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Kyng

[Cherry Heart] Wizard Weekly Competition!

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It was a beautiful dawn, the days after the festival. The Guild Hall had enough residence for those who needed it, for the time being, though the faculties were a bit beaten down, worn, and in need of repair. The fundraiser had clear directions to improving and sprucing up the place. However the beds were comfortable, the food court was functional, everything worked in truth.

Today was a very special day as, with the legendary guild’s resurgence to contemporary day, the hit, hot magazine, “Wizard’s Weekly” had requested an interview with some of the guild members. Well, by requested I mean had a pair of reporters beg and plead the guildmaster to cover them. Indeed, this was a story worth printing. It’d sell like hotcakes. The revival of the Legendary Guild, Cherry Heart! And to be the first to report this to the public - outside of Prunus, as the entire town knew very well that they’d returned after that wonderful festival - would have Wizard’s Weekly ahead of the curve and, thus, they needed the story.

The two reporters in this case were a team. The first was a beautiful, young blonde, set in a high and sporty ponytail, with bangs framing sky blue eyes full of life, energy and colour. She wore a very modern ensemble, a pair of shades upon her hair and a scarf around her neck, while coated in a red top and a white jacket, a pair of jeans and shoes - alongside her I.D. as press around her neck. She went by Kelly Kinley, and she was the team’s face, interviewer, and expert in the field when it came to Mage Guilds.

Her partner was a larger, older fellow. Wilbert Furrow, Kelly’s go-to photographer and the counterbalance to her energetic persona, much more mellow, relaxed and easy going. He was a bit taller than Kelly, with brown hair and a fluffy goatee that covered a pudgy baby-face with an bit of maturity. He was rather large and stout in build, and wore similarly summery clothes to Kelly, wearing a sleeveless jacket holding additional cameras and film, a white t-shirt, a pair of cargo jeans and some work boots.

Tyson was walking along with the two’s arms wrapped around his legs. Kelly was whining in protest, pleading to let them interview the guild, while Wilbert was silent but puppy-dog eyeing the guild master, who had a disgruntled expression as he walked with them.

“PLEEEAAASE!” Kelly cried out. “This story is too perfect to pass up!”

Wilbert let out little tears as he continued his silent protest.

Tyson grumbled and sighed. He wasn’t a fan of the press, preferring secrecy to his manners and feeling the intrusive nature of press to be a “give an inch, take a mile” scenario. But at the same time he felt spreading the news that the guild had been restored would bring more good than bad news. He simply didn’t have the time, or patience, to deal with either of them. So, he did the alternative.

“Alright, alright…” The aged wizard spoke, relenting to then which had the two spring up to their feet, starry eyes with gratitude.

“Excellent!” Kelly giggled in delight, jumping as she managed to get her way. The team had gotten through the guard dog and began to head inside the guild hall. With Wilbert following behind her she eagerly proclaimed to the hall. “Hey! We’re the Wizard’s Weekly reps! We’re looking for a Lily Moral, an Angela Silkens, an Angel, and an Io?!”

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It had been a few days after the events at the festival, Angel had since used some materials from the guild to patch the hole in her body. As far as she knew, the spectators in the arena and the new guild members thought of her as a maniac since that day, but she had to explain it to them. And the person she felt that needed the explanation (and apology) the most was Angela. She caught up to Angela and told all she could about who,what, and why she is what she is.

 

"Look... I'm sorry about what happened in the arena, I feel like I need to explain myself if we're to gain any trust. Listen... Keep it between you and me for now, but this armor, these blasters... Their apart of me, they are me, I can't explain to you what I am but I can tell you that I'm not... Organic like everyone else. Before I came to this guild, I was discovered in some ancient ruins by an explorers guild and... To make a long story short, they told me I might be able to learn about those ruins here at the guild."

 

"Of course me being "ancient" I do have these occasional... Glitches you could call them. I just begin to lose my mind and when I lose it I try to vent off, as you could see from the arena a few days back. I don't mean to harm anyone so I always try to find a secluded spot so I can vent. I'm sorry about what happened before, I just feel like I need to make up for it somehow, I owe you and the others that much."

 

"Maybe... This quest we signed up for will..." Before Angel could finish her sentence, a young lady wearing a scarf, burst into the hall.

 

“Hey! We’re the Wizard’s Weekly reps! We’re looking for a Lily Moral, an Angela Silkens, an Angel, and an Io?!”

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”Uwoooaah!”

Io’s eyes sparkled as she stepped through the guildhall, breathless. Looking around side to side, she drew out her trusty camera once more, flicking the flash setting off with a deft swipe of her thumb. Panning the wide halls carefully as she adjusted the dozens of subsettings, Io wasn’t about to settle for anything less than perfection. It was true that it was not an ornate castle or a grandiose walkway, but it was still something, and for the first time in a while, Io had an unusual feeling. She belonged to a somewhere. No longer was she just alone in her journey. It felt… homely, and perhaps a bit warm inside as well.

”Aww man, what am I getting all sappy for?”

Io snapped herself out of her reverie, but she couldn’t shake the traces of a smile on her face as she added another set of photos to her collection. The guild weren’t alone for long though, as the Wizard Weekly representatives burst through the hall excitedly, calling out the names of those who had signed up earlier. Upon her own name being called out, Io hurried over excitedly. Being reps for such a well-known magazine meant they were sure to have top-of-the-line cameras and gear. She wouldn’t miss that for the world!

Spotting the two who must’ve been the reps, Io waved to them. Looking around, she saw none of the other guild members. Am I the first…? FIRST DIBS! Once she got closer, Io immediately whipped out her camera, snapping a picture of each of them. A second later, a sheet of paper slid out of the bottom, with text covering the page. Reading over it quickly, Io grinned, offering out her hand.

”Nice to meet ya’ Kelly and Wilbert! Please take good care of me! Oh, oh, and can I take a look at your cameras?”

Getting ahead of herself with excitement, Io involuntarily reached out for their cameras, before pausing and recoiling slightly. ”Ah, sorry ‘bout that! I just get really hyped up when I see good cameras!” Io gave them both an apologetic grin, but it was easy to tell she still desperately wanted to pore over the cameras they both held, shooting wistful glances at the gear every now and then. Sighing internally, she looked up at the reporter duo with a hopeful expression.



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Angela started the day with a very ecstatic feeling. While she rarely even felt any need to feel down, today she was feeling more chipper than usual, despite not getting that much sleep. She managed to get accepted into the guild without much hitches, and she even got a new friend! Indeed, it was a wonderful opportunity that she celebrated by sneaking out from the guild at night to have fun at the local bar...after phoning home to tell her parents about her managing to be in the guild, of course.

 

And she's going to be in her first quest soon! That too, was something that made her very happy. And it didn't seem like she's stuck doing menial work like the poor chaps that had to be stuck doing renovations to the guild hall and arena after yesterday's ruckus. She's going to be featured in a magazine (if she's lucky)! Of course, that meant that after the fun she had last night, she had to make sure that she didn't smell too suspicious. Her encounter with Kasayee yesterday made her wary that she didn't wash that certain odor enough, so she spent an extra time on the bathroom today. But that had passed, and now she's already in the guild hall, dressed with the best clothing she had. She was still tempted to try doing this Kasayee-style, but maybe that's probably best suited for adult magazines.

