Chapter 18: Consider a Part-Time Job
Last time, a relatively boring chapter.
The next week was uneventful, Simon wasn't remembering anything in the library. Kanonno on the other hand was receiving some money. When it came time to pay the rent Peter was frustrated that he had to pay for Simon's share of the rent, even if Marianya insisted that she'd pay for him. In the end Peter had to pay for the rent.
"You know, I think you should give Peter a hand and get a job." Marianya said one night, Peter was going to be working late like he had been for the past week.
"Well I can't because of my memory." Simon sighed.
"Who cares! Peter's been working late because of you. If you're so concerned about skills you can go ask a guild for help or something." Marianya argued.
"Most of the guilds here require a skill set that I might not have." Simon argued.
"Both of you, calm down!" Kanonno snapped just as Peter started to come in, "Mari, you're still adjusting to your job and you're more stressed now that Peter's been working late. Also, Simon, your memory will come back, just give it time though. Hey, I'll pay for your rent while you look. I would tell Peter if he was here to not worry about the rent and concentrate on his work."
"You're probably right, I'm under a lot of stress right now, wages have been cut at the factory so I have to work late to keep myself afloat." Sighed Peter.
"Oh Pete-" Kanonno exclaimed.
"It's fine, and thanks for offering to pay for Simon while he's still unemployed, it helps a lot." Said Peter going into the washroom. Simon sighed frustrated as he heard water running.
"What is it now Simon, sick of being a financial burden or something?" Kanonno said rolling her eyes.
"It's only been a week and it sounds like I'm too expensive." He growled.
"Not really, the share of the rent is only a couple hundred gald which can be paid off relatively quick in hind sight." Kanonno shrugged. "Just don't stress out over this, everything will work out eventually."
'I've never heard her say such laid back things.' Simon thought.
The next day at the library he continued to look through documents but couldn't find anything on the Apocalypse period. He read through the translated documents but the other four already knew the material.
"How are you doing with your research?" A feminine voice asked, Simon looked up to see Judas talking to a young student with green hair and wearing a uniform of some sort.
"We're doing fine, thank you for translating those documents." Said Judas, "It was a big help."
"You're welcome, I'm just glad I could be able to help." Said the student giving Judas a piece of paper, "I have to get going, but if you need anything just let me know." The student left without a single word. Simon couldn't help but wonder who the stranger was.
"Hey Judas, I think I found something." Said Kyle, pointing to something in a translation.
"Let me see," said Judas putting down the first document, walking over and taking the paper. He rubbed his chin.
"What does it say?" Reala asked. Loni peeked over his shoulder.
"The Patriarch of the divine fell by the hands of man. Over their frustration life and death lost themselves. Death went to war with the living while life's sanity diminished. The singularity fell into despair, doing nothing to console the two, becoming nothing more than a doll. Time insisted that the three sleep and wait for someone to take the Patriarch's place, life and the singularity agreed and fell asleep The former slept among the people while the latter rested among the trees with twists. Death refused. Time fought death until time sealed death away in the valley of ghosts. Then time fell asleep into the arms of a pair of sisters who …" Loni read out loud, "And the rest is missing." The memory of the elven sisters appeared in Simon's mind again.
"Thank you for that." Growled Judas.
"Wait … what does it mean?" Kyle asked, "The Patriarch, life, death, time, and the singularity are they a metaphor or are they actual people?"
"I assume that this is a metaphor for the times but you might be on to something Kyle." Said Judas reading over the document again.
"I am? Oh well …" Kyle blushed.
"Are you suggesting that the five um … concepts may be actual people?" Loni asked.
"I … I don't know, the way they're saying life, death and whatever may be metaphors for important figures during the time." Kyle suggested.
"What if … they're not … human?" Simon asked trailing off.
"Simon? What do you mean?" Reala asked.
"Spirits." Said Simon, "What if they're titles given to spirits?" Judas put down the document and started pacing around.
"Spirits …" he muttered, "would explain the Patriarch, but sleep … what does "sleep" mean?" He was starting to make Kyle dizzy pacing around the table. He finally sat back down and picked up the document the student gave him. "We'll leave that as a possibility." As hours passed nothing came to Simon. He felt like he was going mad while the others didn't seem be unaffected. He got up, he decided he was done for the day and left the library.
'What am I going to do? Well, I could try to join a guild, doing the guild test was actually … fun. I have the experience but what if I'm rejected again? What if I do a poor job, because the last time I did it wasn't exactly great. What if I forgot how to fight out of nervousness?' The anxieties running through Simon's head, he didn't notice he ran into a woman.
