Elaine truly is a remarkable magician, Freya thought as she was sneaking out of her estate. During the training the day before, Freya could feel that Elaine had used magic to check about her well-being. It seemed that, despite her easy-going attitude, Elaine was still a cautious person, wary enough to check any abnormalities inside Freya. When she did that, Freya thought that it was the end for her and that she needed to blurt out the truth even when it sounded ridiculous. However, Elaine seemed to ignore it, either that or she didn't found any oddities with her detection magic.
The mage did the first check in secrecy without telling Freya, however Freya could feel a weird surge of energy coursing through her body when Elaine touched her hand, which she assumed as detection magic. As soon as the magic training started, Freya found out that she couldn't use her own Special Magic, even though her case was supposed to allow her to use magic as easy as breathing. It surprised Elaine and under Freya's consent, she did a check with her magic, a second one. Still, she couldn't find anything wrong and was puzzled instead. In the end they learnt Formulae Magic and after that Freya spent the whole day holing herself in her estate's library.
It was exactly because of that, voluntarily locking herself in the library, that Freya decided to sneak out of the estate the morning after. She just felt that her body felt stiff from sitting down reading books and she wanted to move her body around. Elaine made it crystal clear before: that Freya was unique and that her Special Magic was valuable, hence the amount of guards surrounding the estate. To put simply, she needed to be guarded from threats. Sure, it was dangerous for her to roam the city alone without any security, but if she were to be accompanied by escorts, she couldn't gather information as freely as she would if she was alone. That was why Freya was secretly going out of her place without telling anyone. She was aware of the commotion it would probably cause, so just to be safe, she left a letter on her bed for Laguna to explain her action.
There were a few complications before Freya was able to get out of the estate. First of all, she was wearing her pajamas; she couldn't possibly go outside to the city in her pajamas as a girl. She turned her wardrobe upside down but all the dress she had were fancy dresses; clothing which had intricate way of wearing which she could not understand. And, if she couldn't understand, she couldn't wear and change into it. One way or the other, she went to the butler's changing room and found herself a white long-sleeved shirt, black trouser, and a pair of shoes to wear. What can she say? Beggars can't be choosers. A lady must be beautiful, she knew that much, but the dresses were just too complex for her understanding, that was all. She got to admit though, after trying to move around in it, man's apparel provides more ease of movement.
With all those said, she then escaped from her place and went to the city.
Even though it was morning, Freya would say that the city was moderately crowded; it wasn't full of people, but it wasn't desolate either. There were a lot of open stores and the city was brimming with liveliness. She could see with her eyes that most the people there have a genuine smile on her face. However, when they caught a glance of Freya's appearance, their smile fades and they all moved away from her. 'It's that Freya.' 'Is she back here to ridicule us again?' 'I wish she would go back to where she came from.' 'Let's go elsewhere.' She could hear their whispers. Ori (shortened form of 'Original Freya'), she thought, just what did you do to get you hated so much?
Freya was expecting to move through crowds, but apparently that was not needed as the road surrounding her was all cleared from people. No one there wanted to approach her. It may also seemed that her violet hair stuck out like a sore thumb, hence the reason why people noticed her and got away from her. From what the she heard from the rumours of the estate's residents, she expected Ori to have an unlikable personality, but the people's reaction was just too much. If that continued, how was she supposed to gain information? At least, the silver lining was: she now knew how much people despised her.
After going around for a while, Freya decided to visit a fruit and vegetable store. The store was a little run down but the fruits looked fresh to her, especially the apples. The owner was reading newspaper, he was plump, had a grumpy face and uncared white mustache. 'Hello there old man, how much apple can I get with one silver coin?' Freya asked with a smile. Just because the old man was frowning, didn't mean that she had to mimic him.
The old man looked at her at contempt and disgust, he looked as if he carried with him personal hatred towards her. Ori. . . Just what did you do to the old man? She thought. 'A bouquet of apples.' He replied laconically.
'Did I do something which makes you hate me?' She can never be sure unless if she asked.
Listening to that, the old man snapped and stood up from his seat with his frail body. 'Did you do something wrong? Are you mocking me??' He raised his voice. 'I remember clearly what you did to me! If your mind isn't the brightest then I'll recap about it for you!' Oh great, Freya thought, the result I hoped for. I'll make sure to tip him later when he's done. 'You showed up to my shop one day, blatantly ridiculing my shop for all its miniscule of faults! Then, out of pity, you paid me a gold coin for some apples! Apples which you then throw to the bin right in front of me. "I just want to buy trash that's all." You said with your wicked face! You think that you're mighty, just because you got a huge amount of money from your parents? Laughable, lass! I'd like to see where will you be without your parents backing you up!' Ori, seriously?
'Well, can we put aside the past and overcome our differences then?'
