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Renovations [Houren]

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#1Houren Vanadis 

on Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:40 am

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The storm raged outside as Houren watched from the window of his inn, the rain flew vertically one second before literally becoming horizontal due to the immense strength of the southern winds. He had been too many towns before, so storms were not really that big of a deal for him, but this time, he could simply write off the storm as something to just wait out. The banging that he had heard earlier suggested that trees had been uprooted, and people were forced to surrender the umbrellas to the wind, lest they be blown away also. Any hopes of Houren being allowed to go on his late night walk was dashed when the innkeeper officially announced that they would be closing their doors for the night, and would not be reopening until the storm had subsided which was estimated to be sometime tomorrow morning. There was no need to worry though, the innkeeper had said, for they had stocked up on all sorts of stuff, so even if the storm raged on for weeks, the people of the inn would have enough to eat and drink. That didn't reassure Houren in the slightest who was not worried about the storm, but was irritated that his routine would be interrupted and that he would not be allowed out on his walk, at least not without completely isolating himself from the innkeeper's favor, and not being allowed back inside.

He decided to call it an early night, and when he awoke, sure enough, the storm was gone. He went downstairs for breakfast, only to be greeted by the innkeeper who stated that the Lord Marigold himself had requested Houren's assistance; that, in the night, a couple of the buildings in town had been utterly devastated in the storm, and although nobody was hurt, a lot of manual labor would be needed in order to restore the buildings to their former glory. He had remembered Houren's service when it came to seeking and defeating Barlan the Bandit, and also when he entertained the guests as the Syllas Castle. As such, he wanted to make one final selfish request, to request that Houren assist the builders in the restoration of the buildings. He also ensured a handsome payment for when the job was completed. This put a smile on Houren's face who ate a quick breakfast and immediately headed out to the building site, where his money, no, his day's work was waiting for him. They had said they would provide the construction gear, so that was good too. Houren just needed to show up, and use his muscles to fix some things, and then he could be off.

He was greeted fairly well by the people already at the construction site, and it seemed like the Lord Marigold had promised the head builder a ''pair of strong hands'', so he was fairly happy to see Houren arrive, albeit chided him for being a bit late and for being a late riser. It was all in good fun though so Houren merely laughed it off, put on his builder's hat and began to work. When it came to hammering in nails into things, Houren lacked skill, but if it was simply moving planks from one location to another then there was nobody who could work as fast and as efficient as him. He spent most of the early morning dragging things and lifting things, contributing by making things easier on other people but not really 'building' anything himself. He was not a craftsman by trade, so he supposed that he was actually somewhat satisfied with this kind of job, but it would have been nice if he could screw in the occasional bolt or hammer in a nail.

His chance eventually arrived when someone hammered their finger by accident and needed a replacement for their station. A young child who could barely lift the large hammer volunteered, but was quickly told to sit back down. Instead, Houren put his name into the hat, and seeing his immense strength, they decided that that would probably compensate for his lack of experience. They weren't wrong as Houren turned out to be a natural, hammering the nails in as though it were a second nature to him, as though he had been doing this every single day for the past few years of his life. Another townsman by the name of Maryn was doing something similar not very far away, and once he got the routine down, he could turn off his mind and engage in idle conversation with his fellow builder.

"Are you a builder by trade, Maryn?" Houren asked, as he continued his job. The man named Maryn certainly seemed like he was experienced, but his build and demeanor suggested otherwise. It wasn't that he seemed feminine, just that you would expect a builder who did hard labor like this to have bigger muscles than Maryn, and only to be a bit more tan than the fair skinned boy.

He shook his head, hammering in a nail as though it were nothing. "No, I'm a baker. But the last time there was a storm, I helped out, so you could say I'm not a complete novice. Not like you," he joked, just in time to see Houren hammer in a nail of his own. "Although it seems like you're getting the hang of things, huh?" they both laughed, finding humor in this situation. They both continued to chat idly after that, talking about unimportant things that they would probably forget later on, unless, sometime down the line, they were to meet again. For example, Maryn offered Houren a free cake once they were done with the building and Houren asked the baker, if he happened to be in Magnolia one of these days, to pop by the Fairy Tail guildhall so that he could return the favor; recently, Houren had gotten close to one of his fellow guildmates who just so happened to be skilled in baking. The Marigold native agreed that it was a good idea, he wanted to improve his baking skills so it was probably best for him to learn from other people.

