Zeke awoke to the sound of talking. He opened his eyes and saw sunlight streaming in through the window. He had slept the whole night. He didn’t mean to do it, but it felt good. His body was no longer sore. He sat up and saw that Rafe and Simon were sitting by Moralie’s bed. They were laughing at something. He stood up and walked over to the bed and saw that Moralie was awake and well. Her soft, white skin looked healthier with even tones of red. He smiled as Moralie turned and looked at him.
“Moralie, you’re alright!” he said, stating the obvious.
“Yes! I believe that I have you to thank for that.” Moralie beamed with positivity. “Thank you so very much for saving my life.”
“You would have done it for me.” Zeke blushed. Though he didn’t know what they would have done if it had been him hit with the Reaper’s Curse. Without them being able to read his master’s writing, it would have proven difficult to help him. He just had to be glad that things worked out they way they did.
“From now on, I’m just going to ask if I can steal your food before doing so,” Moralie joked. “I’ve learned my lesson.”
“We should really let Moralie rest,” Rafe said. She stood up and ushered Zeke away from the bed. “We’re going to go get some breakfast and then we’ll shop for some supplies.” She signaled to Simon to join them. He stood up after kissing Moralie’s hand.
“Aww, you guys got to spend all morning talking and laughing with her,” Zeke protested. “I want my time with her!” He was being pushed out of the room by Rafe. He tried to wave goodbye to her, but he was successfully escorted from the room. Simon closed the door behind them. “Do you think that she’s going to be safe by herself?”
“I think you delivered a powerful message last night that there’s no messing with us,” Rafe said as they walked down the hallway. “Whoever is gunning for you will think twice about attacking us for a while.” She patted Zeke on the back.
Zeke wanted to tell her that he knew who was gunning for him, though he didn’t have much information other than that his sandwiches were scrumptious. He wondered if he had any room left for breakfast. In response, his stomach gurgled loudly. Simon and Rafe laughed as they left the hospital.
“Let’s go take care of that, shall we?” Simon asked. Zeke nodded his head and chuckled, embarrassed.
After a satisfying breakfast, the three of them went back to the hospital to check on Moralie. She was still doing well and recovering just fine. The healers said that if she continued at this rate, she should be ready to leave tomorrow. This was great news to Rafe.
Just as Zeke was about to sit down with Moralie and get to know her a little better, Rafe tugged on his shirt and asked him to come with her. “What’s the big idea, Rafe?” he asked, a little irritated.
“We still need to shop for supplies.” Rafe’s eyes glistened as she looked him dead in the eyes. There was something behind those eyes that Zeke was curious about. They hid something from him. He assumed that there was a lot of pain behind those eyes. He supposed that it was the reason she was so serious all the time. For this reason he decided not to toe the line and followed her out of the room. “So, what supplies do we need? I hope you packed enough food for us all.”
Rafe shook her head and gave him a coy smile. “We’re going to get you some useful weapons.”
“Weapons?” Zeke realized that he didn’t have any weapons. He never needed them before, but he supposed that since someone that likes to eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches was dead set on killing him, maybe he needed them now. “Can I get a sword? A really big sword that shoots lightning bolts at people! That would be awesome!”
Rafe laughed a little and said, “I think we might start you off with a standard, run of the mill, ordinary sword before we start on the magical swords.” She led him out of the hospital and back onto the busy city streets.
Rafe and Zeke walked through the streets in silence for a little bit, but Zeke wanted to ask her a few questions. Who was she? Where is she from? What did she want with the Alta Stone? Why does she need him and what does she expect him to do? He was slowly working up the nerve to ask. He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. What was he so afraid of? He swallowed and decided to go for it.
“Oh, here it is!” Rafe turned down one of the streets and disappeared.
Zeke ran and turned the corner to find that the street was packed with people looking at goods on either side of the street. He tried to find Rafe in the crowd of moving people. How did she get so far so quickly? He decided that he was just going to have to go in after her. He joined the crowd and tried to maneuver around the people who had been walking, but suddenly decided to stop with no warning. He ran into a lot of people because of this.
He was so busy trying to get by people that he didn’t really notice what the merchants were selling. At this point he didn’t care; he just wanted to get out of there alive. He was about to pass a table when he felt someone tug on his shirt. He spun around and was about to get physical with the person who dared to touch him when he saw that it was Rafe. He realized that he had his fists ready to fight and lowered them.
“So feisty this morning,” Rafe said, smiling. She led him to a table that was covered in swords. The portly merchant selling them looked up at Zeke and bowed to him. “I was just explaining to Rico here that we are looking for a suitable sword for you.”