 

"Look... I'm sorry about what happened in the arena, I feel like I need to explain myself if we're to gain any trust."

 

"...Huh?" Angela turned around to see the blondie...she mean Angel catching up to her. Their name was too similar, and that felt like it could be an issue down the line, but for now that wouldn't be a concern. Angel was quite polite, and after yesterday's scuffle, Angela was sure that she could be a friend for her here. But her coming towards her to apologize seemed quite weird, however. "There's really nothing you should apologize for. In fact, it's probably me that should apologize for hitting you that hard...although seems like you've fixed that."

 

Right, Angela remembered that she's not really what she would call a normal human. Not a problem, but perhaps Angel would properly introduce herself now.

 

"Listen... Keep it between you and me for now, but this armor, these blasters... Their apart of me, they are me, I can't explain to you what I am but I can tell you that I'm not... Organic like everyone else. Before I came to this guild, I was discovered in some ancient ruins by an explorers guild and... To make a long story short, they told me I might be able to learn about those ruins here at the guild."

 

"Oooh! A real rob-" Angela almost raised her voice too high in excitement, but she ended up lowering it as soon as she realized what she was doing. With a flustered look, the blue-haired girl held back and let Angel continue with her explanation.

"Of course me being "ancient" I do have these occasional... Glitches you could call them. I just begin to lose my mind and when I lose it I try to vent off, as you could see from the arena a few days back. I don't mean to harm anyone so I always try to find a secluded spot so I can vent. I'm sorry about what happened before, I just feel like I need to make up for it somehow, I owe you and the others that much."

 

"Aaah...that explains why you don't bleed at all yesterday.

 

But really, don't sweat it. It's not your fault at all, we're all just fighting for fun yesterday. Some bruises would be normal, but I know that no feelings was hurt by what happened. It's fine, it's fine. Let's just focus on the upcoming quest, shall we? And hey, you're pretty cool, you know? I only ever read about robots and mechanical life forms like you from fiction, and seeing something real like you are is quite exhilarating. I think the others will see you as pretty cool too, Angel."

"Maybe... This quest we signed up for will..." Before she could finish, she was interrupted by someone else. A pair of reporters just barged in to the hall, seemingly looking for someone.

 

“Hey! We’re the Wizard’s Weekly reps! We’re looking for a Lily Moral, an Angela Silkens, an Angel, and an Io?!”

 

"Ooh! That's us! Let's go there, let's go there!" Very eager to take her first quest, Angela dragged Angel with her towards the direction of the voice. There, she found the two reporters and...a third reporter? Or just a girl with a camera that happened to be one of the guild members that was participating in this quest. Nevertheless, whoever that girl was, she seemed to be quite lustful looking at the cameras of the two reporters before her. But for now, Angela needed to introduce herself first.

 

"Aight! I'm here now, Angela Celeste Silkans, along with Angel right here. Let's start, let's start, let's staaaart~!"

 


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The representatives for Wizard Weekly had arrived and were requesting the guild members who had signed up for the quest. "Ooh! That's us! Let's go there, let's go there!" Angela grabbed Angel's arm and dragged her to the reporters. "Aight! I'm here now, Angela Celeste Silkans, along with Angel right here. Let's start, let's start, let's staaaart~!" Angela was clearly excited for the quest but it was their first quest for the guild. "Hi, I'm Angel, but she already said so."

 

Angel noticed that another person with a camera was with the reporters, she must of been one of the other guild members signed up for the quest. "Uhhh... Hi, I'm Angel it's nice to meet you, did you sign up for Wizard Weekly too?"

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Io felt the presences of two others closing in quickly from behind. They were probably the other adventurers that had signed up for this quest. Sure enough, judging from their voices and introduction, they were the ones. Coughing to cover her slight embarrassment at being caught looking so dreamily at cameras, Io stood up and brushed some invisible lint off her jacket. One of the two girls who seemed to be covered in metallic plates stepped forward, greeting Io. Taken aback slightly by surprise that someone would try and interact with her first, it took a few moments for her to think of an appropriate response. Well, first things first. She promptly whipped out her camera, taking a picture of each of their faces. It was a pity they gave away their names, which stopped her from doing her little joke she sort of liked, but ah well.

Glancing over at the text that was printed out, Io’s face twisted slightly in confusion, completely ignoring the metal-girl’s greeting as she looked over the sheets repeatedly. For some reason, with the Angela boy, it had printed out multiple sheets instead of just one. At first glance, they were all identical, but on second glance, there were minute differences between each sheet. Well, this was certainly a first. After another look, Io realized that the Angela person was actually a girl. Well, that was another surprise. Io wouldn’t have realized just by looking and listening to their voice.

With the Angel girl’s sheets though, there was definitely something that caught her eye. The age column was blurred out for some reason, which was weird since she had gotten a clear shot. The background text could still be seen to exist, but the numbers were illegible. Strangely enough, the faulty portion was a lot longer than a mere two digits or such could have produced. Was this girl not human? Reading the next line of text confirmed her beliefs. Contrary to her earlier perceptions, the girl was not covered in metal plates, but rather was made up of those metal plates.

It suddenly occurred to her that she had left the two hanging while she had been looking over her photographs. ”Ahah, sorry, I suppose that was a bit rude of me. Are you two friends? Did you know that Angel girl was a robot by the way? That’s sooo cool! I never thought I’d see an ancient robo-girl suddenly get the taste for joining a guild!” Rambling on, it occurred almost as an afterthought that she still hadn’t introduced herself yet. Frowning playfully, she continued. ”Ah right, ah right. I’m… uh… you can call me Io! That’s what everyone else calls me for now! And yeah, I’m here for the quest, I figure you two are also?”

Turning to face Angela, Io looked the other girl up and down. To Io’s surprise, she was slightly taller, although not by much. After taking a closer look at the girl, Io supposed it wasn’t too farfetched that Angela was a girl. Realizing the irony of her thoughts, as Io herself wasn’t that feminine either, much to her chagrin. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to check. Reaching out without another thought, Io thrust her palm against Angela’s chest. Sure enough, Angela was a girl.

”It’s soft.”

Speaking her thoughts out loud as she unconsciously tried squeezing a bit, her thoughts caught up to her actions a few moments later. Jerking her hand back, Io quickly apologized. ”Oh. Um. I suppose that was rude of me. Sorry.” Io wanted to smack herself in the face. The first guildmates she’s met in a long time and she had probably already projected quite a weird image of herself, if at least not a negative one. And upon second thought, the news reporters were still behind her. This day just kept getting worse. Groaning at her own idiocy, Io mouthed the words ‘sorry’ again at Angela. Well, nothing to do but wait for their responses now. She could only hope that it wouldn’t be too much of a negative one.



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"Huh!?!" Angel expected a nice hello from the camera girl but instead got the bright flash of her camera. After readjusting her eyes, Angel looked to see that Angela received the same treatment. She looked to see that the girl was looking over the pictures with a confused look. "Uhhhh... I'm sorry but is everything alright, I mean why did you take a picture of me and my friend and is there something wrong?" Angel couldn't help but be curious about this camera girl.

