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The Bitter Leaf [Cassidi]

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The Bitter Leaf [Cassidi] Empty The Bitter Leaf [Cassidi]

Post by Kiigan Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:37 am

A peaceful little town full of peaceful people living in a strange bubble of racial harmony. That was what Newdale presented to the world, a place where Eldritch and Humans managed to coexist without issues. The favorable result of the treaty made all those years ago. The example. Was it true? That depended on how long people stuck around and peered into the cracks and shadows, but everywhere had their problems. Newdale was just better at hiding them than most other places, even if it did give the place a vibe at times so sickly sweet that it could be a little off-putting.

Despite the permanent twilight of the Outer Realm, everything else about the town looked as quaint as any other town in Mirinah full of buildings constructed of wood, plaster, and stone. Cobblestoned streets would take visitors past homes, a school where kids of both races attended together, and plenty of restaurants, taverns, and retail shops. One such shop was called The Bitter Leaf, seated toward the south where there was property behind it perfect for a greenhouse. As an apothecary, the shop needed access to every manner of herb and plant for medicines, poisons, and antidotes, and some were not easily grown in the dark.

Scott Youngblood felt most at home in the greenhouse basking in the artificial sunlight reflecting off glass and the lush rainbow assortments of leaves, though he pretended to be indifferent. He didn't own this establishment, nor the restaurant, Dahlia, next door. In fact, Scott owned nothing, not even himself and scarcely his own thoughts. He was simply an employee between the two businesses that came off as a shy loner that would rather deal with horticulture and cooking than people. It had been this way for about a decade of his life, give or take, but he had made some sort of peace with it, mysterious as it was.

Zeno, his boss, was out on business today. The Bitter Leaf was otherwise completely empty and it was the pale young man's job to look over things while he was gone. Ear straining to hear the bell ring on the business front's door should a customer enter, a wild white ponytail bobbed through the greenhouse, black sleeves rolled loosely around his elbows. As he leaned over a particularly monstrous planter of giant purple flowers with his watering can, its black pollen smeared all over his red apron. Much to his delight, not that anyone could tell by his face, the temperamental flower had finally produced a new bud. Thin fingers reached out to examine it with deliberate, careful touches just as he heard the bell jingle. It made him jerk and he very nearly broke the precious baby flower off, but he narrowly managed to control his motor skills enough to avoid it. People and customer service weren't his strong suits, but he had no choice but to play the part.

With a sigh, he stepped into the back of the warm-wood apothecary, looking for the customer amongst all the hanging tufts of dried herbs, shelved of colorful bottles, and drawers full of mixing agents. "Hello, welcome to The Bitter Leaf," he said in a quiet, rehearsed tone. "How can I assist you?"

[wc: 540]
Kiigan
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The Bitter Leaf [Cassidi] Empty Re: The Bitter Leaf [Cassidi]

Post by Cassidi Fri Oct 29, 2021 2:09 am

In the past, Cassidi had the pleasure of walking through Newdale various times. It was mainly for quest-related reasons for her trips to this seemingly pleasant town. Everything about its smiling and overly sweet populace gave her an unsettling feeling. Maybe Cassi was being paranoid, but she never felt comfortable enough to stay here longer than necessary. As she walked along the cobblestone streets, the white-haired hybrid examined her surroundings, noting everything. Lingering her golden gaze on the school she passed by, the young woman let out a soft sigh as a faint smile formed on her face. Then, Cass’ eyes re-focused, looking for a particular building. Eventually, she spotted the apothecary called the Bitter Leaf. She heard good things about the establishment from a couple of townsfolk, so it appeared to be the best option for what she intended to find.

Recently, the novice adventurer struggled to control her emotions. It felt like some strange drug had spiked her body. The nerves were growing uneasy. In her childhood years, Cassidi’s mother warned her multiple times about the painful “urge” that occurred in werewolves; The ravenous instinct to mindlessly hunt for prey. Naturally, there were ways one could help control this agonizing anger. The method that she resorted to was getting a drug (s) with a strong calming effect. Or something like that. Cass wasn’t exactly familiar with working with herbs and medicines. Hopefully, the people who work here would be somewhat patient with her lack of knowledge. With that, she swung open the door as her ears perked up a little at the bell chime.

