|The Real World|
|Series||Abandoned by Skyward.Sarah|
|← True Beginnings||Chapter Chronology||? →|
After the quick, last minute graduation ceremony, the Guild Master had given me a few days to pack my things and say my goodbyes. I didn't have much and my only friends were Dominic, Josh, and Melanie. But I stayed to help out with a few chores around the Guild. I didn't mind helping the apprentices and chefs out. I grew up with most of those people, even though I was never really close to them, I had a connection with every single person in the Guild. Whether cook, hero, or apprentice.
I walked to the Map Room in the Guild. When I arrived, I saw a giant, round map of Albion in the middle. A cullis gate glowed blue in its built-in corner-room. Josh, Dominic, and the Guild Master were near the door to the outside world, talking.
"They will be with me the whole time, Guild Master." Josh pleaded, I didn't know what for though.
"Please, Guild Master. I don't want Kaylee out there alone." Dominic's voice was full of passion, care and concern.
"Fine." The Guild Master agreed to the boys pleas. "But only if the two of you are with her at all times."
Josh and Dominic cheered and did their brotherly handshake thing they always did. The boys looked happy, and I wanted to know why.
"What's going on?" I walked over to boys and took a spot next to Josh. Josh wrapped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close into him.
"Bloodhound and Dominic will accompany you on your journey, Kaylee." Said the Guild Master.
"REALLY?!" A wide smile quickly spread across my face. "That's too amazing!" I tried to stay calm but my excitement got a hold of me, and I gently bounced in place.
"I will await for your safe return home, Kaylee." The Guild Master gave me a gentle hug and turned his attention to Josh. "Protect them, Bloodhound."
"With my life, sir." Josh wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me to his side. I felt safe in his strong arms. Oh, how I wanted it to stay that way.
"Lets hurry and get to Bowerstone before it gets dark." We stood at the top of the Look-Out Point, staring down at Bowerstone. Josh started down the hill towards Bowerstone. "I'm good friends with the owner of the local tavern. We can spend the night there."
Dominic and I followed behind Josh. "The tavern" Dominic stressed. "I wonder what you've been doing there." Dominic and I laughed and Josh snickered.
"Guys." Josh's tone was serious, something that didn't fit his playful personality. Josh turned to face us. "Not many people in Bowerstone know me as 'Josh.' So while we're there call me by my hero title, 'Bloodhound.'"
A frown appeared on my face. I hated having to call Josh by his hero title. "Bloodhound" wasn't the name I grew up knowing. "Josh" brought bright cheerful memories to mind, while "Bloodhound" brought pain and sorrow. About a month after Josh graduated, I found him on the floor of the cullis gate, bleeding to death. If I hadn't been in the map room, Josh would have bled out, and died.
"Why do they call you 'Bloodhound?'" Dominic's voice brought me out of the painful memory.
"Most of all the quests I end up going on are rescue missions. Every time I find the person very fast and they always return unharmed. Plus," Josh tapped his nose with his pointer finger. "I can smell a liar a mile away." Josh gave us a devilish smile and kept walking.
We reached the gate to Bowerstone. Josh nodded at the guards, telling them that we were with him, and the guards let us in without trouble. I was stunned. I had never seen such a busy place. People hurried from shop to shop and house to house. People walked passed Dominic and I and greeted "Bloodhound."
"Whoa." Dominic took the words right out of my mouth.
Josh took us to the tavern and we rented three rooms for a few nights. After we got settled and put our weapons in a safe spot, Josh took us out to do a little shopping.
"You guys need some new clothes." Josh glanced behind his back and eyed us up and down. Dominic and I inspected our clothes. We both had patched up pants, dirty cotton shirts, proper boots, a pair of leather gloves. "Come with me." Josh motioned for us to follow and we did.
"Hello, Maddie." Josh greeted the young lady who stood behind the counter in the clothing store.
Maddie looked up from her log book and smiled. "Bloodhound!" Maddie glanced behind Josh and at Dominic and I. "Who do you have with you?"
"My little brother, Dominic and our friend, Kaylee. " Josh introduced us and Dominic waved. I didn't fully trust Maddie. "They need some new clothes."
"Oh! Of course!" Maddie hurried from behind the counter and into the back room. She came out a few moments later caring to stacks of clothes. She handed a stack to me and the other to Dominic. "Here, go try these on."
I walked into one of the dressing rooms and pulled the curtain shut behind me. I took a look at the clothes Maddie gave me. They all looked kind of skimpy, but I tried them on anyway. I put on a brown and white blouse and a white skirt that reached down to my fingertips.
I walked out of the dressing room and saw Josh and Dominic talking to Maddie. Dominic turned around and froze in place. "Whoa..." Was all Dominic could manage to say.
"Thanks." I blushed. Dominic didn't look so bad himself. He wore semi-armored pants, nice boots, his favorite pair of gloves, a bright blue and white shirt, and a red-brown coat that split into three pieces at the top of his thighs.
"We'll take them." Josh smiled at me. He, as well, couldn't take his eyes off of me.
Josh handed Maddie a sack of gold and I slipped on a pair of boots Maddie got for me. Across the room, something caught my eye. A dark leather belt with a gold buckle and pouch was on display.
"Can I see that?" I pointed at the belt and Maddie fetched it for me. I put the belt on and it fit perfectly.
"You like it?" Josh asked and I nodded. Josh turned to Maddie. "Does the gold I gave you cover it?"
Maddie counted the gold. "Yep." She popped the 'P.'
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Jo-Bloodhound!" I gave Josh a tight hug.
"Anything for you." Josh whispered into my hair as he hugged me back. Josh broke away from the hug and put his hand on Dominic's shoulder. "Now, lets go show my baby brother what pain feels like."
"HOLY HELL!!" Dominic yelled in pain.
"Suck it up, wimp." Josh laughed at his screaming brother. "The more tattoos you get the less pain you feel."
Josh had taken Dominic to get his first tattoo. The Montiare family had a strong bloodline of heroes. Whenever a male from the Montiare family graduated from the Guild, an elder takes him to get the Montiare family crest on his arm.
I sat back and watched the brothers bicker at each other. I admired Josh's calm attitude as he got his eighth tattoo. Somehow, Josh manged to calm down Dominic. The boys weren't only brothers, but best friends. I longed for a relationship like that.
When the boys finished getting their tattoos, we headed back to the tavern. I set my new weapons next to my dresser, hidden away from the door. I flopped myself onto the bed and let myself drift into sleep.