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Woman
Series Fable: The Axe and Scottman by Wes Green
Chapter 2.2
Chapter Chronology
Previous The Tranquil Forest
Next "For Them"
The Tranquil Forest Chapter Chronology "For Them"

2.2.1) EMILYEdit

The Bowerstone furniture store had being doing very well lately. Sales of high end items had increased substantially since the introduction of “Hobbewood” by Ronald Flowerman. Emily had just sold an ornate table and chairs made from the material. It was mid morning and she had already sold one of the largest items in the store.

Yes it’s going to be a good day.

Emily and her family moved to Bowerstone from a village called Oakvale in the south of Albion, following a terrible bandit raid when she was only a child. Their home was burned to the ground. They only just managed to get away with their lives. Since then they had settled in Bowerstone and for the last few years ran a small furniture shop.

Emily looked up at the shelf about the door to the shop. At one end sat an old raggedy doll.

Rosie prefers Bowerstone to Oakvale anyway.

“You sold the table?” The booming voice came from the workshop section of the furniture shop.

“Yes father. Mother will be most pleased.” Emily shouted back just as her mother wandered into the shop entrance bell ringing as she did.

“Your mother Sarah…will never be pleased Em.” He replied in a joking way from the back of the workshop.

“I heard that Alan” Sarah said in a firm voice while she smiled at her daughter. There wasn’t any reply from Alan. All that could be heard was the sanding of wood.

“Emily tomorrow is your 26th birthday I want you to have a day off and do something for yourself. You need to get out there. Find a husband” she winked and started to laugh at her blushing daughter.

“Mother it’s only another day! To me I would much prefer to sell some more furniture. Not looking about for suitable bachelors”

“I would too.” Came the voice from Alan again laughing a way in the workshop.

“I am putting my foot down Emily. You will have tomorrow off and you will enjoy yourself! You are a beautiful young woman and you need to go get yourself some new clothes and make tomorrow special” Sarah had become red in the cheeks with frustration as she often did.

“Okay mother you win. I will the take the day off.” Emily said defeated sometimes it was easier agreeing with her mother then anything else.

“Marvelous. Well then I’m off to go get your presents wrapped.” Sarah walked off humming away happily.

“Get some new clothes?” Emily said out loud.

Emily was tall and thin and clothes were hard to find for her shape. People would often comment that she was taller then most men. Which she had grown tired of. She had long curly red hair and fair skin the colour of porcelain. Her Eyes were green and her lips red that stood out against her white skin. Everyone could see how beautiful she was except her.

She looked down at the basic brown dress she wore today and the black leather shoes.

It’s not too bad.

Her father came into the main shop from the manufacturing area with beads of sweat on his brow. The plump man had being working on producing furniture as quickly as he could. But these days Emily seemed to be selling the furniture quicker then her father could make it.

“Em can you do me a favour?” he said whilst rubbing his perspiration from his face with gloved hands.

“Yes father.” She replied.

“I need to finish this job. But I need more Hobbewood. Can you go down to market and place an order with Ronald Flowerman and have his lad carry the wood back here? I will watch the shop whilst you are out and I’ll continue working”

“Yes father I will do that straight away, I have never done it before so what do I ask for?”

“Just give Ronald this note…he’s the old man. It has what I need on it. Get his boy to carry the order back here.” The plump man took a long deep breath.

“Okay father.” Emily kissed him on his squidgy cheek and exited the shop.

Emily walked through Bowerstone without a care in the world. It was a nice day and the air was fresh and breezy. She looked over to where there were some children chasing chickens about.

“You chicken chaser.” One boy shouted to another boy.

The boys used to call each other that in Oakvale.

She had a sense of nostalgia as she headed into the market.

The market was busy. She hadn’t being to market for years and never to buy wood. She looked about the sea of heads. That was the advantage of being tall, you could see over people the majority of the time. She scanned the area looking for what must by the wood stall.

She looked over towards a horse and cart. There was plenty of wood on the back of the cart and it appeared that there were also lots of apples. The sign on the cart read.

