A/N: Sorry for the long Hiatus… I kind of lost motivation last year… I'll try to update this more often. It is still on Hiatus. I'm posting this since it was complete long ago.
Umiki: Vivienne is alive. Both Aria and Vivienne split up to search for the Illuminius.
KamikorosuXP: Yes, I'm planning to add other stuff along with it. It would mostly be tied to the story plot too.
"Anna, I want to talk to you"
"So you've heard about it"
"Yeah… Are you really going to leave?"
"The GUARDIANs made their decision. I have to leave by the week."
"It's not fair… You saved the system… You don't deserve this."
"I broke the rules… They have the right to punish me."
"Don't worry; we'll still see each other. Even if we can't talk to each other, there are other ways to communicate."
"Yeah… But it won't be the same without you… Ethan's gone, now you're going too! It's going to be lonely here…"
"Then make new friends… Make yourself comfortable here."
Chapter 2: Destroyer in black, Son of Destruction
Little Wing, Clad 6
"Zut alors! The news is over already? How can that be?" Chelsea exclaimed as we entered the office.
"What's the big deal?" Emilia and I questioned simultaneously. We stared at each other…
"They said nothing about Skyclad!" Chelsea explained, attracting our attention again.
"Why? It's not like Skyclad sponsored anything to the public other than mercenary jobs, right?" I asked, confused as Chelsea glared at me.
"We did sponsor the subspace program! And after all the money we spent on the subspace program, our name should be in lights!" Chelsea clarified while waving her hands dramatically… I nod frantically as she eyed me, silently asking if I understood.
"It won't do much to help business around here anyway, we're just a subsidiary." Emilia sighed, either in relief or disappointment. She cleared her throat and continued, "But we're not here to talk PR. Is the boss around?"
Chelsea took a deep breath to calm down
"Mais oui. In fact, Monsieur Kraz was just asking where the two of you were. I just… saw the news and completely forgot." She sighed.
"Don't worry about it." Emilia said reassuringly, she turned to me.
"He's inside, huh? I thought I was ready for anything when we set out, but to be perfectly honest, I'm not ready for this one." She started out calmly, but started to break down.
I am not sure how to respond…
"Well… Since you are going to see him anyway, could you take this to him?" Chelsea interrupted politely, breaking the silence.
"Uh… sure… a receipt from… Rich Velvet Lingerie, Dagora City? ... That doesn't sound like much of a business expense…" Emilia muttered.
"The head office agrees with you. They will not reimburse it. Tell him it will be coming out of his own pocket!" Chelsea snickered.
"That… Dirty old… No wonder he can't afford to pay his bar tabs! What's he thinking?!" Emilia fumed; I can see fire blazing out of her...
"Take it up with him, Chelsea is not part of the complaint department." I sighed…
Emilia snatched the receipt from Chelsea and marched up to Kraz instantly.
"We need to talk—pew wee! Are you drinking or bathing in it?" Emilia complained.
Kraz wasn't paying any attention to us until Emilia kicked his seat.
"Oh? There you are. I've—"
"Don't 'there you are' me! You got another called from a bar asking you to pay up! And care to explain this?" Emilia shouted
"One of my receipts, what are you doing with that?" Kraz questioned.
"You didn't think they'd let you expense this, did you? Have you drowned all of your common sense?" Emilia interrogated. Talk about pot calling the kettle black again.
"That's completely legit!" Kraz countered, "You gotta lay the groundwork before closing the deal!"
Emilia opened her mouth to shoot back, but closed it when she couldn't come up with anything.
"Now if you don't mind, we have business to discuss." Kraz continued. Emilia merely glared angrily at him.
"Cheer up; it's the perfect job for both of you. Well, more like you since Aria here can take care of any mercenary jobs herself." Kraz smirked, looking at Emilia. "This is an urgent, top-of-the-action-item-list sort of job. There's somebody we need to track down."
Either this is a mercenary job, or a personal job. Given that Emilia is suited for this, I think it is the latter.
