Rock Moths - Chapter 1
Rubbing the crust out of my weary eyes, I got out of my sleeping bag, begrudging the bright sunlight beaming in my face. Was it dawn already? Or was it morning? I never could tell the difference between the two. Rolling up my sleeping bag, I glared at the sun, only to be temporarily blinded by its rays. Maybe that wasn't the smartest idea, but did I really care in that moment? Not really. Shoving my sleeping bag into my satchel, it took awhile to get it in there, but it eventually went in. Putting my satchel on, I sighed. Today already felt like it was going to be a long day, and I just woke up.
A couple of hours later I was resting in a clearing where some Rock Moths usually just fluttered around. It was pretty peaceful, for the most part. As long as you didn't disturb the Rock Moths, they were pretty docile towards Miis and other various creatures. With a grunt, I stretched for a bit- this might just be a good time to take a break from traveling. Just as I was about to sit down on a smooth looking rock, a strange blue sphere containing a pair of brown Mii eyes floated down around a random Rock Moth that was just beginning to fly up in the air after landing on a flower.
"...What the heck is that...?" I questioned softly, though no one was around to hear me. Taking a step back from the center of the clearing, I clenched my fists, ready to make a run for it.
As the blue sphere came closer to the Rock Moth, my legs felt like Slime Jelly. And no, not the good kind. I couldn't move a muscle...not that I wanted to, mind you. 'What even was this?' was my main thought as shock coursed throughout my veins. The eyes surrounded by the blue sphere was now floating around the Rock Moth, making me even more baffled. What did I even do to deserve this punishment? Shutting my eyes, I refused to see anymore. Maybe it was a dream. Maybe it wasn't real. Maybe I was at home with my family, with the people whom I loved. Opening my eyes, I knew it was real. It wasn't a dream. It wasn't home. It was all real. The Mii's eyes were planted onto the Rock Moth, causing me to take a few steps back.
Still shaking violently, I mumbled, "I think I'm going to faint."
As if the Rock Moth had overheard me, it lunged towards me, its eyes gleaming with pure malice. Barely managing to dodge the attack, I stumbled over towards a patch of ferns, where I could tell that it was where the Rock Moth was beforehand. Glancing back at the Rock Moth, I whimpered. Would it come back for me? And apparently, it did. The Rock Moth charged towards me, trying to smack me in the face. The only thing I did different from the first time? I ran for it, like the coward that I was, screaming for help.
I kept up the pace until I felt like I had put some distance me and that...monster, I guess. By the time I'd made it, I was sweating like crazy, and I just wanted to rest. It was soon to be evening, from what I could tell.
"Stopping here to rest would be ideal, but...those monsters would probably find me and finish me off."
Sighing to myself, I shook my head. Making tough decisions wasn't one of my strong points, if I had any at all. The only other option was to keep running and hope I find a town, which I doubted there was any town in the middle of nowhere. And even if there was a town nearby, I doubted they would give me any hospitality. For free, at least. The other choice would be an inn, but...I don't really have any money on me for a room. As I stood around, trying to make up my mind, I overheard the growls of more monsters, potentially more dangerous than the Rock Moths, I'd bet.
"Know what? I'm not going to take my chances with the monsters," I laughed awkwardly to myself, already beginning to walk away. Looking around, I spotted a somewhat small village that seemed pretty quaint. "I'd love it if this unsettling convenience continued, thanks." Running as fast as my legs would let me go, I raced over to the village, hoping for help.
Breathing heavily, I mentally was about to explode. That run was awful and I just wanted to sleep for a good decade or so. Looking around, I noticed several people out and about still, despite night being close. Were the people here just that peaceful or what? Back where I lived, we would never allow anyone to be outside so late. It just wasn't smart. As I stood around to catch my breath, a young looking man who looked older than me with blond hair and light blue eyes came over to me, noticing my exhausted demeanor.
"Hey, you okay, traveler?" He asked, slightly worried. I simply nodded, not wanting to speak. "Alright, then. This is the town of Greenhorne, Raymond's the name. Today's been pretty slow, wouldn't you agree? Though you're a traveler, so I guess not in your case. Wait, were you running from something? What happened to you?"
Almost immediately, I burst out, "Monsters with Mii parts on them!"
Raymond chuckled, rolling his eyes. "Typical traveler humor. The Rock Moths out there aren't monsters, they wouldn't dare hurt a fly...er, a flower." He then yawned. "It's always peaceful around Greenhorne Town for the most part, anyways."
Grumbling some colorful language to myself, I stormed away, bristling with anger. That Raymond dude wasn't very helpful at all, plus, he asked way too many questions. Couldn't that idiot tell I was out of breath from the get-go? Apparently not, but then again, if this is Greenhorne, then I'm not surprised.
"What's the long face for?"
Overhearing an older lady's voice, I turned around to see a woman standing behind a shop counter, various goodies and items on display. They all looked rather old-fashioned, but it was clear the woman had put care into keeping them from harm. She had a smile on her face, as if she was glad to see a new face in town.
"Perhaps you should try smiling a little more, dearie!" The lady suggested, a genuine smile still on her face. Smiling a little as well, that seemed to lift the older woman's spirits a bit as well. "See? Isn't that better? By the way, I'm Briana. Nice meeting you, traveler!"
Waving back at her, I kept walking throughout town, hoping to find someone of importance who would actually listen to me. Not like Raymond. Trudging along the straightforward path, I noticed a mother and her child, who I wanted to assume were family of some sort. The child was running amok, yelling and screaming as they flailed about, a wide, toothy grin on his face. The mother looked fearful of her child getting hurt, and looked as if she was still trying to keep her son in check, but was losing her patience. She gave me a small smile before returning her attention to her son.
Smiling a little, I mumbled, "Must be a healthy kid."
Seeing the little boy running around like that reminded me of my twin sister, Twyla. We used to be so close together, playing, fighting, eating, sleeping...we did all of it together. Even if we argued, we still loved each other, despite the major differences in our personalities. The simple thought of it reminded me of some good times we had together, back at home. After leaving home, I hadn't seen her since...what? Five years now? All I really remember is that I left around the age of twelve. I always spared a thought for Twyla everyday.
There wasn't any use in wondering where she was now, though. I had bigger problems on my hands that needed to be dealt with first. Continuing down the path, I spotted a young looking couple holding hands, which shamefully, made me a little jealous. I wished I had someone by my side who would support me. I considered asking them if the town had a mayor, but after trying to even greet them, I gave up. Why? Well, you try to talk to a lovey dovey couple who's locked into each others eyes and won't shut up about the other. There's your answer.
"Hey you." I turned around to face a light brown haired man with dark gray eyes, almost a charred black. His expression was pretty bored, and he looked as if he was annoyed by my mere existence in Greenhorne Town. Pointing at myself, I was curious to know if he meant me, but he probably did anyways. "Yes, idiot. Are you visiting Greenhorne or something?"
"Well, technically, yes," I answered, not really in the mood to talk with him.
He crossed his arms, rolling his eyes. "Lucky you. I'm sooooooooo jealous."
Shooting a vicious glare at him, I marched right on past him and walked over to an old man wearing some strange clothing. I was about to call it stupid out loud, but I decided not to, as this guy might've been the mayor and I didn't want to risk my chances of someone actually listening to me.
"Excuse me, sir, but are you the mayor of this town?" I asked, not really bothered to sound pleasant at all. I wasn't really in a good mood after that experience.
He turned to face me. "Why, yes I am. Mayor Stanford at your service, what business do you have here, traveler?"
"Well, Mayor Stanford, I was attacked by a Rock Moth with a Mii's eyes on their wings. Care to explain why monsters are attacking people?"
Stanford looked appalled at my statement. "Is that some type of sick traveller humor? There's no way that Rock Moths would attack anyone. They're far to weak, not to mention, too peaceful for that."
"Would you like to tell that to the Rock Moth that hit me on the way here? 'Cause I would gladly introduce you," I snapped, this time with extra snark. Hey, give me a break. I literally just ran a whole freaking mile (possibly more), and now I'm surrounded by idiots. I think I have earned the right to be cranky.
The mayor's eyes twitched, which wasn't good. "Are kidding me? You just come barging into my village with a load of nonsense and expect someone to believe it? Honestly, are you a spoilt brat?! And-" He stopped berating me, his gaze now on the sky. For a second, I was confused. Wasn't he in the middle of yelling at me? That was when I looked up as well, and what I saw made my skin crawl. An eerie darkness spread over Greenhorne Town, and something told me that it wasn't night or evening.
"O-Oh no, it's...it's..." He began, but he was clearly too scared to finish his sentence.
"It's what?!" I snapped at him, not really caring whether he was scared or not. I wanted to know what the heck was going on, and I demand answers for this horrible day I've been having.
Stanford whimpered, his eyes wide. "It's Dark Lord Mapleshade," He breathed before passing out, collapsing onto the ground.
Rolling my eyes, I muttered, "Mapleshade didn't even do anything yet, what a coward."
"Mwaa ha ha haaa!" A sinister laugh cackled right above us. "I am the Dark Lord Mapleshade!"
After dealing with the mayor, I looked up at this Dark Lord Mapleshade, my irritation beginning to show. This day could not get any worse or stupider. Mapleshade was a large figure, with a dark black robe while wearing an ancient looking pendant with a single eye on it, the pendant made out of stone. His face had somewhat feminine features, however, anyone with common sense wouldn't point it out aloud. He had light green eyes that glittered with malice, but something behind those eyes that I couldn't quite put my finger on told me a different story. A dark, shadowy aura glowed from behind him, and to be frank, I really didn't like it. Alright, so maybe Stanford had a good reason to faint. This guy was kind of unpleasant from the get-go, I mean, who comes barging into villages with a giant aura of misery and misfortune? The Dark Lord, that's who.
"I've come to wreak havoc and terror on this miserable little world!" Mapleshade proceeded to point his finger at the townspeople, his light green eyes glowing in anger. "And I'm starting with you, people of Greenhorne!" Wait, he's just starting? Would that make the Rock Moth back there an experiment, then? Another thing I questioned: How did Stanford even know about Mapleshade if the Dark Lord wasn't here yet? Shrugging it off, I decided to pass it off as another part of my horrible, no good, very bad day.
"Time to taste true fear! Say goodbye to your faces!" Mapleshade laughed, just starting to pull faces off of some of the town's villagers. As I looked around the village, Raymond, Briana, that kid, the lovey dovey woman, and that frustrating man's faces all came clean off. Most of them fell to the ground, unable to show any expressions. To be blunt, I was horrified by it and judging by the empty spots on their faces, I just wanted to curl up in a ball and hope the Dark Lord didn't decide to steal my face.
The five stolen faces were now floating around Dark Lord Mapleshade. "Hmph! This will do nicely for now." Mapleshade pointed at the faceless villagers, as if to mock them for no longer having a face. What shocked me even more was that he was smug about it as well. "Listen up, you faceless freaks! Get used to a life of wordless terror, because that's what you're stuck with!"
Shivering violently, I held back a whimper. That didn't sound fun. I didn't want to get my face stolen. I didn't want to watch as others got their faces stolen. But what could I do? I'd only get myself hurt in the process.
"And to those who've been spared..." Mapleshade looked directly at me, glowering me as if I was the cause of all of his hatred. "Take a nice long look at your sad little friends...AND DESPAIR!! So long!" He disappeared into thin air, taking the faces with him. However, the sky remained a dark, murky gray, much to my displeasure.
He left the village, leaving most of the villagers either frightened, confused, or both. First off, what was going to happen to those poor souls without their faces? Would they die? Shaking off the thought, I decided it was best not to think like that. For now. Secondly, who was going to save them? I could hardly save myself back there with the Rock Moths. It couldn't be me. Lastly, why did Mapleshade glare directly at me? What did I even do to piss him off like that?
"My poor Sheldon!" Overhearing a cry from across the town, I raced over to see the mother with the energetic child from before. The poor kid was lying on the ground, his face ripped away from him. She looked up to see me. "Oh, adventurer! Will you please save my baby?"
While I said I couldn't help, it hurt to see that child completely helpless without a face. How would I feel if that was Twyla, lying right in front of me, her face gone and stolen by the Dark Lord, only to be put on a monster? Gulping, I had made up my mind. I would help after all.
"I'll save him," I assured her, hoping I wouldn't get killed on the way.
The mother looked relieved. "Mapleshade might still be around the village." She handed me a strange looking pendant with a grotesque symbol on it, much to my confusion. "Here's one of my family's good luck charms, just in case." While I didn't think the amulet would work at all or the fact that I think luck isn't the best thing to rely on at the moment, I just nodded in thanks and walked out of the village. I wasn't ready to disappoint someone this early.
After some walking, I found myself in a tiny clearing to catch my breath, still tired from running, but also wanting to rest due to experiencing that terrifying scene in town. While I was resting, the Dark Lord came down from the sky again, appearing practically out of nowhere. In my opinion, it was pretty rude to do that and seriously- how did he even do that? My heart was pounding out of fear, and I was just about to make a run for it. But I made a promise to that mother and myself- I would save that child.
"Oh? Is someone trying to be the big hero?" Mapleshade teased, a mocking grin on his face, enough to make me want to smack him right away. Honestly speaking, I wasn't all that scared of him yet; he literally just dropped from the sky, it's perfectly reasonable to be shocked. To be blunt, I'm just scared that I might've wet myself a little.
"Give Sheldon's face back!" I yelled, getting off the rock I was sitting on just for more dramatic effect. Feeling a slight pain in my bottom, I groaned, "Ow, ow, my butt hurts..." Welp, I guessed I was going to die, especially as my butt hurt just from getting off of a rock.
"What, this little ol' thing?"
"YES!" I snapped, clenching my fists. Seriously, was this dude going to prolong this as long as possible?
Mapleshade raised an eyebrow. "Hrrm. Maybe I'll give this one back. But on one condition."
Wincing, I sighed internally. This was probably it. I was probably going to die for sure, now.
"How good are you in a fight?" Mapleshade summoned a strange blob. Wait a minute, was that a slime? Because if that was, then that's even worse that the Rock Moths. I hate slimes with a bloody passion. Not as much as spiders, but you get the point. The only thing I liked about them was Slime Jelly, and that was it.
"Um...not so good, if you didn't see how I reacted to the Rock Moth. You know, the weakest creature in Miitopia-"
"Well, that's unfortunate for you, now is it?" Mapleshade silenced me with an unsettling grin. "Be seeing you, if you survive, that is!"
Mapleshade vanished into thin air, leaving me with the slime with Sheldon's face on it. Jeez, how does he do that?! Seriously, I'd love to know so I could do that myself. Looking down at the slime, I shuddered. How the heck was I supposed to do this?
"So how am I going to defeat it without touching it or without a weapon...?" I whispered to myself. I didn't have much time to myself, however, because the blob was now going to kill me, as its attention was now on me. "Wow, I'm only 17 years old and I'm already going to die."
As I wallowed in my own self pity, a bright flash enveloped my surroundings. Instantly shutting my eyes, I groaned to myself. What was happening now? Couldn't it wait until my likely demise? Soon after opening them, I was in a strange place that had soft bluish pink lights all around me, which was thankfully nowhere near the slime. That was literally my only relief. Now where in the world am I?
"Violet...can you hear me?" A voice asked, their tone flat.
"Nooo..." I sarcastically responded, not really in the mood for introductions. I just wanted to get this over with.
That was when another bright flash surrounded me, much to my dismay. The flash expelled, and then I saw a large cat standing on its hind legs. The cat had a snowy white fur coat, exposing an orange underbelly. An eyepatch covered the left eye, showing only the blue eye on the right. From what I could see, a giant scar was being covered by the eyepatch, which I couldn't blame her for. If I had a scar somewhere visible, I would hide it too. Maybe she's a pirate of some sort.
"I'm Bright Scar. Now, you might not believe this but I'm some kind of guardian spirit," The cat meowed. "I don't really care whether you believe it or not, though."
I raised an eyebrow. "But how is a cat a-"
"Hush, hush. Just bear with me here," Bright Scar interrupted, crossing her arms. "You seem to be in quite the pickle, Violet."
"...Glad you've noticed..." I muttered under my breath.
"Silence! Now, if you don't want to die, will you accept my help?"
"Of course not, I sure as heck don't need any help at all!" I snapped, rolling my eyes in frustration. For a guardian spirit, she certainly doesn't seem to get straight to the point when it comes to being a guardian.
Bright Scar growled softly, baring her teeth. "I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that little remark and let you continue living. Now, I have six jobs you can choose from. Pick wisely, now, because your life depends on it."
She shoved six scrolls into my hands, a scowl on her face. Bright Scar was pretty darn pushy for a cat. I opened the scrolls to see the jobs Warrior, Mage, Cleric, Thief, Pop Star and Chef. The Chef job sounded pretty nice to me. I mean, I'd finally be able to cook for myself without taking you know, actual cooking classes. Or stealing food. Now the thief job...why would I even want that? Thieves are people who steal. I've never stolen anything important to others in my life- hmm, well maybe that's not entirely true to the villagers from my hometown, but still.
"Hurry up! We're burning daylight!" Bright Scar hissed.
I picked up the Chef scroll and showed it to her. "This. I want this."
"O-Okay." Bright Scar sounded as if she was holding back laughter. "Now I bestow the power of the guardian upon you!"
Looking down at myself, I noticed something strange: my clothes were different. Now I was wearing orange shorts with an orange tank top with white bands on my arms and legs, wearing red boots on my feet. Reaching for the top of my head, I felt some goggles attached to a cap. Soon enough I also noticed that I was also holding a rather sharp dagger in my hand.
"Wait a minute! This isn't the chef job! You tricked me!" I shouted, throwing the scroll on the ground.
Bright Scar shrugged her shoulders. "Not my fault you grabbed the wrong scroll."
Picking up the scroll once more, I groaned in frustration once I saw that Bright Scar was right. I did grab the wrong scroll.
"Darn it!" I grumbled, crossing my arms. "This is the exact opposite of what I want!"
"Well that's too bad." Bright Scar stuck out her tongue, although she was holding back a laugh. "Now fight, O Violet! Make your foes fear your thief powers!"
"I'll make 'em fear me alright," I muttered to myself as another bright flash began to appear. Startled, I shut them only to open them once the light subsided, greeted with the slime still glowering me, waiting for the chance to strike.
Taking in a deep breath, I sighed. "Alright, here goes nothing." Charging towards the Mini Sheldon Slime, I aimed an attack right at its gooey center, only for the slime to dodge last second. However, a small amount of slime was stuck on my dagger, which told me that I had managed to hit it somewhat.
The Mini Sheldon Slime rushed over towards me and smacked me in the face, making me wince in pain, but after realizing some of the slime had stuck to my cheeks, I licked some of it off, pretty hungry from battling already. And surprisingly, the jelly was really good. Throwing my dagger at the slime once more, I was surprised once the Mini Sheldon Slime fell back and stopped trying to get back up. Walking over to the slime, I bent over to deal the finishing blow. However, as I made my way over to it, the Mini Sheldon Slime immediately burst, its exploding guts flying into my face. Yelping, I fell back onto my bottom, swiping off some of the guts off of my face with my hands.
Thankfully, the face of Sheldon happened to fly off of that disgusting slime, much to my relief. Taking in a deep breath, I sighed. Blinking slowly, I felt about ready to fall asleep...until Bright Scar interrupted me right in the middle of a yawn.
"I, erm...decent job, young Violet," Bright Scar meowed, unsure about how to word her sentence. Though to be fair, I couldn't blame her; seeing slime is disgusting, especially when it's in a bright yellow color (the bane of my existence: yellow). However, the slime's jelly tasted really good so I did decide to give it a brief pass. "I do hope you plan on washing those clothes."
Rolling my eyes, I shrugged my shoulders. "And who has the money for that? Not me, I'll just lick the jelly off, thank you very much."
Bright Scar just let out a frustrated exhale. "All that matters right now is that Sheldon is safe. The child will have their face back, likely by the time you reach the village. Hopefully this will cheer you up, no matter how slightly it may be."
Chuckling to myself, I sighed. "It'll be the most positive thing to have happened to me so far today, I'll tell you that much."
"You know what, Violet? Shut up, let's just go back to Greenhorne to see if the boy is alright," Bright Scar snapped, pointedly ignoring me. While it was kind of rude to me at least, it was pretty understandable.
Finally making my way back to Greenhorne Town, I was surprised to see Sheldon standing at the entrance with his face back, as if he was waiting for me to come. Sheldon was bouncing around, a wide, cheeky grin on his face. The child's smile was almost infectious, but I resisted the urge to smile; this wasn't just fun and games, that kid had just gotten his face stolen. Yet he wasn't scared or anything? I've gotta say, I'm impressed. Sheldon's mother came rushing towards him, gently berating him for running off, and once I finally managed to walk over, the mother gave me a small smile.
"Thank you, traveler. We're both in your debt." The mother gave her child a serious look, which seemed to catch his attention. "Sheldon, say your thanks as well."
Sheldon groaned in frustration, but turned to me with a smile on his face. "Thank you, traveler!" Once the mother gave me one last nod, she took her child by the hand, presumably walking home. Just before they left me by myself, Sheldon waved 'bye' at me, still bouncing around gleefully. Smiling back at him, I chuckled to myself. You know, it actually feels...good to be nice to others. Maybe I should do it more often. After a brief moment, another flash of light made me internally grimace; it was Bright Scar again, wasn't it?
Much to my dismay, I was correct.
Bright Scar greeted me with a grimace. "You could look at least a little pleased that the child is back to normal." Rolling my eyes, I just scoffed a little in frustration. I wasn't in the mood for this. "Fine fine, let's get to the point. You've seen what Dark Lord Mapleshade has done to Miitopia, have you not?"
"I feel like that it's incredibly obvious that I have-"
"And so, I have an important task for you," Bright Scar interrupted me, a scowl on her face. "I, Bright Scar, task- no, command you, Thief Violet, to defeat the Dark Lord Mapleshade and save Miitopia."
Crossing my arms, I huffed. "Really giving me a choice here, aren't you?"
Bright Scar shrugged her shoulders. "Not my fault you're a- you know what? I won't finish that sentence for the sake of your young ears. Carry on, go save some faces, yada yada yada." Right before I could question her, Bright Scar immediately created a bright flash of light, presumably to send me back into the real world.
Opening my eyes once more, I was back in Greenhorne, able to move around freely once more. My gaze focused on the residents of Greenhorne Town, I sighed. There were still four more people left to save. If I was going to face Mapleshade, then I guess I should probably save these people first...even that douche. With my dagger in my left hand and the charm hung around my neck, I began to make my way out of the village. Well, that was the most life changing event that happened in the entirety of my life. Because I'm being tasked to save Miitopia and there's nothing I can do about it.
Sitting down underneath the branches of a tree, I basked in the shade, my arms crossed behind my head. At the current moment I was in Easin Hills, awaiting for the Chosen One. Still, I was unsure about this task, though. Playing an important role in the fate of Miitopia is a bit too much for someone like me to handle...not to mention if you're responsible for how far they get, hmm? Shaking my head in defeat, I took another peep at the scroll explaining my mission, in case if I forgot- I wasn't exactly the best at remembering the important details, and even then, I had a rather selective memory.
On the paper, it said: "Keep the Chosen One from saving Miitopia, or at the very least, the entirety of Greenhorne. Kill them if it boils down to it."
Shivering at that last part, I put the scroll away in my bag. I wasn't exactly a violent person; for one, I'm too lazy for that, and secondly, killing goes against my morals. Unfortunately, being disobedient results in my death. So it isn't like I have a choice in the matter. Or like my opinions matter, either. What could I do? Well, I could try and sit here and wait for this whole Dark Lord enslaving Miitopia thing to blow over. Can you blame me? I really don't want to get involved with the fate of the world. It's already bad enough as it is.
"Bright Scar, why did I have to do this anyways?" I groaned, frustrated that this self talk therapy was getting me nowhere. Whipping my head around, I overheard some light footsteps behind me. After some lingering, I noticed a young looking woman with long black hair and icy amber eyes walking down the road, her expression somber. She had an orange and purple thief's outfit on, which I personally thought of as a fashion disaster.
Rolling my eyes, I muttered, "Just great, another thief in Greenhorne. Not like there isn't enough in this area already." Honestly, although I strongly dislike thieves, this one was...decently attractive? Feeling my cheeks begin to heat up, I shook my head, turning back towards the hills. "Keep it together, there's no way you'll be able to focus on your love life while in Greenhorne." As I got up to my feet, I paused once I heard that very same thief begin to speak.
"If I can't fight regular enemies, then how will I ever beat the Dark Lord?" She sighed, exasperation in her voice. "Bright Scar, if you're sending me on a suicide mission, I will not forgive you!"
That was when it finally hit me. She wasn't just any thief; she was the hero destined to save this world, based on what she just said. But why did she have to be both a thief and attractive? To make my mission even harder than it already is? And why would she even be able to talk with Bright Scar anyways? Last I heard from my superiors, all forms of communication with Bright Scar were out of commision for the past few years. So how could she even be able to talk with Bright Scar as if it was nothing?
"Oh, that's just peachy. When I'm the one calling her out for her crap, she doesn't even respond, the coward!" She snapped, throwing her arms in the air, dropping her dagger. After realizing she threw her dagger, she picked it up, and scowled. "Of all the crap that's happened so far-"
After some thought, I decided to blot out the more...colorful language, to say the least. How could she be destined to save Miitopia? She wasn't the helping type, for one- and two, judging by the ferociousness in her voice...who would even want to be around her? If she's met the Dark Lord by now, I wouldn't be surprised if she's already snapped at Mapleshade. But then again, it surprises me because let's be real; who would be completely unscathed after dealing with the Dark Lord?
But if this wasn't a complete accident and she's actually meant to save Miitopia...well, then we're all screwed.
The First Companion - Chapter 2
As I walked along the rocky road, I stopped every so often to sake pebbles out of my shoes, letting out a growl of frustration every time it happened. It was an annoyance, I tell you, an annoyance! Half tempted to just take off my shoes and walk the rest of the way barefoot, I decided against it, as I would probably start getting pebbles stuck in between my toes along with...other things. The dagger still sheathed, I let out a growl of irritation.
"Out of all the crazy things that happened, I just had to be picked out of others who are more than capable to do this instead, forced to fight the Dark Lord and bring peace to Miitopia! Hooray, let's all barf rainbows and glitter because that sure as heck is going to happen!" I snapped, shaking my fists. Shutting my eyes, I groaned. "This is just stupid."
Still being pretty grumpy from earlier, I felt like I had a pretty good excuse to be so dramatic. After all, I was kind of forced to fight monsters and destroy the Dark Lord by some guardian spirit who decided to only show up right before I almost died and- I don't think I need to elaborate. Continuing along the rocky path, I almost stopped immediately when I heard a familiar sound- almost like the flapping of wings. As the flapping got closer and louder, I stood still, cautiously turning around to face the Rock Moth that had caused me to start this nightmare. Brown eyes. Pinkish-purple wings. That Rock Moth.
Unsheathing my dagger, I muttered underneath my breath, "Coming back for more, huh? Well, I guess everyone meets their timely demise at some point or another." Rushing up to the Rock Moth, I aimed my dagger for the Rock Moth's wings, hoping to hit a weak spot. The Rock Moth noticed and quickly tried to fly away to dodge; thankfully, I had managed to hit its wing just before it flew away. As I was about to strike once more, another Rock Moth happened to catch my eye as it fluttered towards me- this time it had dark blue eyes attached to it. However, the first Rock Moth seemed to take this as an opening to attack, and smacked me right in the face.
With caterwaul of fury, I slashed my dagger at it once more, hoping to hit it again. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The Rock Moth dodged once more and countered with a tag team attack with its buddy, causing me to fall to my knees. Spitting out some blood from my mouth, I whipped my head around to face the Rock Moths, my eyes narrowed.
"Wow, Bright Scar, this definitely isn't a situation where I could certainly use some help from a 'divine' and 'all powerful' force of good! Not at all!" I snapped, glaring at the amulet. No answer. Well, this was just great, wasn't it? Feeling one of the Rock Moths smack me upside the head again, I grimaced as I felt a trickle of blood streaming down my mouth. I could taste my own bodily fluids- and honestly, it tasted really salty, really. Finally deciding to fall on the ground and stay put, I couldn't help but feel a churning rage and a pang of sadness in my chest.
Would anyone even notice that I'm gone if I died? Would anyone even notice me passed out on the middle of this road? Probably not, as people are so selfish these days. At best they'd probably give me a small look of pity and carry on, if anyone at all is still traveling in Greenhorne after the Dark Lord's attack. What reason did I have to keep going? Closing my eyes, I whimpered softly. Was this my end? No, but I hoped it was...
As the last of the Rock Moths vanished into thin air, I put my sword back in its sheath, shrugging my shoulders. That wasn't too hard, was it? The pair of eyes that were attached to its wings floated away, most likely returning to the owner. My gaze turned to the woman who was passed out on the ground, a small trickle of blood streaming from her mouth. Bright Scar, how did she end up like that? Honestly, I was kind of worried about her, but Rock Moths really aren't that hard to defeat with the right strategy. After some more moments passed, I quickly realized she was a thief, and wondered if she even knew how to use her dagger properly.
"Hey, you dead or something?" I asked in a demanding tone of voice, really wanting her to just wake up so I could leave. I may not care much for this person, but hey, at least I have the decency to make sure she's alive. As I awaited her to wake up, I felt a slightly warm tinge flush onto my cheeks. Her face looked rather delicate, despite the obvious bruises the Rock Moths had given her. Her pale skin was balanced out by her deep black hair, and she was wearing some apprentice's gear along with a brown satchel slung over her shoulder. Bright Scar, why did she have to be so...so pretty? My life's already confusing enough as it is without romance and good-looking people involved!
Her eyes began to open, and she let out a yelp almost as soon as she saw me. "W-Who are you?"
Taking a step back from her, I exhaled shakily, "L-Look, I just drove off those Rock Moths that were attacking you, and I wanted to make sure you were okay just in case. If you want, I'll leave now if you want me to."
She tilted her head in confusion. "You...you saved me?"
"U-Uh, y-yeah. Did you still want my name, or...?" I asked, scratching the back of my head. She nodded while getting to her feet, grabbing her dagger that was left on the ground. "O-Oh. Well, I'm Tristan, a warrior in training." For some reason, this made the woman smile a bit, which caused me to blush even more if I was already.
Shaking my hand, she chuckled softly. "Violet. Accidentally became a thief, but...it's a long story." She shook her head, as if she was trying to push away certain thoughts in her head. Was she hiding something? "Anyways, are you traveling alone?"
Nodding, I shrugged my shoulders. "Yeah, you could say that. I'm assuming the same goes for you?" Violet nodded with a guilty laugh. "So...what's a beautiful woman like yourself doing out here? I mean, assuming you aren't a rogue thief who's on the run attempting to redeem themselves?"
"I-I appreciate your concerns, but really, I'm just traveling." Violet shrugged her shoulders, already beginning to walk away. Her eyes were glazed with anxiety, and honestly, I was tempted to actually walk away and leave her alone. But really, I'm not exactly the type of person to actually do what I'm told. Following her, I smiled weakly at her once she seemed to notice me, her being extremely confused and annoyed. "You need something?"
I shook my head. "W-Well, no...but...you said your name was Violet? That's honestly a lovely name, I wish mine was half as pretty." While it could seem like I was flirting with her (not really, but take it as you will), I really did think her name was really beautiful. Not like I'm blaming my mom for her choice of naming human beings...though I do actually like my name. Violet blushed, looking away from me now. "Hey, no, I mean it. Violet is both a gorgeous color and flower, and it just so happens that you're named after two beautiful things."
That seemed to get her to laugh a bit.
"What's funny is that purple is actually one of my favorite colors," She chortled, though it looked as if she didn't want to seem so carefree in my presence. Quickly regaining her composure, she mumbled, "But I really do need to be leaving."
Tilting my head, I shrugged my shoulders. "You didn't really seem to be in a hurry earlier." Violet just looked back at me, raising an eyebrow. "So you're actually traveling alone, even though Rock Moths and other creatures are under the Dark Lord's control as we speak? Isn't that a little...you know, dangerous?"
She sighed. "I know. But I don't really have a choice in the matter." Before I could ask another question, she added, "And I'm supposed to do this myself. So if you could leave, that'd be great."
"Do what by yourself? Are you sure you don't want any help?"
Violet bit on her lip, avoiding my gaze. "I wouldn't mind a little help." Resisting the urge to smile some more, I walked fast enough so I could walk next to her. Was she kidding? Apparently not, judging by her expression. As I kept up my pace while trekking beside her, I noticed a strange looking pendant wrapped around her neck. It was gold and purple, which didn't surprise me, but it also had some grotesque symbol on it.
Tapping her shoulder, I asked, "What's that?"
"O-Oh, um...i-it's..." Her face was pale, which made me worry a little. Was she okay? Did she need help? She took in another deep breath. "Nothing important."
Deciding not to question her any further (as it looked like asking seemed to make her more nervous), I kept my trap shut, not wanting to invoke any negative feelings between me and the traveler. After all, the opportunity to travel with a mysterious thief doesn't pop up very often. The two of us kept walking, not really saying much since it did feel kind of awkward. Although it was rather hard to tear my gaze off of her...I guess you could say that I found her really attractive. However, I didn't want to let that get in the way of our potential friendship. As we continued along the path, a Rock Moth and a Goblin came over towards us, malice in their Mii-eyed expressions.
I took out my sword and scowled. "Goblins, ugh. The only good thing about them is that delicious Goblin Ham, otherwise they're practically useless." Violet simply tilted her head in confusion, but was pulled into the fight once the Rock Moth smacked her in the face. Gripping onto my sword, I lunged in front of her and slashed at the Rock Moth, causing the pair of eyes to float away from the Rock Moth's wings as it fell to the ground.
As Violet got to her feet, she simply stared at me, eyes wide. "Woah."
"I, um...thanks," I awkwardly replied, scratching the back of my head. Violet gave me a curt nod before rushing towards the Goblin, her dagger now unsheathed. She does realize that she can just throw it, right...? Apparently not, but whatever.
She managed to hit the dagger, thrusting it upwards as she attacked the Goblin. The Goblin flinched and took a few paces back, just before it decided to slap her in the face with its...nose. Violet yelped, resting her hand against her cheeks. Seeing as she was in slight pain, I decided to throw an HP Banana towards her while running over to the Goblin, mainly to finish it off. As my sword striked the Goblin, it disappeared into nothing and dropped some Goblin Ham, while Violet was eating the HP Banana, a jar of Butterfly Honey nearby her. Walking over to pick the jar up, I gave Violet a small smile. She wasn't that bad of a battler, was she?
Violet stretched her arms, yawning a bit. "That was hard. I can't believe you're that strong, Tristan."
Shrugging my shoulders, I chuckled. "You're a pretty good battler yourself, you just need some more practice. So...did the HP Banana work?"
"Yeah, I feel much better than before." Violet looked around the clearing while grabbing the Goblin Ham. "You're serious about joining me, aren't you?"
Nodding, I sighed. "I'm going to be honest with you, Violet- I've been going through some rough things as of late, and to be completely blunt, you're the only option I really have other than...an unspecified reason that we really shouldn't get into." As a flash of confusion shone in Violet's eyes, I added with a wink, "Plus, I wouldn't mind traveling the world with such a gorgeous woman like you."
