Axoje followed Shiera, demanding an explanation. He didn’t know that she was the knight hired by Jenna to protect her on this adventure. Despite his questions, Shiera continued on her way to the inn without answering. Karzo tried to hand his Morningwood staff to Axoje, but he was furious about what had happened.
“I need to talk to you…” Axoje said, but the woman seemed not to hear.
Axoje chased Shiera up the inn’s stairs until she stopped in front of one of the bedroom doors. Jenna emerged wearing an evening dress.
“What are you doing here?” Jenna asked upon seeing her village friends.
Karzo stepped forward, trying to brush past what had happened. “We were looking for you.”
“I don’t plan to return to that village,” Jenna responded.
“Actually,” Karzo began, “we just want to know more about this sword.”
All the while, Axoje kept his gaze on Shiera.
“It’s a gift,” Jenna explained, and Axoje noticed that Morningwood was now in Karzo’s hands. “It’s yours to do with as you please. My only wish is for you to be free.”
“What do you mean, not returning to the village?” Karzo asked just before Axoje snatched Morningwood from him.
“That’s not the life I want for myself,” Jenna said, turning to leave.
Karzo and Axoje were taken aback to see Jenna closely followed by the armored woman.
“But…” Karzo began, “wait!”
Karzo followed Jenna to the inn’s bar. “What do you have in mind?” he asked.
“It doesn’t matter,” Jenna replied, “I just want to enjoy the night now.”
The barmaid served four mugs of beer, and they each took one. Jenna raised her mug. “I’m glad you’re all here.”
The night passed quickly with laughter and fun. They all drank more than necessary, and fatigue began to take over. Jenna bid her friends goodbye before retreating to her room, followed by Shiera.
Karzo gripped the hilt of his Dragonbonner sword hanging from his belt. The sword radiated a luminous energy, but its power wasn’t enough to warm the cold night. Karzo and Axoje would have to brave the elements.
Axoje held Morningwood firmly. It was the one thing that set him apart. Without his weapon, he felt like a mere commoner without a place to spend the night.
With Jenna gone, the bar began to feel empty, and the gazes of strangers became uneasy.
Karzo placed his hand on Axoje’s shoulder. “It’s time to go.”
Axoje thought of returning to his parents’ home, to the warmth of the fireplace and a hot soup, but to what end? What was his purpose now that magic flowed within him? What was his reason for being?
Karzo began heading for the bar’s door. His only plan was to spend the night in the stables and wait for morning to clear up their doubts.
The two were about to leave when they heard a voice call out. “You two!” The deep voice clearly belonged to a woman.
Karzo turned to see the armored woman calling them. “The young lady paid for rooms for both of you.”
Axoje smiled, his face illuminated by a sudden light. All doubts in his mind vanished, replaced by a longing for a warm bed. The alcohol began to take its toll, and sleep became a priority.
The two followed the armored woman up the stairs. Karzo passed with a smile, then Axoje came next. Shiera stopped him with a hand on his chest. “I’ll be watching you,” she warned, leading them to separate rooms.
Axoje and Karzo were left alone in their respective rooms, each pondering the strange events of the day.