Other A Farm in the Forest- Chapter 56 (December 7, 2018)

Discussion in 'Fan Works' started by MagicallyClueless, May 3, 2016.

  1. MagicallyClueless

    MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer


    The first day of Summer was here and everyone could feel it. The trees of the forest seemed to glow in the beaming sunlight, as the clouds were scarce. Birds chattered about, forest rodents scampered to and fro, and mosquitoes buzzed about to all of the townspeople’s dismay. The heat was becoming unbearable even though the season had only just started. This summer would feel longer than most summers, that was certain.

    As promised, Robin returned to complete the fencing on Jade’s farm. Sebastian was there too, but he actually had a job to do this time. Jade trusted him to set up the network connection in the house while Robin hammered away on the fence construction. The start of the new season meant new seeds in stock from Pierre’s, so Jade’s day would also be busy. Luckily, the pay from her last potato harvest granted her enough to invest in more crops. More profit was on the horizon!

    Jade had eaten all the cookies from Alex’s grandmother by then, so she cleaned the plate and decided to return it when she took her trip in town. Looking at her map, she was able to locate Alex’s house and went there on her way up towards the grocery shop. The home was a decent sized compared to other houses in the neighborhood, but was still humble in appearance. The wood of the home was painted blue, but years of wear and tear have caused the paint to chip off. A wood carving of an owl was mounted above the attic’s window and surveyed the horizon. Near the sidewalk to the town square was the home’s mailbox, ‘MULLNER’ painted on its side. In front of the house was a closed wooden fence with a doghouse inside; a messy sign with ‘DOG’ painted in red letters was on the front. A flowing river pierced through the midst of the neighborhood, a trailer separating the home from the river itself... though the yard was messy and full of litter. The farmer approached the house’s front door and knocked on it while examining the area.

    A tiny old lady opened the door, calmly smiling to Jade. “Hello there, dear,” she started with a gentle and cheerful expression. She was very short, had gray hair tied up in a bun, and a red button shawl over her blue dress.

    “H-hello,” Jade began nervously. The old lady seemed nice, yes, but... “Um, I’m Jade.... f-from the new farm? I, uh...”

    “Jade,” repeated the old woman, smacking her lips in thought. “Mmm... Oh, you are the girl from the Flower Dance,” she wheezed in laughter.

    “Y-yeah!! I’m... I’m really sorry for that incident, still! I think about it pretty much every day...” Jade sighed.

    The old lady chuckled again. “Alex is a strong young man, and we all forgive you. You seem like a sweet girl, from what he has told us... I’m Evelyn, but please call me Granny.”

    “It’s wonderful to finally meet you, Granny!” Jade gave Evelyn a welcoming hug. “I-I can’t stay for long, because I need to get back to my farm, but I just wanted to thank you for the cookies. They were absolutely delicious. Here’s... here’s your plate.” Jade offered the plate back. “I’ll give back eventually, I-I just really need to get my farm started first... do you like fresh produce?”

    “Oh, thank you very much.” Evelyn kindly accepted the plate and warmly gazed to the farmer. “You liking my baking is enough, dear. They’re my special cookies. Don’t you worry about us.”

    Jade smiled, but this woman was just too sweet... she couldn’t help but still feel guilt in the back of her heart. “Thank you anyway, Granny... how is Alex doing? Has his eye healed up?”

    A door opened from the far end of the house. “Who ya talking to, Gran?” asked Alex from a distance. Jade was able to see him as he walked up to the doorway to join them. Though she was concerned about his eye, she couldn’t really pay attention to it. Jade was distracted by his shirtlessness, made only worse by the sweat that adorned his body due to a workout session. The farmer tensed and sharply stared to Evelyn to avoid examining any further. Alex grinned upon seeing Jade and sent a friendly wave. “It’s the farm girl! How’re you doing, Jade?”

    “I-I’m fine! H-hey!” she yelled. “H-h-how’s your eye? Good?” She forced herself to stare at his face, but was able to calm down once she did. His eye seemed to have healed up very well; it was still somewhat puffy, but not really noticeable for the most part.

    “Yeah, it’s pretty much healed up. Fast healer, like I told you!” Alex grunted as he flexed his arms, causing Jade to instantly drop her sight back to Evelyn. Her hands were shaking and she began to sweat, herself.

    “Th-that’s good... U-um, I must go now. Farm... stuff.”

    Evelyn frowned when she noticed the young lady shiver before her. “Aw, please take care of yourself, okay, dear? If you’re shivering in this weather, you might be getting a cold. George’s health tends to change around this time, as well.”

    “I-I’m fine... t-tell George I said hi as well?” Jade gestured to Evelyn. She chuckled and nodded.

    “Seeya, farm girl.” Alex grinned to her. Jade swiftly left the premises and head straight for Pierre’s store. He laughed as she left, then stepping back to let Evelyn walk back inside.

    “What a nice girl,” Evelyn sighed happily as she shuffled back inside. Alex closed the door for her. “It’s hard for me to believe she has such a fire about her.”

    “Yeah,” the young athlete replied, helping his grandmother get to wherever she wished to go. “Jade’s pretty weird from what I’ve seen,” Alex stated with a laugh.


    Jade had been to Pierre’s shop once before to buy pet supplies and she had met the owner at the Flower Dance, but she had a strange feeling whenever she entered the shop. Pierre was more than eager to welcome her inside and to browse his selection of items, but she felt like he was glaring her down whenever she wasn’t looking. He verbally welcomed her, but... she didn’t feel very welcome.

    Abigail emerged from a door near the back of the shop, gave a friendly greeting to Jade, then walked out without giving her father any attention. Jade then walked up to Pierre and paid him for the seeds. There was a kind and professional look on his face, but she heard him mumble something under his breath as she was leaving.“Great, my daughter is friends with the angry farm chick.” She was pretty sure she heard him, but decided to not bring it to attention. Instead, Jade quietly exit the shop with a backpack full of seed packets.

    The farmer began her walk through the town square. She was growing accustomed to her backpack’s weight with all the tools, but her head still drooped and she stared at the ground as she walked. Jade sighed to herself, watching the trail of the sidewalk to take the correct path home. She would always have to pass two houses on this street in order to get home, but she wasn’t sure who they belonged to.

    “Hey!”

    Jade lifted her head, assuming the call was to her. Straight ahead from the sidewalk stood Sam, a frail red-head lady, a young boy, and the young girl she saw only a few days ago. They were standing right beside another blue house, just before the entrance to Cindersap Forest. Sam was looking directly at Jade and waved her over. “C’mere!”

    Jade quickened her pace to join them. “Good morning, Sam,” she greeted back with a tired smile. “How are you doing?”

    “I’m doing great! Have you met my good friend Penny?” Sam gestured to the young lady beside him... the farmer found herself fairly short, but Penny seemed to be much shorter in comparison. Her red hair was curled up the sides and back of her neck, and her emerald green eyes nervously averted away from Jade’s direction. She wore a yellow blouse, an airy brown skirt, and pink tennis shoes with white socks. “Penny, this is the new farmer in town, she’s great!”

    “U-um... H... Hello,” Penny nervously bowed her head to Jade. She was just as nervous if not even more nervous than the farmer before her. For some reason, Jade was able to react in a calmer manner.

    “Hi,” Jade replied with a smile. “It’s very nice to meet you.”

    The little boy hopped up in front of Sam and Penny. “Introduce me, introduce me!” He had strawberry blond hair that was short and spiky similar to his own brother’s, just without the hair gel. He wore a red shirt with thin yellow stripes, blue swimming shorts, and sandals that would be easy to take off once going to the beach. He had such an eager look on his face, too.

    “Oh.” Sam laughed. “This is my little brother, Vincent. Penny teaches him and Jas all year, but they get a break in the summertime. We’re going to the beach to just relax and have some fun!”

    Jade smiled and pat Vincent on the head. “Hi, Vincent!” She was much better with children than she was with adults.

    “Hello, miss!” Vincent grinned to her. Jade stood up fully to look around, since she swore she saw the other girl there.

    “Aw, come on out, Jas.” Sam gently pushed her out from behind his leg. Jas, that was her name. She stared coldly in such a way that Jade wasn’t sure if she was scared or simply apathetic. “Jas, this is my friend, Jade. She’s very nice, I promise!”

    Jas didn’t respond, and merely stared to Jade before shrinking back behind Sam’s leg. Sam laughed and scratched his head. “Sorry, she’s not very good with new people. She’ll warm up to you, though.”

