Thank you for the kind words and following my story :")
Here is the new chapter. Sorry for the lack of plot, I just wanted to make sure Claire will have fun in the new town. Please read and review.
Disclaimer: Do not own anything. Nope. None.
A fanatic voice screaming and broke Claire away from her train of thought. A huge fluffy shadow launched towards her, and she instinctively struck her arms out to catch it before it smashed into her. The collision forced her to felt backwards as she struggled trying to cradle the thing.
After a minutes of juggling, the monster finally gave up and settled down in her arm, revealed to be an oversize chicken. It beak gripping her arms fiercely, a last ditch attempt to break free.
"Ah please don't let it go!" The voice exclaimed, footsteps hurriedly ran towards Claire.
"You bad chicken!"
In front of Claire, an adorable girl with pink hair was standing, her innocent beauty for a second reminded Claire of some type of Goddess, stepped out of Greek Mythology. The only difference maybe that it was a chicken she was holding instead of the regular wheat and flowers from typical Geek Sculptures. Her curly bob of pink hair was tangled from the running, a tint of red rose on her impeccable cheek. Maybe she was a Goddess of chicken.
And the Goddess of Chicken pulled the chicken out of Claire's grip, and the bird subdued quickly in its owner's embrace, harmless as he ever was.
"Are you okay? Thank you for stopping my chicken from going wild. You just saved me from the wrath of my brother! Rick would be so mad if he knew I forgot to lock the cage again." The bubbly girl said everything in one go, smiled sweetly then offered a hand out to help Claire stand up, which Claire absent mindedly took,
"Oh, you are new here aren't you! I've never seen you before. My name is Popuri, nice to met you."
"I'm Claire, the new farmer." Claire said, still admiring the girl in front of her.
"Gosh Claire you're bleeding! Come to my house, Ill patch you up." And before Claire could reply, Popuri pulled the farmer with her.
Rick pushed the door loudly and announced his entrance with a slur.
"Popuri, do you know there is a new farmer in town! A girl no less! I hope she .…"
"…Oh" He trailed off as he saw a striking blonde girl in front of him next to Popuri, his face reddened to be caught in the middle of gossiping about her. Struck by an awkward situation, he stood dumbfounded at the door. Not only the new farmer didn't look like Gotz female version, she was actually… beautiful. Her Blonde hair carelessly flows to the middle of her back, a few decoration of white feather tangled within, makes her all the more attractive to Rick. Her skin was strangely pale, as if she needed to be treat with delicacy, but the fierce azure eyes sharply reflects a strong and independent spirit, that stare directly into one's soul and demanded control of its contact.
"Take a picture, last longer." Popuri said, teasing her brother's obviously oozing at Claire. "And maybe consider wiping your drools."
Which immediately woke Rick out of his trance. He closed his hanging mouth, and shifted his posture so he could looked normal again.
"Rick, meet Claire, the new farmer. Claire, meet my stupid brother rick" Popuri's voice said in a sing song tone, rubbing Rick's awkward face. His vein popped, but decided it best to just ignore his sister childish tease and keeping his face in front of the new girl.
"Hey Claire, nice to meet you"
"Nice to meet you too Rick" Claire smiled, happy to break off the staring contest.
"What happened to your arm?" Rick noticed Popuri was tending to Claire's scratch.
Upon hearing his words, Popuri face faded into a few shade of white, bracing herself to be scolded by Rick once he learned of the reason.
"Well, I was daydreaming and stumbled down by one of the stupid branch in the street. Popuri happened to be nearby so she offered to patch me up," Claire said nonchalantly.
Popuri looked at Claire with a surprise, and Claire winked at her new friends, which resulted with a big white smile on the pink hair's face. Popuri decided that she loved the new farmer already.
"There you go Claire." Popuri said, finished putting the bandage on Claire's arm, then turned to Rick:
"Rick, I still have to feed the chicken. But would you be kind and show Claire to the supermarket? She said she wanted a few things there, she seemed lost. I don't want Claire to stumble and ruined my perfect work."
This is hardly a perfect work, both of Claire and Rick thought, looking at Claire's arm, the bandage was pathetically hanging on Claire arm like a sorry grandma's winkle skin. The blonde also mentally scold at the comment, immediately regret saving Popuri from earlier- Claire wasn't lost, she was just wandering around by her own choice.
