It had been a few winters since he’d last returned to Rothfard.
The room still looked the same way it always had. Same bed, same pillow, same broken down desk with the heavy ink spot in the top right corner. Same window looking down at the meager gate.
Rothfard was the first small township inland of Naksul. A full day’s ride away from the famed port town. Where Naksul stood heavily fortified with gates four times the size of any man, Rothfard barely had a gate to connect its log walls. It seemed a town forgotten and yet somehow it thrived.
The traveller maintained it was the wit of the Captain. If it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the trouble, trouble stays far away and yet any town with a few hundred two its name is bound to have something worth troubling over.
Normally the traveller took pleasure in visiting Rothfard. Though it was just another stop on the way, he’d grown accustomed to the peculiarities of the town and its folk. Familiarity goes a long way, but not this time. No, this time the traveller’s mind was far too removed.
He couldn’t shake what the old man had said, “You’ve still got much to learn.”
“I don’t understand,” he’d quipped. “I’ve battled more souls than I can remember, committed deeds far greater than any I’ve come across, when will it be enough?”
“It isn’t your action that needs repairing,” he’d smiled. “It’s the intention. Who are you doing this for?”
“For her, who else? They’re the ones that need proving”
He could hear his heart thundering, but not loud enough to mask the footsteps on the stairs.
He calmed himself as the door opened, “Well look who it is,” beamed the Captain.
The traveler nodded in return.
“It’s been what, three, four winters?”
“Something like that,” replied the traveler.
“I’ve been hearing more tales of your adventures,” said the Captain, as he closed the door behind him. “Looks like you’ve been busy. Is it enough yet?”
“Is it ever?”
The Captain saw a fire light in the traveler’s eyes at that.
He took a seat at the desk as the traveler sat on the bed staring intently at his boots. They both sat there, letting the conversation slip off until the traveler smiled at his old friend.
“So tell me, any news?”
The Captain returned his smile with greater mirth.
“Not too much trouble lately,” he said. “Nothing weren’t bothering you about. Why don’t you take some time, rest up here a bit. How long you going to keep chasing trouble?”
“Who’s the new guy?”
“You aint been here in least four winters, what makes you think he’s new?”
“The way Bill left when I walked in,” he smiled. “Only someone new’s dumb enough to bother Ole Bill.”
After sharing a laugh, the captain answered, “Some sort of scholar or some sort. Says he was educated out in Zeyt.”
“What’s his story?”
“Don’t worry, he just likes to talk. No fun for you, yet.”