Noel sat in her room at the inn, glad that Historia hadn't taken her gates back after what Unseason tried to do with them, though she had concerns for what would happen if Unseason somehow got a human body, though that would be weird, Spring assured her that Unseason was incapable of generating a body while bound by the power of the four Seasonal Spirits.
"Why do I feel unconvinced...I want to believe her...but I feel like I know something they don't know." suddenly she had an idea that she believed could work, she would go to the Mosiac Rosetta that one of Historia's gates took them to, and try to review herself.
She crept downstairs, but the manager of the inn caught her trying to sneak out.
"Out for a walk, Miss Noel?" the pig Animen spoke with an accent, he was always in a tie and suit, as far as she could tell.
"Yeah, I'll be back soon." she turned around before leaving and waved, "Goodnight, Jack."
Jack shook his head after she left and smiled, "Poor thing really has lost her memory, else she would know you don't have to say goodnight every evening parting."
Noel looked around to find her bearings and started in the direction of the woods, but noticed one of the inn's windows had the curtains pulled back, "No light...either they're watching me, or asleep, Jack probably doesn't trust me, especially not after I left last night...better not give him a reason to think poorly of me."
She walked past the woods and kept walking, behind the Sea Side Wolfe--which she couldn't stop frowning at, something about it seemed odd, but she couldn't put her finger on it--and towards the beach, following the rocky wall next to her as it descended, fin-like, into the earth.
She stared at the stars over the ocean, the distance seemed solid, as though the stars would land on a solid surface if they fell from the sky. Noel heard someone behind sigh and turned around Maria facing away from her, on her knees, "That strange bunny Animen told me she liked looking at bugs on the beach...pill bugs, I think they were."
Noel stepped forward and knelt next to Maria, then bent forward, "Is it a nocturnal bug?"
"Hmm?" Maria turned around and smiled, "Nah, it's my parents...grave markers...all I was told is that they were the only casualties from a scuffle with the Company...aside from a letter they wrote for me before then, that's all I know."
"Oh...s-should I leave for now?"
"Nah, you can stay, I was...just thinking about things, apparently they were going to try to take out the captain, they were that strong, that everyone thought they could take out the majority of invaders before it got worse, but something happened and they...were found under water later."
"Parents...I wonder where mine are?" Noel looked up at the sky and found a horde of stars above them, she turned back to Maria and cleared her throat, "So-"
"I just wish...I still had my parents, seeing Kokoso and the others with theirs forces me to face that I don't have have mine."
After a while Noel finally spoke, "Lot's of stars out, huh?"
"Yeah, there really are...I haven't looked up there in a while...I actually haven't been back here in a while, I prefer to just spend my nights in that upside down boat I live in."
"That explains why it looks...wrong...like if the windowsills were above the windows, instead of below them."
"If you had questions, you could have just asked me."
"I was thinking about it...maybe tomorrow."
"Well, now you know...the story around here is that it was called the Sea Side Wolfe because the ship had been the S.S. Wolfe, I guess there was no use for a ship, so it was turned onto it's head." Maria stood up and turned around, "Speaking of tomorrow, it's about time to turn in for the night...so, why were you out so late?"
"I was going to...y-you know, it's just such a nice-" Noel looked away from Maria's inquisitive stare and sighed, "you know the Mosiac Rosetta? Well, apparently you can review knowledge on anyone you've met, I wanted to see what I know about myself, if I can...if I can see that at all."
"You're a pretty long way from there, Noel."
"I thought I might have been being watched."
"Yeah, I don't think he trusts me, not after I disappeared yesterday, looking for you guys." Noel stared at the ground and shrugged, "I mean, I don't blame him or anything...I did sneak out."
"Well, I don't see how he'd find you untrustworthy, maybe he's anxious because you're not an Animen."
"I never thought of it that way...I guess I am pretty suspicious, in that light."
"Not all non-Animen are bad, and I'm sure there's plenty of bad Animen somewhere."
"Maybe, but Mother Goose isn't someone I'd want to cross, I'm glad she's on our side."
"Hmm...which side is that?"
"The...side of people who just...wish that people would stop being stupid."
Noel smiled and closed her eye, "Smiling kind of hurts...like something my face wasn't built for."
"Ha, ha, your face wasn't built, I'm sure." Maria opened the door to the inn and waved at Jack, "Goodnight, Jack, Noel."
"Hmm?" Noel stared at her and Maria smiled.
"Um, it's...like there's a silent, 'and you, too' when I said your name...that counted for both of you."
"Hmm...so, goodnight Maria, Jack?"
"Yeah, it's weird, huh?"
Noel nodded and waved at Maria, "Goodnight, Maria, Jack."
Re watched Noel visit Maria, writing down what she saw, laughing in some places, "'Just wish that people', how inspired, I'll just borrow that line sometime...you know, I could stand to meet these guys, but I need a good disguise...I guess I have the night to think it over."
Re switched to another window and stared at the king and advisor, "Meanwhile these two are being stupid, and I can't say anything about what's going on to the heroes of this story, they'd just throw themselves into danger, they need the other two Seasonal Spirits to stand a chance against what Unseason has cooked up for them...nice, I just made myself hungry."