Violet glanced down at her feet. "I-I...I appreciate your compliments, but can you please tone it down, at least just a little bit?" Despite my initial bewilderment as to why she didn't like being complimented, I simply just nodded out of respect, as I didn't want to piss her off. "Thanks. So...I guess you're on the team now."
Shrugging my shoulders, I sighed. "Apparently. So, are you on some sort of mission to do something then? Or are you just traveling?"
To my vague surprise, she nodded. "I'll explain while we try to find an inn, it's a pretty long story..."
As Violet had finished telling me about her mission, Bright Scar, saving Miitopia, and all of that, I didn't have much to say afterwards. It was pretty overwhelming, to be honest, but I did join Violet, after all. Even though this was probably a bad idea, I didn't want to let the entirety of Miitopia be taken over by the Dark Lord. That would include my face. And I like my face, it allows me to continue to breath, smell, and see. We did face an example of a poor, unfortunate soul whose entire face was stolen- Violet told me his name was Raymond. Thankfully, we managed to save him, somehow. We were getting closer to an inn, and it was getting pretty dark.
"Violet, since we're going to be traveling together, we might as well get to know each other," I suggested, catching her attention. She thought about it for a brief moment before nodding.
A small smile was on her face. "Yeah, I'd like that." After some more thinking, she asked, "So...do you have any family? Well, living family, that is."
I sighed, nodding. "There's my brother, Luke...screw him, he's horrible...and then there's my mother, who's one of the best moms in the world. She made some great HP Bananas, by the way. I learned how to make them since back where I lived, there wasn't much to do."
"Huh, so that's how you managed to pull one out of nowhere...your mom sounds pretty nice, do you think I'd be able to meet her one day?" She asked, absolute innocence in her voice.
Wincing while shuddering at the same time, I closed my eyes. "Depends."
Violet seemed to notice my hesitance to answer, and didn't question it. "Okay, then. I have a twin sister named Twyla, and honestly, she was a really sweet person. Though she was extremely energetic and could hardly sit still, and that didn't mix well with her obsessive love of pranks and her constantly being a hopeless romantic. But then again, she was my sister and I love her. Too bad she didn't come with me, I miss her..."
Patting Violet's back, I gave her a look full of pity. "It's okay, I'm sure you'll see her again. She sounds really nice, I do hope that you'll find her while on our journey." I almost added, 'She also sounds like my type' but it didn't exactly sound appropriate to say in that moment. We continued talking as we kept to the path, actually seeming to get along. It was a couple of minutes before I saw a large structure that had the lights still on. "Hey...is that an inn?"
Narrowing her eyes, she nodded. "Yeah...it is. Wanna pop on in for some rest?"
"Not a bad idea, some rest would be nice," I agreed, although I was indifferent towards the idea. "Maybe they have an Adventurer's Tavern, or something." Violet gave me a look full of confusion, which led me to explaining the concept of it to her. "It's basically a part of the inn adventurers can eat, drink, and meet others. Also really good for gossip, if you're into that sort of thing."
Violet hummed in response. "That sounds alright, I wouldn't mind having something to eat. I'm hungry." She put her dagger away in its sheath before stretching her arms, while I just yawned. "Someone's tired..."
I smiled at her. "Yeah, well, traveling does take a lot of effort." Violet only laughed a little before resting her head on my shoulder, yawning as well. Somehow, I feel like things will okay if I keep traveling with Violet...mostly.
Me and Tristan had reached the inn, now in the lobby. We were deciding rooms, and honestly, it was pretty hard. On one hand, lose privacy for the sake of a lower price, or on the other have privacy for the cost of money we don't have. So obviously, the both of us were leaning towards the first option, as one room cost 100 gold, and we only had...like, what? 140? 101? I don't even remember, but we certainly didn't have enough gold to buy two separate rooms. Glancing at Tristan, I sighed. I was lucky he came to help. It was only natural that he should come along- he was a warrior, and really strong from what I've seen. Why couldn't I be that strong? Would I always be a punching bag to the various monsters in Greenhorne? Not wanting to dwell on it any longer, I cleared my throat.
"So...I assume we're sharing a room?" I asked, expecting an answer. He nodded, reaching in his pocket for some gold. As he handed over the 100 gold coins, I noticed a wooden door with a window on it that had some lights glowing from it. From where I was standing, I could hear laughing and talking coming from it. Was that the Adventurer's Tavern? Tapping on Tristan's shoulder, he didn't respond to me right away, as he was grabbing the key to our room for the night. Once I had his attention, he raised an eyebrow, as if to question what I needed.
He looked over to the Adventurer's Tavern, widening his gaze. "Oh, yeah. The Adventurer's Tavern, right. We should probably head over there before it closes. Maybe get some food before bed?"
The both of us walked over to the door, with Tristan holding it for me. As I stepped inside, I was greeted with the sight of a bunch of adventurers chatting amongst themselves or stuffing their faces. From what I could tell, they were split up into groups, which led me to believe that there other groups of adventurers in Greenhorne, maybe even some others who were aiming to defeat the Dark Lord. And from what it looked like, Tristan wasn't wrong; this seemed like the perfect place to gossip. I almost yelped once Tristan came in after me, simply taking my hand to lead me over to an empty booth in a corner. Sitting down, I let out a sigh of relief, happy to finally sit down. Tristan seemed just as happy, if not more.
With a yawn, I asked, "So what kind of gossip are we looking for, then? I know you mentioned gossip."
"Well, since we're on that quest to defeat the Dark Lord, we should probably aim for information on him. But seeing as this inn is in a pretty remote area, we probably won't get any news on him yet," He replied, folding his arms behind his head, leaning back on his seat. A waitress came over to us, presumably to ask what we wanted. Tristan glanced at her, a slight red tinge on his cheeks. "I, uh...Goblin Ham, please." Since when did Tristan ever seem shy around others? Oh well, I can ask him later.
Once the waitress turned to me, I realized I also had to tell her what I wanted. "S-Slime Jelly, please." With that, the waitress walked away, presumably to prepare our order, or something. Glancing back at Tristan, I could tell his eyes were still locked on the waitress, his cheeks still red. His eyes were starry, and he had an small smile on his face.
He muttered dreamily underneath his breath. "She's hot." Rolling my eyes, I cleared my throat. That was what he was so shy about? I mean, sure, I get being nervous around others, but...it's kind of ridiculous, to be honest. Tristan noticed me, his cheeks still red as he glanced back at me. "O-Oh, um...it's not my fault there are so many attractive people in the tavern."
Sighing, I rubbed my temples. "Focus is key, Tristan. Now, how are we supposed to get info- Tristan!" He was already gawking at the waitress again, much to my dismay. Once he heard me call for him, he awkwardly looked back at me, avoiding my gaze. "Tristan, I love women as much as the next guy, but we have more pressing matters to deal with."
That seemed to catch Tristan's interest. "Wait, what-"
"Why does this conversation even matter? Do you not remember the issue that we need to deal with? The Dark Lord?" I grumbled, my patience wearing thin. Tristan simply shrugged and sighed, probably yawning a bit as well. Once the waitress came back, she handed me my Slime Jelly, and handed Tristan his Goblin Ham, to which he almost immediately started scarfing it down. The waitress walked away, presumably to take the orders of other people. As I weakly grabbed my spoon, Tristan seemed to notice how bored I was, so he decided to tap on my plate with his fork.
He looked a little bit worried, to my surprise. "Hey, Vi, you alright?"
Shrugging my shoulders, I sighed. "I'm fine, but...it's loud in here. Is there a fight going on, or something?" And surely enough, once me and Tristan turned our heads around to see an actual fight breaking out. Unfortunately, it didn't look all that pretty.
From what I could tell, there was a short man with white and turquoise robes adorning his body, along with some sort of foreign staff. He had dark skin and freckles, as well as pale silver eyes that were almost a ghastly white. In front of him stood a tall woman with black and white vestments on, which made me want to assume she was a cleric. She had tan skin and deep black hair, her eyes a dark holly green. The two were screaming in each others faces, which I wasn't too surprised by. However, the cleric seemed rather angry over something that I couldn't quite put my finger on- she also had a crazed look in her eyes, as if she wasn't thinking correctly. As their voices rose, I noticed a young looking man with tan skin, auburn hair, and freckles, just watching with fear in his silver eyes. He had purplish blue colored mage robes with white highlights, and had a wooden wand in his hands. The guy did look good, I'd give him that, but I didn't quite feel attracted to him, though I did feel a smidgen of pity for him.
"Look, I don't know who you are, but you need to leave us alone," The man with white and turquoise robes ordered, gritting his teeth. "You've caused quite the ruckus already with your stupidity, don't you think it's time to hit the hay?"
The cleric growled at him, fury in her eyes. "My stupidity? You're the one who spilled my wine! I paid good money for those forty ounces, and I'm not about to let it go to waste!" Wincing at the number, I exhaled a little through my nose. That woman was probably drunk and didn't know what she was even doing, wasn't she? Obviously she must've had some big problems to have felt the need to drink them away.
Once again, the white and turquoise robed man snapped back at her. "Then maybe you should've been more careful with your drink! I don't tend to the selfish desires of those who can't tell from common sense and their own stupidity."
"Why don't you shut your yap and cough up? My patience is wearing thin, and I'm not afraid to smack some idiot senseless because they don't understand a single word I'm saying!" She hollered back, shaking her fists. The cleric turned to the bartender with a glare that could scorch someone's face off. "Come on, tell him to pay for it!"
The bartender shook their head. "I-I'm sorry, ma'am, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave the tavern immediately."
The woman just spat in his face and tackled the man she was fighting with, about to punch him in the face. The man conjured up a small bluish green aura of what seemed to be pure magic, and was about ready to hurl it in her face. Tristan looked as if he was ready to interfere, and to be frank, so was I. Just before either of us actually could interfere, the auburn haired man dragged the cleric off of him, a surge of annoyance flashing through his eyes. Once the woman landed on the floor, he helped the white and turquoise robed man to his feet. The auburn haired man glowered his apparent ally.
"Stargaze, let's just pay for her drink and leave. It's obvious she's not going to back down if we don't," He snapped, crossing his arms.
The man named Stargaze glared at him. "Silverfire, I don't have the time nor patience for this, and I heavily doubt Rakim would either. You might like caving into other's demands, but I sure don't. That will bite you in the back one day, mark my words." He then turned to the woman, walking away from the both of them. "You, clean up your act and you might actually be happy for once, instead of what you are now. Just some advice for you: when you hear that voice calling your name, actually respond, it'll make the struggle against the Dark Lord much easier. But then again, if you prefer listening to that small noggin of yours instead of the advice of a Great Sage, then by all means, go ahead." After he had said that, he left the tavern, leaving behind shocked murmurs amongst everyone who hadn't left due to the chaos already.
"Who is he?"
"Was he actually...the Great Sage?"
Silverfire simply sighed and walked over to the woman. "Hey, look, I'm sorry about that and my brother, but you kind of-"
She yanked on his collar, glowering him intensely. "Just because you're the most handsome man I've ever laid my eyes on, it doesn't mean I'm letting you get away with that. You know what I want. Now give it." Silverfire just rolled his eyes and gave her the gold, quickly stomping over to a nearby table, presumably to have some time to himself. The cleric just huffed and left the tavern as well, finally seeming satisfied with the gold she'd gotten, or how I saw it, stolen from Stargaze and Silverfire.
That was...a development. Who even was this cleric, and who let her even become one? What even was a Great Sage? And what did Stargaze mean by her responding to a 'voice calling her name'? If that's a metaphor or simile or whatever for her joining my team, I'll pass. But in all honesty, I felt really bad for Silverfire. His brother seemed pretty distant and harsh with him, while he just had to deal with that stubborn idiot. To be blunt, I wouldn't mind traveling with him at all if I was given the chance. He seemed like a pretty nice guy. I turned to face Tristan, who had a slightly smug expression on his face, along with an eyebrow raised.
"Something up?" I asked, blinking slowly as I took another bite out of my Slime Jelly, finally finishing it completely.
Tristan chuckled lightly. "Well, you can't seem to take your eyes off of that dude, but I wouldn't blame you, I find him extremely attractive." Raising an eyebrow, I was slightly baffled, which seemed to offend Tristan a little. "Who said I had to find only females attractive? Anyways, I thought that maybe we could try recruiting him for our team, or at least learning more about that Great Sage stuff."
Shrugging my shoulders, I just nodded. "Sure, let's go and talk to him, I guess." We walked over to Silverfire, which honestly didn't take that long. I only had to wonder why Tristan was thinking so much about gaining more information now. I mean, yes, information is good and all, but wasn't it getting late? Hoping that Tristan's idea actually had some common sense, I begrudgingly stood next to him as Tristan tapped Silverfire's shoulder.
He cleared his throat. "Hey, you saving those seats?"
Silverfire looked up at us, completely bewildered. "Um...what did you say again? I wasn't paying attention, sorry about that."
Even though Tristan looked as if he was about to give up, he asked him again. "Are. You. Saving. Those. Seats." Tristan was going over the sentence slowly, as if to make sure the dude understood exactly what he was saying. Which I did find a little unnecessary, though I did get why Tristan was beginning to get frustrated.
"Ohhhh, that's what you said, sorry again. Not anymore, I suppose." Silverfire shrugged his shoulders. "Did you want to sit here, then? Stargaze is probably waiting for me to hurry up anyways." Tristan elbowed me lightly, trying to get me to say something. Is it because I'm the team's leader? If so, I hate this already.
"No, actually, we were hoping if we could sit here with you and talk for a bit, if that's alright?" My anxiety was already beginning to skyrocket, and Tristan certainly wasn't helping. As Silverfire nodded, almost immediately Tristan sat down, with me sitting down next to him.
Tristan decided to begin. "So um, I'm Tristan and this is my friend, Violet. We overheard that fight going on, and from what we heard, there's such thing as a current Great Sage. Do you-" He stopped once he noticed Silverfire gazing at the ceiling, not listening at all. "Hey! Aren't you listening to me at all?"
The auburn haired mage looked back at us, guilt in his eyes. "Oh, sorry...I'm really airheaded at times. My brother calls me a liability sometimes due to it."
Not really sure of what to think of this Stargaze fellow, I was starting to dislike him just a bit. His brother can't really change too much of his airheadedness, and even if he does manage to do it, he's still himself. While I do get that people could change for the better or worse, it did make me a little angry about Silverfire's nature being a 'liability'. It'd be like my older sister saying my cautious personality is liability (though to be fair, it kind of is).
"Your brother isn't right to call you that," I snapped, which surprised Silverfire quite a bit. "You can't change everything about yourself that easily."
Silverfire shook his head and sighed. "I wish I could."
Tristan just groaned in frustration. "You realize you're your own person, right?"
Suddenly Silverfire's mood darkened. "Stargaze has nothing to do with it." He glanced at the door, only to find Stargaze waiting outside for him. "I should go." As he got up and began to leave the Adventurer's Tavern, he gave me and Tristan one last glance. "And Violet and Tristan- I expect we'll be seeing each other soon."
Shuddering, I almost subconsciously leaned onto Tristan's shoulder. What was that about? How did he know our names; he definitely wasn't paying attention to Tristan when he was introducing the both of us. Something really seemed off about him, and even though it's not the mission of defeating the Dark Lord...it'd be a good idea to look into this as well. Tristan's fidgeting clearly told me he was ready to leave and go to bed. We walked out of the Adventurer's Tavern and headed to our room, longing for a rest. We didn't utter a single word on the way there, still uncomfortable after witnessing today's strange events. Once we got into the room, I collapsed on the nearest bed, my muscles relieved to finally get a rest. Tristan walked over to his bed, taking off his armour.
I sighed. "What even was today?"
"Violet, I have no clue whatsoever. But, look on the bright side," He began, a sly smirk on his face, mainly because of the pun he just uttered. "Bright Scar probably knows what she's doing, even if we think it's insane or extremely stupid, or both. Who knows, we may or may not receive our next companion tomorrow."
"...You seriously think that?"
He nodded, shrugging his shoulders. "Yeah, in a way. But for now, let's just hit the hay. I'm bushed." He hopped onto his bed, pulling up the covers. "G'night."
"'Night," I whispered back, though he probably didn't hear me. I believed he didn't hear me even more once I heard snoring from the other side of the room. "...Wow, he really was tired."
As me and Stargaze were honing our skills outside the inn, I noticed Columbia, one of Stargaze's friends, sitting nearby on a small rock. How long was she here for? Oh well, I probably forgot, like always. She was writing in her notebook that was filled to the brim with papers and notes, and she had pencils scattered all over the place. I remember asking her why she never really did her research in Greenhorne Town, to which she replied, 'Too noisy.' Which was confusing, as Greenhorne Town wasn't really that loud...to me, at least.
Stargaze exhaled slowly, his hand on his shoulder. "Alright, then. Let's practice another basic move. How about...Lightning?"
Grumbling to myself, I got into the position, pulling out my wand. Why was he still trying to train me? I already knew the basic spells. Am I useless to him? Does he not want me to get better at my magic? That was when it came back to me- my conversation with Violet and Tristan. They both said I was pretty airheaded, just like Stargaze had said. But for some reason, they were...nicer about it? But they weren't wrong; I was an airheaded idiot through and through.
Columbia perked up, tilting her head. "Stargaze, I know I'm in no place to judge your training etiquette, but isn't Silverfire ready for the advanced techniques? He's already good enough at Fire, Lightning, and Explosion."
"I can't teach him anything higher than those, Columbia. You know why," Stargaze uttered, his eyes locked on his staff.
"I know, but...he has feelings too, doesn't he?" She replied, a questioning glint in her eyes.
Glancing back at Stargaze, I begged, "Stargaze, I won't hurt anyone this time! I promise!"
