(NonNon, Connor) Rain. Rain. Why Won't You Cry?

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“You can like Falaranion, but don’t let that change you. If it turns out that he isn’t the one, there will be someone else who loves you for who you are.”
The potion girl reached to the top of the cylinder with her hand and stroked it gently. “I don’t think it matters to you anyway... But you are the most beautiful drum can I have ever seen”

“………..Aaa…aaaaah. Y… you really think so? I-I’m b-beautiful, e-even when I’m in this shape? U-uwaaa. H-her hand is so warm… I wish… I wish I could feel it through my real hair.”

Cecilia Alcott was a lonely girl. This much was given. She may have had friends many years ago. She may have had a neighborhood of people she knew by heart and greeted every day. She may have been just a regular girl with wonderful blonde hair, a nice body, and was proud of her full legs.

But that all changed when she had gave up her original life, to acquire power… to protect the boy of her life in the past……Only to fail, and forsaken everything.

It was rather for someone of her situation to acquire a second chance.

Yet here it was… a shining light in the confines of a small potion room. A small girl with lovely and fluffy orange hair, a scarf that smelled of Vermillion, Lilac, and Fresh Moss. A girl who cherished her golden ladle and spends many hours by herself brewing one potion after another.

Nessa Baren… she was a good girl.

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“…Th…thank you…Nessa…I…I feel so happy… To realize, you feel this way about me….”

The Drum Can purred. Even thought it had the shape that could easily have others mistaken her as a garbage can, she made a series of soft noises that felt like the purring of a kitten. A kitten scratched across the ears by her loving master.

“…I-I wish… I wish I had my body back… so… so I can hug you.”

“…………………\(^v^)/”

“H-heh? Y-you’ll hug me? Y-you’ll really, really hug me?”

“*nod* *nod*.”

“B-but I can’t. I-I mean, look at me! My body is a full iron cylinder that’s one meter tall and 12 inches in diameter! I-it would look bad for you!”

“*Shake head* *shake head*”

“…Y… you’ll really… embrace someone like me…”

“*Thumbs up*”

“NESSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!”

… No. This wasn’t a romantic confession between two girls in a romantic plot… it could be, but that was up to Nessa Baren to decide. It would be unfair if we push the details in a one sided manner and coerce her to… change her set orientation in life.

However, one thing was clear. There was a genuine warmth glowing between the Potion Girl and the Drum Can. Two friends of wildly different backgrounds and personality.

The Odd Couple…. That’s what we’ll call them from now on.

“..Sniff…So happy… Sniff. I-I can’t stop crying… or… imagine that I’m crying Sniff…..Sniff…Sniff……Ah. N-Nessa, s-something’s burning. Is it your potion!?”

No. Now, here’s the difference between burning food on a the stove and burning a pot of magical potion. First, when one releases carbon monoxide (don’t quote this narrator on the detailed science part), which is essentially similar to the exhaust of a motor car. You breath that in too much – it will kill you. Not to mention, turning a piece of bacon into a stick of black charcoal could be carcinogenic – meaning, it could cause cancer.

Potions were different. Due to the different types of magical ingredients used in a single pot, they each have their own unique and characteristic properties released when it is ‘burnt’. For example. Burnt Elf Ear leaves could release a very strong mint smell. Burnt Toadstool Mushrooms may have no odour at all, but would leave this awkward sour taste in your mouth. Crisp Giant’s toe – don’t ask, let’s just say it was worse than tear gas 24 hours straight.

In the end, the smell that Cecilia Alcott could sense was something that anyone would recognize in a heartbeat. That smoky course smell of burning wood… concrete… and… and….

“….N…Nessa……N…Nessa…NESSA!”

While in their embrace (or one sided hug), the Drum Can forcefully pulled away. She relied on Nessa Baren’s hugging grip to hold on, so it gave them both enough time and leverage to lean away before part of the wall was dissolved by the fire and caved in on itself. Pillars and columns were covered in fire, soon dropping like the wax of a burning candle.

Nessa Baren, sorry, but the fire started to eat away at your lovely ingredients. The fresh Dragonfly wings, the collection of Pete Moss, and even the most exotic of Ginseng roots were going up in flames, evaporating from the extreme heat. At the same time, Eye of Newt Walnuts started to pop and burst. It was as if they were small firecrackers.

“…………………………….!!!!!!!”

Potion rooms were no different than the laboratory in your highschool. There would be a lot of chemicals, bottle liquids, and special powders that were kept under a strict Workplace Hazardous Material Information System Code, that needed to be labelled, properly stored, and have an action plan in case of emergency ingestion, inhalation, or splashing into one’s eye.

That also meant such ingredients were highly volatile to extreme heat – namely fire.

Again, potion rooms were no different than a laboratory in your highschool.

*BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG!*

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“NESSA! GET DOWN!”

Cecilia Alcott shot forward, with her Drum Can Body. The cauldron that Nessa Baren had been working on took too much heat, and the inner ingredients were becoming unstable at 1000 degrees. It would of course explode, and splash hot acidic liquid everywhere.

