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LoaMR: Ch.IX: Change of Tracks 1

by MailicedeNamedy


What has happened so far: The New Year's celebration in Kapellen Castle ended in tragedy. Not only was the Imperial Territory Leader killed, but the group around Claire completely disbanded before the chaos; Karoline and Stephan left the festivities and even Léonard - seemingly successful in his mission, abandoned Claire and Emma.

In this chapter we take a look at Claire and Emma's future, a detour to Benedikt, Claire's father and also a look at Léonard returning to where he lives.

***

The murder of Imperial Territory Leader Joachim J. von Mallmünde (57) is the most devastating attack on a government figure since the failed assassinations of chancellor Baron von Federstein by the notorious Anti-Sagauvela Group (ASG).

The annual New Year's gala at the famous Kapellen Castle, organised by Count Otto L. von Karolsfelde ended in a terrible tragedy for the Sagauvelish people. Ambiguities continue to exist in the HePo.

Just before the speech of the count, a woman manages to get into the banqueting hall undetected. There she executes the Imperial Territory Leader of New Enalit while the guests enjoy a carefree celebration until then.

As quickly as the perpetrator appeared, she also disappeared. Her motive is unclear so far. The HePo cannot yet say whether it is against the entire Greater Sagauvelian Government or an act of revenge.

Mr von Mallmünde's wife is still in shock. The population is warned; the perpetrator might have planned further victims. It is also unclear whether she is acting alone or in a group. One is still waiting for an announcement from a hostile organisation in this regard. Commissioner of the Territory, Eduard Felix Werner, personally takes care of the case and has immediately set up a special commission (Imperial Territory Leader murder case).

Chancellor Baron von Federstein has cancelled his trip abroad to the Derutachitai's colonies to speak publicly. A speech and burial at the Mallmünde cemetery (Palatinate Diekathedral) will take place in three days in the closest family circle.

Commissioner Werner warns the Sagauvelian population against taking the law into their own hands and acting stubbornly if the suspect is recognised. One should immediately go to the nearest HePo station (or SG unit) and put one's statement on record.

For more information, precise details, and testimonials from guests, see pages 2 to 8.

***

Two days had passed.

Most of the soldiers had gone back to the front. Kapellengarten seemed deserted. It was like the end of a big celebration; the music was now silent. Few people were seen on the street, most of them were locals.

The tiny post office at the end of Guildhall Street was decent and friendly inexperienced. Especially when it came to sending letters. In the beginning, the apprentice had no idea how to handle the letter, and when he forgot to put a stamp on it, the branch manager burst his collar and accidentally bent the item. The whole thing was done in an appropriate tone, the bald branch manager suddenly seemed like a tomato just before someone would crush it with a hammer. The stamp cost Claire nothing.

Claire left the office after reading the first page of all the newspapers on the kiosk next to the post office.

With an embarrassed and uncomfortable gut feeling, she thought of the text. Last night flew by. While Emma slept in her bed, she sat in front of her desk in the dim light.

***

The letter addressed to her father, was supposed to promise her a new phase in her life. In it, she explained everything that had happened. The disappearance from Regenschloss, the (probably) unanswered calls and her anger towards him. She had not thought it would be possible to find words for everything, she could feel satisfied to have immortalised her worries on paper. On the side, she scribbled on a letter for her aunt. With a clear conscience, she wanted to close the old chapter. She did not want to end up like Léonard.

She strutted past the neat houses in shallow steps until she recognised Poppy square. Emma had chosen a place in a café to think for a while. Being so far away from every one, without any guardians didn't happen that often.

Moreover, fate had taken a turn for the better. It was a coincidence that Claire unpacked her suitcase the same evening after her return from Kapellen Castle and her aunt's savings account fell on her feet. She hadn't thought about it once since she left Regenschloss and with that moment everything seemed void. Claire had three thousand Kronen from one second to the next. All her thoughts flowed around this deed she had in front of her, saving her from the mental abyss. Claire saw in it the voucher to get away from Léonard and her family.

Léonard's departure was an unforeseeable fate.

Emma was betrayed by him a second time. If he should show up again sometime, she would beat him to death, Emma had said angrily. This time there were no excuses for him. This situation was entirely different. Claire, on the other hand, did not believe he would return. Neither he nor Karoline nor Stephan were ever to see her. There was no real relationship between them, the only thing that connected them was Léonard. Claire had never really considered them friends, much more hoteliers or people who ran an inn. All of them were gone when Claire and Emma came back. Their rooms were empty.

