085 Chapel Days · Scene 3
The Chapel ~ Interior ~ Bed and guest quarters
Early Autumn ~ Morning, Clear and breezy
Early Autumn ~ Morning, Clear and breezy
“That’s right. Money.”
The word piqued Chain’s curiosity and she and Drop backed away from Finch where they had pinned her against a hallway wall. Though she breathed a quiet sigh of relief at the return of her personal space, Finch did not relent in her explanation.
“The sheets that you’re worried about damaging can be replaced if you just buy new ones, but that costs money. The Chapel gets most of its funds from donations and what we trade with salvagers out here in the wild. But you want to be an adventurer, don’t you?”
“That’s right. I want to be the most renowned adventurer ever and to see all sorts of amazing things.”
“Well, adventurers get paid for taking on requests so you can earn the money to buy new sheets by doing what you want.”
“Really⁈ That’s amazing!”
“It is most convenient!”
Joining Chain in surprised exclamation, Drop marveled at the scenario laid out before them. Excited as Chain and Drop were though, something was bothering Finch.
“You know, first you two freak-out over a bed, and now money. I’m finding that just a little weird.”
“Heh heh. Well…”
Chain scratched at her left check with an embarrassed laugh and looked away from Finch. Awkwardly she tried to explain.
“I never really thought about money and adventuring going together. It just never crossed my mind. I don’t remember thinking about it growing up either. Of course that could just be because my thoughts and memories are everywhere but in my head where they belong. Eh–⁈”
Noticing Finch’s disbelieving stare, Chain lost her train of thought. Lost as her train of thought had become, Chain did not forget how to speak and queried of the reason behind Finch’s expression.
“Did I say something wrong?”
“I can’t believe you’ve never thought about money! What type of life did you live to never think about money⁈ Wait! Don’t tell me you were being raised as a nun too⁈”
“Actually, I was being raised as an engineer craftsman and lived above a functioning plant.”
“Wha–? Wha–? WHAT⁈”
Finch could not hide her surprise and further disbelief as she shouted out loud and earned the looks of several passing nuns. She did not notice them at all as she was too astounded by the simple seeming maid before her. As a girl obsessed with ancient technology and a prodigy of mechanical tinkering, Chain’s words blew her mind. Engineer craftsmen were the most important of all people in a world that blended steam industry with magic and the wonders and technologies of the ancients. Without their expertise modern civilization would collapse and the technology it relied on would become useless. Of that technology, nothing was more valuable than a plant as the simply dubbed things were facilities of the ancients that performed nearly every task a city could need. Electricity, plumbing, manufacturing, farming, mining. They were miracle facilities, but as valuable as a plant was it was even rarer to hear of a fully functioning one. The very mention of a craftsman engineer and a plant in the same breath pretty much turned Finch’s eyes into spinning coins as she stared bright eyed at Chain.
“No wonder you didn’t worry about money. If you lived in a city with a functioning plant you would have been living a life of luxury compared to just about everyone else on the Face of Icarus. It’s a shame you were infected by the Foreigners.”
“Not really. I wanted to be an adventurer and see the world anyway, and if my memories aren’t too out of order, I think a Foreigner city fell on it before going back up into the sky.”
“It seemed to be a problem where I’m from. I kind of remember seeing one sitting in a ravine too before I met you.”
“Where did you live exactly…?”
Though she asked the question, as she could not believe what Chain was telling her, Finch did not really want to know. Chain was too weird of a person to her, wanting to be an adventurer despite growing up as a valuable person in a state of luxury, the sights she had seen, the weird fractured state of her mind, and somehow not having slept in a bed since spring even during her first trip on the Chapel. Though it would be fair to point out that Chain hadn’t slept in a bed then because she was too engrossed with the books in the mobile fortress’ library and had locked herself within. Still, none of that mattered and to keep herself from being overwhelmed by what did, Finch tried to steer the subject back to money.
“Well, that doesn’t matter now because you’re here. And since you are here, money does matter. It’s not only important but it’s useful too. There are so many things you can buy with it, and the more you have and spend the better and more you can buy. There’s food!
“There’re nice beds!”
“There’re nice clothes!”
Throwing a strike on her third comment, Finch failed to get Chain and Drop to continue oohing. It was little surprise that she did, Drop was too small for any legitimate clothes and Chain’s chainmail had already been the cause of shredded bedding. As she couldn’t remove it due to the nature of her Foreigner infection, it was unlikely any clothes she wore would fare any better than the bedding. Finch did not like the loss of enthusiasm and emphatically insisted they share in with an accusatory finger point.
“That’s something to cheer at you two! Now again! Clothes!”
Scratching nervously at her cheek as she could not summon up one drop of enthusiasm, Chain let out an awkward laugh. Finch didn’t seem to want to give up though and tried a different category.
Bouncing back and forth between things that interested her and interested Chain, Finch struggled to keep at it based on Chain’s conflicting reactions. Regardless, she was still finding success in drilling into Chain’s head the importance and power of money. As that was her goal, her enthusiasm returned as she began marching towards the Chapel’s lower levels with Chain and Finch in tow. She eventually ran out of things to list and simply started circling over, with Chain and Drop joining in on later repetitions of the list. The marching trio naturally earned looks from the nuns going about their business, but it was already too late. The value of money was instilled in Chain’s mind and she knew in her future adventures she would need as much as she could get her hands on. The thought of everything she could do with it between adventures and to lead her to greater adventures left a massive smile on her face as her eyes shimmered.
Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater