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Fantasy The Clueless Wizard (Completed)

》Agree: ask about his wares.

Arden leaned against the open doorway as her gaze trailed over the unfinished interior. It would be interesting to see what Percival could turn the place into, especially if his wares were the magical sort. She'd need to figure out whether she was allowed to buy things from market and with what money. Maybe she'd find some nice stickers to decorate Watson?

Subsequently Percival's offer was met with an intrigued look that was swiftly followed by a feline grin.

"Ah, clever~" Arden laughed lightly. The people of Blackcliffe obviously trusted the word of the wizard and she wondered the extent of what her endorsement would bring him. "Sure! If I show up to your opening day and make a speech, whatever you want, Percy." The young woman had stepped into the room now. "But... you should probably tell me what you're selling first. Can't endorse something if I don't know what it is."

Well, maybe she could: come by Percy's shop and buy some whatsyacallits and thingymabobbies!
"For the common customers, I will be selling valuable jewelry and masterwork cutlery. I hear that golden forks are a real hit with the Blackcliffe nobles at the moment!" Halfling's grin was as feline as her own, with some greed added to it. He was a salesman through and through. "I will be selling expensive and prestigious stuff. That's all you need to know, Wizard! Get me a decent amount of customers on the opening day and then I'll show my special wares." He gave a knowing wink.

It did not look like Percival was about to chat further with her. She would just have to remember to come and visit him in a week. It was Wednesday today, if traveling into a different reality did not somehow cause her to lose time as well.

Arden still had enough time to spend prowling around the market, however it would prove fruitless, considering she had absolutely no money with her.

- Listen around the market, hoping to catch some gossip.
- Go to the Queen to ask for money.
- Go to the Queen to ask how to make money.
- Try finding Mel to help with that.
- Return home and ask your staff about it.
》Go to the Queen to ask how to make money.

As their conversation drew to a close Arden was free to wander the busy market streets once again. She blew out her cheeks thoughtfully as she strode forward, Watson kept faithfully by her side. The question of money and how to make some needed to be answered. There was no fun in being unable to buy the goods of the market; Arden couldn't believe that she'd journeyed to some magical world and still managed to be a broke student.

Arden's gaze settled on the castle and she spun on her heel, quickly changing her direction. Maybe she should ask the Queen about the duties of a wizard? Right now it looked like she was just a safe guard that they kept around to protect them from possible attacks. However, Kogan had mentioned that there hadn't been one in years. Arden liked learning new things and studying magic was hardly a chore, but she wanted to do more than that.

Determination steeled Arden headed toward the castle with a small smile. Seeing the beautiful Queen was just a bonus on that~
The Queen was in the throneroom, a large queue formed in front of her. Although the Queensguard did not stop Arden, one of them politely pulled her to the side to explain.

"Her highness is holding court today. All the people in the room are petitioners, Wizard. I know you could go straight to the start of the queue and skip formalities, but some of these people have been here since dawn." He raised his hands defensively. "I don't mean to offend, it's your right. I'm just saying that not all would appreciate it."

There was quite a large queue there and if Arden stood and waited patiently, she would get to speak to the Queen at nightfall, or not even be able to that day at all. Of course, she was the sole Wizard in Blackcliffe and she could just yell loud enough to get the Queen's attention and be moved up to the front. Or she could give up on it and leave.

But, just as she considered her options, she saw that man from yesterday, a dark haired, solemn looking one who sat next to the Queen and hadn't spoken a word. He was close enough to her to be an adviser or something similar and he stood idly to the side, not receiving any petitioners. Perhaps it would be the same asking him the question?

- Wait in the queue politely.
- Skip to the front.
- Approach the adviser.
- Go home.
》Approach the adviser.

Oh, Arden hated those kinds of people who skipped lines! They were always so sneaky and unapologetic about the entire thing too. At least the guard was up front enough to pull her aside and explain the situation. He probably didn't want to sort out the ruckus that'd undoubtedly follow her actions -- but still! Very good of him. She made sure to tell him this whilst giving his chest an affectionate pat.

