The Lupine Saga 32

Eason moved very quickly towards the third district. His path was straight, unlike his casual strolling earlier. The day was nearing its end, and the sun was approaching the horizon. Another hour of daylight was left.

Keeping up with Eason wasn’t nearly as easy as it had been earlier. Eason didn’t just move quickly, but he also took side streets, alleys, and shortcuts. The boys kept following by rooftop, jumping down every so often to follow Eason through an alley. As they moved through the third district they passed many other children playing in the streets and alleys. A few of them bumped into the rushing trio, though that was to be expected.

One of the children bumped into Pete, who apologized quickly before rushing off. Kelin was behind Pete and noticed the child drop something. As they kept running, Kelin turned back once to see the child holding what appeared to be a small, gold-colored pebble.

Eason went back to his casual pace once he was on the street where his next appointment waited. It was the third house on the right, yellow and blue, single story, simply designed, and in the middle-class third district. Eason slowly walked up to the door of the house, removed his hat, and knocked on the door.

One minute passed. Two minutes passed. The door unlatched and opened inwards. Eason walked in through the open door and softly shut the door behind him. His stalkers cautiously walked up to the house and looked for a window. The only one where the curtains were not closed was on the side. They looked through and saw the inside of an empty dining room. There was a small table, two chairs, a stone oven, and an ice chest.

Much to the frustration of the trio, nothing could be heard from inside. Every so often, they would see Eason walk into or past the kitchen, but they never saw the person he was attending. There was only one thing that gave them any conclusions whatsoever. Eason was moving slowly, lazily even. There was no sense of urgency in his movements. It continued like this for an hour, until eventually the boys realized that the loud sound they just heard was the slam of the front door. Eason had taken his leave from this house. The boys begrudgingly followed. Nothing had been overtly gleaned from the final visit of the day.

Eason was obviously going back home, as his pace was quick and his path was straight. The boys, exhausted from the day’s travel, parted their ways. Kelin and Pete went to their homes in the second district, and Va’il headed to his home in the third.

He arrived a few minutes before Mai’ou, which provided him with some relief. Though Mai’ou didn’t mind Va’il running about and playing all day, the secretive and controversial nature of his current daytime activities put a small sense of paranoia in his mind.

Mai’ou walked in the door and collapsed on a small couch in the living room. She smelled of raw meat, as usual. Her left hand was holding a small paper bag; that would be tonight’s dinner.

#

The boys arrived at Eason’s house just as he was leaving. They resumed stalking him as he headed straight for his next appointment. He didn’t take any detours today, much to the relief of the trio.

“I just thought of it,” Va’il said suddenly while hiding in an alleyway.

“Thought of what?” Pete asked.

“What Eason was doing yesterday,” Va’il said. “He was attending to another patient, right?”

“Yes, and?” Pete asked.

“Did you ever see him smile, at all, while there?” Va’il asked while frowning.

“No,” Pete replied. Kelin, though silent, nodded his head in agreement.

“Then I don’t think he wanted to be there. Did he really want to treat that patient?” Va’il asked.

The boys continued discussing what they thought of the actions that they hadn’t actually witnessed. Little did they notice that they had walked into the first district. They only noticed that Eason walked past a couple guards outside a large wooden fence and into an estate. The wooden fence was two-hundred meters in length on each of its four sides. It was the fence of a noble, a special noble, which they realized when the rhinos and bearan guards stopped them from entering. The boys were more than happy to run away from the frightening sight of two angry guardsmen.

The boys resigned to their current fate. They climbed to the top of a nearby house and observed the goings-on of the estate below them. It took the trio a while to climb the nearest house, considering that even a common house in the first district was quite large and had a sloped roof. To avoid falling either forwards of backwards, they lay on their stomachs while holding onto the top of the roof, and observed the estate while peeking over.

To say that it was magnificent would be a coarse understatement. At the back of the estate, occupying a full third of the area within the walls was a domicile that looked like a cross between a mansion and a castle. If there had been a moat, it would have definitely been a castle. Though there was not a moat, there was water. A swimming area was on one side of the estate, and a pond was on the other. The pond itself looked much like a miniature lake, due to the surrounding bushes and the fish that were visible beneath the water. The boys awed at the sight, and thought to themselves that this must be similar to what a bird sees when it flies over Tershi, the lake to the north. Grass and bushes surrounded the water on all sides; however, it didn’t look wild or natural in the least. Every bush was neatly spaced, trimmed, and sized. The gardeners with large clippers in hand were making sure of that.

There were walkways everywhere that led to the various house entrances, the gardens, the pagodas, and to a pink-flowered copse. There was more, however after all that admiration the boys noticed that Eason had left via a majestic front door. He looked like he was walking strangely, though they couldn’t pinpoint how it was strange from a distance.

The climb down was much easier than the climb up. Pete struggled both times, though the hour that passed between each made the trip down much easier than it could have been. “Swine were never meant to climb!” Pete exclaimed as they fell to the neatly trimmed grass below.

The guards parted before Eason could shove them out of the way. The look on his face conveyed that his unspoken threats were real. He was carrying his cane at the midpoint. Kelin held a finger to his mouth, signaling his cohorts to be quiet. As they followed Eason, they heard a string of curses which children were not allowed to repeat. Eason’s wrath, the first time the trio had seen it, was quite evident to any bystander.

Before they went too far in their pursuit, Va’il looked back towards the estate. He had not noticed earlier, but now the sign over the entrance seemed prominent and important. It sat high above the entrance. No doubt, it was made from a previously majestic tree. Its engraving read: House of Melonscone.

About James Ashman

I write books of the fantasy, heroic, and adventure types. So far. I'm an author who loves fantastic stories.
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