Over the course of a week, Luna and Shun traveled together. Luna would happily talk to Shun about how she had ruled, and how she desperately, wanted him to see things her way. He wouldn’t have it though. I tried to tune it all out, sure that even the act of listening was opening himself up to further dark magic.
The road was long and empty. Emptier than Luna remembered, but at long last, ahead of them stood the town of Maea. It wasn’t even close to halfway to Djastra’a, but they had agreed to procure a faster means of travel since Luna refused to carry Shun any longer than she had to.
“This place didn’t used to be here,” Luna said, as they stood on the edge of town.
“It was funny the first time you said it, but I get it, you’ve been away and everything has changed,” Shun growled.
“My apologies,” she said, Looking up at the large archway marking the entrance. “What on earth compelled these people to build a town in a cave?”
“It’s not a cave. It’s called a travelers’ tunnel. Was dug specifically to make travel easier, just so happened that it was a good place to set up inns and shit.”
“Will people even let us in?”
Shun shrugged. “Don’t know, don’t care. If anyone asks you who you are, just tell them... actually, pretend you’re a mute. I’ll do the talking.”
“And if they know what a black dragon looks like?”
“Can’t you just glamor yourself to look different?”
Luna sighed and looked away. “No, I’m actually not very good with glamors, the thing I do with my wings isn’t even technically a glamour, it’s just a dark facsimile.”
“Useless...” Shun muttered under his breath.
Luna heard him, but she chose to ignore it.
The duo entered Maea, attempting to keep a low profile. Maea, like much of the world, was in a state of disrepair. Loose boards hung down from upper walkways, and some of the rowbuildings were missing the glass in their windows. The lamps, placed at regular intervals on the main street, were missing their glass as well, and the flames therein flickered every time a breeze blew through.
There were more people walking around than Shun expected. They all kept to themselves, their faces and heads covered with scarves, hats and other wraps. Well covered at that, aside from that which they couldn’t cover: their ears, horns and tails.
Luna felt underdressed.
Shun guided Luna into a bar. The whole place was slightly dimmer than it was in the street outside, but it didn’t bother either of them. They strode up to the bar and after a second or two, the bartender broke of her conversation with another customer and came over.
“What can I get you two?” she asked.
“Milk, if you have any,” Shun replied.
“A tankard of blackbrew, please,” Luna said.
The bartender squinted at her. “Miss, I don’t even know what that is, but I know we don’t got it.”
“Mead, then?” she tried.
“Ooh la la, one tankard of mead for the fancy city slicker.”
The bartender left, and, faster than expected, returned with the drinks in hand.
Shun could tell from the smell that the milk wasn’t the freshest, but he still politely took a sip.
“Haven’t seen you two before,” the bartender said. “What brings you two to Maea?”
“We’re just passing through,” Shun said, cutting Luna off. “Going to see how close to Fensburg we can get...”
“Bad timing then. Bruno just closed off transport to Fensburg.”
“Who’s Bruno? Can I talk to him?”
“If you want...” the bartender leaned on the bar. “Just between us, that ram doesn’t care for outsiders. Folks say he took the job of travel agent specifically to get people he didn’t like outta town as fast as possible. Hell, the constable’s even a little scared of him.
Luna leaned in. “Trust me, there’s no way he’s as scary as I can be.”
“For your sake, let’s hope you’re right.”
“Please just let me do the talking,” Shun said, as soon as the two were outside.
Luna furrowed her brow. “I may be a couple thousand years out of touch, but I can certainly still talk to people just fine.”
“Fine,” Shun shrugged and started to walk away. “You can talk to Bruno. I’ll just stand behind you and look menacing or something! Just don’t look to me for help when things are about to go sideways.”
The duo proceeded down the road to a building with a large purple sign out front. “Travel Agency” it said, in large, ornate letters. Shun and Luna locked eyes for a split second, before Shun stepped to the side and gestured for her to continue ahead of him.
Luna threw the doors of the travel agency wide open and strode inside, walking right up to the counter and slamming her hand down on the vacant wooden counter.
Shun reached around her and gave the bell on the counter a couple taps, filling the room with a slightly flat dinging.
They heard him before they saw him. Hard footfalls, coming from behind a curtain leading to the back of the shop. A towering goat stepped forth. He wore a long, dark brown coat and his yellow eyes glinted from behind his spectacles. He was younger than Luna expected. Didn’t look like he could be much into his 30s. He approached the counter and pulled a stool up to sit on.
“Agency’s closed,” he said, his voice utterly monotone. “Didn’t you see the sign?”
“I did not,” Luna replied, unflinchingly. “We require passage to Fensburg as soo-”
“Get out of my shop before I call the constable.”
“The shop’s closed. You’re trespassing.”
“I wouldn’t be here at all unless this was a matter of utmost urgency. We need to reach Fensburg as soon as possible!”
“First, you’re still trespassing. Second, I’m not sending anyone out to Fensburg. Especially with the evacuation just finished. The only thing out that way is Djastra’a, and you’d have to be insane to want to go there.”
“Call me insane if you will, it’s still my destination.”
Bruno chuckled, shaking his head. “I’ve given you two sufficient warning, I’m getting the constable.”
Luna dug her claws into the palm of her hand, drawing blood for a spell. But before she could even begin a glyph or incantation, Bruno reached into his coat and withdrew an object Luna didn’t recognize, and pointed it at her. It was made of metal and wood; it was a gun.
So, this one is a little rushed. The second half of this section is nearly finished, but I ran out of time and didn’t even have time to edit this. Look forward to the next part, and if you seen any glaring typos or grammatical errors, leave a comment and lemme know.