Julian watched Sam’s newfound weapon agility as well, from his position next to Aelric, Elsie, and Dee. “Well, I believe you got lucky there, Sam.”
Aelric threw him an irritated look and attempted to get himself off the ground, aided by Elsie and Desiree on either side, though not happy about it. “Let’s just keep going north,” he snapped once he was standing.
“Wait, wait-” Julian put a hand on Aelric’s chest to stop him, which probably wasn’t the wisest of ideas, because if looks could kill then Julian would be dead. He moved his hand sharply. “I think it’d be stupid if we all didn’t have a boost; rejuvenate. And since we can’t really nap right now, maybe we should drink those concoctions that we bought a week ago at that flee market.”
Desiree turned to him but was slightly hesitant, “But what if we need them later? And we waste them by drinking them now?”
Ailbe was thinking again. She looked paler than normal, completely drained of energy. “I don’t think there is much left of this forest and I don’t think any of us will need it more than we need it right now.”
“Yeah, it’s a good idea. I’m going to drink mine now,” Sam chimed in, removing her pack.
Faye added, at the same time Ailbe was removing her bag as well and starting to dig into it. “Me too, I think you should.”
“Jesus, I’m exhausted, I’m going to join you, ladies,” he stated, also digging into his own pack.
While they were finding the potions in their bags, Aelric had decided that he didn’t need to take his one and to just move on early. He stepped backwards, but Elsie was on him before he could turn away. “I feel weak, I need to recover my strength,” she told him.
“Not my problem,” he replied.
“It is. You have a stamina potion, swap it with me?!”
“For what?”, he questioned, remembering the useless one that she’d bought on the day. “A stupid skill one? No, thank you, I think I’ll stick with mine.”
“For anything,” she replied. “For the fact that you don’t actually want my death on your hands, do you?” Elsie folded her arms, feeling confident that she’d be making the trade with him.
Aelric’s lip curled at the sound of this. He knew that she was right and he probably had to now, but he didn’t like it. He didn’t like being forced into it. So Aelric did what he did best, came up with a cunning plan where she would be the one to refuse, not him, and he’d get to keep it. He narrowed his eyes and started stroking his chin with his right hand, pretending to think about it. “Hmm… what do I want in return for the potion? I did pay three Gold Pieces for it, but it is more valuable now, being that everyone is taking theirs. So how about… a kiss?” He smirked.
Elsie was instantly shocked, had he really just asked for that? She looked around at the others for support, but only Faye looked like she had heard him. As she looked equally as shocked as Elsie. Elsie opened her mouth to speak, her heart was racing, “…A… a what?”
“You heard me,” he responded smugly, but then foolishly looked at Dee out of the corner of his eye. She wasn’t looking at them, so it was almost impossible to tell if she had heard. Except that her shoulders had tensed, so he knew.
“That’s really what you want?”, Elsie reaffirmed her question.
Aelric shifted uncomfortably, feeling not quite himself, and he was sure he didn’t like that. Laughing it off, he said, “No, I was teasing you, Elsie.” He noticed Dee’s shoulders relax immediately, as he removed his pack to take it out. “I’ll just take you skill position for it.” Though he still wasn’t happy about it.
After the four had taken their potions, they all waited another ten minutes for the wooziness to subside and the potion to take effect. Then they collected their bags together and started north again.
They walked along the narrow path until suddenly, they all heard the sharp crack of a twig breaking and the whispering of low voices. They stopped, clustered together, back-to-back and weapons were drawn. They waited anxiously. Then from behind the trees opposite Faye, stepped four men and a woman dressed in green tunics. Each looked more menacing and bigger than the other, and than them, which possibly meant their agility would be worse. But did the group want to find out if this was the case, as they watched the five surround them with swords and axes in their hands?
The young woman stepped forward and spoke angrily, “You are trespassing on our territory and you must pay a levy of five items from your backpack or face the consequences.”
Skill: 12 (-2)
Skill: 10 (+1 skill)
Luck: 11 (+2 from ring)
Skill: 9 (+1 for attack with helmet) (+2 skill when using the sword)
Luck: 9 (+1)
What should you do?
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