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Lowenna part 14 (chapter 16)
By
rbo

Lowenna part 14 (chapter 16)

Lowenna has survived a demon-god and the raid, but what has fate got in store for her next

Chapter 16 THE DAMAGED SETTLEMENT

Leaving the inn through the side door, Lowenna looked around. The street looked almost as damaged as the inn. The fountain statues and bowl were smashed and water was just flowing down the street.

Lowenna walked towards where the market had been but stopped outside of Mr. Valery’s shop. She wanted to go in but knew Eryn wasn’t there and didn’t know what to say to Uma or Mr. Valery.

All but one of the windows was boarded up, and through that window Lowenna could see Mr. Valery cleaning up. The shop had been smashed up, but most of the stock didn’t look too badly damaged. A little flicker of a smile hit her face. Lowenna knew that Uma would be hard at work repairing the dresses and other garments rather than Eryn, but all things considered, Lowenna was sure Eryn would prefer all the work, rather than being kidnaped.

Walking on, Lowenna was surprised how badly the next few shops had been damaged, but when she got to the jewelry shop, she couldn’t believe what she saw. The front of the shop was completely gone. Almost everything had been taken and the shop had been set on fire. Lowenna rubbed her sore arm. She was hoping the shop owner had not been in there, but then she saw the charred remains. The owner had been pinned to the wall by two daggers through his hands while his shop burned down around him.

Lowenna shuddered. It would not have been a nice way to die. Thinking about it, Lowenna realized that the jewelry shop would have been a prime target. Possible high-value items, but still whoever did this must have been pretty sadistic, to leave the man burn like that.

Lowenna carried on down the street, every shop and every house showed the scars of the raid and almost every window was broken. She noticed many walls were stained by fire and blood. When Lowenna reached Griffin’s Weapons shop, she noticed that apart from one window and some scratches, the front of the shop seemed to be less damaged than the others.

It was quite a mess inside, but from what Lowenna could see, it was just a few of the weapon racks and suits of armour that had been knocked over. Griffin was in the corner sweeping up. He had a bandage wrapped around his head and on his left arm. Lowenna entered and knocked on a table, making Griffin stop sweeping and looked around. His eyes suddenly rested on the smiling young lady who had entered his shop and a small girlie squeak came from his lips followed by a long wheeze. He jumped back, dropping his broom.

“It’s all right,” Lowenna said trying to calm him down, “I just need a replacement arm guard.” This isn’t why she had gone into Griffins, but it was the first thing that had popped into her head, and if she couldn’t get her old one back she would probably need a replacement.

“Take it. TAKE IT! (Wheeze),” Griffin croaked, grabbing a shiny one off the wall and throwing it at Lowenna, who caught it in one hand. Griffin ran for the back door, but Lowenna was too quick for him, stopping his escape. “Please don’t hurt me. I had nothing to do with the raid. I told them where more valuable shops were. I gave them all my money. One hit me, knocked over my tables and said, if I were lying, they would be back. Please, believe me! (Wheeeeeeze).” He said that so fast Lowenna was surprised she understood it.

Lowenna was mulling over what Griffin had said, “So you told the raiders where potential targets were. Traded your life and shop for your neighbours and friends.” Griffin nodded quickly in agreement. “I believe you and I’m not surprised. To be fair, I’m sure a lot of people would have done the same in your place.”

“Yes, yes, anyone would have done the same, (Wheeze),” Griffin stated rubbing his hands together a smile forming on his face.

“Not everyone,” Lowenna corrected him, with a look that ended his smile. Lowenna put her new arm-guard on. Unlike her old one, this was completely metal. It rested snugly against her copper band and also covered her elbow. The guard ended in a point. It was a lot stronger than her first guard and would definitely hurt someone if she elbowed them. “Thank you for your generosity," Lowenna said, feeling Griffin owed her something, for what he had done to her the other sun. Griffin grimaced, like giving away one of his guards, was as bad as his shop being smashed up by the raiders. "Will you be at the meeting later?” Lowenna asked making him think about something else.

There was a short silence before Griffin responded. “(Wheeze) I was planning to go, to see what was said. There might be some money given to shop owners. Else I will have to collect what I’m owed to recover any losses." Griffin smiled at this thought. "Also many people I owe money to are now dead. I might actually do quite well out of this raid.” The smile suddenly disappeared as he saw Lowenna scowling at him.

Lowenna was looking straight at him. She couldn’t believe that she had been feeling sorry for this man. “You are disgusting!” She finally managed to say after a short pause, curling her lip to show that she was appalled with what Griffin had just said. “If you hurt anyone and try to profit from people's suffering I will make you regret it.”

Griffin bowed and walked backward “I won’t, I swear.” He blurted out, wheezing again.