“Ron and Scottys hobbe apple woodery.”

That must be it.

She made her way carefully towards the cart making sure to avoid bumping into anyone. This was hard because everyone seemed to be carrying crates of various produce.

As she got closer it became apparent that she had the correct place. Surely enough there were various cuts of wood available with price tags on. Oddly though there was a drunken man trying to sell the cloudiest cider she had ever seen slurring his words and drinking more then he was selling.

She knelt down and picked up a piece of wood from the odds and sods bucket.

“That would be great for a couple of arrows.” A low toned gentle voice said.

Emily stood up turned to face the direction the voice had come from.

“Up here….Hi…are you okay?” he said.

For possibly the first time in her life she had to look up at someone when talking to them. She may of being just over 6ft but this man may have being nearly 7ft.

He repeated

“Hi are you okay?” and smiled at her.

Emily felt like the wind had being kicked out of her lungs, she didn’t know what to say. He was beautiful. His smile made her knees weak.

“I…I…am. I mean yes. I am okay that is.” She could feel the redness in her cheeks. It always appeared worse for her with her pale skin. He was about her age, He had medium length black hair with a wave. His eyes were grey and friendly. He had a square jaw emphasised by the stubble on it that made her follow his jaw line from ear to ear. He smiled again.

“What’s your name? I am Scotty nice to meet you.” He offered her his hand. It was huge. She took it in hers and gently grasped it.

“Emily. My father…. he buys would from yours. He’s busy today so he sent me.” She realised that she was still holding his hand. She let it go quickly.

“You’re Alan’s daughter? The furniture maker?” he sounded shocked.

“Yes.” She said looking into his eyes admiring the different shades within.

“I’m glad he didn’t come. I mean busy. I mean…” his nervousness made her feel at ease and comfortable.

“I know what you mean Scotty I’m glad too.”

Emily talked with Scotty for rest of the day they really hit it off. They talked about everything from hobbewood to favourite books. They chatted and laughed. Emily noticed that the old man Ronald didn’t mind his son chatting with her. In fact it seemed like he was happy it was happening.

The old man approached the couple.

“Hello Emily. Did your father give you the order note?” Emily handed Ronald the note her father prepared.

“Oh I see thanks Em give my regards to your dad.”

He handed the note to Scotty.

“Lad there you go. Can you get this order together and take it to the furniture shop escorting Emily home?”

“Absolutely” Scotty replied. She saw out of the corner of her eye that the old man winked at Scotty which she thought she wasn’t meant to see. She didn’t mind. She was excited that Scotty might feel the same way about her as she did him.

She didn’t believe in love at first site.

But this must be close.

Scotty quickly gathered her fathers order together he lifted cuts of wood that would of taken two men with one arm. His body was muscular and she thought he caught a few times admiring it. He didn’t say anything though. Before she knew it she was heading back to the shop with him walking beside her. She noticed people looking at them as they walked.

“It must be a sight for them.” She said to Scotty.

“What must?” she said smiling.

“Well the two tallest people in Bowerstone being together. ”

“Together together?” he said joking

“You know what I mean. You’re such a joker Scotty.” She pushed him gently in the shoulder flirtatiously. She had a really strong feeling about him. She felt like she had known him for years not hours it was that kind feeling.

At last they came to the shop. She didn’t want to leave him. She sensed he felt the same way too.

He finished loading up the last of the order into the storage shed.

They both tried to talk at the same time awkwardly.

She got her words out first.

“It’s my birthday tomorrow, I’m off. Do you want to do something together? You know tallies together and that.” She cringed at her own joke.

“Like a date?” he returned looking at her seriously slanting his head to one side.

She didn’t know how to answer that. Maybe she had read his signals wrong. Before she had time to think about it he jumped in.

“I would like it to be a date. I think you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.” His serious face clearly another joke melted away to a warm smile.

With those words she was sure that her knees would fail her. She steadied herself.

“I would like that…. A lot… You are not too bad yourself Mr. I will see you tomorrow at mid day. Come meet me here.”