Stargaze whipped his head around to face me. "No! Hazel told me what not to do, and I'm keeping her word, even if I shouldn't be watching you in the first place." Wincing, I blinked slowly. Hazel was our sibling; younger than Stargaze, older than me. She was an energetic person, and was always determined to get things done. Sometimes I wished that it was Stargaze who was gone instead of her.
Columbia got up from where she was sitting, glowering Stargaze. "It doesn't mean you have to be so harsh!"
"Columbia," He snapped, almost as if he was warning her. "I've seen...things."
Growling softly, I shouted, "Stop! If I'm such a burden to you, then why won't you let me leave?"
Stargaze narrowed his pale silver eyes. "I'm doing this to protect you."
"Are you really trying to protect me? Or are you trying to protect yourself?"
He glared at me, small sparks crackling from his staff. "If you haven't noticed, I'm trying to make sure you don't kill anyone else!" Stargaze spat, baring his teeth.
"Well fine, then! Since I'm obviously a threat to everyone, I'll run away to see if I can kill anyone from there!" I spat back at my brother before turning away from him to make a run for it. As I ran from the both of them, I could hear them calling back for me in the distance. I couldn't care less of what they wanted- I was done.
Meeting(s) Redone - Chapter 3
Opening up my eyes, I stifled a groan as I blinked, looking up at the ceiling of the inn's room. Even though I was pretty darn tired from last night, my mood was a definite improvement from yesterday. Though I was still a little groggy. Throwing the blanket and bed sheet off of myself but making sure it wouldn't hit the ground, I let out a loud yawn as I felt the crumbs in my eyes (or eye boogers, as Twyla liked to call them) trying to get my attention. Rubbing my eyes to get them out, I got out of bed, seeing as it was already morning.
"Might as well get ready now instead of burning daylight," I mumbled to myself, already putting on my Apprentice's Gear, still struggling with the (evil) shorts. After tying the beautifully woven silk scarf around my neck (I'd have to thank Bright Scar for that later), I noticed that it was actually pretty quiet in the room. Weren't me and Tristan sharing? Looking over to his side of the room, I groaned in frustration once I realized he was gone. "Well, that's just great."
Hoping that Tristan had a good reason for leaving the room so early, I sat back down on my bed and sighed, shaking my head. Why would he leave the room anyways? It didn't make much sense to me, at least- he was a Laid-back Mii, why would he even bother with leaving the room, let alone getting up from bed? Oh, well. At least it meant that he wasn't too lazy, at least by my standards. Looking out the window, I let out a small sigh as I felt the tug to just go outside and start adventuring already. Almost jumping out of my skin when I heard a loud creak of the door opening, I was relieved to see Tristan back, holding a medium sized present with wrapping paper all over it. Is...is that for me? No, it can't be. I was so rude to him yesterday.
Tristan seemed to take note of me being awake, stating with a shrug, "I honestly didn't expect you'd be up this early."
With a faint chuckle, I rolled my eyes. "It can't be that early, it isn't like it's dawn!" Tristan trailed his gaze over to the window and back, and raised an eyebrow. The sun looked as if it had just risen, and from the sounds of it, not all of the birds seemed to be chirping yet. "Okay, so I was wrong. Still woke up early though. Anyways, why were you up so early?"
"I went out for a walk this morning and decided to get something to apologize to you for, erm...last night in the Adventurer's Tavern. I didn't expect it to be that bad in there, I swear! I just felt bad since my first time was pretty good and yours..." He shrugged his shoulders and threw the box over to me, with it landing in my hands. "Go ahead, open it up. I think -well, hope- you'll like it."
Smiling a little at him, I replied, "Thanks, Tristan." After that, I quickly went to trying to open the box, bits and pieces of tape and wrapping paper clinging to my fingers. My roommate looked as if he was going to laugh, but seemed to be holding it in for my sake. Once I managed to get the wrapping paper off, I opened the box, my curiosity at its peak. Taking what was inside out of the box, I gasped in surprise as I took out what was in it- a bouquet of roses. "T-Tristan, y-you seriously didn't have to do this..."
That was when Tristan laughed a little, blushing a bit. "W-Well, I mean, you kind of deserve it, having to put up with me, the Dark Lord, people, etc, etc. Point being, I felt like I should've. You know, people like getting gifts from time to time, so..."
Rushing over to Tristan to give him a hug, I drew back and smiled. "Tristan, you really aren't that bad of a person after all. Here." I decided to give him one of the roses, to which he accepted, though was confused. "The blossoming of our friendship. ...get it?"
"Yeah, I do," Tristan snickered good-naturedly, wrapping his arm around my shoulders. "Maybe I could give you some tips on how to come up with good puns on the spot, though." Judging by the teasing gleam in his eyes, I could tell that he was being vaguely serious about it while just being...friendly about it. It really made things easier for me, honestly.
Holding back another laugh, I looked up at him. "We should probably get something to eat before we go, huh? You can teach me more of the art of puns then." Tristan didn't respond with words, but instead with a small smile that seemed to agree with me. Huh, maybe Tristan will be a better teammate and friend than I thought...
As we walked down another long road, me and Violet hadn't gotten into any arguments at all. In fact, we had mainly been chatting for most of the way, and to be frank, Violet was a pretty cool person. So I guess that maybe yesterday we just got off on a really bad foot. Or, that was what I was just hoping for. Right beside me was Violet, who was already looking for an inn. I couldn't blame her, even though it wasn't long since we had eaten and left the last inn, it was safe to be cautious. We hadn't decided where we would go first to look for the Greenhorne resident's missing faces, but hey, it was better than nothing.
"Violet, do you think we might be lost?" I asked, raising an eyebrow. We had been walking for awhile now, albeit not very long, but my point still stood. Violet only shrugged her shoulders, sighing to herself.
She lowered her gaze to the ground. "H-Honestly, I don't know. I-I really wish we had a map or something to help, but..."
I patted her back in empathy. "But look on the bright side- at least we're lost together, right?" That seemed to make Violet smile a little, but not much. As we continued walking, I added, "If we can't find an inn, then we can camp. I mean, that'll be much easier and cheaper than going to an inn as well, right?"
Violet nodded in agreement. "I used to camp a lot before this adventure. Greenhorne was a pretty nice place to camp until, you know who showed up and before all those nasty storms started popping up out of nowhere."
"What storms?" I questioned, not knowing what she was talking about. Violet gave me a look as if I'd grown two heads, as if I should've known about the storms that she mentioned. "I-I, uh...sorry. I'm not native to Greenhorne and I only just arrived a few days ago, so I wouldn't know."
With a small, shrinking chuckle, Violet shrugged her shoulders. "You're lucky, then. I've heard that in the past there were some horrible storms and hurricanes around here, but they seem to have died down until the past few weeks. Recently it's just been really nasty thunderstorms, but I wouldn't be surprised if a hurricane was to be announced to be happening in the next few days or weeks, even. Nobody knows what's causing it, though."
Tilting my head, I thought for a moment before answering. Why were those storms suddenly resurfacing now? Was it just that time of year? I heavily doubted it, though it could be plausible. Maybe the Cumulus nearby were causing a ruckus again? Nah, I doubt it- plus their rain is healing rain, anyways. A shiver ran down my spine as I thought of another option. Could it be the Dark Lord? I mean, it could definitely be possible. He has enough power to hold control over monsters and dark magic, I'm sure summoning a few storms here or there wouldn't be too much work.
Gulping, I decided to suggest, "Could Mapleshade be doing it? I mean, it isn't entirely a bad theory."
"I hope not, but it probably is him." Violet only shook her head. "We should just keep going, right?" I nodded in agreement- I wasn't particularly wanting to continue the discussion.
After a couple hours worth of walking, me and Violet had ended up in a small clearing, resting for a little while before continuing our journey. Violet was sitting on the ground, pulling out a notebook and pencil from her satchel, starting to draw. From what I could tell, she had drawn a picture of the Mini Sheldon Slime she had encountered, as well as the Goblins, Rock Moths, and the Raymond Butterfly we had fought. It looked as if today she was drawing a jar full of Slime Jelly next to the slime. Was she recording all the monsters in her notebook? If so, that's actually pretty smart.
Sitting down next to Violet, I nodded appraisingly. "You're a pretty good artist, Vi. Ever think of selling art for gold?"
Violet blushed, not expecting my praise. "U-Um, no...this is more of a hobby. But I appreciate the compliments." She looked up at the sky, narrowing her eyes as she put away her art materials. I mimicked her, only to find the sky a dark, stormy gray color, with a faint purple glow to it. The sky looked vaguely familiar, but I decided not to comment on it. Instead, I looked back at Violet, who was shaking violently. "Oh, Bright Scar..."
"'Oh, Bright Scar' what?" Was my question right before I heard a laugh drenched with malice, hatred, and mockery. Whipping my head up, I held in my breath once I realized who the voice belonged to. Dark Lord Mapleshade.
"Hmm? Well look who it is! You just keep turning up like a bad penny!" He chuckled cruelly, his lips curled in a sneer. My palms began to break out in a cold sweat as Mapleshade's green gaze seemed to be fixed on me, his eyes flashing in a furious matter.
Glaring at Mapleshade, Violet yelled, "Mapleshade, prepare to taste defeat!" Was she...actually serious? Violet looked as if she was serious, though her entire body was trembling. She was now standing up, holding her dagger in her hands threateningly, as if she was making a feeble attempt to get Mapleshade to back off.
Mapleshade raised an eyebrow, as if to ask, 'Is this idiot serious?' Not wanting to leave Violet on her own, I meekly stood next to her, feeling my vision beginning to get blurry. What was wrong with me? Did I get enough sleep? Was I alright? Violet seemed to notice, a spark of concern in her eyes.
"Pfffft...Aaaaahh ha ha haaaaa! That was a good one, I must say!" He snorted, his eye twitching. Violet just growled and threw her dagger at Mapleshade, with it hitting him, but just barely. Almost immediately Mapleshade's mood darkened even more, his eyes beginning to glow and the skies turning even darker. "If you both really want to greet death so much, then let us tango!" At that Mapleshade began conjuring up a large mass of dark energy, probably enough to kill both me and Violet and destroy a decent portion of the nearby area.
Violet whimpered, shaking her head. "I made a mistake, coming here..." That was when Violet looked over in my direction, her eyes wide. My head was pounding, my vision beginning to turn black. "Tristan, are you alright?" Was the last thing I could hear before passing out, landing face first onto the cold dirt.
As Tristan was laying on the ground, out of commission due to passing out, I bit my tongue. I had no help. Mapleshade was pissed. And now, I was about to die. Mapleshade grinned in pleasure as it looked as if I was losing all hope, and as the both of us would suffer. I let out another whimper, closing my eyes so I wouldn't have to see the dark mass of energy that would surely kill the both of us. So this was the end of Miitopia's hero, destroyed only one day after being tasked to defeat the Dark Lord.
"Hold it right there, Mapleshade!" A familiar voice had cried out. Turning my head around to see who had said that, I was surprised to see Stargaze rushing over to where Tristan and I were about to be killed, along with a strange woman who had silver hair, light green eyes, and freckles following him, and from what it looked like, she was a scientist, as shown by her lab coat. My heart skipped a few beats as my gaze landed on her- she was gorgeous. Stargaze was standing in front of me now, with his partner next to him. I awkwardly gawked at her, my cheeks flushing a bright red.
Mapleshade glowered Stargaze intensely. "You dare interrupt me?"
Stargaze just raised an eyebrow. "So you're the scary Dark Lord I've been hearing so much about. Honestly, if you were smart you would've stayed put in your personalized dungeon. Now I guess I'll just have to obliterate you, seeing as it is part of my job." The woman looked frightful as well as doubtful (which I understood completely), but didn't say anything out of fear. Mapleshade actually looked frightened of Stargaze for a moment as his staff began to glow, all the while a strong greenish-blue aura shimmered around him. And I couldn't blame him, I was kind of scared of Stargaze in that moment too.
"I suppose I'll leave for now, seeing as this man was never told nobody likes a party pooper," Mapleshade hissed, glaring at both me and Stargaze. With that he vanished into thin air once more, though the sky stayed a dark, stormy gray.
I just looked away and muttered, "I think I like party poopers now." Stargaze seemed to notice my statement, now gazing up at me with a curious expression in his eyes. The woman was still looking up at the sky, trembling in absolute terror.
"Mapleshade was going after you guys, huh? Honestly, can't say I'm surprised. Should've noticed it sooner," Stargaze sighed, shaking his head as he brought his hand to his temple. He glanced down at Tristan, who was still passed out. "And if your teammate is going to keep passing out like that each time you meet the Dark Lord, you're probably going to have some trouble."
Only shrugging my shoulders, I tried my best to avoid gawking at his companion some more. "Y-Yeah, I guess."
Stargaze inhaled deeply. "Even though beggars can't be choosers, I guess this means that you're the chosen hero to save Miitopia, like what my visions have been unfortunately telling me." After some more thought, he decided to add, "However, I do sense a strange power within you. It isn't very much at the moment, obviously, but if you continue your journey, it'll grow as you do. So just actually try. You don't even have to make that much of an effort."
"I guess," I replied, not really interested in speaking with him. "Why are you and her traveling together, anyways? I thought Silverfire was with you?"
He looked away. "Things happened. Trying to fix them." Stargaze looked back over to his friend, shaking his head. "And Columbia's either extremely stubborn or extremely stupid to come with me. Probably both."
His friend whipped her head around to face him. "Like the same couldn't be said about you." Stargaze only glowered her for a brief moment before turning back to face me.
He shrugged his shoulders. "Like I said, things happened. Anyways, we've gotta go. Maybe I'll see you later, maybe during another near death experience with the Dark Lord or someone of similar nature." I wanted to think that he was joking, but something about the somber glimmer in his eyes told me otherwise. He and Columbia left, leaving me all alone to think about my options.
So. I was still alive. That was something. So what would I do now? I could attempt to wake up Tristan, but he'll probably ask me what happened and I'll have to explain it all to him, which could take awhile. I could wait for Tristan to wake up, but...would he really wake up so soon after a shock like that? As I stood around, wondering what to do, the footsteps of most likely another human being caught my attention. Looking behind myself, I was shocked to see a woman walking over to me and Tristan. She had black hair that was tied up into a ponytail, dark green eyes, and was wearing black and white cleric's vestments as well, holding a staff in the form a stick in her hands. Wasn't she that same woman who was drunk from the Adventurer's Tavern yesterday? Either way, she certainly looked nicer when she wasn't drunk. She seemed to notice me and Tristan, rushing over to us.
"Hey, aren't you Violet? Bright Scar told me about you." She outstretched her arm to greet me, and I shook her hand, not really knowing what to say. "I'm Holly, I come from Neksdor Town. Apparently I'm your healer, seeing as I'm the only cleric here."
I smiled a little. "Well, I'm glad that you are one, seeing as me and my teammate here have gotten into a few scraps with the local monsters. More specifically, Rock Moths and Goblins." Holly let out an exhale that sounded as if it was some sort of laugh, but I decided not to ask what it was. "Are you new around Greenhorne as well?"
Holly nodded, smiling back at me. "Yeah, though it's pretty peaceful, despite the Dark Lord's meddling." She noticed Tristan, who was still on the ground, passed out. "He was that scared?" I nodded, ashamed that Tristan had even fainted in the first place. "Don't blame him, it must've been scary witnessing that. Of course, I'm biased, as I'd say that the Dark Lord is a far cry from what I've had to deal with back at home."
It was tempting to ask more about what Holly had said, but I decided against it. Instead, I decided to try picking up Tristan, or at least hold him up so I could somewhat drag him along with me to the next inn. Holly seemed to notice, helping me get Tristan to his feet. As we both supported one arm on top of each of our shoulders, Tristan seemed to be stirring a little bit, but was mostly unconscious still. Which was good, because I didn't exactly feel comfortable explaining what I was doing to him. Holly got a good look at Tristan's face, and began to blush a little.
"Dang, your teammate is cute," She muttered, gawking at Tristan's facial features. "I wonder how he doesn't have anyone fawning over him constantly, he's adorable."
Feeling slightly uncomfortable at the thought of finding Tristan 'cute', I grimaced. "Well, I mean, that's a pretty subjective opinion. And I don't know whether you mean like you find him attractive or just in general."
Holly sighed, though she didn't seem too bothered. "I guess, but..." Her voice dwindled off into tiny whispers commenting on how adorable she thought Tristan was, which made me even more uncomfortable. Was it wrong that I couldn't ever see myself thinking that Tristan was attractive? I hoped not, but honestly, I just couldn't help it. Pushing away the uncomfortable feeling tugging at my chest, I kept walking alongside Holly, still supporting Tristan and keeping him from falling face first again.
After a long walk and me appreciating Tristan's adorable features (Violet was missing out, but whatever, her loss), we'd finally made it to another inn. We'd gotten ambushed by a few Goblins, to which at that point, Tristan had woken up and fought with us, albeit still rather tired. He was a pretty good fighter, for the most part, but he seemed rather laid-back while fighting, though. We'd already booked our rooms and decided to figure things out- seeing as there could only be two people in a room at a time, we decided that to make things fair, so to speak: Violet and Tristan would share a room while I would bunk alone. I didn't particularly mind sleeping by myself, as I didn't really know Violet or Tristan that well yet, along with the fact that I might need some room to put my belongings in a safe place. Right after we headed down to the Adventurer's Tavern, mainly to get food and discuss our course of action. We sat at a table on the side of the room, still waiting for our drinks.
"Me and Tristan did decide that we should head North prior, but I wanted to ask where you think we should head. Tristan said there might be some faces in the Strange Grove or Riverdeep Cavern," Violet explained, while Tristan only gave me a look that said that he really to keep to the path they had already planned.
