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

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

  1. Ghostly Fox

    Ghostly Fox Giant Laser Beams

    I might make a longer comment when I can think straight (man I sure have a habit of making comments on the forum when I'm tired enough to fail a field sobriety test) but for now:

    Yay, magic marshmallow buddies!

    Yay for confusing arcane directions that imply world building to the CC Bundles!

    Yay for girls jokingly shipping their male friends!

    Good implementation of Abigail social isolation due to small population and views on her interest.
     
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    • Gabaw

      Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

      Hey was just thinking about this yesterday! I died at the Demetrius fiasco :rip: holy s**t lol. Good scene with Linus too. He's not mentioned a lot in extended conversation tho admittedly there's not too much to go on (but when has that ever stopped any of us :p). As far as Sambastian goes, Jabby should be a good rival to that LMAO :rofl: Okay maybe some better names. Abijade. Anyway, looking forward to some more ancient ruins craziness :confirm:
       
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      • Risukage

        Risukage Giant Laser Beams

        Final remark before bed: I just re-read the last few lines because I had glossed over them previously because BEER. Thus, I have one thing to say about Abigail and Jade:

        Sisters before misters, yo.

        *Drops microphone, walks to bedroom, faceplants pillow.*

        *Snores loudly.*
         
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        • MagicallyClueless

          MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

          Thanks for all the comments, you guys! I don't always directly respond but I have a blast reading them, and I love hearing what you have to say. It just makes me so happy that people read and can draw conclusions from it, it makes me even more excited to write.

          Anyways, ANOTHER LONG CHAPTA! I was thinking of splitting it up but nah, you guys get the entire day.



          Ring! Ring!

          That wasn’t Jade’s alarm clock, but she still managed to rustle awake. It was completely dark outside, and only the light from her clock illuminated her room. The numbers on the clock were blinking 12:00, as if the power went out earlier. “Oh, no.” Jade sighed tiredly. She’d have to reset every clock in the house, now, assuming it was a power outage.

          Ring! Ring!

          What was that, though? Jade begrudgingly slid out of her bed and stumbled towards wherever she heard the ringing sound. She paused and turned her attention to her staircase, realizing the sound came from somewhere on the second floor. “An instant message, maybe?” she yawned allowed, slowly walking upstairs. “I need to disable that damn sound. So annoying.”

          The ringing stopped when she stepped through her game room’s doorway. Jade walked inside fully and looked around, unsure of that annoying sound’s origin-

          Blip! That sounded like a text notification, but it wasn’t from the computer. Her eyes widened when she saw a light coming from the room’s trash can. Her breath halted as she stared at the trash can, but her legs began moving towards it without thinking. The young farmer leaned down around the opening and hesitantly stretched her arm into the can’s opening. Out came a tiny, half destroyed flip phone. It was the same one she threw away days ago, the battery ripped out and everything.

          Yet, the phone’s front screen was illuminated. She turned the phone to read what was on the front screen:

          Text message from:

          NO

          She slowly opened the phone, but only because she had to. Jade wanted nothing to do with this device.

          She read the text message.

          “Jonah is here.”

          “.... No,” Jade breathed. “No, no, no.... No, he’s not.” Her breathing increased, and she snapped the phone shut. “No.”

          Ring! Ring!

          The phone began ringing in the palm of her hand.

          Calling:

          Jonah

          “NO!” Jade screeched, throwing the phone harshly against the wall. The phone snapped in half, but it continued to ring. Jade began to stomp on the phone, trying to smash it to smithereens with her foot. She was hyperventilating and beginning to sob, huge tears forming at her eyes and falling in large drops down her cheeks. “No, no, no!!!”

          The ringing continued, even though the light on the phone wasn’t even working anymore. The computer in the corner suddenly lit up, notifications of messages popping up. Jade didn’t dare look, but the notification kept sounding as if messages continued to be sent. Jade grabbed a game controller nearby and smashed it into the computer screen, screaming. The notification sounds continued, but the lights of the monitor malfunctioned.

          Jade clasped her hands to her ears and rushed out of the room, knowing the noises wouldn’t stop. She could barely see, her tears heavily clouding her vision. A miniscule amount of relief fell upon the young farmer when she came back to the first floor, but she could still hear the obnoxious ringing and message sending from upstairs. She just wanted quiet.

          Bam! Bam! Bam!

          No, no. The door. She heard thunder rumbling outside. Rain heavily pelted the windows.

          The power shut off. No sounds but the raining outside. Jade could only see the front door.

          Bam! Bam! Bam!

          The knocking was rougher and more vicious. The door began to shake from each pound.

          Bam! Ba-

          With the last pound against the door, it broke off its hinges and fell to the ground. Wind howled outside and rain flooded in through the opening. She could see the shadow behind the doorway. It slowly stepped forward.

          “You took something of mine.”

          Jade could see him now.

          “It’s time I repay the favor,” he continued. Alex glared to Jade with a maniacal grin stretched across his face. His left eye was missing. He continued to step forward, while Jade froze in place.

          “No...” Jade breathed one final time.


          Jade jolted out of her bed, heavily wheezing. She clutched her chest as she attempted to gain control of her breathing, but it only made her begin crying. She collapsed back into her pillow, sobbing. “It’s just a nightmare,” she squeaked to herself. “Just a...”

          Beep! Bee-

          Jade slammed the snooze button on her alarm clock. The day was bright and lovely, but she wanted to stay inside forever.

          Wanted to, but couldn’t. She knew what she had to do, for her sake.



          “Oh, you’re looking for Alex, dear?” Evelyn lightly smacked her lips, trying to recall her grandson’s whereabouts. Jade was standing in the doorway of Evelyn and George Mullner’s home in hopes of speaking to their grandson. Jade was fully dressed in her white shirt and still-ripped pants for a regular farming day, though she really rushed with her chores this time around. Evelyn could tell that the young farmer was very drained, but finding Alex seemed important to her. “He’s not home right now, I’m afraid. I think he is usually at the beach this time around, dear. Do you need anything while you’re here? I don’t mind.” The old woman was somewhat concerned, but she continued to smile to lift the young adult’s spirits.

          Jade shook her head. “No ma’am, but thank you. You’re very helpful,” she tiredly smiled. “I wish I could stay longer, but I really need to just... talk to him. I’ll see you later, okay, Granny?”

          “Of course, dear.” Evelyn softly waved her off as Jade ventured away towards the beachside.

          This was the first time Jade had ever been to the beach while it was sunny, but it was just as gorgeous as it was when it was being pelted with rain. The summer heat was extremely apparent, though. Jade hardly believed she was out in jeans in such weather.

          In the middle of the sandy shore, there he was: Alex stood there, jacket sleeves rolled up to his elbows, a wristwatch around his right wrist, and did the smarter choice of wearing shorts and sneakers. He had a gridball- a brown leathery ball the shape of a pointed ellipse- and threw it high in the air, then ran to catch it before it fell to the ground. The young farmer watched from a distance for a while due to nervousness; she hoped he would turn around so she could confirm he had both of his eyes.

          “And what are you doing?” A faraway feminine voice asked.

