Chapter 63: Repaid
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Repaid - {4998} Obols] !

-{ 0 Obols Remain Due}- !

 

! REPAID IN FULL !

 

The barkeeper nods to them both with an unusual smile as she takes the coins they laid out on the counter.

 

Fresh and Jubilee look at each other, sharing an acknowledging nod between themselves as they walk away, heading up the stairs to the cut-off space.

 

The girl looks around the room. “We did it, Jubilee!”

 

  Jubilee shrugs, walking around. “Sure, but I’m not sure why we did it, honestly. We never even used this stupid room.” They sit down on their usual chair. “It’s really mostly a bargain for adventurers who don’t actually already own a house here. For them it’s a great deal, ten-thousand for your own place?” They lean back. “Even as a low level adventurer, you’re clearing about a hundred a day in the dungeon. So if you’re frugal, you can pay the guild back in a hundred days, after that you’re in the clear. Most parties end up staying here.”

 

Fresh scratches her head, looking around the empty room of the cut-off space. “Hmm… Well, you know what? It was just the price of our friendship, Jubilee!”

 

Jubilee groans.

 

The girl thinks, realizing something. “Jubilee?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“If it’s not that expensive, why didn’t you just power through the dungeon for a while to pay it off?” The girl rubs her head. “You really scared me when you told me about it back then. I thought we would never make it in time.”

 

“Well, I could have done that, but what would you have done?”

 

Fresh thinks for a while. “Uh…”

 

  “Exactly. If you want to eat, you gotta work. No free-loading under my roof. Besides, ten-thousand Obols is still a lot of money. Don’t compare it with our current circumstances,” they lean back, staring at the ceiling. “We’re just doing good now, but that doesn’t mean we always will. Times change fast.”

 

Fresh takes in a deep breath, walking over to sit on the other chair. “Times change… Jubilee?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

The girl rubs her arm, fidgeting in her seat. “Are we still going to be a party?”

 

Jubilee looks at her. “Sure, why wouldn’t we be?”

 

“Because you aren’t stuck to me anymore, so…”

 

Jubilee tilts their head and sighs. “You’re such a baby.” Their gaze returns back up to the ceiling. “We’re starting to make some real money now, so why would we stop after all this work? Dumb-ass.”

 

Fresh looks around the room, feeling somewhat relieved. She thinks she can survive on her own in this world now, more or less. But this is the life that she’s found and she wants to keep it. “We should make this room into a workshop.”

 

“Huh? We already talked about that. It’s too much leg-work.”

 

  “Not for right now, but…” Fresh looks around, thinking. “If we hire one or two more people. Maybe we can even buy a cart? We can take the stuff from your house to here and I can do my work here, without worrying about Basil or someone seeing me.” The girl fidgets, thinking about the necklace. “Besides, it would be safer, just in case.”

 

  Jubilee thinks, leaning back. “It’s an interesting idea, if we want to ramp up our scale a little, but…” They rub their head. “We’d need a cart, someone to drive it. We’d need an anqa and a stall and food for it. Also, we’d need at least one more person to work the store, since Basil can’t do it alone if you’re over here. That’s gonna cost some money.” Jubilee fidgets, which Fresh finds unusual to see. “So you want to live over here?”

 

  Fresh tilts her head, looking at Jubilee curiously, who seems to be avoiding eye-contact with her. The girl smiles, understanding. “No, I’d like to stay with you Jubilee, if that’s okay.” Jubilee looks back down from the ceiling to her. “I’d just do the work here, but I’d still sleep at the store.” Fresh clutches her cheeks. “Jubileeee~ Would you get lonely without me?”

 

Jubilee rolls their eyes. “As if. I was just wondering if I would finally have some peace and quiet again.” Fresh laughs, seeing their body tension loosen again.

 

They make their way back to the store and see Basil waiting outside. But with the cart again. “Ah! Has it been a week already? Hi Basil!”

 

Basil looks back to them. “Good morning, I was wondering where you two were.”

 

“Sorry,” says Fresh, jogging towards her. “We went to the guild to pay back our debt.”

