|The Hero Mayor|
|Series||His True Destiny by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||His True Destiny: Chapter Ten|
|Next||His True Destiny: Chapter Twelve|
|← His True Destiny: Chapter Ten||Chapter Chronology||His True Destiny: Chapter Twelve →|
Chapter Eleven: The Hero MayorEdit
Before Rowan knew it, the formal ceremony announcing him as Mayor had come, and he was surprised to see how many people really wanted him as their Mayor. They obviously figured that he was a Mayor that could protect the people seeing as he had defeated Jack of Blades twice.
After many speeches, Rowan was finally free to go. He immediately went to the map room for a new Quest Card. He didn’t start work as Mayor until tomorrow, anyway.
Flicking through the Quest Cards, Rowan found one to do with Jack’s minions. According to the Card, there had been sightings of them forming a camp in Witchwood. Apparently they were still around even though their master was now gone. At least Rowan hoped that he was gone.
Figuring that he might as well clean up Jack’s mess, as he always did, Rowan made his way to Witchwood. When he got there, he found the camp without too much drama and drew his sword. This would be his first battle without Will. Up until that battle, he had never truly realised how much he had relied on his Will power. It really did make life so much easier and it would have saved him from a few nasty cuts and bruises.
With the minions defeated, Rowan glumly made his way back to the map room to find something else to do, but nothing ended up catching his fancy. It was all too easy for him. He now understood why Briar never did petty quests. One just couldn’t seem to bring themselves to do it when they were used to performing dangerous tasks.
Sighing, he went up to his room, which he still shared with Whisper and laid on the bed, glumly staring at the ceiling.
Five minutes later, Whisper entered the room.
‘Are you okay, Rowan?’ she asked anxiously.
‘I feel like I’m going to die of boredom,’ he informed her.
‘But there are plenty of Quest Cards –‘
‘That would put me to sleep with the mood I’m in,’ Rowan concluded. ‘Normally I would go and do them in a heartbeat, but at the moment I’m seriously lacking the motivation.’
Whisper gazed thoughtfully at her friend. She suddenly got an idea.
‘Hey, do you remember when we used to go to the cave just off the Guild and see who could kill the most hobbes when we were training?’ she asked.
‘How could I forget?’ Rowan laughed. ‘You always used to whinge about me stealing your hobbes and every time the Guildmaster discovered what we were doing he would go ballistic. He would always lecture us about being reckless and how we would never make it to graduation day.’
‘Do you want to go and do it again?’ she asked. ‘Just for old time sake?’
‘Race you there!’ Rowan laughed, grabbing his sword and running off.
‘Hey, no fair! You had a head start!’ Whisper yelled, racing after him.
When she caught up with him at the secret hobbe cave, she whacked him painfully for cheating, though it only made him laugh even harder.
Once inside the cave, they purposely alerted the hobbes inside to their presence and began to kill them, counting as they went. Surprisingly, Whisper ended up winning, even though Rowan kept stealing the hobbes she was about to kill, as usual.
With their competition finished, they went back to the training grounds where they laid down on the grass near the entrance to the Guild Woods.
‘So times I wish I could go back to the days when we were merely apprentices and we had no responsibilities,’ Rowan sighed as he watched the clouds drift overhead.
‘I know what you mean,’ Whisper replied. ‘But change is good and life is an adventure.’
‘You’ve been spending too much time with the Guildmaster.’
-----HIS TRUE DESTINY-----
The moment Rowan walked into the Mayor’s, which was his, office, his staff began to inundate him with different tasks that needed to be done such as seeing if he agreed with Lady Grey’s tax rate, street maintenance, laws and charity work. By lunch time, he had piles of paper work everywhere for him to look at.
Sighing, he decided to attempt to organise everything by putting them into piles. He ended up having several different piles for several different topics. The first topic he decided to deal with was the tax rate, however, after reading through half of the documents, he realised he had no idea if Lady Grey’s original tax rates were reasonable or not. He didn’t live in Bowerstone and he had never had to pay tax as he was a Hero living at the Guild.
