Summer Lodgings

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Wylinna Newhaven
Junior Adventurer
Junior Adventurer
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:50 pm
Location: New Market District

Summer Lodgings

Post by Wylinna Newhaven »

Author’s note: Written collaboratively by Kira/Wylinna and Haru Jeong. Edited by Kira/Linna. Thank you, as always, for the collaboration Haru!

April, 16th, 2021

Linna hadn’t given Haru much notice, mostly because she hadn’t had much herself. But nonetheless, the two of them were riding into the woods south of the city. Kira had wanted to show them something at the estate, and she wanted both together.

Linna hadn’t been to the estate since the walls rise around the plot. Most of the early construction happened while she was with her parents. So, it was exciting to get to see the progress that had been made.

“This is so important to Kira,” Linna said. “I really hope all this goes as well as she hopes. She’s putting everything on the line. I do her books. I know how tight she’s running things.”

The southward road turned east, and after a bit of winding, it came into a clearing with a large walled in area just ahead. Much of the open land shows signs of recent clear-cutting. To the side of the West Gate, there was an open patch of gravel laid out, a few scattered vehicles parked haphazardly, including a few construction vehicles. “Right there. That’s where we park. Kira doesn’t want any more vehicles in the Estate than necessary.”

Eun could handle the café for a day. Haru’s fingers tapped along to the music from the impala’s speakers, singing along as he navigated the woods. Occasionally, he glanced over at the girl who was guiding him down the roughly beaten path.

Haru had no idea what to expect, hearing only that morning that they would be heading out. Even so, he trusted both Kira and Linna. He knew that this was super important, especially after Kira had sought him out to join her house, to effectively be family, to give him a place to go if something happened to take away what he had.

He pulled in carefully, slowly, making sure he didn’t bump anything or scratch the paint off his car, before throwing it into park, fingers reaching over for hers. “So what exactly is this?” He truly had not idea what was going on, “What are her plans for out here?”

“A home, basically.” She gripped his hand briefly and paused as they got out of the car. “It’s a lot of space, but I’ve seen plans for a few houses and workshops and such. A few utility buildings. All that Kira is giving me is financial reports and contracts for work crews.”

The road itself led to a large double-door gate of iron, large enough for a full-sized delivery truck to get through, and decorated with floral design engravings. Linna pointed to those. “Kira plans to have someone come in later and add gold and silver and such for detailing in the vines and leaves.”

To the left of the gate was a smaller door of milky white stone set in the grey stone wall. The wall wasn’t a fortification so much as a boundary, but the design clearly took inspiration from a past where such defenses must have been common. On the door itself lay a crest in iron featuring a bow and arrow in the center pointed up, a Phoenix in flight, also pointed up, and two wolves in the bottom corners facing in.

Linna led Haru in through this side entrance. “I haven’t been here since the wall was built. I stopped by for a short bit on my way back to my folks’ place. The tree-line was much closer to the wall than, and there was barely anything inside.”

He hung onto every word. “A home? We all already have homes…” He was confused. As a homeless boy a year ago, suddenly having several baffled him slightly. He followed along closely, moving to steal her hand in his again, taking in every detail she pointed out, awed by the surroundings. His tail looped around his waist in an effort not to knock anything over he may not see.

“Not Kira. She has a long lease on a room in the Red Dragon, and she has that apartment by yours that I think she’s basically given to other Haru and Jun at this point. But she doesn’t have anywhere to call her own.”

They crossed the threshold into the estate. The road inside looked like flagstone brick heading in a straight line clear across the Kant to the opposite gate, though a plaza and a few in construction stone buildings stood in the center of the space. Small trees lined the road all the way down, not yet apparent what kind they were. But clearly being sped along in growth by magic. Smaller paths and roads branched off to the side in a few places along the length of the road, some flagstone, others gravel, and some just paths in the dirt left by vehicles and foot traffic.

At that moment, not far ahead, Kira was walking up to the couple, her blazing red hair pulled back in a ponytail. Her hunting outfit, minus the gear and cloak, replaced her usual casual clothing. Dirt and other signs of hard work blanketed her.

Linna saw Kira headed their way. “Oh! Kira! We’re here!” She waved to her with one hand, not letting go of Haru with the other.

“Linna. Haru. Welcome. It’s good to see you.” As always, Kira’s head nodded slightly in her typical bow, one of her many old habits she couldn’t let go of. “Thanks for coming out. Forgive the mess. I decided to do a little work myself today while I had a chance to get out of the city.”

Haru lifted his available hand in a wave, “Morning Kira!” He called out lightly.

He took in the unusual sight for a moment with a smile, “Doesn’t bug me at all, I know how nice it can be to get out and do some manual labour yourself.” His carmine gaze then moved to each building in turn, “This is a really nice place.”

Kira gave a warm smile. “Thank you, Haru. It’s just a beginning, but there’s plenty of space to spread out here. Almost double the size of the family homestead back home.” A distant look briefly passed over her as old memories made their way to the front. “Nonetheless, this is home now, and I can start fresh. Room to grow.”

Linna felt like Kira was stalling. So, she got to the point. “Did you want to give us a tour? I’m sure you invited us out for more than an afternoon chat.” She gestured to their right, towards a small collection of buildings. “The new workshops are that way, right? I remember seeing the construction work there last time I visited.”

