Not too long after the thugs had made themselves scarce, a city guard arrived to the scene, Ayi noticed his presence because she could actually feel the intense stare upon them.
The guard stood within the same tunnel Feugan came from, even though he had said nary a word it could be easily seen he was without a doubt part of the inner city guard. With the main factions of guards involved in the city being the City Guard, the Royal guards and the Holy knights [XS1] . He stood there, wearing a simple yet well maintained studded leather armor, bearing the colors of the city guard, a hauberk underneath, unadorned simple yet sturdy gaunglets and greaves, with a hand placed on the hilt of a longsword at his left hip, a small shield bearing the City’s shield of arms strapped to the left arm. A quick glance at him told Ayi this man was no pushover. While seemingly just standing still, Ayi was certain she was already engaged in a battle of sorts, the two of them measuring each other. Without breaking eye contact, the imposing dark haired man lifted a hand pointing towards Feugan.
“Oe. Is your lizard mount here poty trained?!”
And there it went, all sense of danger and combative pressure whatsoever, washed away in the so ever constant waves of randomness that kept slowly eroding at Ayi’s sense of normality. She truly believed that even in fantasy worlds, there would have to be a modicum of normality, but this very day in which she was given the chance, everyone just kept trampling over her beliefs.
“He-He certainly is!!, He might not look like it but Feugan is properly educated and respectable citiz… er... dragon!” exclaimed the little wolfkin maid.
Ayi found herself again at a loss of words, not because of the whole exchange, truly it was praise worthy for Zoey to be standing up for Feugan, as he himself had no way to defend his own honor on the matter. But, truly, Feugan, are you a little kid? One doesn’t really need to be a beastmaster or a dragon expert to realize you are angry and fuming over there.
“What does she mean ‘might not look like it’?, I am but a gallant noble warrior dragon at the service of my master”
Ayi, slowly covered her face with her hands, she took a couple slow deep breaths, then she gently patted the little wolfkin girl’s head and earnestly replied to the guard.
“Yes… he is… But more importantly, some lowlifes just attacked us, they tried to rob us and I had to defend us until Feugan came to assist us”
She tried to not sound angry while stating her words, she half-expected the guard to find them guilty of something with no fundaments, or accuse them of lying to him just to avoid some sort of ticketing, execting bribery of sorts to let Feugan roam the streets. The guard stared at her again, then he turned his gaze to a spot on the paved floor, there was a big puddle of blood, most likely from the offender. The guard took a few steps drawing closer to Ayi, disregarding Feugan completely almost as if a dragon the size of a midsized car (and quite possibly the same weight) was no real concern at all.
“Ok now, hear me out here, I ask of Y’ALL to please not be usin any’all skills of tae ‘Brutal Series’, at least within the inner city walls, I daen care if ya do it outside tae walls or even in da palace, but dis is de sort of stuff that scares tae citizens, ill hafta do a lotta paperwork everysingle time to boot too. There already bein some discontent on why is ‘adecuate’ for dem adventure’s ta use selfdefense when dem taxes be payin for us guards. otarwise tae general population will think start thinkin any (and all) adventurer could be the infamous vigilante…”
At this point the guard kept staring at Ayi, she then realized he has been leading the conversation to this specific point, quite possible suspecting of her being the aforementioned vigilante, after retaliating on the local criminals. Being targeted and attacked by ruffians was bad enough, but suspected of being an ill reputed character (and on day 1!) by local authorities was a really bad twist of events.
Facts that were not as disturbing as the guard’s intense gaze fixed on her, or as how it seemed like he was blowing steam through his nostrils while he kept impatiently taping his foot on the stone floor, or was he scrapping something off his sole?, while looking at her with eyes full of suspicion. Wait, what is he? a bull? The intense glare on her made it feel like she was looking straight to the face to such a fierce animal somehow…
With a last exasperated blow of steam from his nostrils (just how?!), the guard looked to the side with an annoyed look on his face, taking a leather-bound notebook from his pack, upon opening and flipping past a few pages he proceeded at writing something in it, tearing the sheet and giving it to Ayi.
“Its ways difficult tellin dem good ‘venturers from bad ones, please daent be commin here makin mah job non any hardr!”
With that said he just went and left, not the same way he came from, but rather following the path the thugs went away. Ayi was barely able to do anything else but to watch him leave as she was still very confused by the huge change in the guard’s manner and way of speaking , did he just drop all formalities once he deemed her not to be the supposed vigilante?
