As he expected The Coat was packed to the rafters with patrons. The barmaids went about serving their customers, having their arses pinched and squeezed by drunken louts and even over the raucous laughter and chatter, the musicians could be heard, always. The ale came golden, a wonderful sprit from Gardevale in the west. The owner was a joyous, aging man who could talk anyone willing to listen to their beds. Today he was red faced and working himself ragged keeping up with the orders. Devlin let Weston wander as he wrestled his way to the bar, a number of coins waiting to leave his hands. He managed to reach the counter and yell his order.
                “Devlin!” The man shouted breathlessly. “Wish-could-talk!” he poured several drinks so quickly it made Devlin’s head feel light to watch. “Here.” He shoved the drink in Devlin’s hands and gave him a pat on the shoulder and went away again.
                Devlin inhaled the smell of his drink and took a contented breath. Just as he remembered. That was when he felt a tap on his shoulder.
                Devlin turned to see the face of the man he had been searching for. They stood staring at each other for a moment then clasped hands and gave each other a one armed embrace.
                “Devlin, so happy to see you again.”
                “And you, Captain.”
                “Goodness Devlin, must I tell you once more to call me Garrett?” The two shared in laughter.
                He looked as strong as ever he had, a muscular build with black hair streaked with silver on the sides and eyes of that same colour. He had a weathered face, only lightly lined with age but heavily lined with scars with a cut from his right temple to his jaw, cutting into his hair slightly, another slash on his left cheek, a nick that severed his left eyebrow in two and a broken nose. Those were just the ones visible on his face. It was said he bore the claw mark of a bear he wrestled after he was taken captive by the Rouenites in his earliest years as a fighter.
                “I cannot help but show you my deepest respect.” Devlin explained and bowed. “Please though, accept my apology.” Garrett merely sighed, but put his arm around Devlin’s shoulder, dragging him further away from the counter.
                “You are entering the tournament of course.” He noted, “It shall be interesting to finally test my steel against yours.” Devlin nodded in agreement. “There is something I wish to talk to you about however.”
                “Oh.” Devlin was surprised, but followed as Garrett led him towards the singer, a dashing young man with a small harp.  “Whatever about?”
                “I know this will be hard.” He looked down, avoiding Devlin’s eyes. “But I wanted to talk to you about Captain Damyen.”

The End

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