I sat down at the table, the hooded figure sat opposite me. I put the tankard to my lips, sipping at the ale quietly as I studied the person adjacent to me. He(I just guessing, here) was a complete mystery to me - he confronted me in the middle of the street with words of quests and high payment. Then he drifted whimsically into the closest inn and sat down. And I, of course, had no choice but to follow.
Two bony fingers emerged from one baggy sleeve, they slid across the table revealing a slip of parchment. I stared at it for a moment before picking it up and staring hard at the ridiculously elaborate handwriting.
What needs to be found is somewhere lost,
the lost is already found.
50 000 Gold Coins.
I looked back up, ready to question the reliability of the quest. But the hooded mystery had already gone.
'Pr?' I murmured, shoving the parchment into my pouch. What did "Pr" mean? I assumed it was a title abbreviation, maybe for Prince or Princess. I shrugged and swung my legs over the bench, leaving the tavern without paying my fee.
The pay for the job was good, unless it were a hoax. But there was no clue aside from that dodgy riddle. And the name.
I was positive I'd heard that came somewhere, it had a definite ring to it. The face behind the name was buried under years of memories and there was no way I was going to remember it any time soon.
Furthermore, the supposed abbreviation of "Prince" or "Princess" was impossible. There hadn't been a single member of the royal family in our land for over a decade. It was run by political folk now; not that I ever bothered to pay those ignorant fools any mind.
'What needs to be found is somewhere lost, the lost is already found,'
'Um, excuse me,' a timid voice called out from a little way back. I turned around, looking down at the little girl who had called for me. I squatted down and beckoned my finger.
'What is it?' I asked, smiling. She gave me a weak smile back and plucked at the ends of her plaits. I waited patiently for the child to speak, but patience was something I sadly didn't have much of.
'Did you know Mama?'
'Well...' She licked her lips, her eyes averted, 'Mama wen t'off to find food yesterday and di'n't come back. She sang tha' tune.'
'Oh really?' A smiled again, leaning forward with interest, 'did your Mama ever tell you where the lost place was?'
She nodded and a triumphant expression crept onto my face, 'she said tha' the beautiful sleepin' princess s'locked 'way in the overgrown tower.'
'Che.' I spat, just another old wives tale. My own mother used to tell me that story. I stood up and walked away with long strides.
It looked like I was a long way away from finding that goddamn "Amria". She better be worth her reward.