"Errr yeah. I've got a few." Ari said whilst raising her hand. "What's going on? Is this good? Are we in trouble?" She sighed and pulled her plate back towards her and picked at the food. "I'm lost..."
Kronos fixed his attention on Ari and said "In that order? Nothing right now. Probably not. Not yet, but we might be soon." Kronos said, glancing back at the door "So...we might want to move to a city controlled by one of the lesser clans. Maybe the southern traders." He said, more to himself than to anyone else.
Without warning, Savannah stood and planted his hands on the table, leaning towards Kronos.
"You listen here. Since I've encountered your...employees, I have been drugged, kidnapped, and nearly killed. I expect some form of compensation, and soon."
Kronos stood from the table, almost a head taller than Savannah and said "One:my treasury was destroyed with the rest of my clan hall. Two:I don't take kindly to threats and I highly suggest you watch your tone." As an electrical charge built up in his arms, arcs of electricity appearing around his hands
Savannah eyed Kronos' arms warily, then scowled at him and sat, thinking hard. As he thought, he felt the familiar sensation of being watched. He looked about - without making it too obvious - and noticed four people watching him from different tables. He turned and, behaving quite nonchalantly in terms of body language, informed the others of this.
"You think we need a distraction then?" Em whispered back to Savannah. She leant down to pet Ari's lizard-friend, and got a better look at the men Savannah had pointed out.
"Maybe South is a good idea. I hear it's nice there this time of year." She said light heartedly, sitting back up straight.
Hammond made no attempts to look at the men on the other tables, "They won't attack us. Kronos wouldn't order them to unless one of us pushed him to. Although you were pretty darn close there Savannah. You almost made him as mad as I did."
"So who were they? Are we going on a trip?" Ari sighed and put down her fork. "Actually, don't bother answering. Either way we need things." She rose out of her chair and pushed it back under the table.
"I'm going shopping." She announced. "Savannah. Gimme your sizes. I'll get you a new suit. You take the day off." Her eyes shifted to Hammond. "Do you want to come with me? I think I'm gonna need help carrying it all."
Hammond looked from Ari to Savannah and Kronos before looking back and standing up. He would have taken any excuse - literally any excuse - to leave Savannah and Kronos to kill one another and, even though the situation seemed to be over, shopping just so happened to be an excuse for Hammond to leave. Plus he could get a cloak to go with his scythes while he was out with Ari. He smiled slightly at the thought. "I'm in."
"Great!" She exclaimed. "I'll just get the cat. I don't want to leave him inside all day." She looked at Savannah again before she left. "Just give Hammond the measurements. I'll be down in a minute."
Elsar was walking down a narrow road going through a small valley. He had been headed South for weeks now, running low on food and water, his mount's chip had short circuited, and his coat was covered in dirt. Up ahead the valley widened, and he could see a town down the road.
He picked up his pace, nearing the Southern traders.
Savannah gave Ari his sizes and told her in no uncertain terms to buy only green clothes. He then finished off his soup in silence, seething, and, still seething, returned to bed to sleep off the wound.
Ari pocketed the paper after receiving Savannah's sizes, having returned with her pet, thinking it could be due to him not trusting Hammond and nodded at his colour specific order. They then left for the shopping district again, walking in the direction she was pretty sure they had come from the night before.
"Do you know how long it'll take to get to the South?" She asked. "I wanna guage how much stuff we'll need before we start buying anything."
"The South...?" Hammond thought for a second, putting aside his earlier thoughts about how best to sabotage Savannah's clothing. "Well 'The South' is a pretty vague idea for where we're going. It's a direction, not a destination. It all depends on how far South from here constitutes 'The South'."
He hazarded a guess at saying that he had not helped with that reply, but he had never gone to The South. He had a slight idea at how long it might be but nothing concrete, "Five days at walking pace? Maybe a week, at most? Even if it's a little further than that, we'll run across another town or city before then."
"But," he interjected into his own speech, "I think Em was joking when she said we should run off to The South."
"Are you sure? Kronos said it would be a good idea. And he seemed nervous. I don't want to find out why."
She started to make a list in her head of things they might need, her Jiryu chipping in every now and then to offer advice or criticism.
"Oh! I nearly forgot!" She said, turning to Hammond. "Did you manage to come up with a name for my cat?"
Hammond searched his mind once more. He was sure he had some sort of name prepared but it escaped him for the moment. "I did actually." You're really going to go ahead with 'Geoff' as your suggestion? *sigh* Why do I even bother? "But I don't know how good it is. Naming giant cat monsters is not my forte, after all." He looked at the beast, hoping for an inspiration to come up with something. None came.
Well I didn't give you a name to use, so what the hell kind of awful word from the refuse of language have you used to describe this slobbering beast? In case you want any help from me now, you can f' off.
He looked back to Ari, "Geo...?"
Ari looked from Hammond to the beast padding along beside her.
