The trio and Gormin walked down a road which leads to Huis. Gormin dragged both the fallen Megaboar and its child along with Michel tied up by a rope. Michel is smoking the cigar he dropped letting a puff of smoke through his nose. Julius is unconscious and being carried by Gormin’s shoulder alone
“Thanks…” Alex spoke up with a weak smile. His arm broken but slowly recovering with the help of a health potion. It’s been relocated by the help of Sal via brute force.
“Do not mention it Young Alex!” Gormin exclaimed with his powerful voice. ”It is the least I can do for not intervening. If I did I would have insulted you and your friends’ pride for helping! It is a form of courtesy and respect to not interfere with a Hunter’s hunt after all.” He says that but the three are not yet in the guild to be granted the privilege to have that courtesy. But his words made them feel assured that are already ones for killing a Megafauna.
As they walked they come across a squad of guards who are in a state of distress, most injured and being carried by guards who are less injured.
”Are those…” Lea trailed off her sentence at the sight of the injured guards.
”They look like the guards that were chasing us from before…” Alex continued. He felt a tinge of guilt struck him at the sight of them.
The guards trudged their way back to Huis, they are exhausted, their equipment dented and broken and some losing their weapons.
“Let’s go ask what happened to them.” Sal immediately suggested, they originally ran away from them but to see them in pain is making her guilty too.
”Indeed.” Gormin passed the ropes to Sal and handed Julius to Lea.
”W-Wai-aghck!” She fell over from having Alex’s dad weigh on her as she attempted to get him off of her. ”S-Sal, Alex, help me!” Alex helped lifted up roll Julius to the side where he can help lift him with his available arm. Sal came over to help Lea up and Lea assisted in helping Alex lift Julius.
”Excuse me Gentlemen!” Gormin approached the guards with one turning and the first thing he saw is not the approaching bald man but the beast that attacked them.
”AAHH!” He stumbled back and backed away. ”T-The boar!” The other guards stiffened and all turned to be in immediate terror. But some quickly took notice of its state. ”Wait! It’s… It’s dead!” the ones who were panicked slowly calmed down as Gormin helped raised the scared Guard up.
”Indeed it is! Bartholomew Gormin by the way, Official of the Hunter’s Guild. It’s been slain by my fellow associate Michel along with his brother. I assume you fine men were attacked by this beast?”
”Y-Yessir…” A guard grunted out and approached Gormin. ”We were originally looking for three kids who stole from the mission board in the town square.”
”Any fatalities or critical injuries?”
”Negative. We managed to retreat with not too major injuries. Nothing fatal but we are still badly hurt.” He turned his head to look at the fallen boar- boars and noticed three kids. ”It’s them!” he pointed at the trio. He quickly walked ahead of Gormin. ”You three are in a lot of trouble you hear?! Look at what your troublemaking caused Are-ah!” He was cut off with Gormin catching him by the collar of his armor and lifted him off.
”At ease. You are in no condition to do your work in apprehending the three.”
”But sir-!” He was gently lowered by Garmin and continued, ”These three caused trouble in resisting arrest for stealing a mission, leading us to look for them and be attacked by that beast!” he pointed at the fallen Boar.
Alex tensed, he doesn’t know what to say or do anything to make up for what he did. He’s not guilty from stealing the mission, he’s guilty from how stealing the mission resulted in the misfortune of the other guards. ”I-I…” he trailed off and bit his lip, unable to say anything.
Michel puffed smoke out of his nose, The ropes binding him started to sizzle and char as it split apart and freed him. He patted his arms off and dropped the cigar, stepping and grinding it against the ground to put it out.
“Hm?” Sal turned when she felt the rope attached to Michel slumped down to see Michel free from the rope. “What the he-mhp!” In a short distance, her mouth was covered by his hand. “He’s fast! Even when he’s this badly hurt he can move that quick?!” She thought while she attempted to get his hand off of her mouth.
“I’m not gonna run.” He assured Sal as he shoved her aside and walked towards the guard and Gormin “Oi, What’s this about a mission being stolen?”
Gormin doesn’t even look surprised that he is free from being tied up. “As this guard says, they pursued the children for stealing a mission.”
Michel crossed his arms, despite his bruises and injuries he remained to keep a straight face. “That doesn’t sound right. I thought I told that Brat to get a mission for me.”
Alex and the three heard his words, then Gormin with a look of surprise before finally processing what he is doing and went along.
“We’re in the same damn age group.”
“Quiet! Don’t you know that you are not allowed to do something as making others to give you your missions? It’ll lead to mistakes such as these! Even if you told the children that you gave them permission, you are in no place to make a decision as irresponsible as this.”
The man merely shrugged off his scolding. “I thought it wasn’t that bad. I was busy doing my thing and told the brat to get me the highest ranking mission to save time.”
“Do not treat this as if you are asking a child to buy you a cigarette.” He mixed his act with seriousness since he is already in trouble for avoiding work.
“Yeah yeah. As punishment, I’ll pay for the damages, from the injured guards and their equipment… And a two month suspension” the last one he said quickly with his eyes glancing away from Gormin.
