”We are here, milady. If I am not mistaken, this town is called Nistyburl. After getting new clothes, I believe we should study some of the common sense of this world.”
Swiftly, the two shadows that were once standing at a cliff near the town, seeing it from afar, moved as if they weren´t there to begin with. Whether it was day or night, for the two of them, going unnoticed was as easy as breathing, and that being for when they were still at Liv Ner, where experts of their level were commonplace. In this world, it wouldn´t be even a bit weird if there wasn´t anyone capable of noticing their presence. For the untrained eyes of the townspeople, just with their speed and their soundless and careful movements, even if they were to go through someone´s line of sight, it would be impossible for them to even notice the blur of their movement.
Within a few breaths, they were already near their target: a shop that sold all kind of commodities, including clothes. As expected, in a blink of an eye, they already finished dealing with what they had to do there. Although it could be said that it was shameless of them to steal from some mediocre shop, they had no money, but more than anything, due to how they were dressed, suspicion would arise and only unneeded problems would come with it. In the end, although to experts of their level, lowering oneself to bully the weak would still be considered to be something disgraceful, ultimately, it still didn´t mean anything for them not to do it if they wanted to. Because of their nature and lack of necessity, they didn´t take anything besides a set of clothes with them. If they needed to get something else, they could get some of it anytime without problems, so it wasn´t something to consider.
After that, they went up onto a building tall enough for nobody to be able to see them up there even if one were to casually look up to the sky. According to Cielle, it was most likely a church.
“How annoying. This damned dress.” Cecile said while she was trying to undress. In truth, by the way the dress was designed, the proper way to wear and undress it would be with the help of someone. But before Cielle could do anything, Cecile already tore it apart. Cielle couldn´t help but laugh.
“What? Are maids supposed to laugh at their masters now? Let me be. It´s not like I would be wearing this again anyway.”
“Certainly not, milady.”Cielle said cheerfully.
By the time, they were already in their new clothes. Both of them were common and shabby clothes, although while Cecile was wearing trousers, Cielle was wearing a skirt. While Cielle seemed like a villager girl you would see anywhere, the trousers gave Cecile a tomboyish vibe as in this world, it was somewhat uncommon for girls to not wear skirts. Of course, though, Cecile didn´t remember that at all, which could cause them to get a bit of unwanted attention in the future. Though Cielle had an idea about this custom, she didn´t mind much about it.
Now, having destroyed anything they wouldn´t bring to ashes, which would be their old clothes and any accessory Cecile was using before, and of course, without forgetting to get rid of the perfume smell emanating from both of them, they were ready to go.
“So, now we should be ready, right?”
“Don´t be too impatient, milady. We can´t even be sure if there is an adventure´s guild at this town.”
“Yes, that´s right… There was such a thing… But we don´t really need to become adventurers in order to go on adventures, do we?”
“We don´t, but we barely remember anything about this world. Even with our speed, it would be pointless to go in random directions and hope to find something interesting.”
“Moreover, I think it would be more interesting if we were to register as adventurers. Maybe our adventures would turn out to be more fun if we get into the spirit of it.” Actually, Cielle too was looking forward to the adventure. Similarly, there used to be no way for her to become an adventurer, after all, she didn´t posses any combat capability. Now though, it might be that they simply had too much power, so it wouldn´t be much different than playing around pretending to be adventurers. Since she now had the choice of doing it, calmly traveling around the world seemed a nice thing to do.
“But… Don´t we need money to register? It was needed as far as I am concerned.” To Cecile, spending extra time was bothersome since she was very fired to start adventuring, and since she didn´t see much potential in using their time there, she was more or less against. And while it would be easy for them to steal a few coins to pay for the registration, unless it was a real necessity for them, neither Cecile nor Cielle would be willing to do it.
It wasn´t something exactly explicit, but they knew each other very well, and both were looking forward to see how it was having a more common and calm life-style. Stealing because of convenience and sloth would be contrary to such wish. It felt like doing so would conflict with this feeling of freedom, lack of responsibilities and danger they were feeling right now.
“Ah, milady, don´t be lazy. Don´t you think doing a few side jobs would be fun? Since we have all the time in the world, we should relax as much as we can; there is no need to rush. We still need information about their common sense too.”
“Is it really needed right now? It´s not like we will be needing to talk to people all the time. Even if people were to be suspicious of us for not being adventurers, or for any mistake due to the lack of information, it´s not like our cover would be blown…”
“Are you that shy to talk to people, milady?” Said Cielle in a mocking tone.
“How did you get to this conclusion?”Said Cecile a bit angrily.
