The Stardew Valley Fair approached ever closer, and for once, Jade was ready. This festival would not go wrong as far as she was concerned. A week prior, she received a letter in the mail about bringing 9 main items for a contest at the festival. There were several categories, and the more she included, the better chance she had to win the grand prize! Apparently such a prize was a currency only used at the festival, but it would still be fun and she could actually win something after such rotten luck the past two festivals. And the odds were in her favor yet again! Her sickness had passed, her crops were flourishing, and her rabbits had plentiful amounts of wool. When she wasn’t at complete health, she devoted much more time into making crafts. Using the provided wool, supplies from the Community Center, and her own creativity, she had crafted a lucky charm that looked just like a rabbit’s foot. The best of the best would be included for the fair, too. Jade used a large but pullable wagon that Robin left on the farm to carefully pack all of her goods for a safe travel. For the fair, she picked the largest stalks of corn, the greatest pumpkins of the patch, and some foraged blackberries and hazelnuts. She was fortunate enough to include a large salmon she caught the previous day, and then her rabbits provided not only raw wool, but she was able to include a roll of cloth and the rabbit’s foot she made as well. To complete the bundle for the contest, Jade included her actual lucky charm, Petrified Bastard. Petrified slime apparently qualified for the minerals category! After all the preparations were made and Jade accomplished all of her daily farm duties, the young farmer set out towards Pelican Town with a covered wagon full of the rewards of her labor. On this day, the Stardew Valley Fair would begin. On this day, Jade would win. -- Jade arrived to the fair earlier than most of the townspeople, since she had to set up for the contest. Several people, including those not even citizens of the town, were setting up tents, booths and the like. Colorful balloons, streamers, and festive decorations adorned the buildings in town square and wrapped around temporary fencing to provide various pathways to each of the stations. There seemed to be a shop surprisingly run by someone other than Pierre, several food and concession stands provided by Gus, a ton of minigames, a small petting zoo, and of all things, there was entertainment... by a clown. Creepy, but Lewis went all out for this festival, for sure. Jade entered through the southern part of the town and explored up to the northern area to see where the contest took place. On the way, she spotted other exhibits from fellow townspeople, such as Clint and his blacksmithing practice and Robin with all of her wooden crafts and materials. Jade’s face brightened upon seeing Robin, and Sebastian was there too, helping her set up the exhibit. Immediately after seeing them, she burst out an excited, “Seb! Robin! Hey!!” Both of them turned around when they heard the eager farmer’s voice, Robin excitedly waving over while Sebastian smiled, his arms still full of supplies. Jade wandered over to them while tugging her prized possessions behind, which Robin noticed with a gaze of curiosity. “Hey, you making an exhibit of your own?” the carpenter inquired in a lighthearted tone. “Oh! No, but I am taking place in the fair contest for the highest quality goods. I have a hunch I can win this one!” Jade beamed aloud. “We’ll be rooting for you,” Sebastian chimed in. “Abby’s dad usually wins every year. It’d be nice for a change.” “May the best producer win- wait, does he even make any products?” The farmer furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. Robin rolled her eyes. “If you want my opinion, I say he’s never touched a dang watering can in his life. But, who knows for sure. I know Caroline has a garden, but the stuff he displays, is, I dunno.” She shrugged, trying to express what she meant. “A little... mass produced? Maybe? I don’t think Caroline had a part in it.” “No heart, you mean?” Jade added in question. The carpenter nodded. “Yeah, that sounds about right. Enough about him, though. After you get all set up, you should come check out my exhibit! And take Sebby around the place, there are tons of games to play when everything opens for business.” Jade and Sebastian exchanged pleasant but sad looks. “Actually, we probably won’t see each other too much today,” the raven-hair responded. “What?? Why not?” Robin seemed betrayed by such a fact. The fair was just asking to be a romantic wonderland! “Did you get in a fight?!” The young farmer chuckled and shook her head. “Not at all! I think it’s fair