You and your brother inherited a farm in Leaf Valley, a place indebted to the point of eviction, where a Funland amusement park was to be built. Your brother was set on saving Sugar Town, so the CE...
You took a deep breath and wrinkled your nose, you didn't smell cars or city fumes. "Great, just when I thought I was leaving that little village for good, I end up somewhere just as bad, if not worse."
Your brother on the other hand couldn't be happier. It was hard to believe you were siblings with how different you were. He was a farmer and you were born to be a city girl despite having spent all your life in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. Now you got to move to another tiny village in the middle of nowhere.
You weren't really listening to your brother going on and on about the fresh air, which was contaminated with the scent of flowers and grass that was so natural it made you feel disgusted. You would have to get your hands on some air freshener, there was nothing like the delicious scent of fake vanilla.
"Bro, be a dear and get my luggage inside, okay?" You snapped Rufus out of his adoring trance.
"Huh? Oh sure," he cringed at seeing the amount of luggage you were bringing when he first saw them, but helped you carry them all the way. He took the bags inside the little house without complaints, the boy was built for manual labor and he knew that as well as you did.
Sighing deeply, you went inside to set up your things, unpacking videogames and random little gadgets you imported from the city. Lastly you got the big screen flat TV out of its box, pleased that your brother wasn't too clumsy with it, though it took you both a while to drag all the luggage to the farm, moving it a few feet, then going back and moving it some more so that you were always keeping an eye on it in this unknown place. Unlike your brother, you didn't trust leaving your things laying around.
You and your brother finished unpacking and cleaning, which took you all day despite the house being so tiny, with Rufus taking care of the cleaning while you assembled the electronics that were beyond his country bumpkin scope of knowledge. You really had to wonder how it was possible for you two to be siblings. It was then that you came to a dire realization, your wireless wasn't working, it was fine in Flowerbud Village, but in Sugar Town it was out of range.
However, not all hope was lost as you detected a strong wireless signal, though it was password protected. You just needed to figure out where it came from so you could do whatever that person did to get some decent internet service in the shabby little town. "Rufus, you went to town today didn't you? I saw you sneak off for a while."
Knowing there was no sense in denying it, he nodded, "yeah, everyone is very nice, that's why we should help them save their home."
"What?" You stared at him blankly.
"Oh that's right, I haven't told you. While you were busy some people came and told me this entire valley is going to be evicted, even the farm is indebt to them. If we don't pay up fifty thousand gold in two years, Sugar Town will be torn down to build a Funland amusement park. In fact, they have an office up north in the foot of the mountain where the mines are."
You smiled brightly at the news, "Funland is coming here? This is awesome! You said their office is to the north, got it, I'll head over there tomorrow and fill a job application right away. Then I can have a decent job that pays enough for me to save up and move to a city and I just figure out where I'm going to get free internet, I heard they let their employees use their wireless as much as they want."
"Sis, we have to save these people's homes!" Rufus argued.
"Oh grow up, this place sucks anyway, if you want to save it, you're on your own!" Your brother and you did not speak again for the rest of the evening.
xoxox xox xoxox
The next morning, Rufus was up early and when you looked outside you were surprised to see that the field in front of the house had been cleaned and your farm loving brother was watering the seeds he just planted. Pouting you decided to ignore his efforts and made your way out of the farm, ignoring the dog eating from a dish next to the house; it wasn't odd for your nature loving brother to bring home random animals.
You made your way towards the town, asking for directions here and there and following the rustic picture signs until a long and bothersome walk led you to the Funland office, then you saw him. He was walking into the building wearing a suit, his red hair standing out against the dark color of his clothes, his blue eyes serious and focused, you simply stared.
Finally, you collected yourself and dashed after him, but it was too late, he was inside and the door was locked. "Hello? Can you open the door? I would like to fill an application to work here," you knocked.
The camera beside the door focused on you and a woman's voice came from a tiny speaker next to it. "Come back in two years."
"Are you sure you don't need anyone now?" You insisted.
"Right now, what I need is a latte and for that stubborn farm boy to go away," the woman was clearly upset.
"I can do that!" You called back.
"Here's your latte," a man's voice filtered through the communication device.
"I already have someone to make my coffee, come back in two years and I'll have a job for you," the woman spoke again.
You didn't leave, instead desperately blurting out the first thing that came into your mind. "I can make the farm boy go away, he's..." you weren't sure if this piece of information would work to your favor or sink you, "my brother, we both live there in the farm..."
