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“A new sword eh Ari, whats this your thousandth then?” Asked Groadie as they walked.
“Seems like it with all the attempts doesn’t it? Yes I think I’ve got it this time though” Ari responded.
“Forgive me if I haven’t heard that from you before.”
“This is it Groadie. The sword survived the forging as strong as ever. None of them have done that yet.” Ari responded looking at his friend.
“Survived the forge? Good on you mate. Where did you find this recipe?” Groadie inquired.
“A dream.” Groadie stopped and looked at his friend to see if he was serious. He suddenly burst into a deep laugh to which Ari responded by shoving him into the center of the road. Groadie feigned offence.
“Careful there my dreaming friend I’ll wind up pig slop if you push me out there again” He said, a big smile on his face. The two smirked and continued their walk down the road. Heading south along this road towards the gate was a task indeed. Most of the townspeople were out visiting markets and traders to get the latest items. Pull carts and pedestrians crowded the street as it flowed in either direction. People mired about around each other. To an observer it looked like a heaving sea of tanned skin and earthy brown cloths. Ari and Groadie navigated through the crowds with ease; as did every local. Several people manning the market stands or trade carts called out to the crowds as they went by hoping to lure someone in for a sale. Ari and Groadie began chatting about their past few days. Groadie had been away with his father trying to get more business. Groadie had occasionally considered becoming a soldier in the King’s army. He had great ambitions to be a member of the King’s court. Only a fraction of the wealthiest merchants received regular invitations to the illusive court. Even less became members. Becoming a heroic warrior of Orisgoth, however, was a far more likely way to earn favour in the King’s eyes.
Soon the crowds of people began bunching up into a slow moving line as they approached the gate. Ari noticed there were an unusually large number of people entering the gate for the time. Ari was concerned by this. Usually when people come into the city in such high numbers it’s due to a pending attack or a raid on a neighboring city. The crowds would come partially to seek refuge but primarily to seek armament in the militia. A tiny income and steady stream of bland, but filling, food made the toils of militiamen worth it to many. Groadie too seemed to notice the crowds and share Ari’s conclusion; his face knotted up slightly as he took in the crowds.
“We may not make it to this house I fear Ari” commented Groadie as they stood in queue.
“Ah we will. There must be a sale of some kind in town that has people drawn in. We’ve not any battles on going do we?” Ari asked, trying to ease both their minds. He feared the battle call. If the King and his armies went into battle his father would be obliged to go with them. He would have to pick up the task of supplying swords and hoping for a safe return of his father.
“You know what’s going on Ari, you of all people. Hasn’t your father been busy making swords for nearly a fortnight?” Asked Groadie looking at his friend.
“True. He has been working diligently on a large order. I had hoped the king was just adding to store houses or replacing aging weapons. We’ve not heard the call nor have the banners been raised” Ari observed. Groadie thought about this for a moment and decided himself it were true. He turned to one of the people shuffling into town and grabbed his hand, a large smile on his face.
“Say friend, how goes it? Welcome to our great city. What brings you here?” he said, almost bellowing.
“The…the king is selling the excess of his farms this weekend. An early harvest. Have you not heard?” The poor fellow responded, caught off guard by Groadie’s boisterousness. Groadie turned and smiled to Ari, releasing his grip on the passer-by.
“See Ari, its simply the annual harvest sale. A great sell off! And you were worried that we were off to war” he said playfully hitting Ari on the shoulder.
“Wasn’t it you who thought that?” Questioned Ari, smiling. He felt a massive wave of relief overtake him and freely smiled again. Although strange that the king would declare this event early this year he was not one to question his actions. Groadie began telling Ari about his adventures away as they made their way outside of the great wall.