          Jade lost focus and turned to whoever spoke. A blonde woman strut towards the farmer in an elegant and flawless fashion, but she had an air of snobbishness about her. Jade has never seen her before, and she could hardly believe someone that looked so pristine would be in a place like Pelican Town. The woman seemed to be of similar age to Jade, but she looked far different; her skin was glowing from the summer sun, her hair was bright, curling, and blonde, and she wore a shining blue pendant that matched her sapphire colored eyes. She had a bright blue tank top and a frilly pink skirt, white socks and short blue heels at her feet.

          “U-um… h-hello, sorry….” Jade didn’t really know what to say.

          “You’re gonna ogle some guy and just say sorry? Who do you think you are?” the young woman snapped. “You’re the new farm girl, aren’t you?” She scowled. “The one who ruined my Flower Dance.”

          “I… I d-didn’t…” the young farmer didn’t have the energy. With the mention of the Flower Dance, though, this must have been Haley.

          “Yeah, don’t think I didn’t hear about that, farm girl. I was sick, but the Flower Dance is serious business. If Lewis stops making this a tradition, so help me, I’ll have your-

          “Hey, it’s the farm girl!” Alex shouted ecstatically. Both of the ladies turned to glance at Alex as he was walking over. “Jade, how are you doing?”

          Haley glared at her masculine friend. “You’re seriously talking to her like that? She punched you in the face!”

          Alex huffed. “Oh, Haley, would you come off it? Jade’s weird but cool! Right, farm girl?” He playfully pat one of her shoulders. “And we made up long ago!”

          Jade didn’t respond immediately, but she scanned Alex’s face almost desperately. Both of his eyes were there, there wasn’t any bruise, and his grin was as gentle as ever. This really was Alex. “... S-sorry, what did you say?”

          The athlete chuckled heartily and lightly tossed his gridball in the air as they talked. “Just that we’re fine, farm girl. Have you met Haley before?”

          “N-no…”

          “Well, Haley takes a while to warm up to people,” he began and glanced to Haley with an almost condescending stare, “but I hope she’ll treat you nice.”

          Haley rolled her eyes. “I don’t have to do anything, but I’m going now. Have fun with your farm girl,” she growled and strut away. Jade drooped her head and shoulders, unable to give a proper goodbye.

          “Haley is still a bit sick and is pretty stubborn about the Flower Dance, but if you keep talking to her, I’m sure things will get better. She’s pretty nice after a certain point.” Alex laughed to himself a little bit. “So, why’re you here? Coming to enjoy the summer sun? You are looking pretty pale, farm girl.”

          Jade stammered, trying to speak, but she was too shaken up by Haley to do much. Alex noticed her behavior and came to a frown.

          “Hey, Jade… are you alright?”

          “I-I… Um…. I just came to… see y-you.” She deeply breathed. “I’m… I need to get my mind off things.”

          The athlete hummed in thought, confused albeit charmed by her statements. “That’s awful sweet of you, but what can I do to get your mind off things? Aren’t you closer to other people?”

          Jade sucked in another breath, trying her best to keep calm. “W-well… what do you do here?” she asked, somewhat evading the subject. Alex knew she was obviously troubled, but he also felt somewhat sorry for her. He softly sighed to himself before regaining his confident composure.

          “When I’m not swimming or tanning or whatever, I’m practicing with my gridball,” Alex began, gesturing to the ball he has been tossing around. “I’d offer you to play catch with me, but since you’re a girl an’ all…” He deviously smirked, hoping to get a reaction.

          “What does that mean?” huffed Jade, lifting her head and glaring at him.

          “You might not be able to handle it, that’s all I’m sayin’.”

          “Are you threatening my skills about a damn ball because of my sex?” Jade asked. Her stuttering was gone, Alex noticed. He was happy to know she was getting caught up in the heat, though he half-feared that his face would be in danger again.

          Alex chuckled and spun the gridball on one of his fingers. “I don’t know. Am I?” he teased.

          The young farmer’s shoulders tensed and she stood up tall to face Alex. Despite being the tallest she could be, she was still over half a foot shorter than him. “Then we’ll see who is the catch master here, Mr. Athlete.”

          “Ah, I love that spunk!” He laughed. “Oh, I mean. You’re on, pipsqueak!”

          For a little while, Jade and Alex played catch together. Whatever was troubling the young farmer seemed to fade in their game, and both of them got a lot of exercise by chasing the ball and each other across the sandy beach. Even though Jade was extremely exhausted, she was relieved that she had this opportunity with Alex. He was truly a nice guy, under a fake, vaguely threatening exterior. Her nerves about him have calmed down completely; she needed to spend time with him like this.

          Similarly, Alex enjoyed playing with Jade. His only real friend in the entire valley was Haley, who never wanted to get dirty with sports or play any sorts of games. The young idol was royal in personality, and her personality wouldn’t allow her to humor Alex in the way Jade did. Even though Alex was trying to get on Jade’s nerves and tease her with sexist remarks, he did somewhat expect her to react similarly to Haley. Getting to play catch was eye opening for the both of them.

          A shrill alarm beeped on Alex’s wristwatch after he had thrown the gridball to Jade again. She jumped up and directly caught the ball, but then looked to Alex in confusion. “What’s that?” she asked.

          “Oh, damn!” Alex huffed, turning his alarm off. “I gotta go to work now. Have any money for ice cream?” he asked.

          Jade ran up to him and delivered the ball back to him, signalling that she was done playing. “Yeah, I have some change. Why?”

          “Because I run an ice cream stand!” Alex beamed. “Come on, I’ll show you where it is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in that part of town.” The athlete began walking, Jade tiredly following behind. Even though she was exhausted, her spirits were much higher than before. “Haley usually meets me there, but she’s probably not in the mood. It’ll be nice for me to have someone to talk to.”

          “Aw, sure,” Jade sweetly replied. “I could go for some ice cream, honestly.”

          Alex guided Jade to the right part of town, an area the young farmer has only been to by accident. Right after they crossed the bridge to the right section of town, there was a tiny and glistening ice cream stand that was awaiting to be open for business. “Here we are!” Alex gestured with a ‘ta-da!’ under his breath. He moved behind the ice cream counter and began setting up the stations. “You got 240 gold, farm girl?”

          “Uhhh…” Jade rustled change out of her pocket, and then slammed the required amount on the counter. “Yup!”

          “Great, great! So, what’ll you have?” he inquired once more, gesturing to a laminated piece of paper that had the menu options. Jade stared at the menu for a little while, but then sighed and shrugged.

          “Honestly, they all sound good to me. Surprise me!”

          “A daring woman, I like it.” He chuckled and began to set up an ice cream cone for her. When he was finished, he carefully handed the ice cream cone to her with a napkin around its base. She happily accepted and marveled upon the creation: the ice cream had three scoops on it, the bottom being white, the middle green, and the top pink. She had to stop herself from drooling at the sight, since it looked so… “Cute!! This is so cute! I have to eat this?”

          Alex laughed. “You didn’t really strike me as the type to find things cute.”

          “I do! I’ll still eat this, but just. It’s cute. What flavor is this?”

          “Try it and find out, farm girl!” Alex leaned his elbows against the counter and placed his head in his hands to watch her reaction.

          Jade peered down to the ice cream and tried a part of it. Her eyes lit up and sparkled with admiration. The flavor was on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t figure out what it actually was. It tasted… melon-y. But also with a creamy taste. Oh, well. “I love this!” she beamed. “Holy crap, this is amazing. Wow. Good choice. Such a good choice.” Jade eagerly began eating her ice cream.

