Roris side stepped so she could see out the door to the large mob like group that hung outside there door letting a surprised gasp unleash itself from her lungs.
“Aye are you all talking about the commotion that had happened earlier this day?” Roris spoke without a note of anger but rather he was calm and clear in his words. Stepping closer to the blacksmith, she felt the strong oversized hand dropped on her head making her neck rock back and forth. “I completely forgot about that when my lovely little apprentice returned home today.”
“Look blacksmith, quit stalling and hand the boy over. We saw your lovely little apprentice bringing him here after the scuffle this evening.” The apparent leader of the group shouldered his way further into the homestead.
“Aye that she did; what of it?” Roris knitted his thick eyebrows together, “So the lad is sleeping a few winks in the forge, I don’t see anything wrong with that. He saved Wyllow and that deserves a bit of good hospitality.
Even she thought Roris was going off his rocker with that statement. Khondis took peoples lives. That was against the law and she knew full well keeping a wanted man in ones home was just an equally foul to the long arm of the guards. Though there didn’t seem to be any in the gaggle of men. They were taking justice into there own hands.
“If you aren’t going to hand him over, then we will just come in and take him ourselves.”
She pushed herself closer to Roris with the idea of men rampaging there home. “You’d really stoop that low to go against two- nay three people of Casbael?” Roris stroked his beard, “Interesting. I wonder how amused Mistress Rera would be to hear that the village that her two blacksmiths and now hired hand was ransacked by some paranoid men. What do you think Wyllow? I know the great red draglynn guardian has always been a fine woman of forgiveness.”
Wyllow snorted at the very phrase. Red Draglynn was the key phrase in that sentence. While she was a strong and sometimes compassionate woman, forgiveness was a foreign word to the strong willed bestial creature.
“Yeah that’s what I thought too,” she glanced to Roris as he gave her shoulder a comforting squeeze. “So would you like Wyllow and I to just step outside or would you much rather pillage our bodies as well?”
The men’s faces are drastically turned white – damn near as white as a sheet itself- with the way Roris spoke. Anyone in Sitra knew the guardian of the temple here was less than caring to matters such as this. They would be stepping literally into the dragons den if they continued.
“You mean that boy is part of Casbael?” someone in the group hollered out.
Roris nodded firmly, “Aye I had the man sign up tonight actually. After seeing how fine of a swords man he is, I knew Wyllow would be in good hands for the next assignment. I don’t want my protégé being harmed, so he is the perfect man.” Roris pointed over his shoulder, “Would you like to see the sealed document I am planning on sending to Mistress Rera. Wyllow go up to my room and bring-”
“No, no, that’s just fine blacksmith.” The leader had become very nervous as she could see the slick sheen of sweat on his brow. “We believe you.”
“Oh that’s good news; I was beginning to worry that I would have to get nasty.” Now it was her time to giggle as she could only imagine the horror Roris would bring down on the men.
“Uh…” the leader groaned, “Sorry about the late call blacksmith, young lady…. We were mistaken to have come as such a terrible hour.”
Roris tipped his head, “Not a worry, please do come back again during regular business hours. Though next time, do call ahead. I would have had Wyllow make some tea.” She shook her head, why did it seem like he was enjoying this far more than he should have?
“I’ll just shut this door for you,” the leader squeaked as he pulled the wooden door shut with simple grace.
They stood there for a moment, before she blinked up to Roris in utter confusion. “Master?”
Chuckling under his breath, he peered back over his shoulder, “Did you catch all that Khondis?”
He was awake! Wyllow clutched her hands around her body as she yelped lightly. What was going on!

Stepping into the main room he stood with his sword at his side with an utmost sour look on his face. “What the hell are you talking about old man? I would much rather have killed the lot of them than sign up with the damned Casbael. That lie that you spat at them is going to get me in more trouble than it’s worth.” Khondis slammed his sword into the wooden floor; the tip sank into the worn wood. Roris only looked down at the floor and shook his head.
“It could… if you chose not to agree with the lie, and choose to do your own thing. But mark my words, the moment those men see you wandering around alone, they’ll be after you. And I’m not saying that I’d be overly worried for you, but the outcome would surely not help your reputation.” Roris folded his arms with a smirk, as he looked over to Wyllow.
“I’m not doing it old man. There’s no way, not in a million years. I’m not doing anything for Casbael.” Khondis turned his back to the two of them.
“You wouldn’t have stayed if you weren’t interested in Tondris. You know what’s at stake if you don’t find out about that sword. Think of this as a light nudge in the right direction.” Khondis whipped around.
“Light? Light! You slammed a contract in my face, and call that a light gesture? Not to mention I’ve got to tote this useless little chicky around? Bullshit Roris. Pure and utter.” He hated that Roris had cornered him. This was not how he wanted to do this. He was not going to have Wyllow along for the ride. “Do you know how much she’s going to slow me down? Even worse, she’ll likely get us both killed before we even get anywhere, I may as well just hope she can talk the smugglers to death.” Khondis sighed as he bowed his head. He had grown a headache in the short amount of time he had been evicted from his temporary bed.
“It is late, and we are all weary. Let us leave this conversation for a more suited hour.” Roris scratched his beard. “Think it over Khondis, but I have made the decision easy for you. Good night.” Roris motioned at Wyllow to go to bed, he to would retire, leaving Khondis to his meandering thoughts.