Groaning, he got to his feet and left the office, informing his secretary that he was going to mingle with the people. At first he merely hid in the shadows listening to people talking, before actually going over to them to hear their opinions on the taxes and how it affected them. He even went to see some accountants for advice and their opinions.
By that afternoon, he had a pretty good idea on what to do with the taxes. He saw that Lady Grey had a consistent tax rate for all areas of Bowerstone, and from what he learnt during his investigation, the upper parts of Bowerstone, such as Bowerstone North, found the taxes relatively low, the middle classes and parts of Bowerstone found the taxes reasonable, while the poor parts of Bowerstone found them too high. It was for this reason that he kept the tax the same for the average parts of Bowerstone, while lowering it in the poor regions. He also, raised it in the prosperous areas to make up for the loss in the poor zones. He thought it was quite fair and it’s not like he raised the tax unreasonably.
The next item on his agenda was the street maintenance. To make the best decision, Rowan once more went out amongst the people to hear their opinions and to see for himself the condition of Bowerstone. Only when he had done this was he able to declare what area’s needed more funding than others, and things to improve on.
His last agenda, for the day, was to read through the different laws Lady Grey had in place. Rowan was able to decide which laws were absolutely necessary by himself, but for the ones he wasn’t sure about, or wanted a second opinion on before removing them, he went to talk to the guards and sheriffs to see what they thought. They did know more about crime than him, after all.
When Rowan was done for the day, he found that he had actually enjoyed himself, despite a few headaches over the taxes. He even forgave Whisper for saying that he would be Mayor. He just hoped the rest of his time as Mayor would be as enjoyable as his day had been.
The next morning, Rowan took care of some other pressing matters, before turning his attention to his pile of charity work. On the top of the list was donating books to the local school. Figuring that it would be fun to see the little kids learning and playing, Rowan immediately went to Bowerstone South School, the only school in Bowerstone.
Once there, he spoke to the male teacher, who informed him that the school’s library was in dire need of replenishment. Knowing this, Rowan went to the Guild and spoke to the Guildmaster.
‘And how is the new Mayor of Bowerstone doing on his second day as Mayor?’ the Guildmaster asked when Rowan stopped before him.
‘Pretty good,’ Rowan admitted. ‘You and Whisper were right. Being Mayor does seem to be good for my future.’
‘You should listen to us more often. Anyway, what can I do for you, Rowan? Surely you haven’t come for a Quest Card? Aren’t you too busy being a Mayor?’
‘As Mayor I get my own Quest Cards,’ Rowan informed him. ‘I’m currently re-stocking the school in Bowerstone’s library, and I was wondering if there were any books here that could be donated to the school.’
‘I think there may be a few books that we have duplicates of,’ the Guildmaster replied thoughtfully. ‘Let’s go to the Guild library and see what we can find.’
After an hour of searching the Guild library, Rowan ended up leaving with a box of books the children would find enjoyable, interesting and educational. He immediately took them back to the school where he found class in session.
At first he just stood in the doorway listening to the children’s maths lesson, but when he saw that many of them were fidgeting, he made his presence known. He hoped he could save the children from a few minutes of boredom.
‘Here are some books to replenish the school’s library,’ Rowan said, putting the box of books on the teacher’s desk. ‘I’ll make a note when I get to the office to but in a school budget in the town’s funding.’
‘Thank you so much, Hero!’ the teacher exclaimed, while the children became all excited when they saw who the Hero was. ‘Perhaps you would like to stay for a reading?’
‘I’d love to,’ Rowan replied.
‘Alright, children, let’s go and sit down on the floor for story time,’ the teacher announced before pulling a book out of the box.
Rowan ended up sitting on the floor with the children, which excited them beyond measure. He was treating them like an equal.