There was the next problem.

They had to leave their room if they did not renew. With the bags they had been carrying since their trip from Regenschloss, they looked for a new, cheaper place to stay. It certainly wasn't easy to get something cheap on New Year's Day. Fortunately, they found an unfamiliar hotel in Beekeeper Alley. There Claire, already despairing, found the savings account.

Claire told herself on New Year that there was no point in phoning to Weymouth. Léonard was certainly not there. Emma then became even angrier and wrote her anger on some sheets of paper.

***

The next day was spent gathering information. The murder of the Imperial Territory Leader brought a gaping wound to the government. Increased HePo were on the streets. There were rumours of conspirators sneaking from the south to the north.

Certainly, it remained easier for Claire to get through life than for her friend. As a Greater Sagauvelian citizen of the Empire, she had all the immunities and advantages in an occupied country. She was more likely to get work and was equipped for emergencies, should there be aerial bombs.

What little savings Emma had, was enough to pay for the train journey back to Regenschloss. She found that out yesterday. Claire fought this with all her might. She didn't want to see Regenschloss again for a while.

There were years between then and now. Léonard. The du Murnaux family. Weymouth. Pfalzburg. Kapellen Castle. They seemed like flashes of memory, moments in her life that she might have experienced in an afternoon. And yet three weeks had passed since then, three weeks that had Claire decided from one day to the next that would change her. It was a decision she would not have made had it not been for Léonard. It happened so quickly and surprisingly...

There was no right term to describe him. Emma had lost all hope of seeing him again, let alone going with him. She was sure she would not let him get away scot-free this time.

The brain does not forget.

His lies were reflected in Claire's mind's eye. It was his fantasy. Or in other words; had he lost his sense of reality? Had he become an adventurer tired of real life? Did he have to build a fantasy world to get through highs to lows? Was he just like her, retreating into her world, seeming more extroverted in the process?

When Claire devoted herself to making music, it brought joyful thoughts.

A world without negative feelings. No matter what tune was played. So too when she was upset or provoked. Nervousness turned her into a loud woman. She would then talk to herself. Imagined a positive, optimistic scenario where everyone could live in peace. But her dreams were nothing compared to the collective reality. She was not allowed to escape so easily. Claire is not Léonard.

She had transferred this accumulated anger towards him to her father, who was ultimately the greatest mystery and sole culprit for her actions. Claire managed to relieve the pressure by writing, thinking several times about how she could elegantly explain to him that she didn't like him, and he was to blame for everything since Léonard's arrival.

***

Remembering and longing for her violin, she entered the café. Only a few minutes had passed since the walk from the post office and yet it seemed like years to Claire. Emma sat alone at a table. The fact that she had endured it all alone was mainly because there were no soldiers left to harass her in any way.

"Did everything work out?"

"Yes. The letter will probably arrive at the end of the week," Claire explained and sat down.

An awkward moment of silence occurred while the waiter asked for the drink.

"So... what's next?"

"I want to go to Regenschloss," Emma spoke, "It's pointless to do anything about him now. We won't see him again."

These were harsh words that she uttered. Claire could not believe her.

"And what do you plan to do when you get home?"

"Start at your aunt's restaurant. I still want to start an apprenticeship there. After all, you're starting there too. “

"There's a problem," she confessed.

The waiter brought her a cup of tea, as well as a rack of biscuits. The many goodies tempted Emma to grab them immediately and order a second coffee in the hope of receiving fresh biscuits.

"Which one?" Emma asked with her mouth full.

"I have a different direction I want to take. I want to do an apprenticeship as a train conductor."

Her friend looked at her with wide eyes.

"Not a cook anymore?"

Claire swallowed. She felt the rough stone stuck in her throat.

"You gave me the idea. I find it interesting. You know how much I like trains. Besides, I'll probably have more chances to build a life this way."

"I don't really see why it's a problem. I can still go to your aunt's."

If you keep your mouth shut, everything will be fine. But how quickly Auntie would then try to find me if she found out.

Emma won't spill the beans.

If so, what then?

"I just don't want to start in Regenschloss, I want to travel to Berlyne."

"Isn't that the big city where your father lives?"

"Something like that. There is hardly any work in Regenschloss. Believe me, even though we have the station, I would hardly have anything to do. All the war trains that run from there, crowd out the passengers. I have more hopes in a city of millions."

"That means the letter is a confirmation to your father that you will be travelling to see him soon?"