She got close to him and kissed him on the cheek. He smelt of fresh wood and soap that reminded her of some of the scented oils you could get from the gift shop. She left him and opened the shop door the bells above her head shocked her even though she was expecting them. She waved him off and couldn’t contain the smile anymore as she closed the door. She let it burst out and butterflies flew around in her tummy like they were having a party.

“ooohhhh who was that handsome man Em?” her mother said approaching.

Emily watched Him walking away every cell in her body was telling her to just run after him but she controlled herself.

“That..Man… Mother is the man I’m going to marry.” She started giggling.

“oooooooooh” Her mother said.

Emily hugged her mother and both of them shared the girly excitement.

2.2.2) SCOTTYEdit

Scotty felt as light as a feather as he headed to the Tavern in Bowerstone south. He kept replaying moments of his conversations with Emily. She was perfect.

Her smile…Her laugh. Her long curly red hair and her fair skin and those eyes….those eyes.

The afternoon had broken and the day had started to fade into night. The last few open shops and stalls were closing. Scotty past a few patrolling guards as he came up to the entrance to the tavern.

“They’re both in there Scotty” the guard said as he walked past.

Scotty hardly recognised the guard as Tom the guard who often bought fire wood from him.

“Thanks Tom. They always are!” The guard nodded in acknowledgement as he continued his patrol.

Scotty couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he entered the bar. He thought he must have looked like a child who had just got a new toy sword. He opened the large wooden door and immediately felt the lively atmosphere of the Tavern hit him. It was busy with people taking up most of the tables and even a few groups stood in corners where there was space. The bright lights from the fire and surrounding lamps and candles lit the room perfectly. The warm air thick with the smell of ale and Stew filled his lungs. Scotty took a deep smell and clapped his palms together as he stepped further inside. He wondered again about eventually buying and running a bar.

It must be great. I'll do that one day. Maybe Emily could help...

He snapped out of the pipedream and looked about for Ronald and Issiah. He must of being stood there for a while as people on nearby tables started to stare at him with bemused expressions. Scotty heard the sound of huge laugh in the corner of the large room just right of the bar. There were about five or six men stood around a table laughing. Scotty thought nothing of it at first until he saw Issiah take to the top of the table and start doing some sort dance shaking the drinks off the table top and spilling them all over the floor.

Oh dear not again…..Too much scrumpy.

Scotty quickly negotiated his way through the people and close knit tables to the corner where Issiah was entertaining. Issiah caught Scotty’s eye. Scotty must have had a face of disapproval as instantly the little man jumped from the table.

“Ah….der sirs…ma.. scrumpy…dance…dis over.” He lifted his bottle of cloudy think concoction and drank deep.

There were some disappointed sighs from the men who had gathered around to watch Issiah play the fool.

As the men cleared from around the table Scotty caught view of Ronald sat there right in the corner. His facial expression was one of contentment. He looked so happy that he looked like he hardly even noticed Issiah’s antics on the table he was sat at. The old Woodcutter glanced over to Scotty and his face lit more.

“My Boy! Get the ales in and sit down. I would like to hear all about young Emily.”

Scotty nodded and unconsciously allowed a massive smile to surface. The very mention of Emily forced it from him.

He approached the bar, waved to the bartender and then he suddenly thought.

My Boy?....He has never called me that before…

The gruesome bar tenders body odour was enough to make anyone want to be served quickly. Scotty though he would use his height to get served before the some of the other punters.

“Excuse me, two ales.” He said looking down at the stumpy smelling barkeep.

The rounded man immediately started filling two tankards with the orange frothy liquid.

Scotty paid the ball of a man and quickly to get out of his cloud of stink returned to the table where Ronald and Issiah were sat. He noticed as he returned the old woodcutter was just smiling at him.

“What?” Scotty said as he handed him the ale.

“you av a little girlfriendy don’t ya kid?” Issiah managed wobbling on the stool next to Ronald. He lifted the glass jug on the table and nearly knocked the ales the Scotty had just bought.

