Not really to his misfortune at least, if he could get a free meal that was better than nothing, he supposed; even if it took a heck of a lot more effort than he had been willing to give for a meal. He would have been better off keeping the wallet and moving on. Only slightly regretting coming back, this girl seemed to keep him amused longer than most others gave, and this so called master intrigued him more and more, what could he possibly be, to be so much more “less lenient” then those brutes, and more “wealthy” than what was even held in the wallet. Hopefully it was worth the investigation.
“And of this ‘Master’,” He began to question. “What exactly is he a master of? Or do I really care enough to know?” Prodding some, he figured he would be better off knowing ahead of time whether or not he would be wasting his time further.

Pursing her lips tightly, she shot a glare over her shoulder to him making fun of her name. “Aren’t we just a barrel of fun,” she muttered. “Sheesh.”
It wasn’t worth honestly getting into with him, one she knew she would lose and two, he wasn’t worth it. She had the purse back and she did owe him some gratitude for dispatching those hooligans.
Her attention had noted the few cowering back from them as she began to lead them to the far northern corner of town but she only assumed it was because of the fight that had just happened. She had no idea about him being in the town earlier and causing a sort of chaos. She hadn’t been back in town for a couple of months, or at least that was how it felt.
She didn’t bother to turn her attention back to the looming ecchial as he questioned her. “Master Roris is an Artisan man in his craft,” she pointed towards the stable looking homestead in the distance as thick bellowing smoke came out of the trio of chimneys. “Why are you asking me if you care enough to know, you asked it,” Wyllow raised an eyebrow to him. “But if you earnestly want to know, he is a master blacksmith.”

“A rich blacksmith?” He scratched his head. “That’s a new one on me…” He turned an eye to the building she was pointing at. A rather modest home for a rich person, he thought. But if there was anything he picked up from the three men earlier, this Roris was in hiding, and anything worth hiding was worth having. He was stepping into enemy territory though, and he would have to tread lightly. There was no way he was going to get anything unless he spoke as little as possible.
He knew his tongue was poison, but on most occasions he cared very little about what he said. He had no reason to care, no consequence was too dire, he had already been through tremendous amount of anguish and hatred that everything else seemed null in comparison.
Grasping his sword his thumb stroked along the length of the handle, smooth wooden handle, he only hoped this master blacksmith wouldn’t recognize the make of the sword. He had little knowledge of the weapon except for that it wasn’t his, and that he needed to know more about it if he ever wanted to go home.

At long last they stepped up onto the sheltered porch; the smell of burning coal filled his nostrils. He could tell by the smoke stacks that Roris was hard at work, even at this time of night; Bizarre, and yet, somehow commendable. “Well, lead the way Wyllow.” He ushered her to open the door.

She gave a shake of her head, “Never wise to assume anything about anyone, though I am beginning to think differently.” She muttered back to him. She noted how he studied the building but why he did was beyond her.
Though when he would go to grasp the sword, her eyes widen slightly. She knew he had been flaunting it earlier but she hadn’t been able to get a look at it, at least not a deep good look. Tearing her gaze away from the sword hilt, she cleared her throat when he spoke at her again.

Sticking out her tongue at the idea of bringing him home, Wyllow side stepped around the doorway – not bothering to open it – but rather lead the looming presence of the ecchial around through the open maze of thick oak timbers into the depths of the hellish hot forges.
There was no sound of hammers striking and forming any metal which only meant Master Roris was fiddling around with something inside the forges.
“Master?” she beckoned out, “I brought home what you wanted and,” she peered back to take a look up and down the ecchial male, “Something else.” She wanted to call him a jackass but she had a better tongue in her head.
She could hear the soft audible curses as the hatch of an open forge closed heavily. The tumblers in the lock clicked in a secure latch as she seen the tall man pushing on the small of his back. His hair had been pulled back in a tight low ponytail as he wore his famous brown ash encrusted leather slacks with the heavy apron over the strong barrel chest. His forehead was slick with sweat as she could see through the image of fire and light his pale grape purple eyes looking at her.
“It is about damn time I hear some good news,” his voice was coarse as a steel brush scraping against iron ore but in no way was it callous. “The blasted forge door has been busted for about a week and a half. I’ve had no time to fix the cursed thing until tonight and I realize that we are needing more supplies from the temple.”
“Casbael?” she tapped a index finger to her lower lip, “I will, if we have any more filing papers that we can request anymore supplies for this month from Mistress Rera.” She had closed the distance between her and Roris. The only reason why she knew she was close to the master was the strong clap of a hand to her shoulder, nearly toppling her over.
“Aye what is all this,” Roris gave a thick sausage finger point towards the man she brought here; “Don’t tell me you have been casting love spells on some scum of the boys, now.”
“Hardly.” Wyllow rolled her eyes, “He comes looking for a meal and some bedding to sleep on.”
She felt a slight push to put her behind his strong build as he advanced towards the male ecchial, stroking the thick graying beard on his face. “Free meal and some place to sleep, why? Wyllow is there a reason for all this.”
“He sorta… saved my rear end.” She spoke softly not really wanting to admit it to the master. “Seems that schematic you sent me out for was wanted by another. Lord er… this guy here took them out without ever using his sword.”
“Aye and that’s a wonder. I seem to recall earlier today seeing the bloke here causing some sort of mischief that irked the village head.” Roris narrowed an eye to the ecchial, “But if you are earnest in your help for my apprentice then I suppose we can give you a bit of food and a bed in the homestead. Wyllow, go and attend a meal for the lad and leave him in my hands.”
She tipped her head forward, “Yes master,” She would only shoot the man a brief look before she waltz her way around Roris and the man to scoot herself inside the cottage style home.

