|What Boredom Spawns
Author: Lauren DM Smith PM
The gods' war has caused a lot of problems for mortals. Mijinji couldn't care less about that, except where it's creating monster-killing jobs for him. But thanks to his eccentric partner Vergon, he's more involved with than he ever imagined he would be.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 46 - Words: 50,265 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-17-13 - Published: 02-29-12 - id: 3001582
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Their employer shrugged, brown eyes on the still pointing Vergon. "Yes I am. Adherence to the vows I gave to my goddess have forced me to journey to Riverport to see about a few trade matters there. It won't be a problem, will it?"
Mijinji closed a pincher like grip around Vergon's arm, yanking it down and bowing his head towards the priest, praying that his partner didn't decide to start blaspheming again. "No, there's no problem. My partner here was just surprised. Even among those sworn to the trade goddess, it's rare to see a priest travelling far from his temple."
The man smiled. "I can understand that. If my presence wasn't required in Riverport, I would be staying here. Sadly, in the matters of trade, sometimes a personal appearance is required."
Smiling back, Mijinji nodded. "I can understand that."
"What kind of trade are you involved in?" Clessa asked.
Silently thanking the mage for the distraction, Mijinji released his hold on his partner, glaring at him in what he hoped told Vergon that he'd accept no nonsense out of him. For once, Vergon nodded, still quiet with one eye on their employer. Not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, Mijinji turned his attention back to the priest.
"…and since the last shipment of the beads from Stiklird was late by over a week with no bad weather to account for it, I'm going to have to start some negotiations with both the shipping house and the captain of the ship. If it comes to it, I'm prepared even to go to the polis itself. My temple and its upkeep depend on our selling of those glass beads."
"I thought temples used donations from their followers to keep themselves running," Clessa said, frowning slightly.
"That's true for most, at least as far as I've heard, but as our goddess is focused on trade and metals, she has long said that priests of hers should be able to support themselves with trade. All donations go to improving our current temple through the addition of statues or adornments on the existing temple. Mine is a year short of the funds needed for us to finally expand out. If the problems with the shipments continue, I fear it will be another two or three. And my fellow priests are looking forward to when we no longer have to hold services in shifts and to having quarters big enough that we might each have a private room."
"Then we'll do what we can to make sure you get to Riverport quickly and safely," Mijinji said. "Do you have everything you need?"
"Yes. May I ask your names before we go?"
Mijinji blinked, then grinned. "I'm Mijinji. Our mage is Clessa. And this one," he said, slapping his partner on the back. "Is Vergon."
"It's a pleasure to meet you. My name's Paxun. I look forward to travelling with you. How long do you think it will take us to reach Riverport?"
"Barring any surprises, I'd say about five or six days. Four, if we push hard. Are you in a particular hurry?"
"No. I'd thought it would take at least a week."
"It would, if we were confined to the trade roads. But with only our horses, we can use some of the narrower trails that will cut time off the journey. As long as you have no objections to spending a night or two outdoors."
Paxun laughed. "To become a full priest of Handilah requires that a novice leave his or her temple with nothing but what he can fit in a single pack and without a single coin or riding beast, and make his or her way to the second nearest capital. There they have to live for two months before finally making their way back to the temple. Only then can they be seen as true priests. By the time I made it to Stiklird, I had spent over a month sleeping outside. The wilderness holds few fears for me."
"Then I'm even gladder that you hired us. The last escort job we took involved a noble girl who had conniptions when she saw some of the inns we stayed in. I'm afraid she didn't enjoy the journey to Crownhaven much. "
Clessa snorted. "What, did she expect noble-class inns in every tiny village?"
"Thereabouts," Mijinji replied. "But that was half a year ago. And if we continue to chat like this, it'll be another half a year before we make it to Riverport. Shall we mount up?"
While Clessa and Paxun pulled themselves onto their horses, Mijinji turned to look at Vergon. "You've been quiet. Way too quiet, especially for you. Is something wrong?"
After a quick glance at the priest's turned back, Vergon leaned in and whispered "He's one of Handilah's priests. Dilah's on the side of the family who want to bring me home even if I don't want to go. If he finds out who I am, the whole family will come. That would be very super not good."
Mijinji stared at his partner, taking in the paleness of his features and the wider than normal eyes. A tiny prickle of fear worked its way into his chest but he did his best to ignore it. "There's nothing to be done except be careful, then. And if you don't stop looking like you expect lightning from the sky, our employer there might get the wrong idea."
Vergon frowned, and part of Mijinji cheered the fact that his partner was finally taking something serious and acting like an actual mortal human. Then Vergon opened his mouth. "But Dilah doesn't use lightning."
Sighing, Mijinji vaulted onto Arrow. This was going to be a long trip.