Crate and barrel twin sleeper sofa

Leo I - Put your coin where your mouth is (Open)

2023.06.09 05:20 RedwingZax Leo I - Put your coin where your mouth is (Open)

Earlier that day Leo had been released from jail with his compatriots from the night before, to his disappointment they were all made of piss and vinegar. Not a single man would attend the Street of Silk with him, shrugging figuring he would find some fun before attending himself later. Waving the men off as he marched off on his own, his kin could get up to their own devices he cared little, he was rich right now.
The smiling knight marched onto the empty ground outside the walls of the city, armored with his squire in tow, the lanky boy was carrying a ton of gear as Leo lead his crimson courser to the ground. Among the pavilion city of hedge knights, they had made a simple jousting ground, a betting table set to one side. To cheers from the side a few young squires ran bets on matches of knights who had grown too bored.
“Sers, come one come all, tired of ten coin matches, come come!” The Reyne jumped up onto a crate nearby whistling for further attention. A few turned over to him to look, his smile growing wider when they did.
"Any Knight here with real balls? One hundred golden dragons to the man that beats me in a joust!” The knight raised a gauntleted hand before he continued. “The catch is put up the same, any man of real skill should have no reason to worry, no ransoms, gold only.”
A few whispered between each other, even if no one stepped up now he was certain there would be a taker soon enough. Many a man came from miles around to test themselves in the tourney, and many a more came for the money alone. If they beat him once that was better than losing in the joust. For a Hedge Knight a ransom he cannot afford could end him.
On the side of the fields, his squire set up his pavilion from his horse, within an hour his spot was claimed outside the walls. Figuring he might just camp it with the rough riders for the rest of the festivities.
“Squire, run the message around the camps again, I got to get some entertainment today.” Leo waved the boy on and uncorked a fresh barrel of ale pouring a stiff one.
submitted by RedwingZax to FieldOfFire [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 02:16 harrdyharr23 Loveseat and Sleeper Sofa for Sale

Selling my old matching loveseat and Sleeper sofa. Sleeper is with a queen memory foam mattress. Matching pillows and cushions.
You would need to pick up as I have no truck to haul them. $500 for both. DM for more information.
submitted by harrdyharr23 to denverlist [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 00:28 puck3624 For sale-2017 1st Chrome Tony Gwy….I mean, Luis Arraez $150 BMWT

For sale-2017 1st Chrome Tony Gwy….I mean, Luis Arraez $150 BMWT submitted by puck3624 to baseballcards [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 21:41 Fairchild972 A Brooklyn's Tale Chapter 18