When there was no reply, you thought the woman had stopped listening or did not want to deal with the farm boy's sibling, but then Mr. Perfect Execute opened the door for you and invited you in, "the boss wants to talk to you."
You gladly followed him with a hopeful smile, not realizing what you were getting yourself into. You were led to an office where a silver haired woman sat behind a polished desk, the same one who spoke earlier, "have a seat miss, you may leaves us now Charles, I'll call you if I need anything."
"Yes," he nodded politely and left. So his name was Charles, you took note of it as you sat down on the comfortable chair.
"Like him?" The silver haired woman leaned forward on her desk, with a sly smile.
"Huh?" You blinked in confusion.
"Charles I mean, I saw you staring at him, the camera's motion censors caught you when you approached the building."
"I don't know what you mean; I'm here to apply for a job that's all!" You quickly denied it.
"Let's cut to the chase, I'm Alice, CEO of Funland Co. and your brother is a bother. If you make him realize how useless his efforts to save this town are, I'll be sure to reward you, miss?"
"(Name)" it was clear that you were interested in the offer, not really thinking about sabotaging your own brother.
Being the capable economist she was, Alice had an idea. Renton could continue the efforts to convince the town people to leave on his own, as for Charles, instead of having him walk around town between robot building sessions, he would have another job and thus your help would come free of any real cost. "How about I give you Charles."
"Excuse me?" You knew your face was slightly red and your mischievous thoughts were written all over your face.
"I'm afraid my budget is a little limited right now," an obvious lie you caught right away, "but if you don't mind doing volunteer work around here, I'm sure Charles would appreciate the help."
"But I really need the money," you argued.
Alice got up, her smile never fading and motioned for you to follow her out of the office. You walked down the hall to a room full of robot parts, a tech lover's paradise, your paradise, with the best angel right in the middle of it all. It was true what they said, Funland was Heaven and not just for kids.
"Working hard Charles?" Alice asked in a mischievous tone that threw the red haired man off guard.
"Of course boss," he wondered what scheme she was planning now.
"Yes, yes, you always work so hard, which is why I found an assistant for you," Alice looked at you.
"An assistant?" Charles was a bit surprised; he and Renton were assistants to Alice. Since when did assistants have assistants?
"You look so exhausted from working so hard, come sit down," Alice pushed Charles to a chair.
"Did I put too much sugar in your coffee?" Charles wondered if that could be the cause of Alice's unusual behavior. The look in her eyes told him she was plotting something, but if that were the case she would have exploded with all the details of her plans to make a new robot as soon as she set foot in the room.
"No, no, the coffee was fine, oh my you're looking a little stiff, but I'm sure Name can fix that," Alice pulled you over to stand behind the chair, placing your hands on Charles' shoulders. "Name, give him a massage, I bet that will make him all better." You nodded, dazed, with a wide grin to match Alice's amused one. Charles opened his mouth to speak but Alice, interrupted, "I need you in good shape to help me run this company, so don't be stubborn and let Name help you in any way she sees fit. Name, I want you to keep an eye on Charles, okay?"
"You can count on me, boss!" You grinned, though you remembered something and added, "a paycheck would still be nice though."
Alice sighed, knowing she wouldn't get away with giving you Charles alone as your payment. "Fine, but you'll have to work for it, help out with the robot building and a few missions I'll give you later."
"Gladly, thanks for the job!" Maybe coming to Sugar Town was a good idea after all.
xoxox xox xoxox
It didn't take too long for your brother and the rest of the town to figure out you were working for Funland and the rumors flew about the hostile sibling relationship at your house, though they were all lies. There was no real hostility between you and your brother; far from it Rufus was convinced you were infiltrating Funland to talk them into abandoning their plans and apologized for doubting you before.
It all made you feel guilty that you were about to sabotage his crops, but it was for his own good. If you didn't get rid of this stupid debt filled farm, your brother would always be a country bumpkin. So you tried your hand at the kitchen that day after having been eating take out from the cafe up the street which your brother brought after he talked them into letting him take the food with him instead of having to eat it there. He was too busy to cook these days. You were still surprised at the story, stupid country bumpkins, he paid for the food, it was his to do with as he pleased.