"A missing person search? Who is it? A witness in a murder trial? Some corporate bigwig?" Emilia asked, her imagination running wild.
"… Not quite, it's someone I loaned money to a while back, and you're going to collect." Kraz explained.
Told you… One… Two… Three…
"This job is from you?! Go find him yourself!" Emilia snapped.
"Can it, you! Because someone around here botched up a job at a certain relic site, we can't get any real work!" Kraz angrily replied.
"When you put it that way…" Emilia sighed… unhappily.
"Good, your target is one Wurley Kokov. Male beast, age fifty-one. His ship's been sighted in the Crodog region of Moatoob. No city, no casinos… It's the last place I'd expect him to be."
"If you know where he is, why don't you just go find him yourself?" Emilia muttered.
"What was that?"
"Ah, nothing! Nothing! Come on Aria; let's get out of here before the fumes start getting to us!" Emilia cheekily replied, dragging me along.
"Kraz has you off collecting his debts? Pull your act together Kraz!" a blue haired woman yelled behind us.
Kraz sighed to himself, "can't believe they won't let me expense this, and there is still three more coming'."
Emilia slowed down as we passed by Chelsea.
"Gee, Chelsea. You always seem so happy when you're working! Kraz wants us to collect his debt again. Where does he get off?! Do we look like his personal bill collectors to you?" Emilia sighed, "Wished my job was like yours! Must be nice not to go out at all… Maybe I should be a receptionist too."
"Oh yes, you could be!" Chelsea replied, smiling. "You'd just have to learn to smile a big smile at tout le gens, you know? Even the complainy whiney ennuyeux ones! Especially them!"
"Smiley, huh?" I wondered how Emilia would pull that off.
"Oui, oui. A smile for the poor client with a problem. A smile for the clients who are problems themselves. Hee hee."
"Uh… oh, I don't know about that then… I'm pretty easy to read." Emilia said thoughtfully. "You must be used to smiling all the time, being hostess and all."
"Non, non! My smile is not for show. I smile always from le Coeur! The heart! Tu sais?"
"Oh… Come to think of it, why do you work two jobs dealing with people? You're a hostess and our receptionist, right?"
"Parce que I enjoy it! And I want to save up enough money to start my own bar! And maybe hire my friends from my old job." Chelsea replied excitedly
"Well… if you like it so much, it must be fun for you… I just can't see it." Emilia pondered.
"What about the drunks that gets too touchy feely? Or the guys who think they're the hottest thing to ever hit the system? Don't—"
"But these are the people who give us work, non?" Chelsea interrupted.
"All these people have their own work, yes? But something draws them to us, and keeps them near. You should hear the stories they tell me! All the pressures, the things that they cannot say, they say to me. "
"I want them to smile, so they can go back to their jobs with light hearts and a coily bounce in their steps!" Chelsea sighed dreamily.
"I have much gratitude for our working customers, and in my work, I can show it to them! With my smile, you see?"
"Hm… I guess I do. I think you're just really cut out for this kind of work. It's like your dream job."
"Oui, oui, I think so too." Chelsea agreed, "Even the little jobs are important. If Monsieur Boss needs something done, who are we to say no?"
I merely nod my head before speaking to Emilia.
"Emilia, I need to do something, why don't we split from here?"
"Huh? Oh… sure…" Emilia seemed disappointed. "I'll be in your room."
Science department, Clad 6
I walked into a lab as a male beast came up to me.
"We get all sorts here, from people in it to make the world a better place to people in it for money. Which are you?"
"Erm…" I thought to myself, "I'm here to make the world a better place… I guess…" I spoke.
"Good to know, I hate dealing with those here for money. Name's Cludo" The male beast introduced himself.
"Aria. No last name." I replied.
"So… what are you here for?" Cludo asked
"I found some dried blood at one of my missions, can you analyze it?"
"Sure, I'll be done with the results after your mission" Cludo replied as I walked off to meet up with Emilia.
Chapter 2 Prologue Complete