Our carriage trundled down the road once again, the uneven placement of the rocks causing it to sound as if it was preparing to fall apart. Ever since that day, I had been receiving combat lessons from James, which mainly served to make it so that even if I couldn’t kill anything, I wouldn’t chop off my own arms while running away.
“Ah’m no soljer, mahself,” James’s voice had rumbled when he made the offer, “But yeh don’ becom ah top class merchant like meself if ye dun know how ter pretect yerself, kno what ah mean?”
If that was true, I’d eat my hat. Or James’s hat, since that was what I was wearing. James had managed to zip around the training area that he had set up faster than my eyes could see, landing blow after blow after blow on me. The absolute worst part was that even if I watched it while putting everything into my Magic Sight, I couldn’t detect any sort of magic from him.
Was the old man really Skill-less? Even if my magic sight can’t-
“Allen! Allen!” Lana’s voice burst out of nowhere, snapping me out of my reverie, “If you’re going to try and drive, at least pay attention to the road!”
My eyes snapped open faster than a purse in James’ store. It seemed, that in my day dream, I had almost convinced the horses that walking to our deaths off the side of a mountain would be a great idea.
Luckily, however, Lana’s shout brought me to my senses fast enough for me to jerk the reins sharply to the right, saving us from whatever waited below.
“That was close, huh?” I said later, as we were setting up camp. James had woken up some time after (I definitely wouldn’t know the reason. Nope. No sirree) and had guided us safely to the campsite that we were in right now.
“Close?” Lana yelled, throwing a book at me, “Close? You call that close? You almost killed us!”
“Haha, sorry. I’ll, uh, I’ll try not to do that next time.”
“Tha’s if thar’ll be a nex taim,” Jame’s gruff voice sounded behind me, “Ah’ll reckon tha me dreams’ll be filld with arth quakes fer years on en’, jes from thinkin about ye behind the reins.”
“Uh, yeah,” I laughed nervously, eager to divert the flow of the conversation to something a little more safe for me, “Uh, what’s this mountain then? It looks pretty important?”
James scowled at me for a while, as if I was some sort of mosquito that had bit him while he was having a good time, before he sighed and sat down, “This ‘ere mountin is called Mount Erdried, an’ it marks the hafway point b’tween Merun an Brighton. Now, narmally, ah woul’nt take one step in the direction o’ this gad fersaken mount’n, what with it’s blizzards an’ avalanches, an’ wha’not. But I’m settin all tha’ aside this year fer three reasons. The first, alla tha seems ter hav’ quieted down as of late, eerily so, like sum’un jes up an’ killed the mount’in god. The sec’nd is tha the Dierrot are swarmin’. Luck’ly, the damned beasts don’ like this here mount’in more than ah do, which actually is kinda worryin’, since they’d charge righ’ at the castle gates, had they the chance. Third’ly, s’you. Yeh gat yerself a pretty strange ability thar, an’ ah think it’d be best if yeh got tha’ checked out.”
“Where would we get that checked out? From what Argus said, no one has anything close to it, right?”
“Well yeah, but tha’ doesn’t mean there ain’t no one tha kin tell you what it does, right? Once we git ter Merun, Ah’m a catch us one a them appraisal type skill users an’ we’re gonna figure out once an fer all what’s up with tha skill ah yers, okay?”
I nodded, assuming that was what he wanted me to do, and decided to explore the mountain.
Despite all the ways James had trashed the place, the mountain really was beautiful. When it wasn’t trying to kill you with dangerously steep cliffs or falling rocks, or poisonous snakes, or random holes in the ground that seemed to stretch to infinity, or when you weren’t knee deep in what you could only hope were localized mud patches, or running from the swarms of bees that infested literally every flower patch, or trying to keep yourself awake because the flowers turned out to be filled with sleeping powder, or trying to fend off some strange plant monster that had disguised itself as a flower patch, it had some amazing scenery.
You know, in a love note that says “I’m going to rip your guts out, use them to silence your screams and then slowly dissect you so that no one else but me can look at you” sort of way.
Author’s Note: Okay, really crappy post this time. I’m mostly putting this out to get me back on the track of putting things out, and I’ll get back to weekly updates or something ASAP. Sorry. I do have another story though that i wright on when i want to write something that isn’t MK. Check it out here.