to say we’ve been neglecting our friend duties a little bit. I know I haven’t had some quality time with Alex in a while.” “Sam’s been bugging me constantly for a decent hang out. I haven’t been alone with him in ages.” Sebastian sighed, putting down the supplies he held to Robin’s exhibit table. “Jade and I just figured that the fair would be a good opportunity to play catch-up.” Jade nodded in agreement. “Yeah, and with me getting sick recently, we’ve been together a lot. He’s too adorable and caring, ugh. I need a break.” She grinned and poked at him, to which he playfully nudged her back. “Don’t say that stuff in front of Mom,” Sebastian muttered, blushing. “Say everything in front of Mom,” Robin stated in an instant, expression completely serious and fascinated. Such a response caused Jade to laugh, even though she knew it wasn’t a joke. “I like to know you two are getting along well!” added Robin once more. “I know, I know,” giggled Jade. “You should know we’re doing fantastically, though. Hey, let’s have lunch together, maybe,” she continued her statement to Robin and then brought her attention back to Sebastian. “It’ll be fun eating in a big group! Whatever Gus is cooking is killing me already.” Sebastian groaned, indicating how hungry he already was. “Ugh, me too, and you can smell his cooking everywhere. Group lunch sounds like a plan,” he concluded, smilng. Robin went back to setting up the exhibit, but she continued to glance at the newfound lovers to see their precious interactions with each other. A toothy grin stretched across her face from watching them. “Great, then. Well, I need to go set up, so I’ll see you later in the afternoon, then?” the young farmer went for confirmation. “Mmhm. Good luck.” “Good luck kiss?” Jade shyly asked. Sebastian blushed more and grumpily stared at her. “Again. Mom is right there.” “She’ll see it sometime anyway!” Robin cackled. “What? See what? I don’t see anything,” she said, staring at them and waiting for them to kiss. Sebastian huffed at his mother and sighed to Jade in defeat. “Fine,” he softly mumbled back. Jade took it as a cue to give him a gentle hug, the two then exchanging a simple and cheerful kiss. She let go of him with an expression as bright and clear as the sunny sky. “Now I know I’m gonna win,” she calmly remarked. Robin clapped her hand onto her own mouth to prevent ruining an endearing moment. “Yeah, yeah.” Sebastian gave a warm smile, then gently nudged her away. “See you later.” The gesture made Jade giggle. “Bye, nerd. Hope people buy tons of stuff from you, Robin!” She waved at them and began walking off. “Heh, me too!” Robin waved her off, then instantly stared back over to Sebastian. Before she even uttered a single word towards him, he held up a hand in defiance. “I want to hear nothing about this. Kissing is not that big of a deal.” “I can say whatever I damn well please,” Robin sassily cocked her head and crossed her arms, grinning. “And it is a big deal, because that was so cute!! You two were made for each other! I can give you advice. You know what? I’ll give you some advice. I was a youngin' just like yourself when I first met your father...” And there she went. Robin was always full of stories, reveling in youth, nostalgia and using her rebellious past to give helpful (if not slightly invasive) relationship advice she acquired over the years. Sebastian had already suffered a couple of similar lectures since starting his relationship with Jade, so he was somewhat used to it. He didn’t stop her from talking, though, since she was so excited and he was able to learn more about his mother... maybe a little too much, but hey. Robin had been keeping the advice behind locked doors for a while. Sebastian had very few dates and Maru never had an interest in anyone, which meant Robin never really had the chance to present her wisdom. Sebastian continued to help Robin with her exhibit as she yammered on, a smile still faintly showing on his face. Meanwhile, Jade eventually found where she was supposed to go for the produce contest. There were several large displays standing in a row, all located in front of and past Pierre’s store. Pierre’s display was the one furthest to the left, various fruits and vegetables placed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. There was an empty display to his right, but the two after that were occupied by Marnie and then Willy. Marnie’s display mostly had produce and artisian goods from her farm animals, while Willy had a fantastic array of fish. The specifics of their displays suddenly brought Jade great nervousness... They had a variety of their own, but kept within a theme. Jade’s was all over the place with the theme and had