As expected the dish was a mess and you made plenty, enough to poison the soil and kill all the plants your brother had been diligently watering and caring for. You felt guilty since Rufus, even if he was a boring and ignorant country bumpkin, had always been nice to you, but you reminded yourself it was for his benefit as well. Besides, there was no time for indecision as Alice had prepared a schedule for you and it was almost time to go up to the office for Charles' daily massage.
You peeked out of the house making sure your brother was nowhere to be seen and ran out to the field with your foul concoction in a pot. You spread the substance all over the fields and returned to the house quietly to clean out all the evidence from the kitchen before Rufus suspected anything. Then you were off, rushing up the rural paths towards the north where Charles waited.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Why does Charles get all the special treatment?" Renton frowned, while he handed Alice the screwdriver she had requested, while tinkering with a robot.
Charles adjusted the position of his head on the pillow, his expression peaceful. "It's because I'm amazingly brilliant and fabulously handsome."
"I don't know what either of you are talking about, you both get the same payment." Alice continued her work, ignoring the fact that she and Renton were the only ones working while Charles lay on his stomach on a couch in the corner, his blazer hanging over a chair near by and his tie a little loose while you enjoyed running your hands up and down his back.
"I don't have an assistant," Renton pouted.
"You don't need one," Alice replied. Renton sighed hopelessly, not truly understanding what the boss was trying to accomplish with all this. She then asked the inevitable, not taking her eyes off the machine in front of her, "Name, about your mission..."
"Mission accomplished," you grinned in satisfaction.
"Good, good, I expect to see the results, I'll pay a visit to the farm in a couple of days," Alice announced with no doubts in your words, but rather looking forward to shoving her victory in Rufus' face.
Renton looked confused; he wasn't sure what Alice was talking about. Charles had been confused too and he still was, but the overall situation benefited him so he would not complain. "So, you're a country girl? I used to live in the country too," Renton continued, as if trying to gain some understanding of the general situation by gathering what information he could.
"I'm a city girl at heart, I fit in right away during our visits to the city, but I never used to fit in at my old village, that's my brother's deal. I'm hoping to save up and move to the city, or maybe I could stay here after all when this place becomes a city." Then the realization hit you that when your current job was done Alice would have no reason to continue bribing you, so you would have to make yourself truly useful and help out with the robots enough to be given another job after this unofficial contract expired. You also had to win over Charles on your own; Alice was only providing you with the time and opportunity, but the self-benefit seeking matchmaker could only do so much.
xoxox xox xoxox
Alice kept her word and showed up at the farm as she said she would, but it did not go as well as you expected. The crops were huge, much bigger than you had ever seen and Rufus was happily harvesting them while whistling a cheerful tune.
"What is the meaning of this!" Alice pointed at the fields. Rufus was so happy about the harvest he just skipped over and gave a big strawberry to Alice, Charles and Renton each. "I didn't come here for an apple!"
"It's a strawberry," Rufus smiled from ear to ear, "the harvest is really good this time."
Alice examined the fruit in disbelief, confirming that it was indeed a strawberry. She glared at you, glared at Rufus and with Charles and Renton shaking their heads, she stomped away followed by her two assistants while Rufus had the nerve to offer you a strawberry, which you had a good mind to shove down his throat.
"Thanks for the help sis," noting your confused look, Rufus elaborated. "You were the one who spread fertilizer on the fields, I saw you when I was coming back from tending to the animals."
You felt yourself twitch, that wasn't supposed to be fertilizer; it was supposed to be poison. It seemed that though your cooking was not fit for human consumption, the plants liked it all too well. "You're welcome," you growled, snatched the strawberry and stomped away much like Alice had before.
xoxox xox xoxox
Not all hope was lost, you convinced Alice to let you keep your job and came up with a new plan. Everyday you would give Epona, Rufus' horse, lots of treats. Epona was happy enough, but your plan as not to win her over, it was to make her fat and slow so she would lose the race. However, the extra food turned into extra energy for Epona to run around the farm all day long burning calories and gaining strength. When the day of the race came, she won by a lot.
Even so, you didn't give up, once again convincing Alice to give you another chance, which she surprisingly agreed to with a somewhat conflicted look on her face. You knew something was up, and when something was amiss, usually your brother was to blame.
That evening you decided to get the full story out of Rufus, who confessed that he had been sneaking off every night to see Alice and give her presents. She showed no real interest in him but accepted he gifts nonetheless. "You like her," you concluded.
To this your brother replied by smiling sheepishly and scratching the back of his head. "It would be nice if I could convince her to stay."
