romance versus relics chapter 13
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Welcome to chapter 13! While Nellie is still enjoying her explorations, things in her personal life get a bit steamier in this segment. Will she resolve the issues she is having with her love life, or will she wind up even more confused and distraught? What dangers will she face as she pursues adventures in unknown tombs? Read on to find out!
Note: This chapter includes a few scenes of a mildly sexually explicit situation. You have been forewarned in case that sort of thing disturbs you.
"Good morning, Estelle!" Nellie greeted with a warm smile. Her plane had landed in Champs Les Sims in the early morning hours, and since she had slept on the plane, Nellie went out directly to meet with Estelle after a brief stop at base camp to freshen up. Estelle Fouchier lived only a few houses up from base camp, which made it, at least, convenient. Nellie reached into her bag, retrieved the large red stone, and showed it to the blond woman.
"It is so good to see you again. My word, is that the Ruby of Sakhara?" Estelle breathed as she gazed at the sparkling red stone. "Quick, we must see if it actually works! Head down to the Nectar Cellars where you found the three holes and inspect them again. If this works as I expect it to, you will be able to fit the Ruby in place. You must investigate again when you are done."
The two women hurried to The Nectary, where Estelle took her place behind the register, and Nellie immediately took the Ruby and went down to the hole.
The Ruby of Sakhara fit perfectly into place just as Estelle Fouchier had predicted. From behind her, Nellie heard a strange sound as if something had been dropped onto a table. She instantly spun around to have a look. There was now an object on the table where there was none before and Nellie moved closer to have a better look.
It was the Keystone to the Tomb of Isael! Now Nellie knew that Estelle had been correct in her notion that the place needed a bit more exploring because the key did not fit the door leading from the room she was in at the moment. Nellie quickly snatched the keystone and began looking around the room for another way out.
Noticing something different about the wall that she had not seen on her first visit, Nellie began to feel around carefully. Soon she discovered it was a secret a door and she found a trigger to make it open.
The door opened into a small room which contained another door locked by chains. The keystone fit perfectly into place and the chains fell away from door, clanging loudly as they dropped upon the floor. Nellie eagerly opened the door and stepped into the next room.
"Oh great" Nellie mumbled with a heavy sigh as she stopped in a new doorway to gaze at the flame traps facing her ahead. The young woman had not figured this would be easy. She moved down the hallway and found herself standing in room shaped rather like a 'T'. Not sure what to do next, Nellie moved to have a closer look at a floor panel she spotted off to her left.
It seemed like the sort that needed to have a statue pushed onto it, but she saw no statues, so she decided to stand it to see what would happen. Immediately, another floor panel appeared which piqued Nellie's curiosity even more. Stepping off the floor panel caused the second one to disappear again, so she moved toward the roaring flame traps. There were two keystone slots, one on each side of the entrance to the corridor, but Nellie only had one keystone to fit them. She inserted a keystone into the panel on the right and saw that it extinguished the flame trap closer to the end of the hall. That was when she noticed two statues. Nellie mustered up her courage and crossed the first flame trap without harm. She grabbed a hold of one the statues and dragged it down the corridor, extinguishing the other floor trap along the way, and pushed it onto one of the floor panels. She then went back for the other statue.
Soon, the young woman was pushing the second statue into place over the other floor panel. Nellie did not know how long she had been at it, but the statues were heavy and she was beginning to become tired. She knew that soon, she would have to find a place to rest, but for now she trudged on.
As the second statue slid into place, two secret doors were revealed in the wall. Nellie went into one and collected some relics from boxes and then turned to leave the room.
Fire traps appeared in the walls, threatening to scorch her, but luckily there was plenty of room to get around them. Nellie checked the other secret room, but found she needed to find a keystone to get anywhere in there, so she left and wandered into a different room. The only thing in it was a diving pool.
Nellie mentally and physically prepared herself to take the plunge and then dove in to see what she could find. She found a hidden switch and activated it.
When she emerged, she saw that the switch had opened another secret door. She climbed out and grabbed one of the towels off the rack and dried herself, thinking it was nice for change to have a towel after being in a dive in a pool. Nellie entered the new room and cleared away some rubble, which revealed a heart-shaped keystone. Knowing just where to put it use, she made her way back to the room she was in earlier.
