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A note from Arthur-67

Another early chapter because it's amazing to see that people are actually reading my story and enjoying it?

It was around 7:30 when Rohl made his way down to the inn's main dining area, now dressed in the nicest looking green tunic he owned. 5-10 patrons sat around the hall, not a bad turnout but not exactly good either. From the conversation with Philsen earlier, Rohl could tell they really needed him to attract new customers.

They had even set up a small stage area for him along the far-right wall where everyone would be able to get a clear view of him. Upon seeing it he took several deep breaths, as he did his best to calm his nerves, he knew he could do this, it was not too much different from his performances back in Shrewsborough. Although he didn't face the risk of becoming homeless if he underperformed back then.

After taking another moment to steady himself, he made his way towards the stage. But before he reached the stage, he stopped at the bar, having decided that it would be polite to ask permission to begin. Due to the lack of business, only Philsen stood behind the bar with Lola acting as a waitress. He was dressed in a standard grey shirt with Lola wearing the bar's standard waitress uniform and apron.

"You ready," Philsen asked kindly as he slid a shot of a clear liquid towards him. Which Rohl quickly downed, something he quickly regretted as the drink burnt his throat on the way down. His face grimaced at the taste.

"I am." Rohl nodded towards Philsen as he clutched his Ukatar in his hand, having enlarged it to its true size back in his room, it was best not to advertise that feature out in public, Ukatar's were quite valuable after all.

"Just to let you know, even if you do badly, you can stay the night, I'm not a cruel man after all."

"Thank you but I don't plan to let you down."

Philsen gave a small smile at Rohl's words before asking "Do you want another shot for the nerves?"

"No thanks, they'll soon pass, I'm usually fine once I get going, besides a few nerves keeps me from slacking off too much," Rohl replied as he turned to face the stage.

"Good luck," Lola said with a nod after making her way back from serving a small group of four their orders.

"Thank you."

With that Rohl made his way to the stage, Ukatar at the ready, a few heads rose up to look, possibly excited at the prospect of a bard or unsure as to how such a place like the Halleway inn could afford one. Bards were not cheap after all, given the risks of travelling from city to city to perform.

With the audience focus on him, Rohl stood tall on the stage, taking a small second to look out over the inn, unsure if he should introduce himself or start playing, manners won out and he gave a polite introduction.

"Uh hello everyone, I am Rohl, but you can just call me Rohl." Here he gave an internal sigh, he hoped no one had noticed but given by the smirks of the crowd, he had not been so lucky. "And I will be your entertainment for tonight, I'll start off with a few classics like the dawn of the drums. If there are any requests just let me know and I'll see what I can do."

Many pairs of eyes remained on him as he finished his introduction, eyes which seemed either curious or gave no real inclination of their thoughts on the matter. With no reason to delay, he decided that it was better not to make them wait lest they get bored or him more nervous. And so Rohl began to perform. Doing his best to lighten the mood, create a nice atmosphere and hopefully bring in business for the little inn.

He started with a little song called 'the dreams of you and me'. A happy cheerful quick song about a young couple in love.

It started with a few purely instrumental sections to build up the music, and so Rohl started by just playing his ukatar's strings as the small crowd kept their gazes on him. Once the music had picked up, he started to sing as well, his voice adding a special element to an already good instrumental song.

"The dreams of you and me, as grand as can be."

"We'll travel the world just you and me."

"Our dreams are as grand as can be."

"It will be a joyous occasion for just you and me."

Rohl finished the first verse before taking a small pause to return to another instrumental section, taking in the crowd as he did so, a crowd who seemed enraptured by his performance.

"The dwarves in their homes of rock."

"The fae in their grand home."

"And all shall welcome thee."

The chorus ended and the next verse soon began.

"Just you and me will travel far as can be."

"Our hearts shall guide us beyond our home."

"It will be just you and me out there."

"And nothing shall dimmer our love."

The chorus soon repeated itself

"We'll see the elves in their mighty cities"

"The dwarves in their homes of rock."

"The fae in their grand homes."

"And all shall welcome thee."

Rohl had lost himself in the song, his eyes not even registering the enraptured audience.

"It will be just you and me."

"Spreading our love and dreams."

"All shall welcome thee."

"For we are a couple in love."

Rohl finished the last verse to loud applause as the audience burst into cheers and applause. It was a reaction far better than he had ever received in Shrewsborough. They seemed to have truly enjoyed his singing, the entire room had taken on an atmosphere of cheer and joy. The audience wasn't the ones made happy by his performance, Philsen had a bright smile on his face as he watched the cheery faced audience begin ordering more and more drinks to go with the show.

