Chapter 30:


Balancing the Scales: The Sage Hero's Story

A sweet, somewhat familiar aroma wafted throughout the manor, gently rousing Kaz and Saphana from their slumber the next morning. Kaz sat up and stretched back against Saphana's belly, and got up to investigate the scent. Before long, Tasi came down using the support pillar in her usual fashion along with Zavi in her arms, followed by Lucia and Roarke shortly after. All perplexed by the tantalizing aroma, Telos walked out of the back room and was startled to see everyone gathered in the main hall, "Oh! Good morning everyone, I figured I would take the initiative and whip up some breakfast for us. If that's okay with Miss Lucia, that is." Telos explains in a cheerful mood. A loud grumble comes from someone's stomach, Lucia steps forward. "It's fine with me. Tell us what you've made, we're all starving!" Lucia groans impatiently. Kaz was shocked, Lucia was never so blunt or demanding. He just chalked it up to cravings and returned his attention to Telos, who was divvying up the food onto plates for everyone. Bookmark here

"What we have here is eggs whipped to fluffy perfection with cheese melted in, and shredded potatoes, cooked and lightly salted on the skillet." Telos says with utmost confidence in his cooking. Kaz looks at the plate, "Scrambled eggs and hashbrowns?" He thought to himself. Kaz dug in and was stupefied by the amazing taste of the food Telos had made, it reminded him of his world. It seemed everyone else felt the same, as they were all shoveling it into their mouths. He had to have made quite a bit to fill even a small portion of Saphana's stomach. Sure enough, there was a massive pile of fluffy yellow eggs on a wooden slab for her as well. Kaz glanced over at Telos who was standing up stiff as a board against the wall behind them, "Are you going to join us Telos?" He asked. Telos met his gaze, "I wouldn't dare, the servant always eats after his master." Telos explains. Kaz gets up and stands in front of the wolfman, he raises his hand as if he was going to slap Telos. Telos, who was expecting to be struck, instead had one of his floppy ears flicked by Kaz's index finger. "We're all family here, we eat together." Kaz reprimands Telos and pulls a seat out beside his own and points at it for him to sit.Bookmark here

After the delicious breakfast Telos had made, Lucia began to do the dishes and Saphana went off to meet with her father, Salamat to see if he knew anything about the beast people being abused by humans like Telos had been. Meanwhile, Kaz sits down with Telos, "Tell me more about this Lod character." Kaz demands. Telos' ears droop, "There is not much else to say, Kaz. Lod is just one of the many people in Vance that see our kind as property they can simply do what they want with. Like we are expendable, replaceable items." Telos replied sadly. Kaz puts a hand on his shoulder, "Alright, just get him out of your head for now. Go report to Lucia and see what all needs done today and help her out." Kaz says with a smile, he leans forward and gives Telos a quick hug before he stands up and begins walking towards the front doors. Bookmark here

Kaz calls out to Lucia and Tasi asking if they would want to go along to Vance with him. Lucia finishes instructing Telos and meets him outside, "I guess it's just us this time." Lucia states as she waits for Tasi to come down. Kaz and Lucia make their way to the car and find Tasi already coiled up with Zavi in the backseat. Lucia let out a long annoyed sigh as she opened the passenger's side door and got in. Kaz put a sack in the trunk and slammed the door shut. They were on their way minutes later. Apart from the groggy weather, the drive went quickly and they arrived in the usual forty-five or so minutes. The party received another fine welcome from the gate guard, Kaz pressed a shiny gold coin into the guard's palm. Before the guard could refuse his gift, they were already off down the road. Their first stop was the clothing store, the four were shown in by the doorman. Malcolm sprinted up to meet them, "Welcome Sir Kaz, Miss Lucia, Miss Tasi! What can I help you with this evening?" He asks with a glowing smile. Bookmark here

Kaz asks the girls to go look around for a bit, he then turns and asks Malcolm for a word in private. The two men walk into the back room and take a seat at a counter and Kaz looks over at Malcolm, "You really like beastmen now, don't you?" Kaz prods. "But of course, they're such an inspiration! They're all so individually unique! Why do you ask?" Malcolm replies. "I know a lot of people treat beastmen terribly, I have an idea on how we can help them, but I need some help." Kaz explains. Malcolm raises an eyebrow, "Sadly I am well aware of how they're treated. Not many beastmen come in, I'd imagine they're not allowed to. I'd love to see them living better, but what would you give me in return for my assistance?" Malcolm inquires. Kaz sports a devilish grin, "Beastmen inspire you, right? I bet you're wondering who the giant dress was for, am I right?" Kaz asks. Malcolm nods, "I have some large friends I could introduce you to. If you decide to help and do me a few favors. If that's not enough, I have plenty more gold to sway your decision." Kaz boasts. Malcolm slowly extends his hand out. Kaz reaches out and grasps it. Kaz instructs him to grab his finest fabrics and his tools and to follow him. They both emerge from the back room carrying Malcolm's things, Kaz calls out to the girls. They rush over and meet the two with arms loaded with clothes in their cloth shopping sacks.Bookmark here

As the five of them walk out of the capital's gate Malcolm goes to fetch a carriage, but is stopped by Kaz. The party walks over to the shady grove of trees and Kaz opens the trunk and sets Malcolm's tools inside. He explains what the vehicle is much like he had to Ferron and girls before. Kaz asks Lucia to sit in the back with Tasi and Zavi, she reluctantly agrees and buckles up in back. The five are about three quarters of the way to Rath before Malcolm becomes uneasy. He warns Kaz that ahead is where the dragons live and most people that trespass here end up burnt to a crisp or gravely injured. Kaz cuts Malcolm off in the middle of his warning. "So I've heard." He says with a laugh as they press on towards the cave that housed the entrance to Rath. Bookmark here

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