Bargain 03: She Went All Over Town and Bargain 04: She Got What She Came For
Bargain 03: She Went All Over Town
Nate and Jan were best friends, and the news of Jan's new sweetheart came as a surprise to Nate, even more so when the full story was told.
"You don't mind do you?" Jan asked.
Nate shook his head; he should have known the new girl would end up linking his best friend. Looking at the big picture, she probably fitted Jan best. Besides, Nate had a secret crush on Nichole anyway.
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The days went by in Mineral Town and soon the number of people who bought Lei's apples increased. Their situation wasn't quite like the boys', they were not charmed by the exotic young lady, they were bewitched by her convincing words, as if she casted a spell when speaking about her expensive bargains.
The strange apple craze was noticed by the major of Mineral Town, and in his wonder, which he did not escape since his refrigerator was also full of apples, he paid no attention to the strangeness of the large number of tourists who came and went, apparently for the only purpose of staying at the inn, and it was seen as normal, while the apple obsession of the town's people remained a novelty.
The situation increased the inn's earnings and Nate's allowance. As a side effect, the inn was overbooked and undersupplied, causing Ann's family to strike a deal with Kai's to have some of the guests be directed to the beach for food, and others receive deliveries.
The two families were good friends and were brought together even more by their sons' friendship so the business was settled quickly thanks to their trust. Jan took care of the deliveries and both the inn and Beach Shack, by reference of the inn, were always full. This continued for weeks, until the effect lessened and the flow of customers returned to normal.
Doug attributed the event to a stroke of luck at his inn. He could think of no other logical explanation for the rush of tourists who had nothing particularly interesting to see in their small town, but didn't seem to mind. Such a stroke of luck brought prosperity and luxury to the small town inn, and as a consequence of that, to the Beach Shack and the rest of the town's commerce. Everyone agreed that, though the entire town was greatly benefited by the profitable tourists that thought everything was a souvenir worthy of being purchased, the phenomenon had originated at the inn.
Though unnoticed by Nate, Nichole's crush also grew, as if empowered by a magical force, which could not create love, but could certainly encourage it. Nichole was a quiet girl, the daughter of Gray and Mary. Her hair was similar to her mother's and her eyes the image of her father's eyes. She had a crush on Nate for a long time, unaware that he likes her back, but now it was almost irresistible to reveal her secret.
The unusual occurrences didn't end there. While the apple Nate ate was the Lovely Luxury Lucky Apple, the apples purchased by Jan had been, as Lei later told him, Super Special Splendid apples and coincidentally, though no one really made the connection, amazing things happened when Jan ate one of the apples. He was able to perform all kinds of feats, from running super fast to make deliveries, helping Zack lift boxes that the strong shipper himself couldn't carry and surfing in such an awesome way, that the entire town would gather to watch. Jan's hair even grew out brown for a time, instead of his secret pink which he dyed.
However, not all of the apples were as special, as Lei claimed. Though she tried to make them special, her recipes were not perfect. She tended to be a little careless sometimes, but didn't think it would be a problem as long as her special methods remained a secret. As a result, Nate and Jan had eaten the only truly special apples and when their effect ended, so did the series of unusual events, save for the town's addiction to apples, but the source of that were not the apples themselves, but the selling tactics which Lei used.
They say that one cannot have love, luck and fortune all at once, but Nate somehow did. They say that one cannot have intelligence, skill, strength and good looks all at once, but Jan somehow did. Those qualities, though all seven of them present in both boys, had been amplified to astonishing proportions, depending on what apples they ate, for a time until their effects wore off.
It was during Jan's enlightenment that he noticed something no one else did, but he kept the conclusion to himself, publicly showing his abilities in other areas, such as coming up with ways to keep the commerce active after the rush of tourists was reduced, as he predicted it would be, and showing off his almost inhuman athletic abilities at the beach.
Because of the two boys, Mineral Town would be prosperous for a long time and thanks to Jan's strategies, it would not lose its peace and quiet. Zack was happy, coming and going in his big new ship, exporting the goods from the quiet but rich town, many being famous souvenirs that sold like hotcakes in the city, but were very economical to produce. It took a combination of luck and skill to get it all going, and after the initial impulse, people were able to manage after the incantation worse off.
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Time passed and when things calmed down, though still prosperous, the atmosphere of Mineral Town was quiet. The Harvest Goddess still showed up at the pond, with a knowing look on her face, and Jan was certain she knew long ago what he had come realize about Lei. The Kappa still inhabited the area in the outskirts of town, and the harvest sprites were still in their little hut next to the church. Aside from their usual legends, there was nothing else out of the ordinary in Mineral Town that anyone could point out.
