Saun 8 Arc 718
It was a glorious day off of Hanabi’s priestess duties as she got ready for her day. There was something so sweet about waking up and knowing that she could do whatever she wanted. The novitiate had not taken a couple days of rest from her training regimen and found her body aching and demanding rest. If what her senior had said was true, the muscles would have grown stronger through the repair process if she had reseted. She would certainly need them to grow stronger if she was ever going to ever get into the warrior branch.
Hanabi sat in her bed and looked over a list of wanted ads that she had gathered over the course of the previous week. She was still without long term employment so she was forced to do odd jobs to keep herself fed. Many of these wanted ads were out of the question, ”caring for the elderly, pass. Hunting a dangerous electricity monster, pass. Traveling mercenary, been there done that.” Hanabi picked up the final flyer and read that someone was in need of some manual labor help. Just what she needed, more exercise. But she was out of options so she guessed she was going to make this happen.
And so, Hanabi soon found herself standing in front of a large pile of rocks that needed to be moved. There were a couple other people helping out and the task was relatively straightforward. Move rocks from point A to point B. It was only a short walk to the destination, so not much in the way of tools was provided. Most of the workers simply hoisted up a couple stones at a time with their hands. Hanabi would follow suit and hoist up a rock onto her shoulder, only to nearly be knocked over by a more careless worker.
“Watch where you’re going,” Hanabi scolded as she set out on her way. Hanabi would have liked to scold further, but this rock was quite heavy. She had something more important to do down the street than to talk to this guy. Despite this, the man was insistent on apologizing. He was less of a man and more of a teenager. Lanky, awkward looking, and by the way he had bumped into Hanabi he was probably careless to boot. The boy would grab his own rock and follow closely behind Hanabi as she walked towards the dumping location. ”Does he have to walk so close to me? Give me a break!”
After the two dropped off their rocks, the awkward boy spoke up. "So many machines, so little time," he stated aloud, as he began to sketch, “I’m…” Hanabi cut him off before he could speak his name, “I’m here to move some rocks and go home. If you want to make small talk at least wait until we’re finished. How about that?” Ever since her run in with a Lightning Knight the other day, Hanabi was on edge about talking to random people. She would be keeping a constant eye out for people that would threaten her safety. The Knight had been right, you never could know what type of person you'd meet out here in the open street.
Hanabi had hoped that her endeavor would rid the area of the boy. However, that didn’t seem to be the case as he kept on talking her ear off for the whole trip back to the rocks. How annoying. And yet…how useful. Perhaps she was looking at this situation from the wrong angle. Perhaps, instead of seeing him as an obstacle and nuisance, she should be looking at how she could use him. He did seem to be into gaining her favor, perhaps she could use that. She wasn’t a believer of fate, but she did believe in taking advantage of coincidences. ”Plus it looks like he wants to help. Am I really the villain here?”
However, if she was going to do that, she needed to test him first. And that was the question. How should she test him yet still make it look like a coincidence. She looked at the rocks before her again. Perhaps she could convince him to carry her share of rocks for her. “Could you get this one for me,” she would ask sweetly as she pointed to one of the rocks in “her” pile. The boy blushed and grabbed the rock without hesitation. Hanabi had never in her life done something like this, but then again she had never met someone like this before.
The pink haired woman looked out at the remaining rocks in her pile and grabbed a small one to give her exhausted arms a break. She was starting to think that overusing her muscles was very bad thing. When the two dumped their rocks off at the destination, Hanabi made an excuse to take a break. “You’ll grab a rock from my pile, for me right?” Hanabi would ask with a very overdone fluttering of her eyelashes. This seemed to break the boy out of his trance however, and he realized what was being done. “I thought we were getting on but you just want me to do your work,” he would shout before storming off.
”Well it was worth a try, Hanabi thought, ”Worst comes to worst and he’ll just leave me alone.” Hanabi walked back to her pile of rocks on her own. She arrived just in time to see a cart dumping a large number of additional rocks onto the ground. It was now that Hanabi realized why they needed laborers to move the rocks in the first place. The cart was much too wide to make it down the narrow pathway to the destination. Several other people were angry that they had to move even more rocks, but seasoned laborers were not surprised. Hanabi was a little of both. Having done these kinds of jobs for most of her life, she had come to know that laboring was the absolute bottom of the barrel when it came to worker happiness. Sometimes she felt only one step above being a slave in terms of value to society.
Hanabi sifted through the various rocks that remained in her pile. She grabbed a couple more and tied rope to them so that she wouldn’t have to pick them up. Not many people were resorting to this method yet, but they probably weren’t as exhausted as she was. Looking at the enormous total pile of rocks remaining, she had no idea what someone needed this many rocks for. The more and more she thought about it, the more she believed that she would probably be hired to help with the construction project as well. She hoped that she would find something better by then, ”Maybe the priestesses will be able to hire me soon.”
The novitiate made many more trips back and forth throughout the day. She had been working for about six hours at this point and carts continuously brought more and more rocks. A group of people was gathering around the pile, wondering why anyone in their right mind would drop off so many rocks. While question of what the rocks were for went from person to person, Hanabi didn't pay them any attention. "I'm a crazy fool," one man shouted, not necessarily talking to himself in this situation, “I better be getting paid extra for all this work!” The rest of the workers gathered around as well and started calling for the boss to pay them so they could be done for the day. There were now so many rocks to move that it would take days if not weeks to move them all.
Hanabi patted herself down, making sure to get the majority of the dust off of her clothes. She was officially finished with moving rocks for the day. Her pile of rocks were larger than when she started and it didn’t look like she was going to be finishing this task even if they paid her one thousand golden nel. Instead, she would join in the shouting until the boss stepped outside and started handing out wages for the day. He offered no apologies and paid a pittance, but it was better than nothing. Based on the rumors Hanabi heard, the wealthy man had moved in from another city and would have used slaves to do the labor, if it were legal to do so. He certainly hadn’t accounted for having to pay people to do labor for him.
”I don’t think I gained much use out of lifting the rocks today.” Hanabi would think as she walked home. It was almost as if her muscles needed to rest in order to grow stronger. It was a lesson she was going to take to heart so that she could avoid overexertion in the future. When she finally lay down in bed, she realized that she was having trouble even lifting her arms. Her upper body had been fatigued to a dangerous point and she feared she was in for days of resting.