John and others crest a hill one day and finally see something they have all hoped to see, Civilization. It looks to be a small town at most. But for three and a half weary travelers, sleeping under a roof will be a nice change.
John stops them before they get close to town. He says to them “You two best keep quiet here.” He quickly adds before they protest “It will look weird if both a lamia and a centaur speak the local tongues. But with the mask I’m wearing hiding my true nature. I can pass it off as just being a traveler without them realizing I’m The Traveler.” Nasha and Kenta both look at each other, then agree. John turns to look at the town but then turns back to his companions saying “We don’t know how far the amulet works do we.” He takes the amulet off and then throws it as far as he can into a field.
Both Kenta and Nasha start to say something, but John stops understanding them as the amulet flies away. John thinks he has thrown it more than fifty feet. Kenta continues to try to talk to him. John holds a finger up to signal one moment. He then turns to walk away. He stops when he feels the amulet return to him. John turns back and says “okay now.”
Kenta says “What in the…”
John says “It’s the strange thing about the amulet that we found out early about it. I can’t get rid of it. Even if I give it to someone, it comes back to me.” He turns and starts to head into town.
Nasha stops them once they get into town. She says to John “I will need your help getting us money for supplies” as she starts rooting through Kenta’s packs.
John says “How? What are you doing?”
Nasha says “I’m going to sell all the furs I have collected from my kills through our journey.”
John says “Why is Kenta carrying them and not you?”
Nasha says pulls a large bag off of Kenta’s back “Because there were too many for me to carry after Papi starting eating as she did.”
John says to Kenta “and you were okay with this?”
Kenta says “She promised me that we would split the profits if I would carry it for her. The load was nothing for me. I doubt it would have affected my fighting in the bit.”
John says to Nasha “Okay, so now what?”
John in his mask with his hood up enters a covered fur trader shop with Nasha holding the bag of furs behind him and Kenta standing outside. John approaches the shopkeeper behind the counter saying “May we offer you some of our furs to sell.”
The shopkeeper looks John over saying “Strange for you to be so fluently our tongue?”
John says “let’s just say I have traveled afar and know many tongues.”
The shopkeeper glances at Nasha for a moment then says to John “Well?”
John looks at Nasha with a nod as if to signal her. Nasha dumps the bag out on the counter much to the shock of the shopkeeper. John says “we have been traveling for some time now.”
The shopkeeper looks the furs over saying “These are all small game furs.”
John says “We were hunting for food, not for fun.”
The shopkeeper starts counting the furs and dividing them up into groups. The shopkeeper calls an assistant over and says to the assistant in a low voice “help me here and we will give them a low price and keep the profits.”
John looks to Nasha who looks at him and shakes her head no. John says “We will want half the market price for those furs. I will know if you are underselling us.”
The shopkeeper jumps at John's words with even the assistant looking shocked. John has a feeling that they were talking in another language. The shopkeeper says “and what makes you think you can make such a demand.”
John motions to Kenta standing outside “See that centaur out there. She helped to carry these furs for my friend here and my friend has promised her half the cut in profits. So unless you what to argue with her about not giving us a good price, you will be a fair businessman to us.” The shopkeeper looks Kenta over and not only sees how big she is but also the sword she has with her. John can see the shopkeeper swallow then look back at John trying to intimidate him. John turns towards Kenta and takes a deep breath.
The Shopkeeper quickly says “Forty!”
John and Nasha exit the shop hold a large bag of coins. John says to Kenta “You know Kenta, you are the best person when it comes to making deals.”
Kenta says “What does that mean?”
Nasha says “Well John, if that amulet didn’t let us hear the different tongues, we would have not known they were taking advantage of us.”
Kenta says “speaking of which, I think I was on the edge of the effect and heard some of the tongues. I think some of them speak Traders Tongue.”
John says “Kenta, you speak another language?”
Kenta says “We Centaurs travel far, so knowing at least a few words in other tongues helps. Though the Lamia’s tongue was new to us and they didn’t know any Traders Tongue.”
John says to Nasha “Do you know any other languages?”
Nasha says “I am a hunter and I hunt for my village. What use is there for me to know another tongue?”