"Geo... Hmm..." She turned back to Hammond. "I like it. Thanks."
Her gaze slid over to the Jiryu, once again lying on the cat's back.
Come to think of it, you haven't told me your name yet.
I thought you would be the one to name me. Or at least push the duty onto someone else. You seem good at that. She scowled at it.
Well I thought that since you like to provide me with your endless wisdom you would have come up with a name yourself.
You... you literally took the f's off... I never thought I'd be able to be this annoyed by myself...
Hey, she liked it, okay? I thought it would be good to at least try something.
These people and their idiocy are changing you only for the worse. Hammond decided to ignore the voice in his mind from now on, if only for a while, to casually spin the scythe in his left hand while using the one in his right to steady his pace.
He was walking alongside Ari, following her in whichever direction she tended toward at the time. He wasn't so sure about which direction they were going in, but Ari seemed sure enough for the two of them. Even if they got a little lost, they could always just ask for directions.
Shale? Oh I see what you did there. Replaced the "c" in scale with an "h". Veeery clever.
If you must know it's also the name of my grandfather. Ari's grin quickly dissolved.
It is...? Oh. I'm sorry... She decided it would be best to shut up for a while.
Not too long though as she was soon wondering out loud how long it was taking and if she had gone the wrong way. Before she started stopping people on the street however, she heard the tell-tale sounds of a marketplace in the distance and bounced down the road.
She made sure to stay close to Hammond once in the crowd but there was little need as the crowd parted enough for them to pass at the sight of Geo walking towards them. Ari noticed and started to stroke his head as she walked, all the while looking for a general shop so they could buy the bulk of the list.
She spotted a promising building and waded through the crowd towards it, leaving her pets just outside as she and Hammond entered. She began browsing the shelves picking off bits and pieces to inspect them.
"Ok so we'll need a tinder box or whatever you call them... rope might be good... bags or backpacks to put it in of course..." She looked over her shoulder at Hammond. "Can you think of what we'll need? I don't want to miss anything."
He was checking the items off on a mental tick list as Ari mentioned them. "From here...?" He looked about the shelves, putting his hand to his chin at one point to appear to be mulling over his thoughts about an unassuming sack on a shelf that he could have sworn was too ripped to count as a sack anymore, before turning back. "Assuming that we're getting something to let Geo carry stuff we might get a saddlebag or two, but otherwise nothing comes to mind."
"Oh yeah! I hadn't thought of that." She jogged over to a wall with various bags hanging from hooks and sorted through them, looking for one she thought would fit the cat, preferably one that didn't look like something had been living in it previous to their arrival.
"Aha! Got one. I think... Yeah. Just a stain. Not a hole." She slung it over her shoulder and carried on browsing the shops wares.
Eventually she had finished and was piling items onto the shop counter.
"Rope, a few backpacks, tinderbox, saddlebag, torches. How much is that?"
The shopkeeper snapped his gaze upwards and cleared his throat before speaking.
"That'll be... err..." His voice trailed off as his gaze fell down again. Ari looked behind her to see what was distracting him.
"Is there something there?" she asked.
"Hmm...? Oh! Yes! Maybe. I thought I saw a mouse. Yeah that's it..." replied the shopkeeper, hastily creating an excuse. "It's gone now."
"Oh ok." She said as she turned back. "So how much did you say?"
"Uh yes." He quickly shuffled through the items. "That'd be 100 Llum."
"100? Isn't that a quite a lot for just a few items? Are you sure you couldn't lower it a little?" she asked, fluttering her eyes. His eyes, however, were focused somewhere else.
"Uh... sure... For you I'll say... 35."
"Great!" She handed over the money and packed everything into one of the backpacks and slung the saddlebag back over her shoulder.
After leaving the shop she fitted the saddlebag onto Geo, taking care to keep it secure, before heading back into the crowd.
"Do you think we should get some tents too? They might be good considering we'll be travelling for a few days... We'd need at least three if we share... What do you think?" she asked, looking at Hammond as they walked.
After a moment of processing, thinking and quickly deciding to forgo a discussion that would lead nowhere, Hammond spoke, "I think that three will be fine. Savannah in one, me in another, Em and yourself would share. We could bring along a spare as well, though it isn't necessary to."
"But aren't you forgetting Kronos? He's coming with us isn't he? I was thinking he could share with Savannah maybe." She thought about it for a moment. "Actually that might be a bad idea considering what happened in the tavern... And he can't share with you... But four tents might be getting a little expensive." She did some quick estimations in her head.
"If what we just got was one hundred then four tents are probably going to cost at least four, maybe five hundred just on their own, not to mention the extras needed to pitch them. And we've still got to get the other things we need."
If you don't want to buy another tent then just switch your sleeping arrangments.
I'm trying, but there's no way to get someone with someone they don't hate.
Have you thought that maybe you should switch?