Lowenna left the weapon shop. She felt like she needed to wash and change her clothes again. She continued down the street and entered where the market had been, but there were only two stalls that were up and open. The first one offered Lowenna a pork bap, “I'm sorry, I don’t have any nars to pay.”

“I heard you helped Korri, I am her cousin so if you want it, it’s on me,” the stall owner said kindly. Lowenna took the pork bap and took a huge bite. It was delicious, and juicy but a little hot and messy, with the warm, smoky sauce started running down her chin.

“Need this do ya?”

Lowenna recognized the voice and turned quickly. The old woman from the market was standing right there with a handkerchief.

“Please,” Lowenna said, still with a mouthful of her bap. She took the small cloth and wiped the sauce away before it dripped down on her clothing. Lowenna swallowed the mouthful she had just taken before speaking again. “Thank you,” she said. She was glad the old woman was well, but something started to nag at the back of her mind as soon as she saw her. “Can I speak with you?”

“You are dearie,” the old woman replied with a smile.

“I mean about the other moon?” Lowenna asked hoping for some answers.

“What about it?” The gray-haired woman replied, looking Lowenna right in the eyes

Lowenna lowered her voice so only the old woman could hear. “I entered dream-scape on the moon of the raid and I saw a lot of things, and a lot of people I knew were killed in the dream. I managed to change what I saw and saved everyone... Except you.”

“But I’m not dead dearie.”

“No, but I didn’t save you. Also, the dream-scape was different, jerkier not smooth flowing. It was like a warning of what was going to happen rather than a vision, and I was able to save everyone. Except you.”

“But I’m not dead.” The old woman repeated.

“It was you who warned me, in my dream.”

“Me?” The old woman tried to look surprised, but Lowenna could see she wasn’t.

Lowenna’s eyes narrowed, “You warned me didn’t you? You told me what was going to happen. Who are you?”

The old lady smiled, and handed Lowenna a creamy white crystal, “Ya will need that soon.” And with that she turned and started to walk away.

Lowenna looked at it, then looked up “Wait who are you?”

Lowenna was about to follow, when the old woman replied, “Meeting starts soon, so you better get back dearie, still got lots to do.” Lowenna turned to head back when she realised that she would rather talk to the old woman than go to the meeting, but when she turned again the old woman had vanished.

She slowly walked back to Vlad’s, eating the pork roll, while examining the crystal. It was creamy white in colour, and nearly diamond in shape. She held it up to the light, it didn’t seem that special, but as Lowenna had learned over the last few suns and moons, looks could be deceiving. Placing the crystal in her bag, she continued back up the street until she heard a voice “Wenna.”

She turned and saw Kia in his gate guard uniform jogging towards her. “Good sun to you Kia,” she replied, swallowing the last, rather large, piece of her pork bap, nearly making her choke.

“Good sun to you too. Are you heading to Vlad’s?" He asked and Lowenna nodded. "I got to be there early, else captain Krakett would be even eviler than usual. Not that he can sack me or any of the remaining guards. There aren’t many of us left.

“I heard a lot of the guards were killed when the gate exploded,” Lowenna said.

“It was the changeover. One troop was finishing and another was starting. Most of both troops were in the main room at the same time, all except Krakett, me and a few others.”

“You were supposed to be in the room?” Lowenna asked, slightly relieved he hadn't been.

“Yes, I was. I normally try and keep a low profile. As you can see I'm a little short, so more often than not, Krakett targets me for some menial tasks. I was fetching his armour when the gate exploded.” Kia was smiling, but Lowenna had a feeling that he didn't like all the not so glamorous jobs, like being sent out in a storm to allow a stranger to enter the city. Krakett was just picking on him because he was different.

They carried on walking together, “So how did you survive the fire?” Lowenna asked when they were outside Vlad’s

“We were stuck in the side room. The only door out had collapsed and was on fire. It looked very bleak. Captain Krakett was shouting orders to save him. We were trying to cut our way out, but the smoke was terrible. We were getting through the wall, although I doubt we would have got out in time. Then suddenly the old orc Grilk smashes through it, making a hole that we could climb out of.”

“And you helped Grilk?” Lowenna asked smiling at the short gate guard.

“Yes everyone else just climbed out. Krakett was first and told us to leave the old orc, but I have known Grilk for many seasons, so I helped him up and we got out together. He was very confused and had some nasty burns on him. Then I climbed the ladder at the back of the gate and shot a couple of the raiders, as they were retreating. I would have shot more, but then I saw they had hostages and didn't want to shoot any innocent settler. So I climbed back down the ladder to help the survivors.” Kia paused for a moment. “Krakett was just shouting telling us to grab his stuff, but I stayed with one of my friends. While he died.” Kia looked really sad, but only for a moment, “I better get in, Krakett will be after my head if I’m late.”

“I’ll see you in there,” Lowenna replied and Kia nodded, entering the inn leaving Lowenna standing outside.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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