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    An Unexpected Homecoming

    Victoria Sheridan
    Victoria Sheridan

    Alt Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Legal Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Wanderer- EXP Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Limited Edition- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- The Completionist- Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Shadows Of Anarchy
    Position : None
    Posts : 1395
    Guild : Sabertooth
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,778,960

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Merces Letifer
    Second Magic: Combat Medic
    Third Magic:

    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 26th May 2021, 10:32 pm

    Job Details:

    Job Title: 100 Year Free-form
    Rank: 100 Year
    Category: Uncategorized
    Job Location: Anywhere
    Solo Word Count: 11,000
    Group Word Count: 22,000
    Additional Requirements: N/A
    Job Description: Whatever the player chooses.
    Enemies: Whatever the player chooses.
    Reward: 150,000 jewels OR a custom Artifact weapon/armor/item - Must specify which when handing in the job.

    Job Sign-Up: Page 13, Post Number 314


    _____________________________________________________________________________________


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 6/15/2022. Proof of purchase is here. The General Store: Page 38, Page 947
    Victoria Sheridan
    Victoria Sheridan

    Alt Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Legal Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Wanderer- EXP Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Limited Edition- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- The Completionist- Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Shadows Of Anarchy
    Position : None
    Posts : 1395
    Guild : Sabertooth
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,778,960

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Merces Letifer
    Second Magic: Combat Medic
    Third Magic:

    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 26th May 2021, 11:39 pm

    -The Sheridan Estate, Victoria's Room, early morning-

    With the morning sun shining brightly through a crack in the old-fashioned curtains covering her room window, Victoria woke up and cursed the bright sunlight. It was too early for it to be so bright. Or was it?

    Victoria rolled over from the middle of her bed and grabbed her iLac from the nightstand to her left, then tapped the screen on to see what time it was. She saw that it was about 9:15 A.M. Victoria set the iLac down on the nightstand and rolled over again. It was too early for it to be so bright in here.

    Victoria stared at the ceiling and tried to get back to sleep when the iLac's ringtone played. The brunette frowned and rolled over towards the nightstand again. Whoever was calling had better have a good reason for doing so. She grabbed the device and tapped the screen to see who was calling her this early. The caller was Abigail Windstrider!

    Victoria swiped the green phone icon and answered the call, bringing the iLac up to her ear.

    "Oh hey Abby! How's it going?" Victoria asked her friend in a chipper tone that concealed how just moments ago she was annoyed at someone calling her this early in the morning.

    "It's going great, Vic. Listen, I'm heading for Capital Crocus now. I'd like to cash in that rain check I took on going to the mall the other day. You know, when we vegged out and watched anime instead?" Abigail reminded Victoria of how the planned trip to the mall got derailed by them watching an episodes of Cram School Soda Break that turned into many episodes of Cram School Soda Break. By the time they realized what was going on the mall had closed. Instead of them going the next day, Abigail had opted to take a rain check and go home to look for some work to do so that she could get spending money. A little over a week later she was coming to cash it.

    "I remember now! Um, sorry about that." Victoria replied that she did remember that day before sheepishly apologizing for Abigail missing her planned trip to the mall. Abigail laughed.

    "It's OK. Listen, I'm currently in Peace Village." Abigail informed Victoria.

    "Do you need me to come pick you up on the Centaur?" Victoria offered to come to her and pick her up on the Centaur.

    "No thanks, Vic. I'll be there in about two hours or so." Abigail politely turned down the offer of a ride and gave an estimate of when she would arrive.

    "OK. See you then!" Victoria replied. Abigail hung up and Victoria rolled to the edge of the bed, then set the iLac down. She sat up and then stood up. Once she was on her feet Victoria immediately set out to get a bathcloth and towel so that she could get a shower. Since she was going somewhere today she would definitely need a shower.

    -Victoria's Room, one hour later-

    Returning to her room after having taken a lengthy hot shower, Victoria had gotten dressed in her white Steel Matron t-shirt and black skirt with black bike shorts underneath it. She was looking for a way to tie her long chestnut brown hair back into a ponytail when Laura walked into the room and waved at the brunette.

    "Hello, Miss Sheridan. I take it that we're going to have company today?" Laura asked Victoria. Victoria nodded.

    "Yes, Laura. My friend Abigail's going to be here in roughly two hours." Victoria replied in the affirmative.

    "Do you know if she's going to want anything to eat?" Laura inquired. Victoria shook her head.

    "No, I'm afraid that I don't know. I forgot to ask her before I hung up." Victoria replied.

    "Very well then, Miss Sheridan. I'll go prepare for her arrival." Laura replied before leaving the room. Victoria resumed searching for something with which to tie her hair back into a ponytail. She knew that she had a rubber band around here somewhere. Or was it a hair scrunchie?

    -The living room, fifteen minutes later-

    Having finally found a green hair scrunchie and put her hair up in a ponytail, Victoria sat in the living room in front of the television with her iLac at her right side. She made it a point to avoid watching the anime channel because she actually wanted to go to the mall when Abigail got here. Instead Victoria turned to the car auction channel and watched people bid on cars that were from way before her time. Today's auction was being held in Motor City and the theme of the episode was vintage sports cars.

    Victoria watched bidding on a very old sports car that was thirty-two years old. It was a sleek-looking gray two-door sports car with tinted glass windows and a tuned-up engine under the hood. It was a limited-run sports car with only 500 ever being made. Bidding started at 500,000 Jewels.

    The very moment bidding had started someone matched the bid and another person upped the bid to 505,000 Jewels. The next person raised the bid to 525,000 Jewels. Then the next bidder upped the bid to 530,000 Jewels.

    Victoria watched the bidding action continue and wondered where the bidders got the money to bid on vintage sports cars. A lot of them were middle-aged people, but there were a few "old money" types in attendance and all of them were concentrated on the front row. The "old money" types also stood out by wearing fancy suits while almost everyone else in the seats wore more casual clothing. Victoria supposed that they felt compelled to stand out from the hoi polloi by dressing better than the commoners they deigned to mingle with.

    Victoria set that thought aside and continued to watch the bidding on the gray sports car. The price had now reached 600,000 Jewels and was climbing. The brunette wondered how much higher it could go before it was sold. Her guess was that the bid would reach the 750,000-800,000 Jewel mark before it was sold, but the rich people on the front row looked like they had pretty deep pockets and could afford to engage in a lengthy bidding war. She would just have to watch the auction to the end to find out what the car would sell for when it was all said and done.

    [Post Word Count: 1,078]
    [Total Word Count: 1,078/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 6/15/2022. Proof of purchase is here. The General Store: Page 38, Page 947
    Victoria Sheridan
    Victoria Sheridan

    Alt Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Legal Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Wanderer- EXP Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Limited Edition- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- The Completionist- Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Shadows Of Anarchy
    Position : None
    Posts : 1395
    Guild : Sabertooth
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,778,960

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Merces Letifer
    Second Magic: Combat Medic
    Third Magic:

    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 29th May 2021, 1:06 am

    -The Sheridan Estate, three hours later-

    Victoria had spent almost three hours watching the car auction channel and learned a lot about vintage cars, namely that there were quite a few people with way too much disposable income to buy one. Hours ago the brunette had watched the auction for the gray sports car to the end and was practically floored when the final bid ended up being 6,000,000 Jewels. Victoria wondered what those people did to have the kind of disposable income where they could spend millions on a car without batting an eye. She wished that she could spend 6 million Jewels on a single car, but for that price tag it had better be a one-of-a-kind model made to her exact specifications.

