Gone Shopping

Rune help Valeria learn about Earth while out on a walk. The two stop in for an impromptu shopping spree at a local jewelry store along the way, and end up discussing their upcoming trip back to Waldia and the planned return afterwards.

Date: 2015-11-27
Pose Count: 19
Valeria Barun 2015-11-27 23:12:05 16801
    Though the plan seems to be to return to Waldia shortly it also entails returning to Earth to make up for the actions of Runealy and her Guardian Knights. This means that while her current stay won't last long it's in Valeria's best interests to learn about Earth and it's customs so she'll be less overwhelmed upon their return. Since that aligns with her own interest in the new world she's found herself on it works out nicely, and so she's walking around with Runealy, who is showing her around the city and helping her to get a better grasp of how the economy works.

    And where better to explain this than a shopping center. "So all these merchants are gathered together to draw a larger mass of potential customers? That isn't so unlike a market square... but I don't understand why there are so many of them! Everything that isn't somebody's home seems to be selling some kind of product or another," Valeria murmurs in fascination, walking slowly and alternating her gaze between the various stores of the shopping strip and the traffic on her other side. She pauses for a few moments to examine a bicycle rack- or rather a bicycle chained up to it. Magic is apparently like riding one of these, according to Hinote, she reminds herself.

    After continuing a short ways farther she turns her eyes back to the storefront only to stop dead in her tracks, looking momentarily like a deer in the headlights. She steps closer to Runealy and lightly sets a hand on the back of her upper arm and motions towards the storefront window of the OSA-P Jewelry store. "Do my eyes deceive me? What is this casual display of such grandiose wealth?" She moves closer to the window and just manages to keep from pressing her face to the window, "Is that all truly available for purchase?"
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-27 23:21:00 16803
In many cases, Rune is just as lost. Normally she would be quite enthused to go checking out strange new stores... but up until very recently she has had absolutely no drive to bother, beyond essentials (and one visit to a pet goods store, as taking care of Mistpaw is an 'essential' too). All she could really point out was that Tokyo uses a different kind of money, but that their silver and gold could be exchanged at some places to get local money... and that of course Guardian Knights are paid well, so shopping trips like this are entirely viable.

"I don't know if it's 'everything', but when you think about it... aren't they just doing what we do, on a way bigger scale?" Rune actually finds this thought interesting, and is glad to play along with Valeria's questions. "Almost every building we make back home has a reason it was created... I'm guessing people here do the same thing."

As for the jewelry? "Huh? What do you see?" Rune jogs over to keep up with Valeria. "Huh... yeah, looks like it. Starting to think that's the trend here. We have jewelers back home, they have them here too... but we come back to 'scale' all over again. They have way more on display out here than we do! Wonder how they manage that?"
Valeria Barun 2015-11-27 23:35:26 16804
    The local money having no intrinsic value is a bit bewildering to Valeria and it takes her a little while to grasp, but eventually she figures it out by comparing it to a bartering system. "It would be very difficult for one of them if they found themselves in a world like ours. Currency without value and so accustomed to devices that do not exist." A soft laugh, "It reminds me of myself trying to make my way through the forest alone."

    She considers the idea that many things are the same, only much larger in scale, and nods along thoughtfully, "Yes, I suppose that's true. A city as large as this wouldn't function well with a single central marketplace at all, would it?" A small pause and her mind goes elsewhere momentarily, "Even their 'Demons' seem to be more numerous, if attacks are as common as I've heard. Perhaps that is why they have no Queen of Earth? Just imagine the barrier that would be required to contain them all." What she doesn't say aloud is that perhaps there simply isn't anyone on Earth as amazing as the first Queen of Waldia to create such a thing; it isn't as if the Demon Army trapped in the Abyss is small by any measure.