In fact Cecile was indeed unsocial back then, and would only be talkative if the situation required her to do so. Even though the main point she was talking about before was the waste of time, now, to what Cielle said, she couldn´t help but feel that some of the reason was actually because of that too.
“Milady, don´t you understand? It´s because of the unfriendly and tense mentality of Lin Ner that we should be making the most of our time socializing with people.” Said Cielle with a smile.
In Lin Ner, where experts were as common as clouds, it was a world where the strongest ones rule, and if one´s strength was to be not enough, one wouldn´t be able to complain if others were to take advantage of you, or if they killed you. The nature of people leads them to be greedy, and in a world where people could have enough power to easily contest others, just by lowering your guard could prove to be fatal. Deceit is the common sense, and that´s why peacefully getting along with people is impossible. Even the few trustable people could backstab you.
“But… Wouldn´t it be counterintuitive if we were to get too used to it…? I mean…”
“Milady, I am seriously starting to believe that you are just being shy.”
“I´m!! Haa… You win, I don´t care anymore.” In the end, she just couldn´t win the discussion since she didn´t have anything to use as an argument anymore. Certainly, if they were to start getting lax with this world´s common sense, it would definitely be bad for when they went back to Lin Ner, however, for such a thing to really happen to them was simply impossible. While Cecile couldn´t help but feel like doing things like that was only time to waste, and that she would rather just go adventure already, but even so, she couldn´t deny the potential of what Cielle had said. It wasn´t impossible that she could unexpectedly end up having a bit of enjoyment. In her entire life, it was full of hardships, so now she should live as easygoing as possible.
In fact, how they were arguing about something that trivial only helped proving Cielle´s point. Cecile couldn´t help but slightly smile as she thought of that.
“Then, milady, let´s get going.” Both of them swiftly and soundlessly got down from the building to a position where nobody would notice them, after all, they were looking for a job now and couldn´t go stealthily. Although their speed was so fast that people wouldn´t be able to notice them, if they were to slow down, to the untrained eyes, it would seem as if they had suddenly appeared from nowhere.
After they successfully got down the building, they started to stroll around the town while looking for a job. The people appearances, their clothes, their attitude, the architecture… The marketplace, the church, inns, bars… All of it was very different from Lin Ner and gave quite the impression to them.
With so many years without seeing something similar, it was as if they were seeing them for the first time. Cecile started to smile. Because of how the world of Lin Ner was, a very untrusting and guarded behavior was implanted on her. But now back in her old world, where everything was very peaceful and lively, small cracks started to appear in her locked heart that wouldn´t completely trust anyone.
Of course, she deeply trusted Cielle. Even before going to Lin Ner, they were very close, and after passing many life threatening battles and hardships together, it would simply be impossible for Cecile not trust her.
They went around looking for a job. Since they were asking people around, Cielle asked about her uncle, but there was no information about him in the end. By the looks of it, her uncle was a merchant, and a successful one as well. Mentioning the name his company went by should have been more effective, but unsurprisingly, Cielle couldn´t remember everything from this world, and such was the case for this name she needed.
It had been about ten people they had asked for a job, but to their eyes, two little country bumpkin girls didn´t have much use to them. Most of the failed attempts, though, were due to the job requiring special qualifications from the employee; there was no way they could know clearly about the job qualifications required, and because of bad luck, they didn´t hit the jackpot of a job that even country bumpkins would be able to do.
Though normally considering their cultivation level, it would be outrageous to lack respect to them, much less call them simple country bumpkins, a few words of malice didn´t hold any meaning to them; they couldn´t care less.
“Excuse me miss, me and my sister are looking for a job. As you can see, we have no money and are already starving. Our village was raided by a gang of bandits, our family was slaughtered in front of our eyes. Only me and my sister somehow escaped safely, but we have no home… Please miss, I beg you. It can be anything. Just please give us a job.” Noticing their country bumpkin vibe their attitude and lack of knowledge seemed to give, Cielle made up a tragic story since then.
If it increased the chances for them to get a job even if a little bit, it would be worth it. It was a rather simple story, but it´s not like one detailed and full of twists would be needed, so one might as well use a simple and reliable one. Putting too many details could backslash too, and it would also be somewhat bothersome to tell the same thing every time. Although Cielle wouldn´t mind too much about repeating the long story, Cecile had already given up on helping explaining this simpler one they were using, only working on her demeanor so that she seemed like a poor girl that had lost everything.