"It says he has nothing to worry about. The same for Auntie. Nothing more," she replied curtly.

"You want to leave for Berlyne right away?"

Claire looked away.

A poster for a play was being renewed. The two waiters took care to pin it to the wall as best they could.

"Emma, there are so many things I still want to say to you... but I don't know in what way..."

Emma was standing next to her. Her coffee was half drunk.

"I have to think for myself. I'm going for a walk."

"Do you want me to go with you?"

"No. I'll meet you in the room, all right?"

Claire nodded. She grabbed her friend's arm.

"Do not do anything you will regret. You still have all the switches that will take you to happiness."

***

Emma had rarely been so convinced that she was wrong as on that day. Not only did she have to admit to herself that Léonard was gone forever, no, she now had to leave her best friend. In the turmoil of war - was it even possible to ever meet her again? Claire no longer remembered how many beautiful moments they had together; she must even have forgotten how they had met back then.

Berlyne was too far away from Regenschloss to visit her regularly. Alone in Waltraud Silberlilie's restaurant, she would be reminded of Claire every time. Alone in this deserted town, it felt unimportant and boring. There was no one Emma could talk to.

Without a real thread, she strove for peace. That she found in the small, curious shop of Theophilus, which she had already visited yesterday. It was this olfactory exclusivity that transported her to the forest. It attracted her magically, like a dog led on a leash.

Theophilus was happy about new customers. Emma had bought a candle yesterday that she particularly liked. He stood by her side and gave her good advice on the best time to light it.

In the small, earthly paradise, she was able to feign an ideal world. As if it were a healing bath, she inspected every single shelf and remembered the wonderful time when she was a child.

Tossed around, between grandfather and mother, she could defiantly say that she spent a beautiful childhood. The past was bitter when you had to give up what you had built up over the years.

Emma did not want to lose them at all. Alone in Regenschloss, she could hardly make new friends.

Certainly, it is not getting any easier.

With age come difficulties. Emma did not want to grow older. She didn't feel grown-up. Léonard's dress was too much for her. She was made to look like a young princess when she was already happy to go out on horseback.

Her future options were limited, no matter what Claire spoke of switches. She would be met with strange looks in whatever profession. As if she were an underclass person.

Her dilemma was too much for Emma. Theophilus noticed this, watching her in front of the herbal cupboard as she fell into a deadly sad mood.

"May I help you in any way, young lady?"

"I don't know."

No one could miss her watery eyes. With a graceful smile, he came closer.

"Tell me. What is on your mind?"

It was the old man's graceful, healing voice that made Emma talk about her grief. Grief turned the fiction in her head into relieving sentences. In the end, it was he who had grief wandering around in his brain.

After a long pause that could hardly comfort her, came the presumably saving expressions. They were certainly not tirades he used, but what he had been taught when he was young.

"People listen less to the voice within," he said in succoring tones, "If you listen more to your heart, the tears will dry to joy."

Emma felt uncomfortable for a moment. But it was probably the most honest answer she could listen to.

"Wait a moment," he spoke fatherly.

He walked to the basket with the fresh apples. He handed the juiciest one to her.

"It will do you good. Eat and think about what your heart wants to say."

"Thank you."

She ate it with dainty bites. It was a strange way to close the wounds of the soul. But it was the way out of the misery. More comfortable and in a better mood, she had listened to her heart.

With a glorious chuckle, the young lady said goodbye to the old man. His heart could sleep peacefully. This day he had done something good. Emma wanted to listen to her heart and follow Claire.

***

That evening Emma was in a great mood.

She could have the most fun with Claire in the room, the time was endless. She wanted to get rid of her new idea immediately. With her, she could overcome any obstacle.

Travel with her to Berlyne and start an education. Together. She no longer wanted to look back, but to experience new stories with her friend.

Emma immediately decided to go to Sehlingen first to talk to her grandfather about it. The next day she called her grandfather from the post office. They wanted to use the little money they had left after paying for the ticket to Lödingen as a start for Berlyne.

Claire was thrilled and could finally express her happiness. It had been a long time since she had flapped her wings as hard as she did that evening. The happiest girls in the world can be found right in Kapellengarten, Theophilus said to himself as he closed up the shop for the evening.

To IX.2.


