\/Blue\/

It had been only four hours since Blue had stepped into the casino. Already he was swept off his feet by the energy of the people. Monsters and Humans alike clung to their own personal slot machine. Blue gave everyone an evil glare.

/Look at these fools... Consumed by greed... gluttons.../

He turned his back to everyone and pulled out another credit that soon found its way into the slot machine. "Come on baby... Don't be mean to me... Just give me what I want"

Blue was no different from anybody else in the casino. He too had been consumed by their strange power. For every 99 coins he would put in, 50 would come out. That was enough to make him think that what he was doing was paying off.

The bag at his side grew smaller and smaller until there was only a handful of credits left. When he realized what he had done, it was a little too late to turn back the hands of time.

"Dammit... Only 30 credits left..." Blue pushed himself away from the machine, looking down at the uncomfortable stool he sat on. The imprint of his butt permanently molded onto the leathery material. "What have I done... The guys are going to kill me." He let out a long sigh before a thought came into his mind. "But then again... I'm on my own now..."

A laugh like no other escaped from the Magicians mouth. It was deep and almost evil. His arms were spread while each finger curved inward towards the palm. If Lute were to see Blue, he would easily see that Blue had been drinking and was probably inebriated.

"Sir?" A young woman dressed in a Pink Bunny costume appeared behind Blue.

"Gah!" Blue turned around quickly, "How did you manage to sneak up on me like that? Are you a fiend?" a finger was pointed into her direction.

The young woman had been working for hours and had experienced many different events with other customers at the casino. It was late, her feet were hurting, and she was about to get off. She gave him a nonchalant look and continued with her routine line." Would you like another drink, sir?"

Blue shook his head quickly and for a brief second became sober enough to push out a question. "I am here to find the Gold Card... as a magician it is my duty to obtain it..." With each word, the woman took a step back— his breath reeked of cheap wine.

"Hmm..." The young woman thought it over before sighing and shaking her head to Blue. "I'm sorry but... I don't know anything about a Gold Card." She looked around and slowly approached the man. "However I did hear that this casino's owned by gnomes. I'm positive they might know something about your Gold Card."

"Gnomes?!" Blue became offended, "I may be a little drunk but I'm not stupid! Gnomes don't exist..." He folded his arms and turned his back to the woman.

"Look..." The woman pointed to a small figure skipping right pass him.

The little guy was greenish almost with a beard and a strange hat. Since most of the customers at the casino had been stuck in the curse of greed, none of them ever noticed the gnomes and moved about. Only the females in bunny costumes knew.

Blue thanked the woman and quickly followed the gnome as close as he could without scaring him.

The gnome, in its own little state of mind, continued to skip down the corridor and up a flight of steps leading to the upper level of the casino. Blue continued up the steps as well and resumed his pursuit. Once again the gnome and skipped up another flight... and so did Blue.

At that moment Blue was feeling most grateful, "This is my luckiest day... and Lute isn't here to spoil it!" whispering to himself, he started to speed walk towards the gnome.

It would have been nice if today was Blue's lucky day... The gnome turned around and quickly made its way over to the elevator. Blue didn't even stand a chance at catching up with the little man. Once the elevator opened, the gnome was gone.

"Damn it all to hell! Lute this is all your..." Blue lowered his voice a looked around. "Oh yea... I forgot..." A long almost pining sigh escaped from him. He had truly forgotten that he had decided to journey alone from now on.

/I need to stop acting weak... Lute's not even here... It's all my fault I almost had the damn gnome.../

Blue waited for the elevator to return and quickly got on.

"What floor Sir?"

"Don't play dumb with me... Where did that gnome go?"

"What gnome?" the woman on the elevator gave off a naïve smile.

Blue shook his head and then looked at the elevator panel. "Why is there dirt on the parking garage button?"

The woman cleared her throat and continued to smile, "Why I have no idea... The cleaning crew must've slacked off? Would you like to head to the hotel part of the casino? You look mighty tired..."

/Maybe he went to the parking garage/

"No... Escort me to the parking garage... I would like to leave..."

"Um... okay..." there was a long pause before the woman finally pushed the dirty button leading towards the parking garage. Under her breath she mumbled, "I hope I don't lose my job for this..."

"My apologies... But I must get that Gold Card." Blue slowly stepped off the elevator and onto the parking lot grounds. He scanned the area twice before noticing something that he didn't see when he first arrived at the casino. "That sewer lid was not off when I first arrived here." He looked around again and slowly approached the sewer.

"Wait!!!" The young woman from earlier that assisted him came running out of the elevator. "Please take me with you!"

"Thank you so much for assisting me. I am truly sorry I- "Blue stopped mid sentence and then continued. "What did you just say?"

"Please... My name is Emilia... I can be a great asset to you... I am great with guns!" A few tears started to escape from her eyes. "I've always wanted adventure in my life... Please... take me with you."

Blue continued to stare at the woman in the bunny suit before he opened his mouth to speak. "I'm sorry... but... you ... look stupid..." He could see the shocked look appear on her face. "You might get me killed... I don't think you understand the importance of my quest... and..." He slowly moved over to the ladder and continued with his speech. "You're easily noticeable..." words continuously escaped from his mouth over and over again until he had vanished inside the sewers.

Emilia remained above ground screaming down at the top of her lungs. "To hell with you, I'll start my own adventure..." She wiped away her tears and turned around to head back towards the elevators.

"Excuse me... Miss?" A figure that stood in the shadows had watched the entire event.

"Yes? I'm on break... if you want a drink, badger the other pink bunny ladies." Emilia turned around to look at the man before advancing again towards the elevators.

The young man let out a laugh and approached the woman.

She clenched her fist, "Are you here to call me stupid too!?"

"No... Not at all... I'm here to offer you a proposition."