The part about the Funland crew staying wasn't bad, but you wanted to live in a city with Charles, not in a shabby old town. Of course you actually needed to reach dating status with him first but that was just another detail. All things considered, you doubted your brother could actually charm Alice; she had Charles right there as her personal assistant and she didn't seem interested, how much higher could her standards be? Definitely too high for your brother to ever reach. You decided not to give it anymore thought and instead went on to plan B.
xoxox xox xoxox
Your new plan actually required you to do real work at Funland, not just making sure Charles was relaxed and fed, by giving him massages and feeding him grapes while he rested his head on your lap. It was nice spending all your time spoiling him while the two of you discussed robotics, and how much nicer it would be to live in the city, since you both had a love for electronics and civilization, but this time you would do something to really help Funland.
Alice was quite surprised to see you working on a robot, which she examined thoughtfully, "not bad, how did you come up with this?"
"There was nothing to do in my old village so I spent all my time indoors admiring my collection of city items, which included robotics books and tech related things. I also liked to take things apart and put them back together," you explained.
"Good, if you build an effective robot I'll keep you around as my third assistant after this is over," Alice decided.
"That's great but could you not tell Rufus I was involved in building the robot?" What he didn't know couldn't hurt him.
"Fair enough," Alice agreed.
xoxox xox xoxox
You were focused on your work when Charles arrived at the workshop wandering why he wasn't getting any special attention today. Then he saw your robotic creation and frowned. When you finally turned to look at source of the footsteps you heard after fastening a screw, you saw Charles with a foul expression. "I know the truth."
"The truth?" You questioned, your mind flooded with all sorts of possibilities to explain his words, tone and face, all coherent trains of thought derailed.
"I know what this is about, I know what your deal with Alice is and I won't allow it!" If Charles ever found out about the truth, this was not the reaction you were hoping for. Your jaw dropped, face red as he continued, "do you really think you can measure up to me? There's no way-"
"Shut up!" Your embarrassment turned to fury. Rejection was one thing, but this was going too far. You knew Charles was a narcissist and frankly he could back his words just fine, but even so, you weren't going to allow him to put you down. "I'll show you," the least you could do for the jerk who broke your heart was leave him jobless, and maybe after you got over him you would have the heart to ruin his face with your fists. "I'll make the best robot!" You would make yourself indispensable to Funland, then when Alice had all her stock depending on you, you would give her the ultimatum, you or Charles, he left or you quit.
"I accept your challenge!" Fuming, Charles went off to another workshop to make his own robot.
xoxox xox xoxox
After working tirelessly for days, you and Charles had both finished your robots. The two mechanical warriors stood facing each other in front of the Funland office. "There's only one way to decide which robot is the best," Charles declared.
"I know," you agreed.
"That's right, the one that tares down the town faster is the best," Alice looked pleased, but not for long since no one was actually listening to her.
"I have a bad feeling about this," Renton grimaced.
"An all out battle!" You and Charles sent your robots on the attack simultaneously.
"You're supposed to be fighting Rufus, not each other!" Alice yelled, but still no one listened to her. The two robots collided, damaging each other heavily and with a massive wave of electricity they short-circuited and went crazy. "Stop them!" Alice ordered, though it was clear both you and Charles were helpless to do so.
Alice ran inside and a third robot came out of the back of the office, this one controlled by Alice, who managed to subdue the other two rampaging machines, albeit at the cost of heavy damage to her own robot and the office building. "You're fired!" Alice's voice echoed all over Leaf Valley.
"But boss, you can't fire me!" Charles was in disbelief.
"I just did, now get out of my property!" Alice continued throwing a temper tantrum.
"This wasn't my fault, it was Name!" Charles argued. Alice saw red, and waved her first at him. Charles then wisely decided to leave, "I'll give you some time to calm down."
You watched the entire scene wordlessly, then dashed after Charles, who had headed in the general direction of the church. You crossed paths with Rufus, who must have heard the commotion and was rushing to the Funland office, though your glare was enough to make him understand you didn't want to talk about it, so instead he continued on his way to the office.
xoxox xox xoxox
That night was spent at the church, Chester told bad jokes to try to cheer the gloomy mood that had settled in, though he gave up after a while declaring that a good rest was all that could cure the dark atmosphere, then went to sleep himself. Aurelia was kind enough to bring some bread for her unexpected guests to snack on.
