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Redheart

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Falling stars and a vibrant sky fill the girl’s vision. She walks forward a bit, surveying her surroundings. As she approaches a hill she feels something emanating within her. A hope, a dream, a future. She sees an object, shrouded in light, at the top of the hill. She reaches for it, then raises it up high. As it points towards the heavens, a crack of lightning shoots towards her. She covers her eyes as the lightning hits the weapon, it crackles with power in her hand. She smirks and grips it tightly. As she makes her way down the mountain she can feel a rumbling shake the earth. The visage of a humanoid creature comes up on the horizon, towering over her. It’s eyes rapidly change color with a blinding rainbow light. She gasps and holds the weapon up, then leaps towards the creature. The thunder roars. 


“GAH!” the girl awoke, panting. She looked around her bedroom and sighed. “Weird dream…” she mumbled to herself. 

“Hello!” a voice said beside her. 

“HUH!” the girl leapt out of bed, falling over. The owner of the voice floated over and looked down at the girl. 

“Oh my, sorry! I didn’t mean to scare you, hero!” 

The girl blinked, she rubbed at her eyes then reached for the figure in front of her. Her hand went through it.

“Huh, nice, I’m hallucinating.”

“No no no, sorry. I’m a being made of pure light, can’t really touch light, y’know?” it said with a giggle. The girl looked up incredulously. 

“Okayyy, so who are you? And why did you call me ‘hero’?” the girl sat up on the floor. The being floated down to get closer to the girl's eye level. 

“I’m Eyala! Eya’s angel! I’ve come to get you.” she said excitedly. The girl gulped.

Get me? Are you going to kill me?” she asked, exaggerated fear in her voice. 

“No. I mean I'm here to get you for your quest!” it floated higher up into the room with a twirl.

“Quest?… Hey wait a second, weren’t you in my dream last night?” the girl asked, squinting at Eyala. Eyala nodded with a big smile.

“That’s right! You had no hesitation in beating me, and you even knew how to use the lightning strike. Eya was so impressed, I came to get you right away!” 

The girl was still apprehensive, she scratched the back of her head. 

“Uhm, alright. Ok. So, floating rainbow girl, Eyala, you’re an angel of Eya. And I’m… a hero?”

“Yep!” she clasped her hands together. The girl sighed and furrowed her brow. 

“Alright then. So let’s pretend I believe you, what are you doing in my bedroom?” she asked the angel.

“Well I wanted to meet you first. What’s your name, hero?” The girl rolled her eyes, she could play along with whatever was going on here.

“Audrey Redheart.”

“Audrey! That’s such a cute name, it sounds so heroic already.”

“Uhh, thanks?” Audrey said questioningly. Eyala’s smile turned into a frown. 

“I guess I should probably explain everything, huh?”

“Yeah.” Audrey said, though it sounded more like a question. 

“Well… basically there’s your world, and the spirit world that exists alongside it. These spirit worlds are like a totally different world than your own. They’re ruled by beings called overseers, who have to be destroyed. That’s where the hero comes in.” Eyala delivered an exposition. Audrey processed all the information and squinted.

“What? So the overseers are evil?” she asked.

“Basically.” Eyala shrugged.

“Well what does that whole business have to do with me ?”

“If you don’t stop the overseers, they’re going to send destruction down onto your world too! It will be complete chaos and discord for everyone.” Eyala clasped her hands together.

“Shit…” Audrey held her forehead while she tried to take this all in, she hit her own arm to see if she wasn’t dreaming. Eyala bowed down to Audrey. Audrey perked up and tilted her head. In a swift flash of light, the sword from her dream appeared, floating in front of her. Audrey’s eyes widened as she stared at it.

“Audrey Redheart, will you stop the spread of the overseer's corruption, and be this world’s hero?” Eyala asked. Audrey stared at the sword a little longer.

“Huh? Oh uh…” she hesitated. Eyala waited a few moments before the sword suddenly disappeared in a flash of light. Audrey flinched a bit and looked at where it was.

“If you can’t do it, it’s okay. I’m sure we can-” Eyala started. 

“NO!” Audrey interrupted. “I mean, no, it’s okay. I can do this. I’m totally ready to be a hero.” she said with a determined smile. Eyala smiled and clapped her hands together, the sword appearing before Audrey again. Audrey gripped the hilt, it felt just right in her hands. She looked at it, admiring it’s intricate beauty. “So what am I supposed to do as a hero?” she asked the angel.

“Well, we could go to the closest overseer now… but you probably need a bit to let this information sink in. So I’ll let you keep your sword and you can do that! I’ll come get you later ‘kay?” the angel said with a wink, before she dematerialized before Audrey’s eyes.

“What- Wait!” Audrey yelled. She reached out towards Eyala, but the angel was already gone. Audrey sighed and looked at the sword in her hand. She smirked and twirled it around.

“Hell yeah.” she said to herself. She gently put the sword down on her bed and admired it. Unfortunately she had spoken to that angel entirely in her pajamas, whoops. She dug around in her closet for an outfit. It had to be cool, had to say HERO in bright shining lights, metaphorically. A blazer? Nah, A cloak? Nah, Maybe a cape? What was she, some kind of loser? She shook her head as she threw a bunch of clothes on the ground and groaned. She glanced at her winter clothes and noticed the extra long scarf she had gotten from a roving band of pirates. Shrugging, she tried it on and looked in her floor length mirror. It was good enough. She took it off in order to put on her usual clothes, puffy orange pants and a tight red top. She needed something to sheath the sword with, maybe she could get something like that at the local blacksmith? She looked at herself in the mirror one more time, while holding the sword. She whistled. “Damn, I look good.” she winked at herself in the mirror before she exited her house. As she emerged outside, her neighbors started to whisper. They stared at the sword she was holding over her shoulder, but were too intimidated to interact. She scoffed and flipped her hair as she held the sword's hilt firm in her hand. She could tell all eyes were on her, and she was soaking it up, grinning to herself as she made it to the blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmith turned around from their forge once they heard her walk in. 

“How may I help… you…” they trailed off while staring at her sword.

 Audrey raised an eyebrow, “Oh, this? It’s pretty amazing isn’t it?” she tapped the sword on her shoulder a bit. The blacksmith walked up to her and circled her, examining it.

“I’ll say, it’s the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen, it almost looks like it’s glowing.” they said in awe. 

“Could be. This sword is from Eya herself.” Audrey said loudly. Passersby outside of the blacksmith shop overheard her and stopped in their tracks. The blacksmith squinted and scoffed. 

“Alright, it’s a nice sword but don’t go spreadin’ Eya’s name in vain.” they said with a laugh. The passersby laughed along with them. Audrey glared at the blacksmith. 

 She thought back to her dream, she couldn’t remember it all but she was pretty sure this sword could shoot lightning. She looked at the blacksmith and swung the sword towards them, it made a sharp noise but nothing happened. 

“Huh?” she said aloud, shaking the sword a bit, and hitting it’s hilt as if that would make it work. The blacksmith unclenched their eyes and touched the tip of the sword, pushing it away from them.

“Look, lady, I’m not fond of troublemakers. Your sword is nice but if you’re trying to threaten me I’m going to take it up with the authorities.” they said. The crowd had already dissipated and the blacksmith had already returned to their work, leaving her to soak in the shame alone.

“Sorry.” she said, and quickly left the blacksmiths shop. She glared at the sword and grit her teeth, slapping her forehead as she ran back home as quickly as possible. 

Entering her home once more, she slid down the door frame with a deep sigh. She flung the sword on the ground, the thud of its sharp metal resounding on her wooden floor. She held her head in her hands and grabbed her hair in embarrassing agony. After a few moments she heard something akin to a whoosh of wind, before the angel called out to her again.

“Hey girl!” she said. Audrey snapped her head up to look at the angel, she blinked.

“Oh. So you’re actually real.”

“Very real, so have you taken in the information that you’re a hero yet? We should probably get going to the closest overseer soon.” Eyala continued, looking north out of Audrey’s window. Audrey rolled her eyes as she stared at the sword on the ground.

“Is this entire thing some elaborate joke? This thing isn’t magical at all, is it?” she reached over and held the sword up, glaring at her own reflection. Eyala appeared above the sword to meet Audrey at eye level. 

“What do you mean?” she asked. Audrey looked around, she rubbed at her arm. 

“Nothing, I just need a little time.” Eyala faced Audrey and tilted her head, she shrugged.

“Well alright, you’re the hero! I’ll be waiting for you outside of your village whenever you’re ready.”

She held up a peace sign before she disappeared again. Audrey let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. She had never met any angels before but she didn’t think they’d be so… nonchalant about everything. Isn’t she supposedly going to save the world? She shook her head and stood up. Kicking aside the clothes that she herself had spread out earlier, she sat on her bed. She placed the sword beside her and leaned her elbows onto her knees. Maybe she was in over her head, she still couldn’t decide if all of this was real or not.

A knock at her door dragged her out of her thoughts. She groaned and got up, rushing over in a huff to open it, her neighbor stood there with a look of concern.

“Audrey… are you okay?” the girl asked. Audrey glanced at the sword on the bed, she stepped forward a bit to hide her neighbors view from it.

“Who’s inquiring?” she squinted at her. She had known this girl for years, they were...friends? But she had probably heard about what happened.

“Oh my, all of us!” The girl looked frantic as she spoke to Audrey. “What on earth was all of that at the blacksmith’s shop? Everyone’s talking about it.” she continued. Audrey groaned again. Called it.

“I guess I can explain everything to you all. Come with me, we’ll go to the town square.”  Before she left, Audrey grabbed the sword off the bed and held it close to her. Her and her neighbor walked towards the town square, her neighbor looked at the sword in Audrey’s hand, her eyes trailing it from the tip down to the hilt. 

“It does look like quite an extraordinary weapon, doesn’t it? Where did you get it?” Audrey glanced at her, she scoffed. 

“I’m telling you, it was from Eya. I saw the sword in a dream.” Audrey said with a glare.  Her neighbor looked away, gripping her shirt sleeve and pouting.

“Well, if you say so… I just hope it’s not messing with your head.” Audrey gripped the sword's handle tightly, but stayed silent as the two walked.

As they arrived at the town square people were already beginning to whisper as they saw Audrey. She glanced at all the people around her and stepped onto the staircase of the nearby church.

“Townspeople!” she yelled out. A few people glanced over but they mostly ignored her.  “I’ve been visited by an angel in my dreams.” she continued. The townspeople started to whisper. “There is a great evil that is going to befall the Earth, it will be powerful, and fearsome.” she could feel the looks of disdain from all directions. Her neighbor gripped her sleeve and backed away from Audrey as she looked around. “Eya looked for a hero, and in your very own town, she was found.” Audrey closed her eyes and gripped the sword's handle tightly, this time she’d get it right. She held the sword up towards the sky, and a bolt of lightning hit it, the electricity started to gather in the sword, illuminating Audrey’s face. The townspeople stopped in their tracks and looked up at her. “I’m this world’s hero, and I promise as long as I’m standing I’ll keep it from falling apart!” she cried out, aiming the charged sword in a random direction and firing it. The townspeople all whizzed their heads around to look at the bolt of lightning striking a nearby tree. They were silent as the fallen tree landed on the ground. She held her head up high, with her shoulders back, and posed with the sword. She could hear clapping slowly start up until it turned into the full cheer of an excited audience.

Audrey smirked and bowed to the townspeople. As she dropped down from the church steps she could hear clapping right beside her. 

“Oh thank goodness, so you’re a hero! I always thought you had a sort of regal elegance about you.” her neighbor clasped her hands together. Audrey flipped her hair and chuckled.

“You think so? Well I guess Eya thinks so too. As soon as I’m done here I have to go on my quest to save the world.” she boasted.

“It sounds dangerous.” the girl batted her eyelashes. Audrey glanced at her, she sauntered closer and linked arms with her. 

“I don’t think taking a bit of time to say goodbye to my favorite girl in the entire town is a  crime, is it?” she said, looking down at her with a cheeky smirk. The girl blushed and pushed her hair behind her ear.

“O-Oh I wouldn’t want to keep you from your quest.” she trailed her fingers up Audrey’s arm.

“I’ll make sure to work overtime so Eya doesn’t notice any delays.”

“It would be a shame if you left without saying goodbye...” the girl trailed off and twirled a few locks of hair around her finger.


Audrey adjusted her belt and slid her boots, wiping at some of the lipstick marks left on her cheek.

“Good luck on your journey, hero.” her neighbor said, reapplying the lipstick.

“Keep yourself safe until I get back.” Audrey said with a grin before exiting her neighbors home. She looked up to the sky, it was already after noon. Maybe she was taking this a bit too nonchalantly, she hoped Eyala wasn’t too upset. Audrey rushed to the gates of the town and stopped to catch her breath. She looked around but couldn’t see any rainbow hair in sight.

“EYALA.” she yelled out, squinting towards the distance. A cloud of rainbow showed up before her as the rest of Eyala’s body materialized. 

“Bestie!” Eyala said with a twirl and a clap of her hands. Audrey squinted at her.

“Uh. Bestie?” she asked, but shook her head. “I’m ready.”

“Totally! You took longer than I thought you would.” Audrey blushed and scratched the back of her head.

“Yeah, hero stuff. I guess. We headin’ out now or what? How are we even going to get where we need to?” Audrey looked around for a horse or some other kind of steed. 

“Oh yeah, there’s something else that comes with being a hero, and that’s quick travel!” Eyala said excitedly.

“Huh? Quick travel? What does that mean?”

“That you can get to places quickly.”

“Like teleportation?”

“Not exactly, you still travel by foot, but it’s just very fast, it can’t really be seen by the normal human eye.” Audrey whistled. 

“Sweet. So how do I do it?” she asked. Eyala smiled.

“Think of your next step, firmly put that foot ahead of you and thrust yourself forward with your other foot, you’ll dash with a burst of speed! If you can control how much force you put into it you can also dash a short distance if you need to.” She floated up into the air and demonstrated the technique to Audrey, though her limbs were different sizes than a human’s so it looked a bit strange. Audrey scratched her head.

“Alright, I’ll try.” she said with a shrug. Putting her right foot ahead of her, she thrust forward with her left one, and dashed forward. It felt like she slid on the ground, when she looked up at her surroundings she saw she was several feet away from where she had just stood. “Seriously? That’s awesome. I get this power just because?” her eyes sparkled.

“As long as you have the sword, you have all these powers.” Eyala said with a giggle. “You’ll want to keep heading north, you’ll hit a town called Langtree. The overseer castle is just outside of it.” 

“Are you not coming with me?” Audrey asked.

“Oh I’ll be with you, but I prefer materializing when I’m needed.” Audrey didn’t really get it but it must be angel stuff.

“Well then I guess I’ll see you later?” she asked.

“Yea, see you later, bestie!” Eyala said with another peace sign. Audrey squinted at the fading visage of the angel and shrugged. Putting her foot down and taking a deep breath she flung herself forward with great force. She could feel the landscape rapidly changing as she went forward, then finally came to a stop in what looked like a completely different forest. She touched the ground and looked ahead of her, stretching her legs a bit before continuing.

