2021.12.03 22:24 SpaceMajorTom London metro police [Toyota Mirai]
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2021.12.03 22:24 Lickyourface8 Mother in-laws birthday card and mug rug.
2021.12.03 22:24 Employee-Slight Will the Discovery merge of next year with WarnerMedia could bring back Zack Snyder and his original plan back?
2021.12.03 22:24 clip_mirror_bot X doesn't realize his idea looks like a bombvest
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2021.12.03 22:24 biffmitchell Give a little doomsday gift this Christmas..
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2021.12.03 22:24 siggi2018 Jeff Snider: Dieser globale Wirtschaftsindikator signalisiert CODE ROT! Interview mit George Gammon.
Jeff Snider ist explizit der Meinung, dass das Problem für die Weltwirtschaft nicht Inflation, sondern Deflation sein wird, da die Geldströme der Zentralbanken zu immer weniger Wirtschaftswachstum in der Realwirtschaft führen.
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2021.12.03 22:24 saadmerie AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Practice Tests 2022
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2021.12.03 22:24 nixiawrites [This Quest is Bullshit] - Chapter 155: I Always Cry at Weddings
New? Start here!
Artemiev? Is that you?
Eve glanced sideways at Preston. “His name is Artemiev? Did you know that?”
Preston shook his head.
Wes exhaled. “No wonder he goes by Art.”
Art charged in, taking the steps two at a time to meet his father on the landing. He wrapped him in a great hug. It’s me, papa.
Eve looked up at the fully grown trellac, surprised to find he stood over eleven feet tall. He wore a black suit—this was a wedding, after all—but no shoes covered his taloned feet. The sleeves, similarly, had been removed to allow his wings space to fully open. The brilliant amber feathers of his wings extended nearly two feet past his clawed hands, which left them still far too small to reasonably lift a creature so large.
Then again, Reginald’s wings lifted him without moving any air, so who was she to judge?
The trellac returned the hug, the width of his wings seeming to swallow Art up completely. He ran a hand along Art’s feathered head. Artemiev, what are you doing here? Where is your mother?
Wes paled. “Oh no.”
Eve looked to him.
Wes swallowed. “He doesn’t know.”
Ma’s gone, papa. The hunters got her.
The wave of grief hit Eve like a ton of bricks. It hit everyone. Her heart seized. Her throat tightened. Her stomach curled up into a knot. For a moment, for a brief, horrifying moment, Eve felt something even the death of her father hadn’t evoked.
Eve knew despair.
She could only imagine how hard it struck those in the room without the protection of Defiant Mind.
And then it was gone. For barely a second the emotion had stuck around, not enough time to truly sink in, but the memory stayed. Throughout the dining room, tears still fell.
My apologies, Art’s father addressed the crowd, the sadness clear in his tone yet his emotions once again under tight control. This is meant to be a happy occasion. Please, return to your festivities. With that, he placed a hand on Art’s back, ushering the young trellac up and out of the lungeon to find some privacy in the woods above.
A chorus of whispers spread throughout the reception as guests dried their eyes and tried to push past the weight of the grief and its sudden disappearance to return to their merrymaking.
Eve turned to the others. “Should we follow them?”
Preston shook his head. “Let them have their privacy. Art will let us know when he wants to introduce us.”
“Okay,” Eve said, sitting back down at their table. “I don’t see a quest complete notification, so we’re clearly not done yet.”
“We still gotta meet the guy,” Preston replied, similarly returning to his seat. “Besides, quest complete means reward in hand, and I have a pretty good idea of whom we’ll be getting that reward from.”
Wes simply nodded, his expression blank. He too sat back down.
All around them, the party slowly got back on its feet. The music returned, happy and joyful as it was before yet lacking some of the energy that the melody had once carried. Many guests got right back to the festivities, but the dance floor stayed sparse as many more poured themselves another drink. Eve, Wes, and Preston, of course, were in no mood for dancing.
The reception powered through. It took some minutes for the assembled guests to fully recover from the blast of emotion, but recover they did. Soon enough, Alvin and Lina returned to making the rounds, stopping at each and every table to greet guests and thank them for coming. It escaped nobody’s notice that they did so together now, clutching each others’ hands that much tighter than they had before.
When they reached Eve’s table, Preston was the first to stand and hug them both. Wes and Eve followed suit, readily accepting that their embrace with Lina would leave them a bit wet for wear.