 

The girl took her face out of the pictures and what she said next broke the very secret Angel tried to keep with Angela only. ”Ahah, sorry, I suppose that was a bit rude of me. Are you two friends? Did you know that Angel girl was a robot by the way? That’s sooo cool! I never thought I’d see an ancient robo-girl suddenly get the taste for joining a guild!” Angel could only stare at the girl. "H... How did you... Figure that..." Angel's breath was taken away by this camera girl, how could someone else know? She only told Angela her secret, how could Angel's secret be known by someone she just met?

 

”Ah right, ah right. I’m… uh… you can call me Io! That’s what everyone else calls me for now! And yeah, I’m here for the quest, I figure you two are also?” Io, this girl certainly drew Angel's attention, how does she know? Angel was in to much shock to realize Io's attention drew to Angela.

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Even before the reporters had any chance of greeting them, Angel had decided to greet the camera-loving girl that was already there with them. Angela herself waved at the girl with a smile, before being confused when the first act she did was taking pictures of both Angela and Angel. After her camera printed pictures (way too much of them to be normal, Angela noted), the girl was looking pretty confused at what she saw, but soon she got over that  confusion  to properly greet Angel who had greeted her earli- wait, why did the girl went towards her instead? Angela was confused.

 

”Ahah, sorry, I suppose that was a bit rude of me. Are you two friends? Did you know that Angel girl was a robot by the way? That’s sooo cool! I never thought I’d see an ancient robo-girl suddenly get the taste for joining a guild!”

 

"H... How did you... Figure that..."

 

"...Keep your voice low regarding it, please." Angela tried her best to suppress that excited tone since it'd be bad for Angel if everyone suddenly knew she's a robot. Angela turned around a bit to give a signal to the two reporters to ignore them for now, before paying attention to the overexcited girl again. Angel had a right to worry about it. It might jeopardize her chance at this quest, and on top of that, it's generally a risky thing too. Granted, Angela wondered herself about how did the girl managed to figure out her friend's actual nature without so much as interacting be- right, the only reasoning would be her camera. That would probably be the reason why she looked confused when seeing the picture she took.

 

”Ah right, ah right. I’m… uh… you can call me Io! That’s what everyone else calls me for now! And yeah, I’m here for the quest, I figure you two are also?”

 

"Of course! I don't think I know much about modelling, but I know that it's going to be fun! And I'm sure Angel thinks the same too...although, isn't it a bit rude that you didn't talk to her when she greeted you earlier?"

 

This time, it seemed that the girl...Io's attention was already taken by something else. She was busy analizing Angela's figure from top to bottom, apparently. Angela looked at her with a little bit of unamusement. Despite looking a lot more childish than her, even Io was taller than her, even if it's just by a bit. Thinking about it, she hadn't seen anyone that was shorter than her so far on the guild...which felt pretty annoying, in a way. But, as Angela's thought started to move on and wallowing on her lack of height, Io suddenly went ahead and grasped the blue-haired girl's chest. It felt nice.

 

”It’s soft.”

 

"Of course it is. Sigh...if you want to do it again next time, tell me first, ok?"

 

”Oh. Um. I suppose that was rude of me. Sorry.”

 

"It's fine, it's fine. I was just surprised. If you tell me first next time, you can do it as much as you like, it's fine."

 

The offer was said in a soft voice. Despite of anything, Angela was aware of the awkwardness that could happen if that was heard by the two reporters or Angel. Then again, it's not the first time someone suddenly groped her. Angela already had experience on how to best handle the situation. Though, Angela soon noticed Angel was still looking worried about the fact that Io managed to figure out her nature. So she decided to went closer to her ears and whispered something that might calm her down.

 

"I'm not fully sure yet, but it's probably her camera coupled with some form of magic.  You did notice how she was surprised when looking at our photographs, right?"

 

Once that said, she turned around towards the reporters once more, her smile returning into its widest.

 

"Alright! Let's start this, shall we?"

 


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Io realized blurting out the fact someone was a robot might have been not the best of ideas. Maybe the robot girl really wanted to be in a magazine? For some reason, Io got the feeling the magazine reporters weren’t really planning on having robots in their pages. Nodding to their requests to keep it quiet. At Angela’s words, Io realized she almost completely glossed over said robot girl past a few brief words. Io’s ears drooped slightly in guilt as she apologized.

What caught Io off-guard was that the Angela girl she had unthinkingly groped had not been mad, upset, or even that shocked. Instead, the girl even offered Io the opportunity to do it again if Io would just ask first - albeit in a quieted tone so only Io would hear. Scratching her head as she pondered the reasoning behind Angela’s motives, Io shrugged to herself. Maybe the girl was just into that kind of thing. Io didn’t judge.

And yet… despite the fact Io should feel apologetic for having so abruptly groped the other girl, Angela’s offer tugged at Io somewhere in the back of her brain. I’m not a pervert, dammit! I’ve never felt like that for another girl. I have no reason to take her up on her offer again and I don’t plan to… It sorta felt nice though… Io’s cheeks took on a slightly crimson tinge as she struggled with her thoughts. Clapping her hands to her cheeks with a slightly harder than intended whack, it did the job of bringing her back down to earth. Turning to face the reporters, she waved, shooting a dazzling smile.

”Whenever’s fine with you~!”



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"I'm not fully sure yet, but it's probably her camera coupled with some form of magic.  You did notice how she was surprised when looking at our photographs, right?"

 

Angel was slightly relieved that the Io girl didn't necessarily know that Angel was a robot, it was just her camera. Though it begged the question, how could a camera tell who it was taking a picture of. This confused Angel but more to the point, her secret was still safe. When she came to after being shocked by Io's unusual camera, Angel saw that Io was flustered about something, it was even more apparent when she clapped her hands on her cheeks. Why was she so flustered? Nevertheless, Angel was calm now, she just needed to take it slow revealing her secret to the other guild members.

 

"We're all good now, when and where do we go?" Angel said to the two reporters.

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Kelly’s eyes shined brilliantly hearing the excitement of one of the girls arriving. It was going to be smooth sailing, she felt. But just them, with a flash, the pair of reps were a bit stunned to have their pictures taken of all things! And after a little sheet of paper came out the girl smiled and offered her hand, with their names in tow. Kelly was all in all pretty impressed with the girl as she happily shook her hand with the friendliest of smiles.

“Mhm! We’ll take great care of ya, don’t-cha worry about it~”

Wilbert, however, looked over the girl before quietly looking over his kit. It seemed she was a cameraphile, much like he himself. With that in mind he saw no harm in it - he began to go on an absolute rant about the 15 cameras he carried with him, along with the types of lenses, films, filters, and so much more. You couldn’t get him to stop until he finished truth be told, he was that in love with cameras and photography. But one thing that was certain was that you could tell you were in good hands. If he cared this much about his work, evidently he was an upper tier professional! With that Wilbert let Io have her way with his cameras as he thoroughly explained the individual differences between them all.