“You’re right, he is rather scrawny,” Rico said. “Maybe something lightweight would be best.”
Zeke felt embarrassed by his little arms and was a little insulted that Rafe would say something like that about him. “Hey, I work out!” He lifted his arms to show the progress he had been making at the gym. Unfortunately, no one was impressed.
Rico sifted through his swords and held one up for Rafe and Zeke to inspect. It was a regular sword that had a long, straight blade with no frills or thrills. Zeke looked at it and was underwhelmed. He reached out and held it in his hands. It wasn’t heavy at all. He wished that there had been enough room to swing it around dramatically. There was hardly any room to breathe.
“That is the sword for you,” Rico said. “I call it the Lady Killer.”
“That’s a horrible name for a sword,” Rafe said, frowning at Rico. He raised his hands and waved them in an attempt to pass blame.
“No, no, no! You misunderstand.”
“How could I misunderstand a name like ‘Lady Killer’?”
“It’s a figure of speech!” Rico said, sweating profusely. “It means that ladies love men who carry this sword. It slays them so to speak.”
“I think you had better find a more appropriate name for it then.” Rafe took the sword away from Zeke and set it back on the table. “Give him another sword.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Rico sifted through the many swords before pulling out another one. It was similar to the first one only the hilt was wider and the blade was longer. “It’s slightly heavier, but I think the boy will manage.” He handed it to Zeke.
Zeke felt that this sword was rather blasé as well. It was a bit heavier, but without having the space to test it out, there wasn’t really much he could say about it. He wanted something more dashing, more stylish, something that would make people tremble when they saw it. “What’s this sword’s name?” He noticed how Rico nervously looked at Rafe before responding. He just lowered his head.
“It doesn’t have a name,” he lied. He took a handkerchief and dabbed at the sweat that was running down his face. It wasn’t particularly hot that day. “It’s made of high quality steel and handcrafted it myself.”
“What do you think, Zeke?” Rafe asked.
Zeke pretended that he was being giving it a real critical look. In reality, he was bored with it. He supposed it was a good a sword as any. He didn’t have any real emotions about it either way.
“He’s not impressed, Rico,” Rafe said, eyeing Zeke suspiciously. “You’ve got one more chance or we’re out of here.” She took the sword from Zeke and set it back on the table.
“Do you have any magic swords?” Zeke asked. “Something that will allow me to channel my powers?” Rafe flashed him a serious look, he ignored it. If he was going to buy a sword, he was going to get one that he wanted. He gave her a determined look that told her that he wasn’t going to back down. She simply nodded her head and looked to Rico for an answer.
“Magic swords? Erm…” The sweat dripped down Rico’s face. He gave Zeke a look that silently pleaded him to reconsider his request. When he saw that Zeke wasn’t going to rescind his request, Rico sighed and reached underneath the table. He pulled out a sword with a red blade and matching sheath. He set it on the table and patted it. “This is the only one I have. I made it for a wizard about a year ago, but he never came to pick it up. I bring it with me every day on the off chance he’ll come for it.”
Zeke’s eyes lit up as he picked it up. It was light as a feather and balanced right. He could feel it buzz with power. This was more like it. “I’ll take it!”
“I don’t think you really want it,” Rico said. “I believe that it’s cursed. Just the sight of it makes me shiver.” He shook as a chill traveled throughout his body. “It brings nothing but bad luck.”
Zeke pulled out his coin purse and set it on the table. “How much do you want for it?”
Rico looked at the purse and gulped. He wanted to take the money, but he felt bad about profiting on someone’s future bad luck. He knew that he couldn’t live with himself if he took the money. He shook his head and said, “Keep your money. Just get it away from me. Please!”
“Gladly!” Zeke was more than happy to take back his coin purse. Free magic swords didn’t happen every day! He put the sword into its sheath and put it on his back. “Nice doing business with you, Rico.” He extended his hand to shake Rico’s, but Rico declined. He didn’t like the idea of shaking hands with a dead man. Zeke retracted his hand and wiped it on his pants, making sure that there wasn’t anything unsavory on them.
“Come on, we should go,” Rafe said. She thanked Rico for his time and she walked away, leading Zeke through the crowd.
Zeke wondered what was up with Rico all of the sudden. He didn’t think about it again. He risked a glance back at Rico to see how he was holding up, but he couldn’t see him anymore. Zeke turned around and waded through the crowd of people on the street. He suddenly felt like he had made a mistake, but it was too late now.