Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
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85 Peachy Keen, Jelly Bean
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Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
Author :Seshata
© Webnovel

85 Peachy Keen, Jelly Bean

Nanuk checks his potions belt for the tenth time, worrying over whether he should swap out HP pots for SP. More SP means faster Dungeon Run time, but nothing slows a raid down more than dying.

"Was it strictly necessary to make this a gods-damned race, Erebus?" he grumbles.

I tear my eyes away from my own pre-raid gear double-check long enough to roll them at Nanuk, then I return to my window and open the countdown clock the system set up for our LiveStream.

T-minus twelve minutes until we enter Blackguard Bog and launch the first official LiveStream of Viren's Refuge!

"You heard Anansi, Nan," Kara explains for me. "We needed to get the Horsemen's attention, and this certainly did the trick."

Nightfury half-laughs, half-grunts. "I still can't believe Erebus never re-equipped his damn pants the whole time he was deadass spouting that 'Chaos Reigns Supreme' shit."

Taliesin snorts, as ever entertained by my theatrics and general asshattery. "I liked it. Boxers Bro is our level of Extra™."

Kara passes out berry tarts that add an extra temporary SP bar. As I take a bite, she walks past, then like an afterthought, she halts, places a hand on my shoulder, leans in and murmurs, "It was a good move. That cute butt would grab anyone's attention."

I choke on the buttery crust.

Kara bites her lip to keep from laughing and walks on to pass a tart to Nanuk.

Taliesin bounds over with apple juice. I gulp down the drink and try to figure out if Kara was serious or just messing with me. Then a thought hits me, and I wish the juice were something stronger:

Vulcan can never know his "show her that cute ass in those boxers" suggestion was miraculously a success.

"You sure it was a success?" Taliesin asks, and I choke all over again.

"What?!" Shitshitshit did I say that out loud? Can this kid read minds??

Taliesin pats my back. "Sorry, I didn't mean to doubt you! It's just, they still aren't here yet, and there's only a few minutes left..."

Ohhhh. He's talking about the Horsemen.

Fuck's sake.

I pop the rest of the tart in my mouth and take another swig of the juice, trying to get my poor heart rate back to normal.

Why is just talking to people so much more stressful than raiding a Nightmare Mode Dungeon?

"Shit-for-brains over here didn't give them enough time." Nightfury flicks me in the head, which swiftly brings me back to earth. This is the kind of communication I understand. "We barely managed to grab breakfast, restock essentials, and get back here in time, and we have a Pu`ca to teleport us. The Horsemen are all human."

"They had plenty of time," I protest, throwing the empty juice bottle at his head before it disintegrates. "I told you, 08:00 is the perfect start time given where they were for that quest. They had to leave immediately and hustle here, but that's exactly what we want. We couldn't have them finish that first part of the quest, in case the next part of the chain gave them a clue they were on an MSQ."


Before Nightfury can argue further, there's a flash of light and smoke, and a tiny man in a thimble hat and moss green vest poofs into being right in front of us. He's carrying a spatial bag as big as he is, which he immediately drops with a loud thunk.

Nanuk, Nightfury, and Kara draw their weapons and tense for an attack.

Taliesin and I leisurely step forward and smile at the little fae dude.

"Hiya Brodie," Taliesin cheerily greets the Brownie.

"Is that a new vest?" I ask.

Brodie puffs out his chest proudly. "Mistress Arachne sewed it for me herself!" He turns around and shows off Silken Strand's new insignia, a spider web with a sewing needle instead of a spider.

"Nice," I say, and Brodie preens. "So what does it do? Shoot lightning bolts at thieves?"

"Yeah, right," Nightfury snorts, lowering his guard now that it's clear we're not in danger.

"Of course not!" Brodie replies.

Nightfury nods, as if to say, "Obviously," and looks at me like I'm an idiot.

"That might harm the merchandise," Brodie continues.

Mid-nod, Nightfury freezes. "Wait, what? That's the problem?!"

"Obviously," Brodie says, looking at Nightfury like he's an idiot. Shaking his head, he smooths out his vest. "The insignia patch shoots two needles that stab the thief like a spider bite," he explains, grinning a bit evilly.

Arachne's been a bad influence on the little guy.

"It stuns them for one second, more than enough time for a Silken Strands employee to flee, but the worst part for the thief is, it leaves a mark that will ban them from any store affiliated with Silken Strands."

"Ouch," I wince. "That'll sting once Arachne completes her epic take-over of every marketplace in Viren's Refuge."

Nightfury looks like he wants to say, "Yeah, right," again, but Taliesin and Brodie nod, clearly understanding that I'm 100% serious.

The Draegkyn pushes up his floppy hat to gape at me. "How are there other people as crazy as you are? How do you people find each other?"

I smirk. "Animal magnetism."

