Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie (Aether)

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Day 157: Any excuse not to adventure.

From the sound of Annabel's whining, the Scion's entering the inner sanctum knew Krile's mission had been a success.

"What do you MEAN Krile managed to get us access"; the beautiful, blonde, and oh so annoying 'Warrior of Light' said to Tataru, who happened to be the courier of this bad news.

"Yes. that's is what the message said Annabel", the little Lalafell confirmed. "Krile convinced the Sharlayan's to accept our request for entry to their city. I would think you would consider that GOOD news you silly blonde."

"Well yes, in a way I suppose", Annabel reluctantly conceded. "But HOW in the world did she do it? If I were to bet, I was sure she would have failed." Annabel didn't think much of the other little Lalafell, the silly shrimp always seemed to have a way of getting kidnapped. Honestly, Annabel was surprised the correspondence from her had not been another ransom note.

"Oh ye of little faith", Tataru chided; "I for one had NO doubt that she would succeed. Your should trust in your companions better 'Warrior of Light.'

"HA! The eighth Umbral calamity would happen first before THAT happened," Thancred said with a smirk as he entered the room along with the other Scions. The others nodded their agreement causing Annabel to just look miffed. "Wow, WAY to gang up on me people, see if I save your ass the next time a monster is going to eat you."

"Oh come on Annabel dear, lighten up", Y'shtola said with a glint of humor in her white eyes. "Any more lack of humor and I would mistake you for Urianger." This caused both the tall Elezen and the short Hyur to give the Miqo'te a humorless look. "Thee are not amusing," Uri said in response. Annabel nodded in agreement; "yeah, I'm WAY better looking anyway, not to mention wear better dresses." This caused everyone except Urianger to emit a laugh. The Elezen just looked at Annabel and rolled his eyes.

"Ok, ok" Thancred said, "enough of our champion being the subject of our jokes; tell us little leader just how our esteemed scholar managed to gain us access to that city full of snobs."

"Well," Tataru pulled out the missive she had received earlier in the day. "It says here that Kyile put in applications for us to help assist in the restoration of the students of the Baldesion order. She didn't go into much detail, but she mentioned that the Sharlayan's have been wanting to bring it back for a while, so they were very receptive to the idea. Enough so I would guess to give even non citizens passage into the city."

Annabel thought for a moment. "Balsesion? Wait, I heard of that name back in that weird Eureka place. They had some nasty arsenal, a real pain in the ass to get through. Are you telling me these are the same people?"

"Yes Annabel", Tataru replied. "If you remember, and I bet she surely doesn't," the Lalafell mumbled under her breath. "Krile told you the Eureka expedition was sponsored by them. In fact silly girl, her last name is Balsesion also."

"Wait, WHAT?" Annabel gave an unbelieving look. "You're kidding? So she is what, the leader of them or something? And she risked MY life to get into that damn place when SHE probably could have gotten into it easily since she OWNS it!" Annabel fumed, "Oooooo, that Lala and I are going to have some WORDS when I see her!"

"Ah", Y'shtola looked pleased, "so you are eager to go then? Excellent, and here we thought it would take hours to convince you to get on that boat."

"Wait, WHAT?" The confused Annabel repeated for the second time; "I didn't agree to go!"

"SURE you did", Thancred said nodding. "It's obvious to anyone looking at you that are VERY eager to have it out with our dear Krile. What's a little sea voyage when you get to be your bitchy self in front of someone who annoys you. And besides, the ship is leaving from Limsa Lominsa. The island of Sharlayan is not far from it, only a few days of travel."

"Wait, is she REALLY doing to do this?" Estinien asked with disbelief. Of course the former knight had seen Annabel's antics before back in the days of the Dragonsong war, but that was years ago and he was hoping she had matured into a more sensible woman. From the sound of it, that had yet to happen.

Alphinaud, who had been standing quietly beside his sister Alisaie, walked over and whispered to the knight. "Shhhh, don't question it Ser Estinien, anything that gets our whiny 'princess' moving instead of making every excuse under the sun not to go is a GOOD thing."

