Chapter One: The Journey Begins

"Artania, huh?" I sighed. "I came here all the way from my hometown in Zaroko, which is miles away, to find a man who just leaves? That's not very nice of him."

"Y' know, y' gotta lighten up, kid," one of the drunk men slurred behind me. "Alzo, y' gotta know that yer a minor. Y' can't go walkin' into a bar 'til yer eightenteen."

"Al, stop giving advice," the bartender said. "You're drunk as it is."

"And keep 'em comin'!" the man Al slurred. "I ain' got no home to go to tonight!"

"Why's that?" asked the oldest regular in the tavern, taking a large swig of ale from his pint glass.

"M' wife thought I drank too much," Al slurred, burping after. "She kicked me outta th' house for tonight."

"This is why I give you a cut-off limit at five pints!" the bartender sighed, annoyed. "Al, you're already at nine!"

"Don't they have to pay for each pint of ale?" I asked.

"Yeah, but none of these men ever seem to have jobs," the bartender chuckled. "Day and night, Al, Danny, Carl, Lenny and the old man called Sheep come here and talk to me. I know their life stories, their false life stories, the names of all their wives, their kids. Hell, even the name of their pets. But they've never mentioned going to work. I reckon that they let their wives go to work or something like that, so I don't make much business off of them. However, I am running a tab, heh."

"Well, if I want to find Archius, I should probably get going," I said.

The End

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