It was a bright afternoon much like any other as Ruarc parted ways with Raiko after reaching the mansion ground. Walking wistfully along the cobble path to his cottage his hummed to himself and slung his book bag over his shoulder as he enjoyed the brisk winter air. He stopped short of his door however and dropped the tune along with his bag. Confused, Laoise swooped down out of the blue sky and landed on his shoulder.
"What's the matter, Ruarc?" Laoise asked.
"Something feels... off, for some reason," Ruarc responded mentally. "I think someone might be in the house." With that. the Druid widened his stance and grabbed a rune from his pocket before opening the door with his free hand. What greeted him was an odd sight that smelled of bacon and eggs.
"Afternoon, Ruarc!" called the warm accented voice of Mealla Brennan, Captain of the 5th Branch of the Druid Order and boss of all Keepers. The woman, clad in little more than an apron over top of a long loose t-shirt, was standing in front of Ruarc's stove cooking a traditional English breakfast. The rune in Ruarc's hand fell to the floor along with his jaw. Giggling, Mealla continued, "I know it is more lunch time, but I just fancied some eggs myself. Care to join me?"
Ruarc stepped back out of his cottage and shut the dooor before looking around to make sure Raiko wasn't around. "Ms. Brennan, why are you cooking eggs in that outfit in my home here in Japan?" Ruarc asked through the door, a rosey blush tinged his face.
"Well, as I mentioned, I fancied some eggs. As for the outfit I thought that this was how Japanese women greeted the man of the house when he came home from work, so I was trying to fit with your new cultural perspective," Mealla responded through the door as well. "Anyway, breakfast... err... lunch is served! You can come in now without feeling bashful."
Cautiously Ruarc once again turned the knob and peered inside. Sure enough, Mealla was wearing a black leather jacket over a white t-shirt with black denim jeans. On the table was a full English breakfast made with ingredients Ruarc did not have, and the table was set with a table cloth, napkins, and polished silverware; none of which were items Ruarc owned. The food was ornate and included poached eggs (despite her frying them), back bacon, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage, beans, black pudding, toast, and tea. There was even a dish of mixed English berries for Laoise.
Confused, Ruarc slowly and awkwardly walked into his cottage and sat down at his table as invited. The boy looked over the table and wasn't sure what confused him more; the out of place food that was a long way from London, or Mealla who had shown up out of the blue in a very odd manner. Across the table Mealla simply grabbed a fork and knife before unceremoniously tearing in to the food she had prepared; of which there was enough to feed a modest family. Following suit, Ruarc picked up his utensils and eating, though he was more civilized about it.
With the late breakfast complete, Mealla having thoroughly beaten Ruarc in the unofficial eating contest that was never announced or hinted at, the female Druid sat back and swung an arm over the back of her chair. "Ah, that was delicious," Mealla said as she complemented her own cooking. "Now let's see, there was actually a reason I had come her to see you, but what was it?"
"Isn't Mealla supposed to be a noblewoman and poster child of the Order? I never would have thought she would be so... nonchalant," Laoise said to Ruarc.
"Yeah, and she seems a lot more carefree than when we first met her in Ireland," Ruarc responded.
"It isn't nice to talk about others behind their backs, even though technically you are in front of me," Mealla interrupted their mental conversation, resulting in a rather shocked reaction from the other two.
Laughing, Mealla waved her hand and returned Ruarc's table to its original unadorned state, leaving no sign of the dishes or food that was there a moment ago. "As I was saying, I haven't yet answered your other question. Why I am here in Japan. Very simply; I am just here to check on you. After all, you have been here for the better part of a year, so as your boss I just wanted to get a report from you first hand." Understanding the situation somewhat better now, Ruarc began to give Mealla the run down of what had happened in the past months, all the while the other simply listened and taking mental notes.
Once Ruarc had finished his report Mealla took a few moments to respond, and even then it was simply, "Neat." Pushing her chair back, Mealla stood up and brushed her hands passed her neck which caused her ornate Druid robes to billow down around her after appearing out of thin air, and then made for the door behind Ruarc. "Well, I have a few other appointments to keep, and breakfast to a bit longer than planned, so I'll be on my way."
"Wait, what? That's it?" a surprised Ruarc said without thinking, and without missing a beat Mealla turned and winked at him. "Oh, you wanted to continue the apron bit from earlier?" This effectively stopped Ruarc's train of thought, and upon reaching the cottage door turned to the boy again. "Oh, and on a more serious note, word is there is a wolf in the area, so be careful. Wouldn't want you getting bit. Though, it seems you are doing well enough, you have some friends who can watch your back, but you just make sure to take good care of your new girlfriend."
That said, Mealla opened the door, stepped out, and shut the door; but not before placing an inconspicuous charm on the door to prevent more unwanted entries into Ruarc's cottage. As she left, a knowing smile grew on her face as she found herself feeling excited about what was soon to come, and then with her chore taken care of she made her way back out of town.
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