By now, Nellie was so exhausted that she was ready to curl up and sleep on the hard tiled floor if necessary, but instead she inserted the keystone into place, which extinguished the fire traps blocking her way. Nellie discovered she actually had another heart-shaped keystone, so she was able to enter the next door as well.
Nellie was stunned by what she saw. She gazed in awe at what appeared to be a gorgeous sitting room, lavishly decorated and fit for royalty.
Nellie was humbled by the elegant beauty of the room. There were a few ancient relics around which she promptly took. She noticed a door to her left and went to investigate it, but she so exhausted its contents held no interest for her at the moment. It was not the sort of room Nellie had been hoping to find at this point in her adventure. Another door was off to her right, so she moved toward it uttering a silent prayer.
Nellie gasped in astonishment for her prayer had been answered! It was a bedroom, a fairly large and beautiful one at that. For a brief moment, she stood and gazed at her surroundings in stunned silence. Jean and Isael Necteaux had really known how to live! Without further hesitation, Nellie headed toward the object of her desire at that very moment.
The bed looked absolutely divine! Nellie could not believe how inviting and comfortable it appeared to be. She barely registered the rubble in various areas of the room which would need clearing. The young woman was completely exhausted and could not think beyond the fact that she desperately needed to lie down and rest. Soon, she was under the covers sleeping as peacefully as a newborn kitten.
Nellie woke refreshed and ready to get back to it. She thought it was very odd how rubble had covered certain things in the room, since the walls were all intact and perfect. She had learned not to ponder for too long, that which was inexplicable, so she grabbed her trusty Axe of Pangu and began clearing it away. The rubble mostly had been covering treasure boxes with relics or keystones inside, but there was one thing she was desperately hoping to find. Moving on to the other side of the room, a cleared pile of rubble revealed a door. When Nellie entered, she could not have been more thrilled.
"Oh thank you, God" she closed her eyes and whispered. It was a bathroom! As experienced an adventure as Nellie had become, she still, on occasion, forgot things. This time, she had forgotten to stock up on some more Shower in a Can and she was beginning to feel the effects of not having bathed in over a day. The tub was a precious commodity to her and she moved gratefully toward it, filled it with steamy water, and settled herself down into it.
As Nellie was thoroughly enjoying her steamy bath, she began to notice something very different about a certain section of the wall and began to study it. The bath felt amazing and what she really wanted was to stay in the tub for awhile longer, but the curiosity was killing her, so she reluctantly cut her bath short and stepped out of the tub.
It only took a few moments with her expert eye and hands to figure out that there was, indeed, a secret door built into the wall.
She opened it and stepped through. "Wow" she murmured softly as she moved further into the room.
It was another secret garden, of sorts. It was an artificial garden, with large rocks, fake potted palms, and green tile covering the floor. It was beautiful in its own way. Nellie found a few relics and another heart-shaped keystone to add to her loot.
After passing through several more rooms and corridors, Nellie entered a room that seemed like a statue puzzle to her. It was so packed with the monstrosities that it looked like some sort of storage room, although she could see some loot when she peeked between them to see if anything worth having was hidden behind them. It was a bit of a strain, but she finally managed to move them around enough to get to the goods.
First, she grabbed another heart-shaped keystone, and then she made her way to the treasure box. Nellie left the room and soon found herself in another room, glad to have picked up the keystone she found earlier.
She used the keystone to open a door bound by chains and entered.
"As if I haven't moved enough of these today" Nellie complained out loud when she realized what the new chamber contained.
As Nellie moved the last statue onto its floor panel and the chains fell from the locked door, she had a strange feeling that she was very near to the prize she sought. She inhaled a deep breath and stepped through the door.
Nellie's eyes widened, in wonderment, as she gazed around the room. It had the look and feel of a throne room. There were three plain sarcophagi lining the wall to her right, but the one that interested her most was the intricate one straight ahead along the back wall.
There was a plaque on the wall next to it, and Nellie read it aloud, "Here we sit, side by side, sipping nectar, until the eve we die. – Isael & Jean" Nellie frowned. How strange was that? Still frowning, she moved closer to a plaque on the wall next to where some flame traps were burning with unmatched ferocity and read it aloud as well, "This path cannot be opened until one is in the midst of the trials of the floor below." Now, more confused than ever, Nellie moved around to the stairwell opposite of the one blocked by the flame traps.
Nellie dragged a statue onto a floor panel, hoping it would somehow make a path open to where she needed to go. She was happy to see that it disarmed the electricity traps in front of the stairs so that she could reach the chest she was sure contained the Sapphire.
