(Patreon) Strength 174

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Trona was only a couple of days away through mostly safe countryside. We only ran into a few wolves on the way, but those were easily dispatched with my throwing dagger. Once I killed one or two, the rest would run away before they reached us. On Earth, minimizing the damage to packs of wolves would be best… but here, they were monsters- and there were far too many of them. Magic and experience helped them grow up quickly, along with the various things they fed on like the horned rabbits. Speaking of horned rabbits, I saw a few of them around as well but they stayed away from the road.

It was nice to be back in familiar territory- the area around Trona felt like home even though I’d spent more of my time in Ekralas. However, Trona was the first city I came to in this world and where I’d first met Sgar… and then Kantrilla and Father Thomas.

We arrived in town in the evening. “Come find me at the church later, okay Llyr?” Kantrilla smiled, which was mostly her normal face but still nice. “I have a lot of people I want to catch up with.”

That was good for me, since I also wanted to talk to some people alone. First, I went to find Sgar. I figured he would probably hanging around the adventurer’s guild at that time… and if not, they would know where he was. As luck would have it, I caught him on the way out. “Sgar! Wait up!” I hurried to catch up to his large stride. 

He turned at the sound of my voice. “Llyr? Well, this is quite a surprise.” He reached out a hand and gripped my arm, both of us squeezing, “I hadn’t expected to see you around. I hear you’ve been up to quite a lot since we last met…”

Sgar would have been getting his information through Father Thomas- I knew Kantrilla wrote him regularly. As for me… I still wasn’t that used to writing letters. Besides, some things were better explained in person. “Yeah… a lot happened…” I wasn’t sure all the details he had heard, so I recounted my trip to see Khyrmin, how Kantrilla had been captured… my failed rescue and deleveling in Ekralas and then our group coming to save us. As a whole party, we were much more successful and had thereafter managed to find Ehlark in Fepresil and get Kasner’s leg regenerated.

“So that Alhorn kid was Khyrmin’s nephew? That’s not something I’d have ever expected. A good excuse for her to get out of retirement though,” Sgar nodded, “Not that her talents have been necessary for the most part… things have been peaceful around here except for the attacks on the clerics. Haven’t had any trouble with that in a while- hopefully that means you guys broke up the important part of the group. However, I wouldn’t bet on everything being over.” Sgar flexed a bicep, “I’ve been training just in case anything pops up… and the deep woods have been acting up lately around here.”

“I’ve been training too but I’m still… well, my Strength is lower and I had to get new equipment. I’m not sure if I’m weaker overall or not. I haven’t figured out exactly what I want to do when… if I get a class again.” I shook my head, “But that doesn’t matter that much. I’m strong enough, and I can always do more training. I’m actually here about something else.” I told him about Kantrilla and me, and how I was considering asking her to marry me. “I don’t really know what the norm is here… is it too fast?”

Sgar laughed, “So you thought you would come ask me for relationship advice?” Sgar shrugged, “I don’t know that much. Haven’t found a woman I care for so strongly that way. Young get married all the time after they barely know each other… but many relationships don’t last. I’d say just thinking about it carefully is a good enough start. You know each other pretty well- that’s a start. For the rest… you just have to make it work. I’ve seen couples break up over little problems, and some stick together through big issues.” Sgar leaned in, “I know you’d only have good intentions to lovely little Kantrilla, but the most important thing is to make her happy. I won’t stand for it if you do otherwise.”

I scratched the back of my head, “That’s the plan… but I don’t fully understand her even with all the time spent together.”

“You’ll never completely understand another person. For example, I would have expected Khyrmin to reject teaching you.”

“What? Why’d you send me then?”

“Because you had to take the chance.”

—–

Sgar’s words didn’t add that much new information to what I’d been thinking about lately. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and my mind couldn’t settle on whether or not this was the best thing to do. It wasn’t just something that affected the two of us- if things went wrong it would cause a rift in the party as well. I liked everyone in the party, and didn’t want anything to happen to split us up. Sure, we wouldn’t stay together forever anyway- at the very least we would retire at some point, if we managed to avoid any issues before then.

I wasn’t sure on the likelihood of something going wrong between us. I certainly didn’t want to hurt her but things always could go wrong, and people could change. I didn’t see either of us changing in ways to cause issues, but I couldn’t exactly predict the future either. Even my own parents hadn’t been perfect together all the time. I just wished I’d paid attention to them more. There was also one final question that mattered immensely. Did Kantrilla even want to marry me? Sure, we were dating and she seemed happy… but she’d always been happy and smiling. Maybe she didn’t really want anything more, and just asking her could cause problems. Of course, I knew she was honest with her feelings and how she displayed them to others for the most part, but knowing something and not worrying about it weren’t the same thing. However, before talking to her about this, I still needed to talk to Father Thomas… for both advice and the courtesy of his position as the man who raised her.

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