Re got up from her chair in her green, book pattern pajamas and pulled a lamp that acted as a lever, which lowered a bookshelf, revealing a refrigerator at the end of a short hall. She opened the door and grabbed a smoothie. Turned around and left, pushing the lamp forward, it automatically fell back into place and closed the bookshelf, while she took out a journal for a short story she'd been working on and set it on the bed, there were no words yet, only ideas, misshaped sketches that represented people and events.
Maria woke early and waited outside for the others, fishing to pass the time. She heard Cathryn and Byrd talking, then heard Kokoso call them over, "Hey, guys, she's over here!"
Maria turned around and waved at the six companions, "Party's all here, then? Good, I was getting bored anyways."
"So," Kokoso began, "Byrd brought up a good point on the way here--rare, I know."
"Hey, I always-" Byrd began his objection, but Kokoso hopped between him and Maria.
"Now, our folks have all commented on the fact that the Wolfe isn't reliably open, and that Byrd's bad at making macaroni...I'm kidding, Cathryn's youngest brother said that." Kokoso cleared his throat, "Anyways, so Byrd and Cat were tossing ideas back and forth, and we got to the point where everyone had the same idea: Split the party, half of us go to the woods to get stronger, the other half stays here and mans the Wolfe."
"The best part about it," Spring announced cheerily, "is that you don't have to worry about being the fact we're acting as Guardian Angels for you, our power is yours, but if someone in your party was given one of your Seasonal Strings and designated by your as the authority of the party, then our gift of special attacks and Spirit Strikes would go with them, all it takes is one of those strings, and it'll be just as good as wearing both, since you're still wearing one, and the other person's wearing one, and both of them are Seasonal Girl Strings, and we're both you're Guardian Angels...just don't remove it from your neck while your friends are in battle, or things could be bad."
"Hmm, so we can keep making money to buy more supplies, while still keeping the monsters at bay." Maria nodded and pulled off her Autumn String, "Byrd, Autumn, and Cathryn, good luck...Cat, I trust you and Byrd keep Autumn safe and...come up with some kind of cleaver battle formations, the rest of us are stuck on restaurant duty."
"Well, since she uses claws--yes, I asked her on the way here, what's that face for? Anyways, since she uses claws, we'll keep the same attack patterns we've been using."
"So, I'm staying?" Spring inquired, Maria turned to say something, but Spring cut her off, "No objections here, Boss, just making sure! You'll love some of these ancient recipes from years ago, like gorgon noodles...don't worry, they just call them that."
"W-why?!" Maria cried, eyes stuck on Spring.
"Because, they're, what, thousands of years old? People back then had crazy names for things...Record would give you a more detailed history on it, but...she's not here right now."
"So, how do you make...gorgon noodles?" Maria turned to Kokoso, "Aren't those monsters supposed to make you freeze if they saw you?"
"Yep, they were the ones!" Kokoso confirmed with a nervous smile, "Hopefully they were just back then and not...present day monsters."
"You make gorgon noodles with a special kind of noodles--Perseus noodles, just like regular noodles but soaked in lemon juice and garlic--olives, and eggs, soft boiled is preferred--take notes--and insert the olives into a small crater in the egg, use your choice of sauce as adhesive, and set them aside," Spring clasped her hands excitedly and continued, "ideally you should have been boiling the noodles until they were nice and noodle-like, so they should be done boiling by now. So, take those noodles give them some gorgons' bane, so named because they were the only way to prevent the blight of gorgons' eyes, often taken before battle, otherwise you'd make a broth and soak the victim in a tub until they were soft and human again, but that's another snack. Now, take the herbs--they're spicy, so boil the heat out of them without taking out all that flavor and gorgon's bane goodness--and dry them, in the sun if you have time, but the oven works too, and then blend them with pepper and basil. So, for the finally! Time to add the eggs that you may have noticed have an uncanny resemblance to eyes to the noodles, then sprinkle the seasoning and bake them until the noodles are crunchy, serve hot and eat with a fork...and maybe a knife."
"U-uh...Spring?" Maria scratched the side of her head, struggling to remember the recipe.
"It's okay, I remember it." Noel promised, "If I get it wrong, Spring's still here."
"And it'll be here until Summer!" Autumn added, smirking.
"Oh, Autumn, that reminds me, could you find some gorgons' banes for me?"
"Sure, Spring, how many leaves?"
"Just bring the whole plant, I want to make a garden around the fish pond behind the Wolfe." Spring turned around and went inside the Wolfe.
"Well, guess we should have breakfast before heading out." Byrd shrugged.
"A lot of foods grown can be influenced by the power of the Wilds," Autumn informed, "certain foods can help you out, increase the Wild's effect on you--always a good thing--and keep certain things from happening, like...for example, if gorgons still walked the earth, then you'd eat gorgon noodles to keep from getting turned to stone."
Kokoso nodded, "That sounds good, we already brought full meals with us on the way to the Refractory Construct."
Byrd agreed, "Yeah, our logic was that we could, so we did."
Autumn nodded slowly, "That makes sense...you guys really do get all the use out of your supplies that you can, I respect that, no ands, ifs, or buts about it."ns 184.108.40.206da2