‘Now, the book we are going to read is The Tale of Twinblade,’ said the teacher once he was standing before them, with the book opened in front of him. ‘Now, Twinblade was once a great Hero. He was a giant man whose swords were feared throughout Albion, but at the height of his fame he abandoned the Guild. He decided that he had no need to earn gold through quests, when he could simply take it. So he left for the woods and became a bandit. Over the years he united the arguing bandit clans, until he eventually became their King. He built a vast fortified camp, hidden near Oakvale, and plundered the passing traders as he desired. He was as renowned and feared as he ever was, especially now that he had no Guild restraints to hold him back.’
‘Sir… what happened to Twinblade?’ asked a little boy.
‘He was defeated in a duel by this brave Hero,’ the teacher replied, motioning to Rowan who was still on the floor with the children. ‘The Hero of Oakvale speared the Bandit King’s life, but no king can face such a defeat and keep his crown. Not even among bandits.’
And speaking of Twinblade, we have just learnt that he is a little more than niffed about his defeat and has sent assassins after you, the Guildmaster informed Rowan.
‘Could you children excuse me for just a moment?’ Rowan asked as he got to his feet, before leaving the building to talk to the Guildmaster. ‘What do you mean he has sent assassins after me?’ he asked. ‘He is still steaming over what happened all those years ago?’
It would seem that way. For what my sources tell me, he has been sulking all these years and something has just snapped in him, making him think that he needs to get revenge. If I were you, I would expect a few surprise visits.
‘Thanks for the warning,’ Rowan said gratefully, before walking back inside to the eager kids.
‘Would you read us a story, Hero?’ a little girl with the cutest dimples asked Rowan hopefully, when he sat back on the floor with them.
‘I don’t see why I can’t do that,’ Rowan replied, smiling down at her.
The children all cheered as the teacher gave Rowan a book to read. His smile vanished slightly when he read the title and saw what it was about.
‘The book I’m going to read to you is called, The Balverine Slayer,’ Rowan began once the children had seemingly settled. ‘As you all know, balverines are the fiercest creatures in Albion, bit there was once a brave young girl for whom they held no fear. One day a beast attacked Knothole Glade, where she lived, and while the villagers all ran away; she went and faced it alone. The balverine was twice her size and she fought its teeth and claws armed only with a stake. By the time the warriors arrived, the beast lay dead at the girl’s feet and her dress was soaked with its blood. From that day forth she was known to all as Scarlet Robe. As she grew older, she became a great Hero, driving the evil balverines from much of Albion and competing in the Witchwood Arena where she became the first female Champion.’
‘See, girls can be Heroes too!’ Rowan heard one of the girls snap at a boy.
‘Sir, what ever happened to Scarlet Robe?’ a tomboy asked, with her hand waving enthusiastically in the air.
‘She is now in heaven with her beloved husband,’ replied Rowan, not wanting to tell the child exactly what happened to her.
‘Did she have any children?’
‘Yes. She had a daughter who is now twenty-four, and a son who is twenty.’
‘Are they Heroes too?’
‘The daughter is a seeress, who could become a Hero if she wanted too, and her son is a now a well-known Hero.’
‘Really? Who is he?’
The children’s eyes widened dramatically as Rowan went to speak with the teacher.
‘You have done our school such a great service,’ the teacher said. ‘I don’t know if we can ever adequately repay you.’
‘Seeing the children happy is adequate payment,’ Rowan replied truthfully. ‘I had fun. If it is alright with you, I’d like to do it again sometime.’
‘I’m sure the children would love to see you again.’
Rowan smiled, before saying goodbye to the children and going off to deal with the rest of his tasks. However, as he made his way through Bowerstone South, a girl, not older than ten years of age, came running over to him.
‘Please, Hero, you have to help us!’ she cried.
‘What’s wrong, sweetie?’ Rowan asked, concern evident in his soft blue eyes, as he bent down to her height.
‘It’s my little brother! He’s very sick!’
‘Then you should get him to a Healer –‘
‘We can’t afford one, so Mum told me to find a Hero to help us!’
‘Sweetie, I’m no Healer, but I will go and speak to your mother,’ Rowan said softly.
‘Thank you! She’s this way!’
