2 days felt like 2 months...
Finally, after 2 days of complicated prioritized adventurer registration at a guild, Freya got herself a seal of approval to her application. It was more costly compared to just being a normal adventurer, but prioritized adventurer had its own charm. Usually, normal adventurers would have to take quests from guilds which they register themselves to; when they finish, they had to confirm the completion of the quest at that very same guild. Being a prioritized adventurer, Freya could take quests from any guilds and could confirm the completion at other guilds if she wanted to. Meaning: during her travel, she could kill time and earn some money by taking quests which would happen to be along the way of her journey.
2 precious days were spent, but it should be worth it. As, that 2 days also happened to be the time taken by Ray to get his Father's approval to join Freya's journey. At first, Freya heard that Ray's proposal was rejected for it was simply incredulous. A King couldn't approve the Prince, heir to be New King, to take a leisure stroll. However, it would seem that Ray himself got the art of the tongue; as after negotiating with his father through communication magic during his spare time, he changed his mind and seemed to support his son. It made Freya wonder what kind of argument did Ray bring up to convince him. Regardless, he was the first to join Freya's crew.
Dunnford, the Prince's knight tagged along the journey. His master demanded his presence in the journey and he complied without hesitation. Freya still couldn't quite tell why he decided to play the tyrant noble act about a week ago, but she assumed that that got something to do with Ray. Rumors said that Ray was someone who could act randomly depending on the situation if he sees it to be fit. Regardless, Dunnford himself wasn't a bad man, in fact he had himself a chill attitude around her, perhaps he was cautious of her; who knows?.. Truth be told, Freya had expected Dunnford to come along if Ray joined.
Everything was within Freya's expectation, until Elaine also decided to join. That caught her by surprise as she had thought that Elaine would stay back. For all Freya knew: Elaine was wholly passionate to pursue magic. She thought that she would rather just read the books in Freya's library and experiment with magic now that Elaine would be freed from her job of being Freya's teacher. It really was a surprise when it turned out that Elaine was annoyed when Freya didn't invite her. 'I have myself pride and I don't plan to violate the agreement I made with your Father,' she said, Freya honestly admired her at that point. 'Not to mention, I can research more magic during the travel,' at least until that part came out. In the end Freya slightly laughed, she truly was passionate in pursuing magic.
Thus the crew was assembled.
2 minutes in inside the carriage, Freya felt the urge to came out immediately and abandon the crew.
There was nothing wrong with the carriage. Freya wasn't claustrophobic and the carriage itself was spacious. It was one of those expensive carriage, it had cushioned seats and specialized structure and wheel. Long story short: one can remain comfortable even on bumpy roads. The fault was not because of the moving box, but rather because of the passengers.
'I don't see why Freya would invite you Ray,' Elaine started the conversation.
There were seats on the side of the carriages. Freya sat beside Dunnford, opposite to her was Ray and beside him was Elaine. Apparently, it seemed that they know each other.
'I got invited,' he replied with a smile. 'If anything: I don't see why you're joining even though you aren't invited Elaine.'
It seemed that they know each other and that their relationship was clearly hostile. Freya shook her head in silence.
'I don't need to get an invitation, I'm her teacher.'
'Sure it is,' her tone was rising. 'But I'm useful no? My presence here is favorable as I would teach Freya magic along the way. What can YOU contribute in the journey? Other than that oh so special bloodline magic of yours and your Father's influence. You're a dead weight.'
'Now, now,' Dunnford got in between conversation as he noticed the heat which was building up. Freya placed her hand on a shoulder. She found the situation to be rather bothersome and was unwilling to join the conversation. To her, it was best just to be a spectator of the whole thing.
'Who's the dead weight here? I'm still stronger than you regardless aren't I?' Ray responded. 'My presence brings convenience while yours brings nothing. Again and again I told you: Elemental Magic Mastery means nothing and I advise you to just abandon it entirely. It'd be better and wiser of you to abandon the whole magic research and study on the economies instead to gain power. You could've done that, but no you didn't.'
'You take that back,' Freya could see that Elaine's wand was starting to change color in her eyes into yellow, an indication that she was about to use magic. What he said: that Magic Mastery meant nothing, clearly was a great insult to her.
'Why don't you make me?' His hand was gently touching his sword.
The tension had built up and was ready to break at any time. Freya was grateful beyond compare when Dunnford interfered and tried to calm the situation down. Had he not, lightning would probably struck the carriage because of Elaine. 'Please, are we not civilized people here? Resorting to violence is simply barbaric.'
Reluctantly, Elaine ceased her aggression. The main cause of the aggression meanwhile was sitting calmly and cooly facing the situation. Ray was provoking a magician who was talented enough to be the youngest to join the Mage Council. Despite that, he did not shake. Nevertheless, Freya gave Dunnford a pat on the back. What he said was spot on and the sentence he used to kill the heat couldn't be any better. If only Freya could give him a medal, she would.