“I am just happy Scotty. It’s about time you found a nice wife and have some nice kids. I would love to be grandfather.” The old man sipped his ale slowly.

A Grandfather?

Scotty stirred in his seat. It was like he was being bitten by hundreds of grass fly. He couldn’t sit still.

“We just met….she probably won’t like me when she gets to know me.” Scotty tired to hide his redness in his cheeks by rubbing his face.

The old man didn’t flinch.

“I…. know…. Scotty…Love….I fell in love once. She felt the same way too. Except I let her get away. She married another.”

Scotty as Ronald was talking was starting to feel a bit hot under the collar. He didn’t find these sorts of things easy to talk about and often would hide serious conversation among silly jokes.

“You don’t have to be embarrassed Boy. If you feel it you must go for it.” The old man reached over the table and grabbed Scotty’s hands. He looked him in the eyes and said.

“This isn’t the easiest for me to say but I have wanted to say it for a while. For years in fact. To be honest I don’t know how long these old eighty year old bones are going last.”

The old man squeezed Scotty’s hand firm.

“Okay….You ARE my son…. You always have been boy…ever since I found you…..”

Kingsley could see that the old mans eyes were beginning to water. Kingsley suddenly felt a lump in his throat as the man continued.

“I am very proud of the man you have become and I know you will regain your birthright eventually. Today I saw in your eyes and hers…Love. You will be together and you will be happy. I am telling you this as a father would to his son. I am telling you this because I love you boy. Always have.”

A tear dripped down the old mans face as he began to smile again.

It was pride.

Scotty couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this happy. He had everything, an adoptive father who loved him as a son, friends, he looked over as Issiah wobbling on the bar stool. He had a great job and business that was doing well. Now, it seemed he may have found love.

Scotty stood up and grabbed the old man and hugged him.

“I love you too old man.” He said into his grey hair roughly where his ear was.

“Still life in the old bugger yet though.”

After a moment both men sat down rejuvenated laughing

“I am meeting her tomorrow. I think I’ll take her for a Pic nic. There is a place for it just out side the city gates.”

“dat dis the great idea Scott..y really gud.” Issiah fell off the chair. Both Scotty and Ronald didn’t bat an eyelid.

“I have us a room for the night here. Saves us setting up camp outside the city walls. In the morning you don’t have to work. I will make him work with the impending hangover he will have. That will teach him. You go have a great day with Emily.”

The old man finished off his ale and gave Scotty a few more gold.

“Go on son get your self some more ale before bed to celebrate. These old bones need to rest now. Come on you.” Ronald kicked Issiah and the man got to his feet. Ronald put his arm around his waist and headed towards the door leading to the rooms upstairs.

“Good night Son.” The old man called back as he headed up the stairs.

Scotty replied.

“Goodnight”

Father

2.2.3) THE GIFTEdit

Old Ronald Flowerman had being at the Bowerstone Blacksmith for what seemed like three days. He looked up into the clear blue Sky.

About noon. I don’t have long before Scotty is back with Emily.

The blacksmith a big old cow of a man was putting the final finishing touches to Scotty’s Birthday Present. He had removed his shirt, presumably because the shop was as hot as the surface of the sun. Ronald watched the man hit the metal with a huge hammer. With every strike the ripples of fat on the mans bare hairy chest would wobble.

Didn’t expect this wonderful sight today.

Not satisfied with the speed in which Scotty’s Birthday present was being finished Ronald decided to mention it again for about the third time.

“Come on Trevor. Back in the old days you used to make two axes a day! This one has taken you nearly a week!” Ronald hoped that comment may inspire him to work a little quicker.

Trevor the blacksmith just started giggling.

“But Ronald this isn’t any ordinary axe is it? For a start it’s four times the weight of a regular great axe.”

Ronald nodded his head in acceptance of the fact that this Axe wasn’t a regular axe. It had taken Ronald months to design it. Sure it was heavy, but it was meant for Scotty. It was the correct size and weight to complement his strength. The great axes head was huge about the size of the blacksmiths anvil.

Ronald suddenly panicked.