As she sped ahead she thought to herself concerning what was about to happen. She was going to meet with an evil king and she would probably have to fight, right? She felt the blade dragging against the ground as she dashed forward, she stopped to take a breather. Wiping the sweat from her brow she gripped the handle of the sword and raised it up. She looked at her reflection and sighed. This was already an insane day. She held the sword higher so it wouldn’t drag on the ground, and took a deep breath. Putting her foot forward, she dashed again. As she slowed down, she approached the edge of a mountain. She could see a row of houses in the distance.

“This must be it…” she said to herself. A cloud of rainbow appeared behind her.

“It is. This is Langtree. The spirit world entrance is nearby.” Eyala said. Audrey turned around quickly and then calmed down once she realized it was just Eyala.

“What is this village? Are they in danger?” Audrey looked down at the houses with a squint. It looked like there were glowing figures among the townspeople. She rubbed her eyes. 

“The townspeople will be safe as long as we take care of the overseer.” Eyala assured her. Audrey nodded.

“Alright.” she said, following Eyala as she headed towards the tree of slumber. The sun was high in the sky as they made their way up the hill to the spirit world entrance. “This is how we get in? It’s just a tree.” she said, kicking it. Eyala nodded.

“This is called a nexus point, the spirit world can only be entered through them, and there are several in your world. In order to access it we need something called the overseer’s song.” 

“Wait, song? Like singing ? I can’t do that!” Audrey blushed.

“Oh Audrey, it can also be an instrument! But the music doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to match the notes.” 

“Seriously? But I’m the hero , can’t the point just open up for me because I’m literally here to save the world?” she scoffed.

“Mmm I mean you are here to kill the overseer… they don’t exactly want you to come in.”

“Right. So how do I get this song then?” she rolled her eyes. Eyala giggled.

“Well I actually know this one! I’ll help you this time, but next time you’ll have to ask the townspeople.”

“Charming townspeople into giving me a song? No problem.” she said with a smug grin. Eyala clasped her hands together and started to sing the overseer’s song. Audrey’s eyes widened as she heard her angelic tune, it was gorgeous. Was this what the product of Eya was really like? Eya’s harmony… She snapped herself out of it and gripped her sword hilt, she didn’t know what would happen once the angel completed the song. 

As the last notes were gently uttered from Eyala, Audrey felt herself lift up, as if she was lighter than air. She watched the world shift before her eyes into an unrecognizable landscape.  The sky was full of vibrant pink and orange hues, stars fell from the heavens and there was a castle in the distance. She heard a gentle breeze and the gentle twinkle of a star indiscriminately all around her.

“Woah, this is the spirit world?” she asked as she looked around at the landscape. There were floating platforms and a number of obstacles leading up to the castle; it looked treacherous. Eyala nodded.

“You’ll have to get past these obstacles in order to reach the Dream king, and once you’re there well… you know what to do. Good luck, hero.” Eyala said. Audrey watched as Eyala faded away. She took a deep breath once more and sped forward. As she scaled platforms and cut through vines obstructing her view she got fired up. Her first fight… and against an evil king, this was going to be something she’d remember for the rest of her life. 

As she got closer and closer to the castle she could feel her adrenaline pumping, the sword was enhancing her abilities in more ways than she could count. She could jump higher, run faster, and she could probably hit harder too. She cracked her knuckles with a smirk as the castle came into view.

Audrey opened the castle doors with a mighty heave, stepping onto the solid marble. She looked around as the sound of her footsteps reverberated around the empty halls. It was quiet...too quiet. As she stepped towards the throne she was shrouded by darkness. She gasped and gripped her sword's handle, pointing it forward into the darkness. As she looked around she noticed two eyes looking back at her.

“Stay back! I’m not looking to make this last longer than necessary.” she said with a glare. From the darkness she could hear a sound that she couldn’t understand. It was garbled though it had a sort of rhythm to it. She didn’t bother trying to decipher what it meant as she leapt into the air with her sword pointed up. The eyes in the darkness watched her, they widened and suddenly disappeared. She lost her balance and rolled on the floor, the sword fell on the ground beside her with a loud clang and the darkness that had surrounded her dissipated. 

Eyala appeared beside her with a frown. “Audrey-” she started.

“What the hell was that?!” Audrey looked up at Eyala with a glare.

“I don’t-” Eyala tried to explain.

“Is this some kind of joke? What was the point of all this?” she yells out, hitting her fist to the ground. Eyala frowns and clasps her hands together. 

“Overseers aren’t usually supposed to run away... but maybe this time it’s different. We can still move on to the next overseer and come back for this one.” Eyala said with a reassuring smile. Audrey sighed deeply. 

“Fine, whatever.” she got up and off the ground. She began to head towards the castle exit, with Eyala following closely behind. She looked down at the ground solemnly before Audrey finally noticed. She scratched the back of her head. “Sorry.” she said to the angel. Eyala looked at Audrey curiously. “For getting so hot headed, I was just so ready.” she said. Eyala smiled.

“Aw, well that’s why you’re the hero!” she clapped. Audrey smirked and nodded. “Here’s the exit tree. Once we’re on the other side we can head towards the next nexus point in Delphi.” she said, reaching out towards the tree and disappearing as usual. Audrey took one last look around the spirit world, glaring at the dream king’s castle before reaching out towards the tree. The world shifted around her and she found herself back at the tree that the angel had sung to earlier. She could see glowing hair beside her. 

“I’m thinking we could stop by that village for supplies.” Audrey said, stretching her arms. Eyala shrugged.

“Delphi is close by, and it’s a town so it will have better amenities compared to that village, but it’s up to you, hero!” Audrey thought about it for a bit and shrugged in response.

“Suits me. Which way do I go?”

“West.” she responded. Audrey nodded and Eyala once again disappeared. 

Audrey was left looking at where Eyala was floating a second ago. Well it didn’t go exactly as she planned but maybe the next overseer would put up more of a fight. She squeezed her shoulder and rolled her arm a bit. Cracking the air bubbles in her neck she put one foot forward and dashed towards her next destination.

Chapter Text

Audrey stopped to catch her breath as she approached a cave. Looking up at the hill it was situated in, she didn’t see any way around it. She gulped and gripped at her sword’s handle for comfort. She could call Eyala, but what kind of hero would she be if she wasn’t brave enough to enter one little cave? She stepped into it, the sunlight that was illuminating outside of the cave quickly disappeared once she stepped deeper inside. She stopped walking and looked around, then looked down at her sword. Pointing it up, it generated electricity and crackled in her hand, lighting some of the surrounding area. Crystals reflected the light all around her, she reached out towards one and ran her hand over its smooth surface. She readied herself and dashed through the cave. Her footsteps echoed off the walls and she could hear water dripping from the ceiling. Slowing down, she noticed a straight walkway made of crystal. She felt like something was off… but she couldn’t tell what. As she walked forward with her sword in hand, she could feel something big suddenly leap into the air and land in front of her. The sword illuminated two large figures.

“HUMAN. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” said one monster, it looked like a cave troll. She glared at it and noticed the other monster beside it.

“YOU CAN’T BE HERE. LEAVE.” it yelled out. She looked between them and held her sword carefully. She didn’t make any sudden movements. After quite a few tension filled moments, the cave trolls looked at her curiously.

“Are you ok?” one of them asked.

“Maybe we froze it in fear-” the other began to say before he was struck by lightning. Audrey had the sword held out towards the monster. The other one gasped.

“Honey!? HONEY! A-are you okay?!” it cried out as it rushed to it’s lovers’ side. But the monster that had been struck was completely paralyzed. Audrey backed away slowly, her sword trembling in her grip, before she ran past the monster. 

“HEY. GET BACK HERE.” it yelled, going after her. She ran blindly, bumping into the crystal walls and almost losing her footing. As she exited the cave she panted and held her bruised sides. Without warning she could see a head of rainbow hair appear directly in front of her.

“GAH!” Audrey aimed her sword at Eyala. Eyala held her hands up.

“Oh no, what happened?” the angel asked, examining Audrey’s hunched over look. Audrey winced as she stood up straight then hid the sword behind her back.

“Nothing. I was just...calmly going through that cave.” She looked back at the cave exit anxiously.  

“Oh, did you see the nexus point?”

“The What.” Eyala giggled.

“The nexus point! It’s in that cave there, you saw it, right?” Audrey’s eyes darted around. 

“Yep, that’s right. I definitely saw it, and now I’m heading to that town to … get that song that you mentioned.” she said with an awkward smile. Eyala smiled towards her. 

“You already know what to do, that’s so awesome. I guess I'll check back up on you later. Bye bestie!” she said as she faded away. Audrey sighed. Pull yourself together Redheart . She nodded to herself then stood up straight as she walked towards the nearby town. She noted how it looked bigger than her hometown, though everyone looked way more depressed. At the entrance stood a man with sunglasses and a suit on, she went up to him.

“Hey, you.” she began, pointing her sword at the man. “Do you know anything about an overseer’s song?” The man backed away from the sword and shook his head.

“Woah, interesting hello there.” he cleared his throat. “Sorry, I don’t know about any ‘a that. But my pal Nate over there might know somethin’.” he said, pointing towards him. Audrey looked over at the man standing outside what looked like a hotel. “Tell ‘em Manny sent ya.” Audrey nodded before heading over to the front of the hotel.

“Nate.” she said, getting his attention quickly.

“Hello! How may I help-” he started before getting interrupted by Audrey.

“Your pal, Manny , sent me. You know something about the overseer’s song?” She held her sword close to her. Nate stared at it for a moment before looking back up at her. 

“Sorry, I don’t know anything about the overseer’s song, maybe if you find a musician in the town they would know it.”

“Where can I find a musician here?” 

“Well there was a famous accordion player here…” he began. Audrey brightened up for a moment. “But she passed away.” Audrey frowned. 

“Then WHY even mention it?!” she yelled. Nate flinched and held his arms defensively before Audrey took a deep breath. 

“W-well there are other-” he began before being interrupted again. 

“Do you know anyone that would know it?” she glared at him. He cleared his throat.

“There’s another musician, the violin player in the Eagle cafe, she might know something,” Audrey nodded and rushed off towards the cafe. Nate watched her go and let out a relieved sigh. 

As she entered the cafe she could hear the violin playing. Looking around she could see it wasn’t very busy. The cashier looked at her.

“Nice getup.” he said. Audrey gave him a look before walking towards the violinist. As she approached she noticed that the musician was definitely not going to pay attention to her. Rather than go through the humdrum of getting her attention through talking, she put her fingers up to her mouth and whistled loudly. The violinist’s last note screeched out as she was surprised by the sudden interruption.

“What on earth!?” She snapped her head to look at Audrey.

“Violin player, I need information.”

“Viola.” the violinist said, jutting her hip out.

“What?”

My name .” she clarified.

“Oh. Viola. I need-” Audrey began before being interrupted by Viola.

“And yours?” Audrey grew visibly frustrated.

“Audrey. Audrey Redheart.” Viola nodded and made a motion with her hand for Audrey to continue. “I need the overseer’s song, you play music, you know about it?” she asked. Viola scoffed.

“No. I don’t, and I doubt anyone here would.” she said with a flip of the hair. Audrey sputtered her words angrily.

“What! One of you has to know it, how could you all live next to a nexus point and not know anything about it?!”

“A what?” Viola asked with a squint. Audrey groaned loudly.

“A nexus point! It’s a way to enter the spirit world to meet the overseer.” she clarified. Viola scoffed and rolled her eyes.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but there is a wise old witch who lives outside of town, she probably has the information you need.” Audrey perked up and smiled.

“Oh? Where?”

“It’s a house just past that cave. She gets here via broom so she doesn’t have to deal with going into it, but if you want to get there you’d have to walk through.” Viola said, checking the pegs on her violin. Audrey’s face dropped.

“Oh.” She didn’t exactly want to go back into that cave after blasting that monster with lightning. Scratching her arm, she turned around and started to leave.

You’re welcome .” Viola said to her in a scathing tone before continuing to play her violin.

As Audrey exited the store she was again greeted by Eyala. 

“What are you going to do, bestie?” the angel asked.

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Are you going to go to that witch’s house?” Audrey gulped and thought back to the cave monsters. 

“Well… how far away is the next nexus point?” Eyala tilted her head.

“It’s pretty far… you have to cross the ocean to get to the next one.”

“Is that all? Well let’s just move on and come back to this one after.” she scoffed.

“But we’re already here.” Audrey gave her a look. “Whatever you think is best though! How are you going to get there?” the angel questioned. Audrey looked out at the ocean.

“Can I walk on water?” she asked. Eyala had a deadpan expression on.

“No.” 

“Dang, guess I gotta find a boat.” Audrey scratched the back of her head as she went towards the docks. Eyala stayed in her spot as she watched Audrey walk away, before she disappeared.

As Audrey approached the docks the first thing she saw was a rather large boat with a clean shaven pirate in front. She whistled. “That’s a nice boat.” she said. The pirate overheard her and gave a hearty laugh.

“She’s a beaut isn’t she! Why I’m proud of the vessel an’ me crew every day.” the captain said with a cheeky smile. Audrey raised an eyebrow. 

“Right, well. Hey, do you happen to have any room on your boat for a stow away?”

“Yar, that depends, where ya’ headed lass?” Audrey blanked, Eyala didn’t actually tell her where it was.

“Er, I’m not sure… I guess across the ocean?” He looked at her strangely but smiled nonetheless.

“Alright, ye can come aboard.” he started to say. Audrey grinned and pumped her fist in excitement. “But we ain’t leavin’ yet, it’s still business hours and we’re sellin’ our wares here.” he nodded. Audrey groaned. 

“Seriously? I’m sort of in a hurry.” she tapped her foot. The pirate captain looked at her pensively.

“Well then, if ye be in a hurry, there’s a commercial boat that comes ta pick up passengers to get to the other islands. I believe the next one is departin’ on the other side a the dock in a quarter-hour.” Audrey perked up.

“Alright, I’m off then.” she said, giving a nod to the captain before running to the other side of the dock. The captain watched her as she ran off then went back to his own business. 

As Audrey approached the commercial boat she could see quite a few people entering and exiting the platform. She rushed forward and bumped into someone, causing them to drop their luggage. An accordion fell out of their bag, as well as other items. Audrey spotted something amongst the luggage, a return ticket for the boat ride. She knelt down.

“Here, let me help you.” she said, helping them arrange their things and swiping the ticket while they weren’t looking.

“Oh, thank you… Sorry for bumping into you,” they apologized. Audrey smirked.

“No sweat, here you go.” She handed them their rearranged luggage. They took the luggage and bowed at her before exiting the boat platform. Audrey waved at them with a smile, waiting for them to exit eye view before she reached into her pocket and pulled out the return ticket. She walked up the platform to the boat before being stopped by one of the boat attendants.

“Ticket please.” they said, looking at her expectantly. 

“Oh, here.” She handed them the ticket she had just swiped. The attendant took a hole puncher to it and went to the next passenger. Audrey sighed in relief as she walked towards the end of the boat. She could see rainbow locks appear next to her.

“Audrey… that wasn’t very nice.” Eyala said with a frown. 

