Rule of Three Edition.
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 – Delivery Service
“Seeing some of the Outlands might be good.” I’m not confident in my ability to hunt monsters, so this sounds best.
“Excellent!” S claps her hands together. “Will you be able to leave tomorrow?”
“That shouldn’t be a problem. We don’t have anything else we need to do at the moment.”
“Wonderful. Shall we meet up in front of the Gatehouse in the morning? I’m afraid we aren’t quite as prepared as you are.”
“That sounds good.”
The silent woman next to S makes a series of hand gestures. S nods to her in acknowledgement.
“My companion says that she’ll leave you behind if you’re late. I disapprove, but I’m not her master by any stretch.”
“We won’t be late.”
“You know, Yoshika wanted to speak to you. She’s busy regenerating at the moment, but you’ll be able to see her before you leave Sigil.”
That would be nice, actually. The zombie girl’s enthusiasm left quite an impression on me.
“Before you depart, would you all care for a drink? I’ll treat you.”
“Sounds great!” Mystia certainly isn’t lacking enthusiasm, even if she coughs some after speaking.
Rob sighs mournfully, clearly disappointed at its inability to drink. And despite trying her best to look disagreeable, Yuki almost seems happy with the idea.
Yes, a friendly drink will brighten everyone’s spirits!
Aah, so stiff and uncomfortable. Where am I?
Okay, I’m in my bed back at the inn. That’s good. It’s overcast outside, but I’d guess it’s morning-ish.
I’m going to be late, aren’t I?
“Do hurry up, will you?” Rob floats into view. That’s one accounted for.
“Mystia and Yuki! Where are they?” I must look pretty stupid, straining to even get one of my boots on.
“Long story short, you’re a lightweight. Asleep after two drinks. The bird’s got a sense of moderation, but Yuki challenged that necromancer to a drinking contest.”
“Don’t really care at the moment. Where are they now
“Downstairs. You’ll have to practically drag Yuki.”
Down I go, trying not to trip on my other half-on boot. Mystia and Yuki look to be complete opposites. Mystia looks like she’s having a great day while Yuki could almost set fire to things just by looking at them. It would be comical if we weren’t in such a hurry.
“Morning guys! Meeting time now! Gotta leave!”
“Morning, Nameless!” Mystia’s attempt at a singsong tone clashes with her rough-sounding voice. “Just trying to get this slowpoke up and moving.”
“I will end you.” Yuki growls.
“Sure you will.” Mystia clearly loves every moment of Yuki’s suffering.
And then we’re off. I eat as we go, while Mystia and Yuki follow behind, Yuki glaring daggers at whoever tells her to hurry up.
Mystia and Rob already got us a few days worth of supplies, so that’s convenient. I’m broke now, but we’re supposed to be getting paid a good amount at the end of this.
The gatehouse is huge and crowed as ever, but S is easy to pick out. The hair loops are pretty distinctive.
Between the smiling S, her silent and scornful companion, and Yoshika, who is now rushing to greet me, her group really isn’t that different from mine. All they’re missing is a mocking spirit-thing.
And then Yoshika has me in an awkward, unliving hug. She seems extraordinarily happy to see me.
“Not-zombie girl! How are things? I hope they’re well ‘cause they’re well for me and it’s thanks to you I’m doing so well. Your help helped me finish my mission which helped master!”
I had forgotten how excitable she was. [o]Painfully[/i] excitable.
“Hey Yoshika. You’re kind of crushing me.”
“Oh, sorry sorry sorry.” She releases me, springing back a step to give me some space. “I forget these things sometimes and you’re not mad right? Please don’t be mad.”
“It’s fine. Good to see you doing so well.”
The zombie girl really is pretty animated. If it weren’t for my past experiences with her, I’d assume she was alive. Sure, she’s got no pulse and doesn’t seem to feel pain, but her expressions are genuine and her skin is warm to the touch. She has a few of those regeneration charms stitched into her brightly colored clothes now. I think her hair has grown some too.
Honestly, I’m starting to doubt she’s really dead. At the very least, S has gone to quite a length to make her seem alive. More so than necessary to simply disguise her as a human.
“Ah, I had something for you! It was… Oh, I know it’s here somewhere!” She starts going through her pockets, mumbling to herself. “Here it is!”
Yoshika presents me with a slightly crumpled paper tag. Taking it, I can see that the pattern is pretty different from the ones on her.
“Master said I could give you one of her special defense spell things! Really strong stuff, but it only works once. Aim away from your face and all that!”
“How does it work?”
“You hold it out in front of you and put some magic into it and BOOM!” She jumps about my height into the air.
“It drains your energy to fuel a spell.” S says, walking over to us. “When you run out of magic, it drains your stamina, then your life. Cancelling it is just closing the mental connection.”
“It really sounds dangerous.”
“I’ve never heard of something that can do that at will.” Yuki says.
“Did you come up with this?” Rob asks, quite literally glowing with curiosity.
“My partner and I refined a few old concepts. It took decades of study to get it to what it is now. Pretty soon, we should be able to replicate most any formal spell. Not perfectly, but that will come with time.” S says.
“Exorcist, necromancer, there really isn’t a word that does you justice, is there?” I’ve only heard Rob sound impressed a few times before, never to this degree.
“Artisan is probably the closest existing word.”
“Sorry to interrupt,” I say, “but what exactly does this thing do? You said you could replicate most any spell.”
“We’re calling that one Phoenix Tail
. It puts out a fan of small fire globes. I figured you would have the easiest time with it, seeing as you’re learning fire magic first. You shouldn’t push it for more than a few seconds if you value your health. Oh, and we’re working on a nonlethal option. Well, relatively
nonlethal. If you have to use that and want to avoid killing someone with it, cut your energy flow as soon as you activate it.”
“I see. Thank you both for this.” I guess help comes back around after a while.
“It’s the least we can do.” S says, watching as Yoshika tries to introduce herself to Yuki. “Now, you should be hurrying along if you don’t want to be left behind. That girl is so impatient.”
Looking over, I can see the silent woman finish tracing a doorway of fire on a wall. She doesn’t even have the decency to glance back before walking through.
“Time to go, guys!” I call to my companions, breaking into a run.
Through the portal we go. The Outlands await.
So ends Part 1: New in Town
Things will be a bit different from here on out. The pace will be picking up in short order (most likely with the next update coming tomorrow). I am very much set on finishing this story, but I really don't want to drag it out for the next five or so years.