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102 Junipère

 "I must apologize for my poor conduct, my name is Junipère. I work at Lacrosse Bakery as the head pastry chef." Junipère said, drying his eyes from crying earlier.

Xinya took in Junipère's appearance and saw that he was indeed wearing a green and pink uniform with the logo of Lacrosse on it. The getup suited the man, his short and chubby stature made the outfit look very cute, especially since pinned on his blonde hair was a tiny green chef's hat.

"It's alright, you probably worked hard on that cake, I would have been upset too if something like that happened to me." Melting Snow to him reassuringly.

Nodding thankfully at Melting Snow's words, Junipère looked at straight at Xinya with hope sparkling in his blue-green eyes. "Would you be willing to help me make another cake."

"Let's get out of the middle of the road before we start talking. We don't want to bump into anyone else now, do we." Xinya told them walking over to a statue of a man holding a sword that was a little away from the road that they were on.

After bypassing the crowd that was walking on the road, the three of them finally made it to the area where the statue was located. While Junipère and Xinya sat down on one of the benches to talk, Melting Snow decided to take a closer look at the statue.

Once they were seated Junipère grabbed Xinya's hands in his and with pleading, eyes said, "So, will you help me?"

"Tell me the problem first," Xinya said removing his hands from the man's hold, not wanting to jump into anything too quickly, he still had a feeling that he read about something like this somewhere.

"I don't have time to bake another cake since I still need to prepare other desserts. The deserts that I need to prepare are very delicate and they will take a long time to make." Junipère explained. "The cake itself was the simplest thing to make but it was also the centerpiece of the banquet. The mayor specifically requested it and if it's not there the mayor will be very upset."

Xinya pondered for a minute or two before saying, "Tell me more about the mayor."

Junipère glanced back and forth to make sure no one was listening to them. Xinya found this to be odd and realized that maybe there was more going on with this town's mayor than he thought.

"The mayor used to be very nice and gentle. He would always listen to the people's worries, never demanding much from the citizens even though he could have. He was the greatest mayor that the town ever had. But one day, everything changed. The mayor became a dictator." Junipère said.

"Really? But the people here don't look as though they are under a dictatorship." Xinya said.

Sighing Junipère said, "That's because that's how the mayor wants it. His power is there hidden all around but you can't see it unless you look. Right now the ones that are feeling it the most are the owners and workers of the shops in town."

Something about this seemed extremely familiar to Xinya like it was on the edge of his brain but he couldn't reach it. Giving up thinking about it, Xinya looked into Junipère's desperate eyes and decided to help him.

"Alright, I will help you make another cake, tell me what you need me to do," Xinya told him.

Junipère's whole body brighten exponentially, it was like a huge burden left him. He began explaining to Xinya what kind of cake that the mayor wanted and when it should be delivered.

[Quest Created!!]

The pastry chef Junipère has dropped the cake that was meant for the mayor's banquet tonight and has no time to remake it. Junipère asks for your help in making a new one, he will give you the recipe to make the cake and design as to what the cake needs to look like. The cake needs to be delivered at Mayor's mansion by 8 o'clock tonight before the banquet begins if it is not brought on time Junipère will be publically shamed and run out of town by the mayor. *Only players with the catering skills will be able to complete the quest.

Time left: 6 hours

[Reward: 700 experience/ 100 bronze coins/ unknown recipe]

"Here is the cake recipe and design," Junipère said while handing two scrolls to Xinya while standing up. "I have to hurry back to the bakery to start on the other desserts, thank you so much for your help."

As Junipère left, Melting Snow wandered back over. Xinya who saw him walking over asked, "Are you done ogling the statue?"

"I wasn't ogling it, I was keeping an eye on it. I still remember those statues in that potion dungeon you took me too."

Xinya almost burst out laughing at the serious in his tone, if he didn't know better he thinks that those statues traumatized the poor boy, "Whatever you say, let's start heading back to the boathouse, there is something I need to do."

"Oh, did that baker guy give you a quest?" Melting Snow asked as they walked.

"Yeah," Xinya replied. "As you should know since you practically threw it my way."

Laughing, Melting Snow said, "I guess I did do that. So do you have to make a cake for that guy or what?"

"I have to make a cake and there is a time limit to do so," Xinya explained.

"Wow, let's hurry back to your boathouse than." Melting Snow said while picking up the pace. "By the way did the man give you the ingredients to make the cake?"

"Nope, but don't worry after collecting the recipe, I saw I had everything needed to make it," Xinya told him.

Huffing at him, Melting Snow said, "Drifting Cloud, it doesn't matter if you had the ingredients or not. You should have asked the NPC for them. This is why you need me around you too nice."

Xinya just rubbed Melting Snow's head not responding. Melting Snow looked so cute while sternly talking to him, that Xinya couldn't stop himself from doing so.

"I'm being serious here," Melting Snow said a little peeved that Xinya was treating him as a kid.

"I know you are," Xinya said with a smile. "Thank you for looking out for me."

"No problem." Melting Snow said while bumping against Xinya in a friendly manner.

~

After working on their stats for an hour or so, Wei and Wandering Sound decided to take a break and sit outside on the deck. There was a very comfortable looking hanging daybed that Wei wanted to try sitting in.

As they sat the daybed rocked gently as the waves hit the boat. The atmosphere was calming and they were both comfortable. Wei started to feel a little shy, while they were working out she didn't feel that way, but now it was like the mood had changed.

The two of them slowly began talking, random things at first, then that leads to them talking about the game and what they wanted to accomplish inside of it. Then the conversation began to change, they started talking about their life, and everything else in between. Even when the conversation stopped it didn't matter, they simply enjoyed each other's company. Wei hoped that they could spend more time like this in the future.

The two of them just sat there in silence, basking in the ambiance around them. The afternoon sun was high in the sky, casting it's golden glow down on them, warming them. While a gentle breeze came and swept past them, leaving the scent of saltwater in its wake. The atmosphere made Wei feel as if she and Wandering Sound were two retired lovers, spending their golden age on a houseboat.

While Wei was smiling silly to herself, Wandering Sound looked at her and said, "It's beautiful out here, isn't it? But this is only the second most beautiful sight I've ever seen."

"Oh? What is the first one?" Wei asked curious, completely forgetting about the previous thoughts that were going through her head.

Wandering Sound moved ever so close to her, causing Wei to blush before he whispering in her ear, "You are."

Wei was completely dumbfounded and didn't know what to do, she felt as if her whole body was turning red. Before she could respond Wandering Sound stopped her from talking.

"You don't have to give me a response now, I just wanted you to know that I think of you more than just a friend." Giving her one last sweet smile Wandering Sound got up and walked back inside of the boathouse.

In a daze, Wei watched as he left, slowly she touching her ear. She knew she had feelings for Wandering Sound but she wanted to get to know him more before they went farther than just friends.

All she knew was that she wanted to speak to Xinya right now, just as she was about to send him a message, she saw him walking over. He was with a young boy and they were talking happily with each other as they walked. Wei knew for sure that this was Melting Snow the boy Xinya talked about. She couldn't wait to meet the boy who made Xinya smile like that.