Carefully putting Astra down on the floor so he could go investigate the mess that was made, Stela was thankful that her familiars stayed upstairs in the sleep area. If they just so happened to wander downstairs to see what she was up to, there would have been more lost that money wasn’t ever going to replace.
“Quite a bit, just… take your dragon outside for a moment so he doesn’t make any more mess. Go with him, Astra…” Nodding, the cool colored pretty fox led the way outside, herd outside and through the door until it was closed, the female rider just rubbing her face and she started moving around some of the rubble to see what was actually broken and what was not.
“You were very bad, you know.” Astra told Cloud as he sat outside on the sidewalk, ears twitching as he watched his rider walk around in a far less happy way and pick things up, directing the other rider on what to do as well while the mannequins all stripped of their lavishing clothes and joined in the clean up. The upside of having enchanted items were they always wanted to assist you in whatever it was you needed help in. Astra also wanted to help but he knew he was babysitting the other.
“Oh dear, well that’s going to be a big chunk of money right there, at least 175,000 silvence.” She told the rider, her heart so heavy as she looked over what was one wonderful black cloth that had taken up so much of her time and the loom that had served her so well. There was nothing special about the loom but it was so lovely and worked so well.
Do as you’re told, Rory hissed to Cloud. The dragon would hang his tail between his legs if it wasn’t already permanently webbed there. He followed Astra out, touching the floor delicately and maneuvering his tail so that it didn’t graze a single trinket on the way. The door might have been closed, and the glass might have blocked his echolocation, but Cloud could still send a distraught look into the store. Puppy dog eyes, pure as could be. Rory was immune to those. He twitched his ears and looked to Astra. “Bad? But I just…I wanted to look my best…” the dragon whined. “Because I’m Rory’s dragon, I need to be the best dragon.” He would have insisted on having the greatest size even now, but perhaps there was something secret and invisible he could break out here. The sign, maybe? The cute fox? Everything was so fragile compared to the great dragon.
175,000 Silvence? That would be enough to dent even the coffers of his own family. There was no way he could sneak that amount out of the treasury without being caught. He felt bad as he watched Maristella glance over her old wares. He wanted to pay the full amount as soon as possible, but…his pride was a bit more important than the recovery of the shop. “Perhaps we could strike a deal. I can give you 25,000 Silvence up front–after that, is there any other way to repay you? Goods of some sort?” He hesitated, knowing the first thing a normal person would pitch–menial labor. But was lowering himself to do manual work less embarrassing than drawing from the family fortune? Yes. Yes, it was better than having his family find out. “I could also…dosomeworkforyou,” he said it as quickly as he could, before he changed his mind. “I can also offer incremental payments of 14,000 silvence per month.” Of course, he would have to leave the remaining 1,000 silvence of his allowance for essentials, such as steaks for Cloud and draconian riding with the feral dragons that he rented.
“You can do that without being so destructive you know, like me! Look how pretty I am!” Fluffing himself up and wiggling his busy tail, he stared at Cloud with his multicolored eyes before rubbing against Cloud as an act of forgiveness. Maristela wasn’t as forgiving as her sweet dragon BUT Astra just wanted to make friends and teach them how to be the best and prettiest dragons on their own. “Well, maybe we can give you a bath and you can get brushed out and look so nice!” Trying to be optimistic for the other, he figured Stela wouldn’t make Cloud stay outside as long as he behaved.
Running her fingers through the black threads that broke her heart so much now, she knew it would be easy enough to obtain some more as the moths were running rampant closer to people for now. She didn’t like the idea of another dead beauty for her sake, but she supposed if they would die anyways then what was the harm? Someone would enjoy their lovely fluff that felt wonderful between her fingers even if covered in sparkles and other forgein decorations not meant to be there.
“That could work, though it won’t cover everything…” Picking up things that could be saved and letting her darling mannequins assist as well in the clean up, she rested her hands on her sparkling dress as she sighed deeply. Her dragon’s pleasant feelings of having another friend and realization she could use Rory as menial labor also had her smiling. Not pleased but with enough hard work maybe the rider would learn how to train his own dragons as well to be a beautiful flighted wonder who could charm everyone while just standing there. Help for the both of them in theory.
“Though having you work could get the process going. What would that be?” Humming as her fingers scribbled in the air and casted faint gold numbers that floated around, her fingers caressing he own face as she watched the numbers float by. “A year, with labor included. I’ll of course let you return home every so often so your dear family doesn’t worry about you. Does that sound like a fair enough deal to you?”
Cloud squinted as Astra wiggled his tail and puffed up. “I tried to wiggle and puff up, too. It…” he looked to the shop sadly, “Didn’t work like it does for you.” He nuzzled Astra back at least, knowing he was trying to console him. “Maybe a bath would be nice. I like fluffy bubble baths.”
“Fair…very fair. It’s a deal,” Rory replied. He would take that deal before she found out just how useless he was at menial labor. Wait…there were other options. “My specialties would be…accounting and such. Taking inventory. Organizing things.” He was wracking his brain for easy work. “I could buy little things for you, too, with the money coming out of my debt, of course. Shopping in person is such a hassle these days.” If he had bothered doing the math, he would have realized that he was paying all of the interest through labor, and she would receive every penny of silvence by the end of the year. That wasn’t like him, though. He wanted to get these formalities out of the way as quickly as possible so he could figure out how to fix them.
Cloud sent him a note of happiness at the promise of a bath. This one is my new best friend, he said with a cheerful tone, doing his best to lift his Rider’s spirits up. At least he was happy about the whole thing.
“Yes! A big bubble bath with those bath bombs that Stela keeps in her cupboard! Maybe we can even use the hot tub!” Wiggling in excitement at the idea of being clean and playing in the water, it was clean that Astra was somehow a water hybrid on top of a light dragon who adored all that was pretty in life. Wiggling his tail that eventually wiggled his entire body, he leaned up to paw at the bigger Cloud as he barked, his body still shaking in excitement as he continued his big eyes at Cloud. “Maybe even with candles!”
“Well my dear, you’ll be learning more important skills. Like how to hem clothes and make thread, and then cloth from that thread. It’ll be a good learning process for you, as you will be working for me for a year and all. I can’t have my apprentice not up to my standards, now can I?” Hearing a yipping from outside, Steal stood to watch Astra rub against the Cloud, sighing deeply as she wondered where she would be putting him in the day when important things are out. “I suppose we should bring the dragon’s back inside. I’ll go get a bath ready for them and start teaching you basics, I hope you’re in comfortable clothes~” Cooing at the male, she headed upstairs, wiggling her finger for Astra to bring the other inside and follow. It was going to be a wonderful time, for her anyway.