I gave it some thought for a moment. It would be easier to head for the Northern part of Easin Hills, but honestly, it was a much shorter distance if we just went to the Strange Grove or even Riverdeep Cavern. I honestly didn't want to consider Riverdeep Cavern at the moment- while the Banshees and Apple Jellies had seemingly been peaceful before the Dark Lord came, they were rather dangerous for newer adventurers to face. And we were those 'newer adventurers'.
Tristan sighed. "I'm not going to lie, going to the Strange Grove instead does sound rather nice. It's a shorter distance, as well as the fact that tonight's storm might carry onto tomorrow if things get rough."
Violet shrugged her shoulders. "I'm personally indifferent on where we go, any of the options will most likely lead us to one of the stolen faces."
"We should head to the Strange Grove, I agree with Tristan, actually," I finally said, hoping that Tristan and Violet had heard me. Tristan seemed pleased that I agreed with him, while Violet didn't seem to care all that much. Right after I had said my piece, the waiter gave us our drinks, then walked away. Grabbing my one of my two mugs of beer, I almost immediately began to chug it down while my new teammates just stared at me for a brief moment before doing their own thing.
Tristan had ordered a fizzy cream soda, while Violet had just gotten cranberry-grape juice, which honestly made me pity Violet a bit. In my opinion, anything with cranberry in it was disgusting and needed to be destroyed. Taking a small break from my drink, I took a moment to breath in and out before beginning to chug the beverage once more. Violet just raised her eyebrow, as if to ask, 'Seriously?' I didn't pay her any mind, though- already I was finished with the first one, but not ready to go to bed or start on the second mug. However, things were getting pretty boring as the others were still drinking, so I decided 'why not drink some of the second glass?' and chugged it. As I waited for the other two to finish drinking, I scanned the room to see if anyone of actual interest was inside, still drinking some of the beer. There weren't that many people I particularly noticed, and honestly, the only item of interest was the almost empty glass of beer that I put back on the table.
The only person who happened to catch my eye was a man with auburn hair, silver eyes, freckles, tan skin, essentially another really attractive dude, in my opinion. However, I didn't bother with trying to talk to him- I knew that it was best not to do anything as of now and the weird suspicion that I'd talked to him before was bugging me, so much so that I decided not to talk to him. But he did happen to notice my gaze upon him, and for a brief moment, our eyes met each other for a small amount of time. To simply break the staring contest, I winked at him teasingly in a playful matter, sticking my tongue out as well. This seemed to get him to blush awkwardly, but I didn't bother to see his full reaction as I turned back to face Violet and Tristan. Both of them were finally done with their drinks, and honestly, it was about time.
Violet shrugged her shoulders. "Well, I'm ready to hit the hay. I'll be headed off to our room, Tristan, don't stick around too late." As she got up from where she was standing, she waved 'bye' to both me and Tristan, the key to the room gripped firmly in her hand. Tristan also got up, which made me also want to stand up for the sake of not wanting to stick out.
"I'd best be getting to bed, too, then. Are you going to stick around, then?" Tristan asked, tilting his head.
Nodding, I patted his back gently, as if to comfort him. "I know you'll be disappointed by my radiating presence not being by your side, but yes, I'm going to stick around here for a bit. Have fun 'sleeping' with your roommate, Tristan..." His eyes widened at my last statement, just immediately bolting off towards the exit and presumably heading towards his room with Violet. I stifled a laugh, finding it a little funny at how strongly he reacted to that. Seeing as he was gone along with Violet, I decided to (drunkenly) saunter over to that guy who I'd winked at, as he seemed a little embarrassed that I'd done that. Sitting down next to him, he seemed surprised that I'd sat next to him. "Hey, handsome~"
He blushed even harder at my compliment. "I-I, u-um...hi?" Chuckling softly at his shyness, I smiled in a flirtatious matter simply to see if that would make things more embarrassing for him. "I-I'm Silverfire." From what it sounded like, he was trying to make simple conversation with me, but was failing extremely hard. Leaning forwards, I decided to stroke his chin with my finger, mainly to see how he'd react. Surprisingly, he blushed even harder and had an awkward smile on his face, which strangely enough, had made me delighted and made my body tingle.
"Aw, is someone shy? Really, there's no reason, I'm a nice gal," I giggled, my gaze slightly hazy. "Come on, I'll show you. Just close your eyes for a brief sec, honey, and you'll feel all nice and content." Silverfire only tilted his head in confusion, prompting me to place my hand on his hips and rub my thumb gently back and forth, hoping he'd listen. Surprisingly enough, he did close his eyes, though I wasn't complaining. Leaning closer into his face, I gave him a simple peck on the lips, but held it just long enough mainly to satisfy myself. Drawing back from him, I smiled as the poor dude seemed like he didn't know what to think of it- though the dripping saliva from his mouth and awkward staring just made me chuckle a bit, which made me want to assume that either he was in awe of me, or that it was his first kiss.
Silverfire then sighed. "You're drunk, aren't you?" I simply just laughed some more as Silverfire got to his feet. He took my hand and shook his head, a tiny smile on his face. "Come on, I'll help you get to your inn room, if you remember where it is."
I snorted as he led me out of the Adventurer's Tavern, laughing about something that I couldn't really remember at the moment. My vision was still rather foggy, and I felt as if a splitting headache decided to come at me, full speed. Most of the walk I couldn't remember, as my sight was spinning like wild and my head hurt. Silverfire suddenly stopped, which told me that I should stop too. Noticing that he had a key in his hand, he unlocked the door, inviting me to go in the room. Almost at once I got into the closest bed, throwing my staff onto the floor next to my bed and making sure that Silverfire had walked in the room. He shook his head and sighed.
"I have no clue where you're room is, since you're obviously incapable of telling me, so...we'll figure things out later." With that Silverfire closed the door, walking over to his bed and shrugging his shoulders. "Erm, goodnight, I guess." As he laid down on his bed, wrapping the covers over himself. With a roll of my eyes, my gaze darted across the room as I let out a small, stupid snortle. This man was funny.
Amending Mistakes - Chapter 4
"Hey, um, Tristan?" Opening my eyes, I woke up to see Violet standing next to me, right beside my bed. What was it? She wouldn't wake me up this early for nothing, right? ...Right?
Stretching for a bit, I yawned, pushing my bed's sheets to the side. "Yeah? What happened? Also, what time is it?"
Violet fiddled with her fingers a little before answering. "It's around ten o'clock, an hour before we get kicked out of the inn or cough up some gold. You slept in, and I didn't want to ruin your time to sleep, so I decided to go look for Holly and see if she was up."
That's when I remembered we had a new team member. "Oh yeah...Holly's part of our team now, isn't she? Wasn't she drunk last night?"
"Wait, was she? That might explain why I couldn't find her this morning," Violet confessed, her gaze dropping to the floor. She exhaled greatly. "I thought she went to her room, but nope, apparently she didn't. So I'm hoping she didn't ditch us in favor of someone else, though I wouldn't blame her, really."
I was about to retort, but I thought better of it. Violet didn't seem in the mood for me making any smart comments, as true as they might be. "Before I left, I did see her flirting with someone, someone very familiar to the both of us."
A spark of hope flashed in Violet's eyes. "Really? Who was it?"
"Silverfire," I sighed, shaking my head. "While I do find him attractive, I must say, I...I kind of wish she didn't flirt with him to begin with."
Jumping out of bed, I replied, "Don't worry about it, it's nothing. I'll just get changed into my armour and help you look, alright?"
Violet looked confused, but nodded in agreement. "U-Um...alright."
Watching various people come and go through the inn's doors, I was rather bored. Holly was standing beside me, her gaze drifting off to various objects. We were waiting for Holly's teammates to come down, seeing as Holly had no idea where they were, but said that they'd come looking for her- hopefully. I wasn't particularly in the mood to be hanging around her, as she was pretty drunk last night, and I remembered what she did to Stargaze the night before yesterday- she wasn't to be fooled with. As we stood nearby the exit, Holly sighed dramatically, rolling her eyes.
"I guess my team has abandoned me already, what a pity," She exhaled, though it seemed like she was being sarcastic at this point. "But seriously, if they really did forget me, can I stay with you?"
Arching an eyebrow, I snorted. "And why would I even consider doing that?"
Holly chuckled mischievously. "Because you love having me around too much already to let me go."
"Sorry to say, but I really shouldn't-" I stopped immediately once I caught sight of two familiar faces- more specifically, Tristan and Violet. My gaze was mainly on Violet- she was wearing some new gear, presumably an upgrade. It was dark navy blue with white and purple highlights, and goggles right on the cap she was wearing. Her silky black hair was well combed, and her amber eyes seemed to glimmer in the sunlight. Feeling my cheeks flush a bright red, I helplessly gazed at her, an awkward smile tugging at my lips; she was absolutely beautiful, to me at least.
Tilting her head, Holly mumbled, "Just what are you ogling? Wait, ah, I see now. Violet is rather pretty, I suppose."
Whipping my head to face her, I weakly protested, "I was not ogling her, I was simply...analyzing her."
Holly rolled her eyes, shrugging her shoulders. "Yeah, analyzing her chest alright."
"Shut it!" I snapped, feeling my cheeks burn with a fierce intensity. Holly wasn't wrong at all; I did find Violet pleasing to gawk at, as shameful as it is to admit it. While I wish that interaction between the two of us hadn't gone like that, there wasn't much us in changing what has been said. Violet and Tristan came up to the both of us, relieved that Holly was with me.
Tristan sighed, shaking his head. "I really should've took her to her own room, shouldn't I?"
Violet patted his back, shrugging her shoulders. "You were really tired last night, Trist, don't blame it on yourself. If anything, it's my fault for letting her get any alcohol in the first place." Turning to Holly, she continued, "Holly, where were you this morning, anyhow? I was looking for you since dawn."
"Oh, that...Silverfire here offered to take me to his room since I was extremely drunk at the time of you guys leaving, and because I didn't really know where my room was anyways." Holly folded her arms, laughing a bit. "Honestly, it's probably for the best. I can be a little...unpredictable by myself when drunk. But anyways...you guys still want me on your team?"
Smiling at her, Violet murmured, "Holly, I'd love to have you on my team. I'm sure Tristan agrees- well, I hope he does. He doesn't have much of a say in what happens anyways."
Huffing, Tristan frowned. "I wouldn't mind her on the team, as long as she has the common sense to tone it down on the drinking!" Holly just spat her tongue out at him, while Tristan held onto her by the ruff of her vestments. "And that includes showing some respect to me! I could probably take you out in a few hits, you know that?!"
Shrugging my shoulders, I sighed. "Well, in that case...I should be heading off. Safe travels, Violet, Tristan, Holly." Turning around towards the doors, a strange pang of sorrow rose up my throat. Should I really be leaving them so soon? I mean, Stargaze did mention that the prophesied hero of Miitopia will need some help in the next few months or so...and Stargaze didn't seem completely keep on wanting to help them out. Would they even get their fourth teammate? Bright Scar is really unpredictable like that- she might just let them figure things out for themselves instead. Not to mention, I really did want to get to know them better, as well as the added bonus of Stargaze not knowing where I am (I am not being the Great Sage's apprentice any longer; Stargaze sucks). Well, maybe it was mainly Violet who I wanted to get to know...but I guess it applies to the others too? But I shouldn't just invite myself on the team like that- that would be rude, if you'd ask me.
"H-Hey, um, Silverfire?" It was Violet. Glancing back at her, I raised an eyebrow. Could she be asking if I could join her team? Feeling my heart skip a few beats, I held onto the slim chance that she would. "T-Thanks for finding Holly for us."
My heart sinking, I nodded weakly at her. "Y-Yeah. You're welcome."
It had been a couple of hours since I split up from Violet and her team. How were they doing? Were they alright? Did they manage to save any of the Greenhorne villagers yet? I just couldn't help but wonder about how they were doing. Was this just Stargaze's worrywart behavior rubbing off on me, or was it because I was genuinely worried about them? After all, they are meant to face off against the Dark Lord eventually. I doubt with the way Holly and Tristan seemed to see each other, that they would make it that far. Or maybe I'm just worried about Violet. Yeah, that seems more likely...
The gentle breeze rustled my hair, causing auburn strands to fly into my eyes, much to my irritation. However, I couldn't it get to me too much- I had to keep going. I couldn't let Stargaze find me and take me back; he was just going to hurt me even more. Why did Hazel have to go away? She was the nicest person I've ever met, and that's saying something- or maybe not, since I haven't met too many nice people. Glancing down at the ground, I took a brief moment to watch the swaying grass, the tiny blades dancing to the rhythm of the wind. I need to stop thinking about Stargaze and Violet for a while. Maybe that'll soothe my nerves.
"At least the Dark Lord hasn't struck all of Greenhorne, yet," I muttered to myself. My vision drifting off in the direction of Greenhorne Town, I shuddered at the sight of the giant mass of darkness hovering over it. "This place is called one of the most vibrant lands in all of Miitopia for a reason, after all. And keeping that reason relevant would be wonderful."
It really did bug me that the Dark Lord had already striked the town of Greenhorne, though. From what I remember, Columbia used to live there; was her family alright? I wanted to think so, or maybe it was just me hoping that things wouldn't go to pot- enough crap has happened at this point. Would the faceless people residing there be alright? I highly doubted it; it may not be common knowledge, considering nothing like this has happened for decades, but a faceless Mii doesn't last long. From what Stargaze informed me, you lose your mouth, which you use to breathe, eat, and speak. You still have your nose, which allows you to breathe, but it's harder faceless, apparently. You also lose your eyes, which makes you unable to see if you had that ability to begin with. Meaning that a faceless Mii is likely to die of starvation or lack of oxygen really quick if nothing is done. Who was even saving them? Violet is on a quest to defeat the Dark Lord, but she might be aiming for just that. She said nothing of saving villagers.
Groaning aloud, I crossed my arms, curling my lips. I wasn't sure if Violet was trying to save the Greenhorne villagers or not, but...regardless of the case, I could try and save them. Who else would if nobody else will? At most they might only have a week or two to survive, which I find absolutely crushing and terrifying...but that aside, someone had to try. A surge of confidence pulsed through my veins, until...
I realized that I had no idea who was faceless and where to begin searching.
That was going to be a fatal issue in my plan to save the townspeople, especially if I don't even know who they are or what they look like. Well, I mean, I'm a complete idiot anyways so remembering that stuff wouldn't be possible; a steady headcount would be nice, but I don't exactly have that, now do I?
With a grunt, I dug my fingers into my palm as it held a firm grip onto my wand; Violet better be focused on saving those people, because if Bright Scar isn't demanding it, then she's probably not going to do it. Pushing my worries about that to the side, other things began to worm their way into my head. How was Violet doing now? It had been awhile since we parted; it was getting close to being around noon, considering how the sun seemed to be at the highest point in the sky already. Wasn't it dawn when I left? Or was it morning? Regardless, hours upon hours had passed.
"See? I told you that she isn't here either!"
"Then why don't you take the lead?"
"Oh, because I'm just a 'weak and idiotic' cleric who apparently can't fight her own battles!"
Turning my head to face the direction of the two voices, I groaned inwardly. Those voices were recognizable from anywhere. Violet's teammates, Holly and Tristan. Creeping closer to them, I attempted to get a better look at the situation; from what they said, Violet's gone missing...
Holly bristled, narrowing her eyes. "Tristan, I should be taking the lead right now. You clearly don't seem as bothered to save her. What if she's getting mauled by monsters right now?"
Shaking his head, Tristan sighed. "That's not- Holly, Violet is more than capable to handle things on her own. I know she's a Cautious Mii, but...she really should have more faith in herself. She's a good fighter for a Mii who just became a Thief a few days ago. There's a reason Bright Scar made her the prophesized hero of Miitopia, and while it may be questionable, we really should try to believe in her."
"I get that, but...didn't you say she's only seventeen? Violet's younger than the both of us, Trist. We have to make sure she doesn't do any stupid crap on the way to Karkaton." Holly crossed her arms, shrugging her shoulders. She's seventeen? That would make her older than me, it seems... "Maybe...maybe we should try working together on this more."
"I suppose, but like you said, she could be getting mauled by monsters right now," Tristan sighed, groaning aloud.
Should...should I help...? I mean, they sure look like they could use it...but will I actually be of any use to them? A drop of sweat rolling down my forehead, I held back a breath and stood to my feet; Violet was missing, and that wouldn't do. I had to step in, and besides...if I could get in on Violet's team, then I wouldn't have to deal with Stargaze for a good long while, and I could get to know Violet in the process! I wanted to think that it was a fool-proof plan, but that was more of a false hope if anything.
Walking over to the fighting Miis, I could feel my legs turning into Slime Jelly as they turned around to face me. Tristan's face was one more of a mixture of surprise, while Holly's expression was more of one that lit up instantly, pleased to see me. Was she really happy to see me, or was she just faking it? I mean, I guess I'm grateful she even remembered who I am...
Raising an eyebrow, Tristan muttered, "Just how long have you been watching us?"
"I, uh...hi." I waved at them shyly, hoping that they wouldn't start yelling at me for listening in on them, as bad as that may have been.
Holly smiled. "Hey, Silvy. How's it going?"
Blushing, I chuckled, mainly to myself. "Uh...nothing much, just happened to overhear your conversation. Violet's missing?"
Tristan nodded, his gaze solemn. "Yeah. We've been searching for hours now. We don't know what happened; after a battle with some monsters, we lost Violet. She might've ran away or something, but...I'm sure we aren't that horrible to be around, right?" Holly just snorted in amusement, rolling her eyes. "Okay, okay. So we kind of started to beat each other up instead of the enemy, but-"
My gaze widening, I snapped, "You were beating each other up during a battle? What would even compel you to do that?!"
"We, uh...heh heh...we couldn't quite see eye to eye for most of the trip since we left the inn," He admitted, shaking his head. "Violet told us to stop arguing and that we'd cause too much of a commotion -which I'm still confused about since we were out in the open fields- but we didn't listen. Cut to her disappearing right after that battle. Maybe she even fled during."
