Scene Eighty Four
In which goodbyes are finally said, this time I promise
Someone had put up Chinese lanterns in the dining room of the Inn; at least Greg thought that they were probably Chinese lanterns, it was very hard to tell in Foxvison. There were so many different cultures interacting within the town that it was important to watch your step.
Greg had tried to take a shortcut on his walk earlier in the morning, and had received a stern dressing down from an irate Dryad. This Dryad had had no difficulty with speaking English, and when Greg had said his first words in halting French in an attempt to divert her, she had just switched to fluent French rage, leaving Greg even more lost than he had been before.
Regardless of whose culture the lanterns had come from, they did a good job of lighting the dining room. It was full of people. Trolls loomed in a group in the center of the room, talking in tones so low that Greg could feel it in the pit of his stomach.
There was a Goatman sitting at the bar, it seemed to be trying to pick up a Dryad, Greg thought of Clare and wished them the best, out of sheer curiosity as much as anything else.
Over in what was nearly the corner sat Crazy Sven, he was eating from three plates, all of which seemed to contain foods that humans shouldn’t be able to take nourishment from.
Crazy Sven saw him and waved him over. Greg picked his way across the room, starting to feel that sickly feeling he had started to feel over the last few months, which inevitably meant that he was about to turn coward and chicken out. He steeled himself, not this time, he thought, not this time.
Crazy Sven was clearly happy about something, and he started talking as soon as Greg sat down. “Good news for everybody; I found a guy to give us parts, named Honest John, name you can trust Ya? With that we’ll-”
“We need to split up”
Neither of them said anything. Ok, Greg thought, bridge crossed, bridge burned, press on. “I’m sorry” he said, “I am very grateful for everything that you’ve done for me, but at this point on my travels I really need to just lay low, and avoid having anyone knowing where I am. That’s just, a lot easier to pull off, with only one person”
Crazy Sven looked at the ground and grunted slightly. He looked like a child who has just been told off, and Greg felt as awkward as a man balancing on top of a skyscraper tower. “I’m sorry” he said again.
At that point the room came alive. Sparks started crackling off of everything, and all the lights were suddenly far too harsh.
“HEAR ME!” boomed a voice, which Greg thought was a little unnecessary; the voice was so loud that it was shaking the lanterns; the trick would have been not hearing it. “I AM ONLY HERE FOR ONE MAN! IF YOU REMAIN SEATED AND CALM THEN YOU WILL NOT BE HARMED!”
There was a long pause while the room absorbed this new information. Then, as one man, the whole room leapt to their feet and started screaming and throwing things.
Typical, thought Greg, who was sure that this had something to do with him, would it have killed them to do this five minutes ago?