an intense variety. Hopefully they would still count. With a deep breath, she continued to walk forward and stopped in front of the first empty display. Lewis approached her while she was carefully organizing her goods, and he seemed ecstatic for her to take part. “Well if it isn’t farmer Jade!” he started with a pleasant surprise. “It’s good to see you. This is one of the biggest festivals of a year by a long mile.” The young farmer glanced at him with a smile, then continued to add to the display. “Hello, Mayor. The fair looks amazing already! I can’t wait for everything to start.” “Mm, yes. I’m pleased to see your participation in the contest, as well. The competition is fierce, but I have faith in you.” Lewis watched as she set her display, though she paused for a moment to take in his words. Such a phrase from Lewis was really sweet and did help her confidence. “Thank you, Mayor! That means a lot. Even if I don’t win, I think I tried my best.” Her response incited a proud laugh from him. “That’s the spirit! Judging may take a little while, so you’re free to explore and do whatever you want after you finish setting up. I’ll call everyone over before announcing the winner, so good luck!” “Of course! It was nice talking to you, Mayor,” Jade eagerly replied. He gave her a pat on the shoulder before walking off to speak to Caroline and Pierre near their own display. Setting up didn’t take all too long, and when she finished, she was blossoming with pride! Everything was organized by category, making a colorful and neat collection of food and an array of other farming products. The only thing left to do was to convince herself that she would still do well even if losing was a possibility. Several tents opened up for business and tourists came in droves. Pelican Town surely knew how to throw a real fair, and the amount of people seemed to show it. When Jade finished her display, she wandered over to Marnie and Willy’s showcases and chat with them for a while, before then finally going to Lewis and announcing that she had finished. Lewis bid her a temporary farewell so that she could go off and experience the many parts of the fair for the first time. With some hunting around, she finally found her fair partner right outside his house. They changed loud greetings with endearing “farm girls” and “gridball boys” and set out to explore the fair together. Alex had some extra fair tokens from last year, so he split them with Jade in order for them to play games together. Alex has been to the fair several times, so he found himself an expert at many of the games. Jade, however, either loved the games or hated them. There was a tent that contained a pool of fish, and whoever obtained the most fish would win a significant prize. With all her fishing practice, the game was a breeze! The amount of tokens she won from all her catches seemed to show for it, too. Alex was decent enough, though he much preferred the shooting gallery. Jade, for the life of herself, could not hit a single target with the damned slingshot for that game. Targets went by too quickly, some popped up and vanished instantly, and she was just baffled by the whole game. The athlete by her side was able to hit just about every target and then some, winning a hefty amount of tokens for doing so. “I don’t know how you managed to win that cursed game, but wow, that was awesome,” Jade remarked with a grin. “What are these tokens for anyway?” Alex scratched his head and looked around for a specific stand. When he caught sight of it, he discreetly pointed over to a tiny shop overloaded with souvenirs and an assortment of cheap prizes. Many of the items consisted of oversized plushies, toys, nic-nacs, and so on, but there were a few peculiar items that caught Jade’s interest from even the distance. The shop stood alone in the top-left corner of the fair, though its popularity was noted. Families and eager adolescents approached the stand to reap their rewards. “There’s nothing too much, but the games themselves are fun, yeah?” He slyly looked at her and emitted an evil chuckle. “Plus, I get to kick your ass.” “You wish!” she laughed in response. “We’re even right now. Uhh... Let’s go over there.” Jade took her dear friend by the arm and walked him over to what seemed to be a strength tester. A gigantic, burly man stood at its side, yelling about the machine and egging people into playing. When the two approached, he grinned and spouted about the name of the game. Without even skipping a beat, he offered Jade a giant hammer. “Thanks! Okay, Alex. It’s time to see who is really the strongest one.” “You’re on, farm girl. Fish all you want, but this is my kind of game,” he boasted, pointing his thumb