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“Hey Alice! Pour me another glass!” asked the slightly inebriated Baroness of Saint-Lusan.

“Oi… Lucile, don’t you think you’re drinking just a wee bit much this early in the day? I can already see your face turning a touch red,” replied the young barkeeper, Alice, as she poured the noble another mug of small beer. The drink didn’t contain much alcohol, but it was enough to intoxicate the lightweight Lucile, especially after three or so glasses.

“It’s fine, it’s fine~” she replied. “We’re childhood friends, I’m sure you know I can handle my alcohol”

“Err… I dunno ‘bout that. Ryk’ll come bustin’ in through the front door any minute now and scold you. I’d rather not see a repeat of last week.”

“Muuu…” Lucile groaned. “It won’t happen again, I swear it.”

“Good, because if I have to call in another apothe- HEY! GET OFF THE TABLE YOU DRUNKEN LOUTS!” Alice snapped her head to a group of regular drunkards. Lucile watched as Alice glared at them with her blazing red eyes. Alice leapt over the bar counter and charged straight at a young man drunkenly dancing on top of one of the tables.

Ahaha~ the first of drink, the first to fall~ let’s keep dancing til last call~” sang the merry man and his companions, who seemed to pay the small barkeep no mind. “Next to drink, the next to fall~ let’s keep dancing til- GAH!

As he began the second line, Alice grabbed him by the leg and knocked him off balance, throwing him to the floor as he fell with a resounding thud. The intensity of the strike didn’t match her stature. The man’s companions laughed at the poor fellow’s misfortune.

“Aye~ we told you not to mess with Alice gahaha~. She ain’t called the Lion for no reason,” one said as he pulled the dancing man up.

“Aye. And don’t ye forget it ye fools.” Alice started to pick up some of the platter and tableware that had fallen off the table. “Next time, I might feel like throwin’ a barrel at you idiots.”

Alice returned to her position behind the bar.

“Ahahaha~ Aren’t you embarrassed someone might see your underdress when you jump over the counter like that?” laughed Lucile as she downed the last of her mug. “Maybe you should switch to pants instead of wearing a skirt if you’re going to keep doing that.” She was right, somewhat. Alice wore a simple meadow green dress that reached down to her knees and had a sizable cutout for her equally sizable bust.

“I don’t mind much. If anyone’s going to say anything about it, they’re going to get a nice fist instead of a drink.” The barkeeper shrugged. “Besides, it’s made from cloth from The Forest, so it feels good to wear.”

She was referring to The Forest of the Yehan, an expansive forest that dwarfed the Kingdom of Nyla in size. It was populated by the reclusive Yehan who typically avoided contact with other races.

“Ah. But you still haven’t been there before, have you?” Lucile asked as she stuck out her empty mug.

“Nope. They don’t take kindly to outsiders, especially to half breeds like me. You should know this already. The only thing people see ‘bout me that let’s ‘em know I’m even part Yehan are these eyes of mine. I didn’t even inherit the ears,” Alice explained as she poured Lucile her fifth mug. “Y’know, I think this’ll be the last one I pour you today."

The Yehan, unlike most other races, looked quite close to humans. The distinguishing features of a Yehan were slightly pointed ears, and more importantly, their red eyes that only one with Yehan blood carried.

“Still, you’re strong! You should become my retainer and we can go off on all sorts of adventures!” Lucile suggested.

“*sigh* You ask this every time and the answer is still no. Only way I’m leaving is if my father closes down or kicks the bucket. Neither seem likely anytime-”

*ring* The bell by the front door interrupted her.

“Well, well. Looks like your caretaker’s here to pick you up”, finished Alice.

Lucile turned around to greet her loyal knight. “Ryk, you’re finally- puh!” The noble spat out her drink, for Ryk walked in whilst eating an apple and carrying a child on his shoulders, also eating an apple. “Y-y-you have a kid?! Why didn’t I know about this?!” she exclaimed.

“Gahaha! He had a kid behind your back. What a loyal knight indeed!” Alice was in hysterics.

“Lady Lucile, I just found her on the street. She looked like she-” Ryk began to explain. “Wait, are you drunk again?”

“You just picked her up off the street?!” she shouted as she walked over to Ryk, jabbing a finger in his chest accusingly.

“Yes, and please, look,” he said as he motioned to the child on his shoulders.

The child nodded and spread out beautiful white wings.

“…”

The tavern fell silent.

“Oh…” was all Lucile could respond with.

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A note from sentrydown

Hello, sorry if the past two chapters seem fairly Slice-of-lifey. I figured it'd be a good time to slowly explain a bit of the world and races through actual dialogue rather than doing multi-paragraph info dumps. Please let me know what you think about it!


About the author

sentrydown

Bio: I'm okay at writing I guess

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