Alisaie, overhearing this, nodded and added. "I was afraid we were going to have to knock her out and tie her up to get her aboard the ship. Anna can be VERY stubborn about traveling. Remember what we had to do to get her on that ship to Othard?"

Her brother made a face, "ugh, don't remind me. the bitching she did for days afterward almost made me jump off the ship. Yes" , he nodded, "believe me, her WANTING to go is a good thing and thank the Twelve it is happening. "

"If you say," Estinien looked grim as he watched the exchange between the overexcited Blonde and the other Scions. "But watching this woman makes me want to face Nidhogg again then deal with her antics."

"Yes", Alph said with a sigh, "Annabel seems to have that effect on everyone......"

The subject of the twins discussion was looking bemused, not knowing if she was being tricked or not. Yes, it WOULD be good to have it out with that little shrimp who had caused Annabel sooooo much anguish and annoyance, but on the other was traveling again, ugh. She sooooo hated it. The beautiful blonde gave Thancred a frown then an adorable pout. This had the effect of unexpected stirring by every man in the room and surprisingly Alislie too. Yeah, she smiled inwardly, she still had it. She really needed to use it more often to get what she wanted, but she was too mature for that, right?

"Wellll, I guess you all are REALLY not giving me much of a choice, are you. I guess this is better than trying to knock me out or some such silliness, right?" That caused an look of surprise from the twins. I KNEW it, she thought, Oooooo, sneaky kids, I DO remember Othard people, not THIS time!

Tataru as well as the other Scions breathed a sigh of relief. "Well thank goodness you are being reasonable about this Annabel. The sooner we got over there, the sooner we can try and figure out the Telophoroi's plans. They as well as their Lunar primals are quiet now, but that won't last. "

"Yeah, yeah", Annabel gave a look of annoyance. "Someone else who will face my wrath the next time I see them. Annoying bastards, making me travel. Well, I guess I better get packing. Wait, what DO I pack for this place? She looked at the twins who were from there. "Anything special I need to know fashion wise?"

"Fashion? In Sharlayan?" Alphinaud looked shocked. "You're kidding, right? Annabel, people are too occupied with scholarly pursuits there to really care about stuff like that."

"Alphinaud!" Alisaie groaned, "now you've done it!"

"Done what?" Her brother asked.

Annabel looked stunned. "Scholarly pursuits? "Oh Gods! Does that mean there's probably a ton of .......BOOKS there?" She turned to leave saying, "Ok, change of plans, NO WAY, there is NO way I am GOING there!"

The other Scions glared at Alphinaud who withered under their gaze. "Sorry," he said meekly, "I forgot about the whole 'book' thing."

"Well mister 'I forgot'", Thancred glared at the younger boy, pointing to the blur of pink and white who was racing through the open door and down the corridor. "YOU go fetch her and DON'T come back until you have our 'champion' in tow." He then turned to Y'shtola and said with a sigh. "Dear, would you be so kind as to get the knockout drops ready? Looks like we WILL need them this time."

Alphanud turned to his sister, resigned to his fate, and asked, "help me? You know how much of a handful she is." He then took off after the errant 'Champion of Light'.

"Yes," Alisaie replied as she started through the door after him, "boy do I ever........."

Addum: Ok, so yes, I HAVE decided to start writing up the Endwalker expansion....sigh. From the piss poor view counts, I know it is not going to be read or seen by many anymore. (Maybe with people coming back that might improve?) But I realized, it is being seen and read by the most important person, ME!

I love going back and rereading my old stuff and it makes me smile when I do. I have been doing this for over five years now and it would be silly to stop right when the story is almost over. 'Annabel's Journey' needs to have a conclusion and I will try to give it one.

Oh, you can also thank that stupid scene with Hydealyn on the boat in the beginning. Seeing that sparked my muse in a way I have not felt in MONTHS! There was NO way I was going to pass up writing that meeting, there is too much potential there for a good story.

Of course this ALSO means that I am going to take a looooooong time getting through the MSQ........again! Oh my game wife is just thrilled! Sorry Aria! ;-)

Oh, and yes, I DID decide to buy the thing instead of waiting. I got an unexpected bunch of overtime this week and decided I can afford to buy it now. Plus with winter almost here, I am kind of bored with little to do. Might as well write.

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