"Watch where you are going!" She shouted.
"Ah, sorry." He apologized, "Chloe?"
"Oh, you're … Simon is it?" She replied, he nodded, "How is life in Franklin?"
"I've been very … dependent on my roommate." He said, blushing on the word, dependent, "I'm considering joining a guild but the question is which one should I join and will they accept me? Also how am I going to keep up with research?"
"You know, you don't have to be a full fledged guild member to be in a guild." Said Chloe.
"What do you mean?" Simon asked as the two started walking in a random direction, heading into parts of the city Simon wasn't familiar with.
"I mean you can be a part-time member, part-time members aren't devoted to a single guild and can have a job outside the guilds." She explained.
"Wait, people in guilds can't have jobs outside?" Simon asked
"Yes, because of that restriction members that had a previous job had to quit. If you're a part-time member you can keep your job and work for the guild when the guild calls you, in some cases." Chloe explained, "Though the pay isn't all that great, if you want the money."
"So, are they like part time workers?" Simon asked.
"Yes, the name should've told you." Chloe shrugged approaching a bench.
"Um … thank you." Said Simon sitting down next to her, "Where are we?"
"We're still in the public section." She stated simply.
"Oh okay, I haven't been to this part."
"Figures, Franklin is a big city it'll take at least a year to see everything in the city." She said.
"Really, St. Gabriel wasn't nearly this big, even though there are still things I haven't seen there." Simon said with widened eyes. "By the way, how do you know about this part-time stuff?" He said changing the subject.
"I am one, since I'm a body guard for the president and his family I have to make sure that Natalia is safe, so that's why I'm a part-time member." Chloe informed.
"So why do people know of Natalia?" Simon asked remembering the reactions in St. Gabriel.
"She's a guild member with reputation, and she helped the president at times. Since she can't hold a political position until she's 25, the best she could do now is give the president suggestions on bills and what not. So far, her suggestions have been in the best interest of the country." Chloe explained, "Though let's keep the suggestion thing between you and me, I don't want the public getting suspicious about it."
"I won't let the thought cross my mind." Simon promised.
"Good. Anyway, do you want to register for being a part-time member?" She asked, going back to the part-time subject.
"Sure, I'll try it." Simon shrugged, "What do I need to do?"
"Go to Ad Libitum's headquarters in the guild district, You'll figure out the rest." Chloe instructed.
"Thank you," Said Simon getting up and taking a cable car to the guild district. He wandered around regretting that he should've asked for directions first. He muttered to himself as he wandered.
"Excuse me," He heard someone call, he turned to see a young girl with pink hair tied up wearing a green jacket with a reddish shirt underneath along with a pair of short pants and a pair of stockings covering her legs. "You seemed to be lost, do you need any help?"
"Ah … no thank you." Said Simon walking away.
"Are you sure?" She said intercepting him.
"Yes, I'm sure." Said Simon growing nervous and backing away.
"But are you sure sure? Not "pretty sure," "mostly sure," or "very sure?" You're absolutely one hundred percent sure?" The girl asked backing Simon into a corner.
"Yes, I'm sure." Simon replied.
"You're saying "yes" but your eyes say "no." Should I trust your word?" The girl asked.
"Now now Chelsea, don't scare the man." Said a dark skinned man with white hair, blue eyes, and in similar attire as Simon, but more formal.
"But Mr. Kelvin-" The girl began.
"He can take care of himself, run along now." Said the man.
"Fine." She growled walking off with a shrug.
"Sorry about that, she tends to get a little carried away." Said the man.
"Oh … well … thank you I guess?" Said Simon.
"There's no need to thank me, I'm just making sure that Chelsea doesn't get into trouble." He said.
"No trouble," Said Simon, "I just need to find directions Ad Libitum's headquarters."
"I see, you should've just said so, it would make you a lot less uncomfortable." The man mused to himself, Simon blushed. "Pardon me." The man said clearing his throat. "It's down that way, just take a left there should be a sign, you can't miss it." The man pointed to his right.
"Thank you." Said Simon walking down the street the man pointed to. He followed the directions exactly until he got to a concrete building that had "AD LIBITUM" in big red wooden letters nailed above the door. 'This is it.' He thought confidently. He entered the building to see the lobby completely empty. No one sat in the chairs, or in the desk across from them, and the board across from him had job postings but no one came to claim them. He went to the front desk to see it spotless, except for the hand bell on the right corner. He picked up the bell and gave it small ring no one came, he rang it again but louder. A woman with blond hair tied back and wearing a vest and skirt under a jacket came from the door behind. Simon put down the bell.
