Leafiara (prime)/Tales/Problems and Profits

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Original Story: Eoantos 12, 5120

"All profits minus a month's rent left in reserve, as requested," said the shop clerk of Leafi's Confectionery Castle as she handed the mayor a newly drafted Wehnimer's promissory note.

Leafiara smiled politely as she glanced over the note briefly, then did a double-take. "Whoa, sales are really something lately," she said slowly, tucking the note away. "And Amos wants to say it's difficult to profit in chaos? How an arms dealer can say that with a straight face..."

"Rare upsides where you can find them?" the clerk asked dryly.

"Oh, I just mean not much adds up about Amos. I don't mean to downplay the trouble we're in, just--just saying." She shrugged.

"Yeah, it's really bad out there. Blades and arrows flying at all hours of the day." The clerk paused. "Hey, ah, speaking of arrows... it might be rude to pry, but I couldn't help but notice some of these chrisms you've been selling are marked with rook symbols. Is there any truth to those Daily Darkstone rumors from a while back that you've been funding their operations?"

Leafi rubbed her chin for a moment. "Eh... I mean, probably, yeah, but not in the way they wrote."

The clerk raised an eyebrow, slightly tilting her head.

"I'm not using the mayoral office for that, and I like money way too much to be giving them a cut of the shop sales privately--I just do theme branding to see what sells. Still, Lady Alendrial's in charge of the town coffers and we're all familiar with her history, ya know?" She chuckled. "And the way things have been lately has opened my eyes a little. At this point I almost assume half the people making a living in Moot Hall are Rooks. So yeah, indirectly, I'm sure I'm funding them somehow or other. Or at least Moot Hall is."

"...I see."

The half-sylvan mayor paused for a moment, then shook her head slightly. "It's funny," she said idly. "In several years and two leaders they never extended me an invitation to join, but lately I turn around and every dockworker, shop owner, fisher, orphan, and town clerk has a secret night life in a mask. If I didn't have a dozen way bigger problems, I'd feel a little insulted." She smirked.

Leafi waved a dismissive hand in the air. "Oh well. I need to get back to dealing with those bigger problems, but it's nice to share the struggle sometimes." She smiled at the clerk, who reciprocated with amused eyes. "You have a great day."

"And you."

They exchanged curtsies and Leafiara turned to leave, then hesitated and glanced back over her shoulder with narrowed eyes. "Hey, are you a Rook?" she asked, struggling not to grin.

The clerk gave her a half-lidded, deadpan stare.

"Kidding, kidding." Leafiara shook her head again. "I wouldn't even want to know," she whispered, barely audibly, as she moved out onto Fel Road and out of sight.

Several moments of quiet stillness in the brightly colored shop.

"No wonder she never got an invitation," the clerk mused. "But she's right about one thing..."

The clerk re-opened the shop's sales records and wrote in that all taxes had been delivered in full to Moot Hall, then slipped a promissory note into her cloak and smiled to herself.

"Thank you for your aid, mayor."