Chapter 48Awarded

The man got up again with a nod, getting back to his work with an air of preoccupation. He, instead of the man whom he called 'Zeb', thought it was more important to make the most of the whole situation. He worked with the other guy to make their stay a lot more comfortable. It made me wonder if they'd been given tools at all.

"Will you be given tools again?"

The man looked around at me with surprise. "I'm sorry?"

I smiled. "I mean to practice your trade?"

He shrugged. "They haven't really paid us a lot of attention. And without a whole smithy, there's little I can do to make things."

I looked at Deirdre, she nodded for a moment and retrieved some gold pieces from her pouch. I couldn't quite see how many, but it looked like around twenty, which would be enough for an anvil. The rest he could make himself with the tools he could buy from the rest.

She stepped forward and gave it to the man who took it with a bit of surprise. He looked at it for a while, and moved to give it back. "No."

I grabbed his arm and looked at him. "Please trust me that it's not our money to have. We just see to it that it's used."

The man shook his head. "I can't take this."

A thought entered my mind. "You won't."

I leaned forward and whispered something in his ear. It was lovely to see both his and Deirdre's curiosity and surprise. The man looked at me for the longest while before he gave an answer. Up until the last moment it looked like he wouldn't go for it.

He asked one thing. "Why me?"

I smiled. "He said you were a good smith." I nodded towards the one he called Zeb.

The man grinned. "You're a clever one. It will take me more than a week though."

"Can you get it send to Dawnbridge to the Castle of Light, in name of Taran?"

He nodded. "Certainly, Master."

Even though he made it sound slightly mocking, in a playful manner, it surprised me. "Thank you. What is your name."

He smiled. "James."

I nodded politely and smiled. "I will look forward to the result."

He nodded back. "Thank you."

He went back to work, a little happier it seemed. I walked back to the inner city, together with Deirdre. I could see how she tried her hardest to contain her curiosity until we were at least out of earshot of the group and she really couldn't resist anymore. She pulled my arm and stopped. It was hard not to smile.

"So, what did you say to him?"

A smug smile appeared on my face. "Oh, I gave him something to do."

Deirdre laughed, if a little impatient. "Yes... But what?"

"It'll be my secret."

"Aw, come on."

I shook my head. I was dying to tell her, but I knew it would be more fun this way. Besides, she would forgive me when she found out what it was. I wouldn't tell anyone until it had arrived. It wasn't a big deal anyway, the whole idea was that he had a way to 'pay us back'. The man would never have accepted the gold for no reason. I was slightly surprised he hadn't been more insulted, in hindsight.

"It's something for another time."