“Again you are in no place to make that decision. But the first one is a start. Instead, how about doing community service in the training hall for a month along with… Two- nono… Three! Three months of paperwork from the other officials.”
Michel is in no condition to fight back, Gormin is clearly making his ruse become more believable with him throwing these punishments.
“Gh-! Damnit, fine…” Michel begrudgingly accepted his suggestion. Pulling out from his pocket is a small sack containing silver and copper coins. “Here.” He handed it to the guard which the guard took.
Alex can’t believe it. Neither did Lea and Sal. Michel is… Taking the fall for them?!
The guard isn’t dumb, he and his squad know Alex. They are frequent customers in his parents’ restaurant and the other guards know that what is coming out of Michel and Gormin were lies to protect Alex and his friends from any harsher punishment. But as much as troublemakers they were, they are good kids.
“One more thing. Kid.” Michel turned to Alex. “Come over here for a bit.”
Alex is hesitant to comply, but he went along with it to save Michel the trouble. “S-Sure… Sal?”
“On it.” She helped carry Julius so that Alex can walk towards Michel.
“You got anything to say?” Michel said, pretending to be the parent in this situation despite being in the same situation.
“I’m… I’m sorry for the trouble I caused.” Alex said weakly, his head down embarrassed and ashamed.
“Louder!” Michel quickly bopped the back of Alex’s head. “You call that an apology? If you’re sincere then go on your knees and prostrate yourself. Perform a Dogeza!”
“Ow!” He rubbed the back of his head as he looked at his uncle with a bit of anger. “Why should I go that far to apologize for something you did! I’m also the victim here because of you, you Shitty Uncle!” He’s quick to join the act. But that reaction is responded with another harsh bop that forced him to go on his knees as he rubbed his head again. “Ow! Okay okay!”
“Don’t talk back to your elders! Now apologize properly.”
He winced but sighed, he is still unsure why his uncle is helping him out. But he isn’t letting his efforts go to waste. He went on his knees and lowered his head until it touched the ground. It felt uncomfortable doing this position with how his arm is currently recovering. He took a deep breath and shouted, ”I’m sorry for the trouble me and my friends caused!”
The guard looked at the boy, the guards who can hear the conversation already forgive him. The guard smiled underneath his helmet. ”Apology accepted. You can stand up now, and thank you, sir.” The guard said with gratitude. He is originally heated, actually still a bit. But he understood no guard can deal with any punishment than what a parent could. So he’ll let his parents deal with him.
”Now!” Gormin spoke up and patted the guard. ”what say I help you and your men take you back to town to help you get a cleric hmm?”
”That’ll be wonderful sir.” eventually he came to quickly regret it as he is once again picked up by Gormin, forced to rest on his shoulder and eventually the muscular man has carried the entire squad of Guards and ran back to pick up the ropes that had both boars.
”Splendid! I shall go ahead Michel! You better not escape, you are outnumbered by three YOUTHS who can take you down in your state!” He then ran off with the rest of the guards behind him and dragging the Megaboars with him like nothing as he went ahead to Huis.
Alex stood up and rubbed the back of his head. Sal and Lea walking up to him as they both looked at Michel. His eyes averting theirs as he looked at Gormin running off.
”Why?” Alex said to him.
”Why what?” Michel said while he started to walk ahead of the three
“Don’t play dumb!” Sal spoke up as she pulled Julius and Lea, with Lea attempting to catch up with her. “We both saw it. You took the fall for us.”
“Don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Stop that. You never wanted to help anyone before. Now here you are doing something out of character!” Lea retorted. She and Sal witnessed his rotten attitude for years and not ever has he done something remotely nice.
“There must be a catch for this right? Did Dad hit you in the head so hard you became a good guy?”
Michel already had that face of immediate regret for trying to do something what an uncle would do to help his brother’s brat. “It’s better to not know why, but know and be glad that you three are not under arrest and be punished behind bars.”
“Uncle Michel. Be serious. Why?”
With a deep sigh and rubbing his temples. Michel looked at the three again with a less annoyed face. “You earned it.”
“What?” Alex said with a bit of confusion.
“Don’t make me repeat it. Your Dad and I fought and I surrendered the fight, meaning I took back everything I said about you.” He didn’t include his sister to end the conversation sooner.
“Is it about me being weak?” He had that drilled into his head many times by him to know what it was.
“Mh. Not only that but he went all out on me, something he hasn’t done in a long while. So think of this as my respect for your Dad. I will also be taking credit for killing the Youngling too, but I’ll tell the truth to your mother. Which is the reason why you did all this, right?”
Alex felt his face make a smile from him. Normally he’s a good-for-nothing uncle who drinks in the morning, smokes cigars everywhere and badmouths everyone. He still showed a little bit of care to his family.
“Thanks, Uncle Michel… You’re still a shitty uncle though.” Alex flashed a bit of a small smirk with Michel forming one himself.
“Yeah. You’re right about that one.”
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