"Do you need something?" She asked, her stare made him nervous.
"Um … I …" He stuttered, sweating, "I'd like to … sign up for being a part-time member." The woman examined him.
"You'd like to be a parter you say?" She asked.
"Um … y-yes mam." He replied, assuming 'parter' meant the same thing.
"Have you been experienced with guilds before?" She asked.
"Yes mam, I … I tried to join Ad Libitum in St. Gabriel." Simon explained.
"Any reason why you want to be a parter?" She asked.
'Oh god I didn't think this through.' Simon thought, 'Maybe I could use the research as an excuse? Sorry Judas ...'
"I'm … doing some research for a project and it's very ... time consuming. This is just a way to get money while I'm doing research." He said.
"Is this for any company?" She asked.
"Independent, I'm not getting paid mam." He stated. The woman examined him again, she sighed. She ducked under the desk, he heard the shuffling of papers, she came back up and gave him some paper work, an inkwell, and a quill. She signaled to one of the chairs in the lobby, Simon hesitated before taking the paper work and moving to one of the chairs. He read through and filled out as many blanks as he could, all the while listening in on conversations between guild members passing. He finished the paper work with a signature that looked like a chicken walked on the paper. He walked up to the desk and gave the woman his finished paper work as well as the ink well and quill. The woman grimaced over the paper work.
"Is there some thing wrong?" He asked, feeling nervous.
"Your hand writing is barely legible. I'm not sure how the people in Speg were able to read this chicken scratch." She criticized, Simon's face turned red. "I'll be right back." She went to the room behind the desk. Simon went back to one of the chairs, sat down and stared at his feet while twiddling his thumbs. He head a group come in.
"Looks like Van and Legretta are out." He head a familiar voice say.
"Well let's just turn in the report and wait for the pay." Another very familiar voice suggested.
"Sounds plausible but what are we going to do while we wait?" Another voice asked, but Simon didn't know this one.
"We can just take another job or socialize with him." One of the voices suggested. There was a silence, Simon couldn't help but wonder if the group was talking about him.
"Really?" Said another voice, sounding slightly miffed.
"Yes, it wouldn't kill us." Defended the one of the voices walking towards something. "Hey Simon, are you home?" He looked up to see Luke with a smirk on his face. Behind him, near the desk, Asch rolled his eyes and walked to the guild's board with another man who looked exactly like Peter's neighbor though he seemed more relaxed. His attire also seemed less formal that Peter's neighbor, and for some reason he was wearing a blouse.
"Er … hi." He replied.
"Fancy seeing you here, what brings you to the guild's H.Q.?" He asked.
"I'm here to sign up to be a part-time member." Simon explained.
"Why a parter? You can only get at maximum twenty percent of the guild's share if you choose to accept pay." Said Luke.
"I have other things to do, I'm willing to accept that low pay if it'll get me to pay the rent." Said Simon leaning back.
"What other things have you been doing exactly?" Luke asked, his stare turning cold. "Is it that research with those children?" Simon froze and backed himself to the wall. Luke's hand twitched about to move to his side, Simon's breathing became uneasy.
"Whoa, settle down Luke, there's no need to get tense." The man interrupted putting his hand on Luke's shoulder, Luke stiffened. "What this man does in his time is none of our business, and I'm sure that it's not going to affect us."
"I guess your right Guy, as usual." Said Luke relaxing, Simon looked on confused.
"And Asch, put that away." The man said without even turning. Simon looked past Luke and saw Asch put away his sword.
He muttered something related to: "dammit," and turned his attention back to the board.
"Sorry about that Simon." Luke apologized, he then looked in a different direction, "I'm just under a lot of … stress. The way I'm acting is no excuse." He then walked to the boards, Simon was even more confused.
"What just happened?" Simon asked.
"Don't mind them, they have trouble getting along with others." The man said, "By the way, I'm Guy, Guy Cecil."
"Simon Winters." He introduced himself, "Do you have a brother? I mean I've seen someone like you-" Guy stopped him.
"Yes, I do have a brother." He answered, "We're twins actually."
"I never would've guessed." Muttered Simon, knowing that he, of all people, could figure that much out. The woman came back out, she looked at the report the three handed in.
"Luke, Asch, Guy." She called. The three came over and talked silently about the job and received their pay. Guy nodded at Luke went up the stairs, Luke looked over and followed suit while Asch looked at the board.
