Chapter 33: God’s Day
“So, Friday, remind me of what my remaining plans are now that I’ve had breakfast.”
A small system window popped up to the side of my vision that showed the list I’d given to Friday before we left the room.
- Visit Buckle (Do not let GG get under my skin, pretend she is a poopy baby)
- Go to Guild and ask additional questions to Bluebird
- Ask about axe as the Taz died
- Ask what traits and other options might help with Inverted Sobriety
- Investigate legends and stories about how Syssies can make trouble for those they know
- Ask what the System really is wanting from Bluebird’s interaction with me
- Based on Roy looking at us, see if people can see status?
- Visit Millie Goode if there is time, maybe for a knife, maybe for reading
- Check for blacksmith / weapon crafter?
- Pick up new clothes & rings at Wanda’s (3 outfits, a hoodie, sandals, and 3 rings)
- See if Roy buys you desert, answer his question (what changed about you)
- Decide what I want to do with my life
“Thanks for the additional thoughts, and adding the Roy things, Friday.”
“No worries, Boss” I smiled at one of the alternate forms of address I’d added earlier. I liked the hint of casual snark from Friday’s address, unlike when some other (GRANNY GABBY!!!) people did it.
Looking about the kitchen I spotted Ann checking a sauce on the stove and Billie rolling out something on a wooden table with a large wooden dowel.
“Hiya. Good morning Billie.” I said with a quick smile. “Ann, I’m going to visit Buckle and I thought you might want to come with me?”
Looking up from the sauce her silvery eyes landed on me as she half shook her head. “Sorry Monday, I shou…”
Both Billie and Bernie interrupted her as if they practiced it. “We got it!” Billie smirked and winked at me, Bernie just grinned at Ann.
“Come on, you can defend me from the Granny if she’s there, and these two seem pretty sure they can handle things for an hour or so.”
Her voice didn’t tickle, but sounded more like it did when she was talking with Benjamin Franklin Goode. “Fine, but if anything is out of place or gone poorly and you don’t make it right I’ll call for no desserts for a week unless you pay for them.”
I felt, more than heard, a slight gasp from Bernie. Billie just said, “Sure thing, say Hi to Buckle for us.”
The walk to the Bath was casual, and Ann didn’t seem upset, but maybe a hint fidgety. “So, Ann. Do you know anything about Roy, the mustache boy? He kept staring at me during breakfast, simply saying I’d changed since dinner, and claimed he was trying to figure it out.”
Ann’s eyes flicked over at me as we walked side by side. “Adventurer, takes jobs through the Guild, but so far as I can tell not a Syssy. Been in God’s bath more than twice, based out of Big Bay. Been the leader of The Merits for at least 2 years. This visit they were doing monster elimination and a delve for ingredients. Doesn’t order alcohol at the PnP.” Ann’s head tilted up as if she was thinking about something. “Uncertain why, but yes, I’ve seen him stare at people at times in the dining and casual areas. Hmmm.” The ambient street sounds seemed to lessen the impact of her tickle in my ears. Sad, but it was helping me focus as we talked.
I was thinking for a moment and we were suddenly at the baths.
Before Ann could ask I pulled the door open and held it to allow her to enter before me.
The whisper voice tickled my ears in the usual way, nerve endings all across my head and neck and upper back quite aware. “Hi Tavi! Gabby taking her usual God’s Day break? Oh, Monday and I are here to visit Buckle.”
Following the silver haired, blue skinned woman into the hut-like room, I caught sight of Tavi. Bright pink hair spiking up from a round faced teen with a huge smile and wide pink eyes. “Hi Ann! Good morning, we have several privates open, and could accommodate a full day if you like. Double price of course because God’s Day and all, but the generals are mostly empty and I can accommodate you for hours.” The pink haired teen’s eyes sprang wide as if just putting together the words Anne had spoken. “Sorry Ann! Yes, Buckle is free and you can certainly visit. If you want a bath after just let me know.”
“Thanks Tavi, this is Monday March. Not sure if Gabby mentioned it, but Monday made sure that Buckle got here. Can we both go back?”
