Chapter 2:

Nightingale's Dilemma

Twilight Neverland: One-Shot

Named after the famous clock tower it harbored, Clockwork Town was a wide place. Something could happen on one side of the town, and the other side wouldn’t even be aware of it.

It was, by no means, small. But being the biggest area in the city did not always mean fame.

The district was a residential area, first and foremost, with shops here and there to provide service. Still, it was the best out of all districts. Its immaculate streets were a far cry from most of the insanitary streets in the other prefectures, there was barely any sort of traffic, and they had straight direction signs everywhere so that it would be impossible to get lost.

That day, the marketplace was at its busiest.

No, there were no festivity, no fireworks, and certainly no excessively large crowds.

Just two dozen volunteers sauntering the streets to advertise the newest election candidates. It was due in two weeks, yet the citizens were just hearing about it now. The volunteers took their sweet time getting friendly with the townsfolk (it was company policy and what-not), so the commotion didn’t come from them.

It did come, however, from an unexpected place. Right in the middle of the marketplace, near the third “MegaMart” chain store, was a humble shop standing out in the most elegant way. True to the city’s charming fashion, the shop’s brown exterior with large windows was able to attract anyone’s attention and take them on a trip to Paris — the one who designed it was French after all.

It was quite grandiose for a bread store.

Yes… it was just a bread store.

A simple bread store you would expect no complaints from. The employees were well-mannered and well-trained to handle customers.

But even that wasn’t enough to prepare them for the dense young lady that stood before them that day.

Despite being of average height, she towered over the employee, who looked just about as young as her, with a menacing glare. Yet, there was a certain charm to her face that the employee could not discern.

She had long wavy blonde hair with twin tails. Her lilac eyes had prominent bags underneath. The cheap tracksuit she wore did not help her image at all, but she didn’t mind.

If people thought she was just another lousy teenager, let them think that. That was how her mind worked.

“I told you! I just want bread!” The young lady yelled.

“And you got it, miss.” The employee, a young boy, pointed at her hand, “So what exactly is the problem that you’re facing?” He tried to remain as polite as possible.

“You mean this?” She shook the giant bread (about a meter long) she held, “This is a Baguette!!!! Why can’t you just get it? I. just. want… a normal-sized bread! Do I need to say it again? Non non, je ne want Baguette. Is that better?”

“Well, I just explained, miss. We’re out of normal bread,” he moved over to one of the food baskets and grabbed a piece of bread, “But we do have Italian, they have sesame—”

“What the hell is sesame?!” The girl shoved it aside, “Take that shit out!”

Two other employees in the back watched the dispute in silence. Normally, if a customer was out of line, they would kindly kick them out of the store. So the two men were surprised why their co-worker was not willing to do exactly that. But then it hit them. They had seen that vulgar girl before. She was their co-worker’s crush. He was but a part-time worker who attended Luxsworth Academy, and she clearly looked like a student. It all clicked. But remembering that only got them to suppress their laughter harder than before. They wondered what exactly did their co-worker see in her.

“(She do got some knockers though…)” One of them whispered to the other.

“(Hmm… Slightly average. Still doesn’t make up for appearance.)”

As those two went on with their inappropriate gossip like old women, the feud, just a few meters away from them, wasn’t over yet.

“Listen up, you little brat,” the girl grabbed the boy by his collar, “If you don’t go in there, and make what I want, then you’ll be the one eating baguettes until you turn french! I don’t care how much it costs… I haven’t had breakfast today, and I need my food!!”

It was unbelievable how a mere teenager managed to make such a commotion. No one dared approach her. And there were no authorities around.

“Y-You’re asking too much of me,” the boy backed away slowly as the girl got closer, “We’re just a bread store, we don’t actually—”

“Swear on your f—”

Just then, the girl felt something vibrating against her stomach. It was her phone buzzing.

— Tch… Perfect timing…

She reached for it in her sweater’s pocket. Coated with a pink shade and quite the decorative design, her phone did not match at all with her looks — at least, those around thought in secret.

“The Asshats” was written on the screen, with five icons merged together above it. A group call.

— Crap!

“Yes!” She answered hurriedly.

Finally, someone picked through,” A young girl’s voice came through the speaker, it was Zoe, “Where are you? There’s something—

“I’m at the bread!” The girl replied with confidence.

What followed was a long pause on both sides.

“I-I mean the bread store!! The ‘effin bread store, all right!!”

Oh really?!” Zoe naturally got sidetracked, “Is that the one next to MegaMart?

“Uh huh, what’s it to you?”

Awesome! Can you please, please, get me a pack of Maruyone? Shogo was right. They are super delicious. But the ones I have right now are spoiled.

“Marry-who-with-the-what-now?” An image of a certain jagged plant emerged in her mind, “Isn’t that a…”

It was then, that the girl was surprised to notice how packed her surroundings were. The two employees in the back smirking, the boy waiting with fear for her to finish her phone call, and the crowd watching outside.

Without realizing it, she had attracted unwanted attention.

All eyes were on her. She noticed familiar faces among the crowd and wondered what they were thinking of her at that moment. Instead of stepping in to do something, they preferred standing on the sidelines to enjoy the freak-show she pulled off. It was not every day that they would get to see a freak like her.