    The farmer smiled worriedly. “Yeah, I’ve met her before...” She glanced to the girl. “I didn’t know your name is Jas, though... that’s a very pretty name! It’s nice to meet you again.”

    Jas shuffled all the way behind Sam and inched her way to stand behind both him and Penny. Jade saw a little hand raise up to hold Penny’s hand, which she accepted with a tender smile. Penny was calmer then as well and was able to look Jade in the eye. “I-it’s nothing personal... the kids are very excited to go to the beach, though.”

    “Yeah!” Sam beamed.

    “... All three of the kids,” Penny muttered.

    Sam laughed and gently nudged Penny. “Well, we should be heading off now. I’d invite you, but you look pretty busy... oh, wait. Jade?”

    “Hm?” Jade looked up at him curiously.

    “Tried messaging Seb today, but no luck. Have you seen him today?”

    Jade chuckled. “Oh, he’s at my house. He’s giving me internet connection. Do you want me to tell him anything? I’m going home right now.”

    “Aw, what? He goes to your house already?” Sam grumbled something unintelligible, but he had a grin on his face when he looked back to Jade. “It’s nothing important, except now I’m upset no one invited me!”

    The farmer appeared to be amused. “You can come over and hang out if you want, but I’ll be tired. I kinda doubt Sebastian is staying as long as he did yesterday-

    “He was at your house YESTERDAY?” Sam looked as if he was the victim of a love affair. Jade couldn’t help but laugh at the pure shock on his face. Penny giggled as well, and the two ladies looked at each other with smiles on their faces. Sam had brought out his phone and began to peck away on the device’s flat screen. “I have like eighty questions for that fu-” He cleared his throat, remembering he was around children. “For that buttface.” The children went ‘ooh’, enraptured by the blond’s sudden name-calling.

    Jade cackled. “He wasn’t there by choice, if that’s what you’re wondering. Robin dragged him to my house when she was working on my fence.”

    “Oh, that makes sense. Robin does stuff like that.” Sam huffed after he finished texting on his phone, putting it back in his pocket. “He’s still a buttface.”

    “That he is,” Jade laughed back a response. “Well, don’t you have a beach to be traveling to?”

    “Ah! Yes!” Sam eagerly looked to Penny and then to each of the kids. “We’ll be going now. Feel free to join us sometime!” He waved and began to walk off towards the faraway bridge on the southern region of town. Vincent eagerly began running after and eventually outpaced his older brother, while Penny and Jas walked behind, still holding hands.

    “Bye, everyone. I hope to talk to all of you again!” Jade grinned as she waved back, then continued her travel back home. The walk back was fairly uneventful, but Jade’s mind was plagued with thoughts of how exhausted she would be after planting all of her new seeds. Despite making the choice to be a farmer, Jade knew she wasn’t very athletic and never bothered to exercise... her legs definitely knew the fact. Her body has been aching ever since day one, and she was more than ready to get used to all the walking and farming.

    When Jade returned to her farmland, Robin was setting up a gate near the river to allow easy access. The fencing was nearly complete; the only area not yet fenced was the front end of the farm. Robin sure did work quickly when she was inspired enough. Jade waved to the carpenter as she made her way to her front porch. She took no hesitation to set down her backpack and collapse onto the porch stairs to take a breather.

    Jade sighed as she stared out to her farm. It was so empty... how would she fill it up? Rows upon rows of crops? Any farm buildings? The farmer dug out all of the seed packets from her backpack and examined them. Blueberries, melons, tomatoes, and corn. Pierre had told her while she was shopping that the only ones she would have to buy more seeds for were the melons, but she wanted to grow them anyway for the sake of diversity. She supposed the future of her farm depended on what she was capable of doing herself. The farmer took a deep breath and straightened her back when she stood up. Time to work.

    Organization was a useful aspect to abide by when it came to farming. Jade tilled four seperate and square plots of land for each type of seed she would plant. The tilling and planting didn’t take as long as she thought it would, but she only had a handful of seeds for each of the packets. She figured she would get more later, when she could successfully harvest. After planting the seeds, she ran off to the river with her watering can and returned to hydrate all of the dormant plants. Jade gazed at her four different mounds of dirt and nodded to herself afterwards, impressed by her own handiwork. Soon enough, there would be stalks and bushes that she would be able to harvest from periodically. And the cooking possibilities... Jade grinned, imagining the uses out of her crops.

    “You might want a scarecrow,” piped up Robin as she walked over. She looked as tired as Jade did, but very satisfied with her project.

    “A scarecrow?” Jade looked to Robin after tossing her empty watering can aside. She suddenly heard the cawing of feathered beasts up in nearby trees. Okay, maybe it was a good idea.

    “Yup. I’m taking a little break now so I’m not completely done, but I know I’ll have some extra wood. Why not make a scarecrow with that? You could get some fibers from grasses to complete the look.” Robin unscrewed the cap off her water canister and took a swig.

    “Aw, thank you... The wood will be really helpful. I’ll make good use of my scythe with those weeds, too!” Jade proudly crossed her arms, slowly feeling like an actual farmer. Robin chuckled, adoring her enthusiasm. She pat Jade on the back and finished up her water.

    “That’s great, hon!” the carpenter replied with equal enthusiasm.

    “Yeah! Oh, um... you’ve been working so hard. I’m surprised you were able to get all this fencing done so fast... do you think you’ll finish today?” Jade asked, eyeballing Robin’s water canister. She was getting a little parched, herself.

    Robin nodded. “A few more hours and I’ll be outta your hair with this project.”

    “... I honestly can’t believe you’re doing this for free,” Jade sighed. “Are you sure you don’t want me to pay you for this? The errand wasn’t that big of a deal.”

    “Jade, hon.” Robin laughed and placed a hand on the young farmer’s shoulder. “You need to learn to accept kindness when it comes your way. I wanted to do this. Stop worrying, alright?”

    The farmer wanted to accept the critique, but sighed. She couldn’t bring herself to. “I get what you’re saying, but... I don’t want to be, like, a freeloader or anything. I thought the exchange would be equal, but I forgot how big my farm is.”

    “Freeloader? You aren’t a freeloader in any sense. There’s nothing wrong with accepting help, especially when you’re just starting out like this.” The carpenter frowned in worry. “Are the other townspeople saying anything to you?”

    Jade shook her head. “No, not anything I didn’t expect, really. I guess I’m just not used to everyone being so nice... Well, most people.”

    Robin glared. “Who’s starting stuff with you?”

    “No one! I promise.”

    “You seem bothered, though.” The carpenter crossed her arms and continued to stare to Jade. She began to crumble under the motherly glares.

    “Well... People are still talking about me, I guess. When I was leaving the shop, Pierre said-

    “Say nothing more. Pierre’s a dick,” grumbled Robin. “I’ve gone through far more than he has and yet I can still manage a shop and spend some time with my damn family, unlike him.”

    “Whoa.” Jade blinked, sweating with nervousness. “Did I strike a nerve?”

    Robin’s expression lightened, and then she chuckled. “Yeah, sorry. I’m just not surprised he’s the one to start anything. I’m sure he has some great qualities, but... Yeah, not surprised. I can’t even tell you the stuff I hear from Caroline sometimes.” She rolled her eyes as she thought. Jade thought she looked like Sebastian for a moment. “Oh, yeah. Anyways, don’t worry, hon. Most of the townspeople are great! Since the town is so small, it’s just easy to flock to drama. Even I get like that, sometimes. But, I don’t think any less of you.”

    The farmer smiled and nodded, accepting her explanation. “I’ll keep that in mind, Robin. Thank you.”

    “Aw, it’s no problem. I’m gonna get back to work now, okay? Holler if you need anything.” Robin walked back to continue her work, leaving Jade to her own devices.

    The sun was high in the sky, so there was a lot of the day left to go... but Jade wasn’t exactly sure what she could do to fill the rest of her time. The farmer picked up the tools she finished using and walked them back over to her backpack for storage. She left everything on the porch and walked inside to get some water and food for herself, a reward for a job well done. Jade decided to cook what store-brand food she had left, which consisted of pretty much a pot of spaghetti.

    Around the time she finished cooking was when Sebastian walked downstairs; he had completed his own job without much hassle. The farmer brought freshly cooked food to both him and Robin, and they were able to enjoy a nice lunch together. After lunch, Sebastian bid both of the ladies farewell and left the farm, while Robin took the rest of her time to complete the fence. The carpenter finished her job with much higher spirits due to the lunch and left some extra wood as a parting gift. Jade was contemplating on building a scarecrow then, but she had just planted the seeds... it wasn’t as if crows would steal the seeds right from the ground... hopefully.

