When Balin and Bernhard visited Mary the next time they got the address they were looking for. The loyalty points were transferred over to an elderly alchemist going by the name of Wanderman. No first name was known but that didn’t matter for either party involved. Sadly, no address was known but Mary was able to find out which location supplied the man, meaning that the duo had to travel over there for more accurate information. Balin was getting sick of all that aimless traveling but Bernhards optimism made it a lot more bearable. The store in question was very far down south at the west coast. Once there they asked around for information on Mr Wanderman once more and after only fifteen minutes they did were able to find a person who knew the address. Turns out it was only half an hour away by foot in an unnamed location with about four other houses, all of which are occupied by other alchemists and wizards who have gathered there for study related reasons. Since there was still a lot of time before nightfall the duo didn’t want to wait another day and immediately went to find those houses. The houses were right by the coastline about ten meters away from the ocean. They were unexpectedly big for being built in the middle of nowhere. Four houses standing near each other in form of a square. With a sheared garden area in the middle in which stood a tree tall enough to be seen from the outside. As Balin and Bernhard approached the buildings multiple strong and uncomfortable smells started to hit them. Causing light nausea even to the two experienced warriors. The two were only steps away from the entrance of the closest house, when a purple dust cloud erupted just behind them and a coughing could be heard. An angry man could he heard yelling from the room, the just opened window.
“I told you this would happen if the lion dust isn’t tempered correctly! How many times do I have to repeat myself?”
After which a hoarse young woman’s voice answered.
“I am so f’ing sorry Sir this won’t happen again.”
“It better won’t!”
Bernhard turned his head over to his friend.
“You said she spoke dirtier than a sailor.”
It took Balin a moment to process what he just heard. Once he understood what Bernhard implied, he turned around and ran towards the now purple window with the falling dust cloud.
“What? Who is it? I can’t see sh’t?”
Rose stuck her head out of the window. It was filled with the same purple dust that just exploded out the window. Her eyes were closed tight together and tearing. Balin went up to her and touched her face with his gloved hands.
“Don’t touch me pervert!”
She slapped his hands out of the way, throwing purple all over Balins arms. She tried to open her eyes despite the pain, but after a split second of opening them she immediately closed them again
“Do I know you?”
“Its me. Ba”
“Don’t interrupt us during class! If you want to make an appointment wait at the entrance like everyone else!”
Balin got interrupted by the man they heard earlier, who unlike Rose seemed to have gotten very little into his face, so that he could still see.
The teacher turned around and told Rose.
“And you go clean yourself and especially your eyes up! Can’t have you becoming blind, now can we?”
He chased off Rose leaving a teary eyed and very confused Balin behind. Bernhard in the meantime was laughing harder than Balin has ever heard him laugh before.
“Come Balin. Let’s wait in the designated area, and maybe we can find a wet cloth to clean you. You are filled with pink!”
He pulled his friend who was just about to break down crying along. As they entered the building a bored looking middle-aged man with a slightly charred brown beard was sitting half asleep at a table near the entrance.
“Hello, what do you need?”
Balin took control of the discussion before Bernhard had the chance to say something.
“Yes, is Rose somewhere? I need to see her.”
“Sure, I think she is in class right now, but can search for her. Please wait here!”
“Wait! We saw go clean herself because she exploded in a dust cloud. So, she isn’t in class.”
“Thanks, then I know where she is. I’ll tell her teacher and get her over too you. Please sit in the room over there! We’ll come right back.”
He directed the duo towards a light door with paint falling of from it. Inside was a small room with very little to look at. It contained a few old wooden chairs, polished from years of use, a small table with some withered flowers in a vase and no other decorations. Besides the wood walls there wasn’t even anything to look at. Balin was calming down from his outburst earlier and Bernhard didn’t seem to have anything to say, except for some light mockery over the situation that happened earlier. In the meantime, the two got used to the smell of the area, even if the air was stale. It took about a quarter hour when the door opened once more. A young woman with wet hair and a clean top and purple stained skirt entered the room. She started the conversation slightly annoyed.
“Alright, who are you and what do you want?”
“Rose, it’s me Balin”
Rose took a closer look at his face. As her facial expression slowly changed from, annoyance over to surprise, bewilderment and in the end even disbelief she mumbled.
“What the f’ck? How? When did you?”
She couldn’t continue because Balin quickly launched himself at her and hugged her tightly.
“Ahh, ouch, stop that! You are hurting me.”
Balin unconsciously pressed too hard with his augmented arm. He quickly let go, giving her a chance to take a breath.
“I have so many f’cking questions.”
None of them knew quite how to continue. But the silence got quickly broken, when the guy from the desk from earlier ran into the room.
“What is going on? Is someone hurt?”
“No, it’s just… a guy from my village he has come and hugged me a little to hard. It’s all ok. We just have… a lot to talk about.”