Charles didn't have a place to live in Sugar Town, with Alice banning him from the office and his room upstairs. He could return to the city, but he wasn't going to give up and go back just yet. On the other hand you were out of excuses to be there, having your own place a short distance away, even so you were well received.
You quietly watched from the corner of your eyes as Charles devoured loaf after loaf of bread like some bread addict. Maybe he ate a lot when he was upset. "Are you leaving?" He finally broke the silence when he ran out of bread; glancing to the bed next to his, a mere three feet apart in the tiny room at the church's second floor, where you sat with the laptop you had gone to pick up from your place on your lap. Thankfully, Alice forgot to block your access to the wireless.
"You don't own the place, if Chester and Aurelia say I can stay, then I can stay," though the truth was that you weren't sure why you wanted to stay or why Aurelia was making you room with Charles. "Jerk," you muttered.
"You have some nerve criticizing me," Charles grumbled.
"You're the one who's deceiving and insensitive!" You argued.
"You're describing yourself!" Charles retorted.
"What did I do wrong? The deal with Alice? She offered and I needed a job."
"So you decided to steal mine?"
"If you haven't distracted me by making me like you, I wouldn't have fallen behind in my work and today's battle would have been very different. It's all your fault!"
"What?" You stared at him as if he grew a second head. "What do you mean making you like me?" He didn't reply so you continued, deciding it was best to come clean, things couldn't get worse than they already were anyway. "I went to Funland looking for a job to save money so I could move to the city. Alice noticed I liked you so she offered you as a bribe if I sabotaged my brother's farm. I agreed, but told her I wanted a paycheck as well. That's how I ended up with that job, because my position as Rufus' sister made it easier for me to sabotage him, even if my attempts failed miserably. I decided that the only way I could keep the job was to make myself useful, so I did. I never planned to steal your job and even if Alice added me to the team she had no intentions of getting rid of you."
"You mean you weren't just pretending to like me to get information to build a better robot to use against me when you stole my job?"
"No, I wasn't trying to steal your job and I liked you for real, but that doesn't matter because no one is good enough for Mr. Perfect Narcissist." You shut off your laptop and stuffed it in your backpack which you put on and headed out the door of the guestroom and towards the stairs; maybe you should just go home after all.
"Wait!" Charles rushed after you. "I only said those things because I was angry when I thought you tricked me. I should have known you liked me for real, how could you not?"
"Is that supposed to be some kind of apology?" You inquired.
"This is," he kissed you; taking you completely by surprise. Unfortunately it didn't last long because you both got the distinct feeling that you were being watched.
Sure enough a small crowd had gathered at the foot of the stairs, Chester, Aurelia, Rufus and even Alice and Renton were there. "Why are you all here?" You asked.
"I came to offer you both jobs," Alice revealed, "Rufus fixed up the office building and paid for the damage, I told him that would be a set back to saving up the fifty thousand he has to pay if he wants to save Sugar Town, because I wasn't giving him any discounts, but he said he only wanted me to consider returning your jobs. Should I expect you at work tomorrow?"
"Of course, and I'll make sure to train Name to be able to build robots almost as good as mine," Charles replied.
"Wait a minute, what do you mean almost as good? I was winning before our robots short-circuited!" You argued.
"Absolutely not, I'm sure I would have won, you're very smart but I'm a genius," Charles voiced.
"We'll see about that, my next robot will beat yours!" You challenged.
"My next robot will be invincible!" Charles countered.
"Enough!" Alice stomped her feet and everyone fell silent. "I want you both to build one robot together next time. Don't forget you're on the same side, Rufus is the enemy, get rid of that farm of his and turn him into a passable city boy, I don't want to be seen with such a country bumpkin!" Alice realized she had said too much, while Rufus only grinned happily. "If you mess up again, I'm not giving you another chance!" Alice hurried to the door, pausing and calling back, "the one who makes the best robots is me!" Then she exited the church, followed by a simultaneously amused and foreboding Renton.
"Well, I should go home too," Rufus cheerfully headed back to the farm house, practically skipping all the way.
"I have to get back to bed, hopefully I'll be able to pick up my dream where I left off," Chester returned to his room.
"I'm going to get some sleep, you too should rest too." Aurelia made her way past you and Charles.
"Good night to everyone," you replied.
"Even if it's only seven-thirty," Charles finished. "I'm not tired yet; do you want to go for a walk, Name?"
"Yes, let's go," the two of you exited the church together, not to be seen or heard until the next day.
Disclaimer, I don't own Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley.