As we started out-of-town we noticed a large caravan of people. They had lots of wagons with a few carriages in the mix which made me thing it was a wagon train. Curiosity got the better of me, and we walked over to check it out. It turned out my initial hunch was right after briefly discussing things with some of the staff.
“You four wouldn’t happen to be for hire would you?”, he asked, “I was about to put an emergency request as my part of my security team fell ill from food poisoning.”
I looked at the women who thought it was fine as long as they were heading our direction. The group was in fact heading sort of in our direction so we took the job after he got it approved by the guild. They were going a little further north than we would have gone, but the pay was something to scoff at. For twenty gold all of us were happy to accept the job. We got three meals a day with the benefit of having a wagon to sleep in at night.
The wagon train left soon after we accepted the job. In total the trip would take three weeks so I hoped we could get along with everyone. The first few days went smoothly without issues, but by the sixth day things started to boil over.
“Jackass, you stay away from my wife!!”, one of couples a few wagons ahead of us shouted.
Apparently since we left Slave Town a young man had been pursuing a married woman. The husband had kept quiet, but things crossed the line after he was caught peeking in on her. Now a brawl between the two men broke out in the middle of camp. The guide looked at me to handle the fighting.
With a snap of my fingers I buried both men up to their necks in the dirt. Shaking my head I walked over to the men to have a chat about their behavior. Both of them glared at each other wanting to the beat the other into submission.
“Alright…ma’am have you told the young man to stop his behavior?”, I asked the wife.
She nodded firmly glaring at the young man.
“I have told him several times that I love my husband, and that I have no interest in him.”, she said.
I crouched down looking at the young man with a smile.
“I hear you pursuing another woman who has no interest in you again…I will burn your manhood off to remedy the problem.”, I said staring at him.
He rapidly nodded understanding my decision. With that I released the men telling them to shake hands, and drop the matter. I gave my word if the young man was caught again I would follow through with my threat. The husband was satisfied with the punishment he would receive so he dropped it.
Issues like this pursued into the next week. Cheating spouses were almost frequently seen thrown from wagons. I even saw a woman kill her husband with a skillet after he looked at another woman. The guide decided not to kill her for murder till a judge sentenced her. That wasn’t even the worst thing on the trip.
Our wagon was in the middle of the camp everyday so we could respond in a moments notice. This meant that those behind us always saw the three beauties I had with me. I caught several men trying to sneak a peek including the young man from before. Dragging his sorry ass into the center of camp I followed through with my threat. I made all the men watch telling them they were next if they were caught peeping in anyone other than their spouse.
The women nodded with content while the men, with pale expressions, nodded slowly. We had no issues with peepers after that which was nice. There were several other events that happened that aren’t worth mentioning as…you don’t disrespect the dead. The last three days were when we got to see some action.
Just a day away from town we ran into a group of bandits. They encircled us during the night after the night watch failed to stay awake. So we were all awoken by the screams of the night watch being killed at his post. The three of us grabbed our weapons instructing Fauna to stay in the wagon, and watch from a hidden spot. She nodded climbing under the coachman’s seat.
We leapt out of the wagon smacking away arrows with our swords. Using Earth Magic I blasted the bandits on the right side of us in the forest before crushing them with boulders. The two women easily dispatched the men on the other side. They were in shock from their comrades disappearance that it was a cake walk to kill them.
Once we confirmed the men where all dead I called Fauna over. I showed her what things were valuable so we could sell it off. She watched intently as we gathered things up. When we finished, and the night watchman had been buried we continued on till we reached town in the early evening. With the majority of the people gone now into town the guide gave us a slip of completion to hand in to the guild. When he started to ask if we were interested in doing the same job again I said no. I informed him that we were headed to the coast now so we couldn’t help him this time. He understood, and we parted ways.
After sleeping in the back of a wagon for several weeks I had no interest in a cheap hotel. I wanted something with a nice comfy mattress that I could relax the night away on. The women, and Fauna didn’t complain about the idea as they wanted the same. We found the nicest inn in town, and paid to have the best of the best leaving us with five gold till we redeemed the reward. As soon as we entered the room we all made a beeline for the spa like en suite that the room came with.
“Ah…this is so blissful just laying here with three beautiful people.”, I said stretching out in the warm water.
The three of them smiled liking my compliment before complimenting me on how toned my body was becoming.
“Papa is really strong!”, Fauna said.
In the past week or so Fauna had started calling me her father which was fine. The only thing was the other two women started arguing over who the mother would be.