    The auction episode she was watching now was a rerun of another auction in Motor City, but the theme of this episode was luxury sedans. The car being showcased in this auction was a pearl white four-door sedan with a genuine black leather interior, a special engine that made it faster than the average sedan, and some other special features that attracted the interest of the people attending the auction. The composition of the audience was the same as last time with the "old money" types sitting up front and dressed in suits while the ordinary people sat everywhere else and dressed in more casual clothing. Victoria listened to the auctioneer set the opening bid at 500,000 Jewels and watched the bidding war begin.

    Some old guy with a white toupee and three-piece black suit with an actual gold pocketwatch on a chain in his left pocket matched the bid and upped it by 50,000 Jewels to make the total 550,000 Jewels. Victoria watched the old man in black and a bespectacled old man in a gray business suit who was holding a black leather briefcase in his lap get into a bidding war for the pearl white sedan. The bidding war was getting heated... the man in gray immediately upped the bid to 600,000 Jewels and his rival in black jumped the bid up to 750,000. The other bidders were clearly not expecting an intense bidding war from the get-go and Victoria felt that neither the stunned silence in the crowd nor the conflict were faked for drama.

    Victoria was not sure how the two men knew each other or if the two men even knew each other, but she could tell that they wanted that car pretty badly and that no amount of money was too much to spend if spending it got them the car. She watched the bid go higher and higher until the doorbell rang. The brunette stood up to answer it when Laura swiftly walked to the door to answer it before Victoria could even walk around the couch.

    "I'll get it, Miss Sheridan." Laura announced and placed her right hand on the doorknob. The silver-haired maid opened the front door and stepped back.

    "Hello Miss Windstrider. Miss Sheridan's in the living room. She's been expecting you." Laura greeted Abigail. Abigail waved to Laura and entered the house. She was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jean short shorts with white tennis shoes.

    "Hey Abby!" Victoria greeted Abigail as Laura shut the door behind the blonde.

    "Hey Vic!" Abigail greeted Victoria. The two mages turned towards the television, where the two older men were still locked in a bidding war for the pearl white sedan. Before Victoria turned off the television the bid was up to 850,000 Jewels and showed no signs of slowing down.

    "So, are you ready to go to the mall?" Abigail asked Victoria.

    "Yeah, whenever you are!" Victoria answered. She then remembered to ask Abigail if the latter wanted something to eat before they left for the mall.

    "Do you want anything to eat before we go?" Victoria asked her friend. Abigail shook her head.

    "Nah, Vic. I'd like to eat something at the food court... if that's OK with you." Abigail confessed.

    "I don't have a problem with it, but you'd better be ready to wait because the food court is a popular place. It frequently gets crowded before lunchtime even starts. When lunchtime starts in earnest, you might as well leave the mall to go to a restaurant 'cause you're not gonna get anything at the food court." Victoria said but added a reminder that the mall food court tended to get crowded early and that once lunchtime really started that it would be next to impossible to get a meal. Abigail was not swayed by that reminder.

    "I'm willing to risk it." Abigail said to Victoria. Victoria shrugged her shoulders. If Abigail was willing to endure a long wait in line for what she wanted, then the brunette would not stop her.

    "All right, Abby. We'll go to the mall as soon as you're ready." Victoria repeated her earlier statement. She would need to go get her socks and shoes and put them on before she would be truly ready. She should have gotten them long before Abigail got here, but she got distracted watching people bid princely sums on cars and had neglected to have her socks and shoes ready for Abigail's arrival. Oh well.

    "I've gotta go get my socks and shoes from upstairs, Abby. I'll be right back!" Victoria said before hurrying to go upstairs and get what she needed. All she needed was those items and she would be ready to go. She would also need the ethernano key for her Centaur... unless they planned to walk to and from the mall in Capital Crocus.

    Abigail was not going to want to walk to the mall after walking all the way here, so Victoria needed to get the ethernano key for the Centaur and put it in her pocket along with her iLac. Victoria carefully made her way upstairs to gather what she needed for a trip to the mall.

    -Victoria's Room-

    Victoria walked into her room and found her white tennis shoes sitting to the right of her wardrobe. She picked them up and began to look for a pair of socks. Victoria looked around the room and realized that she had momentarily forgotten where they were stored, a fact that caused her more than a little embarrassment.

    Where did she keep her socks?

    Victoria's eyes turned towards the wardrobe. Maybe she had put them in there. With her shoes in her left hand, the brunette opened the wardrobe with her right hand and began to look for a pair of clean socks.

    [Post Word Count: 1,096]
    [Total Word Count: 2,174/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 6/15/2022. Proof of purchase is here. The General Store: Page 38, Page 947
    Victoria Sheridan
    Victoria Sheridan

    Alt Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Legal Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Wanderer- EXP Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Limited Edition- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- The Completionist- Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Shadows Of Anarchy
    Position : None
    Posts : 1395
    Guild : Sabertooth
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,778,960

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Merces Letifer
    Second Magic: Combat Medic
    Third Magic:

    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 4th June 2021, 10:58 pm

    -The living room, twenty minutes later-

    Carrying her shoes in her right hand and a clean pair of socks in her left hand, Victoria had finally made it to the living room after taking a lot longer than it should have to find some socks. As it turned out, they were in the wardrobe in the top drawer. Once she finally found them the brunette felt so embarrassed that it could not be put into words. At least she had found them before Abigail wanted to go to the mall.

    Now Victoria had to put them on. Abigail was sitting on the couch and noticed Victoria walking towards her. The blonde smiled and spoke to her hostess.

    "You're back, Vic! I thought I was going to have to go find you or something!" Abigail joked. Victoria did not deign to respond to that remark and sat down to put her socks on. Two minutes later she had both socks and shoes on.

    "OK, I've got my socks and shoes on. Now let me make sure that I have my ethernano key to the Centaur or we're gonna be walking." Victoria said to Abigail once she had put on the socks and shoes. Victoria checked her pockets for the key and found it in her right pocket.

    "I already have the key, so I'm ready to go whenever you are, Abby." Victoria notified her friend. Abigail stood up and looked towards the brunette.

    "OK, I'm ready!" Abigail said. The pair began to walk around the couch when there was a knock on the door. Abigail looked towards Victoria and Victoria looked at Abigail.

    "Were you expecting more company, Miss Sheridan?" Laura asked Victoria.

    "I wasn't expecting anyone other than Abigail, Laura." Victoria informed the silver-haired maid.

    "I didn't invite anyone to come with us to the mall, so whoever is knocking isn't with me." Abigail chimed in. The knocking sounded again.

    "That's weird. Only you, me, Laura, and Mr. Montgomery know where this place is. I'm sure neither one of you told anyone and I certainly didn't tell anyone other than Abby." Victoria said to Abigail. Then she realized that there were public records of this place.