"S-Sure" Rick said, eyeing as his sister, wondering what was the new mischief her cute little mind just cook up. But of course, he wouldn't mind offer some courtesy towards this petite farmer, and regain some of his dignity back after being caught staring at her. Hence, he just obediently follow Claire as she walked out of the house, Popuri waving at them excitedly.
"So why did you decide to come here Claire?" Rick asked, attempted to strike up a conversation.
"Well... A change of air I guess." Claire replied, clearly uncomfortable to answer the question. Rick realized he might hit a sensitive nerves, so he nodded silently, not wanting to push the farmer.
"So what do you do Rick?" This time was Claire turn to break the awkward atmosphere.
"Oh. I take care of the Poultry farm, along with my sister, and my mother. We raised chicken, mostly for eggs. I just couldn't bear leaving a chicken away… " Rick said, his eyes sparked and he started droning on about his favorite thing in the world.
"…I must have bored you out." He said as he realized just basically dominated their conversation.
"No Rick, it was interesting. I never knew chicken eggs also come out from their anal, same place where they shit. Egg will never look the same to me," Claire grinned teasingly. "Thanks for ruining my life."
"You can't, eggs is just too good to give up, you will get over it" He replied simply, "In fact, I'm going to give you some of ours when we got back. Bet you can't find any better quality eggs in the city".
"Oh no that's too much"
"Don't be. We have plenty of them anyway." Rick grinned. "And don't bother refusing, or I will have Popuri be all over you"
Claire shuddered at the thought of the bubbly pink hair harassing her with constants cheerfulness.
"Well then I've to say yes. Thank you Rick"
"It's a deal." Rick grinned, secretly satisfying with himself.
"Well, here we are, at the supermarket" Rick pushed the door in.
"Hey Rick! I was…" A voice yelling happily at Rick, and stopped for a second as its owner saw the sign of Claire coming in with him, then continue on happily. - "Hey Stranger!"
Stood at the counter was a gorgeous brunette that seemed to be out of place with her surroundings. She was beautiful, the kind of face you saw on TV and magazine, flawless beauty, olive eyes. Even without make up, she was still radiated with charms. That girl seems like she belonged in a catwalk in the city, not working here at the clerk of an isolate town.
Rick gently stepped aside to introduce Claire into focus. "Hey Karen, this is our new farmer, Claire"
"Hey there… Karen," Claire said timidly, clearly still dazzled by the stunning girl. The concentration of beautiful girls in this town is ridiculous. It's like I'm playing an otome game. "…I'm Claire, nice to meet you."
"Hey Claire! I heard about you from Thomas." Karen said, as she stepped out of the supermarket and hugged Claire enthusiastically. "Sooo nice to see you!" her voice no hint of mischievous. A new girl, this should be fun!
Wow, too friendly, Claire thought as she awkwardly patted Karen back, a gesture to return the hug. No way super model in city could be this nice, she must be real, I'm not dreaming then.
Rick smiled as he saw his friend get excited about the new girl. Claire seemed cool, and Karen would benefit from having a girl close to her age that she could talk too.
"You are so brave, working the farm the all by yourself!" She said as she let Claire off.
"Well, I haven't work on it yet…" Claire answered. But Karen seemed to ignore it.
Karen walked over to the seed counter, pull out a big bag of seed, and cheerfully bring it to Claire.
"Take this, it should help you out! These grass can re-fetilize the soil for you."
"Oh no this is too much Karen. It's okay. I can buy it myself." Claire brushed the bag back to Karen and pull out the wallet. But before she could do so, Rick lifted the seed bag out of her grip, and hoisted it on his shoulder.
"Here, I'll drop it off at your farm on my way home, along with the eggs. I have to get back before Popuri decided to destroy the house."
"Great! It's all settled then!" Karen giggling, as Claire was still at shock at what was going on. Mental note to Claire – Apparently, People in Mineral don't take no as an options.
"Fine" Claire said resignedly, "But I also need some cleaning supplies, and this time, I'm paying"
As her arms were full of cleaning supplies and whatnot, Claire silently thank Rick to offer helps depositing haft of her purchase to her farm, otherwise there would be no way she could bring them back by herself without a second trip, or third trip even.
