Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

Mnemosyne Winning Entry

At long last, the day had come. Volcan resisted the urge to rub his hands together in childish glee and cackle - he wasn't a hatchling, darn it! - and instead double checked that the sign in front of his lair that stated the Volcano was inaccessible currently, and please check back later was still up. Satisfied that it was, he grabbed the overnight bag he'd packed for himself and stretched his wings.

Shoving off from his perch above the lava, he took to the skies. Those few creatures wandering around the Inferno Terrain gasped and cowered at the sight of Volcan arising from his long-time home. Rumors almost immediately began to fly that something was wrong, that the volcano was becoming active, that doom was coming. Not that Volcan knew this or cared, as he was too busy recalling which way would take him to Mistica's finest pampering spot, the Bamboo Beach Resort.

Year in and year out, trapped in that dratted volcano. His muscles were sore, his skin was cracked, and he needed heavy pampering. Yes, on this one day out of so many, Volcan would take his chances and fly to Bamboo Beach before returning to his home and returning to the adventurers who were so eager to get their grubby little hands on his precious pets.

The Resort, when he finally arrived, was thankfully quiet. Not silent, but quiet. Volcan could hear the talk of other customers, the servants, and even the owner of the spa, a Haruba named Millie who had agreed to help Volcan out. The might Belragoth was grateful to her, and sometime in the future she would find one of his little pets in her care. But for now, he wanted a quiet night at the Resort, a good pampering, and a nice night's rest. All would be well after that.

Landing, he was greeted by the sight of Millie and a small group of workers behind her. Stepping forward, Millie greeted him with a polite bow. “Thank you for coming, Volcan. You do us a great honor.”

He waved the compliments away, handing his bag to one of the workers, who took it with a nod. “I should be thanking you for agreeing to take me. I know you're very well wanted, and with good reason.”

Millie smiled, pride in her expression. Over the years, she'd built the Resort up to what it was now, and it showed. “We're busy yes, but not so much to turn away someone who has spent his last several years working for the good of Mistica. Please, come this way and we'll get you settled right in.”

The Resort was not lavish by any means, Volcan saw as he stepped into the room. In fact, it was quiet plain. But there was an air to it that made it feel homely, a sort of welcoming feel to the room that made him relax. They passed a few customers on the way up to the registration desk, where Volcan signed his name and handed over the needed currency for the night. Once that was done, Millie showed him the room where he would be staying, and asked what exactly he wanted.

“My skin needs to be oiled, for as you can see its badly cracked. I'd like my nails cleaned and shined, my muscles rubbed and my horns polished, if possible.”

Millie nodded. “We can do that. I'll call in Terra and the others and have them get the materials, and they should all be with you shortly. Is there anything you'd like in the meantime? Food, drink?”

Volcan shook his head. And so Millie began getting everything in order. The nails and horns would have to be done first, as the oils used for those and the oil used for the skin tended to irritate the skin when used together.

In no time at all, Volcan's magnificent horns were polished and gleaming under the light. His nails had been cleaned of dirt, shined to look just as beautiful as his horns.

Volcan was suitably impressed. “This is fine work! I've never had anyone give me such perfect treatment before. You'll be having quite a few new customers in the coming days, my dear.”

Millie grinned, already excited at the prospect.“Thank you very much, sir! Iris will be here soon to oil your skin and rub you down.”

Iris was a tiny Anya that perhaps only reached up to Volcan's knee. As Volcan watched, Iris unloaded a machine that looked almost dangerous. “Now then sir, I will start off by relaxing your muscles.”

The machine she'd brought along turned out to be a massaging machine. Placed up between his wings, it began to vibrate pleasantly, and Volcan let himself relax. By the time fifteen minutes had passed, the giant Bel was little more than a puddle of relaxed muscle on the table. The machine switched off, and the sound of a bottle cap being opened caught his ear. The scent of the ocean wafted to his nose.

Iris made sure to tackle every last crack in the skin, rubbing it in deep and piling on more if she thought the skin was too dry. The irritating full body itch that Volcan had dealt with for the last few days finally faded away, leaving behind a very content Belragoth.

“And with that, we are done, sir,” Iris told him a while later, using a rag to wipe the excess oil off her paws. “I do hope it was to your satisfaction?”

Volcan slowly sat up. He felt relaxed, the heaviness gone from his shoulders. “I feel wonderful. Thank you very much, Miss Iris.”

The Anya smiled and bowed, packing everything back up and taking her leave just as she'd come. Millie came in, and after a brief report on how things had gone, helped Volcan back to his room.

Volcan fell asleep not long after that, and slept until the sun forced him awake bright and early the next morning. After eating a bite of breakfast, he grabbed his bags and checked out.

The flight back to his home gave him time to wake up and go from his relaxed, content mindset back to his normal working one. By the time he arrived home and unpacked his bags, he was feeling ready to face the day and whatever impossibilities it held.

Taking the sign outside down, he settled back and waited for the first adventurer to stick his head in.