You are Kline Bueller, and you are getting ready to catch a pest bugging the farmers. The question was, was your partner ready to handle it?
You head downstairs to see Maria sitting on the couch, grumbling angrily.
"What's up?" You ask.
"Your mother." Maria snorts, crossing her arms.
"I would say it, but I don't want to sound like a jackass." You hold your hands up.
"Then don't." The blonde turns away from you.
"Kline! Come here!" Your mother shouts. You wonder what she wants. Probably to give you a boxed lunch.
>"In a minute!"
>"I just got up..."
"I'm coming!" You shout as you head into the kitchen. Your mom is at the table with a boxed lunch, as you correctly guessed.
"Here you go, Kline. I made some lunch for you and that...girl." Your mom frowns at the mention of Maria. It seems she still has a grudge against her.
"Mom, can't you be a little more easy on her? She's trying to be nice." You sigh.
"Nice isn't trying to destroy my kitchen with her amateurish help." Your mom frowns. "Don't you have someplace to be?"
"Later, mom." You say as your mother nods. You leave the kitchen and head out the front door, only to be stopped by a certain blonde.
"Wait just a minute! You're not leaving me behind!" Maria protests.
"Wouldn't dream of it." You mutter. The two of you leave your house and head towards Millie's house. You knock on the door, and Millie opens it and looks at you.
"Hey, Kline. Didn't expect you this early. Mom's outside planting seeds while Dad is off getting a new axe." Your friend says.
Maria pushes past you and heads inside. She really is her mother's kid deep down inside. You turn to Millie. "So, you wanted to do something today?"
"I heard you were going to catch that pest that's harassing the farmers. Can I help out?" Millie asks you.
>"I don't know..."
>"Not today, sorry."
"Sure, if you want. Just don't do anything to scare it off." You say. You head inside the house and look around. "Where does your dad keep the rope?"
"In the cellar." Millie says.
You head towards the door near the stairwell and open, going down the stairs. Gods, this place smells like the tavern back at Grandale. Spotting the rope, you grab it and quickly move up the stairs, shutting the door behind you.
"Have you ever cleaned that place down there?" You ask Millie.
"My mom tried, but she gave up after dealing with too much dust." The orange-haired girl shrugs.
"I see." You walk over to the couch and sit on the left end, while Millie lies onto the right and plops her feet onto your lap.
"I wonder what's taking your friend so long." Millie sighs.
"She's a farmer's daugther." You helpfully offer.
"A family of nobles, acting like farmers." Millie muses. "What I wouldn't give to see that."
>"Maybe next time I'll take you to see them."
>"Have to ask your parents first."
>"I doubt Maria would like that."
"You'd have to ask your parents first. I don't want to get on your mom to think I'm some kind of eloper." You sigh.
"Are you kidding? Mom'd probably think that girl's family is full of pompous nobles like her!" Millie snickers. "As for dad, I think he'll only agree if you took me."
"Naturally." You say, as Maria walks in, sweat covering her brow. "...How was work?"
"Shut up," she grumbles as she spots you and Millie on the couch. "Why is her feet on your lap?"
"Because it's my house, and I can put my feet wherever I please." Millie snaps.
"I doubt your mother would appreciate that." Maria huffs, glaring at Millie.
"Maybe we should switch families then, cause you seem to be enamored with my mom." Millie snorts.
"Good! Maybe you and mother would get along, since you're both hard to deal with!" The cleric stomps her foot.
>"Ladies, take it easy."
>"I think we should go now."
>"I love a good catfight as much every man, but.."
"As much as I love a good cat fight, I think we should go out and chase after the creature, don't you think?" You interrupt.
"Fine." Both girls reply, still glaring at each other. Soon, Millie changes into some clothes and joins the two of you as you head out towards the forest. You hoist your make-shift trap onto your shoulder and look around.
"Is the thing even around here?" Maria snaps, rubbing her brow.
>"It's called searching, princess."
>"We just have to spread out and find it."
>"Let's just wait for it to come."
"It's called searching, princess. Read a dictionary sometimes." You flatly reply.
"You-!" Maria starts, but is silenced by Millie.
"Hush! Don't you hear that?" She hisses into her ear. You strain your ears for any kind of sound. A pattering noise can be heard through the forest. You grab the trap and slowly fling it towards the ground. If this thing was fast like they said, then you were gonna have a hell of a time.
Maria and Millie look at you as you scan your eyes for any kind of movement. Your body tenses up as you sense something coming towards you. This could be your only chance to get the speedy creature.
What do you do?
>Wait for it.
>Launch the trap.
You wait for the chance as the creature's presence comes closer and closer.
Maria gives you a look that says, "What are you waiting for, you stupid commoner?" Millie is just watching with a neutral look on her face.
As the presence draws nearer, you decide the time is right. You pull the rope and the cage falls. It starts to shake violently for a brief moment, then goes still.
What do you do?
>Approach it slowly.
>Pull the cage towards you.
You approach the cage slowly, as to not to alert the creature of your presence. Lifting the cage slowly, you reach your hand inside and grab something, pulling it out.
