Dining hall seemed vivacious, and the last sun already set an hour ago — the smell of roasted meats, honey, wine, tea, seasoning and spices all over the air. Unlike the big cities, those have moon and star crystals to light the nights. Here I could feel the warmth of oil lamps and candles.
Outside the streets, people sang their folk songs happily, including them at the across tavern—the Golden Duck Tavern. It seemed the Silver Swan Inn, and Golden Duck Tavern has a close connection to my family, but I didn’t know yet what it is. Both Miss Lina and Miss Mari seem so close to my mother.
At the next morning, we left the city and went to the South. Within the magical carriage were me, Mother, Miss Lina, and Miss Mari. Mother said Miss Lina and Miss Mari would be my elder sisters from now on. Of course, I would call them ‘Sis’ or so when I spoke in the future.
On the first day of five-planned-day, three of us, excluding me, were busy to exchange information. What had startled me that that information included everything that happened within seven empires and hundreds of kingdoms? This information wasn’t just neighborhood’s gossips, but crucial, perhaps tactical, material that could quickly shake a nation.
‘Mother…, are you going to topple a kingdom?’
On the second day, the talk was changed. It was about the middle realms, the nine middle worlds. The third day was about the nine heavens and the nine underworlds.
Was there something called three realms? Perhaps when I grow up, I should become a librarian so I can become as smart as Mother.
And the fourth day…
“STOP the carriage right now!”
A loud shout came from the front. And as for the safety of no-harm measure, the magical carriage automatically stopped if there is any living being in its way.
“They are the mountain bandits around here. I’ve read a document about them. What your order, My Lady?”
“Just make it quick and avoid unnecessary noises.”
“Yes, My Lady.”
I heard a light stomp and Miss Lina get off the carriage quickly and gently. I could sense around ten peoples out there, each of them was armed with sharp or blunt weapons. They circled our wagon by a dozen meters. By their movement and gestures, it seemed they were a seasoned group of bandits.
Eee…, why suddenly I became a detective?
“Oh Boss, look, what a beauty.”
“Yes, Boos, it been a while since we were trawling this kind of exotic fish.”
“What are you, a pirate? We are the bandit! We don’t use that kind of wording.”
“He, he…, sorry Boss, but really, this time we are lucky.”
Those bandits were busy chattering among their buddies.
“Hi pretty lady, you are fortunate to meet us here. I am…”
“You are Scarface, right? The one who leads this mountain group of bandits with such generic villain name. You are born at Western Part of Gerlind, and now you are around 43 years old. You led your group for robbing, plundering, human trafficking, and many other kinds of crimes since around ten years ago. Now, you are one of the topmost fugitives that is hunted by the kingdom. Am I wrong, mister?”
“You… you… who are you…?”
“Me…? You may say that I am the answer from every prayer of your victims.”
“Ha ha…, you are my nightmare? Hey everyone, listen to this girl, it seems she wants to arrest us.”
Ha, ha, ha…, The bandits laugh out loud. Ten big muscular cruel men would not be afraid with a slim, tender girl.
But what I heard later was high pitch cries, screams, and shrieks with more than a dozen sounds of cracking bones.
After that, the sound of people running away heard loudly until disappearing behind the peak of a hill.
“My Lady, the path is cleared.”
“Thanks, Lina, now we can continue our journey.”
“Lina, I think Young Master loved your action, he smiles and still laughing, look….”
“Really?” Miss Lina took me into her bosom, “Young Master, do you like me when beating those bandits?”
“Ooh…, he laughs again.”
“He, he…, don’t worry Young Master, if we meet again with bad guys along the way, let me kick their ass for you Young Master.”
“You girls, do you want to turn this poor baby into a delinquent?” Then Mother picks me up for another ‘meal’ time, “Listen Eiwa, you are not like these sisters, they were born to beat people. But you, first, must learn how to become compassionate, having love and kindness, capable of pity and mercy. You must remember that all living beings are worthy of love. We may take a life to preserve another life, and it is the way of all living beings, it is the circle of life, but it doesn’t mean as sentient beings, we may take a life arbitrarily. Remember this Eiwa, and this shall be your strength.”
I gave Mother my best smile, ‘I will remember your words.’
Our journey continued until the end of five days; we arrived at the City of Milena, one of the biggest cities in the Duchy of Corrine. We stay a night at another branch of Silver Swan Inn, but this branch was five stories building, much larger than the one we visit before.
“Let us rest for a night here.”
“Yes, My Lady.” Both Miss Lina and Miss Mari answered at the same time.
At last, a civilization again. But this is not the end of our journey.