ஐ Chapter 4: The trading city ஐ
An elderly man poked Azalea with his cane. “Young lady, is this your stop?” He said in a loud clear voice at Azalea, who was fast asleep. “What huh?!” Azalea said as she awoke. “I asked you if this was your stop.” The man responded in an annoyed tone. “Where are we?” Azalea asked the man. “We are in the town of Orholt.” The man answered. Azalea looked disappointed, “Oh no it’s not, what is the next stop?”“Osthill I believe.” The man said as he adjusted himself back into his normal sitting position, as the carriage began to move again. Azalea sighed. This was the longest time she has ever been in a carriage before, the longest time she has ever traveled actually. She at least passed some of the time simply napping, but it would most likely take another few hours to get to Osthill. She stopped with the rest of the carriage passengers and carriage driver at an inn for the night, then back to traveling. It was exhausting, even though you don’t really move at all the whole time. It was really just tiring because of how boring it was. Everyone inside the carriage was so quiet, hostile, and awkward towards Azalea. Everyone was just writing down in their journals, or reading novels. Azalea brought pretty much nothing to entertain herself during the long carriage rides. She slumped down in her seat, taking a deep breath. She then attempted to fall back asleep again, hoping the elderly man would wake her up once they arrived in Osthill. Azalea leaned her head against the small window she was near. She looked out at the large empty fields, sitting peacefully. Nobody had bothered the fields, planted anything, or built anything. The long dirt road going through the country side was so relaxing to Azalea, it really reminded her of Dordale. She wasn’t exactly looking forward to going to Osthill, she had never been to a large city before, so this would be an extreme change of scenery. Azalea stopped staring out of the window, still trying to fall asleep. She eventually just closed her eyes and just pretended to be asleep. She pretended to be asleep for about half an hour, before she actually fell asleep. Hours later, Azalea woke up hearing sounds from outside of the carriage. They must have been near Osthill. She heard multiple carriages being driven about, the trotting of the horses against the cobblestone road, a much fancier and nicer road then the old dirt road in the middle of nowhere. She sat up, looking out of her tiny window again. She could see men in regal suits, the suits they wore were most likely especially tailored for them. They had top hats, watches, rings, and other expensive items. The women that Azalea saw were in beautiful long dresses, made of all the most fashionable fabrics, and of course accessorized with the most gorgeous necklaces, bracelets, earrings, gloves, and hair pieces. Azalea had never seen anything like it before. She looked down at her simple top and skirt, and sighed slightly. “No way in all this world I could afford clothes like that.” She muttered to herself. She grabbed her bag, preparing to arrive in Osthill and exit the carriage. The carriage came to a stop right outside of the city gates, in a line of many other carriages. All being checked for any dangerous items the passengers might be carrying, and to make sure they were not here for any funny business. The carriage Azalea was in was about the fourth in line. She waited patiently as the carriages all slowly moved forward as each of them was checked one by one. Finally they made it to the gates, a few guards walked into the coach, each passenger handed the guards their bags as they quickly checked them, handing them back. Asking what the passengers were doing there and what they were planning to do. Finally a guard approached Azalea. Azalea handed the guard her bag, he quickly scuffled around in the bag, closing it then handing it back to Azalea. He asked in a very serious, professional voice, “What are you here in Osthill for?” Great. How was Azalea supposed to explain this? She didn’t want to think about it for long, she would look suspicious. So she answered the first thing that came to her head. “I’m here to visit friends.”“For what reason are you visiting your friends?” Azalea looked side to side. “Crap.” She thought to herself. “Well I just haven’t seen them in a while, since they moved away from Dordale, my hometown.” The guard turned around, nodding his head at the other guard, they both exited out of the door, relieving Azalea. “Let them through.” She could hear the guards say. The gates to Osthill slowly opened, and the carriage began to move once more. Azalea was astonished at the city. Large buildings, as tall as three stories! Everything was so lively and loud. Azalea did not particularly like the loud part, but the liveliness was very much enjoyable. So many people moving around, chatting, shopping, selling things, it was so interesting to watch. The carriage came to a full stop. The elderly man that had woken up Azalea earlier, grabbed his bag and cane, pushing most of the other passengers out his way with his cane. The driver’s assistant held the door open for all of the exiting passengers, and allowed for new passengers to enter. Azalea stood outside of the carriage, and looked around her. She was very confused, she tried her best to look for a sign on one of the many buildings that said, ‘inn’ but she was having no luck. The old man approached Azalea, “I know where to find an inn if that is what ya looking for.” He said. Azalea nodded, “Yes, I am looking for an inn, can you tell me where one is?”“I was just about to do that young lady.” He replied then continuing, “There’s a road called Deerston, it’s only about a block away from here.”