    Valeria excitedly goes back over to Runealy, "They seem to have a specific fascination with uncolored gems, but what an array of them! I've only seen something like this once before, and that merchant had a very well armed guard. To think there is nothing protecting it all but a wall of glass." A short pause, "Rune, let's go inside!" She is positively excited, her voice filled with energy despite her calm, graceful movements as she moves towards the door.
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-27 23:46:35 16806
"Well, it has value. They accept it with each other, and we do too while we're here, so it has the value everyone gives to it, right?" Rune nonetheless allows a tiny laugh, "The forest? I think on my first or second time through there, I got lost. Gaofele found me, things went better from there. Can't imagine what it was like with you doing that alone, but it seems you got here okay."

Talk of Earth's politics nets a shrug. "I'm not sure either. I tried to ask about that when we first got here, and the closest I got was that there's an Emperor here who doesn't fight monsters at all. It's /weird/! They don't seem to know about monsters, Guardian Knights, Puella Magi, or anything like that. Even apologizing for what we did was really personal, instead of some diplomatic function."

Then Valeria has an idea that simply didn't occur to her. Inside? "Ah... oka--" Valeria's already well ahead of her, and Rune opts to jog a few steps to catch up and head inside. "Sure. Anything in particular you're looking for?" She doesn't assume this is 'just browsing'; she and Valeria should both be familiar enough with wealth that the occasional random luxury purchase isn't outside the norm.
Valeria Barun 2015-11-27 23:58:43 16808
    "Yes, but the moment they find themselves with someone who doesn't give it that value wouldn't it be worthless?" She doesn't have the survival knowledge to even think of using 'paper money' as rope or kindling for a fire. "I stayed close enough to the road to the shrine that I was able to find my way, but if not for that I'm afraid I might have been lost forever lest I had been rescued as you were." She gives Runealy an odd look then, "But if he doesn't fight monsters why is he the Emperor? I might understand if all the monsters were vanquished, but clearly they are not. To not even know of magic; how could any such person become Emperor?"

    Then they're in the store and Valeria is carefully looking around. She has an eye for this sort of thing so though she can't tell the costume jewelry is fake she can tell it lacks the luster and brilliance of that behind the large glass counter. She moves to one end of it and leans closer, eyes wide as she takes in the sight of the display, "Something for my mother, or perhaps my sister. They'll be terribly upset I went off for so long without an explanation as to why."

    She pauses a moment and looks back to Runealy, "That wouldn't be inappropriate of me, would it? Bringing such rare jewels back home?"
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-28 00:08:18 16809
So many interesting points to ponder, and ones Rune only addresses while they're close to the door - it would be unseemly to discuss such things closer to crowds. "Maybe, but... it got me to thinking, most of them didn't want to accept our coins. Some would out of curiosity if I was buying something small, but bigger things? They just told me to go 'get some real money and come back.' They must have some reason to think /our/ money is worthless out here? Maybe it has something to do with how their Emperor doesn't know much about any of this either... I just have no real idea. Totally guessing!"

Once they're further in, she follows along and blinks repeatedly in surprise at what Valeria is considering. "Sounds fine to me. Why wouldn't it be? We have these back home too, after all. Maybe in different styles and arrangements, but 'shiny rock' is something we already know. It's not like cell p--"

Rune abruptly cuts off, realizing they're close enough to people who could possibly overhear that now, and admitting to being ignorant of 'everyday knowledge' in an upscale place would be a terrible idea. So she just goes for a more direct answer: "If you've got the money for it," and Valeria either already should, or soon will; being a sworn protector of a planet pays pretty well in this case, "then go right ahead!"
Valeria Barun 2015-11-28 00:24:20 16812
    Valeria considers for a moment. Gold and silver don't have value? But that can't possibly be true because Runealy has been able to exchange it for the currency they use here. How strange!

    Then her concern is dismissed and she looks pleased, "You are right, of course. I was just thinking of 'scale'. It is acceptable to buy a gift for family. ...but say I were to ask to purchase this store in bulk?" The thought had clearly crossed her mind, at least for a moment. "But that could be as disruptive and dangerous as-" the cut off mention of cell phones, "that."

