𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭.

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Chapter Eight: Tales Of Old

  ELEANOR AND LANDRY hadn't been working as blacksmiths in the past days. Geraldine had been the one to ban them from the workshop, helping her husband complete his commissioned blades, while the young adults spent their days under the blazing sun learning a different trade.

  Well, one learning while the other taught.

  "You aren't half bad," Landry complimented as Eleanor stretched her arms out behind her, "You'll be takin' on Norden guards in no time."

  Eleanor laughed shortly, shaking her head.

  "I just hope they re-open borders before supplies run out," She spoke honestly, "I won't go through them unless it's do or die time."

  "Respectable," Landry nodded, "Ellie?"

  "Landry?"

  "What are you going to do? When everything calms down, when the real princess is on the throne and Eclos is rid of chaos."

  Eleanor twisted her lips to the side as she took a seat on the dry grass. Landry found himself doing the same, folding his long legs beneath himself as if he were far younger than 20.

  "Haven't thought about it, much," Eleanor shrugged, sighing heavily, "Maybe I'll stay here. Maybe, my mother can come back to Goldewilde. We can sneak her, in the chaos no one will look. And the Faverau's will be together, and I can be a better apprentice than you—"

  "And I've been so generous the past few days—"

  A smile cracked on Eleanor's face at Landry's scoffing. And as this turned into doubling over in laughter, Landry paused to watch the girl with an invisible smile.

  "Alright, Hero," Landry sighed, standing abruptly, "Geraldine wants us to pay a visit to the market, see if anyone's still willing to sell— running low on meat."

  "Okay," Eleanor laughed out the last of her humor, accepting Landry's hand to stand, "Hey, how's your family doing?"

  Landry nodded silently, quickly departing to put up their swords.

  "Landry?" Eleanor questioned, furrowing her brows as the boy collected a coin pouch, "Hey—"

  "I don't want to talk about my family right now, Eleanor."

  "Oh. Alright."

  Landry departed from the younger girl the second they wandered into the center of town. He left half of their supply of coin with her with the simple instruction to try and find a single soul still selling or offering fresh produce, while he attempted to persuade the butcher.

    "Maximus!"

    A man shorter than Landry, but wider in every way, glared up as the young man entered the dimly-lit shop with bright spirits. It was a familiar place to the young man, window panes fogged by age that no one bothered to clean, encasing the heavy smell of raw meat that hung in the air and wrapped one up as soon as they opened the door.

  Maximus didn't actually kill the animals, obviously, but when Goldewilde received shipments of meat, he was the one who cut it perfectly into well portioned out cuts of fine meat.

  "Landry," The man grumbled, wiping a clever on his worn apron, "Suppose you're here for the same reason everyone else is."

  "Your legendary pork chops?"

  "I ain't selling you meat, boy," Maximus decided, "Your family's debt is endless."

  "It's not for my family, sir," Landry sighed, his posture dropping slightly, "It's for Igor and Geraldine— and their granddaughter."

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