J u s t i n e
H e l e w i s a
O l i v e r
"It is only natural that with our heart, will, and cooperation that we were dubbed the champions of this contest,"
Justine proudly declared, humility being left in the snow to suffer a cold, cruel end. Hilaria and Justine both accepted and stowed their coins and for a moment, the two of them proudly admired their contest-winning dragon."Mmm?"
Helewisa glanced around only to find something was missing. "We had a third, did we not? I wonder where she ran off to?"
Hiliaria and Stien had found themselves abandoned by their newest friend, but neither of them seemed upset by this. A party was a chance to mingle and talk to many new people, and not everyone wanted to form a group for the entirety of the party. Lingering on this small fact was pointless when they could instead thrust themselves onto someone else!
Or so that's what Justine decided for the couple as they wondered what to do next. There was a lot of commotion involving sleds which, although it looked fun, was a bit hectic and Helewisa wanted to spend at least a few moments relaxing after nearly nuking a snowfort and being hit by building-sized snowballs. She, along with Justine, was proud of what they had accomplished with Betty, so she felt they deserved a modicum of relaxation. And besides... if they had found a nice, quiet place to enjoy themselves, would Dan really intrude upon them? Surely the positive vibes they would give off would encourage him to look the other way! "Stien, Stien!"
Wisa called out to the energetic girl with a bit of sugar in her voice. She was far from inexperienced, but approaching someone she actually felt close to brought about a bit of a red tint to her cheeks. "Despite our shenanigans thus far, I truly feel as though time has made strangers of us. A-and, I believe it would be a true shame were we to not enjoy ourselves... so..."
she struggled to proposition Justine which was new as Helewisa had not struggled with confidence in quite some time. "...would it not make sense to become more... say, 'familiar?'"
Justine was looking off in the distance almost as though she were ruminating on something. "Aye,"
she said. "Today is a day of celebration! Of enjoyment, is it not? Our lives are full of strife and scarce, comparably, does opportunity to indulge to such an extent present itself before our very gates! Yes... to ignore the calling... to act not when action is needed... such behavior breeds little but regret!"
Even though it was Justine, Helewisa had to admit she wasn't expecting such an encouraging response. A simple 'yes' or 'no' would have sufficed. But she wasn't about to complain. She wrapped her arms around Justine's neck and pressed her chest against her back, almost squealing in delight. "Oh, it pleases me to hear you say so!"
she couldn't help but grin and wonder if Aphrodite had blessed her this day. "Then, shall we?"
Her question prompted Justine to turn around and, with a smile etched on her face, she replied. "It brings me such joy to know that you remain ever eager to bring pleasure to others,"
she gave her hearty laugh. "Very well! Since every moment spent idle is time wasted, we shall depart! I am confident that he shall end up a happier man in the end!"
Stien's statement caused Helewisa to tilt her head. She wasn't sure where this 'he' came from. She was hoping to enjoy an intimate moment with just the two of them, and although such carnal actions were not something she hadn't participated in before... Stien was never the sort for that! She was wholly devoted to one person, and these acts, although she would be proactive in approaching them, were sacred and meant for the one she loved, or so she had always claimed. What happened? Had this horror, bringing about her appearance, tainted her? Helewisa became a bit upset. She knew it was too good to be true that the real Justine was here... but she was still hoping she could trick herself otherwise at least for this party! But now... "Hear me, oh slothful one!"
Justine suddenly called out to a man minding his own business, plugging away at his laptop. "Does it not strike you as disappointing to allow the occasion to go by? Pray tell: what business do you have on that machine that takes precedence over the festivities that are currently ongoing?"
While his friend was outside at the race, Oliver
remained at his seat with a glass of ale, typing away at the laptop that came with his backpack. With his clones not only acting as survelance but joining in on the more tamer events, he could have some time to himself without worry.
So when the bold blonde in blue called out to him, he naturally flinched and glanced over. "Eh?? What makes you believe that? Look around you! Just cause I'm here doesn't mean I'm also there, and there as well!"
