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Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

[PP-F02] Venomous Warg - The Nth lesson might as well be free

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A careworn smile slowly spread across Freyd's mud-splattered face.  "You did great!  Honestly, I was worried for a moment, but you handled yourself beautifully,"  he answered softly and proudly.  Looking down at himself, soaked and half-covered in dirt and loam, he started laughing.  "I, on the other hand, seem to have messed this up rather royally."

Picking up her spear, he handed it back to her, convinced that she had unlocked something important inside of herself.  "It's good to know that if others fail, you can take care of yourself, isn't it?"

He extended his hand and paused before placing his gloved hand on her shoulder.  "Now, let's turn this in and get you up to floor 22.  Firm Anima's guild hall - the Cathedral of the Forgotten - can be found there.  Floor 22 is also surprisingly pleasant compared to most of Aincrad.  It's perfectly safe, especially if we stick to using portals for travel."

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grin.thumb.jpg.976353a10791b3c155b4a4245434e441.jpg"Haha", chuckled Elora as she sniffed and wiped away her tears with the inside of her glove's cufflet. Her arms were cut up with a few, now smaller, serrations from the wolves' claws and teeth. Her bad arm, on the other hand, was blotched with bruises that were simulated to surround at least a dozen dime-sized puncture marks from the Venom Snapper's teeth. "You always somehow get covered in dirt or -- pfff -- molasses when you're fighting" She also fondly recalled how both of them had gotten completed soaked with water before they'd even begun to fight the large fish from the previous mission.

"I think it's starting to feel a bit better", she assured Freyd. As her larger injury began to heal, she fashioned her spear into a sort of crutch to help her off of the ground. After some residual unsteadiness, she managed to get on her own two feet again. "Is it always gonna hurt this bad?", she inquired naively, unaware of the much deadlier monsters that she would one day need to face, perhaps even alone. Considering how afraid she had looked during battle, she now wore a broad grin, one that was certainly in response to Freyd's affirmation of her success. 

"I've been on Floor 22 before, remember?" A slight blush crept across her face as she recalled how both of them had been dressed during their encounter there. "Actuallyyy, don't worry about that"

Elora turned to begin heading back in the direction that they had came. "The Cathedral of the Forgotten, huh? That's got a bit of a ring to it. That and Angel's Point are both...what would you call it...kind of dramatic names. It still sounds like a cult.

Edited by Elora

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"Oh, it can hurt a lot more than that, but the pain suppression software activates to a degree proportionate to the injuries you receive.  I've seen a lot worse."  It occurred to him that he hadn't actually felt all that much worse than Elora had just experienced.  For all his clumsy antics on the battlefield, Freyd had an uncanny talent for avoiding actual harm.  It was his own peculiar brand of good fortune, tempered by excessive and grandiose displays of ineptitude.  Personally, he was glad for it.  Despite the embarrassment, there were notable advantages to having others think he was incompetent, especially the Cardinal system.  It had already underestimated him on several occasions, which had likely saved his life, and that pattern was unlikely to continue indefinitely.

"Come on, let's go turn this in to Gatsly."  Her reaction to recalling their encounter on floor 22 caught him off guard, and he noticed the blush.  "Tanabata.  Quite right.  I still remember how lovely you looked...oh..erm.  Yes, of course."  His words withered as she dismissed the shared memory.

[Scene changes to the outskirts of the Cathedral of the Forgotten on Floor 22]

"Don't mind the decor.  I think it was crafted and named after a few players who disappeared a few years ago.  Ironically, they recently returned and joined the guild.  I ran into them a while ago on floor one and they told me about this place.  It wasn't really my intention to join Firm Anima, at the time, but it turned into a good investment."  Freyd had an odd habit of terming things in a transactional manner.  Maybe it was a merchant thing, or just how his machine-like mind preferred to function.

"Go on in," he suggested.  "Tell them I sent you and will be along shortly.  And don't mind all the newbies.  Our ranks have swelled recently, it's like the guild is turning into some sort of Cult of Costco."  He laughed and started wandering in the direction of the Town of Coral.

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"Uhh...alright...", agreed Elora as she eyed the establishment's grandiose exterior. Geez, this looks pretty legit. She felt small in comparison to its stoney structure and stoic stature. By the time she had worked up the courage to turn around, Freyd was already on his way to, well, wherever he was headed next. 

"B-but...I'm a newbie...", she found herself pleading beneath her breath as he disappeared among the forest's vegetation. Elora groaned nervously as she encroached on the entrance of the Guild. She wasn't good at introductions, so her hope in Freyd being a reputable connection was all that she had to carry her onward. Slowly lifting a large circular knocker on the main gate, Elora waited a handful of seconds before attempting to pull on the door. Dammit, it must be locked, and no one is even coming to let me in!

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to leave for now and try again later. Her uneasy feet carried her off a ways before stopping, then once again bringing her back to confront the barrier. No, no, no -- I have to figure out some way to get in there! M-maybe this is some sort of test of aptitude? Yeah, actually, I bet it is! They're trying to find out whether or not I have the wits to figure out how to get in there. Man, I gotta think of something creative....I could climb the walls with some sort of rope? Or -- I know -- if there's a tall enough tree...then I could..."NNNGG!", she groaned loudly before frustratedly kicking in the door. It slowly creaked open, without offering any resistance.

"O-oh..."

She slid through the opening and prepared to announce herself, "HELLO, EVERYONE! I'M ELORA!" 

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Thread Summary:

Elora:

3 SP (1 page, 1 quest, 1 event bonus)
700 col
(4x) T1 crafting materials
Venom Vial (T1 Uncommon Potion - On a natural BD roll of 9-10, deals 10 unmitigatable DMG for 4 turns. Lasts one thread.)

Freyd:

2 SP (1 page, 1 event bonus)
200 col

Edited by Arabelle
note: corrected the item drop & removed Freyd's quest rewards [quest is non-repeatable].

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