The sun shone through the open doors of the guild; the golden early morning rays created a perfect vertical line making the empty building feel quite warm despite the slight morning chill outside. The receptionist looked out the doors as she cleaned off the counter for today’s business. She spotted two familiar faces, The convent sister from before and the hooded alchemist were approaching. She squinted trying to look at the two struggling to bring in a large object covered in a white sheet.
She tapped on the shoulder of another receptionist, an elf with dark blue hair cut into a bob fashion and matching eyes. She kept her sleeves rolled up just past her forearms.
“Atla, do you see what I’m seeing?”
“Hm?” Atla hummed. She went into the other receptionist's booth space and also started to squint. “What is that?”
“Wait!” the receptionist shouted leaning more forward on the counter. “I know those two!”
“Oh?” Atla said sitting down. She crossed one leg over another and leaned back in her chair. “You do?”
The receptionist sat down and sighed covering her face with her hands. “Yes!” she shouted, “They’re the ones that took that drake quest!”
Atla whistled. “Huh, they must be stronger than they look if the two of them took down a drake.”
“If they had died I would have been so reprimanded!”
Something caught Atla’s eye while watching the two. “Wait… I know that guy!”
The receptionist peeked from her hands to the elf. “You do?”
“Well, I know of him. You’re telling me you don’t?”
“I’m uh, I’m not from Winterwell. I transfer around a lot.”
Atla nodded. “Ah. I see. Rumor has it that he’s some kind of mad alchemist that rarely ever goes outside.” Atla added some movement from her fingers to add flare.
“Are you kidding me?”
“No idea. I heard he barely comes into town. And when he does, he’s always with a tall girl.” Atla turned back to the two carrying the drake. “Looks like those rumors are true.” Atla then patted the receptionist on the back, “Look alive, here they come.” she rolled her chair back into her little pod. The receptionist was now alone to deal with two, her soul wept.
“Morning Ms. Receptionist,” Arslan said, “I finished the hunt.” The two then dropped the wrapped object on the counter. It sounded fleshy, hard and heavy all at the same time. Mandilyn let out a sigh of relief the moment she no longer had to carry it anymore.
“Uhm…” Now that that object was right in front of her she began to notice the slight red tinge on the skirts of the wrap; small droplets also fell at irregular intervals. “Is this…” her eyes went back up to the two, with the hood covering most of Arslan’s face she could only see his bright smile. Mandilyn had already stopped paying attention to the scene at hand. “Right.” She trailed off trying to ignore the drake carcass in front of her. She then reached for the report that was held on the wall by a bent nail. She stamped it marking it as completed, she inserted it into a magic machine and pressed a button. It made an odd loud whirring noise as a few pieces of rectangular paper came out. She removed them from the tray and counted out loud, “Two, Four... Six… Six hundred Seros!” She handed the money over to Arslan who took it without hesitation and bowed.
“Thank you miss receptionist. Pleasure doing business with you.” Arslan turned around and began leaving. Mandilyn gave the receptionist a bow as well and followed suit.
The receptionist let out a stream of held breath and muttered in a quiet voice, “These two are going to make my stress level skyrocket.” the faint dripping sound caught her attention and reminded her. She raised her voice so the two could hear her, “What about the drake!?”
“Do what you want! It's yours now!” Arslan yelled his reply back right before leaving.
The receptionist slunk back into her chair. Dealing with those two was without a doubt going to be stressful.
Atla was snickering in the booth next to her. The receptionist grumbled, “Shut up Atla.”
The rabbit-girl and alchemist walked down the street, passing adventurers heading towards the now open guild.“Don’t you think leaving that lizard’s body might have been a little too much?” Mandilyn said looking in retrospect.
Arslan waved his hand. “Nah, weirder stuff happens there than what we did, we just started it early for them.”
Mandilyn shrugged. “I guess.”
Arslan approached a building not far from the guild. When he opened the door, the magic based lights came on and revealed the inner-contents — a nearly empty room with four metal tables neatly organized in columns of two. Scientific equipment, beakers, vials, flasks, and tools alike hung around the corners. This building was transmogrifyers’ heaven.
Arlsan cracked his knuckles after putting on a pair of gloves he started for the equipment. “Mandilyn, You have the materials?”
Mandilyn, who was sitting on a nearby table removed a brown pouch from her waist. It was roughly the size of both of her hands put together and tied off with a cord made of sinew. She tossed him it. Arslan received it with both his hands. Mandilyn kicked her feet up and put her hands behind her head, falling back on the table. “Hey Arslan,” She started.
Arslan made a sound of acknowledgment as he opened the bag putting the materials on the counter.
“The other alchemist said that it was illegal for me to be alive, right?”
Arslan dropped the contents of the bag into a large bowl; The bowl was connected to a large pulverizer. Six of the drake’s teeth settled in the bowl. He touched an intricate design on the side, and his finger glowed a bright blue. The machine began grinding a pair of the drake’s teeth into powder. “Yeah. That's right.”
“So…” Mandilyn trailed on the ending playfully before dropping the rest, “Why are we still hanging out in the building they own.”
He dumped the powder into a large black cauldron. “No reason in particular.”
Mandilyn sat up and looked at Arslan. “You can’t be serious?”
“I’m kidding.” Arslan paused to focus on his measurements of liquids. “The equipment here is very nice.”
Mandilyn crossed her arms throwing her legs over the side. “Then why don’t you just take it?”
Arslan stopped what he was doing and turned his back and faced Mandilyn. There was a small scale explosion from the ingredients in the cauldron. “My funding is suspended, It’d be days before they send someone to collect my stuff.” He pointed to an opaque glass bottle on the far side of the room, “Can you hand me the sap?”
Mandilyn turned around to see the bottle, however, the moment she went to retrieve it she shook the bottle. It felt incredibly light. She opened the top and peered into the hole.
“Mandilyn?” Arslan called out.
“It's empty.” She said turning the bottle upside down. A single droplet of the sap left its home.
Arslan put a hand to his face and sighed. “We’re out of sap?”
Mandilyn put it back on the table, “Yeah, I just said that.”
Arslan put a lid on the cauldron. “Great.” his attitude took a very noticeable downward spiral. “Why’d we have to be out of sap…” He began to trail his sentence into a series of complaints.
“Arslan?” Mandilyn called while snapping her fingers.
“Whatever, fine,” He started, “We’ll just go find some more.” He started to go to the door. “C’mon Mandi, we are going to the forest.”
“Huh!” She exclaimed. “Can’t you just like, buy it!?”
“I could,” He said. “But its a special type of sap that I need, and it's pretty pricey. It's charged by the ounce.”
Mandilyn groaned as she picked herself up, flipping her hood to follow Arslan outside.