“Oh, yes, I’ll show you that. But not now. That’s not quite why I asked you out.” She gestured ahead, down to the other side. “You didn’t get to see the housing areas last time since nothing was complete.” Whatever had crossed her mind before had passed. Kira almost looked excited to show things off.

He smiled warmly a little, a slight squeeze to Linna’s hand, a little something similar on his mind. His gaze went between the two as Kira spoke, and his smile grew as he heard the evident excitement. He looked to Linna, and smiled to Kira, “Lead the way.” His curiosity piqued, but unlike common perception, he was pretty patient. “I’d love to see what you set up.”

Kira led them along the path. To the right, several buildings stood in various stages of construction, mostly complete. Linna pointed to one. “That’s the new rune forge. We moved all the equipment here when we were emptying out the old shop in the city. There’s a forge that way too, and I think Kira is building a smelter. We’re looking to start making gear and supplies ourselves instead of relying on others. That said, we need a good blacksmith or three to really make it work.”

He listened, nodding as she pointed out each building, “Could talk to Hephaestus or Rachael’s husband Ian, at least for lessons. Also, Rhytube is pretty good. It’s how I learned enough magic to keep learning.” He kept an eye on Kira, following along briskly, “Will more personal work still be done in the city?” Tattoos, homestead enchantments, he really wasn’t sure what all they did.

Linna nodded. “I’ll need to get a studio for tattoo work. And we may need an actual storefront to sell what we make. If things go well, I’ll talk Kira into opening a store in Cadentia too. The market there will get us a lot of attention.”

Haru nodded. “The twilight market may have a bigger market for you two, and they always have openings to open up storefronts.” Haru smiled to Linna, a finger running along the moon ring, “I can poke around with the keepers and find out requirements if you like? I know Archwitch Mallory runs the Lyceum there.”

As they progressed down the road, they crossed the central plaza. It was mostly empty aside from the stonework across the ground, save for a small structure at one corner Kira identified as a shrine to her namesake. “My gods aren’t here, but I’ll always honor Iskira.”

He went quiet when he saw the altar, on instinct staying a ways back, even though it likely wouldn’t hurt him. He smiled softly, listening to Kira’s words about her namesake. “She’s a piece of home… and culture, right?” He had his questions, but he would ask them slowly and respectfully.

Kira nodded as they continued to walk. “That, and l… well, she’s important to me. Becoming a huntress is what saved my life in exile. It gave me a way to provide for myself when I reached the city. I’ll always be indebted to Iskira.” She became silent and thoughtful. Kira frequently denied religious sentiments and never talked about it, but few knew how sincere that actually was.

Soon, they passed through the plaza and another set of buildings came into view. To the right stood a modest house nearly complete. Further down the road stood a much larger building that still had a decent amount of work left to do. To the left was another house, also modest and fully finished.

Kira pointed to the buildings on the right. “That one is my house. It’s almost finished, mostly detail work left. You can see the library further down. Probably bigger than I need for now, but I have a very long time to build a collection.”

Haru smiled a little, before he looked at Linna with a gentle smile, he knew that feeling, and knowing Kira as well as he did, he knew how rare her talking about religion was. He watched as they went through the plaza, checking out each building intrigued. He looked to the house as it was introduced, though his eyes shot to the library, “Can I help fill it?” He may have been eyeing it up to dive into at that moment, even if it was empty, “This place is truly incredible Kira.”

She laughed. “You’re more than welcome to. I fully expect you to make frequent use of it.”

At the words about the library there was a small squeal from the cambion, eyes drifting around with excitement, he would be making copies of every book he had, except the super dangerous ones.

Linna pointed to the left. “I’m guessing that’s where James is staying?”

Kira shook her head, back turned to the couple. “No, he has a house on the other side of the estate. There is meaning in the placement of buildings, and he chose his based on that.” She turned left and led them to the house. At the step-up to the porch, in the shade of the overhanging balcony, she turned and held out a set of keys. “This one is yours.”

He listened to the exchange that followed, and blinked really slowly as the keys hung in Kira’s hand. He looked at them, then to Linna, then up to Kira, then down again. “For us?” he repeated, looking up now at the house. The couple had their homes, but this would be the first home they shared.

Linna stood stunned. “You can’t be serious, Kira.”

Kira was laughing now. “I am. This is your house now. Think of it as an early wedding gift.”

Linna and Haru both sputtered for a second before Kira interrupted. “On a more serious note, this is the least I can do as part of my family. You are part of my House, so you should have a home on the homestead by tradition, if nothing else.” She again gestured for the pair to take the keys. “Take them. If you want, just think of it as a guest house for you when you are visiting the estate. It’s important.”

Haru held out his hand for the keys, “I… Thank you.” He smiled warmly, he looked at Linna, as he processed what had been said, still getting past the early wedding gift comment. He looked up at Kira. “I think… it’ll be nice to be closer to family, even if not all the time, we have responsibilities in the city too after all.” He nudged Linna lightly, “Wanna go check it out?”

Linna grinned back. “Of course.”

Kira stood back to let them and made a welcoming gesture. “Enjoy, please. I recommend saving the basement for last. Haru will be especially happy with what you’ll find there.” A mischievous grin grew on her face. “If you’d like, call me after, and I can show you around the rest of the estate. There’s more than I could show you today, however. I am heading out to the Wilds this evening. I need a break before the Challenge on Sunday.”

With that, Kira headed down the path to her house, back to work on her garden. Linna and Haru disappeared into their new home.
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