Then, her gaze settled on the adviser. "I'm gonna talk to him instead!" Arden announced and then circled around to where he stood. Though she carefully avoided venturing too close to the line, just in case somebody mistakenly thought she was trying to inch closer to the Queen. She was pretty and seemed interesting but not enough for Arden to wait hours for her attention.

"Mister Adviser?" Arden prompted curiously, slanting him with a questioning smile. "Could I ask you something, please?"

The sullen looking man turned slowly to face her, a look of total disinterest on his face. He stood silent for a moment, only slowly blinking, as if assessing her and how to respond. Finally, with a slightly disdainful curl of the lip, he responded.

"Wizard. I see you have adjusted to your life here already. That was fast. Usually your kind begins with shutting themselves in the Tower for the first week." There was a sneer on his face. "I am Tobias. And I am a prince, not an adviser."

The man spoke as if that should be obvious, even though he did not wear a crown. A brother to the Queen then, but it seemed that the siblings were quite different.

- Ask the prince about him.
- Ask the prince about your duties.
- Ask the prince about the Queen.
- Ask something else.
- Leave.
》Ask the prince about your duties.

Wow, that was an awkward mistake for me to make.

Arden winced apologetically and then offered up a hesitant smile instead, unperturbed by his gloomy disposition. She'd be gloomy too if she had to watch her brother hold court. Imagine, having to listen to all those boring concerns while you had to sit there and contemplate death. At least that's what she gathered from his disdainful expression.

"I'm really sorry about that, Prince Tobias?" Her apology sounded more like a question as Arden still wasn't quite sure how she was supposed to address royalty. "To be fair, if the Queen wasn't wearing a crown and sitting in a throne I wouldn't have known she was royalty either." That explanation probably didn't help anything, it was best to just steamroll ahead she decided.

"Anyway! Shall I try that again?" Arden flashed him a more roguish, less nervous, grin. "I just wanted to ask what my duties actually were. Don't get me wrong, it's brilliant being a wizard and being able to do magic but... what am I supposed to do? Is this my job? How do I earn money? Can I get a job on the side? What's the deal here?"
The Prince watched her in silence as she spewed her questions, only slightly raising an eyebrow. Once she was done, he slowly took a deep breath, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

"Wizard, you misunderstood me. I don't care about your kind. Blackcliffe never benefited from Wizards and it never will. You are absolutely useless here, a dead weight. Just like Thomas, you will receive gifts from our naive people that revere you like you are some kind of a god. You will not lift a finger or do a hard day's work in your life. And then you will go insane and kill yourself in a forest." He gave a vile grin. "And it will be good riddance. You Wizards are nothing but leeches."

- Ignore him and leave.
- Argue.
- Try to convince him you can do good.
- Insist on answers.
》Try to convince him you can do good.

Somebody was not a happy camper and Arden visibly deflated in disappointment as her questions fell short. Another person who was bitter and angry about all of wizard kind? She tried not too look annoyed by his declaration because she really didn't have time for this. Arden had stuff to do! Like, well... some very important wizard business!

"Obviously your tower doesn't agree with that statement," Arden pointed out, ignoring Tobias' disturbing grin -- how did he even do that with his lips? -- instead she huffed out an annoyed breath. She ran a hand through shoulder length dark hair and briefly mulled over how to proceed.

"Listen man, I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to do something, alright?" Arden argued, dropping her arms to cross them over her chest. For once her expression was serious, dark eyes locked on the prince. "I don't really know why your tower called me here but I assume it was for a good reason. I'm going to guess that there are duties that I should do, people I should help, and I won't be able to do any of that unless you point me in the right direction."
She did not get a response. Instead the Prince turned around and with a disdainful look over his shoulder, proceeded to walk away from her. That was when the Queen noticed her.

"Wizard!" She called across the room, making the courtiers and petitioners turn all as one to regard Arden. "Come here, Wizard. Did you need any help?" The Queen asked, which made some of the looks Arden got turn a bit menacing.