    "Should I answer the door, Miss Sheridan?" Laura asked Victoria. The brunette folded her arms across her chest and thought about it for a moment.

    "Go for it." Victoria replied. In between her, Abigail, and Laura, she was sure that they could handle a home intruder if the person on the other side of the door was hostile. Victoria herself was almost as strong as a Wizard Saint and Laura and Abigail were no slouches themselves.

    Laura walked over to the door, opened it, and greeted a tall, burly man with a scarred face, blue eyes, and short blond hair. He was wearing a black short-sleeved shirt with "chocolate chip" desert camouflage pants, black boots, a maroon beret on his head, and an olive green duffel bag slung on his left shoulder. Victoria walked three steps closer to get a look at the man and froze in place.

    "Lawrence... Lawrence Sheridan?!" Victoria said aloud. The man noticed her and shoved his way past Laura.

    "Who are you? And how do you know my name?" He asked brusquely and stormed towards Victoria. Abigail moved to put herself between Lawrence and Victoria, but he wordlessly shoved her aside with one hand and stood less than a foot from Victoria.

    "It's me, Victoria Sheridan! I was the street kid you rescued from slavers in Capital Crocus! Remember?" Victoria asked him. He hesitated for a moment, then frowned.

    "The only Victoria I remember was a short girl, not some tall, brown-haired girl using her name." Lawrence shot her down. He then unzipped his duffel bag and pulled out a knife that was nearly as long as his forearm. Once he had the knife out he dropped the duffel bag. Victoria recognized the knife on sight.

    It was the same one Lawrence had used to kill the slavers who nearly captured her when she was ten years old!

    "You've got ten seconds to tell me the truth before I remove your head from your shoulders." Lawrence raised the knife to Victoria's throat. Victoria knew that he would make good on that threat if given the chance. Abigail looked like she was about to make a move when Victoria saw her and warned her against it.

    "Don't do it, Abby! If you do anything he'll kill you before you can blink!" Victoria warned Abigail to remain where she was. Abigail saw that Victoria was serious and reluctantly backed down.

    "Are you really Victoria Sheridan or are you just a fake who stole her name and this house?" He asked her. Victoria moved to raise her right hand when he noticed and held the knife to her throat.

    "No sudden moves or you'll be on the ground and missing your head!" Lawrence warned her.

    "OK, Big Guy." Victoria said calmly despite the knife being held to her throat. She raised her right hand more slowly and Lawrence watched it closely. Victoria would have to be careful because he already had the knife to her throat. If she messed this up she would not live to regret the mistake.

    "Five..." Lawrence counted down. Victoria slowly put the fingers of her right hand into a position where she could snap them.

    "Miss Sheridan!" Laura called out.

    "Four..." Lawrence counted down one second closer to Victoria losing her head.

    "Stay back, Laura!" Victoria warned the silver-haired maid not to move.

    "Three..." Lawrence counted.

    "VICTORIA!" Abigail called out and started to move forward. Lawrence turned from Victoria and moved towards Abigail just as Victoria snapped her fingers. The now-short brunette watched in horror as Lawrence closed the distance between him and the blonde in two powerful strides.

    "ABIGAIL, RUN! GET AWAY FROM HIM!" Victoria shouted a warning as Lawrence brandished the knife. He saw Abigail as a threat and was prepared to eliminate her quickly and violently. Victoria had better convince him to stand down before her adoptive father killed her best friend.

    Lawrence Sheridan:
    An Unexpected Homecoming 8ce26f496e284517d5b1b25a60d2a68855f0ef56

    [Post Word Count: 1,018]
    [Total Word Count: 3,192/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 6/15/2022. Proof of purchase is here. The General Store: Page 38, Page 947
    Victoria Sheridan
    Victoria Sheridan

    Alt Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Legal Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- Wanderer- EXP Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Limited Edition- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- The Completionist- Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Shadows Of Anarchy
    Position : None
    Posts : 1395
    Guild : Sabertooth
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 1,778,960

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Merces Letifer
    Second Magic: Combat Medic
    Third Magic:

    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 5th June 2021, 12:35 am

    "There's nowhere to run." Lawrence said to Victoria as he walked towards Abigail. The blonde panicked and froze in place. Victoria was freaking out.

    "LAWRENCE, STOP! LOOK AT ME!" Victoria shouted at her adoptive father before he killed her best friend. She knew that he remembered her as "Normal Victoria" the short girl with the boyish body. He did not recognize her as "Tall Victoria" the tall girl with the feminine body. She was trying to get him to look at her, but Lawrence was not buying it.

    "You're a fake using her name and when I deal with this girl you're next!" Lawrence told her that as soon as Abigail was dealt with she was next. She was trying Victoria could see that he was not going to listen to reason, so she would just have to use force to get him to listen.

    Victoria wordlessly produced her .44 Magnum Revolver and pointed it at Lawrence as Abigail tried to get away from him. She took the pistol into a two-handed grip and aimed for the back of his head as he grabbed Abigail by the throat with his left hand and held her at arm's length. Victoria cursed under her breath... she did not have a clean shot on him!

    If she fired now she would hit Abigail too!

    "LAWRENCE, LET HER GO!" Victoria warned him. Abigail struggled in his grip. Victoria hurried to the right near where Laura was standing to get a better shot on him.

    "What did you do with the real Victoria? Why are you working with this imposter?" Lawrence asked Abigail. The blonde was too busy struggling to answer the question.

    "If you won't talk to me, then I have no problem taking you out." Lawrence told her. Victoria began to panic. He did not make idle threats and if she did not get his attention soon he would make good on the threat to kill her. Victoria's fear was starting to be replaced by anger.

    "LAWRENCE!" Victoria called out to him. He soundly ignored her and drew back the knife in his right hand. The time for the soft approach was over. The brunette steadied her hands for a better shot and made a threat to get his attention.

    "LISTEN, ASSHOLE! IF YOU DON'T LET HER GO I'LL TURN THE WALL BESIDE YOU INTO AN ABSTRACT ART PAINTING!" Victoria threatened Lawrence in one last bid to get his attention. She did not want to have to shoot him for real, but she would if she had to. She had a hand cannon and she knew how to use it. She also had three choices of bullet to choose from and all of them would leave a really big mess on the wall beside Lawrence if he did not listen to her.

    Lawrence turned to face her and was so startled by what he saw that he released Abigail immediately.

    "Victoria? How the Hell did you get here?!" Lawrence asked her, all thoughts of murdering Abigail having fled his mind. Maybe the .44 Magnum Revolver pointed at his head had something to do with that. Or maybe he remembered "Normal Victoria" and stood down.

    "I was always here!" Victoria said to Lawrence, then lowered the revolver. The burly man lowered the knife and walked away from the petrified Abigail, who stayed right where she was. He walked towards the brunette and picked up the duffel bag, then put the knife inside of it and zipped it closed, then slung it on his shoulder. Laura moved next to Victoria and was prepared to fend off any further attempts on her employer's life.

    "But you're Victoria! Who was that tall, brown-haired girl?" Lawrence asked her. Victoria laughed a little.

    "She's still me, just a different me!" Victoria asserted now that she had his undivided attention. She dispelled the revolver and raised her right hand, then snapped her fingers. She turned back into "Tall Victoria" right before his eyes.

