Elysia thought the balloon ride was rather exciting, but Sovos was doing everything in his power not to vomit over the side of the basket. He sat hunched over in the middle, head on his knees, eyes closed and breathing deeply. As the balloon bumped to a stop on the platform, Sovos jumped out and immediately lay face-down on the ground.
“Are you alright?” Elysia asked, as she lifted herself out.
“Yes, I’ll be fine, just give me a minute.”
Elysia looked around as Sovos recovered. Crates were being unloaded at a nearby platform from a triple-balloon, men shouted as they worked. Chains rattled, ropes creaked. After a few minutes, Sovos stood, dusted himself off, and said.
“For the time being, we must go our separate ways.”
“Why?” Elysia asked scared.
“Because, my supplier is very, very particular about who he deals with. I must go alone to see him.”
“What about the Code?”
“I know, this flies in the face of everything I have said up until now, but it has to be this way.”
“But…” She started.
“Elysia, don’t think for an instant that I would leave you completely unprotected, Kurt can go with you and I’ll give you this.”
Sovos pulled a scroll out of his bag, and handed it to her.
“It’s a stone fist golem, it’s ready to use, just throw and think where you want it to aim.”
“Alright Sovos, I’ll trust you in this.” She said quietly.
An all too familiar feeling of unease and darkness crept back into her heart as she said that. The same feeling as before she had ever met them.
“Don’t worry. The sooner I leave, the sooner I can be back. Now, we are on the Barracks section of the city, the Market is over there,” he gestured to the right “and the Neighborhood is over there.” A gesture to the left. He dug through his bag again, producing a small bag of coins. “These are for you Elysia, feel free to explore the Market and buy whatever you want.”
“What about me?” Kurt asked.
“What? You said you wanted to pay with your own money, now you can.”
“Oh, right.” Kurt said, looking crestfallen
Sovos started toward the Neighborhood section.
“I thought you were going to your supplier?” Elysia asked.
“I am, he does business out of his home. See you both later.”
Sovos turned away and continued walking.
“Wait! Where do we meet up?”
“Oh, umm….Ah! There is a bookstore called ‘The Wrinkled Scroll’ at the bottom of the Market. Be there in about two hours.”
He turned again. As he disappeared around the curve of the section, Elysia felt the darkness around her heart solidify, but she still managed to put on a smile.
“Well, do you want to check things out at the Market, Kurt?”
“Yes I do, and don’t worry. I will protect you!”
“I’m certain you will.” Elysia said with a smile. The smile didn’t reach her eyes, she couldn’t help but wonder if Kurt could do anything at all if it all came to a head.