1937 replies and 33 files omitted.
As the walkway around the dance floor is rather large, this takes a moment.
Amber approaches the area just below the stage, where the griffin is picking up his case. He is rather old with grey feathers the color of rain-laden clouds, though something about his appearance implies there were either much brighter, or much darker when he was young. He turns his head to look at her with milky blue eyes.
He looks at her with a plain, or even hardened expression, and blinks his eyes. Small twitches and movements imply age has been unkind to him.
"Danke, uh, thank you" he says, after what seems to have been a deliberate delay. He speaks very slowly, seriously, and with an atrocious accent:
"I play the... klang and the melodie given to me with the biggest respect, as you should all music."
"My life and more" He replies, looking to the side for a moment, and then locking his eyes back on Amber
"To play for a crowd" he shakes his head "That is not the sign of love of music. To play for a crowd is to make money and to pay rent." He pauses again
"Practice more. Practice in the night. Practice, and the Bragi may bless you."
She pays heed to his words. "Thank you, mister.
It was a pleasure to get to meet you."
She pauses, in case the old gryphon has anything more to say.
He does not say anything to her. He looks away, wearing an expression of uncertainty, or perhaps sadness, and picks up the case, trying to hold it over his shoulder.
Despite her respect for this skilled musician, his demeanor gives her second thoughts. Is this really the result of wholehearted devotion to music, a melancholic life ending in playing to a gruff audience just to get by? Playing nightly at a club would be alright as a stepping stone of a career, but that dismal reality being all that awaits at a summit is not what she hopes for.
Her mind less at ease than it was before, she trudges to Dark Denizen's office.
Amber doesn't make it far before a waitress approaches her
"Huh. He doesn't normally talk to ponies." And after a pause
"Get back here. Denizen is impatient. She's in a bad mood because of the fire regulations."
She trots very quickly, leading Amber back to the office. When Amber enters, Denizen, standing up next to her desk rather than behind it says,
"Did you get lost on the way to my office? Where is it?"
Amber blinks. "No, ma'am. I have it right here."
She nervously approaches the desk, digs up the documents like before, and leans over the desk to deposit them. She then retreats backwards and waits for her reaction.
She reaches out her hoof, then quickly withdraws it to wipe her hoof off on a cloth. She again extends her hoof, takes the envelopes, and looks into them, going through the documents one by one, looking at them intently.
The young orange mare bites her lip in worry. What if he had picked out the wrong papers when he gave them to her? What if something is missing? What if there is something in there she doesn't like?
She stops suddenly, and raises her eyes to Amber
"Was there anything else?" She asks
She looks down, presses a set of something into an envelop, slides an image out of the other one, stares at it, and then slams it back in.
"Then it is done." She says
She breathes a sigh of relief. "You probably want your gun back, too,"
she says. She makes no move to pull out the weapon, in case her guards might get alarmed.
>>151745I think Amber abandoned that
Dark Denizen simply looks up curiously
Thank you, now I remember!
Amber clarifies, "I gave the gun as 'evidence' to be let in, and I was allowed onto the second floor. I told them I found it by a dumpster near Hoebuck."
"Hoebuck? Where Customs killed all of those griffins?"
She curls her nostrils
"Finally they've done something useful. Anyways, hopefully they'll believe that. I would have preferred to have the gun back, but no one ever thought we'd be out of this situation for free. That was quick thinking, I suppose. Anyways, Did they suspect anything?"
She shakes her head. "Nuh-uh. Hanging around long enough to get the papers was a little suspicious, but Scabbard knows how to talk his way out of a situation. I had to pretend to be his fillyfriend."
She scrunches when she says that last sentence.
"Heheh" She laughs at Amber's misfortune
"That sounds like him. I'll tell him you're too young for him. He'll be coming for his payment soon enough, I am sure."
"Let us hope that was all
of the relevant information. And that nothing finds its way back to you, or to us. This could grow to become very much out of hoof. You should hope you never understand just what is at stake here."
"The what now?" She says to Amber's last word. She pauses for a moment, then laughs.
She leans forward, moves a hoof across over the table, and invades Amber's personal space in a way she hasn't experienced in almost half an hour. She ruffle's Amber's mane
"You'll be fine. If anything, you've done well for your first night, little country filly."
She's not sure if she wants to work for this mare again, but she managed to get out uninjured and is not an outlaw...yet. Still, she's ill at ease and shows it.
Dark Denizen either never notices Amber's ill ease, or (more likely) doesn't care. She is still giggly, which if anything is a refreshing change from literally knocking down her own building with a sledge hammer.
"I suppose... I'll have your debt erased."
>>151756"You can do that?"
she asks, blinking. She thinks for a moment, and continues, "You know about it?"
She tilts her head down slight, and forms a small, almost malign grin
"You didn't think we looked into who you are before approaching you?"
Amber retracts with a pensive look on her face. "I suppose you would, but I didn't think it would be possible with me hardly knowing anypony around...."
She gets the sense it would be a bad idea to get this lady mad at any point, as it would be hard to hide.
"I just know what I was told, and that is that a filly with the same name as you, and the same adorable expression and coat, borrowed some money from someone else a few days ago. We can have that debt erased. I sort of assumed that was why you were here."
"You will be released from that. Who will eat the cost, we will figure out later, but you will be released. And to keep silent about all you have seen here, all you have done here, perhaps another 200 bits."
For the first time since she has entered the office, she smiles at this news. She feels a nagging at the back of her mind about how this is illicit money and she shouldn't accept it.. It's just a piece of paper, I wasn't hurting anypony. Plus, I won't have such a rocky start to life here."Thank you, ma'am."
She opens a drawer, and pulls out notes. The mare scrunches, and Amber can see why. All of the currency produced is of the red paper money that High Sewn disfavored at the store.
She counts out some amount, and tenders it to Amber by pushing it across the desk.
"Again. Do not
. Go telling ponies, even those you trust, about what you've done and seen tonight."
Amber stares at the bills. They're not shiny gold, but they still say bits on them, so why are ponies unhappy with them? As soon as Denizen's hoof leaves the table Amber picks up the cash and slowly stows it away."You needn't worry about that, ma'am. I know how to be confidential,"
she says with a nervous smile.
She watches as Amber takes the bills.
"Very well" she says
Amber looks at the thestral. "Thank you. Is there anything else?"
“Oh, yes. One of the waitresses said this was left for you.”
She pushes over a piece of paper with writing on it
She picks up the piece of paper and starts reading it intently....
"Sorry I had to leave. Had a great time with you tonight. Hope to do it again. You can contact me at 410-0837, or at 1110 Summervale.
- Mustard Trim"
“She’ll be there on your way out” she says, and blinks
“I need a doorframe…” she says to herself
Amber doesn't tarry but trots out, looking for the waitress on the way.
She is staring at Amber almost as soon as she exits. The flaxen colored mare, with the black, tied back mane. It’s the same mare who served Amber the Hurricane, who talked to the guests when Amber entered, and who directed her to the back room.
"You're welcome" she says
She blinks again
Amber wishes her a good night and leaves the establishment to set out for home.