Between The Shadows: Chapter Six

Aaron walks through the barren field he’s in that never seems to stop, the sun beating down harshly on him, making him sweat underneath of his traveler’s cloak.  He would take it off, but then he would likely be spotted and taken back to where he just escaped from, and he is determined to get as far away from there as possible.  ‘I’ve been walking for hours,‘, he thinks, ‘I’m starved, I wish Valence had given me some food or something.‘  As the sun starts to set he sees a town in the distance.  After a few more hours of walking Aaron arrives and is grateful for the cool of the evening.

He finds a pub and enters,  a bell clanging as the door opens and shuts.  Aaron takes in his surroundings.  A group of travelers are gathered in the back, a girl with red hair, a girl with white hair, a boy with black hair, but blue eyes, and a boy with black hair, but strange glasses in front of his eyes.  A few other people are at the bar or at tables, but besides that there aren’t a lot of people there.  Aaron sits down at the bar and props his elbows on the counter, exhausted.  “What’ll it be son?” A large man asks.  “Water, as well as what ever you’re cooking in the back, it smells great.” Aaron replies.  The man, the pub owner, smiles and goes in back.

Aaron pulls his hood a little closer over his head, conscious of the fact that besides the two girls in the back, he’s the only one here who doesn’t have black hair.  In fact, he parallels nearly everyone here in appearance.  The pub owner returns and sets down a glass of water and a bowl of stew.  Aaron grabs for his wallet, but finds it isn’t there.  Aaron looks at the pub owner, wondering how likely it is that he could get a free meal.  He also thinks of trying to run out, but he doubts he could get far. “Um, sir?” Aaron says, “How much does this cost?”  “Fifty gold pieces” the pub owner replied, “You do HAVE fifty gold pieces, right?”

“Um, actually sir, I seem to have, well, lost my wallet during my travels.”  Aaron looks up at the owner.  The owner scowls and crosses his arms, each one as thick around as a barrel.  Aaron is terrified he’s going to be thrown out, but the owner just smiles and says “You seem to’ve had a long trip, so it’s on the house this time.”  Aaron sighs with relief and the pub owner walks away.  Aaron is about to reach for his food when he remembers that no one here has normal colored skin.  He reaches into his cloak and finds a pair of black gloves.  He puts them on.

After a while Aaron finishes his stew and sigh contentedly.  He can hear the group of travelers in the back mumbling about something and they all seem to be studying some kind of map, so he casually makes his way near them.  The girl with white hair notices him and invites him over.  “You a treasure hunter bub?” she asks.

“Uh, yeah.”  Aaron says,  “So, what kind of treasure are you looking for?”.   “A sword.”  The red-head says.  ‘A sword?‘ Aaron thinks, ‘I could use a sword.‘  “I still say it’s not worth looking for, we don’t need it”  The guy with glasses says.  The girl with white hair looks at Aaron, then takes the map and hands it to him.  “Your lucky day blondie, free map.”

Aaron pulls his hood farther over his head.  “Here,”  the white haired girl hands him a strange black pendant thing.   “A little gift, to hide in plain sight.”  The four then leave the pub.  Aaron puts on the pendant thing and he sees the skin under his gloves turn pure black.  He looks in a nearby mirror and sees he looks almost exactly like Shadus.

( O_O Aaron looking like Shadus?! What next, you ask? Find out as I publish 😉 )