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Chapter 121 : Bathtime With Bracha (1)
“Ah!! Do my eyes deceive me? A Succubus and a Scribe walk through my door! And an Imp too!” Bracha practically hopped over her desk and dashed towards Agni and Katrin. She greeted them with a wide armed hug, capturing them both like a mother who had gone far too long without seeing her children.
Agni could even feel the moistness of a kiss against her cheek.
“Okay.. Okay..” Agni said through her smiles. Shula just watched the spectacle with her arms folded. She was thankful it wasn’t her. Watching mushy stuff made her face itch.
And then thirty seconds later it WAS her. Bracha cradled the struggling Imp in her arms, despite Shula’s expletive-filled protests.
“Oh! Don’t be so coy, no? You and I are already best of friends, Shula.” The blonde haired mature said as she continued to hug Shula. Agni could tell she was doing it just to annoy the Imp, thus she had no complaints.
*Accept her love, you know you want it.* She thought, causing Shula to shoot a fierce glare in her direction. The ocular exchange lasted only for a moment as Shula was forced to be swept away in Bracha’s unyielding affection.
After greeting her acquaintances, Bracha turned her attention to everyone who filed in after Katrin and Agni.
There was a rather cute young man with short, boyish curls. The woman next to him was nearly as tall, her hair was fiery and fell just past her shoulders. Behind them were two more young ladies, one with a petite frame and long black hair and purple highlights. The other sported two tone hair, both brunette and blonde, along with a pair of minotaur horns. She was dressed rather stylishly, though her body was obviously fit.
There was one other person who lingered near the back of the group. Had Bracha’s observation been spotty she might have missed the mahogany haired dragon-kin. Her eyes were one of her most curious features. Bracha was immediately drawn to the salmon speckled color, the horns were the next most noticeable feature. The horn pattern was unique, especially the curvature as they curled around the ears and sat almost like a crown.
“Everyone, come in. I was just thinking about what to have for supper.” Bracha said with a pleasant smile as she welcomed everyone into the lounge of the Training Chapel.
“You’re being trained by Oliver Pagnal? You two are moving up in the world, no?” Bracha asked as she sipped on a cup of tea. Nearly everyone else at the table had a cup as well, though the flavors differed widely based on the person.
Agni was currently drinking something flavored with the unmistakable scent of Hibiscus flower.
“It’s not a big deal.” Shula said as she stared across the table from Bracha. The blond haired imp insisted that she not be sat next to Agni nor Gigi for some reason.
*Hmmmm suspicious, very suspicious.* Agni squinted her eyes as she thought over Shula’s behavior. Still, she dismissed it and listened to the conversation between Shula and Bracha.
“Oh, no it’s a very big deal. Oliver Pagnal is an elf my dear.” Bracha said, as if it explained everything.
“Is there…something special about elves?” Katrin asked.
Agni once again felt thankful that Katrin thought to ask so many inquisitive questions.
“Ah. Well you’ve not been a resident of Adventia very long. So you wouldn’t know but, your class designation actually determines quite a bit. Take Agni here, for example. Demon-kin are known to be impulsive, sometimes to the point of being reckless. They can also be self absorbed and indulgent, what’s more they generally don’t regret their actions. The same holds true for other classes. Some classes change the adventurer into humanoid or mythical types. Another example of this is the young woman here.”
Bracha motioned towards Merri who was currently at the end of the table with Ariadna carrying on a conversation very heatedly. Based on what Agni could hear, Merri was currently disappointed that she couldn’t join the expedition in two days.
“Elves are known for their magical affinity. They have a keen sense to understand magic in ways that others may overlook. Oliver Pagnal is no different. In fact, he’s worse. He generally only takes interest in people if he believes they have unique magic that he can study and make his own – that is what an Archmage is after all.” Bracha further explained.
“Archmage?” Agni sat her cup down as her interest was piqued. At first she thought Bracha was just full of it. After all Agni was NOTHING like the description she just shared regarding demon-kin. But upon hearing about elves and thinking back to her trip to the Demonic Chapel, Agni had to admit Bracha may have been onto something…
“Yes. Archmage. It’s one of the few Caster classes that you could consider pure magic based. They don’t carry weapons or any tools. They can’t even use them in fact. Instead, Archmages have the ability to use every type of magic possible. The caveat being that it also takes much longer for them to master new magic types.”
“Any magic? At all? How is that even possible. That’s like a cheat.” Shula remarked.
