A Brief Respite

Remeck nodded, not quite understanding, but unwilling to press the issue, and watched Roxanne walk away, her bright red hair a beacon amongst the crowd.  With a start he reached for his pouch, realizing too late that he had forgotten to pay Roxanne her stipend for working with him.  Though, in retrospect, he had never informed the strange red-headed girl that he had been hiring her as a helper back at Balamb Garden.  Promising himself that he would rectify the situation as soon as he could, he started a mental check list.  For now, the least he could do was make sure that accommodations were made for the two of them. 

His first stop was the village inn.  There, he found the place filled to the gills with travellers and merchants trapped by the sudden siege.  It took some haggling, but Remeck finally managed to get a particularly annoyed Shinra merchant to vacate his room till nightfall so that the pair might rest before they ventured into the fray.  It had cost an arm and a leg, and Remeck silently thanked the heavens that Balamb Garden was fronting the bill.

Next, Remeck wandered into town.  Surprisingly, despite the siege, the townsfolk seemed to continue about their business with an earnest intensity.  It was still too early for supplies to be running dry, the attack a mild annoyance to some, a surreal event to many.  With little difficulty, Remeck found the local guildhall for the Order of the White Lily.  The left hand of Baron’s magical might.  Far more numerous than their black magic wielding cousins in the Order of the Black Lotus, they were scattered across the continent in the cities, towns and hamlets, tending to the needs of the populance.

Stepping into the small single story building, Remeck caught the tail end of a hurried conversation between the local white mage and a messenger.  “…and don’t forget to let Master Thomas know that we need to continue to stockpile ethers and potions.  I won’t be able to keep up with the injured forever.”  With a curt nod, the messenger bowed himself past Remeck and hurried out the door as the white mage turned his attention to Remeck.  “Hello, can I help you?”

“Yes, I’d like you to heal a wound for me please.”  Remeck dropped his gear in the corner and removed his jacket so that the white mage could get a look.  From somewhere beneath the thick white robes the healer produced a small knife and gingerly cut away the bandage and examined the wound.

“Not very serious at all.  You’ve already had it partially treated.”  The white mage sucked on his teeth for a moment, probably calculating the least powerful cure spell he would need to get Remeck back into tip top shape.  If ever the goblionids launched a serious assault, he’d need all his strength and more to keep the townsfolk alive.

“Well, I can’t heal you for free, but given the situation and the fact that you look like a person who’d be useful in a fight, how about 50 gill?”

Remeck blinked and nodded.  That was a 90% discount.  Clearly the white mage was predicting an eventual blood bath where every sword arm would count.  The white mage reached out with both arms, placing both hands on Remeck’s head and muttered the words to a cure spell.  His hands glowed a muted green and Remeck felt a subdued warmth wash over him.  In its wake, he found that all the aches and pains in his body gone.  With a deep breath, the white mage sat back, his breathing slightly shallow, as if he had just rushed to arrive. 

Allowing the white mage time to catch his breath, Remeck counted out the coins before thanking him and gathering his gear.  Just outside the door, Remeck nearly ran into Roxanne.  Pulling up short, Remeck grinned sheepishly just a little embarrassed that this woman was taller than he was.  “Want me to wait for you?”  he asked, brushing some of his hair back, only to have it promptly fall back into place.

“No.  I can handle this on my own.” came the brusque reply.

Remeck shrugged and pulled a pouch of coins from his pocket.  “By the way,” he tossed the bag to Roxanne, “this is payment.  For working with me.”  Remeck added, answering Roxanne’s questioning gaze.

“I’ll see you back at the Inn then.  203.  We have the room till nightfall when we’ll be moving out.”  Walking away, Remeck waved over his shoulder.  Next he’d visit the armory and pick up a spear for tonight.  Behind him, Roxanne would find the pouch filled with 1000 gill.

The End

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