“So where is the nearest guild hall from here?”, I asked.
“The Port City of Angora. It is the biggest trade hub in this country. You can pretty much find anything or anyone you want there.”, Esmeralda said slowly looking at me.
Garmella also turned to look at me.
“You aren’t going to look for so entertainers, are you?”, Garmella asked, “I mean you haven’t even gone further than touching us.”
Esmeralda nodded in agreement while Fauna grew more confused.
“What do they mean, Papa?”, she asked.
“They mean to say that I am not allowed to go looking for a lover.”, I said.
“Oh…I can be Papa’s lover!”, Fauna said with a smile not knowing what she was saying.
The two women explained to her what a lover was after we all got out of the bath. Understanding now what she had said she still was adamant about it. Both women sighed telling her she was to young, but that wasn’t going to stop her. That night after a nice chicken dinner we feel asleep in a comfy bed. The amazing bed felt like we were sleeping on clouds. When morning came none of us wanted to get up, but when our stomach growled we knew it was time.
We ate our fill at the continental breakfast buffet before checking out of our room. Our first stop of the day was the local shop to sell our goods thanks to Fauna reminding us. The total earnings was two gold coins which wasn’t bad considering the conditions we left everything in. With that money we hoped to charter a boat in the next town over that would take us to the coast. Using her…assets Esmeralda managed to get us a ride on the back of a transport wagon so we didn’t have to walk.
The trip was only an hours time so we arrived just before noon. We ran to the ticket office to buy tickets for the next boat. Had we been thirty minutes later we would have missed the boat that was readying to leave town. Paying the dock master three gold we boarded the boat taking a seat in the second class seating area. When I asked one of the other passengers the travel time he said it normally took two days. I also asked if we were allowed to fish which we were so I took Fauna out to fish. We didn’t catch anything, but she had fun spending time with me.
The next two days were spent fishing together with Garmella and Esmeralda. I had to catch Garmella once when a large fish almost pulled her overboard. After that I found myself being the seat belt for the three of them. Getting to hold the two of them like that was heavenly, but I had to be careful as Fauna was sitting in the middle. All in all our trip down the river was very nice. When we arrived at the Port City of Angora Garmella asked if I would ever go on a wagon train again.
“Hell No!!”, I said firmly, “That was even worse than seeing the doctor. If we have to go cross-country again we are going by wagon alone…no more wagon trains!!”
When we arrived we went to the guild hall to redeem our reward. We ranked up to Stone receiving our twenty gold reward for the completed job. Fauna took a small test to demonstrate how to start a fire. She passed with ease ranking up to Rabbit. Receiving her bunny necklace she jumped around with excitement.
“I see the Squire System seems to have taken a hold here.”, I said to the receptionist.
“Yes, the system was presented to the Guildmaster who approved it across the board.”, she said with a smile, “It’s success was seen within two weeks of implementation. The children have become so invaluable to their parents that, in some cases, they refuse to part from their kids.”
Happy things had improved so much we left happy. As we wandered around town we passed by the slave market. We weren’t looking for a new one just trying to find lodging. The city was big enough Esmeralda thought we might find one here. Just as we were about to leave I heard a familiar childs voice.
“PAPA!!”, a child cried out weakly.
Looking around the crowd I didn’t see anyone from the village. That only meant one thing that made my heart sink into my stomach. As I looked into the cages there reaching desperately through the bars was the young girl. She was covered in dirt, blood, and looked starved.
“Do you know her?”, Esmeralda asked.
Without responding I started walking over to her. She started crying as I got close trying to grab my hand. The slaver seeing her went to hit, but I grabbed his arm before he could.
“Now hold on there!”, I said glaring at him, “I have an interest in her, and I will not have you harming her!”
The man quickly withdrew bowing his head.
“A thousand pardons!”, he said, “I had no idea you were looking at her. Her price is one gold if that is too expensive…”
I dropped the coin in his hand without hesitation to which he bowed his head. One of his men brought her out to me holding her back from running to me. When they let her go she leapt into my chest bawling her eyes out. The slaver was a bit confused till he spotted the other child with me.
“Can I ask where she came from?”, I asked with curiosity.
“The Black Knight Hero from the Empire raided a village on the border almost four weeks ago now. The girl was among those captured.”, the slaver said.
I nodded thanking him before asking directions to an inn. He gladly gave me the directions too. When we got our room we promptly went there to discuss things with her.