Two: Taking Off

Raizel walked down the hill, past the Hoanian house, waving at Younger Hoanian, who was outside with a weaving loom taking advantage of the sun and air.  She walked past the Ferruna house, where Madam Ferruna waved at her and reminded her to hurry, hurry: Amos Farruna had started the same journey for their (much smaller) family nearly a week ago.

Raizel knew exactly when Amos had left for the sneaky good-bye kiss they’d managed halfway up the mountain.  There was no chance she’d catch up with him, but perhaps he’d linger in Buscontra.  

Or perhaps he’d hurry home.  She would, she knew; she passed Emma Perrenge, throwing pottery on the porch, and blew a kiss, because there was no time for proper good-byes and everyone was watching.  She and Emma, she and Amos, Amos and Emma… They had to make it back from Buscontra before she could even have those thoughts, and she had to have enough to her name that either the elders Perrenge or Ferruna would consider such a thing, and that her own elders would consider releasing her.

She blew another kiss and hurried down the bottom of Small hill.  She had a two-day walk before she could reach the train station, and she had a late start on today as it was.

She blew another kiss and hurried down the bottom of Small hill.  She had a two-day walk before she could reach the train station, and she had a late start on today as it was.

“Young crafts-miss.  Young carver.”  A hand touched her shoulder, just brief enough to suggest she should stop without actually being rude.  “Oldest of the Ennizaba children, no?”

“Third-oldest,” she corrected, “but oldest at home.”  She turned to look at the man, who knew her look but not her name.  She had seen him on the edges of town,

“You go towards the train station, no?  To the census-taking, like so many.  But you’re a smart one, aren’t you, Ennizaba child?”

“Not smart enough to get out of this trip,” Raizel answered, too sharply but not sharply enough to stop the man from talking to her.

“On the way, an hour’s walk that way,” the man gestured, not quite ‘on the way’ but not so far off of the route as to be ridiculous, “there is a cave.  It’s one of the low ones, too big for a man of my size, and besides, there are wards the Lady Huleran put on the whole place.  I cannot get in, but you, clever one, you could get in.  And in there is a hole, a shallow hole marked by dirt of another color.  And in there is a box with treasure, treasure and an artifact that I need.”

“I’m sure someone else can get it for you…”

“Ah, but nobody in the town will talk to me, and nobody outside the town can be trusted.  They all work for the Tzar, you see, and the closer they get to the Tzar, the more they work for him.  But here, inside the town, everyone thinks that I am mad, because they do not see the way the Tzar affects the rest of the nation, because here we are safe, sheltered by the hills.”

“I’m sorry for that,” Raizel offered as politely as she could, “but I really need to get to the train station.”

“It will take you only a half-day out of your way.  I will come with you.  And when you bring it out of the ground, I will give you…”  He looked like he was considering… “fifty sed.  And anything else in the cache that you would like.”

Fifty sed was a lot of money.  It was enough to stay in an inn one night — not a good inn, but an inn — or three or four nights in a hostel.  All of that was better than sleeping on the floor.  “All right.  I’ll dig up your artifact.”  She sighed.  She could make up the time.  And fifty sed!

“Good, good.  This way, then.  Follow me, Ennizaba child.  It’s not that far at all.”

6 thoughts on “Two: Taking Off

  1. He seems extremely trustworthy. I’m sure there will be no issues.

    (Oh hey, I typed that with a mostly straight face)

    1. *giggles, cannot keep straight face at all* I’m certain of that. no issues. None at all!

  2. Fifty sed! Half a day lost! How many sidequests will she find off this sidequest? And she’s already late by days from the paperwork, and late today…

    Of course he’s a trustworthy gentleman, too.

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