29 Choosing Friends
Back at the guild headquarters, Astrid and Luna unloaded the ingredients they collected from farming. While they did so, Luna was ranting about Christina.
"She's trying to steal him on purpose! I feel like she's targeting me or something. What's her problem?" Luna angrily stuffed the flour into the fridge.
"Ok, calm down. Here, you can have half of my special meat sandwich to feel better. I added a special sauce, which is a rare drop from the Goblin King. It makes things really delicious!" When Astrid opened the refrigerator door, there was no sandwich to be found. Her expression turned dead serious. "Someone took my sandwich."
"I doubt it was Lyria who took it. She's on a diet. Anna is apparently vegetarian. Amelie is always carrying food in her bags, so it's less likely that she'd take it." Luna paused. "Which leaves me and Christina."
"Your guilt level is too high for you to take things from your close friends, so that leaves Christina."
"She's most likely the culprit if you ask me." Luna folded her arms.
Astrid rubbed her chin. "I don't want to falsely accuse her, so I'm going to ask around."
The front door suddenly opened. The two froze in place, thinking it might be Christina. It was Lyria, who later stepped inside and joined them in the kitchen. The priestess was looking a little worried.
Astrid examined the priestess' expression. "Are you alright, Lyria? You have a serious look on your face."
"Something happened along the lines of scamming." She narrated to them what happened. "What do you girls think? Did she really intend to scam me?"
Astrid nodded. "Actually, Amelie just got scammed too. Good thing you didn't buy the pendant from her."
"She thinks she can trick us into buying her worthless items? Not a chance!" Lyria lifted her chin high and proceeded to make some tea.
Luna slammed a fist on the table. "See? I knew Christina was a bad person!"
"I'm up for kicking her out of the guild, but Amelie is overly attached to her 'Twinnie'. She's definitely going to hate us if we just kick Christina out," said Astrid as she unloaded the last batch of cheese.
"Talk to her about what just happened?" Lyria suggested. She poured tea into three cups. "Out of the three of us, I think you're the one who's least likely to punch her for being dense."
Astrid sighed. "Alright. I'll talk to Amelie about it."
"She's still at Lamont Square hanging out with Black Rose members. You might be able to catch her there."
"No Christina around?"
"Christina... Well, she's with the Knights Alliance members right now."
Luna cracked her knuckles upon hearing Lyria's response.
"At least they're not together right now. I'll go find Amelie." Astrid warped to Lamont.
It didn't take long for Astrid to find Amelie. The mage was seated at her usual place with the other Black Rose members. Astrid hesitated a bit before interrupting their lively chat.
Astrid approached her friend. "Amelie, can I talk to you for a moment?"
"It's Chris. And sure." Amelie excused herself from the Black Rose members.
Astrid brought her to an area with no people around. She wasted no time and began talking, "Listen, it's about Christina. To put it bluntly, we're kind of annoyed with her."
"Maybe you just misunderstood her? Twinnie was just trying to help Luna by making her aware of their status differences. It's not her fault that she has better stats. I think Luna is just jealous that Tank is giving her more attention."
"She also tried to scam Lyria like how she scammed you."
From the corner of her eye, Astrid spotted Lyria and Luna hiding behind a tree, eavesdropping on their conversation.
Amelie was horrified. "I was not scammed! Twinnie would never do that."
Astrid couldn't understand why Amelie was set on believing in Christina. "Why are you defending her?"
"Well, I'm not like other girls who assume someone did something bad just because they don't like that person."
Luna wanted to jump out and tackle Amelie, but Lyria was holding her back.
"Amelie, you've only known Christina for a few days. You barely know her. People you've been friends with for years are telling you she's an untrustworthy person. You're still siding with her?"
"Well, it sounds like you three are ganging up on her! I'm sorry. I just can't leave her alone."
Astrid sighed and shook her head in dismay. "Anyway, we're thinking about letting Christina out of the guild."
"Just over that? It's not fair!"
"Scamming is serious, Amelie. We could even turn her in to the moderators for that."
"I'll talk to Twinnie! I'm sure we can sort this out," Amelie said and ran to find Christina before Astrid could stop her.
Once Amelie was out of sight, Luna and Lyria came out of their hiding spot.
"I don't feel comfortable at all with Christina in the guild," said Lyria.
"Me too. I can't feel comfortable anymore with Christina around and Amelie not believing us at all! I can't believe she'd rather trust someone she met for just a few days. Were our years of friendship worth nothing?" Luna felt betrayed.
Astrid leaned against a nearby wall. "The problem with Amelie is that she trusts people too easily. She doesn't want to believe she's getting scammed either."
"Everyone is a douche until proven otherwise," said Lyria.
"We need to find a way to make Amelie realize that Christina is really a scammer."
Lyria folded her arms. "But what if Christina apologizes and Amelie still insists on having her in the guild? Are we still keeping her? Cause if we are, I might as well leave the guild and join Black Rose."
Luna stared at the ground. "I don't want to leave, but just seeing Amelie and Christina's face makes me pissed off. I'll stay away from the guild temporarily."
"How did it come to this?" Astrid's head was starting to ache. "If we continue to stay like this, our guild is definitely not going to do well in the team battles."
Lyria was confused. "I need to gather my thoughts and think. I'll see you back at the headquarters." She walked away from her friends.
Lyria strolled through the isolated areas of Lamont to sort out her feelings towards Amelie and the guild. As she passed through houses owned by NPCs, she heard a familiar voice.
It was Pio.
She turned around to greet him. "Oh hey, Pio. What are you doing in this area?"
"Actually, I got lost while looking for the pet shop and ended up here. Luckily, I bumped into you. You know the way back, right?" He rubbed the back of his head and hoped that she knew where she was going.
Lyria tried to smile. "Don't worry. I'm not lost like you."
"What's wrong? You look down."
"Crazy drama going on in the guild."
"Care to share what happened?"
They sat down on the nearby staircase where Lyria narrated to him about the events that led to the tension within their guild, including how she and Amelie met Christina. "Things aren't the same anymore. Maybe I should just leave and join your guild."
Pio looked worried. "But they're your friends, aren't they? You started the guild together. You'll let a single member ruin what you worked hard to build together?"
Lyria recalled the hard work they went through just to get through the first round of preliminaries. "Yeah. You're right."
"Don't give up just yet. I'm sure there's a way." He laughed awkwardly. "Though maybe that's just me being overly positive."
She finally had a genuine smile on her face. "Thanks, Pio."
"Don't mention it."