Seems more like a hotel than an inn. :)
Their rooms were huge--huge and luxurious. Two queen-sized beds lined a wall with a long window between them. Bookshelves filled with various types of books lined the back wall. Two desks sat on the opposite wall from the beds. A wide dresser sat under the window between the beds. And a door led to an equally luxurious bathroom with a large round tub. As Hikari and her wandered around the room, Sarah wondered if the other rooms were this nice. The two girls put their packs on their bed and then walked back out to meet the others in the hall.
When everyone was gathered, Greg led them up to the top floor--a floor with an outstanding view. The ceiling was one giant skylight and the circular walls were more long windows than solid wall. The room was a combination dining hall and sitting room. On the only wall without giant windows was a stone fireplace that held to ground the airy feel of the room.
Inledair, by the way, is a shortened version of the Gaelic word for engineer.
Greg directed them over to a large round table covered in a white, silky tablecloth. “Wait here for a bit. I‘ll have dinner brought up to you.” He looked at Cain. “The usual?”
The former knight nodded with that same wistful smile from before.
“Gotcha,” the innkeeper replied, smirking. “Let me know if you need anything else.” And with that Greg made his way out of the room.
“I’ve gotta admit I can’t believe that a man like him runs this type of place,” Bill commented, smiling.
Cain frowned. “It used to be one of the smallest inns in town back when I used to stay here.”
“Yet you don’t seem all that surprised to see it has grown as much as it has,” the former bartender replied.
The former knight shook his head, smiling quietly. “Before I left for the capital, Greg got backed by the Inledair--the head engineer.”
“Oh and the fact that you are a world famous knight who used to stay here had nothing to do with that?” Sarah asked, smirking.
A little more background on Momo and Bayn. Though, it is kind of funny to imagine Momo attending a ball.
Momo chuckled at this. “What’s the big deal? It’s not like anyone is watching us. Just be yourselves.” She gestured at the tall warrior. “Bayn and I were raised in ‘high society’ so, we’re kind of used to it.”
Sarah looked over at the blue-haired, tall warrior. “Really?”
Bayn nodded, smiling. “It’s part of the charade we play as servants of the king.”
“It allowed us to gather information that we couldn’t otherwise,” Momo added.
Trouble and Dinner
Here's a slight hint after the fact to Cain's inheritance or to maybe what that other world is like.
But Sarah was no longer listening. A motion to her left had drawn her attention off of the conversation. Cain had brought a hand up to his head. “Don’t tell me there’s a spy here,” she whispered to him, not wanting to draw attention to him as he obviously didn’t want it.
He shook his head. “The Cruinne here is very powerful,” he explained softly, wincing. “I’ll be okay,” he added as she gave him a worried look.
“We should warn the others, though,” she insisted, still giving him a worried look.
Suddenly he looked up and it was then that Sarah heard the footsteps. She looked around and saw three of the bartenders from downstairs carrying trays of food and drink. “The usual” turned out to be grilled steak, fried rice, sautéed vegetables, wine, and water.
“I’ve never heard of fried rice before,” Momo admitted, giving it a try. Her expression indicated that she liked it.
Cain smiled wistfully. “My father gave Greg the recipe as thanks for him taking care of me.”
They ate mostly in silence, savoring the delicious meal. Sarah found that she too liked the fried rice. It was different than the rice her and Bill served at their bar and it had vegetables mixed in it.
“Cain, can you cook this rice? It’d be great if we could have some on the road,” Sarah said, looking over at the former knight.
He had his head down and he was holding it again.
He looked up, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Yeah,” he replied tonelessly. “We can pick some up later.”
“Are you okay?” Hikari asked, looking worried.
The former knight nodded.
I love Cain's response to Sarah here.
Sarah glanced at him, sort of seeking permission to bring up what they had talked about before the food came. “Cain says the Cruinne here is really powerful.”
“So, you’re having your headaches again,” Bill said, frowning. “Just how powerful is this Cruinne?”
Cain’s expression darkened.
“It’s strong enough that its affecting you from here,” Bayn supplied for him, meeting his eye.
He nodded. “This one could be a problem.”
“What are we going to do?” Sarah asked, staring at him fearfully. If Cain said this one could be a problem, they could be in big trouble.
The former knight frowned. “We’re going to destroy it,” he replied matter-of-factly, his hand slipping to the area where his amulet hung beneath his shirt.
Uh oh! Cain's going for a walk.
The former bartender nodded, satisfied. He returned to his meal. So did everyone else--everyone except Cain who stared down at his plate with a troubled look on his face. Sarah put her hand on his arm.
“What’s troubling you?” she asked softly.