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Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:25 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okayy so this was a good little continuation from the excitement we had with the previous one. Its much more laid back, and we're focusing on the aftermath of it all from the girls' perspective. I love how you didn't add Léonard into it at all and let it all be about the girls' thoughts. I was worried after reading the chapter summary that he might interrupt the beautiful series of thoughts leading upto that decision but that didn't happen, so this is a great start to this chapter here. :D

Anyway let's get right to it,

So I won't quote that whole part because it would be a ridiculously large chunk of text to put in a quote, but I'll talk about that as a whole first. It manages to do a couple of things very well there in giving us some background information about the aftermath and repercussions of that assasination while it also gives us a slight summary of the important bits from the previous chapter. Its a nice little thing to open with although I hope you'd relate that to a character reading that cause otherwise it seems very random to put a newspaper article in the middle of this piece here.

Two days had passed.

Most of the soldiers had gone back to the front. Kapellengarten seemed deserted. It was like the end of a big celebration; the music was now silent. Few people were seen on the street, most of them were locals.

The tiny post office at the end of Guildhall Street was decent and friendly inexperienced. Especially when it came to sending letters. In the beginning, the apprentice had no idea how to handle the letter, and when he forgot to put a stamp on it, the branch manager burst his collar and accidentally bent the item. The whole thing was done in an appropriate tone, the bald branch manager suddenly seemed like a tomato just before someone would crush it with a hammer. The stamp cost Claire nothing.

Claire left the office after reading the first page of all the newspapers on the kiosk next to the post office.

With an embarrassed and uncomfortable gut feeling, she thought of the text. Last night flew by. While Emma slept in her bed, she sat in front of her desk in the dim light.


Oh so we do finally get to see this tied to a person reading. Still though, as good as this bit is, its a bit too late I think. Claire reading it could be mentioned first and then we can just as easily move onto giving these little extra details and setting we get. Having the Claire reading part come last is not a great move in my opinion.

The letter addressed to her father, was supposed to promise her a new phase in her life. In it, she explained everything that had happened. The disappearance from Regenschloss, the (probably) unanswered calls and her anger towards him. She had not thought it would be possible to find words for everything, she could feel satisfied to have immortalised her worries on paper. On the side, she scribbled on a letter for her aunt. With a clear conscience, she wanted to close the old chapter. She did not want to end up like Léonard.

She strutted past the neat houses in shallow steps until she recognised Poppy square. Emma had chosen a place in a café to think for a while. Being so far away from every one, without any guardians didn't happen that often.

Moreover, fate had taken a turn for the better. It was a coincidence that Claire unpacked her suitcase the same evening after her return from Kapellen Castle and her aunt's savings account fell on her feet. She hadn't thought about it once since she left Regenschloss and with that moment everything seemed void. Claire had three thousand Kronen from one second to the next. All her thoughts flowed around this deed she had in front of her, saving her from the mental abyss. Claire saw in it the voucher to get away from Léonard and her family.


Okayy...well it looks like with a good ol' timeskip having happened here, we're going to now get a little bit of a sort of summary of the events of Claire's life since that ill fated gala now....and I think that's an okay direction to take. With the sort of intensity a chapter like that can have, starting things off once the immediate effects have worn off and things have happened is a good decision I think.

Léonard's departure was an unforeseeable fate.

Emma was betrayed by him a second time. If he should show up again sometime, she would beat him to death, Emma had said angrily. This time there were no excuses for him. This situation was entirely different. Claire, on the other hand, did not believe he would return. Neither he nor Karoline nor Stephan were ever to see her. There was no real relationship between them, the only thing that connected them was Léonard. Claire had never really considered them friends, much more hoteliers or people who ran an inn. All of them were gone when Claire and Emma came back. Their rooms were empty.

There was the next problem.

They had to leave their room if they did not renew. With the bags they had been carrying since their trip from Regenschloss, they looked for a new, cheaper place to stay. It certainly wasn't easy to get something cheap on New Year's Day. Fortunately, they found an unfamiliar hotel in Beekeeper Alley. There Claire, already despairing, found the savings account.

Claire told herself on New Year that there was no point in phoning to Weymouth. Léonard was certainly not there. Emma then became even angrier and wrote her anger on some sheets of paper.


Okay....I like seeing that loose end tied up on Karoline and Stephan. I was starting to get a bit worried on that front for a second and was just about question you on what happened to them. The whole hotel changing thing and everything also makes a good amount of sense. I'm just sorry to see how the girls end up quite this abandoned and having to make things happen all on their own.

The next day was spent gathering information. The murder of the Imperial Territory Leader brought a gaping wound to the government. Increased HePo were on the streets. There were rumours of conspirators sneaking from the south to the north.