Here's a link to either AO3 or Fanfictiondotnet if you wanted to read it over there.
Chapter 18
The ornate trimmings that lined the roof of the Iris dorms came into view as the two Battleships slowly made their way up the long path from the docks.
Long shadows stretched from the old worn out street lamps merging quickly with the surrounding darkness before disappearing completely as the lights flickered to life.
Lost in a daze, a ponytail danced in Massachusetts's eyes. Its ash-blonde sheen dimly glowed, glinting off the light of the old street lamps.
Somewhere in her heart she had hoped this slope would continue on forever, that the warmth around her hand would never disappear, but stopping in front of the marbled steps of the Iris dormitory, that warmth finally retreated.
"Why're you still following me around?" Jean spoke, looking down at Massachusetts from the corner of her eye as she made her way up the steps.
The Eagle Union Battleship hadn't moved from where they parted, staring down at the ground by her feet. Part of her grew anxious, waiting with false hope that she would be invited in.
"I-!" Her voice came out louder than she had intended.
"You've had a long voyage…" Jean interrupted, her words strangely soft, "go get some rest."
"...and besides…" the former Flagship continued, scratching at the back of her head, "I've caused enough trouble for my roommate already…"
"Okay then…" Massachusetts giggled, "goodnight!"
"Hmph!" Jean turned away with a huff, "good-", she went to say back, but peaking back around, the silver haired Battleship had already run off.
"-night… I swear," Jean disparaged,scratching at the back of her head, but unbeknownst to herself, the little smile on her face betrayed any sort of foul mood.
Stepping back into her shared room, Jean looked around for any sign of her Cruiser friend. The darkness that greeted her wasn't unusual as Le Malin was usually lying about asleep most of the time anyway, either on the couch or in her room, but a quick glance only revealed an empty sofa. Peeking her head into her companion's room she found it empty, just as it was earlier today.
"I'm back…" the door to the suite swung open.
The little Cruiser hobbled into the room looking more listless than normal. Richelieu did mention she was out doing something important, but whatever it was, it looked like it took a lot out of her.
"Le Malin! Where have you-" Jean quickly held her tongue as a look of fear crossed her companion's face, "n-nevermind… forget it."
"O-okay…" Le Malin released the breath she was holding, fully expecting a dressing down of some sort. She had been hiding out all day so a level of guilt did hang over her, but it was Lady Richelieu that suggested it to begin with. Plopping herself onto the sofa, Le Malin melted into its cushion as the fatigue of consuming a few pounds of brownies slowly washed away.
"Uwaahhh~" a sudden kneading at her shoulders elicited a sudden moan. These hands felt so good~, "yeah… r-right there~"
The Cruiser's relaxation was cut short as she stretched her neck upward, her eyes meeting those of her former Flagship's staring down at her from behind the couch.
"Relax!", Jean commanded feeling the Cruiser's shoulders tense.
'Relax!? How can I relax?!', La Malin screamed in her head, 'why is she acting like this?! First she was super pissed, now she's being super nice! What's going on?!"
Her heart and her body were in conflict, on one hand Jean's hands were absolute magic, never has a massage ever felt this good. But on the other, this was still incredibly weird. For as long as she's served under her former leader, this level of skinship was unheard of.
"What?" Jean scoffed, still feeling a level of resistance in the little Cruiser's shoulders, "you don't appreciate this?"
"N-no!" Le Malin let out quickly, "I- I mean I do! Its- It's just that this is…kinda…" the Cruiser scrambled to come up with a word, "new… for you."
The little Cruiser chuckled nervously as a silence filled the room. The kneading at her shoulders became heavier. Jean's once delicate touch now much rougher.
"Ow ow ow!" Le Malin cried, "sorry sorry!"
It was only for a brief moment, but she could've sworn she saw a smile on her former leader's face as she squirmed underneath the Battleship's strong hands.
"You don't have to come with me," Brooklyn said beside herself, continuing her pace down the hall.
"I-I know, but…" Val gulped down her anxiety, "It's your fault you know!"
"You just had to blurt out I was your advisor!" Val said in a harsh whisper, "now I have to keep up appearances with your sisters."
"W-well…" Brooklyn turned away with a look of guilt, "look, it's only for a few days, once my other sisters get here I'll tell them straight up, that…"
"That-" Val parroted after Brooklyn's pause.
"That, we are…"
"Thatwereengaged," Brooklyn rushed in a hushed voice looking around to make sure no one heard her.
"I still don't get why we have to be so hush-hush about it," Val said with a frown, "are you embarrassed about me or something?"
"W-what?! No!" Brooklyn denied vehemently.
With her head down, the blonde Cruiser says back in a quiet tone, "I just don't want my sisters finding out through hearsay."
"Fine~" Val let out an exasperated sigh before changing the subject to their task at hand, "so anyway… What should I be doing right now? How can I be more… advisor…y?"
"Don't talk like that for one," Brooklyn listed off, "y'know what? Don't even talk, just stand there and nod."
"Am I that unconvincing?" Val says, straightening up her clothes in vain attempt to look presentable.
"On second thought," Brooklyn pinched at the bridge of her nose, "I shouldn't have brought you here, these two are…"
"Remember what Biloxi said back in Panama?" Brooklyn tries to jog Val's memory, "you have to be cautious around these two, they can be a bit… touchy"
The door to the main office swung open in front of them suddenly.
"Ah! Frau Brooklyn!"
Val stood in shock with her jaw hanging open, unable to turn her eyes away from the bombshell of a woman standing by the office threshold. The smile the woman wore was almost reminiscent of St. Louis' but there was something more behind it, Val thought, like some kind of unquenchable hunger.
"Prinz Eugen," swiftly recovering from her initial shock, Brooklyn greeted back with a curt nod.
"It has been far too long," the Iron Blood Heavy Cruiser stepped past Brooklyn's extended hand before wrapping her arms around the Light Cruiser suddenly.
Val blushed as the silver haired beauty, pressed up against her fiance, her hands roaming a but too close to her posterior.
Before Val could voice some sort of protest, Brooklyn had already pushed Eugen off, keeping the Heavy Cruiser at bay with a firm hand in her face.
"Always playing so hard to get~" Eugen pouted, muffled by Brooklyn's palm.
"And your skinship is as irrepressible as ever…"
Eugen let out an accepting chuckle, finally relenting her attempts at a hug.
"Brooklyn!" Another voice from inside the office greeted, "it's always a pleasure to have you!"
"Wales," Brooklyn dipped her head once again.
"You truly are a sight for sore eyes," Wales takes the Cruiser's hand into her own, before placing her lips upon it. The glint on Brooklyn's finger not entirely lost on the Battleship.
ahem Val audibly cleared her throat.
"Oh dear~,this one appears displeased with us," Eugen held her cheek with a playful smirk, "so~ who is this tasty little morsel?"
"Valentina," Val answered with a stern voice, but even she herself couldn't tell what kind of face she was making as Eugen politely shook her hand, "Valentina Hermosa."
"Ah! So you are miss Val-" Wales went to take her hand as well but Brooklyn quickly brought her lips close to the Battleship's ear.
"If you lay a single inappropriate finger on her," Brooklyn whispers, "I'll be sure to let Hood know the goings on in this office of yours…"
A shiver shot up the royal's spine heeding the Cruiser's words. Everything finally clicked into place as she shakily took Val's hand into her own, feeling the same cold metal band around the girl's finger.
"I-it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." An abnormally stiff Wales greeted, hoping that was enough to appease the Eagle Union Diplomat.
Blocking out the sun with her palm, Massachusetts continued to look up. Not at the sky above but at her hand itself. She missed the warmth that had gripped it so tightly last night.
Closing her eyes, she could still see the slender shoulders of the Vichy privateer walking out ahead. To think such a small frame held such a vast amount of power and ferocity. With her thoughts turning back to their brief but intense fight back during war, Massachusetts couldn't help but shudder at the memory of Jean's blood soaked visage, her wavering posture as she struggled to even stand, but even being on the verge of sinking, the almost savage smile that she wore stuck out most to her.
"Oof!" A familiar voice let out as it bounced backwards on the floor.
Lost in her mind, Massachusetts barely felt the impact at her chest, but looking down she found Helena rubbing at her butt after her fall.
"S-sorry!" the girl cried, "I-I wasn't looking where I was going!"
"No. It's my fault too," the Battleship helped the Cruiser off the floor.
"Thanks," the youngest Brooklyn blushed with embarrassment as she dusted herself off, "I was trying to get a list together in my head…"
"A list?"
"Yeah," Helena nodded, "I was headed to Akashi's to pick up some ingredients for Brooklyn's party."
"I can help you out if you need a hand." Massachusetts offered, seeing as how she had nothing better to do today. The Battleship couldn't help but smile to herself as she watched Helena rock her head side to side, contemplating if she should accept her offer or not.
"It'd be no big deal really," Massachusetts reassured.
"It is gonna be a lot of stuff…" Helena mulled to herself, "sure! If you don't mind."
It had been a long while since Massachusetts had been alone with the youngest Brooklyn but watching her from behind as she led the way, there was an air of confidence that wasn't there in the past. Like each step she took was infused with a level of certainty not unlike her eldest sister.
The bell over Akashi's door rang in Massachusetts's ears yet again as she followed the older Cruiser inside. She stood by the entrance watching Helena list off a bunch items at a nodding Akashi. Whatever the girl was planning seemed fairly extravagant just with the sheer amount of things she requisitioned. Massachusetts guessed it made sense, seeing as how this was the first time Helena will be seeing all her sisters in one place after a so long, she couldn't blame her for being a little excited.
"Massachusetts!" Helena called, "did you want anything while we're here?"
"Me?" The Battleship was caught off guard by the offer, "n-no its alright…"
"Aww~" the girl pouted, "I still wanna pay you back since you're helping me out'n all and we haven't seen each other in a while."
"Really I'm good so dont sweat it," Massachusetts smiled back. It wasn't a surprise to see this girl was still so concerned with ever body else and their wellbeing, it was nice to see somethings about her haven't changed.
"As the older one it's only right that I do something for you," Helena puffed out her chest in an attempt to look more authoritative to the much taller Battleship, "I'm going to be baking once I get these ingredients back, so why don't you join me in the mess hall later? I-if you aren't busy."
Helena's home made snacks? How long has it been she's had any? The thought echoed loudly in Massachusetts's head as an eager look crossed her face, "sure!"
After waiting for several minutes for Akashi and her Meowficers to return from the depths of the store, they came back carrying stacks of bags, one on top of the other.
"Sorry for the last minute request!" Helena bowed after seeing the mountain of supplies.
"Its no problem nyah! Anything for one of my best customers!" Akashi reassured.
Attempting to take the stacks of stuff into her arms, Helena starts to teeter along with the goods.
"Woah there," Massachusetts caught the Cruiser by her back, stabilizing her before taking several of the bags into her arms. "I'm here to help, remember."
"He he," Helena chuckled sticking her tongue out like she forgot.
She's still a klutz…
"Don't be a stranger now~" Prinz Eugen sang into Brooklyn's ear, her goodbye hug seemed like it wouldn't end until Wales had pulled her off.
"Yes, my door will always be open to you," the royal bowed, nervous to make any sort of physical contact with her two guests, "and since you two are here on holiday, please relax and enjoy all that this base has to offer."
"Of course," Brooklyn smiled back, "I'd like to see where all the budget goes."
With that said Brooklyn and Val disappeared out the office doors leaving just the two prince's inside.
"Even when she's not working she's working," Wales chuckled, allowing herself to breathe now that Brooklyn was gone.
"Something's changed about her," Eugen said next to Wales' ear as she draped her arms over the Battleship's shoulders from behind.
"So you didn't notice it?" Wales brought her own hand up in front of herself, "the ring on their fingers."
"A ring? Oh dear…" The Iron Blood's eyes went wide, "...I fear I have to apologize to little miss Valentina when I get the chance."
"Oh~ So even you're capable of remorse," Wales said with an exaggerated look of shock.
"Hmph," Eugen pushed off the Battleship's back, making her way towards the door, "even I won't be as crass to take something someone has already claimed. Now…" Eugen placed her hand upon the door, staring at it for a bit, "if only someone here wasn't such a coward…"
"C-coward? What do you mean by that?!" Wales shot up from her seat, but her secretary had already left the room.
Brooklyn craned her neck upwards, staring up at the team of Manjuu setting down the giant wooden crate she had delivered from Panama.
"So that's supposed to be a gift for Queen Elizabeth?" Val asked as the shadow of the crate passed over her.
"That's what Wales said, yeah."
"Any idea what it is?"
"Probably a statue of some sort," Brooklyn shrugged, "knowing that little Queen."
"Quite…" the Light Cruiser disparaged the Royal Navy's callous use of funds.
With a thump, the large crate came to rest at the center of the circular path, kicking up some dust in the process.
"So this is what they had you carry?" Massachusetts said from behind the pair.
The Battleship had dozens of bags hanging of each arm as well as stacked above them, making it hard to see her face.
"That's what I was carrying," Brooklyn said back in surprise, "but what in the world is all that?!"
"Just some supplies!" Helena had poked her head around Massachusetts from behind, startling her older sister a bit.
"She was gonna carry them all herself," Massachusetts tried gesturing to the Cruiser behind her.
"I told you to let me carry some at least!" Helena pouted at the Battleship.
Brooklyn froze up for a second, as a memory of the old Helena overlayed itself into her mind. Whether or not there was an old Helena, Helena is still Helena and it wouldn't change the fact that the girl standing in front of her is her little sister.
But she wasn't expecting to run into her sister so suddenly. Of course she wanted to see her but her nerves weren't quite ready. Brooklyn did mean what she said the other day when she first saw Helena again after four long years, that she looked good. Too good for someone who could barely crack a smile at the time. Watching her banter with Massachusetts now, it's as if she hardly had any trouble at all. Helena has grown so much, and she didn't need the help of her older sister at all…
"One step at a time… remember?" A memory of Val's voice echoed in Brooklyn's mind.
If she wanted to be a part of her sister's life as she once was, it would have to begin right now. Missing this opportunity would be something she could come to regret for the rest of her life.
"H-how about this?" Brooklyn grabbed half of the stack from Massachusetts arms before distributing some to Helena and a few to Val, "we can all help carry some."
Helena pouted even further as she stomped her foot at her older sister. "Brooklyn~" she whined behind her stack, "this is supposed to be for you! So you should let us handle this."
"If that's the case," Brooklyn already started walking off, "then that's all the more reason I should be helping out."
"And besides," Brooklyn yells already a distance away, "I get to spend time with my little sister!"
"Geez~" Helena burrows her face in the bags she was carrying, the tips of her ears glowing red.
Val quietly laughed to herself, knowing Brooklyn was probably too embarrassed to say that to Helena directly.
"Brooklyn! Wait!" Helena shot her head back up.
"Uh uh!" Brooklyn refused from a distance, "I'm helping and that's that!"
"No! You're going the wrong way! Helena shouted again, "we're going to the mess hall!"
Massachusetts and Val broke out in a snicker as Brooklyn stopped in her tracks, laughing all the while as the off duty diplomat swiftly about faced, retracing her steps in a hurried fashion.
"So~" Wichita said over the rhythmic clinking of whisks beating against the walls of several bowls, "Cleveland…"
"Hmm-" the Light Cruiser hummed, not looking up from what she was doing, "what's up?"
"Whatcha workin on?" Wichita poked at the blonde's cheek trying to get a reaction out of her, "Helena's got you helpin her again?"
"Helena hasn't got me doing anything," the Light Cruiser said with a huff, "I'm helping out because I want too."
"Okay okay…" Wichita backed off.
"Why are you even here?"
"Everyone's busy doing something and I'm bored."
"Then why don't you put on an apron and help me out?"
"Hahaha!" The Heavy Cruiser's boisterous laughter startled the Manjuu in the kitchen, "y'know me! I prefer eating my food to cooking it!"
"Then just go sit down and watch!" Cleveland said more than a little annoyed.
Wichita held her arms out in front of her to calm the Light Cruiser down as she did what she was told, but sitting around calmly fiddling with cooking utensils could only placate the Heavy Cruiser for so long.
"Pst… Cleveland…" a small smirk formed on Wichita's lips as she just thought of something that was for sure going to get Cleveland to react, "psstt…"
"What?!" The blonde snapped with a harsh whisper, matching the Heavy Cruiser's attempt at trying to be discreet.
Tugging at Cleveland's apron, Wichita's smirk only widened, "say~ why don't we surprise Helena?"
"And do what?"
"And by we, I mean you," the Heavy Cruiser spoke into Cleveland's ear from behind, playing with the hem of her apron, "you could try greeting her in nothing but this apron~ I'm sure that would totally make her day~"
Cleveland's brow furrowed trying to make sense of Wichita's words. Why would she greet her in nothing but an apron? Nothing… but… an apron. Nothing…
"W-w-why would I do that?!" Cleveland's face glowed a bright red finally catching on to Wichita's dirty joke.
"Hahaha! Oh man!" The Heavy Cruiser nearly doubled over in laughter, "the look on your face!"
Cleveland did her best to ignore Wichita's teasing but the bowl of cream she was working at was whisked way past its intended consistency.
"I bet Helena could pull the look off," Wichita wiggled her eyebrows at Cleveland, "she does have that rockin' body~"
No sooner she said that, the sound of a bowl clattering onto the countertop rang throughout the kitchen. Wichita's laughter had transcended past the audible seeing as how Cleveland's entire face lit up all the way to the tips of her ears like a beacon.
"W-w-what are you even saying?!" The Light Cruiser whipped the whisk in her hand at Wichita, flicking batter in her direction.
With an audible splat, the creamy batter dripped down the Heavy Cruiser's face.
"Oh~ you've done it now!" The chocolate covered lids of Wichita's eyes slowly cracked open. Scooping what she could in her hands, the Heavy Cruiser slung it straight back at a still flustered Cleveland.
Before long the Manjuu in the kitchen scrambled out for the sake of their own safety.
The mess hall should have stayed the same as Helena left it, quiet and calm. With the busy chatter and commotion that came during lunch still a few hours away. But the panicked Manjuu huddling near the entrance to the kitchen and the loud clattering coming from within betrayed any sense of tranquility.
"What's going on?" Val had asked Helena who had been beside her the whole time, but when she turned her head, a gust of wind had blown in her eyes and the Light Cruiser was gone.
Val's eyes darted around, spotting Helena already by the kitchen's entrance. There was a good seven ~ eight meters from where they first entered and she couldn't recall Helena even moving in the first place.
"Ya can't hit me throwing like that!" A familiar voice can be heard yelling inside.
"Wichita…" Brooklyn shook her head, watching helplessly as Helena slammed the kitchen doors wide open.
The two sole occupants inside turned towards the door in shock. The heavy overwhelming pressure radiating from the kitchen's entrance freezing them in place.
"Y-yo~ H-Helena!" The hand full of chocolate batter had dripped off Wichita's fingers. The audible splat it made filled the silence that fell over the mess hall.
"I-I was just h-helpin out… y'know…" The color from Wichita's face had drained, stuttering her words as she forgot how to breathe.
"T-take it easy n-now…" the redhead tried to back away as Helena slowly approached, but her feet wouldn't budge.
"I-I'll help you guys clean up!" The Heavy Cruiser's voice sounded almost desperate as Helena closed the distance.
"W-wait! T-think about this!"
That was the last everyone heard from Wichita's mouth as a loud thud echoed from the kitchen.
Brooklyn and Massachusetts winced as Helena emerged back out, dragging an unconscious Wichita by her collar out of the kitchen.
"Looks like I have a little cleaning to do before we start," Helena sighed, dragging Wichita to a nearby wall, letting the Heavy Cruiser's body slump to the ground after letting go.
Cleveland counted herself lucky she didn't end up like Wichita. For a second there, she thought, that she too was done for. Closing her eyes bracing for a knockout, all she got was a towel to the face as Helena tried to clean the mess that she found herself coated in.
"Geez~" Helena frowned at the blonde, "it's my fault for leaving you guys alone."
"N-no!" Cleveland let out, "it's my fau-"
"It's fine~" Helena giggled as she wiped a glob of chocolate batter off of the blonde's nose, "Just help me clean up!"
Cleveland's face grew a little red as she watched Helena lick her fingers clean.
"Mhmm~!" Helena beamed, "that's really good!"
"I-I was only following the recipe on the note…"
"Dunkerque really knows her stuff…" Helena rubbed at her chin as she tried to analyze the flavor in her mouth.
"Dunkerque?" Brooklyn asked as she plopped down the supplies on a clean spot on the counter, "I didn't realize she was at the Joint Base."
"No. She's not," Helena shook her head, "Richelieu gave me one of her recipes."
"That's rare…" Brooklyn said to herself, knowing that Battleship wasn't known to just hand out her treasured recipes so easily, "so what's the occasion?"
"It's probably not much of a secret, but…" Helena furrowed her brow deliberating whether or not she should say or not.
"It's fine~ whatever you say won't leave this room," Brooklyn smiled before turning to the other girls in the room for confirmation, "right girls?"
Val and Massachusetts both nod.
"They're for someone's launchday," Helena, still reluctant to give up all the info.
"Intel is power," Brooklyn held up her finger, "so if you've got some to share…"
"But…" saying it would be like betraying Richelieu's trust.
"Jean Bart…" Massachusetts spoke, coming to a sudden realization.
"H-how'd you know?!" Helena panicked.
"I-" the Battleship blushed, "I just happened to remember… just now…"
"Oh ho~" Brooklyn and Val shot a knowing look towards Massachusetts simultaneously.
"She's that girl you were with last night," Val said, "hand in hand…"
"Oh ho~" Brooklyn said louder in surprise, "you work fast."
"I-I was just walking her back to the dorms…" the normally aloof Battleship fidgeted in place staring a hole in the ground by her feet.
"I didn't know you guys were friends?" Helena asked, "but that's great! You could help us bake some Pain au Chocolat for her if you want."
"Y-yes!" Massachusetts agreed a little more enthusiastically than intended.
"I could help out too if you don't mind," Val raised her hand, "if you don't mind an extra hand in the kitchen."
"Sure! I didn't really want to bother anyone else but we do have a lot to prep for."
"Val is one of the best cooks I know~" Brooklyn vouched.
"Is that right?!" Helena enthused, happy to meet someone else who knows their way around the kitchen.
"Well~" Val chuckled, not used to the attention she was receiving, "I'm definitely better than your sister here."
"That's not saying much…" Massachusetts laughed.
Cleveland couldn't bring herself to join in on the conversation seeing as how she was largely responsible for the mess they currently cleaning. And now that they had to start from scratch that feeling just compounded itself.
"Hey Helena," Brooklyn called, "where do you keep the extra aprons?"
Aprons, Cleveland blushed, cursing Wichita for putting weird thoughts in her head. The younger Cruiser's cheeks darkened even further not even realizing she was staring at Helena as she carefully hung her apron around her neck. Watching intently as she deftly tied the knot behind her back, before pulling her long and beautiful hair out from underneath. The air in Cleveland's lungs grew thin, watching in slow motion as Helena's hair fell back down, like some kind of swan decending upon a lake, framing her body like an exquisite portrait.
Cleveland wasn't blind, she was always aware just how beautiful her best friend is but she always tried to push it into the back of her mind. An act she was almost always successful at, but Wichita's recent words did wonders to destroy that. The Brooklyn sister's uniforms were quite the sight to behold and Helena's was no exception. Cleveland thought she was used to it by now, given how often the two were together, but she was finding it difficult to pull her eyes away from her best friend's figure.
"Clevie?" Helena said a little worried, "what's wrong? Your face is all red."
"N-nothings wrong!" The shorter blonde let out a nervous laugh, "Just Wichita putting weird thoughts in my head!"
"Great… what'd she say this time?" Helena said, all too familiar with the Heavy Cruiser's antics.
Cleveland would sooner scuttle herself than reveal the whole truth of what Wichita said, "It's… just forget I said anything…"
"Alright…" Helena pouted, a little disappointed Cleveland wouldn't tell her.
With the clean up done, the girls were finally able to start their prep work. With each of them in their own little station responsible for each step of the process.
Val stared at the little note Helena had shown her committing the directions listed to memory. It was a shame she couldn't tell anyone else about this apparent super secret recipe but she figured it wouldn't be a problem if she used it for herself every now and again.
Helena and Val moved about the kitchen like some kind of synchronized, well oiled machine, stunning the rest of the girls as they struggled to keep up the pace.
Brooklyn was always fascinated with the way her sister and fiance worked, but seeing them both at it together all at once was something else.
Cleveland at the best of times could barely keep up with Helena when she was in the zone, but now, with Val involved, there was absolutely no hope.
Massachusetts was off in her own little corner making almost as much of a mess as Wichita did, whisking her bowl with a little too much force.
The team of Manjuu worked like an assembly line, rolling the dough that would become the pastries base.
"Hey Helena," Val called to her newly found cooking partner, "you think you could give Brook a hand? She looks a little confused as to what to do next."
"Brooklyn?" Helena turned to her sister who had just begun pouring the molten chocolate into each mold.
"W-what? I'm good," Brooklyn answered back, slightly confused as to what Val was doing," I don't ne-"
"-Here like this," Helena cut in, guiding her sister's hand as she helped to evenly pour the chocolate.
Val smiled to herself, knowing her fiance didn't really need help, and if she did she herself could step in lend a hand, but if she could engineer a way to get Brooklyn to spend some quality time with her sister she would take any opportunity she saw.
Denver and Colombia could barely contain a snicker as a red faced Wichita sat down on the floor with her arms and legs crossed, still coated in a fine layer of chocolate, doing her best to ignore the two Light Cruisers.
"For a second, we thought you just came from the Iron Blood dorms, pfftt" Colombia broke out into laughter.
"Oh, its only chocolate…" Denver said in relief as she swiped some from the Heavy Cruiser's face.
"What the hell did you think it was?!" Wichita lost her temper as the two ran for cover inside the kitchen.
submitted by Fairchild972 to AzureLane [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 20:41 deviantmoth Why do most people find El Impoluto the hardest legendary ship?

