Interlude 12 – The Flirty Bard

Setting his pack down, Julius stretched his arms over his head. He knew the journey across the Light Lands to train would be tiring, but he also didn’t expect it to be boring. Since they had to make sure Blake didn’t spend all the funds they were given for the trip, it was decided they’d spend most nights camping rather than staying in towns. As such, they usually had to pass the time in the quiet of the night, which was a bit disconcerting for the siblings, having grown up used to the bustling nightlife of Orindaco and all.

“…You think Graves is doing okay?” he asked after a few seconds, glancing at Ellen as she got her own tent set up.

“Probably. If anything, the only one who won’t be okay is the duke.” 

“Of course he’s not okay. I mean if this is what he thinks Jules looks like, then he’s in serious need of glasses!” With a bark of laughter, Blake brought up Julius’s bounty poster and the blond immediately went red and glared back at his master.

“Why do you keep bringing that up!?” 

“Cause it’s hilarious!” Rushing forward, Julius tried to tackle his master, only to be caught in a headlock. “You’re gonna need to move faster than that if you want this!” 

“…So is sleep not that important to you three?” Douglas questioned as he covered his ears. 

“Only those two. They’ll tire themselves out soon enough.” 

Despite Ellen’s words, Julius showed no sign in stopping. That was, until the sound of a flute drifted into the clearing. Blinking, he turned to look as a redheaded guy approached the camp with a silver flute pressed to his lips.

The melody was…weirdly calming. Cheerful too. Positive feelings just seemed to come with every note, in a kinda jaunty, playful way that reminded Julius of trying to tag Graves and Ellen when they were younger, running through alleys and hiding in crates.

“Ho the camp!” And then he was brought out of his reminiscing as the redhead lowered his flute and greeted them with a smile and a raised hand. “Greetings! I don’t suppose you would be willing to exchange some supplies for some lovely music?” 

“Sure thing! Just as long as the music is the same quality as what you were just playing,” Blake immediately replied, grinning wide. 

“But of course! I pride myself in my bardic abilities~!” 

“Oh? You’re a bard? Great! You’re hired!” Content with his decision, Blake let go of Julius and sat down, waiting for the music as the bard blinked at him.

“Hm? Hired for what exactly, sir?” 

“Isn’t it obvious? You’re gonna be part of the hero group!”

“What?” 

“Please don’t just pick random people to join us.” 

“Why do you get to decide that!?” 

And Blake promptly ignored Douglas, Ellen, and Julius, in order, and just gestured at the musician again, who just stared at the bickering group before he cleared his throat to get their attention. 

“T’would be my pleasure to join you. I was already planning on traveling the lands and going with a group seems more fun!” He grinned, turning his gaze towards Ellen. “Particularly one with a lovely mademoiselle such as yourself~.”

“I will break your face, music man,” Julius stated, earning a little laugh from Ellen.

“…Fair enough!” Cyrus grinned as he sat down and began to play some more. “Though if you don’t wish for me to flirt with her, does that leave you as an option~?”

“H-Huh?” 

“I am a man of many tastes, both musical and otherwise. And since we will be traveling together for some time, I wish to know where we stand~.”

“…A-Ah, um.” 

“So tonight there will be no sleeping at all, huh?” Douglas questioned as he sat up.

“Oh, my my, please forgive me~.” Moving over, the bard pulled a small harp from his pack. “If you would so desire, I could play you a lovely lullaby~.” And once he was no longer the target of affection, Julius stared flatly at the prick, somewhat annoyed he moved on so quickly. Not that he would admit that. 

Well, not going to deal with that right now. And with that thought, Julius lied down and closed his eyes, quickly falling to sleep to the peaceful melody the newest member of their camp played.

And that’s how Cyrus joined their group.

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