Certainly, it remained easier for Claire to get through life than for her friend. As a Greater Sagauvelian citizen of the Empire, she had all the immunities and advantages in an occupied country. She was more likely to get work and was equipped for emergencies, should there be aerial bombs.

What little savings Emma had, was enough to pay for the train journey back to Regenschloss. She found that out yesterday. Claire fought this with all her might. She didn't want to see Regenschloss again for a while.


Okayy...so it looks like maybe Emma wants them to go back home but Claire for pretty justifiable reasons isn't too thrilled with that whole idea and she's maybe considering sticking around somewhere here. It is all painting a very interesting picture at any rate.

There were years between then and now. Léonard. The du Murnaux family. Weymouth. Pfalzburg. Kapellen Castle. They seemed like flashes of memory, moments in her life that she might have experienced in an afternoon. And yet three weeks had passed since then, three weeks that had Claire decided from one day to the next that would change her. It was a decision she would not have made had it not been for Léonard. It happened so quickly and surprisingly...

There was no right term to describe him. Emma had lost all hope of seeing him again, let alone going with him. She was sure she would not let him get away scot-free this time.

The brain does not forget.

His lies were reflected in Claire's mind's eye. It was his fantasy. Or in other words; had he lost his sense of reality? Had he become an adventurer tired of real life? Did he have to build a fantasy world to get through highs to lows? Was he just like her, retreating into her world, seeming more extroverted in the process?


I feel like maybe this bit of mental reflection got a bit rambly and ended up getting a little lost. The main point that you're trying to bring across with all of this musing is certainly still there and that part definiely doesn't get lost, but I feel like you still could do with a bit of a rewrite of that whole part with a slightly clear plan of how you want those thoughts to go cause a reader might need to look through that passage twice or maybe thrice to really understand that.

When Claire devoted herself to making music, it brought joyful thoughts.

A world without negative feelings. No matter what tune was played. So too when she was upset or provoked. Nervousness turned her into a loud woman. She would then talk to herself. Imagined a positive, optimistic scenario where everyone could live in peace. But her dreams were nothing compared to the collective reality. She was not allowed to escape so easily. Claire is not Léonard.

She had transferred this accumulated anger towards him to her father, who was ultimately the greatest mystery and sole culprit for her actions. Claire managed to relieve the pressure by writing, thinking several times about how she could elegantly explain to him that she didn't like him, and he was to blame for everything since Léonard's arrival.


Okayy...so a lot of things happening especially with regards to her father now. I feel like maybe he will play a slightly bigger part in things going forward. A few interesting things are certainly going down here and I get a sense that while things are reasonably quiet at the moment, we're building slowly towards another climax in the not too distant future.

Remembering and longing for her violin, she entered the café. Only a few minutes had passed since the walk from the post office and yet it seemed like years to Claire. Emma sat alone at a table. The fact that she had endured it all alone was mainly because there were no soldiers left to harass her in any way.

"Did everything work out?"

"Yes. The letter will probably arrive at the end of the week," Claire explained and sat down.

An awkward moment of silence occurred while the waiter asked for the drink.

"So... what's next?"

"I want to go to Regenschloss," Emma spoke, "It's pointless to do anything about him now. We won't see him again."

These were harsh words that she uttered. Claire could not believe her.


OKay so maybe Emma has finally realized the truth about Léonard I've been trying to warn her about since almost the beginning. We won't talk about how I believed Léonard was a good guy in that first chapter.

"And what do you plan to do when you get home?"

"Start at your aunt's restaurant. I still want to start an apprenticeship there. After all, you're starting there too. “

"There's a problem," she confessed.

The waiter brought her a cup of tea, as well as a rack of biscuits. The many goodies tempted Emma to grab them immediately and order a second coffee in the hope of receiving fresh biscuits.

"Which one?" Emma asked with her mouth full.

"I have a different direction I want to take. I want to do an apprenticeship as a train conductor."

Her friend looked at her with wide eyes.


OKay soo its good to see the two friends engaging in a conversation like this once again, seperate from the Léonard's of the world and worrying about other things like that. They're just having a nice little discussion on their current situation and looking ahead to what they plan to do in their future.

"Not a cook anymore?"

Claire swallowed. She felt the rough stone stuck in her throat.

"You gave me the idea. I find it interesting. You know how much I like trains. Besides, I'll probably have more chances to build a life this way."

"I don't really see why it's a problem. I can still go to your aunt's."

If you keep your mouth shut, everything will be fine. But how quickly Auntie would then try to find me if she found out.

