The sun sunk into the ground, robbing the light from the sky. As darkness overtook the city center, people fled from the open plaza to look for a spot to sleep for the night. While they slept, I sat on the stone floor staring into the darkness. I only ever slept when I fully ran out of mana so I was familiar with the nothingness that sometimes came with night.
It was cold to the point where I was slightly uncomfortable but not uncomfortable enough to convince me to find someplace warmer. The night was dark, even darker than it normally was. The moon had disappeared and the stars were scattered. Some windows flickered with candle-light but it wasn’t enough to illuminate the city.
Not many people were going about their day when the light crept back into the sky but enough people were walking the streets that I wasn’t entirely sure who I was supposed to meet. As the morning sky grew brighter and brighter the more nervous I became. This wasn’t an opportunity I could afford to miss.
I snapped my body around as I felt something or someone touch my back. I was already anxious. I didn’t help that I was still a wanted criminal. I wasn’t sure how much of a bounty Mayor Clark had put on my head but I knew it must’ve been valuable if groups of thieves were willing to follow me into the forest.
“Hi, you must be the golem that Synthia was talking about. My name’s Mark. I’m leading the caravan you’ll be tagging along with.” said an enthusiastic man in heavy armor. He had blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He stuck his hand out in front of me.
I looked at the man who I was going to live with for some time. He was a confusing fellow. Why was he so excited early in the morning? Most humans I knew weren’t so it did seem somewhat strange to me. I also wondered why he still had his hand outstretched. It was like he was waiting for something.
“I’m Glomp,” I stated. I watched as Mark retract his hand. A smile was still plastered onto his face.
“We should make the best of the day. My partner Malik has already taken care of packing the goods for the trip and feeding the oxen. I’m hoping if we leave now, in a few days’ time, we’ll be able to reach Port Lark.”
I just nodded. I had no clue where Port Lark was or how long it’d take us to reach it, but Mark didn’t have to know that I didn’t know that. Mark seemed like an odd fellow and definitely wasn’t someone who I trusted yet. I’d have to get to know him better before I’d open up about telling him what I did or didn’t know about human society.
“Follow me,” said Mark.
Mark led me down the large main road that intersected the town center. It was unlike the path that Edward had guided me down. It was much wider than the small empty road where Synthia’s hospital was found. It was also the first road I’d seen that was full of mostly humans and many carts of goods being moved around.
The guards didn’t pay attention to us as we exited through the city’s main gate. Unlike the entrance I had entered from, this entrance was surrounded by small huts that you’d only find around a small hamlet. It was much nicer out here near the forest than anywhere in the city so I thought these humans were particularly bright, or at least wealthy. Hopefully, after Darryl was fixed up, he could find a better home that wasn’t in such a crowded area.
Mark guided me towards a man with two measly mules that quivered under the weight of Mark’s overpacked goods. This wasn’t what I had in mind when I heard I’d be traveling in a caravan. I imagined an endless line of healthy mules carrying carts filled to the brim with goods, accompanied by many merchants who dreamed of obtaining immense wealth.
The man holding the mules had a hunched body, unlike most humans I’d seen. He was a sickly looking fellow so I wouldn’t have been surprised if this was the result of some nasty disease. I didn’t know if I could contract a human disease so I decided that I’d keep some distance between the two of us. His slick black hair and violet eyes clashed with Mark’s heavenly appearance. It was a bizarre sight that I was sure attracted unwarranted staring.
Less company meant fewer complications, so I wasn’t terribly upset that very few people would be joining me as I traveled to go kill the drake. I worried, however, that Mark’s caravan was small for a reason. Maybe he wasn’t particularly great at navigating or was bad at protecting his property. I didn’t have much of a choice in whether or not I joined them since Synthia had specifically stated I needed to travel with them. She was the one healing Darryl and I was determined to save him. I owed him.
“Glomp, this is my good friend and fellow traveler, Malik!” Mark exclaimed in his usual jovial tone.
The only acknowledgment Malik gave me was the slight nod of his head. No words exited the gloomy man’s mouth.
“Good day Madam,” I responded. It was the mandatory greeting my master had me say whenever I passed a maid as I patrolled the manor’s halls. I figured it would do the trick with all humans.
“We better get going. I’ll tell you a little about myself as we move.” Mark said while smiling.