Kenta says “Since I can speak with some of the people. How about Nasha and I go get supplies while you find us some lodging for the night?” Kenta grabs Papi off her back and hands her to John saying “Take Papi with you, she is starting to get antsy and nibbling on everything.”
John sets Papi down as Nasha gives him a small purse of coins. John says “Meet back here in about two hours?” Nasha and Kenta give John a confused look. John says “Before sunset.”
John walks with Papi by his side as they walk through the town. Papi’s claws have grown back and she can walk without falling. But John stops to let her rest knowing that Harpies are probably built more for flying than walking. He stops at a food dealer and gets Papi some jerky to eat and chew on.
John has been looking at all the different people and races as they have been walking. He can see that the town is predominantly what he would call Goatfolk and possibly Sheepfolk with a few Cowfolk. But he hasn’t seen any lamia’s, or even another reptilian-like race, let alone an insectoid-like race. He decides to ask Nasha and Kenta the names of the races later.
John finds a tailor’s shop to find Papi some proper clothes. The shop is run by a woman who has cow horns. She is taller than most women in the town. John gets Papi to try on a two-piece skirt and tube top that ties in the middle of her back and around the back of her neck. John has realized through trial and error that Papi's wings don’t allow her to wear anything with sleeves or straps that go over the shoulder and not around her neck.
The Shop owner says to John “Why do you even bother clothing that thing?”
John says “You know I can take my business elsewhere. I’m sure I can get better treatment from them.”
The Shop owner says “I meant no offense…Sir.”
John says “Well then to answer your question. We found her and took her in. She is a child after all.”
John asks the owner after paying for the outfit “By the way, Do you know of any place where four weary travelers can rest their heads for the night?”
John and Papi meet back up with Kenta and Nasha after he found a spot for them to sleep and John bought some more jerky for Papi. John sees Kenta has a new saddle pack with a seat. John leads them to the Inn saying “I found us a place to stay for the night at least. But the accommodation may not be the best.”
They find themselves in a stable connected to an Inn. John says to them “This is the only place that they had when I mentioned that we had a Centaur among the group.”
Nasha says “at least we have a roof over our heads again.”
Kenta says “Yes and don’t feel bad John. I half expected this treatment. You three don’t have to stay with me here.”
Almost immediately John and Nasha both begin to say that they are fine staying with Kenta for the night. John says “Kenta you are a part of this group. I will not treat you like an animal that you leave in a stable.”
Nasha says “Yes and I’m sure my tail would be a problem in that building. So staying out here is fine with me.”
They look at Papi, who is playing in the hay. John says “I don’t think Papi minds ether.”
As they settle down for the night, Kenta sees Nasha unroll her bedding and try to get comfortable. Kenta asks “Why do you sleep on such a small bed.”
Nasha says “anything bigger would be too heavy for me to carry.”
Kenta says “Then use some of the money tomorrow to buy proper bedding for you and I’ll carry it for you.” Kenta quickly turns to John saying “and before you say anything. I barely carry a load that would hamper me in battle. So an added blanket would not bother me in the least.”
John says “Okay.”
The group goes shopping the next day to find Nasha a suitable blanket for her to use. John walks with Nasha while Papi eats some jerky while riding Kenta. John says to Nasha as they walk “I’ve noticed that you aren’t flinching as much as you did at the Centaur camp.”
Nasha says “The vibrations here are smaller and more numerous. So they blend and I have also been with you and Kenta. So I have also had time to adjust having the vibrations of someone walking near me all the time.”
The group finds a shop selling blankets and gets one big enough for Nasha to sleep on. They have Kenta carry it to see how it feels.
Nasha gets to try out her new blanket that night at the Inn. John and Kenta watch as both Nasha and Papi relax on Nasha’s new blanket. Nasha curls up as much as she can to get all of her tail on the blanket and Papi finds a spot in the middle of Nasha’s coil. Nasha doesn’t seem to mind Papi at all.
John says to Kenta “Thank you for taking on the extra load.”
Kenta says “I told you that it isn’t a load, and besides. She does a lot and deserves to be treated once and a while. We should get some rest if we are to set out early tomorrow.”