Took me 3 tries. Just stay behind it, spam chain shots while ramming. If it moves away, use fire barrels and mortars to reset then continue blowing away its ass like a Friday night Jalfrezi. HMS Prince took one try and La Dama Negra in two tries. The twin ships though, 9 tries and I'm still failing. The best I've been able to do is take out one ship and have the other ship at half health then wittle it down to a third health before dying.
submitted by deviantmoth to assassinscreed [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 20:20 omcstreet Pup escaped harness, chased after dogs/kids!

Have a 9 month old chihuaha/rat terrier mix that i got from a shelter few months back. At home he is very sweet, super attached to me and listens to most things as much a sheltie pup can. Already have an older dog which he gets along pretty well. However from the time i got him, he is super jittery + scared of everything. His first instinct if he thinks he did anything wrong is to go hider under sofa or crate (say he pees inside and if i say out a word in frustration or if he barks & ask him to stop). This has been getting better, more confidence now. Could manage all of this, but past 4 days on a walk whenever he sees another dog he finds a way to slip out of the harness and chase after that dog & bark. He doesnt hurt or bite, just bark and i have to find a way to calm/leash him back again. Today i double harnessed, he somehow eased out again(?), and started chasing barking at kids whoever were out. Fortunately i'm in this community for long, most know my dogs - so calmed people around & after a long scary 10 minutes of him running around doing shit got him to come to me. Seriously thinking of returning him, running after kids is where i draw a line. I have exposed him to children since he was small, he gets along okay but for some reason he doesn't like boys and coincidentally he found 2 small boys today to chase after his escape. No one was hurt, he stays few feet away and bark at them. Anyone experience this or have suggestion ?
submitted by omcstreet to dogs [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 20:14 omcstreet Pup chases, barks at other dogs & children

Have a 9 month old chihuaha/rat terrier mix that i got from a shelter few months back. At home he is very sweet, super attached to me and listens to most things as much a sheltie pup can. Already have an older dog which he gets along pretty well. However from the time i got him, he is super jittery + scared of everything. His first instinct if he thinks he did anything wrong is to go hider under sofa or crate (say he pees inside and if i say out a word in frustration or if he barks & ask him to stop). This has been getting better, more confidence now.
Could manage all of this, but past 4 days on a walk whenever he sees another dog he finds a way to slip out of the harness and chase after that dog & bark. He doesnt hurt or bite, just bark and i have to find a way to calm/leash him back again. Today he did the same, and started chasing barking at kids whoever were out. Fortunately i'm in this community for long, most know my dogs - so calmed people around & after a long scary 10 minutes of him running around doing shit got him to come to me.
Seriously thinking of returning him, running after kids is where i draw a line. I have exposed him to children since he was small, he gets along okay but for some reason he doesn't like boys and coincidentally he found 2 small boys today to chase after his escape. Anyone experience this or have suggestion ?
submitted by omcstreet to puppy101 [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 18:51 Spartawolf Galactic High (Chapter 73)

