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The trio continued their journey through the forest in a leisurely way. Miriam and Roman were used to Rhaxtyx's odd behavior. Even though Miriam did not truly believe Rhaxtyx being a god and Roman never taking his eyes off of him despite his every tale about his world and explanations, they knew he was not a simple human. But they never talked about it because they knew, even knew he would put on airs.
They were getting closer and closer to Vulca. Only about a couple of days were left according to their estimation. They were on the main road and they got out of Helenia Forest about three days ago. There was still foliage and tree clusters around but not something as big as a forest. They had fun on their journey. It was obvious on their faces and Rhaxtyx mentioned it every hour or so.
They were 'Disguised' so they had nothing to worry about. Rhaxtyx was Rax, Badgey was his skunk and Miriam was looking like an average woman with chestnut hair. Roman… didn't need a disguise as he looked normal enough.
"Why am I left out?!" (Roman)
"Do you have any enemies or any reason to hide your face?" (Rhaxtyx)
"Not really no…"
"The don't worry man!"
They went on their way. Rhaxtyx would still try to catch some magical beasts along the way but the magical beasts that caught Rhaxtyx's eye was scarce and he did not want to hurt wild beasts. Not every beast would end up like Badgey.
They approached a small gathering of houses and it seemed like there was a hotel as well. These kinds of places were common, offering weary travelers a place of comfort.
"Why don't we stay the night here?" (Rhaxtyx)
"I think it's a good idea to rest as well. We also need to replenish some of our stocks." (Roman)
"I wonder if this place has our needs though. It seems a bit small don't you think?"
"As long as they have food for the road and water then I'm fine. I know times that I didn't even had those."
"That's right. I also want…"
Miriam thought for a second and looked at Rhaxtyx.
"…sleep in a bed."
"You can be a bit free but… meh, better than nothing I guess. Okay! I hope they have hot water. I'm dying for a bath!"
They went towards the small community with the evening sun shining. There were small field of crops around the community and there were livestock under the watch of shepherds. This was a self-sustaining community and they made the occasional coin with the travelers and merchants.
As Vulca was near the border of the Dynasties and Hillan Imperium, these parts of the kingdom wouldn't see much coin in the first place.
The eyes of people landed on them as soon as they entered. The children were pointing towards them and some were waving at them. Rhaxtyx would smile at the children and give them a thumbs up and Miriam would try to hide her smile and she tried to look forward. Roman was also waving at the children and would laugh heartily, in turn making children either running away in fear or laughing alongside him. Rhaxtyx of course noticed this and of course made fun of him. He also noticed Miriam's behavior and talked to her with a soft voice.
"Won't you wave them back? Look, the boys are blushing when they look at you. I guess they took a liking to you eh? Haha!"
After giving a small chuckle, Miriam waved back at the children shyly. The children were jumping around in joy after this, saying things like she waved at me. Miriam smiled at this even more. But when she realized Rhaxtyx and Miriam were looking at him with a big grin, she gave a small hmph and picked up her pace a little. Rhaxtyx could only laugh at this and he matched paces with her.
They reached at the hotel soon. There was a small bar inside and there were some people present as well. When they entered, the gazes of all the patrons there landed on them, which was about ten or so people. The barman looked at them after serving a drink.
"Howdy strangers. Welcome to my small establishment. I'm guessing you want to stay the night?"
"That's right. We need three rooms if possible." (Rhaxtyx)
"I only have two rooms mate, sorry." (Inn-keep)
"You have a problem being with me in the same room?" (Rhaxtyx)
"I don't care particularly." (Roman)
"Good! Do you have two rooms?"
"That I have stranger! I also have a meal ready. You hungry?"
"A dinner would be nice."
"Great! Take a seat, I'll bring your dinner shortly."
They sat on a random table. The gazes of the people here have never left them. Even some of the children followed them here. Of course, they were taken by their mothers and other family but this still made them kind of troubling for them to be under this much attention.
Their meal came shortly after, it was a vegetable soup with a meat dish. They started eating under the gazes of the village folk. They were curious of their reaction of the food. Miriam quietly ate while Rhaxtyx gobbled up the food fervently. He was even coughing from time to time because the occasional piece would get stuck in his throat, the result of his eating speed. The children would laugh at this scene. Rhaxtyx gave them a smile and a thumbs up together with Miriam to the owner.
"Dif if delifiouf!" (This is delicious!) (Rhaxtyx)
"I'm glad that you like it. But be careful, speaking while chewing may cause the food to be-"
*Cough cough cough!*
"-get stuck in your throat."