“What? Taking that person’s ticket? Eyala, I’m trying to save the world, remember? That person is going to be a lot more thankful about not being dead than about losing a boat ticket.” Eyala clasped her hands together.

“I guess…” Audrey looked at her then turned her head to roll her eyes.

“I promise I’ll get some cash, and the next time I see that person I’ll give them all their money back, really.” she said reassuringly. Eyala nodded.

“Well, okay! I believe in you , hero.” she smiled again before fading away. Audrey looked out at the water and watched the waves crash against the stern. Putting her hands on the railing she turned to look at the rest of the boat, it looked like they were going to embark soon. She sat down with her back against the boat’s wall and a knee up, resting her arm on it she closed her eyes and nodded off.


Audrey felt something tugging at her in her sleep, she tried to move her arm but felt too tired. She groggily started to open her eyes but still felt the tugging. Looking to her side she saw someone directly next to her, gripping at her sword still attached to her back. She gasped and kicked the thief away.

“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?” she screeched, taking the sword out and aiming it at them. They gasped and trembled in fear. As she approached, she noticed whoever this was, looked like a kid. She gripped the handle of her sword before returning it behind her back. She crossed her arms then waited for an explanation from the attempted thief. They opened one eye and looked at her. 

“S-Sorry, I didn’t mean to- I just wanted to hold it for a second…” they said, fidgeting the entire time. Audrey did not acknowledge anything they just said.

“Who are you?” she demanded.

“Hiro… I just thought the sword was so cool and you look so cool and I just wanted to hold it for a second.” the child pleaded. Audrey laughed loudly.

“The sword does have a way of pulling a look together, but No. You can’t touch it, kid.” she glared at him.

“Just for a second?”

“No way. This isn’t just any old sword, this is from an angel.” she demonstrated by pointing the sword up and shooting a bolt of lightning. The kid looked in awe, his eyes widened and he looked up at Audrey with amazement.

“Oh my Eya, that’s so COOOOOL.” he held his face in excitement. 

“Yeah I know.” Audrey said, holding her hand out smugly. “It’s a lot of responsibility, which is why I can’t just let some kid hold it.” The kid looked a bit dejected. 

“Aw, I understand, hero…” he said. Audrey opened her mouth to say her name but stopped, he didn’t need to know it anyways. She turned her back to him as she stared out at the water. Hiro stared at her, uncomfortably close. Audrey snapped a look at him. He flinched but stayed in the same spot anyways. Then he cleared his throat, “So….” he began. Audrey wished literally anything else could be happening right now. “Why did you get a magic sword from Eya anyways? You did something worthy? You bribed her?” he asked. 

Audrey glanced at him but did not humor him with a response. “Oh it’s a secret, I bet.” Hiro nodded “Gotcha, your secret is safe with me, hero.” He slid a bit closer to her. “You know I’ve always thought of being a hero myself. After all, my name is Hiro.” Audrey got up from the railing and began to walk away, but Hiro followed. “But I wouldn’t even know where to begin, y’know?” he mused. “I mean maybe I could get a cool sword,” he leaned over Audrey and looked at her sword, “or just save someone I guess?” Audrey walked faster, she reached the front of the boat, there were even less people here than the stern, most passengers were inside. Maybe she should also go. “What do you think?” she heard the kid ask. She hadn’t actually paid attention to anything he had said in the past 10 minutes. 

“Uh.” she began. “Just do what your heart tells you, I guess.” she said. Hiro’s eyes sparkled.

“I’ll do it then! I’ll be a hero too! After all, you can’t do everything alone, right, Hero!?” he yelled out excitedly. A few passengers turned to look at them and Audrey backed away from him. He grabbed her gloved hand. “Oh thank you, Hero. You’re such an inspiration, you’re so cool, the best!” he said, shaking her hand wildly. “I’m gonna go change my look!” he yelled before running towards the door to go below deck. The passengers still above deck looked at Audrey and whispered to themselves. She waved awkwardly to everyone and sighed deeply. Deciding to return to the back of the boat, she paced over, looking behind herself to make sure no one followed her. She leaned on the railing of the boat and let her scarf bellow in the wind as she looked out at the ocean.

Chapter Text

Audrey looked out at the water, several lights dotted the horizon, almost mimicking the stars. She wondered the different types of vessels the lights belonged to. She shrugged and looked up at the night sky. She focused on one star, it twinkled, and then... disappeared? She squinted. “Huh-” she began to say before being pulled out of her thoughts by the boat attendant. 

“Please hold onto the railings while we steer the ship into port, thank you.” they yelled out for the passengers to hear, then started repeating it a few times. Audrey sighed with relief then stretched out her limbs. She could hear the familiar woosh of Eyala joining her side.

“That was a long ride!” she clapped her hands together.

“You wouldn’t know since you were gone most of the trip!” Audrey rolled her eyes.

“Those dolphins were cute.” Eyala changed the subject.

“I guess.” Her thoughts were interrupted by the boat attendant.

“Now arriving at Tatango Town, please make sure to gather up your belongings and watch your step as you exit the platform.” they yelled out, and directed the flow of traffic. Audrey watched everyone exiting the boat, Eyala started to fade away. Audrey waved her arms around wildly.

“Wait-wait-wait!” she said. Eyala came back.

“Hm?” 

“Why don’t you ever like… follow me around or anything?” Audrey asked.

“I’ve been following you around the entire day!” Eyala replied.

“No no I mean, like physically.”

“It’s best I stay hidden, so I don’t cause an uproar.” 

“Dang, and I was going to use you as a source of light.” Audrey smirked at Eyala. Eyala laughed, she waved before fading away again. Audrey decided she no longer felt like waiting for the crowd to dissipate, jumping over and onto the railing of the boat. A boat attendant noticed her and started to walk over.

“Miss-” they began to say, but Audrey leapt off the boat onto the dock flawlessly. The boat attendant and a few people noticed her do this and watched as she walked off towards the town. She saw a crudely drawn sign that said ‘Calliope’s House of Fortune’ and squinted as she read it. She looked pensive for a moment then started up the hill. As she hiked higher she could see the amount of vessels parked at this island, some of them looked completely abandoned. She didn’t live near any oceans back home, but they had lakes that she had gone boating on plenty of times before. She wondered briefly how the town was managing without her. As she reached the door to the house of fortune, she was spooked by Eyala suddenly appearing next to her. 

“Boo!” she said. Audrey flinched and groaned.

“Oh my Eya, it’s dark up here, Eyala. Warn a bitch next time!” she put her hands on her hips.

“What are you doing here?” 

“What, at this place? I was just checking it out. House of fortune, right? I want fortune.” Eyala tilted her head with a smile.

“I don’t think it’s that kind of fortune, Audrey.” 

“Ah well. I’m already at the door anyway.”

“Don’t forget I’m here for you if you need any help, bestie.” she twirled around.

“I’ll keep it in mind, Eyala.” she said, turning her head slightly so Eyala wouldn’t see her roll her eyes. She opened the door and walked into the house of fortune while Eyala held up a peace sign and faded away.

A woman sat at a crystal ball, she looked very focused and had a few empty coffee mugs all around her. Audrey squinted at all of the skull decor, then spoke up.

“Hey.” she said. The woman looked up at Audrey.

“I’m busy.” 

“Hey!” Audrey repeated, taken aback by the woman’s rude tone.

“Eya’s Chords, I said I was busy! I’m divining something very important here, I will get to you in a moment.” Audrey groaned, walked over to the woman’s couch, and sat down. She crossed her arms as she waited for the fortune teller to finish her divination. 

“Crap…” the fortune teller said. Audrey raised an eyebrow. The woman looked around frantically, she noticed Audrey as if for the first time. “You!” she yelled out. Audrey looked at her. “Go stall the pizza delivery guy and I’ll divinate anything you want, for free.” She looked frantic. Audrey squinted with confusion.

“Wha-” she began.

“If he takes longer than 30 minutes, it’s FREE. HURRY UP!” she cried out. Audrey got up quickly and ran outside. What the hell was she doing? She squinted and saw someone who looked vaguely familiar heading up the hill. Oh no . The blonde haired boy she had met on the boat squinted in her direction. She began to walk away.

“Hey, Hero!” he excitedly yelled out at her. She groaned deeply. 

“Heyyy….You!” She cleared her throat. 

“Eya almighty, I’m so glad to have bumped into you again! Check out my new look, snazzy huh? I’m doing extra shifts at my pizza delivery job to save up money for a sword.” he showed off his haircut and new clothes. Audrey smiled as believably as she could. 

“Wow, that’s great.” 

“Yeah! Anyways I have to deliver this pie to that weird fortune teller up there.” he started to walk again before Audrey stood in his way.

“No!” she yelled. Hiro looked at her strangely. “I mean, tell me more, about your...dreams?” Hiro’s eyes sparkled and he began to tell her all about how he wanted to be a hero and how he dreamed of making something of himself. She was barely paying attention.

“And ANOTHER time-” he started another sentence.

“OKAY wow, look at the time, I really have to be somewhere else right now. You should deliver this pizza and I’m going to walk down this hill.” she barely covered the disdain in her voice.

“OH, the pizza!” Hiro rushed up the hill. Audrey hid behind a tree and watched as the woman berated him and crossed her arms, refusing to pay. Hiro looked dejected but handed over the pizza anyways. He walked down the hill, Audrey hid quietly behind the tree waiting for him to get far enough away before she ran back into the house of fortune with a sigh of relief.

“Hey nice job there, pal.” the woman said, eating a slice. “Want?” she asked. Audrey looked at the Hawaiian style pizza and shook her head. 

“Uh, thanks. I’m good.” The woman shrugged.

“The name’s Calliope, though I’m sure any numbskull could guess that.” she said with an annoying little laugh. 

“Audrey Redheart.”

“So what can I divinate for you, kid?” 

“I don’t know, surprise me.” Audrey said, putting her feet up on Calliope’s table and leaning her arms on the couch. Calliope squinted then looked at her crystal ball, it swirled and glowed as she looked into it. Calliope blinked, she looked at it again. She looked at Audrey, then looked at it again.

“So that’s it huh…” Calliope mumbled. Audrey groaned.

“What does it say?” 

“Oh,” Calliope cackled, “Death, destruction, chaos.” she snickered. Audrey shot up from her seat.

“What!?”

“These divinations can’t always be straight forward.” she shrugged. Audrey balled her fists up. 

“No, but that can’t be right! That’s impossible! I’m going to stop the destruction, I’m going to fix everything! I’m the hero!” she yelled out, gripping her sword’s handle. Calliope lifted her hands up defensively.

“Geez, calm down. Death and destruction follow a lot more people than you’d think. It’s an inevitability of life.” she cackled. This didn’t seem to satisfy Audrey, who looked uncomfortably angry.

“Tell ya’ what. There are some abandoned ruins on an island nearby, used to be where a couple a’ mermaids lived before they disappeared. There’s a monster there now, if you think you’re such a great hero,  then prove it.” she grinned. Audrey squinted.

“Why would I do that?” she asked. 

“You tell me, Redheart.” Calliope said with another cackle. Audrey groaned and turned her back to Calliope, rushing out of her place of business. Calliope continued to cackle until Audrey left. Her laughter died down and her smile faded. She looked around at her home and sighed deeply. Picking up a suitcase, she started to pack in preparation.

Back outside, Audrey was fuming, she gripped her sword and pulled it off of her back. She swung the sword around at nothing, cutting the plants and grass all around her. Eyala quickly appeared before her.

“Audrey!” she reached out to her. 

“She-!” Audrey began, before letting out a noise of frustration and kicking at the ground. She huffed.

“Audrey, you are the hero. You have the sword, you have me.” Eyala reassured her. Audrey took a deep breath.

“Right. You’re right. Lost my cool there.” she said, sniffling and then smirking smugly. “Well, let’s go check out these ruins then.” she walked down the hill and looked at some of the boats that looked abandoned, maybe she could borrow one. Eyala followed her down the hill, floating beside her. 

“Are you alright, Audrey?” she asked.

“I’m fine. I’ll meet you there.” Eyala pouted.

“But are you sure you want to-” she began before Audrey turned around to look at her with a glare.

“I’m. Fine.” Eyala frowned, she clasped her hands together and faded away. Audrey ran towards the docks. She looked as people sat on their boats, enjoying the night air, cleaning up their vessels and just doing general maintenance. It must be nice not having to worry about anything while other people handle problems. She whistled to the boatmen. “Hey! Any a’ you know where I can get a boat?” she asked them. They looked amongst each other.

“Any of us can give you a ride, m’aam.” one of them said.

“Though we wanna know what you’re offerin’ first.” another said. Audrey blushed and groaned. She should have taken some of her savings on this quest.

“I don’t have money!” she huffed. The boatmen looked at each other then burst out laughing. 

“Well then ya aren’t gettin’ a ride!” They laughed again, until a voice broke the laughter.

“I’ll give you a ride, sweetie.” said a lovely voice from behind Audrey. A blonde woman with braided hair and an hourglass frame waved at the boatmen, and looked at Audrey.

“Aw, Yuu, we were just givin’ her a hard time, we would have taken her!” one of the boatmen said. The woman giggled.

“Too late, she’s my catch now.” she winked at Audrey. Audrey gave her a strange look. “So what’s your name, cutie?” Yuu asked, gesturing for Audrey to follow her.

“Audrey Redheart. I assume you must be Yuu?”

“Yep! Don’t mind the boatmen, sometimes they give newbies a hard time but they’re all very kind.” 

“You from around here?” 

“Mm, not exactly. I’m an adventurer, but I like to stop by when I can.” Audrey nodded as she followed. Yuu continued, “ You’re not from around here, are you?” 

“No, but I’m on a very important quest.”

“An important quest that you didn’t bring any money to?” 

“W-well-” Audrey stammered indignantly. Yuu laughed. She stopped in front of a modest looking boat, it looked very well taken care of. 

“So I assume you’re probably headed somewhere important. Where can I take you?” Audrey bit her lip.

“I’m trying to check out the mermaid ruins.” She stood up tall. Yuu looked at her with shock. 

“Do you have a death wish or something?” 

“Guess you could say that” 

“You want that treasure, don’t you?” Audrey perked up.

“Yes I definitely know which you mean and that’s definitely it.” 

“Well I can only offer you luck, any fool brave enough to go after the treasure gets killed by the monster residing there.” 

“So I assume that means you don’t want to take me anymore?”

“Oh I’ll still take you, but I’m not risking my life. You’ll have to go into the ruins on your own.” 

Audrey smirked. “Why would I risk the life of such a beautiful girl anyway?” Yuu giggled and grabbed the rope ladder from her boat, climbing up and signaling for Audrey to follow. Audrey jumped onto the boat in one swift leap. Yuu whistled.

“Hmm, maybe you won’t be a total goner.” she mused as she headed towards the steering wheel. Audrey went to the bow of the boat and looked out at the water. It was darker than when she landed, she was running on very little sleep, hadn’t eaten all day, and hadn’t actually gotten anything done to save the world. She dragged her hands down her face and slapped her own cheeks, this wasn’t the time to be a downer, Redheart. This was your moment. She nodded to herself. 