"What is it?" Maria asks.
"Holy shit... I don't believe it. I thought those things were a legend!" Millie gasps.
"What are you talking about?" Maria asks.
"A carbuncle." You whisper, looking at the horned, blue-furred beast with awe. Carbuncles were legendary animals with reputed magical powers, such as healing all types of wounds and diseases. And one of them was in your hand.
"Are you really going to give it to your father and his friends? It seems kind of...wrong somehow." Maria puts a finger to her chin.
"Are you kidding? We can't let anyone hurt the poor guy!" Millie protests angrily.
"But it keeps eating the crops!" Maria replies back.
You look into the carbuncle's purple eyes. It seems to be... calm?
>Take it with you.
>Bring it back to the farmers.
You sigh and scoop up the thing into your arms. "I guess I'll just hold on to it until I find an animal lover or someone." You say.
"What about the farmers?" Maria presses.
"I'll just say I killed it." You shrug.
The blonde shakes her head as the three of you head back to the village. As you head back to Millie's house, you see Milde pruning the bushes.
"Your mom's still working?" You say incredulously.
"She wouldn't be my mom if she didn't." Millie shrugs.
Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blow from behind you three, causing Milde to yelp as her skirt flies up, flashing her underwear.
"...I think I have gone blind." You groan as you cover your eyes. Dear gods, you did not need to see that happen to someone like your auntie.
"Goodness!" Maria turns her head away, blushing fiercely. "I-I didn't see anything!"
"I'm going to go to the bathroom. To rinse my eyes out from the horrible scene I just witnessed." Millie states monotonously as she heads on in the house.
"Gods be good, what kind of wind was that!" Milde complains, brushing down her skirt and turning to face you. "Kline, where have you been? I thought you were inside the house?"
"I was out in the forest." You say.
"Doing what? You better not have gotten into trouble." Milde crosses her arms over her chest.
>"I was finding this little guy in my arms."
>"I was just taking a walk."
>"I was looking for herbs."
"I was just taking a walk." You say.
"Hmph. As long as you didn't get attacked by those animals." Milde sighs. "What was Millie in such a hurry for, anyhow?"
"Probably getting ready for a date?" You joke, but your auntie frowns in disapproval.
"I doubt any boy around here wants to date such a brash girl like my daugther." Milde huffs. "Then again, I do wish she find someone. I want a grandchild."
"If it's any consolation, I want a daughter of my own." Maria supplies.
"Oh, my dear, I wish you were my child." Milde smiles and gives Maria a hug. Yuck. This is getting cheesy.
"I think we should be going now." You state, wanting to quickly purge the image of your auntie's wardrobe malfunction out of your mind.
"What's the rush? I was just going to make a fresh batch of cookies." Milde frowns.
"Oh, I would love some cookies!" Maria marvels, her eyes practically glowing with joy over the fact that sweets were being offered.
You pray to any god that's listening to save you from this situation. But none seem to answer.
The two of you head on inside and sit on the couch. Millie had the right idea to rinse her eyes out; maybe you should join her.
>Stay here in the living room.
Although it would be a good idea, you decide to stay in the living room. Besides, you didn't need Maria on your case today. You feel the carbuncle sleeping softly in your jacket. It probably was a good thing that you didn't show it to Milde.
"Ugh... My eyes are clean, but my mind has yet to clean itself." Millie enters the living room. "Is mom in the kitchen?"
"Yeah, baking cookies." You say.
"Why am I not surprised." Millie sighs as she scratches her head. "I think I know now what dad saw in her. And I never want to see it again."
"Will you please?!" Maria snaps, annoyed. "Look, just stop acting like you've been through a trauma and drop it!"
"Easy for you to say. You never walked in on your parents undressing." Millie snaps at the blonde.
"Why would I? And what does that have to do with anything?" The cleric glares at your childhood friend.
"Girls, girls. Can we please not do this now? Sit down and relax." You say, seeing the two calm down and go to their seats, huffing.
Thank the gods they stopped. You really didn't want this to go out of hand.
What do you do?
>Read a book.
>Talk to Millie.
"So, are you really planning on having a daughter?" You ask Maria. "What about a son?"
Maria sputters angrily. "A son?! If I do give birth to a son, I certainly wouldn't want him to act like a commoner!" She snorts.
"What is a commoner to you, anyway?" You sigh.
"A commoner is a boorish, low-class person who doesn't give the proper respect to their betters." Maria says in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Yup. You're a real marvel of the world, being raised by fantasy tales." Millie laughs.
Maria just glares at Millie and turns to you. "Anyways, I think this place isn't that bad, but I wish it could benefit from trading. It would become a place worthy of commerce."
"Nah, I like it the way it is." Millie says. "I don't want busy-body people rooting around in places they don't belong."
"Millie's got a point." You shrug.
Maria grumbles as she looks out the window. You could never read her sometimes.
"The cookies are done!" Milde enters the room, carrying a tray of cookies. Maria instantly brights up and grabs a chocolate-chip cookie from the tray.
