Chapter 1 of a fantasy novel I'm working on.
The scent of blood was in the air, the stench so strong it drowned out the gentle aroma of the forest. Twigs snapped, branches splintered and tore apart. Birds, rabbits, and all manner of small creatures took notice of chaos within their home and scattered. A woman was rushing through this dense forest, barreling through anything in her way. She was drenched in enough blood to have one believe that a stuck pig had been let upon her. Some of it was fresh, some of it was dry. Her breathing was heavy, and if not for the red coating her, she would be visibly sweating.
The woman suddenly twisted her body, looking backwards. The blade of a crude knife aimed for her head was swiftly deflected by a metal bracer on her arm. A lucky throw. There was a stampede chasing her, a platoon of monsters on the hunt. Kicking off the ground, she went into a sprint once more. She had been running for a whole day, but her destination was just ahead. The trees began to thin and soon she was in a clearing, a grassy plain. She turned around, and brandished a long spear like weapon taken from her back. "This seems like enough space..." She muttered to herself. Deep in the dense forest this weapon's effectiveness was severely hampered.
Her pursuers soon caught up to her, leaking out of the forest. They were ugly creatures, bipedal beings with green skin that were of short stature. Goblins, is what they were known as. There were at least thirty of them now, over the course of the day their number had dropped by half thanks to her. She’d heard this forest was dangerous, but to run into such a large band of monsters was unexpected.
They attacked without hesitation, holding clubs and swords that they swung around with reckless abandon. The woman took a deep breath, and gripped her weapon tightly as she held it down to her waist. The first three goblins that charged her were met by a horizontal slash that cleaved through their bodies as easily as a smoldering blade through butter. Another coating of blood found it's way onto the cloak she was wearing. Their bisected bodies dropped to the ground with a thud, and she turned her attention to the rest.
The weapon did not stop moving, before the new few foes could get a single hit in she spun, simultaneously dodging their attacks and cleaving them apart one after another. They outnumbered her, but they were weak and clumsy. Many of them ended up bumping into each other or injuring themselves as they tried to interrupt the woman’s deadly dance. In the midst of this battle a thumping noise caught her attention. Just as the last goblin had fallen a much larger monster emerged. It too was a goblin, only it's size was ridiculous. Twelve feet tall, with limbs as thick as logs. Barely able to stand on her feet, the woman stood her ground as the large goblin closed the distance between the two of them. It swung a large club at her side, she used her weapon to guard it, yet the force was too much. Unable to fully block the attack, she was blown backwards. Her weapon flew from her hands, and she violently rolled across the grassy plain before finally stopping.
The goblin moved to finish her off, raising it's club above it's head. The woman quickly drew a knife from a holster on her leg, and glared at the beast. It stopped it's swing. The woman's expression was like a dangerous animal cornered. Her crimson eyes pierced into the monster, relaying a message that even with it's base intellect it could understand. It was about to die.
The woman lunged straight towards her foe, and plunged the knife into it's heart. The goblin let out a pained grunt and attempted to struggle, only to stop moving and fall to the ground dead as the knife was twisted.
Completely exhausted, she fell onto her back. She had been running for a full day, and her body didn't feel like moving anymore. This was as good a place as any to fall asleep.
"Finally waking up, huh?" The sound of a man's voice fully roused the sleeping woman from her sleep. She was laying in the back of an enclosed carriage, the sound of two horses walking and the rumbling from the carriage wheels were indication enough. She was laying on a sheet which had been stained by the gore she was covered in. Her cloak was nowhere to be seen, it had been torn apart while running through the forest anyhow, so she didn't mind.
"I thought you were a corpse when I saw you laying there by the forest next to a pile of goblins. To imagine it'd be a lass taking a nap!" The rather muscular man slapped his knee and laughed. It had been a while since someone called her a 'lass,' but she couldn't rightly argue considering she was eighteen years old. He handed her a damp cloth, which she used to wipe her face.
"You have my gratitude, The forest was a much more dangerous shortcut to the capital than I thought it would be." She said, taking a closer look at the man that had carried her, as the mess on his shirt gave away. He looked to be in his late thirties, had tan skin, and a thick black beard. She noticed his hands were rough. Whatever work he did must involve heavy tool use.
"You went through the Gangrene Forest just to save some time? And all those goblins, you took them down yourself? You must be hard pressed to get to the capital."
"You could say that. Speaking of Flouren, is that where we are headed?"