As the first rays of morning light peeked through the tattered blinds, Jack slowly opened his eyes, groaning slightly as he rolled out of bed on reflex and began his pushups. Lowering himself down and pressing himself up again like it was second nature to him, Jack slowly woke up and took stock. He felt a little more relaxed and well rested than normal, an unusual but welcome change from the nightmares and poor sleep he had gotten used to. But whether it was his time spent relaxing and watching films with the others the previous night or just sheer exhaustion finally catching up to him, he wasn't sure.
Regardless, Jack checked the time, the system of which Sephy had gone through with him a few times. Measurement systems were quite finicky here, but after just over a week of waking up in similar fashion Jack saw that the numbers looked similar to all the previous nights, and when he stopped a moment to listen, he couldn’t hear anybody else moving about. Even Dante was still asleep, and Jack was pleased to see that the ‘dog’ was breathing a bit better. Whatever Rayle had done seemed to work, though he’d still search for the nearest vet just in case Dante got this way again.
Tiptoeing across the room Jack quickly changed into some exercise clothes and grabbed his towel from where it was dumped on the floor from the previous day. This was a routine he had very rarely ever compromised on ever since he arrived in this realm, and like clockwork Jack tiptoed down the stairs and poured himself a drink of cold tea from the pot, downing it quickly before carefully opening the door to outside. Rayle was still asleep, resting their body on the natural ground to take advantage of their Druidic powers to slowly heal as they slept, but the two opossum-like Screediips, Thulu and Stega poked their heads out nervously to stare at Jack as he crept his way down the long-abandoned ancient road to the district wall. The only sounds were a few small birds fluttering well above him, and the soft thuds of his feet dragging themselves to the starting line.
Pulling out the display for his commlink was always a hassle for Jack ever time he tried, but he was getting better, correctly selecting the music app, clicking on the ‘workout’ tag and hitting ‘random’ with only a few errors or missclicks. As the heavy bass kicked in, beginning a strange combination of what sounding like a cross between death metal and yodelling, Jack started his warm up, his legs feeling stiff and barely functional until he got into a rhythm and soon began running without a problem.
It was about an hour before Jack wound down, seeing that Rayle had gotten up from their spot and left the back door open. So, finishing his workout he lightly jogged over, slipping through and seeing Nika awkwardly make another pot of tea.
“Wish I could have joined you.” The Kizun sighed. “Still sore but at least I’ll be able to come to school with you guys, no way am I gonna risk getting in detention, so it looks like I’m gonna try and tough it out.”
“Hey, you shouldn’t feel pressured to go if you’re hurt!” Jack cautioned. “We know a bunch of people that definitely won’t be able to come in, surely they won’t hand out detentions after a crisis?”
“They have before.” Rayle shook their head as they handed Jack a mug of water, which he downed greedily. “Glad I woke up in time, if it wasn’t for that Lifestone of yours I would probably still be in a coma.”
“Yeah about that.” that reminded Jack. “How are you holding up Rayle?”
“Much better!” The Squa’Kaar smiled nervously. “My connection to the earth is much stronger here, so I’ll be fine! I feel bad for those that lack the ability though…”
“Yeah, if it’s all the same with you Rayle I prefer sleeping in my room instead of freezing my ass outside.” Nika snorted.
“We always have the Lesser Lifestone?” Jack questioned. “Are you able to use that and get better?”
“You have a point.” Nika smiled. “But I’ll wait for the others to get up first, they probably need it more.”
“Doubt it.” Jack shrugged, “You’re hurt the most, you might as well get patched up otherwise you’re gonna have me worried all day.”
“Alright.” Nika smiled unsurely. “I’ll talk to Alora, you go have a shower before you stink up the place!”
“Heh, alright.” Jack sighed as he quickly made his way upstairs.
Once he left, Nika immediately reached into one of her pockets, frantically pulling out her bottle of pills. Quickly taking one, she gave the bottle a shake and sighed when she realised she was getting low. She had been taking pills to throw off her heat cycle more regularly now Jack was living with them, and times like these when he was either helping her with something or just straight up worried about her really set her off.
“You should stop fighting it.” Rayle pointed out from where she was curled up on the sofa sipping her tea, still wrapped up in the blanket they had taken outside while Nika gave her a look. “It’s not healthy to fight against an important aspect of your nature, why not just give in to it?”
“No.” Nika sighed before elaborating. “I mean, yeah I’ve thought about it but I honestly don’t think I’m anywhere near ready for that kind of stuff yet and I don’t think Jack is either. Besides, it’s not debilitating and the pills usually last a while. It’s just one of those things I’ll need to get used to.”
“Will it have any long-term effects?” the Druid asked curiously.
“Um…I don’t think so.” Nika shrugged. “My people have been using these since before our recorded history, ever since we no longer needed to rapidly spread, and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of built-up resistance over the generations. Buying these is the real problem though. My people are quite spread out amongst known and probably unknown space too, but finding a regular supplier can be a real pain sometimes even on the Ring. I’ll be alright. I usually am...”
Jack’s body was still glistening with sweat from his run as he entered the bathroom and locked the door. Quickly shucking his clothes off and turning on the water, he waited for it to warm up a little bit before stepping in. As the hot water cascaded down his body he let out a sigh of relief as he washed away the grime, before leaning back against the cubicle wall and allowing a moment of relaxation before he knew he would have to walk into whatever shitshow awaited the group today.
He was brought back from his thoughts when the shower made a slight stuttering sound, prompting him to quickly turn it off and wrap a towel around him. Walking over to the sink and looking into the old, cracked mirror, he inspected the telltale signs of hair growing above his top lip. He hadn’t really been taught to shave before his arrival, because he hadn’t needed to learn yet, but Jack didn’t really like the idea of starting to grow a moustache or a beard at his age. Reaching into the bag he brought in with him he pulled out a knife he had been using for this purpose for the last week or so, which he kept reasonably sharpened. Though he didn’t know if there was any shaving cream or anything sold that could help protect his skin and make the process a little quicker and less stress-free, he still proceeded regardless, carefully running the blade up and down…
He quickly looked around as without warning, the door opened to reveal Vanya, who looked at him in a panic as he nicked his skin with the blade.
“No!” She yelled as she rushed over to him. “What are you doing!”
“Woah wait! Vanya! Calm down!” Jack tried to wave her off in confusion as she grabbed the arm holding the knife, allowing her to take it from him as he just stood there baffled, as she cast a quick healing spell on him.
Wait? Did she think he was…
“Hey.” Jack calmly put his hands on Vanya’s trembling arms. “That wasn’t what you thought it was, I’m not checking out just yet.”
‘At least never like that, since I’m a fucking coward…’ Jack thought to himself. “You okay Vanya?”
“Um…I’m sorry, I…” Vanya began, and had to take a few moments to calm herself down, breathing deeply in and out as a coping mechanism. “I’m sorry Jack.” She started again. “In the moment I didn’t know what you were doing and I thought the worst.”
“Nah, it’s fine.” Jack tried to give her a reassuring smile, knowing that he must have inadvertently triggered something in the rabbit-like girl. “I was just doing guy stuff, didn’t mean to spook you. How did you even get in if I locked the door?”
“I don’t know, I just turned it as normal and it opened, it might be broken.” She motioned to the long-cracked mirror. “Just like a bunch of other things, you guys mentioned you needed to do some home repairs.”
“Yeah.” Jack sighed, though realistically he didn’t feel bad about it. It was something more normal that he had an aptitude for, as he often helped his father and his brothers around the house with chores on the weekends. “Something might be off with the plumbing or something too, the shower was sputtering a bit towards the end but I wasn’t actually using it for that long.”
“Yeah I think Alora mentioned having the occasional utility problems when guests are over, I’m guessing it might be more problematic now there’s more people living here for the foreseeable future.” Vanya sighed. “I hope there’s enough for me.”
“There should be. If not then maybe Zayle can help with their water spirit?” Jack grinned, before suddenly realising something. “Um…mind getting off me and letting me get changed first?”
“Oh! Sorry!” Vanya panicked as she quickly moved back, freeing the towel around Jack’s waist to fall to the ground…
“Oh…” The Chuna just about got out with wide eyes, before Jack took the initiative and gently manhandled her out of the room, shutting the door behind him.
Quickly finishing his shave and getting dressed Jack waved the embarrassed Vanya in, who had pulled out her small handbag, somehow managing to yank out a fully folded school uniform for the day. Jack guessed it was something similar to the extra-dimensional wicker basket the Squa’Kaar twins had used to store most of their belongings. Heading downstairs, Jack was happy to see that the rest of the household was awake in various states of lucidity. Nika was wide awake and eating breakfast with Alora, who was a little tired but otherwise coping. Chiyo and the Squa’Kaar were sitting on the sofa catching the headlines while Sephy was still looking tired browsing her commlink.
“You’ve got some more bounties on you Jack.” Sephy cautioned. “But nowhere near as bad as last week, probably not gonna be a problem.”
“Who has he pissed off now?” Nika asked curiously.
“Actually it’s all of us.” Sephy shrugged. “Apparently the Ogar clan the Laird belonged to seeks a Weregild for his death. They either weren’t able to put up much or just don’t give a shit and put up a token amount that satisfies their tradition. We’ve also got some anonymous accounts freshly made that are bumping Jack up again…”
“Malakiel?” Jack asked, worried.
“Nah. It’s gotta be related to the Klowns. They’ve tagged a bunch of people, all prominent people that are publicly known to have had a hand in fighting off the Klowns. You, Luvia, Svaarti, Devil’s Daughter, and everyone’s favourite asshole Svaartal are up there, but the amounts are spread fairly evenly. Oh hey! Mr Sparrel’s here too! And holy crap, so is Master Kull!”
“How are the Klowns able to post bounties?” Zayle asked in confusion as their earth spirit lumbered over and brought over a tray of tea.
“Because it isn’t them themselves actually doing it.” Nika pointed out. “It’s all the crazies actually backing them on the datanet that want to see everything burn. The damn simps!”
The Cult of Jingubash is likely involved too. Chiyo added. They are known to exist but they’re treated the same as the Cult of the Destroyer. The Klowns are their public force, but there are many worshippers that hide in the shadows and keep their allegiances well hidden. They’re not believed to be organised in the way cultists of the Destroyer usually are, but they’re still very dangerous.
“Good to know.” Jack shrugged. “At least I’m one of many, any bounty hunters I should know about?”
“Nope.” Sephy smiled. “You’re all clear on the public list, but that doesn’t mean hunters aren’t coming after you, or they just haven't announced it publicly yet.”
“Yeah, when you’re known to have done a public service for the city, people tend to frown on those that want to mess with you.” Nika grinned as the conversation ended, with Jack quickly accepting the breakfast Zayle made for him as he watched the news, with Rayle occasionally skipping the more boring stories.
“...dire news as people are still being recovered from this scene of devastation…”
“..The CEO of Corvin Enterprises has threatened to hunt down and expel all ‘peasants’ from the newly annexed district…”
“It is currently unknown what occurred at the Pallid Pit, however Drow involvement in cleansing it is speculated to be the likely cause…”
“Red Legion forces have been pushed back from the Taurin Sector, causing many to wonder - Is the Red Legion on the brink of defeat?”
“ is unknown if this is a possible sign of a new Nascent Demon Lord awakening on Hive Station Bastilla, but local factions are investigating….”
“Local rangers have confirmed a mass-migration of many Zorn tribes heading westward into the unexplored wilderness. The reason for this is unknown…”
“We have Breaking News!” A cheery avian female suddenly popped up on the screen. She was in a large hall amidst a crowd of journalists with a podium and lectern combo at the end. “I am reporting live from Cocaine Keep, where local warlord Commander Cocaine has called a press conference in light of the apparent death of Devil’s Daughter…oh! Looks like he’s about to speak!”
The camera zoomed in on a large biped walking to the podium. With greenish grey skin and several bone plates protecting their maw, the mean-looking, aquatic-looking warrior was wearing a full set of lithe combat armour that hugged his large frame, with an oversized pair of goggles and a plain white bandana.
“Ooooh yeah!” The warrior roared intensely, shutting up the crowd instantly as he posed with bulging muscles for the cameras as his voice echoed throughout the hall. “I’ve heard the news, yeah! I’ve seen the Klowns, yeah! I’ve smelled the chaos, yeah! And I sense the cries of the people for a hero, yeah! SO COMMANDER COCAINE WILL ANSWER! OOOOH YEAH!”
In the views of the cameras, Jack could see the front rows of journalists start to back away, almost as if they were afraid of the volatile warlord doing something crazy.
Jack couldn’t blame them.
“Yeah! I know you’re all feeling scared and alone out there, yeah! I know things are bad, yeah!” The lunatic continued, with energetic motions towards the stunned crowd. “But let me tell you people something. Commander Cocaine may not be the biggest or strongest there is, but I’ve got heart! I’ve got spirit! And I’ve got lots of cocaine! Ooooh yeah!”
He made several poses with his muscles bulging beneath his armour before he concluded his speech.
”You know who I am, but just in case you don’t, I am Commander Cocaine, and I am the hero this city needs! Anyone with an active bounty better watch out, because Commander Cocaine is coming! OOOOH YEAH!”
With that he strutted off as several reporters from the front row tried to ask him some questions.
“Well, we just heard from Commander Cocaine, who has just sworn to be the hero this city needs!” The reporter started after regaining their composure. “If you want to aid him, you can join the Cocaine Crusaders at the following…”
That’s enough crazy for me right now. Chiyo interrupted as she used her powers to call the remote to her and changed the channel.
“Heh, check this out!” Sephy suddenly cackled. “Svaartal’s got a fat bounty on him, probably from fans of Devil’s Daughter!”
“I hope Devil’s Daughter is okay…” Alora spoke up sadly, causing Sephy to calm down. “We may be partially responsible for what happened…”
“No, Devil’s Daughter made her choice using the information we gave her, we couldn’t have predicted what she would do with it.” Nika reasoned. “And we’re totally going for that bounty, right? We still owe Svaartal a receipt for coming after Jack last week, it’ll be the perfect time to get him if we all work together to take him down.”
“You forget that he’s aligned himself with a powerful Drow House!” Alora chided her. “Who we really want to shake off! As good as we are, we cannot stand against them if we give them greater cause to seek our destruction!”
“They came for us already!” Sephy pointed out. “How could it be worse? Besides, we can take them!”
“It could be a lot worse!” Alora cautioned. “And not only are the Drow Nobles powerful individually, they have a powerful force backing them. There’s a reason why they are a major faction here! You’d risk putting all of us in massive danger!”
“Svaartal has to separate from them at some point.” Nika reasoned. “What do you think Jack?”
“I don’t want to go after him.” Jack immediately replied, truthfully. “But if he gives me a good reason to, I'll face him again. However, if he leaves us alone, we can leave him alone.”
“Well, that’s decided.” Alora sighed in relief. “We haven’t got too much time before we need to go, so let’s all hurry up and get ready!”
As they all hustled and did what they needed to do, Nika sat down on the sofa already ready, unhappy with the decision on Svaartal. He was a dangerous threat to the group, and after his ambush on them she knew he had to be taken out before he had a chance to come for them again. She had tried to take him out during the Klown attack when everyone else was safe and nobody was looking, without success. But here, there was an opportunity to take him out for good without getting their own hands dirty.
Logging in to one of her proxy accounts, Nika bumped up Svaartal’s bounty some more, making it that much more lucrative….
‘Shouldn’t have tried to kill Jack, asshole.’ She thought to herself with a sly smile.
The queues to the school entrance checkpoints were shorter than usual due to the Klown attack, but not depressingly so. Several of the students were talking to each other while they waited in line as they looked up and down the rows in hopes of seeing their friends. To Jack’s mind, many seemed relieved that there weren’t as many victims as they had expected, and the realisation that he played a major part in saving a lot of his fellow students around him during the attack gave him a warm feeling in the back of his mind.
Unfortunately, said good thoughts evaporated when they got closer to the prefects.
“Halt!” One of the Korrigan prefects ordered the group as they approached. “Due to increased security measures you will submit to a full pat down. Failure to comply will result in your immediate termination.”
“Heh, as if they could take us.” Sephy grinned to the others as she was surprisingly the first to volunteer, though Jack had no doubt the sneaky Skritta had ways of hiding what she didn’t want to be seen.
“You two, come this way.” The head prefect observing their queue told Jack and Alora as they moved separately to be searched.
“What have you got hidden here?” the Prefect narrowed his eyes at Jack as they neared the end of their check. It had been quite thorough but he hadn’t given the Prefects a hard time because of it. He could understand the need for additional security in light of the Klown attack, but he wished they weren’t so heavy handed…
“Those are my balls.” Jack squirmed away. “Handle with care, or preferably not at all!”
“Yeah only we get to do that!” Sephy grinned as Jack sputtered in shock.
“You may go.” The Prefect told him. “Actually…wait a moment.”
“Is there a problem?” Jack asked warily, not wanting to be given any grief by these guys.
“I…” the grey-skinned Prefect began before they found their words. “I want to thank you and your friends for what you did at the party, many of my friends and colleagues are still alive because of you.”
“I…that’s alright, I just did what I could to help.” Jack replied, abruptly taken aback by the words. As bad as the Prefects could be, they were still people.
As the rest of the group made it past the checkpoint to head to the lifts, Jack groaned internally as he saw several drow waiting for them up ahead. If looks alone could kill, Izadora was certainly trying as she snarled at the human, who grinned defiantly in return while wearing the shades he had picked up from one of the two Drow Nobles that had attacked him during their raid on the Pallid Pit. The two brothers, Soren and Kravel, were nearby dealing with the checkpoint, but Jack could see they had clocked their group’s arrival.
The huge drow was there too, close to Izadora, and casually leaning against the entry staircase looking bored. Another smaller drow was there who he didn’t immediately recognise, wasn’t she with Soren when the drow came to pick up Svaarti? She certainly stood out from the crowd; despite the slim, athletic build similar to most of the other Drow, Jack could see several school uniform violations, with the thin, high collared black leather-like jacket, with interwoven silvery circuitry that appeared functional being the most blatant, and several dyed strands of light purple amongst her naturally white long hair.
And finally, Svaartal himself. Standing at attention, he was leaning on the staff of Devil’s Daughter, and staring right at him.
“Someone’s chasing clout with that staff.” Nika growled, keeping her hands ready to draw weapons, ignoring the pain of movement as she put on an air of confidence.
“Let’s try not to escalate this if we can.” Alora cautioned.
“You.” Izadora growled under her breath, and the Eladrie sighed resignedly.
“Hey there!” Jack grinned widely, as he gave the Drow Matriarch a friendly wave while many students stopped to watch the exchange, knowing what had happened the last time. “How was your weekend?” He mocked, though he kept up the friendly facade.
“Better than yours I suspect.” She snarled back. “I’m surprised you’re alive, Outsider.”
“Wait, what?” The unknown Drow with them perked up, looking baffled, turning around to stare at Izadora, as Jack saw the traces of several neon circuitry designs peek up from the collar of her school uniform. “This is the guy that kicked your ass and got you all worked up, sister? He doesn’t look so tough to me! My mech could totally wreck him, shame the High Matriarch said no!”
Jack didn’t think the foul expression of Izadora couldn’t get worse, but he was almost amused to see that he was quite wrong. Both Svaartal and the huge drow covered their smirks as the Matriarch rounded on who was apparently her sister, even as the unusual Drow waltzed closer to Jack, peering at him with a curious expression. Nika immediately had her shotgun levelled at their head as Chiyo drew in her power, ready to lash out.
“What?” The strange drow rolled her eyes at the girls as she stopped. “I haven’t even done anything yet!”
“Dextra.” Izadora snapped with gritted teeth. “Satisfy your foolish curiosity another time.”
“You talk too much for a humiliated Matriarch trying to save face.” Sephy chipped in with her ricocheting plasma pistols pointed at the ground, though Jack knew from the angle that she had subtly taken aim at Izadora. “Jack kicked your ass right here, and we took out your special forces at the Pallid Pit!”
“I will make you…” Izadora snarled, before they were interrupted by a familiar, cool voice.
“Izadora, what is the reason you are accosting this group of students?” Rena called out, as she approached the crowd, and Jack was surprised and glad to see Nya trailing gingerly behind her, staring at Svaartal’s newly acquired staff. “It appears that you are holding up the flow of traffic.”
“I am simply ensuring that they know the rules, Rena.” Izadora dismissed. “I-”
“I doubt it.” Rena snapped, unamused. “Your duties are done here, I have been instructed to tell you to report to Mr Zhiel’s office immediately before class.”
Izadora grumbled but ultimately complied, while Svaartal and Dextra slinked away. Only the large one remained behind, looking at Rena almost amusedly as she gave orders to the students to disperse, before he finally turned lazily and slunk up the stairs, but not before subtly looking at Jack for just a tiny moment with a thin smirk.
“I would suggest you all go to your form classes, as there have been several changes in light of the Killer Klown’s attack. I will however address you about this incident later.” Rena sternly told their group, as Alora gently pulled Jack away, quietly pleading with him not to start any trouble, despite the human’s wish to chase after and attack Izadora again, and to give Rena some backtalk.
“Jack, did you really have to wear those shades you looted from the Mal’Kar’s around their surviving family?” The Eladrie sighed disapprovingly as they left the area.
“Yep!” He grinned as they made their way to the lifts.
“Totally worth it…”
If you're impatient for the next chapter, why not check out my previous series?
Some pictures have been added to The Galactic High Info Sheet! If you have any fanart or any pictures you think might fit one of the entries, please let us know on the discord!
Don't forget! You all have the ability to leave comments and notes to the entries, which I encourage you to do!
As always I love to see the comments on what you guys think!
Don't forget to join the discussion with us on Discord, and consider checking me out on Youtube if you haven't already! Until next week, it's goodbye for now!
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2023.06.08 16:43 charm9774 Puppy cries in playpen whenever I leave his side