She hadn’t honestly understood what was happening but being insulted again and again, her eyebrow twitched furiously as she gritted her teeth. Like she wanted to be near him, he was so unpleasant foul smug and utterly moronic that it made her go crazy to a new level.
Her fists bundled tightly at her side as she slapped away master Roris hand when he made the motion for her to retire.
“I don’t know where you were raised you gigantic ass but you have officially worked on my last nerve.” She pointed to his sword, “You better learn how to talk to my master or myself otherwise,” a sinister smile spread over her face as she stepped forward and raised a hand to slap down on top the hilt of the sword he buried into the floor. “Otherwise I am going to shove that fine piece of craftsmen up a place where no sword should ever grace.”
Wyllow took on a dark look as she gave a blunt kick to the base of the sword, dislodging it from its wooden depths. Curving her hand around the hilt to slide it from Khondis hands, she snapped it up to rise with the blade upwards as she slid a smooth hand along with it. She couldn’t fight but she knew how to handle a blade. She had to make sure her swords she crafted could stand up to a blow but exerting the striking blow herself. Sure her stance was amateur at best, but she was tired of being mocked.
“Slow you down,” She looked over the blade finally noting the fine obsidian stone at the tip. “You might have to learn how to stay caught up.” She shoved the sword back at him, before turning to release it.
Looking to Roris he only had an eyebrow raised as she pouted out her bottom lip in frustration. She had been picked on enough during her lifetime; this is something she didn’t need. Especially at something she felt a righteous fury for.
Side stepping, he opening a hand to allow her to ascend the stairs first as she crept into her room with a slam of her door.
Roris chuckled at the sight as he stroked his beard before he made a point to the ascend stairs. “Now that is something new; seems you have a way with annoying even the sweetest people.” Roris gave a slight tip of his head. “Good night Khondis.”

Khondis swiped the blade back as Wyllow shoved it back to him, going off on her fit. His blood boiled as she had picked up his sword, taking every fiber and nerve in his body not to lunge at her and take her out. No one. NO ONE was ever aloud to touch his sword. His muscles flexed as he watched Wyllow disappear. Khondis barely heard Roris bid him a good night.
“Forget it Wyllow! I’m outta here come day brake, I don’t need this shit.” As he turned to leave back into the Forge he slammed the door so hard that the latch broke making the door swing the opposite way it was supposed to, until it stopped agape.
“Ah, I forgot what it was like to have children in the house.” Roris muttered.