“It’s a very short drive away, keep your eyes peeled.” she heard Yuu shout to her over the boat's engine. Audrey nodded, she kept watch on the bow while Yuu drove. Seemed this part of the sea was calm, despite there being a monster nearby.

Yuu slowed the boat down as they approached an island, it looked unassuming but she had a dire look on her face. Audrey gripped her sword's hilt and looked around. Yuu cut the engine and let the boat gently drift closer to shore before lowering the anchor. She exited the cockpit and walked up to Audrey. 

“This is it, if you don’t return in an hour I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you.” Yuu said to her. Audrey nodded.

“Heh, it won’t take that long, trust me.” she said with a smug look. She grabbed her sword and pulled it out from behind her. It glistened even in the night sky. Yuu looked at it in awe. “See you soon.”  Audrey winked before leaping off of Yuu’s boat and running inland. As she ran, she heard the familiar woosh of Eyala appearing. 

“Lucky that you got a ride so quickly.” Eyala said with a smile, floating alongside Audrey.

“You’re not jealous are you?” Audrey smirked and playfully nudged Eyala, or she tried to but went right through her. Eyala laughed.

“I could be, if you’d like.” Audrey rolled her eyes. “So, do you think that fortune teller was right?” 

“About there being a big monster here? Doubtful, but I might actually find treasure, like Yuu said.” 

“It’d be fitting for the hero!”

“Yeah, well. Let’s just hope it comes easy.” she said, running towards the ruins. The two  came upon an entrance with a beautifully carved statue and what looked like a mechanism for the door. Audrey looked at it strangely. “You know anything about this?” she asked Eyala. Eyala shook her head. Audrey looked pensively, she went around the entrance, looking at the side of the structure.

“There!” Eyala pointed to a crack in the side of the wall of the abandoned temple, it looked big enough for Audrey, though it was high up. Audrey stepped back, she ran forward and scaled the wall before leaping up and grabbing the crack’s edge. She lifted herself up and jumped into the abandoned temple. The drop was more than she expected, she rolled on the ground as she fell. She could hear clapping from beside her.

“Audrey, that was so cool!” Eyala twirled. Audrey grinned and winked. Moonlight entered through the decaying opening. It was a room with three identical doorways and what looked like stairs leading up to a platform. On the other side of the room was another platform. She looked at Eyala curiously. 

“Maybe we should investigate.” Eyala said. Audrey nodded. She went into the first opening and saw platforms with a mechanism in the middle, across the room she spotted a… treasure chest!

“Woah, seriously?!” she ran towards it, ignoring the mechanism and kicking it open. Inside it were gold coins of various sizes, it looked about halfway empty. They glistened in the moonlight and her eyes sparkled. “These must be real gold, they’re not oxidized, or tarnished, or anything. Do you even realize how much these are worth, Eyala?” she grabbed a handful of them. Eyala tilted her head and smiled. Audrey looked at all the coins and her pockets, “How am I supposed to carry all of these?” 

“Just put them in your pocket.” Eyala said.

“They’re not all going to fit in there, Eyala.” 

“Just do it!” Audrey rolled her eyes and started putting coins in her pocket, she didn’t feel her pocket getting any heavier and then stared at her pocket. She stopped putting coins in, and reached inside. A coin. 

“Huh?” She looked at Eyala.

“You have unlimited space in your pockets with the sword.” Eyala smiled.

“...How does that make sense?” Audrey questioned. Eyala opened her mouth but then closed it. She looked pensive, then shrugged.

“Works for me.” Audrey smirked and continued shoveling coins into her pocket. She looked at the mechanism in the room and shrugged. Exiting the doorway she looked at the two other doorways in the room. “C’mon, maybe there’s treasure in these too.” She entered the second one but it just looked like an empty room. There sure were a lot of these stone slabs, she studied them a moment before shrugging and exiting the room. She entered the last room, with Eyala following closely behind. As she walked forward, Eyala gasped.

“Audrey!” she warned. Audrey looked down and caught herself from falling into the water. 

“That would have been embarrassing.” Audrey laughed. Eyala smiled while Audrey looked around. “Doesn’t seem like we can do anything in these rooms.” she exited the opening and once again looked at the platforms positioned on opposite sides of the room. She squinted and walked towards the stairs on one end. There was a mermaid statue with a trident at the top. She looked at it for a brief moment. Eyala floated higher into the room, observing Audrey. Audrey put her foot back and leapt forward, dashing across the gap from one platform to the other. Eyala clapped. Audrey smirked and nodded her head to signal Eyala to follow. 

“Wait. Do you hear that?” she whispered. She could hear shuffling, the sound of something hard hitting the stone floor. Audrey ran forward without thinking, leaping over a slab on the ground, she entered what looked like an arena. In the middle stood a giant crab monster, meandering around. Audrey gripped her sword and ran towards it.

“Go no further, this temple is mine!” it yelled out, then reached a claw towards Audrey. She rolled away from the attack and ran behind the monster, striking its legs with her sword. “OW!” it cried out and pinched Audrey’s side with it’s huge pincers. She hissed in pain and hit it’s claw away with her sword. 

“Don’t you know sharing is caring?” she asked with a smug tone, sliding under the crab and slicing it’s carapace. The crab yowled in pain and snatched up Audrey, gripping her in it’s claw. She winced in pain. 

“The only thing I’ll share with you is the taste of death, Human.” it laughed and squeezed Audrey. She grit her teeth and swung her legs around fruitlessly. She looked at the sword that had fallen on the ground and reached for it. 

“Audrey!” Eyala cried out. She held her hand over the sword, it levitated with her movements, then threw it to Audrey. Audrey squeezed one arm out from the claw, the pincers teeth tore cuts into her arm, she caught the sword and held it up, gathering electricity. She quickly hit the monster with it. It yowled in pain, opening it’s claw, allowing Audrey a chance to escape. She landed roughly on the ground then stood up with a wobble. Lifting the sword once more, it gathered electricity. She leapt in the air, “Taste this!” she yelled out, slicing through its thick carapace with a lightning charged attack. The monster froze in place, it’s large body shook the ground as it fell. Audrey fell over with the shockwave. She sat on the ground and breathed a sigh of relief.

“That was incredible!” Eyala said, her hair glowing even brighter. Audrey sighed. 

“Yeah. Thanks.” she said, holding her arm. Her shirt sleeve was completely tattered, and her arm covered in blood.

“Are you ok, Audrey?” Eyala asked. Audrey took a deep breath and sat up straight. 

“Yeah this is nothing, not for me.” Audrey said with a smug grin. From behind them, Audrey heard stone sliding against stone and watched as an opening revealed a treasure chest in a back room connected to the arena. Audrey rolled her eyes. “Another chest huh? It better be worth it.” she mumbled and dragged herself to it. As it opened she saw the glisten of coins, pearls, and jewels. She blinked. “Holy harmony, Eyala, come look at this.” she waved her over.

“What will you do with it all?” she asked.

“I dunno. I guess we’ll figure it out as we go along.” Audrey shrugged as she filled her pockets. “Let’s go.” Eyala followed Audrey as she returned to the spacious room she came in from. Audrey leapt up onto the same crack in the temple that she had come in from, but the scratches on her arm bled harder with the exertion. Through her pain she lost her footing and landed on the ground directly on top of her arm. “Oof.” 

“Oh no, are you ok, Audrey?” Eyala asked.

“I’m Fine. Let’s just go back.” she responded. Eyala watched Audrey as she hobbled off, then faded away.

Back on the boat, Yuu was looking towards the island curiously. She squinted as she saw Audrey in the distance.

“Your arm!” she cried out. 

“Yeah, I’m actually pretty sure it might be dislocated.” Audrey said with a laugh. 

“Oh dear, I’m glad you got away safely at least.” Yuu said with a consoling voice. Audrey chuckled smugly, she leapt onto Yuu’s boat. 

“I got away with more than just safety.” she winked at Yuu and grabbed a few coins and jewels from her pocket. She took Yuu’s hand, placing the pocketful of valuables on her palm with a wink.

“Oh wow, you don’t have to-“ Yuu started to say. 

“Just consider this favor even.” Audrey smirked as she returned to the stern of the boat, waiting for Yuu to start it up. Yuu went to the cockpit and stared at Audrey from it as she started up her vessel, she looked at Audrey’s mangled arm then sighed and turned the boat off, exiting the cockpit. Audrey looked at her curiously. 

“What’s-” she began to ask before Yuu grabbed her good arm and dragged her to the stairs leading below deck.

“I can’t just leave you like this.” she said, sitting Audrey down on her bed. Audrey looked around absent mindedly at the decor, it was quaint. Yuu had pictures of all her previous questmates all around. She came back a moment later with a medical kit. 

“I actually did a lot of support on other adventures, I got pretty good at mending injuries.” She opened up the kit and got a roll of bandages out.

“I guess I’ll owe you another favor.” Audrey said with a laugh.

“I can think of a few ways you can pay me back for it.” Yuu said with a sly smile. This seemed to go over Audrey’s head but she smiled back anyway. 

“Ok this is going to hurt.” Yuu warned before she gripped Audrey’s bad arm and popped her shoulder back in its socket. Audrey gripped the bed and clenched her eyes shut until the pain subsided then looked down at the floor. “A-are you al-” Yuu began to ask.

“I’m fine.” Audrey reassured. Yuu nodded. She rolled Audrey’s tattered shirt sleeve up and sprayed disinfectant on her cuts. Audrey tensed up. Yuu cleaned away her cuts, it still looked pretty bad but it looked much better now that the blood was gone. She rolled the bandages over Audrey’s arm and hooked them closed. 

“Do you have injuries anywhere else?” Yuu asked her.

“Nah, it was a pretty easy fight.” Audrey grinned. “You know what you’re doing, huh?” she looked at her bandaged arm.

“I’ve just done it a lot. It’s nothing like slaying a monster single handedly.” Yuu giggled. Audrey blushed before smirking. “I’ll start up the boat, you can stay below deck if you’d like.” Audrey watched as Yuu went above deck and a few moments later the boat started. Audrey sat on the bed and looked around. As she turned her head she heard the familiar sound of Eyala appearing… directly in front of her face.

“Hi Audrey!” she smiled. Audrey snapped her head back a bit in surprise. “Your arm’s all better!” she clapped.

“Yeah, barely hurts now.” she absent-mindedly lied, then got up from Yuu’s bed and walked over to a mirror that looked bolted down to the side of the boat. She looked at herself, fixing up her hair a bit.

“That girl seems nice.” Eyala mused. Audrey looked in the mirror at Eyala floating behind her. 

“Have you, like, been watching the entire time?” Audrey asked very unsubtly.

“Maaaaybe.” 

“Holy chords, Mind your business Eyala.” Her face flushed and Eyala giggled before she faded away again. Audrey sat back down on Yuu’s bed and relaxed, a life full of adventure seemed nice. She definitely had a knack for it, maybe when this was all over she could continue this? She daydreamed about what it would be like to be an adventurer for real, until Yuu returned below deck.

“We’re here.” she said. Audrey perked up and climbed out above deck. It was getting pretty late, there were less people walking out on the island roads now. She looked back at Yuu. 

“Any good places to eat around here?” she asked.

“This late the only place open would be the pub at the end of the road.” 

“Works for me,” Audrey began to say, she looked back at Yuu, “Wanna join me?” she asked her. Yuu smiled.

“Well I guess a few drinks couldn’t hurt.” she giggled. She was about to lower the ladder so she could jump off her boat but Audrey held up her hand to stop her.

“I’ll catch you.” she smirked. Yuu gave her a cheeky grin and jumped off the boat, Audrey stretched her arms out and gently caught Yuu by her sides, then placed her gently on her feet.

“Ooh la la, bestill my heart.” Yuu giggled before walking towards the pub. As they make it inside they hear the chatter of pirates coming from every direction, eating, drinking, singing sea shanties and more. Audrey nudges Yuu, and gives her a wink. She rushed ahead and leapt up onto a table.

“Hey you salty ass Pirates, I hope you have your freakin stomachs in order cause every drink tonights on me!” she says with a smug grin. The pirates all whoop, holler and cheer as drinks get passed around the house.


Audrey blinks as she wakes up in an unfamiliar place. She rubs her eyes and recognizes Yuu’s boat interior. She looked down at the bed she was currently lying in, it smelled like...lavender. She had her tank top on. She hissed as she sat up, her arm shot with pain. She looked down at the bandages wrapped around her arm.

She hears a familiar entrance from her rainbow haired companion to her right. 

“Audrey!” Eyala says. Audrey flinches at the sudden loud noise. 

“Oh. Hey.” her head was throbbing.

“You were asleep for a while.” Eyala laughs.

“I barely remember last night, but I’m pretty sure I passed out.” Audrey looks around and spots her top. “Uh...did I do something..?” 

“That nice girl brought you back here to fix you up. You exacerbated your wounds!”

“Ah.” Audrey said, feeling the consequences of that. “Guess I’ll go back into town and live it up a little more. I should check if I have any money left. I probably spent a fortune, but I’d say letting pirates live it up is a good cause, am I right?” 

“I’m just glad you’re having fun.” Eyala smiled at Audrey. Audrey smiled before she looked awkwardly at Eyala. 

“A little privacy?” she raised an eyebrow.

“Oh!” Eyala covered her face with her hands, Audrey squinted curiously. What exactly was she covering? She shrugged and got up from the bed with a wobble. Holding her head and gritting her teeth, she put her top back on over her tank top. She checked her pockets and still felt a lot of coins inside, though much less than before. She walked the ladder and reached above deck, the sunlight hit her eyes and made her head throb even harder. She winced and held onto the ladder for a moment while the pain subsided, then reached above deck. She looked around for a moment before jumping off the boat. She landed on her feet but immediately crouched down to hold her head again, she needed some water or something. She headed back towards the town, somewhere had to have fresh water. As she approached town she heard whispers, with the words “hero”, “amazing”, and “hopeful” being slung around. She flipped her hair as she walked into the pub, pushing open the door with a grin.

“Your Hero is here!” she said, grinning. The pirates looked at her with excitement and all chattered amongst themselves.

“The bard came back?!”

“They convinced the mermaids to come back after all?”

“Where are the mermaids?!” she heard coming from many different pirates at once. She stepped back and held her head, all the voices were not helping her hangover. She groaned in frustration.

“QUIET.” she yelled out. The pirates stopped talking and stared at her. “What the fuck are you all talking about!?” The pirates looked amongst each other before looking back at her. She felt a gentle tap on the shoulder and turned to look at it’s source. Yuu waved from beside her. 

“Are you not talking about that adorable little bard?” Yuu asked her. Audrey looked at her strangely.

“What? Who?” 

“The bard who went to go find the mermaids.” she smiled. The pirates in the pub nodded.

 “Mermaids?” Audrey questioned. She heard a smug laugh come from the back of the pub and noticed the fortune teller with a big mug of coffee.

“They went to find the mermaids so they could teach them the overseer song.” she grinned and took a sip of coffee. Audrey’s eyes widened. 

“What!? You’re saying some dumb little bard went to go find the overseer!?”

“Yeah I thought that’s what I said.” Calliope laughed loudly. Audrey held her head in an effort to stop the throbbing then groaned again in frustration.

“Is something wrong, Audrey?” Yuu asked.