"That's right, we should be arriving soon. Oh, The name's Gregor Stone by the way. I'm a blacksmith, the best in the city depending on who you ask." He said with pride. The young woman sat up, ignoring her aching body.
"Pleased to meet you. I am Shoko Feron, future S rank adventurer." She said with just as much pride. Gregor raised a brow, but he did not mock her as Shoko thought he would.
"The rank of a hero huh? And what rank are you now? To be able to get through the forest on your own, you must be at least rank C." Gregor asked. Shoko let out a small cough.
"I'm not a member yet. But I intend to join the guild. I need to..." Shoko stopped speaking. She had her reasons, and while Gregor seemed like a trustworthy man, she wasn't willing to fully explain herself. She decided to say the first thing that came to mind. "I need the opportunities it provides. And as childish as it may sound, I want the ability to change things. To help people." She said. The blacksmith grinned at her answer, and handed her the weapons she had dropped in the field.
"Sorry, but I needed to know I could trust you before I gave you your weapons back. Anyone who can say something like that with a straight face is good in my book." Shoko smiled wryly and took her weapons, getting teased like this was worse than fighting one hundred goblins. "That knife isn't much to write home about, but I must say that naginata is quite impressive. Do you know who made it?"
"I don't. It's a family heirloom that's been passed down for years. It's not meant to leave my village, however, I couldn't leave without it." She ran her fingers across the leather that was bound to the metal pole. It was a simple looking thing, to the untrained eye it often appeared to be nothing special. There were no intricate designs in the leather, and the curved blade only looked sharp, nothing more, nothing else needed. She took the cloth meant for herself, and cleaned it.
"That's a shame, even I might learn a thing or two from whoever made that." Gregor said. The two of them spoke at length during the ride, with the both of them having an appreciation for weapons they had much to speak about.
They eventually arrived at the main gates of Flouren, which were left open during the day. At night monster activity rose so they were then closed she was told. Gregor got off the carriage and began unpacking large boxes from the trunk. They looked heavy, Shoko assumed inside was either ores or ingots for smithing. She got out herself and walked over to him. "I could help you with those. It's the least I could do to thank you for helping me." She offered. Gregor waved a hand side to side.
"Don't worry about it, I'm not the type to demand to be repaid for doing something anyone should. Besides, I've got some men that wouldn't take too kindly to their job being taken coming." Gregor said, paying the man behind the reins of the carriage a few silver coins.
"Then I'll be on my way. Once again, thank you. I will be sure to visit your shop, 'Stone's Anvil' was it?" Shoko began to walk away, Gregor called out to her while he was still unloading boxes. "There's a well down this street and to the left, by the way."
Shoko's pale face flushed red, she was trying to avoid bringing attention to the fact that she looked like a murder victim. "R-right, I'll take care of this as soon as possible." Honestly, she had forgotten somehow. Her calm walk became a hasty jog.
She ignored the looks of disgust and pity she received from people as she strolled into the city. She had heard as much before, but this city was much more diverse than she imagined it would be. Aside from people of varying skin tones, many people with more outlandish appearances could be seen. A man with transparent, insect like wings was haggling at a fish stall, a woman with canine like ears and a tail passed her as she carried bags of groceries. Her remote hometown was nothing like this, as almost everyone that lived there was simply human.
She turned into an alley and found the well she was looking for. Due to the advanced plumbing the city had it seemed no one would mind if she used it, as it wasn't serving much of a purpose anymore. Shoko drew up a pail of water and after drinking what seemed like half a gallon of water she grabbed a convenient brush laying nearby. Thankfully her armor wasn't easily prone to being stained, and her long white hair had for the most part been spared due to the cloak she had worn. It performed it's duty admirably, may it rest in peace.
"Well, that's not something I see every day. You alright?" A voice from behind Shoko spoke. She turned around to see that someone had walked out of the bar's back exit holding a mug of ale. She blinked a few times, staring perhaps longer than she should have.
This person looked to be around her age, however she couldn't make out if they were male or female. Their voice was androgynous and so was their appearance. Their hair was a dark shade of green, straight, and ran to just above their shoulders. A single braid tied with a purple ribbon swayed in front of the right side of their face. Their skin was a light shade of brown. The most striking thing was their eyes, the whites of them were well, not white. They were black, and the pupils were purple. Their clothing was no help, as it was simply a fairly baggy shirt under a leather coat, and a pair of black and purple pants fitted with many pockets. Too many pockets, she wondered if it was some fashion statement.