The petitioners would certainly not be pleased with their business getting delayed, but could she afford to ignore the Queen? One of the royal siblings did not like her, would she antagonise the other one too?

The Queen was all smiles, waving a handkerchief in her direction. She looked to be in a good mood.

- Be brief.
- Ask everything you want.
- Excuse yourself and leave.
- Pretend you haven't heard her.
》Excuse yourself and leave.

Arden's annoyance increased tenfold and she sent a sharp glare after the prince as he seemingly waltzed away. Clearly he didn't receive enough etiquette lessons as a child, Arden thought grumpily. The Queen's call caught her attention and she dropped her arms from where they'd been crossed over her chest in order to wave back. She received some rather menacing stares for her trouble.

Arden ignored the annoyed looks from the people lined up, was everyone going to be difficult today? Still, she didn't want to tempt fate and as much as she wanted to speak to the Queen it'd have to happen some other time. She wasn't no line cutter.

"No, it's alright!" Arden assured her and readjusted her cloak as she prepared to leave. "I was just dropping by. I'll catch up with you some other time... maybe when you aren't so busy?" And then, because she couldn't help herself, she winked with a -- possibly suggestive smile -- and headed for the doors. She'd wasted enough for her time here, Arden needed to study up on spells.
"Oh, okay." The Queen looked at her quizzically, then at her brother who was now leaving the great hall, and gave a little wink, before turning back to her courtiers. The people were glad that the order resumed without to long of a break. After all, no one liked waiting in a queue the whole day only to have someone cut straight in front of them.

The guards gave her respectful nods as she left the palace and the business inside resumed.


Finding her way back to the Tower, Arden was faced with a strange scene. Where that morning stood only a portal in the middle of an empty street, now it was barely visible through a crowd of people. Voices were raised and people were talking over each other, but one voice was the loudest.

"For fuck's sake, get out of there!" It was Kogan, standing in front of the portal and staring the crowd down with a menacing glare. "She's not here and you made me walk out, so I'm stuck here with you! Which one of you wants to make their amends first?" The orc rumbled making a step back. This sent a ripple through the crowd, as the people hurried to get out of his path.

- Approach the crowd.
- Call for Kogan.
- Hide in the alley and watch.
- Leave.
》Call for Kogan.

Exhausted from the events of the day, Arden slumped back to the Tower with a mind full of whirling thoughts. At the sight of the crowd her steps slowed, eyebrows raised in surprise. Why... were all these people here? Arden could only guess that it had something to do with people's polarizing feelings on wizards. Hopefully these were the ones that thought she was awesome.

Kogan's annoyed voice rang out over the crowd and the young woman snorted in amusement. His prickly disposition was actually a pretty good deterrent and maybe, just maybe, it'd stop big crowds like this from forming again. Not that Arden didn't like attention but... this might be a little too much.

"Kogan!" Arden called, announcing herself to the crowds against her better judgement. Somebody had to save the poor orc. "It's fine, I'm back now." She trailed closer the gathering of people and raised a hand for a cheerful wave. "Sorry I missed the invitation to the party, what is everyone here for?"
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At the sound of her voice, heads turned toward her. Then all the people rushed at her. Kogan watched in terror for a moment, but quickly got his bearings and hurried through the crowd, pushing everyone left and right, so he made it in front of Arden first, forming a protective wall.

"Stay back! Form a line!" He commanded, tusks exposed as he took a stance like an animal ready to attack would.

The people flinched for just a second and then some of them reluctantly stepped back, while others hurried forward to be at the front. Their voices were still raised as they called for Arden.

"Wizard, my child is sick!"
"Wizard, my crops are dying!"
"I'm building a home for my family and need a blessing!"
"I cannot decide which job to take and need advice!"
"My girlfriend ran off with another man, please help me!"
"Please, I need..."

And so on, each and every one of them had their own request and was counting on Arden to fulfil it. Kogan turned to look her from across his shoulder.