Soon after, Angela introduced herself and carried a robot with her - was that her magic, Kelly thought? She seemed eager to start as well, which brought a smile to the young reporter. She also introduced the robot who confirmed the name. Kelly found it quite cute, to be honest. Angela and Angel, arguably a pair fated to be united. With a giggle she extended her hand to them both and shook.

“Don’t-cha worry, we’ll start soon!”

After this it seemed the guilders began to introduce themselves to each other with quite the humorous display. It had Kelly giggling and Wilbert in a gentle chuckle! They could tell this would be a wonderful day indeed. But they all returned with the eagerness to get this on the way. However, she then realized there was one person missing - Lily Moral. Kelly furrowed her brow in thought before shrugging. If she was late, she’d be late.

“Alright guys, we’ll start with interviews, alright?” Kelly smiled sweetly, as she began to take out a magical microphone of all things, branded with the Wizard Weekly’s logo. “I reckon you guys can tell us if we should get excited over the return of Cherry Heart!”

With that, the scene briefly shifted on the upper walkways, Tyson worked on the cleaning up of the guild and its rennovations. Looking over papers for applicants, he glanced over the reporters in the hall with a skeptical frown. He was still wary of them and what they could try and spin on the guild - he was never really a fan of those sort of articles anyway - but he could trust the mages to do their best and represent Cherry Heart well. With this he walked away from the scene as he began to chase up contacts, looking to find Yelena.

In the scene back to Io, Angela and Angel, Kelly had set up everything they needed for an interview. Sitting on one of the many benches, to her left was a set of contracts, consent forms for the interview, and her mic set up on a stand to her right. Clearing her throat, all of a sudden an enormous burst of energy came out of the blond!

“Alright! Hey there everybody! We’ve got one heck of a scoop for ya this time. A Wizard Weekly Exclusive interview with Mages from the legendary guild, Cherry Heart!!!” Kelly began with a whoo in an attempt to build up excitement as Wilbert worked on setting up his cameras. “Today, joining me are three ladies of the guild who have signed up yesterday of all things! So, ladies, why don’t you introduce yourselves and tell us who you are and how your magic works?”

Following this, Kelly began to bombard them with an onslaught of questions, ranging from “For those not in the loop, tell me about Cherry Heart and its reputation?” “Who are the top three mages for your guild in your own opinions?” “What was the Cherry Heart revival festival like?” “What are your plans as the future of the Cherry Heart guild?”

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”Nnnn~!”

Io hummed happily as she shook hands with the female reporter. This person was nice. However. when the other reporter began to talk about all the cameras and tools he had, that instantly caught Io’s attention. Nodding excitedly, Io’s eyes sparkled brightly as she listened, completely enraptured. She learned about lenses and filters she had never even heard of, even with living for as long as she had, and her mouth hung open in an ‘o’. It was an easy sight to see the two were in their own world. This was the best day ever for Io probably, getting to talk about what she loved the most with someone who was also an expert on the topic. Interviews had to happen sooner or later though, and with an obvious sigh from both as they were made to wrap up could be heard.

As Kelly began the interview, Io felt a sudden rush of anxiety. She had never done something like this before in recent history, and the fact that she was among three people to be representing the start of a once-famous guild began to gnaw at her. What if she messed up? She’d ruin the public image of the entire guild on live, to be immortalized on print for everyone in the world to see. Fighting to keep her breathing controlled, Io tried to smile as she looked between the camera and the female reporter’s face. It’ll be fine… it’ll be fine... Think about happy things… uh, uh, uh… cameras! Io peeked out of the corner of her eye at the other two girls. She wondered how they were doing. Were they nervous like her? Or were they calm and able to handle this well? Angela would probably be handling this well… It’s like she’s calm about everything... Io glanced at Angela. Her eyes are pretty- wait what am I thinking about?!

In the midst of staring at Angela, she almost missed the barrage of questions Kelly immediately started pouring at the three, yelping in surprise. As she processed all the questions, she shoved away her earlier thoughts into the back of her mind. ”H-Hiya everyone~! You can call me Io! My magic makes its wonder through a camera!" She hesitated momentarily. How much should I tell them…? Pondering what would be an appropriate yet not too detailed response, she continued. ”When I take a shot of something, it’ll tell me a bit about it."

Without a pause, Kelly continued to throw multiple questions one after another, and Io tried to keep up with the mad pace. She wasn’t used to having to answer so many questions so fast, but on the plus side, it took her mind off the anxiety from earlier. ”Nnn… Cherry Heart is… Well, I don’t know that much about it yet, ahah! I’ve only heard about it and what it used to be. People tell me it used to be one of tha biggest and best guilds ever though, and heckuva lot strong too! Some stuff happened though, and it sorta crashed, but not for long! We’re gonna make it better than ever! As for mages..."

At the next question, Io thought back to all the people she had met so far. ”I dunno dat many people yet, but I bet the guildmaster guy’s pretty tough, I mean, after all, he’s the head of such a super cool guild! As for others… maybe myself? Teehee, just kidding!" Io poked out her tongue playfully, before breaking out into a wide grin. Kelly’s next question made her mind flash back to the festival on the day earlier. Honest to a fault, Io immediately answered with the first thing that popped up in her mind without a second thought. ”The food was the best! Oh, and uh, yeah, there were a bunch of people and animals and other super cool beings everywhere, I thought that was neat. And the games were pretty fun too! Oh, oh, oh! And there were these really cool fights that I got a ton of shots of!"

The last question stopped Io’s mad pace. The future…? The guild just started again, didn’t it? Erm… Nnn… What should I say…? She looked around for inspiration, her eyes flickering between the surroundings of the guild hall and the others around her. ”We’re… gonna make this the best guild ever again! And we’re gonna show up those Iggy Dragons guild or whatever they’re called! It’s not cool to just crush an entire guild like that!"

Io sighed in relief. I think I did okay. Man, keeping up that super cheery personality’s sorta tiring though. I figured that’s what the reporters wanted though. Humming, Io rocked back and forth on her heels slightly. As she waited for any more potential questions from the reporters, Io looked over at the other two girls. I wonder how they’ll respond… And maybe I’ll get to learn about what kinds of cool magic they have to, yay~ I wonder what that Angela girl’s is… It might’ve been what caused that weird thing with my camera… Do robots have magic…? Time to figure out~!



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Io's been staring at her for an uncomfortably long time. Even when they sat around to do the interview, she's been doing it and almost spaced out, before focusing on answering the reporter's question. Getting these kind of look from a girl felt weird for Angela. Of course Io would already know that she's a girl after the incident earlier, so there's no chance she's wondering whether she's a boy or a girl still. Perhaps she's really into her? In that case, it should be fun...perhaps, but that's for later; And even then, with how she managed to figure out Angel's true nature using the picture, she probably would notice the existence of the holes around her. Perhaps she's just enthralled by the mystery of her holes?

 

”We’re… gonna make this the best guild ever again! And we’re gonna show up those Iggy Dragons guild or whatever they’re called! It’s not cool to just crush an entire guild like that!"