Whimpering a little, Holly murmured, "Do...do you think that Violet ran away from us because we couldn't get along...?"
Glancing at her, her warrior companion shrugged, sighing to himself. "Sure seems like it. But we should look for her, because she's the only genuine friend I've made since coming to Miitopia, and I am not losing her that quickly. Holly, are you coming with? I could use some help..."
Glowering him intensely, she spat at him. "Of course, you dolt! I'm not letting my team's leader get herself killed because of...what? Me? You? Us? Doesn't matter, I'm not going to be responsible for someone getting hurt again. I'm going to be responsible for someone getting help." Holly tightened her grip on her staff, groaning aloud. "Just don't piss me off and we'll be fine, moron."
"I am not a-" Tristan began, only for me to start zoning out at the moment they went back to bickering.
Would these two seriously be able to find Violet? Maybe I was just being overprotective of her? Wait, wouldn't that mean that I already am close to her though? Maybe I'm just anxious that Miitopia's fate will be (mostly) guaranteed to be positive. But maybe not, considering how I could care less about my own kind...hey, there are some awful Miis out there. Really though, the both of them really seemed to enjoy arguing with each other more than trying to find their missing teammate. Do they even care for her at all?
Clearing my throat, I sighed. "Look, I'm worried about Violet too. But fighting won't help anyone out." The two glanced at me with guilt flickering in their gazes, their quarrel seemingly forgotten for now. "You need to work together and put your differences aside. Otherwise you can forget Miitopia ever being saved! I want to help out too- I can't stand this happening, and I'm not letting this slide at all. The Dark Lord might come back, if that dark shadow hanging over Greenhorne wasn't enough... I'm coming with you."
Tristan's gaze softening, he whispered, "We aren't hero material- Bright Scar knows that far too well. But I suppose we can try...thanks for dealing with us and helping, I guess."
Holly bit back a retort, only groaning in frustration at his commentary. "We'll have to make like the wind. The more we stand around here and wait, it's less likely that Violet will be alive. If Bright Scar doesn't keep Violet safe, then...well, that immortal piece of crap can go-"
"Holly, we have younger ears around," He reminded her, though faint amusement was scattered all over his expression. An awkward smirk tugged at his lips, letting out a small chuckle. "Let's start looking, shall we?"
My head pulsed with agony as I began to open my eyes, blinking slowly. What had happened? Where was I? Are Tristan and Holly okay? Last I remember, we were fighting a couple of Cumulus and a few Rock Moths...did we lose? No, that can't be right...Tristan had taken out a good portion of the Cumulus with his upgraded sword (he had told me he had bought a Bronze Sword- he refused to tell me how he had the money for it, though). Holly and I were wailing on the Rock Moths, with Holly casting Cure a few times on me, reluctantly on Tristan. I'm pretty sure we won, but...all I know is that I blacked out and now I'm here.
Keeping quiet, my gaze darted around my surroundings as I laid down on the cold, wooden floor. A soft, weak light illuminated the room, which revealed wooden cabin walls that seemed to be worse for the wear- probably the weather, considering the storms that have hit the Greenhorne region as of late. In front of me was a woolly rug that was torn to bits, and if the bite marks in it weren't anything else to go by, then some sort of creature must have gotten to it- hopefully, just a harmless dog. Across from me was a wooden table that had seen better days, and two well carved chairs. Laid upon the table appeared to be several papers scrambled on its surface- papers of which had loads of writing on it, engravings of numbers, well drawn pictures; more specifically, wanted posters. Glancing down at myself, I widened my eyes in pure shock- metal chains were strapped to my arms and legs, keeping me bound in place to the floor, as they tied to the two separate chains sticking from the ground. I wasn't with my teammates. That much was obvious. But where was I...? Probably not for a friendly meeting; if the wanted posters and chains weren't that obvious to begin with.
The door opened, with two men walking into the cabin-like building. They sat down in the two chairs, seeming smug as they began rummaging through their items. Behind them was a small treasure chest- narrowing my eyes, I glowered it. My stolen weapons and keepsakes. Was the amulet among them? Looking down at my chest, I groaned inwardly- they had clearly taken advantage of that too. The two men seemed to be sharing a pint of beer, their glasses clinking together as they raised them into the air- a piece of paper fell to the ground, drifting slow enough for me to catch some of what was printed onto it.
"Violet Haynes, wanted for murder of Maeryn Haynes and theft of various treasures of Tschilly Peaks. Wanted dead or alive for 10,000 gold."
On it was also my picture, which I was vaguely repulsed at- why would my hometown put so much effort into "bringing me to justice"? I was gone, and I don't plan on returning to Tschilly Village- not after what they did to me. Not after what Harold did to me. Not after what Helen did to me.
So these men were bounty hunters, were they? I must say, I'm surprised that the news has gotten to Greenhorne- Tschilly Village is far more remote from them than most would think. Not to mention that Greenhorne is the "safe" and "peaceful" region, so it'd be strange to see bounty hunters here. But these loons weren't my biggest concern. My main concern is whether they decide to kill me now and turn me in, or keep me alive to torture me some more, then turn me in, or do all of that and then kill me- you get the gist.
There wasn't much I could do, however. There wasn't any point in making any struggle right now- they would likely just finish up the job or knock me out again. If I made an attempt to escape, well...the same consequences apply. All I really can do is just wait out the storm, and hope that these two idiots won't do anything to me in the meanwhile...assuming I'll be able to get my hands back on the pendant, or that my teammates were searching for me.
A good couple of minutes had passed since we had taken off, and already the mood seemed a tiny bit more friendlier between Tristan and Holly. Of course, they still were bickering from time to time...but I'd assume that's mainly because of their clashing personalities. From my own experience, laid-back Miis and stubborn Miis don't mix very well. Hopefully that's just the reason why they fight so often...I really hope so. I'd spotted a small cabin on the way, which we were planning on checking out. After all, it couldn't hurt to look...right?
Tristan yawned, stretching his arms. "Man, Violet better be in that cabin...I'm bushed already."
Holly raised an eyebrow in amusement. "You always seem to be bushed."
"I am not, I-I just..." Tristan was clearly flustered, his cheeks turning a faint red. "My body conserves energy in a more efficient way than yours. Which is why I'm reasonably the most sane one on our team."
Snickering, the cleric blew a raspberry to that. "You wanna bet?"
Crossing his arms, the warrior snapped, "You went nuts in that last battle. Those Rock Moths were already defeated once the eyes flew off of their wings- you did not need to pummel them all into the ground even more."
"They deserved it. They were weak."
Chuckling, I smiled; while they would bicker endlessly, if they managed to find some common ground between each other, they could make wonderful friends with one another. My gaze turning back to the cabin, a shiver ran down my spine- if Violet truly was inside of there, just what was she doing? Did she run away from her team? Did something happen to her during the battle? As the never-ending stream of comments plagued my mind, a hand perched itself on my shoulder- it was Tristan's hand, much to my surprise.
He sighed, nodding. "I'm asking the same questions you are, Silv. But we won't learn nothing until we pop on in. Hopefully, she didn't run away from us..." His eyes suddenly widening, he added, "N-Not that I'm saying that I hope she got captured! I just hope that it wasn't because of...well, us."
Holly got up from where she sat, nodding solemnly. "Yeah. It'd be another thing I managed to screw up- existing, breathing, living, a relationship with one of the few people who aren't ignorant-!"
"Language, Holly." However, Tristan didn't seem as stern as he did earlier- though it seemed more out of defeat than respect. "We should probably check it out now. And if she isn't there, we can spend the night in the cabin- it's already evening. Then we can resume our search in the morning."
Picking up my wand, I agreed silently, already padding towards the entrance. If Violet was in there...hopefully she was okay. With Tristan and Holly trailing behind me, I gently opened the door, my entire body quivering with fright. Taking in a deep breath, I took a quick peek inside to see what was going on. Two men were sitting in wooden chairs, looking over various wanted posters- they seemed to be in deep discussion, mainly debating what to do with "her". I had to wonder who this "her" was- possibly, it could be Violet?
Holly frowned, whispering, "I bet they're the ones who kidnapped Vi, no doubt about it. Silv, I think we should head in."
Taking a further glance, I managed to spot a couple of chains attached to the wall- they hardly rattled, with the men occasionally looking in their direction, as if they were...worried about whatever was chained inside. Taking in a deep breath, I took a step inside the house, catching the attention of the two men. Tristan and Holly awkwardly followed suit, which seemed to concern the men, but only by a little. My gaze darted to where the chains initially were- attached to the floor, with someone chained up, lying on the ground. And that someone was none other than Violet.
One of them spoke up first. "Who are you?"
"Just tell us what you did to our friend, and we'll be on our merry way," Holly snapped, her fists shaking wildly. She turned around to see Violet, still wrapped in chains. "And it appears that you've chained her up. How lovely."
"You're all friends of hers, you say...?" He turned to face his partner, a small smirk on his face. "Oi, Landis, do you reckon we could rake in some extra dough for turning these three in with her?"
Landis, the black-haired man chuckled. "Depends, but if nothing works out...the black market is always looking for fresh meat." He grabbed his nearby sword and brandished it, his reflection shimmering in its silver blade. Taking a few steps towards us, he added, "And besides, I haven't gotten the chance to fight in a while."
Almost at once he leapt for Tristan, who pulled out his sword in response- the metal of their swords clashed, breaking the silence. The other man rushed towards Holly, who was already prepared to beat someone with her stick- ahem, staff. He managed to land a punch to her gut, causing her to groan in pain- however, it didn't deter her from smacking him in the head with her staff, and then proceeding to bash at his neck right after. Though Holly seemed to be in control of what was going on, it was clear that she was still hurt- she clutched onto her stomach, grimacing. I muttered some ancient words underneath my breath before casting a spell- Lightning. That one wouldn't hurt too much, but enough for them to leave us be. As the bolt of lightning struck Holly's attacker, I helped her to her feet as she continued to groan in pain.
Her gaze darting over to Tristan, she murmured, "I'll go help Violet. You help Tristan out."
Giving her a brief nod, I rushed over to Tristan, tightening my grip on my wand. Holly had already headed towards Violet, though I just had to wonder what the cleric thought she could do. At best Holly could just patch up Violet's wounds...what good would it do while she's chained up, though? Ignoring it, I simply prepared myself to cast another spell- this time Fire, as casting Lightning again would be pushing my limits a bit too much for my liking. The flaming mass hurled itself right into Landis' face, causing him to groan in agony. Tristan striked his sword once more, leaving Landis completely unarmed.
He chuckled. "C-Come on, fellas...is your criminal friend here that important to you that would murder for her?"
Recoiling at his statement, Tristan only uttered, "Violet's a...a criminal...?"
"What, you think we take any fool off the street and send 'em off where they belong?" Landis taunted, wiping the blood off of a small cheek wound. "Use your head, lad. We get gold for bounty hunting. Just what makes you think that we'd go kidnapping just for the fun of it?"
Tristan kept his mouth shut, still trying to process what he'd just heard. Not that I could blame him. I mean, Violet, a criminal? She just doesn't look the type, even as a thief. Holly I could probably envision, but...I wasn't expecting something like that. Then just what did Violet do to become a fugitive? It clearly had to be something horrible to have people chasing her in Greenhorne of all places...
Landis walked past Tristan, smirking. "We'll be taking our leave, I suppose. But I promise you, if we are to cross paths again...we're collecting our bounty." Whipping his head around to face his partner, he snapped, "Oi, Haben! We're leaving this lot."
As the two men left, the questions burning in my mind had only grown, like a wildfire. Just where did these guys come from? Why is Violet a criminal? And why didn't Bright Scar prevent this?
Setting my staff down on a rock, hoping it would stand on its own, I glanced back at Columbia, who was trailing behind me with an exasperated expression on her face. It took her a while, but she noticed we were slowing down a bit; she quickly put her flask next to my weapon, sitting down on the ground next to it. We'd been burning daylight to find Silverfire- all of our efforts so far were to no prevail. I didn't mean for him to run away- I really didn't! But I guess that's all dust in the wind now, seeing as Silverfire hates me even more than when Hazel was around... Sitting down next to Columbia, I sighed, shaking my head.
"S-Stargaze?" Columbia murmured, sounding surprisingly shy for once.
Glancing back at her, I raised an eyebrow. "What?"
She fiddled with her fingers briefly before asking, "A-Are we resting here for tonight?"
Shrugging my shoulders, I exhaled deeply, feeling my eyelids droop. "Yes. Anything else?" Columbia shook her head, instead deciding to lie down on her back, crossing her arms behind her head.
Her eyes were baggy, and her eyelids constantly fluttered open and shut- like she was trying to stay awake, just for my sake. A pang of pity twisted in my chest for her; she's never traveled anywhere outside of her hometown- Greenhorne. It must be so awkward for her to be sleeping out here like this, out in the open, prone to monster attacks...but enough of that thinking. She could get over it; she had enough spirit. After a couple of moments, Columbia sat back up, groaning softly to herself. Her body kept leaning forwards and backwards as she hardly managed to conjure up the strength to stay awake.
"Columbia, I can't believe I'm saying this, but you can sleep on my shoulder," I grumbled softly, which caught Columbia's attention. She flashed me a small smile before curling up on my shoulder, gently nuzzling my cheeks, much to my dismay. Grimacing a little, I just let her continue- it wasn't like she would back down if I told her to stop, anyhow. I wasn't exactly happy about...cuddling with Columbia, but of course, she wasn't exactly going to do very well sleeping in the grass. I dread to think of what I'd wake up to if she did...
Folding my arms into my robe's sleeves for warmth, I sighed. "Will we ever find him? I doubt it. He probably won't want to be around me anymore. I was really harsh on him, after all..."
Columbia lifted her head momentarily to face me. "I'm sure we can find him. You shouldn't lose faith in yourself so quickly, you know?"
I sighed once more, shaking my head. "Columbia, I don't want you getting hurt because of me and my stupidity. You should probably just go back to Greenhorne with your family. I'm sure your father and sister won't be terribly upset if you showed up before dawn." Then again, there wasn't much point in telling her what to do- her father was the mayor of Greenhorne, and he sure couldn't get Columbia to stop meeting me! Her sister, well...she's a completely different level.
Huffing, Columbia frowned. "I don't care what they think. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself- how would I have been able to stay alive while staying a Scientist? This work isn't exactly safe for an airheaded Mii, yet I'm still alive and kicking!" Dropping her voice down to a whisper, she muttered, "And besides, you can protect me as well. You're the Great Sage, are you not?"
"Well, technically the seventh Great Sage, but yes, I'll try my best to protect you. Even though you really don't seem to need it." Or want it, I added mentally, but didn't dare say it. Despite what Columbia likes to say, she's stubborn as well as airheaded, and because of this, it's likely she won't be happy to have me help at times.
Mumbling underneath her breath, she replied, "B-But...I sort of like it when you protect me."
Rolling my eyes, I exhaled softly to myself. "Of course you do." Leaning back onto the rock behind me, I blinked slowly as Columbia rested her head on my shoulder some more. "But I'm still worried. What if we don't find Silverfire? What will we do then?"
The Scientist hardly stirred, her gentle and soft snores ringing in my ears. She...she actually fell asleep on me. Great. Now it feels like she's trying to snuggle with me even more, which just makes it all the more awkward and uncomfortable. Snuggling with others is just a way to invade personal space, specifically mine.
Grumbling to myself, I groaned. "Just great, Bia. You just had to fall asleep at that moment. But I guess I can't blame you...that encounter with Mapleshade probably left you more than a little shaken, huh? And you still aren't used to fighting monsters and whatnot..."
Columbia still wasn't stirring, which told me that she wasn't waking up anytime soon. Granted, I had no intention of waking her up to begin with.
"You know what? Columbia, I'm training you myself whether you want me to or not. All I hope is that nothing bad happens to either of us because of this..."
Obligatory Answers - Chapter 5
Glancing over in Holly's direction, I raised an eyebrow. "Is she speaking yet?"
Shaking her head, the cleric pouted. "Not at all! I've been trying to get her to speak, but she just won't talk!" Holly narrowed her eyes at the thief for a brief moment before sighing, her hand brushing against Violet's cheeks. "Just what did those men do to you?"
Silverfire grimaced. "You probably shouldn't force her to speak if she doesn't want to. I'm sure she'll speak when she's ready."
Holly crossed her arms. "I guess, but...it isn't really helping when she's our leader, is it?"
It had been a few days or so since the whole incident happened. Holly had managed to bring Violet back to full health, physically speaking. Since waking up, Violet hasn't spoken a single word- occasionally she'd let out small whimpers or sob violently, usually in the middle of the night. All we could really do was just wait for her to get better, despite everything going on. The Dark Lord still had to be dealt with. The missing faces in Greenhorne still had to be collected. And we couldn't do anything without Violet having a breakdown- we couldn't just leave her here, either. Bright Scar had also been silent since the thugs left- then again, the pendant Violet had to speak with the spirit had been stolen. But Bright Scar could talk to us through other methods, right? The pendant had to wait for now. Violet had to be reasoned with first.
Shifting closer to Violet, I sat down next to her, giving her a small smile. "Hey, Vi. Feeling any better?"
Violet only shrugged, blinking slowly. Her gaze was focused on the cabin's door, her eyes looking as if they were about to flood. I wasn't sure how I could help her- she clearly didn't enjoy talking with us, and when we tried other methods (paper and pen, drawing), she just pushed us away. Gently placing a hand on her shoulder, I hoped she would realize we cared. Instead, the thief's lips were pursed, her grip on her own arms tightening at the feel of my palm. Why couldn't she tell us? Doesn't she trust us at all? ...Well, we did just meet a few days ago, but we would understand- or at least try to.
Silverfire sighed. "Look, I'm going to head out to get some food. Do any of you want to come with?"
