Felisian Chronicles - Chapter Seven
"Uwaa, this is so good!" Ally exclaimed with sparkling eyes, staring in awe of the large cookie in her hands that was almost the size of her own head. Felisian bakers certainly knew what a cookie should be like!
"You like it?" Asked Craig, watching her with an interested look on his face. He couldn't help but study her, her enthusiasm was quite contagious.
"I do!" She exclaimed, beaming over at him from the arm chair at his side. The two of them were in another sitting room together, a bag of baked goods on the table in front of them that Craig had purchased at the bakery he'd pointed out to her earlier. "Thank you, once again, Craig. I'll pay you back, once I get some money!"
"No need." he responded with a chuckle.
"Craig, you shouldn't spoil her too much." Lily teased, coming up behind her friend and smiling down at the two of them. "She might come to expect it."
"Lily!" Ally cried out, twisting in her seat so that she could see her friend better. "You have to try one of these!"
Lily smiled down at her in an affectionate fashion one would expect from a mother, or an older sibling. "All right, I suppose I will." she responded in amusement, moving around them and taking a seat on the couch next to Craig and reaching for the bag. "Abby is on her way down, by the way."
Craig visibly stiffened and then sank his teeth quickly into one of the cookies. He didn't really want to be here for this, but at the same time, he didn't want to run away. That would make Abby tease him even more than she would when he stayed. 'Abby, why do you have to be such a pain in the ass..?'
"Did you have fun with Yuina, Lily?" Ally asked finally, a look of curiosity coming to her face. "She seems like an interesting person."
"I did. She's definitely interesting."
"Just be careful, she usually has bombs hidden all over her." Craig warned, casting them both pleading looks. Last thing he needed was for one of them to get blown up by Yuina. He just hoped the girl wouldn't hold it against Ally that Deacon didn't like her. After all, she was Deacon's only friend.
"Bombs?" Lily asked with a look of confusion.
"So, she really did blow up her planet?!" Ally squeaked. "I-I didn't SEE any bombs on her!!"
"Well, that's just a rumor... But you never will see the bombs on her. She hides them well. The bell around her neck is a cherry bomb, though. That much I do know." Craig said with a sweatdrop.
"Yuina blew up her own planet?! She carries bombs on her?!" Lily looked back and forth between the two, looking rather unsettled as she tried to work out exactly what they were trying to say.
"So basically, she's a pyro..?" Ally asked, sweatdropping herself. 'My weapon's expert.. Likes to make things blow up...'
'Yes, exactly.' thought Craig to Ally. It really did sound weird when he thought about it.
There was a brief silence as the three of them tried to take all of this information in. All three of them had racing minds that they were trying to deal with. But before they had time to start chatting again, the door slammed open, making all three of them jump in surprise, as Abby made her grand entrance. The army general strode forward and took a seat on the couch across from Craig and Lily, a big grin crossing her face.
"So, time to tell you gals the facts of life! Don't worry, it's pretty straight forward." She reached forward and grabbed a cookie out of the brown bag and then she sat back down and cast Craig a smirk. "I'm surprised you didn't run away, Craig. Are you trying to be brave, or just being a perv?"
"I-I am not a pervert!" Craig stammered, looking visibly insulted at that accusation, while Lily and Ally both looked rather confused.
"Uhh... What does being a perv have to do with anything, Abby? I am guessing this has something to do with.. With.." Lily blushed and finally trailed off, she couldn't finish that sentence. Something just seemed wrong about talking about such things with a man sitting next to her.
"Sex?" Abby finished, taking a bite out of her cookie and gave a shrug. "Kind of. Just sit back, ladies. Abby will explain it all to you!"
Ally, Lily and Craig all sweatdropped. She sure was blunt...
"Ally, Lily. When a Felisian woman turns nineteen, she goes into what is known as a 'heat', just like a normal cat does. Meaning, she gets extremely irritable and well.. Rather irresitable to men. The phermones given off by a woman in heat are intoxicating to most men, which is partly why they wanted you guys to be here. That way us older ladies can keep an eye on you!"
"S-So.. This heat.. How long does it last?" Ally asked, looking quite pale as she stared at Abby in disbelief. She really was part cat!! This was unbelievable!
"Usually the first week is the worst. It only last for two to four weeks, though. It isn't so bad."
"T-Two to four weeks?!" Ally and Lily cried out in disbelief.
Abby held up her hands to stop them from saying anymore. "Yes, but! It will only happen once a year. It starts exactly a month after your birthday. Which brings me to the real reason why the elders were so desperate to find you a husband before your birthday, Ally."
Ally stared at Abby with wide eyes, saying nothing as she waited for her to continue on. This was so much to wrap her head around.
"You see, Ally. The reason they want you married right away is because a Felisian woman can only become pregnant during her heat. Since that's only once a year, it's obviously encouraged for women to be married as early as possible. After the war, a huge amount of our population was wiped out, so reproduction is pretty important to them. With you, though, well... They obviously want you to produce an heir as soon as possible."