 

"Eh...? I've been spacing out huh?" Io finishing her answers snapped Angela out of her thoughts. She looked to her side to see whether Angel wanted to go first, but it seemed that Angela was supposed to be the next one coming. It's been a while since she last been interviewed, and last time it ended up with her feeling physically sore for all day long...without that good of a pay. Hopefully this one would be better.

 

"Welp, here goes.

 

Hiya all! Who am I, you may ask...? Well, I'm Angela Celeste Silkans, the Heaven's Hole of the Silkans Trading Company! That title might sound awkward, but...Anyway, I'm quite skilled with a spear and wind magic, and capable enough in handling swords too!" She was going to mention her other kind of magic, but stopped herself since that would be unnecessarily awkward, and it's not like she could enlarge the holes right now anyway.

 

“For those not in the loop, tell me about Cherry Heart and its reputation?”

 

"Well...I know that they used to be quite a great group in the past, which is why they garner quite the interest when they're revived. Used to have lotsa influences, I'm sure of that. But now? Those past reputation shouldn't matter that- uh I mean, I'm sure that everyone here would understand the weigh of the name they're carrying."

 

“Who are the top three mages for your guild in your own opinions?”

 

"Our guildmaster, that mage that created the crater outside yesterday, and that guy that fought him. Still hadn't gotten myself to know more about these pleasant guys. Hoping that I can get some quality time to get to know them more closely later!"

 

“What was the Cherry Heart revival festival like?”

 

"It was fun! Been a while since I eat that much fancy food, and the entertainment sure is great! A pity the arena event had to stop prematurely, but I guess it's for the best. I'm always open for a fight, serious or not, of course. But yeah, it's quite fun, and surprisingly neatly ordered. Even the arena battle was not actually that chaotic. I would've thought that such event would create a bigger mess, but everyone kept behaving themselves, so it's nice to see that."

 

“What are your plans as the future of the Cherry Heart guild?”

 

"Get our guild to prosper, of course. Lead this guild to the treasures of the world. Get it more and more involved in exciting events! People said again and again that they want to "Make Cherry Heart Great Again" or something similar. But that's just silly. Why would we make it great again? Why limit ourselves with that? We'll go beyond that. We're not reliving the past. We're going to create a new era of glory that would be a lot significant than what we've achieved before.

 

We're going to do amazing things here. That, is something I can be quite sure of."

 

Answering the barrage of questions was quite tiring, but Angela maintained her cheery disposition and smile. She slipped unnecessarily a bit too much for her liking, but she was sure she nailed it with the later questions. Whether she believed the words she just said or not was not important. In interviews, what's important is to give the interviewers what they wanted to hear.

 

"Any other questions?"

 


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The interview had started and the reporter was already spouting questions to Angel and her guildmates. Io was the first to answer the questions and sh- huh, she seemed to have been starring at Angela for the past few minutes, Angel really needed an explanation as to what was going on between the two, she spaced out during the camera incident and didn't see what happened. Angela had answered the questions and now it was Angel's turn, oh god, what does she say, she needs to keep at a low profile for now, who knows who or what will do if they knew there was an actual robot in the guild.

 

"Uh... Hi, my name is Angel, not to be confused with Angela. I'm uh... Just another mage hoping to do her best in Cherry Heart, I can use uh... "Repulsion" magic to knock back attackers, but I can focus my magic to cause actual harm, though I can't see myself causing any..." Spark. "Harm!!!" Angel flinched a bit, no not now. "Sorry, I get allergies often, uhh... Next question?"

 

“For those not in the loop, tell me about Cherry Heart and its reputation?”

 

"I know that Cherry Heart has been around for a long time, the fact that it's being revived after so many years is a nice surprise. I'm hoping that the guild's library has the information I'm looking for, I uh... Like to study and the library would be a nice place to uh... Next question please" *sigh* smooth.

 

“Who are the top three mages for your guild in your own opinions?”

 

"I honestly wouldn't know, the guild master seems strong, and the guild members from the arena were cool too, I'd have to get to know them first before..." Spark. "Nghh... Ummm... Could you excuse me for a moment please?" Angel got up from her seat and walked off in a quick fashion. "At least the guild is a little empty, ohhh why of all times?"

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Kelly was a top reporter, and knew it was time to drill deep into the nitty gritty of their answers to get the meat out of this interview. It was her job after all. She was a damn good listener and was determined to dig deep into the starter questions she fed ‘em, to get something juicy for her article.

She glanced to Io with a chuckle and began to work through her answer. Her magic intrigued Wilbert evidently by his alertness to her response. Her magic was camera-based and it fed her information. It was evidently some sort of magical artifact however Io’s passion for cameras was nonetheless prevalent. Indeed, it made sense such a cameraphile had a magic camera in her possession. However, Kelly decided to get to grilling her swiftly. Could she handle the pressure?

“A photographer? I see, but aren’t your usual mage guilds competent in combat? Do you have any combat abilities for self-defence or is your magic purely supportive in nature?”

Angela offered her a slightly different response. Her version was more intriguing in that she had what she herself stated was a potentially awkward title. It did sound somewhat lewd, and Kelly couldn’t pass that up. She would definitely ask her about her time at the Silkans Trading Company, her title and its acquisition.

“Ooh, Heaven’s Hole? That sounds juicy! Tell me, what was your time at the Silkans Trading Company like to warrant such a title? Is it one of scandal? Or perhaps something more raunchy~?”

Angel herself introduced her rather planely, but based on earlier conversation Kelly couldn’t let her off easily. Indeed, she’d dig deeper about this chat - if Angel was a robot she’d be determined to figure it out with as much detail as possible.

“Ah, just another mage? But didn’t Io’s magic identify you as an “ancient robo-girl” if I quoted correctly? Are you a robot after all?”

All three answered the same thing, that the guild master was the obvious top dog. Though given his demeanour it was painfully clear to her that, since she and Wilbert had to beg to interview the girls, getting to the guildmaster would be a great ordeal. However, the fighters of the arena were arguably much more accessible! Indeed, they’d be worth a great interview for a later session.

While Angel took a break to deal with a sparking issue, the interview continued with the other girls. Angela seemed very composed and knew how to deal with Kelly and gave her answers to her questions that were solid and well founded. Io was a little more nervous but maintained a friendly demeanour that she knew the fans would eat up. With a smirk to Angela’s challenge, though, she most certainly had more questions.

“What kind of quests do you want to do during your time here at Cherry Heart? Do you feel more compelled to combat or social quests? What are your thoughts of other guilds, especially rival guilds?”

After this, Wilbert gave her a thumbs up and, with that, she chuckled softly. “Alright, next up, are you girls ready to see who’ll be representing as Ms Cherry Heart for the Ms Fraxinus competition~?”

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“Ooh, Heaven’s Hole? That sounds juicy! Tell me, what was your time at the Silkans Trading Company like to warrant such a title? Is it one of scandal? Or perhaps something more raunchy~?”

 

"E-eh...it's really nothing of sort actually. It's just actually an adapted title from uh...right, it was adapted from a proper title from a language of a country outside of Arbolia. Dad liked it a lot, so he tried to adapt it to our language...which ended up awkwardly like this. It really just boils down to me being the company's agent on locating and supplying it with ancient relics and treasures, while also being the public rep of it.