The old man eyed him up and down as Wyllow left the room. Scrunching his nose at Roris, he had turned away to clean some of his utensils with a thick white cloth. “Some show you put on there lad, I assure you, she is far too naïve to fall for anything you could have possibly put on out there.” Roris spoke softly, but with intensity he had never quite heard before.
“I’m really afraid it wasn’t much of a show, quite pathetic, honestly. I appreciate the hospitality… I assure you I am only here for food.” He folded his arms and put all his weight onto one leg.
“Indeed…” Roris paused. “Make yourself at home, have a seat. Wyllow is a good cook, she won’t be long.” Roris placed a tool onto the anvil and began to stretch. Turning to look at his visitor briefly, he continued to tinker with the forge.
They sat in silence for some time, finally he decided to prod a little more, if he was going to make use of this detour, he may as well do it, even if he made a vow of silence with himself while he was within these walls.
“You know, those men… That attacked her. They were after you, not after those schematics. It’s a little selfish of you to put her in harms way for something you caused.” Leaning back on his chair he put his feet up onto the table. Roris flicked his ears and looked back at him.
“All men have a past. Not all men have good ones. But you would know that well, wouldn’t you Copper?” Roris approached the table as he winced at the name.
“Khondis is my name, not Copper.” He glared at Roris. Already he knew too much about anything. “How could you possibly know that name, at any rate?” Khondis adverted his eyes from Roris.
“Please, you walk into a master blacksmith’s house rearing that sword? You are two thumbnails short of a household name in these parts, not to mention your shenanigans this morning. You single handedly burnt down two buildings along with killing two people and injuring countless others. If you are surprised I don’t know, then you are less intelligent then people give you credit for.” Roris sat down and folded his hands. His look was gearing down on Khondis, and he didn’t like it. Gritting his teeth he didn’t look away from Roris’ eyes.
“It wasn’t my fault.” Khondis spoke with ferocity.
“Of course it isn’t. You know nothing of that sword, so you have no control over it. It’s why you hesitate to use it. And yet, it serves you in the direst of situations, doesn’t it?” Khondis raised an eyebrow to Roris.
“What do you know of the sword?” Roris was quickly proving to him to be much more then a proclaimed master. This disturbed him, and that took a lot.
“The legendary two hilted sword; forged with the finest obsidian the world has ever known. Tondris Tunkar, original owner was of the Second Century however of unknown origin, but my guess would have to be somewhere in Echowinds.” Roris sat back with satisfaction. Khondis leaned forward, his chair creaking with the force.
“Who are—” before Khondis could finish he heard a loud clacking noise from the other room. It sounded like Wyllow was about done making his meal.

Fussing with her hair to make sure it stayed out of the food, she wrinkled her nose at the lack of supplies. How on earth did master Roris survive with out her? Even in the cold chamber there was little if any food. She had only counted three eggs which only made her roll her eyes. She could only assume he had gone out for most nights to eat at the local inn. Which she could understand, the cook there did have magic hands with foods.

