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The following day Sera and I visit the accursed bathhouse first thing after checking out of the inn- which is well into the afternoon because we slept in. After getting cleaned up we head over to the Adventurers guild to collect our cards (and sell Sera’s Wolper antlers), but this time the reception desk is being run by a woman with brown hair and wolf ears.

 

“Welcome to the Adventurers guild.” She says.

 

“You buy these, right?” Sera asks, placing the antlers on the desk.

 

The girl sighs, but then nods. “We normally don’t accept request items in the reception area, but I’ll go ahead and make an exception just this once. In the future you’ll want to bring this sort of thing in through the back entrance.”

 

“Sorry about that.”

 

“It’s fine, just make sure it doesn’t happen again.” She takes the antlers and places them somewhere out of sight behind the desk. “I’ll need to see your guild card in order to complete the transaction.”

 

“Actually, that’s the other reason we’re here. We were told our guild cards would be ready today.”

 

The womans ears perk up, “The Travelers?”

 

“That’s us.”

 

“Please wait a moment, the guildmaster wants to speak with you.” She says, before hurrying into another room in the back.

 

The woman returns a little later following behind an elderly Elven man with silver hair, and my instincts scream danger the second he comes into my line of sight. In fact, the feeling I get from him is even stronger than the one I got when I first met Sera. In short, this is someone I should treat with respect.

 

“So these are the so-called Travelers Andy was telling me about.” He says, and then he introduces himself. “My name is Daro Tyras, guildmaster of this towns Adventurers guild branch. And you two are?”

 

Several seconds pass after he finishes until Sera pats me on the back and I realize she wants me to speak for us. “It’s nice to meet you, Mister Tyras. My name is Rose and I’m a Traveler.” I gesture to Sera, “This is my mother, her name is Sera.”

 

His lips creep up into a smile. “Such a well mannered and surprisingly honest child,” He says while giving the ring on my finger a brief glance. “You may have withheld some things from your introduction, but I suppose everyone has their secrets.”

 

I reflexively cover my ring with my other hand as Sera asks, “What did you want to speak with us about, Guildmaster Tyras?”

 

“The person you registered with yesterday made a mistake.” He says, taking two small silver cards from his pocket and handing them to Sera. “Travelers must have their identities verified before joining any guild, a purpose which your Adventurers guild cards may serve now that I have done so.”

 

“Thank you very much.” Sera says, accepting the cards.

 

“You are welcome.” The guildmaster nods to the receptionist. “It was nice meeting the two of you, but I’m afraid I must cut our conversation short. I have other matters which require my attention.”

 

“It was nice meeting you too, Mister Tyras, and thanks again.” Sera pats me on the back again as the man walks away, signalling for me to speak.

 

“Thank you, and goodbye Sir.” I say, unsure if my words are adequate.

 

He stops in the doorway on his way out, “Oh, and a little advice before I go- Enchantments don’t last forever.”

 

With that, he leaves us with the receptionist and Sera mumbles, “I am aware.” Then she hands me my guild card- which I look over while the adults converse.

 

It’s got a detailed picture of me on the front, and in the top right corner it lists my guild rank, which is FOn the back it has a lot of the information from the form Sera filled out for me yesterday, such as my approximate height, eye color, and species- which says Traveler- followed by who approved my registration- Daro Tyras. It also has a spot for my age, but that part’s blank.

 

Moving my attention back to their conversation I catch the tail end of the receptionist rebuking, “-a young girl to become an adventurer in the first place, but there’s nothing I can do about it since the guildmaster approved…”

 

“We only registered for convenience sake, we won’t be trying to slay Dragons or anything like that.” Sera assures.

 

“I would sure hope not.” The woman says, handing Sera her five gold. “Is there anything else?”

 

“That’s everything, unless you’ve gotten any monster blood in stock since yesterday?”

 

The receptionist shakes her head, “We have not.”

 

“We’ll be on our way then,” Sera takes my hand and we hurry out of the guild before the receptionist decides to chew her out anymore.

 

Now that we’re outside I ask, “Hey Sera, what’s a Dragon?”

 

“They’re big magical lizards that like to think they’re all that just because they can breathe a little fire.”

 

“Oh…” It’s hard to picture what they look like just from that description, but I can tell that Sera must not like them for some reason. “Do you think we’ll run into any?”

 

“Probably not, but if we do then don’t call her fat or ugly- actually, don’t say anything to her. Just let me do all the talking.”

 

“Her?” I ask, but Sera brushes off my question with a shrug, and then we go to the old lady's clothing store. Yep, she’s definitely got history with a dragon, and I definitely want to meet one.

 

While we’re in the store she purchases a set of heavy duty travel clothes for each of us, and also a pair of shoes for me. Afterwards we go to a shop next door that sells enchanted goods and she buys a canteen that automatically replenishes itself. It only has a few uses, but she says it’s still worth paying the remainder of her money for the thing because she’s been having a hard time staying hydrated while traveling.

