Chapter Two: The Road
"I think I see a real road!"
"What do you mean, we're on a 'real road'"
"No I mean like, a stone road."
"Oh, I see it now," said Ventro squinting his eyes, "Maybe theres a town around here." After two days of traveling, Ventro was tired of only seeing trees and plants. Maybe this was good.
"Oh, can we stop to see it?" asked Ark excitedly.
"Maybe..." answered Ventro looking off into the distance.
"What is it?"
"Its just, I didn't know there were towns between ours and ReSturaunt."
"What!?!" exclaimed Ark looking at Ventro, "Don't you have a map?"
"Oh, I do, but it mainly shows larger towns and roads," replied Ventro calmly.
"Hmm... I think-wait... I see it!" Their wagon passed a sign that read:
Darfor Town, Population-100, Welcome Travelers!
"Yay!" yelled Ark as he leaped out of the back of the wagon and ran beside it. Ventro smiled at his brother's energy. Ark smiled back at his brother and thought, "I wonder what food they have here." They entered the town and a few people glanced at them, but were used to travelers and didn't care much. Ventro tied up Westly at a post in front of a store and walked inside, Ark looking at everything as he walked behind him.
"What can I do for ye?" asked a man with blue eyes and brown hair, and a beard grown to the chin.
"What do you got that we need," Ventro said in a joking voice.
"Better question, what do ye need that I don't got?" replied the man raising and eyebrow.
"I'm Ventro, and this is my brother Ark," said Ventro motioning at Ark who was looking around," I am a chef and he is a tea maker, and we were wondering what spices you might have." Hearing spices, Ark immediately looked at the the store owner hopefully.
"Well i ain't that kind of store owner, ye see." replied the man, "I sell weapons and armor. Ye see, This is a smithing town, and we are real proud o that."
"Are you sure that there are no tea makers here?" cut in Ark.
"Sorry son, not one that I've ever know." said the man sad that he couldn't help
"Oh, but since we're here and we've taken your time, might as well buy something," said Ventro glancing at Ark.
"But what-" started Ark.
"Do you have any lighter weapons?" asked Ventro
"Why yes," answered the man grabbing a sword off the wall and placing it on the counter. "Made of durable steel that is light as a feather!"
"Steel? Thought that was heavier," inquired Ventro as he ran his hand across the blade.
"Nope, not this kind at least. Only thing lighter would be a bow," said the man as he bent down and picked up a shield. "Now this is a work of art," he said placing it on the counter and tapping on it with his knuckle. "This is made so that the wearer feels no vibrations from a blow or attack."
"Ventro, what are you doing," whispered Ark to Ventro as the man rambled on.
"Getting you some gear," whispered Ventro back. "How much?" Ventro asked the man.
"For both, twenty gold and fifty silver," said the man simply.
"I'll take it, but can we have a test run?"
"Done. Luck will help you with that. Shes my daughter. Luck!"
"Yes?" yelled a voice from the back of the store.
"Customers!" yelled back the store owner. "This way," said the man as he motioned them through a door and into a yard with a dummy wearing armor.
"Hello," said the most beautiful girl Ark had seen. She had blues eyes and long curly brown hair. She smiled at him. "My name is Luck, whats yours?" she asked politely.
"I-I'm Ark" he answered shyly.
"Well lets start, you ever wield a sword and shield before?"
"Are you right or left-handed?"
"Here" Luck grabbed Arks right hand and positioned it around the blade. Ark blushed. "Now hold this," she said as she handed him the shield. Ark shook. Why should he be nervous? His heart was pounding and he didn't know why.
"Did you hear me? Is it heavy?"
Ark flashed back and replied,"No its fine"
"Good. Hey, are you a traveler?"
"Where are you going?"
"To ReSturaunt, to become a Tea Master," replied Ark proudly.
"Wow! Thats so cool!" exclaimed Luck. "My dad only wants me to be a blacksmith, but... I want to be a cleric!"
"You want to fight?" inquired Ark.