'Freya,' Elaine said in an intentional loud whisper. 'I'd say we pass through a desert and bury this guy dead inside the sand. I promise you that we'll be doing the country a favor in doing so.'
'Sure,' Ray remarked with a chuckle. 'But you can't even do that. What's the win-lose record of fights we have again now?'
'Oh, bring that up why don't you? In those fights I--'
Freya made a small sigh and covered her face with her palm.
Once in a while, embracing oneself into nature was not so bad of an idea. Freya had successfully left the carriage and was sitting beside the coachman now. The greenery was fresh to the eyes, the air felt rejuvenating, and the cloud provided a cover from the harsh noon sunlight. Behind her, Freya still could hear Elaine and Ray squabbling. She pitied Dunnford.
'You got yourself energetic friends,' the coachman said with a gentle smile. His name was Kuiper, he had worked as a coachman for 25 years and gained many experience from his job after dealing with a variety of passengers. He was kind enough to lend Freya his hat and got himself an air of wisdom surrounding him.
'That in itself isn't a bad thing young lady. It just shows that they stand tall on their own beliefs and aren't willing to back down. Eventually, they'll find common ground. I'm sure of it.'
'I hope so,' Freya said as she stared at a faraway farm. 'Since you've worked for 25 years as a coachman, I assume you have traveled to Arkef?' Arkef was her destination.
'I've gone there a great many times. A splendid city it is. The people there, although most are scholars and historians, keeps up with the trending fashion. The library is simply enormous and full of knowledge awaiting to be discovered. Their archives are the best of the best. Sometimes I would borrow their books and read whilst waiting for passengers. I recommend "Adventures of Girome", it's a good story book.'
'I'll make sure to check on that,' Freya said with a polite smile. 'So, they got themselves an amount of books of different varieties right?'
'Yes, from tying knots to ways of running a country. They also have detailed countries' financial records and histories.'
'What about books about magic?'
'They have that. Alas, only up till magic which is known to date. If you're looking for new sorts of magic, I suggest that you go to the magic country of Malegonia. Unlike Arkef, they do magic research there and constantly invent new forms of magic.'
'I see... Thank you for telling me that sir Kuiper.'
'No need for that, I myself like telling stories,' he flushed a little upon hearing her words of gratitude though. 'Would you like to hear other stories I have?'
'I would be delighted to.'
Time seemed to move quickly when Freya was enjoying herself. The breeze she felt from the moving vehicle was comfortable and the view of nature gave her a sense of peace. A sense of calm, something which she needed after what had happened. That is after she got her personality pulled into Ori's body. In the end, she didn't know who she was before getting pulled by Inconvenient Suicide Magic. Regardless, she knew what she had to do and could picture the goal she had in mind. A transient tranquility was all she needed. Despite Elaine and Ray's constant squabble, she found herself immersed in Kuiper's stories. Next thing she knew, they arrived at Arkef just as the sun was about to set.
Elaine and Ray had stopped their heated argument when they got out of the carriage. Instead of constant bickering, they were giving each other the silent treatment. Freya gave Dunnford an empathizing look as he looked restless. That must have been the most troublesome carriage ride for him. Freya was sure that Dunnford would prefer a situation where a group of thieves showed up to raid the carriage instead of having to deal with Elaine and Ray.
'Let's find ourselves a place to rest the night for now,' Dunnford suggested. He was clearly tired, mentally. Elaine and Ray nodded in response.
'I suggest a place called "The Hearth", the place is cheap, clean, and the owner is friendly,' Kuiper suggested.
'I shall look at that place,' Dunnford said.
'Just walk straight from here and turn left when you found an adventurer's guild, you should then arrive at The Hearth.'
Ray started walking according to Kuiper's instruction. Elaine wasn't fond of him leading the crew, so she tried to compete by walking in front of him. Although they were silent against each other, the heat seemed to still be there between them. They started walking fast and Dunnford had to quickly follow. I'll just walk slowly to The Hearth, Freya thought. No need to rush.
'Fare you well young lady, thank you for listening to my stories.'
'We'll meet again sir Kuiper, it's a small world and I don't believe in farewell. Thank you too, for telling me your stories, it made the ride enjoyable.'
Kuiper laughed and offered a handshake; which Freya gladly accepted. His hand was rough from leading the horses, but it was warm. 'Very well, we'll meet again, so I plead that you'll be careful in your adventure.'
'I've heard... Arkef is facing a situation regarding its records. I'm not sure about the details but the country is not in its peaceful state. I don't want to poison your mind with rumors, so just take an advice from this old man:
don't be careless.'
Any form of reviews or critics, kind or unkind, is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Things happens, updates Freya at least once a week at EST Saturday 19:03. (If I don't get the timezone wrong)
Oh hey, speaking of which:
Some stuff arises during the holiday, things I need to deal with.