at his chest. “Okay, you know what? You go first!” Jade tossed the hammer over to him, causing him to stumble back. She laughed when he insisted he was just caught off guard, then watched in fascination when he tried to get the highest mark on the strength tester. Unfortunately for Alex but great news for Jade, the game was more of a ‘get to the top or the bottom’ game, which involved more timing than it did strength. When Alex tried, he almost got the top mark, and Jade’s turn allowed her to get the very top mark and win the grand prize!! Of one token. Alex burst with laughter with seeing her winnings of one token, but hey, she was still a winner. The fair carried on in a cheerful manner. The two played some more games, explored over to the petting zoo and conversed about animals and farming, and so on. They would come across some fellow townsfolk and briefly talk to them, though everyone seemed preoccupied with whatever they aimed to do at the fair. Jade found talking to others useful, since they knew where extra games were and some of them even parted with some tokens to give her a better first experience. Penny wasn’t in the highest of spirits due to her actually being banned from one of the more gambling oriented games. She told the farmer and athlete about how she won too many times and had too many tokens, so she gave quite a mound to the both of them. When they left her side, she still had a gigantic stash of tokens, though all the poor thing wanted to do was to play. A nearby fortune telling tent caught the young farmer’s interest as well. In the mouth of the tent, an old woman wearing a blue cloak stood in front of a presumably magical crystal ball. Abigail stood near the tent and watched people’s various fortunes, making her extremely giddy and fascinated. When Jade approached, she excitedly explained that this fortune teller in particular was real and that the old woman could see into people’s futures. Jade wasn’t one to easily buy such statements, but she noticed the Wizard looming nearby and there were enough magical creatures in the world to give this particular fortune teller the benefit of a doubt. Alex went to have his future explained first, both Jade and Abigail watching his expressions. At first, he seemed proud, beaming, and then he seemed somewhat bummed and discouraged. When he walked back over to the girls, he huffed. “What does some old lady with a sparkly ball know anyway?” The young farmer chuckled. “Did you get a bad fortune?” she asked. “We’ll talk after you get yours! Go, go!” He lightly pushed her over to the tent, making Abigail laugh as well. “Yeah! Good luck, Jadey!” Fine, fine. Jade dismissed the both of them and approached the woman. “H-hello, miss. I would like my fortune told,” she began, placing the required money on the counter. The old woman nodded and examined Jade for a while, not even paying attention to the money at first. “Mm, your fortune,” the woman began, giving her another detailed look. “Excited, are we? Young people are often skeptical, but I am able to see your willingness to trust others. Naivety in some cases, maybe, but such proves to be useful in this instance. I may give you glimpses of your future.” The young farmer blushed in embarrassment. Maybe she did seem too excited. “Th-thank you, miss.” “Now, let’s see...” The old woman began to consult the crystal ball, while Jade waited in anticipation. She gave a raspy chuckle, and muttered a “my, you’re an interesting one.” Jade didn’t reply, but she was already devoured by her words. She eagerly awaited for what would next be said. Finally, the old woman smacked her lips as she readied to speak: “I see a young man with you, just a little older- oh, his name. Sebastian.” “Y-yeah??” Jade was impressed already. She never mentioned any names to her! “Both of you are somewhere... dark. You both appear serious, but not unhappy... yes, something important must be happening.” The old woman had her focus completely on the crystal ball, not paying attention to Jade or her reactions. The statement she gave had confused the farmer, though it made her excited as well. If anything, she looked forward to more moments with Sebastian, especially if they were happy moments. The old woman paused briefly, then continued: “I see another man. Large, brown hair... green- no, unique... Unique eyes.” Jade lifted an eyebrow. “Alex?” “No. He is unfamiliar to the town, but familiar to you.” The fortune teller continued to stare at the crystal ball. “I see a...” Her voice faded and went quiet for another moment. “... I will give you advice, child.” “Huh?” “To reach your positive future, you must first pass the negative. Your immediate future is cloudy, unsure. I see