A/N: Hello everyone who is reading this! Just to let you know, I've swapped the rival couples around a bit. In this story, the new pairs are:
SelenaxChase – the two red-headed bar workers.
MayaxLuke – The two derps.
TobyxCandace – the two sweet, huggable, adorable- you get the message.
JuliusxRenee – they both live in flute fields and there's no one else, so why not?
Anyone not mentioned there will be with their in game partner.
Disclaimer: Harvest Moon and it's characters belong to Natsume; I own nothing!
Molly sighed as she emerged from the shadows of watery cave, on the verge of passing out. The blue sky had already been masked with a sheet of black and she was sure she felt even more shattered than the crystals she'd been smashing with a hammer all evening; by the time she'd finally decided to retire for the day, almost all the flooring of the mine was littered with the snow white fragments; barely visible under the mess.
She frowned when she remembered that the accessory store would most likely be closed for the night –after all, not everyone is a night owl like her- she'd just have to hang onto her finds until the morning. The trip hadn't been as fruitful as she'd hoped- she had no more than a dozen of the colourful orbs that the crystals supplied- but it was enough to supply enough food for her and her animals to go on. Had she had the extra helping hands of a loving husband, she would have certainly been better off, but from the looks of things she was doomed to be single forever.
Unfortunately for her, who was hoping to be married at an early age, by the time she moved to the island, all men within her age range that she knew of were already taken! It was as if she didn't belong there; as if the couples were destined for each other and a newcomer was lacking in the calculations.
She bit her lip as she strolled through town, just about barely able to support the weight of her wonderfuls. In her case, exhausted was an understatement; she felt about ready to collapse any second. Beads of sweat were rolling down her forehead and beginning to stain her clothes; she had enough bother already without worrying about sweat stained garments! I'll have to wash them later…She thought to herself with a sigh. Just as she was crossing the bridge to the countryside area of the island, she finally couldn't take any more. Her grip loosened and the heavy metal hammer plummeted to the ground with a loud crumbling sound, leaving a large dent and many cracks in the ground.
Before she had a chance to worry about any damage fees she'd be faced with for breaking multiple paving slabs, she started to fill dizzy; her vision doubling worryingly. She narrowed her eyes desperately before falling to her knees, cradling her aching head in her hands. Was she…Passing out? That's when she heard footsteps. She gulped, listening intently between the pounding sound of her heartbeat. It was late; people shouldn't be awake at this time. She was sure the sound of her hammer wasn't quite audible enough to awaken any sleeping citizens; so who was it? Her automatic reaction was to silently feel for her hammer, her only available chance of self-defence. She had been convinced more than enough times of the islands safety, but she wasn't about to take any chances. Better safe than sorry, she remembered hearing somewhere.
The footsteps were becoming louder, flooding the lone girl with unease. Her vision was beginning to cloud over even more now, with black. She really overworked herself today, didn't she. She could almost feel her consciousness slipping away from her; her eyes were slowly closing as if weighed down by 1 tonne weights. And then she heard a voice.
"Are you…Alright?" it was an unfamiliar voice, which just led to more panic. Still deprived of her sight, -albeit a lot more alert- she desperately felt around the ground for her hammer prior to actually taking in what the stranger had just said. Pausing for a second, she mumbled,
"I-I think so. I can't see very well, though." She coughed as her sight started to come back to her; she could see a vague blur of the person towering above her. She definitely had not met him before; she didn't even know people like him lived in the town. While she could not see much, she could vaguely make out a head of silky white hair and tan skin.
The person, who seemed to be a man, stood there in awkward silence for a minute, as if carefully planning what to do before kneeling down next to her. Molly's vision, to her relief, was now fully restored. It was over. She had escaped passing out. She used this chance to properly look at the mysterious man. Although his hair was white –or was it pale blonde? She'd figure it out later- he was quite visibly a young man. He couldn't be much older than herself –oh how wrong she was- or younger, that is. He was dressed in one of the weirdest outfits she'd seen. A purple cloak-like clothing piece? In the middle of summer? He must be sensitive to the cold, she presumed.
"You're…Pale." The stranger announced, snapping her back to her senses. She panicked nervously, standing up too quickly. She staggered before almost falling again, just about managing to balance herself. It annoyed her how he didn't try to break her fall or help in anyway.
"I'm okay!" She said quickly, pumping her fist into the air and proceeding to almost trip over again. The mans' facial expression remained the same; expressionless. After realising how much a fool she'd made of herself, Molly gasped before crossing her arms and grinning warmly,
"I haven't seen you around here before. What's your name?" She asked in a bubbly tone, staring into his piercing emerald green eye, because the topaz one was beginning to freak her out a little. She refused to let any unease show on her face, though.
"My name…Is something I would…Rather not tell…Please…call me wizard." Wizard said slowly, a pause between every few words. Of course, most of this went through one ear of Molly's and straight out the other. With his quiet, slow and deadpan manner of speaking, she'd lost interest within seconds and was already wondering about whether his hair colour was classed as blonde or white. Or perhaps more of an ash blonde…By the time she realised she was staring with a brain-dead expression on her face Wizard was already walking away with an air of disinterest.
"Hey, wait!" She exclaimed before remembering that the town was sleeping and covering her mouth. "Wait!" She repeated in a quiet voice just above a whisper, hobbling towards him in exhaustion before remembering she'd left her hammer behind and going back for it. She had just picked up her hammer when she heard the subtle noise of a key turning in a lock. She charged through town –triggering a hint of dizziness- to see the man walk into the house occupying the peak of the stairs before closing the door behind him in a skilfully quiet manner.
She frowned. What a rude guy! He was difficult to understand. What was his name again? She'd always thought that house was vacant, but apparently not. Why had no one told her of this mysterious man? Perhaps they didn't even know themselves? She shrugged the questions off when she remembered how late it was; it had to be past midnight now. She rested the hammer on her shoulder, her grip firm as she mustered any strength she had left to prevent it from falling again, before finally leaving for her home. She glanced guiltily at the dent in the bridge caused by her accident. If she was lucky, they'd blame someone else; she wasn't the only resident with a hammer after all. Maybe they'd blame poor Owen. Well, at least he had more money than her. Kathy's father, Hayden –the scary looking bar owner- had a fair amount of spare cash that he was willing to donate to the recently newlywed couple.
That, my friends, is the end of that chapter! Reviews would be very appreciated and I'll be most likely to reply to them, but no pressure; if you don't want to review, then don't, although anyone who does can have an invisible, virtual cookie. With chocolate chips. I hope you enjoyed that chapter!