As the guard became closer to the alleyway, Ayi could almost swear she heard him sniffling once he got to the alley, but she wasn’t quite sure, as the guard just left with a swift bold pace as if he was convinced he wouldn’t get lost in the labyrinthical inner streets and countless alleys within the kingdom’s inner city.
Still somewhat confused by the sudden rush of actions and responses performed by the guard, Ayi took a look at the torn paper in her hand, it only said a name and address. She was of course again confused on what would all (and she basically meant ALL of the guards actions meant) mean, then again she just had begun to accepting this was a different world just before the guard appeared, so by now she was just coming to terms on accepting the unexpected and be prepared.
It’s quite remarkable how even though she prepared her mind and heart for this, on such an almost unhuman degree, that it would have set her as a top poker player in her former world (if she could play cards at all, that is). She would never be able to accomplish an estate where she wasn’t utterly confused by the actions and plans of her friends within this new world.
“It is most likely the address of a healer, Mistress”
Now again, quite confused, just now by a whole different person, Ayi looked to Zoey with a big bright, bold-lettered and non-existent (yet so very present) "How do you know this" sign on her face.
“I-I could feel the intention of the guard to have your injuries treated, after he was not suspicious of you anymore that’s it. He was quite fixated on the zone where that scoundrel landed a hit on your face!” answered the little Wolfkin maid, to the very obvious question plastered on her Mistress’s face.
Ayi nodded, taking her cute child’s words at face value, completely disregarding the fact that Zoey didn’t actually answer the “how” in the question, she just repeated “It’s ok, it’s a fantasy world” in her mind a couple times to calm herself [XS2].
So she took the little wolfskin’s hand, then nodded to Feugan acknowledging the gallant dragon mount and then they headed to the address they were given. They would need to stock on medicines at some point anyway, or at least she was sure that even if she had some in her mannor, but not being sure of anything anymore, it would be wise to get an idea of what the local medicines were like, how much they cost and even the scarcity of them. Items to keep your health top notch were always in demand for those involved in the adventuring business. So, all in all, this was a very agreeable turn of events. Thank you… nameless mister Guard… shoot…
“Zoey, did you get the name of that Guard that came just now?”
The little Wofkin girl perked up her fluffy ears and her eyes widened upon realizing what entailed on that question, after being given such favorable treatment by a guard with which they might end up meeting on a common basis, it would be rather rude to just call him “Mister Guard”. Upon putting her head onto the task, she realized she had been calling him “Mister Guard” for over a couple weeks by now. Awkward.
“N-no, I didn’t… b-but! We could introduce ourselves properly and give him a 'thank-you gift' of sorts for all his help!”
Yosh. Good save Zoey!
“I-I see. Hmmm… yeah, it’s a good idea, thank you, Zoey” Ayi smiled warmly and gave the little maid a gentle pat on her head. Such a good little girl.
In reality, all the guards on the southern side of the kingdom knew fairly well who Zoey was, just like all the merchants in the south district too. An unknown new face like Ayi’s would have required a lot more inquiries about where she came from and what were her business and intentions in the kingdom, it was not uncommon to see new adventurers come to the kingdom or to stay within the city, but they were to be properly questioned, then guided to the closest guild, so they could fill in their paperwork and be at either the adventurer’s guild or even the mercenaries guild, someone would fill in the adequate forms so they could be reluctantly received at the internal affair offices, filed by triplicate and most certainly lost in the inner archive. Ah, bureaucracy.
[XS1]It is worth mentioning that while the Holy knights had as much authority as the other 2 factions, they were rarely seen within the city and more oft than not would be found in expeditions and holy missions. On the other hand, Mercenaries hired by nobles were easier to find within the inner city, but their authority or lack of it, lead them to just be figures of order within the territories and neighborhoods of their employers.
[XS2]This would turn into a sort of Manthra for Ayi, repeating it over and over the craziest the situations turned around her.
[XS3]Without knowing of it, Ayi had the vouch of one of the most influential persons within the kingdom. The “Snow Maid Princess” fan club had an extensive list of good natured people (and quite a number of doting idiots among their ranks too) with connections built on years of trust and care for others. Meetings held on Tuesdays and Saturdays, must have a recommendation.