"I'm gonna tell Arachne you said that," Taliesin chirps.

Why, that little...

"Then I'm gonna tell Vulcan you went to an NPC blacksmith to repair your throwing knife," I shoot back.

Taliesin blanches. "But I had no choice!" he yelps. "You sent him on that quest! And I need this knife for the Bog!"

I fold my arms. "Mhmm. And I bet Vulcan will be toootally understanding of your predicament. It's not like he's a touchy genius who might refuse to upgrade Excalibur for you because you've put him in A MOOD."

Somehow, Taliesin pales even further. "TRUCE. Truce-truce-truce!"

I pretend to mull it over for a second, but honestly, we both know I'm as scared of pissing off Arachne as Little Dude is of upsetting Vulcan.

"Truce," I say, finally, and offer my fist to Taliesin, who pounds it immediately.

A loud sniffle draws my attention back to the Brownie.

"True friendship. So beautiful. The Fated Hero and the Thrice-Blessed Child, taking on the world together." Brodie wipes away a glistening tear as he stares at us with his big yellow eyes.

I'm curious what those nicknames might mean, but time's ticking away, and I don't have the patience for a long-winded tale and more NPC tears.

"So what brings you to our Bog, Brodie?" I ask instead.

The Brownie smacks his forehead. "Ack! Almost forgot my errand for Mistress Arachne." He opens the spatial bag and stretching on his tiptoes, he reaches so far into it, his head and torso disappear.

"Aha!" he yells triumphantly as he pops back up, letter in hand. "For Master Erebus!"

I recognize the tidy script as Arachne's. She could just message me on the chat app, but no, of course she goes the handwritten, hand-delivered route.

Psh. And people call me Extra™.

---

{Erebus~

Congrats on reaching new heights with your douchebaggery. Your ability to simultaneously enrapture and enrage thousands of people never ceases to amaze me.

Xiuying would be proud.

So THAT'S what he brought. Ooh, I want!

These are capable of storing huge quantities of goods and raw materials, and even have slots for items that usually can't be stored, like vehicles and live animals.

... I was absolutely thinking about stealing it.

{The sack was a bonus reward for being the first 1-Star business. And since I'm the one doing all the actual work of running our business, I'll be the one holding onto it.

Don't make Brodie SpiderBite you. It would be awkward if you could never again step foot in the shops you part-own.

Ha. More like she just doesn't want to wait to get her hands on front-line goods.

{Also, thank you for having Alfryd find me a Lifestyle Liaison! I'd been procrastinating going to the Association to choose one for myself, so this was a lifesaver. He brought a few options, but it was a simple choice for me:

I smile at that, since I can't imagine a more perfect partner for the savvy Arachne. At the same, I can't help a pang of jealousy.

Rosmerta, "The Great Provider," was a Gallo-Roman goddess of abundance, often depicted with a cornucopia and a money bag. The Romans stole half her abilities and gave them to Mercury, their god of shopkeepers and merchants, but the Gauls praised Rosmerta on her own, revering her as the patron goddess of entrepreneurs.

Even if this Liaison isn't the real Rosmerta, as long as she's similar, pairing her with Arachne spells doom for all the other Lifestyle Players.

Hehe. Awesome.

{To show my gratitude, I've included a little something in the bag for you. Enjoy the gift.

P.S. I also appreciate the sales pitches you keep sneaking into your videos, but for the love of Danu, we HAVE to do something about your team's whole aesthetic. I can't be letting thousands of people see you looking that sloppy and thinking I helped dress you.

---

Snickering to myself because that woman never changes, I relay Arachne's message.

An odd expression flits across Kara's face, but I'm distracted by a dozen rapid-fire questions from Nanuk, and Kara's face is back to its beautiful neutral before I can ask if something's wrong.

Taliesin and I materialize everything we were planning on giving/selling to Arachne, and I throw in all the stuff I have for Vulcan too. I screenshot the two piles and shoot a quick message to Arachne and Vulcan, letting them know the blacksmith should swing by Silken Strands after setting up his Market Forge.

Before storing the goods, Brodie dives back into the bag to grab my surprise. He digs so deep into the bag his little feet are kicking the air, so I grab his ankle, worried he's going to fall in and be lost in some crazy space-time wormhole.

Then he comes out with my so-called "gift," and I wish I had let him disappear when I had the chance.

Another fucking pair of underwear.

Pale pink, short boxer briefs, with a huge peach across the bum. The fruit has a little Princess Peach crown jauntily sitting on the top right.

And across the entire arse, in gold glittery bubble letters:

J·U·I·C·Y

One more note is pinned to the boxers:

{Your fans missed the pink. \u003c3

I'm going to kill her.

There's a stunned silence while everyone fully takes in the horrific glory that is my new custom underwear.

And of course, in that moment, the Four Horsemen finally appear.

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