 

Though of course, I'm aware of the raunchy meaning of the title. My holes are quite heavenly, yes and thank you very much. It's also something I quite take pride in as my title, and I can show you later how...eh, let's not talk about it for now. Cherry Heart's not a brothel, I'd be doing it a disservice by talking too much about that kind of stuffs."

 

Of course, the reporter had to ask her about that question. It's still weird why Angela's dad had to insist on keeping that title around instead of changing it into something more proper, but then again it didn't actually bug Angela that much. It's nothing to be shameful of if something is actually true. There's no point in pretending herself to be pure when she's the complete opposite of it, and admitting it in public would just clear any future issues. It might make people uncomfortable, but well...at this point it's better than having their expectation of a pure maiden being completely broken apart when they know of the truth. Didn't matter much really. Dignity is not for discarded garbage.

 

Her thought was cut before she could actually start thinking more about herself when Angel chose to left the scene for a bit due to another bout of glitching apparently, just as the reporter asked about whether she's really a robot girl or not. Seemed like Io really did say it loud enough to be overheard. Angela was sure that it would not be a big problem for Angel if she was outed as an ancient robot, but Angela still had enough decency to not just tell people about it after Angel had requested to keep it a secret.
 

Once that said and done, the reporter continued with the next batch of questions, seemingly looking more energetic in digging more about the three of them.

“What kind of quests do you want to do during your time here at Cherry Heart? Do you feel more compelled to combat or social quests?"

 

"I'll be fine with anything exciting, really. Battles, hunting, fishing, sports, hell, even infiltration and stealth would be really fun! But I'm expecting to be in a lot of battle-related quests, and that's good for me. I like fighting. It brings a certain kind of pleasure to me to stand between the line of life and death like that, where my movements must be precise enough to avoid myself from getting killed. Hard to get that kind of thrill from something like cooking, right? Although a cooking-related quest would be sweet too. I'm actually quite the master on the kitchen, so those kind of quests could be fun too!

 

Though...I...I'd rather skip quests that requires too much thoughts. Mysteries and such, it's just...I'm not that bright, you know? And they're not really that exciting for me too."

 

"What are your thoughts of other guilds, especially rival guilds?”

 

"They'd be a tough competition for us now, but that shouldn't matter. If everyone here, me included, try our best in doing these quests, I'm sure we can overcome them, and even, use them as the stepping stone to reach an even greater height!

 

Although, admittedly I need to learn more about the other guilds. As I came from Agria, who barely had any mage guilds compared to this city, it's still something that I need to research....though personally I don't really feel like doing it."

 

Answering these latest questions was a bit tiring. It's like she's trying to promote herself or something, huh? That's a pretty bold thing to do for someone that really had no justifiable reason to have any rights in doing so. No, no, no, Angela thought. Kept those thoughts away for now. Nevermind that, did she sound too rigid with her answers? Did she sound too unprofessional? She knew her earlier attempt to sound flirty when admitting her lack of purity failed miserably, Angela kept her composure and bright demeanor as she usually did, but inside she was starting to get anxious. It's not something she should really care for, but the thought of screwing this up was still a big worry for her. Perhaps it's because she's not really doing it just for herself. It's for the guild, and if she screwed up here, the guild could take the backlash from that.

 

“Alright, next up, are you girls ready to see who’ll be representing as Ms Cherry Heart for the Ms Fraxinus competition~?”

 

Although, the reporter soon chuckled softly before saying something else. Angela was unsure whether Io had answered her questions, and she didn't see Angel returning just yet; pretty much showing that Angela was too busy with her own thoughts. To be polite, Angela tried her best attempt at doing a similar chuckle as the reporter. It sounded a bit forced at first, but it soon allowed her to loosen up a bit, enough for her to talk without any hints of anxiety in her voice.

 

"Of course, it's going to be interesting to see that!"

 


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"Maybe I could convince the reporter not to tell anyone that I'm a robot... No, that would never work." Angel had found a quiet spot in the guild hall so she could vent off. There was no keeping a secret from this reporter, from how she was shooting questions left and right, you couldn't keep something from her. "I can't keep doing this, but I have to keep a low profile, the leader of that explorers guild said there are some people more interested in ancient tech than others, if my secret went public from these reporters... No, no I can't keep hiding like this, it made sense when I wasn't in the guild but now that I am... I've already made some friends here, they would have my back if my secret got out, right?"

 

Angel looked over to Io and Angela, the reporter was still asking them questions. "They seem keen on keeping my secret, surely they would help me out... That's it, I've made my decision!" Angel got up from her spot, she felt fine after calming down. "Here goes nothing." Angel walked back over to where the interview was, just in time to here the reporter's newest question.

 

“Alright, next up, are you girls ready to see who’ll be representing as Ms Cherry Heart for the Ms Fraxinus competition~?” Ms. Fraxinus competition? Sounds like an important event. "Ummm... Excuse me, I've had time to think... You were asking about me being a robot right?"

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Fashionably late. That was Lily's excuse. She had just been called in for an emergency, apparently someone left their sword at home, and it is all fun and games until a kid accidentally amputates his arm. Unfortunately, the photoshoot would have to wait. Lily had just stitched his arm back on and depleted the entirety of her magical prowess on regrowing the child's limb. Sure, he screamed a lot, and he would be in unimaginable pain the next few days, but at least he kept his arm. The exhausted Lily checked out, and made her way to where the reporters were meeting. Naturally, it was slow, as she had exhausted her entire source of magic, as well as worked on stitching and applying random herbs and medicines to help the process.

 

She realized that her braid was extremely messy before entering her destination, and quickly took it out. She rolled it into a bun, and held it in with her ribbon hair tie. Quickly brushing a few strands from her face, she walked in. At the door, she threw some latex gloves caked in dry blood into the trash bin, forgetting she still had those on. 

 

"Sorry I'm late, sometimes kids don't use proper discretion~" She spoke loudly, drawing the attention of all others. 

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Io ended up zoning out as the others were interviewed, but a certain title caught her attention. Heaven’s H-H-Hole? W-What kind of title is that? It was… certainly an unusual name card, to say the least. The rest of what the Angela girl went on to talk about failed to interest her though, and Io’s attention once more drifted off as she looked around for something interesting to do. The next round of questions came soon enough though, and this time, they were specific and unique questions addressed to each of the members. As for her…

”You betcha! I wouldn’t be that helpful if all I could do was take some pictures, would I? They’re. A. Secret. Though~!"

With a sly grin plastered onto Io’s face, it was rather clear from the way she spoke she wasn’t planning to reveal any more details. She’d give them a bit more to think about though. Unbuckling her jacket, Io split it wide open, revealing multitudes of various tools and weapons stashed into what must have been dozens of pockets. Not to mention, a large revolver holster being strapped to her waist. It was quite a deceptive outfit that must’ve weighed quite heavy, yet Io could swagger around in it without a problem.

”The resta tha guild’s probally lotsa better at straight-up fightin’ though!"