 

The last place we visit before leaving town is Lil Jimmies, where Sera tries to sell the rest of the items she procured from the thieves, but the man only buys a couple things such as their swords and a metal whistle. The stuff he doesn’t buy- along with whatever else Sera doesn’t want to carry- she packs into her sack and then gives it to a beggar on our way to the gate on the opposite side of town.

 

After a brief search (which I find odd because we weren’t searched whenever we used the other gate) we’re allowed through the gate and our journey continues. It dawns on me that I don’t even know where we’re going, and I consider asking Sera, but I decide against it- at least for the time being.

 

It doesn’t really matter all that much where we’re going so long as things stay interesting, and I have no doubt that they will with Sera around.

 

“I wonder where the road will take us next.” She says, causing my train of thought to derail and then crash.

 

You have got to be kidding me… “I thought you had a destination in mind?”

 

“Not really, unless you count getting as far away from the King as possible, but even that probably isn’t necessary. I doubt he’d know I lost my magic, so he’d be too afraid to waste any more resources trying to deal with me. On the flipside, if he did know I lost my magic then we would’ve already been captured by now, but that’s all assuming he doesn’t believe that I’m dead, which in the medical sense, I actually am.”

 

“What do you mean? You don’t look dead to me, and last I checked you still had a heartbeat.”

 

“Technically, someone is presumed dead not when their heart stops beating, but when their body no longer contains any mana.” She runs the blade of a dagger across one of her fingers, drawing a trickle of blood. “What do you think?”

 

That’s absolutely rancid… “It smells even less appetizing than if someone mixed pigs blood with shampoo.”

 

“I’ll assume that’s pretty bad considering how much you hate the smell of shampoo.” She says before licking the blood from her finger, causing my stomach to lurch as I imagine the taste. “I wonder if I’d be considered undead then... Or maybe I’m a golem? I mean I am technically man made...”

 

“Excuuuuse Meeee!” A girly voice shouts from behind us, interrupting Sera’s monologue. Turning around, we see a group of three boys and a girl jogging towards us in the distance.

 

Sera clicks her tongue, “Tch… Watch out Rose, that one’s dangerous.”

 

If Sera says the girl is dangerous it must be true, so I keep a close eye on her as they approach. She’s equipped with a wooden staff, along with some baggy white robes which are loose everywhere except her chest area. “Tch…” I hear Sera click her tongue again, and then she mumbles something about weapons of mass destruction.

 

Mass destruction? That DOES sounds dangerous, so I better pay extra attention to that staff. I think, just as the group stops in front of us.

 

“Hi!” The girl says, giving us a bright smile. “We were just minding our own business when suddenly we noticed you two heading into the wilderness on your own, and that’s dangerous so you’re going to pay us to go with you, right?” She asks, and I can practically feel the killing intent radiating from Sera already.

 

“More robbers?” I ask as one of the boys slaps his forehead, though the other two have yet to remove their eyes from her chest.

 

He walks up next to her and flicks her between the eyes saying, “What my sister meant to say was that we’re Adventurers and we were wondering if you needed an escort to the next town, for a small fee of course.”

 

Piss off.” Sera snaps, which seems to deter the boy- though the same can't be said about his sister.

 

“I’m afraid we can’t do that.” The girl says, and one of her admirers nods in approval- giving her a boost of confidence. “You two weaklings wouldn't last-mmph!”

 

The girls brother hurriedly covers her mouth before she can complete her sentence, then he bows apologetically and says, “Sorry for bothering you.” Before practically dragging his protesting sister away as her goons follow.

 

“Jessy, we’re never gonna get any work if you keep interrupting my sales pitch!” She pouts as soon as her mouth is free, and the other boy backs her up again.

 

“Yeah dude, cmon! She had that one, right Steve? …………......Steve?”

 

“Sorry, what?” The last boy asks, having missed the entire conversation in favor of staring at the girls chest.

 

Sera and I turn back around and leave the group to their own devices as they argue amongst themselves, but her mood doesn’t lighten up at all until a few hours later when we stop for a break just after nightfall.

 

“Check it out, Rose.” She says, pulling a tiny bottle from her backpack, and then using a dropper to add some to each eye. “Night-vision eye drops.”

 

“Neat.” I comment as her eyes start to water and turn red while her pupils dilate. “Do they work?” 

 

She blinks a few times, and then rubs her tears away before looking all around. "They're not as good as..." She stops mid sentence and then her aggrivated expression returns as her gaze settles in the direction of the town we left earlier.

 

“What’s the matter?” I ask, even though I can already make a guess.

 

“The Bimbo squad's following us.”

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A note from Saltshaker

Thanks for reading!

 

<Insert typical excuse about pulling an all nighter here>


About the author

Saltshaker

  • Salt Factory

Bio: Made in the USA.

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