[Heirloom of Bones] Chapter 01.2: The Apprentice's Task

Atilina traveled upstairs with light steps until she reached Eleon's door. 

"El? Are you there? I need you help," she whispered in a hushed tone.

The room was dark, sunrise was still two hours away.

She waited a long moment before rapping on the door slightly harder.

TAK TAK TAK.

"Eleon? Are you awake?"

"No," she heard someone grumble from the other side of the door. "I'm fast asleep because this is my first day off in three months."

"Can you open the door, please?" Atilina said as sweetly as possible. She tried to nudge the door open, but it was locked shut. "Please?" She repeated. "I... I'm scared to go out by myself."

She made sure to add a tinge of whimper in her voice. Though Eleon looked tough with his stocky frame and stern eyes, Atilina knew better. Underneath that serious disposition, Eleon had a kindly heart underneath. It was common knowledge throughout the Eastern Gate, Eleon got things done. It had been over 5 years since she was adopted into Master Kelv's family, and not once had she seen Eleon break his word or take the easy route for the sake of convenience. Not once. Plumes and feathers! Sometimes Eleon would even choose the harder path just BECAUSE it was harder! This was not just her opinion either. The whole neighborhood agreed with her. If you were in a bind, go look for Eleon.

She heard footsteps slowly thump towards the bedroom door. There was a brief pause, a rattle of a chain, then metal sliding against metal. Finally, the door creaked open, just enough to see hints of Eleon's face. His shoulders were bare and his tousled brown hair was like a mop slapped on top his head. Atilina barely held back a chuckle.

"What's wrong?" Eleon said sternly. He looked her up and down. "And where are you going?"

Atilina tucked a stray blond hair behind her ear. She woke up extra early to dress up for today's adventure. She straightened out her waxed deer-skin traveling jacket that she wore over her dark blue cotton jerkin. To be extra safe, she opted out of her normal summer dress and slippers instead choosing to wear thick canvas riding pants and leather boots. Slung over her shoulder was a traveling satchel—a hand-me-down from Eleon who bought a new satchel the summer prior from a traveling merchant.

"Master Kelv had to go to the baker's guild," She replied. "Last night, he asked me to go to the mill to haggle for this weeks flour. I don't want to go alone, and I was wondering if you could accompany me."

Before Atilina could pout and add another Please, Eleon barked a laugh.

"How many times have you gone with Master Kelv to haggle?"

"Many times, but never by my‒"

"And how many times where you the one doing the haggling? I'd wager a silver coin more than me!" Eleon looked her over once more and laughed even louder. "And the mill is only five blocks away! You're dressed like you're going to Steis Tha!"

"I... I don't want to go to mill looking like a little girl! I need to dress the part."

"But you are a little girl," Eleon said yawning. |Everyone in the neighborhood knows you are a little girl, East Gate's summer flower."

Ignoring Eleon's response, Atilina continued. "And Master Kev was always there to make sure I ordered the right grain. I'm just worried that I might make another mistake. Can you come with me? It would make me feel so much more safer. Please?"

She pouted a little making sure to add a hint of pleading in her eyes. Eleon smiled back. "You're right," He said, "You should be worried. Well, good luck!"

And then Eleon duck back into his room and slammed his door shut, right in front of her face.

"Wait—" she shouted before being rudely interrupted by exaggerated sounds of snoring from inside his bedroom.

I've changed my mind. He's as trustworthy as rotten fish.

"Fine." She said to herself, her chin pointing up in defiance. "I'll just go to the flour mill by myself, and I'll convince old man Roff to sell everything to me HALF OFF."

She shouted the last two words as loud as she could muster hoping that they would jolt Eleon awake. She tightened her satchel, cracked her knuckles, and stomped back downstair, hoping—if the Three Sons permits—the ruckus would ruin his day. In one big huff, she marched through the kitchen and out the front door of the bakery.  Fury and frustration behind her every step.

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