I have an 11-week old toy poodle pup who's been with me for 2 weeks. I tried crate-training him, but he hates his crate and has very negative associations with it (tried the 'cry it out' method the first two days and I think it scarred him).
So I currently have his playpen set up next to my desk in my apartment (open floor plan). I'm at my desk most of the day so he's right by my side, but whenever I get up to go to the kitchen (5 feet away in clear view of the pen), or to the washroom (3 feet away), or to my sofa or anywhere else, even if he can see me/hear me, he goes crazy with crying and jumping trying to get out.
Is this fear? He can clearly see me in clear view just a few feet away. Is it FOMO?
I feel trapped like I can't move around in my own apartment.
Has anyone else experienced this? Is this just a 'puppy thing' that he'll grow out of with time, or is it something that requires training/conditioning? I'm worried this will eventually lead to severe separation anxiety if I don't do something right now.
Thank you!
submitted by charm9774 to puppy101 [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 14:18 theeverydaykitchen Top 10 Best Foldable Mattresses in 2023

Editor’s Choice: Milliard 6-Inch Memory Foam Tri-fold Mattress
"A thick mattress with anti-slip bottom and CertiPUR-US certified foam feels as comfy as your regular mattress while being super easy to transport."
Best Guest Mattress: Milliard Tri Folding Memory Foam Mattress
"You can install it wherever you are, whether on a campsite or a trip. It is, therefore an excellent extra bed for you on the go or to receive additional people at home."
Best for Kids: Best Choice Products 4in Thick Folding Portable Twin Mattress
"This attractive pick with a beautiful netted-style cover can also be used as a sofa for your kids or guests."
Budget Pick: Olee Sleep Tri-Folding Memory Foam Topper
"This foam is orthopedic and firm in design. It will allow you to have a good position of the spine while relaxing your body entirely so that you can enjoy a light sleep for the best price."
Best Japanese Product: FULI Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon
"This foldable futon extra mattress for one person is particularly appreciated for its comfort in all circumstances. The futon is a model of mattress originating in Japan."
Best Number of Sizes: Best Price Mattress BPM-4TM-T Trifold
"A mattress which apart from twin size is also available in twin XL, full, short queen, queen, king, California king, x-small and small sizes allowing you to choose an ideal bed for any kind of guest."
Most Versatile: Magshion Sleeper Chair Folding Foam Bed
"This plush model will definitely be a part of your contemporary décor whatever color you need – this model offers plenty and can easily be transformed into a comfy sofa."
Best Multi-Purpose: Cozzzi Twin Folding Mattress
"Use this mattress however you want: as a bed, a sofa or a playing mat for your kids, after which you can easily fold it and take away with its carrying handles."
Best Trifold: D&D Futon Shikibuton Trifold Foam Bed
"An affordable choice for occasional use; it features a tri-fold design, high-density foam filling, and a removable poplin cover."
Best for Tall People: LifeSmart Memory Foam Ventilated Mattress Foldable
"Being one of the largest on the market this mattress suits well even the tallest sleepers with its 78-inch length when unfolded."
submitted by theeverydaykitchen to bestmattresses [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 14:17 theeverydaykitchen Top 10 Best Mattresses under $500 2023

Editor’s Choice: Tuft & Needle Mattress
"Unique adaptive foam with medium firmness ideal for most customers, 6 sizes, 100-day trial period plus 10-year warranty."
Runner-up: Classic Brands Cool Gel Ultimate
"3 foam layers and gel foam topping, plush, 6 sizes, and 25-year warranty, comes with 2 pillows."
Best Hybrid: Olee Sleep 13-Inch Galaxy Hybrid Mattress
"Hybrid mattress with individually wrapped coils, plush, 3 sizes, and 10-year warranty."
Best Range of Sizes: Ashley Furniture Signature Design Hybrid Innerspring Mattress
"Hybrid construction, hypoallergenic, firm, 5 available sizes, 10-year warranty."
Budget Pick: LINENSPA Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress
"Very affordable hybrid mattress with spring base and foam top, plush, 6 sizes, and 10-year warranty."
Best Soft-Firm Combo: Zinus Viscolatex Memory Foam Mattress
"Fully foam design with a viscolatex foam layer on top, firm, 4 sizes, and 5-year warranty."
Best Odorless: Zinus 12 Inch Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
"Gel-infused memory foam, firm, 5 available sizes, a 100-night trial, 10-year warranty."
Best Cooling Mattress: Classic Brands Cool Gel Mattress
"Gel-infused memory foam with high-density foam base, firm, 7 sizes, 10-year warranty."
Best Range of Thickness: Signature Sleep Memoir 12’’ Memory Foam Mattress
"Fully foam design, firm, 5 sizes and 4 thicknesses available, 1-year warranty."
Best for Side Sleepers: Olee Sleep Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress
"Egg-crate foam base and gel foam top layer, plush, 5 sizes, 10-year warranty."
submitted by theeverydaykitchen to bestmattresses [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 14:02 entpthrowawayballs Ruby Red Garnet Vase by Crate & Barrel

I found italian crate and barrel vases going for good money on terapeak but none that are ruby red.
I did find this style of vase in ebay sold listings but they weren't labeled as red garnet/made in italy and sold for less.
So I can't find this "ruby red made in italy" vase online wierdly. any insight?
submitted by entpthrowawayballs to whatsthisworth [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 13:34 ta6066 anyone else had one perfect puppy and another total nutcase??

We have 2 male iggy pups, both around 6 months old from different litters/breeders.
One is a literal angel in every way and the other is just driving us nuts. Especially when it comes to potty training.
They have a pen inside attached to a doggy door. When they're in their pen - they would both always use the doggy door and go outside to potty, but lately the weather has been terrible (cold and raining) and the iggys just hate getting their feet wet. Angel will still go outside to potty though, in rain, hail or shine. Nutcase on the otherhand, will do anything he possibly can to avoid it.
He will jump out of his pen, barrel it over, pee through the pen walls, pee on the doggy door itself, anything but actually go outside to pee. He even pooped right in his bed once.
I can't even count how many times I've enzyme cleaned every inch of that room now. We've built shelters outside, put him in raingear, praised and given treats for correct behaviour, and we don't punish for bad behaviour, we just calmly put him outside while we clean the mess. Nothing is working - as long as it's wet outside - he's not going out.
Any advice? At the moment we're locking them both outside on rainy days when we can't be home to watch them - hoping it would help desensitise him to the wet weather - it doesn't seem to be working though. He cries the entire time he's out there.
We might resort to crates if it doesn't get better. We didn't like this idea because we like to give them the option to sleep together or apart, but crates tend to be so small that they'd either always be together in one crate or always separated in two different crates. Thoughts?
submitted by ta6066 to puppy101 [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 12:03 feathernose When can i expect my now 11wk old pup can sleep through the night?

Hi there fellow dog owners! I (33f) have my first dog (75% lab and 25% bernese mix). My pup is 11 weeks old now and i’m mostly at home with him. The first weeks slept on my pull-out sofa in the living room downstairs close to him, for whenever he needed to go potty outside. Now i sleep in my bed and get out when i hear he needs to go outside.
I’ve had a lab pup before when i still lived at my parents but I can’t remember us having to get up several times every night to let her out.
I’m just wondering how other dog owners have done this. Getting up multiple times per night is starting to tear me down. I get around 5 hours of sleep per night because he needs to go potty around 2 am if we go to bed at 10-11 pm, and has to go around 5 again and doesn’t want to go to sleep again, but wants to play. He doesn’t dislike his crate, he often sleeps inside there when the doors are open.
If i let him in his crate after 5am (with a small pen attached), he whines for about 10 minutes and eventually settles, but i feel cruel when i leave him there when he actually wants to play and be wit me. Am i being too soft or spoiling him (i don’t want him to develop separation anxiety), or are my feelings right?
I’m a bit confused by the information i read on websites because they often say that a pup should be able to sleep 8hrs around this age but also say that they have to go to the bathroom every 3hrs for the first few MONTHS. That’s a long time to not getting enough sleep.
I’m curious about your thoughts!
TLDR: my 11 week old pup has a large crate with a pen attached and has to go out 2 times at night, and the last time (around 5 am) he wants the day to start and go play with me. I feel cruel when i put him back to finish my sleep. At day tome he gets plenty of attention. i wonder when i’ll be able to sleep 7-8 hours per night again. I would like to know how other dog owners experienced this.
edit: my cancer is one of the reasons to take a pup because want a dog and now i’m still able to spend a lot of time on him, as my health will probably get worse in a few years and i might end up in a wheelchair- he will be my companion and emotional support.
edit2: yes i do have a coparent who helps me and someone to take care of him in case i pass away.
submitted by feathernose to dogs [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 11:54 feathernose Can you leave a 10 week pup overnight in a crate+pen?

Hi there fellow dog owners! I (33f) have my first dog (75% lab and 25% bernese mix). My pup is 11 weeks old now and i’m mostly at home with him. The first weeks slept on my pull-out sofa in the living room downstairs close to him, for whenever he needed to go potty outside. Now i sleep in my bed and get out when i hear he needs to go outside.
I’ve had a lab pup before when i still lived at my parents but I can’t remember us having to get up several times every night to let her out.
I’m just wondering how other dog owners have done this. Getting up multiple times per night is starting to tear me down. I get around 5 hours of sleep per night because he needs to go potty around 2 am if we go to bed at 10-11 pm, and has to go around 5 again and doesn’t want to go to sleep again, but wants to play. He doesn’t dislike his crate, he often sleeps inside there when the doors are open.
If i let him in his crate after 5am (with a small pen attached), he whines for about 10 minutes and eventually settles, but i feel cruel when i leave him there when he actually wants to play and be wit me. Am i being too soft or spoiling him (i don’t want him to develop separation anxiety), or are my feelings right?
I’m a bit confused by the information i read on websites because they often say that a pup should be able to sleep 8hrs around this age but also say that they have to go to the bathroom every 3hrs for the first few MONTHS. That’s a long time to not getting enough sleep.
I’m curious about your thoughts!
TLDR: my 11 week old pup has a large crate with a pen attached and has to go out 2 times at night, and the last time (around 5 am) he wants the day to start and go play with me. I feel cruel when i put him back to finish my sleep. At day tome he gets plenty of attention. i wonder when i’ll be able to sleep 7-8 hours per night again. I would like to know how other dog owners experienced this.
submitted by feathernose to dogs [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 09:29 MasterBagginses 10 month old puppy has never slept through night consistently

Hi everyone,
Just at my wit's end and need some advice. We have a lovely 10 month old border terrier puppy. When she first came home she was crated and I slept downstairs with her. We had the usual waking in the night for potty which I responded to then after a week I moved upstairs and after 3-4 weeks the frequency of barking/whining slowed and we were going in the right direction.
My dog has never enjoyed the crate but we persevered until she was 5/6 months and then we gave her the living room to sleep in. First few nights she slept wonderfully and we were all very happy! Then she had a few health issues (giardia, kennel cough, food intolerances, ear infection, eye infection) which set her back. she would whine for reassurance and we of course would come down and offer reassurance because she wasn't well.
However since then she's always woken in the night at random times, aside from a couple nights here and there. She just wants to see us, gets extremely excited when she does then goes back to her bed. We thought letting her have free run of the house might help but she just gets excited upon seeing us in bed, licks our hands then returns back to bed (2-3 times a night). My partner doesn't want her in the bedroom because of concerns around separation anxiety and also being a light sleeper. She also seems to want to sleep downstairs as when given the choice (I put a bed up in the spare room with me a couple times) she chooses to go downstairs.
Not sure what to do. We've made her space smaller by moving her to th dining room and she slept through for 2 nights and then started whining again. We've tried at this point letting her cry but she doesn't stop (maybe for a minute here or there then starts again) and the neighbours can hear her which makes us very conscious. We've tried plug ins, white noise, cuddly toys, ticking clocks, clothes with our scent, a night light, back in the crate, moving sleeping area, everything. The only thing that stops it is seeing us. Recently I've started coming down when she whines (after leaving her 10 mins) and sitting behind the glass doors so she can see me but not get to me but that just seems to make her wake up again in the night. I really need some sleep!
Any advice would be so appreciated, thank you
submitted by MasterBagginses to puppy101 [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 05:46 General-Exit-3015 Living room needs help. What’s missing?