"Winters." The woman called, Simon jolted up and walked quickly to the desk. "Your application form is being looked over, come back tomorrow." Simon nodded and left the building. He wondered what he should do with the rest of his time when he felt someone grab his shoulder. He was spun around to be caught by Kanonno.
"Hello." She smirked as he straightened himself, he saw a man standing next to her. "Finally decided on that guild work?"
"Kanonno?" Simon exclaimed.
"Before you ask what I'm doing here, I work here and work's closing for the day." She said pointing to the sky, he looked up and noticed that the sun was setting.
'How long was I in there?' Simon thought.
"Is this a friend of yours?" The man next to her asked.
"Yeah, he's a roommate." She said to the man next to her, then turning to Simon. "Simon, this is a coworker, Veigue, he lives in the same district as we do."
"The residential district where a good majority lives." Veigue muttered under his breath.
"Any way Simon, if this is about the rent thing, I told you I can take care of it, you just try to gain back your memory." She said as they started walking to the trolley station.
"I know but I do need to take care of myself, and the past week without remembering anything new, like my actual name, is driving me crazy. I just need a break from it." Said Simon.
"Don't push yourself, your memory will come back in due time, take a break if you need to." Kanonno encouraged, Simon smiled, he hadn't seen this kind Kanonno since she smuggled him out. Then he felt guilty thinking he had taken advantage over Kanonno. She had helped him out through a lot and he didn't do anything to return the favor, minus the gald giving event when they reunited. That gald ended up getting wasted on alcohol and clothes.
"Is something wrong?" Kanonno asked as they stopped at the station.
"I'm feeling a bit guilty having you pay off all the rent, I think it's only fair that you don't pay all of my rent, at least until I've made enough money on being a part time member or get my memory back, whichever comes first." Said Simon.
"Fine, but you have to keep up your end of the deal, even if you can only pay one gald." Kanonno accepted.
"I don't mean to interrupt, but what is this on amnesia?" Veigue asked.
"I lost my memory over a month ago and it's proven to be a problem when finding a job." Simon sighed.
"Not to mention you managed to loose your clothes in the middle of winter and blanked out when we mentioned Moslin." Kanonno grumbled. "Though since then you seem much less clueless about locations."
"I see, never though that it would be as discriminatory as some other disorders." Veigue muttered to himself.
"Did you say something?" Simon asked Veigue.
"No." Veigue as the crowd coming from work shoved them to the back.
"What's this about being a part-time guild member?" Kanonno asked Simon as a trolley picked up the people. It was filled to the brim before taking off without them. They'd had to wait for the next train.
"Well I want to spend some time on looking for my memory as we discussed." Said Simon.
"And it'll be a step closer to figuring out what you are, among other things." He heard someone, a young girl, say behind him. He turned around and saw no one.
"Is something wrong?" Kanonno asked.
"I thought I heard something," he said as another trolley came, "it's probably nothing." They got onto the trolley and hardly said a thing on the way to the residential district. Though Simon couldn't shake the feeling that he was being watched. When he turned around again he saw a black blur went by. He leaned back to see if he could get a better look.
"What are you doing Simon?" Kanonno asked.
"Nothing." Simon said quickly, shrugging.
"Is your friend normally like this?" Veigue asked.
"No, he's usually very mild mannered, it's not like him to be this wary." Kanonno replied.
"Sorry, I just had this feeling like we're being watched." Simon apologized.
"Really …" Said Veigue looking over his shoulder, then he turned back. "Are you sure?"
"It's probably nothing." Simon brushed off.
"Are you sure?" Kanonno asked again.
"If I don't see anything, it's most likely a groundless fear, right?" Simon concluded.
"If that's what you think, then, sure it's just paranoia." Said Kanonno shrugging, and going along with Simon's logic. Once they got off they walked a little ways and then parted with Veigue. He went to the building across the street.
"Siela, was that you?" Simon asked in the dream space.
"What was me?" Siela asked in response sitting on nothing, a mischievous grin plastered on her face.
"That voice that said that being a part-time guild member will be one step closer to figure out what I-"
"I know, I'm teasing." Siela interrupted.
"Were you at the station when you said that?" Simon asked.
"Of course not, I'm still on Yggdrasil's stump, me being there must be your imagination." Siela stated.
"Then how were you able to tell me that?" Simon asked.
"That's my little secret, I'll tell you in due time." She smirked placing a finger in front of her lips.
"Like anything else." Simon sighed.
"Speaking of which don't you have any searching to do?" Siela questioned.