    Jade walked the perimeter of her fence to gauge just how much space she actually had for the farm, and to see what trails lie ahead in the forest surrounding her home. Birds chattered and flew around as usual, an occasional squirrel zoomed up into a tree, and a wild rabbit escaped into the bushes. Onyx sat by a specific fence post and rubbed his face onto it, marking his own territory already. When she walked up to the particular fence post, she noticed tiny claw marks along the wood. “Seriously, Onyx?” Oh well.

    She had nearly completed her search around the area when she heard a squishing sound... Oh, no. It was all too familiar, and it was right outside the fence!

    “A slime!” Jade shouted, running over to the source of the sound. To the west of the farm was the thickest part of the woods, and right on the other side of the fence rolled up a green slime. This one didn’t have an antennae like the last one did, but it was still bright green, and disturbingly adorable. “Little prick!” hissed Jade when she saw it. The slime hopped over and attacked the fence, but couldn’t seem to budge it or make any sort of impact at all. “Ha ha!”

    The slime seemed to glare at her. A disturbed feeling washed over Jade because she wasn’t sure how exactly intelligent they were... but because they were small glops of goo, she didn’t really have high expectations. Even so, the slime creeped her out. It looked really... angry.

    “Leave if you know what’s good for you!” Jade shouted. She didn’t really want to fight the creature, considering what happened to her last pair of pants, or Onyx’s leg. Small and adorable they were, but their acidic properties were nothing to joke about.

    The slime didn’t seem to listen, and continued to attack the fence to no avail. Jade heard more squishing sounds from far away... There was another slime that rolled out from the bushes. And another, coming from behind a tree. Soon, a family of six slimes gathered, some with antennae, some without. “What the... where did all of you come from?” All of them piled up to the fence and began attacking it. The farmer could only guess that they disliked the barrier between the two sides of the forest. Jade quickly picked up her cat nearby and ran back to the house; she took Onyx inside, and grabbed her sword from her backpack. She was equipped to fight this time, and would protect her farm at all costs.

    The farmer charged back towards the fence, staring down at the now angry group of slimes. She took one swipe of her sword, completely destroying one slime while making the others jump back from the blade... it was difficult to swing properly from the other side, especially with how close they were to the fence.

    The slimes got riled up, though. They charged into the fence even more, and they squeaked with aggression. One of the fence posts actually began to lean from the constant force... No! These things weren’t in the mood to give up, but neither was Jade. Knowing they would not stop attacking the fence, Jade hopped over it and ran some yards into the forest to distract them. “Hey!” She yelled, waving her sword. It worked; they brought their attention off the fence and bounced their way to her. Jade began to step backwards, trying her very best to not be surrounded and to see what she was against. Five slimes. That wasn’t so bad.

    Two of the slimes leaped up into the air, aiming straight for Jade’s face. She quickly backed away and shut her eyes as she swung her sword like a baseball bat. Luckily for her, she sliced both of the slimes directly through their centers, causing the both of them to explode into excess bits of green goo. Some of the excess splashed onto Jade’s face, which she hurriedly shook off and opened her eyes again... maybe it wasn’t a good idea to blindly strike her enemies. Three left.

    Jade continued to back away as the last three slimes hopped and rolled towards her. The further away from the farm, the better. The third slime lunged towards Jade, trying to go for her leg, but she was able to block the attack and swing her sword at the gelatinous creature. Like the other two slimes, the third one met its fate and collapsed into inanimate glops of green. Jade smirked to herself... she was getting a hang of this.

    That is, she was until she noticed more slimes cropping up in her surroundings. A stray slime attacked her from behind, latching onto her right arm. Her arm began to burn from the impact, causing her to scream and punch the slime off of her. She turned back around to make quick work of the slime that attacked her, but noticed even more were coming her way. Where were they all coming from, and were they really targeting her because of a random fence? Jade wasn’t sure she wanted to know the answer. All she knew was that the forest was completely infested with these creatures... Three slimes became six, which became twelve, and more. They were everywhere. The farm was safe, at least. Onyx was safe, the crops were safe. However, Jade... Jade had no choice but to run before she got overwhelmed.

    And so she did.
    Jade escaped deeper into the forest.



    CLIFFHANGERS HUEHEUUHEUEUHEUEHU

    I... actually don't have much to say about this chapter. It was pretty fun to write, had a little bit of everything, and introduced some favorites. I'm sure a few of you will be happy about Penny's little introduction and also Robin calling Pierre a dick. Bwahaha! (no offense to any Pierre lovers, that is just Robin's opinion in the context of my story xD)

    This chapter is the reason I completely flipped out at finding out Evelyn and George have last names. I'd love to learn other peoples' last names at some point... I'm probably not going to make them up for myself, because I am honestly kinda bad with that stuff.

    With characters and development in general, I've come up with some good ideas. Character flaws are yum yum, and I'm eager to dig into them.

    By now, you guys might have a good grasp on Jade as a character. She's honestly full of contradictions, but I mostly think it's because she is really nervous with meeting new people. I hope you guys like her, though.
     
      Last edited: May 13, 2016
    • Anushka.C

      Anushka.C Guest

      Words can't describe how much I adore this story ahhhh-
       
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      • MagicallyClueless

        MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

        *face turns completely red, flies into the sun from such a sweet compliment*
         
        • Anushka.C

          Anushka.C Guest

          NOO-
          //jumps to save you
          But ahaha, I wish I could have written my story but being a complete maso I just decided to draw it xD
           
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          • MagicallyClueless

            MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

            *is saved*
            thank u anu
            i am saved

            I'm actually the opposite. I've always wanted to draw my stories, but they're rather long-winded and I've had so much trouble trying to get it started... so, writing is the better option for me. ;v;
             
            • Anushka.C

              Anushka.C Guest

              I
              I have so many ideas I want to draw out, but I really need to improve in order for that, drawing these things can be fun but painful.
               
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              • mrobake

                mrobake Zero Gravity Genie

                キターーー(゜∀゜)ーーーー!!!!!
                Penny!! The scene i have been waiting for is here!
                 
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                • Tsukuru

                  Tsukuru Pangalactic Porcupine

                  I'm glad Jade isn't made up to be like a perfect waifu (even though she is with all the love for retro games and stuff.) Everyone has their contradictions, for example, and there are reasons for them. That's interesting regardless of whether those reasons are fleshed out or left in the air. You provide enough context to avoid making Jade seem ambiguous.

                  You're doing very well so far! Even giving us cliffhangers already! (F U) I could read your Robin and Sebastian for days and not get tired, so I have high expectations for whomever else you decide to focus on for a chapter or two :nurutease:
                   
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                  • Gabaw

                    Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                    Do not be enthralled, brother! We must save her from the clutches of the vile demon known as Sam :devil: Let's fookin' get 'im m8. lmao

                    Anyway this was a great chapter. I fell in love with Robin all over again. Jade bit off more than she could chew tho... Brave but foolish. She'll make a great warrior if she survives!
                     
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                    • mrobake

                      mrobake Zero Gravity Genie

                      Way ahead of you, brother! I know he hates mayonnaise, so i have been giving Jolie and Kent nothing but mayonnaise in the last whole season. With so much surplus, i believe they now have to use mayonnaise at every meal! My plan is so wicked i feel evil :fusrodah::fusrodah::fusrodah:
                       
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                      • MagicallyClueless

                        MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                        Oh yes, no perfect waifus here. Perfect waifu in spirit yes, but in a literal sense, far from it! Jade is a nice character, so it is probably hard for most people (for me this is the case anyway) to see imperfections right away. But then again, Jade punched someone in the face 3 chapters in so maybe it isn't so difficult to see her less-than-perfect side, lmao. She jumps the gun a lot and tends to make assumptions. I find that she can be as pure and gullible as she can be sassy and nasty, so it just depends how you catch her I guess. I haven't realized it until now, but we haven't seen Jade really angry yet.

                        The fun part for me about writing is that I'm learning about all the characters, too. xD

                        I'm really glad you enjoy Robin and Sebastian! I love them, too. I decided to give them a little break (Sebastian, at least) despite their presence in the chapter since I had a lot of other characters come in. I don't wanna make 'em too busy.

                        (HUEHUEHEUEHUEHUEHEU)
                         
                          Last edited: May 13, 2016
                          Gabaw likes this.
                        • zcsnightmare

                          zcsnightmare Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                          Another great chapter

                          ...goddam Pierre. *eye twitch*

                          I dunno why, but Robin's voice sounds a lot like Reba McEntire in my head xD must be the red hair, livin' in the country, and a tough mother. You're doing a fantastic job developing these characters.