This whole situation ticked her off. But again, it didn’t matter. None of it mattered.

The girl grimaced.

— What a shitty day!

She threw the baguette she had earlier back in the basket, grabbed her duffle bag, and stormed out of the place without a second thought.

Even after hearing the boy calling out to her… Even after the familiar faces eyed her with confusion as she walked out, she continued without looking back.

— Can’t even get food for myself… I really hate Fridays!

Stuck in this dilemma, the girl forgot she had Zoe on the phone earlier.

“(Hello?)” The voice in the phone echoed.

After putting a great distance between herself and the marketplace, the girl put the phone back to her ear, “Yeah, I’m here.”

So the Maruyone…,” Zoe started explaining with excitement showing in her voice, “It’s basically a MegaMart special. It’s made of rice and some amazing fillings — kinda like sushi, but not really — and y’know what… it's got this donut shape to it. It’s really good. You should try it.

Not to interrupt this wonderful session of food commercials, but aren’t you girls forgetting something?” A third voice came through.

— Oh god, why is he here?

We’re running short on time here,” the young man on the other line continued, “So, Zoe, would you kindly tell us what exactly we are up against?

Oh no, that? It’s um…

A Dragooun!” A fourth, feminine, voice appeared.

“A Dragoon?” The girl questioned, “Isn’t that part of the—”

A Dragooun, with an added “u” — not to be mistaken with members of the cavalry in the British army — is an endangered hybrid species of dragons from Wonderland.” The other young girl on the line, although her voice seemed monotone, was confident and fast with her words.

— There she goes again…

The girl knew that other girl very well. Not because of them being classmates or on the same team in the field. Despite the obvious contrast in their personalities, they were best friends since childhood. Normally, the two were inseparable. But when it came to fieldwork, it was something else. To the other girl, work was work no matter who you were with.

Walks on all fours. Skin is that of a reptilian as usual,” the other girl continued, “Its size is relatively small, about fifty-one centimeters tall. But it’s capable of shifting it, often expanding to the scale of an average dragon, which might pose a real problem to us if that happens. No specific breathing skills, it can vary from fire-breathing to ice to— Uh… I won’t go into more details about this, I know you guys are already bored by this point. One more thing though, the most notable feature is its one wing extending on both sides.

Dragons normally had separate two wings, but this unique hybrid had one acting as two. There was unknown merit to it, but that unique feature only endangered it for now. If one side was rendered immobile, it would continue to infect the other side and the backbone connecting the wings, possibly leading to death if left untreated.

As the girl listened to some of the other girl’s explanations, she pulled a lollipop out of her pocket. It helped her ease her mind. Any type of candy would help her actually, but this one in particular was perfect for tense situations.

“Sho, we’re gonna kill it?!” She casually exclaimed.

Gimme a break!” The young man sighed, “Our mission is to capture it — no, not just immobilize it, you blockhead — until higher authorities show up.

“God… this is such a pain in the ass…,” the girl expressed herself, “It’s always “do this or do that,” and not an ounce of respect from them. This is against my students’ rights, ya’know!”

Well, you’ll just have to live with it like the rest of us,” he answered, “Anyways, I’ll rendezvous with Juno. Zoe, you keep your distance. And you, you better get your lazy fatass moving already.

“I’m not taking orders from someone who mains Baiken.”

“...” There was a short moment of silence “...Well, too bad, our leader decided to drop by his favorite café, now of all times, and I’m left in his place…,

“He what?!!”

Don’t ask! Just hurry up already.

Aren’t we missing someone else though—” Zoe tried to ask before the line was cut on all their sides.

— Yep, they’re asshats.

The girl dropped her duffle bag on the ground. In the middle of the street, she unzipped her sweater, there was a shirt underneath, and threw it in.

It didn’t stop there though. She took off her sweatpants as well, before quickly covering herself with the dark school skirt (with the green lines) she grabbed from the bag earlier. Not many were around, but those who were, were in total disbelief as if they were watching someone from a hidden camera show.

Closing off the show, the girl swung her patternless green school jacket around and slid into it with style. She was always a show-off, no matter the situation — as long as her flashy actions overcame the embarrassing ones.

And so, in spite of her unseemly appearance earlier, she appeared to those around her as a hero, a rather messy one, but the fantastical image was still there.

Emiya Nightingale was going to be a champion.


Full Name: Emiya Nightingale

Age: 16 years old

Birthdate: December 28

Gender: Female

Height: 170cm

Literary Element: First-Person

Rank: 2nd Year Student (Luxsworth Academy)

Note: Very short temper


One step remained: The pen.

Every writer had a pen of their own, and each one was unique with different purposes depending on the user. These weren’t just run-of-the-mill pens that one could find at any stationary. They were imbued with Neverland’s touch.

Her needlepoint pen was flashy to the eyes: the cerulean shade, the voguish tube design, and the overall feel to it was clean. Just like how she wanted it to be. The needle was just right, both in length and thickness, yielding even and smooth lines, and making it easy and fast to write with — even without amplifying the writing speed.

Seeing a pen with a girl like her would certainly attract some wide eyes. It only signified the potential she had.

— All right, let’s go!

Emiya had the smuggest grin on her face.

“You better watch out, Neverland!!” She raised her arm straight to the sky, “I’ll show you what a Nightingale can do!”