Roxanne hefted the pouch in her hand. It was roughly. . . . .seven, nine hundred gil? A thousand, maybe? What were they thinking? What did she need that money for.

Roxy felt a little unnerved about it, but she did need the money. Then again. . . .she didn't want to be in their hands. She only needed to get to the heart of Baron.


"What?" Remeck turned around. "You need me to stay?"

Roxy shook her head and tossed the pouch back at him. "I don't want your money."

Remeck looked confused. "It's not my money. Balamb Garden wants to compensate you."

"I don't care whose money this is. I don't need it right now." Roxy replied. "I'm just trying to get to the heart of Baron. Keep it if you like, use it for payment of what we need. And at least tell me if I'm being compensated in the future." she turned to the white mage and whispered something, then they both went back inside.

The white mage began to chuckle once they got back inside.

"Roxanne Jane Gammond." he said. "What sort of mess have you gotten yourself into as of late? A relationship, and with a man two inches shorter?" the mage roared. "I thought I would never see the day. Your father would have been amazed at-"

Roxanne slapped the mage. "I'm not in any such relationship. That soldier is helping me relocate Father at the heart of Baron. I doubt you're doing all that well for yourself, either, Richard. Did you really think you'd be a famous mage somewhere?"

The white mage, who was realated to Roxanne and her father, blinked insurprise. "You found your father, little cousin? Do you really think you can get him out from where he is? Unless. . ." he looked thougthful. "Where did you find this soldier?" he asked carefully.

"I was engaging an Ochu and he tried to stop me. Didn't think I could beat it."

Richard blinked. "He tried to stop you? Obviously the boy doesn't know your skills."

Roxy shook her head. "Obviously not. We fought off seven goblinoids today on the way into town and Remeck was nearly killed. But he's a surprisingly good fighter."

"A match for you?"

Roxanne snorted. "Not by a long shot. Can you just fix me up, please?"

"What's the problem?" Richard asked.

"I had a knife dropped into my foot. It's mostly patched up, but it could use a once-over anyways. Also, I seem to have constant pain here." Roxanne pointed to a spot on the left side of her rib cage. "Can you tell me why?"

Richard nodded. "First let's see that foot. Take off your boot."

 Roxy sat down on a nearby chair and obeyed.

                                 *                *                   *                   *             *

Roxanne stormed back to the inn, very upset.

The white mage, Richard Gammond, was her father's first cousin. He had helped look after Roxy after her mother had died. Of course, Roxy hadn't expected to see him here. But what he had said to her. . .

"There's no problem with you physically. You're perfectly healthy."

"Then why the pain?"

"Well, that depends. How often do you use your powers?"

"My. . . .powers?"

"Your skills as a Bard. You honed the talent so before your mother died, and we all thought that you were a prodigy."

"I don't use those powers anymore, Richard. I chose the road of the Samuri."

"I know. What I think is that it's been hell for you mentally all of these years, and so now, it's starting to affect you phisically. That's the only explanation I can think of."

"But that doesn't make any sense!"

"On the contrary, people who are depressed or have gone through-"

"I am not depressed!"

"No, but you never spoke of your mother after her funeral. You stopped using your true gift, and then you ran away. You really think you can find your father and present yourself to him the way you are? Do you really plan to use that soldier to help him escape from the heart of Baron? You've changed too much for your own good, little one."

Roxanne was absolutely furious by the time she had left. The nerve of that man. . . Richard knew her better then that!

When she reached the inn, Roxy forced herself to calm down. Putting on a bad face now would be the worst possible thing she could do.

She found Remeck ordering some food to be sent up when she got inside.

He waved her over. "Good, you're here. Want anything?"

Roxy shrugged. "Doesn't matter. Whatever you're getting."

"Alright." he shrugged. "Just double what I've ordered and send it up. It's no trouble if we have to wait as long as we can eat before dusk."

The innkeeper nodded. "We'll send it up shortly, sir."

They went up, and Roxy noted a brand-new spear in one corner of the room. Most likely Remeck had bought it while she was with Richard.

"So. . . .why don't you want the money?" Remeck asked quietly once the door was closed.

Roxy sighed. "Because I have money with me, and because it's useless where we're going."

"The temple?"

Roxy shook her head. "The heart of Baron."

"There's a difference?"

"Is that not obvious from the name?"

The End

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