I wasn't needed anymore." He said bitterly. Both blondes remained quiet as he spoke.

    "I was replaced by someone younger, someone who was better able to adapt to the age of electronic media. I offered to try and learn how to work with technology, but I was told that I was too old to learn and that I needed to retire. So I left before I was forced out." Mr. Pryce told them with palpable bitterness on his voice.

    "So that explains why you don't have a television in here." Stella commented. Mr. Pryce nodded.

    "Exactly. I don't watch television because it's absolute garbage. There's no message to television shows, no moral that can be learned from them. When they're not producing mindlessly violent crime shows that rely on shock value for ratings or vapid reality shows they're churning out commercials that push consumer products that the corporations try to make you feel like you need in order to be happy." Mr. Pryce ranted a bit about how television programming was garbage. Lucia and Stella felt that a lecture about the evils of modern technology was imminent.

    "Like driving a sports car that costs a year's salary will really make you a happier person. What nonsense! It'll be outdated in less than two years and its "new and improved" successor will just be the same make of car with a different name and a few minor cosmetic tweaks!" Mr. Pryce ranted about the advertising tactics of corporations by using sports cars as his example. Stella raised a finger to object, then thought about it and lowered her finger.

    "Well, I was gonna say something to refute that, but you've got a point on the sports cars. I want a sports car some day, but there are so many models that I can't decide on which one to buy. By the time I finally make up my mind on what car to save up for a newer and better model comes out and I'm back to square one." Stella conceded that he had a point on the sports cars. Mr. Pryce smiled as if he had just been vindicated.

    "The corporations can't stand that I'm not mindlessly running off with my wallet in hand to spend my money on what they tell me to buy. They keep trying to get me to buy a television and they keep sending spies to try to steal my books so that I'll have no choice but to get a television and watch what they want me to watch. But I've been keeping them at bay ever since I moved here twenty years ago! They didn't get me then and they won't get me now!" Mr. Pryce explained that corporations could not tolerate him not buying their products and aimed to take away his books so that he would have to buy a television. Lucia and Stella were not sure about the truth to that assertion, but they kept their misgivings to themselves. Although his belief that corporations had singled him out to be the target of theft was out in left field, Mr. Pryce was reasonably calm and he was asserting his belief in a simple lifestyle that was not compatible with conspicuous consumption, so they let him talk until he was ready to change the subject.

    [Post Word Count: 1,118]
    [Total Word Count: 3,056/5,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Lucia Winchester
    Lucia Winchester

    Alt Account- A-Rank- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Player 
    Lineage : Power Of Apocalypse
    Position : None
    Posts : 183
    Guild : Luminous Rose
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 201,436

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Bringer Of Light
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Helping Stella Herschel Empty Re: Helping Stella Herschel

    Post by Lucia Winchester 16th May 2021, 1:12 pm

    -One hour later-

    Mr. Pryce had spoken at great length about how corporations were targeting him to get his money even though he was not in the target demographic for most advertisements. Lucia and Stella had remained quiet throughout the diatribe because he had remained calm and had presented his points without shouting at them. Lucia had the opinion that Mr. Pryce was a bit strange, but he was truly committed to his lifestyle of frugal spending and committed to his books. Stella, on the other hand, seemed like she thought that Mr. Pryce was just a Luddite who refused to get with the times.

    "I know that I sound like an old kook who's been locked inside his house for too long and I apologize for that. Maybe you think I have some points about how I live. Maybe you think I'm just an old Luddite who's stuck in the past." Mr. Pryce said to the blondes. Lucia refrained from passing judgment on the man, but Stella was not nearly so reserved.

    "To be honest, you do sound like a bit of an old kook. Technology displaced you from your job, so you're going to stick it to The Man until you die by not buying into modern society, so to speak. You're just trying to play the rebel because you're old and bitter that the world has passed you by." Stella bluntly replied. Mr. Pryce got angry.

    "That's easy for someone who's young to say. You've got a future, young lady. I don't. I'm just a relic of the past who clings to his books and his way of life because it's all I have left." Mr. Pryce retorted bitterly. Lucia remained silent while Stella eagerly picked up the gauntlet.

    "If you're so committed to a simple life, why do you have security cameras everywhere outside your house? Aren't those technology? What about your refrigerator, your oven, your electricity? And don't you have a car in your garage?" Stella continued. Mr. Pryce dug in his heels and pushed back.

