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Snippet #2717610

located in Nymphaea City, a part of Tidal Serpent, one of the many universes on RPG.

Nymphaea City

The port city of Nymphaea!


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade
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Artemie’s Dialogue Color: #AA00FF

Chen’s Dialogue Color: #C3834C

Despite his usual blithe demeanor to most things around him, he always showed a distinct interest in the current job he was participating in. The reward was his drinking money after-all. Besides, an opportunity to show off and earn some spending cash even warranted Cheneres’ attention.

As Keiji droned on about the details, he mentioned that Dolores wouldn’t be accompanying them. Although she was a lady, Cheneres knew deep down that his feats couldn’t compare to such a talented S-Class wizard. So he was a bit relieved to not have her hogging the spotlight. The rest of the details were rather simple, with Cheneres compressing the information into little snip-bits. Despite his fond passion for missions and such, the plan would be most likely forgotten due to the boring voice delivering the specifics.

The time given to them to prepare was mostly wasted on Cheneres. He already doesn’t have to pack shirts due to his insistence on showing his masculine features to all females who walk the streets. He decided to just pack beer to drink after this whole little adventure was concluded. He stood up, turning towards the door. He was about to walk out before being stopped by peculiar violet haired woman. Actually, he almost didn’t notice - her voice was so quiet that it took him a moment to recognize that his own name had been spoken, even though she was right behind him.

”S-so, um… Mr. Cheneres… I don’t… really… have anything to prepare,” The bookish mage stammered. ”What about you?” ...Was she asking if he was free right now? He was pretty sure that something was seriously wrong with the world today. After all, normally he’d be the one asking that question, and the answer would always invariably be “No” - maybe with an expletive or two thrown in, just for good measure.

”Ah, almost didn’t see ‘ya there. Hm..” Cheneres thought for a moment. ”Women don’t usually ask me these kinds of questions, mostly they ask “are you right in the head?” or something. But I suppose you could accompany the great Cheneres on his packing conquest.” He sported a dramatic pose, both of his hands on his hips. He laughed to himself, similar to a small delusional child.

“‘Packing conquest…?’” Artemie parroted back, tilting her head to the side in bemusement. “Do you think your luggage is going to fight back?” She still sounded perfectly gentle and quiet, making it a little hard to tell whether or not this was meant to be a joke, or if she simply assumed her interpretation to be correct. She blinked, staring with increasing unease as the silence between them continued. Wait, was she expecting him to laugh? So it had been a joke, then? She must have just been a bit too self-conscious to speak up when delivering it… It seemed sarcasm really wasn’t her strong suit.

“Hmm..” He placed his hand on his chin. “Of course, when the luggage fights back, it should prove no threat to my might. must come if these strange luggage beasts prove too much for my power alone.” He placed his hands on her shoulders. “I’m counting on you for this one, alright?”

Well, if any words had an effect on her, those certainly did. When he finally responded in kind to what was evidently her attempt at a jest, a slight grin broke out on her face. And, when he asked for her help, she practically beamed and began nodding enthusiastically, evidently all too eager to be of service. “I’d… I’d be happy to help!” She exclaimed, seeming surprisingly excited about the whole prospect. Come to think of it, she’d jumped at the chance to cure his hangover, too… Well, whatever. She wanted to keep him company, it seemed, so it wasn’t as if he had anything to complain about.

“Alright.” He grinned goofily. “We should go now. Stopping the luggage beasts are first priority.” Cheneres turned towards the door, waving goodbye to no one in particular. He then set out. These monsters won’t live to see another day.

