The next morning.
Akira and Varbu were sitting at an old wooden table in the common room of the Demon Inn’s first floor. The old wooden table was stained from countless spills of unknown food and drink over the many years it had been in use.
The two of them were slowly eating the last of the rations they had prepared at the last city they had stopped at. They had been eating the same thing for the last few weeks while they traveled.
They were both getting tired of eating it, but the inn did not offer food as a service and the food stalls in the city were not open yet.
“Ugh, I’m beginning to hate this stuff,” grumbled Varbu.
“Before I go to try and set up a meeting with the queen we should replenish our supplies. I saw hundreds of shops while we were looking for a place to stay so we should be able to get everything we need,” said Akira as he bit down on the makeshift sandwich he had made out of leftovers from their dinner the night before.
For some time now Akira felt the gazes of someone watching him but didn’t bother checking to see who it was but the feeling of being watched was getting annoying now.
He turned to look behind him and saw a group of three dirty and shabbily dressed teenage boys. When their gazes connected the trio took it as a sign and got up and walked over to Akira’s table.
“We couldn’t help but notice you guys are new here. We can help you in many ways, for the right price that is. We can be your escort or we can show you the best spots to buy certain things…Including entertainment,” said the tall ugly teenager, who seemed to be the leader of the group.
Akira took a look at the other two teenagers and saw they were just as dirty and ugly as their leader.
“Sorry, we don’t need…” Akira was interrupted by the leader.
“Don’t worry the price isn’t high.”
“No thanks we can get around by ourselves,” said Varbu with a look that stopped anything else they might have said to try and persuade them.
“Tsk. for a half-breed and someone of the demon race you both sure act all high and mighty…”
Before Akira could ask what a half breed was, a wooden cane smacked each of the three boys on the head. The person holding the cane was the Old inn owner.
“Kroll! How many times have I told you not to scam other half breeds or people of the demon race? If you want to scam someone there are plenty of humans in this crappy capital city,” lectured the old man.
“But they were acting like they were better than us,” whined Kroll the tall ugly teenager.
“Ow! Why’d you hit me again?”
“You’re no better than them! Your mother was a troll. That goes for the both of you, one of your parents were also from the demon race,” said the old man pointing at the other two teens with his cane.
“I’m letting you stay here nearly free and you still keep breaking the rules. What am I to do with you three hoodlums?” sighed the exasperated old man.
“We’re sorry,” the three bowed to the old man when they apologized.
“Don’t apologize to me it’s the guest you should be asking forgiveness from. You three need to hurry and grow up, I won’t be here forever. Then who will be there to help you when you get in trouble?”
The three young teenage boys looked extremely sad at the thought of the old man dying.
“We’re sorry misters. We didn’t mean you any harm,” the three boys apologized together.
Akira could tell they were sincere in their apology after getting scolded by the old man.
“Sorry for these three kids bothering you. They became orphans during the last great war and I knew their parents so I took up the task to raise them. You two are new to the capital you might have guessed already that half-breeds and people of the demon race are treated differently here due to the last few great wars.”
“It’s okay, and I’m not a half breed,” said Akira.
The old man looked at Akira suspiciously and then to Varbu as if asking for him to verify Akira’s words.
“He’s not a human if that’s what you wanted to know,” said Varbu not giving any more info.
“That’s a relief. You don’t look like someone from any of the demon races, so I thought since you were with an Orc that you were a half breed,” said the old man.
“Wow! What race are you from?” asked the youngest boy who was also the skinniest of the three.
“Ow, I was just asking,” complained the boy.
“That information is private don’t go asking people stuff like that,” said the old man before turning to back to Akira.
“You two should be careful while in the capital. This city is full of informers that get paid to report to the guards if any foreigners or demon race break a law. No matter how small it is, you could end up in deep trouble, if they catch you and report it.”
“No need to worry, we aren’t here to pointlessly cause trouble and get locked up. I’m just here to see if I can talk to meet an old friend who lives here and see if I can get some help from them. But before that have to go and replenish our supply’s since our bags are now empty,” said Akira.
“I know of a place that sells all types of things it is like an auction house, but more of a black market. So if you need stuff that you won’t find in the regular stores just let me know and the boys can take you there,” said Kroll.
“I’ll keep that in mind. Right now I just need common stuff but if I need something later I’ll be sure to ask you,” said Akira.
“We’ll be back sometime later in the day,” said Akira before waving to the boys and exiting the [Demons Inn] along with Varbu.
The outside air over the last few days had started to get cold just like it had been back in the mountains. As they had traveled towards the capital they had seen many farmers harvesting their crops.
“The weather looks like it will snow soon,” said Varbu looking up at the dark morning sky.
“I thought that it would be at least another month,” said Akira.
“I have never been here before, so who knows maybe this normal for them. So, where should we go first?” asked Varbu.
“Let’s stock up on food then we can worry about the other items,” said Akira.
“Yes! Let’s get something different than the stuff we’ve been eating,” said Varbu happily.
“It seems a large amount of the farmers will be here selling their fresh produce. We should be able to get some good deals.”
When they reached the farmers market there was little room to walk through the already crowded street. Numerous people crowded around certain stalls that were selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and other things they had grown. Some farmers were selling meat from animals they had just slaughtered causing a faint bloody smell to flow everywhere.