"Wow, that's the longest anyone's ever stared at me." They said with a grin. Shoko flinched and averted her eyes.
"My apologies... I had a little trouble going through the Gangrene Forest." She said. Picking up the pail of water to quickly get out of the awkward situation. She of all people should have known better than to stare at someone due to their appearance. With her white hair, long white eyelashes and red eyes, she looked like an albino.
"Right... Um, I can help you with that." The person with green hair said, not believing that any sane person would bother going through that forest alone.
Their mouth soundlessly worded an incantation, and with a flick of the finger, the water swirled from the pail and washed onto Shoko.
She was prepared to knock this person out, but she had to admit it was working. The water reddened as it cleaned her thoroughly.
"Elemental Dominion? Are you a mage? You don't quite look like one." Shoko asked. The spell caster nodded.
"Well, I left my robe and pointy hat at home. Not many mages where you're from?" They said. Shoko once again felt as if she did something rude. She honestly thought all mages dressed in extravagant clothing.
"I'm afraid not, the way of the mind isn't as useful as the way of the body when it comes to chopping down trees and farming."
"Sounds like they weren't being creative enough, but to each their own." They said, as the water was flung back into the pail. Shoko had to assume that this person took pride in their magic. Willing to show it off right off the bat, and subtly claim that it could take care of anything. She had pride of her own, she doubted a mage could run non stop for twelve hours.
"I do admit this is quite hand-" Shoko's gratitude was cut off as another flick of the hand blew a gust of wind into her, a chill went down her spine as her armor and clothing quickly dried, her hair was now a mess though.
"Handy? I know right? I'm shocked other mages don't take advantage."
"Ha... I can only imagine why." Shoko responded in a monotone voice as her assailant smirked. Surely all mages weren’t this spiteful? She thought.
"You look like an adventurer, though I haven't seen you in town before. I'd remember someone as attractive as you. I'm Robin, by the way." Robin said in a matter of fact manner, as if they gave similar compliments all the time with little thought. The complement went right over Shoko's head as a result of how nonchalantly it was said. She let out an amused breath at Robin's name, of course it was ambiguous as well. She was tempted to just ask, but that would be beyond rude.
"Pleased to meet you, I am Shoko Feron. I am not an adventurer just yet. I intend to go to the guild and register today."
"Ah, you about to head there now?"
"Yes, though I need to locate it first." Shoko said, straightening out her hair. Robin's eyes narrowed slightly and their smile became a cocktail of amusement and pity.
"You have a citizen's ID card, right?"
"I do not." Shoko said, crossing her arms.
"You don't have to sound proud about that!" Robin laughed, and hopped over the railing of the bar onto the grass below. "There's a map of the city in the town square, I can show it to you." Shoko's white eyebrows raised in suspicion.
"Are all adventurers this friendly to newcomers?" She asked. Thoughts of cruel hazing and other forms of bullying hadn't escaped her mind. She was prepared to make an example out of the first person to challenge her if need be.
Completely blowing off the ominous question, Robin shrugged. "Relax, the guild isn't that kind of place. There are rules against that sort of thing. We're basically the face of the business, if clients thought it was some sketchy club of thugs the amount of requests would plummet."
Shoko nodded in acknowledgement. It made sense, the guild had a clean reputation and wasn't the place for blowhard mercenaries. She was only a little disappointed that she wouldn't get to show off. Just a little.
"You seem fairly informed, what rank are you?"
"Rank E baby!" Robin gleefully showed off a bronze badge. The lowest rank.
"You don't have to sound so proud about THAT!"
It wasn't long before they reached the town square. A tall marble statue stood in the center of the square. Shoko was instantly able to recognize it. The statue depicted a caped man wielding a large sword, his heroic gaze looking towards the royal palace in the distance. 'Flouren The First Hero' was etched into a tablet at it's base. Shoko looked up towards the palace, it was a grand structure that loomed over most of the city from the north. The capital was an enormous city that was shaped like a square, with it’s perimeter made of towering stone walls. Based on the map before her Shoko could see that she had entered the city from the western entrance, which was marked as district D. There were nine districts in total, making up a 3x3 grid. Looking at the top left of the map she could see that the North-West district was labeled A, The North labeled B, and so on until the South-East which was I.