The girl ran off and Rowan immediately ran after her. She ended up leading him to a beggars shack. She wasn’t lying when she said that they couldn’t afford to see a Healer.
‘Mum, I’ve brought the Hero of Oakvale!’ the girl exclaimed as she entered the shack.
Rowan remained at the doorway. From there he could see a five year old boy lying on a thin sheet of material with his mother kneeling next to him. The boy was rolling around muttering about the sky looking beautiful and his body feeling unearthly.
‘Good job, Daphne,’ the mother praised as she motioned for Rowan to join her.
Rowan went and sat on the floor next to her. He was starting to wonder if the kid had taken some sort of drug. Growing up he had seen a few Heroes snorting and eating strange herbs that made them feel invincible. He remembered these times because he and Whisper used to get great entertainment out of watching the Guildmaster scold them.
‘What happened?’ he asked the mother gently.
‘We were at Lookout Point he found these strange mushrooms,’ she replied, sounding close to tears. ‘The witch in Bowerstone Quay says we shouldn’t worry, but she needs more of the mushrooms before she can cure him. I would find them myself, but I need to look after Aldy and it could be too dangerous to send my daughter.’
‘So that’s why you sent Daphne for a Hero,’ said Rowan, ‘to find some of those mushrooms.’
‘Yes. Could you please help us?’ the mother asked desperately.
‘I may be a Mayor, but I am still a Hero, so of course I will help you,’ replied Rowan. ‘I hate seeing children suffer.’
‘Thank you so much!’
‘I’ll go and speak to the witch,’ Rowan informed her, getting to his feet. ‘I’ll return as soon as I can.’
Rowan then made his way to the witch in Bowerstone Quay. He found her bent over a cauldron. She glanced up at him when he stopped before her.
‘I know why you are here,’ she grumbled. ‘You were sent here by that irritating young lady with the comatose kid.’
‘How did you know?’ Rowan asked suspiciously.
‘Oh, don’t be so suspicious,’ she said, looking up from her work. ‘I am a witch, you know. I read tea leaves on Thursdays. Besides, you’re not the first fool she’s sent my way. Find me four blue mushrooms and I can brew up an antidote, but there’s no hurry. The stuff won’t kill him. The little tyke is probably having the time of his life.’
Rowan couldn’t argue with her on that one. The boy did seem to be enjoying himself.
Sighing, Rowan teleported back to the Guild and raided the storage cupboard where most of the Guild’s herbs were kept. He managed to sneak in and out without being noticed, or so he thought.
‘Where are you going with those blue mushrooms, Rowan?’ the Guildmaster asked Rowan as he headed for the teleporter.
‘How do you know that I have blue mushrooms?’ Rowan asked, looking down at his bag. None of them were showing.
‘You never answered my question.’
‘There is a sick boy in Bowerstone who needs some for an antidote to be made,’ replied Rowan.
‘Then you better get going.’
Rowan did as he was told, while wondering how the Guildmaster knew that he had taken the mushrooms. There was no one around when he stole them.
With the mushrooms in hand, Rowan returned to the witch who began to make the potion immediately. It took a few hours for the potion to be made, but once it was finished, she bottled it and gave it to Rowan, who took it straight to the desperate mother.
‘Here we are,’ Rowan said as he handed the woman the potion.
‘Oh thank you. Could you hold him while I try to feed him the potion?’ she asked.
Rowan carefully gathered the child securely in his arms as the mother force feed the potion. Once the boy had swallowed the last drop, he became still and smiled up at his mother. He then leaped out of Rowan’s arms and ran off laughing.
‘If only all antidotes worked that fast,’ Rowan muttered.
‘I can’t believe the old woman really helped us,’ the mother said, smiling as she watched her son. ‘I’ll never join another witch-burning mob after this.’ She turned to Rowan. ‘We won’t forget your kindness. You were right. You’re not just a Mayor. You’re a Hero too, and I hope you will always remain a Hero, for people like us.’
Written: 21 February 2013