          “Haha, you’re cute, you know that?” Alex grinned.

          “Mmhm,” muffled Jade, mouth full of ice cream. “I know,” she said with cheer.

          “Hm.” Alex hummed in thought, watching her finish her ice cream. She must have been hungry, considering how quickly she devoured it. “So what do you do most days? I hardly see you around.”

          Jade held up a finger to him as a gesture she would answer in a moment. She finished her ice cream, including the cone, then wiped her mouth with the napkin she held. “Lots of farming and errand running. I was thinking of foraging and fishing today, then going to the saloon tonight.”

          “Oh, you drink?” Alex asked.

          She shook her head. “No, I’m going to the arcade part. My new friends invited me.”

          “Hmm.” The athlete thought for a moment, but then he came to a realization. “Oh, you mean the big hair, goth kid, and the purple hair girl?”

          Jade laughed. “Well, that’s one thing to call them. Yeah, they’re my friends. You’re my friend, too, you know. At least, I hope so…?”

          “Yes, we’re friends.” Alex calmly smiled. “What do you have in common with those three?”

          “Well, I like to think we like similar things, and we have similar humor. Though I can’t say I’m as mischievous as Seb or maybe Sam. You’ve probably known all of them longer, huh?” Jade stood to the side of the ice cream cart in case any other customer came.

          Alex shrugged and turned to be able to face Jade. “If you want me to be honest, I don’t really know many of them. I’ve been around them for a while, sure, but... everyone has their own thing they do. They have their video games, I have my sports. Meh.”

          “I’m not really a sporty person, but I did have fun today,” Jade replied with a smile. “So, you never know. Maybe more people are like that.”

          “I’m not really interested in making friends all the time, but that’s okay.” Alex sighed, but his expression was gentle and content. “Haley’s fun enough, you’re entertaining. I always got Dusty.”

          “Who is Dusty?”

          “My dog! You should come by someday to see him. Everyone’s scared of him but he’s a big teddy bear.” He was eager to mention Dusty, but then scowled in thought. “Lewis made us put up the fence because some of the townspeople thought he’d attack.”

          Jade frowned at hearing about the fence. “Aw, that’s terrible…” She did recall seeing the large caged area with a doghouse inside, but she didn’t remember seeing the dog himself. “I believe you, though. I have a cat, but he probably wouldn’t get along well with other animals, haha.”

          The young athlete’s mouth stretched into a grin. “So, you like all kinds of animals, huh?”

          Jade nodded. “Well, I am a farmer. I’m going to save up money to afford a place for animals, but I’m still getting used to a lot. It might be a while.”

          “Oh!” Alex stopped leaning against the ice cream cart and joined Jade on the side. “Best of luck, farm girl.”

          “Thank you, Alex!” she beamed in response. “And thanks for the ice cream. I feel a lot better.”

          “What was wrong?” Alex couldn’t help but be curious, but he didn’t really want to push her. The opportunity now was prime.

          The farmer hunched her shoulders shyly. “I… I had a nightmare, and I thought it would be good to say hi to one of the cheeriest people I know.” She averted her eyes, thinking of how to word herself correctly. “And then I need to go out and talk to people more, anyway… so, yeah.”

          “Aww, I’m cheery?”

          “Y-yeah. But I should go forage and fish and stuff now. Money’s not gonna make itself, you know?”

          Alex chuckled. “Yeah, for sure. See ya!”

          “Bye, Alex,” Jade smiled and waved. She left him in better spirits.

          Jade spent the rest of the afternoon foraging Cindersap Forest and tried to practice more fishing. She was able to collect a plethora of sweet pea flowers, spice berries, and the occasional bunches of grapes. She also fished in the river blow Marnie’s ranch and attempted to follow Linus’ advice from earlier. With a quick trip to her house, she had the ice chest available to tote the fish along. She successfully caught four different fish: two sunfish, a chub, and a rainbow trout! After the last fish, she knew she could do nothing else for the day. Too much running around, playing, talking, collecting. She was ready to wind down at the saloon.

          After delivering all of her goods to the shipment bin successfully, she quickly showered and dressed for a fun evening. She wore a thin red graphic t-shirt, a pink and white skirt that went to her knees, black leggings, and her favorite pair of red sneakers. Jade always felt it was needed to treat herself and to take care of her appearance whenever she wasn’t feeling very well. Looking good would help her feel good, she thought. Jade then looked through her small collection of hair accessories and placed a black hairband on her head, behind her ears. “You’re gonna kick ass and see your friends,” she quietly encouraged herself.

          Surprisingly, Jade was the first of her squad to arrive. She walked into the saloon, not many people there yet, but they were coming. For the bartender, Gus, Fridays were always the busiest.

          “Welcome!” Gus greeted with enthusiasm. “I’m glad to see you back here, young farmer. Please enjoy your stay.”

          Jade was surprised to be talked to so early. “U-uh, hi! Th..thanks!” She bowed her head and hastily scanned her surroundings.

          “Gus, gimme a pint of yer strongest!” shouted a raspy middle-aged woman on the far left side of the bar. She burped loudly and slammed an empty mug of beer on the table, causing Jade to flinch back. The bartender smiled in a concerned manner, but did what was requested of him. Jade simply waved to them and began making her way towards the arcade.

          At a nearby table, she saw Willy again. She forgot that she saw him the previous week, but now it all came together. She still couldn’t recognize the guy who came to sit beside him, but Willy passed her a knowing glance and she kindly nodded her head towards him as she passed on. Near the entrance to the arcade stood a very unfriendly fellow. She had also seen him before, but he didn’t seem interested in talking. He wore a casual outfit-- blue zipper hoodie, green shirt, dark shorts and shoes-- and he was drinking a mug of beer. Jade still couldn’t bring herself to wave at him, since his glare was so... strong. She didn’t want to bother him.

          Finally, the arcade. The young farmer ventured into the area she became so comfortable with the previous week. The pool table was a mess of balls like before, which implied that the trio were the only ones to really play in the arcade room. She began setting up the pool table for a game when she heard the enthusiastic boom of a fellow arcade user.

          “Holy crap, Jade, is that you?” Abigail laughed as she walked in. “You’re so cute!! I’ve never seen you outside of your dirty farm clothes!” Jade stopped messing with the pool table once she heard Abigail and turned to see her.

          “Hey, Abby!” Jade waved somewhat shyly. “Aww, thank you... I thought I’d try to look nice since I’m done with dirty work for today.”

          “Well trust me, you’re adorable. May the bromance commence,” Abigail said with a wink.

          Jade giggled and playfully shoved her. “Yeah, yeah. Wanna play that game now, then?”

          Abigail’s eyes brightened upon hearing about the game. “Yeah! I’ve been playing all day! Watch the pros.” The young adventurer confidently strut over to the arcade machine titled ‘Journey of the Prairie King’ and started the game up. “Co-op time! Come here, Jadey.”

          The young farmer joined Abigail and took the side of the arcade machine that her friend did not occupy. “Okay, how do I play?”

          “Pfft, easy. Shoot everything that moves, collect power-ups, survive.

          “Oh, shoot-em-ups! I love these. And this is co-op? That’s so cool.” Jade grinned with excitement. “Let’s go!”