Glancing back over his shoulder, he half expected to see Artemie waving back at him as if to say, “I was just kidding, go have fun by yourself.” What he didn’t expect, though, was to see her following closely behind him, her eyes instantly meeting his from… eye level? Wait, hadn’t she been about two feet shorter just a minute ago? He could have sworn she only came up to his chest at the very most, so then why-

...Okay, that answered that question, but raised the entirely new question of “Why, exactly, is she floating?” The violet-haired magus bobbed lazily up and down in the air, hovering a few feet off the ground just a couple of paces behind him at all times. Come to think of it, she was shooting glances at his legs all of a sudden… And she seemed just a little bit out of breath… Oh, right, his stride was much longer than hers. He’d just strolled off without really thinking about it, but if you were going to walk with a woman who was significantly shorter than you were, then you needed to slow down just a little bit so as not to get ahead of her. But she hadn’t even said anything or asked him to slow down… Did that mean she’d been racing to keep up with him instead before he turned around? The mental image of the prim and proper young lady trotting along behind him like a puppy seeking attention, fanciful dress adorned with ribbons trailing around her, appeared before his mind unbidden.

Huh. ...He kind of wished he’d gotten the chance to see something that adorable. If only he’d turned around a few moments sooner! “Alrighty..we take a left here.” He pointed to a modest building. An cheap apartment complex, but Cheneres always liked smaller places like this. Besides, he gets kicked out of apartments on the daily, so he couldn’t exactly afford getting too invested. He led her up the stairs to a wooden door. Fumbling for the key, he opened the door slowly. “Sorry ‘bout it being a dump in here, I don’t exactly get much guests, especially fair maidens such as yourself.” As he turned back to the room ahead of him, he couldn’t help but notice in passing that suddenly Artemie looked significantly redder than she had before. She fluttered quite sharply down to the floor, stumbling a moment as if in a daze, and opened her mouth several times as if to say something, but each time cut herself off before she could even begin. Huh… maybe that was a bit of a bad way to phrase things. Although, it wasn’t as if he was lying… Off the top of his head, he couldn’t really think of any other time he’d had a lady over.

”I-it’s f-fine…” She sheepishly stammered out at last. “My room is a mess… too…” She cleared her throat audibly, and quickly moved past him and through the door. “A-anyway, sorry to intrude…”

The room had clothing sprawled around the floor. Oddly enough, the room didn’t spell too bad as Cheneres usually does his drinking outside. Exercise equipment took up most of the room while a small drawer and a bed were packed tightly in the corner. “Welcome to the dwelling of the great Cheneres!” He bellowed behind her. Artemie stopped just inside the threshold, glancing back and forth as if searching for a path that she could walk without stepping on anything. After a moment of evident silent contemplation, however, she was struck by an obvious solution, and, after muttering a few words under her breath, suddenly floated right back up into the air, hovering up a little closer to the ceiling this time and off to one side to allow Cheneres through the door.

“Umm… thanks… So… er… was there anything in particular you came to get?” She asked, peering down at him curiously from her vantage point in the air.

“Hmm..” He tried to recollect his thoughts. “I actually didn’t have anything I wanted to get, but the thought of slaying the luggage beasts got me caught in the moment.” He grinned. “Though..” He picked up a jacket. “I guess I’ll get this so I didn’t waste ‘ya time.” He slung the jacket over his shoulder. Artemie blinked again, once more seeming surprised.

“I didn’t think you owned anything like a shirt or a coat,” She observed innocently, this time seeming even more completely serious than she had been last time. But surely, it had to be a joke, didn’t it? ”Because you never wear one,” She added, as if this needed explaining. So she was actually serious then…?

“Observant, are we? This old thing was actually a gift from a buddy long back.” He patted the deteriorating fabric. “He got tired of seeing my bulging muscles all day..he must’ve been jealous.” Cheneres put the jacket on. The coat was similar to a trench coat in design, with black as it’s main color. It had pockets on the side and left pec. “I wear it unzipped though, so the ladies can still snag a peek.”

”Are you sure it wasn’t just because he thought you might not be comfortable?” Artemie asked innocently, floating gently down in front of him until she was just a fraction of an inch in front of the floor. Her own flowing gown kind of had a similar aesthetic to his coat, and Cheneres was sorely tempted to give some kind of cheesy one liner about how “we match now!” but decided to relent, since she’d probably either misinterpret or completely miss it.

