the_great_one wrote: "Th... thanks." she muttered, before falling asleep,
"let her sleep..." Reno muttered.
"Now Bjarn, come and sit over here, and tell the rest of us of your journeys..." The group sat down, with Luxus sitting next to Bjarn.
The old Forerstman sat down and waved aside the bread Rosa handed him, even though he was very hungry.
"We must not waste time here, my friends." he said quickly, "We are in major trouble. News of the Shadow
hijacking has spread, there is a high price on our head and I know I'm being followed..."
Bjarn quickly began to tell the tale of his and Dale's rush to get Shainya to a healer. He spoke fast, leaving out no detail. The one person who was not listening was the barmaid, Rosa.
Let them think I am little crying whimp,
she thought sullenly, peering over her shoulder every once in a while to see if her master was approaching, I can fend for myself...but if it wasn't for Rod...
Suddenly she heard footsteps, she turned and blocked the doorway quickly so her master could not see the new arrivals.
"Git outta my way, Shifty-Brick! Who still down there? Tis the middle of the night it is! Move!"
She did not shrink back. "They are paying customers, sir!" she said, still blocking the door. If my master found out they had stolen a Crusader ship...
"Git outto my way!" her master threw her aside, she crashed into a stack of bottles that smashed on top of her. Bjarn, Aros, Willem, Graygon, Marcus, Rodurik, Dale and Luxus rose, fingering their weapons. Reno, still weak, was still on the floor with Shainya.
"Sir..." Willem said, jingling some coins, "We have money, we are willing to pay..."
The master cut him off. "I bet I could git more money when I turn you lot in! Steal a ship did ya? Heh heh heh..."
The master suddenly caught sight of Rodurik. "'Ow many times have I told ya NOT ta coming inta mah inn, ye dark-skinned shift-brick!?"
The master snatched a pike from the wall and threw at the brawny blacksmith. It caught him in the side, felling him instantly. The master laughed, he was clearly mad. Suddenly his eyes went wide with shock, he stumbled, and then fell to the ground. Rosa withdrew her slim dagger from her formal master's side and wiped it clean on his dirty shirt.
"Megabloks you." she said quietly. She then ran over to her only friend and knelt beside him. Reno was already hard work.
"Will he live?" she asked with a rare display of tenderness.
"I don't know." answered Reno grimly.
There was a sudden loud rat-tat-tat on the inn door.
"Open up in there!" a voice commanded, "This is the Sheriff of Denderham! We have word that some men that are wanted by the law are in here! Open up!"
"Oh tyco..." Bjarn moaned.
Graygon darted to the other windows. "We're surrounded!" he shouted angerly. All the persons who were able drew their various weapons. Willem, Marcus and Aros barred the door while Graygon and Luxus shutted the windows. Reno still lay by Shainya working on Rodurik with the help of Rosa. Bjarn had gone upstairs. He now returned, looking grim.
"I count two score men out there heavily armed. There's little chance we'll make it out of here alive, especially with three wounded people."
"Is there any way out of this place??" asked Marcus
Rosa looked up from Rodurik. "Yes..." she said faintly, and then more loudly, "Yes, there is!"
She jumped and and ran behind the bar. She ducked down and wrenched up a floorboard.
"There is a secret passage built into every inn in this town for the owners to escape through if pirates attack!"
"Where does it lead to?" asked Bjarn perplexed.
"The tip of Dark Forest (P-11)." was the reply.