That was why the Drum Can girl used her body to shield the Potion Girl from the splash of purple acid.

“GYAAAH! AAAAAAH!”

The purple liquid that was supposed to be a new healing potion or mana restoration concoction, burnt through Cecilia Alcott’s body. Fortunately, her iron density was enough so only the surface of her ‘body’ was affected and caused no internal damage.

Unfortunately, it still stung like h*ll.

“W-we have to get out! Th-this room has too many explosive plants! F-forgive me Nessa, bu-but there is just no time to save your favorite flowers! COME ON!”

There was no way, Nessa Baren would leave behind her plants and ingredients. She worked hard to gather them, making her own collection. During the renovation of the guild, she even had the courage to talk to the Guild Master in adding her own potion room, with a fancy storage and everything!

N-now… this cruel reality was stomping on her dreams, under it’s flaming feet. Everything Nessa Baren wanted… was turning into ashes.

“NESSA! WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW BEFORE—”

As if making sure they both were to join the lost treasures… a burning support beam dropped and was planning on crushing them both. Don’t worry, it was going to be a swift end.

“Duck, says MIKASA as she cooly enters the scene and raise her shield over her head like an umbrella.”

*DOOOOOOOOOOOONG!*

…Nessa Baren. You can’t feel anything. You thought this was it, and all of your senses were forever gone. Who’d ever thought, that being crushed by a burning beam could feel so soft.

Like a woman’s pillow……..Wait.

“Gkkk. M-MIKASA didn’t realize being a heroine c-could have so many di-disadvantages, laments MIKASA as she 10 beams coming down onto her barrier! GUUUKKK!”

M.I.K.A.S.A. – Mechanized Infantry-Killer Assault Standard Android. She was a special combat unit designed by some classified company in some classified location. How she had joined the Red Rose Dark Guild as a peon or how she was converted to join the Fairy Tail Guild, it was unclear and it may take a whole book to properly explain her motivation.

But to summarize, MIKASA held Nessa Baren and Cecilia Alcott under her arms, while she carried her 2 meter long iron cross shield over her head. While she braced and gritted her teeth from all of the support beams crumbling onto her iron shield, she clenched her fists and locked her knees to keep from buckling under the weight.

The most the pressure increased, the more her soft chest pressed into the back of Nessa Baren’s head.

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“…MIKASA is grateful you’re not a boy, says MIKASA as she, geek, heaves the stones and wood over her shoulder, O-otherwise, I would have just crushed you myself…!”

“Oi! This isn’t the time for fanservice or misunderstandings! This is an emergency – act like it! No get out of my way!”

A surge of white clouds filled the burning potion room. It was thick like a thunder storm, swift as a bull, and fluffy as sheep. The second it billowed inside of the room, it already smothered a good quarter of the fires raging inside.

It came from the nozzle of a fire extinguisher. The weapon was held by none other than a young man in a blue school uniform, and a natural scowl on his face.

Jack O’Donnell.

“Hurry up and get out! There is no way a 30 pound can of wet chemicals could kill a flame with magical status! We don’t have that kind of anti-magic spell, so move it!”

“Y-you don’t’ have to tell MIKASA twice, s-says M-MIKASA as she picks up the funny smelling girl and the garbage can under her arms!”

“And neither do you have to speak in a third person—LET’S MOVE!”

Jack O’Donnell braced himself, carrying the small red canister with a rubber nozzle with the grace of a heavy gunner. Firing the white gatling gun, it continues to smother the fire that chased after MIKASA, Nessa Baren, and Cecilia Alcott. One would be led to believe, that this single red canister could put out the fire and save the day - firemen have used it before time and time again.

But, the highschool boy with a natural scowl made a good point. Such modern technology was only effective against ‘normal’ fire. Often times, flames caused by ignited gasoline would be more difficult to put out. Worse, flames that were ‘magical in nature’ would cause too much problems.

This 30 pound weapon, was only stalling the inevitable.

“Everyone out! Out! OUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT!”

*BAAAAAAAAAAAAAASH!*

“NOT OUT THE F**KING WINDOW!”

“MIKASA HAS NO CHOICE, AND SHE REFUSES TO PAY FOR THE DAMAGES, SCREECHES MIKASA AS SHE TUMBLES OUT OF A SMASHED WINDOW PANE!”

The living android girl had swept the Potion and Drum girls off their feet with her Iron Cross Shield, only to send all three of them crumbling across the cobblestone ground outside. By the time they recover, they could already see the first floor of the Guild covered in small flames.

Next thing they knew, a series of flying fire rockets tore through the sky. They slammed into the ground in the distance, the roads neighboring their own. One happened to have the audacity to deliver a deafening punch across one of the towers of the guild, ripping an ugly hole into it’s beautiful body.

“…W…what is happening? Wh-why is this occurring… “

“Unknown. MIKASA was napping in mess hall by the time she felt unbearably hot. For a moment, MIKASA thought she was experiencing her first hot flash, coughs MIKASA as she pulls the glass pieces from her arms and legs.”

