Two swans float gracefully on a boating lake

Result 12 – Part 9

The bell above the entrance chimes as you enter the washhouse, and Magara looks up from her ironing with a warm smile.

“Well, look who’s back! Here to collect your clothes? Drop off some more? Both?”

You explain that you’re here to pick up your cleaned clothes.

“Right away! Let me fetch them for you.”

She briefly disappears into another room, then returns with a neatly bundled set of clothes, clean, soft and smelling of soap.

“Here you are,” she says, handing them to you. “All fresh and clean. Is there anything else you need, or are you all set?”

You mention to Magara that when you, Ameronis, Brinnet, Grace and Agnai attended the Grand Jamboree last night, you met a lady called Terris who invited you all to come to check out a place called ‘The Warrior’s Edge’. All of you, having never seen or heard of the place before, were interested in learning more, but seeing as the washerwomen would be working today, Ameronis offered to gather info and report back on what that place is all about. Now, here the two of you are, ready to fill them in on what you discovered if now’s an appropriate time.

“That sounds like quite the place! I’m sure the others will be thrilled to hear about it. I’ll go check with Morrie. Hold on.”

She disappears into the back room while you pack away your clothes; you hear the voices of the others speaking loudly in the background as the door is opened. You faintly hear someone exclaim “O’course! Bring ’em in here!”, with their voices fading again as the door swings shut as Magara makes her way back to you. She meets you with a smile.

“Morrie says it’s OK. You can head back there and tell them all about it.”

With a glance at Ameronis, you proceed into the back room, bracing yourself just before you enter. Upon seeing you, Morrie, Brinnet, Elaphora, Agnai and Grace all greet you cheerfully, as they work on piles of clothes and sinks full of suds. They welcome you warmly, as though you’re long, lost friends.

“Welcome, welcome girls!” says Grace, “how ya been? Apparently, you’ve got news for us?”

Taking a seat on one of the benches, you and Ameronis fill them all in on your experiences today; what you found at The Warriors Edge, who you met, and what you thought of the place, along with your experience with the archery. You tell them about the classes and the various time slots, the pricing and membership, and the daily lunch and dinner social gatherings.

All of this sounds quite interesting to them, with some considering a few of the options, though steering clear of others; there’s a morbid curiosity when it comes to taking the wrestling and boxing classes with Gideon; they wonder how many times over they’ll die whilst attempting to study under him. The concept of studying martial arts under the gentler-sounding “Jenenora” is much more appealing. However, you point out that you never saw Jenenora, so there’s a chance that she’s just a female version of the big, brutish-looking Gideon, rather than a small, soft lady who wouldn’t break you in half. A pause and shared glances, then the girls concede that it’s definitely a possibility. But, would that make things better for them or worse?

They enquire about the other teachers you saw; Terris and Sin of course, Gideon briefly as you passed by, and Captain Cedric to an even lesser degree as you watched Sin. Also, while you were in the teahouse, Sin pointed out three other teachers as they came and went; Duncan, Alden and Thalia. According to the timetable, they do swordplay, running and the climbing and obstacle courses respectively.

Suddenly, Grace wonders out loud if any of the tutors are attractive, and the scene immediately devolves into another layer of chaos, with shouting, laughter and lots of teasing. You and Ameronis are grilled for details of the perceived attractiveness of the male instructors, and they bicker over whether any of them stand a chance of snagging one of them. Grace recalls a recent incident where a well-to-do lady ended up abandoning her husband and house to run off with their handsome, rugged gardener, and they marvel at the idea of being wooed by some beautiful stranger. When Agnai stops folding clothes to rebuff Elaphora after being mocked, she is quickly scolded by Morrie and hurriedly gets back to work, while Morrie reins the rest of them in.

“You can go fight over the men in the wrestling ring. After you’ve finished your work! Now pipe down!”

Reluctantly, they agree to drop the subject but encourage the two of you to finish sharing any further details you have. With your report complete, they thank you for the info and consider their options for times and classes, suggesting they might go and swing by themselves when their shift is over. They might go to the evening tea house social instead of The Copper Mug tonight and check it all out then.
With your job done, and not wanting to be a further distraction (nor continue to be buffeted by their animated conversations), you and Ameronis decide to take your leave. The girls are sad that you’re going, but tell you to come visit them again soon. Ameronis mentions that she’ll bring her stuff for them to wash soon as well.

Back out on the street, the cooler air and sounds of the regular city bustle are a stark contrast. The two of you stand outside, momentarily stunned. Time for… some unwinding, you think.

You suggest to Ameronis that you’re thinking of going and relaxing in the park for a while and asks if she’d like to come or if she’s got other plans. Having been meaning to visit it herself, Ameronis opts to join you, so the two of you navigate to Magnolia Court Gardens.

A short while later, you rest on an ornate bench in the park, surrounded by soft colours and petals, the air filled with sweet, fresh scents, and hearing nothing but the wind in the trees behind you, and the soft chatter of nearby birds. Leaning back as the waterfowl glide across the lake before you, you watch Ameronis as she attracts the birds to herself with a bag of birdseed she happily bought after encountering a gentleman pushing a cart full of bird food around the lake, offering to sell them to visitors.

You watch as she crouches at the water’s edge, happily letting a swan take seeds directly from the seed pouch. She carefully attempts to touch the swan; it’s a little wary, and it flinches initially, but with patience, she is able to briefly stroke its wing, if only for a second. She seems quite at peace, surrounded by the birds.

Peace, and grace.

You watch as you consider the last couple of days.

Meeting new people and socialising has gone well so far, with the washerwomen, the beggars, and the staff and students at The Warrior’s Edge all being good starting points. And with your VIP pass at Stardust, that could be a good way to get to know some new friends even more; even Ameronis is a candidate for that.

Aside from that, you now have the option to try and learn some new skills as well or improve your existing skills and fitness at the training club. You could kill two birds with one stone and make new friends and gain skills at the training club. You snort at your poor choice of wording but shake your head.

On the other hand, seeing if there was something you could do to help improve the beggars’ situation was also on your to-do list. It’s unlikely you could do much, but you did want to at least try. Then, there’s still the issue of your confiscated stolen goods…

With no other plans for the rest of the day, you figure it’s time to make some now, as you decide what to do for the rest of the afternoon and the coming evening.

Vote below to determine the next chapter

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