He motioned to some of the other Olivers that were in the lodge. Other than that, he didn't seem phased by the boisterous Justine.
Justine followed his motions and spotted the other figures sharing his same appearance. "Oh,"
she said. "It would seem appearances can be misleading! Fwahaha!"
her response to the blunder was merely to laugh it off.
Helewisa appeared upset, like she was incredibly disappointed with something, but also frustrated. "Stien, you're pestering him,"
she chided. "He may be doing homework or something of great importance,"
Wisa warned, looking over to see Oliver's features. Her expression seemed to relax if only a little bit. "Although... I tend to have a difficult time recalling people, but you seem somewhat familiar, Mr....?""Oh, it's alright! I was just catching up on stuff like work."
Oliver reassured Helewisa with a polite smile. Though his eyes did widen when she asked for his name. "I didn't introduce myself yet did I? Oliver Kyle, good to meet ya!"
The optimistic phantom held a hand out for one of them to shake."Oliver?"
Helewisa repeated, testing the name. It wasn't like she hadn't met an Oliver before, nor was that some unique, rare name. But with a familiar face and that name, she could positively say they'd probably met at least once before. "Hmm, I do believe we've interacted at least once before...""Is that so?"
Justine turned her head to Wisa before looking back to Oliver with a tilted head. "Another staunch ally of justice, I would hope."
Wisa hesitated to nod, as though she were not entirely certain. "...Vaguely, the recollection of the extermination of monsters comes to mind."
Defeating monsters was something most every girl, even if they were a boy and evil. And even if she would tell Stien otherwise, it was not like she had turned down unsavory clients these past few centuries. So she did worry a little bit that Oliver may not be the paragon of good Justine expected her acquaintances to be. "That's... well, I don't think this was recent relative to your average magical girl. At least some decades if not more, so I'm a bit surprised I managed to recall anything about you,"
her memory had been getting better and coming back as of late. "O-oh, I suppose I went on a tangent,"
Wisa took his outstretched hand and gave it a shake. "My name is Hilaria,"
she told him.
Stien smiled once Wisa had finished, looking Oliver in the eyes and exuding a strong, confident presence (as she typically did). "I am known as Justine, though it doesn't bother me if you address me as Stien. It would seem there's another that shares my name and is quite infamous attending this party as well, so that may be ideal,"
she took his hand and gave it a firm shake. "If you truly did assist my dear Wisa, then I am indebted to you as I have been a failure on that front for far too long! Do not hesitate to ask anything reasonable of me, fwahaha!" "You're not from this century too?"
Oliver curiously tilted his head. He thought for a moment. "Yes, you do seem familiar as well. Was it the fight against that one Monster King, or was it the Banshee and her thralls? Hm."
He thought aloud. "Regardless, it's good to see ya, Hilaria! And nice to meet ya too, Stein! If you have the time, you should go say hi to Vanhorn too later."
He smiled. Oliver didn't want to namedrop Finn outright, but maybe it'll help jog Hilaria's memory. Atleast he hoped it would. "Verily,"
Justine responded. "Some six hundred years ago in France, like enough. My dearest Wisa is half again and a century older than I,"
she frowned. "As many of our sisters perish and are abandoned by their patrons, it is a disheartening sooth to admit that it is not oft to find others who share a similar age."
Hilaria nodded. "Mmm, they who triumph over the test of time are a sight for sore eyes. We experience none of the limitations of a human, yet still it is commonplace to find naught but new blood around,"
she seemed less disturbed by the reality than her friend. "But let us not spoil a celebratory party with such things. About your friend and our past encounter, I do believe we made short work of a banshee! I'm glad time has not made complete strangers of us. Bits and pieces are returning to me as we speak, something I haven't had happen in quite some time!"
this seemed to excite Hilaria. "But if you have matters to attend to, we can save this spontaneous reunion another time."