Emma won't spill the beans.

If so, what then?

"I just don't want to start in Regenschloss, I want to travel to Berlyne."

"Isn't that the big city where your father lives?"


Okayy...so this is maybe the hard part for the two friends. It looks like there is now a good chance these choices that they are about to make here could see the two of them driven apart a little and they might have to go their separate ways a bit.

"Something like that. There is hardly any work in Regenschloss. Believe me, even though we have the station, I would hardly have anything to do. All the war trains that run from there, crowd out the passengers. I have more hopes in a city of millions."

"That means the letter is a confirmation to your father that you will be travelling to see him soon?"

"It says he has nothing to worry about. The same for Auntie. Nothing more," she replied curtly.

"You want to leave for Berlyne right away?"

Claire looked away.

A poster for a play was being renewed. The two waiters took care to pin it to the wall as best they could.

"Emma, there are so many things I still want to say to you... but I don't know in what way..."


Hmm, I get the distinct feeling this could be a somewhat defining moment in their friendship. We haven't seen too many of those in this story with literally 90% of their conversation falling under the shadow of old snake face himself, but now it seems maybe a few choices are to made and this could all impact how these two remain friends or not going forward from this point in time.

Emma was standing next to her. Her coffee was half drunk.

"I have to think for myself. I'm going for a walk."

"Do you want me to go with you?"

"No. I'll meet you in the room, all right?"

Claire nodded. She grabbed her friend's arm.

"Do not do anything you will regret. You still have all the switches that will take you to happiness."


Okayy...that's a good bit of advice there, and it only seems to seal my theory that perhaps this will be a very much defining moment of their friendship here. Hmm, well let's see where we end up going next wit this.

Emma had rarely been so convinced that she was wrong as on that day. Not only did she have to admit to herself that Léonard was gone forever, no, she now had to leave her best friend. In the turmoil of war - was it even possible to ever meet her again? Claire no longer remembered how many beautiful moments they had together; she must even have forgotten how they had met back then.

Berlyne was too far away from Regenschloss to visit her regularly. Alone in Waltraud Silberlilie's restaurant, she would be reminded of Claire every time. Alone in this deserted town, it felt unimportant and boring. There was no one Emma could talk to.

Without a real thread, she strove for peace. That she found in the small, curious shop of Theophilus, which she had already visited yesterday. It was this olfactory exclusivity that transported her to the forest. It attracted her magically, like a dog led on a leash.


OKay...so she ends up wandering into that shop they ran into that other day? Although I'm not sure. I have a feeling maybe this is an entirely different shop with an entirely different kind shop owner with sagely advice. It is a bit hard to say here, but this does seem to be heading towards an interesting choice by Emma. Her thoughts are circling around some very important and pretty sensitive sounding points there.

Theophilus was happy about new customers. Emma had bought a candle yesterday that she particularly liked. He stood by her side and gave her good advice on the best time to light it.

In the small, earthly paradise, she was able to feign an ideal world. As if it were a healing bath, she inspected every single shelf and remembered the wonderful time when she was a child.

Tossed around, between grandfather and mother, she could defiantly say that she spent a beautiful childhood. The past was bitter when you had to give up what you had built up over the years.

Emma did not want to lose them at all. Alone in Regenschloss, she could hardly make new friends.

Certainly, it is not getting any easier.


Okayy...well it does look like Emma is really thinking hard about what exactly she wants to do with her life in the times to come here. It certainly is very interesting to see and I have a feeling we will see some an important decision being taken quite soon here.

Her dilemma was too much for Emma. Theophilus noticed this, watching her in front of the herbal cupboard as she fell into a deadly sad mood.

"May I help you in any way, young lady?"

"I don't know."

No one could miss her watery eyes. With a graceful smile, he came closer.

"Tell me. What is on your mind?"

It was the old man's graceful, healing voice that made Emma talk about her grief. Grief turned the fiction in her head into relieving sentences. In the end, it was he who had grief wandering around in his brain.


Okayy....well she is the kind of person to open up to strangers just because they come off as being potentially nice people, so I don't doubt what she just did. I hope that she's going to end up with some good advice here and not anything else.

"Wait a moment," he spoke fatherly.

He walked to the basket with the fresh apples. He handed the juiciest one to her.

"It will do you good. Eat and think about what your heart wants to say."

"Thank you."

She ate it with dainty bites. It was a strange way to close the wounds of the soul. But it was the way out of the misery. More comfortable and in a better mood, she had listened to her heart.

