Page 38

The sound of chatter filled the entire room as the messenger guided the oak doors shut. Lantern light danced across the surface of the small wooden tables, etching out the variety of hobbits which occupied them. The mood was melancholy in the small pub, besides the bickering coming from some boisterous individuals in the corner to the left. Jabit strolled to the bar, dodging pints of mead as they splashed on the hardwood floor.

He slowed as he approached the bar, scratching his head as he looked for an open stool. He paced back and forth as seats were claimed right before him, until he spotted the only remaining stool at the far left of the bar, sandwiched between two heavyset hobbits clashing there pints ferociously. He dashed to the seat and quickly came to a halt before clearing his throat.

"... Excuse me gentlemen, I am —"

"Jabit!" The two men shouted in unison as they turned to face him.

Jabit studied them a moment, trying to remember who they were, and why he had a feeling he knew them. They looked nearly identical, both with thick sideburns and broad jawlines. The man to his left wore a bridge builders uniform, his utility belt rested over his left shoulder. The man to his right wore a red tunic and black leather pants, dirt stained his hairy face and hands.

The man on the right continued, "Well of course you can join us, it has certainly been awhile since we had the likes of Jabit Treadfoot hasn't it Finn?"

The bridge builder chugged his pint before he replied,

"Indeed it has Lippin... Where did you go off to for the past two years Jabit? I sure hope everything is okay at the farm."

The two men helped the messenger to his stool as he spoke,

"Has it been two years? I thought it was awhile since I've been to the Rhael, everything seems so new to me! Mother must have forgot your village on my route. But I assure you everything is certainly so back at the farm. However I am not here on the matters of my normal deliveries, I need to speak to Farjadis Wisebeard."

The two men looked at one another for a moment before they returned their gaze back to Jabit, both of them with a concerned look on their faces. The man on the right went on,

"Is he in danger? We have been hearing rumors of mysterious things going on along the Faric, and the word is that the young Wisebeard left the village just before the rumors surfaced. Finn says he saved his life along the road after his clash with bandits a couple nights back."

The bridge builder nodded as he chugged his mead, allowing Jabit to interject,

"The young Wisebeard? I wasn't aware there was more than one..."

The End

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