“Indeed, but it’s true. That elf is a highly skilled magician whose skills are coveted by many. His thirst for knowledge is insatiable and he’s been known to do almost anything to acquire knowledge for magic that interests him. You all should be safe but…be cautious what magic you use around him.” Bracha warned.
“Hmm. Interesting.” Agni said.
“Um.. excuse me. Not that I mind the hospitality but, what are we doing here? I agreed to come because you said you’d share some tips with me Agni.” The voice belonged to Dealla, the Draken Knight. Even inside she still wore her hood, it almost concealed her face due to the way the dragon-kin averted her gaze.
“Ah. Well, believe it or not what I have to share is pretty simple knowledge and thoughts. Besides, everyone needs to relax a bit.” Agni responded. She could tell, her intuition afforded her a bit of empathy and Agni could feel the impatience within Dealla. Considering her current situation, she was right to be.
A dangerous, unheard of enemy. A group of adventurers stranded in a blood shard. It was definitely a dicey situation. Still….
“With the tips I give you today, tomorrow should be much easier. We’ve only got a little time remaining. I would think Oliver wouldn’t sabotage our training but…you never know?” Agni offered to Dealla.
“I’ll stick around for another hour. But that’s it. I can’t be wasting my time. This is…important, I can’t screw it up.” Dealla’s voice sounded pained more than agitated. Agni couldn’t have been the only person to pick up on it. The Draken Knight subconsciously flicked her tail against the floor and sipped down the remainder of her tea.
Agni nodded her head and glanced down the table at her other acquaintances. Gigi managed to latch herself to Gates once more. No matter how many times she saw it, Agni could only think of Gigi’s overbearing nature shining through. Gates seemed wildly uncomfortable and Agni had an idea why.
It wasn’t that Gigi was invited, rather that she invited herself.
“Oh! You’re going for a bath! It’s been so long! I’m coming. Wait here!” The ginger shouted as she dashed over to Gates’ side and practically dragged him over to the group of women.
“He’s coming too.” She volunteered while Gates simply looked bewildered. Katrin didn’t seem to have an issue with it and instead wore a pleasant smile. Dealla seemed ambivalent , Shula seemed agitated (but when wasn’t she moody), and Gates had already seen nearly all of them nude. To her it didn’t matter, so she easily agreed.
Only after returning to their room did Ariadna and Merri get invited by Katrin making the relaxation time more like a social gathering. Still, Bracha didn’t seem to mind. Agni imagined that being isolated in the same place constantly was a lonely duty. Bracha had mentioned it many times, the ‘burdens of being a Guardian’. Thinking back, Wayla probably felt the same way, though judging by Wayla’s personality it would never be shown.
“Well, everyone, it’s time for the bath. I’m ready, are you?” Bracha said as she got to her feet.
“The what now?” Gates asked, his eyes going wide.
“Gigi what’s going on?” He asked. The mischievous ginger smiled and clenched his arm even harder, most likely so that he couldn’t escape.
“No, wait a minute. I can’t I mean…I’m the only guy here..” Gates’ face turned blush as he spiraled into panic mode. Agni gained a special sort of satisfaction from Gates’ reaction and she suspected all of the women in the room did as well. Gigi had most certainly roped Gates into coming along without fully explaining the situation. She’d most likely done it purposely, in fact. Katrin was shy at times but when it came to nudity she seemed surprisingly willing. In fact, Agni couldn’t remember a time in recent history where Katrin had shied away from allowing her massive tits to be seen.
*Is Katrin secretly….an exhibitionist!?* Agni thought with a smirk.
It wasn’t like Agni could complain though, she would most likely live naked if she could get away with it. Even now a part of Agni’s brain fantasized about ditching all of her clothes and cannonballing into the bath (altho admittedly it wasn’t that deep and would probably hurt). She wondered when this change took place and she couldn’t help but think back to Bracha’s earlier words.
“They can also be self absorbed and indulgent, what’s more they generally don’t regret their actions.”
Agni thought about it for a moment, then shrugged as she stood up and followed Bracha towards the bath. The rest of the people present seemed giddy, after all group baths were a luxury and apparently difficult to come by.
“No, wait. I’m not mentally prepared for this!” Gates said as Gigi ignored all of his protests and pulled him along. Dealla bought up the rear with a grunt. She still felt it was a waste of time but, if it would help to save Chloe….
*I’ll do it.* She thought as she followed the others into the back of the Training Chapel.
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