The Trails of Moonlight II

Chapter I Epilogue: Ashton Side

"…and so that's how Dainydune went, Mac."

It was a cold, clear night at Cosica's B & Bee Tavern. Ashton had just finished reporting to Halophate after his arrival back in Cosica, and went out for a night in B & Bee, while the rest had accommodations in a fancier hotel lodging.

He was partaking of a sizzling meat dinner, with his friend Makarov, sitting on the table's opposite side.

Makarov had dark green hair, and was never seen without a lazy look on his face, and a cigar on hand. Ashton had come to consider him a friend after finding common ground with being regular patrons of B & Bee. Ashton had come to affectionately call him "Mac".

"So yer tellin' me that you've been playing babysitter with a bunch'a juniors from Yurran and Artestech? You've got your work cut out for you.", Makarov stated, puffing a big one from his cigarette as he did.

Ashton started scratching the back of his head, him trying to dismiss his friend's words. "Haha, I wouldn't say I've been babysitting them. They've taken care of their own ass really well even without my help. I actually feel a little superfluous."

"Superfluous? You got a bad habit selling yourself short. You were their strongman, especially when the girlie and the shortstock couldn't exactly muscle a bunch'a cargo with 'em. You also covered their flank from those attacks you talked about."

Makarov then closed in to Ashton, leaning on the table. "Speakin' of 'flank'… how were THEIR flanks, if ya catch my drift?"

"Whose?"

"All of 'em."

Ashton then started pinching his forehead in exasperation, as he gave a sigh. "I couldn't possibly see any of them that way, man! If you wanna inspect them, do it yourself!"

Makarov then tilted his head, as if in bewilderment. "Ya know Ash? Ya gotta appreciate the perks in yer job. If yer to look at an ass all day, you might as well enjoy it. That's yer problem, you got no idea how to appreciate…"

"I'm not that kind of person, Mac.", Ashton interrupted.

"…I was about to say 'yer job's secondary benefits'. Take some joy in yer work, even if you do need to play detective fer a bit these next weeks."

The bulky man stared at Mac, with wide eyes open, and with inquisitive thoughts on the tip of his mind. "I don't know how to start…"

Puff, puff. Mac stuck his cigarette butt into a nearby ashtray. He then lit a second stick, after quickly grabbing it from his chest pocket. With a light breath, he faced Ashton. "Make friends with 'em - it's the least you can do. They all sound like cool lads to me. Them group is also packing that library hottie, aren't they? She's got that 'Foomi' vibe going for her. If you can't find joy in that, then I'd take yer post over anytime."

The young Halophate then clenched his teeth lightly, his face colored a subtle red. "Can you not compare her to Foomi? It's embarrassing when you put them side-by-side like that. But I get it though. If I'm gonna spend a lot of time with the group, might as well get to know them."

Ashton drank from the glass of juice beside him, gulping it down and finishing with a refreshing sigh. "Yeaah, but seriously, don't do that Foomi thing again.", he says with his face even redder than before.

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