“Sure Ann. And Monday March." The pink eyes felt appraising, but friendly. "Dominick is already here and can let you know if there are any concerns.” A hint of a blush played along Tavi’s upper cheeks. I couldn’t help but empathize given my acquaintance with Ann’s voice.
The walk back to the medical area was quick and the area looked the same for the most part. All of the little huts had the curtains pulled back and the one I’d seen Buckle in yesterday now had him sitting up on the edge of the bath with light steam floating off it into the cool morning air. Dominick was leaning in and checking the goblin’s wounds as Ann closed the door behind us.
My silver haired innkeeper walked closer with me and spoke before I did. “Heya Dorkus, can’t even get to town without being saved, huh?” Ann’s voice wasn’t the more frequent tickle, more resonant and full of teasing.
Buckle glanced over at us with a big smile. “Hi Monday March. ‘Eya kiddo, thanks fer watchin’ after her what saved me out there.” His pointy teeth were very apparent in his wide smile. Willy bounced off his shoulder and hopped over towards us, stopping in front of Ann and looked up at her.
“Really Willy? Fine.” Ann squatted down holding her hand out and the toad bounced into her hand, was then held to her cheek as she kissed the side of him and he leaned into her face for a moment. After which Willie bounced back over to Buckle, while Ann stood and glanced between the Goblin and Dominick “So brother mine, going to need a room tonight?”
Dominick spoke up. “I’m done. Buckle, everything looks pretty good. I’d like to check you over before you head back home, or in 3 days if you're staying longer.”
“Thank‘e, Dominick. I kin pay ye now, er I can let ye have a choice of pelt we wuz talkin’ ‘bout?” Buckle stood up out of the water and started putting on clothes over the trunks he was still wearing.
Cocking his head to the side, Dominick seemed to ponder before replying. “Haven’t eaten at the Pillow and Pie in a bit. Corr and I will be by for dinner and take a look at the hides then, if that’s agreeable.”
“So, gonna let me have a room, Sis?” His vest slipping over his shoulders, Buckle was looking up at his taller sister.
“Hmmmpf, I could probably make more for someone else if I kept it open.” The teasing tone was back, and even turned up higher.
I smirked down at Ann before beaming a smile at Buckle, shooting an ‘I’ve got this’ vibe. “No worries Buckle, If Ann doesn’t have room you can crash in mine. Already booked for the night and your hides are already there.”
Ann’s arms flung up with hands waving about. “At least let me tease my BROTHER, Monday March! Fine, fine, fine, you can sleep on my couch, and if there’s an empty room after dinner service is over you can have a room for half price.” She stuck her tongue out at Buckle playfully, but winked at me in an aside.
Buckle was finished dressing as I met his eyes. “I think you are a good influence on Ann. I think that playfulness is quite cute, er, charming, but it didn’t show up much yesterday.”
The pointy teeth made another appearance, but not revealed in a smile, more of a slack jawed gape.
As I was making my own grin at Buckle, a flood of mist and light condensed where the water entered the walled area near where the stream emerged from under the wood. The 4 of us turned to look at the brilliant fog, though the light was subdued, the intensity kept growing.
After about a minute a glowing humanoid figure emerged from the mist. As if it were an aperture in reality. I couldn’t detect anything but arms, legs, torso and head all composed of light. It was moving towards us and Dominick, Buckle and Ann all bowed their heads. I saw their reaction, but continued to look at the figure with my face forward.
The figure of light walked across the surface of the stream to the middle of the medical area and then… Descended into the waters. Remaining there for a minute, it rose up again and moved towards the four of us who happened to be there. Light spilled from the end of an arm and cascaded over Buckle and Willy, intensifying on specific spots where I’d seen wounds on Buckle’s arms and legs.
A light limb briefly touched against the heads of Dominick and Ann, then the light figure approached me and appeared to gaze into me. ‘You are new and old, you’ve Boons and Bane. You know me not but have untreated pain.’ Then light engulfed me.