“Pufflewink? What are you doing here?” I asked, bending down to pet the small, black kitten.
She nuzzled my hand briefly and then started walking away.
Where was Raine? She rarely let Pufflewink out of her sight. She would even take the kitten with her on jobs when possible, but I didn’t see her anywhere.
Pufflewink had stopped and looked up at me. My little fairy friend darted over to Pufflewink, and a vision entered my mind of me following the kitten. Who was I to argue with a fairy? Well, I did frequently, but not today! Pufflewink actually did start walking again once I took a couple steps behind her.
I quickly looked to the side, thinking I saw something there, but the curtains in the room we were passing were moving in the breeze from the vent. I really wasn’t good at taking things slow anymore. There were numerous times when I’d find myself partially distracted in the middle of listening to someone and had to take a moment to register what was just said.
Exceptional eyesight being a detriment at times was not something I ever would have considered before my change, but I could get distracted by a missed stitch in someone’s shirt that I vaguely noticed before focusing on it. When away from home, I could get startled by dust in the air if something seemed to be blowing toward me. The fighting over the last couple months had left its mark on me.
Pufflewink was obviously burdened by a sense of distraction as well. She’d happily march several feet with her tail flicking in the air, and then suddenly pounce at my little fairy friend, who easily dodged the kitten.
I pictured my little friend straddling the kitten, riding her like a mount. A confused feeling came to me along with an image of the fairy flying through the air. I tried again, trying to impart a sense of happiness with the thought. More confusion. This time I tried showing how happy I would be at seeing the little fairy with a kitten mount. No luck. The faint smell of food from this evening’s meal lingered near the kitchen, which gave me an idea. I pictured the fairy being fed if she were on the kitten, since I had never seen my little friend without appetite.
She finally granted my wish! I darted into the kitchen, grabbed some bacon, and used a spell to start cooking the bacon in air. My attempt at even cooking was blasted by a laser from my little friend, scorching part of the meat. Poor Pufflewink jumped at the flash of light, but my little friend easily soothed her, promising her bacon as well. Great. Now I felt bad. Raine had taught me that bacon wasn’t good for cats, though she’d eat plenty even in her kitten form. Poor Pufflewink would have to be denied.
“Mila, please say you’re recording this.” I stated.
“Of course, master. Mother, Lady Pendreigh, Cosette, and Raine are already watching.” she replied.
“Tell your mother it’s past her bedtime. Chad wouldn’t approve.” I teased.
“Quite right, master.” agreed Mila. “Mother wishes for me to inform you that she does what she wants. She hashtagged the response, reiterating that she does what she wants. There are also a very large number of GIFs attached if you wish to view them. Mother will surely complain if you don’t, but I warn you that the substantial sum would even take you a good minute to view in their entirety.”
I laughed, causing the pair before me to look back. An image came to mind of my little friend being fed, so I used a spell to feed her the burnt part first. Pufflewink’s attempts to catch the bacon were anticipated, but quite amusing to watch with a fairy on her back.
“Uh oh… Master…” started Mila.
Too late. Raine jumped through the air as a kitten, eating the rest of the bacon mid-leap before darting away.
“I should’ve known I was teasing two kittens.” I laughed.
Raine had proven capable of smelling food cooking from any part of the house. After she became more familiar with Marco’s dishes, she was even able to tell us what he was cooking. without Mila’s help.
My little friend flew off the kitten and up to my face, demanding to know why her bacon was gone. I pictured Raine’s theft in my mind, trying to leave out my sense of amusement by it. Raine had been moving slowly for her, but my little friend probably only caught a blur at best. The tiny fairy crossed her arms and mounted the kitten again, much to my delight. She projected an image of charging after Raine, but there was a question to it, asking for Raine’s location.
“Mila, where’s Raine?” I asked.
Pufflewink charged ahead.
“In the ballroom, master. Pufflewink knows. She was sent to fetch you.” explained Mila.
“Raine sent Pufflewink to fetch me?” I questioned, surprised by what I was hearing.
“She speaks cat, master. You’ve seen it.” replied Mila.
“Well, yes, but why wouldn’t she just ask you to call me or come find me herself?” I asked.
“Master, we’re speaking of Raine. You can’t really expect her motivations to be like most.” she stated.
“Fair point.” I acknowledged.
Though Raine was reasonably acclimated to living here now, she still was hesitant when speaking with most of us. Luckily, the jobs she took for my company all had shining reviews, though they were a bit more scarce than average.
I took off to the ballroom, dodging past Pufflewink on my way. Cosette and Raine were playing Ancient Tribes of Earth together. Raine, back to human, sank into her chair upon my arrival.
“I-I… I w-wanted Pufflewink t-to h-have an… an adventure.” she mumbled.
Oh. Right. She probably heard Mila and me speaking. Raine’s senses were beyond me by a very considerable margin.
“That’s fine. I was just surprised is all.” I assured her. “So what’s up?”
“Raine and I saw a meteor fall and thought you might help us go check the crash site.” explained Cosette.
“I suppose I can play for a bit. Why are we interested in a meteor?” I asked.
“M-materials.” muttered Raine.
“According to an old book she found, meteors occasionally bring rare ores to the world. She might be able to make some fancy weapons, armor, or jewelry from it!” exclaimed Cosette.
Cosette focused on healing magic in Ancient Tribes of Earth, but she had some combat skills as well. Her character, Madeleine, was a blonde halfling vampire whose face seemed to be modeled after Cosette’s own. Being part of the small vampire clan within our guild seemed to amuse her greatly, but I didn’t really see the appeal. Vampires had to use their magic or magic items to protect themselves from the sun during daylight hours and had penalized stats in bright light. They were pretty lethal in the dark, especially at night.
Given that Raine’s character still didn’t have any combat-related skills, I could see why the two wanted help. Alma was surely working, like always, and Portentia was probably out patrolling the city. There were plenty of guildmates on even this late, but many of them would probably be begging for Raine to craft something for them in exchange for help. She was still our best craftsman by far.
“Quest accepted.” I told them, sitting down as Mila logged me into the game. There was nothing quite like adventure to pass a night.