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What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest: Astrid]

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What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest: Astrid]    Empty Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:30 pm

“I had assumed the matter was put to rest. Yet here you are again, asking the same thing as you had reached out to me before. What development exactly warrants me returning back there again and aiding you?” Her words were frustrated, annoyed more than anything else. She had found herself relaxing within Oak Town once again, privately resting within the Swineherd Pub, her booth exclusively for herself. Yet there was the man once again, the older fellow whom she had helped before, the one who had guided her towards the spirits. Under him, Astrid had built an ally, not in the literal sense, but in the sense of the spirits that inhabited Oak Town, a rumored presence that she had often heard of, often took delight in watching how people responded to such rumors. It was something that genuinely intrigued her, how the people were able to become so consumed by rumors like that.

But the people believed them. And who was she to challenge that? Nothing could have been gained by arguing that their presence were not there, even if she did not believe them to be. The only thing that would be gained were those who thought she believed less of them and while it would not matter much, she knew from her time watching as her father handled political matters that people would not forget those who scorned one another. She was one such example of that fact, and she certainly would not fault those that may have believed it to be a wrong indictment upon her.

261/1500 (-40% | -20% Sia & Noir, -20% Symbiotic Fleshweave)


What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest: Astrid]    Empty Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:30 pm

“The resistance you will have to explain to me. I’m just trying to see peace within Oak Town. The Spirits, they know of what you did, and believe me, I’m sure that they are appreciative of the effort But that does not mean that it must end here, does it?” His words rang through the Swineherd Pub, almost being consumed by the noise all around them. But there was also something else in his voice that betrayed his intentions; worry, disbelief, and surprise. The Swineherd had long been one of the most well-known establishments within Oak Town, though even during its most profitable windows, only so often would it ever have been as crowded and busy as what it appeared to have been here.

This was an entirely different animal, and on a random given weekday for that matter too.

It hardly fazed Astrid, who at this point had become somewhat used to all of it. She had helped create it after all, helped reinvigorate the city to a status where it could have been equal to or even succeeding that of Magnolia, Hargeon, and Honseka; cities which historically had long been paraded throughout the annuls of Fiore as the most profitable, the most glorious. Anyone who happened to glance within the Swineherd Pub were coming to face the cruel reality that the city once viewed as decrepit and worrisome was set to be amongst those adorned in gold.

Even for the old man, whom had become a staple of the people within Oak Town, it was something entirely unique to see this many people within the establishment, especially without any underlying circumstances that united the people here. It was simply just the day to day for them, an attribute that even for as much as he would have wished to ignore it, he had to respect out of Astrid. If anything, it was just another reason for why he sought such aid on this matter.

She had shown the capability to handle issues like this, through her actions before and what she had inspired within the city.

609/1500 (-40% | -20% Sia & Noir, -20% Symbiotic Fleshweave)


What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest: Astrid]    Empty Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:31 pm

“It is not resistance,” Astrid remarked, her gaze scanning across the people within the Swineherd Pub, everyone enjoying themselves for the most part. Their pleasure and good fortunes were thanks to her, and even if it was individually thanked of her, she knew that she was the cause, as did the Pub itself. This booth, the one that she and the elderly man spoke within, was an example of that. Private, limited to her usage only, under any and all circumstances. It was appreciation for something that she did not have to do, but had done. Respect.

It was a shame though that so many had come to conflate fortune granted by her with the automatic expectation of aid. The Swineherd Pub fell within the former. The older man fell within the latter.

“It is a matter that you have come here, after I did a favor for you, expecting me to once again aid you. My idea of what would be considered fair would be that my assisting you before being met by you aiding me, or otherwise at the minimum extending thanks. Seeing you not even give me that much of a courtesy and instead just asking for my help again was not something I would have expected.” She leaned back against the leather seat, her head leaning back further as she exhaled, somewhat in frustration, somewhat in an exaggerated fashion.

“Last time it was as a courtesy, but for me to go out again… I will need more than thanks. I expect that my time be sufficiently rewarded and repaid.”

The man squirmed in his seat slightly, worried just what it may have been that Astrid would have wanted. For someone who essentially had everything that she could have wanted, based on appearance and status, it was hard to believe that he would be able to do anything other than be left trying to defend an impossible task. He sighed himself, not before bowing his head in deferment. “What do you want?”

944/1500 (-40% | -20% Sia & Noir, -20% Symbiotic Fleshweave)


What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest: Astrid]    Empty Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:31 pm

The remainder of the conversation went as well as about as Astrid had anticipated it having gone. The reality was that the old man was neither in a position to do anything, nor did Astrid find much reason in shifting from what she wanted. In the end, she would get exactly her preferred payment, and the old man, if had any hopes of seeing any favor being carried out by Astrid, whether now or in the long term future, he would have no choice but to agree.

And so, with the impossible negotiations handled and Astrid having gotten her boon, she set out once again, back to a place where she had first thought finished. The Catacombs that were placed far outside the realm of Oak Town, still within its borders but enough distance scattered that often times the people failed to appreciate and treat them as the same. Astrid was no exception, but despite that thinking, she also recognized that the catacombs themselves, or even those of the spirits that may have festered within them, weren’t of much importance to her.

It was all a game about power, about securing it for herself and this was a key piece to it all. Once the old man was satisfied that she had done was needed, then the reward was bound to arrive. A missing piece to the puzzle that she was creating, a beautiful canvas that she was about ready to lay out for the rest of Oak Town and the rest of Fiore to see. And when it did happen, it would be a glorious one at that.

1213/1500 (-40% | -20% Sia & Noir, -20% Symbiotic Fleshweave)


What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest: Astrid]    Empty Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:31 pm

The task, it wasn’t something that was very much different than that of what had occurred before, and that was something that she was fine with. The only thing that was more important than her tending to this matter was it being one that was handled promptly. There wasn’t much traffic or attention that was seen by the people in the area on a normal basis, so her appearance wasn’t going to draw too much attention from outlookers and such. She was basically just the lone person in the area which was perfect for her. The less interaction, the less questions as to why she may have been there, the better.

Not unlike the last time, it was fairly straightforward. And unfortunately it also painted in her mind the reality that Iblis certainly had more involvement in the situation in Oak Town than she may have first thought. These seals that were being applied, there was no reason to think that the Senators in Oak Town were involved, but Iblis certainly would have done this.

In reality, it just gave her all the more reason to think that this was going to have been worth it, and that was exactly her thought process. Though she had done them twice for the old man, once she had his support for what she needed, there was no reason to not further taking care of what Iblis left throughout Oak Town in her own endeavors. Wiping out his presence from Oak Town, if there was anything that could erase the remainder of the presence of Iblis from the city, then it would just make things all the easier. It only took a short time to take care of the matter, and once that was completed, it was simply a matter of returning to the Swineherd Pub for a worthwhile drink.

Whether the old man were there or not, she knew at least that he would be back, and with it would come the reward that she would be owed.

1549/1500 (-40% | -20% Sia & Noir, -20% Symbiotic Fleshweave)

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