storms, blood, anguish. You are still running away, even from a home you now hold dear.” The old woman eventually lifted her head and stared right into Jade’s eyes. “My advice for you: do not run away. You know what running has done to you.” Jade looked like a deer staring into a car’s headlights. Her expression was full now shock, terror stricken in her eyes. She did not respond. “What I see is not always the definite future. You have the ability to change your story, for better or for worse. Damaged as you may be, you have a powerful conscience and an aura that even magical creatures can trust. There are people in town who hold you dear. Do something good.” “I... Thank you.” Jade truthfully did not sound very thankful, but the fortune was something she needed to hear for herself. The old woman simply smiled and took the currency left on the table. “Of course. I wish you a good day, farmer Jade.” Jade bowed her head and quietly returned to Alex and Abigail, both extremely curious with her sudden change in demeanor. “What’d she say, Jadey?” Abigail asked first. Alex watched with more concern. “O-oh, nothing too big... um...” The farmer frowned as she tried to recall. “Oh! She did say something about me and Sebastian.” Jade ended up telling them the more positive side of her fortune, while keeping the other part to herself. All of them shared their fortunes with each other, though Jade had a feeling they all had something negative they were hiding. At least they just as easily dismissed the conversation with each other and carried on to other activities. Everyone was getting hungry, so the three of them met up with Sam and Sebastian, Maru and Penny also joining with everyone else. They all sat at the same picnic table and dined upon juicy burgers, fries, salads, the works. While Jade and Sebastian had fun at the fair, both of them were excited to reunite. They sat beside each other and talked just about the entire time, mentioning their fair-filled adventures and teasing each other about who was the better token collector. Lunch was lovely with all of them, their table full of delicious food, laughter, and a plethora of captivating conversations. A few of them left at a time until it was Jade with Alex, and Sebastian with Sam. The two not involved in a relationship chatted amongst each other until the lovebirds finally parted ways. Jade didn’t necessarily feel guilty for spending some extra moments with Sebastian, considering how well Alex and Sam seemed to get along. Truthfully, she hadn’t seen Alex be so genuinely social except towards herself and maybe Haley. She felt happy that everyone was bonding some way or another, in any case. After lunch concluded and everyone said their goodbyes, the fair continued. After another fishing game and some entertainment shows, Jade heard a call from the other end of the fair: “The results of this year’s contest is in! Everyone involved, report to the displays!” The young farmer gasped and instantly ran to the source when she heard. Alex smirked and followed at a slower pace. The other three contestants were already there and patiently waiting, Jade then going beside her display and waiting for the results. Some people had curiously crowded around to see what the fuss was about, including Alex to see how Jade was faring. Lewis held a clipboard in one hand and a megaphone in the other. Thoughtfully, he stared down to whatever was written on the clipboard in front of him, then one by one, listed the contestants. Each word passed by in an eternity, trying Jade’s patience and making her even more anxious for the results. Eventually, Lewis finally brought the announcement the four contestants were eagerly waiting for: “And the winner of this year’s Stardew Valley Fair Showcase is...” He glanced down at the clipboard once more, making sure he had his facts straight. “Jade!” She could hardly believe it! She tried so hard with her display, and actually won! There was a round of kind applause, then some people dispersed while others watched Lewis approach her. “As a farmer new to our community, you’ve showed massive improvement with your skills, and everything you brought today shows just that. Here, you deserve this,” Lewis happily stated. He offered her a thousand tokens to buy whatever she wished, along with a frilly red button that showed she won first place. The young farmer eagerly thanked the mayor, Marnie and Willy both passing by their congratulations before putting up their displays. Pierre watched her with a scowl, but looked away when Jade turned in his direction. When all was said and done, Alex approached her and gave her a very proud pat. “Farm girl! You did awesome. Fair’s working out well for