What?! B-but I barely know them! And I'd have to ask Em first anyway... He sighed.
Very well. But it seems that problem could be solved very easily if you'd stop being a problem yourself.
I'm not being a problem! It's just... not how you do things with people you don't know very well.
I still feel that my point still stands.
Ari didn't reply, thinking as they waded through the crowd towards the next shop.
Damn, he had forgotten Kronos. That meant three guys had to have three tents, due to them either not trusting the others or not tolerating them, with the girls having to share the fourth. No spare and it would still be pretty expensive. More expensive than they could realistically afford. They had to have only three tents somehow.
"Perhaps..." he thought aloud, before rescinding the thought, "No, no, that would never work..." He might be willing to sleep outside a tent thrice a week, provided he was allowed to keep a fire going, but Savannah and Kronos did not seem to be the types who would sleep outside. It was already hard enough to picture either of them in tents. And leaving Ari and Em outside would just be wrong.
Maybe he was just looking at this problem the wrong way? Maybe there was a solution that he hadn't considered in which they could all stay inside, or some scenario he had disregarded?
"Perhaps Em could acquire a tent to save us some Llum? We'll buy two and have Em come back to acquire one later."
"No." Ari said firmly. "We are not stealing anything. We have enough going on without being criminals too." She montioned for Hammond to head towards a tailor shop she saw coming up.
Once again leaving her pets outside, she approached the front desk and brought out the paper with Savannah's sizes. She handed it over, asking if they had a suit with those measurements and if they could make it green. The tailor gave her an odd glance before bowing and going into a backroom. Ari turned around and leant on the counter, watching people go by the shop window.
"I've had an idea. Sorta." She said, still looking out of the window, wondering how best to phrase the next part. "About our sleeping places. I'd have to ask Em of course... but if she didn't mind... then maybe she could share a tent with Savannah instead of me. I don't think he knows her enough to not like her so maybe it might work... They probably won't end up fighting and you and Kronus will have your own tents. It'd mean we don't have to spend everything we have on them and everyone would be happy."
She paused for a moment as the tailor returned with a black two-piece suit in Savannah's size and asked if it was the style she was after. "It's a little different. I think the one he had before was three pieces. Oh and do you have a plain tie to match?" The tailor asked if it should be the same colour to which Ari nodded and the man disappeared once more into the room.
"But I don't mind sleeping outside." she continued. "I've done it quite a lot after all in my job. Before all this mess started. I think as long as the fire is going and Geo is with me I'll be alright." She looked at Hammond for his response. "So... what do you think?"
Hammond was half-paying attention to Ari at this point, with the remaining half focused on the samples of cloth that the tailor had on display. He touched some of the cloth and, after deciding that the texture was wrong, moved on to the next piece. You know what I think? I think she's asking you for your opinion a lot suddenly... What gives Hammond? And why'd she even bring you along anyway? So far you don't seem to be carrying anything at all.
"Well as long as Em and Savannah are willing to share the tent, and you're not too fussed about sleeping outside, it should work. But we would need to speak to them both before settling on it as a solution."
His hands settled upon another piece of cloth. Aha, this one would work. For the moment it was white, but he planned to have it dyed with a far better design. He drew some of the cloth from its reel and took the sample over to the counter before speaking to Ari again, "You're sure you'd be fine sleeping outside?"
She nodded. "I'll be fine. As long as everyone else has somewhere to sleep I'm happy. And you're right. I should ask first. We should come back for the tents later then."
She felt the fabric Hammond had picked. "What's this for?"
"A cloak. Just to be on the safe side." The further south they went, the more he would like to have a cloak. It might be cold, windy and rainy as they trekked south and, with a cloak, he'd be somewhat prepared for it. Or it might get sunnier in which case he would have some shade, though he doubted it could get sunnier. "It won't take much to do."
"A cloak? That sounds nice. It feels nice too." She let go of the fabric and turned back to watching people outside again.
"How long do you think it'll take them to make it though? If it's a while then we could leave Savannah's suit to be dyed instead of having to try it ourselves. It would certainly save us some time."
"It won't be long..."
"But you can go back and ask Em and Savannah about the sleeping arrangements while we're waiting. I'll stay here for the clothes and bring them back to the inn if they're done before you get back."
That sounds incredibly dull, Hammond. You know I'm going to have to ask questions. And, oh boy, I've got some doozies to ask this time. No more 'hide and seek' crap, I'm going full out. I'm going to make you regret having the ability to think consciously.
"Well there were a few more things I thought we should get such as blankets and water flasks but I suppose we can get them with the tents." Ari pushed herself off the counter. "I'll see you later then." As she neared the door, however, a thought occured to her and she turned around again to face him.
"Hammond... I'm sorry I'm even thinking this but I know you don't like him so please don't do anything to his clothes. I promised him I'd get them. I owe him that much..." Before he had to chance to reply she swiftly left the building and was lost in the crowd on her way back.