From the time we heard the door click behind us and Z asking what was going on until we stopped to have something that could pass for a meal I had trouble stopping myself from crying. I so badly wanted to say goodbye. It felt wrong not being able to say anything to my friends about the Journey Shojin and I would be undertaking, not that it mattered because between the two of us all we really had was a basic geographic direction and a vague idea of a building we were looking for.
We trusted those guiding us would give us something more to go on as we neared our destination, but we knew it was going to be some time before we reached it on foot. We also replayed the prior days events. I felt really bad about killing the man who owned the cart place and when we were back this way I would try to find some way to make it right.
It seems like whenever Shojin and I are at our best, we cock up the plan and people die. I don’t think this is what the Lady wants me to do and I doubt whatever it is that Shojin now sees would want that from him. We try to be good people. We really do. Chaos just seems to manifest when we are around.
Also, Shojin is an ass. Once I was finally able to compose myself I thought of something that would help get me over missing my friends and was only at most a week out of the way from where we were going. Ok, maybe it would have been more like three weeks, but still. He was having none of it.
I said, “Shojin, it will truly make me feel better.”
And he said, “No time, Payday.”
So I said, “Shojin, it will distract me from missing our friends.”
And he said, “I can appreciate that Payday but we don’t have time.”
So I said, “Shojin, it will only be a short detour.”
And he said, “Payday, I know you. It will be at least a month. We cannot afford that delay.”
So I said, “Shojin, look into your eyes,” (I put on his face) ,”and deny yourself.”
So he looked visibly disturbed and said, “Payday, that’s really creepy, please stop. What you are suggesting now is weird and not even something I’d be into.”
So I said, “Shojin, if you truly cared about my mental health we would do this.”
So he said, “Payday, you are acting like a child now. We do not have the time.”
So I stamped my foot like a proper lady and proceeded to cuss him up one side down the other and called him everything but a half-orc.
But he was right. We didn’t have the time. I would just have to hope that I lived long enough to make it back to Dillard so I could see Clever again someday.
Shojin wasn’t just an ass but he was a dumbass. For some reason, and he did try to explain the logic as to why, above and beyond the pile of loot we’d come across he left a bunch of his personal stuff behind. Some made sense, like his cloak. The stuff he left in the bag with no instructions or notes for the girls on how to find it, not so much.
The one thing I refused to leave was egg we’d found when searching for Shojin after he was taken. It was likely near priceless to the right collector, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave it in anyone’s care but my own. It feels deep down like my future and the egg are tied together, but maybe that is wishful thinking. It’s probably just the guilt I feel over destroying all the other probably corrupted ones.
Damn, I cocked that up without Shojin even being there. I don’t think I’m very good at this whole adventurer thing. But I’m trying. Every day I’m trying. I want to be better. I need to be better.
And with Shojin at my side maybe I can be. Maybe we can be, but I worry we don’t have enough time.
Of course I don’t even know if the dragon inside is still alive or what I will do if it hatches, but we’ll figure it out. It’s what we do. Maybe another pet? Maybe we need it to stop what we both fear is coming.
Side note, Shojin hates it when I call him Jenny. So I will only call him that moving forward. At least it helps take my mind off of missing our friends. I think he knows that.