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Aboard the Serene Allure; ~ Funnily enough, we'll have a magician (Albe) and a bunny (Jacob) ~
Topic Started: Jan 30 2018, 09:04 PM (203 Views)
Virevolte
Member Avatar
Fly me to the moon ♫

I wonder what I’d do, if I had seven millions jenni…” daydreamed out loud an apprentice steward. He – or she, it was hard to tell – was looking at the sea of clouds through the window. And, mysteriously enough, one of them was shaped like a half-eaten banana. It wasn’t the first time that the androgynous boy boarded an expensive airship in order to visit remote destinations, his appraising skills being valued by Zeffron, he often accompanied the Hunter’s team in its missions. But it was indeed the first time that he saw such a white and fluffy banana. In order to brag about it at a later date, he took a picture of the funny cloud with his cellphone.

Get dressed, Albe. Our shift begins in twenty minutes.” answered sternly the elegant man sharing his small cabin. His name was Klemt, and he wasn’t too pleased with the rooms’ distribution. The boy, standing almost naked while taking a photo of the sky, was always attracting far too much attention. The manager ordered to watch him twice already, and Klemt had enough worries as it was.

Sure!” Freshly out of the shower, the boy was dripping wet, but still tried to grab his expensive uniform.

What are you, a kid?” grunted the older man while using his own towel to quickly dry Albe’s long, flowing hair. “You know you can’t greet the patrons being soaked like that.

That old lady yesterday didn’t seem to mind it. She was eyeing me like candy.

You had no reason at all to jump into that fountain. And I’m tired to hear the manager complain about you…

Nitpicking is his job! Don’t mind it, if I was really a bother, he would fire me, right? And I’m pretty sure I was hired to make the customers believe that our company motto wasn’t a hoax. Remember it? Dear patrons, you can sleep soundly, Serene Allure will provide for all your dreams…” whispered the boy in a sultry voice, before getting the wet towel slammed into his face.

Enough! You better not get me into more troubles. Now, get dressed.” Which Albe did obediently, his nose still hurting a bit. Then, with a shy smile, he followed his senior in the corridor.

I’m sorry, Klemt. I’ll behave, okay?

After two days teaching the job to the boy, the full-fledge steward wasn’t foolish enough to trust in his promises anymore.


***


The “Serene Allure” was soaring through the sky. Two hundreds passengers boarded the touristic airship at Yorkshin City, dreaming of some exotic and ruinous vacations in the highly demanded Shrouded Palace. Reservations were made six month in advance and the all-in fee was a whopping seven millions jenni.

We’re serving champagne again, tonight?” asked politely Albe after the manager’s briefing.

Yes. In the Red Ballroom. You greet the customers and I offer them a glass.” replied Klemt while distributing small laminated maps to the junior stewards.

The Red Ballroom… is that the one near the aromatic garden?” wondered the boy while searching for it on the complex airship’s layout.

Heh? No, the red one is on the third floor. Why are you…” Klemt looked puzzled for a second, then checking his own map, he sighed. “Oh, right. This level has been heavily renovated before we departed, I guess the new map has not been printed out yet.”
Which was a bit odd for such a wealthy and well-organized company. “Okay then, pay attention Albe. The Red Ballroom is near that array of massage parlors, see it? You’ll notice the feint oily scent... and the velvety wall-covering, obviously. I’ll need you to be able to make your way there, and to run errands for me.

A wise individual would have made sure to listen well to Klemt’s explanations. That’s too bad, that was the moment the boy decided to wink at a young woman across the room, her senior explaining her the job the same way Klemt was doing it for him. She had adorable freckles and was wearing a woolen peaked cap that was somehow tolerated by the manager, the hat being stylish and discreet enough. The peaked-cap girl smiled at Albe widely, she too remembered him jumping into the fountain yesterday.

Are you listening to me?” grunted the steward.

The answer, obviously was no.

O-of course!

Klemt looked at him suspiciously. With as much innocence as he could muster, and probably to change the topic, the boy proposed. “I can carry the tray, y’know?

Never again.”
Such a cheapskate. Just because Albe left his severed pinky in the glass of that frizzy mustache-guy yesterday. A classic prank but it never got old, and it was one of the funniest screams the boy ever heard (having recorded it, he was currently using that high-pitched shriek as his phone alarm).

***

Behind the pretenses and the false smiles, the tension was palatable. Albe slowly licked his lips, feeling a surge of energy in his body. While half of the passengers were indeed wealthy tourists, these kind of individuals wouldn’t travel without a proper escort.
They were here, bodyguards, ancient soldiers and shady men with underground connections, some of them even being Hunters maybe, mingling in the crowd, hiding firearms under their classy tuxedos.

Well, if even Albe could tell that they were armed, they weren’t amounting for much.

Please, tell us if we can do anything to make your evening more enjoyable!” said the apprentice steward to a charming man with icy blue eyes, wearing a white suit. That one wasn’t carrying a weapon but… Albe felt the sweet rush of adrenalin coursing through his veins, as it sometimes happened when someone was catching his attention. He made sure to remember the gentleman’s name when an acquaintance greeted him.

“I’m glad you came, Jeonjia.”

Sounded like a name from the south region of Seouljia. These blue eyes, black hair, and mostly that strong build – one befitting a man used to physical labor – was pointing him as someone who grew up in Chance Town.

