The Fireside Tales - Chapter Thirty-Six
Chapter Thirty-Six: Entering Magnimar

“Well… that’s one way to deal with annoyances.â€

It was two days until the heroes were ready to head for Magnimar. Tension only rose between Valtyra and Alicia during those two days and Bubnug had to stand as mediator as well as leading the goblin army. Lotho was bedridden and was usually cared for by Shayliss and Father Zantus. When he was finally able to move around, he took Bubnug’s job as a mediator and helped calm the two women down.

Valtyra heard him sigh, breaking the otherwise silent ride to Magnimar. “What?â€

His tired eyes turned to her. “I just wish life was simpler.â€

“Become a mercenary then,†Valtyra kept her gaze forward, “I hear life is very simple for them.â€

She heard a feminine growl from behind her.

“At least mercenaries have manners,†Alicia called from the rear.

Anger suddenly flared in Valtyra’s chest and she started to turn Shadowshine around. “What did you say?â€

Water shot up from the ground and clamped over her mouth. Looking back, she saw that Alicia received the same treatment, which made Valtyra’s inner child happy. Shadowshine, seeing that Valtyra was silent and under control, snorted in something resembling laughter and continued walking forward.

“Would you both be quiet?†Lotho yelled. “You two take up most of my problems this week!â€

Alicia just sat back in her saddle and nodded. Valtyra, however, started complaining immediately, her words muffled by the water.

Lotho sighed again and rubbed his temples, “I am not letting the water fall until we get to Magnimar. And I expect that you will be at least willing to tolerate each other until we get back to Sandpoint.†He narrowed his eyes at Valtyra, “Do you understand?â€

Valtyra was confused about the fact that she seemed to be getting the brunt of the anger, but she nodded anyway.

“Good,†Lotho said and faced forward. “Maybe at the end of this, you will be friends again.â€

She just snorted.

An hour later, they arrived at the gates of Magnimar. Thick metal bars intersected at numerous points along the twenty foot length, and the stone frame looked as if it withstood many attacks and just sniffed in response. Two guards stood outside of the open gateway and they stepped forward as the four of them rode up.

“Halt!†the guard on the left called.

All four horses stopped and the guards flanked them on either side.

“State your business,†the guard said. His voice sounded as if he had already done this for hours and he was tired of it. It must have been close to the end of his shift.

“My name is Lotho,†Lotho said, “this is Valtyra, Alicia, and Bubnug. We are here on behalf of the Lord-Mayor to investigate some issues you are having.â€

Both guards placed their hands on their weapons and stared at Bubnug, “It’s a goblin.â€

Valtyra would have reacted strongly to them if she was able to speak. Even though they had arrived at Magnimar, her mouth was still covered by water. Bubnug flinched away from the guards and looked as if he was ready to run away. Lotho nodded politely and, while looking at Valtyra, said, “I understand your mistrust. But Bubnug has saved our lives many times, and is controlling the goblins of Varisia so they do not attack towns and cities.â€

The guards gave each other a questioning glance.

“It is true that the goblin attacks have lessened in the past few months,†the right guard muttered.

“Could it really be because of this goblin, though?†the other guard asked.

Valtyra was ready to go off, but the acidic look Lotho gave her was enough to keep her reigned in. The guards whispered to each other for a couple of minutes, but then nodded to each other and said, “You may go through.â€

The heroes nodded and started through the gate. Yet, before they got too far, the left guard asked, “Hey! Why does she have her mouth covered in water?â€

Lotho turned back to them and said, “She has a hard time getting along with others. This to make sure she stays good.â€

The guards laughed at that and Valtyra could feel her cheeks redden. Behind the water, she tried to grumble about Lotho not having to embarrass her, but nothing but the occasional muffled sound came through. When they were far away from the gate, she could feel the water slosh away.

“There. Now you can speak.â€

“I hate you right now,†she growled at Lotho.

“Good,†he said with a grin, “That means I’m doing my job as a babysitter correctly.â€

Valtyra tilted her head at him, “What?â€

Instead of answering, he kicked his pony forward and said, “Come on children. Time to investigate.â€

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I'm quite lost. Can I see the previous Chapter?

I just arrived! Could I see the first chapter?

Time to Move On!
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