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Songwhisper Chapter 3: It all comes together... by Myst Ryder
The man eyed the other fearfully as he recounted what he had overheard.
"This is unfortunate," the cloaked one hissed. "I can't believe they caught up with me so fast. If they find me..." The man glanced up to see his bald servant shift nervously.
He pulled out a handful of coins and dropped them into the palm of the squinty-eyed, sweaty man. "You have been of great use to me. Go buy a beer."
The man bowed jerkily and hastily left the room. The cloaked one suppressed a snarl of disgust and went about packing his things. It was time to leave.
* * *
Mikaela had wisely kept her meeting with the mercenary a secret. As soon as she had returned home with the not quite full bucket of water, (which received a stern glance from her mother) her sisters bombarded her with the rumors of a real live mercenary in their own village.
"He is very tall, like this," Tana, the oldest of her sisters at age 17, confided. She stood on her toes to demonstrate, raising her arms above her head.
"And he has a nasty sword," Becca, age 16, still not completely recovered from her injuries, whispered amidst giggles. She shook her head, tossing about her long, dark brown hair.
"And a big blue cape," sweet little Annie smiled shyly. She was twelve years old, with wide innocent eyes and lovely brown curls.
"Really?" Mikaela asked, feigning amazement and disbelief, but nearly instantly to her regret as she was buried under the excited shouts of each sister trying to tell the most interesting story.
"But I've got the best story," Tana announced, and all the girls became silent.
"There's a girl mercenary," she murmured softly as not to get their mother's attention, who was working in the kitchen. "She has short blonde hair and these fierce green eyes, and black armor and a big golden sword four feet long!"
"Really?" the other girls gasped.
"And they say that her armor was made by elves!" Tana added.
"I wonder if the two mercenaries are engaged," Annie sighed wistfully, earning cries of loss from the other girls.
"Or maybe even married!" Becca wailed.
Mikaela left her sisters to giggle and gossip about the mysterious mercenary. She could at least be sensible enough not to gawk all day at some stupid boy. The only boy she could really love was Seth, and he was very mature and kind and selfless. She missed him already. But she had no time to dwell on such things, as she still had more chores to complete.
Mikaela slipped quietly away, out of the house, to go shopping. The hens, now awake, were scattered about in front of the house pecking at the ground for food. The dog ran through an especially crowded group of hens, scattering the startled birds everywhere in a cloud of feathers. Mikaela smiled and left through the gate to go into town.
Her mother had given her a list of supplies she needed to buy from the market, which she would do now. Though Tana was the oldest of the girls, Mikaela was definitely the most mature and could be trusted with money. Mikaela glanced over the list, which included cloth for new clothes and a new pair of boots for her older brother Peter; he had worn his out.