Become a Book Nerd
When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.
They stepped into the front room. The smell of sulfur was heavy in the air.
“Now, there are a few things that you need to know about this place,” Sovos said.
“Alright then, what are they?” Kurt asked.
“First off the owner, Laht, is totally batty. He speaks in a certain way, and it could be rather hard to understand him at times. Second, he does enjoy magic. He may have me do some small thing on top of paying, he won’t ask anything of you, because he doesn’t know you yet. Third, because he isn’t all there, he can be slightly dangerous at times and rather unexpectedly. If anyone else is working here, ignore them unless he starts throwing things, then ask for help. Got it?”
“Yes, I got it.”
Sovos walked up to the counter and rang the small bell that was there. A few moments later, Laht came shuffling out from behind the curtain covered doorway that was behind the counter. The man had a stooped appearance, two tufts of gray hair were above his ears, stubble flecked his cheeks. His eyes were wide, as if he were always afraid of something, he wrung his hands nervously as he looked at his newly arrived customers.
A sudden look of realization came over him making his eyes even wider.
“So….vos?” he said
“Yes, it’s me Laht, how have you been?”
“Yeah, it’s been about two years now hasn’t it?”
“Me and my friend have come to enjoy your spring for a while, if that is alright with you”
“What do you need help with?”
Laht lunged forward and grabbed Sovos by the shoulder.
“Yes, I’ll fix the wall in the back if that is what you want”
“Very well, the boy will pay for himself.”
Laht grinned a mostly toothless grin and led them to the pool behind the building. A 20-foot tall wooden slat fence surrounded the narrow oval shaped pool. It was divided by a separate wall right in the middle.
“Male bathers on this side, female bathers on the other.” Sovos explained as Kurt looked around. A single male employee was carrying fresh towels to a small shed near the corner of the wall, which he left outside of the door.
“What is that?” Kurt asked.
Sovos looked at it and smiled “That is called a sauna, or steam room. It’s rejuvenating to sit in one for a while and then jump into cool water. Doing that replenishes spirit, mind, and body some say.”
“That just sounds crazy.”
“Maybe to you, but not to others. Don’t criticize until you try.” Sovos admonished.
Laht gestured to a small hole, where fence met earth. Not big enough for anything to fit through, but overtime it could grow and compromise the integrity of the wall.
“Is this it? Is this all you need me for?” Sovos was surprised. He didn’t think that this small amount of work was worth a free bath. He wouldn’t even need a scroll for this job.
“Not…all….more…hole…on….girl….side” Laht said “bigger….hole….worried….privacy.”
“Ah, alright then.” Sovos did a quick calculation in his head, and selected the proper scroll from his bag.
“This should do the trick, a dirt barrier golem large enough to circle the entire fence line.”
Kurt got excited, this was the first time that he had seen a Geomancer work. Sovos rolled up the scroll, and with a flick of his wrist, threw it at the ground in front of the hole.
The scroll hit, and unrolled itself. The ground around it cracked, seemed to melt and began to flow toward the holes. Not just around the scroll, other smaller holes nearby were being filled as well. Kurt heard a few female voices exclaim from the other side of the fence as the scroll’s effect traveled to the other side of the dividing wall, then the sound of running feet and muttered curses from just outside of the exterior wall.
“I believe that you may have spoiled someone’s evening there Sovos.” Kurt said with a grin.
“If my magic can save but one lady from embarrassment, then I consider it to be an honor to do so.” Sovos said with his fist clenched over his heart as he turned back to Laht. “I believe that covers my payment for the evening, and here is for the boy.” He handed Laht two silver coins.
Kurt looked down as the spell scroll burst into flame. “He said I had to pay for myself though.”
“That he did, but to him, business is business and coins are coins. Doesn’t matter to him where either come from. Besides, you really need a bath!”