Balancing the Scales: The Sage Hero's Story
After their bath, they hear a loud pounding on the wooden door to their room. Kaz looks at Tasi, she shrugs her shoulders and puts on the plain t-shirt Kaz had given her, which she'd grown rather fond of, and wraps a towel around her torso. As she slithers over to the door as Kaz is getting dressed, Tasi opens the door a crack to see who could possibly be wanting them at this hour. She sees a man of large stature in a fancy silk dress shirt and shiny steel boots. Tasi calls Kaz over, he had just finished putting on his clothes.
Kaz steps out of the bathroom and walks over to the door and opens it all the way. The man introduces himself, "Good evening, would I be correct in assuming that I am speaking with the Mister Kaz that Sir Alden had told me about? I am Commander Hargeon of the Vance Order of Knights. I wished to inquire as to where you acquired this?" he asks suspiciously as he holds up one of Kaz's flashlights. Kaz nods, "Yes sir, I'm Kaz." Kaz respectfully bows to the authority figure and waves the man into their room.
The commander thanks Kaz and pulls out a wooden chair from the table around and sits himself on it. He then faces Kaz, waiting to hear what he has to say. Kaz sits himself across the table from the man, "Those are products of a store where I'm from. I simply brought some here to sell. I'm assuming you're the one who purchased the lot of them?" Kaz questioned. Tasi asks Kaz and the commander if she should bring them a drink from the bar downstairs in the lobby of the inn. The commander pays her no mind, so Kaz asks the man himself, "She asked if you'd be interested in a drink, commander." The man's gaze shot towards Tasi, then back at Kaz. "You understand that…. That thing?" he gasps in disbelief as he points at Tasi. Kaz had completely forgotten that humans didn't understand other species when they speak. "First, she is not a thing, her name is Tasi, and yes. I understand her as plainly as we are talking right now. I can understand more than just Nagas, I can even speak to dragons." Kaz boasted confidently.
A gravely serious look came over the commander's face, then he burst into laughter. "You're hilarious, boy! Sure, tell her to get me a shot of brandy." he cackled. Tasi headed off downstairs to fetch the drinks, and the commander's laughing had finally stopped. He looked at Kaz once more, "So Mister Kaz, any chance I could pick up the rest of these flash-things before I go?" He asked as he set a rather large leather pouch on the table with a loud thud. Kaz took the sack and peered inside, it was chocked full of gold and silver pieces with a few coppers mixed in as well. Kaz went and got the burlap sack of the flashlights and handed them to the commander. "Alden will still get his share of the profit as well, correct?" Kaz asks as he sits back down at the table. "Of course! It's a pleasure doing business with you Kaz! These work much better than torches, if you come across any more come find me at the barracks by the gate, I'll pay you on the spot for them." He said with a smile.
Tasi returned from downstairs with a bottle of brandy and three shot glasses on a tray. Tasi poured three shots and coiled up next to Kaz. The three downed their shots. The commander stood up with the sack and reached out to shake Kaz's hand. Kaz shook his hand and showed the commander out, the moment the door shut Tasi tackled Kaz to the floor. "Ugh! I thought he'd never leave!" She had trouble speaking and slurred her words. Kaz looks at the bottle of alcohol and notices it's half empty, "Tasi, did you really drink all this?" he scolds her as she tries to take his shirt off. Tasi tumbles to the floor and passes out on her stomach, Kaz carries her upper half to the bed and covers it with a thick wool blanket. He then hefts her lower half and lays it near the foot of the mattress, he then pulls the blanket up and wiggles into his favorite spot with his head between her chest and quickly dozes off to sleep.
Kaz wakes up early the next morning, he squeezes out of Tasi's coils and heads down to the lobby of the inn to pick up two plates of breakfast for the both of them. He skillfully juggles both of the plates while he reaches down to open the door, surprisingly he didn't spill a single thing. Upon reentering their room he sees Tasi stretching out on bed, just waking up. With a cheerful smile Kaz looks at her, "Good morning Tasi! I got breakfast for us, I'll put yours on the counter." he tells her. Kaz sets Tasi's plate down and then sits at the table and prepares to eat his own breakfast. He takes a bite of a biscuit and nods at Tasi, who had just pulled a chair up beside him to eat as well. "What are we doing today Kaz?" she asks in a sluggish tone.
