• Nick Richards

Chapter 9: The Magicians - Part Two

They enjoyed a hearty breakfast that, after some attempt to pay, turned out to be included in the cost of the room. Good, thought Jendi, more coins for later in the day. She was keenly aware of their schedule, and the need to be back at the ship by nightfall, and the five hours walking it would take to get there. As soon as they finished breakfast and thanked the innkeeper’s wife for such a delicious meal, they went back to their rooms, got their stuff, and headed into the center of Ashkelon.

The village was not a city by any means. If you could climb to the roof of any building, you could see the entire village at a glance. There were no buildings larger than a second floor that held bedrooms or an attic. Shops were intermixed with dwellings, and the tek was farm primitive. That is, if a tool was meant to help farmers, you could find it in the shops, but nothing else, and nothing more advanced than a plow or shovel that was made of extra fine metal.

At Jendi’s order, they split into two groups so as to not be as conspicuous. Tinno went with Jendi, and Vialon and Grif went with Sevenser. They planned to meet at noon and compare notes.

“Let’s try this one,” Jendi said to Tinno, pointing to a larger market that had a large interior section, not just a stall in the street. Then seeing his stare, “What are you looking at?”

Tinno paused, then said, “That open lot beyond those stalls over there. It looks as if it has been used to burn trash, but why would that be in the middle of the village like this?”

“Better ventilation for the smoke?”

“But not right here. Something is wrong,” said Tinno slowly shaking his head.

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