“Congratulations, you two,” Eve said. “Seriously. You deserve so much happiness.”
“And… um…” Preston scratched the back of his head. “Sorry about… that. We’ve been searching for Art’s dad for almost two years now, and this was… probably the worst place to finally find him.”
“We really didn’t mean to kill your party,” Wes added.
Alvin nodded. “It’s okay. A bummer, sure, but I can’t really blame him for it. Feeling like that…” He blew air through his cheeks. “It only hit us for a second. He’s still feeling like that.” He squeezed Lina’s hand tighter. “I can’t imagine what he’s going through.”
Lina pulled him closer. “I think it’s kind of reassuring, actually. He hasn’t seen his wife in years and still feels like that when he hears the news. That’s as much a show of love as we’ve managed today.”
Preston smiled. “That’s a good way of looking at it. I like that.” He stepped forward, placing a hand on each of the couple’s arms. “Still, try not to let them take up too much of your attention. This is your day.”
The newlyweds exchanged a few more pleasantries with the adventurers before they inevitably found themselves pulled on to the next set of people to greet. As Lina stepped away to chat with the next table in line, Alvin paused to give Preston some parting words.
“I wanted to thank you,” he said. “Not just for being amazing at the ceremony today, but for everything. I never would’ve made it here without you.” He chuckled. “Everything I love, my job, this restaurant, Lina most of all… I can trace it all back to that day I threw you over my shoulder and tied you to an altar.”
Alvin held out a hand as if to shake, but instead grasped Preston’s hand with both of his. “I owe you my life. Not in the I’d-be-dead, way, but… you know.” He gestured with his head at their surroundings, the hundred well-wishing guests, the loving wife, the lungeon as a whole. “You gave me this life, and now I’ve had it, it’s the only one I’d ever want. So, thank you.”
Preston smiled at him. “I just gave you a little push. You built this. And if that isn’t worth celebrating, I don’t know what is. Congratulations.”
With a final goodbye, Alvin left to join his wife continuing the greetings and heartfelt—if quick—exchanges of congratulations and thanks with the wedding’s many guests. Eve, Wes, Preston, and Lumy only got to wistfully watch them go for a few precious moments before Art’s mind reached them.
You can come up now.
Eve and Preston both flashed a nervous glance at Wes, failing horrendously at hiding their concern. The Vessel kept his face stony.
“Welp,” Eve said as she took the first steps towards the stairway out, “here goes nothing.”
They found the trellacs in a clearing a short walk away from the venue itself, standing together with a certain winged drake. Reginald, by the virtues both of being too large to fit inside the lungeon and being Art’s bestest friend in the whole entire world, had gotten to meet the boy’s father first.
I understand you’re the ones responsible for watching over my Artemiev these past years. I owe you a great debt. He held out his right wing, talons open to offer a handshake. I’m Victor. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
One by one the adventurers shook his hand and introduced themselves. Eve asked the question on everyone’s minds.
“How did you get separated? When we found him, Art said you were lost.”
Victor lowered his head. Those hunters, the ones who claimed my Anya, they were after me. I left to lure them away, but it seems they didn’t follow. Apparently their leader had a quest to defeat one of my kind; they didn’t care which one.
Eve clenched her jaw, opting not to think of the implications of that little tidbit.
Victor continued. Artemiev tells me you saved his life. I could never repay you for such a service, but perhaps this could be some thanks. He reached towards Eve, ever so gently touching the tip of a single talon to her forehead. A message popped into view.
Secondary Quest Complete: Lost and Afraid Rewards: Gift of the Trellac, +2t exp
Ability Upgraded! Passive Ability - Defiant Mind Grants the Telepathic Communication feature.
Eve blinked, dismissing the other two notifications for another time. As Victor withdrew his claw, she paused for a moment, focusing her mind towards Wes. With a thought she sent her first message. Can you hear me?
The voice that replied was not Wes’s. It wasn’t Art’s. It wasn’t Victor’s. It was a new voice, one unfamiliar to her yet definitely coming from Wes’s mind.
Eve slammed the connection shut. “Ayla’s tits, was that…”
Wes paled. “So now you two’ve finally met.”
A new voice popped into Eve’s head. Can you two shut your mouthes for five minutes?
Eve’s face stretched into a wide, openmouthed grin. Reginald! I can hear you!
Of course you can, the drake replied telepathically. The party leader always gets the reward first.
Eve scowled. You think you’re the party leader?
