Chapter 35 - Jason

Chapter 35 - Jason

“What kind of name is The Yelling Frog,” Kaiden jokes.


“The Yelling Frog, right across the street,” he points to a dingy stone building with a wood plank over the door with the name painted followed by an exclamation point using the frog in place of a period.

This was the place Dalia had told me about. Supposedly it’s run by an elf who was excommunicated as well. She would take, souvenirs, from various missions and sell them on a black market she had created. The network touched every corner of the temple from what the stories say. I wasn’t around when that was happening, but I recognized the name Dalia’s letter gave and assumed it had to be the same Elf. I can’t imagine there’s a lot of folks running around with traditional Elven names like Sorinka. Nearly everyone no matter their race has a human name at this point in time. If you see a traditional name, it’s usually a middle name.

“This is the place we were looking for.”

“Really? We passed it twenty minutes ago.”

“Why didn’t you say anything,” I ask crossing the street.

“Well we were having a pretty intense conversation about how the world works and how the president is basically a pawn because there’s a council who uses magic to keep us all blind and dumb until they just can’t do it anymore. I thought that was more important,” he cocks his head and stares at me outside the door.

“You know Kaiden, you’re a real smart ass sometimes.”

“Takes one to know one,” he laughs and leaves me on the sidewalk as he enters the shop.

I imagine this is what most pawnshops look like. Merchandise all over the store, loosely categorized. I can’t imagine that all of them have such a wide assortment of weapons. Guns, swords, throwing knives, and just about everything else is here. I pick up a Bo staff and feel it in my hands. Well made, and frequently used. Time has take a toll on it, and it doesn’t seem to be well balanced. A metal tip on one end, but not the other explains why it’s off balance.

“Jason, look at these swords. I need to get one of these!” Kaiden calls out excited from the back of the store.

“You’ll cut your eye out kid,” a large bearded Elf tells him.

Something about the man was odd, as if he shouldn’t be here. I had rarely seen an Elf as large as him. It isn’t like he was all fat either, there was some fat, but he had a fair amount of muscle. His fashion sense was odd as well, ed and Green, I suppose he was getting in the Christmas mood.

“Alright Nick, here’s where you can find that Rupert. Sorry it took so long to find him, but he’s a tricky one.”

“No problem, you’ve been good as ever Sorinka. You’ll be on my nice list for sure,” The big Elf jokes. “You too, he says pointing at Kaiden. Not sure about you yet,” he stares me in the eye before making his way out of the shop.

“What can I get you boys,” Sorinka asks.

“I like that sword over there. The one with the orange handle,” Kaiden answers honestly.

“Well, I can’t sell weapons to people under 18 but if your big brother here wants to buy it. I can get it all rung up,” she smiles with money on the mind.

“Not his brother, and not giving him a sword. I’m here because Dalia said you can help me,” killing her sale isn’t the best introduction.

“Dalia? I haven’t heard that name in ages. When she called me I was so glad to hear she hadn’t driven herself into an early grave looking at the damn crystal ball,” she jokes. “ You must be Jason, she said you’d be the bald grump and that means you’re Kaiden, the airhead.”

“Is that what she said,” I ask.

“Not in those words, but I picked up on it. She said you boys would need somewhere to live.”

“Yeah, my place isn’t big enough for two. Do you know someone?”

“Jason, I always know someone. It’s my job. Usually it costs, but for Dalia I’ve already got a place picked out for you. There’s an apartment owned by a former Vampire hunter. It’s tricked out with all kinds of nice things. Secret room for an armory, great furniture, top floor, thirty minutes from downtown, great view of a park. Three bedrooms. Usually costs $4000 each month. Best unit in the building, better than most homes in the area. It’s only so nice because of all the upgrades the previous renter put into it. But, the owner is willing to rent to you for just $1000 a month. $500 if you’re willing to do some extra work,” she pushes hard on this place, not giving me a chance to interrupt. “I can call him right now.”

“What’s the catch?”

“There’s no catch,” she smiles.

“There’s always a catch. If this place is as nice as you say it is,” I argue.

“Well, there’s some issues.”

“Such as.”

“Well, most of the tenants are Dark Elves, but some of the more expensive apartments are rented out by high elves. There’re a few squabbles here and there because High Elves, still don’t care for us after all these years. Also the last renter, may have died in a dark ritual because he was bored of hunting vampires and started messing with the dark arts. Nobody wants an apartment with a dead guy. The area has also been screwed pretty hard by the economic downturn. It’s a great park. But there’s drug dealers, there’s robbery. You’ll just be keeping that kind of thing out of the building. Police don’t really like Dark Elf neighborhoods. You’ll be an unofficial problem solver.”

“I’ll take it.”

“What? That’s it,” she looks shocked.

“Yeah, none of that scares me.”

“I’ll go give him a call,” she ducks off in the back.

“Hey Kaiden, go see if there’s a bus coming,” I yell out to the front of the store where he drifted off.

I take a look at the sword he wanted once he walks out the shop. I’m not against him having a sword. I just can’t afford a good one for him. Nobody wants to have a crappy sword break in a fight. This one isn’t exquisite, but the price doesn’t match the quality. A sword will have to wait for another day. I drift over to the books. One on different martial arts styles. If Kaiden is going to be tagging along with me, he should learn to fight. My fighting style probably wouldn’t work for him. I mostly use throws and a few styles of boxing. I hit hard and outlast opponents. He’ll need something else, something faster where he’ll dodge more. This could be a first step. The book is cheap, I can get this one. Another on basics of spellcasting. He’ll like that one.

“Alright, you’re all set. Here’s the address,” Sorkina comes from the back.

“Thank you,” I take the address. “Would you be able to wrap these up for me?”

“You don’t seem like the magic kind,” she laughs as she rings up my total.

“It’s for Kaiden. Christmas is coming up. I don’t really care for the holidays. We didn’t celebrate many of them at the temple. You know that. But, he’s not from the temple.”

“Dalia said you were a softy under the hard exterior. No charge,” she hands me the wrapped books. “Hold on, there’s one more he might need if he’s going to be hanging out with you,” she comes back with another book. “This one is a guidebook for different kinds of vampires, werewolves and other things that go bump in the night,” she hands the wrapped one to me.

“Thank you, you’ve been kinder to me than most people I’ve met in this city.”

“Just promise me, you’ll come back any time you need information, and you’ll pay,” she laughs.

“I promise,” I raise my hand to swear.

Kaiden is waiting on the bus stop when I leave the shop. He’s just smiling and humming to himself on a bench. I don’t know how the kid stays so happy and optimistic. I’ve never had much of either. Perhaps having him around to balance me out will work out. So far he hasn’t exactly been bad luck.

“What’s with the gifts,” he asks as I take a seat.

“They’re for you.”


“I figured you’d want Christmas presents? Isn’t that what happens on Christmas,” I’ve never celebrated it. I just know what I’ve seen on TV.

“Yeah, but usually on Christmas day.”

“Well, if you don’t want them I’ll just take them back.”

“No, I’ll take them,” he snatches them from my hands. “You need to learn when someone is joking with you,” he elbows me in the arm.

“I don’t get the holidays thing.”

“I’ll teach you, and the rest of the non-temple stuff too. I bet you don’t even know what the internet is.”

“Not a clue.”

“Told you I would be useful.”

“I guess you’ve found something to do besides eat all my food.”

“Jason, are you feeling okay,” he asks in a panic.

“Yeah, why?”

“Because you just gave me gifts, and I think you just made a joke. I’m worried about you.”


“Hey Jason,” Kaiden says.


“Thank you.”


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