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Jul 04, 2020 10:37 AM
a Cameron is the demon lord
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Wow, it's just like home. How fuckmothering nostalgic. But Ame is visibly derailed by one part of that in particular, "Wait, whore card?"

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"Yeah, the Pleasure Guild gives boys and girls both a card if they're clean and aren't thieves, it's real distinctive. Do you want the books or not?"

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Ame is, somewhat conflictedly, Having Feelings again.

She shakes it off, and pushes away the Ashes and Dust book. "One silver twelve for just Pelt of Caeris. Final offer. I don't need this that badly."

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"That's still below my cost. Have a nice day."

He starts putting his inventory up.

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Ame just stares at him with a raised eyebrow. "Really? You're going to quibble that hard over a copper and a half?"

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Bookseller raises an eyebrow back. "Three silver eight each book. Even a short book represents several days work for a skilled scribe, where on Damen can you get any book for one silver? I'll do three silver four, buyback for three flat for one of these spellbooks, how about. Your friend paid four and five for hers, and it's a more advanced spell."

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Ame mentally reviews the conversation. No, she definitely said "both" when she made her first counter offer. This guy's trying to pull some gaslight shit.

"I think we should try a different bookshop," Ame opines to Elizabeth.

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"You're not going to get spellbooks that cheap anywhere, Ame. His initial offer was four silver pieces per book, maybe you misheard it."

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"I heard. And maybe that isn't this guy's fault. Maybe there's some ridiculous tax or an absurd price hike at the supply end. But four silver is absurd. People are barely willing to pay one silver for my healing, and only then because I was just barely undercutting the potion market! The asking price is four times the price of a healthy body, four times a life, for a book! How is that reasonable?"

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"Maybe because the people you were healing were insular peasants who don't have much money and weren't really hurt that bad to begin with? You could probably charge a gold coin or two if someone around here is rich and sick. Platinum, easy, maybe even Adamant, in a big city if an A-rank adventurer has some exotic malady and you can fix it."

Bookseller's eyes widen. "For real? You're a high-level healer?"

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"I know I was selling my healing dirt cheap in Traver Hollow. I still made almost enough to buy all my equipment, and pay my half of our lodgings. Last I checked that inn we picked wasn't charging us," how much do books of the fancy variety run... twenty to sixty dollars? So about a tenth of a hotel room, "forty silver a night, which is what I'd expect if four silver was reasonable for a book."

"And yes. I don't know from high-level. I've never had an analysis. But I can heal everything from old scars to on-going strangulation to, well, I was shot through here with a crossbow yesterday and its not even sore."

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"Well. Books are expensive. We can go to other bookstores and shop around."

"Hold on, hold on! Can you fix, uh, birth defects? I'll give you the two books free if you can fix up my grandson's hand."

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"There's expensive and then there's expensive-"

Ame cuts off and blinks at the bookseller.

"...yes. I might be able to. It won't make anything worse if I can't."

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"I guess I gotta trust you on that. I have to close up shop and go get him, though. He's eight - two of his fingers have been stuck together ever since he was born. Follow me, or come back in like an hour?"

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"It's fine. I'll follow you."

To Elizabeth, "Come with, or meet back at the inn?"

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"I wanna watch you do it! If it directly interacts with the Winds, or doesn't, that could provide clues for how your Skill works."

The bookseller puts the two books in a bag and ushers them out, then locks the shop up and heads off at a nearly-jogging pace.

"I'm hardly gonna insist, miss, if you're some kind of A-rank healer," the bookseller nervously tells Ame, "But if you feel like borrowing my cloak for a bit when we get there I'd appreciate it."

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Ame shrugs. "For two free books you can dress me however you like."

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He's not sure what to say about that, but he hands over his cloak.

"...It's just, he's a little kid. That's all."

Here's an apartment building! Here's an apartment! Here's a brief explanation to a skeptical couple! (Here's some snacks for their guests, because hospitality is important.) And here's a little kid whose index and middle fingers on his right hand are completely fused together. He has trouble bending it and holding things.

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Alright, can Ame just heal that straightforwardly or is she going to need to get creative?

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It turns out that...

She can just heal that straightforwardly with a clear enough mental image of healthy fingers!

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Excellent.

"There you go," Ame says to the bookseller, once the kid has a perfectly functional hand.

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The family is really happy about this! They want to know if there are any side-effects or long-term effects and are a little dubious but willing to believe that there aren't.

Bookseller presses the two spellbooks on Ame with half-coherent thanks, then starts ambling back towards his store smiling once they're out of the apartment.

 

"Whatever that Skill is doing, it's not affecting the Winds of Magic... So, now that you have the books... Uou don't actually know how to shape the Winds of Magic. You don't even have Windsight. Do you?"

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"Nope. How do you Windsight."

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"I'm sort of curious how minimal an explanation I can give you and still have you get it. I'm also a bit worried you'll be able to do everything and not want me around anymore if you learn sorcery, which would be a shame. But you can probably find another sorcerer if you really wanted to anyway, so."

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"I'm not going to get rid of you just because you run out of things to teach me. That would be colossally stupid. I do understand the basic concept of incentives. Besides, if you want to stick with me, I'd need a good reason to stop you, not the other way around."

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