Reginald didn’t respond.
Once he’d repeated the gesture with Preston, Victor turned to face Wes, solemnity on his face. I can’t help you. I’m sorry.
Wes shut his eyes, swallowed back the knot in his throat, and nodded.
Eve didn’t take it so easy. “Why not? Art’s been able to keep it under control.”
By putting himself at great risk and taking direct control, Victor snapped. It is a dangerous thing you’ve been doing, and granting him my gift would only prove more dangerous. That thing inside his head cannot be allowed to go free.
“But without Art’s help he can’t—”
“Eve,” Wes interrupted. “It’s okay.”
She rounded on him. “It’s not okay. We need you. Maybe Art can—
I’m going with papa, Art cut in. He needs me more right now.
Victor pulled him in close.
“No,” Eve said. She looked to Wes. “You can’t just give up. We’ll find something. We always do. Some crazy bullshit that’ll fix everything.”
Wes exhaled. “Eve, it’s time. Art was always a stopgap. Trying to keep adventuring without him is a recipe for disaster.”
“But what about the blightmaw dragon? What about protecting the questing stones?”
He shrugged. “They’ll just have to sort themselves out. As I am right now, I’m more of a danger than a protector. It’s best I find someplace quiet and without fire and put adventuring behind me.”
Eve sniffled, her eyes reddening. “Wes, you can’t—”
Preston placed a comforting hand on her arm. He didn’t speak. He simply nodded, sharing for a moment in Eve’s anguish, accepting it for what it was, and helping to ease its passage.
Art walked up and gave her a hug. Hey, he sent to her and her alone, it’s gonna be okay. Trellax, remember?
“I remember.” Even as the tears cascaded down her cheek, Eve smiled at the stupid joke. It was the same one she’d used to cheer up Art when they’d first met, a joke Wes had made earlier that day. She held him tight.
They lingered there for some time, saying their silent goodbyes before Art pulled away to hug Preston next. Eve was not privy to their exchange. Next he paused with Lumy, unable to embrace the incorporeal being yet still sharing a moment with the party’s newest member.
When he got to Wes, the tall fire mage knelt down to meet Art on his level. Once they’d hugged and said their farewells, Art stepped back. In a single motion, he pulled the Burendian royal amulet free and stood up on his toes to drape it over Wes’s head and around the mage’s neck. Wes sniffled and grinned, a tear falling from his face to the forest floor as he stood.
Art didn’t include Wes in his next message. You know he’s been feeling left behind since he got his class.
Eve smiled and cried at the sweet sadness of it all, at the goodness of Art’s heart and the purity of his outlook. She watched with teary eyes as he saved the final goodbye for Reginald.
Theirs was a quick and simple farewell, the kind only strangers or the absolute closest of friends could ever share. Neither Art nor Reginald needed to be told how much they meant to one another. It was understood. How well they knew they each carried a part of the other within them, and no question dared even appear in either’s mind when or whether they’d see each other again. They would, and that was that.
They said their goodbyes like two schoolboys parting on a Wednesday afternoon, sure as the sunrise they’d meet again at nine o’clock sharp come Thursday. Between those two, that was all there could ever be.
When at last he pulled away, Art addressed them all.
You guys are the best. I can’t think of anyone in the whole world I’d rather have found me. It’s been so much fun hanging out with all of you, and I promise I’ll visit! Papa says he wants some time just the two of us, but after that, I promise! He looked to Wes. I wanna see that cool house you’re gonna build!
Anyway, Art continued, I just wanted to say thanks. It was so cool getting to be an adventurer for a bit. He stepped over to his father, who draped a wing over his son’s shoulder. But I think I’m ready to just be a kid again. At least for a while. He waved a taloned hand. I’ll see you soon!
He turned, wrapping his arms around his papa’s waist and holding tight.
With a flap of his mighty wings, Victor lifted from the ground, hovering in the air for one final, brief moment before soaring up and away. Eve, Wes, Preston, Reginald, and Lumy could only stand, watch, smile, and cry as father and son, reunited at last, disappeared beyond the canopy of the forest.
Eve hadn’t had to take down an entire thieves’ guild. She hadn’t had to fight a foot elemental or clear three dungeons or fall into a leyline. Nonetheless, as Eve stood and stared at the empty sky, tears streaming down her face with every ragged breath, she knew without a doubt she’d just completed the hardest quest of her life.
