-Outside Natalie's house, forty minutes later-
After Stella had let her father know where they were going the trio had made their way to Natalie's house, which was close to the harbor side of town. As the trio stood outside of it Lucia took a look at where the dark-haired mage lived. Natalie's house was a simple one-story house made of brick with no real decoration or distinctive features save for a white doorframe housing a gray wooden door. Other than those two minor details it was simple housing that nevertheless did its job of providing shelter to its occupants.
"OK guys, I can take it from here. Thanks again for rescuing me!" Natalie said, bidding them farewell for the time being.
"Later, Nat!" Stella bade her friend farewell.
"Later, Natalie." Lucia told Natalie goodbye.
The dark-haired mage then walked up to the door and rang the doorbell positioned on the right of the doorframe. The door soon opened to show a burly middle-aged man with short black hair and a gray t-shirt with blue jeans and work boots and a middle-aged woman with shoulder-length wavy black hair wearing a white apron over a green long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans with sandals. They were obviously glad to see Natalie after an absence of almost three days.
Stella and Lucia watched the Williams family embrace for a few moments, then turned around and headed back for Stella's house. They did not want to hang around too long and wear out their welcome. Besides, Lucia had to get back to Luminous Rose Guild Hall and sleep awhile before she began to look for her next job. There was always someone who needed help and Lucia could not afford to rest on her laurels.
-Outside Stella's house, forty minutes later-
Having taken a leisurely walk back to their destination, the pair had taken a bit longer than it should have to return to Stella's house, but they had arrived safely. Now came time for Lucia and Stella to go their separate ways for the time being.
"Well Lucia, it's been quite an adventure." Stella said to Lucia.
"Indeed it has." Lucia commented. Stella laughed.
"You sounded like Diana just then!" Stella commented on Lucia's choice of words. Lucia laughed a little before the door opened and Mr. Herschel emerged.
"Hi Stella! I'm glad to see that you made it back!" Mr. Herschel said to his daughter. Stella turned to face Lucia and smiled.
"Well, I'd better get going. Say hi to Diana for me if you happen to meet her before I do!" Stella said. Lucia waved goodbye to the starry-eyed blonde as she walked towards the front door. She and Mr. Herschel disappeared inside the house and shut the door, leaving Lucia standing outside. With her task complete, Lucia turned right and began to walk for the outskirts of Hargeon Town. It would be a long way back to Luminous Rose Guild Hall.
But before she left Hargeon Town she needed a good cup of coffee. Perhaps "need" was too strong a word, but the point remained. Lucia wanted a cup of coffee or two before she set out for Luminous Rose Guild Hall. With her new objective in mind, Lucia set out in search of a local coffee shop to visit.
-Inside Hargeon Brews, twenty-five minutes later-
Thanks to the help of a friendly local Lucia had managed to a local coffee shop named Hargeon Brews, a medium-sized coffee shop with a pronounced nautical theme for its decor. There were old fishing nets hanging from the ceiling and orange life preservers hanging on the walls, but thanks to someone with an eye for interior decorating, they were few and far between and did not saturate the coffee shop. As a result the nautical theme was clear without it going overboard, so to speak. Lucia was sitting at a small square table on the left side of the shop while waiting for her double espresso to be delivered.
In the meantime she listened to the music playing overhead, which was an accordion piece she did not recognize. It was an upbeat accordion piece that sounded like it was the start of a sea shanty, but the singing never started. Instead the accordion continued to play and at some point in the piece a flute or other woodwind instrument started playing too.
Lucia's attention was diverted from the music when her double espresso was delivered to her table in a styrofoam cup. Lucia thanked the employee and waited a few moments for her coffee to cool down before she sipped from it. After roughly a minute Lucia picked up the cup with her right hand and sipped from it. The powerful coffee was exactly what she needed.
Lucia sipped from it again and felt energy return to her. She felt ready for the trip home, but she would finish her drink before she set out for the guild hall. She did not need to lug around a styrofoam cup.
-Outside Hargeon Brews, twelve minutes later-
After finishing her coffee and relaxing inside Hargeon Brews for a few minutes before steeling herself for the trip ahead Lucia left the coffee shop and stopped just five steps from its entrance. It was going to be a long walk back to the guild hall, so she had better get going. Lucia took a step forward and began her lengthy trip home while she still had enough caffeine to make her feel like the trek was doable.
She had had enough travel for one day. She had traveled to Haunted Guild in the company of her sister's acquaintance Stella Herschel, explored the basement, and rescued Stella's friend Natalie. She, Stella, and Natalie had encountered a group of hostile robed men who might have belonged to a cult and fought their way out of an ambush. The trio then escaped a pursuing horde of ghosts and escaped Haunted Guild before walking all the way to Hargeon Town to turn in the book that Natalie had been sent to retrieve.
Lucia hoped that her next job would not involve quite so much travel. However, she would go where the job took her. But looking for her next job could wait until she had slept a little... after she made it back to Luminous Rose Guild Hall, that was.
[Post Word Count: 1,059]
[Total Word Count: 10,239/10,000]