Crossing her arms, Cassidi took the time to look around the business as she waited. She was very much a person who ascribed to the “Look but don’t touch” policy. Too many unpleasant experiences with her strong yet careless grip made her cautious whenever it came to handling things in stores. Suddenly, her ears caught the sound of footfall approaching from the back of the store. Then, Cassi looked over to see an impassive-looking man with white hair greeting the hybrid. With the slight twitch of her nose, she picked up a human-like scent coming from him. "Uh, yea. I'm looking for something that has a powerful soothing effect. Specifically for emotions, I guess ... I'm unsure if I'm describing it correctly, but do you have something that could do that?", she asked while glancing around the place once more.

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Cassidi
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Post by Kiigan Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:49 pm

A young woman. Spotting white hair like his own, he briefly flickered his eyes over her just enough to get an idea before his eyes averted to either the floor or off to something, anything, to either side of her. It felt wrong to look at her. There was something about her that felt like sunshine, maybe it was the warmth of her skin tone or the radiance of her golden eyes. Either way, it was something he hadn't seen or felt in years once he was trapped in this dark land. It was hard for Scott to keep eye contact anyway, even though he knew he should do better as customer service. He didn't care what people thought of him. He just wasn't comfortable. Eye contact wasn't exactly encouraged between himself and his 'boss', and after all these years, it was more his nature to avoid interaction as much as possible.

The young man fell silent for a potentially uncomfortable length of time, considering many things in the privacy of his own thoughts before he said anything. Scott was terribly shy and more than a little gloomy, so he had to make sure every word spoken had its maximum potential realized, though he wasn't always successful. He wasn't successful at a lot of things. It was pointless to hope anything different, yet he still tried. "I'm sure something can be made," started the chemist, his head giving a brief duck of a nod. "Emotions like...uhm...stress? Or sadness? Anger? Jitteriness? Dread?" he asked, glancing at her face for only a second before dropping his eyes and shuffling toward a chest filled with about a hundred small drawers with crystal knobs at the back of the room. People could hide emotions quite well, so trying to read her face for clues would be useless.

As a pale finger pulled several of the drawers to check his stock of various possibilities, he thought of another question. "Also, do you need a drowsy effect or something to take during the day? Or both?" Scott asked, reaching over for a mortar and pestle sitting nearby. There probably weren't many his age who knew plants and their effects like he did, so he had little doubt he could whip up something to solve her particular problem. Emotions, though complicated, were easily affected by the properties of herbs and oils, just like any other aspect of a physical body. He just had to know which ailment he was treating.

[wc: 413 || total: 1359]
Kiigan
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Post by Cassidi Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:55 pm

Cassidi had a few seconds to take in the herbalist's face before he moved his gaze away from her. Despite her laid-back exterior, the white-haired hybrid's heart skipped a beat. His azure eyes were very ... pretty. Then she mentally chastised herself for being so captivated by something as trivial as a person's eyes. Rather than embarrassing herself by talking further, she remained quiet as the uncomfortable silence filled the room. The young woman felt as if she made some kind of error until he finally spoke, agreeing that he could probably make what she desired. So, was he just shy? Maybe she had done nothing off-putting yet? Sighing softly, she said a quick "Thank you" as she watched the chemist walk toward a rather intricate-looking chest (at least from her perspective). Cassi explained more about her predicament. "I'm looking for something that could help with anger and rage specifically. Sometimes, it intensifies periodically to the point where it can be almost unbearable. It's like what other were-kind go through every month.". Even though she was hesitant to reveal anything of her werewolf blood, she figured that honesty would help best in this situation. From her experience, most humans, once they learned of her werewolf-hybrid nature, were distrustful. And, they're hesitant to interact with her.

Cassi took a moment to think over the herbalist's question about the drowsy effect. She hummed softly before answering, "If it's not too much of a hassle, I'd like to have both. One drowsy and one not. Just in case I need that..." With that, she would look around the store out of curiosity unless the young man asked any more questions. Of course, she kept her hands to herself. Plus, she hoped that this would make the atmosphere less awkward instead of her staring at him while he worked.

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Post by Kiigan Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:08 am

It was quite possible that nothing could make Scott less awkward. His head bobbed again in acknowledgment, continuing to look busy as she explained her situation a little better. "Ah, the were-species. I see. So... no cacao or grape skins or wolfsbane, maybe some diluted grimroot oil to dampen the instinct...chamomile, lavender, bergamot, velajim..." he muttered softly more to himself than his customer, unaffected by the revelation. Thin fingers went right to all the little drawers he needed. He rubbed some herbs between his fingers and gave them a sniff before sprinkling them in with some bright red petals and a small pinch of the same black pollen he was oblivious to on his apron.