you, huh?” he asked with a grin. “Yes! It’s been great. Help me load, will ya?” Jade asked in response, gesturing over to her display. She started lifting some of the goods to put back in the wagon she brought. Alex happily assisted her by lifting the large pumpkins she brought and carefully placed them in the wagon. They were heavy for even him, so he could only imagine the struggle she went through to load them and carry them all the way to the fair. Together, they finished cleaning the display and had everything carefully packed up to take home later. “Perfect,” Jade beamed. “Let’s go to that shop! I have a crapload of tokens to spend now.” Alex snorted. “Of course. Too bad there’s not too much stuff that’s good, but hey, you might like somethin’.” “Hope so!” Jade started tugging along her wagon as she walked with Alex following by her side. He seemed surprisingly quiet compared to his usual demeanor, though such a manner would never be unnoticed by Jade. She glanced at him as they walked. “What’s up?” she asked. “Oh, uh... Nothin’, really...” He eventually huffed, then seriously stared towards her. “Um. Do you believe in that fortune telling business?” “Well... it would depend, but I think in that lady’s case, I’d believe it,” Jade muttered in response. “Great.” He sighed, discouraged. “I guess some things she said rattled around in my head for a bit. I’m not feeling right.” “Wanna talk about it?” “Uh... You know what, sure. I guess I can trust you,” he replied with an unsure grumble. Jade looked back to him, amused. “You guess? Hehe, of course you can. Go on, tell me.” “Well... it’s just... we all have secrets, you know?” “Whew, Yoba knows that for sure.” Alex nodded. “My, uh... My fortune kinda involved that. And I don’t really know how to go about it.” “Well, can I be of any service?” asked his dear friend, keeping a watchful eye on him. The athlete straightened out his jacket and fumbled with his hands for a moment, trying to think of how to properly word his next statements. “Uh... Maybe... I guess, before I really talk about myself, I have some questions about you.” “Go ahead!” “How long did you have feelings for... That... S-...” Alex always forgot the damned toothpick’s name. Jade was about to scold him and correct him, but he finally remembered: “Seb! Sebasomething. Him.” “One of these days I’m gonna beat you up,” laughed Jade. “Sebastian. And, uh... A long time? Maybe not as long as many crushes go, but... We were really great friends, and it branched off into other feelings.” She shyly smiled in thought. They approached the shop, so Jade excitedly looked at all the selections. With the winnings from all the games, the contest, and the tokens that Penny left her, she could buy practically anything. As she browsed the shop’s selection, she still kept an ear out for Alex. “I see... What made you confess your feelings?” “Hm?” Jade unintentionally blushed from the comment. “Oh, whoa, uh... Well... I had a push from a friend, and it turned out that Sebastian wanted to confess anyway, heh... So we kinda confessed to each other at the same time.” Alex went silent for a moment. “A friend, huh?” He frowned. “Maybe I need that push. But I know it won’t end so happily for me.” “What?” Jade paused her browsing and stared at him in shock. “Wait, do you actually like someone? I thought you were just being difficult with me! Holy Yoba! Who is it? Do I know who it is?” Jade grinned and eagerly turned to him, excited to learn more. “Hey! Shh!” Alex flushed up and pat his hand in front of her mouth. “Don’t be so loud! No one knows who it is. It’s a secret that I’d rather keep to myself. Forever.” Jade said something with her mouth muffled, but no one could make out what she was saying. With the roll of his eyes, Alex removed his hand. “So you do like someone then,” Jade replied in a more quiet voice. He huffed and nodded. “Let’s... ugh. Let’s not talk about it in such a big place like this. But... I would appreciate some advice. It’s been messing with me.” “Come by in the morning, like what you used to do! I know you’ve been busy, but I’m always free to chat then. I don’t want you to be feeling so unsure about stuff.” Jade grinned and gave him a light hug. “Okay?” He thought for a moment and then agreed. “Yeah, that sounds good. Sorry I haven’t been around too much,” Alex nervously mentioned. “No, it’s okay! I’ve been so preoccupied anyway, with the animals and harvesting and then getting sick and all. I’m happy I got to see you and everyone else before, and it’s nice that we all get to hang out here. So, for now, lets- ooh!” Jade’s eyes fixated on a glittery looking fruit in the shop. “What’s that?” Alex looked to what she was referring to, then blinked