The old man was bewildered at first, but he then connected the dots in his mind, in his own perspective regarding the matter. 'I see what you're trying to do here. You think I'm a fool? You want to reconcile with me, rising my hopes up, and then casting my feelings aside like something of no value. Well too bad!' Supposingly, what Ori did to him crushed his trust towards her.
'I swear, I only want to reconcile, for good.'
'Ha! Spout your evil lies from your wicked mouth! You're the devil and I'm not trusting you!'
There were two choices present to Freya. The first being: she could just give up as their relation was beyond hope, Ori crushed him and he was wise enough to not trust her again, a perfectly logical move. The second: she could try and push it with the hope that she regain his trust back.
'Fine, a bouquet of apple please.' She offered a piece of silver coin.
'No one here is selling anything to you.'
This is hopeless, she thought. 'How can I regain your trust then?'
'Nothing can. I'll resent you till I die.' Yep, hopeless. Freya was starting to play around with the coin she was holding. She rolled it between her finger, juggle it with both hand, toss and flip it in the air. It gave her a good idea.
'Okay, how about, I'll give you a chance to get back at me.' She said with a smile and it caught the old man's attention. He was definitely taking any chances he could gain to get back at her. 'I'll flip the coin and you get to guess if it's heads or tails. If you guess it correctly, I'll buy an apple for a silver coin. If not, you sell me that bouquet of apples.'
'Heads.' The old man was so eager to get back to her that he made his choice before the coin flip even happened.
Freya then walked along the street, tossing an apple above her head as she walked. She had planned to lose from the very beginning and controlling the result of the coin flip was easy. As long as that keeps happening again and again the next days, then surely the tension would fade and Freya would be able to reconcile with the old man in the long run. It sounded like an evil scheme, but it was purely with good intentions.
There was a water fountain at the center of the city. It looked majestic and elegant as the water went up, making a transparent umbrella shape. Is that magic? She wondered. There were a few benches near the water fountain. It was pretty crowded at first, but as soon as Freya sat there, people started avoiding her. Reconciling with all of them would be a pain.
Freya sat there, chewing on the apple she got. Her choice of apple turned out to be good as with each bite she could feel its watery juiciness; it was also sweet like honey. While chewing, she observed the people walking in front of her at a distance. The books she read in the library said that there were other races other than humans. She thought she would spot those other races inside the city but it was a let down as she could only see humans here and there. Some of them wore a leather gear and carried weapons, Freya assumed that they were adventurers. Would adventurers gave her informations she want? While they have a variation of stories, she ponder as to whether or not those tales would be useful for her.
People have been avoiding her, however, it turned out that that was not the case for everyone; as a young little girl who was holding a flower crown approached her. 'Sis Freya, would you like to buy a flower crown?' The little girl appeared to know her.
'Hmm. . . I've no use of a flower crown though.'
'Oh I see.' The girl looked dejected.
'How much is for one?'
'How much do you want to pay sis? I can give you for free.'
'Um. . . But you need money right?' The little girl was wearing ragged clothes and looked disheveled afterall.
'It's fine. You always buy my flower crown for a piece of gold afterall, which is clearly way more than its value.' Talk about modern alchemy. 'Though, you usually rip it apart and throw it away like it's trash.' Now that sounds like Ori.
'I think I find a use in a flower crown afterall. What do you say that you trade my pouch of coins with your flower crown.' The little girl nodded and they made an exchange of belonging. Freya looked at the crown carefully and placed it on the little girl's head with a smile. 'You look more beautiful with this on.' She gave her a pat on the head.
Tears was welling up in her eyes, so Freya lent the little girl a handkerchief which was inside her shirt's chest pocket and wiped her tears. 'Thank you very much sis.' Her tone was a mix of sorrow and joy.
'If you ever have problem, don't hesitate to go to my estate for help okay?' The girl then nodded in reply, thanked her again sincerely with a slight bow and went away, waving her hand to Freya while doing so. Freya reciprocated; and as she did she wondered what was the conversion rate of silver coins to gold coins. Nevertheless, it matters not.
Freya had thought that Ori was a heartless and arrogant person who enjoyed other people's suffering. But, the more she tried to discover about her, it somewhat seemed to her that it was all just a facade and that Ori was kindhearted inside. If not, why would she buy apples from a run down fruit store? If she was not kind, why would she buy flower crown with a gold coin? But why wear the mask?
Freya bit her apple as she pondered.
Oh hey, it's already halfway through 2021! Hope you're all well with this whole still pandemic things. College happens even during holiday and thus Freya updates once per weekly on Sunday, 19:03 EST (if I read the timezone correctly).
Feedback in any form is appreciated!
Speaking of which:
I tried using Linux instead of Windows. Installed Pop OS and my slow laptop ran faster than with Windows. The only problem is that I'm already too used to using microsoft word and had to switch back to Windows for writing!