Now, with her section out of the way, Io turned an ear to see if she could catch anything interesting from the other girls. Angela was as direct as ever with her openly suggestive comments. Io had a hard time imagining how a girl as young as Angela could be so calm about speaking like that. Io herself had… quite a bit of time over her life, yet she couldn’t imagine being anything like that girl. S-So bold…

The topic of who would represent Cherry Heart in the upcoming “Ms. Fraxinus” competition was brought up after the rest of the interviews had finished. Apparently it was some sort of popularity contest kind of thing among women. Io mumbled under her breath. ”I just don’t get women." Putting on a cheesy smile though, she nodded, giving Wilbert a big thumbsup to show she was ready.

At that moment, a new woman had arrived at the scene. She was dressed in doctor-like attire, not to mention her disposal of bloody latex gloves as she walked to join them. What was most noticeable though, was the rather… generous buxom. Io was absolutely flummoxed. How on earth was something like that even humanly possible? Was she even human? Wouldn’t it hurt her back? Maybe she’s a succubus or something. Looking down at her own chest, Io couldn’t help but feel a bit irritated. Do people even like it anymore when it gets that big? Grumbling, she walked up to the new face. Looking her up and down, with Io being a good bit shorter than the new woman, it felt even more overwhelming up close. Taking a picture of the nurse’s face, Io muttered.

”Nice… to meet you, Lily."

For some reason, it felt like the day had just gotten a little bit worse.



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Quite content with the answers Angela had given her thus far, she chuckled softly - this girl knew how to be interviewed alright. She managed to give her concise and detailed answers in full breadth of just what she was looking for. Indeed, Kelly found this one to be of integrity, if not a bit of spice which always made things all the more interesting. She was certainly a delight to work with, that much was obvious as she happily handed her over to Wilbert who gently asked her to join him.

Io was a little more ditzy for Kelly’s taste, but she’d given her what she was looking for, so she happily handed her over to Wilbert who took the two girls aside. “Don’t worry you two, I’m just gonna bounce the questions to these gals and then we’ll be golden, mkay~?” Kelly reassured the two.

Wilbert took Io and Angela to another bench, evidently with his camera set up. In his rather bumbly, comfortably voice he began to explain he was going to take a pair of photos of the two of them, one portrait and one profile, as well as began to detail just what on earth the Ms Cherry Heart contest was - many guilds had the tendency to have a Ms or Mr Guild, their poster gal or guy. The city of Prunus didn’t have many reputable guilds about it - indeed, the city was built around the mage guild. However, Wilbert further detailed that the Ms Mage Guild contests tended to be quite serious, a test of both glamour and combat brilliance, in particular once the contest took to a regional level, and especially once it reached a national level.

Much like guilds want the most powerful mages, or the fastest, this was obviously a contest surrounding the most appealing - aesthetics weren’t enough, according to Wilbert as he spoke to the girls. It centred mostly surrounding charisma, whether through sex appeal, personality, talent, or more!

Meanwhile, Kelly was dealing with the re-entry of Angel and the arrival of Lily. Asking the nurse to wait just a moment she quickly responded to Angel’s query as she nodded. “Mhm! I sure was. Is what the girls said true? Are you a robot?”

Afterwards she happily invited Lily to join them as she sorted her papers together, getting them nice and neat before relaunching the questions, for Lily’s sake.

“Okay, so Lily, why don’t you introduce yourself and explain how your magic works? We’ve learnt a bit about Cherry Heart’s history, but who are your top mages in the guild thus far? Oh, and where do you see yourself in Cherry Heart’s future?”

“And, for the both of you, what kind of quests do you girls reckon you’ll end up doing? Like, are you more interested in combat or social quests - and what are your thoughts of other guilds like rival guilds?”

Kelly stretched afterwards, sighing gently before smiling to them both. “Once we’ve done this interview, we can have Wilbert fill you in on your forms and photos, before moving on to the bikinis~! Should be fine, eh Wilby?” Kelly smirked and flashed a cheeky smirk to Wilbert who seemed utterly and completely unfazed by it all. Indeed, Wilbert was a very professional photographer, an expert who has shot many a woman. However, while unfazed by Kelly’s teasing, he couldn’t pretended Lily’s arrival didn’t make him feel a little hotter under the collar.

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All seemed to have gone in a pretty nice manner. The interviewer was pretty pleased with her answers. It's only natural after all. Angela's always aiming to please, no matter the occasion. With a smile, the interviewer handed her to the cameraman not long afterwards, along with Io. She earlier saw the last member of the quest arriving; it was Lily Moral, the teasing nurse. Having such body and that kind of natural affinity in teasing men just by existing was of course enviable especially for Angela that was not really gifted in that regards, but unlike Io who showed her distaste openly, the blue-haired girl kept it to herself. Though, she does notice the cameraman being somewhat...disturbed, if that's the right way to say it, with Lily's presence. He's perhaps getting pretty hot inside or something. If not for the occasion forcing her to keep being professional, she'd offer her help to him to relieve himself of the frustration he's clearly hiding.

 

But that's for later - something more important was currently happening. After getting a full body portrait and a profile portrait (each where Angela tried her best to look appealing instead of being plain...and probably failing badly) Angela listened closely as the cameraman explained further regarding what kind of contest would they participate in. Appeal and appearance aside, which...probably would make it really hard for her to win since Lily existed, he also mentioned combat. Albeit it was a passing mention, that of course sparked Angela's interest. Combat prowess would be her forte, that wouldn't be that debatable. Showing off her skills while having fun with battles would make this quest a lot more appealing than it already was. Granted, she really had no reservation if Lily won this. Angela could see her as a great figure to represent the guild - both sexy, mature, beautiful, and responsible and skilled from what she had seen. Someone like that would give people a good impression regarding this guild, and it would contribute to its glory well.

 

But that didn't mean that she'd just let her win. There's no fun in that.

 

Angela might only had the charisma of a vagabond. She's not cool, her personality's undesirable, she's an idiot, she had the sex appeal of a kid (which would mean none), and her biggest talent pretty much would just cement her position as trash. But even then, she still wanted to win against people that were cool, strong, right, cute, smart and have a sexy body. It's probably just what's left of the pride she had discarded long ago returning momentarily, but it might also be just because she felt that it would be fun in trying that. Even if she's a midget, even if her magic's weak, even if her title's a big joke, none of that would stop her from trying her best in this!

 

She puffed her nonexistent chest out with pride as her thoughts about the upcoming competition took most of her focus and made her not listen to the rest of what the cameraman was talking. Only after a moment did she realized what she did, and she awkwardly giggled a bit afterwards and put herself back into a more reserved position. However, soon it seemed that the interview for Angel and Lily was done, and then, Angela could hear the reporter saying something.

 

“Once we’ve done this interview, we can have Wilbert fill you in on your forms and photos, before moving on to the bikinis~! Should be fine, eh Wilby?”

 

Bikinis? Right, Angela had forgotten about it. Of course that had to happen in such kind of contest. It's silly for her to forget to account this. It'd be a segment where Lily's "Lilies" would shine the brightest, but...of course, Angela was also eager in showing what she got...and what she lacked. But that's not really that important. If a bikini shoot was what they want, then Angela would give them the best bikini shoot they'd ever want, because that's what she's good for, probably. Angela looked at Io a bit to see how eager she was for the next segment, and then turning around to look at the cameraman.