in surprise. “Wow, they have one of those here?” They asked to get a closer look of the object, which the shopkeeper allowed. The fruit was shaped like a star and shimmered a bright, sparkling purple. There was a hole in the middle of the fruit and a few green leaves sprouting from it’s highest tip. “That’s a stardrop. It’s said to be the best tasting fruit in the whole world!” “Whoa! How much is it?” Jade checked its price, stepping back in shock. “Two thousand tokens. Wait, let me see.” She counted up all her tokens, then stomped her feet in glee. She had exactly the amount required. “Sweet! Should I buy it, Alex?” “Ooh, you know what? Go for it. Maybe you can share with your toothpick.” “That’s a great idea!” Jade eagerly talked to the shopkeeper and exchanged the tokens for the stardrop. The fruit itself was fairly bulky, though it felt rather lightweight as well. “Those are super rare, you know. You deserve it! Honestly, I hear those things can go for tens of thousands of G’s.” Alex crossed his arms and nodded with confidence. “They’re said to have super powers too, ooooh.” “Wow, I can’t wait to try this. Do you think Seb will like it?” “Yeesh, talk about obsessed.” He laughed and nudged her along. “You should go hang out with him, festival will end soon anyway. I’m thinkin’ of going home early.” Jade giggled from being pushed, but settled to examine him once more. His way of acting caused her great worry. “Aww... Okay. Will you be alright? If you can’t wait until the morning, I want to be there,” she stated. He shook his head in dismissal and smiled. “I’ll be fine! I need to make sure the grands are doing alright anyway. See you tomorrow!” With that, he ventured away with a wave, heading towards his house. Jade pouted as she watched him leave, though he was right about the festival. The sky started to darken with reds and purples and the many lanterns that surrounded the town square turned on to accommodate the loss of light. Some other people seemed to be leaving and some exhibits have closed, including a very excited Robin who gained some well-earned cash from her projects. Jade explored the still busy remainder of the fair grounds to find anyone she recognized. With so many crowds of people, she started to feel a little overwhelmed, like she was in a city. Finally, she spotted her favorite person sitting in the only unpopulated area at the fair. Sebastian rested at the edge of the river just before the east side of the town. A petting zoo was nearby, though their noises didn’t seem to bother him. He lifted his head and turned when he heard the squeaking wheels of Jade’s wagon. “Hey there,” Jade pleasantly remarked as she approached. “Hehe. I wanted to make sure it was you.” “Oh, hey.” Sebastian warmly smiled, then turned back to watch the river. Jade stopped her wagon on the last bit of pavement, confident no one would mess with it, and sat beside her loving boyfriend. She held the coveted stardrop in her hands, waiting for the right moment to bring it up to him. “I heard you won the contest. Congrats, you deserve it,” he happily commented. “Yeah! I think Pierre might be mad at me, but I’m just excited to win something for once. It’s been a very good festival,” the farmer beamed in reply. “I would have loved to watch, but Sam decided to be a daredevil and lunge into the muddy pit over there,” he said, pointing over to the pigs at the petting zoo. “He ended up pissing all the animals off and some authorities chased him around until he hid on the roof of Penny’s trailer and finally went home.” Jade chuckled from the story. “It sounds like your fair has been rather eventful as well! Did you have a good time?” “Oh yeah, I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Sam’s a dumbass, but he’s my dumbass.” Sebastian sighed in contentment and leaned back as he watched the water flow. Jade took a moment to relax with him, but then she recalled the stardrop. “Oh yeah... um, I got this for us to share,” Jade quietly mentioned, holding the mysterious fruit up for him to see. “Whoa. Is that a stardrop? You won one of those?” “Mmhm.” “... You want us to share it?” Sebastian watched her in bewilderment. It was such a rare fruit that he was baffled it would be shared to begin with. Jade smiled and nudged him, then breaking the fruit in half. The fruit came apart with ease and halved perfectly. The inside seemed soft and mushy, like the inside of a jelly filled doughnut. Its aroma was rather questionable, but Jade tried not to judge it too harshly. It was supposed to be the best tasting fruit in the world, after all! He glanced down to the halved fruit she offered and shyly took it. “Thanks... Are you sure, though? This stuff is supposed to be