    She browses happily along the display case. "It seems rings and earrings are the most popular," she considers aloud. It's not hard to guess why either, when you look at the price tags. Eventually she gets to a case with some bracelets. She points down to one with alternating diamonds and blue sapphires set into white gold, "That is just my mother's taste, wouldn't you agree? You could hardly miss something like that sitting on a Lady's wrist, but it wouldn't become the sole focus were she appropriately dressed."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-28 00:29:14 16813
"Well, I'm going to do something really crazy." Rune's tone is unusually dry. "I'm going to trust that you know better than to buy /bulk amounts/ of jewelry," a tiny smile cracks the act Rune was putting on, "and know where the line of 'acceptable gifts' cuts off at. It's fine!"

She leans in a little to look at what Valeria indicates, head tilting to gaze at it from this angle and that angle, curiosity guiding her. "...Yeah, that is a pretty good one! I haven't spoken to her in a while," and rarely at length, Rune silently realizes, "but she'd probably like this. Looks like you found a winner here, huh?"
Valeria Barun 2015-11-28 00:43:56 16815
    Valeria pauses and looks over to Runealy at the dry tone, only to smile and giggle. "You can trust me not to go through with it, but you might have to put up with my considering it," she replies, sending a playful wink her way.

    She nods to herself, stepping aside a little so Rune can get a better look at the bracelet. "I think she would. She might be a little upset at my trying to appease her with gifts, but she'll hopefully realize it means I was thinking about her." Another little giggle. It might seem odd to Runealy, though perhaps not. Adele Barun has always been a very dignified woman who rarely shows her hand in public. She was perhaps a little warmer and less careful of holding her thoughts close with extended family, but never so open and friendly as Valeria herself.

    "May I see this?" she asks one of the employees, who opens the case and allows it after considering it; Valeria and Runeally certainly look wealthy enough to afford it, as compared to your typical 14 year old Tokyo girl. When it's handed to her she looks over it delicately, turning it over in her hands and examining each stone. "It truly is amazing. I would think at least one gem would have a visible flaw that might need replacing prior to purchase, but each of these is fit for centerpiece." The young Waldian Noble has at least been taught to judge fine jewelry!
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-28 00:56:32 16817
"We're supposed to do that," Rune 'insists', playing along with the joking. "Think about all sorts of great things that... wouldn't actually work out if you did them, but it's fun to see it in your head anyway."

They look wealthy enough, perhaps, if certainly unusual. Rune once again finds herself leaning in just a little - trying not to crowd the employee, or Valeria's hands - to check it out. "...Hey, you're right. I hadn't seen it from over there, but now that you point that out... yeah, it's pretty much spot-on, isn't it? Think you'll go for it after all?"
Valeria Barun 2015-11-28 01:15:29 16820
    "Wouldn't one of those magnificently tall glass buildings make a lovely new home for you?" Valeria teases while playing along. "Just imagine- you could see it for miles around." She looks over to Runealy and smiles.

    When she has the bracelet in her hands she holds it closer to Runealy when she leans in, "Something like this would take the better part of a year to commission back home. Certainly it wouldn't be available as is in a shop anywhere. I can't help but think something as flawless as this wouldn't be presented to your family for purchase before anyone else." Okay, she's probably going a little far there but it is rather nice.

    "I just might. I believe my 'allowance' will cover it? I will have to be cautious in my spending for the rest of our trip," she's covering her words carefully with the employee right there, "but I believe it will be worth it." Not exactly knowing the proper custom she hands the bracelet back to the employee before producing a wad of cash. "What is the final price after all included fees and taxes?" she asks, preparing to count the money out.

    What's a cash register?
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-28 01:24:57 16822
"Well, they're nice... but I think I like what we have back home a bit more. Even if a glass tower is pretty good. It's not just what can see you from there, but what /you/ can see," Rune is specific in her word order there. "You should try it."

When Valeria continues to gush about gem quality, Rune waves her hands from side to side defensively. "If... if you're giving me some sort of 'first right of refusal', it's okay, I'm refusing! You go right ahead.I'm not buying anything like this until we get back. /Then/, it might be okay." No needlessly extravagant jewelry purchases until their world is saved; Rune deprives herself so.

"And sure, you should if you're careful... but it's not like we're going to let you starve if you really, really run out of money or something. And we're going home in... just a bit over a week; Salvation Day should be the best time for all this. So you'll probably be okay on the money side of things."