And even worse, the artificially neon red cherry atop this bittersweet shit sundae of emotions, was a simple, agonizing question.
What happens now?
Read the completed story on Patreon!
Leave a Review! | Cover | Discord | Map
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2021.12.03 22:24 dronkusmonkus 25 [M4F] Comment ça va?
I'm a french-canadian guy from Montreal, currently looking for someone to chat with and see where it goes. I've been single for a few weeks now and I'm starting to get back into the groove, so id be all for making new connections :)
Here's a bit about me: I love cooking and I've been getting back into fitness. I've got a nack for baking as well, but I only do so a few times a year. I game primarily on PC, but recently I've been playing Halo Infinite when I'm not studying for finals 🥲 I'm 420 friendly, & I'm always up for trying something new!
If you're curious as to what I look like, I'm white, brown hair, blue eyes, fit build; you can find a photo of me on my profile.
Hit me up, I'd love to chat it up and see where it goes!
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2021.12.03 22:24 CrippledFleshPrison 3 Trucks and 8 Freight Employees tonight
2021.12.03 22:24 ChaosRodent I drew my minecraft skin! (I hope it's minecrafty enough)
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2021.12.03 22:24 busybibibi 28 M4A
Heya! I’m a bi professional type guy looking for pretty much anyone to have some fun with 🙂 I like all genders and am open to couples+. I’m not a very experienced bottom, but I’d like to be. 5’11” and 170 lbs. Pics available by request, send me a message and we’ll see where it goes !
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2021.12.03 22:24 PissingRainbow Healthy dog food recipe! [Jackfruit]
2021.12.03 22:24 TheRailwayModeler KiwiRail undecided on traffic light restart for train journeys
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2021.12.03 22:24 Nic0asks I need tips for fufillment
So my TLs have been on me about my pick productivity (rightfully so) and I’ve been trying to get my carts to a 40-50 min limit… but it’s always the last few items that I can’t find that really mess me up. ESPECIALLY when I have to go to a TL to approve the INF, they check places I already checked, sometimes they find at item or two somewhere unlocated I wouldn’t know about or something… but its at the cost of my pick productivity which really sucks. I noticed one of our fastest FF workers (also my trainer) never asks about INFs. Like ever💀 and her numbers are crazy, like this girl IS speed😭
Like I just thought that was interesting.
I have a decent route, I check time and I try to keep my RFD gun on me always(by the way if you steal peoples RFD guns from their carts your an asshole). So i really don’t know what else I can be doing better…. Yk? It’s ALWAYS those last few items that mess me up ESPECIALLY the ones that were delivered that day that someone like lost or has under a mountain of fucking boxes on the line like.. at that point how is it my fault after 20min I’m not guna break my ankles digging through everything yk?
Anyway I feel like as nice and supportive my TLs are, I just can’t figure out a decent way to get around their inf and productivity shaming lol
Anything helps really, how are y’all so FAST i dont get it
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2021.12.03 22:24 VWillini Any chance VW replaces haptic buttons?
Every review I read about the haptic button layout on the steering wheel is terrible, like deal breaker bad. The touch controls in general are hated, but the steering wheel ones seem to create a negative driver experience, not just an inconvenience.
What are the chances VW does like an 8.5 release like past models and put actual buttons in?
I had a MkV Golf GTI and I loved it. I’m currently in a 328i wagon because VWoA hates its enthusiasts. I no longer need such a large boot for a stroller and I’d love to get into a MkVIII R, but I’m not putting up with the shit interior of the MkVIII.
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2021.12.03 22:24 saadmerie MD-101 Managing Modern Desktops Practice Tests UPDATED 2022
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2021.12.03 22:24 Able-Stick9343 Ranking every Wimpy Kdi movie
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2021.12.03 22:24 rndsepals Sheena Easton - When the Lightning Strikes (1985)
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2021.12.03 22:24 DankSponge Is that Teddy Fresh making an appearance in Tarkov?
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2021.12.03 22:24 saadmerie AWS Solutions Architect Associate Practice Test UPDATED 2022
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2021.12.03 22:24 AMiniMinotaur Remember Kings
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2021.12.03 22:24 Al_the_Collector Who’s the funnies celeb who isn’t a comedian?
2021.12.03 22:24 saadmerie AWS Certified Security Speciality Practice Test UPDATED 2022
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2021.12.03 22:24 my-hero-measure-zero [Homemade] Spicy Korean Sausage Mac