“The overseer is evil! That ‘little bard’ might be dead !” Audrey cried out. The pirates in the pub gasped and chattered amongst themselves. 

“Someone’s gotta find Captain Lucas! He and his crew were the last ones with that bard!” a pirate yelled out. The entire pub was suddenly in a frenzy. 

“Yarr, what’s goin’ on here?” came a voice from the door, it was the same captain that Audrey had seen in Delphi! 

“YOU.” she pointed at him.

“Yarr, lass! Ya landed here fine, great to see ya again!” Captain Lucas said with a smile. The other pirates in the pub started speaking to the captain all at once.

“BE. QUIET.” Audrey yelled out again. The pirates stopped chatting and looked between Audrey and the captain. Audrey reached up and gripped Lucas’ shirt collar.

“Take me to wherever you took that bard, now.” The captain held his hands up defensively.

“What do ya need to go there for?” he asked. Audreys head throbbed, she practically screamed in frustration.

“If you don’t bring me to the nexus point, your bard friend will most likely die. So take me!” she tightened her grip on his collar. The captain gasped and nodded sternly.

“Come lass, ain’t no time to waste.” he said, rushing back out of the pub and to his boat. Audrey followed, her scarf bellowing in the wind behind her. As he rushed to the boat, he made signals to other pirates, seemingly other ones on his crew, to follow him. They rushed with him to the boat. Audrey held her head once more but ignored the pain, leaping onto the bow of the boat. The other pirates climbed aboard, then Captain Lucas immediately set off for Lost waterfall island. 

“Can someone tell me what the rush is!?” a woman said. 

“Yeah, we were in the middle of our shift, Not that I mind.” said a man with a scary face.

“And who the heck is this?” asked a little girl. Audrey frowned. 

“You and your crew just endangered the life of an innocent civilian!” she shouted. They looked amongst each other.  

“What do you mean?” the woman asked.

“I mean how you let that bard go to the nexus point. The overseer is evil, they’ll probably get murdered!” Audrey glared at the crew. They gasped and looked at each other with concern.

“We wouldn’ta done that if we’d known! They seemed so sure…” the little girl said. Audrey turned her nose up.

“Well lucky I’m here to go save them.” she said, watching the boat sail quickly towards the island. As the pirates arrived back at the Lost Waterfall, Audrey leapt off the boat onto the sand. The pirates looked at her with surprise. 

“Wait-!” she heard the captain say as she rushed off into the island proper. She reached the waterfall and looked at it. It suddenly clicked that she needed that overseer song that Eyala had mentioned and she had completely forgotten about. She was about to call Eyala’s name when she heard labored breathing from behind her.

“Wait...Lass… I’m comin’ with ya!” the Captain ran up to the waterfall. Audrey shook her head.

“Sorry, I can’t let random people into the spirit world.” She nodded matter of factly.

“Oh...Is there any way I can help? That bard means a lot to my crew, I’d hate to think I put ‘em in danger.” Audrey rolled her eyes.

“Not unless you happen to know the overseer song they used to get in.” 

“Oh, yes! I heard the mermaids sing it to them.” Audrey turned to look at the Captain with surprise. 

“Sing it.” she demanded. Captain Lucas began singing the song that the mermaids had taught the bard, though it came out sounding like a sea shanty from the Captain. Audrey walked up close to him, waiting for him to finish the song. As he sang the final notes he felt a swift kick to his side, pushing him away from the entrance to the nexus point. He watched as Audrey disappeared. Some of the other Arabica Pirates joined him at the waterfall a moment later.

“What happened?? Where’d that girl go?” Penny asked.

“Is the bard okay?” Nina asked.

“I don’t know.” Captain Lucas responded.

Back in the spirit world, Audrey landed on an island platform. All around her was deep water, the other island platforms were spaced out far from each other. She could see creatures swimming in the water. She heard Eyala appear next to her but she did not pay attention as she looked for the overseer castle. 

“Audrey.” she said. Audrey snapped to look at Eyala.

“Tell me how to cross this.” she demanded.

“I can’t, you have to cross it on your own.” 

“I don’t have time! What if that person is getting killed right now!? Who even told them about the overseer songs?! Ugh when I get my hands on them, I’ll kill them myself!” she held her still aching head and rushed forward. Eyala clasped her hands together, she squeezed them and turned away from Audrey as she faded away. Audrey landed from platform to platform, she slipped and fell on her back, her sword sliding away from her and almost landing in the water. She gasped and crawled forward, gripping it and then struggling to stand up. She still felt horrible but she had no choice but to protect the random idiot who decided to mess with evil things they didn’t comprehend. She rushed forward towards a cliff and finally saw the castle spires down below, surrounded by waterfalls on each side. She didn’t take too long admiring the view before she leapt towards the castle. She landed on top of one of the spires and looked below. Spotting a window, she leapt down and onto it’s ledge. She looked into the structure and saw stairs leading up to a platform with a pool of water at the bottom. She could see someone going up the stairs. What were they doing? 

As they reached the top of the stairs they started to sing. Audrey looked on curiously then felt the entire structure rumble, from the pool of water down below she could see a huge being emerge, shrouded in darkness, it’s eyes glowed ominously. She gasped and checked her footing. Dashing forward, she leapt off the window ledge and charged her sword with lightning. She swung it down as she landed, dealing a quick and fatal blow to the monstrous being. The beast's crown fell onto the platform, the sound reverberating all around the spire.

“D...Did you just kill... the overseer?” she heard them ask. “Who are you?” They were probably speechless and thankful that she came to save their life. 

“The name,” she paused for dramatic effect, “ is Audrey Redheart!” she smirked and turned around to face them. “And I’m The Hero!” she held her sword up dramatically.

The Hero?” she heard them say. 

“That's right, the Hero! Chosen by Eya!” she put her sword down. “On a quest to defeat the seven overseers and rid the world of evil!!” She put her hand on her hip and looked at the bard expectantly.

“Wait, I don’t think you understand!” they said. “ I’m on a quest to meet the overseers...To learn the Earthsong!” Audrey’s smile fell, she looked at them curiously. “Eya already picked me!” Audrey was about to say something before Eyala suddenly appeared.

“No...you definitely don’t understand little bard…” Eyala said, hands clasped together. Audrey looked at her then back at the bard.

“Whhhhhh...” the bard sounded confused. “WHAT is going on??” they asked.

“Um, well…Basically...” Eyala began. Audrey looked up at her. “The Earthsong isn’t gonna work…” 

“It won’t??” they asked.

“No. In every cycle of the universe, every single time, It’s never worked. The world is too filled with discord...especially when it gets this old.” Audrey nods and smirks.

“And that’s where I come in! To destroy each overseer...And free the world of their corruption!” she said.

“And that...is gonna save the world?” they asked her and Eyala.

“No…the Overseers hold your whole world together. But when they get old and messed up like this...There’s no way to fix them.” The bard had a look of horror on their face. Audrey  continued looking curiously at Eyala. “The moment the last one dies, that’s how the world ends. So the next cycle can start” The bard looked dejected. Audrey looked between them and Eyala. “Sorryyyyy….I know it sounds sad but, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.” she paused. “I didn’t really think you’d make it this far.” Did she know about this?

“So I was supposed to give up? And just let the world end? Why’d you even tell me about the Earthsong in the first place?” they asked her. Audrey’s eyes widened, she felt her head throbbing.

“...Because, I really like you! And I didn’t want to tell you no.” she shrugged. “I still don’t!” she paused. “But I have to be realistic. I’m an angel of Eya and a guide to the hero. My job is to usher in the end, and pave the way for a new beginning.” Audrey had barely heard anything Eyala just said, she looked at the bard. She squeezed her sword's hilt.

“SHEESH, quit being such a baby! This is just the way it works!” she egged them on. “You really thought you could sing some song and solve everything? How about you leave it to the real heroes?” she felt her anger bubbling up as she smiled maliciously at the bard. They turned towards her with their own anger.

“How about YOU… Leave the... shutting up...to YOU!” they cried out. She held her sword up and charged it with lightning. 

“Oh no wait.” she heard Eyala say, before the bard ran towards her. “Don’t-!” Eyala pleaded, but it was too late. Audrey brought the sword down, shocking the bard with electricity, the force of the blast pushed the bard and the late overseer's crown over the edge of the platform. She wasn’t sure if they were going to survive the fall, but they knowingly got themself into this mess in the first place. Eyala floated over the edge and watched as they fell, she turned back to Audrey.

“Audrey! You didn’t have to…” she began to say. Audrey looked at her, her expression was distant. She said nothing as she leapt back out of the window she came from. 

Audrey exited the spirit world and walked back to the beach of Lost Waterfall. Eyala was not following her this time. She saw the pirate ship was still docked, the Captain was pacing back and forth in front of the boat, talking to a shorter man with a peg leg and an eyepatch. They noticed Audrey and ran up to her. 

“Yer back!” the captain said to her. “Yar, I’m still reelin’ from that blow ya gave to me earlier.” he said with a frown, rubbing his side.

“Where’s the bard?” the shorter man asked. She looked between the two, her face devoid of emotion.

“They’re fine.” she said with a deadpan expression. 

“Did they not come back with you?” the shorter man asked. She shrugged.

“They stayed in the spirit world. You should all just go on ahead.” she turned her back to them. The two looked at each other with concern.

“What of you, lass?” the Captain asked.

“I’ll be fine. Just go on.” Audrey said, her back still turned to them. They looked at her then nodded at each other.

“Good luck on your travels,  ma'am. If ya see the bard again, please tell them that we’re rootin’ for ‘em.” the Captain said, bowing his hat. She said nothing as her scarf flowed in the wind behind her. The Captain and the shorter man boarded their vessel, watching Audrey one more time before they set off.

She watched them, making sure the crew was not looking as she dashed forward and leapt onto the stern of the boat, kicking up sand as she jumped. She didn’t want to hear any more questions, but she didn’t think there was any other way out of that island either. She briefly thought about how that bard would get back, but she had also hit them hard enough that she wondered if it even mattered. They should have known better. She hid behind a few boxes and barrels as she heard the crew talking amongst themselves.

“I don’t think we should have left,” said the woman.

“What should we have done? We have to believe in them.” said the Captain.

“That girl was suspicious, I wouldn’t doubt she did something to them! We should go back and check on them…” 

“Yar, she did deliver a swift kick to my side, but her sword was definitely the real deal.” 

“You think so?” 

“I’d know a relic from Eya anywhere. We have to trust that the lil bard is in good hands.”

“They do have their witchy friend, that girl is probably going to leave with them!” the young child came up and excitedly said. The woman nodded.

“Well I don’t see why she wouldn’t have waited with them in the spirit world.” she said.

“Maybe there’re rules to this stuff??” the young girl asked.

“Yar, that’s enough crew, let’s get back to work and take our minds off it.” the Captain said. The woman and the girl nodded as they broke off to return to their own tasks.  Audrey hid further in the shadow of the boxes and barrels. She didn’t know how long she’d be on this boat for, but she was willing to wait. She thought about the bard again, who were they? Why did Eyala speak like she had been guiding them the whole time too?

She thought back to every time Eyala would disappear. If she had spent that time talking to that bard, then it would explain why that dopey bard thought they were the hero. She brought her knees up to her chest and held them in place as the boat drifted through the sea. 

It felt like an eternity passed, she kept trying to think of anything else, but that bard kept wandering into her mind. Who did they think they were, taking up so much of her headspace like this!? She grew frustrated but couldn’t even direct it at anything, being in the middle of the ocean and all. As she waited for the boat to go anywhere she could recognize the island of Tatango Town in the distance. She glared at it and rolled her eyes. It was going to be another long ride… at least there were no annoying wannabe heroes on this trip.

Chapter Text

The bard struggled to stay up straight as they and Miriam exited the spirit world. She held their arm over her shoulder and helped them walk.

“Come on, are you going to be like this the entire time?” the witch asked. The bard did not have it within them to respond. They loosely hung onto her and trudged back towards the sea. Miriam took in the silence brought upon by the Bard’s sadness, not knowing how to feel. As they approached the beach, Miriam looked around. She squinted.

“Your friends ditched us. That’s great.” she said with a scowl. The bard stared at her.

“What should we do?” they asked.

“Uhm, Ok, well, I have my broom. Are you okay to fly?” They nodded. She carefully lifted her arm off of the bard then summoned her broom and jumped on it, it floated in place. She looked at them expectantly. The bard held their side and reached one leg over the broom, sliding onto it rather ungraciously. Miriam took off. The bard swayed with the movements of the broom, looking down towards the earth with a glazed over look. Miriam gripped the broom handle as she flew. “...Do you want to head to the next nexus point?” she asked them, though her voice was low. It was almost like she felt guilty for asking. The bard looked distant. They shrugged. Miriam sighed and continued flying aimlessly. “Does it hurt?” she asked them. They nodded. She paused. “Do you want to go home?” she asked. 

They looked down. Miriam waited for an answer, though when she got none she grew frustrated. She turned the broom slightly so she could head to the next nexus point. The bard feeling hurt didn’t mean the world was going to pause on ending. They noticed her direction change but said nothing. Miriam probably knew what she was doing much better than they did. 

The tension hung silently in the air as the broom soared through the clouds. The bard couldn’t stop thinking about that girl, who was she? Why did Eya’s messenger lie to them? Does that mean she was lying to that “Hero” too? That “Hero”... they furrowed their brow. She heard that she was going to end the world and her first thought was cruelty. The Bard held their side, it stung. 

They felt a chill and held themselves as Miriam continued to fly east. There was a dark smog in the air up ahead. Miriam started to lower the altitude of the broom. 

“I don’t think we should fly through that.” she said. The bard nodded. “Let’s stop here.” As they descended towards the city, the Bard’s eyes widened with familiarity. “We’re in-” 

“Chismest.” the Bard interrupted. Miriam looked back at them curiously. She nodded and brought the broom to a stop. The Bard hopped off of it and looked towards the giant factory covering the air with fumes. They felt a bittersweet comfort in seeing it again. 

“Well let’s go find a place to stay while we get the overseer song then.” Miriam began to walk towards the city. The Bard looked around awkwardly, they trudged forward with her.

“Actually...I know where we can stay.” they mumbled. As they led Miriam through the streets, she began to get the feeling the Bard knew more about this place than they let on.

Flowers adorned the windows of a house in the residential area of Chismest, the Bard walked with specific familiarity towards it. Miriam said nothing as she followed closely behind. The Bard took a deep breath as they stood in front of the door. They knocked.

“One moment!” A voice called out from inside. The door was opened by a small elderly looking woman with a cheerful smile. The bard smiled awkwardly.

“Hi mom.”

Chapter Text

“Arright, Francis, reel the sails back. Penny, take over the wheel. Nina, you can come down soon as we dock! I’ll go down below and check on Lou.” 

Audrey sat up and looked in between boxes to watch the Captain giving orders to his crew as the boat approached a land mass. 

“Are we leaving this cargo up here or taking it under?” Penny asked. 

