Glenn's Anguish Part V

Calm Before the Storm

By Star Kitten

Glenn gazed around the town marketplace in awe. Goods of every imaginable kind adorned the booths of the merchants, who called out to passers-by on how exquisite their items were. "Silks fit for the Guardian Royalty!" One middle-aged man called out. "Jewels even rarer than Dreamstone!" Another cried enthusiastically.

Cyrus chuckled at the spectacle. Sometimes it seemed like he could find humor in everything. "Heh, most of these dealers' potential customers couldn't even afford to buy those rotted teeth or theirs." He remarked, pointing to a particular merchant who had only a couple yellowed teeth in his encouraging smile. "Five hundred gold pieces for some silly nu doll." Glenn said in agreement. "The could at least sell a parody of something that exists!"

"People have reported seeing them though." Cyrus replied in a matter-of-fact tone. "Oh yeah," Glenn retorted. "What's next? Flying ships from space? Visitors from other planets?" They two both laughed at that. "I'd bet they'd try and market that junk too!" Cyrus added. {Okay, so I couldn't resist putting that ^-^ --SK}

"Well anyway," Cyrus announced as the approached the edge of the market. "We'd better stop buy the local café and find a room for the night afterwards. It's been a tough day, and tomorrow's going to be twice as hard."

Glenn didn't have anything to add that time. It still worried him about the high risks of the situation, much less all the threats from those creatures they had encountered. "Glenn, you're not worried are you?" Cyrus suddenly spoke up, probably from seeing the look on his face.

"Me?" Glenn echoed. "No way, I can't wait." He forced a smile with the words. "Okay," Cyrus replied hesitantly. "But you don't have to go if you don't want." He said as they rounded the street corner that led to the tavern.

Glenn shook his head in disagreement. "Hey, someone's got to be there in your moment of glory." He chided with a grin. "Our moment of glory." Cyrus corrected with a assertive look.


They reached the tavern when the sun had just begun to disappear over the horizon. A faded wood sign that read 'The Snail Stop' was swaying back and forth with a loud creak in the cool evening breeze.

Cyrus pushed open the heavy door of the café and a loud aria of vibrant piano music greeted them. People were lined at the bar, all of them talking cheerfully to one another. A few girls near the bars end beamed at the sight of Cyrus, all of them began chattering to one another at once.

"It's Cyrus! The Cyrus!" One squealed with excitement.

"He's soooo handsome!" Another added.

"Oh, I just wish we could… hey, who's that guy with him?

Glenn sighed heavily. He would probably always be 'that guy with Cyrus'. It wouldn't surprise him if when they returned from the mountain the people would cheer: Cyrus has returned! Oh yeah, and that other guy too!" He shook his head and walked further through the cramped bar. Cyrus strode through nonchalantly, he either didn't care about the hushed excitement of most of the people, or he didn't notice. Again, Glenn just sighed.

A young man and woman about Glenn's age were standing in the corner of the large room.

"I could never love anyone else than you, Fiona." He cooed as he wrapped his arms around her. He pulled out a beautifully colored flower and handed it to her. She smiled and caressed its delicate petals thoughtfully. "Not even a thousand of the world's loveliest flora could match your beauty." He added with a smile.

"And someday…" The girl named Fiona sighed. "I'll plant a grand forest, full of flowers just like these… and we'll live in a beautiful house at it's edge." The man smiled and kissed her on the cheek. "I guarantee you we will, my dear Fiona." He whispered.

"You know Glenn, I bet you could find a girl like that too…" Cyrus mused. Glenn spun around, he hadn't realized he had been staring at the couple. "Nah… I wouldn't have the courage to ask anyone like that." He replied modestly, he could feel his cheeks flush as he spoke. Cyrus laughed. "Nonsense, you've got courage to spare!"

"N-not really…"

"Oh come on, Glenn. You think to lowly of yourself!"

"I just don't know, Cyrus."

"Well, you do Glenn. You just have to wake up and realize it!"

"I guess so…"

Cyrus uttered a heavy sigh. "We'd better order something…" He muttered, changing the subject.

"Yeah…" Glenn said softly in agreement. He hoped Cyrus was right about it, though.

"But seriously, Glenn…" Cyrus continued on as he ordered a roast and a drink for each of them. "Who do you like? I mean, the has to be someone."

Glenn jerked back so he almost fell off the bar stool. The words had caught him totally off guard. He began pushing stands of his green hair out of his face uneasily even though they hadn't really bothered him.

"W-who do I like-?" He stammered. He was spared a few moments from answering as a waitress walked up and sat their orders before them. With a wink, she turned to serve another customer. A fat looking man, with very odd looking facial features.

"Well…." Glenn whispered, sipping the ale in his mug slowly. "…Leene…"

"Leene-?!" Cyrus echoed. He nodded shyly. "Really?"


Cyrus picked at the roast with his fork, his gaze couldn't seem to stay in one place. Glenn wished he hadn't admitted it, he tightened the grip on his mug until his fingers throbbed. "I guess that's okay…." Cyrus finally spoke up. "But you know…"

"Yeah, she's married. I'm not stupid." Glenn shot back. Cyrus gave him a weary look at that. "It's not that." Glenn spoke up. "It's just… I would at least want to protect her in the future, nothing really serious."

Cyrus smiled and patted him on the back. "Hey, and why couldn't you?" Glenn smiled and finished off the last of his dinner. "So, are you ready to turn in?" Cyrus asked. "It's a big day tomorrow."

Glenn nodded and stood up. The two had barely taken a few steps before the fat man who had entered the bar not long ago approached them.

"Excuse me, sirs." He said with a mock tone of respect. "Forgive me for intruding, but you would happen to be Sir Cyrus of Guardia?" He said, motioning to Cyrus.

"I am." He replied tersely, turning away from the odd man. The man squinted his beady looking eyes at them. He almost didn't even look human in that expression. "And I hear you're planning on going after a certain artifact soon…" The man added.

Cyrus spun around and glared at the strange man. "How would you know that?" He hissed.

The man gave a annoying, booming laugh and smiled knowingly. "Call it a hunch." He replied with a shrug. "But anyway-"

He was interrupted by another man, who was wearing a dark cloak and had long, flowing hair. "Leave them alone." He snapped to the first. "I told you… not now." The fat man instantly cringed away and backed off from Cyrus. In turn, the other gave his apology.

"Forgive my…uh, partner. He tends to find other people's business interesting." The man said with a slight sneer to the other. "I would like to warn you though, only a fool would dare go to that mountain looking for nothing but a myth."

"Well I intend to look for that myth either way." Cyrus replied flatly. "Now if you'll excuse us, sir. My friend and I have had a tiresome day and we have no time for idle conversation." Without another word, Cyrus tossed the barkeep a small pouch of gold he had as payment and motion for Glenn to leave. The two both headed for the door, wishing for nothing but a warm bed to sleep in for the night.

"Fine then, have it your way!" The strange fat man called to them as the exited. "You'll regret even thinking about that place!" The man's ominous warning was followed by a swift blow to the head from his companion.

"What a weird pair." Glenn remarked once they were back out on the street. "It takes all kinds, I guess." Cyrus mused with a yawn. "The biggest thing on my mind now is a place to rest. We're going to need it with the journey ahead." He added. "Yeah…" Glenn muttered in agreement.

I just hope we come back alive… He added to himself.


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