“Here.” Robin pointed to district E, in the northern section the adventurers guild’s location was clearly marked. “I have some business there anyway so I can show you… The way.” Robin’s voice trailed off as a commotion could be heard behind them. The crowds in the market had begun to converge around a small group of people walking down the street. Cheers and applause polluted the air, drowning out any other noise.
“Is that who I think it is?” Shoko asked.
“Beats me, who do you think it is?” Robin asked back. Shoko’s eyes were kept on the crowd, which was beginning to open as the people made way for the crowd they were fawning over.
“Flouren the twenty-third, this country’s hero, descendant of it’s founder.” Shoko said. Her breathing had become heavier unbeknownst to her.
“Yeah… That’s him.” Robin raised a brow, noticing Shoko’s change in temperament. What appeared to be a calm, albit out of her depth woman was now someone emitting enough tension to make Robin want to take a step back. “H-hey, I know the guy’s handsome and all, but don’t attack him or anything.” Robin said, trying but failing to deflate the ominous feeling coming from the young woman.
Without a word, Shoko took her spear from her back and handed it to Robin. Robin looked at the weapon as if it were a stranger’s infant. “Why did you…” Shoko had already walked off towards the crowd, and now a thousand bad scenarios were running through Robin’s mind.
“Calm… stay calm. I’ve waited too long for this. It has to go right. It has to.” Shoko whispered to herself as she approached the group passing through the crowd. She shoved past a few people as she made her way through. As she breached the barrier of people she saw him. Flouren. Her mouth quivered for a moment, and the thought of running away crossed her mind, but she shook it off. By now many in the crowd near her were watching her, wondering who it was that was so bold as to impede the hero’s path. Flouren’s visage was that of an imposing yet alluring young man. He stood tall in shining metal armor that had tough red scales embedded into it’s design. A well traveled adventurer could tell you that the scales were from a dragon, and it was likely one Flouren had slain himself.
“So, what’s this about?” Flouren said. As the hero stopped, so did a young woman and man just behind him. The woman was carrying a large cloth bag on her back that looked fit to burst at any moment. She looked visibly irritated that they’d been stopped.
“I bet it’s just another dumb fan, you want me to take care of her?” She said. Shoko noticed that she had a reptilian tail which was wagging aggressively, and she had thin blue scales along parts of her forearms and framing her face.
“Nah.” Flouren said abruptly, holding up his hand. The woman’s tail calmed down, and she simply nodded. Flouren took a step towards Shoko, but stopped as she raised her palm up.
“I am not a fan of yours, Flouren.” Shoko said.
“Oh great, are you another challenger? I guess I should have let Rosalen handle this after all.” He let out a sigh, and moved to walk past her. Shoko held up her hand again. “Really? I have places to be. Can’t you just wait until the tournament like everyone else?” He said, sounding less annoyed and more bored. His blue eyes looked through her as if she was hardly worth giving time to.
“No, I did not take a shortcut through those treacherous woods, hoping to see you as you return, just to challenge you to a fight.” Shoko’s face tensed, and her hands clenched into fists. “I came to tell you that I will become the next ruler of this country, not you.” Shoko said, she was about to continue speaking but Flouren interjected.
“Oh man that’d be great!” His gaze suddenly changed, as if Shoko had turned from a dull rock into a pristine diamond. “This job is stressful enough, I don’t wanna end up like my old man, cooped up in that castle all day.” Flouren placed a hand on his hip, and stood in a nonchalant stance. Rosalen and the young man behind him shook their heads. “Having hot chicks wait on you all day is nice and all, but have you seen the paperwork the king has to do? On top of meeting snobby, spoiled politicians I’d rather fight an orc with a rusty kitchen knife.”
“U-uh, hold on. Are you saying that you do not wish to be the next king?” Shoko spoke up before the ranting continued. She was utterly confused, as this wasn’t something she had expected at all even in the countless times she’d imagined it.
“Gods no, I’d be bored to death.” Flouren took a closer look at Shoko, clearly analysing her. “So, what rank are you at the adventurer's guild, you must be an ‘S’ rank right?” He asked filled with anticipation. Shoko looked off to the side.
“I… Haven’t registered yet.” She said. Flouren’s eyes slumped, and he instantly looked even more bored than he did before.
“Are you kidding me… Got my hopes up and you haven’t even…” He rubbed his forehead with his pointer finger, as if he were grinding away his frustration. “What the hell do you even want to be Queen for?” He asked. Shoko’s eyes narrowed.