          As hard as Abigail tried to play, it was obvious that Jade was the better player... by a long mile. Jade wouldn’t have believed Abigail practiced if she didn’t mention it before, but she was having a lot of fun. Abigail was grinning and laughing, which is what mattered the most.

          Jade grew somewhat distracted from the game when she heard Sebastian’s voice near the entrance. His voice grew louder as he was approaching the arcade room. Jade glanced out of the area to see that he was walking alongside Sam, who was listening with an amused grin.

          “So then the entire top floor is soaked because Yoba forbid we not have a sprinkler anywhere-- alarm is beeping, mom is screeching like a demon, and Maru and Demetrius are arguing. Then of course, Mom beats on my door furiously to help her clean up the mess that the other two made and my entire day was wasted mopping the floors and drying all the books that got wet.” Sebastian sighed with utmost irritation, an extremely grumpy expression on his visage.

          “Was your room safe?” Sam asked, trying his best to not laugh.

          “Everyone would be dead if they ruined my computer, Sam.” He narrowed his eyes. “Everyone.”

          “Heyy guys!” Sam laughed when he saw Abigail and Jade. “Let’s have an extra fun night for Grumpy, here.”

          “Hi, Sam! Hi, Seb,” Jade giggled. “I overheard a little. You were there when the fire alarm went off?” Her focus went back to the screen, especially since Abigail was grunting in frustration at getting crowded in-game. Abigail was on her last life, while Jade still had three lives. She was able to keep Abigail from losing her last life, and they were able to get to the next level.

          Sebastian and Sam wandered over to see the game the other two were playing. “Yeah, did my mother tell you?” the grumpier one asked.

          “I was actually just leaving the carpenter shop when it happened. If I knew you were there, I would have stolen you away, hehe!”

          The raven-haired man sighed. “As nice of a thought that is, no one can escape my mother’s clutches. I’m always the errand boy.”

          “He secretly loves it,” Sam chimed in.

          “Shut up,” Sebastian deadpanned in response. The taller one couldn’t help but laugh.

          “All of you shut up! We’re busy kickin’ ass!” shouted Abigail. She was trying to joke, but there was certainly a smidge of seriousness in her voice.

          Jade chuckled and gestured to the screen, “there’s no ass to kick in that corner, Abby.” Abigail’s character was blindly running in the corner while Jade was defeating all the enemies that ran out into the field.

          Abigail blinked in surprise. “Oh. Whoops. Lookin’ at wrong character.”

          “Suuuure,” Sam said, chuckling. “You’re pretty good though, Jade. Also, you look so cute today!”

          “Aww, thank you!” Jade briefly turned to look at Sam with bashfulness, then Sebastian, who was still trying to calm down from his previous rant.

          “Seb thinks you’re cute too,” he said, throwing an arm over Sebastian’s shoulders.

          “Shut. Up.” Sebastian grit his teeth while he spoke.

          Jade giggled and turned back towards the game. “Aw, it’s alright. Hey, how much is pizza? I could buy today.”

          Sam gasped aloud. “Pizza!” he beamed. “No, no. I’ll get it. Take care of Grumpy.” He unwrapped his arm from Sebastian and gave him a hearty pat on the back as he walked off, back towards the saloon’s bar.

          Simultaneously, Abigail lost her last life. “Dammit!” the young adventurer shouted in discontent. “That’s the farthest I’ve ever been!”

          “That was level 3,” Jade hummed, raising an eyebrow.

          “Yeah! I can barely beat the first level!” Abigail sighed proudly. “That was fun, but this game pisses me off. I forgot how much it pisses me off.”

          Jade chuckled. “You done, then?”

          She huffed. “Yes. Go beat Seb’s ass now.”

          “Excuse me?” Sebastian lifted his head from hearing his name. “And what did I do?” he inquired, a little bit of sass in his voice.

          Jade turned away from the game and crossed her arms confidently towards Sebastian. “Oh, yeah. We have a score to settle!” She stomped up towards him and tried to stand up tall. Instinctively, Sebastian did the same, realizing she was about to challenge him. “Pool. You and me. Let’s go.”

          Sebastian smirked. “Ah, didn’t you learn from last time? Are you really sure you want to go against me?” He leaned in towards her face threateningly. “No one has been able to defeat me.”

          “Yet.” She poked his chest and grinned. “We’ll see who comes out victorious.”

          Abigail gasped, mouth gaped open in shock from the bantering. “Sam should bring some popcorn instead, damn... Knock him off his high horse, Jadey!” she shouted, cupping her hands around her mouth.

          Jade and Sebastian stood at their separate ends of the pool table, both glaring to each other with competitive fire in their eyes. Their game started rather calmly, with sprinkles of banter thrown about through their game. Sam returned with a large plate of pizza and Abigail joined him while they ate. Instead of stopping to eat with them, Abigail brought the both of them plates to sit on the side of the pool table so they could eat while they concentrated. This game was serious, this time.

          And... Sebastian narrowly won. Again. Jade was slowly getting better, he could tell. One thing that he learned about Jade was that she was an adept learner, and soon enough they would probably be head-to-head with pool matches. Until then, though, he thoroughly enjoyed his victory. “Whoo!” he beamed, lifting the pool cue stick above his head. “Still got it!”

          “Man, I was so close, too!” huffed Jade. “One more game.”

          Sebastian laughed. “Okay, fi-

          “Wait,” Jade suddenly interrupted. She knew what happened last week, and didn’t want to leave Abigail out again. “Sorry, Seb. Maybe Abby could play, actually.”

          The young adventurer was surprised to be mentioned. “What?” she asked, then looking at the pool table nervously. “Oh, no, no. It’s fine. I’m not good at those games.”

          “Aw, have you ever tried it before? I’ve never played pool before last week, you know.” Jade pouted. “Maybe you’ll have fun.”

          “You can take my place if you want,” Sebastian offered, stepping away from the pool table to give Abigail the cue stick. At first, the young adventurer hesitated. By glancing at Jade, though, she smiled. She kindly took the cue stick and walked over to the pool table while Jade reset the game. Sebastian sat in Abigail’s previous seat and watched while eating one of the last slices of pizza.

          Abigail was exceedingly terrible at playing, but she was ecstatic to be included. The rest of the night was spent with the group of four happily conversing, switching turns while playing games, and just having an enjoyable time together. Sam actually managed to win a game against Abigail, but lost sorely to Jade and, of course, Sebastian. The two better players went against each other once more, but Sebastian continued to prove himself as the better player. Winning against Jade entertained him the most, since it only made her try even harder the next time. He noticed how worked up and excited she became to prove herself.

          Saloon night was a success. They enjoyed themselves much more than they have in a while. Abigail actually stayed much longer than she usually did, and all four of them were exhausted when their night concluded. Abigail shoved Sam playfully and hugged Jade goodnight before waving to all of them and leaving. Sam was the next to go, leaving Sebastian and Jade to walk out together.

          “Sam seemed to get on your nerves today, huh?” Jade chuckled as they walked out together. The loud saloon was replaced with the quiet chirping of nighttime creatures. Both of them began walking down the street that was just to the side of the town square.

          “Nah, I’m used to it,” Sebastian replied with the roll of his eyes and a smirk. “Sam’s just Sam, really.”

          The young farmer nodded in agreement. “Certainly. I had a blast tonight, though. What about you?”

