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Sunday, June 11, 2006 Wake Up And Smell The Florins!

Robert opens his eyes. He looks around him. The room seems familiar to him, the one he always wakes up after being unconscious. As Robert gets up, he feels the pain on his wounds.

Robert yelps softly, ‘Ouch…’

Just then Helen comes inside with a hot soup with a sulky face. It seems she obviously doesn’t like being asked to take care of Robert as she prefers to be with Albert. She doesn’t react upon Robert’s yelp of pain, but goes to put the soup on the table – without saying a word.

Then Charlotte rushes in. Her face expresses a mixed feeling between joy and worry, and approaches Robert’s bed.

‘Don’t move, Robert. Just lie down. Your wounds were deeper than usual this time, and they’re not fully healed yet. Helen, feed him the soup. I must get Hulferd straightaway!’

Helen doesn’t respond. She just stands there for a while. And then as Charlotte goes downstairs, she leaves the soup and Robert in a rude way as she thinks as though Robert doesn’t exist at all. Robert himself retains his cool nature and just sees her walk away. He is very much accustomed to be treated this way so frequently by Helen.

Robert thinks. Oh well, I think we can’t be friends after all.

Then Hulferd comes in calmly, and he sits on a chair near Robert.

‘Good grief! I think Helen has neglected her duties AGAIN. Can’t blame her, though.’

‘Yeah, mentor. But the vital thing is I’m saved – again. Thanks to your spy.’

‘There were TWO of them – for your information. And luckily you killed all the monsters, if not we have to find someone to resurrect those wannabes.’

‘As you said, we cannot be lucky every time. I’m going to follow your advice and get myself a hunting party.’

‘That’s good, Robert. But you also need to travel to other cities and kingdoms. The monsters in Rand are greatly decimated now. Orcs and high-grade monsters are rare, so you won’t get orcjobs and big-monster-jobs again for another four months. Well, if you prefer hunting criminals and bandits, though.’

‘Four months?’


Robert is thoughtful.

‘I guess it’s time for me to spread my wings out of Rand. But I’ll choose my own party.’

‘Suit yourself. But take care to consult with me if you have doubts about them.’

‘Don’t worry. And I’m just glad I can finally put a smile on Helen’s face by leaving.’

‘Don’t be like that. I know your heart belongs to someone else. Let’s pray to Vadis that He’ll show you back to the right track.’

‘I AM at the right track now, master. And I’ll be coming here to visit you whenever I have the chance.’

Haha, don’t count on it. But I’ll wait for you.’

‘I’ll never forget you, master.’

‘Feel free to drop me a message in case you need my advice or anything. I think all you need now is a good rest. Oh, by the way, I’ve kept your bounty, 200 crowns and 400 florins, and additional 100 crowns, 350 florins and 200 zennies – your share of the loot. You can claim it on the counter anytime.’

Robert can’t hide his surprise on getting so much money. He never had this much before. But he quickly gathers himself and puts on a cool smile.

Robert says, “Thank you, Sir.’

Hulferd gets up from his seat and replies with a smile. ‘You deserve it, lad. That’s a token of thanks from the merchants whose goods you retrieved. Use it wisely, save it for your long journey ahead.’

Without waiting for Robert’s answer, Hulferd goes out.

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