And with such a happy engaged audience who was Rohl to deny them another song. Then another and another. Rohl soon began to lose count of just how many songs he'd sung and was forced to judge how long he'd been singing by the hours that had passed.

After two hours of performing, Rohl finally decided to take a short break, after he finished his current song that was.

"And so he beat the drums and beat the drums he did."

"As loud as he could."

"As loud as any should."

"And so he beat the drums and beat the drums he did."

With the last verse now at an end, his ukatar ended its rhythmic upbeat music. In time with the music's end, Rohl also came to a sudden halt, ending the jig commonly associated with the song.

As soon as the song had ended, he was met with sudden cheer and applause. Which brought Rohl's attention to the small inn was now packed with cheering and smiling patrons. Drinks had flowed throughout his performance, which only added to the cheerful buzz in the air.

"I'll be right back in a few minutes."

With that Rohl left the stage intent on grabbing a quick drink from Lola who was now behind the bar, the rest of the Kutchers were busy attempting to serve the bustling inn.

"You're quite good at that you know, it's busier tonight than it's been for a long while," Lola said as she passed Rohl a glass of what he assumed was cider, given its sweet taste.

"Thank you, it's going a lot better than I thought, I'm really enjoying myself," Rohl replied with a smile, a smile filled with a mix between nervous excitement and pride at what he'd done.

The drink allowed for a much-needed break but upon seeing the mood of his audience, Rohl quickly finished his drink and returned to his stage, the patrons giving a loud cheer as he did so. He could only smile at the enthusiasm on display and took this moment to observe the many cheerful faces looking up at him, the packed tables covered in empty tankards. The inn was full of light, with an atmosphere to match. Rohl's performance had filled the inn with joy, his singing, his music had these people jumping with joy and cheer in a manner he had never achieved before.

Soon enough Rohl began to play and sing again, performing a few different songs this time, songs famous for being great to sing along to. Songs he knew would really boost the mood. Songs like the march of the merry, the gripping heart, a bridge of love, a clash of knights and where did the goblin go.

Each and every song got the crowd cheering and singing loudly, almost all of the patrons were singing along with Rohl, tankards raised high in the air as they cheered loudly and smiled brightly.

Rohl was having a great night and given the mood of the patrons, he could confidently assume they were too. The excitable Nia had even pulled up a chair in front of the stage, excitement plastered on her face as she watched Rohl perform, happily singing and dancing along with Rohl. Blissfully unaware of her sister's attempt to get her back to work. She seemed extremely happy and eager to request songs from Rohl who was happy to perform them finding her mood contagious.

A popular song called 'the real treasure was the friends we made along the way', was a real hit. The many patrons of the inn stood up tall from their seats, arms clasped over the shoulders of those next to them, swaying gently, as they all sang together.

Another popular song given the level of audience participation was called 'the glistening arrow'. Rohl could clearly tell it was an audience favourite.

"I see you shooting that arrow straight and true," Rohl would sing for the crowd who in return would loudly shout, "but will it cleave my heart straight through." It had been a fairly popular song among bards for quite a while and given the audience reaction he could quite see why.

Rohl was pretty sure he would have gotten the same reaction even if the mood hadn't been boisterous and the crowd drunk.

After performing for another few hours, it came time to end, the patrons had been getting loud in their singing, causing the guards to shut the place down for the night. Not that Rohl was complaining it had gotten very late after all, if it had gone on for much longer he was pretty sure either his legs or voice would have given out.

The crowd's departure did not happen quickly, with many cheering and thanking Rohl for his performance, promising to visit the inn again. They praised Rohl, the mood, atmosphere, and even the food.

A group of five young adventurers, whom Rohl recognised from the guild, offered him a small purse of coins and a promise to talk when they next saw him at the guild. A few more drunk men and women gave Rohl large hugs on their way out with one woman refusing to let go causing him to flush slightly.

Soon enough the remaining groups and straggling patrons were hustled out by Lola, Nia was still dancing around happily, Rohl unwilling to end her happy mood treated her to one last song, much to her joy. Given the expressions on Philsen and Alicen's faces they appreciated what Rohl was doing, Lola just sighed at her sister.

The song was named 'the dancing night sky', it was a short but nice song which Nia happily danced and sang too, she was actually a decent dancer, able to match Rohl's moves quite easily as they danced and sang together, and with that final song the cheerful mood of the inn had finally settled down.

 

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Arthur-67

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