Hungry from the walking and browsing, she decided that she would just stopped by the Inn for her lunch. The current state of her kitchen would not permit her to prepare food safely without a massive diarrhea. Hell, she might as well eat the food uncooked and it would still be safer.
As soon as Claire stepped into the inn, a voice welcomed her in.
"Hello there! Welcome in! Huh, I never see you before, are you the new farmer in town?" a Red hair girl, also in a jumpsuit hair greet cheerfully.
"Ah yes, I am" Claire said. News sure travel fast in this town. She thought to herself.
Then Claire sat her stuff on the nearest table to free her hand, and turned back to the girl.
"The name's Claire, Claire William, pleasure to be your acquaintance". What the hell, Pleasure to be your acquaintance? You're a farmer, not a CEO's a business partner.
The barmaid giggled at the sentences. Her smile was that of a little angel, strong and full of vitality. Not to mention her face did look like one too, with her feisty red hair, petite nose and blue eyes vibrating with life.
"Yes nice to meet you Claire. I'm Ann, I lived here and also worked as a waitress. Over there is my Dad." As she finished, she turned over and shouted-
"Hey dad! The new farmer Claire is here to visit us".
Ann called for the guy who was busy cleaning the mugs at the bar with a white towels. Hearing his name, he turned over, gave them a huge grin, and walk out of the bar towards the girls.
"Hello there Claire. My name is Doug, the owner of this Inn. Nice to see you". He gave his hand out and Claire shook it. Both of the father and daughter had a very hospitality feeling, warm and fuzzy.
"Must be hard work taking care of the farm all by yourself, especially seeing how beaten up it is"
"Mhmm yes. I haven't started though, but Roman wasn't built in a day, so I'll just try my best"
"Yes thats the spirit" Doug said, grinned at the feisty spirit of the new farmer.
"Hey dad, why don't we gave Claire a free lunch on the house as a welcome gift!" Ann suggested.
"Sure, I don't see why not". After all, seeing her so lively and determinate, Doug would like to do something to encourage the girl as well.
"That's very nice of you! But it's okay, I can pay for myself."
"Ohh don't worry Claire! Just sit and enjoy yourself! My dad is a fabulous cook, you wouldn't be disappointed! "
"Yes, and just make sure if the food is good, come back and patronize us Claire!" Doug added, then stepped to the back to prepare for the dish.
Again, Claire sat dumbfounded, unsure of what just happened, as Ann and Doug went on and prepare her meal. What was the deal those Mineral folk, forcing free stuff on the new people. But her lips tilt upwards at the thought. So this is how a close kit community must feel like, everyone was just so friendly and eager to help each other. Claire began to love it here already.
"I see you just brought a bunch of cleaning supplies. I suppose you're about to clean up the house?" Ann put the dishes on Claire table and, placed herself opposite to Claire's seat.
"Yes" Claire nodded, and gave herself a spoonful of curry freshly made by Doug.
"Wow you're right, this is very good. Mhmmmmm". Claire chew and savoring the food. Doug's food had a very homey feeling, filled with kindess and warm that made Claire happy eating them. His food was so different from the city.
Doug and Ann smile broadly seeing Claire attacking their food joyously. "See! Told you!" They both said.
"I guess I could help you with cleaning Claire! It will be quicker with more people aint' it! Hey papa, can I take an evening off to help Claire out?"
Ann said, without even bother to ask Claire to agree on her assistance. Getting used to it, Claire didn't even bother to protest anymore. She just made a mental note that as soon as her farm start producing stuff, she would just bombard them with veggies and fruit then. Althought that scenario seems to be farfetched with the state of her farm right now.
"Hmm, I suppose I could let it slide today for the sake of our lovely farmer, just don't make it into a habit of skipping work okay."
"Sure dad. Love you." Ann jumped and hugged her dad in an animated fashion. He patted her in the back, before stepping inside to work on his kitchen, leaving the two girl talking with themselves. This daughter of his, so lively and full of actions… He wondered when she would use that energy to find her a boy.
Ignorant of her Father's unspoken wish, Ann went on and busied herself with planning.