I hope it isn’t too heavy for him..

“You look like you are worried about the size of this? For Scotty.” The black smith said continuing to pummel the axe.

The worry on Ronald’s face must of being apparent looking at him.

“You shouldn’t worry old man.” The black smith kicked the anvil next to him it was a huge piece of metal.

“Who do you think I got to put that there?”

Ronald immediately felt better and recalled that Scotty had moved that anvil for the black smith last summer. He carried the anvil under one arm and a box of leather under the other one.

My memory is starting to fail me. Too old.

“Will it be finished in an hour?” The old man said clutching at straws.

“Yeah should be Ronald. If you like I can deliver it to the furniture shop in an hour or so. Might take me a bit longer as I need my sons to help me move it safely.”

“That would be great Trevor. Cheers.”

Ronald stepped out into the sunshine. Surprisingly it was cooler in the hot sun than it was in the blacksmith.

The city was fairly quiet it wasn’t a market day and so it made it easy to get about within the city. Ronald hardly ever got to see Bowerstone when the market wasn’t on. It struck him as actually larger with less bodies packing the space within its walls.

Ronald headed straight over to the furniture shop. He headed in through the front door. He noticed that the door sign read

“CLOSED FOR FAMILY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS”

The annoying bell rang in his ears as the door opened.

I wish Alan would take that bloody thing off.

The first thing he saw was the bunting and the happy birthday sign from within the shop.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTTY!” it read in bright red letters on a white fabric background.

There was a dining table set up and a delicious smell of roast meat in the air.

“Ronald!” came the voice of Sarah as she burst into the room from the living area of the building dragging in more scent of cooked food.

She ran straight over to him and kissed him on both cheeks.

“We thought you were going to be late for your own sons surprise birthday party!” she started rubbing her head and laughing making little “Phew” sounds.

“Oh no no wouldn’t miss it for the world. So the two love birds not back yet?” he said as he threw his overcoat on the hat stand next to him.

“Scotty picked Emily up this morning they have gone for yet another pic nic. Must the hundredth one this year.” She headed back towards the living quarters.

“Yeah they certainly love it. Young love eh?” Ronald followed.

As he entered the living room he was handed a class of frothy liquid that looked black.

“Try that…Ronald. New variant. Very potent. Going to be massive this year I think.” Issiah already seemed to have a light wobble. He didn’t have a bottle scrumpy attached to his arm yet so that was a good sign.

“Hmmm yeah I will try that later” He lied putting the class down on a nearby side table.

Alan was sitting in the window moving back and forth on his rocking chair.

“Hey Ronald. Where is this Axe then?” he questioned looking concerned.

“Trevor is just finishing it off he’s bringing it over soon.”

“That’s great; I was starting to get nervous that we wouldn’t have a gift for him. I’m so glad we all chipped in to get him this amazing piece of weaponry. Truly one of a kind I can’t wait to see it.” The furniture maker stood up and waddled off to the kitchen to check on the status of the food.

“Get off Alan, stop picking wait until we are all sat down”

Was all that was heard from the kitchen.

Ronald giggled to himself.

“Ronald are you three staying here tonight or are you back off to your cabin in gibbet woods?” came the voice of Sarah cutting through the sound of pots and pans being rattled together.

“This afternoon me and Issiah are headed off back. We are running low on regular wood so going to fell some trees in the morning. I think Scotty may be staying the night. If that’s okay?”

“Of course. We are all family now. Scotty is like a son to me. Its being nearly one year since Em and Scotty hit it off….. When do you think Scotty will propose?” she started chuckling away.

“I honestly don’t know. I hope it’s soon. Otherwise I don’t think ill be around.” Ronald said jokingly.

“You still got loads of time left you old codger!” Issiah managed between gob fulls of dark grog.

Ronald heard the door bell and then hurried footsteps.

Emily shot into the living room like lightning. She was dressed in a long white dress that fitted her perfectly. Her hair was platted and flopped to one side. It even looked like she was wearing simple make up which she didn’t need however it added to her beauty.

