Nochet, The sStuffed Boat Tavern, 1612ST, late Sea season.
Hendrostos and Irillo were watching their friend with concern. Two days ago, at last! They found him in so poor a condition that they did not recognize him immediately. He seemed to be in better condition now, although his too-thin face showed them how hard his time in the streets was.
“I can’t believe what happened.” said Irillo.
“How weird it is! Are you sure you did not miss something?” agreed Hendrostos.
“How could I know, if I missed?” answered Aendel, with a smile.
Aendel stopped his sentence, being distracted by something behind his two cronies.
“So, what will you do?”
“Hu… I’m not sure… I expected to go home once I was initiated, but now…
Now… the shame to be rejected during the initiation ritual ruins all of my plans. People will never follow me; nobles will tease me. Maybe one or two will remember me, but no true friendship was established when they sent me here.” After a long sigh, he added “I am no-one anymore, my kin would prefer my death than my coming back. Should I please them?”
Their friends kept silence, disturbed by his words… And the silence invaded the table for a long time.
“I need food… we have no more drink too, that’s not good” attempted Irillo.
“Yes, you are right my friend”.
“Yes, lets concentrate on the present.” Added Hendrostos, raising a hand.
“She is so beautiful…” whispered Aendel. “I love her silky skin; you cannot imagine how pleasant it is.”
The Lhankorings followed his gaze.
“Wait, wait, we paid her to get you better, nothing more.”
“And I thank you both! She succeeded beyond your expectations. But I don’t need your money, I need no money for this kind of affair.”
The waitress arrived with a large smile, “My lords! I enjoy seeing you so … insatiable! There is nobody here any more… except you… It’s time for me to go home now. And for you too.”
Aendel grabbed her and she sat down tenderly on his lap. “I hoped you can continue our discussion with me this night, you sweet.”
She laughed: “Unfortunately, I also have a husband to take care of! He probably worries about me after so long time outside…” She caressed his visage. “I think we have to delay our debate, my young friend. I‘ll leave you few minutes while I close the back of the tavern.”
Her lover held a theatrical pose, declaiming “How hard are your words! Are all women so skilled to break my heart? I cannot imagine I will survive this night!”
“Pretty sure you will find some pleasure with your two friends! Now… go!” and she left the room.
“Before we go… I have still a flask of Clearwine… You could tell us what you intend to do.” suggested Irillo.
“When even women don’t want you anymore, you still have to leave… that is another sign… I have to regain my reputation before anything else… or find my end??? I will wander and lease my sword and my knowledge, until some great achievement saves my honor, or a weapon meets my body, finaly”
“Mmm… I’m going with you… I spent too many times cleaning the restrooms of bedridden scholars... I want to explore the world and to test some… things. There is nothing here I am permitted to learn… I have never left Nochet, and before I meet you, never seen anything outside the library. Yes, I’m your man” said Hendrostos.
All eyes were then on Irillo who started to tremble…
But before he could answer, a scream echoed from the back room.
Immediately, Aendel jumped out of his seat and ran to the back room before anyone moved.
“Heyl! What are you doing here, Get away! NOW!”
“Aendelllll….???” She shrieked
“Be quiet, darling, I know them, they won’t hurt you or anything…”
The two scholars arrived, and saw the source of all this heckling… Two afraid enlos…
“Master… Master… Danger… danger... no alone, no outside…” their terrified eyes were pleading Aendel.
“Do not disturb the lady… Do not say anything… Do not eat, touch, anything. Stay there, and wait for me and my friends… You’re really bothering me, do you know that?! My heart, my friends… let me introduce you zog zog who are… hum … what they are…”
“Zhaug” murmured the smarter with disappointment.
“Zaugh!” affirmed the second.