A mysterious stranger on horseback appearsMature

The happy tune Bomo was humming to himself suddenly acquired a backbeat (though such things were unknown to the fair and simple folk of Hiohi). He looked up, and found the source of the thunderous rhythm was none other than a magnificent black steed bearing a dark, brooding figure upon it's muscled back.

The horse slowed, then stopped. As Bomo watched in awe, the beast reared up, waved its forelegs dramatically, and let out a screeching whinny that echoed across the countryside.

Bomo thought that this was extremely cool.

When the horse again stood upon all fours, the rider dismounted and strode purposefully towards Bomo.

"Greetings, field-worker," the man said, his voice a veritable gravel pit. "I am Stalker, an itinerant mercenary with an unshakable sense of ethics and a taste for revenge. Later in the story I will be revealed to be Naugahide, the last remaining son of the deposed monarch of the lost Kingdom of Gordon. But you can ignore all that for now. Just call me Stalker."

"Wow," said Bomo. "I wouldn't remember any of that anyway. I'm just a simple... how did you put it?"

"Field-worker."

"Yes. Field-worker. That's me. Workin' the fields. Doin' the field-work. Performing any work-type tasks related to the fields."

"I get the picture."

"Right."

Bomo squinted up at the man, but he couldn't make out his face. His hood obscured his features.

"So what do you want?" Bomo asked.

"Straight to the point," Stalker replied. "Good lad. What I want, after my long and arduous journey across field, mountain, river, vale, and dell, is to know where you got that innocuous-looking Magical Amulet of Unspeakable Doom."

"This old thing?" Bomo said, lifting the amulet slightly. "You travelled all this way just to ask me about this?"

"Indeed I did," Stalker said solemnly. "You, my boy, have a destiny. And it is my job to see that you achieve it. I must guard your person as we travel across this vast land of ours, saving your miserable ass countless times, and staying by your side no matter how annoying and whiny you become."

"Wow. I'd better grab a change of clothes."

"Yes, and bring two friends. Do it quickly. We're on the clock, here."

The End

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