“I mean,” She continued a bit awkwardly. “Seeing as you’re only ever half-dressed, I do worry sometimes… Doesn’t it get cold after a while?” As she spoke, her gaze slowly dropped away from his face, running over his chest before stopping. She was silent for a moment, placing her finger to her lips in what appeared to be intense contemplation.

“By the way…” She began after a moment of silence. “What, exactly, am I supposed to be peeking at? Is there something hidden inside your coat?”

Cheneres pointed to his abs, a stunning 8 pack, fruit from years of dedication and hard work. His greatest achievement. “The chicks love it..I think, they don't’ usually stay to talk to me, but I think that’s what they are thinking, you feel?

...Surprisingly, Artemie nodded without hesitation. “Well, yes, indeed. You are incredibly handsome,” She concurred bluntly. It was… a little bit odd, hearing those words coming from someone normally so shy, spoken with the same tone that one might announce that the sky was blue - as if it was obvious, and didn’t even need to be said. “Well… Umm… That is... I guess I can’t really speak for everyone… but… I… think so.” Oh. There it was. There was the blushing, bashful response he’d been looking for! She must have realized that most people didn’t view beauty as an objective thing, and decided to correct herself, only to realize that by doing so she was going to say something that sounded like flirting!

Huh. ...Now that he knew what to look for, suddenly, she wasn’t so hard to read after all. Or… was she? Wait, so did that mean she was attracted to him? Or just that she was agreeing with him and then realized that what she was saying should have been embarrassing? Crap, even if he knew her thought process, that still didn’t tell him anything!

He stood there, in shock at the compliment. After a long moment of silence, Cheneres attempted to change the subject. “Thank you for the..uhm, compliment. We should ..probably go now, right?” He turned towards the door.

Artemie nodded wordlessly, her face still very red. When she followed him out, she did so by floating once again, seeming suddenly very conscious of the fact that she’d just said something like that to a man who’d just invited her to his room.

“S-so, umm... I don’t mean to be rude, or presumptuous, but… I don’t… really know many people on this team very well,” Artemie began after a few moments taken to re-compose herself, seeming equally inclined to change the subject after the earlier awkwardness between them. “I’m also somewhat inexperienced, so I’m not sure how useful I’ll be… but… umm… if there’s anything I can do to help you, I’d be happy to offer my assistance!” She looked away, seeming all but unwilling to continue - and yet, continue she did, albeit very softly, as if speaking only with great reluctance. “S-so…. In exchange… would it be alright if I asked… um… that is…” Then, all at once, her real thoughts spilled out.

“I’m scared. I’ve never fought real mages in a serious fight before,” Artemie confessed at last. ”I’m so sorry… I shouldn’t ask something like this of you, but… could you please protect me during our mission, Mr. Cheneres?” She lowered her gaze to the floorboards, almost like she was afraid of seeing the look on his face. What did she expect, exactly? That he’d laugh at her? To be sure, Cheneres was an unintentional master of upsetting or otherwise angering women. But, even he knew the right answer in a situation like this.

“Hm? I thought teammates always had each other’s backs.” He glanced over his shoulder. “How about I protect you and in exchange, you protect me?” He smiled, looking her straight in the eye.

“If that’s what you want…” She nodded, but still seemed a bit uncertain. Nevertheless, she forced a smile. “I’ll do everything I can to keep you safe.”

“That’s the spirit!” He patted her on the back, albeit a bit too forcefully for her small frame. He opened the door for her. “Let’s go, we kept them waiting for too long.” Righting herself after being nearly bowled over by her new protector’s rather overzealous encouragement, Artemie nodded seriously, and followed closely behind him.


And so it was that a very unlikely partnership quite suddenly began.