I’ve been working with Crate and Barrel to help redesign my living room and they came up with the attached image. I feel like something is missing (side tables, lamps, etc) but I’m not sure what.
Also, any thoughts on how my living room would look if I hung curtains on a ceiling track? My patio windows are 14ft wide and 8ft tall. Would it look weird or should I use a rod like pictured in the CB redesign images?
submitted by General-Exit-3015 to DesignMyRoom [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 05:21 jerrriblank Best sleeper sofa for comfort and durability

Sleeper sofas are notoriously terrible to sleep on. What is a good brand that lasts forever and is beyond comfortable
submitted by jerrriblank to BuyItForLife [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 02:27 jsgunn The Taming of the Shrew but the Shrew is a Dragon Part 16

"Syn, darling, what do you do with your money?" Rhine asked, holding a reclining Synthanus against him.
"I like to rearrange it, and pile it up, and sometimes I roll around in it. Sometimes I try to make sculptures out of the piles of gold, or bring in burning trees and watch how the fire dances in the gemstones. Sometimes I sleep on it."
"Oh. All right, good to know. But I meant what do you spend it on?"
"What is spend?" The dragon asked, lazily. They sat together on a sofa on top of the highest tower. Synthanus often enjoyed spending time looking out over the world, and Rhine had convinced her to try it in human form at the castle, with him beside her. She complained that the view was rather unremarkable, and given her preferred roosts he could see why, but nevertheless she sat beside him.
"Spending your money is when you give it to other people." Rhine explained. Despite her vast knowledge, she was quite unfamiliar with some words. "Who do you give your money to?"
There was silence for a long time. "I don't understand." Synthanus said.
Favorite said he wanted her to bring some of her gold. Synthanus hoped she'd brought enough, the sack she carried was too big to hold with just one arm. She'd considered bringing more but with only one sack in her hoard transportation had become a question she hadn't been able to find a solution for. Well, if Favorite wanted her to bring more she could make another trip. Maybe she would take a cart. A cart could probably hold more than a sack.
She alighted on her tower and shifted into her human form before her weight had even settled on the structure. Then, hoisting the sack over one shoulder, she made her way into the castle. "Rhine!" She called. Where was he?
She wandered about aimlessly for a time, before one of the servants the king owned led him to her. "I brought gold!" She said, beaming, when she saw him. His eyes went wide, and her heart sank. "I know it isn't much but it's all I could fit in the sack. I can go back and get more if…"
"That's uh… more than enough, my love." He said. My love! My love. My love. Yes, those words pleased her. "Here, let's uh… take this to uh…" He led her through the castle to a small room filled with a big table. Perhaps a dozen chairs sat around it. Her eyes scanned the place, shelves on the walls held dozens of scrolls and various parchments, books, and other things she didn't know the purpose of.
At Favorite's explanation she carefully emptied the sack onto the table, which groaned under the meager weight. Several coins fell to the floor and she darted after them, gathering them until everything was laid out on the table.
"Why did you bring so much?" Favorite asked.
"I just filled the sack." Synthanus said, simply. He'd asked her to bring some gold, so she'd brought some gold. She still didn't understand why, so she ran her hands through the pile a few times, to spread it out. "It looks nice on the table. Thank you for the suggestion, Favorite." He glanced at her. "Rhine. Thank you, Rhine. I think bringing it here was a good idea. Oh, if we light those candles I bet the coins would cast a lovely shadow against that wall. Don't you think?"
"Well yes, but that's not what I… you go ahead and do that, dear. I'll go and get uh… someone to help."
He left and while he was gone Synthanus played with the little piece of the hoard she'd brought. She lit a few candles and arranged them on different shelves and positions on the tables. The pile had to be rearranged a few times, each time with different positions for the lighting, until she finally found the best arrangement. A big pile on the right that sloped down gently to the left. A pair of candles right behind the stack for a dramatic shadow, with others here and there to amplify the ambiance. She found that lighting the back of the slope was counterproductive, and that the best gleam came from an array of candles to the leeward side. Then, satisfied with her work, she leapt up onto the table and lay on the pile of gold, before picking an errant coin up and chewing on it.
The door opened and Favorite entered, along with two others Synthanus had not met. The first was a short, stout man who wore spectacles, and a thin man with only a little hair on his head. The tall one wore robes, which seemed both impractical and marvelous. Synthanus immediately began thinking of a way to find herself a set of robes like that.
She was only half listening when Favorite introduced the short man. He was Scribe something something. Then Favorite said then said the other was "Father Michael Gray." Synthanus laughed. "What is it, my love?"
Those words again! How she melted to hear them. When he asked again she realized she hadn't answered. "Your joke." Confusion. "I know your father, and he isn't so bald!" She laughed. Father Michael Gray! Ha! Wait. Do humans have more than one father? "Oh, Rhine, I hope I have not offended you! And you, your majesty!" She bowed low, as low as she could still sitting on the table. "Your son is my favorite!" She beamed. There was only confusion. Had he not heard her? She spoke again, slower and louder. "Your. Son. Rhine. Is. My. Favorite." Nothing. "I am a dragon!"
"Syn? Darling, this isn't my father."
"But you said…" She trailed off as Rhine was talking to her guests. She stopped paying attention for a while until someone said "gold". And she turned and looked.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" She shouted. They had taken her pile and… and… ruined it! They'd cleared a small place on the table and had begun stacking coins. Stacking them! In neat little stacks. One on top of the other.
"I just explained, love." The word took the anger out of her. "I've asked them to count it."
"Because I don't know how much is here." Rhine said.
"Oh." Synthanus said, but she did not understand. So she watched, and waited. Slowly the two men transformed her pile into dozens of small stacks, making marks on paper as they did so.
"You have quite a fortune here, my lady." Rhine's father said. Synthanus giggled. She did have a large hoard, and he was so nice for saying so. "Are you ready to meet with the tradesmen?" He asked.
"Yes." She said, not knowing what that meant. So Rhine's father and Mister Scribe left and came back in with a few new people. There was a man with an apron who smelled good, and a woman in a fine dress, and another man with some tools on a belt and another man with an apron and different tools.
Synthanus contented herself by playing with a stack of coins until Rhine's father stopped talking. Then there was silence for a time. Was she supposed to say something? Better make a good impression on these strangers. "I have this much gold." She said, spreading her hands to indicate the little stacks. They all stared. At her, and at her little hoard. Slack jawed. "I am a dragon." She added, happily. More stares. She enjoyed the awe on their faces. It was about time someone responded properly to her!
"Lady uh… lady dragon." The woman in the dress said. "What do you wish from us?" Synthanus wasn't sure so she thought about it while looking at her. "Are you…" tears welled in her eyes. "Are you going to eat us?"
Synthanus laughed and laughed, she laughed so hard she felt tears on her cheeks. "Of course not!" She said, fighting for breath. "I'm not hungry!" Then she thought about it, and maybe she was? Or she might be. Soon. What was she to do again? She gestured Rhine over. "I'll probably be hungry today. Before the moon is all the way up? What do I do? Do I hunt?"
She was once again thankful for his patience. "Don't worry, Syn. Just tell this man what you want."
"You there!" She shouted, pointing to the fat man with the apron. "I want food."
"Ah. Yes, of course my lady." He said, stammering. "With your leave, lady dragon, I will…"
"Stay here." Rhine said. There was a note of command in his voice. Something she'd not heard from him before. She found her heart beating faster.
"But sire, the dragon has said…" Rhine held up a hand and the fat man was cut off.
"Now, my love, this is a chef." He explained. Synthanus got the impression he'd explained already but that she hadn't been listening. "He makes food."
Synthanus nodded. "Yes, and I want food. Have him make food for me." Rhine frowned. "Please have him make food for me."
"My love, do you remember what we talked about?"
"Yes." She lied.
"So why should he make you food?" Rhine asked, patient.
Oh! That was right! "Because I have gold!" She beamed. "Chef, I have this much gold. Make food, please!"
The chef barked "right away!" And turned to obey, but a soft word from Rhine stopped him.
"What did I do wrong? I said what I wanted, and I told him I have gold. Rhine!" She said, feeling tears in her eyes. "Rhine! What am I doing wrong? I just want another pig and maybe some pies and more of that bread oh and fish and maybe some of that uh… it's the thing they make from milk that's not butter. And nuts! The walnuts! And peppers! And those little cakes that have the honey in them, and rabbits! Yes, I want six rabbits. No! Twenty. I'll want some for a snack for later. Does he make wine too? I'd also like a barrel of wine, please. And rain water! Two barrels of rain water. Or maybe water from a river? And beer! I haven't tried beer and Rhine says it's like wine but it's different and it's made from the same things as bread but you don't put butter on it and that seems silly if it's made from grass seeds." There was silence for a time.
"Please." She said. Then thought for a moment. "I have this much gold."
"Syn, we talked about this. Don't you remember?"
"No!" She said, sobbing and sinking into a chair. "I said please! I said I have gold! What am I supposed to do, Rhine? You're my favorite, make these feelings stop!"
"What feelings?" He asked.
"Bad feelings!"
She thought for a moment. "I feel sad and confused and frustrated because I don't know what to do." She said. "And now I'm starting to get hungry and I don't know how to get him to make me food."
"Right away!" The chef said, turning to go.
"Sit. Down." Rhine barked. The chef sat. His voice turned tender. "Syn, it's all right. I'm here. I'll explain again." She nodded, listening. "They'll do things for you because you have gold…"
"I KNOW!" She sobbed.
"But it's not just because you have gold. It's because you're going to give them some of it."
She looked at him. That was a joke. Right? But he didn't laugh. "Why…"
"Because they want gold." Rhine said, softly.
"But I want gold." She said.
"Yes, darling, and you'll still have gold. Just a tiny bit less."
"But they'll only do what I want if I have gold."
"That's right! Good job Syn!" He said, his tone warm. At this she beamed. "They want the gold that you have, so if you give them some, they'll do what you ask, but if you don't have any then they won't." His smile slowly slipped. "Because you won't have any gold to give them."
"But if I give them gold, how will I still have it?"
"OK, darling, look." He took a stack of 10 coins and set it in front of her. "Let's say he wants three coins to make you food. You give him three coins, but you'll still have seven left!"
"Yes, but I won't have ten."
"Right, because you gave him three. And he made you food." Synthanus looked at the chef, who had clearly not made anything but sweat.
"But then I wouldn't have ten coins. I won't have as much gold so he won't make food."
"No, Syn, look. He's going to make food because you have coins you'll give him. So he makes you food. Because you gave him the coins."
"But if I give him the coins then I won't have them!" Syn said, crying again.
Rhine started to explain again before the chef cleared his throat. "May I explain?" He said, softly. Rhine glared at him but Synthanus nodded. "Miss Syn, my lady, think about it like this. Pretend there's magic that turns your gold into food. So if you give me some coins, I can use that magic and turn them into food. You'd still have your coins, but they'd be turned into food now."
She pulled the coin she'd been chewing from her mouth and looked at it. It didn't look, smell of feel like food. No matter. She swallowed it. It was not satisfying. "It didn't work."
Rhine's face was bright. "Yes, of course it didn't work, you can't just eat coins, silly!" He laughed, and she laughed. It was silly to eat coins! But she could do it, even if it was silly, and she announced this before eating another. "See? It's not very good. But, if you give it to the chef, he can take your coins and turn them into food!"
Synthanus blinked. She was well beyond proficient in the spell weave, and what Rhine described was patently impossible. But setting aside the impossibility, the idea did make sense. She'd keep her coins. But they'd have been turned into food. That she could eat.
"How does he turn coins into food?" She asked.
"Ah, that's not anything you have to worry about. You're Synthanus the dragon! You don't need to know how it happens, just know that it happens."
"Oh." He was right. This kind of magic was beneath her. She took a few stacks of coins and slid them across the table. "Very well. Please turn these coins into bread for me."
The chef's eyes nearly popped from his head. He looked to Synthanus, then to Favorite, then to the pile of gold, then back to Favorite. "Miss Dragon that's…"
"Far too much for just bread." Rhine said. He pulled the pile back to his side, then pushed a pair of coins forward. "How about if we give him this much, and he makes you whatever food you want, and when that runs out he'll ask for more."
"I'm more hungry than that!" Synthanus said.
"No, no, darling. See, a tiny amount of gold can make a lot of food!"
"Oh!" Synthanus said. Of course!
Everyone seemed so happy suddenly! She understood! He'd take the coins into the kitchen and do some human magic she didn't understand, and somehow the two little coins would turn into a pig. "How do you make other food? Like mushrooms."
"It's all from gold!" Rhine said, beaming. "Pig, bread, mushrooms. Gold can buy it all."
Buying! That must be the magic they used. Buy. Yes, she'd need to learn this magic. But not now. So she noticed a pair of coins had fallen on the table and scooped them back into her pile.
"Syn, you've got to pay him." Rhine said.
Paying. Yes. She slipped the two gold coins back off the pile and slid them over. "Here is the pay." Now he'd take the coins and she'd have food.
"But wait!" Rhine said. Syn felt her heart sink. "You don't just want food, do you?"
She looked up and Rhine's father caught her eye and shook his head. "No." She said, before grabbing the errant coins on the table and adding them to her stack. "I also want…" she watched Rhine's father, who looked panicked for a moment before gesturing to himself. Oh, right! "Robes! I want robes. Like your dad's."
"Uh… right." Rhine said. Then pointed at the woman. "She makes clothes."
"But all I have is gold." Synthanus said.
"Miss Dragon, I turn gold into clothes!" The woman said, happily. "With just one of those coins I could make you dozens of robes."
"That might be too many." Synthanus laughed, picturing herself in a sea of fabric. She was quite sure if she wore a dozen robes she wouldn't even be able to walk.
"Oh. Well then I could make you robes, dresses, and many other things! You would only have to wear one at a time!"
"That sounds very nice!" Synthanus said, sliding a pair of coins across the table for the seamstress. Then another pair for the chef. Then she saw the four coins and hastily swept them back into her neat little stacks.
She had no use for the carpenter, but slid him a coin anyway before adding it back to her pile. Then the jeweler said he could turn gold into gold and Synthanus laughed until she cried and slid him six coins. Then swept them back into her stacks.
Finally it was said and done. Eleven coins, and she'd have food. Clothes. Something made from wood. And gold? And she was so happy, she had figured it out! She could give them gold, and they'd turn that gold into things she wanted! She was giddy when she slid the coins over.
But then she stopped.
"But… it's my gold." She said.
"Yes, darling, but it's coming back to you in ways you can enjoy it even more!" Rhine said.
"But I have to… give it away? And then it won't be my gold. It'll be food. And clothes. And wood. But it won't be my gold!" She was crying. She fell to her knees, face in her hands and sobbed. "But I love my gold!"
"Oh, Syn, my love, if you really don't want to spend it…"
Even those words didn't help. "I do! I want food! And robes! And a hair pin that looks like a dragon fly! And I know what I have to do!" She sobbed on the floor. "But I can't! Favorite, I can't! I can't! It's too hard! Fix it! Please, Favorite! Rhine. Rhine, please! I can't, it's too hard but I want it and I can't do it just please do it but don't make me do it!" And there were warm arms around her, and quiet words, and the sounds of people walking and the door made a noise and it hurt so much, it hurt! She felt it in her heart, in her soul and she couldn't watch and then there was a great crashing sound and she looked and all the neat little stackd had fallen over onto the table into a big pile.
"Oh that looks nice!" She said, standing. She laughed. "Bring more candles, I want to try something." She looked at Favorite. "Rhine, I'm getting hungry, is that pig ready?"
And everyone left was all laughs, and smiles and then Rhine's father and Mister Scribe left and she was alone with Favorite.
Rhine was exhausted. He held Synthanus close to him, reclining on the mounds of gold on the table. "Do you think my pig is ready yet?" She asked again.
"Not just yet." He said. He'd left orders with his staff that they were to be notified as soon as the food could be served.
"You're my favorite." She said, snuggling closer.
"You're my favorite." He said. And he meant it.
They lay in silence for a time. His mind began to wander before Syn spoke. "Thank you." She said, softly. "I wasn't very… I was bad today."
"I cried. And I yelled. And I didn't understand. But you were with me. And you helped me. And you loved me. Thank you."
submitted by jsgunn to jsgunn [link] [comments]

2023.06.08 02:02 notawerebear The Journey

Sorry for the delay in updating this...
Many difficult days in the last two weeks. I hope you enjoy it and, as usual, let me know in the comments if you'd like me to continue.

