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   Chapter 17 No.17

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5171

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:03

The tavern was a very different place in the wee hours of the morning. Pale light from the cloudy morning sky replaced the warm light of candle and lamp. The only motion was the stirring of flies upon a half-finished plate of food left by an unsatisfied customer the night before. Where had been a room full of rowdy patrons now was only one, a filthy man who'd had a bit too much of the ale and made a pillow of his leftover cabbage.

Behind the bar was a wiry young fellow, likely the owner's son. He'd leaned his chair against the wall and gazed lazily into space through a few greasy locks that hung in front of his half-closed eyes. Myranda approached him, hopeful of procuring a few pieces of the meat from last night. In her experience, if the meat was past its prime, the kitchen would usually part with it free of charge. It might not be tasty, but it would be nourishing, and so long as it filled her stomach, she was satisfied.

"Sir?" she said.

He did not react.

"Um, sir?" she repeated loudly.

She waved her hand before his eyes, only to hear a long, grating snore. She shook her head. It was one thing to sleep on the job, but teaching one's self to do so with open eyes was quite a trick. He had earned the sleep, she would not rouse him. Her stomach already grumbling, she pushed the door open slightly. A biting wind blew some stray snowflakes into her face. She paused for a moment to pull up her heavy hood and fasten its frayed cord, all the while letting the arctic breeze whisk inside. Once she had finished preparin

stant wind blew in their faces, but they made sure to keep a quick pace until they were well outside the village walls. When Leo was satisfied they were quite alone, he slowly straightened and tugged his hood back enough to break its spell and reveal his face. His return to his full posture was accompanied by a sigh. Myranda shook her head.

"I am so sorry that you have to live like this, " she said, nearly sickened by the behavior of her own people.

"Oh, it is not so bad. I only spend time in a city once in a great while, " he said.

"It should not be that way. I honestly do not see how you could treat me so kindly when my people have never done the same to you. How can you put the anger aside?" she asked.

"You must remember that at least half of my interactions with other races are in the form of combat. When every alternate memory you have of a human consists of forcibly delivering him into an unwelcome slumber, and getting paid quite well to do so, the anger tends to fade a bit, " he said with a grin.

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