Left and Leaving

Prologue

It was early in the morning. Early enough that no one was about yet, and far too early to be reporting for Scouting duty. Never the less, a sharp-eared young man in slightly tattered clothing paced the town square. He glanced at the large clock that was built into the center of the town hall every so often, willing it to turn faster.

“Bartis” a tired voice called out.

The young man, too distracted to hear, continued his pacing.

“BARTIS” the voice demanded.

Startled, the young man jumped slightly and turned to face the loud noise. A older human wearing what must have been his wife’s interpretation of what a guard uniform must look like was staring at him with very tired eyes. He sat on a bench in front of the large pedestal which dominated the square. On the pedestal, the large crystal glowed softly in the early morning sun.

“Bartis, clocks don’t have brains to trick into going faster. Give it a rest already. I promise you she’s coming.” he said wearily.

The young man nodded in the affirmative and thought a deal is a deal.

“Aye, a deal is a deal.” he nodded back, patting the small pouch on his belt. “5 pieces and your name gets drawn for a 3 day camping trick with young miss Arathea. Now please stop thinking so loudly, I’ve been awake all night and your buzzing brain has been driving me crazy for nearly an hour now. Have mercy on an old man, and go piss off and have some breakfast or something. Meet back here in an hour or so and I’ll see you and your lot off, the young missy included.”

“Th-th-thanks, Bigsby” he said quietly, before pissing off back towards the Gray Alley. Bigsby waved his hand dismissively, before calling after the young man “You make sure that good-for-nothing Shadar-Kai girl is awake before you come back! She’s skipped out on 3 patrols already!”

As the boy turned the corner and moved out of site, Bigsby chuckled to himself. He’d be able to buy 2 or 3 bottles of the good stuff later thanks to these kids. He had kept the fact that Arathea has also come to him with a few coins to insure that Bartis’ name would be drawn for her group to himself when the shy lad had proposed the same thing later that same day. Where was the harm? Hell, he had probably saved the boys pride. He was also particularly proud of his idea of putting Lilikoi in with this batch. It would be the only way to get that trouble-maker Pomelo to own up to even the slightest bit of responsibility. He then smiled at his tiny revenge on the brat. Maybe that drunkard boy Argento would get spooked by a rabbit and set her hair on fire with a misfired spell.

Yes, sticking him in her group was just desserts indeed.

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