The Journey
Aaaaand as soon as I am twelve boat lengths away from shore the wind shifts and I am still. The sail flaps and I don’t move through the water at all.
Ahta has disappeared back into the trade office and I’m at a total loss as to what to do. I turn the winch one way and then the next and the sail catches no wind. The waves are higher now that I’m out of the lee, coming off the starboard and rocking the boat so that I can barely get from one side to the other without falling down.
I curse my uncle (which I feel terrible for) and I curse Ahta for pushing me out. This is not the life I want! I had a good life on Neverdin. It was safe and steady and while I never would have become a rich man at least I could predict what the next day would bring!
Now I’m rocking and my boat is rolling in the swell and the Golden Rock looks far away as ever and even if I wanted to I can not swim back.
The load is shifting on the deck. I am just a cork floating in the ocean and I feel like this is the life I never wanted. None of this is the way I imagined it and I just want to go back to tending my small patch of vegetables that I had outside of uncle’s house.
But as I struggle with the winches I realize there is no going back. I could spend the next few hours trying to position them to catch the wind again. But even as I drift through the sea I realize that sailing back to the life I once knew would be a hundred times more difficult than moving forward. Gold Rock is larger on the horizon. If I can make it there and sell my wares at least I will have this one journey under my belt. This one trip I can tell my grandchildren about. Even if I never sail again I can tell the tale of making it to Gold Rock and back even if I spend the rest of my days at Neverdin.
And so I start fiddling with the sails. Twisting the winches this way and that and trying to figure out which way I can turn them to catch the wind again.
I breathe a sigh of relief as, somehow, the sails flap and catch a bit of wind again. It’s not exactly in the direction I want but somewhat. North and a little bit to the east. At least it is pushing me closer to the giant rock.
I feel myself getting thirsty and hungry so I go to the crate and barrel that Ahta has given me. I scoop out a cup of water and drink it in three quick gulps. Then I pull out a piece of cheese and munch on it. Both soothe my hunger and thirst.
I return to the winches. I study the telltale flying overhead. It’s mostly pointed north-ish and so I adjust the sail enough that it is catching the wind. I feel the ship lurch forward. Suddenly I am sailing again! Slicing through the water and moving closer and closer to Gold Rock with each passing moment.
I move to the little table at the back of the Dhow and pick up the round instrument on it. It has the letters N, E, S and W etched on it. I turn and the small dial turns with me. I realize this is some sort of indicator of direction. North, South, East and West. Well! This is welcome news! I at least have an instrument that will allow me to know the direction I am sailing. Perhaps this will help me going to some of the islands I can not see?
I’ve heard many stories of the secret potions on Alchemist’s island. Those that allow you to sail and not sleep for days at a time. My uncle never used them but he told me tales of sailors who did. Amassing great fortunes because they could sail for days at a time without sleeping.
He also mentioned that their lives inevitably ended early because of their use of these concoctions. I don’t think I would use them extensively but maybe once in a while when the need was great?
As Neverdin disappears behind me and the Gold Rock looms greater and greater in front I start to dream of what my future might hold? A life on the small island of Neverdin was going to be easy and peaceful. I didn’t mind that.
But what if I make enough money trading to buy a larger ship? What if I can buy a vessel I can cross the ocean with? Why I could ferry the spoils from the mines all the way to the fabled lands of Aestrin or the Dragon Rock Cliffs that I’ve heard about from sailors who’ve anchored in Neverdin bay.
The wind shifts eastward and I adjust the sail so it’s right at my back. I’m chopping through the light waves now and feel an immense sense of hope at how quickly I’m making way. Gold Rock is becoming larger and larger in my view. It hold with it the promise of hope and possibility that I could never have imagined back at Neverdin. I don’t feel safe the way I did on the island of Neverdin. But I feel a sense of adventure I never would have there.
I’m grateful to my uncle and for Ahta for pushing me out into the sea. Maybe there is more to life than just growing a vegetable patch and trying to live as quietly as possible.
Feeling hungry again, I pull out another triangle of cheese and wash it down with three big gulps of water. I realize as soon as I’ve eaten that I’ll have to find a more economical way of getting food if I’m to survive as a trader and keep any money to myself.
Perhaps Gold Rock will have some solution to this problem!
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2023.06.08 00:27 Aware-Material507 A Robotic Overmind for a Dungeon 24

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Advancing with my remaining fully functioning forces, I stop at the first of the four warehouses doors. They were large, about twice my height and three times as wide, and completely made out of some rather dulled plates of steel. I position my two scorpions to face the doors and have the rest of the group form up behind and on the sides of them. Once they are all set up I push the doors open with a heave and quickly rush to the side, giving my scorpions better sight lines.
It is a good thing I did too as they proceeded to fire their beam tails into the poorly lit interior of the warehouse. While the light from the beam faded swiftly, it was long enough for me to see a glimpse of what was inside of the room for a moment. I managed to spot a total of around 10 drones, four of which were scorpions and the rest were a scattered group of spiders. From the looks of it one of the beams managed to hit one of the enemy's scorpions but the rest of them began to give off the familiar humm that my scorpions released just a few moments ago. Realizing what they were about to do I ordered for my drones to break formation and scatter but it unfortunately was too late as 3 beams struck out from the scorpions in the dark, hitting two of my hounds and one of my scorpions.
My four hornets that I brought with me fired off their spikes into the unlit warehouse and from the sudden halt of two of the silhouettes of dark red light coming off from the drones, marking them as MAI's, I would presume that at least a couple of the spikes had found their mark. My hounds were next to act as they all at once rushed into the structure in search of the drones that dared fire upon them and their drones in arms. I ran forward with them, but due to my much greater mass, I only catched up to them after they had begun ravaging a spider drone that was caught out in the open.
The lighting in the warehouse was poor, with only some side windows high on each side of the structure. Thankfully it was enough to see the general contents of the room which was full of crates of various sizes. Seeing a faint glow in one of the said crates I walk up to it and pop the lid open and I find a spider shivering in fear. Looking at it I feel slightly bad for it as it was obviously scared shirtless and was fighting for the wrong person, not that I could do anything about it. Or can I?
I was able to convert that one small drone works to my side so why should it not work on drones too? As I begin reaching down to gently pick up the spider I hear a loud crash followed by the barking of a few of my hounds. I guess it will have to wait. I put the lid of the container on and locked it before rushing over towards the sounds of combat further into the warehouse.
As I pass another pile of containers I find one of my drones stunned against the right wall. Turning to my left I see three of my hounds all teaming up on two of the scorpions. As I start to wonder where the third scorpion is, I dive into the cover of some nearby crates as a beam of energy pierces through the air and hits where I was just a moment ago.
Thankfully more of my drones, in the form of another hound and a hornet, rush forward and reinforce the ongoing brawl. The hornet fires off their spike in the general direction of the one unengaged enemy scorpion but, from the look of it, the scorpion in question managed to duck in time. I really need to find or make a dedicated weapon instead of just picking up whatever it is around at the time.
Sighing as I scoop up a few rebar poles, I take a step back before hurling the pole. Although I am not the greatest javelineer in the universe, through a stroke of divine intervention I managed to impale the scorpion that fired upon me straight in-between their eyes. With that, the engagement has swung into my favor considerably. And just to add salt to the wound, some of the drones the scorpions hit with their stun beam began to regain their control and joined the fight.
Not long after that, the last of the scorpions fell to my hoard of drones and all that was left were the scattered spider drones all across the building. Ordering my drones to capture instead of kill if possible I get a message pop up notifying me that I have defeated the garrison of this outpost. I guess there was nothing else hiding in any of these other warehouses. I wonder what's in them.
I guess this is the perfect time for now, I order a few un-damaged hounds to guard the captured spiders and I send everyone else to get tended by the repair team. With that settled I walk over to the second warehouse and pop open the door revealing much of the same compared to the previous warehouse. Moving over to the third I open up the doors and am greeted with a collection of drone and resource producing equipment. There was a small drone works along with a medium as well and in the corner of the building was a refinery.
If my memory serves me right, the medium drone works need an external power source to function for any extended periods of time. Which means there is something that can generate electricity somewhere. Looking through the doors of the building and to the final warehouse, I could guess where it might be located.
Opening the final door I reveal a generator along with a few small mountains of barrels. Taking a look into the barrels I find a faintly yellow substance residing inside them. Inspecting the generator a description pops up in front of it stating that it was a chemfuel powered generator. I guess that's what is in the barrels. Taking a look at the piles of said barrels, I see that I have a decent supplement of chemfuel which will probably last me for quite a while.
Deciding that I did not need to start up production anytime soon, I left the generator be for now. Walking out of the warehouse, my eyes land on the batch of six spiders. Wait,weren't there seven before? Then I spot the mangled corpses of a spider around a half dozen feet away from the rest of the bunch. Well that explains it.
Stepping towards the imprisoned drones, that were still being dutifully guarded by a couple of hounds, many scuttle as far away as they could before their captors began to growl causing them all to freeze. "Hey guys, I'm not here to hurt you, I'm going to cut you all a deal," A few relax a smidge when they hear me say that I wouldn't hurt them but most still huddled together and looked back with a fair amount of skepticism. "I guess that's fair, I did shut down your scorpion cousins. But that aside, I offer that you can join us or I will let you free on the condition that you give up your ties to my enemy."
I draw a line in the middle of the group, "If you wish to join me then step on the left side, if you wish to be let out into the wilds than move to the right." A pair of drones begin to hesitantly step to the left but are then attacked by 3 their seemingly more zealous brothers and or sisters. I quickly grab the three aggressor and place them away from the group and have my hornets quickly end them.
Once I finish with that I see the remaining spider drones have decided on their fate. The two spiders that decided joining me were better or the threeish options have stepped on the left side and their glowing joints have turned blue that matched the rest of my drones. The last drone had stepped to the left without me noticing and their joints had turned into a neutral gray.
Keeping my word I pick up the gray spider and release them into the wild. Hey, maybe they'll start their own spider colony I jokingly think to myself. I have the turncoat spiders join the others and as they begin to mingle I notice that the turncoat drones are made of a slightly darker metal.
Then a notification pops up stating that I gained a new skill. Expanding the pop up, I see what it was referring to.
"New skill gained: Minor Drone Conversion. Have a 25% chance to successfully convert a captured small drone."
Posts might come in late over the summer due to family outings and such but I'll try to keep this going on my free time if possible.
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2023.06.08 00:16 ralo_ramone An Otherworldly Scholar [LitRPG, Isekai] - Chapter 11