"H-H-Heir?!" Ally cried out, looking like a deer caught in a pair of headlights. "They want me to have a baby when I'm this young?!"
"I agree that it's stupid, but those old crones have always been that way. They've been riding my ass for a while now, but there's no way a young babe like me is going to just settle down!" Abby responded, grinning immensely at the thought of all of her conquests. "I could have any guy I wanted. Unlike that spinster, Yuina, who couldn't land a man if she tried."
"Uhh.. Abby.. Let's just not talk about that.." Craig murmered nervously, sensing an Abby-Yuina war, which never ended well. "Instead, we should probably figure out what we're going to do about Ally's training. We only have a small amount of time before she has to leave for Garrison City and her sword will be ready next week."
Ally and Lily let out sighs of relief, Abby was starting to scare them with all of her talk of heats, babies and spinsters. This was at least a bit nicer of a subject.
"We can start her on hand-to-hand on Monday. Let her have some time off this weekend. I'll test her first and then tell you and Deacon what to work with her on and then we'll take it from there."
Craig nodded his response and then added, "That leaves everything else. I guess Lily, you and Stella can both help her out in the etiquette department. We can worry about magic later."
"That's fine with me." Lily responded, casting Ally an encouaraging look. "I'm sure she'll catch on in no time!"
"So, I guess you'll teach her the art of dance." Abby added, casting Craig a curious look. "Since you're introducing her at a party, right?"
There was a pause as Craig stared at Abby in surprise. He hadn't even thought about that. "Uhh.. Well, I guess I could."
"Nobody can dance as well as you and I, Craig. There's no denying that." Abby winked at him and then gave a chuckle. "Don't worry, Ally. You're in good hands. And if he makes a move on you, I'm going to be teaching you how to kick his ass, so you won't have to worry."
Ally sweatdropped, looking back and forth between everyone with a growing feeling of dread. Why did she have a feeling it was going to be hard to sneak out to the library all of a sudden? She had been looking forward to frequenting there. Perhaps getting to know William more...
"Don't look so worried! You'll get free time, too." Abby chuckled, tilting her head to the side. "Or were you worried you wouldn't get a chance to have some fun with the guys before you have to get hitched and have babies? That I could understand. There's some fine looking men in this town! Believe me!"
"Uhh, actually.. I was more worried about getting to visit the library..."
"You will." Craig said quickly, making sure to cut Abby off before she started to ridicule Ally. "And I believe I owe you a tour of the courtyard, my Lady. So, how about we.." he snatched up the bag of cookies before he reached over and helped Ally to her feet. "Get out of here." he rushed her towards the door, "See you later, ladies!" And with that, he and Ally escaped out into the hallway.
"Thanks, all of this talk was starting to make my head spin.." Ally admitted with a nervous laugh, following Craig through a hallway, eyes darting around curiously. There were so many rooms.. It would take months to explore them all...
"Not a problem. I don't want you to get too stressed out. I wouldn't want you having another panic attack."
Ally cast him a thankful look, which made him smile all the more.
"Besides, you really don't need to worry so much. It won't be that bad. I'll make sure you get lots of time to yourself every day. You need to have time to kick back and relax. I'll try and schedule only one major lesson a day."
As the two exited into the bright, sunshiny courtyard, Ally couldn't help but gasp in awe. It was absolutly breathtaking! The flowers were extrodinary! And there was even trees scattered about the area. Not to mention that there was a pond and various sitting places littered about the area.
"Oh, Craig.. It's amazing!"
"Isn't it?" he responded, casting her a smile and wandering over towards the pond. "We even have fish in here."
As the two of them chatted animatedly to one another, a dark shadow watched them with a frown on his face. The shadow, of course, was none other than Deacon. He watched them silently, leaning his head against one of the trees and gritting his teeth. 'Bastard. Why is this always so easy for him?'
Craig looked up suddenly and glanced over his shoulder. Was that Deacon's voice he had just heard in his head? He frowned suddenly and it was then that he saw a glimpse of black disappear amongst the trees. 'Deacon, why can't you just be nice to her...? This isn't a competition..' "Ally, I'll be right back. I'm just going to check on something."
"Oh. Okay." Ally was confused, but she cast him an encouraging smile and nodded her head in approval. "I'll wait for you."
"Thanks. I won't be long." he grinned at her, showing off a set of pearly white fangs that glinted in the sunshine. Ally made a note to ask him about those later and instead waved to him as he headed off into the trees.
Once he was out of sight, she got up and went to the closest bench and had a seat, her blue eyes glancing around curiously. So much had happened today, it was so hard to take it all in. What was she going to do? There was so much responsibility hanging over her now.. And so many new people to get to know. How was she going to manage all of this without having a nervous break down?
She looked up from her thoughts and blinked her eyes wide in surprise. What was she doing out here? And what was the something Craig had to check on anyways?! Would she ever get used to living in such a strange place?!