Final Fantasy – Crystal Beacon #4

Bodvar sat down at one of the tables, trying to be as subtle as a 6-foot-something Highlander could be, while Erroix and Nora went to the bar. As they approached, the boy gave a small start and stopped his carving, hurriedly stashing the carving away. His right hand came up from beneath the counter with a bead of blood at the tip of his thumb. “Uh, anything I can help you two with?”

The words came out so quickly that they had to consider them for a moment before replying. “We are looking for a lighthouse that is supposed to be on this coastline, but we did not see it when we walked in,” Nora sat down on one of the stools by the bar, “So we thought it would be advisable to ask around town.”

The youths eyes flicked back and forth between Nora, Erroix and Bodvar, who was still taller than the boy even when sitting down. “Wh-what do you want to k-know?”

Erroix put his hat on the counter-top and sat down as well. “Do not worry about our big friend, he is friendlier than his appearance suggests.”

“Ask him about the lighthouse!” Bolvars voice carried easily through the empty hall.

Erroix swivelled on the stool to look back at the warrior. “Oh yes, thanks for the reminder of the entire reason we came here in the first-“

“Don’t bother the lad!” The voice that had interrupted Erroix belonged to a matronly-looking woman standing on the stairs descending from the second floor. She was dressed in a simple dress, and her flax-blond hair was done up in a single long braid that was quite long even after being carried over her shoulder. Everything about her seemed to radiate a sense of slight-but-constant annoyance.

Just like outside, Nora could practically hear Bodvars grin. “We meant no bother, miss. We’re simply here to find a lighthouse.”

The woman gave them all a scrutinising look before walking behind the counter-top. “Noah, go and see if Bunther needs anything, I’ll talk to these visitors.”

The youth walked away so quickly it could be called running, and the woman turned back to them. “He’s a good lad, but nervous as he is, he might say something he should not.”

“What shouldn’t Noah say?” Nora replied, unsure if she should lower her voice.

“He certainly should not talk about the lighthouse,” The woman held a hand out towards them, “My name’s Ailred. I do odd jobs around the village.”

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