“To stop what you’ve been doing, what many in this country have been doing. You’ve just come back from another successful mission, haven’t you?” She had calmed down, and her voice was tempered. “How many of them did you kill?”
Flouren let out a yawn. “So you’re one of them, huh?”
“How. Many?” Shoko repeated her question. Flouren shrugged.
“Do you count the number of steps you take in a day?” Flouren ignored the deathly look on Shoko’s face and continued. “I’ll get back to that. So you want to become Queen to help them, huh? It’s not that simple.” Flouren looked around, they were out of earshot of the crowd, many of them also deciding that they’d seen enough of the hero and continuing their business. “You wanna see something interesting?” He said with a smirk. He turned towards Rosalen, and in a swift movement that Shoko barely caught he flung a dagger into the bottom of the bag. It tore open, and from inside numerous crescent shaped objects fell to the ground. Shoko’s stared in shock as she recognized what she was looking at. The objects were horns, each connected to a curved dark plate that would have at one point been attached to the forehead. Red smears and spots could be seen on the underside of more than a few of the horns. The crowd that had been quiet before was now filled with murmurs and panicked rambling. People began to quickly exit the square as if a swarm of bees had been let loose. Soon enough the entire area was eerily devoid of life. Flouren picked up one of the horns, tossing it between his hands like a toy. “You think you can fix that?” He said to Shoko. “These people are so afraid of the demons that they still think simply touching their horns is enough to curse you to death.” He tossed the horn towards Rosalen, who was picking the mess up with an irritated expression. “Listen snowflake.” He said, sliding his hands into his pockets. “I’m just doing my job, it’s not as if I enjoy doing it. If it wasn’t me it’d be someone else, and they’d probably get killed doing it.” He glanced towards the castle in the distance, and shrugged his shoulders. “But whatever, I’m not going to try and stop you. I’ve got enough to deal with already anyway.”
Shoko loosened her gritted teeth, and eased the anger rising inside of her. “You could change things if you cared to. But you don’t even want to try, do you Flouren?”
“Call me Virgil, Flouren’s my old man.” He said, pulling his hands from his pockets. Perhaps realizing that chainmail pockets weren’t very comfortable. “And jee, you know me so well. Tell you what, why don’t you handle that? All you have to do is surpass me. Really, please do. The only thing I’m good at is killing shit, I’d be a terrible leader, I keep telling people that but they don’t listen.”
“But Flouren sir, you are the descendant of-”
“See what I mean?” He interrupted Rosalen, who had just finished picking up the horns. He let out a sigh. “Become an S rank, then come talk to me. Until then, your words don’t mean much.” He walked on, Rosalen and the man who had been silent the entire time following behind him. She’d forgotten he was even there, his appearance was so unassuming and dull that he blended in even in this small group.
Shoko couldn’t find anything else to say. This meeting hadn’t gone anything like she intended it to. She turned around to find Robin walking up to her. “Well that sure was ballsy. I didn’t think you were that crazy.” Robin said, clearly amused.
“You heard all of that? Magic I presume?”
“Sure let’s go with that… So uh, this spear looks pretty expensive, how’d you know I wouldn’t run off with it?” Robin said, handing the weapon back to Shoko. She strapped it to her back.
“I didn’t, but I’m bonded to this naginata, I can easily find it no matter where it is.” Shoko said with a straight face. Robin let out a puff of air.
“You just decided to trust me, didn’t you? What, you think you would’ve been tempted to use it on Flouren otherwise?” Robin hit the nail on the head, evidenced by Shoko’s blushing.
“He was simply much different than I’d imagined okay? Let us hurry along please.” Shoko said.
Robin nodded, stifling a laugh. “Right, right.”
The Adventurer's Guild wasn’t as grand a building as Shoko thought it would be. It was made out of a mixture of red bricks and cherry wood. It was only two stories tall as well. Her expression must have made her disillusionment obvious, because Robin chimed in. “Not as grand as you were expecting?”
“The stories I’ve heard as a child painted a much different picture in my mind for sure.” She said, wondering if Robin would take offense to the guild being slighted. Robin simply let out an amused scoff, and opened the large wooden door.
“I’m sure you’ll paint your own picture soon enough.” Robin walked inside and Shoko followed suit. Right away she felt as if she were in an entirely different place. The people inside at first glance were clearly special. A man with a large axe on his back walked in front of her, another person covered head to toe in bulky armor that was tiring just to look at sat at a table. A woman wearing a large pointed hat and robes was talking with one of the two receptionists.
