3.50 – The Lunar Favor

3.50 – The Lunar Favor

I’ve been checking out shops I found online all day. I’m looking for a nice gift for Destiny, but I don’t really know what she likes, besides shoes and fashion. I know what kind of music she likes, but we can go to a concert whenever. I’d like to get her something to use on the regular basis, that way she’d always think of me when she used it. So far, I’ve only managed to get things for me.

An animated book that has information on different magical creatures and beings so I can stop guessing and being accidentally racist to Orcs. I got a mirror that will give me compliments every day to help boost my self-esteem. A mood ring, that can actually make me happy if I’m feeling sad. A wallet that won’t open for anyone except the owner. A great day of shopping. Still, I got nothing for Destiny. Then again, they say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and there’s a jewelry store people talk about often.

The Lunar Favor, a small jewelry store tucked into the corner spot of a strip mall. Inside looks more like they sell trinkets than jewelry. The Dark Elf at the counter waves gleefully as I make my way inside and start to look around. Whatever he’s eating smells of chicken and some kind of strong spices that are probably packing a lot of heat. He’s much more concerned with his meal than me. A square shaped pendent catches my eye after some browsing. It seems to be made of some kind of black stone with pieces of gold shining through and a cloudy diamond in the center.

“Ahh, that is a good choice. Do you have an unfaithful lady in your life,” he asks?

“No,” I answer as I twirl the pendent in my hands.

“Well you don’t need that,” he laughs.

“Why? What does it do?”

“Whoever you gift it to will fall madly in love with you, as long as they don’t take it off.”

“That’s kind of creepy.”

“Tell me about it. I wouldn’t make anything like that.”

Two more men enter and he greats them. I recognize these men. I saw them a few different times today in each store I visited. This area has a lot of magic stores, and they could be touring the shops, the same way I am. Except, they’re hitting every shop at the exact same time. I even tried to switch up my route earlier, but they followed. I’ve been ignoring them. Pretending I didn’t see them. I’m not sure who they are, or why they’re following me, but I can’t help but feel I need to shake them.

“What do you suggest I get,” I ask the shopkeeper, trying not to act strange.

“Well, who are you shopping for?”

“My girlfriend,” it still feels good being able to say that.

“Really? Just give her the money. Women be shopping, women be shopping,” he jokes.

“I see you’re a fan of Chris Rock too,” I laugh.

“No Reggie, but he hasn’t been the same since Buddy Love,” he laughs harder.

“Alright, alright. Enough pop culture references. What do you really suggest? She has money so that won’t impress her.”

“Give me just a moment,” he steps from behind the counter and makes his way behind a curtain.

He hands me a gold necklace with a jagged rainbow-colored stone wrapped in gold. I notice some runes etched into the gold parts that hold the stone into the pendant and it lets me know that the pendent is indeed magical, but that’s why I came to the shop in the first place. They aren’t as detailed or as many as the ones on the blades Destiny gifted me.

“What does it do,” I ask.

“It’s a very simple enchantment. It simply allows the wearer to stop second guessing themselves. They follow their heart. If this girlfriend truly loves you, don’t worry. But, if she has eyes for another perhaps I can sell you a ring that fends off temptation,” he raises and eyebrow.

“No, I think this will be perfect. Do you have a case for it?”

“Of course.”

The price is pretty fair considering the reviews said he over charged for items. I’m thinking he charges whatever he wants depending on the vibe he gets from a person. There’re no price tags on anything so he can really do whatever he wants.

Outside I place the necklace in my car, then keep walking. I’m curious if the men will follow me, and they do. I would be running from these guys not to long ago. A little while less, and I would have been terrified that I might kill another person again. Now I recognize I’ve been put into a world where sometimes people die, and it’s okay to feel bad. If you have to kill in self-defense, that’s better than dying without fighting. I make my way into a random alleyway and duck behind a dumpster, sure enough my new friends head down the alley as well. I wait until they pass me to step out behind them and catch them by surprise.

“Why are you stalking me,” my question startles them forcing them to turn around.

I expect an answer, I just didn’t expect it to be a roundhouse kick to my face. I’ve been hit in the face plenty of times before, but never kicked, and a kick hurts more, new lessons. I drop to a knee just to recover but they don’t waste any time. Doesn’t take long before I’m on the ground in fetal position being punched and kicked.

Elias isn’t coming to save me like when we were kids. There’s no wererats around to lend me a hand either. I can yell Destiny’s name all I want, and it won’t mean a thing. For the first time ever, I think I have to save myself. The echoes come to me almost immediately, like they were meant for me. I swing out my arms hoping to hit anything and clip something, enough to let me stand.

“I don’t know karate or anything, but I do know how to use these,” I try to sound cool.

They say a fight is decided in the first thirty seconds, well this is the second round. I swing with precision trying to keep them back. I make contact and the echo in my left hand doesn’t stick into the man’s flesh. It cuts through his shirt, blood quickly appears on his torso. Not enough to disembowel him but enough cuts like that, and he won’t last long. Destiny was right, these are better for me. They aren’t as heavy and I can counter almost every time I get hit. Each swing seems to cut just right. I’m taking a beating but keeping my back to the wall so they can’t surround me. Don’t fall, focus on one target at a time and don’t let them behind me. The cuts bleed, and they hurt and they could probably stop a regular person pretty quick but these two don’t seem to be getting tired. One of the men pauses, that’s it, the nightmares. I take the moment to take some big swings at his chest putting him down. The second spits some kind of blue mist in my face and grabs his fallen partner.

When I open my eyes, the sun has set and the men are gone. Did that blue mist put me to sleep?


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