"The last Wizard didn't come out of the tower enough. These citizens heard that you have been walking around town, saving people no less, and now think that you are different." He looked around, assessing the situation. "I can get you through the portal fast enough to get away from them, I think."

"Wait, wait, you can't send them away." Mel's voice sounded from behind the two of them. The elf was approaching from the same street that Arden took, presumably attracted by the noise. He carried a leather bound ledger. "Get them to form a line, I can take their names and arrange the visitation times." He looked at Arden. "That is, Wizard, if you are willing to spend a couple of hours a day helping the people of Blackcliffe."

"Better ask for money then." Kogan added.

- Get in the Tower.
- Get back into the city.
- Tell the people to make appointments with Mel.
- Hear some of them out and leave the rest with Mel.
》Hear some of them out and leave the rest with Mel.

As the crowd rushed toward her like a building stampede Arden witnessed her life flash dramatically before her eyes. It was absent of the normal family dinners, or familial relations in general, and instead she saw a lot of herself sitting on the couch in her pajamas eating dry cereal while watching the Bachelor. And then suddenly Kogan was there. Shielding her from the desperation of the villagers and her own depressing thoughts.

"Wow," Arden breathed, attention momentarily diverted as she waved amicably toward Mel. He seemed to understand the situation and offered a decent solution. It solved her question on what she was supposed to do as a job, solved the income question, and gave Arden something useful to aspire toward when it came to her powers. Hah! And they said she'd never get a job with her psychology degree.

"Alright," Arden shrugged and patted Kogan's back gratefully as she completely turned to regard Mel. "You set up the appointments and I'll see them." She agreed with the Elf and then turned back the crowd.

"Thank you all for coming out! Now, if everyone could please form an orderly line for Mel over here --" Arden gestured in his general direction. "-- he will set up an appointment so that I can come and help you with whatever you need!" For a moment she paused, debating whether to continue. She'd heard a request that had risen above the other's when the villagers can closed in. "Those who require healing can come talk to me directly."
Most of the people listened to her words and formed a neat line in front of Mel who set to work immediately. Those who did not want to wait and tried to bypass it, Kogan dealt with, either picking them up by their collars and forcing them in the line, or just snarling at them until they obeyed. It was a good thing the Orc towered above most of them.

Those that Arden called out, the ones that needed healing for themselves or someone else, were not a small crowd too. Around a dozen of them circled Arden, all talking over each other so that their needs might be the first ones to be satisfied.

What she managed to hear out of all that prattling, was an older woman whose son had injured his leg while hunting and the cutters proclaimed that there would be no saving it. The other request that looked to be urgent came from a father who carried a little child, perhaps two or three years old, on his back. The child was very pale and coughing. It didn't look to be much other than a common cold, but the father apparently had no money to buy any medication for the toddler. Which too meant that he wouldn't be able to pay Arden.

Others complained about pain in their knees or hands, losing their eyesight or hearing, and one very old man that was dressed like a noble asked of Arden to make him younger. He was apparently willing to pay a mountain of gold for that.

Out of everyone there with Arden's knowledge so far she could probably heal the little child and other people that complained about random arthritis pains and the like. Healing anything bigger than that would require at least a couple more days of reading. And reverting someone's ageing process? That she would need to look up, if it was even possible.

- Try to heal the woman's son.
- Heal the toddler.
- Heal everyone with minor injuries and illness.
- Talk to the old man about making him young again.
- Give up.
》Heal the toddler.

The amount of people that remained actually astounded Arden as she wondered why these people hadn't sought out an actual doctor. However, as details of their ailments came forth, she began to see why. For some of them the health system had failed them, either through lack of funds or abilities. But for others it was due to the unusual nature of their requests; she didn't even know where to begin with immortality and she wasn't going to touch it anytime soon. Not even for a mountain of gold.

"Alright," Arden breathed as she tried not to feel overwhelmed. Right now she could only heal minor injuries and common colds, so that was what she would start with. The toddler looked to be the most pressing concern and so she gestured the father to bring the child closer.

