Smoke and haze danced in the air. Laughter. The sound of merriment permeated the senses. 1 comment
Up near the rail, a young, buxom, bodiced woman attempted to take her leave of the unkempt, heavy-set man, who blocked her path. 1 comment
" Please, I beg of you, let me pass." the amber-tressed pothouse girl pleaded. 1 comment
" Not until my time is up. I paid for a quarter hour of your time. It hasn't been more than half." the burly drunkard exclaimed. 2 comments
" I am not of that line. I am a serving wench, not a pro. I won't stay here, while you attempt to go beyond the calls of my station."
With that, the blonde headed for the sanctuary of the back area of the room.
The drunkard seeing his "prize" leaving, roared, " Not on your life. My hard-earned muntarii was paid out. I demand you remain."
While speaking,the man reached across her chest, started to take what he thought was his.
The ripping of cloth was heard, then a scream of anguish.
A harsh laugh cut through the pain.
" Now I shall see what I paid for."
" Please, let me be. Please. Oh, please."
More cloth ripped. His laughter soared. 3 comments
" Leave her be. She said she was not of that kind." stated a voice, loud enough to cut through the din, from a corner of the room.
As the words were spoken, the sottish man turned towards the corner, releasing his grip on the woman, who fell upon the floor, struggling to re-clothe herself. 1 comment
" Where are you ? Who speaks about something that is not your concern. Show yourself. "
In answer, a hooded, robed figure stepped from the shadows, moved to the front of the gathered crowd, leaned upon a staff. 7 comments
" I am here. Let her be."
" Not much to you is there. " the ale-addled man said, as he saw the woman's rescuer. " You can't be more than 4 feet, 80 pounds. How are you going to stop me from what I say is mine. "
" With this staff you see I lean on. I need nothing more."
" That stick is nothing compared to my blade. "
As he said this, the man drew the blade hanging at his side.
The hooded figure sighed deeply. Straightened his stance, planted his feet, positioned his gauntleted hands firmly on the staff, said, " I would rather not have to duel with you; you seem not to be of the same mind. 3 comments
" Duel, you say. More like a carving. I don't think one such as you will survive when my blade starts to slice. " 1 comment
As the drunkard concluded, he charged. Full on. He raised his blade above his head and it commenced its arc as he neared the spot where the hooded figure waited. 1 comment
The robed figure didn't flinch. Didn't move. He just held the staff firmly in front of himself. 2 comments
Closer came the blade as it completed its trajectory downward. 2 comments
As the drunkard's blade would have sank its depth into the hooded man's throat, the robed figure, slightly, raised his staff to avert the sweep. 1 comment
When the blade met the staff, it didn't splinter as a wooden rod would, it clanged.
The drunkard's hand and arm vibrated with the force of the blow, his sword dropped from his paralyzed grip. 1 comment
" What deviltry is this? " he exclaimed. 1 comment
When the hooded figure didn't reply, this further infuriated him, causing him to, again, charge his smaller statured opponent.
As he would have connected with his fists, the robed man, deftly, turned the staff, rammed its end into the drunkard's stomach, batted the sot across the head, and had him sit, poleaxed, on the floor.
This display of skill had the previously murmuring crowd fall silent; left his former adversary where he sat, holding his head.
The hooded man went over to the young woman as she lay on the floor, helped her up, arranged her clothes bringing back some semblance of dignity, and escorted her to the back of the room.
Once the woman was safely away from the noise and chaos, the hooded man asked how she was.
" I am well, noble sir. Thanks for your assistance."
" Are there any garments here to cover yourself? "
" None. This is nothing but a wine locker. "
" I see. Here are muntarii to purchase new attire. If you are sure you are all right, I will return to the front. "
" Do not leave, kind sir. I wish to thank you for your efforts on my behalf. How may I repay you? "
" Find another place, another position. I am afraid you will not be safe here. "
" Where might I go ? This was the best position I could find. There is nowhere else in this town. "
" That I cannot say. Just know you cannot remain here. "
" Then, I will take this muntarii, purchase suitable attire, book passage out on the next transport that departs. "
" Yes, that might be the best. I will take my leave of you, now. " the robed man said as he bowed to the young woman.
" Before you go. I wish to see under your face cloth. May I remove it? "
" No, woman. That is something I cannot allow. For reasons of my own. "
The young woman was, momentarily, perplexed. She thought about it, then recovered.
" One last thing. If you won't allow me to see your face, may I know the name of my defender? "
" My name is Paldor. Now, I shall take my leave. "
With this statement voiced, Paldor returned to the front of the pothouse.
Re- emerging out amongst the crowd, who leaned away at his passage, he continued back to the corner, retrieved his rucksack, walked out under the glow of the triple moons.