                          *eyes Evelyn suspiciously* She is definitely too nice. Obviously hiding something *envisions pointy hat on her and with her face painted green* D: It all makes sense!

                          - I'm really enjoying this fic and look forward to seeing what happens to Jade and the running of the slimes. ^.^
                           
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                          • MagicallyClueless

                            MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                            *shakes fist angrily at pierre*

                            Awwwhh thank you! <3

                            Evelyn is too spoopy, in many ways. She is too nice. Who else would make cookies after decking their grandson. It is uncanny. Jade is pretty overwhelmed with how casually nice everyone is, KILLING WITH KINDNESS

                            I'm gonna try to keep to my schedule of Monday/Thursday (since that gives me a good 3/4 day period of writing each chapter) but I am going to be at a friend's house this weekend so we'll see if I have time to get everything done that I want to get done ;o;
                             
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                            • EvilPoptart81

                              EvilPoptart81 Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                              I'm really liking Jade so far, And Robin out right calling Pierre a dick, I giggle snorted. Now that i'm getting into this story, it's safe to say I'm hooked :D
                               
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                              • MagicallyClueless

                                MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                                Sorry that this chapter is so short and that I didn't have anything submitted on Monday, but now I'm just... my schedule is gonna be "hopefully at least one chapter a week". I get into these huge inspirational streaks and get a TON of writing done, and then I have these droughts in which nothing can come out right. I really hope I can get at least one chapter done a week. I'll let you know when I decide a day, hahaha.

                                But here we go.


                                For some of the townspeople, the far reaches of Cindersap Forest was also known as the Secret Woods. Only the foolish would dare explore it, for it was teeming with monsters and creatures of the unknown. With the dilapidated neighborhood being somewhat revived by Jade’s arrival, the rumors were confirmed to be true. Jade experienced a mere taste of what the woods had in store for trespassers due to weak but numerous slimes in the area. As the numbers of slimes increased, so too did the amount of danger Jade was in. She quickly escaped deeper into the bowels of the Secret Woods, for she would do anything to keep the slimes away from her humble farm.

                                Jade ran through tall patches of grass, passed by gigantic oak trees and traversed around long, spindly bushes. The forest increased in density, which increased the difficulty in traveling. The young farmer had to slow down, or else she would hurt herself just from not watching her steps. However, the family of slimes caught up to her. A dark green slime leaped towards her while it had the advantage, but Jade was able to smack it away with her blade. She was already getting tired from the running and wielding a sword, but this seemed to be a life or death situation then. She chopped and sliced the slimes close to her before she ran off again to get more space. Her foot got carelessly snagged within a knotted vine, causing her to trip and slam her backside against mossy ground. The moss did nothing in cushioning the collision, since the ground felt as rough and hard as stone.

                                “Gah...” The farmer dropped her sword from the painful impact. The noises and terrorizing squeaks from the living slimes had been silenced in the brushes of the forest; they either lost interest, or they avoided the area that Jade discovered. She made quick work of untangling her foot from the vines, then lying back in exhaustion. Farming was the least of her worries when it came to exerting energy.

                                After catching her breath, the farmer struggled to stand up. The ground that she collapsed onto consisted of patterened stone tiles, much like what was in the town square of Pelican Town. The tiles were cracked, out of place, and teeming with moss and growth, leading off into broken paths. Piles of rubble and houses with rotten wood surrounded the ends of the paths, all of them unliveable for humans. Trees jutted out from the center of some homes, glass was broken and vines crawled up the holes of the windows. The entire area felt like it was in a different world, apart from the town, apart from Stardew Valley. Jade picked up her sword and began to explore.

                                If the abandoned neighborhood was thriving and still a part of Pelican Town, the farmer could have sworn that the size of the town would double. Remnants of old shops, a marketplace, old homes... where did all of the people go? Howling wind shifted through the openings of weakened buildings, a rusty windchime still jingling its broken tune from a rotted porch. She continued onwards to the end of the street, which had one direction going left and the other going right; there was a mountain face in front of her, preventing further travel. The farmer resumed her journey by walking to the left, revealing another long street full of forgotten homes and a few two-story establishments.

                                “I wonder if anyone in town currently even lived here,” Jade murmured to herself as she gazed at the buildings in fascination. “This could have been such a huge town.” She wandered over to one of the two-story buidings, which had a faded sign that was written in cursive. Glancing through the dusty windows, the building seemed to be an old restaurant. The inside seemed to be untouched, despite the gradual degradation of the building’s structure.

                                A stranger spoke. “Your presence angers the many creatures of the forest.”

                                Jade jerked from the voice, quickly pointing her sword towards whoever spoke to her. “Wh-who are you?!” she yelled, trembling.

                                A large, ominous figure stepped forward, previously concealed by the trees. He wore a dark rimmed hat with a strange yellow emblem and a dark cloak of the same colors. His hair and beard were long and purple, and his eyes were shadowy yet concentrated. The entirety of his body was concealed by the blackened cloak, so Jade couldn’t see anything else.

                                “Child, I have no intent to harm you. Put that stick down, as if it would damage me to begin with.” He walked over to her- no, floated? Jade honestly wasn’t sure, but she wasn’t one to start a fight she didn’t want to have. She lowered her sword. “I am M. Rasmodius, a wizard. I live in the heart of Cindersap Forest, where the magic seems to be concentrated. This valley is teeming with mystical beings, both good and evil.” An arm protruded from the opening of his cloak to fix his hat; he had on a black long-sleeved shirt, from what she could tell. “I have been watching you since your arrival, Jade. I know your past, and I’ve seen your future.”

                                “Wh-what?” Jade stared in shock. “H-how... you’re... You’re a wizard? Really?”

                                Rasmodius was unsurprised to be questioned in such a way. “You grew up in the city, full of skeptics. Full of foolish humans. I have no reason to lie to you, child. That would be a waste of time.” He began to move further down the mossy sidewalk, Jade following behind with slight hesitation. “You must be wondering about the state of this area.”

                                The farmer slowly nodded. She figured silence was the best option for now.

                                “Pelican Town used to be a thriving mining and farming town. Only the rarest of minerals could be found within the reaches of the mountains located here.” They approached further down the street, nearing the ascension into the mountains. A half-destroyed visitor’s center made of dingy gray stone haphazardly stood near the mountain face. It was placed near a gigantic cave entrance, though the entry was cloaked by vines and dangling moss. Jade noticed a rusted plaque above the stone building’s now-exposed doorway: ‘STARDEW VALLEY MINING ASSOCIATION’. The building’s innards were completely annihilated, particularly the side close to the cave entrance. The stone bricks had been crumbled onto a pile, as if something rammed into its side.

                                “I didn’t know there was another mine entrance here,” murmured the farmer.

                                “There are several, but the one you may know about is the one directly north of what the town is now. The entire area was covered by mineshafts. But they, in turn, ignited the rage of the creatures deep underground.” The wizard brushed back the vines from the cave’s opening, exposing a constricted area of rock and rubble. Nothing really seemed special at first, but Jade then noticed a white, strange looking shape within the rubble. She couldn’t tell what it was from the distance, since it had just barely been revealed through the sunlight from the cave opening. Jade’s vision slowly adjusted as she decided to walk inside... and then she saw it. Within the crumbling rock remained the gigantic skull of a carnivorous beast, its maw gaped open and full of stones and boulders. The skull was much larger than both of the humans present, and it had two rows of incredibly sharp and large teeth. Four huge holes were present on the sides of the head, indicating eyes and possibly ears.

                                “Oh, Yoba...” Jade gasped.

                                “Stardew Valley contains more mysteries than you or any other townsperson is capable of.” The wizard backed away from the cave opening, Jade walking out to join him. “The mining association crumbled because of the plethora of monsters, this portion of the town suffering the same fate. Decades of forest growth brought this area to the state it is now... Similarly, the creatures of the Secret Woods are becoming more active due to your presence. You are lucky that the stronger creatures are still dormant for now.”

                                The farmer glanced to Rasmodius with concern. “What can I do?” she asked. “I just... I want to live in peace, really.”

                                “It’s simple.” The wizard continued to float alongside the mountain face, the farmer forcing herself to come along. “Gain their trust.”

                                “Whose trust?”

                                “Those who own the forest. Gain their trust, and then the rest of the forest will no longer see you a threat.” There was a certain gleam in his eye... Jade felt somewhat threatened. “Your little pest problem will be resolved.”

                                Jade’s trembling only worsened to which she had to stop walking. She hugged herself and looked at the wizard, and then to the cave opening containing the skull. “Um... Who owns the forest?”