"Ellie is busy with the Clinic, Karen would be a disaster to invite for house work. Mary, I'm not sure.. Hmm I'mgoing to ask Popuri to help us out as well! She is pretty good with house work. "
"Popuri? The girl at the chicken farm near the blacksmith?" Claire said, winced as the imaginary squeak of Popuri popping into her head.
"Yes, have you met her?"
"I helped her caught her chicken earlier that day when I walked out of the Blacksmith"
"Oh, so you visited the Blacksmith as well? Have you seen Gray then?"
"They moody guy in there? Yeah I've seen him." She said tiredly as the talk remind her of a particular event that she would rather not happen.
"I walked in when he was having a fight with his grandfather, and I somehow got involved…"
"Haha. Don't tell me you rebuked him."
"Some gut you are, going against him. Gray has a terrible temper. But Saibara, that old man is a tough nut though."
"Gray was nice when I stumbled upon him in the street…" Claire said gently as her vision faded into the memory of the beautiful blue eyes of a stranger this morning.
"Hmm… aren't someone having interest in someone," Ann teased.
Claire then heard a clearing throat behind her, and as she turned around she saw Gray walked in and towards the stair.
"Oh hey Gray, you're home early today"
"H-Hey Gray" Claire said, feeling awkward as she was caught in the middle of talking about the guy.
But Gray didn't answer, eyeing the pair before he shrugged and walked straight upstairs.
"What's with him?" Claire asked, looking curiously at the silhouette of the blacksmith slowly retreated.
"Oh never mind him Claire, he's probably still sulking over his fight with his grandpa, just let him be." Ann said dismissively, glancing at the clock. "We have a more urgent business to tend to."
Then took Claire's finished plate with one hand, while another pulled Claire up.
"You go and dropped those off the house," she pointed at Claire's cleaning supplies, "I'll catch you there, gotta make a around", Ann pushed Claire towards the door.
"Ohh, this is sooo excited!" The tomboy said in an obsessed manner, which gave Claire a chill- she had a feeling she was getting to something traumatizing.
Much to Claire's surprise, there was a small crowd in front of her house when she got back. There were almost everyone Claire saw this morning. Popuri, Rick, Karen, a new gentle girl in a nurse dress that she had yet to meet. Basically everyone showed up, with Ann leading up front to welcome her.
"You are taking too long to get home! I thought you ditched us." Ann complained loudly.
"Hey Ann! Hey… everyone"
"Everyone caught winds about you're cleaning so they decided to stop by and giving you a hand" Ann said cheerfully and innocently, like it's the most natural thing in the world.
Knowing her new friend, Claire would imagine Ann came knocking and dragging everyone in. Caught wind, more like, caught in a bloody murder threats.
"Not true, you were basically screaming at me to come," Popuri pout, but quickly added. "Not that I don't want to help you Claire, but Ann is scary when she is cleaning. Ouch! Ann!" She squeaked as Ann pinched her cheek.
While they were bickering back at forth, the gentle girl took the moment to approach Claire.
"Hello Claire. I'm Elli, nice to meet you."
"Hey Ellie!" Claire smile reciprocatedly at the girl. "Thanks for coming and helping out, it's so nice of you"
"No worries" Ellie said brightly." I'm always love to help! And I heard so much about you, I'm so glad to finally see you"
Again, news sure travel fast in this town. Claire thought. And what is with these insanely cute bachelorettes in this town? A variety from cute to beautiful with different personality. Is this a game or something?
"I'm the nurse of this town, if you need anything, please come to the clinic okay?". No wonder Elli was so gently and gave out a soothing feeling. She had an air of calmness around her that ease everyone inside her radius. Claire felt she can definitely get along with this sweet lady.
"You have a whole welcome wagon to help you Claire" Karen exclaimed excitedly.
"Ah… Indeed I do."
Claire glanced at all the new face around her, a warmth slowly spread over her body. These are her new friends, the friends that she barely meet, but somehow already feel closed and protective over them.
Friends. What a wonderful word.
Every time I feel sad and depressed, I sneak into the Harvest Moon game to take a little break to the world. Harvest Moon Mineral Town was my little corner of joy, where I can slip from reality to this little town to meet these awesome character, where life was simpler and colorful. Everyone at Mineral Town seemed nice and kind to me, so I am glad that Claire was able to feel welcomed here, because that was how I felt when I played the game.