 

Basil nods, smiling. “All of it? That’s very responsible of you, congratulations!”

 

Fresh smiles, raising a finger. “We’re responsible people.”

 

Jubilee rolls their eyes and they go inside to start loading up the cart. All the while, Fresh can’t help but notice the large bird pulling the cart eyeing her the entire time with a careful, wary gaze.

 

“I don’t think he likes me,” says Fresh to Basil, somewhat nervously as the bird narrows its large eyes, watching them load the boxes into the cart.

 

Basil sighs. “I’m sorry, he’s really very friendly. I’ve never seen him get so agitated around someone before.” They adjust the last box, securing it into the back of the cart. “I’ll bring these to the church and then I’ll be back in half an hour to help you.”

 

Fresh nods to Basil, who walks inside one last time to give Jubilee the money for the order. Fresh turns to look at the large anqa who watches her carefully. Smiling meekly, she raises a hand to wave to the bird.

 

  “KYIAH!” Shouts the giant animal, pulling against its reins and Fresh takes a step back to the door, standing inside of the store and looking fearfully out at the suddenly aggressive animal. “Pergan! Pergan!” Her eyes open wide as she looks at the bird. Did it just say something? “KYIAH! PERCHTA! PERCHTA!” The anqa stamps its claws into the road, kicking up a puff of dirt in agitation as Basil runs back out to calm him down.

 

  “Easy! Easy,” she sighs, patting the bird whose body posture loosens a little. Though its gaze never leaves the girl standing inside of the door. Basil apologizes again to her. “I’m sorry, maybe it’s just the inner city that’s making him agitated.” Fresh looks at the large bird, wondering. “Basil? Are anqas from the forest?”

 

“The forest?” The woman thinks. “Well, it’s hard to say since the east gets sandy the further you go. But there are a lot of forests near the border. It’s possible that a lot of them come from there. Why?”

 

“No reason,” Fresh shakes her head.

 

Basil nods, somewhat confused but gets on the cart to drive away, waving goodbye for now. “See you soon!”

 

“Bye, Basil!”

 

Fresh retreats back inside, closing the door behind her and sighing, feeling Jubilee’s eyes on her. “Jubileeee~?”

 

“What?”

 

“What’s a perchta?”

 

“A what?” asks Jubilee, looking up to her and shrugging.

 

“The bird yelled at me and called me weird things,” sighs Fresh.

 

Jubilee rolls their eyes. “I told you to take the glass-working skill, but noooo- You wanted to talk to birds. I told you they had nothing of value to say. Weird ass made up words. Fucking birds…” Jubilee shakes their head, glaring at the glass-chickens. “Fucking chickens…”

 

The girl sighs, relenting as she helps get the last things ready for the day.

 

Both of them taking a deep breath, looking at the crowd gathered outside of the window they open the store and watch as the usual rush of people streams in.

 

  “I have six today,” says the red-wizard, setting her red tote-bag down on the counter. Their bags were all yellow now during the spring, but Jubilee had gone out of their way to make the red-wizard a red one. Which Fresh found oddly endearing for Jubilee to have done. It really wasn’t like them at all.

 

“Moving up in the world, eh?” asks Jubilee, taking her coins and making change as Fresh walks by, carrying a load of repaired armor down from upstairs.

 

The red-wizard shakes their head. “I like these normal ones a lot! The minor ones are good, but these taste a little stronger, you know?”

 

“Sure,” says Jubilee. Fresh isn’t sure if they’ve actually ever tried any of her potions though.

 

  Customers flow in and out and soon enough Basil arrives, taking over the counter while Jubilee reprimands her for being late, as it was already almost an hour since she left. The priestess apologizes, saying she had to get the anqa to calm down as it was very agitated. Hearing this, Jubilee turns their ire to Fresh, yelling at her for provoking the bird. The girl tries to defend herself, saying she didn’t do anything but stand in the door.

 

An hour passes and soon, the giant, heavy-breathing man returns, his black-plate armor covered in blood. “Are you okay?!” asks Basil, seeing him.

 

“No bleeding in the store!” snaps Jubilee up to the monster of a man, who looks down to his metal clad hands.