“You girls… Sorry, I don´t have any jobs you could do. Giving jobs is not within my jurisdiction either, and I can´t just bother my boss about something like that… But… Take this. It is not much, but it´s all I can afford. It should at least keep you alive for a few days.”Said the woman sincerely while giving them a few coins.
“This… Miss, I can´t accept it. We would just be taking advantage of your kindness. Please, just give us a job. We could tidy up your place, wash your clothes, any kind of odd job!” Said Cielle in a stubborn manner.
“It´s alright. You girls must have suffered a lot already. Just take it.” Said the woman while somewhat admiring her stubbornness of not wanting to accept her money for free.
The same scene actually had happened plenty times to them. The amount of money they were able to collect like that was probably more than enough for the registration fee.
Forcefully receiving the money, Cecile could only stare at the woman blankly.
If it wasn´t for her being an expert at deceiving, the face she would make would be one very ghastly.
Experts of their level were ripping off people with a false story for the sake of getting a job, and even though it was the job itself they had wished, people just kept giving money to them… Cecile´s only hope was laughing at herself.
Seeing how Cielle kept asking around unaffected, Cecile couldn´t help but think it was exactly because of how amusing the situation was that she kept doing it. Although it wasn´t showing, she was probably having quite a fun time… Sometimes, Cielle was very eccentric. Since she was having her own fun, Cecile could only keep going with it.
While their failures were starting to get repetitive, Cecile still had a nice time strolling around that nostalgic ambient as they were looking for the job. It was also very heartwarming to hear people other than Cielle to speak their language too.
“If you say like this, I can´t refuse it… But miss, have you ever heard of someone called Nistoven Diles? He was a distant relative and I think he was a merchant.” Said Cielle in a somewhat more normal tone.
“Nistoven? No, I don´t think so… Have you checked it at the merchant alliance before?”
“The merchant alliance? We don´t know much about these things so we still haven´t checked it yet. Maybe we will finally find him! After so many days starving and sleeping in the slums… Always fearing someone might do bad things to us… Finally… Hmm, could you point out where it is? We don´t know where it is located…” Says Cielle with teary eyes in a tone full of hope that was as if she had finally found hope in life.
“”She is definitely having fun right now…”” Thought Cecile while sighing.
“It´s right next to the market place. From here, go left and keep going until you find it. I´m sorry, I don´t have any means to help you other than that… I hope you two find your relative.” Said the woman with a bit of guilt for not being of much use.
“It´s alright. Even if we don´t find any information about him, we sisters will never give up. Many people looked at us with disdain, but you helped us. Even if it´s just your feelings, it is more than enough to give us hope to carry on.” Said Cielle in a motivated way.
After Cecile and Cielle left the building, the woman silently prayed, wishing them to have god´s blessing. Little did she know that the blessing of her god wouldn´t come to be of much use to them.
Even though they got information about Cielle´s uncle, seeing how Cielle zealously kept looking for a job, Cecile couldn´t say anything. If she really wanted it that much, Cecile would be happy to accompany her.
The reason for Cielle to be stubborn about looking for a job now was mostly because it felt pleasant to leisurely talk to other people, and that being mostly due to their special situation they were in too. Moreover, because of Cecile´s temperament, she would be unwilling to do something like that later on and it would take effort to convince her again, so now that Cielle got Cecile to agree to her, if she didn´t manage to find a job and gave up, it would feel like a waste.
Actually, there was one more reason to it too. In Lin Ner, because of their positions and the how that world itself was, it had been a long time since they were able to do something together for so long that was not as tasking as training, battling, infiltrating, making political plots… Because of that, after thinking a bit about it, it felt to Cecile it could actually be nice if they were to do some odd jobs together, and so she came to looking forward to it a bit.
After three more tries, the next one was what seemed to be an old store that sold weapons and armors. By that time, the sun was already setting.
“Mister, excuse me. We are looking for a job. Me and my sister have suffered calamity. A bandit gang raided our village and we have nowhere to go and nothing to eat. Please, it can be anything.” Said Cielle in a pleading way to the old man who seemed to be the owner of the store.
“You are lying.”Said the old man seriously and without hesitation.
It startled them a bit for someone of this world to be able to see through their deceit and speak of it out loud without hesitation, but due to their training, it is something still within expectation.
As they lacked information, there was a chance of their story having a fatal mistake, leading to people doubt its veracity. Though normal people might have been cornered by in such situation where the other party directly accused one to be lying without one knowing the fault in their storytelling, to Cielle, whose skills in acting can´t ever be compared to ordinary ones, it was no problem, and so, she was able to naturally put on a puzzled face as if she didn´t understand what the old man was talking about. Cecile, of course, put on a puzzled face herself as well.