“Emily you look wonderful.” Ronald managed before she cut him off.

“He’s coming NOW! He’s just getting some bread from the bakers. Quickly!”

Everyone hurried back into the shop where the dining table had being placed. They hid in various places around the shop.

Ronald could see Scotty approaching the shop from behind a wooden rocking horse he was crouched behind. He boy stopped outside the door and read the sign.

He smiled.

Dam I wish I moved that sign.

Scotty ducked under the top of the door frame as he entered the shop.

“SURPRISE!” everyone collectively shouted jumping out from behind there hiding places. Scotty’s face lit up and he started laughing.

“Wow, everyone is here! That’s guy’s thanks a lot. The sign gave it a away though!”

Emily ran up to her boyfriend and gave him a prolonged kiss.

“Okay… Okay… get a room for goodness sake.” Issiah said under his breath. No one noticed though.

“This is the best birthday ever guys.” Scotty said again holding Emily close to his side.

Ronald approached him.

“We all got you a single gift. It’s coming shortly. We have all put something unique in to it. I hope you don’t mind waiting for a while.”

“Hey….you look well. Old man. You look the best you have in years. You’re radiant. Is something the matter” Scotty said laughing away.

“No No no it’s probably just a good night sleep and running about sorting out your gift this morning.”

“This party is more important than the gift guys, I just want to spend time with you lot….and hopefully get some of that roast I can smell.”

Sarah nodded and immediately set out getting the dinner ready for everyone to tuck into. The group sat down and feasted on the food. Laughing and joking and generally having a great time. Ronald was sharing stories about how he and Scotty have gotten in to some scrapes only to get out by the skin of their teeth. Issiah went on to tell the story of being attached by a baby hobbe.

Later on, Ronald was finishing the last of his rhubarb crumble when he saw Trevor the black smith approach the shop. He jumped out of his seat and went straight outside. Trevor had brought his sons to pull the trolley with the axe on. Ronald approached the men and the trolley. They both were covered in sweat from pushing and pulling the trolley.

“Ronald?” came the voice of Scotty behind him. Ronald turned to face the tall man.

“Your gift lad. Its here. Thanks Trevor.” Ronald nodded to the blacksmith.

Ronald watched as Scotty approached the axe. The axe had being shined to a high polish. The head of the axe was squared off and not rounded like most woodcutters axes. The sharp edge had being sharpened to a glimmering point. The opposite side of the blade had a sharp spike. The axes handle also appeared to be made from Hobbewood. It was wrapped in a material that looked like it had good grip but Ronald didn’t know what it was.

Scotty just stood there not saying anything gliding his fingers over the massive weapon.

“Do you like it lad?” Ronald said nervously. The rest of the diner party gathered around the cart carrying the axe.

Scotty gripped the handle and hoisted the huge piece of metal up off the cart like it was a simple paper weight. He span it in his hands.

The blacksmith looked like his jaw was going to drop off his face. Scotty balanced the axe on his back.

“I really love it guys. Thanks! Its AMAZING” Scotty genuinely looked elated with the huge weapon.

“I bet I cold cut through trees in one go with this.”

“That’s the idea.” Ronald said.

“Here cut this” Alan said pointing to the stump of tree that was headed for firewood. The tree must have being at least half a meter wide.

The giant man lifted his giant axe and brought it down. The ground shook with the impact and a dust cloud erupted. When it cleared. The stump was in two pieces and Scotty was stood there smiling.

“Please be careful with that my love.” Emily said concerned.

“I will. This axe it’s perfect for me. Thank you everyone. Thank you Father.”

Ronald heard the word...the first time the lad had said it to him.

He knew then that this was the happiest moment of his life. He just threw a random question Scotty’s way.

“What will you name it Lad?”

Scotty waited a few seconds thinking and then he looked up at the old man who had took him in raised him as his own child, the man at which he owed everything to. A glimmer of sunlight caught his eye shining from the tip of the blade and reflecting into his eyes. He squinted.

“This is….Ronald’s…Radiance.”