Stuffing the black wooden bowl with the remaining bread noodles, she had boiled some water in the porcelain kettle and added some chicken broth to give it some taste. It wasn’t much but she could only venture the guess that it was better than what the ecchial male had in a while. At least that’s what she based his terrible attitude on. A hungry man was a grouchy man.
Cutting the carrots into fine portions, she had let them soften in the boiled broth before serving it over the bread noodles. Frowning deeply, she pursed her lips into a thin tight line until she just had to reason with herself that there was nothing else to be done. Then again; she’d probably be made fun of if she had.
Setting the bowl on the small table of the even smaller kitchen, Wyllow rubbed her fingers to her forehead. She could only imagine what Roris was talking about but she knew she was sent out for a reason. She may have been naive in the way of the world, but she knew her master well enough that when she was sent out to cook it was for a bigger reason.
The man was a fickle one but then again she supposed he was the only one who didn’t dumb her down. Letting her hand fall away from her face to the doorknob, she turned it with little effort to jerk it open to the hot overwhelming air to come rushing into the house. It took a minute with the candle and torch lit up the house and the bleak dark shop to contrast for her eyes to adjust. When they finally had, she was looking at Master Roris and the ecchial male. She would glance between them before she took in a deep breath to hear the deep chuckle of the master blacksmith. “Did you forget to make the lad some grub, Wyllow?”
Balling her fists, she put them to her hips as she shook her head. “Now I know you taught me better than that master; outside is the work of blacksmiths, but inside is a place of eating. The two do not mix.” she tapped a finger to the side of her head.
Watching the gaze widen with the fall of his moustache it would only take a minute before Roris would laugh openly at her. His truck like arms reached out to clap the ecchial man hard on the back; “Aye Wyllow has a point. Eating out here will surely be our death. Some of the metals here are poisonous when ingested and well… you just never know how ones food could come in contact with something that terrible.” Roris would open a hand towards the doorway in which she stood, “Khondis.”
Her ears flitted with the name as she shot him a glance. Oh how she wanted to tease him about his name, but she had better manners than that. She didn’t see how Khondis was a much better name than Wyllow.
She would side step so Roris could enter into the house as she glanced to the dark skinned ecchial with mirth in her smirk.
“Wyllow the papers,” Roris hand fell back to her as she blinked quickly before she pulled the schematic out of her jean pocket to place it in his enormous hand.
“When I go into the study to look for the papers to requisition the proper provisions, shall I add on what we need for that schematic?”
She seen Roris glancing back over his shoulder to her as he began to stroke his beard, “Do you think you are ready to take on such a challenge?”
She had to glue herself to the floor not to go bouncing around like some kid trying to get what they want, but she already could see but the spreading of his smile that she had given herself away. There was no way she could play the card of not caring.
Tucking her hands close to her chest as she smiled widely with a tilt of her head, Wyllow batted her eyes at her master only to receive a chuckle. “We will speak more of this when Khondis is not present. It is ill grace to ignore company.”
Peering around to look at the ecchial male it took a lot for her not to roll her eyes; if he was company than she was a fish. But she had to comply with the masters wishes. She would tip her head forward letting her straw blond hair fall in her face, “Yes Master.” she would promptly step out of the way of the door to retrieve the second wooden bowl of broth and noodles to set down at the table in front of Roris. A brief fleeting look of confusion set on his face before she smiled genuinely, “I am assuming you may be tired of eating out and as you said Master;” she side glanced Khondis, “It is ill grace to ignore company.”

Sitting down at the tiny table, he felt like a giant sitting at a little person’s table. It made him think back to being a kid and sitting at a separate table than the adults. Roris looked equally awkward, but he seemed to pay little heed.
As Wyllow placed the bowl in front of him and then Roris he only stared into the watery bowl. The broth looked thinner than water, and the carrots were far too large for his liking. Looking at Wyllow through his bangs she was smiling at Roris at his look of surprise as the food was placed in front of him.
“Aye, thank you Wyllow, this will be a great meal for such an evening. Eat up Khondis.”
“Thank you…” Khondis mumbled, catching himself half way, he hadn’t heard those words come from his vocabulary in years. He blamed Roris for that, catching him off guard with all the knowledge he held on the sword which still clung to his waist. This put him in a very difficult position. He had gone so long without depending on anyone, and yet, he found himself floundered, petrified to lose the respect of this man, and potentially his salvation. He had been searching for years, and yet seemingly out of nowhere it fell on his lap, as if it had been here all along waiting for him. And it was all because a stupid girl couldn’t defend herself.
Adjusting in his seat he ate in silence, Roris did not bother him, but when Khondis looked up into the man’s eyes, the look was just as strong as they had been during the conversation. Khondis could tell, at that very moment, Roris had been waiting for him to show up. For how long, he had no idea. But Roris had accumulated the information on the sword specifically for him.

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