14 The Innkeeper's Advise


CHAPTER 14 – The Bone Man

Having spent the day with Pearl, learning about her and teaching her a few sword tricks, Zale returned to the inn tired and in need of rest.

As soon as he walked in, he was greeted with the heavy stench of beer and stinky old men drowning their sorrows and wasting their lives away on a cup of beer and more, while telling tales he was least interested in hearing.

As usual, he walked over to the counter where the innkeeper stood behind it, serving drinks and attending to orders.

Lazily placing his hand on top of the counter, he leaned forward, hoping to catch his attention but when he saw the innkeeper ignore him, he tsked and slammed his palm a bit hard on the table.

"You still wish to ignore me?" Zale questioned as soon as he turned around to look at who dared do that.

"Oh, if it isn't my friend," the innkeeper smiled at him, giving him his full attention. "So how is your search?"

"Terrible as usual."

"Hmm. It shouldn't be so," he stated thoughtfully. "If you had listened to me though and every once in the day, come sit here with the men, you would have…"

Zale did not let the innkeeper speak before cutting him off by shaking his head. "No."

"No? You are pretty stubborn you know."

"I know. Anyways, rather than sit here and have my nostrils assaulted by the smell of alcohol, I would take my chances out there," he pointed at the door, "searching out answers to what I seek."

"Yes. Same old. Anyways, my words would always remain. Sometimes, every man needs to u unwind. Find the wisdom in those words."

'Yes, every man, sadly, I am no man.' Zale voiced inwardly.

Although he knew not all young men were found drinking here, he also knew that would be the last thing he would be doing, seeing as all they did was tell tales about adventures which were either lame or lies.

Barely a few told the truth and he was not interested in time wasting as of now.

"Do not worry, I would seek out my wisdom. Tell me, do you have a knife?"

Listening to his strange request, the innkeeper kept a close watch on him as his eyes carefully scanned him from head to his waist, making sure he was not planning on bringing one out.

He released a deep sigh and lifted both hands slightly in surrender.

"Trust me here, I am not with any. I just want to take a good look at something."

"You sure you do not plan on stabbing someone?"

"I promise. I won't. Just a quick look for a minute and I would hand it over to you."'

"Hmm. I…"

"Fine, I would get you one chocolate bread from the baker. Is that okay?"

A cheeky grin appeared on the innkeeper's face at the offer before clearing his throat and responding accordingly.

"You see, you are impatient. Youngsters of nowadays, are always eager to get what they want without working earnestly for it."

Zale rolled his eyes at him. Did he just get schooled in such a way?

Who wasn't working hard? Hasn't he visited most stores he had been sent to in hopes of getting the pearl back?


He just could not agree with the words of the man.

"You seem lost as to what I mean, which is why you get angry," the innkeeper added.

Ignoring what he meant, Zale questioned. "Tell me, what is your name?"

"If you had seated long enough here, you would have known my name easi…"

"Just tell me," Zale interjected, pushing his palm forward as he glared daggers at the man.

The last thing he needed was an incessant delay and this man seemed to love doing it. Perhaps he hoped he would yield and spend more time, but he was no fool.

"Enough of the delay."

"Fine. But only after I have shown you the knife."

Immediately, Zale threw both hands in the air in complete frustration. Right now, he could not tell between Pearl and this innkeeper, who was too much to handle.

"I meant, I do not need a bribe from you before I tell you that which I intended to or show you. Not every time you youngsters can bribe your way on things."

"Noted. Now can you please show me? I am running out of time here."

"As I said, impatie…" Zale shot him a bone-chilling look, forcing him to swallow his words as he remained transfixed in the post, he was in.

Luckily for him, one of his burly customers, a village soldier walked up to the counter and slammed his hand on the countertop.


The innkeeper jolted at once and sent his gaze straight to the man. "Yes, how can I help you?"

"That girl, your new worker," he looked to his left where a young alluring-looking girl stood, tending to customers before bringing his gaze back to the innkeeper. "I want her but she is ignoring me."

"Oh, I see. Maybe a little something would help ease my back," he suggested.

Right before Zale's eyes, the man pulled out a pouch filled with coins and placed it on the table close to the innkeeper's hand.

"You know what to do."

"Aye, I'll put in a good word for you and get things done."

"Good." He let go of the pouch, watching with keen intense eyes as the innkeeper reached out and collected the pouch of money, and peered in before taking it to keep.

As if on cue, both men nodded at themselves and as though they recently just realized they had company, they turned their gaze to Zale, who till now had been ignored.

"Keep your eyes off her. I got her first," he threatened.

The customer let out a cold scoff, scanning Zale's body and appearance properly before throwing his face away and returning to his seat.

Once they were both free, Zale's menacing stare, returned to him.

"Look who complained about youngsters and bribing their way."

"Look away, young man. This is different. It is business," the innkeeper stated, averting his eyes as he whistled.

"Tsk. Practice what you preach, perhaps then people would take you seriously."

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