    "I'm Victoria Sheridan too!" Tall Victoria asserted to her adoptive father. Lawrence blinked.

    "How the Hell did you learn to do that?!" Lawrence asked her.

    "Long story short, several months ago I met the guy who turned me into the Victoria you know when I was six years old." Victoria told Lawrence. The burly man was visibly confused, but he chose to go with the story he was told.

    "The man's name is Ernest Richardson. He lives in the bad part of town and he's a former Crocus Magicka University professor. His specialty is transformation magic." Victoria told him a little more of the story behind how she gained the ability to change between "Normal Victoria" and "Tall Victoria" at will.

    "I don't think you're lying to me, Victoria. You haven't lied to me before and I don't think you're lying to me now. You're the real deal." Lawrence said to her. Victoria smiled. Lawrence looked around and saw Abigail, who was so frightened of him that she did not dare move while he was in the room.

    "Abigail, it's OK now. You can move again." Victoria assured the blonde that Lawrence would not take her head off with his knife if she moved. Abigail looked at Lawrence, then at her.

    "Do you remember what I told you about him? Lawrence is my adoptive father. He's the man who rescued me from slavery when I was ten years old. He also gave me his last name." Victoria reminded Abigail that the big, scary blond man who had attacked earlier was the brunette's adoptive father. Abigail blinked.

    "I'm sorry about what happened earlier... Abigail, right?" Lawrence asked her. Abigail meekly nodded. Victoria took this chance to step in and try to smooth things over between the two.

    "Dad, this is Abigail Windstrider. She's a friend of mine and she lives in Oak Town. We met in Sakuramori Forest over two years ago. We've been on several jobs together." Victoria introduced her father to the blonde. Abigail remained silent and meekly waved at him. Lawrence turned his attention from her to Laura, who was eying him warily.

    "And who's the silver-haired girl in the maid outfit?" Lawrence asked Victoria.

    "I'm Laura Warren, the maid hired by Miss Sheridan to clean and maintain the Sheridan Estate." Laura introduced herself with a stern tone to her voice. Lawrence blinked and looked at Victoria.

    "I don't remember my brother hiring a maid by the name of Laura." Lawrence said to Victoria. Victoria blinked. Laura frowned.

    "That's because I was hired by Miss Sheridan, NOT the previous owner of the Sheridan Estate." Laura said pointedly. Lawrence blinked again. Victoria looked towards Laura.

    "Laura, it's OK now. He knows that this form's his adopted daughter, so he won't attack me again. He thought that I was a fake who had killed and replaced the girl he raised ever since I was ten years old." Victoria interceded on her adoptive father's behalf. Laura kept a stern look on her face a bit longer, then relented.

    "I see now, Miss Sheridan. Perhaps Mr. Sheridan and I can establish a more peaceful relationship." Laura said to Victoria. Lawrence suddenly sported a sheepish facial expression.

    "I'm sorry about what happened, Laura. I've been out of the loop concerning how Victoria's been doing. It's like she told Abigail... I thought her tall form was a fake who had killed and replaced the Victoria I knew." Lawrence apologized to Laura for his unpleasant behavior.

    [Post Word Count: 1,244]
    [Total Word Count: 4,436/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________


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    Victoria Sheridan
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    Second Magic: Combat Medic
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    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 15th June 2021, 10:03 pm

    -The Sheridan Estate, the dining room, thirteen minutes later-

    After what had transpired in the living room the quartet had moved to the dining room because Lawrence wanted something to eat after all the traveling he had done to get here. He also wanted to talk to Victoria and Abigail about what they had done in his absence. The trio agreed to that and now they were sitting at the table. Meanwhile Laura was in the kitchen making a salad for Lawrence.

    Lawrence sat at the table in the seat opposite Victoria while Abigail sat in the seat to the right of them. The burly man looked unsure what to do with himself. Victoria was not sure what to do either and so was Abigail. Everyone at the table sat in awkward silence and looked at each other.

    Victoria was not sure what was going through Lawrence's head, but she was glad that one of those things had not been one of the rounds from her .44 Magnum Revolver. While the threat to shoot her adoptive father was mostly a bluff, if push came to shove she would have pulled the trigger if it meant saving Abigail's life. That was something the brunette was having trouble accepting.

    She was willing to kill the man who had raised her, cared for her, even taught her magic.

    She was willing to kill him for someone who was not even part of her family.

    Victoria was conflicted. By making the threat she had directed at Lawrence she had acted in the heat of the moment. She never should have made it, but what else could she have done to save Abigail without actually pulling the trigger?

    She was not thinking clearly enough to use Taser Spark or her Tranquilizer Rifle. She also felt that he was so tough that he could have shrugged off Taser Spark or a tranquilizer dart and killed Abigail before she could fire another shot. Using the Magnum was the only way to make her threat convincing enough to get him to listen.

    At least that was what she kept telling herself.

    "So, Victoria... about that threat you made earlier. To turn the wall behind me into an abstract painting..." Lawrence brought up the subject. Victoria faced him.

    "Would you have really done it? Would you have shot me through the head if I didn't stop?" Lawrence asked her point-blank. Victoria felt the spotlight shining on her head and was not sure what to say. She wanted to craft a clever lie to spare his feelings, but she decided against that because he was always honest with her. She would return the favor be honest with him.

    "I would have done it if I had to." Victoria answered the question truthfully. Lawrence seemed genuinely surprised by that admission. So did Abigail.

    "What makes her so special?" Lawrence bluntly asked Victoria before pointing towards Abigail. It was hard to tell if he was offended that his "daughter" would pick an outsider over family because he always looked unhappy. The facial scars certainly did not help.

    "She's my friend, Dad. We've been through a lot together over the years." Victoria answered plainly.

    "Like what?" Lawrence asked her.

    "Like fighting a rogue scientist and his mutant creations in at least two different places, fighting slavers in Desierto on a couple of occasions, fighting a necromancer in Silent Cemetery, fighting demon cultists in Silent Cemetery..." Victoria listed the tough battles she and Abigail had been through together before Lawrence grew alarmed and cut her off with a raised hand.

    "Wait, you two fought slavers? In Desierto?" Lawrence asked them.

    "Yeah." Victoria replied casually like she had just described a trip to the mall or had just placed an order at a restaurant.

    "Yeah, we've fought them a couple of times." Abigail calmly supported Victoria's story. Lawrence looked like he was beside himself.

    "And you two also fought a necromancer in Silent Cemetery?" Lawrence continued to inquire about their activities.

    "Yeah. He was a real nasty guy with a skull with the flesh missing from his lips and beady emerald eyes. He could raise the dead with a wave of his hand and was really hard to kill. All my weapons were useless against him, everything except my Silver Dagger." Victoria replied a little less calmly than she had when discussing the slavers.

    "I had to be the one to kill the necromancer. Victoria gave me the chance I needed by weakening the necromancer with her Silver Dagger, but it was up to me to finally kill that creep. I stabbed him through the skull and he died for good... we hope." Abigail again supported Victoria's story with the kind of accurate information and certainty that could only have been gained by being there. Again Lawrence was not happy to hear that.