She also secretly raised her guard, since even though the chance of the other party truly seeing through their acting skills was near none, it still wasn´t impossible. And someone capable of doing something like that mustn´t ever be underestimated.
“Mister, what do you mean? I am not lying. Why would we be lying?”Said Cielle, without showing any sign of rage or anxiety. Her words flowed very naturally.
“How many days has it been since your village was raided?”
In only six days, as far as Cielle´s memories go, it probably wouldn´t be enough for the news to spread. And even to forces specializing in dealing with bandits, depending on the situation, would be unable to receive reports of it with only this much amount of time. This was still only speculation based on what Cielle remembered, so she went a bit over what she predicted just to be safer, saying six days rather than eight.
Although her memory was very good because of her mental strength, she still couldn´t completely remember everything she knew about this world. In case there was the lack of important information for proper scheming, one could still blame fate as much as one wanted to, but still fail. Of course, it was something it couldn´t be helped if the information necessary was one she didn´t knew at all to begin with. In such situations, creativity and awareness were the most important.
“Then, which village is it?” Asked the old man immediately without letting them have time to think.
“It was the Vinella village…”Cielle said in a slightly depressed tone as if she had remembered a few bad memories. It was very fortunate that she managed to remember the name of a village that matched the condition of six days not being enough for the information about bandits to spread from there.
“Foolish girl, you´ve just cornered yourself with your lies. There is no way for you to get here from Vinella in only six days. What? You are going to tell me a wind magician gave you a lift? Or maybe a dragon.”Said the old man in a mocking tone.
“But we were visiting a friend in Prical village… An acquaintance that was an adventurer was kind enough to warn us about what happened through his flying arcane beast. Mother and father had died… Because our friend´s family couldn´t afford to raise us, we had no choice but rely on ourselves… We thought that if we were to have a job in a big city, we would be able to live a good life, but we had such bad luck…” Even in a dire situation like that, there was no way for Cielle to fail at deceiving, much less making a mistake. In fact, the first moment the opponent gave a hint of what was wrong with their story, she immediately filled all the unassuring parts with proper details to make it perfect. Regardless what he asked from that moment on, he would not be able to find a miss.
“Oh… Is… Is that so…?” Before, the old man seemed so full of himself, but now was very embarrassed. The old man was mocking innocent girls that were supposed to be pitied. Was accusing them that how they had lost their parents was nothing but lies. There was no way he wouldn´t be ashamed of himself.
It was all lies, however.
Cecile was mentally laughing at the arrogant old man which belittled Cielle´s capabilities.
“I will hire you.” After getting a hold of himself, he immediately offered them a job. It´s unknown whether it was because he was regretting his acts that he did so.
“Really? Thank you mister, thank you so much! Hey, sister, say something too.” Said Cielle as happily as possible and with a big smile.
“Sister, you are so shy! We need to thank our benefactor properly.” Said Cielle while still being cheerful. Cecile couldn´t help but sigh at Cielle making fun of her.
“You will need to work hard. I won´t let you slack just because of your situation.” Said the old man seriously.
“Yes, we will work hard!”
“You will need to learn how to properly attend people; how to properly negotiate prices and discern equipments so that you are not ripped off. I will teach you everything you need to know about weapons, armors and about trading. I will also provide you with housing, meals and a monthly wage of three gold coins. But first of all, you should eat. It must have been some time since you´ve eaten properly, right? Take a bath while I am preparing dinner. Go upstairs, at the second room to the right. This will be your new bedroom.” Explained the old man while making a serious face.
“Yes, we understand.”Said Cielle.
Right after finishing explaining what he had, he went to the entrance door and turned the sign hanged on there to the side which was written “closed”. After that, he went to a door that led to the back of the store, which possibly was the way to the kitchen. He probably decided to close the shop early because of them.
Having nothing else to do there, both of them went upstairs to their new bedroom. It was a simple bedroom and was not big nor small. It was an acceptable size by this world´s standards. It had only a bed and a closet. Next to the closet, there was a door which led to the bathroom, a very small room which had an one meter tall wall which separated the section where one is supposed to take bath. The wall height, of course, is just so for one to be able to use the bath section as a bathtub after filling it with water. In the bath section´s floor, there were two elemental stones. A water infused and a fire infused.
Though they were arcane items with many uses, even if one couldn´t use magic at all, one would at least be capable of using its most basic functions.
The water ones were able to absorb water and release it, functioning as a compact water storage. The fire one the same, except that it was with heat. At the merchant guild, one was able to exchange empty ones for filled ones by paying a reasonable price.