Akira pushed his way through the crowded streets the people that he squeezed by scowled at him but when they saw Varbu a few steps behind him they tried to scurry out of the way, opening paths for two to walk through.
Finding something he wanted to buy Akira walked up to a stall that had a well-muscled farmer watching over the produce and the passing crowd.
“I would like to buy some of that fruit,” said Akira pointing at an odd looking red fruit.
“Can’t sell to you. I already have a buyer for everything. Get lost,” said the man grumpily.
Akira sighed and left the stall but a few seconds after he left he heard the voice of the farmer give a price to someone who asked about the fruit. Akira watched as the man sold two of the same fruit he had wanted to buy to a random person.
Again and again at each stall, they went to they were told that everything already had a buyer so it could not be sold to them.
“We’re not going to be able to find anything here let’s go to a store. We might be able to get what we need,” said Varbu.
“I can’t sell to you,” said the female store owner of the small general goods store that Akira and Varbu had entered not too far away from the farmers market.
“Why I have the money?” said Akira.
“It’s the law man, the law. I can’t sell to any one of the demon race. And since you’re with him you must be a half breed so I can’t sell to you either,” said the female as if Akira was dumb for asking the question.
“Who made such a dumb law?” asked Akira.
“How should I know? I just do what the law says. So you better leave now, and don’t try to get someone to come in here to buy things for you.”
At each shop, they went to they were turned away by the shop owners saying due to the law they could not sell certain things to people of the demon race.
So again like the night before they were forced to go to the slums to find a shop that would sell to them.
Akira and Varbu stood at the counter as the morbidly obese store owner calculated the cost of the items Akira had placed on the counter. He looked at both Akira and Varbu for a short moment before speaking.
“The total is 1 gold and 53 silver.”
“Are you trying to rip us off?! That’s at least three times what all of these should cost,” growled Varbu.
The obese man raised his hands as if to try and calm him down and patted some sweat from his brows.
“Maybe where you are from but here it is different. If you want to blame someone, blame the royal family and the lords that are under their control. They raised the taxes on everything again. It might be five times more expensive next week if they deem that they are not raising enough money. I’m barely even able to make a living because most of what I earn is either taken as a tax or is used to buy more product to place on the shelves,” said the man again whipping his forehead.
Akira looked at the man’s gut as if to say but you seem to eat well.
“It’s my one vice, I eat when I am stressed,” said the obese man offering up an explanation.
Akira paid the man and left the shop.
“Let’s head back to the Inn,” said Akira. Varbu silently agreed and the two walked through the back alleys of the slum streets.
The loud sounds startled Akira. They were coming from a rundown Potion shop that they were passing by.
“Give us the good stuff man!” an agitated voice of a man could be heard shouting.
Protect the potion shop!
A few deranged citizens have gone mad and are trying to rob the potion store. Stop them.
Akira motioned for Varbu to stop and follow behind him as he entered the shop.
“We won’t ask again!” a frantic female shouted. She was pointing a rusty dagger at the young man wearing glasses behind the counter.
“I told you already! We’re all out of it! If you want to buy more you’ll have to go to the magic guilds store and see if they have any left,” said the young man in a high pitched voice.
Blood splattered everywhere as the man’s face was cut.
“Don’t give us that crap,” screeched the female.
“Hey you two what are you doing trying to rob this shop,” shouted Akira drawing the attention of the two crazy robbers and the shop clerk.
The two robbers looked at Akira then Varbu. The male robber spat on the ground near Akira and said, “Shut your mouth, you filthy half-breed. Mind your own business.”
Akira could see the clerk was silently begging them with large eyes to help him escape the robbers.
Akira nodded to Varbu who jumped forward and used his quarterstaff to sweep the two off their feet and slam them onto the floor followed by a quick jab of the quarterstaff into their stomachs.
“I suggest you leave the store or we’ll take care of you,” said Varbu in a menacing voice.
“Hiieee,” the two screamed in fright as they scurried out the store on hands and knees.
You have succeeded in protecting the potion shop.
Ask the clerk for the reward.
“You think you can give a reward for helping you?” asked Akira.
“No,” said the young man.
“Why not? Didn’t we just save you?” asked Varbu.
“You damaged my products and now you are asking for a reward? I won’t give you anything! For all I know you sent those two here so that you could pretend to save me. How typical of the demon race, trying to extort money from me,” said the clerk looking down on both Akira and Varbu.
Akira who was tired from all the crap that had happened so far during the day and was about to say a few choice words but Varbu stopped him by placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Let’s leave, some people don’t have any honor there is nothing we can do about him shaming himself.”
The two left the store with Akira fuming.
On their way back to the Inn they saw the two crazy robbers whispering to each other.
Akira walked up to them causing them to look slightly frightened and were preparing to run away.
“Hey man, we won’t go there again don’t worry no need to come and find us,” said the male.
“Don’t worry! That thing before? That was just a misunderstanding. I’m just passing along a message. The owner told me that he has the potions you wanted and is willing to sell them to you,” said Akira before leaving the two dumbstruck idiots staring after Akira as he walked away.
“That liar! He said he didn’t have them,” screeched the female.
“This time let’s go make sure he hands them all to us,” said the man.
“Was that necessary?” asked Varbu.
“It’s been a shitty day so far I needed to relieve the stress somehow,” said Akira.
New title received!
One who is very petty:
You seem like a person who can’t take a joke.