"What do you-" Before he could finish, he felt himself falling into one of those dreams where he was someone else. From the surroundings he assumed he was the woman that gave a message about the people out for her blood.
"Now are you sure that this device can do what you said it can do?" "He" asked a man, his hand on what appears to be the Spear of Kresnik.
"Like I said hon, this will make us gods by winning the war for us." The man said sounding cocky and deranged.
"Can it really destroy spirits?" "He" asked again.
"Yes, this is what I wanted to show you." He snapped his fingers a group of men dragged in a cage the bars were a blue substance that looked like lightning. Inside the cage was something that looked like a woman wearing all white. "This is a minor spirit from the southern islands." The man introduced turning on the machine. The woman's face was struck with horror as she pounded on the sides of the cage when she saw the machine turned on. The machine buzzed as mana gathered at the tip, a beam shot out of the machine, piercing through the cage and the head of the spirit. She screamed and started to fade. Simon shuttered.
'What the hell is this?' He thought watching the spirit disappear from existence. The man turned off the machine.
"Well? What do you think?" He asked.
'What do I think? This is a monstrosity!' Simon thought.
"What does it use for energy?" "Simon" asked.
"Why it drains mana from the earth and small amounts from every living being within a 10 mile radius. Though it mainly drains from plants, but it's worth it." The man said. "Simon" looked at a potted plant that was dying, flower petals fallen and the leaves were yellowing. Simon tried to hold back a gasp.
"It's a small price for replacing spirit powered machines." "He" said.
'Spirit powered? What have you been doing?' Simon shouted.
"Simon!" He heard someone shout.
"Simon wake up!" He heard again.
Simon jolted awake causing Peter to jump.
"Peter? When did you get home?" He asked.
"Not too long ago, but are you okay? You seem to be having a bad dream." Peter questioned, sounding concerned.
"How can you tell?"
"You were mumbling things in your sleep, at one point you sounded like you were about to scream." Peter explained.
"Oh …" Simon muttered curling up in a ball.
"Hey, do you want to talk about it?" Peter asked, rubbing his back. Simon stayed silent. "You don't have to if you don't want to." He continued getting up. He went to the cabinets and did some digging for some ingredients and tea leaves.
"Um … I would like to talk about it." Simon finally said as Peter put the tea leaves in a water filled kettle.
"You would?" Peter asked lighting a match and throwing it under the stove. "Why don't you come over and sit down?" Simon went to the table and sat on a stool scavenged from an alley a few days back. "By the way, are you hungry?" Peter asked chopping up some vegetables and fruit.
"No." Said Simon, as Peter put the ingredients for his dinner in a pan and stirred it around.
"What's been troubling you?" Peter asked sitting in a chair across from Simon.
"Well …" Simon began, looking down.
"Don't be afraid to speak up." Peter encouraged, Simon looked up and nodded.
"You see …" Simon began again as he told his dream. He didn't mention the part about Siela but mentioned every other bit of the dream. By the time he finished the tea kettle started boiling and Peter got a couple of cups and poured the tea in them. He gave a cup to Simon before getting himself a plate for his dinner.
"That is pretty disturbing." Peter said sitting back down, "It sounds like a bad memory from that period."
"I've had flashbacks similar to that, where people are on the brink of madness." Simon said looking into the tea cup. "Though those flashbacks are from the Apocalypse Period, I couldn't have possibly been alive back then."
"It's most likely a day dream." Said Peter, completely ignoring his dinner, "I think you shouldn't let those get in the way of your life."
"But what if they are memories and I'm actually five thousand years old? How am I-?" Simon began to question until Peter placed a hand over his own hand.
"Calm down, even if you were some sort of immortal being it shouldn't interfere with your current life. I'm sure if there is some dirt in your past it'll be resolved." Peter comforted, "I'm not sure what'll happen but I do know that eventually, everything will be okay."
"Really?" Simon asked.
"Positive." Peter reassured eating some of his dinner, "now drink that tea, it'll soothe you and put you out for the rest of the night."
"What?" Simon exclaimed, worried if there's a drug in the tea.
"There's nothing in the tea, it's just a remedy my mom made to put me back to sleep when I had nightmares." Peter explained, "I managed to copy the recipe before I got kicked out."
"Thanks." Said Simon drinking the tea, soon after he went to sleep.
Back to the guilds we go! Along with some character development for Peter. Also, if you're wondering about Van and Legretta, it's going to be like Radiant Mythology 3 where there is absolutely no reason for them to be evil, though that's not gonna stop them from beating up our protagonist.