“On that road there are a few nice shops, mostly for clothin’ but at the end of the street there’s an inn, I’ve stayed there before, it’s quite nice, ain’t to expensive either.” Azalea was in the middle of saying thank you when the man started to walk away. “Well alright then.” Azalea whispered to herself in irritation. She still had no clue where ‘Deerston’ was. A block away sure, but she still didn’t know how to get to it. “I guess I’ll just have to improvise.” Azalea looked around for a police man, maybe someone who could give her more detailed directions. She spotted an officer drinking a cup of tea, he looked as if he was on a break. Azalea walked towards the officer. She asked, “Officer, do you know how I can get to Deerston street?” The officer looked up at Azalea moodily, “My greatest apologies young lady but I am on break, I do not have to help you if I do not feel to.” Azalea, taken aback to some extent by the officer’s rude attitude towards her, simply said, “Alright then, I’m sorry I bothered you.” And walked away. This time she went to a lady selling vegetables at her stand. “Hello deary, what can I get you?”“I’ve got carrots, asparagus, broccoli…” Azalea cut the woman off. “Sorry Ma’am, I’m not here for the vegetables, although they look really nice, I need directions to Deerston Street.” The saleswoman rolled her eyes. “Deerston street, I see.” She put her hands on her waist, “Hm…” she said as she was thinking. “Ah! I know how to get there!” She exclaimed. Azalea smiled, “That’s great, how do I get there then?”“I’m not telling you.” The lady said plainly. “Are you kidding me?” Azalea muttered under her breath. “Unless…you buy a couple of things.” The saleswoman said making an offer. “Buy at least two of something, anything, and I’ll give you the directions to Deerston.” Azalea sighed, “You are aware that you’re blackmailing a fourteen-year-old-girl, right?”“Indeed I am, I didn’t suppose age mattered.” The woman replied. “I’m not buying any of your vegetables.” Azalea responded angrily. The woman looked at Azalea furiously, “Listen child, I have four children back at home, my husband is making hardly any money, I need you to buy some god damn vegetables!” She yelled. Azalea yelled back, “I know a woman with seven kids who has never blackmailed somebody into buying her items!”“Just buy some vegetables for goodness sake.” The saleswoman responded crossing her arms across her chest. “Ugh fine!” Azalea gave in. She paid not too much, the lady’s vegetables weren’t extremely pricy. She bought a carrot and a broccoli. After Azalea made her purchase, the woman explained the directions. Azalea made an angry goodbye, attempting to remember the directions the woman had given her. Finally, Azalea saw the sign saying, “Deerston St.” Azalea walked down the road, taking a good look at all of the shops around her, it was like the old man said, clothing shops. Azalea made it to the end of the street, spotting the inn. It was called, “Barn owl’s Inn.” Azalea read the sign on the front of the door to the inn, “One night for ten Bethians, two for twenty, please ask the manager for prices above the staying of two nights.” Azalea opened the door, it was a cozy small inn, there was a sitting area with sofas and a fireplace, then the front desk with a man who greeted Azalea. Azalea said hello back, and went up to the desk. “I’d like to stay for one night please.”“Ten Bethians please.” The man said politely. Azalea stuffed her hand in her bag, grabbing a ten Bethian coin, handing it to the man. He then handed her a key. “Room 320, third floor.” Azalea took the keys. He then said, “Enjoy your stay.” Azalea smiled, “Thank you.” She walked towards the hallway to find the steps. She was going all the way to the third floor. She had never been in a three story building before, so this was very intriguing to her. She made it to the second floor, a long line of doors to rooms were in the hall, then at the end was another flight of stairs. Azalea walked over to the steps, taking a look around at the inn’s second floor. She then finally made it up to the third floor. “Now to find 320.” Azalea thought to herself. She walked slowly down the corridor, looking at all the numbers on each of the doors. “317, 318, 319…320!” Azalea muttered to herself as she at last found the door to her room. She grabbed the key that she had put in her bag, and opened the door. Her room was simple, just a basic bed and blankets, a small eating area, and a room with a toilet. She placed her bag on the bed, collapsing on the bed taking a deep audible sigh. Finally a break from moving around so much. Azalea grabbed her bag, pulling out the spell book Lindara had given her. She sat up, leaning against the headboard, and opened the book to the first page. The prologue of the book read, “If you are reading this, you are most likely a sorceress and part of the sorceress’s guild, which if so means you have already taken the pledge of not using your magical powers for evil, but if you are not a sorceress and you are reading this book, please say the following out loud.”
“I swear by my soul that I will never under any circumstances use my magical capabilities for wickedness. I shall never teach others to use their magic in an evil manner, and I shall never accept the teachings of someone who uses their magic for evil.”
Azalea didn’t read the promise out loud, “If I am already a sorceress I guess I don’t have to?” She whispered to herself. “But I’ve never actually said it…” Azalea turned the page anyway, she could do it later. The first spells in the book were of simple ‘scarf spells’. Azalea looked in her bag to find the scarf Lindara had given her. “Let’s see…” Azalea said placing her finger on the page reading the pages carefully. Most of the spells she read of were fairly simple, they mostly sounded like magic tricks you would use to impress people, not really anything that effected things, or would ever help her. Azalea continued to read the book, turning page after page. She couldn’t believe all of the things she was capable of. “Magic comes naturally.” She remembered Lindara say. “I’m pretty sure I can’t just randomly and naturally levitate somebody.” Azalea said to herself, turning another page in the spell book. She read the book for about an hour, until she decided she was way too exhausted to keep reading. She tucked herself under her covers, and went to sleep.