    "And you even fought a demon cult in Silent Cemetery?" Lawrence asked the brunette. Victoria nodded.

    "Yeah. Just like with the necromancer we told you about, Abigail was a big help there. It's not exaggeration to say that she saved the day." Victoria praised Abigail in front of her father figure. Lawrence turned to the blonde mage for confirmation and she nodded.

    "We were tasked with stopping a demon cult from getting musical instruments with the power to revive a necromancer called "The Undying King." We don't know much about him, but he's bad news. I managed to take one of the instruments from the cult before they ran away with the other two. Vic managed to take the other." Abigail gave the burly man a very brief rundown of their last job together. Lawrence looked like he was about to lose his cool. Victoria braced herself for a stern lecture on how reckless she was.

    "I don't approve of you doing that kind of thing, Victoria. You're way too reckless for your own good." Lawrence sternly admonished her. Victoria frowned back at him.

    "That's a good one coming from you, Dad. You didn't get those scars on your face by being cautious." Victoria indulged in a bit of young adult rebellion against her father figure. Abigail remained silent and let the argument between the Sheridans continue. She was likely afraid of what would happen to her if she tried to play peacemaker right now.

    [Post Word Count: 1,054]
    [Total Word Count: 5,490/11,000]


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    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 17th June 2021, 1:00 am

    Lawrence stood up and slammed the palms of his hands on the table. The brunette had clearly said something that upset him.

    "You don't have any right to criticize me for what I've done, Victoria!" Lawrence shouted at her. Victoria stood up from the table too.

    "And you don't have any right to criticize me for what I've done! You left me when I was seventeen! I still needed you!" Victoria shouted back. Lawrence looked briefly affected by that statement before digging in his heels.

    "I left you because I thought you were ready to go out on your own, Victoria! I taught you everything I knew so that you'd be ready to live without me!" He argued. It was Victoria's turn to waver for a moment before digging in her heels.

    "I needed you, Dad! I needed you from the moment you saved me from those slavers when I was ten years old!" Victoria argued back passionately.

    "When you found me in that back alley all my friends had been captured by the slavers and I was next. You stepped in and saved me when no one else gave a damn. You took me in and you raised me like I was your daughter." Victoria continued in a calm tone of voice.

    "You weren't ready to raise a girl, but you did. Somehow you raised a girl. You taught me to read, write, do basic math, bartend, drink vodka, and most importantly, how to use magic. You told me that as long as I could be a bartender or a mage that I'd never have to eat out of a trash can ever again." Victoria said to him. Lawrence was unable to respond to that, so she kept going.

    "And here I am now. Thanks to you and everything you taught me I went from a dirty and hungry street kid no one gave a damn about to a guild mage who's strong enough to give Wizard Saints a hard time." Victoria said to him. She then went quiet so that he could have a chance to speak.

    "Yeah. That's all true." Lawrence conceded to her.

    "Everything you said is true, Victoria. I taught you magic so that you could earn enough money to not have to eat out of trash cans. I taught you magic so that you'd never be a victim of street hoodlums again." He continued. Some of the tension was fading, but the brunette could tell that he was still not happy with her.

    "But I didn't want you to fight slavers, necromancers, or demon cults, Victoria. They're too dangerous to take on by yourself!" Lawrence admonished her in a tone that was not as stern as the one he had first used with her when the argument started. In return Victoria stopped using the aggressive tone she had employed earlier, but she was going to stand her ground against him.

    "I'm like you, Dad. I have to be in the action somewhere. If I have to be in the action, I might as well fight against people like that. I'm not gonna stand by and let goons like that do what they want, not while I can do something about it." Victoria appealed to her father by citing that she was just like him. Lawrence closed his eyes and drummed the fingers of his right hand on the table.

    "That may be so, but I still don't like it." He said to her.

    "Unfortunately for you, it doesn't matter whether you like it or not. I've already made a career off of fighting and there's nothing that can be done about it now." Victoria replied in a matter-of-fact tone. She had seen and done too much to suddenly give it up because her father figure was worried about her. Lawrence frowned and shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

    "Unfortunately for me, you're right, Victoria." Lawrence admitted. Victoria listened in silence as he elaborated on his point.

    "When I taught you magic I expected you to take safe jobs and fight only in self-defense. I never anticipated that you'd want to be a mage who went around fighting evil, but it's not like I can make you stop. You've already become a lot stronger than me." He admitted to her. Victoria read his magic signature and noticed that he had the strength of an H-Rank mage. She had surpassed him long ago and he knew it.

    " Don't sell yourself short. You have a lot more real-world fighting experience than I do. You've also got a lot more muscle than me and you wield a mean knife." Victoria told Lawrence that he was not entirely helpless against her. He should know the strengths and limitations of her magic inside and out because he was the one who had taught it to her to begin with. He could exploit the limitations of Merces Letifer Magic to give her a tough fight if he really wanted to. Lawrence smiled a little.

    "That's all true, but I'm not as good as I used to be. I'm pushing forty-five and I'm starting to slow down a little. Even I can't defeat Father Time." He confessed to her. Victoria felt a bit sad when he said that. Victoria had lived with him for seven years and during that time Lawrence Sheridan had been a strong man with endless energy who seemed like he could keep going forever. To hear him admit that he was slowing down made her a little sad.

    "So what are you going to do from here, Mr. Sheridan?" Abigail finally worked up the courage to ask the burly man a question. Lawrence looked at her and laughed a little.

    "It's just Lawrence, Abigail. I'm not big on titles." Lawrence told her just as Laura walked in and set the plate of salad in front of him. He stopped speaking and turned to her.

    "Thank you, Laura." He thanked Laura for making the salad just for him. Laura nodded.

    "You're welcome, Mr. Sheridan." Laura replied. Lawrence frowned a little but let the matter drop to keep the peace.

    "And I'd like to stay here awhile... if that's OK with Laura and Victoria." Lawrence informed Abigail that while he would like to stay here, whether he got to do so or not was up to Laura and Victoria. The silver-haired maid stopped in place and spoke to him.

    "It's not my place to decided if you get to stay here, Mr. Sheridan. I'm just the hired help. Miss Sheridan's the one who gets to make the final decision. It's her house." Laura informed Lawrence that the final decision was Victoria's to make. Lawrence turned to her and Victoria felt a little uncomfortable. She had already made up her mind to let him stay, but seeing him look to her for an answer was more disconcerting than she was willing to admit.

    [Post Word Count: 1,152]
    [Total Word Count: 6,642/11,000]


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    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 21st June 2021, 12:37 pm

    Victoria did not have to think long about her decision before she gave it. It was not a tough decision to make either. She owed the burly man more than she could ever repay. She owed him more than she owed most people except Abigail Windstrider, Florence Manderley, Ryo Knetegawa, Gaia Sabin-Dyer, and Itori.

    "You can stay here, Dad. There's always a place for you here." Victoria said to Lawrence. The burly man smiled a little.

    "I don't want to impose, Victoria. You're not a child anymore and I'm technically not your father. I don't have any right to ask you for a place here." Lawrence said to her. Victoria was not going to have any of it.