          “Yeah, we haven’t all just hung out like that in a while. I got tired of only playing against Sam. Thanks,” he replied, faintly smiling. “You’re not a bad opponent.”

          “Soon, I’ll beat you. Soon!” She chuckled.

          “I won’t make it easy,” Sebastian playfully huffed.

          The two stopped when their paths were going to diverge. Jade had to continue heading west, while Sebastian had to travel up north. Jade noticed he wasn’t walking away, so she wondered if he had anything to say.

          “... Hey,” he began.

          “Hm?” The young farmer kept her attention focused on him.

          “You said you’ve never played Solarion Chronicles, right? The game?” Sebastian asked with curiosity.

          “I’ve never played, but I would love to try,” she confirmed.

          Sebastian scratched the side of his head and averted his eyes. “Oh. Cool. Well… most Saturday nights, Sam and I play Solarion Chronicles at my house.” He glanced back to her. “I was wondering if you’d like to join us.”

          A gigantic smile stretched across Jade's face. “I’d love to!” she excitedly replied. “Should I bring anything? Like a character sheet or whatever. That’s the kind of game this is, right?”

          Sebastian shook his head, smiling. “Just bring yourself. I’ll take care of the rest. You know where my house is, yeah?”

          “Mmhm.”

          “Cool. Um… See you later, Jade.” Sebastian crossed his arms and began walking away. “Oh, and take that same gaming spirit with you.”

          “You bet I will!” Jade watched him leave, then continuing in the direction towards her own house. Saloon nights, then game nights. A rough start to the day brought a satisfying ending to the night.




          Very character centered, this chapter is. Well... okay, that's most of them. But we get to see Alex again! He will definitely appear more. Writing this honestly made me realize how... lonely he is? He's a very interesting character that I feel not many people try to explore. Spreading some Alex love.

          And of course... SALOON NIIIGHHHTTTT! I freakin love saloon nights. The squad is always so fun to write, since I love their interactions with each other.

          I don't really have too much to say this chapter, but this is certainly one of those chapters that really show Jade's personality, or at least her state of being at the time. Fairly playful, tries to listen to everybody (sometimes to a fault), likes sweet food, evades the truth a little bit, has a competitive spirit very similar to Sebastian's. All very fun to write about. I'm learning about her, too!

          Anyways, please enjoy another chapter shortly after my previous one. I want to wait but honestly, I get way too excited and I wanna see what you guys think.

          I have a lot of fun stuff planned for the future!
           
          • mrobake

            mrobake Zero Gravity Genie

            Yo, that opening chapter though. Suspense. Horror. Shocking. 10/10.
            And that sassy girl too. Love her grudgeness.
            And the hanging out at the saloon. Now i remember where you get the inspiration. That fanart :poke:
             
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            • Tsukuru

              Tsukuru Pangalactic Porcupine

              The beginning of the chapter with the nightmare felt powerful! It's easy to forget about Jade's demons when my first impressions of her were from the silly comics, and when even in this story she's mostly positive. To have it brought up that way was a good shake-up.

              I loved the bit with Alex and the fact that he "turned nice" quite fast. I share your sentiment about his character. As for Haley, I can't bring myself to care much for her, but I think that was pretty accurate. Even sassier than when first met in the game but it's understandable when she had to miss out on her favorite event of the year.

              And then you fixed me right up with a saloon night which I fucking adore too! It's all great, but what I liked the most was how you tied the accident at Robin's house with Sebastian showing up at the saloon not in the best of moods and elaborating on the reason for that. Also, Jade actually improving at the game and eventually potentially matching/defeating Sebastian is pretty exciting!

              *Feedback truck drives away after dumping it all on you*
               
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              • Gabaw

                Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                @Tsukuru haha here comes another dump truck. Special delivery for @MagicallyClueless! yeah but that intro tho wow, had to pull out the duckling print covers to hide under lol. 2spooky! That was a great scene. I love horror stuff but I suck at writing it so glad someone knows how to do it well :p Anyway, the scene with Alex was very nice and sweet and all that sappy stuff that makes me wanna vomit because feelings are hard :rofl: Haley never fails to enrage. You can just feel the blood pressure rising... Thank God for that most excellent saloon night. Now that's a good time!! and by pure coincidence I was listening to Poison's "Nothin's but a Good Time" lmao! fits so well. Loved that scene too like you other folks did. So in conclusion, there was a wide range of emotions elicited in this chapter and you nailed them all on the head.

                wanted to add that definitely glad you started writing for this again even with all the other stuff you already do.
                 
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                • MagicallyClueless

                  MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                  I love your whole post, but I wanna draw attention to this because I wanna explain my farmer a little more. I know you weren't confused about it, but i was always a little paranoid about this so i'd like to talk about it some more!

                  Jade started out as a self-insert OC so she was pretty much just me, but farm-y. I began drawing my farmer in a lot of comics, and of course they were silly and full of shenanigans. HOWEVER, I got inspired to start a fanfic, and I didn't want a self-insert OC as the main character (but I already had a lot established for her!)

                  So, I intentionally changed her entire story and definitely tried to make her something else, but since I already started drawing my self-insert comics, I continue to show her in those. Basically, my "game farmer" is in the silly comics and my "fanfic farmer" is told from a more serious outlook, with a completely different story. I tend to treat them like different people, or at the very least, my "game farmer" is a much more exaggerated, silly version of "fanfic farmer". My silly comics will usually have 0 to do with the fanfic other than visuals, unless I explicitly state it. I wish I made the transition more graceful, but I was too deep into already establishing her as a character before I could truly separate them. Fanfic farmer and Game farmer are both important to me in different ways and I'm a big weirdo.

                  To your comment though, yay Alex love! And haha, yeah, I made Haley a little more hostile than she would normally be because of the Flower Dance. She is not part of the Jade fanclub. I've been trying to figure out character relationships and how they progress as well; I know in the game you can gift and talk every day, but with the fic, they bond and they can get along in other ways. So, I think friendship can build a little faster. (and relationships may crumble faster as well?) Not to mention, some personalities just click better than others do!

                  Grumpy Sebastian is Best Sebastian
                   
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                  • MagicallyClueless

                    MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                    BONUUUSSSSSSS!

                    I wanted to draw Jade's different outfits for the funs. Also, I absolutely did not fact-check my fic to draw these so some details may be off lmao. And a few of these are not in the fic yet!

                    [​IMG]
                    [​IMG]

                    yet
                     
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                    • Villain_In_Glasses

                      Villain_In_Glasses Seal Broken

                      I don't think my eyes can expand any larger to hold all that cuteness O.O
                      But my mind still craves moar story! Moar lighthearted development of friendships interspersed with chilling glances into Jade's past! MOAAARRR!
                       
                      • Rauchschwalbe

                        Rauchschwalbe Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                        I looooove your fanfiction! And yes, Saloon Nights are the best! It's so cool how you merge your own ideas with the events from the game and how colourful and detailed you're describing things.
                        I can't wait for next chapters! You made me addicted! :D
                         
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                        • MagicallyClueless

                          MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                          okay so i've been laughing at myself for half an hour because of this IM conversation and this one part which WILL HOPEFULLY STAY IN THE FINAL DRAFT but screw it i'm going to share it here anyway

                          JADE: hey tho, i will never reject a steamy hot plate of spaghetti. that is the only way to a woman’s heart

                          SEBASTIAN: I’ve learned that the hard way

                          JADE: sounds like you’re full of regretti

                          SEBASTIAN: holy shit

                          i'm very sleep deprived please help me i shouldn't be writing so late
                           
                          • Gabaw

                            Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                            when you awake again. you will see the true genius you have bestowed upon us today. keep it. omfg plz. it's too good.
                             
