Chapter 48:

Meet and Greet

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The newly formed group found themselves promptly escorted to a vast room with several beds laid out and nothing else. Even those with a regular room in the castle were brought to this new location.

The door slid shut, and the six were left to stare at each other in silence.

"Well, if no one else is claiming beds, I'm getting the one in the corner there," Odell finally broke the silence. He eagerly walked over and sat down on his newly claimed bed. His Needaimus broke free of his arm and settled onto the bed next to him as he sat down.

"Ahem, while claiming sleeping arrangements are important, should we not discuss what our plans will be?" Rheba asked.

In response, Harlan walked over to another bed and pointed at it.

"I'm taking this one," she said in a calm voice.

Rheba did not hide her disappointed sigh.

"Why would mother do this?" Fiona finally said as she rubbed her chin. She would never have expected to go on an important mission, and she was worrying that she would not be up to the task at hand.

Gwyn sighed and walked over to a bed close to Odell's.

"I believe it would be best for each of us to introduce ourselves properly," Rheba suggested as she rubbed her temples.

"Like an ice-breaker?" Gwyn muttered as he sat on the bed. "I'll start. I'm Gwyn. I came from another world, I have no fighting experience, and I'm not sure what I'm doing here." He said while blowing off some steam. Gwyn liked the idea of going on some adventure, but as far as he could tell, he was being forced to go along with it.

"We should probably explain our Needaimus abilities as well," Odell suggested while not picking up that Gwyn was displeased by the situation the Queen had put him in.

Gwyn let out a deep breath and tried to push down his frustration with the Queen. The others in the room were forced to go on this adventure just as much as he was.

"I can make things liquid or solid," Gwyn explained.

"And I'm Odell; I'm the second son of King Fio but don't worry about that. I enjoy mechanical things, and my ability is to change my weight to be lighter than air or heavier than a mountain!" Odell happily explained.

The others all found where they would sleep for the night while Odell spoke. Then, they looked at each other while silently determining who would speak next. Rheba ended up going.

"I am Rheba. I am a junior officer and was able to win the role of Flagbearer for this trip. My Needaimus allows my words to carry more weight."

"I'm not sure I follow," Odell added.

"I'm afraid I can't explain more," Rheba replied.

Odell shrugged at her reply and looked to Fiona next. Fiona picked up on his silent hint and spoke up.

"Fiona, daughter of the queen. I can teleport," she broke free of her silent pondering to give a short reply. Then she went back to thinking.

"I am Harlan... my ability lets me evolve things...." Harlan replied. Her voice remained calm, but her demeanor suggested shyness while speaking to the whole group. She remained looking down at her knees as she spoke and didn't look back up until attention had turned to the last member.

Hal rolled his eyes and laid down on the bed so that his back faced everyone else.

"Hal," was his only reply. He fell silent after that, and it didn't take long for everyone else to realize that he was not going to say anymore.

"Is that it?" Odell asked, but he got no response. Instead, Hal rolled onto his back and made a quiet snore. He had already fallen asleep.

The rest of the group gave up trying to get any more information out of Hal.

"Well, it will be a pleasure working with you all in this investigation," Rheba said while crossing her arms and giving an approving nod.

"Aren't you worried that some of us will be useless in a fight?" Gwyn asked while looking at his left hand.

"Not at all, Nonpareil! I would hardly expect us to do much fighting if we were going to investigate anyway. If there is a fight, however, I will support you the best I can!" Rheba happily replied.

"Yeah, hey, you can just call me Gwyn, by the way,"

"You don't like having a title befitting of a hero?" Rheba asked.

"I'm not a hero...." Gwyn replied. The past events he had experienced ever since coming to Resh made that clear.

"Bahahaha, that might be true. He's more like a guy who's in over his head," Odell joked.

"Don't be that way, Hobusian! Uh, Odell. We all get to be adventurers who get to cross the world!" Rheba added.

Fiona, who had been contemplating if her mother had some reason for sending her on the quest, finally decided to give up and stop thinking about it. She leaned back on her bed.

"Hey, maybe this thing might be like one big vacation! I hope we can stop at a beach somewhere," she mused.

While I understand your desire, Princess Fiona, I don't think we will have time to relax like that," Rheba replied.

"Ah, don't be so stiff," Fiona replied.

"I am not being stiff, am I?" Rheba asked Gwyn and Odell.

Gwyn just shrugged.

"I hope they let us ride in a nice transport, something I can pull apart in our spare time!" Odell, on the other hand, was lost in a daydream.

"All Bentulousian warriors are too serious," Fiona replied to Rheba.

Harlan silently nodded in agreement.

"Don't be ridiculous! I may be a warrior, but I know how to relax as well!"

"She did say she was a beauideal fan back they're in the war room...." Gwyn threw out to the conversation.

If Rheba's face were not covered in short fur, it would have turned red with embarrassment. Even without that indicator, her ears flopped back, and her eyes went looking to the floor. Gwyn had assumed a beauideal was just another word for celebrity, but he was not aware that fans of them were often stereotyped as extreme, overbearing, and a little on the strange side.

"Non... Non... Nonpareil... please don't go blurting that out to everyone!" Rheba finally managed to spit out. Gwyn sat in confusion until Odell walked close to him and whispered an explanation to Gwyn. He nodded that he understood once the explanation was complete.

"I apologize if I embarrassed you."

"Don't worry about it; I'm just now realizing that I made that declaration to the whole conference! Zenith must be planning to have sharp words with me when we get home!" Rheba held her hands over her face to hide her embarrassment.

"The absence of sleep weakens minds and bodies!" Hal suddenly shouted from his bed. The group had not realized, but their talking had gotten louder and woken him up. They decided to turn in for the day.