Chapter 37 - Jason

Chapter 37 - Jason

“You really shouldn’t be coming along. You don’t know how to fight,” I tell Kaiden.

“I’m a great fighter and I know magic too,” he argues.

“Do you? Because what you call magic blew up half a building last time you tried. A building that could have crushed me. Don’t need any repeats.”

“Whatever, that was just an accident,” he laughs.

“Yeah, whatever. I’m not going to the hospital if one of these guys breaks your jaw.”

“Nobody is going to break my jaw.”

“Are you going to follow me everywhere I go?”

He thinks for a second, “Worked out pretty well so far. I got Christmas presents, my own bedroom in a vampire hunter’s lair and a new best friend. So yes,” he smiles at me.

“I’m not going to the hospital.”

“Whatever, they should be on this floor.”

The damage on this floor hasn’t been hidden by new paint or anything like that. I’ve noticed a lot of the place isn’t like that. The landlord is probably trying to sell this place by fixing up the things people look like. Sell the building as is make a lot of money and vanish before the shit hits the fan. I don’t really have any other living options, but I don’t want to live here any longer than I have to. Something is up with this place. Any place with drug dealers has something going on, but there’s more to this place than that.

“They should be right around this corner,” Kaiden points around the corner.

The music gets louder as we get closer. I’m still not good with identifying genres but I don’t like this music, and I recognize it. Dwarven music, a lot of chanting and heavy bass, almost all drums. It sucks, and most people don’t listen to it. There aren’t a lot of Dwarves around here. At least not that I’ve seen. I honestly can’t think of seeing a single Dwarf since I’ve come to the city. I reach the door where the music is playing.

“Last chance to turn around before you get hurt,” I say to Kaiden.

“Well, when you put it that way,” he turns and walks before rushing back and banging on the door.

“Who the hell is banging on my door like a mad man,” comes from the other side of the door before I can yell at Kaiden.

“We’re here on behalf of the landlord, we need to talk.”

“Then come in,” the door flies open.

We’re greeted by three elves in the hottest room I’ve ever stepped into. It looks like they’ve set up a makeshift forge in their apartment. The music comes from a small stereo opposite the stones circle they’ve got set up as a forge full of molten liquid. If I start a fight here, things could get dangerous for everyone. If it was just me, I’d take the risk, but Kaiden might get hurt. The main reason I’m not taking him to a hospital, is because I couldn’t find a hospital if I tried.

“What does that land slaver want,” one of the Dwarves asks.

“Well, he thinks you’re selling drugs, but clearly that isn’t the case,” I respond.

“No shit we’re not selling drugs. Dwarves don’t sell drugs. Merchants, blacksmiths, historians and warriors. That is who we are. Different clans, different goals, but none of us sell drugs,” one of the other Dwarves yells as he drops a hammer.

“Dwarves,” Kaiden interrupts in shock.

“Yes, Dwarves,” the other Dwarf in the back yells at him.

“Aren’t you supposed to be small? Like, short and fat,” Kaiden asks with no filter.

“No,” I respond.

“Fuck no, that is bullshit made up by some racist nutjob,” one of the Dwarves yells before the others calm him down.

“Basically, Dwarves are a race of Elves who don’t have the ability to use magic. Some other Elves feel like this disqualifies them from being Elves. Instead Dwarves decided to lead in a lot of other fields,” I whisper to Kaiden.

“Is that why they’re so buff?”

“Yeah, or they have killer workouts.”

“What about the living in caves thing,” he asks.

“Sorta, back a long time ago they used to live in mountains and caves. Now they live in cities, some of which still surround or go through mountains. They never just lived in caves. Did you learn anything at the temple?”

“No because I was getting beat up most of the time,” for the first time I believe Kaiden.

“I swear I need a Ragnarök part 2 to wipe out all of us,” one of the Orcs says.

He pulls a war axe out of the forge and jams the top cautiously stands it on an anvil as the other Orcs jam a stick of wood through a hole in the back of the blade. The three quickly dip it in water which fills the room with smoke. From the water they pull out a war axe. I have to say I’m kind of impressed that they could do something like that in this room. I’m not much of a blacksmith but I don’t think that’s the correct method for forging a war axe. Yet, they got it done. It looks like a good weapon to me.

“Here, give the axe to the landlord. Show him our work, tell him we don’t sell drugs. People come and buy weapons,” one of the Orcs hands me the axe.

“I don’t think that’ll work. He’s mostly concerned about people who don’t live here coming in and out,” I say as I grip the axe, it’s comfortable, and light.

“Well we have to make money to pay the rent. This is how we do it,” he argues.

“I have an idea,” Kaiden offers.

“If your idea involves us living in caves you can keep it to yourself little one,” the Orcs laugh at the joke. I get a few chuckles in as well.

“Laugh it up. Why don’t you just sell your stuff on the internet and mail it out. I’m sure you could make a lot more money that way too,” Kaiden offers up.

“Good idea but we aren’t much for the internet. We come from a clan of smiths, not merchants,” the Dwarf argues.

“We know a guy,” one of the Dwarves in the back says.

“Who,” the other asks.

“Madden, Mader or something like that. I’ll know it if I see it. The guy ordered a pair of war axes from us. Based on one of those digital games. He said he works on computers all day so they wouldn’t get bloody. We can make him do it. Promise him we’ll put a rush on the axes.”

“Would you too like a beer to celebrate? This could be a new world for us,” one of the Dwarves offers.

“I’ll take one, but he’s underage,” I accept the can.

“Nonsense, we start drinking young,” he tosses a beer to Kaiden.

Kaiden is the first to take a sip, and instantly spits it out. The rest of us laugh. Something about Dwarves, they’re supposedly born loving the taste of alcohol. The rest of us, not so much. I don’t even care for the taste now as an adult, but I finish both my beer and Kaiden’s. Only because I know that rejecting a drink from a Dwarf is like rejecting meat from an Orc. Just something you don’t do unless you want to fight.

“You said I was going to get my jaw broken in there,” Kaiden laughs as we make our way down the hall with the axe.

“I thought you were when you asked why they weren’t in caves or short.”

“Well, I didn’t. We make a great team. Even solved their problem.”

“We’re not a team.”

“I know,” he smiles at me. “We’re brothers.”

“I should pry open these doors and kick you down the elevator hole.”

“Elevator shaft, you country bumpkin,” he laughs at his own joke until snot comes from his nose as the door alerts us that elevator has arrived.


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