    "You risked your neck for me when most people couldn't be bothered to give a shit about some dirty street kid. Those slavers could have had powerful friends who would have made your life so miserable that you wouldn't be safe anywhere in Fiore. But you still stood up for me when no one else would. You can't put a Jewel value on that." Victoria reminded him of the circumstances of their meeting. To say that their meeting was a pivotal moment in the brunette's life was an understatement.

    "As far as I'm concerned you've more than earned a place here. I owe you that much after everything you've done for me." Victoria said to her father figure. Lawrence had rescued her from slavers, had done his best to raise a daughter despite not knowing how to deal with children, had done his best to educate her despite not having access to a school or up-to-date schoolbooks, and had gotten someone to teach her how to sling drinks for fun and profit. Most of all, he had taught her his magic so that she could defend herself and make a living as a mage. Again, there was no putting a Jewel value on any of those things.

    "I appreciate it, Victoria. I really do." Lawrence thanked her in his usual direct manner. The blond man was not given to excessive emotional displays, so him saying that was him being sincerely thankful for what she had done for him. Victoria looked at his body language and knew that he was being truthful when he said that he had appreciated her giving him a place at the Sheridan Estate. She did not need a special truth-detecting ability to know that Lawrence was being honest because he had always been honest with her, but it confirmed that he was still an honest man who did not let his time away from her change who he was.

    "Welcome to the Sheridan household, Mr. Sheridan." Laura welcomed Lawrence to his new home with a smile. The blond man began to protest her referring to him as "Mr. Sheridan" but his mouth hung open as the words needed to protest just did not come to him.

    "I don't like the name Mr. Sheridan, but I've been called a lot worse. I can live with being called Mr. Sheridan." Lawrence said in a joking manner.

    "So, Mr.- er, Lawrence, what are you going to do from here?" Abigail asked Lawrence the same question she had asked him earlier.

    "Well, I'm gonna stay here awhile and try to find some work. I can't stay here and not pay anything to help keep the place up." Lawrence replied before eating a bit of the salad sitting in front of him. Victoria heard the part about him trying to "find some work" and blinked. Was he about to go away and leave her again?

    "Are you gonna leave again?" Victoria asked him in a manner that was almost childlike. The manner in which she had asked the question made her sound clingy, but she had found him by pure chance and she did not want him to leave again so soon after their reunion. Well, technically he had found her, but that was splitting hairs.

    When he heard the question Lawrence looked up from his salad and shook his head.

    "No, Victoria. I'm not going out of the country again unless I have to. I'm staying in Fiore." He assured the brunette that he was not going to leave the country again unless he absolutely had to. Victoria saw that he was being honest with her when he gave that assurance. The brunette relaxed.

    "I'm not sure what I'm gonna do for a job, Victoria. I've been fighting ever since I was your age. I kind of want to leave that life behind me, but fighting's all I'm really good at. I'm not very smart and I'm not university material, so I can't go back to school and learn new skills." Lawrence told Victoria. The brunette knew exactly what he was talking about when he made that assertion. Fighting was all she was really good at too. Even then Victoria was not a very good technical fighter who used intelligence and finesse to win her battles... she used the brute force approach and relied on her armor and her partners to bail her out whenever she got in over her head.

    "Maybe you could be a freelance mage." Victoria suggested to him. Lawrence ate a bit more of his salad and looked up at her again.

    "Maybe. I've thought about doing that a few times, but I'm not sure that I want to go back to fighting just yet. I want to have a few days of peace where I'm not doing anything to think things over." Lawrence told her. Victoria wondered what he had done that had made him want a few days of peace, but she was not going to ask. In this case it was best to let sleeping dogs lie.

    "OK." Victoria said, deciding to let the matter drop then and there. Lawrence ate more of the salad and the trio sat in amiable silence until Laura finally spoke up.

    "Miss Sheridan, Miss Windstrider, did you want anything to eat before you two went to the mall?" Laura asked them. Lawrence looked up from his nearly finished plate of salad and spoke to the two young mages.

    "Were you two going to go to the mall before I arrived?" He asked them. Both Victoria and Abigail nodded.

    "By all means, go. Don't let me hold you two up. I don't plan on going anywhere while you're gone." He told them, most likely adding the remark about planning to stay home for Victoria's benefit. Victoria and Abigail looked at each other.

    "Do you still want to go to the mall, Abby?" Victoria asked Abigail.

    "Yeah Vic, I'm willing to go if you still want to go." Abigail replied in the affirmative. Victoria gave a thumbs-up with her left hand. The two mages got up from the table, pushed their chairs in, and headed for the garage while Laura followed them to open the garage door for them.

    [Post Word Count: 1,158]
    [Total Word Count: 7,800/11,000]


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    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 22nd June 2021, 1:19 am

    -Capital Crocus Mall, thirty-five minutes later-

    The pair struggled to find a parking space for Victoria's Centaur, a delay which contributed to them being late to enter the mall in time to get lunch without having to wait a long time. Now the pair stood inside the food court and were hesitant to get in line. There were already a lot of people ahead of them and the lines were growing by the minute.

    "Maybe we should have just eaten at your place." Abigail lamented. The blonde and the brunette looked at the food court and silently regretted their decision to wait and eat at the mall. There were at least sixty people ahead of them waiting in lines that branched off at each restaurant and it looked like some of them were scowling. Victoria could tell that many of the people were hungry and that their patience was slowly draining away by the minute.

    "Well, it looks like I won't be eating pizza today." Victoria lamented. She had held off on eating at home in order to get a slice of pizza from the mall but now that goal was not easily attainable, not unless she wanted to brave a line of angry-looking people who were waiting in line for food. She liked pizza, but she did not like it that much.

    "And I won't be eating Midi cuisine." Abigail lamented the fact that her preferred option was not available to her. Victoria looked at the growing crowd and tried to think of an alternative that both of them could live with. She wondered if Abigail would mind eating at All-Star Grill.

    "Hey Abigail, do you like sports bars?" Victoria asked Abigail. The blonde nodded.

    "Yeah. Say, wanna go to the All-Star Grill here?" Abigail asked. Victoria nodded.

    "Yeah!" Victoria agreed. Together the two turned right and began walking towards the right side of the first floor and towards a department store called The Fashionable Lady. All-Star Grill was located just a short distance away from The Fashionable Lady.

    -Inside All-Star Grill, thirty-five minutes later-

    After a lengthy wait because of all the patrons already inside the restaurant, Victoria and Abigail were seated at the bar where several televisions displayed news like player trades, players entering free agency or leaving free agency, and other sports-related news. Victoria wondered if Lawrence kept up with any sports. She did not know... she would have to ask him some time now that he was living at the Sheridan Estate.

    Victoria and Abigail had each ordered hamburgers and fries along with drinks. Victoria's first impulse was to order chicken wings like she did back at Red Dragon Inn, but today she felt like celebrating the return of her father figure, so she went with a hamburger for a change. As the pair waited for their orders to get here they looked at the sports news out of idle curiosity. Victoria did not follow sports, so she had no stake in the success or failure of a certain team in any sport. She did not know if Abigail followed sports or not, but she was about to find out.

    "Hey Abby, do you follow sports?" Victoria asked her friend. Abigail nodded.