At last, Nellie had her eye on the prize! She quickly found the Sapphire in the chest, raided the other nearby chests, and took the stone to Estelle.
"It's beautiful!" Estelle exclaimed breathlessly when Nellie showed her the Sapphire. "Much like the Ruby, however, you must test it to see if it works. Take the Sapphire to one of two remaining holes, inspect it for a slot, and place the Sapphire. Return to me when you are done."
Doing as Estelle had requested, Nellie inspected the hole and found a slot for the stone, but unlike the last time, nothing happened. With a heavy sigh, she made her way back up the stairs to speak with the Nectar Merchant.
"Base on what you have learned" Estelle smiled brightly, "I have an idea where the third gem may be. History mentions that Anastasia always wore a beautiful green gem in a necklace. I believe that after she died, it was eventually sold at auction. Ask a handful of people about the auction to see what you can discover."
There were a few people milling around The Nectary, so instead of wondering all about town, Nellie decided to ask a few them about the auction.
"Hmm, I really have no idea what you are talking about" was the first man's reply when Nellie inquired about the auction which involved the necklace in question. She thanked him and then turned her gaze to the teenager behind the man. He looked a bit too young to know anything, so she gazed around the room until she spied another man who could possibly have a memory of the auction at which such a gem had been sold.
"Yes, I remember that necklace quite well" the man smiled at Nellie. "Stunningly beautiful, it was. I was quite young when the auction was held. I was there, actually, working as a server in the kitchen. It was Colette Bonnet who purchased the Emerald necklace. Colette loves her Nectar! I would suggest you buy some Excellent Nectar to bring with you when you inquire about the necklace."
Nellie smiled warmly at the man. "Thank you so much for your help!" Then she bought some Nectar and headed out to Colette's home.
Before asking about the necklace, Nellie thought it best to offer the Nectar to Colette as a gift. "Ah, this is one of my favorite Nectars!" she exclaimed happily. "Thank you very much!" But then her smile faded and her eyes narrowed as she continued, "Ah, but what do you want? No one offers such a gift for nothing."
Nellie laughed, "You got me there!" She then went on to ask the other woman about the auction of the necklace with the green stone.
"Hah! I would not give it to just anyone, but if you are working to help the town, I'll gladly give it to you." She laughed heartily, "I paid less for it than this bottle of Nectar, so I'm still profiting anyway!" Nellie began walking away as Colette headed back inside, but stopped and spun around at the sound of her name.
Suddenly Nellie was swept into a tight embrace. "Oh Nellie, I am so glad you are back!" Gustav murmured into her hair as he gently, but firmly pulled her body snugly against his. "I cannot seem to stop thinking of you since our picnic last week. I really must apologize for going on about myself the way I did. It must have been uncomfortable for you." For awhile, Nellie thought he would never let go, but he finally pulled back and gazed into her eyes, judging her reaction.
"Oh no, please don't apologize!" Nellie smiled and squeezed his hands. "It is, after all, what friends are for. If we can't confide in and talk to our friends, then who can we lean on during the difficult moments in life?"
"Oh, my dear, dear Nellie, you are most kind" he replied softly. "I know we have not been acquainted for a very a long time, but there are times when I wonder what I ever did, or would do, without you." Gazing into her eyes with such intensity that it made Nellie's knees feel weak, he took both her hands into his, giving them a gentle squeeze. "Please . . . tell me you will have dinner with me tonight!"
As she gazed into his beseeching eyes, she knew she could not refuse. Smiling, she gave his hands a quick squeeze before letting go. "Alright, Gustav, I will have dinner with you. First, I have some business to finish at The Nectary, but I promise not to stand you up this time!" They agreed to meet at a quaint little side-walk bistro in town before Nellie made her way back to report in to Estelle Fouchier.
"I am speechless!" Estelle exclaimed breathlessly when Nellie remove the necklace from her bag and showed it to her. She spent a few moments going on about the necklace and its importance. "Well, I suppose I am blathering on like an idiot. Nevertheless, you found the Emerald! We should celebrate at once. Here, take these coins and Nectar from my private stock. I insist!"
Nellie smiled, "Thank you, Estelle." Nellie watched with interest as the woman's expression changed from one total elation, to something more grim and thoughtful. She could tell Madame Fouchier was contemplating carefully the next words she wanted to speak.
