Arc 4 Chapter 47: Meeting?

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Akira and Varbu walked back to the Inn to eat a meal before deciding what to do next.

The Inn was quiet with only a few shabbily dressed people sitting in the dark corners secretly whispering to one another.

Before Varbu and Akira could sit down the youngest of the three teenage boys ran up to Akira.

“Did you get everything you needed? Was there any trouble?” asked the young boy.

“We were indeed able to find most of what we needed. But it sure was hard to find people to sell stuff to us at a reasonable price,” said Akira.

“What about any fights?”

“There were no fights, although it felt like some people wanted to but they were to chicken to start something. The only problem we had was when we went to the potion store. Some crazy people were trying to rob the store so we took care of them,” said Varbu flexing his large muscles.

“Something like that happened again?” asked the Innkeeper who was wiping down the old tables.

“What? Is that a normal thing?” asked Akira.

“It’s because they went crazy,” said the young boy before the innkeeper could speak.

“Quiet you,” said the old innkeeper before turning back to Akira and Varbu. “There have been multiple reports lately of people trying to and most of the times successfully robbing the potion stores. It has been happening all over the city whether it’s in the wealthy central district or the poor slums of the capital, the results have been the same.”

“How long has it been going on for?”

“Over a month. And each clerk says the people trying to rob the potion store look and sound like crazy drug addicts trying to get more of their drug of choice in order to get high. It’s possible that the new potions the Magic guild created a month ago have an addictive substance like that of a drug. This would explain why the potion users have become so dependent on the new potion. The potion sales have skyrocketed greatly boosting the Magic guild’s coffers.”

“This sounds pretty bad. The royal family is allowing them to do this?” asked Varbu.

“They don’t care as long as the magic guild pay the required taxes every month. Why are you guys so interested?  Are you trying to do something stupid and mess with them? You should know they have a lot of power not just in this city but every major city of the four kingdoms,” warned the old innkeeper.

“No way, I don’t want to mess with them. I was just curious,” said Akira denying it vehemently.

The last thing he wanted to do was go to the magic guild since they might have been warned by the main headquarters to be on the lookout.

“That’s good. Sticking your nose into places where it’s not wanted can get you into trouble,” said innkeeper.

“Yeah, I know that,” said Akira remembering the similar words spoken to him by the two magic guild grandmasters.

“Slar, aren’t you supposed to be out helping your brothers earn some money?” The Innkeeper asked the young boy changing the topic.

“I had a stomach ache,” said Slar.

“Well, you look fine now. So why are you still here? Just because you’re the youngest doesn’t mean you can slack off. Go take the food prepared in the kitchen to your brothers,” said innkeeper sternly.

 “Awww, I don’t want to go,” mumbled Slar as he left the common room and entered the kitchen.

“Sorry to have bothered the two of you. I’ll let you get back to whatever it is you were doing,” said innkeeper as he finished cleaning the table and left.

“So what’s the plan for the rest of the day?” asked Varbu.

“Well since the whole point in coming here was to see my friend., I think after we finish eating we can go and see her,” said Akira while eating a sandwich he had quickly slapped together.

“Well looking at the reactions we had today I think it would be far easier for you to meet her without me causing any problems,” said Varbu.

“Okay, if that’s fine with you I’ll do it. What will you do while I go to meet her?”

“I’ll just stay here and wait for you to return. There doesn’t seem like much of anything in this city that I can do without causing problems.”

“Sorry for dragging you to this place but I do need help in finding my clan,” said Akira.

Varbu grunted in acknowledgment and they both returned to eating their food.

When Akira finished eating he went back to his room and removed his armor and dirty clothes underneath. To clean his armor he only needed to do a quick oiling to make it shine as if new since he took good care of it every day.

Akira walked over to the water basin and started to use the cold water to wipe down his body before he changed into clean clothes, and again wore his now sparkling armor.

He tried to wet his hair down and comb it with his fingers in order to look somewhat presentable. The only problem was his hair didn’t want to stay in place causing Akira to give up.

Akira left the inn fresh and well groomed and headed toward the center of the city where the royal palace was.

The streets were just as crowded if not more then they were in the morning. The people he walked past paid no attention to him unlike in the morning when everyone had been frightened and parted ways for both him and Varbu.

The roads continued to grow wider as he walked towards the center of the city where the royal castle was.

After thirty minutes of walking and pushing through the wide crowded streets, Akira reached a less crowded street that led to the castle.

Some minutes later he reached the castle gates which had numerous guards on patrol.

From where Akira was standing he could see the tall castle towering above the outer defensive walls.

“Stop!” shouted one of the gate guards.

“Who are you?” asked another.

“My name is Akira. I’m….”

“Why are you here? Even an idiot knows this place is off-limits to commoners,” shouted the first guard.

“I was going to tell you before you interrupted me…”

“Would you look at that. Doesn’t he have a mouth on him,” said the second guard.

“I’ll say, he acts like he is a noble or something. I’ll bet he’s just a country bumpkin that wanted to see the king and queen,” said the first.

“Come on tell us why your here, oh great country bumpkin,” said the second guard mocking Akira.

“I am here to meet the Queen…” Akira was again interrupted.

