Chapter 3: The Berserker Goes Shopping

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A week after Seamus cleared up a certain healer’s rash, the party stopped at an inn in a small city.

“They are as brothers to me,” Ailbhe declared, putting her arms around the two male members of the party. “We need only one room.”

The innkeeper stared at them incredulously. “Are there not two women in your party?” he asked.

“There are, but Ciardhe prefers to sleep elsewhere,” the paladin said. She smiled at the innkeeper.

The man finally shrugged and gave them the key to one of his rooms. As they walked down the long hallway of the one level building, Iain turned to her.

“Maybe we should do something different now that Seamus is with us,” he said. “The floor can’t be comfortable for long.”

“Uh, I prefer not to share the same bed as other people,” Seamus volunteered. “I don’t like the floor, but no offense I’d rather not sleep with either of you.”

Ailbhe laughed. “If it was in the budget I’d say we could get him his own room. With the way Ciardhe’s been spending money, though, we’re going to be lucky if we can afford even one room in the next town.”

Seamus frowned as he arranged some extra blankets into a little nest. “Why do you all keep giving her money if you know she’s going to waste all of it?”

“Because it’s easier than listening to her whine about how unfair life is,” Iain said. “Want one of the pillows too?”

After they got their bedding situated, Ailbhe went to ask if there were any local quests and Seamus went to see if he could earn a little money from his storytelling (that was what would be paying for their dinner). Iain, who had lost to the paladin at paper, rock, scissors, went to find their missing healer.

Ciardhe wasn’t really that hard to find. She usually frequented any herb shops or apothecaries a town might boast. There she would buy up the rarest (and invariably the most useless) herbs the shops had in stock. Of course, if they had any copulation aides, she would buy all they had. Produce stands were usually put on watch afterwards.

Iain found her looking at a zucchini with keen interest. “Hey,” he said, eyeing the vegetable with distrust.

“Iain!” she exclaimed, putting it down. “Just the person I wanted to see! I need you for something.”

The hairs on the back of the berserker’s neck stood up as she grabbed his hand and dragged him towards one of the shops.

Clothes shopping. Not only had she take him clothes shopping, but she was relying on his fashion advice. There’s something wrong about relying on a ‘serk for advice on clothing. Iain looked down at what he was wearing. Something very wrong indeed. And yet what he picked out for her was ten, no one hundred times better than the things she picked out for herself. His choices showed less skin and complimented her full figure. Hers showed as much skin as possible and complimented no one. Thankfully she decided to go with his picks.

“Iain, you should come with me tonight,” the healer said while getting dressed so she could pay.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I promised I’d, uh…help Ailbhe work with Seamus on one of his characters. We’re staging an intervention.”

“Aw, come on…” the healer whined, sticking her head out of the changing area.

“Ask me again when you’re wearing something,” Iain said, looking away.

When they were done and Ciardhe decently clothed, Iain headed back to the inn where they were staying, much to the healer’s dismay. Later that evening (after the character intervention), the three sedate party members sat around a small table at the inn eating boiled vegetables.

“God I want meat,” Iain said, pushing the food around with a fork.

“Just eat,” the paladin said. “Veggies are good for you. Besides I found a small side quest for us. We’ll have meat tomorrow night.”

The berserker grumbled and pushed the food around on his plate more.

That’s how the warrior found them. “Hey!” he said slapping his hands against their table hard enough to make the silverware jump. “Ciary says you all got money.”

Ailbhe rolled her eyes and wrinkled her nose; the man stank of alcohol. “We’re eating boiled vegetables. How much money do you think we have?”

“Shut up, bitch,” he slurred, grabbing at her hair. “Gimme the money.”

Both men stood and Iain lunged across the table. While the attacker was busy fending off the berserker, the paladin stabbed him in the arm with a fork. The man yelped and released her. Iain hauled him into the air, growling.

“Don’t kill him!” Seamus yelled.

Iain blinked and looked confused for a moment before throwing the blubbering man to the ground. “Get out of here,” he growled.

“But, but Ciary, she says she needs money,” the man stuttered.

Ailbhe grabbed him by the collar. “And she told you to go get it from us?”

He shook his head. “No, but I thought-”

The paladin dropped him back to the floor. “You’re a moron,” she said. “And now I have to fix my hair.”

Iain eyed the fallen man intently. “I’d leave now if I were you,” he said.

The warrior took his advice and scuttled away-right into the burly arms of the innkeeper, who was none too pleased with a stranger upsetting his patrons.

“Good Lord,” Ailbhe said as Seamus tried to salvage their mostly spilt dinner. “The only way there could be more drama is if she lived with a gay ex-boyfriend.”

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