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159 MirStone Village

 Xinya had just finished brewing the Flora Attack potion and was beginning the bottling process when he heard a knock on the potion's lab door. The sudden noise startled him, causing his hand to slip, which made the potion bottle he was holding crash to the floor.

Cursing silently in his head, he moved hurriedly to mop up the green liquid that was spilled onto the floor with a rag that was nearby. "Who's there?!"

"It's me, Melting Snow. Wandering Sound told me to tell you that we are only five minutes away from the port." The boy yelled through the door.

"Really?!" Xinya couldn't believe that an hour had already gone by so fast, it felt as though he had just entered the room. "I will be right out, just let me finish bottling the last of these potions."

"Alright, I will be out on the deck if you need me," Melting Snow told him, before leaving to go see if he could make out the view of the village.

Hearing Melting Snow receding footsteps, Xinya resumed what he was doing before he was interrupted, but this time at a quicker pace. By the time all the potions were bottled and stored in his inventory, he could hear his friends yelling outside about how they had arrived.

Smiling to himself, Xinya left the potion's lab and hurried towards the deck to join his friends. Once he arrived he was astonished by the sight in front of him, for it was not what he was expecting at all.

When he had learned that they were heading to a village, he was expecting something small area with little wooden houses with straw roofs. He was also expecting to see large farms with simply dressed villagers tending to various types of livestock.

What he saw was completely different from his expectations. The village itself looked grandiose. With its ironwood rooftops, redwood walls and rows upon rows of luscious trees, MirStone had a delightfully rich atmosphere.

Opening his interface to the map function, Xinya began to read about the town. He found out that it has a flourishing economy, which is mainly supported by mining, leatherworking, and fishing. But their biggest strengths are complex crafting and prosperous mining.

However, surprisingly the village lacks farming of any kind. Xinya guesses they didn't need to have proficiency in it, they could just buy produce with the coin they make with their skills. While he was thinking that, he noticed that there was an actual NPC who taught leatherworking in town.

He didn't need to learn the skill, but he knew that Wei would need to learn it to be a better tailor. If she could learn to make leather, she would be able to make more original clothing.

Being able to see which NPCs taught skills to players made Xinya very happy that he upgraded his map again. This map skill would be very helpful to him later on, that way he won't have to go searching too hard when he wanted to learn something.

"Drifting Cloud, come on!" Melting Snow exclaimed shocking Xinya out of his musings.

Closing his map, he noticed that the boat had already docked, and Wei and Wandering Sound were already disembarking. Only Melting Snow had waited for him, even though he looked eager to leave as well.

Smiling at the boy, Xinya ruffled his hair, before saying, "You didn't need to wait for me, you could have left too."

"No way," Melting Snow told him with a shake of his head. "I will always wait for you. Now let's go."

"Sure, sure. Let's go." Chuckled Xinya, as he wrapped an arm around the boy's shoulder and proceeded to walk off the boat together with him.

As Xinya led Melting Snow over to where Wei and Wandering Sound was standing, he could see that they seemed to be discussing something. What it was, he did not know, but as he considered her slightly flushed cheeks, he could most likely guess.

Pretending to clear his throat as to break up their conversation, Xinya watched as the two of them jumped apart. Snickering at his flustered looking friends, he waited until they were composed enough to speak.

"Oh there you are Drifting Cloud," Wei begins, looking anywhere else than at the person she was speaking to. "I didn't even notice your arrival."

"I bet you didn't." Melting Snow quietly snarked from beside Xinya. However, his words weren't loud enough for either Wei or Wandering Sound to hear.

Glancing towards the boy, Wandering Sound asked, "Did you say something Melting Snow?"

"Nope, nothing at all." Melting Snow said as he squirmed to get away from Xinya who was poking him gently in the ribs. "What are we waiting for let's go explore the village."

"Wait, before we do that, don't you think we should assign tasks?" Wei asked while looking at Xinya.

Nodding his head in agreement, Xinya said, " Roaming Wind is right, we only came to this village to sell the Mirror of Pandemonium and to find out how to find a fairy circle."

"How should we decide who does what?" Wandering Sound asked.

"Well," Xinya begins, looking at each member of his party. "I think I should go sell the mirror along with Melting Snow since it will be easy for me to find a crafter NPC. While you, Wandering Sound who have higher social skills than the rest of us, should ask around about the fairy circle."

Confused as to why Xinya didn't include her with Wandering Sound, Wei asked, "What about me?!"

"Don't worry I didn't leave you out. While looking at the map earlier I found out that you can learn leatherworking in this village. I think while you are still here, you should go learn, because who knows when you will have a chance to do so later." Xinya explained.

Smiling gratefully at the green-haired man, Wei was happy that Xinya was taking her wanting to be a tailor seriously. She also knew that leatherworking would be very beneficial to her in the long run.

She would be able to make all kinds of leather accessories, from belts to bracelets, and if she could find the right pattern, she would be able to make all sorts of holsters. Wei couldn't help but feel thankful to Xinya for looking out for her.

"Thank you, Drifting cloud for thinking of me," Wei told the green-haired man sincerely.

Smiling gently at her, Xinya said, "Think nothing of it, that's what friends are for."

"Best friends," she reminded him quietly.

"Yes, best friends," repeated Xinya. He could tell that she wanted to give him a hug but was stopping herself from doing so.

He also wanted to hug her at this moment but knew that he wouldn't be able to, instead, he slowly reached out and took her hand in his. Xinya had done this once before, but this time instead of regular hand-holding he entwined his fingers with hers.

Wei looked shocked at his action, stilling her movements as if afraid that if she even twitched, she would ruin the moment. As she looked down at their joined hands, tears formed in her eyes, but she didn't cry. She wanted to act as though this was a normal occurrence, so one day it would be.

The other two in the party remained silent as they watched Xinya and Wei basked in the warm glow of friendship. However, time was of the essence and with a slight tug to Xinya pant leg by Melting Snow, the atmosphere was ruined.

Removing his hand from Wei's, Xinya turned to look at Melting Snow. He could see that the boy was ready to go. Ruffling the boy's hair, he turned back to Wei and said, "I think we should go and complete what we need to do."

"Your right," Wandering Sound replied in agreement. "Roaming Wind which way are you heading?"

"That way," Wei told him, pointing in the direction of a cobbled road that would take her to the outskirts of town.

Wandering Sound was quiet for a moment as if checking something, "What a coincidence that way will take me by the library. Do you want to go together?"

"Yeah, the more the merrier," Wei said with a bright smile.

"Then let's go." Wandering Sound told her.

Before they could leave, Xinya stopped them. "Wait! When you both are done let's meet up at the village gate, alright?"

"Great Idea," Wandering Sound said. "That way we can leave quickly."

"Why do we need to leave this village so quickly?" Melting Snow asked confused. They had just arrived. He didn't know why they couldn't stay for a bit.

Turning his attention towards the boy, Xinya explained, "It's because the only way we can use the fairy bracelet is on a full moon. Which will appear in a couple of days, if we miss it we will have to wait another whole game month."

"Ohh!!" exclaimed Melting Snow. "We need to hurry then."

Laughing at the boy, Wei and Wandering Sound waved goodbye to them before heading off. Xinya watched as the two of them walked down the cobbled road together side by side, getting farther away from him.