“Francis n’ I’ll move' em once we dock.” the Captain nodded. Francis sighed and rolled his eyes. Audrey sucked her teeth at the inconvenience. She looked to see the coast was clear and crawled off the side of the boat, clinging to the hull, it was harder than it looked. She strained to keep her grip long enough until they had reached a point where she could dash onto the docks. Luckily the pirates were too busy to notice her sneaking off their ship. She looked around, seeing the lights of the town up ahead...actually it looked familiar. This was the one she skipped before… Delphi, was it?

The atmosphere was completely different, everyone looked elated and carefree. Even at this late hour she could see customers lined up at a club nearby, citizens chatting in the town center, and music playing from different venues. She spotted the hotel she’d seen last time she was here and walked in, going up to the receptionist.

“Hey, can I get a room?” she asked, reaching into her pocket. The receptionist sighed.

“Okay.” She held her hand out for payment, Audrey handed her some gold coins. The receptionist stared at them oddly.

“Are these real gold?” she questioned.

“As real as real can get, but you’re free to inspect them.” Audrey leaned on the counter with a smirk.The receptionist squinted, looking the gold coins over once more before she cautiously handed Audrey a room key. Audrey took the key and winked before taking her leave. 

She walked upstairs and found the correct room, inserting the key with a satisfying click.  She looked around at the room and spotted the bed, then immediately jumped onto it. 

“Ugh…” she said aloud, she was aching from laying in the same spot for hours, she also realized she was incredibly dehydrated. She looked up at the ceiling, there was accordion playing nearby blending into the background of her thoughts.

She heard the familiar woosh of Eyala at her side, but didn’t bother to look.

“Heeeey….” she heard her say. “Are you mad at me, bestie?” Eyala clasped her hands together. Audrey laid still and furrowed her brow. Eyala floated next to the bed, waiting. After it seemed like Audrey wasn’t going to talk, she continued speaking. “It’s a good thing the pirates came back here...” she paused. “The nexus point is still in that cave, maybe someone knows the Overseer song?” she looked towards the window, then back at Audrey. Eyala moved a little closer to her. “Audrey…” 

“Who the hell was that?” Audrey finally broke her silence. Throwing a glare in Eyala’s direction and facing her.

“What?” 

“That Bard , the Earthsong ,” she held up her fingers in air quotes, “Am I not the Hero? The one who was chosen by Eya?” she paused, looking away from Eyala. “Or am I just some runner up?” Eyala squeezed her hands together.

“What? No! Don’t worry about that lil bard! The Earthsong is totally made up...And it’ll never ever work. You’re the real Hero!” Eyala pleaded. Audrey looked up at her.

“You mean it?” she asked. Eyala nodded. 

“You have the sword, and you have me, remember?” Audrey looked away. She threw herself back down on the bed, her scarf spilling over the side.

“Ok.” Audrey moved to the side a bit, then crossed her legs. She patted the spot next to her. Eyala smiled and floated over, she couldn’t actually lean on the bed but she floated just above it. The two lay silently together, music ambiently filled the room. “I don’t think I’ve heard anyone actually play an accordion seriously in years.” Audrey remarked with a snort. She thought about how she practiced playing the flute back in grade school. She had actually gotten pretty good at it, but not as good as her peers. It had made her so angry she simply stopped trying. 

“What do you think of it?” Eyala asked.

“Of what?” 

“The music.” Audrey paused before she answered.

“It’s loud.” The two sat a while longer until Audrey’s stomach growled. Eyala giggled. “Well I’m starving, let’s see what this weirdo town has to offer.” She jumped off the bed and rushed out of the room while Eyala faded away.

As she exited the inn she covered her eyes a bit, this town was way brighter than she realized. This meant she was way more easily spotted, as she looked around for a restaurant she could see the pirates whose boat she stowed away on heading towards her direction. She panicked and looked around for somewhere to duck into, then saw a club nearby. Her stomach growled again and she groaned. It wouldn’t be a restaurant but it would still be something. She rushed towards the club.

A woman who looked extremely overworked let Audrey in and she was immediately hit with the noise of dozens of customers and a two person band playing on stage. She went over to the bar area where a man was wiping down glasses.

“Evening. Can I get you anything?” the man asked with a smile. Audrey thought about her horrible hangover the other day and winced. 

“You do virgin cocktails here?” she asked the man. 

“Sure thing, what are you having?” he asked her in response.

“A cosmopolitan.” 

“A virgin cosmopolitan, just say my wife next time!” the man joked. Audrey raised an eyebrow and the man cleared his throat before he mixed her cocktail. She sat down and picked up a food menu as she waited for her drink and weighed her options. Her eyes skimmed over the words, not processing anything on the page. She kept thinking back to that bard. Where did they get off thinking they could be the hero when they weren’t chosen to be? They really thought they could just do whatever they wanted because they decided to and like there weren’t rules to this kind of thing? She rolled her eyes. Her drink was set down in front of her and she tipped the club owner. She fussed with the menu once more but soon grew frustrated and put it down.

As she sat in her own thoughts, a woman and man came up beside her and sat down. She looked at the woman, she looked familiar... Luckily she didn’t have to think too hard to remember as the woman noticed her first.

“Oh, wait a moment. I remember you .” the woman said. The moustached man next to her looked over and smiled.

“Oh, hey miss! I hope ya’ found what you were lookin’ for the other day.” Audrey squinted then remembered this was the violin player from that cafe, and the moustached man she ran into the first time she went into the town.

“Oh. No, I didn’t.” she said with a shrug.

“Ah, sorry to hear that. But ‘ey, it’s always nice to have tourists in town. Especially with how much everyone’s partyin’ it up right now!” the moustached man said with a big grin. Audrey sipped her drink and tried her best not to glare. She wasn’t really in the mood for small talk. 

“Yeah, it seems...Lively.” she responded.

“All thanks to our music. We brought this town the shine it needed.” the violin player said, gripping the man’s tie dramatically.

“Shame that our ace had to leave though. I do hope they’re okay.” the moustached man said with a slight pout. The violin player agreed. Audrey sipped her drink and silently let her conversation with the two diminish as they spoke between each other.

“How do you suppose Ash is doing?” the violin player asked the moustached man. 

“Not sure, they’re pretty quiet, huh?”

“Yes, they seem awfully shy. I wonder if this band is a good idea for them.” she pondered

“Well they did have the moxie to go up on stage and perform that uh,” he snapped his fingers together trying to remember, “that song of the overseer. ” he grinned at her. Audrey immediately perked up beside them. She silently finished her drink and kept a close ear on their conversation. 

“True, and what a lovely piece it was.” the violinist flipped her hair. 

“I hope their mother heard it in the great big beyond.” the moustached man said with teary eyes. Audrey had heard enough.

“Hey, did you say something about an ‘overseer song’?” she asked the two. The violinist rolled her eyes at the interruption. 

“That’s right.” the moustached man responded.

“And your pal, Ash, they know it?” she asked for clarification. The violinist and moustached man looked at each other curiously then back at Audrey. 

“Yeah.” the man said.

“Where can I find them?” she asked. 

“Why do you want to know?” the violinist asked with narrowed eyes. Audrey huffed.

“Because I need that song! It’s kind of an incredibly important world saving thing.” Audrey crossed her arms as she explained. The violinist scoffed. 

“They’re staying at the inn towards the middle a’ town. They play a mean accordion, you can’t miss it.” the moustached man said. Audrey nodded and rushed out of the club in a hurry. The violinist sighed.

“YOU’RE WELCOME.” she yelled out after her. But Audrey was already out of earshot. Audrey rushed back to the hotel and up the stairs, led by the sound of Ash’s accordion. She reached the top floor and listened carefully, picking the door that had the strongest sound of music, she knocked.

“...” There was no immediate answer but she could hear footsteps.The door swung open, and she immediately recognized the person behind it… the one she took the boat ticket from. Their face fell as they saw her.

“Oh.” they said.

“Nice to meet you too.” she raised an eyebrow.

“Sorry, I just thought you were...someone else.” they said timidly, then tilted their head. “Oh wait, weren’t you… I bumped into you when I got off the ferry, right?”

“Yep. Audrey Redheart.” She introduced herself. Ash smiled but then looked at her curiously.

“Ash, good to meet you. But what are you doing here ?” they asked.

“Long story. Listen, I met your friends, uh-” she had totally forgotten -and by forgotten she really means neglected- to ask for their names again. “The violinist and the...the moustache guy.” she said, putting her fingers on her face and tracing them along her upper lip in the shape of a moustache. Ash blinked.

“Viola and Manny?” they asked.

“Yeah! They told me you know the overseer song, and I need it.” Audrey leaned her elbow on their doorframe. Ash shrunk in on themself a bit and looked away from her. 

“Oh. Uhm, Ok. I can… I can teach it to you… if you want…” Ash said timidly. Audrey blinked and laughed. 

“No no, I was going to bring you with me to the nexus point and you play the song, while I go into the spirit world and kick some evil overseer ass.” Audrey posed dramatically.

“Nexus point?” they asked.

“Yeah, it’s just a waypoint between our world and the spirit world. It’s a whole thing. Look, I need that song to save the world.”

“Oh. Oh wow. Well...where is it?” they blinked.

“In the cave outside of town.” 

“Like...where all the danger and warning signs are?” Ash looked at her incredulously.

“...Yes..?” when they put it that way she sounded insane.

“Uh, no thanks. I can teach you the song but I don’t want to go into that cave.” they shook their head.

“What? C’mon, I’m a hero.” she took her sword out and showed them. They backed away. “I’ll protect you!” 

“...Uhm…” they looked around cautiously while backing away, “Oh wow, it’s getting late, I should really head to sleep.” Ash avoided eye contact with Audrey before they started to close the door.

“What! Wait. Come on! This is important, you’d be helping a hero !” Audrey yelled outside of their door and huffed as they closed it in her face. The hallway was completely silent as Audrey stood with her arms crossed. She heard Eyala appear beside her.

“Mayb-” Eyala began to say before Audrey put her hand up dismissively.

“Not a word.” She glared before she returned to her own hotel room. Eyala began to follow her but Audrey slammed the door in her face. She frowned but phased through it anyway. 

“It’s not so bad, they said they’ll teach you.” Eyala smiled. 

Teach me? I haven’t touched an instrument in years!” She rolled her eyes and took her scarf off. 

“Maybe you can sing?” Eyala giggled. Audrey glared at her. 

“I don’t sing.” Audrey took off her boots and her gloves, then laid her scarf neatly down beside her. She stared directly at Eyala as she turned off the light switch. Eyala glowed, her hair casting the room in a rainbow.

“Audrey-” she began to say, but was cut off.

“Goodnight.”


Audrey awoke the next morning with a groan. She stretched and felt an air bubble crack in her back. She jumped out of bed and towards the bathroom. She stared at herself in the mirror and held her face, glaring at the stubble beginning to form on her chin. After a bit of washing up, she fixed up her outfit and rushed out the door before any angels could bother her. As she headed towards the hotel exit she briefly glanced back and saw a head of pink hair descend from the stairs behind her. They glanced in Audrey’s direction then froze. Audrey locked eyes with them, furrowing her brow a bit. They gulped and looked around awkwardly. She approached them, noticing how much they kept shrinking back as she did.

“Ash, right?” she asked.

“Yes…” they nodded. Audrey relaxed her shoulders and flipped her hair, giving them a warm smile.

“Sorry about last night, I was totally hangry. Should not have freaked out on you.” she pouted. Ash stood up a bit.

“Oh, that’s alright. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.” They bowed a bit. Audrey chuckled and kept a gentle smile.

“Nah, I was asking too much. But hey, if you’re still offering to teach me that song, I play a mean flute.” she smirked.

“Really?” they perked up and smiled back at her.

“Yeah, I-” she was interrupted by the sound of her stomach growling, then glared down at it. Ash chuckled a little. She scratched the back of her head. “Wanna grab a bite to eat? My treat.” she winked. They gripped their shirt cuff timidly and nodded. The two exited the hotel, the town looked as cheery as last night. People were waving to each other, humming tunes, and even...frolicking. She rolled her eyes.

“So you’re not from here?” Ash asked, pulling her out of her thoughts.

“Nah I’m from a village south of here. There’s not much to say about it, what about you?” 

“Well I used to live here with my mom… but I moved out some time ago to pursue my career,” they sighed, “this place isn’t the same without her.” Audrey’s previously worn smirk died down a little. 

“Your mother’s gone?” Audrey asked.

“Yes, I came here for her funeral.” they confirmed. Audrey mentally slapped herself. She had to pick the person to steal from whose mother just died. 

“Sorry to hear that.” she said in a somewhat hushed tone. Ash looked at her and nodded. The two arrived at the Eagle cafe, and Audrey held the door open for them. As Audrey was about to step in, she heard something coming from bushes just outside the cafe.

“Pssst!” Audrey looked around curiously. “PSSST!” the voice was more insistent. Audrey looked around to make sure no one was watching, then peeked into the bushes. Eyala popped her head out and giggled, making Audrey jump back in surprise.

“What the hell are you doing in there!?” she whispered to Eyala.

“I can’t be seen, remember? What are you going to do? Learn the overseer song from this person?” she asked. Audrey snorted.

“Pfft, no. I’m just buttering them up, if they trust me then I can get them to just play the song for me, easy peasy.” she smirked. “Plus, they’re kinda cute." she smirked before realizing she was talking to an angel. Eyala stared at her.

“It’s nice to see you’re making friends, Audrey.”

“Right, anyways, I got this.” she waved her hand away dismissively. Eyala gave her a thumbs up before fading away. Audrey quickly went back to the door and entered the cafe.

She could see Ash at the counter, looking at all the different pastries. She caught up to them and looked at the display then turned to the employee behind the register.

“Hey buddy, what do you recommend, huh?” she leaned on the counter. The employee glanced at her and put down the glasses he had been cleaning.

“We make everything fresh daily, since today actually. Feel free to take your pick!” he said proudly.

“Wow, fresh huh? Just give me one of everything in the cabinet then.” The employee nodded excitedly while Ash blinked in surprise.

“Do we need that much food…?” they asked her.

“Leftovers!” she patted their back. The strength of her back patting shoved Ash forward a little, and they had to regain their balance as they awkwardly waited next to Audrey for the transaction to complete. Once she had several bags of various pastries in her hands she  marched over to a table and sat down. She leaned back in her chair and put her feet up. Ash glanced at her boots then looked back up at her.

“U-Uhm M’aam, please don’t put your feet on the table-” the cafe owner began to say before Audrey glanced back at him. She flipped a few gold coins his way then raised an eyebrow. “...Nevermind!” he excitedly said before going back to his business. 

“Wow, I’ve never actually met anyone who carries around real gold before.” Ash said in surprise as they sat politely across from Audrey.

“Yeah well, when you’re a hero, treasure just falls into your lap. Kind of like how you happened to be staying at the same inn I’m staying at.” she winked at them. They perked up and scratched their arm awkwardly. 

“There’s only one hotel in town.” they said, matter of factly. She lowered her eyebrows and gave them a bored expression. 

“So, overseer song, huh? How do you know it anyways?” she asked them, grabbing a muffin from one of the various bags of pastries and munching on it. It could be the lack of food for over 24 hours speaking but this was the best muffin she had ever tasted.