"How about I start with you?" Arden asked, the normal playfulness absent from her expression as she purposefully softened her features. "I'll see what I can do for your child." She offered, hands stretched out for the toddler but being careful not to overstep her boundaries. Parents could be terrifying creatures after all, especially when their child was in danger.
"Thank you." The father smiled gratefully, handing his child over to Arden, though still lingering at arm's reach.

The crowd now turned to watch her, all eyes following intently, so they can see what their new Wizard was capable off. A good thing she started with the toddler, because the little child, as first assumed, had nothing more than a sore throat and a slight fever. Back in Australia this would be treated with a regular syrup, but she did not know how advanced or unadvanced the medicine was in this realm.

Her healing knowledge was enough to take care of the child with only a touch and a bit of concentration and when the colour returned to the toddler's cheeks and it cooed happily, the people around let out gasps and sighs, like they just witnessed a miracle.

"Thank you." The father repeated. "Thank you so much, great Wizard." He took his child back and grasped Arden's hand tightly. "I don't have anything to give you in return right now, but my wife makes a mean pot of soup, so please visit us whenever you like." He grinned. "We are the Millers, living at the dock warehouses."

- Spend time healing / talking to someone else.
- Go into the Tower.
》Spend time healing / talking to someone else.

"That's much better, right?" Arden asked the toddler with a playful wink before glancing up to meet the much more serious gaze of the father. She hadn't expected the man to pay at all; the idea that this child could genuinely die from something she could prevent seemed absurd. Still, she grinned right back at the offer. "Well, I could never turn down free food~"

For a brief second she squeezed his hand back before standing to move onto the next person. "Who is next?"

Mainly Arden focused on the minor wounds and injuries that she knew how to fix. She'd still need to apologise to the elderly man seeking eternal youth -- that she certainly couldn't give -- and Arden was trying to save the woman and her son for last. While she couldn't properly heal him Arden hoped that she could at least keep the sickness at bay until she'd improved her healing enough to help.
After a couple of hours of hard work, healing and listening to the stories of the people in the middle of the street, Arden was left exhausted. She healed cuts and scrapes and coughs and after a while she felt like she needed a warm drink and a warmer bed.

All the people with minor injuries were treated and most of them were able to pay so she accumulated a nice sum or round silver coins which seemed to be the local currency. The woman with the injured sun would have to wait another day at least, because that day Arden could barely stand on her own two feet. Using magic left a comforting tingling feeling behind, but it also let the exhaustion sink in.

"Let's go the hell inside, Wizard." Kogan said, taking her by the arm and leading her to the portal. "If you collapse on the street, it's gonna be my fault."

"I'll finish here and visit you later with a full list." Mel called, still taking down the final of the names.

Through the portal and into the Tower, the two of them stumbled into the main hall where everything somehow seemed much fresher than it did that morning. Miss Jacqueline was working her own kind of magic inside.

- Rest until tomorrow.
- Rest until evening, then choose what to study.
- Rest until evening, then spend time with Jacqueline or Kogan.
》Rest until evening: study healing.

"Well, we can't have that can we?" Arden murmured teasingly to the taller male as she gently patted his arm. Once they were back inside the tower she pulled away from his grip with an exhausted yawn, headed directly toward her bedroom while leaning heavily on her staff. Watson was an important pillar of support in all of this, such a faithful companion.

Arden hadn't expected the magic to take such a toll on her, which seemed silly to think about now. All power had a price, right? Luckily hers could be napped away. So, it was decided, for now she'd rest up and then it was back to the books. Arden didn't want to specialise in healing but she definitely wanted to improve upon it. It was best to get started while she could.
Arden had read found another book with healing magic that was set aside the day before helpfully by Mel. She felt her understanding of the subject grow and she could visualise all the little bones in a human, elven, orcish, or a halfling's body. She will be able to heal more serious injuries now, more complicated fractures and sickness. Perhaps she could try her hand at healing that woman's son once she came to seek her out, probably in the morning.