                                Rasmodius stopped and turned, looking to her without any change in expression; he was serious and unmoved. “The Junimos consider themselves the guardians of this section of the valley. They too wish to live in peace. Go to the Communtiy Center, and then you will see them.” He shuffled around in his cloak. “Oh, but take this first.” He brought out a tiny bottle of green liquid. It looked very strange, and Jade wasn’t entirely sure she could trust him... yet, he said before that he had no reason to lie. Maybe she was a skeptic, after all. Before she could really respond, Rasmodius tossed the vial in her direction. “This potion will allow you to understand the language of the Junimos.”

                                Jade caught the potion due to reflexes, exhaling in relief when she saw it was unharmed. “Um... what exactly is this?” She stared back to the wizard with concern.

                                “The essence of the forest.”

                                The explanation didn’t exactly make Jade feel better. She stashed the vial in her backpack, then focused back to the wizard with elevated worry. “Thanks, I guess...”

                                He nodded in return. “You were foolish to venture into a dangerous place such as this.”

                                Jade sighed. “I’m sorry, I just... I didn’t exactly mean to come here. I was just trying to get slimes away from my fence, and I got overwhelmed, so I just...” Her words fumbled, unsure of how to complete her stream of sentences.

                                “Return to your home before the sun sets. They should be gone now.” Rasmodius started to move away, no longer giving Jade any visual attention. She didn’t follow him this time, instead glancing back to the direction she came from.

                                “How far away am I, even? I wasn’t even paying attention... But, um, thank you, M-” Jade looked ahead, but he had vanished. “... Mr. Rasmodius...”

                                Though Jade would have loved to explore more of the area, the wizard was certainly right about the state of the ruins. Not only were the buildings crumbling down and able to fall apart at any moment, but the young farmer was extremely inexperienced when it came to swords. “I wish I could punch slimes,” she mumbled to herself as she began backtracking out of the neighborhood. Her body was beyond weary, but her mind was fully alert while she carefully traced her steps and tightly gripped her sword. She held her breath as she took her first step back onto the grassy ground, outside of the mossy tiled streets. The farmer took no chances in igniting the rage of any creature that resided nearby, for she walked slowly and carefully.

                                Her journey back to her farm took longer, but there wasn’t a single slime in sight. The farm was just as Jade had left it, and all of the claustrophobic feelings that the forest walls brought were washed away by the clear cerulean sky. Jade knew she had been absent for well over an hour, yet the day stretched on without the concept of time. She took a moment to reassess her surroundings, but stashed her sword back to the side of her backpack. Everything was fine, and she was safe again. Jade staggered back to her house, went inside, and set her baggage down before rushing to the bathroom. She showered, patched her scratches and minor wounds, then finally collapsed into bed with fresh pajamas. While the day was brimming with excitement, she couldn’t care that it was before 5PM. As soon as her head collided with her pillows, she was out.



                                Again, sorry for short chapter! I wanted to add more, but it just... didn't fit. The next chapter is going to be MUCH longer (and have some interesting developments!) for this reason, and I think it'll fit together much better. I probably could have added this to Chapter 7, but so much happened in that chapter that maybe this is for the best. I'm suffering "I read this 80 times" syndrome so I might as well just throw it out there before I regret writing it and erase like everything.

                                Anyways, exploration ahoy! I'm definitely going to try to incorporate more of the world and this won't be the first time the abandoned neighborhood is examined. In fact, I don't think anyone even saw the half of it! o;

                                Also, we're finally entering "Crap I Made Up By Myself" territory from here on out so hopefully the world of SDV will not be done wrong

                                Hope you guys enjoy it <3
                                 
                                  rhomboid, Rod&Root, Tsukuru and 4 others like this.
                                • Gabaw

                                  Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                  lol this is as far as I get with writer's block

                                  [​IMG]

                                  All things considered you got some good stuff down! Def. glad to hear the ruins will be explored further. I was wondering about that. Anyway this is the best part of the project, where you get to create your own world. It's exciting!
                                   
                                    MagicallyClueless likes this.
                                  • Tsukuru

                                    Tsukuru Pangalactic Porcupine

                                    I was thinking Jade fell ass first next to Old Master Cannoli... Now that would've been scary.

                                    Having less of an idea of what's going to go down in the areas you've come up with makes it pretty exciting! Seems like you can execute it well, even when not at your best.
                                     
                                      MagicallyClueless likes this.
                                    • MagicallyClueless

                                      MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                                      The forums have been slow today.... TIME TO LIVEN IT UP WITH CHAPTAH NIIINEEEEEEEE YEAUH! It's a big chapta! Good reads! Yassssssss!


                                      “Are you adjusting to the farm life, Jadey?”

                                      “Oh yeah! I have so many stories to tell the both of you.” Jade had never been more excited. She sat at her dining table alongside her mother and father, both as equally ecstatic and proud to see Jade doing well on her own. She was pleasantly surprised to have her parents visit so early, and she was more than eager to share her progress on the farm. It was raining lightly outside, but rays of sunlight managed to squeeze through openings in the clouds. The three were comfortable to be together inside, despite the somewhat gloomy day. “I’ll start from the beginning.”

                                      Her father was tall and very thick in stature and build. He had no hair on his scalp, but sported a flourishing black beard with stray gray hairs. His calm eyes were a deep brown as they looked to his daughter with patience. He didn’t dress very fancy, wearing thick work jeans, brown boots, a dark blue shirt, and two black rings on his right ear. He wore a simple watch on one of his wrists and a gold band on his ring finger. “We’re all ears, ladybug.”

                                      The mother had been dwarfed by her husband’s size, and was more petite than even Jade. She had curling and flowing bronze hair, attentive hazel eyes, and a soft smile that revealed her caring, calm personality. She was able to make an attractive outfit with simple clothing, wearing a blue wrapped top, navy capris, and brown sandals. She was not a big fan of jewelry, only wearing an emerald pendant around her neck. Her wedding ring and an engagement ring made from smooth red coral shined proudly on her ring finger as well.

                                      Jade took a deep breath as she thought of what the beginning actually was. “Well, the first person I met face-to-face was Robin. She’s the town carpenter, and she’s honestly the best. She helped me move in and has given me some good talks.” The young farmer chuckled in thought, placing her elbows on the dining table and resting her head in her hands. “She’s in her second marriage I think, but she has a son and a daughter. They’re both really nice, but I’ve only seen Maru maybe once. I’ve seen Sebastian a lot, mostly because of Robin’s shenanigans.” She snorted a chuckle.

                                      The mother was warmed by her daughter’s heightened mood. “I’m glad you have someone like that looking out for you here, while you’re alone. Are you making friends?” she asked, hopeful for a positive answer.

                                      “Oh! Well... Maybe I’m not super close to anyone yet. I like Sebastian a lot, and his friends have been really good to me. Sam is a big sweetie, and Abigail is really cool. They’ve all been really welcoming in helping me grow accustomed to the town.” Jade hummed as she continued to recall. “I’ve met some other people... oh yeah. Uh. Well, I met Alex and his grandma... We had to dance together for a festival, but I punched him in the face.”

                                      Jade’s dad burst with laughter. “Ahaha, you really did that?? What did he do to make you react like that?”

                                      “Don’t cheer her on like that!” snapped her mother, but the smile couldn’t be wiped off of her face. “Surely it must have been a reflex.”

                                      The father scoffed. “Surely,” he repeated.

                                      Jade laughed again. “Yes, absolutely! But no, it’s fine. It was just a weird misunderstanding. I think I’m finally getting over it, but some people in town have been a bit... negative.”

                                      Her mother frowned for the first time upon hearing about the negativity. “Like what?”

                                      “Aw, it’s not that big of a deal. Don’t worry about it, Mama. I think I just need to let everyone know I’m not a ruthless face-puncher.” Jade put her arms down and leaned over to pat her mother on the shoulder. Her shining expression was back as if nothing happened. “I can’t wait for you all to meet everybody, though!” Jade beamed with contentment. “Maybe I can make a big dinner? We could all have an outdoor picnic, I could invite everyone in town... that’d be so much food, though. Huh.”

                                      The large man smacked his hand to the table with pride. “Great idea, food is the way to anyone’s heart. Maybe you could save up for it, use some of your crops?”

                                      “Ooh, that’d be perfect! I want you two to come when I end up doing that. And we could get all the ingredients to make our family stew! Everyone will love that.” Jade lightly clapped to herself. “When I get animals, though, the meat isn’t coming from me. My animals are off limits! I mean it.”