With a glorious chuckle, the young lady said goodbye to the old man. His heart could sleep peacefully. This day he had done something good. Emma wanted to listen to her heart and follow Claire.


Okay...not sure how the apple helps out there...but they do say it keeps doctors away so perhaps they are onto something here. At any rate it looks like the reflection she was told to do ended up in her perhaps making a final decision on the matter to go with Claire after all. I mean, being honest, it was never in doubt that she'd do anything else, but I think you took us on a decent little rollercoaster there from Emma's thoughts here.

That evening Emma was in a great mood.

She could have the most fun with Claire in the room, the time was endless. She wanted to get rid of her new idea immediately. With her, she could overcome any obstacle.

Travel with her to Berlyne and start an education. Together. She no longer wanted to look back, but to experience new stories with her friend.

Emma immediately decided to go to Sehlingen first to talk to her grandfather about it. The next day she called her grandfather from the post office. They wanted to use the little money they had left after paying for the ticket to Lödingen as a start for Berlyne.

Claire was thrilled and could finally express her happiness. It had been a long time since she had flapped her wings as hard as she did that evening. The happiest girls in the world can be found right in Kapellengarten, Theophilus said to himself as he closed up the shop for the evening.


Okayyy....well this ends on a happy note for once. That's not something that we've seen too often with this story, so that's a lovely change of tracks. [pun intended...sorrry] Anyway, a good place for this part to end on here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think this was one of the parts I maybe liked the most in this story so far. I know I've said this for more than one part, but heh..that's a good thing right...I end up liking so many of them and they keep getting better :D. Anyway, I think that's all I have to say on this one. So until next time. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry






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HarryHardy says...


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Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:44 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hey Mailice!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

I really liked the way you opened the chapter, with that excerpt from the newspaper. It gave us a brief overview of the events of the last chapter without going into the details. The introduction had a really somber feeling to it and it went very well with how the characters were feeling after all that happened. I liked how you compared it to the wrapping up of a long party when the mess and the emptiness is all that is left to show for what took place there. Claire and Emma both are relatively young and inexperienced and I think you portrayed their disbelief and their lack of experience very well here. They had both faced a terrible shock and while I think it must have been more terrible for Emma who was really fond of Leonard, Claire's overthinking and habit of sinking inside her own head does not make it easy for her to move on.

His lies were reflected in Claire's mind's eye. It was his fantasy. Or in other words; had he lost his sense of reality? Had he become an adventurer tired of real life? Did he have to build a fantasy world to get through highs to lows? Was he just like her, retreating into her world, seeming more extroverted in the process?

I really liked listening to Claire's reflections on Leonard. It is obvious that they will no longer make the mistake of trusting him again (or at least I hope so), but I liked how despite her anger and betrayal, she was still trying to understand him, to figure him out like he was a difficult math problem. Maybe some day we will actually stumble upon something about Leonard that will explain him, and we will figure him out alongside Claire. She has more understanding of Leonard than Emma does in this respect, and I think that is why she is constantly trying to solve him.
I also liked how in the end she made the conclusion that she is not Leonard. They both may sink into other realities inside their head to escape the one they live in, but Claire does not get lost. She may get carried away, but she does not replace the realities like Leonard does. Besides Claire has real connections with the world that she just cannot forget and leave behind, unlike Leonard. She may be an introvert but she cherishes these relationships and connections and will not abandon them for the plays and realities inside her head that bring her momentary satisfaction.


She had transferred this accumulated anger towards him to her father, who was ultimately the greatest mystery and sole culprit for her actions.

Claire has always had a rocky relationship with her father, so it is understandable that in moments of confusion and fear, se would blame him for all the misfortunes in her life when honestly he had not played that great of a hand in them. So even though from her previous fascination with the trains, I can see her purchasing this profession, I was still a little surprised that she would choose to go to the very city he lives. I think that means we are going to see a little more of him and maybe explore some aspects of their relationship.

If you listen more to your heart, the tears will dry to joy."

This was a really great lesson. Now, moving on to Emma, we finally see her branching out of Leonard's world of mystery and fascination and see her venturing into her own future. I think a lot of this has to with how Leonard simply abandoned them. Emma has always been more invested in Leonard and was quite fond of his as well. His betrayal must have come as a stronger blow for her and it shows in her anger as it is the only thing she can hold on to right now. She does not know as much as Claire, so all this must be even more confusing for her. And when Claire declared that she was going to Berlyne, I can imagine how that felt for her. She does not have any clear idea about what she wants to do with her life, but I also know that she is the kind of girl who is always going to need someone for support. It is good to see her finally thinking and reasoning, but the quick recovery of her mood after listening to Theophilus's piece of advice made me smile. Because again it is very characteristic of Emma to make spontaneous decisions like that. She has a big heart and I have a feeling that she listens to it more often than she does to reason.