Holly's gaze shifted between Violet and I before asking, "It will be quick, right?"
The mage nodded. "It shouldn't be too hard to find any wandering Goblins or Rock Moths these days; we might be lucky if we find any Cumulus nearby- I've been dying for some Cotton Candy as of late."
"That is...that stuff is disgusting. But whatever." Holly got up and walked over to the door alongside Silverfire, though she was torn. Calling to me, she snapped, "You'd better keep an eye on her. I'm still worried."
As they left, I glanced back at Violet. She hardly stirred, and it was undeniable that something needed to be done about this before the Dark Lord decides to make a comeback, or those two thugs... Picking up the remains of some Butterfly Honey, I handed some over to Violet. She looked taken aback, but didn't react too much.
Giving her a small smile, I murmured, "Vi, are you hungry? Here, you can have some of my Butterfly Honey."
The thief looked away from me, though she did take the jar from my hands, eating some of the honey. While I was more surprised she was even eating, it was shocking that she decided to respond to me. Was it just that she was getting hungry? Probably. But it did make me feel better, knowing that Violet was going to make an attempt to eat now. Once she finished, she handed the empty jar back to me, remaining silent.
Just how would I be able to get her to talk again? I mean, I understand if she doesn't particularly want to around me or anyone, but...I can at least try. Hopefully Silverfire and Holly get back sooner, though...I'm not sure if Violet feels comfortable anymore.
"Hey, uh...Violet?" I asked, hoping she would at least acknowledge me. She glanced at me, her gaze sparkling with faint curiosity, though it wasn't much. "I don't know what happened to you, Vi, but please just understand that the rest of the team won't just you for it. We will understand, and we hate seeing you like this. I hate seeing you like this. You don't have to tell us what happened, but you don't have to shut yourself off like this..."
A tear rolled down Violet's cheeks as she sniffed a little. "T-Thanks Trist..." She murmured, her voice hoarse.
"H-Hey, Vi...it's okay. You don't need to cry. I'm here for you," I murmured, smiling at her. Violet simply wrapped her arms around me, sobbing intensely. Rubbing her back, I chuckled. "I, uh...thanks, Vi."
She moved back, shaking her head. "N-No, thank you." Violet rested her head on top of my shoulders, sighing to herself. "I-I've been an awful leader since you and the others found me, haven't I?"
I had to keep myself from snapping at her. "That's not true! If it weren't for those kidnappers, then we would've been just fine. I think you're an amazing leader. I know I could never lead anyone, ever."
Violet let out a pained laugh. "Tristan, they were bounty hunters. I'm a criminal, according to most of Miitopia and especially to the people in Tschilly Village. We were not going to make it that far without them capturing me or at least making an attempt to capture me."
"That doesn't automatically make you a horrible leader. I doubt you're even capable of committing a crime so bad that people would hunt you down for it," I muttered, my gaze stuck on the door. How much longer would those two take?
She shrugged. "I'm not sure. Anyone can be capable of doing anything good or bad if they put their mind to it." Glancing at her palms, she let out a stifled groan. "Look, I know that I didn't commit the crime. But the people in Powdered Peaks still want to accuse me of murder, and they hate me enough to put a bounty on me, saying they don't care if I'm captured dead or alive...it's enough to make you think if you really didn't murder anyone."
Patting her back, I rolled my eyes. "Honestly, some Miis, picking on a defenseless girl who didn't even murder anyone..."
"They don't know that!" She protested, though her voice was shaky.
I exhaled softly. "That doesn't mean they couldn't investigate it. Wasn't your family upset? Did Twyla care?"
Violet flinched, a tear rolling down her cheeks. "Twyla cared. No one else did."
Holding Violet in my arms, I rubbed her back as she sobbed harder, not wanting to let go. Why couldn't they see that Violet was innocent? How come Twyla was the only one in Powdered Peaks with a shred of common sense? It disgusts me- Violet could've had a happy life back in her village with nothing like bounty hunters trying to kill her...and that was stolen from her. Bright Scar, at least I managed to make a somewhat better living for myself...Violet just won't have that anytime soon.
"Vi, if we ever end up near Powdered Peaks or near the Traveler's Hub...you can be sure that I'm going to help you set things right."
Narrowing her eyes, she asked, "Why would you help me? We hardly know each other."
My cheeks growing red, I stammered, "Well, aren't we friends?"
"We've only known each other for a few days at best, Trist."
"But we are still friends? Or at least, I consider you a friend? Still, I do care about you and you are the team's leader."
Violet gave me a small smile. "I suppose so. I doubt we'll even get that far in our quest, but thanks for the support."
The Cumulus dropped some Cotton Candy as if faded out of existence, leaving the pair of eyes to float back to their owner. I let out a heavy sigh, my shoulders slumped. Just how longer did Silverfire want to keep hunting monsters for food? I could perfectly understand if it is for the sole purpose of Violet being uncooperative for even longer, but even then, I don't think she'll be like that for much longer. Silverfire was still fighting a Goblin - he cast Fire, quickly finishing it off. He grabbed the Goblin Ham, putting it in the grub bag. I came over towards him, stuffing the Cotton Candy in alongside it.
"Silverfire, I think we'll suffice with what we've got now. We should head back soon; I'm worried about Violet..."
He grimaced, glancing down at the bag. "Are you sure? We've only got a few things of Cotton Candy and this one Goblin Ham. As good as Cotton Candy is, it really doesn't fill you up much."
I crossed my arms. "I don't think we need to overstock should a worst-case scenario present itself. Besides, we told Tristan that we'd be back shortly. I don't want Violet to be uncomfortable with just him."
"She's probably more uncomfortable with all of us, though. Perhaps the one on one time will get her to talk, or something." His gaze trailed over towards Greenhorne Castle, narrowing his eyes. "And hopefully Tristan has managed to get some results since we've left. Who knows how long it'll be until the Dark Lord strikes the castle."
"I'm curious, Silv. Why are you so concerned about this whole ordeal, anyhow?"
Silverfire only shrugged. "I'm concerned for the state of this world, and perhaps my loved ones. That's the only reason I am against the Dark Lord."
"So you're admitting you don't care about the victims of his face stealing?"
"You misunderstand. Of course I care - I just don't care that much. I mean, they aren't dead, are they? I've heard tales of faceless Miis never getting their face back - people like overblowing the truth. And besides, most of the Mii parts we've been rescuing are either just eyes, mouths, noses, you name it. Never the whole face. It seems rather pointless to be overly concerned for them."
Ignoring the burning in my chest, I only exhaled. "The Mii parts are probably scattered across Miitopia, you moron. I still think it should be a pressing concern."
The Mage only rolled his eyes, already beginning to walk away. "I'm not continuing this conversation. Let's just head back."
I didn't reply to him; instead, I only trudged behind him, not wanting to walk nearby him. The fact that he wasn't all that concerned about the other people affected by the Dark Lord's actions...unsettles me. Wouldn't at some point, it get to be too much for any regular Mii? But then again, I wouldn't know what a regular Mii would be like, so I guess I can't comment on that. Upon arriving back at the cabin, I allowed Silverfire to open the door - only to see Tristan and Violet snuggling, with Violet letting out a small chuckle. I wasn't sure what was more shocking - the fact that Tristan of all Miis managed to get Violet to smile or the fact that they were snuggled together.
Tristan's face went pale once he realized we were back. "O-Oh, um...hey."
Silverfire's expression was unreadable, but he only sighed. "At least she's feeling better. That's all that matters right now."
I wanted to ask what exactly he meant by that, but there wasn't much point in doing so. Instead, I glanced over in Violet's direction.
"So, feeling better, aren't you?" I asked, an eyebrow raised.
Violet nodded, getting to her feet. "I-I'm doing better, thanks to Tristan. Are we leaving now?"
"Actually...I wanted to ask you about something first," I responded, taking a few steps towards Violet. I placed my hand on her shoulder, looking down upon her. "Just what was that about? And you know exactly what I mean by that - the kidnappers, the breakdown you had - everything."
Silverfire's gaze bored into me as the room grew still. "She doesn't have to answer that if she doesn't want to."
Tristan glanced at Violet, who was growing more uncomfortable with every passing second. "It's up to you to tell, Vi."
She turned to face him, appearing to be guilty. "It doesn't feel right to keep this from them, Tristan."
"I know, but no one can force you to tell what happened if you don't want to share it. Just know that we're still here for you, alright?"
My fists curled up as the conversation went on; why couldn't Violet share this with us? We were a team; obviously that meant that we shouldn't have to keep things from one another - especially if it could put one of us in mortal danger. Doesn't she realize that whatever those thugs wanted, they'll be back to get it? Glancing at my side, I could tell Silverfire was warily eyeing me down - just what was his problem, anyhow?
Violet sighed, shaking her head. "I suppose it had to come out at some point, heh..." As Violet went into detail about the kidnappers and the bounty on her head, I could only wonder just what was wrong with the Miis in the Powdered Peaks region; as if someone as dainty as Violet could be capable of murder! Silverfire's facial expression mainly morphed from shock to rage - not that I could blame him. It was rather disgusting to hear, about Tschilly Village's treatment of one of their own.
Silverfire gave her a look of sympathy. "Violet, that's terrible...is there anything I could-?"
"No, there isn't much you can do to help," She responded, her gaze dark. "At best we can just try to avoid suspicious characters like that and stick together. I'm hoping we can finish up business in Greenhorne soon, since Neksdor probably won't notice another criminal passing by..."
Feeling a lump grow in my throat, I decided not to answer. While she wasn't wrong about Neksdor, last I heard, they were wrapping up with their recent trial regarding a Galadosian runaway - it seemed plausible they would notice someone accused of murder coming into their region uninvited.
Tristan wrapped his arm around Violet's shoulders, giving her a small smile. "Well, you know I'll be doing all I can to help you out, Vi."
She laughed in reply, returning the gesture. "I know."
A twinge of envy tugged at my chest - I wish I could be that close with them. However, I paid it no mind and glanced once more at Silverfire. He seemed confused by how close Tristan and Violet were, and frankly, I couldn't blame him. It was hard to believe that they were already friendly with one another despite knowing each other for a few days; then again, Tristan already seemed easy to get along with in the first place...
As the two wrapped up, Tristan turned to face Silverfire. "Hey, Silv? What do you plan to do now? After all, you did say you were coming with to help out."
"A-Actually, about that..." He gulped, shying away from us. "Fact of the matter is, I have nowhere else to go and no one else to turn to. I was wondering if...if you could let me join your team? I-I mean, if you all are okay with that."
Violet chuckled. "Why are you acting so shy about it? Of course you can join!"
Silverfire looked floored; he rushed over to us, giving Violet a hug. Though hesitant, she hugged him back. It was hard to hold back a smile at the two, nor did I want to - the four of us laughed for a while longer, eventually calming down. Tristan glanced at the door, narrowing his eyes.
"We should probably head out soon," He remarked. "I want to make it to an inn before midnight."
Giving him a curt nod, Violet pried Silverfire away, walking towards the door. "I suppose you're right. We should probably leave now, before those kidnappers get wind of us staying here."
Following her footsteps, the rest of us walked out the door, greeted by a beaming ray of sunshine. Perhaps this 'saving Miitopia' crap wouldn't be that bad.
"Do you think we'll ever find that charm?" Holly muttered, lifting up the branches of the bush. She grimaced, immediately dropping it once she realized that nothing was there. "Because I doubt it'll ever see the light of day again."
I shrugged; I doubted that those thugs would still have it, as it'd be of no value to them - especially Landis. The only thing that mattered to them was getting me arrested, once and for all. Since childhood, I'd known him back in Tschilly Village - when he put his mind to something, he would not stop until the task was completed. It was conflicting to know that he was after my head - but then again, the rest of the village is likely still spiteful of me as well.
Tristan groaned. "Perhaps we should have headed towards the Riverdeep Cavern instead. They might have ran off there, it does look like a good hiding place, if I'm being honest."
Holly rolled her eyes. "Yes, of course they'd be hiding from us. No doubt about that whatsoever."
He elbowed her shoulder, glowering her. "You know what I meant-"
"Guys, knock it off." I threw a glare at the two of them - they begrudgingly separated from one another, though still giving each other the stink eye. "I know neither of you like the other, but can you try to get along, at least until we get to an inn?"
Neither of them had said anything afterwards, which meant they actually listened to what I had to say or they were silently antagonizing each other from behind my back. I guess it was to be expected - aside from Holly's infatuation with his appearance, all they seemed to do was argue over petty little things. It shouldn't have been such a surprise when they started fighting in the middle of the battle.
Though all seemed quiet, I raised an eyebrow, glancing back at the two of them. "Has anyone seen Silverfire? I thought he was with us when we left."
Tristan frowned, glancing behind his back. "I thought he was following behind us, but I guess not anymore."
"Great, now we have two things to search for!"
"Silverfire isn't an object, Holly."
"Shut up, my point is I don't want to be looking for him alongside the charm!"
I groaned inwardly - why couldn't they get along? And Holly seemed to really like him at first, too...
"Come on, I'm tired of you both sniping at each other!" I snapped, grabbing their attention. "We need to find Silverfire and the charm, but if the two of you keep going at each other's throats, then I'm looking for both by myself!"
Holly crossed her arms, sighing. "I know, but he makes it incredibly difficult!"
Tristan shot past the both of us, practically fuming. "Hypocrite."
Rubbing my temple, I let out one last sigh. Everything was going great just a few hours ago. Why did they have to treat each other like that? I didn't get it - the both of them were likable to me, so why couldn't they at least find something they liked about the other? Resisting the urge to scream at the two of them, I just trailed behind Tristan, though casting a glance over my shoulder every so often to check if Holly was following - much to my relief she was, though reluctantly.
Regardless of their feud, the matter of where Silverfire went was more concerning. It made me wonder if Silverfire had second thoughts about joining us - not like I could blame him if that was the case. Holly and Tristan are challenging enough to get along with on their own if the wrong things are said to them. And not to mention their constant fighting...it made me wonder just how long it would take them before they began to brawl with one another again.
I bet Bright Scar would have been eating up this drama between Holly and Tristan - though I bet she would have also scolded me for not setting them straight. But I guess it would have been deserved, either way. Then again, how was I supposed to get the both of them to stop fighting with one another? It wasn't like either of them wanted to admit that they did something to aggravate the other - both of them were to stubborn for that, especially in Holly's case.
Taking one last glance behind myself, I had to wonder how Silverfire was faring. Perhaps he was doing better than we were, considering the circumstances.
An Adrift Amulet - Chapter 6
"Stargaze, how much longer are we going to keep searching here?" Columbia groaned, crossing her arms. "I thought we established that Silverfire wasn't in the Strange Grove!"
I resisted throwing another glare at her - there was no point in bickering with her again, as she'd never let it go. Even though I couldn't blame Columbia for wanting to be done with the Strange Grove already, I needed to make sure that I wasn't wrong. If something were to happen to him because I wasn't there, I...I would never be able to forgive myself.
Columbia grimaced at me. "Are you even listening to me?"
"I'm ignoring you, in case that much hasn't been obvious."
"You certainly seem to be doing a great job at it now," She snarked, huffing.
Refusing to respond, I let out a sigh - she had been like this since we first set off. It had baffled me to end; just what made her so cold towards me in the first place? Was it because of the argument Silverfire and I had? Or was it because I told her that she should have went back home to Greenhorne? I didn't get her. We had gotten along just fine before, why can't we at least try to get along now?
My gaze darting to my side, I noticed a few Goblins remaining idle in a nearby clearing - I wasn't particularly in the mood for more combat, and my guess was that Columbia had little patience for what the Strange Grove had in store. Tightening my grip on my staff, I mentally prepared myself for battle - it was inevitable at this point.
Turning to Columbia, I cleared my throat. "Columbia?"
She didn't look at me. "What?"
The fact that she didn't even bother to face me was already ringing some alarms in my head, and it didn't help that she was already irritated that we hadn't left the Strange Grove yet.
"A-Are you angry with me?"
Columbia muttered, "Of course not."
Recoiling at her words, I stammered, "C-Columbia, I know you've been upset with me for awhile now. Can you please tell me what's wrong?"
"Fine, but you'd be better off without hearing it," She sighed. "Stargaze, I...just hear me out. The way you handled the situation with Silverfire has been getting to me. Since you lashed out at him, it just...it might be stupid to you, but it reminded me of how Ivy would scold me for hanging out with you. And I guess that's what has been bothering me."
Blinking in surprise, my gaze softened once it sunk in - of course Columbia would have been reminded of her sister rebuking her for our friendship. I knew all too well that Ivy didn't like me, and didn't want Columbia to become friends with me. I had my suspicions as to why, but that didn't stop me from liking Columbia. It made sense that my argument with Silverfire would've been a callback to what her relationship with Ivy was like.
Exhaling deeply, I shook my head. "Bia, I'm sorry about all of that...I wasn't thinking properly when we were fighting. I should've remembered that you were with us."
Columbia blushed, her gaze widening. "What? You don't need to apologize, Star. It was kind of stupid of me to be upset about it, all things considered. I mean, you were actually trying to protect Silverfire and other Miis. Meanwhile Ivy was just being...jealous, I suppose."
"How exactly was she being jealous? If anything, I'd guess she was looking out for you," I replied, my cheeks growing hot. Columbia laughed, as if it was a joke. "Bia, I'm serious. Ivy was probably trying to protect you from getting hurt."
Growing silent, Columbia raised an eyebrow. "How so?"
I shrugged. "You know that I'm the Great Sage, Columbia. And you should know by now that there are certain restrictions that come with it-"
"I am not going to fall head over heels for you, dummy. Ivy's just being over protective if that even is the case."
As I stammered in reply, I could've sworn I had started to blush profusely. "Y-You know it goes both ways."
