Chapter 13:

Ellie

Breck approached the city swiftly. It stood at the base of the Indigo Mountains, where it was sheltered, and looked very small compared to the rock looming over it. Once he had entered through its gates though, he was amazed he had ever thought it was small.

It had many more shops than Dulnoir, and they all seemed to glisten with products that Breck was drawn to. For the remainder of the day, Breck wandered, pausing to gaze at something that caught his eye. Only when he saw the sign for The Emerald Dragon pub did he remember why he was even there.

Upon entering, Breck was surprised at what he saw. The place sparkled with warmth and cleanliness, unlike most pubs (which often gave out the impression that they hadn't been cleaned since they were built). People were chatting animatedly to each other, and a few men at the bar were singing cheerily and trying to finish their beer, but often missed the cup because of the large amount they had consumed already.

"Can I help you?" a girl about Breck's age asked with a wink.

"Yes, I'm looking for Tristan…" Breck said uneasily.

"Of course," the girl replied, "I'll go get him," and she left, flashing him a million dollar smile. Breck felt his face go red.

A couple minutes later, the girl returned with an elderly man wearing a hat, arm in arm. She led him to Breck.

"This is him, granddad," she said tenderly.

"This is the cute guy?" This time the girl flushed. She quickly sat her grandfather down, and left, embarrassed.

"How can I help you, young man?" he asked Breck, his eyes shadowed by the hat.

"Hi, my name is Breck, and Merdoc sent me to talk to you."

"Oh?"

"Yes, he told me that you would know about a guy who claims to be my brother," Breck said.

"And what's this guy's name?" Tristan asked.

"Drother." The old man looked up. His eyes were milky white. Tristan was blind.

He closed his eyes, and heaved a big breath, as if he were under a large amount of stress. Breck waited a few patient moments, until the man opened his eyes again.

"The man you speak of, Drother as you call him, is in fact your brother.

I have skried upon him, and he is a trustworthy fellow, as of now. But deep within him, I tried to travel, but only came upon a barricade. He has had some training in hiding secrets, no doubt, and a few lie within him that I could not extract.

I will be sure to keep an eye on him for you." Breck nodded and gave the old man his many thanks. He headed for the door.

"Will you be staying the night?" It was the dark haired girl Breck had spoken to earlier.

"Uh…well, I need to get these medicines and hurry back to my Merdoc, uh, my Uncle Merdoc's house," he stuttered.

"Well, all but the pubs are closed now," she smirked.

"Uh-"

"I'll take that as a yes," she said coolly. "I'll get my mother to ready a room for you," she said before Breck could protest.

"Oy! Mum!" she yelled to a rather plump, and disheveled looking woman behind the bar. "Get this guy a single room ready for tonight!" The woman behind the bar scowled, but went up the set of stairs in the corner all the same.

"My name's Elledora, but I hate that name. People call me Ellie."

"My name's Breck," he replied. "Just Breck." Elledora, or Ellie rather, giggled.

"What, you don't have a last name or something?" she smiled as if it were the silliest concept in the world.

"Not one that I know, my parents died when I was little." Ellie's smile slid off her face.

"I'm sorry," she said, taking care not to look at him.

"Eh," he replied, "I never knew them. Its not that big a deal."

"I like that pendant," she said suddenly, pointing to the piece of silver on Breck's neck.

"Oh? Yeah, this is the only thing they left me. My parents, I mean," Breck said, leaning forward so Ellie could examine it.

"What's with all these little designs…are they words?"

"I don't know."

"Would you like a drink?" she asked.

Breck was taken aback, "Um…"

"Sit down," she said commandingly, "and I'll get you something."

Breck sat at the only unoccupied table and watched as Ellie hurried off behind the bar. The man sitting at the table next to his leaned over his drink.

"Can I tell you something?" Breck looked over.

"That girl you were talking to, Ellie, around here she's considered one of the people that you would rather not associate with. She uses guys, ya know? Kissin' them one day, and kissin' another the next." Breck stared.

"Look, I can help you if you need it." The man, probably only a few years older than Breck, was slowly inching closer. Breck could smell his sour breath, heavily emancipating from him. In the corner of his eye, he saw the man's hand twitch, almost greedily.

"Um…" Breck stood up quickly, his coin purse jingled heavily at his side. The man's dark eyes darted greedily towards it. "No thanks. I think Ellie will be able to help me more than you could." The man's face turned into a snarl of anger. He pulled a dagger from his belt quickly.

"You had better change your answer," he said dangerously.

"I think you've had too much to drink," Breck replied dryly.

"I'll tell you when I've had too much to drink," the man retorted. His eyes rolled in and out of focus, and he fell forwards onto the table, and began to snore. Surprised, Breck jumped backwards into a man carrying a tray of beer mugs.

"Careful boy!" he yelled, as the men in the bar roared with drunken laughter.

"S-sorry," Breck said. Then Ellie returned with two foaming mugs in her hands. A look of disgust passed over her face, as she glanced at the man sleeping on the table. She then motioned for Breck to sit down.

As he scooted his chair in, Ellie pushed one of the foaming mugs towards him, and then began to drink heartily from it. Not wanting to be rude, Breck took a small sip from his own mug, and then burst into laughter.

"This is root beer!"

"Well of course its root beer! Do you think after that," she motioned towards the drunken, sleeping man on the table, "I would even think about drinking beer?" Breck laughed. The noise was an odd and unfamiliar sound to him. He couldn't remember the last time he had laughed. Ellie laughed along with him.

"So," she said, "What brings you here?"

"I need to get some medicines for my Uncle," Breck said, trying to remember what he had told her earlier.

"For?" Breck rasied his eyebrows, this girl was really a snoop!

"My…uh…mother…my mother's brother," he tried to invent wildly.

"Your mother's brother, who is in fact your uncle," Ellie was now being rather sarcastic.

"Yeah, my other…uncle."

"I am an idiot!" he thought. Ellie started laughing.

"You know, you're not a very good liar." For a moment, Breck opened his mouth, as if to argue with her, but then he shut it again.

"Yeah, you're right."

"Well, if you lied to me, then I can only see that you don't want to say who the medicines are for."

"How did you know I was lying?"

"You just told me." Breck flushed. Ellie laughed again.

"Really," she said, "Don't worry about it." Breck gave a loud laugh, which soon turned into a yawn.

"Goodness! I hadn't realized how late it was!" she glanced at the clock, "It's midnight! And I'm sure you've had a busy day…where did you say you came from again?"

"I didn't, but I came from Dulnoir." Ellie frowned.

"What a horrible place. It used to be nice, but not so much anymore. Shame really." Breck nodded. Suddenly, Ellie produced a key from a pocket in her skirts. She handed it over the table to Breck. The number 12 had been scratched onto the little circle of wood that it was linked to.

"Your room is on the second floor, the stairs are just past the bar."

"Thank you," he replied with another yawn.

"Breakfast is served at 10:30," she said, "I have to help serve, and then I will be able to take you to get the things your uncle wants."

"Huh? Oh! Never mind. Thanks again," he smiled and Ellie turned just the lightest shade of pink.

Breck trudged up the rough stairs and walked down the dimly lit hallway, where he found a door with the number 12 carved and painted on it. He forced the key in the lock, and opened the door. A little bed was sitting in the corner, and a single-paned window faced the east. Breck shut and locked the door behind him, took off his boots, and collapsed onto the bed, entering a dreamless sleep.