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                            • Rauchschwalbe

                              Rauchschwalbe Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                              never forgetti mom`s spaghetti
                               
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                              • Risukage

                                Risukage Giant Laser Beams

                                No, it's not just you, that's funny. In fairness, the two separate IM conversations with the group had me in giggle fits every time I read them, so maybe there's something inherently funny about chat logs. :)
                                 
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                                • MagicallyClueless

                                  MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                                  i have had some sleep now and i'm still laughing about it
                                  i could fIT SPAGHETTI INTO THE CONVERSATION AND I AM KEEPING IT
                                   
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                                  • Risukage

                                    Risukage Giant Laser Beams

                                    FFS, I can't brain in the morning! The "two separate IM convo" remark was in reference to the ones in my fic, just to clarify. Not to say that yours aren't amusing as well, because they've made me smile, too, I just felt the need to annotate that because I had all of two hours of sleep and holy crap I still got up an update despite that. :p

                                    Your spaghetti comic still makes me giggle. Heeeeee...
                                     
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                                    • MagicallyClueless

                                      MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                                      ahahha, i understand what you meant! no worries! xD
                                      we all have horrible sleep schedules let's be honest
                                       
                                      • MagicallyClueless

                                        MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                                        HAHA WHOOPS *SPILLS OUT ANOTHER CHAPTER*



                                        For the first time in a while, Farmer Jade’s day was rather uneventful. At the very least, she was able to hone many skills she felt she would need in the long-run; more foraging in the forest, fishing more big hauls to store in the shipping bin, and even practicing her sword fighting on the training dummy she made just for the purpose. She didn’t see anyone at all, but it was needed on her end. Too much interaction with too many people caused her to feel exhausted, and she had been interacting with far too many people lately.

                                        Despite her aversion towards engaging in social interaction too often, Jade still felt excited to join Sebastian and Sam for game night. Meeting them would be a great excuse to play games and relax, and she would still manage to fulfill some sort of unspoken social quota. She was proud of herself for being able to successfully include Abigail the previous night, but she realized that Abigail wasn’t necessarily mentioned for game night. Hopefully Abigail just wasn’t interested in Solarion Chronicles.

                                        All of Jade’s crops were carefully watered; still growing. She hated how long they were taking to bear fruit, but they had to have some sort of value to them if they were going to take such a long time. After taking care of the crops, she collected her pay from the mail and read whatever letters she had before calling it a day and venturing back into her home.

                                        After a shower and a half-heartedly crafted meal, the young farmer tried to treat herself and dress comfortably once more. The blistering heat outside didn’t take a shine to the warmer clothes she preferred, but she stubbornly continued to wear a dark blue pair of jeans. Instead of her usual white shirt, however, she took to a raspberry colored tank top instead. As always, though, she wore a black choker layered with her special emerald pendant.

                                        “I’ve been thinking about the squad an awful lot,” Jade sighed to herself. She only really got to spend time with the three of them at once during saloon nights, so she already missed the feeling. The week would hopefully go by quickly, if it meant she could grow closer to her peers. Thinking about the trio reminded her that she could message all of them from her computer upstairs... but...

                                        Upstairs. A chill went up Jade’s spine as she was reminded of her previous nightmare, again. Evening was approaching, too. She couldn’t keep doing this. After the young farmer dressed for a relaxing evening, she stared to the staircase that led to the higher floor of her house. Jade was frozen in the middle of her living room for an absurdly long amount of time.

                                        “No. Stop doing this to yourself,” she grunted to herself in discontent, clenching her fists. With a deep breath, Jade gathered up the courage to ascend the staircase. The game room was just as she had left it... including the broken phone in the trash can. The young farmer sighed and took out the trash bag that contained only a small collection of junk, but she knew she needed to get it out of the house.

                                        Blip! Jade suddenly flinched and covered her ears, dropping the trash bag she collected. Wait... it was from the computer. Blip! There it went again. Jade slowly untensed and went to examine her computer. She turned the monitor on, revealing a new message window addressed to her:


                                        SEBASTIAN: Hey

                                        SEBASTIAN: Ready for game night?



                                        Oh, it was Sebastian. Jade calmly smiled, knowing it was him. She sat in her computer seat to reply; she didn’t have anything else but game night to look forward to, anyway. She could afford to goof off for a little while.


                                        JADE: hey! heck yeah i am. just got done with my work day actually

                                        SEBASTIAN: Nice, me too. What does your work day even consist of?

                                        JADE: lots of desperate foraging for pocket change and aggressively staring at my plants


                                        SEBASTIAN: I thought you were supposed to sing to plants

                                        JADE: no, you have to show them who the alpha is. it’s farming 101 seb, trust me. i’ve been doing this for...

                                        JADE: dang

                                        JADE: like... a week and a half maybe?

                                        JADE: anyways i’m a pro


                                        SEBASTIAN: Ha, for some reason it feels like you’ve been here longer than that

                                        JADE: yeah, i know. i feel really at home!



                                        The young farmer relaxed back in her seat and smiled as she read the messages. She really did feel like the home was becoming hers. During more relaxing days, she could reflect on all of her work and progress and just appreciate living in such a beautiful area.


                                        SEBASTIAN: Could be that pro-ness doing that for you

                                        SEBASTIAN: Anyways, I wanted to message you to confirm if you’ve played any tabletops at all before

                                        SEBASTIAN: Due to past experiences, I just want to be able to give you a rundown before you come here


                                        JADE: past experiences?

                                        SEBASTIAN: Yeahhh, I’d rather not get into it

                                        JADE: it was abby wasn’t it. can you even godmod in tabletops

                                        SEBASTIAN: The fact that you know what the word godmod is makes me feel so much better. Come to your own conclusions with the rest.

                                        JADE: lmao

                                        JADE: so is that why you didn’t mention abby when you asked me yesterday?


                                        SEBASTIAN: Games that take a lot more patience aren’t really her style, so it’ll just be us three

                                        SEBASTIAN: That’s assuming Sam even comes. He hasn’t been answering my messages


                                        JADE: sounds like another maniacal plan of robin’s

                                        JADE: gotta trap two single attractive people in the same room

                                        JADE: take away big hair to ignite the ultimate scheme


                                        SEBASTIAN: Ugh, I hate how right you are with that

                                        SEBASTIAN: By the way, I’m sorry for all her earlier behavior

                                        SEBASTIAN: My mother can be unbearable. I know I’ve apologized for it before but considering recent events, she will honestly not shut up about you

                                        SEBASTIAN: It’s like, I walk upstairs and I’m up there for not even three seconds before she goes “Have you seen Jade yet?! Is she okay??? Maybe she’s hungry, go take her some spaghetti, tell me how it goes!!!”


