19 The Event Bazaar
The girls gathered at the Lamont Café for a snack. By the time they finished their snack, it was already sunset. Only the NPCs worked at the café that day.
"Want to check out the bazaar? There might be cool items there," Luna suggested after she finished her cup of coffee.
"Why not? I'm up for limited edition hats." Astrid liked the idea.
"I must collect all the hats!" Amelie, the self-proclaimed hat collector, clenched her fist passionately.
Lyria stood up. "Shall we?"
The girls left the café and walked towards the outskirts of Lamont where stalls were set up. A variety of items and food were sold in each shop, most of which were limited edition items.
"Astrid! Look! That stall is selling cool hats!" Luna pointed at a stall excitedly.
"Let's check it out!" Astrid ran to the stall with Luna and Amelie to browse their items.
Lyria was about to follow them when Lyngvi suddenly appeared and greeted her.
"I'm sorry about defeating your guildmaster. Is Astrid alright?" said Lyngvi.
"Astrid is..." Lyria looked back.
Astrid and Luna were busy looking at the food stalls. Amelie seemed to have disappeared.
"Luna! Luna! They serve curry bread here!" Astrid called her food hoarding buddy. "They have steak and spiced wine too!"
"Astrid! They serve beef bowls here!" Luna pointed at the stall in front of her.
"Beef bowls? Where? I want beef bowls!" Astrid ran to the stall.
"Which one do we eat!?"
"I don't know! Let's just buy everything!"
The two jumped from one stall to another buying food and stashing them into their inventory.
Lyngvi laughed. "It looks like she's alright. That's good. Come, I'll treat you all to some food."
"Heh. You're a smooth one, Vi." Tank approached them. "I've been looking for you." He took out a crusader weapon from his inventory. "This is for you. You deserve it."
"This is that sword I've been saving up to buy!" Lyngvi exclaimed. "Tank, you bought it for me? It's very expensive..."
Tank laughed. "Don't worry about it. Make sure you wield it during the team battles."
"I will! Thank you!"
"Lyria! We bought you some honey cakes and dumpling!" Luna shouted from afar. "Let's go eat this on the roof!"
"I have to go. The girls are calling me," Lyria told the two crusaders.
"I'll treat you all to some food," said Lyngvi.
"Thanks, but I think Luna and Astrid hoarded more than enough food. We'll be spending some girl time together."
"Alright. Maybe next time then. Have fun!"
"Here. Give this to Luna." Tank handed a pendant over to Lyria. "It will increase her vitality and attack speed."
"Thanks, Tank. See you guys!" Lyria waved and walked over to Astrid and Luna, who were munching on some curry bread.
"Let's find Amelie and go back to headquarters," said Astrid.
"Luna, Tank wanted to give this to you." Lyria gave her the pendant she received earlier.
Luna immediately turned red. "From Tank?" There was a huge grin on her face. She covered her face in embarrassment.
Astrid ate more curry bread and smirked. "Ooh. Someone got a present from the guild master of the Knights Alliance," she teased.
"I'll wear it tomorrow during my fight!"
"Go kick some ass."
"Hey, is that Amelie over there?" Lyria pointed at the stage where Amelie was standing with the host. "Why is she up on stage?"
They walked nearer to the stage. The audience was chanting 'Chris!' and raising their fists up.
"So, Chris, do you think you can sing something for us?" the host asked.
"Of course! I'd be delighted," Amelie replied. When she did, she spotted Jasmine in the crowd. "Hi Jasmine!" She waved. This made everyone's attention turn to Jasmine.
"Hey, Chris..." She awkwardly waved back.
"Oh? Is this the lovely young lady you'll be dedicating the song to?" The host smirked.
"I'll dedicate this song to you then, Jasmine! I hope you'll forgive me for yesterday," Amelie said cheerfully, which made Jasmine turn red.
"Alright! Start the song!" The host commanded the DJ at the side of the stage controlling the music.
Amelie began singing while the audience went wild.
"Let's move front to get a better view. I can't see a thing from here!" Astrid was already standing on her tiptoes. She and Luna moved through the crowd.
"Wait for me!" Lyria was about to follow, when a familiar presence stood behind her.
Lyria turned around. It was Pio, who was wearing a new set of clothes. This time, it was armor meant for male priests. He acted more bashful than usual, probably because he couldn't get the incident during his match out of his head.
Lyria smiled. "Pio, congratulations on your win! That was a huge surprise. I didn't think you would enter."
"Thanks." He tried to smile back. "Are you... weirded out by me?"
"I do admit that I was surprised to find out that you're actually a guy, but I don't think you're weird."
He looked relieved. "Thanks."
"Scone?" Lyria offered him one.
"Yes please. Thank you." He received it.
"Lyria! We're going back to headquarters now!" Luna called.
"They gave me a limited edition top hat!" Amelie raised her prize up.
"I have to go. The girls and I are having a little picnic on the roof." She waved. "Bye bye, Pio!"
"Have fun!" He waved back and stared at the scone he was holding. The thoughts that once bothered him disappeared. He found himself smiling for some reason.
"You know, we should do this more often," said Astrid as she was lying down on the roof between Lyria and Luna. Amelie was feeding Rune some food while the wyvern was perched on top of her head.
"I wish they held bazaars every month," said Luna as she sampled the spiced wine they bought. "This wine is good."
They were under the vast night sky that had countless stars and a full moon that illuminated their guild base. It was quiet and serene. The place was indeed like a paradise.
Astrid thought about the real world and all its flaws. Here, they were living a dream. No one had to start a war over scarce resources or conflicting ideologies. The abundance of necessities and the freedom to do as one pleases seemed to have put the artificial world in a constant state of peace. Is it really alright for humanity to be living this way? How long will this peace last?
For a moment, she was worried that perhaps it wouldn't be long until large scale conflicts would emerge in Aries. For the time being, she placed aside her worries and focused on the present.
Lyria sipped her tea. "We just need one more win left and we're all set for the next preliminaries."
"I'll do my best!" Luna said with determination.
"One day, I hope we'll become a strong guild like Black Rose, The Knights Alliance, and Jupiter."
"Let's become one of the best!" Amelie raised a pizza up in the air. "We can do this!"
Astrid smiled. "It's only a matter of time."