"No, I just wanna have fun helping people," answered Luck with a sigh.
"For what?" asked Luck.
"For-For helping me with my stuff"
Luck laughed. "I didn't do much at all!"
"You two done in there?" yelled the store owner.
"Yes papa" yelled back Luck. "Hey, whats your name again?"
"Oh yeah" she said remembering,"Ark, can I come with you to Re-Stu-whatcha-call-it?"
"I-I don't know, what about your dad?"
"Well, he wants me to run his business... but I'd rather go adventuring!"
"I'll ask Ventro, my brother."
"Thanks," Luck yelled. Luck kissed him on the cheek and ran off. Ark blushed as he walked out of the backroom.
"Hmm" thought Ventro when Ark asked about Luck. "What about her father?"
"She didn't say," Ark replied.
"Ok, only if her father says yes."
"She'll be so happy," Ark smiled. Ark ran from their wagon with his new blade at his waist and his shield on his back to the shop.
"What can I- oh hello son," said the man turning around from his work.
"Where's Luck?" asked Ark politely.
"In the back," replied the man returning to his work. Ark dashed inside.
"Luck?" he said looking around.
"Over here," said a small voice in the corner. Luck was crying.
"Whats wrong?" asked Ark worried.
"Dad said I couldn't go. That I'm too young. I'm fifteen!" She wimpered.
"Hey don't cry," Ark said kneeling in front of her. Immediately she hugged him. Surprised, Ark did nothing as she cried into his shoulder. He felt sad for her, stuck in one place without a chance for her dream to blossom. Ark hugged her back.
"That's too bad," said Ventro when Ark came back and explained. They left in their wagon at dusk. Ark sobbed as he felt himself lose his first friend while traveling. Traveling in silence was excruciating for Ventro, but he kept it for Ark's sake. After a while of traveling he heard a roar from behind him. He quickly turned around and looked behind him at the far of city. It was ablaze.
"Ark!" he said with urgency. Ark looked up. Seeing the flames he dashed out towards the town. Ventro hid Westly in the trees and tied him up. He ran after Ark. He found Ark at the edge of the town holding his sword and shield kneeling and crying. In front of him on the ground was the stores sign, half burnt. It read: Foral Goods. Justice and Luck For all!
"Why?" whimpered Ark as he cried onto the sign.
"I don't know Ark, I don't know."
"HELP!" rang out through the sound of the flames. Ark looked up. He ran into the store.
"Ark NO!" yelled Ventro as he tried to stop him.
In the flaming building Ark looked around. He only saw flames and tools. Then he spotted her in a corner, next to her slumped over father. He ran over. She motioned to him to help her father. Ark lifted Mr. Foral onto his back. Luck helped to the best of her abilities. Ark collapsed. Mr. Foral was to heavy. Suddenly Mr. Foral rose into the air. It was Ventro. He motioned them to follow. They got out just as the ceiling collapsed.
"Thank you," whispered Luck as she fainted. Ark caught her as she fell and hugged her close. He coughed out smoke.
"That was brave of you," said Ventro to Ark as he lay down Mr. Foral.
"I-" Ark blacked out.
"Wake up silly!" Ark awoke in the wagon with Luck Foral an inch away from his face.
"AHH!" he yelled, startled by her closeness. Mr. Foral laughed in the Wagon behind them. The morning after the fire, Mr. Justice Foral packed what he had left and said good bye to the soot covered town members. He decided to join Ark and Ventro on their adventure, rather than build a new store.
"Those darn Turga raided the town and burnt it down!" said Mr. Foral.
"Papa, don't be so grumpy. At least we're all safe." said Luck happily sitting with Ark and Ventro.
"I'm just glad you and Graf are safe," said Mr. Foral patting his Sunbird.
"Only two more days till ReSturaunt," said Ventro looking at his map.
"Well lets get to it!" smiled Ark to Luck as he sat up.
"Yep!" replied Luck with a grin.
And so, the two blacksmithes, the chef, and the tea maker all left the town of Darfor on an adventure.
~To Be Continued