He shook his head. Setting his fork down, he stood. “I’m going for a walk,” he said, turning to head towards the door.
Sarah jumped up. “Let me come with you,” she begged, grabbing his arm.
He studied her for a moment, frowning. He looked like he really wanted to go along, but he hesitated to say so for some reason. Sarah was getting ready to tell him to forget about it, when he nodded. “Very well,” he said, turning away from her and walking off, not looking back to see if she followed.
Sarah glanced at Bill and then raced after him. Her guardian had kept his expression carefully guarded. Not that it mattered what he thought. She was afraid to leave Cain alone right now. It would also give the former knight a chance to talk about what was on his mind if he felt like it.
More Cain/Sarah goodness.
She caught up with him on the stairs. He didn’t even look at her as she began to walk beside him. She wondered why he had assented to her coming along. He didn’t seem to like the fact that she had insisted on coming with him.
“You wanted to see the city at night,” he said as if answering her thoughts, which he probably was.
She stared at him in shock. “That’s why you’re letting me come along?”
He shrugged. “Better than to have you sneak out on your own and get lost.”
She scowled at him and then shook her head. “But I thought you wanted to go alone.”
He frowned as they passed through the entrance of the inn and out onto the walkway. “You may have been right. I tend to get into trouble when I take a walk alone,” he replied, smirking.
Sarah stared at him in shock and then burst out laughing. “Yeah, you tend to get into fights.” She grew serious as she looked at him. “And to be honest, you look like you’re itching for one now.”
He turned away to lean against the railing of the walkway and look out over the town.
Theine At Night
I thought this scene was cute. I really like Cain and Sarah's relationship.
She joined him, her eyes widening at the beauty before her. It was a moonless night, yet the town was lit up like Yule lights. The buildings on the ground level twinkled beneath them as families sat down for dinner or shop windows glowed with various trinkets. The smell of gunpowder and the occasional boom hadn’t subsided. On the sky level across from where they stood, Sarah could see flashes of light coming from the giant buildings over there. Street lamps glittered alongside the walkways on the sky and ground levels.
“Theine is more active at night,” Cain explained softly beside her, his eye on the flashes of light across from them.
“What’s over there?” Sarah asked, following his gaze.
“The engineering universities,” he replied.
“Wanna walk over there?” she asked. “I’d like to see them.”
He looked at her thoughtfully for a moment. “Very well. There’s a good library and café over there. We can stop by them.”
“Why, Cain! Are you taking me out on a date?” Sarah asked mischievously.
“Like I have a choice,” he replied, shaking his head with a smile. He met her eyes. “Just don’t get the wrong idea,” he added seriously.
Sarah frowned, crossing her arms. “Yeah, yeah, just lead the way killjoy.”
I like most of this scene. I want to work on Cain's lines towards the end of it a bit more.
“How old were you when you went to the engineering school?” she asked after they had walked for a while in silence.
“Eighteen,” he replied, keeping his eye ahead. “I was fourteen when I learned to become a pilot.”
Fourteen? “What about traditional schooling?” she asked, studying him.
He smirked. “I was homeless and nearly an orphan. I had to teach myself how to read and write. Cale’s parents taught me the rest.”
She stared at him in shock. “You taught yourself how to read?”
He nodded. “I had a little help from my father at first.” He shrugged. “It doesn’t matter now.”
She sighed. “You’ve had a rough life.”
He stopped, frowning at her. “I could say the same of you.”
She looked away. “I guess the same could be said of a lot of people right now.” She shook her head. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”
He grabbed her chin and gently forced her to look at him. “Don’t apologize. Just stop treating me like a project.” He let her go and turned away. “You can’t fix me.”
“I’m not trying to fix you,” she called after him. “I care about you, that’s all.”
He just kept walking and she was forced to jog to catch up with him.
For these scene, for some reason, Cain is reminding me of Mystogan from Fairy Tail.
“So, what’s causing that?” She indicated the flashing.
“They’re probably using blow torches,” he replied matter-of-factly.
“I wonder if they’re working on that train thing,” Sarah said, her eyes wide at the thought of it.
Cain smiled. “It’s a possibility.” He gesturing away from the huge university. “Come on, I don’t want to take the chance that someone recognizes me.” He led her down another walkway.
Cain and Sarah are so cute. This library is very loosely based off of one of the libraries we work with at the school where I work.
After a while, he stopped, pointing ahead. Sarah stopped beside him and looked, gasping. The former knight was pointing at a two-story, round building that was almost entirely made of glass.
“That’s the library?” she asked, her eyes wide.
He smiled, nodding. “Want to go inside?”
“Yes!” she exclaimed.
“Okay,” he replied, leading her towards the building.
© 2011 Jessica M. Walshaw