The Great Hall stood tall against the cloudy day, expelling white smoke from the multiple chimneys on its thatched roof. The outer walls made of a dark gray stone and the overall brutalistic style of the building, gave the Great Hall a certain ‘Big Bad Evil Guy’s lair’ vibe. Upon further inspection, I noticed traces of mana weaved in between the stone which made me wonder if the whole building had some sort of protecting enchantment in place. It made sense considering the whole town was a bastion between the Farlands and the Ebros Kingdom.
Despite my initial assessment of the city, Farcrest’s marketplace flourished all around me. Food, weapons, tools, all kinds of crafting ingredients. No matter what direction I looked I found new things to identify. Other than the abandoned northern district, the city looked like a bustling trade center.
I continued walking through the street market towards the Great Hall.
Red banners with the Marquis crest, a man killing a wolf with a lance, hung from the inner walls. The gate was guarded by a small contingent of soldiers dressed in shiny armor and armed with long albarests. I was tempted to use [Identify] on them but remembering Elincia’s reaction, I refrained from doing it. I didn’t want problems before even starting my life in this world.
As I reached the closed gate, a guard blocked my path.
“What is your business in the Marquis’s Great Hall?” The guardsman asked, glancing at me with unfriendly eyes. The man inspected my appearance from head to toe and he didn’t seem to like what he was seeing. My clothing was humble to say the least.
“My name is Robert Clarke, Scholar from the City of Light. I’m here for a passage permit into the Kingdom of Ebros.” I said with a haughty voice. A good teacher was, in essence, a good actor, and I took pride in my classroom management.
As expected, my words seemed to pique the guard’s interest.
“Farcrest isn’t a border town, Scholar. How did you even enter the kingdom?”
The guard was unsure if he was really talking to a commoner or someone of high birth. Or maybe he thought I was a high level individual? It made sense that people with higher levels looked down on the weaker.
Considering Elincia’s reaction to the story about the teletransportation, I decided to continue with the same lie. If I had to guess, portals weren’t all strange in this world.
“A magic accident teleported me into the Farlands. There I was picked up by an Alchemist harvesting ingredients who brought me here to Farcrest.” I explained with a serious tone.
“Should’ve said that from the very beginning… sir. Portal magic is no joke.” He stuttered.
The guard swallowed the story.
“It is not.” I nodded.
The guard must’ve assumed I was the one responsible for the portal incident because his demeanor changed instantly. If I had to guess, portal magic was a high level technique.
“This way, sir.” The guardsman said, guiding me through a lateral door at the base of the wall and into a narrow and dark corridor. As much as I wanted to enter through the main gates, I assumed it wasn’t worth opening it for a single person.
We emerged into a cobbled courtyard by the side of the Great Hall where a small army of workers unloaded carts with crated goods under the attentive glance of an overseer. Regrettably, I couldn’t tell what was inside the heavy boxes.
“Trade seems to be healthy considering Farcrest is a frontier town.” I pointed out in a vain attempt to make the guard talk.
“It’s been that way for a while now.” He sparsely replied as we walked to a wooden building attached to the Great Hall. Outside the building, an angry middle aged woman dressed in a gambeson with the Marquis emblem was training a group of fresh recruits who barely knew how to hold a sword. The kids couldn’t be much older than Zaon.
Instead of walking towards the building, we approached the training group.
The soldier saluted and the woman knight raised her hand, stopping the frenetic swinging of the recruits. Her eyes were of a stark gray color and her lips were a fine line under her aquiline nose. Her skin was tanned and covered in small scars of a hundred battles. [Awareness] told me she was the don’t-fuck-with-me type.
“Captain, this man says he arrived at Farcrest via failed teleportation.” The soldier explained my situation.
“Another one?! I can’t believe this is the second time this year.” The Captain chastised the soldier as if it was his personal fault. Then, she turned around to face me. She was taller than me and her rolled up sleeves not only revealed lean and bulking muscles but a skin covered in scars. Those weren’t fashionable superficial scars but ones which distorted the skin and muscle.
“Tell me you are not from the Ansan Kingdom. It will cost us a small fortune to send you back.” The Captain said.
I understood that was my cue to speak.
“My name is Robert Clarke, a Scholar, and you don’t need to send me back to my homeland, Captain. I am more interested in traveling to the Imperial Library than returning.” I said with a small bow.
“I’m Captain Izabeka Kiln, leader of the city guard. I like you already, Scholar. People who complicate things are too common in these places.” The captain left the bundle of parchment and walked around the table to inspect me closely.
I made a mental note to not complicate things in front of the woman.
“Come on.” The captain left the group of disoriented recruits behind and walked towards the Great Hall. “We have to ensure you don’t have any suspicious hidden titles before giving you your passage permit.”
“Hidden titles?” I asked with a tremble in my voice.
“You have not been in a System Shrine before?” The Captain looked over her shoulder and gave me a confused glance.
I shook my head. Hidden titles could mean two things; there was a method to hide one’s titles from being identified or there were titles that could only be unlocked at a System Shrine. The second option made sense considering the lack of progress my class had even after twelve levels.
“I warn you, Robert Clarke, I’m a level fifty seven Knight, if you do try anything stupid I’ll crush your spine before you could even blink.” The captain said before addressing the guard who had guided me there. “You, maggot, look after the Scholar’s belongings. He is my guest.”
“Yes, ma’am.” The soldier said, extending his hand to me.
I gave him my backpack and nobody questioned the suspicious wooden shotgun butt protruding out. I felt naked without my weapon, however, the shells were safe inside my pocket.
“You don’t have a suspicious title do you?” The captain asked as we entered a beautifully adorned corridor with painted murals and ornamental banners hanging from the ceiling. The decoration was surprisingly tasteful.
I swallowed hard.
“I don’t think so?” I replied, remembering what Elincia had told me about locked titles.
We walked in silence through a carpeted corridor. The brass-framed windows reached the high ceiling and gave us a wide view of the interior gardens. There was a bush maze, fountains and clumps of all kinds of flowers.
We reached a glass door to a crowded balcony and the captain signaled the guards to let us through. On the balcony there were men and women dressed in expensive suits and dresses of vibrant colors. Broad rings of gold and precious stones adorned the noble’s hands while the women flaunted beautiful necklaces and earrings. If the Marquis was there, he was hidden among the crowd.
Captain Kiln took me to the side of the balcony, far from the noble clump and pointed down to the garden. Two men dressed in fencing attire were standing at opposite sides of the garden while the squires helped them with their padded jackets. In the middle of the fighting area an old man with braided hair and stern look acted as the referee.
“Have you witnessed a judiciary duel before?” The captain asked.
I shook my head.
“Then it’s your lucky day, Scholar. Sir Janus insulted Baronette Tirno during the last feast.” Captain Kiln said with a lupine smile.
“What did Sir Janus say?” I inquired.
“Janus said Tirno’s lovers during their days in the Ebros Knights Academy looked just like his mother.” Captain Kiln let out a tired sigh.
I glanced down at the dueling area. Baronette Tirno was a tall and slender young man of blonde curls and piercing looks. He wore a blue and black jacket with a crest similar to the Marquis symbol, so I assumed he might be related to the Marquis. Tirno moved with ease under the padded jacket and made a flourish with his rapier before blowing a kiss to the balcony. The gesture was answered by a wave of giggles and sighs.
For someone with a soiled honor, he was enjoying the moment.
Sir Janus, on the other hand, was a brutish looking man with the physique of a beer barrel. An unkempt bristly black beard covered his face and his small black eyes resembled the ones from a pig. Janus looked more like a well-armed murder hobo than a knight.
“Tirno has the reach advantage.” I said as the squire handed the rapiers to Janus.
“Good, you can use your eyes.” Captain Kiln said and I wondered if every woman had a similar level of sass in this world.
The referee, an old man dressed in a white and yellow tunic, stood at the center of the arena and cast a spell creating a golden dome of twenty meters in diameter. A second later the dome became translucent, barely blocking the view of the duelists.
“He’s a Fortifier. Any skill used inside the area of the bubble should stay inside instead of killing you. Well, none of them have magic classes but with high level combatants any extra precaution is welcome.” Captain Kiln explained.
Down inside the bubble, Tirno and Janus walked five paces away from the center, turned around, and saluted with the rapiers. Then, they adopted a fighting position I wasn’t completely familiarized with. It seemed they were going to start sprinting instead of fencing.
A sudden gust of wind rose, kicking up a dust cloud, and Tirno disappeared just to reappear by Janus’ flank. I gasped. Had he used a skill or was it his natural speed? Janus raised his sword and parried just in time. Then I noticed my mouth was wide open.
“Want to bet?” Captain Kiln asked with an entertained expression on her face.
“I don’t have money or valuables other than a quarter cheese wheel.” I babbled back, too entranced with the fight to pay attention to the woman.
The captain slid a silver coin down the railing and left it in front of me. I recognized a gambling addict that shouldn’t be gambling when I saw one. I glanced at the coin and then I looked down at the arena. The duelists were still testing each other. Baronette Tirno had an elegant style with quick transitions and nimble footwork. Sir Janus, on the other hand, stood like a heavy boulder in the middle of the yard.
“Two silver coins and I will tell you exactly how Lord Tirno is going to lose.” I said with a taunting smile.
The captain’s interest was piqued and soon after there were two silver coins in front of me and another two in front of the woman.
“I love to fleece know-it-all Scholars.” The captain said despite the fact she was betting against her own money.
I ignored the banter and focused on the duel. After the initial explosion of speed things had slowed down. Still, they moved faster than any HEMA practitioner or olympic fencer I had seen in my life.
I remembered Zaon talking about class growth. It wasn’t a surprise that the kid was apprehensive of becoming a Soldier when there were classes that could move like those two men. Not even with my Lv.5 [Swordsmanship] was enough to reach those speeds.
[Awareness] filled my brain with information. Tirno fought with deliberately elegant movements trying to find an opening on the opponent’s defense while Janus adopted a style similar to what I knew; he tried to control Tirno’s sword and deliver a strike without jeopardizing his own safety.
“Sir Janus is going to end the fight by stabbing the Baronette in the hand.” I calmly said, channeling all my fencing knowledge. Judicial fencing wasn’t about killing your opponent, although it happened frequently, but about incapacitating it before it could harm you.
“Alright, I’m going for Tirno.” The Captain said.
The balcony was in complete silence. Rapiers clashed, but none managed to control the weak of the opponent's blade to create an opening. The amount of stamina both men displayed was astounding, even compared to top tier athletes from Earth. If I were to train for a hundred years I could hardly reach their levels of speed and coordination.
Suddenly Lord Tirno put aside all attempts of defending and lunged forward, aiming at the center of Sir Janus’ chest. Sir Janus stepped back with a nimbleness uncharacteristic of a man of his span. To get away from Tirno’s blade, Janus raised both arms and pulled back his body. In that awkward position, Sir Janus counterattacked with a downward stab aimed at Lord Tirno’s hand and withdrew from the engagement to avoid Tirno’s afterblow.
However, the afterblow didn’t come. Lord Tirno’s sword fell to the ground as the man bursted out cursing. As he retreated to his side of the arena, I caught a glimpse of bright blood flowing from his right hand.
New word learned!
Words learned: 3,001/215,000
Rank: Talkative Teenager
I made a mental note to not mention that word in front of children.
“I lost.” Captain Kiln sighed, bringing me back to the present.
“Not yet, he’s going to continue. Look.” I replied as Lord Tirno’s aid bandaged the wounded hand. The noble man snapped at the squire to hurry up but no matter how much bandages he applied, they quickly soaked in more blood. Suddenly, sick of waiting, Lord Tirno pushed his squire back and retrieved the sword.
“It’s over.” Captain Kiln sighed again.
Down in the garden, Sir Janus repeatedly hit Tirno’s blade until it slipped from his bloody hand. Then Janus prompted his rival to retrieve his sword just to repeat the process. Three times Tirno raised his sword and three times Janus slapped it from his hand.
“What a shitshow.” Captain Kiln grunted just as Sir Janus disarmed Lord Tirno for the last time and chased him across the garden hitting the Baronette’s legs with the rapier’s flat side until he found shelter inside the Great Hall.
Sir Janus took a bow towards the balcony and threw his sword in the squire’s direction. The Captain slid four silver coins to my side of the handrail.
“Better spanked than dead.” I pointed out, pocketing the coins with a winning smile on my face.
“Sir Janus is a lowborn who reached knighthood because he was accepted in the Ebros Knights Academy. His position in the court is frail and yet he acts like an idiot.”
The squires cleared the garden and the nobles who had been observing the duel started vacating the balcony. I learned a couple more insults from overhearing their conversation, some of the nobles were fuming and I pictured them plotting against Sir Janus in the near future. A hurt noble’s ego was dangerous in this world or the other.
“Abei!” The captain suddenly called.
An old robbed man emerged from the group, clearly annoyed by the interruption.
“What is it, captain?”
The man had a shining bald head and a majestically bushy beard. Unlike the young man from the tower, Abei didn’t look like a cheap street magician but a full fledged sage.
“We have one of those portal hoppers. A Scholar.” Captain Kiln announced. “I thought you would be interested.”
In a single sentence, Abei’s face was cleared of all irritation. The old man made his way through the balcony with an eager stride and, unlike the captain, didn’t bother to measure me up with his eyes. Instead he jumped directly to the questions.
“Where are you from and how did you get here, young man?” Abei struck me like the kind of person who would look into a loaded shotgun’s barrel to satiate his curiosity.
“I’m Robert Clarke, humble servant of the City of Light. I arrived here due to a teletransportation accident.” I introduced myself, already expecting what will come next. The questioning.
“The City of Light? Never heard of that place.” Abei stroked his beard and looked around searching for an encyclopedia just to remember he was outdoors.
“And I never heard of Farcrest until I popped out here.” I replied with a shrug.
Abei nodded, understanding my predicament.
“You don’t seem to be scared for someone so far from home.” The man looked me directly in the eye. I was slowly getting used to being questioned.
“Three days in the Farlands is a hell of a cure for fear.” I replied.
The Captain gave me an approving nod. People of this world trusted too much in the System and too little in the common sense.
“Why am I being treated with such deference? I'm nobody after all.” I asked, eliciting a jolly laugh from the old man and I braced myself for a long story.
“People who are exposed to teletransportation spells usually are wealthy, noble or high level, so it's only logical to protect such individuals when the integrity of the kingdoms depends on them.” Abei explained. “Anyway, we need noble witnesses to grant you the permit. Let’s go to the audience room.” The man added as he invited me through the glass door into the Great Hall.
Before I could cross the doorway, Captain Kiln grabbed my arm and stopped me.
“Just don’t do anything stupid and things will go well. Understood?” The woman asked with a stern voice.
“Understood.” I replied, knowing perfectly well that doing stupid things, like jumping heads on into a dangerous world full of magic creatures, was exactly my specialty.
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