    "Living a simple life doesn't mean giving up everything to live in a cave in the middle of nowhere, young lady! Just because I'm old doesn't mean I don't have wants too! I just want to live my last days in freedom and comfort with my books! So I'm just going to stay here out of everyone's way with my books until I finally die and the world doesn't have to deal with the living relic anymore!" Mr. Pryce declared. Stella was taken aback by that passionate defense and was rendered speechless for a few moments.

    "I didn't mean to go that far, Mr. Pryce. I'm sorry." Stella apologized.

    "But you did go that far. And I think you meant every word." Mr. Pryce shot down the apology. Stella felt bad and did not bother to defend herself. Lucia stepped in.

    "Mr. Pryce, I think that what my partner was trying to tell you was that whether you want to be part of the modern world or not, you're already part of it. By using electricity to power your refrigerator, using electricity to power your microwave that heats your microwavable meals, even using electricity to power your lights, you're part of the modern world. There's no getting away from that." Lucia calmly pointed out. The old man raised his finger to object, then slowly lowered it.

    "That's true, young lady. If I want comforts in my last days, I've got to be part of the modern world whether I like it or not. That doesn't mean that I have to buy into all of it, though." Mr. Pryce conceded that Lucia had a point and then calmly reiterated his point that he could use modern conveniences without having to compromise his commitment to buying only what he needed. Lucia saw that he had a point too. Mr. Pryce turned to Stella and spoke to her.

    "I'm sorry if I came on too strong earlier, young lady. I haven't had company in so long and I'm just a tired old man who can't seem to find a place in the modern world. And it seems like the modern world doesn't want anything to do with me unless it involves taking my money." Mr. Pryce apologized to Stella.

    "It's OK. I had the tongue-lashing coming for saying that you were an old kook trying to play rebel because you're old and bitter. You didn't deserve that and I'm sorry that I said that." Stella made her own apology. Mr. Pryce laughed a little.

    "To young people I likely do seem like an old kook. I don't leave the house much, I drive a boxy old car that's thirty years too old to be the cool kind of retro, I don't know how to work modern devices, and I still read old-fashioned paper books. And you're right, young lady. I am kind of bitter. I'm bitter that I couldn't be a librarian until retirement age like the rest of my family." Mr. Pryce admitted that Stella's criticisms had some validity.

    "And you're right for wanting to be left alone and to live in comfort until you pass on. I'd be upset too if I was forced to retire early." Stella admitted that Mr. Pryce had a valid point. Lucia was sure that while this was not a magical turning point that could erase decades of bitterness for being forced into early retirement, it was a small start towards getting Mr. Pryce to come to terms with the modern world and maybe even find a small place in it before his passing.

    "Maybe I'm just a tired old man who can't get with the times, but I'm going to live life on my terms." He declared. His facial expression then softened a little.

    "But maybe you two can tell me about an electronic device called an iLac. I've heard a lot about it. It's too late for me to even consider getting one because it'll take me longer to learn how to operate it than I have to live, but I'd like to hear about it anyway." Mr. Pryce requested of them, catching both blondes off guard. Considering his earlier beliefs that corporations were spying on him and sending agents to try and steal his books, they wondered how he would react to both blondes having iLacs with them.

    [Post Word Count: 1,066]
    [Total Word Count: 4,122/5,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Lucia Winchester
    Lucia Winchester

    Alt Account- A-Rank- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Player 
    Lineage : Power Of Apocalypse
    Position : None
    Posts : 183
    Guild : Luminous Rose
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 201,436

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Bringer Of Light
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Helping Stella Herschel Empty Re: Helping Stella Herschel

    Post by Lucia Winchester 16th May 2021, 9:02 pm

    -Two-and-a-half hours later, Mr. Pryce's house-

    Mr. Pryce had reacted better than Lucia and Stella had anticipated to learning that not only did the blondes know about the iLac, but each of them had an iLac with them. Based on how he had behaved earlier they had anticipated him accusing them of being corporate spies sent to scout his book collection, but he did no such thing. Instead he took the discovery in stride and even laughed about it when Stella brought it up. Once shown the device he took something of an interest in the iLac... Lucia had let him try one out using hers since she had nothing sensitive on it, just Lacrima Identification Codes for Angela Helton, Dr. Howard Abel, and her sister. Mr. Pryce tried his hardest to learn how to use one, but in the end he decided to postpone the venture. He was still interested in its multimedia capabilities, though.

    After handing the iLac back to Lucia he claimed that if they really wanted his money, corporations could rake in by selling him old Western and detective movies from when he was a young man. That opened up a new avenue of conversation once Stella told him about some channels on television that showed nothing but classic movies; some channels even showed just one genre of movie all day every day. Of course he would have to pay for them, but there were a wide variety of movie channels available. That news sparked his interest and he eagerly asked Stella how he could get access to them.