    "Kind of. I casually watch football and soccer, but I'm not a "real fan" of them. I can't name every player on the team, I can't name their roles, and I don't know the names of all the coaches, assistant coaches, offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, and other staff. I just watch sports when there's nothing else on." Abigail admitted that while she did watch sports, she was a casual fan at best. Victoria could understand that. She was a casual anime fan who did not know the names of every last voice actor and voice actress in Cram School Soda Break, Fortunate Meteor, or that mecha show with the whiny protagonist named Arik.

    "I don't watch any of those, Abby. I just watch car auctions and anime." Victoria told her friend the extent of her television viewing habits. Abigail laughed.

    "That reminds me... do you wanna look for some new anime shows to watch while we're here?" Abigail asked Victoria. The brunette nodded.

    "Yeah!" Victoria answered with enthusiasm. She would probably leave the mall with a bunch of things she did not really need, but today she did not care. She had been saving her money for months, so she could afford an occasional spending spree just as long as she did not do it too often.

    "Great! If we can find a shop in the mall we'll go to it right after our meal!" Abigail told Victoria. The brunette could hardly wait to go to the shop, if only out of curiosity. Moments later their orders arrived and the two mages happily ate their hamburgers while watching news about auto racing and how female driver Ashton Androtti was winning race after race in major league racing and showed no signs of slowing down. Victoria recognized that name from her previous visit to All-Star Grill with Alex and Allie Montgomery. It was good to see her winning races because Ashton was in the shadow of her father and grandfather, both of whom were famous race car drivers themselves.

    Victoria was not invested in Ashton's career, but the brunette hoped that Ashton could emerge from the shadow of her famous relatives and become famous in her own right.

    -On the third floor, forty-five minutes later-

    After eating and paying for their meals the pair were now standing on the third floor in front of a mall directory. Abigail was looking for a store that sold anime merchandise while Victoria stood close by. Meanwhile streams of shoppers passed by them on the way to the various stores on the third floor. Victoria looked around and spotted Resin Monuments, which was full of shoppers at the moment, so there was no chance of getting inside unless she wanted to brave the crowds and dodge people while trying to look at the figurines.

    After weighing the pros and cons of trying to squeeze her way into the crowded shop, Victoria swiftly decided that she could wait until another day to go inside Resin Monuments.

    "I think I found what we're looking for!" Abigail informed Victoria. The brunette walked over to the mall directory and waited for her friend to tell her what she had found.

    [Post Word Count: 1,068]
    [Total Word Count: 8,868/11,000]


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    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 23rd June 2021, 9:00 pm

    -Inside Animated Merchandise-

    Once Abigail had found the store on the mall directory Victoria and Abigail soon located it. A short walk later and the pair walked into the store which sold anime merchandise and were pleasantly surprised by it. It was clean, brightly lit, and neatly organized. Anime music that Victoria did not recognize was playing over the loudspeakers, but it was played at a reasonable volume, which was another point in Animated Merchandise's favor.

    The store was laid out in a typical pattern with shelves on the left and right sides of the store and a clear central aisle that led to the back of the store, where neatly organized magazines sat on display racks. In the top left corner of the shop was a rack of t-shirts with shirts from various anime series. In the top right corner was a rack of plush characters from various anime series. Neither of those items interested Victoria... she was more interested in finding box sets of shows to watch, namely Cram School Soda Break and Fortunate Meteor.

    "So, what are you looking for, Vic?" Abigail asked Victoria as the pair slowly walked down the central aisle. Shoppers were busy browsing through the shelves of books called "manga" and looking through the anime soundtracks that could be played on music Lacrima players. Judging from the steady stream of customers going to the front counter to make purchases, Animated Merchandise had what customers were looking for.

    "I was kinda hoping to find box sets of shows on some kind of media format. I'm not sure how old Fortunate Meteor is, but I'm way behind and want to catch up on it without having to watch the anime channel all day and hope that I come across the reruns. I was also looking for Cram School Soda Break and some new shows. Well, shows that are new to me, anyway." Victoria informed her friend what she was looking for. Abigail smiled.

    "Well, what kind of show are you looking for?" Abigail asked. Victoria absentmindedly looked at the shelves and saw nothing that really stood out to her. She turned back to the blonde.

    "I kinda like slice of life shows. You know, nothing too serious. Real life is serious enough and I started watching anime to get away from it." Victoria helped narrow down what genre of anime she was looking for. Again Abigail smiled.

    "Well, you already know about two of the most popular slice of life shows, but there are a few more out there that are really good. In my opinion, at least." Abigail informed Victoria. The brunette turned to face her friend and listened intently.

    "There's High School Daze, which is about a group of teenage girls and boys who have been going to the same schools and the same classes since they were in elementary school. It deals with their adventures and examines how they cope with the fact that at the end of high school they'll all be separated and have to start their own lives. It starts off slow in their first year as high school students. It gets better, though." Abigail listed one series that might interest Victoria. Victoria was somewhat interested in it because her friend had suggested it, but since she had not been to high school, she could not really relate to the characters. It was still worth a try, though.

    "Then there's Campus Life, which is about a group of young women about our age who are just starting university classes. There they have to deal with living on their own for the first time and learn skills that young adults are expected to know like proper study habits, good time management, managing a budget, and other life skills. Like with High School Daze the show starts off kind of slow, but by the fourth episode it picks up steam as the characters start going to classes and start navigating the social circles on the university campus." Abigail listed another show that might be worth looking into. Again Victoria had no idea what campus life was like since she had never been to university. The brunette might not get to go to university either because while she had saved up more than enough money to afford tuition she was not smart enough to take university-level classes.

    That was the price Victoria paid for her spotty education.

    "OK, I'll have to remember those. What are some other slice of life shows that you can suggest for me?" Victoria asked Abigail. The blonde crossed her arms over her chest.

    "Hmmm... I'm not familiar with any other slice of life series you might like, Victoria. You said you like the fun ones that aren't too serious. Unfortunately there aren't too many of those right now." Abigail replied. Victoria looked at her with a facial expression that asked why that was. The blonde took a moment to consider her words carefully before answering.

    "You see, lately there's been a shift towards "more realistic" slice of life shows. Plain old escapism isn't doing it anymore. Now people want to see something that more accurately reflects real life." Abigail explained to Victoria what she had meant by her previous statement. The brunette blinked. She thought that people watched anime to get away from the real world for a bit, not jump right back into it.

    "Ummm... OK." Victoria said. She was at a loss for words. She wanted to get away from her life for awhile. She could not understand why someone would watch anime to get right back to the real world, but that was just her.

    "Yeah. I'm as confused about that trend as you are, but it is what it is." Abigail replied. Victoria shrugged her shoulders.

    "OK then. Whatever." Victoria said in response.

    "Is there any genre of anime you won't watch?" Abigail changed the subject to genres that the brunette did not want to see.

    "Yeah. I don't want anything about demons and I don't care for spy shows. No detective stuff. And no political intrigue shows either." Victoria outlined what she would not watch.

    "OK, so that rules out quite a bit. But I don't blame you on the political intrigue. It seems that every show starts out interesting but then starts piling on intrigue after intrigue until it all gets confusing. I shouldn't need to read a guide book just to understand a show's plot." Abigail commented.