                                        JADE: awwww she’s so caring. don’t worry about it, my mom was the same. she’d be asking me about every guy in town, ESPECIALLY if he was new and single. bonus points if ready to mingle

                                        JADE: hey tho, i will never reject a steamy hot plate of spaghetti. that is the only way to a woman’s heart


                                        SEBASTIAN: I’ve learned that the hard way

                                        JADE: sounds like you’re full of regretti

                                        SEBASTIAN: holy shit



                                        Jade was giggling to herself. The opportunity opened for a pun and she went for it. At first, she felt paranoid to try to crack jokes in an online format, where sarcasm could not be as easily detected. Luckily, Sebastian was easy to pick up on her words, which relieved her a great amount.


                                        SEBASTIAN: Can you pls answer my earlier question before I regretti you off a cliff

                                        JADE: LMAO

                                        JADE: no, i haven’t really played tabletops. but i’m very open to learning!!


                                        SEBASTIAN: It might be hard to win your first scenario but once you get a hang of how the game goes, you’ll be fine

                                        JADE: tell me everything your masterful mind knows



                                        Sebastian began explaining the general rules about the game they were going to play and asked the occasional question to try to understand Jade’s grasp of the game. More questions arose as they tried to decide what play style and gaming class may best fit her. Jade certainly enjoyed discussing in-depth gaming with Sebastian, especially since it was obvious that not many of the townspeople were very interested. She also felt somewhat sorry for him, since Abigail didn’t really seem to be so invested and Sam is... Sam. Fortunately for him, Jade was just as interested and enjoyed surprising others with her bouts of knowledge, gaming or otherwise.

                                        While they were in the middle of their discussion, the sun had already set behind the trees and mountains. Jade briefly stood out of her seat and glanced out one of the nearby windows. She supposed it was just about time to leave considering how dark it was getting, but as she almost turned around to go notify Sebastian, something caught her eye.

                                        “Little... bastard!”


                                        JADE: SLIME

                                        JADE: THERE’S A SLIME ON MY FARM

                                        JADE: sorry but i have to go now!! i’ll see you in a little bit.


                                        SEBASTIAN: What color is it

                                        JADE: only the most disgusting green imaginable!!

                                        SEBASTIAN: Are you seriously freaking out about a green slime?

                                        SEBASTIAN: You can hit them with a twig you find on the ground and they explode from the impact


                                        JADE: those little bastards ruined my favorite pair of pants and nearly overwhelmed me!!

                                        SEBASTIAN: Are you only infuriated because of a pair of pants

                                        JADE: MAYBE

                                        JADE: anyways bye!!



                                        Jade didn’t even take the time to sign off of her computer, and instead took off with great speed downstairs. She rushed outside, grabbed her sword she left outside for practice, and took off near the side of her field. She could tell the creature was curious about the crops she had been steadily growing.

                                        “Hey! You!!” Jade shouted aggressively, running over to the slime. “I’m not afraid to destroy you!”

                                        The green slime didn’t launch towards Jade, surprisingly enough. It actually rolled back and carefully watched the farmer.

                                        “Shoo! Shoo before I kill you!”

                                        ... The slime... listened? It saw the sword and rolled away, revealing the spot that it was able to squeeze through. Jade followed the slime at a distance to see the opening. “Are you kidding me? A new fence and those pricks managed to make a hole just small enough?” she grumbled angrily to herself, but at least she didn’t have to get herself covered in slime goo. It was possible that the forest slimes were getting used to the boundaries of the farmland, or realized that its owner was furiously guarding the territory.

                                        A victory is a victory, so Jade didn’t really mind. She ventured back to her porch, tossed her sword right inside the house, and went to go collect all of her trash in the house. Armed with only a small collection of trash bags, Jade set off towards town to be on time for game night.

                                        Why was there no actual dumpster available in such a town? Was there a dumpsite nearby? If there was, Jade really could not figure out where it was. She walked out of Cindersap Forest and begrudgingly traveled into the town while toting all of her garbage. She noticed Sam walked out from the nearby blue house and stopped to greet him.

                                        "Oh, there you are, Sam!" Jade yelled in greeting. She waved to him with her free hand while he walked over.

                                        "Was I anywhere?" Sam asked with a chuckle, going up to her. "Hey, you going to Seb's?"

                                        Jade nodded. "Uh huh, and I'm going to take this trash out... Uh, before we continue, is there a dump anywhere?"

                                        "Does Lewis not have a trashcan in front of your house? A truck comes by." Sam guided her over to a large trash can in front of his house and helped her dispose the garbage.

                                        "Well damn, I guess they don't know I live there yet. I can't blame them." She sighed and dusted her hands on her pants. "Anyways, let's go."

                                        The two traveled through the town square together to reach the mountain range. Jade noticed how much calmer Sam was when he only had few people around, but she was glad to see that side of him. Sam seemed gentle and relaxed, which was a vibe that she didn't often get from him. It was nice.

                                        "Seb was concerned you weren't coming," Jade began as they walked together. "He said you weren't replying to his messages."

                                        Sam suddenly laughed. "Did he really say that? Why am I not surprised," he chuckled. "Seb's so ridiculous about stuff like that, and yet he never tells anyone anything."

                                        "Aww, it's always good to be prepared, you know! Speaking of prepared, he gave me a lecture on the game."

                                        "Ha! What class did he say you'd be good with?" Sam glanced down to the farmer.

                                        "He said warriors are an easier class, but he could see me with a magic class. We were still deciding before I left, but I think I'd make a pretty darn good summoner." Jade proudly crossed her arms and nodded to herself with confidence. "It's a more complicated class, but he thinks I can handle it."

                                        The young part-timer shrugged and smirked. "Hey, that means I get warrior. I've always been better with brute strength. Seb's the one that has to make it complicated with unnecessary strategy."

                                        Jade glanced to him with amusement, then forward again as they continued onward. Sebastian and Sam's complete contrast entertained her since they were so close, but seemed to butt heads in both personality and preference within their common interests. Arguing like a husband and wife, Jade remembered Abigail saying. What a great comparison!

                                        "Well, how fun would it be if you just one-hit KO'd every monster? It'd get boring!" the young farmer played devil's advocate.

                                        "Oh, I know," Sam replied in agreement, "but I'm not about that constant support setup and using specific items or whatever. NEVER play Minimon with Seb, unless you want to pull all of your hair out and dangle him over a damn balcony."

                                        Jade went into a fit of giggles. "It's that bad?" she asked. "Now you make me want to!"

                                        "You enjoy suffering, don't you? You're just as horrible as him!" Sam lightly shoved the young farmer, causing her to playfully hit him back. They continued with their simple chatting until they reached the carpenter's house. The sight was so familiar and so welcoming to Jade; the mountains were just as lovely if not more lovely than the forest towards the southwest. Jade was about to enter the house, but Sam lightly tugged on her arm. "Seb's probably busy getting cancer," Sam huffed, looking out towards the lake. "Yo! Smokey!"

                                        Sebastian stood out at the edge of the lake, smoking a cigarette. His head lifted up more when he heard Sam's voice, and looked over to see the both of them. Both Sam and Jade waved eagerly to their raven-haired friend and shouted for him to come over.

                                        Sebastian chucked the bud of his cigarette into a nearby trash can and approached the two with a calm expression. "Hey," he said to the both of them, but then looked to Jade. "Has the slime issue been resolved?"

                                        Jade huffed aloud and crossed her arms again. "Yeah, if you must know!"

