Origin: An Odyssey in Time

Chapter 12

The group gathered together all the required materials to complete their quest. “They’re all here, so what are we waiting for?” Magnolia attempted to rouse the somber and quiet member of their group, but nothing seemed to work. Eugene had gotten quiet after her outburst this morning, but it was understandable. He has to understand why. They talked about it for hours online before. 

“Vormud will be happy to not have to worry about gathering the materials.” Cassidy replied, her eyes trained on the prize ahead. “Let’s hope we get the irregularity solved and then move on. This wood and brimstone era is getting boring.”

Alex smirked at the Dream Indie game creator. “You’re bored of almost everything, except maybe the solution of Harold’s case.”

Cassidy perked at the mention of her game. “Of course I’d be thrilled about Harold. He is my baby.” 

“Yet you killed his wife.” Eugene replied, and a ghost of a smile appeared on his face. “You monster.”

“It had to happen.” She reasoned and crossed her arms to nod her head. 

“You look like you’re trying to convince yourself.” Alex observed, and got a severe cold and dark leer from the game inventor. 

“Sometimes death is a life change that is pivotal for character growth and success. Leave Harold’s dead wife alone.” Cassidy replied instantaneously. 

Magnolia chuckled despite her feeling uncomfortable. The group seemed to be focused in on the conversation about ReSolve than about completing the main story quest. 

The black haired druid offered an alternative for their group instead. “Since I initiated the quest, I should probably follow through with it. You guys don’t need to worry yourselves.” 

“It doesn’t matter either way. We could all go now.” The tiefling said.  

Eugene motioned for Cassidy and Alex to stay where they were. “Why don’t you two hold down the table. I’ll go with Magnolia to complete the Quest.” He went to his menu console and proceeded to open up his messenger.  Locking it on, he gave him a thumbs up. “I’ll be on messenger if you need us.” 

Alex and Cassidy understood his message and waved them both off. It was then that Alex turned to Cassidy with a wicked grin. “But  really, why would killing his wife prove anything? Couldn’t he have aspired to become a detective without the killing of his wife. I call Shenanigans.”

Eugene gave a silent thanks and then passed over the required items to Magnolia. “Let’s hurry up.” 

The girl followed him outside just as Cassidy began her long tirade of why it was important for his wife to die. Everyone in their group of friends knew how long she could talk about ReSolve, so it wasn’t odd to see this small conversation carry her away. 

The two made it outside of the Inn with no problems. Magnolia held on the objects like they were her lifeline, and she watched the posture of the walking dragonborn straighten. The store was mere steps away before he stopped short of reaching for the door. 

“Let’s have a quick chat, you know that your obsession with otome pillows will become the death of me.” He rubbed his sore nostrils with his talons. “It hurt you know.”  

“It’s not just my otome collection I’m worried about, but also my yaoi, and yuri, and almost everything in my room with doujinshi!” She retorted, and stopped herself from saying more. 

“Why are you hiding it in the first place? There’s no need to be embarrassed about something like that.” He huffed, mostly out of annoyance than anything else. 

The question caught her completely off guard. It was obvious that she was rattled by what happened that morning, but she didn’t mean to take things too far. “I’m not—okay yeah I am. But the last time I openly discussed my favorite stuff to read or watch, I was scorned for it. The endless bullying and name calling, not to mention all the hazers too. I just don’t want you guys to be disillusioned of me. I don’t want you to hate me.” 

She bent at the waist to complete a proper bow to him in apology. “I’m really sorry for this morning. I just don’t want them to know.”   

“You don’t need to apologize for something like that. And you were bullied? Give me their names, I’ll report them. Hell, I’ll kick in their doors and find their skeletons hiding in the closet. Let me at them.” Eugene paused dramatically, and turned to face her. He gave her a ghost of a smile and she could tell he was being mischievous once again. 

“That won’t be necessary.” She giggled. She remembered how he discovered her shameful secret. By sheer coincidence she happened to forget he was coming over to fix her gaming laptop. She had needed it for her job, and if she didn’t have it, she would have been in deep trouble. It was then he discovered the stash when they were sitting in her room. To her it looked normal, but the walls were covered in posters, her bookshelves were littered with books upon books of doujinshi… Needless to say, it was terrible. 

“You can just admit you like to read smutty stuff. It’s not the worst thing on the planet.” 

“That’s not something you can just tell people openly idiot!” She retorted, and shoved the materials into his arms. He caught them with relative ease, giving her a smirk. 

She moved around him to the front door of the shop. She hoped this conversation would end so the flush on her cheeks would die down. 

“I promise they won’t hate you. I don’t hate you at least.” He called over to her as she slammed the accessory shop’s door open.

“Good morning!” She talked over Eugene’s call. She might have startled Vormud who dropped a crate of materials he carried. 

“Ah! I’m sorry!” She exclaimed, rushing over to help. Eugene entered the shop to see the aftermath of her overexuberance. 

“Ahh, the young druid from the other day. How can I help you?” He stammered once his materials were back in the crate. Magnolia smiled and gestured to Eugene. He offered the required materials out to the accessory keeper. 

“We brought you the materials that you wanted! Now you don’t have to worry about being threatened anymore!” 

Vormud’s brown eyes became saucers. “You—you—actually did that for me!?” 

Magnolia happily nodded. “Yup!”

Vormud ushered Eugene over to the counter, where he laid out fabric for the materials. When told to do so, the dragonborn placed the materials down for him to inspect. As the goldsmith checked, he breathed a huge sigh of relief. “Thank you, thank you. I don’t know what I would have done if these materials weren’t collected. It must have been difficult.” 