    "The anime Contest Of Crowns is all about intrigue. It starts off fairly well... it eases into the story of why the ten royal houses of Decima want to put their candidate on the throne. You get to know the characters and what makes them tick. But once the plot really gets going it becomes a train wreck. Bad decision are made, high-ranking people die in suspicious "accidents", entire villages are depopulated, and tears and misery are everywhere." Abigail pointed out a series that exemplified the worst aspects of shows about political intrigue. Victoria made a mental note to avoid that show like the plague.

    [Post Word Count: 1,182]
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    Golden Lacrima is valid until 6/15/2022. Proof of purchase is here. The General Store: Page 38, Page 947
    Victoria Sheridan
    Victoria Sheridan

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    An Unexpected Homecoming Empty Re: An Unexpected Homecoming

    Post by Victoria Sheridan 24th June 2021, 1:26 pm

    -Animated Merchandise, thirty-five minutes later-

    Victoria and Abigail spent half an hour walking through Animated Merchandise at a leisurely pace and perusing its wares. The brunette was not going to buy anything today. She just wanted to see what Animated Merchandise had to offer. During the trip around the store the pair learned that it had a lot to offer.

    Anime box sets containing entire series, t-shirts, plushies, resin figurines, anime soundtracks on music lacrima, keychains... there was plenty of anime merchandise available for casual fan and devoted collector alike. There was certainly plenty to choose from, but Victoria did not have to choose what to buy today. She had another incentive to save her money when she remembered that Lawrence Sheridan was at home now.

    Her father figure would need food, clothing, possibly medicine. Another person living in her house meant that she would need to save money for the household budget. Lawrence fully intended to get out and get a job so that he could help carry some of the weight, but he would still need to be accounted for in the household budget.

    Victoria did not mind, though. He had helped her when no one else could or would and it was about time she helped him in return. Besides, she did not need to spend money on something she might not like for very long. She did not want to buy a lot of anime merchandise only to move on months later and have that merchandise taking up space and serving as a reminder of her poor decision.

    "Are you going to buy anything today, Victoria?" Abigail asked the brunette. Victoria shook her head.

    "No thanks, Abigail. I really want to buy something, but I need to save my money." Victoria replied. Resisting temptation was hard, but she had to do it. She might need the money for something more important like a new weapon, new armor, or other item that just might save her life when a job took an unexpected turn for the worse.

    "Yeah, me too." Abigail said. The blonde looked longingly at the rack of t-shirts and took a couple steps forward to walk to the rack but ultimately decided to stay away from it. Abigail took one last look back, then turned away from the t-shirts and began walking out of the store to make herself leave before her resolve not to spend any money faltered.

    "C'mon, Vic. Let's get going." Abigail said to her friend when the former was near the exit. Victoria began walking briskly to catch up with her friend. She needed to leave before her resolve faltered and she ended up spending a lot of money she did not need to spend.

    -The Sheridan Estate, four hours later-

    After leaving Animated Merchandise Victoria and Abigail had shopped at a few more stores and found nothing else at the mall that they wanted, so they decided to call it a shopping trip. They had made a day of it and Abigail had declared that she had gotten enough of a shopping day to make up for having to postpone their trip twice. Having returned home, Victoria and Abigail were now in the process of mindlessly watching the anime channel because it was there.

    Right now they were watching that mecha anime show with the whiny protagonist named Arik and as luck would have it they were watching the episode after Arik had gotten his ass kicked by the enemy ace in the knightly mecha suit.

    The Salamis Battle Group had arrived in time to save the Selene from being destroyed, but not before the Selene had lost the use of its front turrets and some of its crew in the swarm attack by the red enemy mechas. It had also lost a lot of its damage control crew due to crew members either getting caught in explosions caused by the enemy attack or getting sucked into space by the ship's bulkheads being forcefully opened by the explosions. None of them were wearing space suits. Furthermore, the engines had suffered some battle damage, so the Selene could only move at a quarter of its speed.

    Arik fared little better than the Selene. Once his trashed mecha was recovered and he was brought on board the captain immediately called Arik on the carpet in front of the bridge crew. The youth was harshly criticized for his failure to even attempt to defend the Selene from enemy attack and for his breathtaking naivety in believing that his mecha made him an invincible pilot. The captain also called Arik an idiot for believing that he would always be fighting inexperienced enemy mecha pilots who could barely fly in formation, let alone put up a fight. The enemy had ace pilots and they too had the benefit of piloting their side's most advanced mechas.

    To his credit the youth had no answer for any of those charges and by the time the captain dismissed him Arik was on the verge of tears. When Arik got to his room he lay on his bunk and cried profusely while facing the wall. Victoria was glad to see him humbled after he mouthed off about his moral superiority like he did in past episodes. However, she felt bad for him too because she did not like being reprimanded in public and he had been called out in front of the bridge crew. After seeing that scene the brunette felt sort of bad for Arik.

    The show went on commercial break and Victoria looked at Abigail, who lay on the right side of the couch and was nearly asleep.

    "Hey Abby, are you going to go back to Oak Town or are you going to spend the night here?" Victoria asked Abigail, who was barely awake. The blonde roused herself from her lethargy just long enough to answer the question.

    "I'd like to stay here, thanks." Abigail answered before dozing off again. Victoria shrugged her shoulders.

    "OK, Abby." Victoria replied to her friend. While waiting for the show to come back on Lawrence walked into the room and spoke to Victoria.

    "Hey Victoria. I didn't know that you and your friend were back." He said to her. Victoria stood up and turned to face him. A commercial for Fortunate Meteor was on and she had already seen it at least three times already, so she was not missing anything.

    "Yeah, we made it back a little over four hours ago. I owed Abigail a shopping day and we made a day of it." Victoria replied.

    "You know, it's strange to see you like that, Victoria. Tall with long hair." Lawrence gave her his opinion of her "Tall Victoria" form, the form she had grown accustomed to being in.

    "I was told by Ernest Richardson that that's how I really look. It's how I really look at my age and the short form you knew was the disguise he gave me." Victoria told him. Lawrence looked like he wanted to say something but then thought better of it.

    "Well, no matter what you look like, it's good to see you again, Victoria." Lawrence said to her. The brunette was quick to return that sentiment.

    "I'm glad to see you too... Dad." Victoria said to him. Lawrence was not her biological father. Phillip Sheridan was. However, she could not remember anything about her real father while she remembered a lot about Lawrence. Lawrence had been the one to take her in when she was down and just about out, so he had unofficially become her father.

    "Well, I won't keep you any longer, Victoria. Thanks again for giving me a place to live while I get back on my feet." He said to her before departing without waiting for an answer.

    "No problem." Victoria replied to the empty air. He did not wait for her response, but she was pretty sure that he had heard her. She heard music playing on the television, so she turned around, sat down, and continued to watch the mecha show while Abigail slept on the couch to her right.

    It was weird having Lawrence around after he had been absent for so long, but she was glad to have him back.

    [Post Word Count: 1,378]
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    Golden Lacrima is valid until 6/15/2022. Proof of purchase is here. The General Store: Page 38, Page 947

      Current date/time is 28th September 2021, 4:42 pm