                                        The raven-haired man smirked in amusement, but decided not to prod Jade any further. He was the first to venture over to the carpenter shop’s front door and went inside, the other two following behind. Robin wasn’t at the front desk, so she was most likely out collecting wood.

                                        “I’ve been in the shop quite a few times, but I just realized I’ve never been to your room, Seb.” Jade clapped her hands together and innocently smiled. “This must be nice, huh?”

                                        “It’s not really that big of a deal, but sure, go nuts.” Sebastian walked to the right from the shop and descended the stairs that were hidden at the bottom of the home’s hallway. Near the end of the stairs was a doorway, which then led to Sebastian’s basement of a room.

                                        His room was fairly dim in lighting, but very huge as well as cozy; there was a large black sofa, a big table with a tabletop game and chairs, rows of bookshelves and a bed that faced the far corner of the room. Posters of various video games, books, and bands adorned the gray cinderblock walls. The farmer found herself staring at the posters... she was impressed. Over to the far corner of the room was a large square desk with two computers placed on top of them. The older computer of the two was off, but the newer computer had been turned on and illuminated the wall it was facing.

                                        The three entered the room, feet creaking on the old wooden floorboards. “Oh wow, I love your room!” Jade beamed, trotting over to the northern wall to better examine the posters. She gasped when she caught sight of one of the bookshelves and eagerly ventured over to look at them; in her excitement, however, she bumped into an end table with an old radio. “Whoops.” She carefully moved the table back to the wall, before going to the far end of the room.

                                        Sam laughed. “You like this nasty old basement?” he asked.

                                        Sebastian glared at him and shoved him over to the game table. “Better than your kiddie room,” he scoffed.

                                        A large gasp emerged from the farmer. She kneeled down at one of the bookshelves and marvelled at Sebastian’s collection. “Ca...Cave Saga! You have the latest issue!!” She almost greedily reached for the graphic novel she was staring at, but looked back to Sebastian with a sad, nearly puppylike expression. “Can... Can I look at it? Please?”

                                        Sebastian emitted a sigh and sat at the game table, elbows leaning before the game board. “I dunno... Are you worthy?” he asked, narrowing his eyes.

                                        “I am not! But, I beg.” Jade jokingly bowed over to the two at the other end of the room, forehead against the floor.

                                        “Hmmmmm...” Sebastian scratched his chin. “Maybe you’ll be worthy if you can pass a scenario first try.” He smiled. “Come over here, it’s time to start the game.” He watched as the farmer hopped up and obediently joined the other two at the table. “Ready?” he asked.

                                        “Yes!” Jade beamed.

                                        “You know the drill for me,” Sam responded with a grin. “Let’s do this.”

                                        For the majority of the night, the three engaged in a very intense of game of Solarion Chronicles. Sam was the Warrior, Sebastian the Wizard, and Jade the Summoner, all holding unique attributes of their own and the determination to complete their valiant quest as a team. Sam was possibly the most important in helping the game progress, since both Jade and Sebastian would begin theorizing and trying to figure out the best means for strategy, which then led into what-ifs and debates. Sam became more of a mediator in the best strategies and kept the both of them from getting too carried away with their ideas. The blond didn’t really mind, but he felt like he was dealing with two Sebastians instead of just the normal one... Which he absolutely loved. The other one was just slightly smaller, and held an endless supply of enthusiastic energy. And maybe less broody.

                                        They completed the game with a rank B, mostly because Jade was very new at the game and the class she chose for herself wasn’t exactly the easiest for beginners. Regardless, both Sebastian and Sam were impressed, especially the former with how dedicated she was to the game and its lore. Sebastian was still trying to get used to the idea that more than one person in Pelican Town actually had such similar interests, but he found it a pleasant surprise.

                                        “That was awesome. How good is a rank B?” Jade curiously asked, helping the other two reset the table.

                                        “It’s not bad at all. The highest you can get is an A, so yeah,” Sebastian replied with a lighter air in his voice. “I was a lot worse when I first started playing.”

                                        Jade proudly polished her knuckles against her shirt and had a smug composure. “Maybe I’m just a natural,” she obnoxiously yawned, causing Sebastian to click his tongue in defiance.

                                        “Oh, please. I was giving you the easy strategies,” the raven-haired man replied with a smirk.

                                        “Ladies, ladies, you’re both beautiful,” Sam laughed, getting up from the table. “Time for me to head out though. No cat fights while I’m gone!”

                                        “No promises,” Sebastian casually answered. “Bye, Sam.” He smiled.

                                        “Bye, Sam!” Jade beamed in response. They watched their spiky-haired friend leave, then looked back to each other. “I guess that’s my cue to leave as well,” she kindly concluded.

                                        “Fine with me,” Sebastian replied and stood up from the table, giving her the same faint smile. “Thanks for playing with us.”

                                        Jade stood up after he did and bowed her head. “I had so much fun, so I should be thanking you instead! I’d love to do this again.”

                                        “Oh, for sure. Well... aren’t you forgetting something?” Sebastian crossed his arms.

                                        “What?” The young farmer glanced away confusedly, trying to recall.

                                        The raven-haired man didn’t seem surprised. “Cave Sa-

                                        She loudly gasped. “Cave Saga!! I can borrow it?!”

                                        Sebastian chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, but this means I can borrow your games and comics now.”

                                        “I’m cool with that!” Jade eagerly ran over to the bookshelf she scanned previously and carefully removed the graphic novel of her choice. “But my collection of comics isn’t nearly as impressive as yours. You’re honestly the best, thank you.”

                                        “Uh huh,” Sebastian acknowledged with a much more cheerful expression. Jade didn’t have her backpack with her this time, but she held the graphic novel tightly to herself. She bowed again and started to leave the room.

                                        “Goodnight, Seb!” Jade waved with her free hand before disappearing back upstairs.

                                        “Night, Jade.”




                                        I'M ON A ROLL AND I'M GOING TO RECKLESSLY POST THINGS

                                        But, this is a very chill chapter and some more character bonding. Considering the rockiness of some previous chapters, we're gonna give Jadey a lil break.

                                        I... had an absolute blast. With the dialogue. I love Jade's sarcasm online and Sebastian is always such a bundle of freakin joy to write, I love them all. Sam is the down-to-earth husband

                                        Anyways, I thought I'd let you guys know that the chapter formula is going to change soon. So far, we've been doing everything day-by-day. But as Summer drones on, Jade will eventually get into a routine that she can handle and who knows what she'll do during that time. More character bonding, more conversations, lots of exploring and quality time, etc. I can't keep track of her, she's too wild! But realistically, we'll be skipping some Summer days and probably some Fall days too, with how I want my story to go. I'll be able to recap and pacing is something I pride myself on with this story, so if I skip days, they are for pretty good reasons. I think I will write the next day in the next chapter, but after that, we'll be getting dangerously close to the Luau, and a LOT of stuff is happening after that. So, stay tuned!
                                         
                                        • Rauchschwalbe

                                          Rauchschwalbe Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                          Magic, you always ligthen up my day with your fanfiction!
                                          IAnd i love how you always have the right amount of action and relaxation over the chapters. It´s so good...admit it, you have a masterplan and all chapters are written yet! :D
                                           
                                            Gabaw and MagicallyClueless like this.

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