The sun Shone through the forge windows. The sound of a hammer awoke him with a start. He had fallen asleep haphazardly, almost upside-down in the small room, buried in the hay.
Grunting he sloppily slid out of the room. He couldn’t believe how out of it he was, he had never slept so deep on a bed, let alone a pile of hay. He felt extremely itchy now, and like a dirty animal.
Roris seemed to be hard at work already. Looking around, he saw no sign of Wyllow. “What time is it?” Khondis spoke harshly, but softly.
“Sunrise, if you need to wash up, there is a basin in the back.” Roris had looked over his shoulder at Khondis. Combing his hand through his hair he felt all the strands of hay tangled up in his hair.
“I should leave.” Khondis picked up his things.
“You’re still on that kick are you? Look boy, over on the table in the kitchen. It’s the contract, it but needs your signature. Now…” Roris stopped to turn to Khondis. “You have some brains up in there kid, but your cocky and brash.” He flicked Khondis in his head. Khondis felt his anger flush in his face.
“Don’t bloody tell me how to live my life old man, save your rant for someone who cares.” Khondis looked dead into Roris’ eyes, but he didn’t falter.
“Take this opportunity. I don’t know why you’ve been causing so much trouble over these past few years, but I can tell that Tondris is extremely important to you for much more than just a trophy. That’s not for me to know, but what I do know is that you need help. Because before too much longer you’re going to be attracting much more attention than angry locals, and you know that’s true…”
“I never asked for your help, so why are you even trying? You don’t even know me.” Khondis tilted his head, still in a rather sour mood. Roris paused momentarily then proceeded to walk over to a cabinet, pulling from the cupboard was a sheathed dagger. Turning to Khondis he smirked the now familiar smirk.
“What’s that?” Khondis murmured.
“Do you recollect Wyllow talking about evolution blades?” Khondis stitched his eyebrows together with the question.
“Yes.” Was his simple answer.
“Three are openly known about, at least, to those who care. But there is one more that exists, that not even Casbael knows about. This.” He lifted the small etched blade. It looked rather ordinary. It was ordained with bronze around the hilt, and a finely etched out symbol, almost akin to Casbael, but still different. It looked very old, and in rough shape. It hardly looked like a weapon of glory.
“You expect me to believe that is a legendary weapon?” Roris put a thick finger up in front of Khondis’ face.
“I believe in its power, however, it is old, and quite useless. But as a test to Wyllow, it will be her job to refurbish this blade, and in doing so I will gift it to her.”
“I’m still missing your point.” Khondis sighed. This man seemed to be off his rocker.
“It is a key Khondis, don’t you see?” He brought the dagger down to Tondris. The blue metal of the blade began to glow a faint orange hue. “This is not the first time you have seen it this color…” Roris looked at Khondis; the look of surprise must have been evident, as Roris smiled.
“But you told me my blade wasn’t an evolving blade.” Khondis questioned.
“No, it isn’t, the dagger is- once it finds its master, it will evolve with the person it seeks refuge in. But your blade is a partner blade; the power grows when they are together. I know little of their relationship, but I’m willing to bet, the answers you seek are related just as much to this dagger as your sword, and the only way to find those answers are by traveling to the distant land of Windin’ and deep within the labyrinths of the Keepers, you will find the knowledge needed to unlock the true potential of your blade, and the dagger.”
“And you expect Wyllow to be the owner of the dagger? What if it denies her, what then?” Roris shrugged.
“I have spent many years looking for the right person. I have faith in her abilities.”
“She is hardly a warrior; you are a fool if you expect me to trust all of this. I hate Casbael, and I’m not about to travel across the world with some girl, who knows not of the dangers of the world, let alone doing it in the name of Casbael. And by the way you’re going; you’re even using the schematic as an excuse to use the name of Casbael for your own greedy desires. That’s even more pathetic.” Khondis huffed as he latched his armor back together and threw his sword in its scabbard.
“I cannot change your opinion of my motive. But I offer you my condolences. I did not want to go so far as to do this, but I have sent word out to Casbael, and they have been made aware of whom you are, and the weapon you possess. They have agreed to sign ownership in your name, and to make the weapon legitimately yours, and they will not denounce your weapon from you, so long as you agree to help build the schematic in question. Your contract will terminate the moment the sword is built, and Tondris is yours to keep.
“Now, keep in mind Casbael knows nothing of the dagger, that is information I am entrusting with you, because I truly do desire you to acquire the knowledge, because I believe a man with as powerful as a desire as yours, you were unjustly wronged, and at such a young age. But I apologize I have put you in the corner with no alternative.”
“You Bastard…!” Khondis spat. Khondis wanted to call his bluff, but his perception told him otherwise, he was telling the whole truth. “I should kill you.”
Roris shrugged. “No matter what you do, there is only one option for you to assume your freedom; whether or not that includes me is hardly of consequence.”
“Damnit…” Khondis slumped his shoulders.
“Go get cleaned up Khondis, I assure you, you are in no danger. But do reconsider helping me out. I mean no ill treatment to you, but you knew this day was coming. But there might be one other thing for you to hold onto. If the dagger chooses not to take on Wyllow, the plan very well fail before it gets out the door. If that comes true… then I will forego the contract and you will be free to do as you please. Even kill me for wasting your time.”
Khondis only shook his head, he wasn’t about to believe that was going to be a possibility. Roris has cornered him in every direction, and had done his due diligence to make sure all the pieces fell into the right place. How this could have all happened on the chance that he had saved Wyllow was unlikely. Whether Wyllow had a legitimate part of this or not, he had conveniently fallen into Roris’ lap, and he had been the mastermind behind it all.
Stripping down he sulked into the lukewarm basin. Heat rocks had been placed under it what seemed to be only a little time ago. It felt nice, but it did little to sooth his pride. He was on the brinks of losing everything. Losing everything and more, if he was to side step Casbael, the one thing he had been trying so hard to avoid. His ears flicked as he heard talking distantly. He wondered if that meant Wyllow was now up and moving. He wondered when Roris would tell Wyllow about the blade, if at all.

Previous Page<-->Next Page