super rare. I wouldn’t want to take that from you.” “Aw, we’ve been apart all day. Let’s have something memorable we can share.” She smiled and held up her half of the fruit. “Want to try it at the same time?” “Yeah, let’s see if this thing holds up to its name,” Sebastian answered. Both of them turned to each other and counted down from three at the same time. At the final number, both of them took a bite out of their stardrop halves. The taste... was indescribable. Both of their eyes widened, mouth gaped, and stared to each other in shock. This really was the best tasting fruit in the world. “Holy shit,” Sebastian muffled with a full mouth. “I know, right?” Jade responded, voice equally covered by the food. Neither of them spoke for a while and took to finishing their halves of the stardrop. Jade was the first to finish, wiping her mouth with a satisfied, “that was absolutely worth the tokens.” “No wonder this is rare. Damn.” Sebastian finished his piece afterwards and flopped back to stare at the sky. Jade giggled and lay beside him. “How would you describe the taste?” she asked him. “To be honest? I dunno. It was very... season-y. Kinda spicy. Extremely delicious.” Sebastian’s answer sounded very odd to Jade. “Really? I would describe it was super sweet. It tasted like the best candy in the universe!” He chuckled. “Maybe it tastes like what we like the most.” “Could be. I really love candy.” “How you don’t have cavities baffles me.” The raven-haired man turned his head to watch her, a soft smile on his face. She continued to watch the sky. “I’m just really good at covering my tracks!” Jade laughed and settled down. “I feel so awake now,” she added. “Me too. That fruit was surprisingly filling as well.” Sebastian reached to hold her hand as they relaxed. “Thank you for sharing.” “Thank you for being here,” the young farmer responded just as quickly, leaning to kiss him on the cheek. They both lay and listened to the babbling river, followed by the faraway commotion at the main part of the festival. The quiet moment had been disrupted by a light clink against Jade’s wagon behind them. The farmer sat up to see what it was, surprised to see Demetrius standing there. He seemed a bit nervous and somewhat out of breath, as if he just arrived. Sebastian sat up once Jade did, his visage lacking any expression. Jade decided to take the bait. “Hi, Demetrius... need anything?” “Ah, yes...” He took a deep breath. “Sebastian. Your mother would like help loading the truck. The exhibit is over now.” The raven-hair sighed. “I’ll be right there,” he calmly replied, then stood up. He helped Jade up afterwards, Demetrius quickly leaving. “... I could be interpreting things wrong, but that was... incredibly swift. I think he is wary around you.” Jade scratched her head. “Considering my outburst last week, I wouldn’t be too surprised... as long as everything is going well at home, I’m fine,” she replied. “Yeah, it’s been okay. Quiet, if anything. We leaving each other for the night?” “Mmhm.” Jade smiled, then let go of him to take the end of her wagon. “I should be toting this home, myself. Tell your mom I said hi!” “Will do. Be safe.” He waved to her, to which she waved in response. They ended up going their separate ways, as both of them had filled their social quota for a while. Regardless, the Stardew Valley Fair was fantastic. For once, things went well. No angry Lewis, no yelling Demetrius, and there were several great memories that Jade knew she would hold dear. The fortune teller’s words of warning took a back seat in Jade’s mind. Nothing could ruin her experience, not this time. Big chapter, lots of stuff going on! Lots of lovely banter, contests, shenanigans, PLOT FORESHADOWING, and blah blah you got it. I actually didn't want to include Sebastian in this chapter at all, but that ended up not happening since it'd be OOC, hilariously enough. I did accomplish bringing the spotlight to someone else for a bit, which was Alex in this case. It seems like Jade and Sebastian are still figuring out how much time to spend together, though they try their best to not neglect their friends! I think after last game night, Sebastian is much more conscious of the fact, too. It's weird suddenly having to juggle between people you love when before the instance was nonexistent. Next chapter is going to deal with Alex some more. There have been some things I've been foreshadowing for a while that I'll get to directly address, though I still think it might catch people off guard, especially since it's been sprinkled over older chapters. It'll be good though and I try to keep everything in character as always! Some delicious stuff is comin' up, y'all. Some delicious stuff.