Nessa Baren. You would be the one to witness the Guild you call home suddenly going up in flame and destruction. In the sky above, you could still see fire rockets of all sizes and colors taking over the skies like flying eagles. Fire, flashes, and heat erupted all over the horizon.

“……………………….!!!’

Don’t worry. You still had your ladle. At least that part of your life was still in one piece.

“!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Yes. You were sure you had your beloved scarf. It was most precious to you right?

“!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Hmm? But there shouldn’t be anything else? I mean, your diary and your favorite family photos were stored in a fire-proof lock box. There should be no problem—

--Oh sh*t. Your brother.

“!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Nessa Baren. You fear for the worst. You yourself barely escaped at the last minute. Already half the guild was on fire and started to crumple in. So… did your brother.. make it?

“Lally-hoooo! I have a special deliveryyyyyy for Little Nessy!”

“……….!!!!!!!”

Hope. A slither of hope had appeared in the most awkward of form. It came floating down on a single umbrella, held by a lovely girl with a bowl hat on her brown and pink hair. Under her one arm, as if carrying a package from a stork was a certain little brother of a certain Potion Girl.

Yes, she was Barbara Folklord.

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“Hello. Hello. I find this young man snooping around the kitchen when the abrupt party started. It seems he was going behind your back to steal some cookies or something. Who knows.”

“HOW IS THIS A CANDID TIME TO BE A COMIC!?”

Just as the Umbrella Gfirl touched down and closed her parasol, a small body with flames drove itself through a flaming door and tumbled across the road. He scrambled to stop drop and roll to put out whatever sparks he had on him, before bolting to his feet. A sooty Jack O’Donnell.

“Which one of you dumb@sses left a pot on the stove and completely forgot about it!?”

…….For some cruel reason, everyone turned to a cute Potion Girl.

“No. Of course it wasn’t you. You’re too smart to make a mistake like that—YOU! SHIELDER! YOU WERE COOKING RAMEN AND WALKED AWAY WHIEL IT WAS STILL BOILING, DIDN’T YOU!?”

“……….M…MIKASA was sleepy, sh-she might have taken a nap, u-utters MIKASA as she looks away to hide her guilt.”

“AS IF I WOULD BUY THAT KIND OF CRA—”

Before Jack O’Donnell could finish his swearing, all the windows in the Guild exploded.

“Geh!? N-no time! We have to get out of here and regroup! Quick, head to the safe zone!”

“…Lolly-ho! Onward to the safe zone……Wait, when did we have one?”

“WAS I THE ONLY PERSON WHO ACTUALLY LISTENED TO THAT PIPSQUEAK GUILD LEADER YAKKING ABOUT A SAFETY GATHERING POINT IN CASE OF NATURAL DISASTERS! PLEASE, SOMEONE TELL ME THEY DIDN’T SLEEP THROUGH IT.”

“……………………….”

“Oi, Drum Can. Why are you floating away—EVEN YOU FELL ASLEEP!?”

…This… was certainly a bad situation. With all ties broken and rank in shambles… what could Nessa Baren do to route this lost ship back on the right course in our time of peril!

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"Y'know, Geo, I don't know. I've never really been one for romance but Olivia, Cari, and Cecilia scare me. I'm pretty sure that all three of them could pummel me if they wanted to. And you, well I know you're a gentle person. I just... Didn't want to end up hurting you by telling you no."

“P-please don’t say that, Big Brother. B-big Sister Olivia, Cari, and-and Cecilia really care for you, from the bottom of their hearts. I-it’s just that they have, uh, t-troublle expressing it.”

Three Yandere’s having issues expressing their love for their one and only Earth Dragon Slayer…. 99% doubt it.

“Uwaaa. D-don’t give me such skeptical eyes. I-I feel like I’m being judged……. Uwaaa…I-it’s getting so hot in here.”

Geo Mancer couldn’t resist but fan herself. She knew staying underground too long would cause problems. For example, the dirt acting as an insulator would increase their body temperature. Not to mention, being deep below the earth would eventually lead to wrinkling of the skin if not blood pressures dropping due to low pressure.

“W-we should surface and find our way to the Guild. M-maybe if we ask for help, th-the Guild Master might be able to find a way to……to…….to…………..B…Big Brother…”

Geo Mancer used her magic to reach the ground. She had hoped, she didn’t show up in the middle of a busy road. The last time she did that, a horse carriage almost trampled over her cute head. It still eft her scarred to this day… hence why she stay away from horses.

But she didn’t see any carriages, neither was the road she pop out of was at all busy. She should feel foruntate, happy even……. But it was truly difficult.

When the city square she dug out of – was nothing but a pit of flame and ruin.

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Buildings she once recognized were obscured from the heat, limping and wilting under the fire. The statue of the magical girl knight she would stare at every day in the afternoon, was bathed in a hideous orange. Just watching this made her gut wrench.

“Huurk—Grmmb!”

She wanted to throw up… because a body swallowed by such flames fell in front of her. She didn’t know who it was, the face had already melted.

“…H…ha…..HYAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAH!”

Falaranion Capolon… this was a crisis… it was time to pick up thy sword and take to the battlefield once more.

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