“Oh, my mother taught it to me...It’s a part of Delphi’s history. She always told me to never forget where I’m from.” They looked down at the table solemnly. Audrey shrugged.

“Well when you’re from a place as nice as this then that makes sense, at least.” she said earnestly. Ash blushed and smiled.

“Thank you.” she looked at them oddly, she didn’t mean it as a compliment per se, more like in comparison to her own home town. But hey, points for her. 

“Feel free to take some grub, I’ll order us some coffee, any preference?” she asked them.

“Just cream.” Ash smiled. Audrey nodded. She went back up to the register to get their coffees while she studied Ash from afar. They seemed pretty uninterested in her advances, maybe she just had to strike the right chord…

She returned with the two coffees and set Ash’s down for them.

“Thank you.” They looked curiously at Audrey’s coffee.

“I take my coffee black, obviously.” she smirked. She very quickly lipped her lips after taking a sip to ensure they did not see the whipped cream that was very clearly in the drink. They nodded and sipped their coffee absent mindedly. She squinted at them pensively and then perked up. “So, you like accordions, hm?” she asked them. They looked up at her and their eyes had a sparkle to them.

“Yes, they’re so unique. I know a lot of people think they can be too much, but that’s the only way I can really express myself comfortably.” 

“Really? Yeah I heard your accordion, back in the hotel. Nice sound.” She gave them a soft smile. They blushed and smiled back.

“Thanks. I’m just glad I didn’t get any noise complaints. Especially since I’m going to be practicing a lot in the next few days.” They started to eat a piece of cake that Audrey had gotten in the pastry ordeal.

“Yeah? Why?” Audrey asked, munching on a croissant.

“Well, you met my band mates. Viola, Manny-” 

“Wait what, those were your band mates? You guys are in a band ?” she asked incredulously. Ash shrunk on themself a bit and nodded. Audrey backtracked.

“Oh I mean, yeah, that’s so cool. I just… didn’t put it together.” she strained a smile.

“We’re going to practice later today, if you want to come? It might help to get a refresher on reading music notes and stuff.” Audrey could not think of anything she’d rather do less.

“Couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do more, but I...can’t! I should really...stock up on supplies, y’know?” she tilted her head and batted her eyelashes. They looked a bit disappointed but nodded in understanding and continued to eat while Audrey silently relented being stuck here for who knows how long until this loser decided to give her what she wanted.

“So, you play the flute?” they asked her. She perked up and took a big swig of her coffee.

“Yeah, I mean that’s how I learned music back home. I didn’t really get to continue ‘cause I wasn’t any good at it and my folks decided to put me in something more ‘worthwhile’.” she said this nonchalantly. Ash had a dumbfounded expression on.

“Did you like playing music?”

“Not really, I wasn’t good.” 

“Someone special reminded me that as long as you make music from the heart that it will mean something to someone.” they smiled and had a hand over their heart. Audrey did her best not to roll her eyes, and succeeded! 

“Wow.” she smirked. 

“Uhm, well as long as you can read music notes, I can at least show you the song.”

“Cool, though I don’t really have anything to play it on.” she mused. Ash looked pensively.

“I think I may be able to help. Let’s go back to the inn.” They looked excited. Audrey smirked, finally . She grabbed the rest of the leftover pastries and threw away the garbage. She walked with a smug pep in her step as Ash led the two back towards the inn. Audrey glanced around, checking to make sure Eyala wasn’t snooping around somewhere. The two approached the top floor where the accordion player was staying. Audrey cracked her knuckles and stretched her arms a bit, she was still feeling stiff from that boat ride. Ash led her inside and she could see their room was just as quaint as her own, though their suitcase was a mess. She glanced at it. Ash followed her line of sight and quickly rushed over to close their luggage.

“Sorry about the mess. I’ve just been looking for my return ticket. I was going to exchange it since I’m pretty sure I’m going to be staying longer than I thought, but for some reason I can’t seem to find it.”

“...”

“Well I’m sure it will turn up when I least expect it. Anyways, let me show you my instrument!” they said excitedly. Audrey smirked and let out a small chuckle.

“Your instrument , hm?” She chuckled immaturely but was interrupted by a small musical instrument being shoved in her face. She blinked. “Huh.” She took it from their hands, it looked like a small bulbous instrument with a bunch of holes randomly placed and somewhere to blow air into. “What is this??” she asked.

“It’s an ocarina. I used to play for a little while, mostly because I saw it in a game I really liked. But then I picked up the accordion from my mom, I kept this though. I figure since you said you know the flute, this is another wind instrument so...” they trailed off. Audrey’s expression changed, she looked at them strangely. They looked around the room and then looked at her awkwardly.

“...How much do you want for it?” she asked them. They tilted their head.

“Nothing?” 

“You’re just giving me this? Why?” 

“Uhm, well you said you need to see the overseer, and you need to play the song. But you can’t play the song without an instrument...unless you want to sing?” they trailed off a bit in thought. Audrey quickly brought their attention back with a stern clearing of the throat.

“No.” 

“...”

“Just let me give you something in return!” Audrey crossed her arms and tapped her foot.

“It’s not a big deal, I don’t use it anyways.”

“That’s bullshit, why would you carry around a dumb little instrument with you on a trip if it didn’t mean anything?” she raised an eyebrow. Ash looked away and tugged at their shirt cuffs.

“You’re observant.” They looked back at her with a smile. Audrey raised an eyebrow as she studied their expression. “It’s sort of a good luck charm. I think. But it’s fine, you need it more.” they elaborated.

“Well, tell ya what, I’ll just borrow it and give it back to you later.” she smirked. Ash smiled and nodded.

“Can I use your restroom?” she asked, already making her way towards it. Ash nodded and she ducked inside where she immediately let out an annoyed huff. She held the ocarina for a moment before she set it on the sink counter and dragged her hands down her face. She suddenly heard the woosh of Eyala next to her and jumped a bit.

“Hi Bestie!” Eyala exclaimed. Audrey flailed her hands around and looked towards the door, reaching her hands up towards Eyala’s mouth, though they went through her.

“Shh, they’re gonna think I’m nuts!”

“Did you shoot your shot yet?” Eyala asked with a giggle. Audrey squinted at her.

“You- I- What-” she sputtered indignantly.

“Audrey I may be an angel, but I’m not clueless.” she patted Audrey’s head to the best of her ability.

“Ugh. Well they don’t really seem interested. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to actually play this dinky little thing.” she glared at the ocarina sitting on the sinktop. 

“But you have some experience don’t you?”

“I’m not good .” she dragged her hands down her face again.

“Well just do your best Audrey, I know you can do it!” she clapped her hands together.

“Can’t you just sing the song for me again?”

“I would, but I don’t know it.” Eyala shrugged.

“Alright, fine.” she sighed deeply. She stayed staring at herself in the mirror for a moment while Eyala floated quietly behind her. “You think I have a shot with that violinist?” she asked.

“Maybe!” Eyala held her thumbs up.

“Nice.” 

“Good luck, bestie!” Eyala said before fading away. Audrey squinted at herself in the mirror. She stared at the ocarina and raised an eyebrow, putting her finger up to her chin and thinking... She picked up the instrument and exited the restroom. Ash sat on their bed, looking at the composition for the overseer song. Audrey sat down next to them, glancing at the papers. 

“You want to try playing a little?” Ash asked. Audrey glanced at them. She stared down at the instrument. 

“Maybe later.” she held the instrument and glanced curiously at the papers in Ash’s hand.

“These are songs my mom left behind. She composed some of these melodies herself. Some of them already existed, but only through tongue, and she wrote them down.” They smiled. 

“Can I see the overseer song?” she asked. Ash handed it to her.

This melody seemed a bit more robust than the first village’s overseer song, and it looked like it was specifically created for a wind ensemble. She looked at the name of the song “ Melody for the Queen of winds ”. She gave them back the music sheets.

“That invitation is still open to come to our practice soon, if you’d like to practice there? I’ll bring this song with me.” Ash had a sparkle in their eyes. Audrey sighed.

“Yeah alright.” she relented. Ash smiled and started to gather up their things.

“Cool, uhm, we’ll leave in a second then.” Ash said, then went to the bathroom, leaving Audrey alone in their room. She looked around then very slowly went to their luggage. She found one of the pockets.  Reaching into her own, she left a nice sum of gold and jewels in their bag and patted the pocket. Now Eyala wouldn’t be able to say anything about the ticket. She smirked then went back to her spot on their bed, sitting nonchalantly. A few moments later Ash returned and started to get their instrument together. The accordion bag practically overtook their entire frame. “Ok, let’s go.” 

The two made their way out of the hotel. She groaned internally, getting this one song was taking forever. If she could just get that sheet music she could play it, bring it back, she’d be done! She glared at Ash then stopped as they turned to her.

“I probably should have told Manny you’d be coming. He’s been making us coffee when we practice at his place… I hope he won’t mind.” 

“Uh, yeah…” she said. The two walked in awkward silence until Ash spoke up.

“We actually used to have a fourth member in our band, I mean it was only for a day. But they made the band, and like, brought us all together.” Ash said.

“Ya don’t say.” Audrey did her best to keep her tone civil.

“Mhm. When you first knocked on my door I thought maybe you were them and that you had come back. Because they did the same thing when they were putting the band together.” 

“Small world.” 

“I just hope they’re okay.” 

“I’m sure they’re fine.”

“...”

“...”

Audrey was beginning to lose it. They reached the building and were buzzed in by Manny. They went up the stairs and Ash knocked on the door. Audrey crossed her arms. 

“Hey heyyy, what’s up pal! Oh, hey!” Manny said as he opened the door, greeting Ash before noticing Audrey. 

“Hi Manny, I hope you don’t mind.” Ash said, gesturing to Audrey. She waved awkwardly.

“Not at all, the more the merrier, right?” Manny rushed the two inside where they immediately heard a scoff.

“Oh are we just letting anyone into the band now, we’re that desperate?” Viola asked, crossing her legs as she sat. Audrey glanced at her legs before looking back up. She scowled and said nothing. Viola continued on like normal.

“Did you see the news this morning?” Viola asked.

“Yeah, thunderstorms this week.” Manny said, before going to put the kettle on. 

“Hope it doesn’t rain at our park concert...” Ash began to say. Audrey stood still, the conversations faded out in her mind as her blood began to boil.

“Holy. Freakin. Harmony. Does anyone realize the imminent danger they are in?!” Audrey suddenly blurted out. The three bandmates blinked then looked at her with concern. “You’re worried about rain? The overseer, THE EVIL ONE, is right there. It’s so close!” Audrey said, slight yearning in her voice to complete her task.

“Audrey-” Ash began to say.

“YOU might be the worst one, dragging me along here. I don’t have time for this! The world might END and it will be my fault for wasting all this time!” Audrey cried out. The trio backed away from her and looked between each other. Ash crossed their arms and looked down solemnly. 

“You're acting delusional, and there’s no reason to yell.” Viola said to Audrey. 

“Seriously? I’m just trying to help you guys not die !” Audrey groaned.

“Yeah but all this stuff you’re saying...it’s hard to believe.” Ash mumbled. Audrey reached back and gripped her sword handle for comfort. She let out a breath and looked at Ash. 

“Y’know what? I don’t need you losers.” she huffed as she turned and quickly exited the apartment. Ash ran out of the apartment and called out to her in the hallway of the building.

“Where are you going?” they asked.

“To the nexus point.” she glared at them before she ran out of the apartment building. 

“But it’s dangerous...” Ash said. Audrey slowly turned her head to look at them, she unsheathed her sword. They backed away, Viola and Manny had run out into the hallway, and gripped Ash’s shoulders.

“Here’s news for you,” She lifted her sword up, it gathered up electricity from the air around the four. Everyone’s hair stood up. “I’m the real deal.” She said as she aimed the sword into the ceiling. The lights in the entire building turned off at once.

“Oh my!” 

“Hey, I just paid my bill!”

“What’s going on!?” The bandmates heard people say, some exiting their apartments and gathering in the hallway to see what the commotion was about. The lights returned to the building a moment later, but Audrey was already gone.

Chapter Text

Her stride was fast as she made her way out of town and towards the cave. As she got closer to it she was practically stomping on the ground. She stopped to catch her breath. With a sigh she entered the cave and lifted her sword up for light. She looked around for the nexus point, keeping her steps light to not wake up any crazy monsters. Her footsteps echoed as the terrain she was walking on noticeably changed. She looked down at it curiously and saw an opening winding deeper into the cave. There was a faint glow. She ran down the path and made it to a large crystal formation. She looked it up and down and then kicked it. Nothing happened. She took the ocarina out then paused.

She couldn’t remember more than the first few notes of that sheet music she saw. “UGH I’m never going to get this stupid ass song now.” she said to herself, kicking the ground. She stood for a while, silently looking at the ground as if it held all the answers. After her melancholy moping ended, she put the ocarina back in her pocket. She began to walk out of the opening when she heard a strange noise and froze.

It was grating, like something sharp scratching against the crystalline structures surrounding her. It felt unnatural, not like a noise that would just happen to be in a cave. Something was making the noise, and it had to be something in this room with her. She hitched her breath and very carefully held her sword out, shining the light of the electricity in the cave's crevices. She walked around the crystal structure slowly and then jumped back when she saw what was making the noise. A shadowy creature with bulbous eye balls and no pupils. It was made of a dark oozing substance, she couldn’t tell what. With long sharp claws and no mouth. It scratched desperately at the crystal structure. 

“What the hell?..” she wondered aloud. The creature immediately turned and jumped towards her. “Oh shit!” she ducked away from it. It made an unearthly noise before jumping towards her again. She rolled out of the way, using her sword to slice the creature in two. The creature dissipated in a mass of shadowy smoke and it was quiet again. She stared for a moment longer before deciding the best time to exit this hell hole was right this very second. She made her way back up and out of the cave, quickly but quietly as she could, holding her breath to not stir any more monsters.

Standing in the fresh air, she let out the breath she’d been holding and calmed herself. Sure enough she heard the familiar woosh of Eyala as she appeared next to her.

“Are you alright, Audrey?”

“Just monsters, no biggie. Hero stuff, right?” She walked towards the town.

“Nice job defeating it! What are you going to do about the accordion player?” Eyala asked. Audrey kept walking, her back turned towards Eyala.

“What? I don’t know, I’m busy right now, Eyala.” 

“Oh? What are we doing?” Eyala asked. Audrey slightly turned her head to glance back at the angel.

“Where’s the next nexus point?” she asked Eyala, ignoring her question. Eyala perked up, she seemed pensive for a moment.

“Chismest.” she smiled.

“...” Audrey stared at her, wondering what the pause was about. Eyala tilted her head.

“What is it?” she asked. Audrey kept her back towards Eyala.

“I’m going to go ask around about some transportation.” 

“What about the overseer?” 

“We’ll get to it when we get to it.” Audrey snapped her body around to look at Eyala. Eyala flinched, floating gently in the air with a surprised expression. She nodded before fading away silently. Audrey sighed, she needed a drink. 


A bit later Audrey stumbled out of the Crazy Raven. She wiped her forehead of sweat, she should really wear more appropriate clothes for the weather. As she took a step forward she almost fell over. Since when was walking so hard? Unfortunately for her, in this ungraceful moment where the streets were uncrowded and barely lit, her angel companion saw fit to visit. Audrey heard Eyala appear next to her but she could not affix her eyes properly to her visage.