2.2.4) THE PERSISTEREdit

After the events of the evening so far, Seb felt like his head was in a daze. This could have been because he saw an old man stabbed to death only to then seemingly come back from the dead or it could have been the four or five pints of ale he had consumed since then.

Probably a bit of both.

The bar had thinned out in the last few hours after the ruckus. Big Jack had continued the story between serving drinks as if nothing had happened to Ron “weak arms” Shadowheart.

It was about time he told me his real name….

Many of the remaining folks in the bar were yawning and stretching whilst finishing off the remaining dregs in their tankards. Seb glanced around.

I am the only one who wants more ale?

“It’s getting late Seb.” the voice of Big Jack from behind the bar boomed. He was wiping the surface with velocity using a rag and doing a pretty good job.

“Is it nearly closing time?” Sebastian had to admit his response may have sounded like a child who was being asked to come in, from playing in the street, for bedtime.

Jack scratched his full thick red hair and rubbed his stubbly face with his hands. He let out a small chuckle.

“You want me to finish the story don’t you?” He had moved on to polishing some glasses now.

The words came as a relief to Seb. He had heard so much about Kingsley and his story. He had even found out how the axe was made.

It would be a shame if I didn’t find out how Jack got the axe.

Ron, for the past few hours, had hit the drink hard. He kept saying that he “Needed it to heal.” From what Seb had seen the healing was pretty instantaneous. The old man just seemed to be drinking to get blind drunk. It was useful though, as he seemed to be giving up quite a lot of information he had previously being reluctant to.

For instance he spoke about his family and the origins of family name Shadowheart. His family hundreds of years ago were originally lords with the name Heart. His family were spawned from an exiled family member who murdered his adulterous wife when he caught her in the act. From then on, he was referred to as the Shadowheart and the name stuck throughout his bloodline.

Sebastian was enjoying the varying stories Ron was coming up with. They were a bit disjointed but he was enjoying them all the same.

“Hey Ron….Don’t you think you should let me know how you come back from the dead?” Sebastian tried to keep his question sounding like a joke as much as possible.

The old man pointed at Sebastian, his eyes glazed with the taint of alcohol.

“You are certainly a persistent little bugger aren’t you boy?”

Seb smiled and gave his best “Who Me?” expression.

“Yeah you could say….I persist.”

Ron laughed out and loud and hit the table.

“Come on the Big Jack more ale! Why not?”

Big Jack shook his head disapprovingly but still poured the ales anyway.

Ronald closed his eyes as if to take a brief second to compose himself.

“The box…I mean Kingsley’s box…the very one that used to be on the hilt of that axe. It has the power to allow you to continue to walk in this world….continuously. I have some of that power and it is the reason I’m sitting with you now.”

The old man stared towards the fire and took a deep breath.

“Kingsley gave you the box after you received its gifts. Did Kingsley use it as well?”

The old man stirred in his seat.

“Truly I do not know.”

“Where is Kingsley now? Is he Dead?” Seb was on a roll.

Ronald started laughing, took a few seconds and then said off handily.

“Lets put it this way boy…. I didn’t see him die. Who knows? One day he simply disappeared. Much like his grandfather in the story. Some people say he they saw him heading to the Edgelands, some people say he went into hiding.” Seb noticed that the old man quickly give Big Jack a sideways glance.

Big Jack had made his way hastily over to the table where the pair were sitting.

“Your ale gentleman.” He placed the tankards down and gave Ron an ominous look.

“Drink up before Weakarms here blabs anymore.” He folded his huge arms.

“Sorry…. Big Jack…. you know me.” The old man looked more than a little sheepish.

“Yeah I do….. unfortunately…. Let’s continue the story.” He said as he pulled up a chair next to them.

“Ok but first can you go get some more of that bread and cheese?” the old man said pushing his luck with the big man.

Big Jack nodded with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders before heading towards the kitchen.

“And Scotty….some apples too.” Ron said naturally.

The big man hardly noticed the request.

“Okay Okay old man.”

Seb was the only one who reacted to the old man's question.

Scotty?

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