Emma sat lonely at a table.

Incoming nitpick! I think 'alone' will be better her in place of 'lonely'. The word 'lonely' is more a feeling than a state, and since this is Claire's observation, I think 'alone' fits better.

Overall, this was an interesting part. We see the girls venturing off to their own futures. It kind of makes me wonder what Leonard has been up to all this while. Maybe we will find out!

Have a great day!

Until next time!






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Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:15 am
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ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey! Forever here with a review!!

How could I completely forget about reading and reviewing this... anyway, to the review. The newspaper excerpt was a good beginning to the chapter. I would just suggest to give a name of the newspaper. I don't know but I do feel that it can add to the story in some way, maybe describing the political further. But why do I have the feeling that that was the only news printed on the newspaper that day... Like 2 to 8. Then there would be other things related to that too like how the confition of the place has detoriated and that would make up for the whole newspaper. The newspaper workers definitely had a bad time collecting news, but not worse than the HePo though.

Like the characters in the characters, we readers too have a feeling that quite some time has passed but in reality, it's not that, it's only been three weeks. That's not a very short period of time though.

At times, the time when the events took place became a bit confusing to me. I think you frequently shifted from present to past and past to present in terms of events in the beginning, especially in the 2nd and the 3rd paragraph. I was confused about when all these happened and the events seemed to overlap each other. I guess the problem can be fixed if you start with them moving to the Beepkeeper alley and then go to the letter itself. That's the way the events actually flowed, I guess. Correct me if I am wrong.

I liked how you focused on the similarities and differences between Leonard and Claire. If I am not wrong, we did see the similarities between them earlier too but now we saw the dissimilarities between them. Leonard doesn't seem to be attached to anyone in the world in a permanent manner whereas Claire seems to have a lot of people in the world who she is actually a bit attached to. Claire seems to care a lot about Emma, though sometimes she hid her secrets and a bit of recent past. Their friendship has improved a lot since when we first saw them. Claire was very happy when she came to know that Emma too will be going with her.

Okay now both of them will be going to Berlyn and I am quite interested to know what is going to happen there. Now they have got an occupation of their own and I guess they are gonna stick to that. Traim conductor seems to be quite a good job but there are dangers too. The main thing which I wonder about is Leonard. How they are going to meet him now? Maybe at Berlyn through Claire's father. That would be an interesting thing to see. They are having quite some adventures. So many settings we have here.

Keep Writing!!

~Forever






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Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:06 pm
GoodieGoat wrote a review...



Hello again MailicedeNamedy, it's nice to frequent you again!

I wanted to start off by saying I haven't read the previous installments of your works, your summary of previous events and the italicized section which I read sort of like an in-universe newspaper are very helpful for orienting myself as a new reader.

As the story began I imagined myself in a world alike to what I image late Pre-Unification Germany in. The mention of aerial bombardment was helpful in establishing the technological level of the setting. The setting and the way you write is very personable and I felt comforted while reading it. I felt as though I was there, and it reminded me of the international crime shows that my local PBS station sometimes airs.

The thing I deeply connect with Emma over is an uncertainty over what I want to do professionally. The way she sort of floats around in her hometown unsure what she wants to do, all the while she dreams of working on the railroads or adventuring with Claire to Berlyne, and even then she hides these ambitions from others over fear of distaste from her relatives. These greatly resonated with me.

The way you described the clerk flinching like a tomato about to get squashed made me laugh!

On a last note I did't know what succor meant and looked it up. 𝓖𝓮𝓷𝓮𝓻𝓪𝓵 𝓖𝓻𝓲𝓮𝓿𝓸𝓾𝓼 𝓳𝓸𝓴𝓮 𝓪𝓫𝓸𝓾𝓽 𝓪 𝓯𝓲𝓷𝓮 𝓪𝓭𝓭𝓲𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓽𝓸 𝓶𝔂 𝓬𝓸𝓵𝓵𝓮𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓰𝓸𝓮𝓼 𝓱𝓮𝓻𝓮.

I hope I've provided encouragement and feedback. Until next time!
Sincerely,
GoodieGoat






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