                                      "Aw, you don’t want to share?” Jade’s father asked while trying to suppress his laughter. The young farmer gave him such a sarcastic glare, though her attempt to out-sass him was interrupted by a knock on the front door.

                                      “Huh, was I expecting anyone?” Jade wondered aloud as she stood up from her chair. She smiled to her parents before beginning her trek to the door. “Coming!” she shouted. As she approached the door, the lights in her house flickered off. The windows were shrouded in darkness, wind howling as the storm increased in ferocity. “Ugh, figures. Are you two okay? Maybe get some candles.” Jade glanced back in the direction of her kitchen.

                                      There was no response.

                                      “... Mom? Dad?” The young farmer stepped away from the front door to glance back at the dining table. They were not there. Thunder struck outside, rain pelting the rooftops and ticking against the window panes.

                                      Bam! Bam! Bam!

                                      The door was viciously beat against. Jade stared to the door in horror. Her breath halted.

                                      Bam! Bam! Bam!

                                      It got louder. The door would break down any second. Jade could no longer move. With one final crash, the door flung open and detached from its hinges. The door collided into the ground with an ear-wrenching crack-

                                      Jade swung up from her bed instantly. A gigantic bolt of lightning struck nearby, the boom of the thunder rumbling her entire house. She heavily breathed and surveyed her room. It was very dark outside due to the densely clouded sky. Rain poured down heavily and pelted the house’s roof. A lower rumble came from the distance. The farmer slowly began to calm down when she realized it was only thunder. She collapsed back into her bed, emitting a large sigh of relief. “Yoba...” she murmured to herself. She glanced at the alarm clock beside her... 10 AM. She forgot to set the alarm the night prior, but it wasn’t that big of a deal anyway; the rain took care of all of her farmwork.

                                      Without much else to say, the young adult rolled herself out of bed and staggered over to her dresser. She dressed lazily because of the nasty weather, but was able to conceal her choice of wear with a very long blue raincoat. All she needed to do was to brush her hair, put on her rainboots, and throw over her coat’s hood before walking outside.

                                      Summertime heat seemed nonexistent in the heavy rainfall, but Jade enjoyed the fact. A cool breeze brushed in through the front porch, which Jade could feel on her face and fingertips. She looked over to her crops and managed to sprout a smile, forgetting about her night for a moment. The plants seemed happy and were growing well. Upon scanning her farm, she caught sight of her mailbox. “Oh, yeah... I keep forgetting to check that.”

                                      The first steps were taken off of the front porch and the farmer headed towards the mailbox. She opened it, revealing a small collection of letters. “How do I have so much already?” she grumbled, but swiftly grabbed the mail before running back to the dryness of her porch. With that, she plopped onto the porch swing and began flipping through.

                                      Joja advertisement, Joja advertisement, a welcome letter from Mayor Lewis, Pierre’s shop advertisement... Nothing really important or special so far. Jade set aside the advertisements, while keeping the welcome letter for herself. She continued to flip through her mail. Another letter was a thank you from Marnie for running the errand from some days ago as well as an advertisement about her shop, while the last letter in the pile was about... fishing? The sentiment of fishing never even crossed her mind when it came to Pelican Town.

                                      “Come to the docks at the beach before 5PM,” Jade read from the last letter in her hands. “I suppose I can go meet this Willy guy today... nothing else is on my to-do list.” She sighed to herself. “Except seeing what the Community Center is... or swordfighting lessons, maybe...”

                                      The young farmer tossed her letters on the nearest surface she could reach inside, then tossing on her backpack and beginning her journey into town. Though the weather was so gloomy, her mood increased significantly; the rain was so beautiful on the empty farmland, and she loved the sound of squishing mud beneath her feet. As she exit her property, the open acres of Cindersap Forest were just as spectacular. Stardew Valley appeared to flourish in a much different manner when it rained.

                                      No one really walked around much when Pelican Town was under gloomy weather. Even as Jade ventured to the town square, all the townspeople seemed to have vanished. She was reminded of her dream again, but the loneliness this time was calming rather than terrifying. The young farmer was able to easily gain her own bearings and really see the town for what it was... isolated, miniscule, and pleasant. There was an undeniable charm about Pelican Town, despite its run-down nature.

                                      “Oh.” Jade snapped out of her exploratory trance and peered to a bridge down south. She could see a smidgen of the beach, but rows of trees were obscuring the rest of the horizon. The young farmer decided that was her destination and continued her miniature journey towards the docks.

                                      According to the letter, Willy was the local fisherman who manned a bait and equipment store of his own. Though Jade wasn’t personally a fan of seafood, she pondered at how much money she could make from becoming a professional in her own sense. She did notice the diversity of the water sources in the valley; there were two lakes, several rivers throughout the woods, and a beach just at the bottom of town. With all the diversity, it was surprising that Willy was one of the few fisherman, if not the only fisherman available.

                                      Moments of pondering brought Jade to the beach without much thought going into her route. The shore was huge, but the tide was higher and the faraway waves much more ferocious due to the storm. To her left, she noticed a snug cabin. Warm yellow light emitted through the gap in the curtained windows, but she could not tell if anyone was inside. There was another shore near the cabin, though there was a river that separated her current standing and connected to the ocean. Lastly, there were the docks. There were several pathways to take on the docks, but Jade’s focus instantly went to the second cabin that rested on a large platform. That must have been the store the letter described, so it was where she went next.

                                      Though Jade enjoyed walking through the town without seeing any people, she truly was relieved to see a middle-aged man sitting behind the counter of the bait shop. She slowly opened the door and entered, wiping her muddy feet on a mat right at the entrance. “Hello,” murmured the farmer while she carefully stepped towards the desk.

                                      “Afternoon, lass. Ye must be the new farmer I’ve heard about.” Willy smiled through his unkempt beard and moustache. He had a lot of dark hair and didn’t seem to care what it was doing, but the look on his face was gentle and he had an air of experience. He wore a messy brown beret and his red shirt was loosely stitched together. He was rather tan, most likely due to all of his days fishing under the blaring sun. Jade liked his attitude already, and noticed the dedication he had towards his craft.

                                      “Y-yeah, that’s me. It’s nice to meet you... I’m Jade. Sorry, I don’t know when you sent that letter... but, I’m here now.” The farmer smiled and stood in front of the counter. She noticed several fishing poles up for display behind him, while several kinds of bait hooks were shown in a glass case. The air of the cabin also smelt of fish, seawater, and bait, though Jade wasn’t very surprised by the fact.

                                      “Aye, that’s alright. You’ve probably guessed by now, but not many people take the art o’ fishing very seriously here. With a new face in town, I thought I’d introduce the basics and maybe broaden yer horizons.” Willy turned around from the counter and picked up a bamboo fishing pole that leaned against the wall. It wasn’t up for display like the others, and it didn’t necessarily look like much of a winner. Regardless, the farmer wasn’t the type to reject such a generous gift. He offered the fishing pole to her, which she kindly took. “It’s me old pole. Take it and give it a try. Maybe you’ll make a buck or two when there is some light left in the day.”

                                      “Wow, thank you very much, uhm... Willy! Willy, I appreciate it.” Jade grinned and actually felt excited for the potential of fishing. She didn’t really have time to feel bad about wanting to make money, considering how little she had to her name at the time.

                                      “Maybe when yer skill improves, come by and buy some better fishin’ poles. Bait, too. Look forward to seein’ ye.”

                                      “Yeah, I will! It’s such a rainy day... do any particular fish come out in the rain?” the farmer curiously asked.

                                      Willy let out a wheezy laugh. “Nothin’ you can catch as a novice. But, you seem to have the fire. I’m sure there’s a strong fisherman brewin’ within ye.”

                                      Jade puffed up her chest with the confidence boost. “Thank you! I’ll take my leave now, and I hope to see you some other time. Have a good day, Willy.” She waved to him and left the shop, her face flinching when the barrage of rain splashed onto her coat.

                                      She could take the time to examine the sea, now. The water was a deep blue, but clouded by the twisting waves and surplus of water. Some of the water splashed over the docks, but the planks felt very stable. The young farmer followed the path of the docks while she watched the looming grays of the clouds. The storm probably wouldn’t cease until the day was far over.

                                      At the edge of one of the piers, Jade noticed a familiar figure. Sebastian was gazing at the horizon as well, hands in his pockets and his hood over his head. His hoodie absorbed the rainfall, causing him to be completely soaked despite the apparent precaution of shielding his head. A red and white striped umbrella was closed by his feet. It seemed as if he had no intention of using it.