She backs off a step to let Valeria finish this transaction on her own, honestly curious how Tokyo handles it in any case. Probably not TOO different from home, but... she wonders, all the same.
Valeria Barun 2015-11-28 01:44:27 16824
    "That's a splendid idea. I haven't been up nearly so high some of the glass towers." She'd been on the roof of one a few stories the night before; but then she'd also been atop one of the turrets in the castle before too. That kind of altitude is an entirely different thing prospect, she realizes once Runealy points it out.

    Then Valeria smiles when she realizes she implied something she didn't intend, "I wasn't, but perhaps I would have had it been in rubies or emeralds. Red and green suit you well, after all."

    She's brought aside to the actual cash register at the employee's request, marveling when she realizes the numbers she's seeing displayed are automatically calculating the taxes and fees she just spoke of. "My! Something like this would make my brother's life so much easier." She briefly retrieves her cell phone, looking at it, "I think I am going to miss this place a little, once we go home."

    She hands over almost all of her big wad of cash, and is in return given a lovely velvet covered jewel case for the bracelet, which is put inside an almost as nice OSA-P bag. She holds it up to Runealy and smiles. "No additional fee for the tote. Now I must wonder if I should have haggled if they can afford that," she comments good naturedly, clearly pleased with her purchase.
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-28 01:58:41 16825
"Heh, thanks..." Rune is pretty mild in the face of praise on what colors suit her. She's more interested in talk of going home. "Well, don't miss it too much. We're coming back, and probably fairly soon. So it's really a good thing you're figuring this place out, because we're going to be around Tokyo often enough and long enough that it's going to matter. You'll start to see why we changed our minds, I bet. Don't know how far you'll get with haggling though. I tried once, and was told 'store policy such and such...', so... apparently what you see really is what you pay?"

"It's probably how they afford these glass towers and all that," Rune suddenly thinks aloud. "Glad you got this, though! Make sure to keep it in good shape until you can bring it home, okay?"
Valeria Barun 2015-11-28 02:10:03 16826
    Valeria slides the bags handles about her wrist so it isn't easily dropped, and begins walking slowly towards the store's exit. "I am doing my best to get acclimated so the return won't be as much as a shock as it has been the first time. Everything here is so different, even where it is the same." She stops and looks over to Runealy, "I suppose it is appropriate though, having everything around me changed so much. I have, after all, changed quite a bit myself already since I've gotten here." She means her Oath by this, of course. "Everything about my future has changed from what it was a week ago. And though I wish the circumstances were far different, I cannot complain about the result."
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-28 02:15:53 16827
"Going to a whole new world," Rune is willing to be more specific now that they're walking out of earshot, "will do that. Almost everything changes. The money, the way people get around, the way they buy things... but it's still recognizable as a society, and people are still people. I wish things were different too, but... it is what it is. I..."

She's stopped now too, not wanting to get far ahead of Valeria. "...I'm just glad you're here, and that you found that," a gesture at the bag. "It's something. I'm sure she'll love it!"
Valeria Barun 2015-11-28 02:25:19 16828
    "I'm glad I'm here too, Rune. I'm also happy we can do things like go shopping together, and not just because of this," Valeria lifts up the bag a little for emphasis. "I've already spent more time with you in the last few days than I had in the year before them. Can we keep doing things like this, even after I've become better used to this world?"

    She starts walking again, a little faster than before in order to catch up. "She will. But will she love it enough to ease her mind over my disappearance?" she asks with a soft laugh.
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-28 02:27:03 16829
Not that Rune did much shopping, but that was a conscious choice. "Guess you'll find out when we get home... and yeah, I think we can. There's going to be a few things we have to sort out when we come back to Tokyo, but after that... I really don't see why not. Sound good?"
Valeria Barun 2015-11-28 02:30:52 16830
    A warm smile shows on Valeria's face, "Good. I will hold you too that." She continues along down the sidewalk with Runealy, learning what she can about the city and world that will soon be her residence for a long time to come.