You and Millie lazliy take a cookie and munch on it. You really weren't up to eating cookies, but it would be rude not to take something.
"So, what are you going to do when you go back to town?" Millie asks you.
>"Probably go back to training."
>"Hang out with Evelyn."
>"Do an easy mission."
"Probably go back to my training." You say. "And do an easier mission than the last one."
"You've been so busy these last few days." Millie pouts. "I wish you'd come by more."
"Yeah, me too. But duty calls." You sigh.
Maria is too busy eating cookies to reply. Typical.
"...You know she's just gonna get fat eating those." Millie smirks.
Maria stops and glares at Millie. "I am not fat!" She snaps.
"Really. I wonder why you wear robes a lot." You snicker.
"Because they're comfortable! I only wear dresses on special occasions!" The blonde protests.
"Sure, whatever." You sigh as you stand up. "Well, see you later, Millie. We'll be going now."
"Take care." Millie waves at you both as the two of you leave the house and head back to your home.
As you arrive home, your dad's friends are back, this time laughing.
"I can't believe it, it was a damn weasel all along!" The first man cackles.
"Yeah, who knew those things can be so damn crafty!" The second man smiles.
"Dad, what's going on?" You ask your father.
"Oh, hey, son. Turns out the thing attacking the crops was just a weasel. It got caught in an old trap left by one of the farmers that used to live here." Your dad sighs. "Sorry about making you go through all that for nothing."
"It's ok, dad. At least you guys got the critter." You grin.
"Yeah, at least we both won the bet." The first man snorts.
"Since that old farmer left, anyways." The second man sighs.
You then head inside and quickly head up to your room and release the now-awake carbuncle from your jacket, who proceeds to run around the room. Poor fellow must've been stir-crazy trapped inside.
What do you do?
>Make a bed for the carbuncle.
>Go back down and get some food.
>Relax on the bed.
You make a makeshift bed for the carbuncle, out of your old clothes. It seems to like it, as it curls up and lies there.
You hope Evelyn would take care of the thing once you got back to Grandale. You leave your room and open the door to your sister's room to see Maria undressing by accident. Oops.
"Um... Sorry." you blurt out as you quickly slam the door and head downstairs. Minutes later, you hear an angry cry as the cleric stomps down the stairs.
"Kline! Kline, you come back here!" Maria's voice echoes throughout the house. You quickly bolt out through the front door and head into the center of the village.
Damn it, what did you do to piss off some obscure god? You just hope she would stop chasing you. A familiar sign comes into view, the sign that says, "The Crowing Rooster."
Your mother often told you to not to go near that place, but you rarely listened and snuck out to watch and hear tales of traveling adventurers. You were sure Maria would never hope to set foot into a bar.
>Hide someplace else.
You head inside and look around. Some things seemed different to you, but otherwise, everything looked the same. You quickly head over to a nearby booth and slink down just in time to see an angry Maria storm past the window.
Safe. You peer from the table and look at the stage to see a dancer performing in front of a crowd of drunks. To be fair, you were probably at the age where boys first discovered women didn't have cooties and were the most beautiful things in the world.
You take a good look at the dancer. She has flowing red hair like fire, and her tanned skin seems to indicate she was from the southern deserts. And her blue eyes were like pools of water. No wonder the crowd was going ga-ga over her.
As she finishes, you see her quickly make her way towards your direction. Why was she coming towards you?
>Go to her.
You decide to remain seated, curious to see how this would play out. The dancer then sits over the across from you.
"Hello." You say politely.
"Hey there," She speaks in a soft, sultry tone. "I've never seen you around here before."
"Well, actually, I have. I used to come here when I was younger." You sheepishly say. "It's that I've never seen you here before."
"Oh, my." The dancer says. "That's a shame. I just started here a few years ago. This place is like my second home."
"Second home?" You ask. "What's the first?"
"A little town called Agrabah." The redhead smiles.
"How did you end up here?" Your curiosity rears its ugly head.
"Well, I was traveling on a caravan, and this place was one of its pit stops. I danced in this place for a while, hoping to get some extra gold, and the owner decided to hire me as entertainment for this place. And I have to say," The dancer's smile grows wider. "I don't regret making that decision to stay."
"Yeah, he's a pretty swell guy." You laugh.
"So, do you want to go into the back with me?" The dancer asks you.
>"I barely even know your name..."
"Renah." The dancer answers. You nod as you get up and follow her to the back room. You wonder what she wanted from you.
You enter her room, which was full of things from her homeland, and sit on one of her chairs. "So, what do you want?" you ask.
"I just want to know... Have you seen a carbuncle around here?" She looks into your eyes.
Your body freezes up. Was that carbuncle you caught in the forest hers? Or was it something else? "Um, does it have blue fur and horns?" You nervously say.
"Yes. You see, I've been wanting one to get one of its horns. I heard they have magical power, and I want that to make my beauty last longer." Renah sighs. "I can't help it, I'm such a vain girl..."
You gulp. Oh, boy. What to do, what to do...
>To be continued
Thanks for playing. I might answer some questions before I fall asleep.
>where boys first discovered women didn't have cooties