                                      Jade walked over to him, the creaking of the wood failing to capture his attention. “You brought an umbrella and you’re not gonna use it?” chuckled the farmer as she approached.

                                      Sebastian quickly glanced towards her, but then relaxed just as fast when he realized it was only Jade. “Hey, Jade. What are you doing here?” he asked in response. Jade was convinced he didn’t really hear her, but she didn’t mind too much.

                                      “I went to go meet Willy and he gave me a fishing pole!” Jade proudly held the fishing pole up. “I might take it apart though so I can carry the thing in my backpack... I can’t just keep holding it like this. Huh. Anyways, what about you? I think this is the first time I’ve seen you without your mom goating you into hanging out with me.”

                                      He scoffed and turned to her completely. “I was at the saloon,” he grumpily corrected.

                                      Jade chuckled as she messed with the fishing pole and tried to safely disconnect the pieces. “Okay, without your mom or Sam goating you into it.”

                                      Sebastian smirked to her. “I think you want to get pushed off the docks.”

                                      Jade finished disassembling her fishing pole and stored it safely in her backpack. She grinned from Sebastian’s low-key threat. “I was just being honest, but I am at your mercy!” She stepped forward and stood beside him to continue to watch the waves.

                                      He smiled in return and continued to gaze as well. “I just like being out in the rain,” he stated.

                                      “Yeah?” Jade sighed quietly to herself. “This is my first rainfall here. I think it’s really beautiful, and it was kinda nice walking out and not worry about any encounters.”

                                      He nodded in agreement. “No one in the town really goes out when it rains unless they have to. I don’t really like driving when it’s storming this much, but... the ocean is nice, at least.”

                                      “You got that right,” the farmer concluded. Neither of them talked for a while, but it didn’t feel awkward. While so many people in town were full of energy, such as Robin or Sam, Sebastian was the complete opposite. He was quiet, always thinking, and didn’t really demand any continuation in the conversation. Jade thought it was nice, considering she had to worry about task after task and worry about getting everything done before the end of the day. Sebastian was a pause within the chaos, allowing her to take a deep breath and reassess her day once more. She smiled as she thought about it, then glanced to see how he was doing. He was just as calm as her, shoulders relaxed, a hint of a smile on his face. “You are absolutely going to get a cold,” Jade quietly teased, breaking the silence.

                                      Sebastian’s eyes widened in response, but then he glanced to her. Jade thought that he might have forgotten she was there. “Anything is better than the summer heat,” he responded with a shrug. “I’m not a big fan of the summer, except for the thunderstorms really. The dance of the moonlight jellies is actually kinda nice, too.”

                                      The farmer groaned. “We don’t have to dance again, do we?”

                                      He actually laughed a bit. “No, it’s not a dance. On the last day of Summer, everyone gathers here at night to watch these glowing jellyfish. Someone sends a boat with lights out into sea, and a bunch of them start surfacing.” His gaze dropped to look in the depths of the ocean.

                                      “Oh, wow! That sounds really pretty. I look forward to the end of the summer, then.”

                                      “There’s also the luau, which is a week and a half from now,” Sebastian continued. “You throw some food in this huge pot and hope for the best. It’s usually pretty good, but Lewis is such a tightass about the whole thing."

                                      "Why?" The young farmer asked.

                                      "The governor comes to visit our town during the luau, so he's desperate to impress. He nags everyone about bringing the perfect ingredients.”

                                      Jade huffed and shuffled her feet on the planks. “Governor, huh? Seems like he isn’t really doing that great of a job. One thing I’ve learned moving here is that Pelican Town is kinda run down... or maybe that’s the mayor’s doing? I dunno. Either way, it’s sad.”

                                      “Hm.” Sebastian’s focus shifted back to Jade. “I guess so. Did you really expect that before you moved here?”

                                      The farmer thought for a moment, but then shrugged. “I did expect it to be insanely rural, but I didn’t expect to come across completely abandoned portions of the town... oh! I haven’t told anyone about this yet, but did you know about that area?”

                                      “What area?”

                                      “Nearby my house!” Jade beamed. “I got attacked by slimes again and I made my escape deeper into the forest so they’d get away from my farm. I ended up coming across this huuuge area in which-” Jade stopped herself and gasped. “The Community Center. That’s right.”

                                      Sebastian furrowed his eyebrows. “What are you going on about?”

                                      “Sebastian, do you know where the Community Center is? I was told to go there,” the young farmer stated, determination painted on her visage. The rain pelted down harder, thunder rumbling in the distance once more. Jade leaned her head down so none of the water would get on her face.

                                      The raven-haired man did the same with his head, but he was already soaked from head to toe. He sighed. “Yeah, it’s probably about time for me to head back anyway.” He leaned down and grabbed his umbrella to open it. “I’ll take you there, since it’s on the way to my house.”

                                      “Oh, good! Thank you.” Jade started walking back towards the shore, Sebastian walking at her side. “You’re done with the rain now, huh?”

                                      “Yeah, too much of a good thing sometimes.” They continued onwards, though they didn’t talk about very much, as was usual. Jade held an inner fear that she may have been making things awkward for Sebastian, but she never exactly got the vibe so the feeling was uncertain. In fact, he seemed happy to help her, and there was a cheerier air about him that didn’t seem to be there on sunnier days.


                                      Time quickly passed in their travel to the next destination. As Jade expected, there weren’t any other townspeople nearby, though it was understandable. The storm conjured some dangerous gusts of wind and the rainfall felt like liquid daggers, even under the raincoat. Mist formed at ground level, giving the whole town such a gloomier vibe... Jade loved it. The two were walking across town square when Sebastian decided to speak up, breaking the immersion into the storm: “You know, you don’t have to say my full name.”

                                      The statement caught the young farmer off guard. “Oh... does it bother you? Sorry, I assumed that only certain people address you with nicknames.”

                                      “It’s fine... I just feel like I’m getting in trouble if you keep calling me Sebastian. Only really Demetrius calls me that,” he grumbled.

                                      “So... Sebby, then?” Jade chuckled.

                                      “No!” Sebastian interrupted rather quickly. “Not that one,” he groaned, embarrassment flushing his cheeks, “That nickname’s reserved.”

                                      Jade laughed. “Okay, okay. Seb it is, then."

                                      Sebastian nodded in approval. “Better.” They passed Pierre’s store and walked up the stairs at the side of the building. Jade remembered the area, but it looked so much different in the rain. She saw that old, rickety building again... wait. Was that the Community Center?

                                      “You’ve got to be kidding me. Is this what I’m looking for?” asked the farmer, fairly disappointed. “This thing is probably in even worse condition than the neighborhood I saw.”

                                      “Yup,” Sebastian reaffirmed. “No one really goes here, and I think Lewis locked it up after a certain point.”

                                      The appearance of the building was only worsened by the rain, since it looked like a haunted house. The outer walls were rotting and rickety, windows in disrepair, roofs full of holes. The Community Center was an absolute disaster. “Geez, I can see why. How did it even get to this point?” Jade asked as they approached the front doors of the building. The young farmer reached for the door handle and checked to see if it was open. “Yep, locked.”

                                      “I wish I could remember why everyone stopped using it, but it was so long ago. I don’t even think I was old enough to recall.” Sebastian shrugged and simply made his way to the far left side of the building. Jade followed absentmindedly, entranced by the depressing state of the area.

                                      “Where are we going?” She asked, confusion plaguing her voice.

                                      The raven-haired man stopped at a large yet broken window. The hole in the window was certainly big enough to get inside. “You want to get into the Community Center, don’t you? This is how we used to get in. I once sent Sam in on a dare, heheh.”

                                      “Oh, I see... I should have something clever to say, but I’m honestly not surprised that you and Sam have done crap here.” Jade snorted as she took her backpack off and carefully tossed it in through the window, then climbing through the opening herself. Sebastian closed his umbrella and threw it inside, joining her as well. The young farmer re-equipped her backpack as she examined the whole place... the inside was far, far worse than the outside.

                                      The first room they entered had whatever remained of a dining hall and a kitchen. The floorboards were misaligned, some popping out of place, and the rugs were ragged and partially eaten by insects. Wallpaper peeled off the walls, the sinks and fridges looked rusty and dirty, and the table chairs probably couldn’t withstand any significant weight. One of the legs of a dining table had been chewed off by termites, and there were similar holes piercing the ceiling. Old plates and silverware lie dusty and overturned on the floor, tablecloths uneven and practically ripped off of the table itself. “It looked like a tornado came in through here,” Jade sighed.

