Sish wandered the streets of the Line, trying to keep his face hidden. It had been a day since the Execution Block incident, so the officers were very active. Luckily for Sish, not many thought to look in the most populated area in Fetona: the Line.
Being the edge of the mid-section and outer section of Fetona, maby Commons and Divines mingled together in a wide variety of shops, including clothiers, ornamental blacksmiths, restaurants, bars, and even pleasure houses. The last Sish was making sure to stay away from especially. Sish didn’t understand women. He never had.
A bar called The Lost God’s Refuge caught Sish’s eye. It wasn’t a large bar, like some of the others, but it still had a decent size. The name of the place, however, was what drew Sish. He still had a mission, even if the old man wasn’t…
No! He couldn’t think about that! He had dealt with loss before and Kojack wasn’t even that great of a guy! He was cocky, stuck up, and a stiff! Still… the man was the only companion he had had in this damnable city. Sish looked around at the large crowds walking the road. None of them were trustworthy. None of them cared about a boy in rough clothing with messy hair. To them, Sish was something to be ignored.
And so, he went in The Lost God’s Refuge.
It was a nice place, with a low fire and a large dining area that was halfway filled. Men on the verge of being drunk flirted with the waitress – a short dark-haired girl with a bright smile – and telling stories of all kinds. Sish thought he heard one man talking about beating a Farmer in a fist fight. Well, that was a tall tale unless he had once been a Farmer himself.
The actual bar was halfway full like the tables and had a large man with a joyful grin on his face. Grave had once said, ‘Never trust a skinny bartender,’ to another Nomad. Well, Sish thought the saying was stupid, but, looking at the large man, he couldn’t help but agree. With plump cheeks and a round body, the red-haired man looked like a nice guy and even somewhat saintly. Sish quickly reminded himself that no one in Fetona could be so good, but it was hard to believe it when he walked up and sat down at the bar.
“Oh! We have a young one here!” the red-haired man said after looking at the other guys. They laughed saying things like, ‘Are you old enough?’ and ‘He just thinks he’s a man!’ Usually, Sish would have grown angry and retorted, but he just… Didn’t feel like he could get angry.
“Don’t worry lad,” the large man said, nudging one of the other guys. They were all a lot larger than Sish. “These guys are harmless. Now, what will it be?”
“I want to know if you know anything about the Lost God?” Sish asked, making the other men laugh at his statement.
“Well,” the man closest to Sish said, “He ought to know a bit. Radiant God above, don’t you know who this is, lad?” Sish shook his head at the heavily muscled man, surprised his anger didn’t react to that at all.
The red-haired man answered that question himself. “My name is Marvus Herm, and I am a writer of books on that subject.” Marvus Herm…. Wait, THAT Marvus Herm!?
“You wrote Lost God’s Genisis!” Sish accused excitedly. This man must have been an expert, not to mention Lost God’s Genesis was quite old, so his information might have grown.
Marvus bowed humorously, “Why yes, though that is an old one. Anyway, I meant a drink. Aren’t you thirsty?” Sish felt his mouth was dry and his stomach was grumbling. Marvus noticed. “And hungry as well!”
Sish shook his head, though. It wasn’t as if he didn’t WANT to eat, but… “I don’t have any money.” The men at the bar laughed loudly at that. Sish still didn’t get angry, though. Maybe he had used up his anger the other day..?
“Well,” Marvus said with a large smile, “I don’t know where you came from but in this city it’s free to eat and drink!”
That was... unexpected. So, Sish ordered a glass of water and a plateful of cooked deer and fruit. To his surprise, it was much better than any animals he had hunted in the Nomads! The deer tasted like it had been dipped in perfection and the fruit tasted like it had been plucked from the tree just then. Sish almost asked Marvus if he had a tree in the back, but was too busy shoving food down. Due to the offer, Sish even ordered another plate.
By the time he had eaten his fill, the other guys at the bar had filed out. Apparently they were all friends celebrating a wedding by drinking, so they left together.
Sish looked up from his empty plate and stared long and hard at Marvus. The man was smiling joyfully as he wiped down the bar and picked up glasses to be washed. Was he really the same Marvus that wrote the Lost God’s Genesis? He certainly didn’t act like an expert on anything other than bartending.
“You eat your fill?” Marvus asked as he took the plate. Why did such a nice guy live in this damnable city?
Sish nodded and muttered thanks. He needed to get some information; anything that would get him out of this city. He hated Fetona more than he wanted to find the Lost God, even, but if he left now that would make the old man’s death become meaningless.
“What can you tell me about the Lost God?” Sish asked after Marvus finished washing the plate in his small sink.
The man smiled broadly, a feature Sish realized was natural for the man, and leaned against the bar in front of Sish. Surprisingly, Sish felt intimidated. Something about this well-rounded man made Sish afraid. Not the usual fear like when he was fighting, or even fear like he had felt at the Execution Block when he faced death. No, this was more like a fear for his very soul.
Who was Marvus Herm?
“I suppose the first thing to say is that he doesn’t want to be found,” Marvus said, never letting his smile fade away. That surprised Sish. Why wouldn’t the Lost God want to be found? Was it because of Marvus’ book..?
Sish remembered that the book – The Lost God’s Genesis – there was the explanation that Tojere, the Radiant God, was angry at the creation of Jana. Fesh, realizing this, hid himself so Tojere would be forced to leave the people alone. However, in his rage, he had caused disease, anger, and storms to invade the pure land of Jana. Nama was tasked with keeping every soul alive until the Lost God Fesh could be found. Was there truth to this, then? Sish didn’t believe in the other Gods, so he had doubted.
“The only God is the Lost God,” Sish told him, surprised to find himself annoyed. It had only been a day since his rage had caused him to kill – a fact that he tried hard to suppress – and yet it seemed like forever since he felt himself grow something akin to anger. It was conforting, oddly enough.
Marvus smiled as if he had heard a great joke. “You are the first one who has said this to me,” he said slowly, his presence once again making Sish wonder who the large man was, “I am surprised to hear it. Tell me, why do you think this?”
“I… don’t know,” Sish admitted, still feeling annoyed, though now toward himself for not having evidence, “I just have a feeling that the other ‘Gods’ aren’t really Gods…”
Oddly enough, Sish felt as if Marvus was happy about how he felt. “Well, that certainly is a reasoning enough. After all, what do you think we all are?” The well-rounded man started humming as he walked away to clean a few dishes that the dark-haired waitress had brought. What had he meant? Sish wanted to ask him, but instead realized the day was growing darker. It would be closing time for the shops soon.
So, he decided on something. It had been nearly ten years since he was last in Fetona. There was a chance someone was still alive. He could talk to Marvus more on the following day, but for now he would endure Fetona’s damnable self and find her if she lived.
Kanere had, after all, been taken by a Divine.