As Kaz finishes his biscuit, Tasi raises the tip of her tail and brushes the crumbs off of his mouth. "Ah!" he shouts, that had caught him off guard. Kaz laughs a bit and grins sheepishly, "Well, today I thought I'd look for the adventurer's hall I'd heard about." He says as he smears butter on a second biscuit. Tasi finishes her plate, and gives Kaz an odd look. "Do you mean the Adventurer's Guild?" she asks him. "I've never been there, but I have heard when you register as an adventurer they show you all of your skills and special information. Like your strengths and weaknesses, or affinities. I've wanted to go, but I was stuck guarding that boring hot spring back in Rath” Tasi pouts. Kaz perks right up in his seat when he hears this, "'That trope?" He sighs, Tasi cocks her head in confusion. "Trope, what do you mean Kaz?" she asks. Kaz waves off the question for later and suggests that they get going.
Kaz and Tasi leave the inn and pass through the city gate and head to where they hid his car to see how Ferron was coming along with fixing the roof. They meet Ron out in the trees just a few feet from the car, setting up a small crucible to melt the steel ingot in. Ferron waves at them as he closes the crucible and starts the fire beneath it in a small makeshift brick forge. "It's hard to do this out here, all my tools are back at my shop." he grunts as the two approach. Kaz apologizes for the inconvenience and asks him how long it will take him. He tells them it shouldn't take long, and that he should have it melded together by the end of tomorrow. Just as they begin to say their goodbyes, Ferron hands Kaz a small wooden box.
Kaz opens the box and takes out a beautifully crafted pair of glasses with a silver frame, they look exactly like what Kaz had asked for. Kaz bows and shakes Ron's hand and thanks him again and again. Kaz carefully places the glasses back in the box and hands it to Tasi. At that very moment the screams of people can be heard from inside the town, seconds later arrows fill the sky landing near their feet. The three of them run for cover behind the trees, then a massive projectile cruises past them and splits the adjacent tree in two. The soldiers were trying to repel a dragon that was seen flying over the capital.
After about two minutes of silence, Ferron decides to make a run back into the town. Tasi and Kaz stay put behind cover, and just when things have started to quiet down, a great green figure crashes into the dirt not ten feet away from them. The impact stripped branches, crushed rocks, and made a sizable crater. Kaz ran towards whatever had just fallen, what he saw was a small dark green dragon with a single bolt from a ballista piercing through the meat and muscles of its rear leg. He shouts to hold on, but the dragon lets loose a torrent of flame in self defense. "I'm not here to hurt you, I'm with Saphana!" He shouts.
These words seem to reach the dragon, it laid its head down on the ground. "I can heal myself." it says to him, "I just can't do it with this thing stuck in my leg!" It groans in pain. Kaz moves closer and looks where the bolt had struck him, he explains to the dragon his plan and calls Tasi over, he then orders her to restrain the dragon with her long body while he pulls the projectile out. Kaz reassures him that it'll be fine, and after a few minutes of straining and pulling, the bolt pops out causing Kaz to fall backwards on his behind. The dragon mutters something and before long a vibrant white light envelops the wound and causes it to slowly close.
The dragon stands up on all fours and approaches him. Kaz shudders a bit, then notices the dragon was bowing its head to him. "Thank you, human. I would've been captured if you hadn't been nearby. I am called Zen, what might your name be?" He asks Kaz. "Oh, Zen. My name is Kaz, and this is Tasi. It's no big deal, just stay away from Vance from now on, alright?" Kaz replies with a grin. Zen nods, and states that he will be returning to Rath shortly. "Zen, before you set off, can I ask you a favor? Can you tell Saphana to meet me here tomorrow night?" Zen agrees to relay his message and quickly dashes off in the direction of the mountains housing Rath. Tasi and Kaz both head back to the gate, which was unguarded at the moment due to the commotion. They both began looking for the Adventurer's Guild hall.