It was all for naught, though. Naturally clumsy, the weakened state of his body only enhanced the trembling of his hands and his tendency to drop things. The first nearly pestle-ready batch suddenly dropped to the floor, the mortar shattering and spreading the contents everywhere. "Uh...hm..." he sighed, embarrassed but accepting of his blunder. That was the fourth mortar this month. "Sorry..." Scott mumbled, using his foot to nudge the broken pieces safely out of the way until he could clean it up later. He picked up another of the heavy ceramic bowls and quickly filled it with fresh ingredients again, moving around the corner to a shelf of tons of tiny vials with colorful liquids and dropping a few in. He repeated this whole action with another mortar and pestle with slightly different ingredients, then set them both on the nearby counter and began the process of grinding them down.

Eager to move on from his little accident, he glanced at her again while his hand rhythmically moved the pestle with the practiced deftness of a professional. "How would you prefer to take this? As a tea, pill, or syrup? Cinnamon helps with the bitterness, but it still might not be the best tasting..."  

[wc: 320 || total: 1984]
Kiigan
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Post by Cassidi Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:52 pm

While she revealed a part of her race, Cassidi kept a steady eye on the reserved chemist, checking to see his reaction. She let out a soft sigh as she noted how unperturbed he was by her disclosure. Lucky for her to get a human that wasn't bigoted. At least, he had shown no apparent reactions. With that, her golden gaze went back to examining the various containers lining the apothecary's shelves. The scents of the herbs and elixirs tingled her nose, making her sneeze in her arm. The sudden sound of ceramic breaking into pieces against the floor. Her nerves shot up, snapping her head toward the shattering noise. The tenseness of her muscles relaxed once she noticed that she had caused no accidental breakage.

Cassi chuckled a little at the herbalist's mumbled apology before trying to reassure him. "It's alright ..." Looking around the shelves again, the colorful bottles and herbs surrounding the white-haired woman piqued her curiosity a bit. "So, you make everything in here, then? That seems pretty time-consuming ... Although, I don't have any doubts that it's an incredibly useful skill." The hybrid commented absentmindedly and wasn't expecting a response. Then she tapped one of her feet on the floor, thinking about her answer to the man's other question. "Oh, um ... I guess I'd like to take it as a tea.  Could you make it like a honey tea? I always found that stuff makes me feel good whenever sick. Just a comfort thing for me."

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Post by Kiigan Sat Nov 20, 2021 12:26 am

"Mhm," he hummed an answer, a timid noise to go with the light blush he still suffered after she'd chuckled at him. "I like to know exactly how the ingredients have been grown and fed. No surprise reactions that way, so results are consistant. I don't have too much to do other than this anyway." The melancholy already coloring his tone only deepening at the end, though he offered no further explanation. No one was to know he was Gaiyan captive. His years-long imprisonment in the Outer Realm to be little more than a plant to be harvested from was a secret, though the business of buying authentic angel blood was a lucrative whisper in the darker communities. Of course, they didn't know he was the source of the vampire poison. If anyone did, he'd surely be stolen away from Zeno or killed, and Zeno didn't want his cash cow turned into a steak.

The acceptance of his circumstance was something he'd come to terms with, more or less, but that didn't mean he could be happy. Scott just had stolen happy moments, a bit like this one. Just doing his job, not hurting anyone. In fact, this was helping. Making someone something tasty and giving them a helpful medicine were the two things he looked forward to. It was all he could cling to if he was to keep living this miserable life, though no amount of good could cancel out all the bad that happened because of him.

As she looked away and curiously admired all the different colored bottles, the angel's eyes rose to steal a glance or two as he worked. She was nicer than most of his customers. He wasn't good at small talk, so normally it was a blessing when customers came in and only spoke to him to put in their orders, but he didn't mind this. "Honey tea?" he asked reflexively, peeking down at the mixture that was just about at the perfect grind for a tea. He put the pestle down and turned to add some honey drops that would melt as the teas steeped. "Uhm... I find honey tea comforting, too," he hesitantly added. Awkward, yes, but he was actually making a bit of effort to carry a conversation for a change. "Especially with a bit of noon blossom.."

Taking up a spoon and starting to fill little teabags with the mixtures, careful to keep the drowsy and non-drowsy separate, he again glanced up at the girl who reminded him of sunshine. "Are you going on a trip?" he asked, surprised at his own forwardness. It was out of his mouth before he could think. Normally the local werewolves he knew of didn't care enough to suppress something as natural as their 'time of the month' unless they were going somewhere where it would be dangerous for them to embrace it, so his idle curiosity got the better of him.

[wc: 490 || total: 2726]
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