 

"Bikini shooting, eh? That means we should get changed soon, right?"

 

Without waiting for his approval, Angela had started to unbutton her boyish shirt. It felt somewhat uncomfortable anyway since she didn't wear her undies this time, so once unbuttoned, Angela felt somewhat more relaxed as she could feel the breeze better now. Perhaps this was what Kasayee was saying all the time. Of course, she hadn't discarded the shirt yet with the cameraman still around. It was just to show that she's already ready to change. He probably didn't see anything. Not that she'd care, but Angela knew he'd be too uncomfortable to continue his job if her approach was more frontal. Though Io probably wouldn't mind. That kind of people never really minded these kind of things.

 

"Thinking about it...I need to figure out an approach that I could use to compete against Lily's...

 

There should be something that I could do that she couldn't pull off...right?"

 


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"Ummm... Excuse me, I've had time to think... You were asking about me being a robot right?" Angel had thought it over and it seemed keeping her secret might not be a good idea with this reporter. “Mhm! I sure was. Is what the girls said true? Are you a robot?” Angel nodded in response to this question, she felt that the reporter already had the answer she wanted. Angel looked and saw that a new guild member had arrived for the Wizard Weekly quest. The lady certainly had an... Attractive figure, "I bet she'll go well in the magazine," Angel thought to herself. The reporter with the cameras took Angela and Io with him for pictures and the other reporter got the new arrival caught up with the questions she had asked.

 

“And, for the both of you, what kind of quests do you girls reckon you’ll end up doing? Like, are you more interested in combat or social quests - and what are your thoughts of other guilds like rival guilds?” Angel thought this over for a second before giving her answer. "Honestly it doesn't matter what quest I go on, combat, social, or otherwise, as long as it helps the guild get back on its feet I'm glad to help, and referring to rival guilds, I haven't been online long enough to get a feel for what's going on in this time, but I have heard of this Yggdrasil guild from an acquaintance of mine, I'd say that this guild will soon do a lot better than that guild for all the new recruits Cherry Heart has been getting."

 

With the questions out of the way, Angel felt that she could get her secret off her chest, be it in a steady pace. The reporter seemed to be content with the answers she got. “Once we’ve done this interview, we can have Wilbert fill you in on your forms and photos, before moving on to the bikinis~! Seems like they would be moving on to pictu- wait... "Ummm... Bikinis?

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It seemed she hadn't missed too much by being late. Thank goodness. That Io girl had approached her, and took a quick picture. Lily raised a brow, before the girl muttered a rather unpleasent greeting.

 

”Nice… to meet you, Lily."

 

"I wish I could say the same." She responded to the grumbling girl. However, the exchange was cut short when the interviewer spoke up.

 

“Okay, so Lily, why don’t you introduce yourself and explain how your magic works? We’ve learnt a bit about Cherry Heart’s history, but who are your top mages in the guild thus far? Oh, and where do you see yourself in Cherry Heart’s future?”

 

"Hello everyone. I a Lily, a local Magical Nurse. One of the few around, actually. My magic is healing, of course. I can close wounds, numb pain, and cue diseases. I am have also been trained as Combat Medic. As for our top Mages, I would assume the guild leader Tyson, but other than him I don't know the others too well. There was a scuffle, and I couldn't help but notice a particular blonde haired young man...Kin? Yes, that was the name. As for Cherry Heart's future? I see myself as a veteran in questing."

 

After a brief pause, the interviewer spoke again.

 

 “And, for the both of you, what kind of quests do you girls reckon you’ll end up doing? Like, are you more interested in combat or social quests - and what are your thoughts of other guilds like rival guilds?”

 

"Quests? Oh! I totally want to adventure on the dangerous ones. People always ask me what its like to be a healer. I tell 'em its really easy. It is like killing in reverse. But I'm not opposed to doing Social Quests.As for other guilds, total snooze. I can't imagine one being better than Cherry Heart, especially now that I'm here." She threw in a wink after the last sentence.

 

In truth, it was the talk of photshoots and Bikini's that had her excited. She couldn't wait to flaunt her stuff, even more than usual. She didn't seem to share the same worry over it as her peers. She checked her newly manicured nails, passing by time.

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Kelly was evidently having the time of her life with Cherry Heart’s gals. They were each so rich and colourful, she was going to have even more fun when it was the boys turn. Of course, this was the swimsuit edition and she had to cater to the editor’s demands. But she was very intrigued by each and every single one of them. It was clear that Kelly had a love of journalism, and sought to use her influence to help others - those who read the magazine would always have an upbeat and positive vibe from her articles, and she rarely slandered or painted those she interviewed in a poor light.

Angel answered the questions sheepishly, not giving her too much to work with to the reporter’s chagrin, but Lily more than covered her guildmate’s share with the pure charisma she radiated. She wouldn’t be surprised if she’d been interviewed before but she was delighted to work with her. Much like Angela before her, Lily spoke well and had a very strong sense of confidence to boot.

Though with that, the interviews came to an end. Angel questioned the notion of bikinis, to which Kelly nodded with a smile. “Mhm! We’re publishing the beach edition of Wizard’s Weekly, and to kick off the summer season we’re looking for some spicy bikini pics to set the mood right!” Giggling a bit, she glanced carelessly over to Angela who was already stripping down bare to which Kelly’s eyes had to check Wilbert on how he’d handle the scenario.

As it turned out, he handled it quite well. Giving Angela a towel he whispered to her that they’d be heading down to Prunus’ beach for the photoshoot. Afterwards, he handed all of the girls a set of forms, to consent their interviews and appearances in the magazine - but Kelly soon stood up and stole the show as she chuckled to the girls. “Alright, ladies, let’s hit the beach~ Does anyone need to buy a bikini or a swimsuit?”

With this, the reporters escorted the four girls to their vehicle - which looked like a motorized carriage with the Wizard Weekly livery upon it. It didn’t take too long before they were on the beach, where Wilbert was already setting up the gear for the photoshoot to take place. Kelly was munching on a sandwich as the reporters awaited the girls to, well, simply get ready for a photoshoot!

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“Mhm! We’re publishing the beach edition of Wizard’s Weekly, and to kick off the summer season we’re looking for some spicy bikini pics to set the mood right!” Where there was a beach there was water, but that wasn't what Angel was worried about. "W...wait, how can I..." Before she could get her question out the male reporter with the camera equipment handed out a form to each of the girls. She thought this was just going to be an interview, though from the amount of prestige that the quest rewarded Angel should've saw something like this coming.

 

“Alright, ladies, let’s hit the beach~ Does anyone need to buy a bikini or a swimsuit?” With this, the reporters started escorting the girls to the carriage outside the guild. Angel looked over to Angela and leaned in to whisper something. "What am I going to do? I don't exactly have a body underneath this armor, this is my body, how am I going to explain this to the reporters?" Angel hoped that Angela had a solution, if she told the reporters she couldn't do the photoshoot, she might get expelled from the quest.

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