                                      “I think it gets worse every time we’re here,” Sebastian muttered, pulling his hoodie off of his person. He twisted the water out from the cloth; considering the condition of the room, he figured getting the floor wet didn’t really matter. “Well, not that we’ve been here much, anyway. I sent Sam in here to get something on a dare one night, and he ran out with the most terrified look on his face. He said he saw a ghost, and refused to ever come back here.” He chuckled as he slung the hoodie back over his shoulder. “That face was so worth it.”

                                      “A ghost, huh?” The young farmer examined the room, though there wasn’t much of note. The whole place was empty, save for the furniture. “Did you believe him?” Jade asked, venturing into the next room.

                                      Sebastian hummed in thought as he followed behind the farmer. “Well, I mean... there are monsters in the mines that kinda look like ghosts. But I don’t see why one would be here.”

                                      As they walked down the hallway, they noticed one doorway to the left and another to the right. Glancing inside, one of them seemed to be the remains of a pantry, while the other one was an arts and crafts room in extreme disrepair. A playful mural on the wall had faded years prior and dust collected on the many shelves of both rooms. The end of the hallway revealed the main section of the Community Center, which was as disheveled as it was gigantic.

                                      There was a double-door entrance into the building, though the entrance didn't really lead to much; most of the area was empty, save for carpet with ripped threads and stray dust and dirt. There was a hallway spanning into other sections of the building to the right of the room. The upper center section of the entrance had an old fireplace with a plaque that seemed much newer and brighter than the entire building. Six indentations in the shape of stars formed a circle within the plaque. To the fireplace's right, there was a broken and empty fishing tank, and to the left, there was a strange hut that seemed too small for even Vincent or Jas to crawl through. The floorboards were pulled up, so the small hut was built from the dirt foundation. Jade's focus went to the hut, expression lifting in curiosity.

                                      "Do ghosts build huts?" asked the farmer as she approached the architectural wonder. She felt the outer walls, which seemed to be made of the floorboards that were pulled up from the ground.

                                      "Huh. I don't think I've seen that before," Sebastian mentioned, kneeling down to examine the hut. "Hell if I know."

                                      Jade sighed as she tried to put her thoughts together. "Well, I was told that the... Dammit, what are they called... Junimos! I was told those stayed here. Maybe this is where they live?"

                                      "Junimos?" Sebastian lifted an eyebrow in concern. "What are those?"

                                      Jade shrugged, walking over to the fireplace to get a better look at the unique plaque. "When I was in the abandoned section of my neighborhood, I was approached by this cloaked dude who called himself the Wizard."

                                      Sebastian's expression suddenly twisted into worry. "Wizard? Oh, wait- you mean the guy in that tower? He approached you?"

                                      "Yeah!" Jade beamed in return. "He was a little cold in demeanor, but he was helpful and gave me a lot of good information. He said that I would need to speak to the Junimos to restore peace in my neck of the woods." She suddenly paused. "... I now realize how ridiculous that sounds. But I'm not lying to you!"

                                      "No, no, it's fine. I've experienced enough weird stuff to give you the benefit of a doubt." Sebastian sighed and stepped further down the area, looking down the unexplored hallway. "If you've been around Abby for long enough, that kind of stuff rubs off on you. She talks about the stuff she's seen near the wizard's tower. She might know some of what you're talking about, if you ask her... but, we don't really talk about it out loud so much. Any interest in the supernatural makes you such an outcast in Pelican Town."

                                      The farmer decided to follow alongside Sebastian when she saw nothing else significant about the fireplace. "You guys live smack in the middle of nowhere and only a few of you believe in stuff like this?"

                                      He wasn't really sure how to respond properly, but she brought up a good point. "Ask them, not me. But I haven't really talked to the wizard guy, so I can't say very much, either."

                                      "Wait." Jade suddenly paused, freezing in place. Sebastian turned to her and noticed a very cautious look on her face. She heard something behind her and was listening... "Did you hear that?"

                                      "No," he replied.

                                      "I heard a little springy noise." Jade conjured up the courage to look behind her.

                                      "Well, this place is pretty old."

                                      "But it was right behind me," she protested, standing up straight and turning towards the source of the noise.

                                      Complete silence.

                                      "Dammit. I must be hearing thi-

                                      Sproing!


                                      "Did you hear that?!" Jade whispered desperately.

                                      The raven-haired man scratched his head with a very unconvinced expression. "I guess..."

                                      She turned back to him and huffed. "Hey, you said you believed me!”

                                      “I said I’d give you the benefit of a doubt,” Sebastian corrected. “But look at this place. It’s old and probably teeming with mice... Um, Jade?” He peered to her with worry, since she was staring at something behind him. Her face paled and she slowly wheezed in anticipation. At the end of the hallway appeared a miniscule creature. It was about the size of a slime except it had a more cylindrical shape in appearance. Similar to slimes, however, it had a long antennae with a ball at its end. It had beady eyes and hardly noticeable arms and legs, but it was watching Jade with childlike wonder. The creature was a soft yellow in color, squeaking quietly to the farmer.

                                      “Th... there.... there it is!” she gasped, stumbling forward. Sebastian turned to look, but it had vanished in thin air.

                                      “Where?” he asked, glancing back to the farmer with increasing worry. “I’m... are you okay, Jade?”

                                      “Dammit!” cursed Jade under her breath. “I swear it was there, it just vanished... but it was so round and cute! It was like a fat yellow cylinder! That had to be a Junimo.” She huffed and took her backpack off to begin rummaging through it.

                                      Sebastian sighed. “Here, I’ll just go look.” He walked further down the hallway, hoping to find something to rationalize Jade’s behavior.

                                      “Please do,” she stated out loud, though slightly frustrated. “Maybe it’ll be less skittish if I drink the thing the wizard gave me... A-ha!” Jade brought out the vial full of green liquid and stood up. She untwisted its cap and sniffed the end of it, face instantly showing disgust. “Yoba... I have to drink this?” Jade lowly coughed. She hesitated on whether or not to drink the potion, but then she thought back to what Rasmodius told her: he had no reason to lie. If this was the essence of the forest and would allow her to communicate with the Junimos, drinking it was a risk she could honorably take.

                                      Sebastian passed by an ancient billboard full of forgotten tasks, then a room to his left that contained a destroyed safe half the size of the room. More of the ground was exposed to the elements from the rotting floorboards, though wild plants were growing from the dirt. Nothing of interest there. He continued down the straight pathway and came across a stairwell on the right that led to the basement of the establishment.

                                      He paused when he walked onto the stairs, but he was able to see the whole room. Seemed to be a dysfunctional boiler room, with an old style furnace and oven. At first glance, it didn’t really seem like anything lived here. If there was something yellow hopping around, he would have been able to see it in the dark and dingy rooms. His attention was regained when he heard a thump coming from the main area. “I didn’t see anything,” Sebastian called back to Jade. He carefully walked back up the stairs to rejoin the young farmer.

                                      Jade was lying on the floor, face down. Her whole body was limp, and from the raincoat, it was hard to tell if she was breathing. An empty and open vial was tightly held in one of her hands.

                                      Three tiny creatures appeared before her. All fat squishy cylindrical beings, with short arms, short legs, antennae on top of their heads. One of them was the very same soft yellow, another a vivid green, and the last one a warm gray.

                                      “Holy shit.”



                                      I actually had a TON of fun with this chapter and I really enjoyed reading it. Hopefully it isn't too long for you guys and you enjoy it as well!~~

                                      I don't really have much to say. I'm pretty proud of the flow of the chapter. Hopefully the pace isn't suffering as a result, but at least it's fun stuff.

                                      We finally get to see Sebastian at his own will! I feel as free as he does. No one tying him into being friendly.
                                       
                                      • Gabaw

                                        Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                        Wow this chapter was truly above and beyond :confirm: The imagery was powerful and that was a hell of an opening scene, I must say. This story just keeps getting better. Didn't you say that you weren't much of a writer? I sentence you to more chapters for your transgressions! One thing I couldn't help but think about tho... should Jade really be grabbing an "old pole" from a scruffy geezer called Willy :rofl: omfg lol
                                         
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                                        • MagicallyClueless

                                          MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                                          this comment was a ride from start to finish LMAO

                                          I am more of an artist than a writer! But, I do have stories that I want to tell. This has been a really fun experience so far and I've just gone through so many trial-and-errors with past stories that this one just FEELS GOOD. I'm excited for the progression of this story, like seriously.

                                          Your comment about Willy's old pole.... PLEASE. PLEASE. LMAO.

                                          He has experience don't knOCK THAT
                                           
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