The patrons in the bar and the spectators outside laughed at this and Rhaxtyx joined them after he saved himself from the choking. Miriam was smiling as well and Badgey, being annoyed by Rhaxtyx's laugh, jumped on him and began scratching him.
As such, their day came to an end. Rhaxtyx and Miriam went to their respective rooms to rest. The moon was hanging high up in the sky, washing the earth with its silver glow.
They went to bed after having some drinks and talking for a while. After their journey and sleeping on the ground everyday for a while, everyone just crashed onto bed, including Rhaxtyx. He didn't even practice the Shadow Arts that night.
Rhaxtyx opened his eyes on the bed. Badgey was on his chest sleeping peacefully. When he opened his eyes though, he thought he was being attacks by a bear. There was a loud sound, like roaring, inside the room. When he looked, he saw Roman sleeping on the next to his.
"That's really loud…"
He got up and stretched his body, thinking the quality was not that bad, it was better than what Rhaxtyx expected actually. It was a pleasant surprise for them. Rhaxtyx picked Badgey up from his chest and carefully put him on his left side on the bed.
"Well, this'll be troublesome later on… If he wakes up that is."
Badgey snuggled to itself more and kept sleeping. Rhaxtyx sheaved a sigh and got up from the bed. After stretching his muscles a bit, changed his clothes and looked out of the window. The little town was already awake. He opened the window to let the fresh air come inside and took a heavy breath. He then heard a shuffling behind him and when he looked, he saw Badgey stretching and yawning. He scratched the back of his ear and looked at Rhaxtyx.
"Finally awake eh? Let's go, we wouldn't want to miss the breakfast."
He opened the door while speaking to Badgey. He took a step outside the door and looked to his left to see Miriam walking out as well.
"Oh he's still sleeping. I didn't want to wake him up honestly, too loud to even approach."
They descended the stairs together to the bar and restaurant area from yesterday. There were only a couple of people here having breakfast and the owner behind the bar cleaning the bottles and the cups while a middle aged woman was wiping the empty tables.
Rhaxtyx with Badgey on his shoulder as always and Miriam following him approached the bar.
"G'morning Mr. Owner!"
"Good morning! Slept well?"
"Yeah! No offense but I never expected this place to have this comfy of a bed."
"Haha Thank you! None taken. Have a seat. I'll send you your breakfast shortly. Kathy! Breakfast for two and some meat for the little feller!"
Owner called out to the woman wiping the tables. She went inside the kitchen in the back after wiping Rhaxtyx and co.'s table and began preparing their meal.
"How about your other friend?"
"I think he will-" (Rhaxtyx)
"Hey why didn't you wake me up when you woke up!?"
"-Be here in any minute. There you go!" (Rhaxtyx)
Rhaxtyx asked Miriam and Roman about some things regarding economy and common sense. Even though they was surprised he didn't know this kind of stuff, she still calmly explained to him. Their discussion went along with their breakfast after it arrived. They ate their meal calmly and when finished, Rhaxtyx approached the bar.
"Thanks for the meal."
"Not a problem! Hope you enjoyed it."
"Yeah it was delicious. So what's our bill?"
"50 copper pieces will be enough."
"There you go. Thanks for everything."
"Yeap. We have a place to go."
"Are you leaving the country or…"
"Nah, we are headed to Vulca."
"I see. Good luck then."
"Thanks. You too!"
They left the small community while everyone saw them off. The children were running behind them up to a point and the farmers would wave them goodbye while Rhaxtyx and co were on the road. They had about week and a half left on their journey and with renewed vigor, they were once again on the road. Their journey continued on the main road, between the taiga forests. Even though it was the beginning of summer, because they were up north, it was still relatively chilly in the morning and evening and you could still get frostbite in the night if you were not careful.
"I love the freshness of the air around places like these. What do you guys think?" (Rhaxtyx)
"Yeah, it carries a sweet scent as well."
Even though Rhaxtyx asked that, the most reaction he got was, from Miriam just a single nod and a small chuckle form Roman. This actually bugged Rhaxtyx, Miriam not really talking to either one of them.
"Haah. Why don't you talk more? It makes things more difficult for us y'know."
"It doesn't really matter for me though." (Roman)
"I don't talk much."
"Well I can see that! Why though? We are friends now, aren't we? Is it because of your training? Surely not because of that right?"
"Training is a reason yes. We also did not have much to talk about in the facility."
"I mean you could try more."
When Rhaxtyx looked at Miriam's expression, he understood he was making things difficult for her. With an apologetic tone he spoke to her.
"Sorry. I guess everyone has their own rhythms huh? Do it on your own speed."
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