Hello! We’ve reached the near end of the first arc of Jochro’s journey. This is the first of six epilogue posts before I take you back in for more. 🙂 I will be posting on Saturday’s instead of Sunday’s now as well.
I quickly ran through the streets on my way to the Trading Union headquarters, blowing myself onto a rooftop when I was near. I waited atop the building for my guards to arrive. Despite their inability to keep pace, I would need their muscle as I needed to save my strength – I had promised Jochro I’d show up to his friend’s prayer session later. Although, I suppose I could have saved myself some energy if I hadn’t been gusting from roof to roof. Oh well. I exhaled and lowered myself down from the room as my guards came into view around the corner.
I landed in front of the panting group of half a dozen men, a few of them were startled from me dropping in.
“Need a rest?” They shook their heads.
“Well, we’ll take one anyway.” I knew these guys wouldn’t ask for a break, even if they were dying. “Go get a snack or something.” No one moved. Okay, then – I should have seen that coming. I gave an amused sigh and turned to find a stall with snacks. No one could say I didn’t treat my boys right!
Around the corner, I found a small vendor selling varied treats. I asked the gray-haired vendor for her prices. She hesitated before answering, staring at the scars covering my face. I swallowed and attempted to drive away the knot in my stomach. It had been less than a year since I received them, but it still made me sweat when people got so caught up with them. I shifted in place, asking once again for her prices.
She nodded her head in understanding, stammering the prices to me. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes while I decided on purchasing two charred frogs, a sweet green cookie, and a meat patty. I knew what my soldiers liked and I’d endure all the stares to keep them marching along with me. Snacks in hand, I took a deep breath and turned, placing a grin back on my face.
I threw each guard his favorite snack, save for the two that I knew didn’t eat sweets, and gave them a minute to wolf them down. Judging by the sun’s position, I had a couple hours before I needed to be at the infirmary with Jochro for the session.
After they finished scarfing down the last snack, they followed me in perfect formation as we marched through the streets toward the Trading Union headquarters. With a flick of my scepter, I blew open the front doors and looked around. The receptionist desk was empty. That must have been Gertha’s seat – this is for you big G.
“Mr. Sell!” I called out. I motioned my men inside the building, aligning three on either side of me.
“Mr. Sell! This is Lorenzo of the Royal Guard,” I motioned to Lorenzo, “Please come out or we will forcibly remove you from the premises. We have documentation for several violations that you must answer for.”
We waited thirty seconds before a small man peeked his head out from the back hallway. I wiggled my finger in a come hither motion and the man took a few steps forward, head held down. Mr. Sell made it across the room, finally raising his eyes to meet mine. He glanced nervously about as if he hadn’t seen the inside of this room for years.
I walked behind him, kicking his backside with the side of my foot. “Not so big now are you Mr. Sell?” Gertha told me to say that… How could I refuse her?
“Take him out boys,” I said. Lorenzo cuffed Mr. Sell and the six men hauled him out. I stayed behind to further assess the room – It could use some upkeep. The paint on the walls was peeling, trash lined the floor and if someone were to tell me there were animal droppings in the back, I wouldn’t have doubted them. Stepping to Gertha’s old desk, I rooted around until I found the closed sign. Placing the sign on the door, I locked up and whistled on my way back to the castle.
The Trading Union would open back up tomorrow with a new purpose, sans rentals. A proper court system was truly needed, especially to fairly charge and try Mr. Sell with the atrocities he’d committed. I’d have to go without Aga for a few weeks, while he temporarily ran the Trading Union until a replacement was found.