As if on cue, the startled human stumbled away from me until he hit the wall on the other end. The human intruder had brown hair and mossy green eyes. His clothes weren’t anywhere near as fancy as the robes Master wore. Maybe slightly less fancy than the robes the servants wore; the intruder didn’t wear robes, however, so it was hard to make a fair comparison. Leather was what I remembered the humans calling that type of outfit.
“Begone human. You’ve intruded on Magus Wallard’s manor. You have no right being here,” I said in the deepest voice I could muster. I was quite proud of how scary the voice actually sounded. I almost scared myself really.
“But I can’t” cried the cornered human. “I have nowhere to go and no place to call home.”
“Well thief, that doesn’t make stealing and squatting alright.”
“The mayor took everything from me. I was incredibly hungry. Please let me live.” Cried the sad man who was now on his knees, his hands clasped together.
I did feel pity for this poor man. I knew what it was like for my mana core to run low on fuel. It was not a good feeling.
“Alright. I’ll let you finish your meal and then I’ll escort you out.
I paused to think. It wouldn’t hurt to help the poor man get his house back, I would have to go into the town if I was going to head out to find my Master anyway.
“I can help you.”
“What? Help me with what?” Said the thief.
“Get your house back.”
“Not to be rude, but I really doubt you could. The mayor is probably the most powerful man in town, with deep ties to Duke Corig.”
“Oh, This isn’t the first time taking a house back,” I said while thinking about my childhood. My sister Korga had a hut she built on my plot of land. I was furious when I found out and bashed her three-stone building until it caved in and she was forced to leave.
“Oh, really? I guess it couldn’t hurt if you came along.”
I looked at the little human as I watched him finish his meal. He ate differently from my master. I had never seen a human use his hands before. I wondered if he knew how to eat with the silver prodding sticks as well. I was already starting like this human, he was a man I could understand.
“Follow me,” I stated while leading the man out of the Magus’ manor. It only took about 15 minutes, 3 left turns and two right turns to navigate out of the building.
I stopped and stared at the manor’s exterior. It certainly had not aged well while I was asleep. I was somewhat impressed by how worn-down the building looked after only a day or two. Many of the building’s windows were cracked, and the wood around the balcony looked rotten. Only the immense size of the building was a sign of the opulence that had once been there.
“Are you coming?” Asked the thief.
I was torn. On one hand, I remembered the purpose my master has given me. I was to protect the manor, but as I looked at the torn-up building in front of me I realized there wasn’t much left to protect. No staff laid inside the building and my Master was supposedly in Summervale. So, in the end, I decided I would go find my master and protect him.
“Yes. Lead the way.” I stated. I followed the thief out of the line of dead trees and overgrowth in the front yard. A flimsy gate stood crooked in the ground, signaling that we had left the wizard’s property.
It had been ages since I had left the manor. I was only a young golem living day to day with my tribe, calling no place home. Home as I understood it was that it was more about the people I was with rather than the place I had come from.
I remember when I met my master for the first time. He had found me by a waterfall, where I was washing off my rocks, and hydrating my moss. I was in a great mood that day. It was hard to be in a bad mood when I found the perfect waterfall.
I turned around and spotted him on the jagged cliff above the shallow river. He was far enough away where I knew I couldn’t smash him to pieces before he got away. I casually screamed at him as I did with all waterfall poachers and hurled stones at him like my arm was a cannon. My policy at the time was to kill first and ask questions later. I definitely think the policy kept me safe, but as my Master pointed out later I wouldn’t be able to ask questions after the stranger was dead.
He dodged my speedy rocks with ease and cast one of his spells on me. At that moment, I realized he wasn’t such a bad guy and after he came down to talk to me he convinced me to come and guard his manor. He had given me a purpose I hadn’t had before and showed me the world humans had created. Humans created many little things I liked, like books and desks and statues and even little people-shaped cookies.
The town had wide roads that intersected each and every cluster of buildings we passed. Some of the buildings looked ancient and flimsy, barely able to support their own weight. On those buildings, the paint was chipped, often revealing rotten wood that certainly spread farther than just the spots where the paint had been scraped off.
It reminded me of the state of my Master’s manor. It made me sad thinking about how decrepit the building had become. I felt partially guilty for failing to protect the building’s structural integrity.
As we moved inward, the buildings became less old and, for the most part, better maintained. I wondered why the inner buildings were less neglected.
“Hey, thief. Why are these buildings so much nicer than the buildings we passed?” I asked.
“The buildings on the outside don’t get as much protection as the buildings near the center of the town. Usually, when the local Duke brings his reinforcements, the goblins, wolves, or whatever is invading have already pillaged the buildings on the outskirts of the town.
That’s why I prided myself in saving up enough money through my… business to buy some prime real-estate. I imagined raising a family there and having them pass the house down for many generations. That’s why I was so gutted when the reigning mayor abused his power to unfairly take what was mine.” the thief complained.
I nodded. No one had ever taken anything I cared about, so I had trouble understanding what the small human felt, but I could hear the passion in his voice when he spoke, sometimes it cracked and I was certain he was about to cry.