No 15 Aly's Escapades

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Day 9 - Happy New Year!

January 1st, Weather: Snow followed by sunshine

[Today's Companions]
Ema-Pagamihne (Mithran white mage) AKA Ema
Fuuki-Maruki (Tarutaru black mage) AKA Fuuki

[Today's Lunch]
Stone Cheese

Happy New Year!
I hope that all my readers have a fun and exciting year!

I just couldn't decide where to celebrate the New Year…
Bearclaw Pinnacle has stunning sunrises, and Purgonorgo Isle is serene and beautiful. But then again, Windurst is where my family is…
To keep things simple, I eventually settled for Jeuno.

I spent the day with Ema and Fuuki.
It was the first time for any of us to celebrate the New Year in Jeuno, so we were all a little excited. We rented chocobos from the Crag of Holla and made our way towards the Duchy. To our delight, it was snowing when we rode into Batallia Downs.
Of course, I could have seen snow anytime by teleporting to Xarcabard, but the rare snowfall in Batallia somehow seemed special—a good omen for the New Year.

Night had well and truly fallen by the time we arrived in Jeuno.
The city was usually bustling with people geared for adventure, but today it seemed that many had chosen to dress up for the occasion.
I was all decked out in my adventuring equipment, but quickly changed into my Federation doublet after checking in to a rental Mog House. The Windurstian flag set against the green fabric made the doublet one of my favorite choices. It also served as a reminder of all the effort Ema and I went through to build up conquest points to acquire it in the first place.
Ema had mirrored my choice in clothing, and we hit the town in style. Naturally, Fuuki refused to wear anything besides his "official raiment," and tagged along in his black mage artifact armor.

As the New Year inched closer, we made our way towards the Marble Bridge for a final toast…but then Fuuki, who had hurried ahead of us, came back with some bad news.

"Looks like the Marble Bridge is only open to citizens of San d'Oria today."

"Unbelievable. I don't think I've ever been allowed in there. You can bet that I would run things differently if it were my business.

"I was allowed in once when it was Black Mage Day. It's kind of interesting-westing to be surrounded by your colleagues—everyone knows exactly what you're talking aboutaru."

vt2_aly9.jpg

At Ema's advice, we wandered down to a Lower Jeuno establishment. The bards' live performances were usually a crowd-puller, but today the place was so alive with people that you could barely hear the music at all. I ordered a grape juice at the counter and headed outside. The Merry Minstrel wasn't known for a wide selection of food, so I had come prepared with a special batch of Aly's stone cheese!

By the time we had found ourselves a nice spot overlooking the ocean, the last seconds of the year had almost ticked away. Someone began a countdown, and suddenly the New Year was upon us.

"Happy New Year!"
"Have a great year, everyone!"
"This year I'm gonna defeat that dragon!"

Voices raised in celebration mixed with the sounds of fireworks going off all around us, and the wave of sound almost drowned out the bells of the clock tower.
It was such a spectacle that the first word out of my mouth was "Wow!" rather than "Happy New Year."
We raised our glasses and wished each other a prosperous year of adventuring.

Seeking to escape the press of the crowds, we left the confines of the city and went in search of a fortuitous omen—a phenomenon that often occurs around the beginning of a new year.
What kind of omen, you ask?
This was the time when a special animal would appear to tell you your fortune for the coming months. I bet getting an animal to talk was a miracle that even the most famous beastmasters couldn't accomplish!

As a matter of fact, I had been reading a Far Eastern book that explained some of the rules concerning this phenomenon.
Apparently in the Far East there is a custom of assigning one of twelve animals to each year. The list goes like this: Rat=1, Ox=2, Tiger=3…and then towards the end, Ram=8, Monkey=9, Rooster=10, etc. After seeing the list, I suddenly realized that I had seen this order before. Yep, this was the order of the animals that had appeared as omens in the previous years.
Which meant that this year would be the Year of the Dog.
I sidled up to Ema and said with all the confidence in the world, "This year's animal will be one of those undead hounds!"

After running around the Rolanberry Fields for a time, we encountered a summoner and his summoned avatar—the great Fenrir!
It seemed that Fenrir was completely ignoring the summoner and dashing off all over the place. We helped the poor Tarutaru chase down his errant avatar, and in exchange he read us our fortunes.
Looks like I was in for a heavy dose of luck this year! Fuuki's fortune was set to be the same as last year, while Ema had some huge, happy surprise in store. I wonder what it could possibly be!

Wait a moment… Does that mean that Fenrir was this year's fortuitous omen!?
Well, my guess was off, but in light of the fun we had had, I could safely say this year was off to a great start!

Text by Takashi and Asami Watanabe
Illustration by Mitsuhiro Arita


Category: News

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