Bruce leans back in the char and places his hand behind his head. “So, to summaries we have one of these alternatives. Firstly, a local lord, who by all accounts is a jumped up little domineering, cut throat, greed little pig.”
Harold chimes in, “Who would not blanch at stealing the pennies from his dead grandmother eyes, if he thought no one was looking!”
Bruce continues, “Who is looking to settle a minor boarder dispute.”
Harold interjects, “Which probably amounts to a greedy little land grab from some other lord! Who will undoubtable take exception to his neighbour’s lack of manners! This probably means a full-scale armed conflict will result. With us used as either: the scapegoats for the conflict; or the first volunteers for the front lines.”
“So, Harold. Given your enthusiasm for the job offer. And kindly pointing out the points of the employer and the job on offer. Am I to cross this one off the list?”
“I think so. Although, if the job was teaching that lord some manners, then let’s start today!”
“Unfortunately, your lessons in manners may land us in more hot water than we are really prepared to accept. The nobles, in general, do not take kindly to having one of their own being given physical lessons in manners.”
Bruce, leans forward and picks up his tankard. “So, that one is off the list”. Taking a mouthful of the ale, and draining the contents of the tankard. He places the tankard back on the table. “Your trip to the bar, I believe”.
“I do believe you’re correct, we should talk Rufus about providing us table service. Or, at least a serving wench, to save our legs the walk to the bar.”
“Oh, please don’t! You know what happens when you get table service in a tavern. You are a bottomless pit when it comes to ale! However, we do not have unlimited gold to buy ale to try to fill it!”
“Oh, you do go on! Once, it happened, and only once! But, you’ll never let me forget it. And before you say it, no I’m not being touch, just being nagged. Anyway, I am on my way to the bar. See, Harold is standing up and starting to walk to the bar. I’ll be back with another two tankards.”
Returning a couple of minutes later, “Rufus will have a nice joint of lamb for lunch in another half an hour, and here is you ale. And before you ask, I did not spit in it!”
Bruce, “So, to offer two. The Right and Holy Order of Jezabel and their mission to save the remains of the founder, from some unspecified dangers.”
Harold snorts, “The Jezabel’s and the bones. If the order, did not believe that gold was a poisonous substance, which means that they will not pay us for our efforts. The average mental stability of it’s members, makes raving lunatics, or rabid dog, look sane. They want to start searching for the Holy Bones is Flame Blades Forrest. Let me remind you of Flame Blade Forrest, it is place with more dangers, than a pit full of vipers having a bad year. And, the leader of this, so called, Holy rescue mission, spend half the say pretending to be a twist drill, spinning on the spot.”
Bruce holding up his hands palms facing Harold across the table, “Enough already! I think I get the picture. Your sense of religious charity will not extend to working for a bunch of raving lunatics, trying to find the impossible, in a place which death is quickly found, and probably be the nicest alternative. Scratch option two from the list.”
Harold, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for seeing somewhere new. But Flame Blade Forrest, is deadly new, at every turn. And, whilst I’m not pious like you, I am tolerant of most of the religions in this land. It’s just the Jezebels’, and their gold is poison, attitude does not buy my tolerance. So, what is the third option? I hope you’ve left the best to last. I hope you’ve been building me up for some sweet job, with good pay, no ankle deep mud, and three good meals a day.”
Bruce, “Well, maybe, let me explain this one.”
“This does not sound promising, Bruce. There is a third alternative? Or, is it just your desire to always be eloquent getting in the road of a good story again?”
Thunk, went the main door into Rufus’s Travellers Rest. Harold, with his back to the door immediately reached for one of the four the throwing knifes sheathed inside the left arm of his jacket. Bruce’s, reaction was to reach for his dagger sheathed in the swordless sword belt. Bruce’s sword being in his room upstairs. When Bruce’s hand came back to the table surface, his fingers were crossed. Harold read the sign, magician! Bruce had the knack of picking a magically trained person; most of the times they entered a room. Bruce’s eyes stayed fixed on the entrant as he walked to the bar.
“Hello in there. Rufus are you working out back?”.
“Yes Aaron, I’m tending the roast of lamb.”
“Oh, a woman’s work is never done!”
“That enough out, of you young whippersnapper! You know that Mrs Beggs is taking care of her sister! So I have the cooking duties at present. My two gentlemen guests enjoy their food, and as the host of this fine establishment, it’s my pleasure to serve them three good meals a day. ” Rufus said as he emerge through the kitchen door, carrying the aroma of roast lamb, roast vegetables and fresh bread.
“Are they,” Indicating towards the table which Bruce and Harold are sitting, “the two gentlemen, you mentioned the other day?”
“Yes, they are the two gentlemen you wanted to meet. But, as I said before, they are a bit highly strung, so no quick movements!”
Bruce visibly relaxed, but only marginally, on hearing that exchange. At least if Rufus knew Aaron, well enough for some friendly banter, there was a good chance that he was not here to cause trouble.
Aaron approached the table, “Gentlemen would be interested in a business proposition?”.