Azalea awoke with a knock at her door. She opened her eyes, looking at her door. She rolled out from under her covers, Walking quietly towards the door. She put her head against the door, trying to listen. And then, another knock. The knock had startled Azalea, she then nervously asked, “Who’s there?”“It’s the manager, I’m here to inform you that you have an hour left before your day at the inn is over.” Azalea sighed, “Oh okay, well thank you for telling me.”“No problem Miss.” The manager replied. Azalea could hear his footsteps as he walked away. She took a deep breath as she laid back down. She soon got up again, putting all of the items she took out of her bag back in. She swung the bag on her shoulder. “Might as well leave early.” Azalea thought to herself. She opened the door, walking down the hall and then down the two flights of stairs. She entered the lobby, handing the man at the desk her room key, then waving goodbye to him and exiting the building. “Now where am I supposed to go..?” Azalea muttered to herself. She remembered Lindara telling her about trying to find a gunsmith so she could buy a weapon that might be able to help her in case of emergency. “So I just have to find a gunsmith I guess.” Azalea whispered, walking down the long cobblestone road, slightly peeking into the shop windows while she was walking. She turned the corner out of Deerston Street. She scanned the area for a shop with the title of “Gunsmith” on it. As she continued to walk, she spotted a woman with her two small children. She approached the woman who was sitting on the bench, bottle feeding one of her children. “Ma’am?” Azalea said politely. “Yes, how can I help you young lady?” The woman responded in a kindly tone. “Thank goodness.” Azalea thought. “She seems nicer then that market lady.”“I need directions to a gunsmith, do you know any gunsmiths?” Azalea asked with a hopeful look on her face. “Oh indeed I do!” The woman responded smiling. “Wonderful! Where then?” Azalea asked smiling as well. “Here!” The woman answered. Azalea looked baffled as the woman pointed at herself. “What do you mean?” Azalea asked confused. “I am the gunsmith, well actually I’m the gunsmith’s mother, but close enough isn’t it?” She laughed. Azalea looked around awkwardly. “You’re the gunsmith’s mother?”“I just told you that darling.” The woman giggled. “The gunsmith’s shop is only right down there sweetie.” Azalea continued to look a bit confused. “Where exactly is ‘down there’?” Azalea asked attempting to sound as polite as possible. “Oh silly me! I didn’t even point anywhere!” The woman laughed at herself again, she then finished feeding her child, and started to burp him. Standing up, she pointed directly forward. “Right up that road honey, you will see the sign, don’t worry.” The woman sat back down and smiled at Azalea as she continued to burp her baby. “Well thank you Ma’am, I appreciate it.” Azalea smiled back as she thanked the woman. “You’re very welcome darling.” She responded. Azalea started to walk towards the road the gunsmith’s mother had pointed to. She looked at all of the shop’s windows and signs, trying to find a sign that said “Gunsmith” or something similar at least. “Tarmen sister’s sowing & tailoring, Burt’s fishing shack…” Azalea muttered to herself as she recited the names of the shops she passed by as she was trying to locate the gunsmith. As Azalea was deeply focused on finding the gunsmith’s shop, she accidentally bumped into a man walking down the road. The man was distracted as well, looking at his pocket watch as he collided with Azalea. “I’m so sorry!”“I didn’t mean to-“ Azalea shouted, apologizing as she looked up at the man. She was then intimidated by the man’s authoritative appearance. Well, everyone looked important and intimidating in Osthill. The man put away his pocket watch, staring at Azalea for a moment then saying, “It is fine young lady.” He paused for a moment adjusting his hat, “Just be more careful.” Azalea said nothing, she just nodded. As the man started to walk away, Azalea continued trying to find the gunsmith’s. She was getting a bit frustrated now, the only reason she stopped in Osthill was to buy and learn how to use a gun, and it just seemed so idiotically difficult to find the gunsmith. Azalea was then swiftly bumped into by a young woman who was running by without looking around at all. Azalea nearly fell to the ground, but she was lucky that she gained her balance in time not to fall, but also to see where the woman was going. She went straight forward, then taking a left. Azalea ran after her quietly. She did not want to look as if she was chasing her. As she turned the left corner, she saw the woman go into a shop. Azalea looked up at the shop sign. It said, “Osthill Gunsmith: Weapons and training.” Azalea rolled her eyes and groaned in anger, but also respite. Finally she was there. Now it came time to see how terrible she would be with handling weapons. Azalea slowly started to walk over to the store. She walked up the two steps leading up to the door of the shop, and opened the door. There was a small jingle as she entered the shop, it was a bell ringing. After the bell rung, she heard a voice shout. “Sabrlyn! Go take care of the costumer!”
© 2014 theworldofmywriting
Please do not under any circumstance copy this work or claim it as your own.