Because it took a long time for low grade elemental stones to absorb their respective element, even if people refilled their stones themselves, they still required to exchange stones as it was a basic necessity for the daily life.
“It´s been a long time since I last saw a real bed. I can´t even believe it.” Said Cecile, slightly moved as she looked at the bed.
“Yes…” Said Cielle, agreeing to her.
When they first arrived there, after being accepted as disciples by the Nan temple, other than the reasons of them being in a foreign place where nobody spoke their language and them suddenly being required to do heavy training, the lack of beds posed to be quite the problem for their sleep.
In Lin Ner, experts didn´t really need to sleep. Only powerless people. It would be weird if the elders cared about how comfortable it was to sleep if they didn´t, and much more if they cared enough about lowly disciples´ wellbeing in their sleep. It was kind enough that they offered them pillows and blankets, which was much better than sleeping on the hard floor with only your clothes to protect you from the cold. They always used to wonder whether the little kingdoms built by mortals developed something akin to beds at that time.
“My lady, I will go prepare the bath.”
In fact, experts didn´t need to wash themselves either. By manipulating even the most common qi, they were able to easily neutralize and expel ordinary poisons. It would be laughable if they weren´t capable of get rid of a bit of dirt in their body. Even so, because of that, of course they wouldn´t waste time taking baths at that time. Because of that, both Cielle and Cecile were looking forward to it. After all, baths were very relaxing too, they weren´t used only for hygiene.
Soon enough, the bath section of the bathroom was completely filled and its water in a nice temperature. Both of them entered in it together. Even though Cielle liked to behave as Cecile´s maid, she didn´t mind Cecile joining in the bath.
“Haa… It´s just perfect. To think a bath would be so relaxing… How many years has it been…” To them, that never ever had the chance to take a bath in those countless years, even though it was a very simple one, it felt like heavens. Though the space was small, it was enough to fit both Cecile and Cielle without problems. Now, both were facing each other, sitting on the floor of the meant to be bathtub.
“Definitely so, milady.” Responded Cielle with a smile.
Cecile looked at Cielle´s happy face. Thinking on how their life had been on these countless years, the amount of near death experiences, that many hardships and tribulations she went through during this life… She was sure she would never be able to go through all of that without Cielle´s support. She was very thankful to her.
Actually, even with them supporting each other, it was surprising that both of them were able to keep living on. People dying on that world was pretty common, so common that it happened all the times. Even at peacetime, which was when the major powers didn´t directly confront each other, it was the case. Many of the friends she used to have had died through her life. It was indeed surprising that both her and Cielle made it through until now. And now, somehow, they came back to their world. At first, she treated it as something similar to a little vacation. She only considered their gains logically and about perhaps go meet her mother after so many years, but only now she truly valued the chance that was given to them. She finally realized how fortunate they were to be able to come back here.
Before, they were pretty much contesting for the top place with other major powers of Lin Ner; a world where mistakes couldn´t be tolerated, a world full of killing intent and deceit. Constantly fighting against the strongest enemies and putting her life at risk many times…
She was at the top of the mountain many desired to climb to, and that many died trying. And even so, the people that were already on it would still want to push other people down so they would be able to become the only person standing on the top of it. It was very vicious. But she was granted the chance to become a teenager girl again. A simple little teenager girl that could be found in any part of the world. A complete nobody!
It was a miracle!
A wish she had when she had been forcefully sent to the world of Lin Ner, and also, a wish she had forgot during the passing of years. But now that she remembered it, she couldn´t help but be delighted. She could even cry out of happiness.
In fact, she was crying.
Cielle noticed it, and because of how Cecile was smiling, she soon knew the reason why. She then went to her side and hugged her. Cecile soon hugged her back.
“Cielle, we are finally back.”
“Yes, milady, we are.”
“I can´t believe it… We are finally back… After so many years we are finally back…”
“I guess I can´t believe it either. Hehe.”
“Thank you for still being alive. Thank you so much. Thank you…”
“Milady too. Thank you for being with me all this time. Thank you for surviving until now. You did your best and have done a great job.”
Both of them were crying of happiness. All the weight pressed upon them for all those years have finally been relieved. They kept embraced for a long time. Eventually, Cecile fell asleep. Experts of their level couldn´t bother with wasting time sleeping; they´ve never slept, and naturally wouldn´t feel sleepy at all. Unless if through hypnosis techniques or by damaging the soul, it was impossible for them to fell in a state of sleep. The reason why Cecile fell asleep despite that was that she had finally attained peace in her mind.