Once Houren was finished in that station, he grabbed his planks and went all the way over to a completely different area. He said his goodbyes to Maryn who apparently needed to get home. He had been around longer than pretty much every other volunteer there though, and had done twice as much work so nobody could fault him for leaving early. Settling in at another station, Houren continued to plank, this time managing to do it much more efficiently as he already had experience. This time, instead of starting a conversation with someone else, he was approached himself, this time by a middle aged man who introduced himself as Garrick. He seemed like your blue collar worker, with large tummy, a hammer hanging around his waist, a couple of nails in his mouth and a pencil behind his ear.

"Let me guess, you've been a builder here in Marigold for the past twenty years?" he was starting to get a lot more brave when talking to the Marigold residents, as though this were some pseudo Magnolia that he had been living in for years. Garrick laughed, settled down close enough to Houren that they would be able to continue their conversation and began to hammer some nails into the planks. Once he was done, he took a notebook out from his pocket and began to sprawl something on the pages with the pencil he kept behind his ear. Once he was finished, he turned his face to address the Fairy Tail mage, a grin etched onto his features.

"Do I look like a builder to you, son? I certainly eat a builder's breakfast, but you're not about me being one. I'm an architect, but I've always wanted to be on the ground, you know? That storm answered my prayers, so thank god it didn't end up killing anybody!" he chuckled, something that Houren returned; it would have been a very different story if there had been casualties last night though. That wasn't to say that Houren genuinely believed that this architect Garrick brought about the storm in some capacity, but that just that it would have been a very tasteless joke to make considering the circumstances. "And you. You're that mage, aren't you? The one that stopped the bandit a few nights ago, the one from Fairy Tail?" it was Garrick the Architect's turn to ask questions, but the tone in his voice suggested that this was not just some idle conversation. The Fire Dragon Slayer nodded in reply.

"My brother in law is a jeweler, you know. I heard those bandits had wanted to attack it, but fortunately you were there on call. My friend, who owns the clothes store that got heisted wasn't so lucky, but I'm glad you were there. Very, very glad," there was some hesitation in his voice, Houren knew, he was grateful to Houren because he had managed to defeat the bandits before they could rob his brother in law's store, but at the same time, he could only ask why couldn't Houren have done so earlier? Was it because there was no money involved at that time? Still, the architect did not say anything nasty, but at the same time, did not actually 'thank' Houren in certain terms. It didn't bother the Fairy Tail mage though, who would take it as thanks. The big guy was just shy, that was all.

The end of the day was nearing when Houren was brought a light snack by a woman who introduced herself as Mika. She said that she couldn't really help out with manual labor because sh e wasn't all that strong, but was still willing to do anything she could to assist; in other words, prepare snacks for the builder who were working. He accepted the food graciously and was munching away when he was approached by yet another person, this time it really was a builder, as Houren recognized him from earlier as the person who was in charge of this construction site.

The Fairy Tail mage spoke first. "Head builder, are we almost done?" he finished his bread before asking, which caused the head builder to laugh lightly at the man attempting to speak and chew at the same time.

"The sun's about to set, don't you see? Yeah, we're almost done. There's a still few more planks that need nails, but once you're done that, come find me and we can talk numbers," he walked away, and deciding that he wanted to get things done sooner rather than later, Houren walked over to the planks and began to hammer the nails into them with aplomb, not stopping before he was completely done. Of course, although he was definitely rushing, he did not let speed take priority over quality at all and did everything to the best of his ability. He had made it a personal goal to make the new building so sturdy that the next time a storm came, it wouldn't be able to knock the building now.

It was a pipe dream, really, but wasn't it easier when you had something to aspire to? After finishing the nailing, Houren got up, dusted himself off and went around looking for the head builder, eventually finding him in a station where he was finishing off a job of his own. Approaching the man the Fairy Tail mage informed him that he had just finished the assignment. With a smile on his face, the head builder thanked Houren for all his hard work today, patted him on the back and handed him his money for the day. Houren bowed one last time, as he accepted the amount with all the good graces of nobility; something that he had been taught by his encounter with Lord Syllas of Marigold.

2000/2000

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