"Look what just arrived... Another godsdamned adventurer."
I stand frozen, taken aback by such random hate.
"Don't you start with that. Adventurers are the very salve that Gridania needs." Looks like Miounne to the rescue...
Her eyes narrow, and her tone isn't much unlike a scolding mother.
"The Elder Seedseer HERSELF bade us welcome them with open arms. Do you mean to disregard her will?"
She seems to have struck a nerve.
"Of course not!" an Elezen Wood Wailer exclaims, his pointed ears giving his race away, even behind a mask. "Lest YOU forget, it is my sworn duty to uphold the peace! Am I to blame if outsiders bring mistrust upon themselves?"
I guess some of the adventurers that sign up here are less than savory in terms of character.
The Wood Wailer points a long finger towards me in warning.
"YOU! Adventurer. Mind that you do not cause any trouble here, or I shall personally cast you out of this realm and into the seventh hell," he snarls. If I didn't know any better, I'd have mistaken him for a coerl. I can't help but fold my ears back in reaction to this... abuse.
He turns in a huff, and stalks out of the building with his two buddies in tow.
I relax a bit, but barely.
How hard am I going to work to gain the trust of these people? Is Mother Miounne just a rare exception to a suspicious and harsh populace?
As if reading my mind yet again, she pipes up.
"Pay that outburst no mind. He meant only to... counsel you." She says that last bit with a bit of bitter scorn. I can tell she's not happy about them coming and interrupting her. I can't say I blame her. If I had known everyone would be so hostile, I would have chosen somewhere to sign up as an "adventurer..."
I think I'm starting to dislike that label again.
"Some counseling..." I mumble, staring down at my feet.
"Don't take it to heart. Suspicious characters have been prowling the Twelveswood as of late, you see, and the Wood Wailers feel they cannot afford any chances." she explains, and I raise an eyebrow in skepticism.
"I saw them battle with the Ixal. Do I look like an Ixal?" I reply, perhaps a little too harshly. She doesn't seem to want to further the conversation along those lines, because she ignores my statement. Ah well, it was rhetorical anyway.
"Gridanians are wont to mistrust things they do not well know, your good self included. Fear not, however... given a catalog of exemplary deeds, and no more than a handful of years, the locals will surely warm to you."
She doesn't seem to notice my jaw drop. Years? YEARS? This is going to be much harder than I thought.
I quickly close my mouth before she notices my horror.
"Sounds... sounds good," I stutter in reply.
Miounne smiles weakly, seeing that all genuine excitement has left my face.
"Well..." She raises her arms in an attempt to dissipate my nerves. "On behalf of my fellow citizens, I welcome you to Gridania. May you come to consider our nation as you own."
I nod in thanks.
"Now... let me guide you in the ways of the adventurer," she says with a flick of her wrist.
I just hope this won't be as hard as trust-building.