The City of Gambling really was impressive.
The men walked through the busy streets, gazing at all the bright colored signs on billboards and building walls. Nearly ever other building was a tavern or a gambling house. Although Rhazin felt bad for enjoying the sights of what he had been raised to hate, he was really more curious about the 'revelation houses.'
“Um... No,” Exceed said when Rhazin questioned him about them. “Maybe when you're older.”
“I'll be nearly twenty eight in a couple months!” Rhazin retorted. His curiosity was only heightened by Exceeds denials.
“Whatever, you probably haven't even been with a woman,” Exceed said, spotting a nearby gambling house. “Alright, we've been searching for this checkpoint for a while. I am taking a break.” Rhazin's mouth dropped.
“We can't give up!” Rhazin yelled, causing some people nearby to stare at him, “We have to get out of here before the others get here!”
“Rhazin,” Exceed said, “The quickest someone has ever finished this race is a year.” Exceed shook his head. He seemed annoyed. “The winner from last year set that record, which is the only reason the Race started this early.”
“But..” Rhazin stuttered, only to be interrupted once more.
“Look, if we rush, it will only make us more tired when the others try to attack us,” Exceed said, “And after we leave this place, we won't be safe until the Race is over.
Rhazin agreed reluctantly. After they left here, they would continue on to the port city of Eint and cross the water into the next island in the Murdos Isles. That island would be the most deadly of the three, or so Rhazin had been told. He knew that Great Lizards and Salamanders inhabited the isles.
A shiver escaped Rhazin. He did not want to fight a Great Lizard OR a Salamander.
“What's wrong?” Exceed asked, noticing Rhazins expression.
“Are there really Great Lizards in the next island?” Exceeds face darkened slightly. Rhazin had his answer then.
“Let's just relax, ok?” the larger man asked Rhazin, something dark appearing in his expression. Had this man gone through something in his past?
“Alright then, I suppose this IS the last time we can relax.”
Exceed smiled. “That's the spirit!”
For the rest of the day and well into the night Rhazin watched as Exceed gambled with his money in various games and competitions. Rhazin was surprised that any man could bet his money on a chance that he might draw what he needed. When he had asked, Exceed only told Rhazin that the chance of losing everything made it fun. Rhazin didn't get it, but stopped questioning Exceed and even joined once. To his surprise, he actually won, causing Rhazin to go a few more rounds. Before he knew it, Rhazin was winning multiple matches.
“Scarred Father, you're good!” Exceed cried after Rhazin won his eleventh match in a row. The game he was currently playing was called Murdos' Luck, which was essentially a game of dice. Each player would throw a pair, trying to get matches. If they could match three AND have a higher roll than any other's who had a match of three won. It was simple, yet extremely hard to win and Rhazin had gotten a match of three every time, with high matches at that, beating any who challenged him.
“I never knew I had this much luck!” Rhazin shouted excitingly, “I could buy a horse with this!”
“Haha, well yeah,” Exceed said, “But save that for the next island, Rhazin.”
The crowd that had gathered to watch the men went dead silent at the mention of Rhazin's name.
“Oh, don't worry guys,” Exceed said quickly, realizing what he had done, “It was a mis-”
“That's the guy who stabbed the Champion!” A man in red yelled, interupting Exceed. The other men and women in the group started yelling accusations at him as well.
“Rhazin,” Exceed said, backing away from the Dice Table, “Remember when I said we might have to run because of what I do?”
“Yeah...” Rhazin replied, following Exceeds lead.
“I was wrong, it's because of YOU that we have to run. GO!” Exceed bolted for the door, grabbing his large sack of supplies on the way. He had to stop to pick it up, as it was heavy from all the supplies that Rhazin and he had bought earlier in the day, but Exceed still made it out the door before the other's could react.
Rhazin chased after Exceed, dodging a ball of fire someone threw his way. He grabbed his own sack, which was lighter, to his luck, than Exceeds, and ran out of the Gambling house.
Together the two men ran down the road, avoiding thrown boulders and fire from the men that chased them. Rhazin, after growing too tired to run, created a Voidgate to the outside of Durnt City, grabbed Exceeds arm, and touched the gate. The two men were covered in the darkness of the Nullspace before 'popping' into a soft patch of grass.
“Smart thinking, Rhazin,” Exceed said, catching his breath, “but why didn't you do that sooner?”
Rhazin shrugged and sat down. Why was he having such bad luck with people? Well, he knew why, but it seemed like things just got worse.
“Come on,” Exceed said. He reached out to help Rhazin up.
'At least I have a friend,' Rhazin thought, taking the man's hand.
Murdos walked toward her window, worry crossing her mind.
“What's wrong?” Munito said behind her.
“That child.... does he not worry thou?” Murdos asked him. Silence followed her voice, like Darkness followed in Light's wake.
“Yes,” Munito answered after a while, “I've never seen a Void user as unstable as he.”
Murdos just nodded to herself. Although she had been married to Munito for nearly a thousand years, he still did not understand.
“That one has a Darkness, Munito,” Murdos said, causing her Husband to gasp, “Making the Harbinger, that child. Rhazin.”
Munito walked up behind her and wrapped his enormous arms around his wife. “I won't let you die,” he whispered in her ear, “I never will.” Murdos smiled at the man. Sometimes she almost believed her husband, though she knew her time was near.
“Has thou brought in that girl?” Murdos asked. She pulled away and stared at Munito when he said nothing. “Munito?”
“I'll... bring her in tomorrow...,” Munito said, looking defeated, “Just don't make her give any prophecies... I don't want to hear any more.” He seemed genuinely sad, to Murdos' surprise. She had thought he hadn't wanted to remarry because of the trouble. She never thought that he simply cared that much for her.
“Come hither,” Murdos said softly. Munito came to her, looking surprised. She pulled him into an embrace and placed her mouth beside his ear. “When thou returns, I will be here.”
“Promise?” Munito whispered.
Murdos kissed the man she loved, knowing she couldn't keep the promise.