Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chapter 8: Rumors Over Breakfast (Mark I)

Caden woke up early. He got dressed. As he pulled his shirt on, he looked at Rilyn's sleeping form. She had the covers pulled tightly around her, like it was a shield against some unforeseen danger. Caden looked at her swords. The sheaths were made from bone, and split along the top so you lifted the swords out rather then drawing them. The blades etched with a jagged pattern, so that when placed side by side, the curve formed a perfect circle with a sun etched around the rim.

Caden held the swords up and looked at Rilyn. "Where are you from?" he said. He looked at the blanket covering most of her face. "And even sleeping, you still hide your face from me." He shook his head and put the swords away. He walked out of the room. "You're one strange man."
In the common room, Cassy came over and served him a bowl with a cinnamon bread soaking in steaming milk. Caden noted how the bread lacked a distinctive cinnamon swirl when he cut it open and it absorbed the milk much too quickly.
He looked up at Cassy. "Cinnamon?" he asked. "Isn't that a bit extravagant for what we pay?"
"True," she said. "But I want you to come back again."
"Why?" Caden took a bite of the meal.
Cassy set down a mug of tea sweetened with steamed cinnamon spiced milk. "I heard a rumor the other day, and I think you had something to do with it."
"What was that?" Caden took a drink of tea.
Cassy sat down across from Caden. "Well, some people were saying that the local guard picked up a couple of Bandits. They were wanted for several muggings on the south highway. The guards found them with major injurys, but two were still alive. When they were brought in, they talked about a man with a holy, green and black, sword. Now everyone in town is talking about some holy knight who's purging the wicked."
Caden choked on his tea.
"When I saw you bring that stone sword into your room last night," she said. "I figured it had to be you."
"Well," Caden said. "I wouldn't put too much faith into rumors."
Cassy looked up, and said, "Where's your friend?"
"I think maybe he had too much to drink last night," Caden said. "He's still asleep."
"He's so mysterious, always covered up like that."
"You're telling me," Caden said. "At night, he even covers up with his blanket." Caden leaned over the taple and whispered, "I think he's secretly hiding some hideous scar."
Cassy laughed. Caden joined her. They sat and talked till more patrons came in looking for breakfast and Cassy went back to work.