Oliver's smile grew as Hilaria managed to piece things together, if atleast some. Then she asked if they should leave him be. "Hm."
The ghost turned to grab his glass of ale, then downed the rest of it in one sitting. "Well, if you have any ideas for what to do, I can hear them out!""Admittedly, the two of us were supposed to spend some time relaxing after the amount of effort we spent on a snowdragon,"
Hilaria explained, looking at Justine who shrugged in response. Turning back to Oliver, she smiled. "It happens that I made my intentions to join the sledding event, but it seems to have started. Is that something that might interest you?"
Hilaria glanced at the mug of ale the ghost was drinking from.
Justine grinned. "Your desires lay bare for all to see with such an open expression, Wisa,"
the flamboyant girl offered her gaze to Oliver after saying this. "Allow me to take my leave if only for a moment. I suspect Wisa is also as parched as I and some ale would slake that thirst."
Having explained her objective, Stien left to grab the two girls a drink, leaving the two alone.
Looking around as if searching for something to do, Hilaria suddenly raised a finger. Having obviously thought of something, a small grin appeared on her face. "Or rather than sledding... Might I ask something of you?"
she didn't wait for him to answer. "How would you say your singing voice is?""We could probably hit the slopes after the race."
Oliver shrugged. One of his clones reported seeing Finn participate in the race, so he'd check back on him later. Then Stien excused herself to get some ale for her and Hilaria. He chuckled. Can't blame her, the drinks are good. The ghost turned his laptop off and stuffed it back into his satchel, looking back to Hilaria once she asked her question. His eyebrows rose. "Singing? I mean, my main game is the drums, but I'd like to think I'm decent."
Oliver shrugged again. "Oh, how wonderful!"
Hilaria gave a small clap. "Karaoke is not the first activity one thinks of during a Christmas party, but where there's a good drink, delicious food, handsome men, and beautiful girls, then joyous singing is never far behind!"
As she said as much, Justine returned with two mugs filled to the brim and foaming with their drink. She offered one to Hilaria, which she accepted. "What is this?"
Justine asked. "Did my ears deceive me or did I hear speak of singing?"
Unlike Hilaria, Justine almost seemed to be on edge speaking about it.
Hilaria nodded. "You are correct! I was just asking Oliver here if he would be interested in karaoke! It's something we could partake in and enjoy whilst we relax and not exert ourselves.""Karaoke? I am not familiar with this.""We basically follow lyrics on a screen, it is nothing complex. Doesn't it sound fun?""Y-yes, your words do not strike me as false!"
Justine tried to seem like she was into the idea. "And this would suit your fancy as well, Oliver?"
she examined the boy's expression as she waited for an answer.
Judging by Stien's reaction, she didn't seem as enthusiastic about singing as Hilaria was. It kinda concerned Oliver. "Hey. It's cool if you have stage fright or something, I won't judge."
He reassured Justine."I-I have no fear of the stage!"
Justine protested. "But I lack the same musical talent that my dear Wisa does, and I do not often wish to subject others to performance they are not like to enjoy..."
Helewisa placed a hand on her shoulder. "But what does that matter? I do not wish to sing for other people, even if they are welcome to listen,"
she told Stien, smiling widely as if she were amused by the reaction. "We would be singing for the entertainment it provides us, nothing more. And if you still hesitate to partake, then you merely need a bit more liquid courage."
Nobody else would know this, but Hilaria had partially repeated something Justine said to her before. It seemed to have the desired effect as Justine's demenor changed back into the confident, proud woman she was. "It is as you say! Yes, forgive the hesitation!"
she immediately downed the entire mug she had. "I shall require another, but there shall be glorious, wonderful song today!"
As Justine went to retrieve another drink, Wisa looked at Oliver. "So then, if you are fine with it, then I shall ask Dan if he can help with the setup."
Oliver nodded. "Sounds good."