Distributing gentle smiles and tall glasses of champagne, Klemt elbowed the boy.

Don’t stare at the customers…!

Yeah, yeah.” The boy massaged his side. “You sure you don’t want us to switch roles by the way? That tray looks heavy.”

Fifty sparkling glasses of pricey alcohol were crammed on the silver tray. Klemt was doing a good job, carrying it and distributing the champagne without letting anyone know that his shoulders were hurting a bit.

It’s fine. Focus on your job.” whispered his senior.

Greeting the patrons, Albe noticed a few others individuals who were to his liking, some of them were celebrities, like the sweet-looking archaeologist Kimura from Jappon or the famous Gourmet Hunter Beltice, some others were just plainly interesting, for reasons that eluded Albe himself, they just… felt interesting. Jeonjia of course, but also an old man with really emaciated hands, almost looking like pincers, and… ah! Was that boy just now really having rabbit ears? (Let’s say it was a boy, but in that case he had some pretty curvy hips… well, that thought coming from Albe, it was the pot calling the kettle black).

The boy would have liked to find again the rabbit amongst the crowd, but something quite unexpected prevented him to do so.

A young bearded-man, with huge, strong hands, was feeling up Albe’s behind.

The boy’s mind froze.

Serene Allure’s uniform was the same for both genders. A black tuxedo over a white shirt, black matching pants and a stylish blue scarf fastened to the neck which was the trademark of the company. Albe also tied his long hair into a neat ponytail, and it was true that his big emerald eyes and his faintly pink lips could be misleading. Even the boy’s voice was quite ambiguous.

But still. What a novel experience. He was being groped by a man at least twice his age, who was pleasantly talking to his wife at the same time. For a second, Albe almost found some fun in that weird situation, but just for a second. It quickly got super creepy. And it hurt too, as if the man didn’t know his own strength. Quickly wondering about what to do, the apprentice steward met the eyes of his senior, who noticed the problem… but, with an apologetic face, slowly turned away to keep doing his work quietly.

Poor Klemt, he just couldn’t bring himself to intervene. Albe narrowed his eyes slightly. Oddly enough, being abandoned by his senior just made his own job easier. The boy’s guilt vanished. For what he had done until now… and for what he was about to do.

Kyaaaah! Don’t touch me, you perv’!” That was a well-practiced scream, high-pitched, almost impossible to miss. With an exaggerated motion, Albe leaped away from the bearded-guy… precisely in the direction of Klemt. The boy met his senior with his shoulder, with all his strength, making sure to send the silver tray flying.

Fifty or so tall glasses of champagne rained down in the Red Ballroom, exploding in the faces, eyes and shoulders of the crowd, sometimes drawing blood. The screams filled the room. Running low, making a swift escape, Albe noticed a few bodyguards drawing their firearms. Lucky! But also… he noticed the way the named Jeonjia was looking at him. And he wasn’t the only one. Albe caught a glimpse of at least three persons – briefly meeting their gazes – who could have understood what he did, and how he did it. That… was unlucky. Gulping down his saliva, the boy made a hasty retreat to the corridor.

Running at full speed, taking out the map from his breast pocket, he took left twice, apparently made a mistake, retraced his path for a bit – while worrying about getting caught by possible pursuers – then found the unlocked door, climbed down a service staircase and entered the restroom he was looking for. Inside the female facility, the peaked-cap girl was waiting for him.

Here, as you asked.” She gave him her hat, under which Albe hid his hair, tightly tied into a knot in order to fit. “I walked around with that hat on every single day, add it blue contact lenses and a bit of make-up to imitate freckles and everyone will think that you’re me… unless you give them a chance to look closely at your face.

The young girl quickly scrubbed away her false freckles.

Her name was Tio, and she had the same job as Albe, but not as stewards for the Serene Allure… They were called “The Imps”. A group of several passengers, of all ages and status, rewarded handsomely to cause some mayhem during the flight. None of them knew who actually hired them, or what the point of their puny schemes was but… this whole situation, these mysteries were tickling Albe’s fancy. Causing a disturbance in the Red Ballroom, the third night, always was his task. It would have been a bit easier if Klemt had given him the tray of his own volition though, but in the end, it worked out.

As a connoisseur in antiques, signing with the Serene Allure was his plan in order to visit the Shrouded Palace without spending the money he would have needed other way. Without proper references, it was a bit surprising that he was hired so easily.

700 000 jenni were sent to his account a few minutes after he agreed to Tio’s invitation.

Obviously, he was chosen for his ability to create havoc. To be an Imp. Someone wanted the touristic business to fail, and had enough influence to do has he pleased with the human resources department.

But that wasn’t everything. Even amongst the passengers, there were several individual giving off a weird (and appealing) feeling. The famous professor Kimura (who Albe recognized from her reputation, being in love with archeology himself), for example, was knew for her devotion to her researches. No amount of money could have made her come just to serve as a guide for wealthy tourists. Something was going on. Maybe something big. Now that the job was done, his anonymous employer probably had no more use for him… but if he expected a mischievous boy like Albe to stay quiet and enjoy the flight… he was dead wrong.

Let’s dig around for a bit.” muttered what looked like a peaked-cap stewardess with adorable freckles, in a soft voice hiding nothing of her evident relish.
Edited by Virevolte, Mar 29 2018, 08:17 AM.
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