“Hey Bestie!!” Eyala greeted Audrey excitedly. Audrey laughed.

“Heey Girl.” Audrey put her hand on her hip. 

“Are you okay, Audrey?” 

“Yeaahh, except that I lost so much money, I hope we find more treasure soon.” Eyala shrugged. “Totally, totally…” Audrey yawned. 

“Did you finish those errands, Audrey?” 

“...What?” 

“You mentioned finding transport to Chismest.”

“Chistmas?”

“The next nexus point is-” 

“Ugh, Girl would you just like... Chill? I got this, alright.” 

“Totally! I just-”

“AY. Who exactly is the one with the sweet muscles and fancy sword, right? I will get my hot butt over there when I Feel like it.” Audrey gave Eyala a glare. Eyala blinked. 

“Whatever you say, Audrey!” 

“Yeah, whatever I say she says...” she begins to trail off. Her head started to fall a little limp, but she stood up straight, with her body ever so slightly rocking back and forth. Eyala waved her hand in front of her face.

“Aud-” she began to say but noticed people were about to exit the club and quickly dematerialized, leaving Audrey alone as she was starting to fall asleep standing up. 

“Audrey..?” a voice said behind her, she perked up and turned around. Ash, Viola and Manny were coming out of the club, carrying their instrument bags with them. The crowd had been so dense in there she never actually noticed who was playing the music. She should have guessed no one would play accordion that passionately unless they were a dweeb. Audrey scowled, this was matched by Viola. Manny and Ash stood awkwardly.

    “Hey.” she said.

    “Are you...alright?” Ash asked. 

“Peachy. So you guys were the ones playing in there?” she asked. 

“That’s right.” Viola interjected.

“Hope you, uh, enjoyed it.” Manny said with an awkward smile.

“Yeah, it was awesome.” she continued to scowl. Manny and Ash looked at each other with an unsure expression, but Viola was very blunt in how she was looking at Audrey.

“Ash, darling, we can walk you back if you’d rather not run into any...Freaks on the way to the hotel.” Viola said, looking directly at Audrey. Audrey frowned. 

“I’ll be fine. You guys have a goodnight.” Ash said with a wave. Viola sighed but reluctantly left with Manny in the other direction, throwing one last glare Audrey’s way before she finally turned around. Audrey watched the two walk away and let out a growl.

“What the hell did I do to her?” she asked incredulously. Ash fiddled with their shirt cuff.

“You were kind of rude earlier...” they said. 

“Yea, Whatever. Sorry for being honest .” she sucked her teeth and whipped her head around towards the direction of the hotel. The motion made her lose her balance and she fell onto the ground. “Ow.” 

“Are you ok?” they asked. 

“Other than being insanely dizzy, yea.” Ash rushed over to her, putting her arm around their shoulder. They smelled the alcohol on her breath.

“You’re drunk?” 

“Perhaps.”  

“Uh, sweet chords, okay. Let me just...help you.” They walked along with her back towards the hotel. She had a blank expression on her face as they made their way there. Managing to make it back with no incidents, Ash dragged Audrey along up the stairs to the top floor.

“Missed my floor.” Audrey said.

    “It’s not safe to be alone while you’re drunk.” Ash said, dragging her along to their room.

    “Oh please, I don’t need your help or your pity. I’m Audrey freakin’ Redheart!” she mumbled the last part as she was starting to get very sleepy. The two entered Ash’s hotel room where they helped her sit down on the bed. They let out a sigh of relief as they put their accordion bag down. It was lighter than it looked, but Audrey wasn't. They were frowning, but had their back turned to her as they got out some cotton pads and dabbed them in makeup remover.

    “I’m not lying y’know…” Audrey began to say, dragging her body to sit up right on the bed. Ash stopped moving for a moment before they continued taking off their makeup. “The overseer… monsters...they’re real and dangerous, they all are.” she was looking down. “That stupid bard… Getting in the way, even after I saved their ungrateful ass from that overseer....” she mumbled to herself. As she looked up she saw Ash giving her a weird look.

“Bard…? Like...wearing a green hat? With an orange feather?” they asked.

“...” That was definitely them.

“Was it?” Ash asked, concern laden in their voice.

“Yes.” Audrey responded, a bit coldly. Ash sighed in relief.

“Oh Eya, we’ve all been so worried about them.” She felt a bitter taste in her mouth.

“We?” she asked.

“The band. They were the singer at our first show. They’re someone...really special.”

“You don’t say.” She no longer wanted to be here.

“Are they...okay?” Ash asked. Audrey didn’t care.

“Should be, long as they don’t mess with the spirit world again.” 

“What if they do…?”

“I’ll just have to keep doing my job.” she felt woozy.  Who was this bard anyway? Everywhere she went someone seemed to have something to say about them. She was doing what she was supposed to, killing the overseers, slaying monsters. But what did it matter if everyone only remembered that bard? She clenched her fists and she could feel herself start to fall asleep. 


Audrey awoke with a start, she gripped at her head. It hurt...but it wasn’t as bad as that night with the pirates. But who really knew mixing coffee and alcohol would be that bad? She looked around at the hotel room then realized this was not her hotel room. She looked to her side and saw Ash asleep on the bed next to her. Oh right, they helped her out. She carefully made her way off the bed and started to head towards the door. She froze, turning back around to watch Ash for a moment, they were...asleep. She walked carefully towards their instrument bag, unzipping it and pulling out the binder that had the different music sets they knew. She checked back over her shoulder to make sure they were asleep and casually looked through the songs.

She flipped through a lot of songs with names that sounded like they were from the 1400’s then stopped at what she was looking for, “ Melody for the Queen of Winds. ” She read over it a few times and ran her fingers over the page. She glanced at Ash and back at the song. She took a deep breath and carefully unclipped the binder, taking the song and putting it safely in her scarf. She looked down at the page that had been directly after the Queen of Winds song.  It was on different paper, the handwriting was also different. She read the title, “ Order’s Lullaby .”  There was something written on the back. “It was wonderful meeting you, tell your mother I said hi!” signed “Ira.” She flipped back to the notes, humming them quietly to herself as she read through it. Her mother used to sing this lullaby, where was it even from? Audrey frowned a bit, turning the page quickly...She paused. She glanced at Ash to make sure they were still asleep then stared down at the binder for a while. She slowly flipped back to Order’s Lullaby . It wouldn't hurt to have this one too, right? They wouldn’t miss it anyways. She carefully grabbed the song. Glancing over at Ash, she froze as they stirred a bit, but they were just shifting in their sleep. She let out a silent sigh and grabbed the binder. Carefully, she put it back where it was before and then looked over the sheets she had taken before she put them back in her scarf. She tiptoed to the door and grabbed the handle. Turning one last time to look at the accordion player, she opened the door and exited. 


    She began to run to the cave, then slowed down as she approached, thinking of that shadowy creature that she saw yesterday.

    “...” 

Eh. It was probably fine.

    She rushed into the cave and dashed down the path to the nexus point, her footsteps echoing off the crystal walls. She reached the same crystal structure she had seen yesterday and carefully looked around for signs of monsters, but didn’t see any. She took out the ocarina in her pocket, as well as the songs she… borrowed. She felt a little bad keeping the instrument and the songs even after yelling at them but pretty soon they weren’t going to miss it anyhow… 

    She took a deep breath and began to play the melody, the crystal glowed as it resonated with the song. As she finished playing from the music sheet, she felt herself being lifted up and carried into the spirit world, the landscape changing around her. It became...dark, with a sickish green hue. The sky looked like moving shadows. She was standing on a platform overlooking the overseer’s castle. She heard Eyala appear next to her.

    “That was really good, Audrey.”

    “Yeah? Guess it all just came back to me.” she said, taking out her sword. 

“The overseer castle is just ahead, you’ll have to vanquish the overseer here-” 

“I remember what to do Eyala, it hasn’t been that long. Though I guess if it has it’s cause this entire town insists on wasting my time.” she rolled her eyes. Eyala clasped her hands together and looked at the castle. Audrey checked her footing and leapt down, landing in front of the gates. It was quiet. She ran a hand through her hair and smirked as she kicked open the castle doors. 

    The corridor was empty as her scarf flowed behind her. She leapt up the platforms in the castle into the next room, finding herself face to face with monsters that looked similar to the one she saw in the cave yesterday. She took a deep breath and swung her sword, taking down  monsters left and right. She rushed forward, charging her sword and delivering a lightning strike which traveled through a group of them, killing them all at once. She raised an eyebrow and smirked smugly at her weapon then continued forward, killing some more enemies before coming upon a gap too big to jump normally. No problem, she could dash across- Her thoughts were interrupted by Eyala appearing across the way. 

    “Psst! Hey! Audrey! Don’t forget…You can point your sword straight up to charge it with lightning!” she said. Audrey raised an eyebrow and gave her a bewildered look, before she looked across the way and saw what looked like a giant lightbulb. She must have been subtly talking about this, why not just say that then? 

    “Augh! Shut up! I would have figured that out myself!” she rolled her eyes.

    “Oh Ok.” Eyala said before fading away. Audrey winced, she had sort of meant that as a joke, but too late to go back on it now. She sighed and looked across the way. She could easily dash across this but she decided to humor Eyala, charging her sword and hitting the large lightbulb. A platform from across the gap extended out, and Audrey jumped onto it, passing onto the other side. She rushed forward and entered a dark corridor of the castle, she could see a large owl like monster ahead. It had a huge weapon and shield. Finally, an actual challenge. She rushed forward, putting pressure on the monster while she assaulted it with her sword. It reached it’s weapon back before lunging it forward, hitting Audrey square in the face. She grunted and held her jaw, dashing beside the monster and stabbing its back. It fell onto its knees and disappeared in a poof of smoke. She rubbed at her jaw then continued forward. Charging up her sword and leaping up, she kept going forward, coming upon the throne room. There was a large organ in the background and a bird with a scarf flying around. She tilted her head and looked at it curiously. It finally seemed to notice her and landed in front of her.

    “Oh, great. Another human .” it said, rolling its eyes. “You here to be all loud and annoying like the last one? That sure was a riot.” it muttered.“Fat lotta good they did. The Queen of Winds is doing just awful , if you were wondering. Acting all dark and spooky.” Was he talking about…that bard? “She keeps…birthing monsters.”.

    “Well, that’s-” Audrey began, before being cut off by the bird.

    “It’s so gross. She’s getting worse every day. This place just isn’t the same anymore.”

    “Aaaargh, shut up!!!” Audrey finally yelled out. She took a deep breath. “I’m here to take care of the Queen of Winds.” she looked the bird in the eyes. “Tell me where she’s hiding.” It stared at her.

    “Like…take care of? Oh Geez.” …”Well, I…” it paused. “Am Obligated…to stop you…” it finally got out.

    “Shut uuuuup!!” Audrey groaned. She didn’t have time for this!

    “...” the bird paused. “Okay, I see where this is going…And I don’t want to be here for it.” he said. Leaping into the air and flapping its wings, it flew directly in front her. “Just…try not to make it painful for her, y’know? She’s really so sweet. Or…she used to be…” he said, before flying away. Audrey stared after it. Used to be?

    As the bird made its exit, she felt a rumbling from the ground. A huge figure appeared before her with the silhouette of a bird. It’s eyes glowed in the same way as the last overseer, before it screeched out symbols that she could not understand. She lifted her sword up in defiance of the creature. It leapt into the air, black feathers molting off of its body. She could not see where it went, but the feathers surrounded her. She rushed forward, narrowly avoiding the Queen’s rapid descent to the ground. The Queen flapped her wings, the wind pushing Audrey towards the edge of the platform. She held her ground and ran against the wind. It didn’t seem the Queen would stop without intervention, but she couldn’t get closer. She continued running forward, holding her sword up to charge it. She hit the queen with a strike, stunning her. Rushing forward, Audrey struck her with the sword, the Queen’s black feathers flying every which way. The Queen leapt back into the air, flying into a big arch and heading directly for her. Audrey stepped back with surprise then quickly dashed just as the Queen swept across the platform. The Queen flew into another arch, heading back for Audrey. The two repeated this dance a few times before Audrey finally shot her with lightning, paralyzing her for a moment, enough that Audrey could rush forward and deliver the final blow. The Queen screeched out in pain, pillars of light erupting from her body before she disappeared, her crown falling on the platform beside a winded Audrey. Audrey looked at the crown, taking a moment to catch her breath before she smiled. 

    “Two down.” she said to herself. Eyala appeared next to the crown in a familiar fashion.

    “Yeeeeeeeeeeah gurl, you da bomb.” said Eyala. Audrey stared at her for a moment and laughed.

    “I know, right?” she held her hand out. Eyala had a symbol appear above her head, similar to the Queen but much less obnoxious, it was just a heart. Cute. Audrey stared at her then gripped her sword. She paused, searching Eyala for any sort of expression.

    “Can I ask you something?” Audrey finally said.

    “Yeah girl”

“I just don’t get why you never told me… We were going to end the world, until that bard was around.” She looked at Eyala, her expression was filled with uncertainty. Eyala looked at Audrey, her hair floating gently behind her.

“It’s complic-” she began, before being cut off by a frantic Audrey.

“Not that it’s bothering me! Heh. I was just curious.” Audrey said, her body and expression were smug, but Eyala could see the beads of sweat on her forehead.

“It’s complicated, sorry you found that out in such a lame way. I’m not really supposed to tell the hero that until like, the very end…” Until the end? “Cause it’s hard for normies to understand why it’s important.”

“Normies?” Audrey repeated questioningly.

“Y’know like…mortals? Your planet being doomed is kinda sad…” she paused. “But we’re clearin the path for a new, better universe.” Audrey’s breath hitched a moment before she very quickly replied.

“Hey! I completely get it. Nothing normie about me!” she looked at Eyala. “ Someone has to stop the spread of the Overseers’ corruption.” Who apparently used to be nice before. “And kill them before they all become horrible monsters. May as well be me, right?” 

“That’s why you’re the hero!” Eyala said, the heart symbol appearing above her head again. Audrey smiled confidently, yeah!

Yeah girl!”

“Hehe yeah girl.”

“We’re a team, right?” Audrey asked. “So anything you tell that bard, you can tell me too!”

“Noted,” Eyala began, looking into Audrey’s eyes before looking away. Audrey could not see this action. “Aight well I’m out, I’ll hit you up later, k?” Audrey watched as Eyala faded away.

She exited the spirit world and was once more in the cave outside of Delphi. She looked around but there were no monsters in sight, for now. 

She made her way out of the cave and kept thinking about Eyala’s words. “...until like, the very end…” Is this it? Eya is asking her to end the entire world? How would she be able to do something this huge? But at the same time, if she didn’t… She thought about the monster she saw in the cave, it must have been from the Queen…

She shook her head to prevent from thinking about it too much. As she exited the cave, the light of day hit her eyes. She waited a moment thinking Eyala might appear but it seemed she was quiet for now. She rubbed at her mild headache and walked back towards the town, well…. a hero’s job is never done.