Just two announcement.
First, I am going to be studying full time and working full time for the upcoming semester. The new schedule is I will either post a chapter either on Saturday and/or Sunday starting next week.
Second, there will be no update for my offshoot, Respawned: Original Timeline until the time skip happens. At which point, I will complete the whole timeline first before continuing with the story. The Original Time line is about 15 chapters only so its not that long before we get back to Respawned: New game plus.
***July 10th, 965 A.F.***
After succumbing to my guilt, the first thing I did was look for the source of the voice calling for help. Since the river was right next to me, my first assumption was that someone was drowning. I scanned the river while I headed upstream towards the direction of the distress call.
I strained my eyes while keeping my ears open to locate the victim. I know that the drowned are usually pulled by the undercurrents, so instead of looking at the surface of the river, I focused on the on the river bed. Unfortunately, the rushing river was opaque, and I couldn’t see much beneath the surface.
I cupped my hands over my mouth and yelled back.
“KEEP MAKING NOISE SO I CAN FIND YOU!”
I wandered around the river getting closer and closer the voice.
“You gotta be kidding me. I am skipping my lunch for this?”
I turned around to find a boy that was younger than me, hanging high above the ground from a tree branch. The imagery reminds me of the kitten from the “Hang in there” motivational poster. Even though he is high above the ground, in no way he was in danger. It might hurt a bit if fall from that height, but it wouldn’t be something dangerous. He would break a bone or two in the worst case scenario.
“Just let go of the branch. It’s not going to kill you or anything.”
“I… I am too scared.”
“Stop being a wimp and get over with it.”
Even Geordie, a blind person, is braver than the kid on the branch.
“Alright, hold on a second. I’ll call for a soldier or someone to help you.”
“No, wait! Don’t do that.”
“Just don’t, please find some way to help me down.”
“How did you get up there in the first place? Just do the same thing.”
“I am too scared now.”
“And you weren’t too scared when you climb there?”
“Can you please stop questioning me and try to find a way to get me down?”
I turned around and waved at him. I didn’t need to take this. I’d rather just go back to my oxen and lunch.
“You know what? I don’t like your attitude. Bye.”
“NO WAIT! Umm… I will give you a reward if you get me down here.”
I stopped abruptly and reconsidered the situation. It’s not a bad deal for spending a bit of time here and earn a bit of extra cash. The only thing that I need to be careful of is if he is one of those spoilt rotten brats that wouldn’t honor the deal. Come to think of it, if I left him as he is, I would be in trouble anyway since he would hold a grudge against me. Even if I just run away right now, there are enough clues that would lead him straight to me if he tries hard enough to track me down. I am left with no choice but to help him. Of course, I am not going to let him know of my concerns. I tried to steer the conversation in another direction.
“Alright, now you are speaking my language. What type of reward?”
“Can you get me down first?”
“It doesn’t look like you have any money on you. You also didn’t want to let anyone else know that you are here, which means that I wouldn’t be able to claim my reward through your parents. So what do I have to gain?”
“My vest! You can have my vest! From what I have heard, it is very expensive.”
I glanced at the small black vest that the kid was wearing. Even though it wasn’t flashy at all, it the craftsmanship seems impeccable. Not to mention, it looks like the vest was made out of silk, a very rare material in this region. As far as I know, only the elves have the technology to produce them. I should be able to sell it for at least two gold coins. I didn’t want to push my luck any further, so I agreed.
“Alright, we have a deal. I’ll be back.”
“Why did you say ‘I’ll be back’ in that weird accent?”
“Even if I explain it, you wouldn’t get it anyway.”
Without answering the kid, I went back my oxen and hitched them to my wagon. Sir Loin and Mr. T-bone bellowed in displeasure as I disrupted their grazing. Afterward, I lead the cart to where the boy was.
“Why did you going to do with that? Do you have a ladder in the wagon?”
“I don’t have a ladder.”
“How will that help me?”
“Just wait a minute.”
It took me a couple of adjustments, but I finally managed to line up so that the wagon’s bonnet is right underneath him.
“There, just let go of the branch and land on the wagon. It’s about a meter under you. You should land safely.”
The kid hesitated for a good half a minute in silence before deciding to let go. He landed on on the bonnet, rebound once like on a bouncy castle before settling on top safely, or so I thought. A ripping noise came from underneath the boy and soon, a large hole appears, swallowing him whole.
Standing on the driver’s seat, I examined the damage. A large hole appeared in the center of the fabric. That will cost me at least a small silver to fix. I climbed down from the driver’s seat and headed into the wagon and find the kid lying on top of a barrel. I stared at him angrily.
“I hope your vest is enough to cover the damage.”
He got up while rubbing his head and looked straight at me with pompous eyes.
“I am not giving anything.”
“What?! We had a deal!”
“You didn’t get me down safely. That fall hurts.”
“You didn’t even have a scratch from that!”
“I don’t care. I was hurt in the process. I have made up my mind. I am not giving you anything.”
“You better give it to me or else..”
“Or else what?”
God damn it. Fucking spoilt, privileged brat. I knew I shouldn’t have tried to be a hero. It came back to bite me on my ass. The cost to repair the wagon is coming out of my own pocket. I should have listened to my gut instead of my guilt. As much as I like to keep arguing with him to get my fair share, I was running out of time. Securing the business deal for the whiskey is more important.
“Keep the stupid vest, for now. I swear I will get my fairshare, someway or another.”
“How will you do that? I dare you to try to steal my vest from me. If it weren’t for the fact that I don’t want let my mother know that I snuck out, I could have had your head for letting me get hurt. You should be thankful that I let you off.”
“Get off my wagon. NOW!”
Sensing my animosity, the boy climbed down elegantly as he could without saying another word. In a silent anger, I drove the wagon with the broken bonnet towards the southern gate of the castle, continuing my scheduled delivery for the day.