“Are you now? And just what reason would she want to meet you for?” ask the first trying to not laugh at the stupid man in front of him.

“I am her childhood friend. We grew up together.”

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“Is that so? I’ll let you in on a secret,” said the second guard.

“What secret?” asked Akira.

“I’m not a guard, I’m actually married to the queen,” said the second guard. The two guards burst out laughing at the joke.

It took at least two minutes for the two guards to regain their sanity and stop laughing.

“Why are you still here?” asked the first guard.

“Fook off you country bumpkin. Or we’ll arrest you for causing trouble,” said the second guard placing his hand on his sword.

Akira was stunned at the guard’s attitude and reactions.

“If you could send a message to the queen that her childhood friend Akira is here, I’m sure she will see me,” said Akira trying again.

“What part of get lost don’t you understand?” asked the first guard.

Seeing the guards hostile glares and seeing their hands grabbing onto their weapons, Akira sighed and left the castles front gates. He had spent a long time traveling just for the chance to meet the queen but was turned away and forced to leave.

Akira returned to the Inn where Varbu was still waiting.

“Huh? You’re back already? That was quick. Did she agree to help us?” asked Varbu.

“I was unable to see her. I guess I have to try again tomorrow,” said Akira unhappy with the day’s events.  

Two days pass as Akira tried each day to get an audience with the queen. Each time told to Fook off and threatened with weapons.

On the third day after scaring off Akira, the two guards were talking to each other.

“Hey doesn’t that guy look familiar?” asked the first guard.

“Now that you mention it, I get the feeling that I have seen his face somewhere before,” said the second guard.

“Do you think he’s on the wanted list?”

“Let’s go check. If he is then we can earn some extra money for capturing him.”

The two guards moved over to the small guard hut that housed spare equipment and documents. After finding the book they were looking for they began flipping through pages.

“Darn looks like he’s not a wanted criminal,” said the first after they looked through all the pages and were unable to find his face.

“I know I saw his face somewhere,” said the second guard while looking around the guard shack.

“AHA! Here it is!” said the first as he pulled a flyer from a large stack of paper.

The two read the flyer and both smiled at each other.

“We can make a good chunk of money for reporting this to them,” said the first while laughing.

“Easy money,” said the second.

Have you seen this man?

[Drawing of Akira(aren’t I good at drawing)]

If you have any information immediately report to the magic guild. You will be rewarded if the person is caught due to the information you provide.

***

After receiving the tip from the castle guards, a special spy for the magic guild was sent to search for the high priority target to see if the person they mentioned was indeed Akira.

It took him half the day to find the suspected target who was walking around in the slums.

Using his skill at stealth he began to tail the target in order to watch him and figure out if he was the person the magic guild was looking for.

***

Akira entered the inn and was greeted by Varbu.

“Still no progress made?” asked Varbu.

“It can’t be helped. My friend is a very busy person and it is hard to see them. Hopefully, I can get a meeting before the week is over,” said Akira.

“What should we do today? It’s too boring sitting here all day.”

“I have been meaning to go check out the black market that Kroll mentioned. If you want we can both go and see if we can find anything good.”

One of the boys who had been eavesdropping ran up to them.

“Do you want me to escort you to the location?” said Slar.

“Sure how much is it going to cost,” asked Akira.

“1 silver.”

“Wow you’re not cutting me any slack are you,” said Akira while smiling at the kid.

Varbu took out a silver coin and tossed it to the boy.

“Uncle, I’m taking Akira and Varbu to Mr. Wong’s place,” said the boy informing the old innkeeper before leaving.

“Don’t mess around and do the job properly. If I get told you didn’t take them straight there you’ll be on cleaning duty for a month,” the old man shouted after the young boy who was walking out the inn’s front door.

“Is it far from here,” Akira asked Slar as they walked down the back alley streets.

“No, not that far. But old man Wong doesn’t accept people he doesn’t know.”

Five minutes later they reached one of the larger buildings that was located in the slums. The outside of the multi-storied building looked extremely plain.

Knock! Knock! Knock!

Slar knocked on the metal front metal door three times.

A few seconds later the sounds of locks could be heard from the other side of the door.

The metal door was slowly opened and an old gray-haired man looked out from a crack of the door.

“Ah, Slar why didn’t you say it was you. You had me worried it was someone trying to cause trouble again,” snapped the grouchy elderly man.

“Sorry Elder Wong I forgot,” said Slar as he looked down at the ground.

“Who are they?”

“They are guest at the Demons Inn they wanted to come and see if they could find anything they wanted to buy.”

“Hmph, due to the city guards causing trouble we have been having a harder time. Were not open today come back in a few days and you can browse to your heart’s content. But be warned we do not deal with cheap items. So do not bring junk here and try to sell it.”

“Don’t worry, I have enough gold to buy many things,” said Akira.

“We’ll see. What are your names?” asked the old man.

“Akira.”

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“Varbu.”

“I am Willy Wong the overseer of the black market. I hope we can benefit one another in the future,” said Willy Wong before slamming the metal door shut and locking it.

***

The magic guild spy had been watching Akira the whole day there was now no doubt that he was the person that the headquarters were looking for.

“I must return and report this immediately!”

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