The first thing I did upon entering Trona was find an inn to stay at. More specifically, to store my weapons in. I didn’t need a halberd, spear, heavy mace, longbow, or any of the other things on me as I went around the city. At least, I didn’t need all of them.
The inn was more expensive than I remembered, but that only made sense. It wasn’t that they had raised their prices, but that the adventurer’s guild wasn’t covering part of the price. The subsidies for lower level adventurers were what had allowed me to live comfortably while hunting horned rabbits, not that I’d realized that until later.
Kantrilla kept looking around, sighing, “It’s so… small.”
I nodded. It might have been a decently sized city, but it wasn’t much compared to Ekralas. “You grew up here, right?”
Kantrilla nodded. “I never really travelled anywhere else, but now it seems so different. It still feels like home, though.”
“Yeah, I remember feeling the same things when going back to visit places I’d lived… even if I hadn’t lived there for the majority of my life.”
“…Do you miss it?”
“Hmm. A little. I miss my parents. I miss my room and my computer and stuff… but I don’t miss not being able to walk… or do much else.” What I wanted most was to be able to talk to my parents, and tell them I was okay. Maybe even send a picture of me walking around, if I could even take pictures.
“I forgot about that… I first remember you walking into the clinic to get a cut healed.”
“Speaking of which…” I looked ahead of us at the Trona adventurer’s guild. It really was much smaller than the one in Ekralas. It wasn’t a tiny facility- it had a large gathering room, the clinic training rooms, and a few administrative rooms- but in comparison it was less impressive.
Father Thomas wouldn’t necessarily be in the clinic, but it was closer than the church. Either way, we would have to stop by there at some point to drop off Kantrilla’s stuff. She could have stayed at the inn, but Father Thomas had said there would always be a place open for her- and he meant it. Not just because there were never enough clerics, either.
As I stepped through the doors, I almost ran into a large, armored man. We both took a step back to avoid the collision. “Sgar?”
“Llyr?” the barbarian looked down at me, and extended his hand. I took it.
His grip tightened, so I tightened my grip as well. Gradually, he increased his grip, and I did so as well. My hand was starting to ache… and I pulled away. I shook my hand, “I really don’t want to have to buy new gauntlets.” I was actually worried the metal might deform if we had kept that up much longer… and my hand with it.
Sgar grinned, “Good to see you again! What have you been doing, besides some sort of crazy training?” He looked down at me with his arms folded across his chest, “You do know you can put Attribute Points in things other than Strength, right?”
I grinned back, “I’ve heard that rumor, yes.” I couldn’t, though.
“Seriously though…” he looked down at his hand, “You’re stronger than me now, aren’t you?”
“Just Strength, though.” Sgar had been at almost 500 Strength when we last met. Now, he was around 600, but that probably included some equipment boosting it by 20 or 30. He wasn’t just walking around shirtless right now, but prepared for adventuring.
He shook his head, “You must’ve gone through a lot this past year.”
“Well, I found a good party… though we’re taking a break for a while.”
“Tsk. The way you say that doesn’t make it sound good. So why are you back here?”
Kantrilla answered that one, “We’re looking for Father Thomas.”
“You’re in luck, then. He’s on duty today.” Sgar scratched the back of his head, “He hadn’t even been planning to come in today, but someone swapped out with him.”
Kantrilla smiled, “This way I can see him even sooner!”
To Kantrilla, Father Thomas wasn’t just a teacher or important person, he was her father- by adoption, at least. He’d raised her as his own, after the plague killed Kantrilla’s parents and many other people in the city as well.
“Well, you’d better get going then,” Sgar gestured toward the clinic door, then turned toward me, “If you’re staying around a few days, I’d love to catch up.”
“Sure thing!” I nodded.
When we entered the clinic, Father Thomas had just finished bandaging up someone’s arm. “Now, you’re not to go back out for a least a day. You’ll be an easy target for monsters if you fall unconscious from blood loss or healing fatigue.”
“Yes, Father Thomas.”
“I hear that sarcasm! Just remember I can’t fix you up if you never make it back to town, and go sleep.” He shuffled them out the door before turning to us. “Now, what happened to the two of you?” He looked us over before recognizing us, “Oh!”
Kantrilla almost threw herself at him in a hug. One thing I appreciated was that Kantrilla also made him look short, even if he was average height. “I’m back, Father!”
He reached up and patted her head, “So I see. I see Llyr came as well,” he nodded to me. “What’s the occasion? Your letters told me you were quite busy with adventuring.”
“Well…” Kantrilla’s head fell, “I wish we were just visiting, but one of our companions is injured.”
“Nobody in the capital can take care of it?” Father Thomas asked, “There’s a couple old geezers there who are pretty good, you know.” He looked over at me, “If you can’t afford it, I can give you a discount… but I can’t afford to just do it for free. Other people need healing too.”
Kantrilla shook her head, “We’re not even sure it can be healed. But we thought you would know if it’s possible.” Kantrilla explained what happened to Kasner’s leg, though the important point was it had been amputated above the knee.
Father Thomas listened patiently, before nodding slowly. “That’s a difficult situation indeed. It’s near impossible for a cleric to heal on the spot… and afterwards it is impossible.”
“Oh.” Kantrilla looked down sadly.
Father Thomas patted her on the head, “It’s alright dear. If you really want to do something… there’s still a chance.”
“But I thought you said it was impossible.”
“Impossible for clerics, yes… but we’re not the only healers. Unfortunately, the kind you need are generally a bit more… obscure. Get ready to do a lot of walking in the woods.”