The Flight of The Draykes
The next morning, I was awake at five and I was whirling around the Hoard as the excitement of doing something productive again hit me.
I mean, till now, we were on a ship and there isn’t really all that much you can do on a ship. Well, unless you’re a sailor. Which I was not.
I had a modest breakfast that elicited only a few groans from Madam Amee and then I rushed to my first job at the Inn.
The inn in question was called the Silent Expanse, and it was a dull yellow color, compared to the cream color of the surrounding buildings.
It was boisterous as opposed to its name, but the surrounding air was a little heavy. I cared not for all that, as the inn mainly catered to adventurers who filled the place, and who were getting up early for their morning breakfast, so that they could go out hunting or on quests again.
Moving about swiftly, balancing trays of food while my stomach growled in companionship to the adventurers' stomach growls, I weaved my way and it felt like I was back in Draconis, in Edwin's little master’s den.
Thinking fondly about the man, I wondered how he was doing. I hoped he wasn’t being troubled by Baling Alastor and his men, or else that would be one more score that I had to settle with the Balakash.
Soon, it was about time for my first free meal of the day, and the cook watched slack jawed as I inhaled all the food that he had made in mere moments.
Another few moments and the cook appreciatively began waxing about how at least some people in the world appreciate his cooking.
Flashing a grin at him and satiated, I dashed out toward my next job.
Arriving at the library just in time to see Sia wave at me as she too entered her tailoring job, I quickly found Alden and diligently listened as he listed out the tasks.
Which were essentially cleaning the books, sorting the books, and yawning as no customers came.
The cleaning and sorting took me close to an hour and by the end of it, I was hesitating whether or not to begin studying.
Deciding against it, I found Alden again, and asked him to give me the tasks for the entire week.
Like a whirlwind of energy, I rushed around and brought life to the dingy library while Alden stood bemused.
Just as the time hit noon, I was done, and thankfully Alden turned out to be a soft taskmaster who let me go the moment my work was done.
Quickly popping by the tailoring shop, I checked in on Sia, but seeing her work with her eyes focussed on the needle that was clumsily weaving about in the cloth, I silently backed away and ran back to the Silent Expanse inn, and once again found myself weaving and ducking between intimidating men and women, garbed in exotic armor.
Training that Sir James had imparted kicked in without conscious thought, and I found myself listening in on snippets of conversation as I waited on the tables.
“Did you hear that the expanse spat out more monsters this time?” a man said in a hushed voice.
The woman sitting opposite him set down her spoon as she said, “It’s not just monsters, I hear. There are also the wildlings who are leading them. The worst part is that it’s not even that time of the year when they come out to hunt.”
Clucking his tongue, the man who spoke first looked around before saying, “They say that Lord Antoninus wants the Blades to hunt them down.”
Looking at the man with anger in her eyes, the woman spoke. “Lord Antoninus wants to use us and the Blades to deal with them, but he’ll never use his men. No. He’ll use anything and everybody else but not his men.”
Then she fell silent as the man also swirled his drink.
Walking to another table, I fell silent in contemplation.
This was the second time that I was hearing about the expanse, and that plump Lord Antoninus. Also, it was the first time I was hearing about wildlings and I mentally filed that information away. I’ll find out what they were later, I decided.
But first, it was time for my free meal again!
This time, I walked in to the cook standing pale faced as he saw me approach.
Confused, I asked him what was wrong, and through chattering teeth he asked me in return, “Boy, you must have been starving in the morning, right? That’s why you ate so much, yes?”
Nodding, I indicated that yes; I was indeed starving.
Relieved, the cook’s chattering teeth finally ground to a halt, and he began bustling about as he prepared my meal.
Only for a repeat of the morning’s episode to happen again.
Eyes bulging wide, the cook began bawling, and he was off to the manager of the inn mumbling something about, “Don’t cut my pay when you send me a monster like that to feed!”.
Soon the manager was on the scene and looking at the sparkling plates and my bulging stomach that I was patting with satisfaction, his own eyes bulged out before he pointed at me; only for words to fail him.
Ponderously getting to my feet, I burped a good day at the two, and waddled my way outside and stood underneath the sun; wondering what I was going to do now.
The initial plan was to practice my warforce circulation. But seeing how the day was so fine and the cook was so kind, I decided to stroll around for a good while.
So I did just that.
I walked around aimlessly as I wandered the streets of Yamal. Curiously, I stopped at the various shops and stalls, and eventually I found myself in the market.
Looking at it, I nostalgically thought of that day with Sia in the plaza and shaking my head, I took off at speed to where she was.
Standing at the doorway to the tailoring shop, I watched as she sewed with the utmost concentration - not even noticing that I was there - and the look of satisfaction on her face as she managed to finish the piece without pricking herself.
As she held it up with a victorious grin on her face, she saw me standing at the door, and smiled even wider.
Knocking on the door, I greeted the couple who ran the tailoring shop, and then walked over to Sia and bent over her table, examining the cloth which she proudly showed off to me.
It was rough, uneven, and incredibly ugly to look at.
So, of course, I told her it was the most incredible thing I had ever seen.
The smile that lit up her face as she heard that dazed me for a good moment.
Then, hesitating for a moment, I walked over to the couple, and bowing to them; I asked, “Would it be possible for you to teach me how to sew, please?”
Looking at me with surprise, they shared a glance with each other before nodding at me.
And so, I spent the next three hours sitting beside Sia, pricking needles into my skin and cursing profanities underneath my breath, much to Sia’s mirth.
Soon it was almost six, and I excused myself before running to the hospital.
As soon as I walked in, I heard shouts of, “Hold him down for Bal’s sake,” and striding towards the source, I saw Dr. Cratus harriedly shouting at a medium built man who was struggling to prevent the bucking patient from rising as the doctor worked on him.
Rushing to their side, I ignored the surprised looks of the medium built man, and quickly activated my warforce as my skin alternated between white and black; holding the man down firmly.
An hour later, the procedure was done, and Dr. Cratus looked at me with a little bit less disdain before he snorted and beckoned me to follow him.
So I did.
The number of patients was far lesser than Maeqil. The injuries, however, were as serious as the ones at Maeqil.
Busy as a bee, I followed after the doctor as he bustled about, and later, I found out that he was one of the two doctors in the entire hospital.
The attendants were also pitifully few and, despite his gruff exterior, which I suppose was a trait of all these doctors; he was quite grateful toward me.
Lost in my work, I didn’t notice the time, and it was only when Dr. Cratus tapped me on the shoulder and pointed upwards that I noticed the stars were shining bright with the moon already large in the sky.
Gratefully shooting him a look, I stumbled my way back to the hoard and drawing a hot bath while praising the heatstones; I scrubbed myself wearily and dragged my clean body to the soft bed, where I collapsed with a sigh.
My first day of working.
A good day of working.