Columbia let out a dramatic sigh. "You're right, if either of us had to, it'd end up being you who gets swept off their feet. I'm simply too irresistible for anyone to not fall for."
Rolling my eyes, I let out a small chuckle. "Yeah, right."
It didn't go unnoticed that Columbia wasn't exactly wrong - while I could care less, most Miis definitely seemed to notice that she was fairly attractive. I remembered when Violet had first come upon us; no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't seem to take her eyes off of Columbia. Looking back, it was probably a good idea I didn't mention that it was obvious that she was charmed by Columbia.
"Oh, hush. Like you weren't making goo-goo eyes at me when we first met," Columbia teased, balancing on a fallen tree.
"Bia, why would I be...giving someone...'goo-goo eyes' if I just met them?" Internally, I added, And besides, you were the one eyeing me like that, anyhow...
Columbia shrugged. "I don't know. That's just what I noticed you were doing when we met."
I rolled my eyes. "If that's what you want to believe."
The two of us stayed quiet, the conversation dwindling down. It was amusing, listening to Columbia's bold claims (to a degree); even though some of them weren't truthful in their entirety, it was rather nice to see her in better spirits. She definitely has more self-esteem than I ever could dream of having. As we walked through the path, Columbia let out a shrill shriek right after a heavy thump had sounded - rushing over to her, I asked what had happened.
"Isn't it obvious? I tripped!" She snapped, brushing the dirt off of her face. "Thanks for your concern, I suppose."
I glanced behind her feet. There was an odd, antique charm nearby, resting on top of the rock Columbia had presumably tripped over. Wasn't that the same charm that Violet had? If I could remember correctly, didn't it also provide communication with the guardian spirit? Just what was it doing here? If Violet had went through the Strange Grove, we would've come across her by now...odd.
Columbia tilted her head. "What are you staring at?"
Picking up the charm by its strand, I showed it to her. "It's that antique charm Violet had. If my suspicions are correct, then she'll be needing this back as soon as possible."
"Violet? Wasn't she that hero who's supposed to save Miitopia that you kept whining about?"
"I wouldn't say I was whining, but yes," I affirmed, now getting on my knees. "Still, though. Just how did it get here, of all places? Didn't she have it around her neck as well? I'd find it pretty hard to lose if so. Think she got irritated with the guardian spirit and threw the charm away?"
Sitting up, Columbia slid her fingers across the charm. "Stargaze, let's try to give her the benefit of the doubt. What if something happened that caused her to lose it? That could be the case."
"Probably got frightened of a monster and left it behind," I joked, though Columbia wasn't amused. Sighing, I draped the charm over my head, wearing it as if it was a necklace. "We should look for Violet and give this back to her, so I guess I'll just wear it until then."
Columbia got to her feet, crossing her arms. "Why do you get to wear the charm?"
I stood up, raising an eyebrow. "Because you'll lose track of the charm and yourself, and we don't need either going missing."
"I wouldn't get lost!" She protested weakly, her cheeks flushing red. I only chuckled, causing her to puff out her cheeks. "Stargaze!"
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry for teasing you, Bia." I smiled at her, and while she tried to remain frustrated with me, she eventually laughed, playfully punching me in the shoulder.
She frowned, glancing at the sky. "It's getting late, though. You think we'll find Violet at this hour?"
I shook my head, already beginning to walk away. "No, there's no point. Especially since we'll just end up getting tired, and I don't want to end up camping in the Strange Grove again - I get the feeling that you wouldn't like it much, either."
"So you have been paying attention to my valid complaints, but choose to ignore them?"
"I just need to find Silverfire, as in make sure he's alive. I'd understand perfectly if he wants nothing else to do with me, after what I said. As long as he's alive, that's all that matters." Smirking at Columbia, I added, "And hey, your complaints are entertaining to listen to, give me a break."
Columbia just scoffed, trying to hide her grin. "Oh, whatever." She came up to me, her flask in her hand. "Are we going to look for an inn?"
Nodding, I shrugged. "Good idea, we'll see if we can find one. We might find Violet at the inn, too. But on the chance that we don't find one, you're fine with camping, right?"
"You just want to snuggle with me again. But yes, I'm fine with camping here, even though it's terrible and I want to leave."
Laughing it off, I walked alongside Columbia, enjoying the gentle evening breeze. Sticking with Columbia seemed to grow more pleasant, even when we bickered with one another - maybe, there I had the hope that it didn't have to end upon finding Silverfire.
Violet let out a pained groan as she stared at the wooden table. I knew all too well what it was about - Silverfire and the charm going missing, and likely the feud Holly and I had been having since joining forces with her. The whole ordeal regarding the former worried me more - just where could he have gotten too? He wasn't that far behind upon entering the Strange Grove, was he? He couldn't have been. Otherwise Violet would have noticed sooner, since she was in the back of the group along with him.
Though I still didn't get the issue with the feud Holly and I had. Sure, it wasn't ideal, but it wasn't all that bad if we weren't beating each other up mid-battle anymore, right? And that aside, she had been the one to aggravate me in the first place. She shouldn't have been so nasty to begin with if she didn't want me to snap back. Why would I apologize to her, anyhow?
Holly was sitting across from me, her gaze focused on the countertop - she had been waiting on her banshee tears, and was still rather upset as Violet had forbade Holly from getting any alcohol tonight. Which I couldn't understand why she was acting so upset over, considering the fact that it made sense - Silverfire could show up at any time, as well as the fact that we didn't want a repeat of what happened last time we left her alone while drunk...with that being a mistake on my part.
To her side, Violet had been rather silent, aside from letting out the aforementioned groan. She didn't have much to say after rebuking Holly and I earlier, and had been solely focused on finding an inn. I had felt guilty over the whole thing, only for Violet's sake - she hadn't been doing the best since we left the cabin, though she tried hard not to show it. And I could tell already that losing the charm and Silverfire wasn't doing the best for her, either. It was tempting to give Silverfire a talking to when we found him, but that would likely cause Violet more stress...so I'd hold off on it for now. Like she usually did, she got a plate of Slime Jelly - seeing as it appeared to be one of her favourite foods, I hoped it would make her feel a little better.
"Just what is taking them so long?" Holly whined, resting her head on the table. "Is it really so hard to prepare a simple drink of banshee tears?"
Violet grimaced. "I don't know about that, Holly. They probably got the banshee tears from a monster, since it doesn't look like any other drink I've seen."
Holly scoffed. "I don't see what's so hard about encountering a monster. All you have to do is avoid dying and take out the monster, and voila! You have your food."
"Not everyone is suited for battle, Holly. That's probably why the Adventurer's Taverns prefer it when you bring your own food with it you want that specific type; they can't do all that hard work. I just got lucky that they happened to have Slime Jelly."
The two of them fell silent, with Holly now staring off into space as she impatiently tapped her fingers against the table - Violet resting her head in her arms, as if she was ready to fall asleep on the spot. I could hardly blame either of them for being so bored, since it usually didn't take this long for the grub to arrive... I glanced at the entrance, my eyelids drooping. Two people came in, looking rather beat. One of them had bags underneath her eyes, along with bits and pieces of a bush in her hair - meanwhile the other was practically leaning onto his staff, barely able to walk. I narrowed my eyes at the man - wasn't he that same person who was fighting with Holly back in that one Adventurer's Tavern? The "Great Sage", they called him? He certainly didn't seem to be looking so great. I poked Violet's shoulder, grabbing her attention.
She grimaced, blinking slowly at me. "What? Is our food here yet?"
"Unfortunately, no. But I thought I should let you know that Stargaze guy is back," I answered, my gaze still on the pair. "Is he going to start another argument with Holly again?"
Holly heard me, immediately taking offense. "I'm not drinking tonight! I'll be fine!"
I laughed, rolling my eyes. "You sure? Just moments ago you sounded like you wanted to complain to the staff about their services regarding your banshee tears. Really, you should just get something that isn't monster related so it's less of a strain on everyone. That's what I do."
She frowned. "You ordered chocolate milk. I am not doing that."
"And I like chocolate milk...? But you missed the point."
Holly simply groaned once more, having given up. Her gaze flitted over to the duo who had just walked in, her sights specifically set on Stargaze if I was correct. "...Wait, is he the guy I was fighting with when I was drunk?"
Violet nodded, chuckling a bit. "Oh, yes. I don't think he nor Silverfire forgot that night in a hurry."
Somehow, Holly had ignored Violet's side comment and continued staring. "He's more handsome than I remember," She added with a smile.
This only caused Violet to sigh, rolling her eyes - what exactly was that about? Has Holly acted like this in front of Violet before, or...? It certainly seemed like it but...it was hard to imagine Holly acting remotely infatuated with anyone.
"Holly's able to be attracted to other Miis?" I whispered to Violet, sounding almost incredulous.
Holding back a snicker, Violet pinched the bridge of her nose. "Tristan, do you remember when the Dark Lord attacked and you passed out?"
Baffled, I nodded. What did this have to do with Holly?
"Well, after Stargaze and Columbia helped us out, Holly came over since Bright Scar called her to join our team. She was absolutely smitten with you the entire way to the inn. I'd say she's able to be attracted to other Miis, considering the eyes she gave you."
My face growing hot, I muttered, "I wish she'd have the guts to tell me that out loud."
Violet shrugged. "She's a Stubborn Mii, Tristan. What do you expect?"
"For her to have the guts to say it to my face if she thinks so," I grumbled, though I couldn't help but feel...oddly happy that she found me "adorable". It was something I know I've never been thought of, at least by someone other than my mother - well, until now, if Violet's being truthful.
After some time, I had noticed Stargaze walking over to us, his partner still ordering something at the counter. She had looked genuinely confused, and I couldn't tell if this was because she was just that conflicted on what to choose, or if she didn't know how to order at an Adventurer's Tavern. Upon reaching our table, Stargaze glanced at Holly, bewildered.
He frowned. "Did you actually join Violet's team, or am I hallucinating? Because I could have sworn you were intent on ignoring anything I had to say that wasn't along the lines of 'here's your money, sorry for somehow spilling your drink even though you did it'?"
Holly's cheeks grew redder as she beamed at him. "Bright Scar ordered me to join her team, but if I had known you ordered me to, I would have done it in a heartbeat."
Weirded out by Holly's new infatuation with him, he turned to Violet. "Wasn't expecting to find you here, heh. Thought you would've headed further up Easin' Hills, considering how it was closer than the Strange Grove. But uh...that aside, how's your quest going so far?"
Violet smiled at him. "It's actually going better than I thought, all circumstances considered."
"We lost a teammate and you got kidnapped," I reminded her, raising an eyebrow. "Dare I say it's going worse than expected."
Her gaze on me hardened, but quickly returned her attention to Stargaze. "Ignore him, he's been in a foul mood all day."
Stargaze made a distorted expression. "Wait, you already have a fourth teammate? I'm curious, who are they?"
Holly managed to stop giving Stargaze dreamy looks for a moment, suddenly realizing the implications of what he had asked. However, upon realizing that she wasn't going to end up sharing it, she immediately went back to staring at Stargaze with moony eyes. Violet sighed, glowering me intensely. Well, I wasn't going to lie and say that it was going good, now was I? An awkward, heavy silence loomed over the four of us - no one wanted to admit that Silverfire had joined our team, and no one wanted to face the wrath of Stargaze for losing his little brother.
Though no one said anything, Stargaze seemed to be pondering about who our teammate was - and judging from his reaction, he had likely deduced it to be Silverfire. Thankfully, before anything else could happen, his partner came over to us, practically fumbling about. She threw a side glare at Holly, radiating sparks of jealousy - however, she said nothing, instead turning to Stargaze.
"Star, are we sitting with Violet's team, then? I mean, you guys already seem pretty friendly..." Her voice had a twinge of spite in it, if I was hearing correctly. It seemed to be aimed at Holly, and I guess I couldn't blame her - Holly was beginning to get on my nerves as well, with her slobbering over Stargaze and whatnot.
Stargaze seemed to take note of this, shaking his head. "No, we'll eat at a different table if that's what you want, Columbia."
Holly seemed disappointed by this, but she tried not to pay it any mind. "Is there any chance I'll - I mean, we'll be able to see your handsome face around here anytime soon?"
He ignored her compliments and narrowed his eyes at Violet. "Yes."
With that, he walked away, Columbia by his side. Holly was babbling to herself, seeming completely swept off her feet by him - somehow, considering he ignored all her attempts to make advances on him. Violet let out a tiny groan, burying her face in her palms. I kept quiet, not wanting to speak up - I knew Violet was upset with me, and now she was going to suffer in the morning for it. Soon our food had come, along with Holly's banshee tears - Violet didn't waste any time digging into her Slime Jelly, promptly ignoring the both of us.
Holly didn't even notice her drink was in front of her. "Ohhh...he's so beautiful, isn't he?"
"Holly, your drink is right there," I reminded her, taking a sip out of my glass of chocolate milk.
"You're right, we would make a great couple." She then turned around, now realizing her banshee tears were served. Blushing, she stammered, "I-I noticed it, I swear."
For the rest of the meal, I ignored her. I had to wonder just what Stargaze was going to say to Violet about our teammate, though - and hopefully, he didn't realize that it was in fact Silverfire on our team.
Holly was sitting across from me in our room, still grinning to herself. Hopefully when this whole thing with Stargaze blows over, she'll stop swooning over him. Or at least, in front of everyone else. I set my armour pieces down on the floor, stretching as I laid down in my own bed. It was probably a good thing that I wasn't sharing a room with Violet, though - she had called me a few choice words on the way to our rooms, and I didn't particularly want to deal with it. Though it wasn't like dealing with Holly while she was absolutely enamored by Stargaze was that much better.
She glanced at me, her gaze still misty. "Wasn't he pretty?"
"Well, I won't lie. He was rather attractive," I replied, shrugging my shoulders. "But you do remember that he is a Great Sage, right? He's not allowed to be in a romantic relationship with anyone. And besides, I wouldn't get your hopes up. He definitely was not interested in you like that, if at all."
Holly huffed, rolling her eyes. "I'll bet you're just envious that he's managed to keep my affection longer than you ever could."
I held in a laugh, not wanting to tick her off more than I already had. "He's still not interested in you like that, Holly. Who knows, he might even dislike you still for that incident in that one Adventurer's Tavern."
Though I tried my hardest not to think about it, it did creep into my mind that I might have been jealous of Stargaze in that way. While I couldn't stand Holly in the slightest, she was still...kind of cute, I guess. And I mean, considering that both Violet and Silverfire obviously weren't options for me...but I wasn't going to think of Holly as a last resort. And I certainly wasn't going to think of her as an option, either.
"That aside, aren't you more curious about what Stargaze wanted to talk to Violet about? It seemed...serious, truth be told. Her attitude towards it has me worried," I confessed, pulling the bed's covers over my body.
Shrugging, Holly grimaced. "Don't know, honestly. I'll bet he's figured out that Silverfire's joined our team and we lost track of him, though. But he's a Great Sage, he's obviously wise enough to figure that out..."
I yawned, turning away from her. "I guess so. 'Night, Holls."
He looked up at me, an eyebrow raised. "Hmm? What is it, Bia?"
I fiddled with my fingers, avoiding his gaze. "What exactly were you talking about with Violet and them? It sounded pretty important." And you actually seemed to care about it this time around.
Stargaze frowned, shaking his head. "I have my suspicions as to who their fourth teammate is. And if I'm correct, then it looks like I'll end up having a word with the both of them when he's found."
"Who is it?" I asked, tilting my head. His eyes widened, as if to ask how I hadn't guessed it yet. "Star, you know how I am with this sort of stuff. Just spit it out."
He sighed. "I think it's Silverfire. He must have joined Violet hoping that I wouldn't come across her for the rest of my time in Greenhorne. Little did he know that he got himself lost and that the members of Violet's team have a hard time keeping their mouths shut if they want to keep a secret."
My gaze drifting to the antique charm hung around his neck, I shrugged. "Maybe he tried to look for the charm for Violet? It does seem like something he'd do, all circumstances considered."
The suggestion didn't seem to bring much shock to Stargaze. "I suppose. I'm not looking forwards to talking with Violet about it, though."
"Oh? Why not?"
"She's actively trying to keep this secret from me, I can tell. And she probably won't let me assist them with finding Silverfire, which was my initial plan to do so if this is the case. He's probably told her all the horror stories about me taking care of him since Hazel passed away. So she probably hates my guts."
Walking over to him, I tried to give him a reassuring smile. "I don't hate you, so stop with that. And you don't know for sure if Silverfire's been sprouting those stories to her, so can we not assume the worst?"
Stargaze gave me a wry grin. "Columbia, please. Most people have thought of me as incompetent since Rakim's passing, and wish that I had never been appointed his apprentice in the first place. That will not make me feel any better, and Silverfire is one to hold grudges and never let go. If he joined, he will have said something terrible about me."
A pang of frustration burned in my chest - why did Stargaze have to be so pessimistic over this whole "Great Sage" thing? Why couldn't he just realize that he shouldn't care about what others think, and that it shouldn't matter what he does as the Great Sage?
"I'm just saying. Assuming the worst isn't going to help," I reminded him, crossing my arms. "I'm sure Violet doesn't hate you, especially after you saved her and her friend from the Dark Lord. And I'm sure she has her reasons for keeping this from you. You'll be able to talk with her in the morning, and we'll go from there."
He didn't say anything in response, only sighing. Wrapping himself up in the bed sheets, he turned away from me, his breathing soft and steady. I almost let out a groan of frustration, but I resisted the urge to do so - it was more than likely I'd be doing enough of that tomorrow.
Astray Sparks - Chapter 7
Sticks and Stones - Chapter 9
Across the Country - Chapter 10
Finding Felix - Chapter 11
The Two Brothers - Chapter 12
Fire of the Broken One - Chapter 13
Tower of Nightmares - Chapter 14