this hiatus was a bit long, but im back... probably.
I now present to you a mostly uneventful, yet important chapter.
"Look!" William yelled in excitement. "There it is!"
Off into the horizon, the trio could make out a large castle surrounded by walls.
William kicked his horse, and it raced towards the city. The speed and strength of the horse was not exaggerated by the breeder, he was steadily getting closer.
"It's about damn time!" Gjörn grinned. He then raced after William with his horse.
Rodrick was amazed. He felt as if he just blinked and those two were already hundreds of feet ahead of him. He encouraged his horse and it started picking up speed towards them, but it felt like a slow gallop compared to William's and Gjörn's horse.
As they neared the gates of Ramo, the first thing William noticed was the liveliness of the city. Outside the gates, people were selling, buying, or setting up shops. Compared to Hera where the people were isolating themselves inside in fear of Orc attacks.
People began to stare at the group as they slowly made their way around. Gjörn expected people to stare, but their faces were different compared to the faces he usually gets by onlookers. Instead of fear, he saw amazement. Instead of disgust, he saw admiration. Instead of hatred, he saw respect.
"Look, papa!" A little boy ran into the road to get a closer look. "It's an orc!"
"It's been a while since an Orc came to Ramo." The boy's father said as he picked him up. "He's probably here for the tournament tomorrow.
"Can we go watch it?" The boy asked. "Pleeeeease?"
The father smiled. "Well if an Orc is participating, then I'll have to see it."
"Tournament?" Rodrick questioned. "William, this isn't the training you were talking about, is it?"
"Yep, the best way to learn how to fight, is to fight. So tomorrow, you're going to fight."
"Are you insane?" Rodrick panicked. "What if there are some extremely skilled people participating? I don’t want to die!"
"Then don’t." William answered, and continued riding along.
Rodrick looked to Gjörn, hoping he wasn’t agreeing with William's plan. Gjörn just shrugged and followed William.
"Hey, look." William pointed out a stable. "I wonder how much they'd give us for these Hera bred horses.
"I bet its worth a nice amount of coin." Gjörn answered. "These horses are supposedly the 'strongest in the continent.' "
"I'm sorry. Did I hear you say 'Hera bred horses?" An old man nearby asked.
"huh, I guess these things are highly sought after." William smiled.
The old man walked towards the horses, and immediately recognized the brand markings on the horses' rear thighs.
"Nope, these are fakes." The old man said.
"How are they fakes?" William questioned. "We stole them from his stables ourselves."
"Tell you what, you can sell them to me right now for one hundred gold each, or you can try your luck at the stables. I know they won't give such a generous price for such phony ponies."
"Alright, see ya." William said, as he started making for the stable.
"Wait, hold on!" The old man yelled as he scurried to William's side. "Perhaps I was a bit naive thinking I could deal you three unfairly. You men are obviously smarter than the average visitor. I would like these horses for my personal collection. So three hundred and fifty gold coins each and I have you over for dinner.
"Hmm..." William said, rubbing his chin.
"Wait William!" Rodrick yelled. "These horses have been coveted by the neighboring kingdoms for years. I have no doubt he will sell them to the Ramo army for breeding and he will be rich beyond his imagination."
The old man started to panic. "Damn this kid." He thought. "He's going to ruin my plans."
"If we do this instead," Rodrick continued. "You will have great wealth and will be one step closer to becoming a king."
"And, you wouldn’t have to fight. Correct?" William asked in a sarcastic tone.
Rodrick looked away, nervously. "Well, yeah."
William rolled his eyes and looked back at the old man; who was smiling nervously.
six hundred and fifty gold coins each, and you can make your profit." William said.
"It's a deal!" The old man said, excitedly.
"William!" Rodrick yelled in disbelief.
"Quiet you! With that attitude, you'll never become a knight!"
"You could've at least asked for more." Gjörn finally spoke up.
"Any more, and we wouldn’t have been able to carry it."
"Good point." Gjörn answered. He then unmounted the horse so the old man could take it.
"A pleasure doing business with you." The old man said. "Should I expect you for dinner?"
"Maybe another time." William answered, he then looked over at Rodrick, who had his head down in frustration. "Let's turn you into a fighter."