    Stella explained that she knew about this because her father was an old movie buff who had access to many classic movie channels. He was an old action movie buff and he and Stella had watched the Colorado Smith movies together many times. Mr. Pryce took a genuine interest in the idea of movie channels that showed classic movies. He also expressed interest in old movie collections that were sold in stores if he did not want to commit to a cable bill.

    After a lengthy conversation about his entertainment options it seemed that Mr. Pryce and Stella bonded over old movies... as it turned out Stella had seen many of the movies Mr. Pryce mentioned because her father was a fan of them. Lucia let the two talk until Mr. Pryce mentioned the time and Stella realized that she and Lucia had better get back to Hargeon Town before it got dark. Mr. Pryce understood and apologized for keeping them there longer than he had intended. He also thanked them for taking the time to talk to him despite him being hostile to them at first and paid Stella for the delivery.

    They said their goodbyes and the blondes left on much better terms with Mr. Pryce than they had been when they first arrived with the package they had been hired to deliver to him. Then Lucia and Stella made their way out of Capital Crocus and began the lengthy trip back to Hargeon Town. It was going to take at least four hours for them to get back to Hargeon Town on foot, so they had better get a move on before nightfall.

    -Hargeon Town, four-and-a-half hours later-

    The two blondes arrived in Hargeon Town almost five hours later feeling like they had walked across the entire length of Fiore. The sun was just beginning to set when they arrived in town, but now they were on relatively safe ground. With Stella in the lead they walked through the port town and navigated the busy streets until they reached Stella's house, which was in a decent part of town located a short distance from the "rich" side. They reached the house without incident and Stella knocked on the door. It opened and on the other side was a black-haired middle-aged man with light black stubble on his face wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt, khaki dress pants, and brown dress shoes.

    "Oh, hello Stella! I see you made it back from your job to Capital Crocus safely!" The man greeted Stella before looking towards Lucia.

    "Hi Dad! I made it to and from Capital Crocus safely thanks to my partner Lucia Winchester. My job would have been a lot harder without her traveling with me!" Stella greeted her father and told him that Lucia had made her safe return possible. Upon hearing that the man smiled at Lucia.

    "Thank you for traveling with Stella, Miss Winchester. She's just recently become a B-Rank mage, but she doesn't get to travel too far from here because she has to help care for her younger sister. I worry about her whenever she has to travel for a job, but I know that I can't keep her here forever. She's got to start her own life one day." Mr. Herschel thanked Lucia for traveling with his daughter to ensure her safety and explained why Lucia had been requested to travel with Stella. Lucia had heard some of the reason from Stella herself, but Lucia did not know that Stella had a younger sister that the taller blonde had to help raise.

    "It's no problem, Mr. Herschel. I don't mind helping out." Lucia said to him. Stella had been a good traveling partner and had quickly intervened when Mr. Pryce had attacked Lucia with his cane. Mr. Herschel smiled.

    "I know that traveling to and from Capital Crocus had to be a challenge, but I thank you for traveling with Stella. It means a lot to me." Mr. Herschel thanked Lucia again. Stella looked at the sky and then at Lucia.

    "It's gonna be dark soon, Lucia. If I may ask, where do you live?" Stella asked Lucia.

    "Talonia." Lucia replied.

    "That's a good ways from here on foot. The roads get dangerous at night and we've been traveling a lot, so you're probably tired. You might want to stay here for the night and head back home when it's daylight." Stella said to Lucia. Lucia thought about it for a moment. While she did not want to impose on the Herschels, she did not want to travel the roads at night because like Stella had said they tended to become prime bandit hunting grounds. Lucia was more than a little tired and she did not want to go up against bandits when she was not at her best.

    "If Mr. Herschel doesn't mind, I'd like to stay here for the night." Lucia accepted the offer on the condition that Mr. Herschel give his approval to the arrangement. Mr. Herschel smiled.

    "That's no problem, Lucia. It's the least I can do after what you did for us." He replied, giving his approval for Lucia to spend the night. Stella was pleased to hear that.

    "Come on in, both of you. We're having baked tilapia for dinner. It'll be ready within an hour." Mr. Herschel told them. Stella went in first followed by Lucia and the door was shut behind them. Lucia had completed another job and tomorrow she would be back in Talonia to look for more work... and maybe get back to looking for another living place.

    [Post Word Count: 1,198]
    [Total Word Count: 5,320/5,000]


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      Current date/time is 2nd December 2021, 9:33 pm