Bargain 04: She Got What She Came For
One day, Nichole, who had become friends with Lei during the merchant girl's extended stay in Mineral Town, was encouraged to put on a play at the square. Thus Lei gathered the rest of the cast and the story of Snow White was brought to the audience of Mineral Town.
Nichole was to be Snow White, and Lei made sure to cast Nate as the prince, which he shyly but happily agreed to. Jan was casted as the king, and as he expected, Lei insisted on being the witch, who was also the king's wife.
The castle workers and forest animals were played by the twins, son and daughter of Elli and Doctor, who were very amused by the variety of costumes they had to put on in different scenes. The harvest sprites were casted as the dwarfs and persuaded to earnestly rehearse bribed by flour.
When the play was presented everyone in town gathered at the square. Everything was alright, until the final scene of Snow White's awakening came. Nichole had eaten the apple provided by Lei and fallen into a deep sleep, except her slumber was real.
Due to his shy nature, Nate got cold feet. Not only was he to kiss his crush, but he was expected to do it in front of the entire town. To give him more time to prepare, the curtain was brought down.
"Nichole, try to tell him it's alright," Jan encouraged, his shy friend really needed that extra push, but the girl who played Snow White did not reply.
"Nichole?" Nate shyly called in whispers so the crowd at the other side of the curtain of their newly build stage at the square would not hear. "Nichole, why won't you say anything?" Nate touched her hand and found with horror that it was very cold.
Nate paled, alerting Jan with his expression that something was wrong. "Oh no, Lei..."
Lei examined Nichole and nodded solemnly, she suspected Jan was on to her. "Mean Malevolent Malicious apple... It was supposed to be the Magnificent Majestic Miracle apple, but it looks like I made a mistake. No matter, the spell can be broken by her true love, just like in a fairy tale. Nate, it's up to you."
Nate was confused, but it sounded as if the apple deal was serious, so he called upon his courage and kissed his Snow White, while the mischievous twins pulled the curtains up to show the final scene of the play.
Snow White awoke and happily danced with her prince, while the seven dwarfs played music and the forest animals joined the celebration.
The Harvest Goddess had snuck into the audience, and among the claps and cheers, she jumped on stage. "I am the good witch! Now dear sister, you see that no good comes from wanting to read the kingdom of Snow White? Become the fair queen again!"
Though that last part of the scene was improvised, it flowed well. Lei and Jan joined the dancing and the crowed cheered louder, joining the actors in their song and dance. It was one of the biggest celebrations Mineral Town ever saw.
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Lei was in fact a witch, or a half witch at least. Jan had noticed the truth, but since she was a good witch, though a little careless with her magic sometimes, he made no big deal about it. This was admitted by Lei only to Jan, Nate and Nichole, and besides the Harvest Goddess, no one else in Mineral Town knew.
The three were near the Goddess' pond when this confession occurred, and the Goddess heard and joined them. "Dear child, what was it that brought you to Mineral Town? I know you came here with a purpose other than selling apples." Though she knew the girl's mother disliked her, the Harvest Goddess had nothing against Lei.
"Yes, it's true," Lei admitted. "I sold apples to support myself while I was here, but the reason I came here was to find the spirit of friendship. My mother, the Witch Princess, had an accident with a magical experiment and turned my father, Won, into stone. She tried to cure him, but could not. Finally, she found a spell that she was sure would work, but one of the ingredients was the spirit of friendship. We didn't know how to get, or even what it looked like. While mother researched alternative cures, I set out to find the spirit of friendship in hopes of completing that spell and curing father. Father had spoken of this town before, even if he had not been here for a long time, and mother had heard of it too. We thought that it was likely that the spirit of friendship was here in Mineral Town, so I came to find it, but so far I don't have the smallest clue of where it is."
"Actually, you already found it," the Goddess assured. "The spirit of friendship isn't a thing, it is a feeling; the feelings of your friends towards you, and you towards them. Regardless of how things started, overtime, you all formed true friendships, that is the spirit of friendship which you carry within you. Go home child, cast the spell yourself and with the friendship you have received, you will be able to cure your father."
Lei returned to Forget Me Not Valley and casted the spell, trusting that he spirit of friendship was in her. Despite her mother not getting along with the Harvest Goddess, the young half-witch decided to trust her words and the spell her mother had accidentally casted upon her father was broken. The Witch Princess and her husband were happy again, and Lei often went back to visit Mineral Town.
Nate, Lei, Jan and Nichole are OCs. Disclaimer, I don't own Harvest Moon or Snow White.