After holding the necklace to have a closer look, she held it back out toward Nellie. "With this Emerald, you will be able to finally open the door to the tomb. If this is indeed the final resting place of Jean Necteaux, and if what I have read is true, his final resting place contains the original recipe for Nectar, rumored to be the greatest Nectar ever created.
You must recover it! The recipe could revitalize the Champs Les Sims Nectar industry and make it the greatest source of Nectar in the entire world once again!"
Nellie promised the woman she would do her best, starting first thing in morning because she had a date that evening. Estelle was fine with that and Nellie left to head to base camp to get ready to meet Gustav Delven for dinner.
"I've had a really nice time this evening, Gustav" Nellie said softly with a smile as she sat with the man on his sofa. "Thank you."
The dining experience had been very enjoyable for Nellie. She had always been so busy looking for adventure that she had never really settled down to enjoy the simpler pleasures during her travels, with the exception of hanging out Zhan on occasion in Shang Simla. The atmosphere at the little bistro had been casually elegant and the food was delicious. Of course, the Nectar had flowed freely during the meal and had served to relax Nellie's body and mind tremendously.
"I am very pleased to hear you say so" Gustav replied smoothly. He was even more pleased that he had been able to convince her to come back to his place for a night cap. Though a couple of bottles of Nectar had been consumed by them during dinner, he felt it was not quite enough to get the young woman where he wanted her. Now that he had her here with him, and a few more glasses of the potent, sweet liquid had been served, he would soon be closer to her than ever.
Gazing upon her beauty now, at such a close a distance, was driving him nearly insane. An overwhelming desire to touch her suddenly struck him and he scooted more toward the center of the sofa until their thighs were lightly touching.
"I had a most fabulous time myself" Gustav said as he moved in closer to her. He could not actually believe his luck in actually having convinced her to join him at his place. What was even more incredible was the fact that his housemates were to be away until the next morning because they had gone to visit their mother, who lived several miles away in a neighboring town. Therefore, he had Nellie all to himself and they were free to do whatever they wished without fear of any interruption whatsoever. The man scooted closer yet and placed a hand tenderly on the young woman's back.
"In fact, I cannot remember when I have had a better time" he continued in a seductive tone. "Do you realize how beautiful and alluring you are to me, Mademoiselle Nellie Blye?"
Even though the intoxicating French Nectar she had consumed had gone to her head, making her feel more relaxed and light-hearted than she had in a long time, Nellie felt her cheeks blush hotly at his words. It had not been often in her life when she had been given such compliments.
"I'll tell you a tiny secret, Monsieur Delven" Nellie replied, her words slightly slurred from drink. Her head was slightly abuzz from drink and it had emboldened her beyond the norm. "I find you rather beautiful as well!" Then she giggled when she remembered that 'beautiful' was not usually the term one used when referring to a man.
"Being so close to you this way is making me more intoxicated than the Nectar I have drunk could ever do" Gustav said hoarsely, his voice thick with lust and desire as he gazed intensely into her eyes. Their faces only inches apart, Gustav moved in for the kill.
He pressed his lips against hers, capturing them with the ferocity of a hungry lion that had been denied a meal for weeks. In Nellie's inebriated state, she did not resist. She actually kissed him back with an intensity that matched his. Her insides were beginning to feel like warm butter as she moaned her pleasure against his lips, parting her own to allow easy access his eagerly probing tongue.
As their kiss deepened, Gustav's desire to fully posses the warm, willing woman in his arms grew to monstrous proportions. He made a growling sound deep in his throat as she returned his passion with surprising gusto and began to emit little purring sounds against his lips. The notion that she wanted him as much he wanted her, further fueled his lustful passion and drove him wild with an urgent need to reach the next step in their union. "Oh Nellie, you are setting me on fire!" Gustav exclaimed in a husky whisper as he kissed her more vigorously with renewed enthusiasm.
Nellie's body reacted to his amorous attentions with like fervor as delightful tingling sensations, which threatened to curl her toes began to coarse through her body with rabid intensity. What are you doing? Have you lost your mind? Nellie's rational mind screamed at her, but all train of thought in that direction was lost as she continued to be thoroughly French kissed by a genuine Frenchman. As his tongue continued to probe, and his hands began to explore other regions, Nellie did not object. Even when she felt her body being gently pushed backward onto the sofa, she did not protest. Instead, she eagerly welcomed it.