 

“It’s not mine,” he breathes out heavily.

 

  Basil sighs, the glow of white-magic leaving her hands. Fresh smiles, noticing that Basil was ready to help the man who she had held in a strange contempt only a few days before. Maybe her lecture on treating everyone as a customer had gotten through to the woman, or maybe she just looked past her own mental barriers? Either way, Fresh is happy to see the priestess coming to life again here a little more, day by day.

 

The giant of a man looks over to Fresh, who is walking through the store with a broom and sweeping the floors as the morning crowd had made a mess.

 

“I need a sword,” he tells her plainly in his heavy, deep voice.

 

Fresh tilts her head, looking at the man’s heaving body as he breathes with surprising force. “Didn’t I just repair your sword?”

 

“I need a bigger sword,” says the ominous man, clenching his fists. Black blood drips out from the sharp joints of his gauntlets.

 

Fresh laughs meekly, scratching her cheek. “Uh… I can try to think of something but… uh…” she looks over to Jubilee who takes over.

 

“A two handed great-sword. Custom made. We’ll have it ready and enchanted by tomorrow. Four hundred Obols.” They tap the counter. Tomorrow?! Fresh sighs, apparently she’s going to have to stay up late again tonight.

 

“Acceptable,” is the only thing the giant man says, as he places four silver coins onto the counter which shakes just from his fist falling onto it. The hulking figure turns around, marching back towards the dungeon again, following the trail of blood back the way he just came from.

 

“Is he going back to the dungeon without a weapon?” asks Fresh, looking down at the streaks of blood she’s going to have to wipe off of her freshly swept floors.

 

Basil sighs, fidgeting, something clearly bothering her. “Members of the sect are…”

 

  “- Incredibly violent,” says Jubilee with an odd lightness to their voice that Fresh can’t help but notice, as her party-member lean over the counter, watching the monstrous figure returning into the dungeon. “They just kill everything. Sword or no sword. He’s probably going to be ripping monsters apart with his bare hands until tomorrow. A real adventurer.”

 

Basil rubs her head. “I don’t know if I approve, given their… beliefs.”

 

Jubilee glares up at her, falling back to the chair behind the counter. “No discriminating against customers, you zealot.”

 

  “I’m not a zealot, I was ready to heal him if he was hurt,” says Basil, crossing her arms as she looks at the coins on the counter. “But… I just don’t feel comfortable around someone who places their faith in… you know…” the woman lowers her voice as she ends her sentence. “- things like that.”

 

“Witches?” asks Jubilee dryly, taking the coins.

 

Basil flinches together, looking around the store in terror, as if the word were a curse that would hear anyone who heard it.

 

Jubilee shrugs. “We take everyone’s money and we don’t ask anything further than that. You can tell the cardinal. If he has a problem, tell him to talk to the merchant’s guild,” says Jubilee, shaking their head and throwing the coins into the bowl, sparing only a second’s long glance to Fresh who quickly returns to her sweeping.

 

 


=o

 

*~+---SPECIAL THANKS---+~*

Henry Morgan,  Shadowsmage, The Grey Mage, Spencer Seidel, Slime girl chapters 4 lyfes, chp2001, Shaoraka, James_is_Playing, Collin Love, Sage, Solarlancer, Diu Lei Lo Mo, Lord DragonRose, MetusZerum, Pike, ItsCool, Zachary Weenig, Beowulf, Roukanken, Yenin, James Nagy, Darastrix, Chymor, Sebastian Viller, Chotley Ferguson, Matthew Forlines, Lasse, Harley Shockley, Halima, Colin Clark, Anna Turner, Dontspam Meho, Asur, David G Ross, Steven Lindsay, Missus Mouse, Imran, Indigo, Stefan Mensink, Jay Gradon, James Panao O'Connor, Igors Zvaigzne, Zikarioa, Dionisio Trigo, Ingo Wiarda, Michael Maddox, Micha, S T, All-In-Vane, Autonomous Spaghetti, Alex, Nick Tinsley, Michael Lau, Mackintackin, Jose, Maximum0428

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