Eugene interceded this time. “No, it was fairly easy and it needed to be done.” 

Vormud smiled. “I can’t thank you enough, wait I know!” He rushed over to the glass case and pulled out two pieces of accessories. “I know it’s not enough but please accept this garnet bracelet and amulet. It’s the least I can do to pay you!”

The druid smiled when she recognized the slight bent amulet that had been reformed. The garnet bracelet was also the one he repaired as well. “Thank you sir!”

The goldsmith merely waved them off. “I can finish that ring order and that man can finally leave town. Thank the gods. Please, if you excuse me.” He gathered the materials and brought it into the back of the shop. 

When he was out of sight, the wrist consoles buzzed to life. A notification showed up in the center.  

Main Quest 1: Wait for Vormud to create the Ring of Allocated Time. 

You have successfully delivered the materials over to Vormud. He is excited to start the ring he was threatened to make.  You are concerned about how the transaction will go, so you wait until the ring is completed. 

Eugene and Magnolia read the prompt before turning to one another. Is this the irregularity? Magnolia thought. 

She closed the notification and almost felt her jaw drop. Beneath the notification happened to be the messenger, and while she didn’t have hers locked on…Eugene’s had been. 

She read in horror the long sentences of Eugene’s avatar retelling the whole ordeal, in words, to her best friends sitting in the Inn. Everything. Even her talk about the smut. 

“Why meeeee!” She yelled aloud, while Eugene raised his wrist console. 

“I said it would be locked on messenger earlier. Well, now you don’t have to worry.” Eugene remarked as he stared down at his own messages. 

Engine_Loaded: It’s not just my otome collection I’m worried about, but also my yaoi, and yuri, and almost everything in my room with doujinshi.”

Engine_Loaded: Why are you hiding it in the first place? There’s no need to be embarrassed about something like that” 

EagleEye: “Whelp, that explains a lot.”

Engine_Loaded: “I’m not—okay yeah I am. But the last time I openly discussed my favorite stuff to read or watch, I was scorned for it. The endless bullying and name calling, not to mention all the hazers too. I just don’t want you guys to be disillusioned of me. I don’t want you to hate me. I’m really sorry for this morning. I just don’t want them to know.”

Cool_Azure_Sea: “Oh Mags, I could never hate you.” 

Eagle_Eye: “Oof, yeah people aren’t always the nicest. I’m sorry Mags.”

Engine_Loaded: “You don’t need to apologize for something like that. And you were bullied? Give me their names, I’ll report them. Hell, I’ll kick in their doors and find their skeletons hiding in the closet. Let me at them.

Engine_Loaded: “That won’t be necessary.”

EagleEye: “Is it just me, or is it weird seeing Eugene’s avatar have such a personality change. I know it’s different people talking, but still.”

Cool_Azure_Sea: “I think it’s hilarious. It’s like seeing someone with multiple personalities at once.”

Engine_Loaded: “You can just admit you like to read smutty stuff. It’s not the worst thing on the planet.” 

EagleEye: “It makes me wonder what her history browser is like.” 

Cool_Azure_Sea: “She doesn’t even know his messenger is locked on. Poor thing.” 

Engine_Loaded: “That’s not something you can just tell people openly idiot!”

Engine_Loaded: “I promise they won’t hate you. I don’t hate you at le—GOOD MORNING.”

EagleEye: “I think they made it to the accessory shop. RIP Eugene.”

Cool_Azure_Sea: “That attempt was… oof. My condolences.

Engine_Loaded: “Ahh, the young druid from the other day. How can I help you?”

Engine_Loaded: “We brought you the materials that you wanted! Now you don’t have to worry about being threatened anymore!” 

Engine_Loaded: “You—you—actually did that for me!?”

Engine_Loaded: “Yup!”

EagleEye: “He sounds so shocked that we actually did it.”

Cool_Azure_Sea: “Or maybe he thought a druid  became a BAMF adventurer with a swashbuckler and killed the beasts herself.”

Cool_Azure_Sea: “That’s nice how the system recognized BAMF.” 

EagleEye: “Woah, could you imagine a buffed up Petals. She’d blast the place sky high.”

Engine_Loaded: “Thank you, thank you. I don’t know what I would have done if these materials weren’t collected. It must have been difficult.” 

Engine_Loaded: “No, it was fairly easy and it needed to be done.”

Engine_Loaded: “I can’t thank you enough, wait I know! I know it’s not enough but please accept this garnet bracelet and amulet. It’s the least I can do to pay you!”

Cool_Azure_Sea: “Dibs on amulet.”

Engine_Loaded: “Thank you sir!”

Engine_Loaded: “I can finish that ring order and that man can finally leave town. Thank the gods. Please, if you excuse me.”

EagleEye: “So after reading the quest update, what should we do?”

Cool_Azure_Sea: “Discuss Petals favorite boy on boy collection. Obviously.”

EagleEye: I wonder what she’d do if she realized their entire conversation had been recorded. 

Cool_Azure_Sea: Well, we’ll find out in a moment. I bet she’ll scream.

Engine_Loaded: “Why meeeeee!”

Engine_Loaded: “I said it would be locked on messenger earlier. Well, now you don’t have to worry.”

Cool_Azure_Sea: “Wow, her voice echoed all the way into the Inn.”  

EagleEye: “Good thing I didn’t agree to that bet.”

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