Hilaria nodded before she called for Dan. He appeared almost immediately with his usual dolphin flair and Hilaria presented their wish for a karaoke set. As expected, the lighthearted fun they wanted to had was more than welcome and he had no problem obliging before wishing them well and returning to what he was doing prior. "Wonderful, wonderful!"
Hilaria cheered once it had been set up. They had set up the set on a TV screen inside the cabin. It had, obviously, two microphones in case anyone wanted to do a duet, but for now Hilaria had grabbed one and was looking through the expansive list of songs she could sing. Since it was a magical construct made by Dan it was sure to have whatever song one could think of. "We have quite the range of songs!"
she told them, almost starry-eyed. "With that said, who would care to go first?"
she looked at Oliver and Justine."Try as I may, I do not fully recall the last time I let myself sing in public. It must have been ages ago as what I do remember is the joyous laughter ringing about through a tavern my brethren and I had occupied. Sooth is it to say that I had become rather intimate with the bottle that night."
Helewisa became almost a beet red and looked shocked. She opened her mouth to speak but Justine continued, seemingly oblivious to Wisa. "Yes, as pigeon-eyed as I was the details elude me."
Once the realization set in that Stien was talking about becoming inebriated, Wisa narrowed her eyes. "But I digress. The reason I bring such up is because I would very much prefer to enjoy another's performance before taking to the stage myself, if the both of you do not mind."
Closing her eyes and exhaling, Wisa recovered and again wore a smile. "What complaint could I have, Stien? Oh, but that just means you'll have a tough act or two to follow,"
she turned to Oliver and asked a question he could probably see coming from a mile away. "Well, Oliver, would you care to start us off, or should I?" "Eh, guess I'll start. Only if ya don't laugh at me."
Oliver walked up to grab the other microphone. He did feel an air of uncertainty, but promply shrugged it off. "The courage to attempt something even in face of your fears is an admirable trait. They who would laugh at that are contemptable!"
Justine gave what Wisa presumed to be encouragement.
Wisa nodded. "That is correct. It would be rude to ask you up and then make a jest at your expense. Besides, I have bore witness to Stien's singing, so you have little to worry about!" Pfft-! Alright, alright. Lemme pick a song real quick!"
Time seemed to escape the trio as they enjoyed karaoke and more drinks. Hilaria had a rather beautiful singing voice, nailing higher notes than most could and it was clear she had experience. Meanwhile, Justine sang with all the elegance of nails on a chalkboard, making a clear contrast to her partner. Furthermore, red were the cheeks of both girls who had, at some point, started a competition to see who could tolerate the most alcohol. And despite being quite a few drinks in, they only seemed to now be feeling anything. One could only imagine the sheer bill they would wrack up if they had to pay for this.
As a little more time passed, Oliver began to feel as though his personal space wasn't being respected by Hilaria. It wasn't quite clear to him if it was intentional or not, but it wasn't something he could ignore, especially as Hilaria's outfit wasn't particularly conservative.
But eventually, all good things must end. Or at least be postponed. It soon came time for people to receive gifts from the White Elephant exchange. Wisa and Stien had seemed to be enjoying themselves, and now the blush was a lot more apparent on their faces, as well as the smell of alcohol on their breath. "It's time!"
Wisa announced. "I am eager to see what I received!"
And so, they would join everyone else attending the event.
Hilaria had received some form of candy that gave truth to one of her dreams. Seeing the nature of the gift and assuming it worked as stated, she began to feel as though maybe she should have put a bit more 'oomph' into the gift she had given. But the reality was that it was too late to change things. "It looks delicious!"
she exclaimed ecstatically with starry eyes, yet putting the candy away for now. "I'll think on it and save it for a time I can better enjoy it."
As Justine was only brought in after it had started, she naturally received nothing, a fact that didn't bother her much.
"Lady Luck has blessed you this day, it would seem. Though I caution you to not spend your present on your gluttony!"
Stien heartily laughed, slapping Hilaria on the back a few times.