“Wait a minute.” Shoko said, pointing to the woman. “I thought mages didn’t wear those types of clothes.” She turned to Robin with an accusatory glare.
“Hey, hey. I said I left them at home didn’t I?” Robin responded, holding back another chuckle. “Sorry, sorry. It’s just that we don’t get country bumpkins like you often.”
“B-bumk... “ Shoko let out a sigh. “Well, I can’t quite deny that.”
Robin went up to a transaction window with a middle aged man standing behind it. Robin took a small bag from one of their many pockets and emptied out it’s contents on a bowl in the middle of the window. The objects inside the bag appeared to be dimly glowing spheres of varying sizes. The man behind the glass window took the spheres and exchanged them with a few silver coins. Meanwhile Shoko got in line for the other window. It seemed the one Robin went to was for services such as exchanging items for money, and the line she was in was for things such as registration and request details from clients.
“Looks like this is gonna be a while.” Robin walked up to Shoko, letting out a yawn. “I’m heading out, looks like you’ll be fine from here, just try not to threaten any more royals, alright?”
“Right… I wasn’t planning to I’ll have you know.” Shoko said. Robin nodded.
“Uh huh, if you ever need anyone to hold your spear, you know where to find me.”
“I… do?” Shoko asked, wondering if she’d missed something.
“The bar I saw you at earlier, it’s my place.” Robin patted Shoko on the shoulder. “I have a feeling you’ll fit in here… eventually anyway. Good luck.” Robin said, giving her a thumbs up.
Saying goodbye, Shoko watched as Robin left. She’d been worried she wouldn’t be able to speak with anyone from the city, yet already she’d met both a blacksmith and an adventurer. This realization eased tension in her body she hadn’t noticed was there since she entered Flouren.
"I'm right here, in front of you." Shoko said. The woman behind the window looked up from filing her rather sharp claws to meet Shoko's ruby like eyes.
"Oh, my bad, it's been like, so busy. I barely noticed you." The receptionist's black, compound eyes blinked, and her left antenna twitched as she put on a fake smile. Shoko glanced around the guild, she was the last in line. It was also late and nearly empty. Busy huh?
"Right. Well, I am here to join the Adventurers Guild. My name is Shoko Feron, umm..." She read the woman's name tag, hoping to address her in a friendly manner.
Beedria was written in flowery text. Shoko let out a cough and continued speaking. This woman wasn't even a bee, she was a hornet demihuman! "A-anyway, what do I need to do to join?" She asked.
"Oh! That big stick ain't just for show? Like, along with that leather armor you already look like an adventurer." Beedria pointed to the weapon suspended on Shoko's back. Feeling conscious of it as if it were a part of her body being ogled, she adjusted it and rebutted.
"It is not a stick, it is a Naginata. Surely you see many polearm weapons here in the guild."
"Huh? Hold on." Ignored. Beedria had reached under her counter, revealing the stinger on her backside through a skirt. Shoko wasn’t sure if what she was seeing was inappropriate or not. After shuffling through what was a highly disorganized box she sprang back up holding a few items. She looked at the items with determination, put two back, grabbed three, then put one back. Nepotism, this had to be the fabled nepotism she had heard about, or was it affirmative action for ditsy hornet demihumans?
"This will be your badge, hold it for a few minutes to infuse some of your magic into it. If you don’t know how to focus your magic you can drop a bit of your blood onto it. Once you do it will display your name along with your current rank. It will also allow you to hunt inside of the dungeon." It seemed she only spoke properly when she was reciting lines that were clearly straight from an employee handbook. She placed the badge on the counter. She called it a badge, but it more resembled a bronze metallic card.
Shoko pulled a knife from the holster on her leg to prick her finger, but stopped when Beedira held up her hand. "Ah, I toats forgot, you have the money for the fee, right? It's one gold coin."
"O-one gold coin?" Shoko nearly dropped her knife. That was nearly all the money she had, if she spent it now she could only pay for two nights at the cheapest inn. Hesitantly pulling out her money pouch, she cast a forlorn expression towards the pathetic amount of money left. She dropped ten silver coins onto the counter, equaling one gold coin. "Is that all?" She mumbled with a defeated voice.
Beedria handed her a clipboard with a stack of papers on it. "Also, fill out this survey please." Shoko’s eyes glazed over at the mountain of forms, she just wanted to go to bed.