Right next to the book she was reading, Arden found a journal from some Wizard, one of her predecessors with a weird and complicated name. The journal from the ancient Wizard begun with him writing about how he missed his home. He spoke about places she'd never heard of before and she came to the conclusion that he didn't come from Earth. He wrote about reading through the many journals from the wizards before him and said he hoped to live up to their great deeds.

As she flipped ahead, she read about how the Wizard learned great magic - the journal described his many accomplishments. Perhaps at some point, Arden should start a journal of her own.


The night came and went and in the morning she was stirred early from her sleep, by Miss Jacqueline who brought her strong smelling tea and news that the Queen had apparently set someone to yell outside her window. This was common practice in Blackcliffe it looked like. Nevertheless, the Queen required her presence for some reason or the other.

- Go to the Queen immediately.
- Get ready thoroughly, then go.
- Don't go.
》Go to the Queen immediately.

"Just five more minutes," Arden snuffled sleepily at the early disruption as she attempted to burrow deeper into her bed. The strong scent of tea roused her senses enough to hear Miss Jacqueline's mention of the Queen. Dark, bleary eyes peered over the top of her blanket and then, with no small amount of grouching, Arden finally extracted herself from the bed.

A momentary flare of panic followed her actions as she felt the cold air on her bare skin. Arden slept naked. But the embarrassment was short lived; it wasn't like Miss Jacqueline had never seen a naked woman before. Everyone in Blackcliffe had probably seen this bod already.

It didn't take her long to get ready as Arden still needed to ask about the bathing situation. She had basically just resigned herself to cleaning up in the wash basin. First she slipped on a pair of weird cotton underwear, black high waisted trousers -- not dissimilar to her first pair -- and another white pirate shirt which she haphazardly tucked in. Leather boots followed and her red cloak was pulled close around her shoulders. Altogether it took her barely five minutes and Arden was clean and dressed and out the door with Watson in her hand, having downed only half the tea she'd been brought.

When the Queen called, she called. Or... Arden guessed that was how it worked at least.
Miss Jacqueline was not fazed by her nudity, though she respectfully averted her gaze, leaving the tea on the table and then walking out with a motherly smile.


The palace guards bowed to Arden and escorted her directly to the throne room. The royal siblings were waiting there, seated at an enormous wooden table that groaned under the weight of all the food piled onto it. Arden's stomach grumbled. The Queen was smiling and sipping wine, while her brother was picking solemnly at his food.

"Hello, Wizard!" The Queen greeted merrily. "We were just discussing the taxes from the mines. My brother claims that we should be raising the taxes on the ores that are taken from our mines, but I was thinking... If we keep them low, then there will be more ore for the blacksmiths to produce things. We can tax these higher-value items and it will make more in the end."

"That's ridiculous." Prince Tobias said with a scowl. "We need the revenues immediately. If the blacksmiths want that ore, they'll pay the taxes we set."

- Agree with the Queen.
- Agree with the Prince.
- Propose a better plan.
- Say that both plans are good.
- Say that you don't care.
- Ask to eat with them.
》Say that both plans are good.

Stepping into the throne room Arden had to bite back an exhausted yawn as she raised a hand in a lazy salute to the Queen. The guards had released her into the room without any trouble which suggested they already trusted her more than Thomas. Once she had ventured close enough to the royal siblings she bowed in a proper greeting and straightened up with a rougish grin.

When she'd been hailed by the Queen she hadn't expected to be asked for her opinion on trade or taxes. Arden could barely pay her own taxes in the real world... well, this was her real world now, right? Her knowledge was pretty basic in that respect.

"That just sounds like VAT and GST," Arden shrugged nonchalantly, it wasn't as if her words would have any real impact. "They're both good ideas though. Basically you can place a tax on the commodity in question and then again on the sale item after servicing. The more value in an item, the higher the tax." She scrunched up her nose slightly and reviewed what she'd said. It wasn't too offensive and was vague enough to indirectly agree with both ideas. "Personally, I think you should enforce the tax based on the immediate needs of the kingdom --" She pretended like she hadn't just agreed with the grumpy prince. "-- but I can see the value in long-term planning."

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