Chapter 1: Adventure.. Page 3

Posted: November 24, 2006 in Good Reads

Chapter 1: Page 1, Page 2

Five men rushed the dwarf, rusty swords raised. The dwarf remained motionless until the last moment. Then he swung his mighty hammer.

It was like swatting flies. With a single cleft, he dropped all five assailants. They fell to ground, screaming bloody murder.

At this display of martial prowess, the bandit chief demonstrated why he was the leader. He sped to his horse so fast that Wykka wondered whether he had once been the assistant in a disappearing act. His men scrambled away only slighty slower. Within two minutes, they were all gone.

The dwarf did not give chase. Instead, he came over to Wykka. Without a word, he began to untie the youth.

‘Thank you, sir,’ Wykka said.

The dwarf grunted some kind of acknowledgement.

When he was free, Wykka asked, ‘Pardon me, good sir. Why didn’t you go after the bandits? Those men ought to be brought to justice for what they did to my sisters. Who knows what atrocities they’ll ccmmit in the future?’

The dawrf replied with candour, ‘Why waste effort in a hopeless pursuit? They could scatter in six directions, plus they have longer legs. There’s only one of me, and in heavy armour, at that.’

The youth nodded in understanding, not wanting to downplay the dwarf’s help in any way. ‘My name is Wykka Lotus, a simple farmer. Even so, you have my deepest gratitude.’

‘max Maulmaster,’ the dwarf introduced gruffly.

‘I’m afraid I don’t know how to repay your kindness, Sir Maulmaster,’ Wykka said , ‘They’ve taken every valuable I owned.’ 

‘Just Max will do,’ the dwarf insisted, ‘No form of repayment is necessary. But, I wouldn’t mind a mug of ale, to wet my belly…’

Wykka looked miserable, ‘I’m sorry, uhh, Max. But you know, ale costs three coppers a jar. It’s a luxury I’ve never allowed myself, except on holy days. All I have are two loaves of bread, which my sisters had been hogging. They probably won’t be needing them now. Please accept the gift. I think I can manage with just roots for the next couple of days.’

Max raised an eyebrow. ‘No ale? Eating roots? Looks like you need more help than my parched throat, eh?’

‘It’s going to be hard for the next few weeks,’ admitted Wykka. ‘At least until the turnips are large enough to sell at the market. I’ll have to find some way to extend the loans, though. Otherwise they’ll foreclose on the farm.’

The dwarf looked throughtfully at the glum youth. ‘I’ve got a proposition for you,’ he finally said.

Wykka looked up.

‘I’m meeting an old friend in town,’ Max said, ‘We’re doing an escort job for Old Shanty, the gem merchant. Three weeks, it’ll be nice to have someone do to chores. Wouldn’t hurt to have another sword arm, should robbers show up.’

‘Robbers?’

                                                  to be continued

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