Author’s Note: I would had posted this earlier, but I had to pick up my drunk sister from a bar. Well… more like drive her friend home in said friend’s car and then had to ride home with mom who was following us. Anywho, this is Coy “Memory” 4 out of 5. Just one more before we get to the actual story. In the mean time, try to brave through this one. Now, please enjoy?
Things were just happening too fast for my taste. When I woke up this morning, I was just another gangster in Anthill Bay. Now I’m standing in front of her holiness pope Francesca III in the church’s embassy in Anthill Bay as the Hero chosen by the Deity. Just what the hell is going on here?
“Wait… I’m sorry your holiness, but I think you got the wrong guy.”
“But… I’m a criminal?”
“You were a criminal.” (Francesca)
“No buts, Mr. Coy. The Deity’s Tear glows it’s brightest for you.” (Francesca)
She then held her hand with the ring out in front of me again, and it was glowing brightly. Before I could try to argue, there was a knock on the office door. Cecilia herself answered before going back to her holiness.
“Your holiness, Mr. Walton, his two other ’employees’, and Sheriff Dalton are all here.” (Cecilia)
“Send them in.” (Francesca)
With that, Cecilia complied. I saw Walton, DJ, Zeke, and then Dalton himself walk in. They all had their hats off, but Dalton also had something else under his arm. It looked like a file folder and I had a very good guess of who’s it was.
“Hello there, I am Francesca III. I take it that you are the other brave souls that helped Princess Abigail in her time of need?” (Francesca)
“We are, your holiness.” (Walton)
“In the name of both the church and the Deity, I thank all of you. You will all be properly compensated for your actions in the matter. Also… Cecilia, bring it.” (Francesca)
Cecilia grabbed a box that was set on the desk. When she opened it for her holiness, I could see the insides. The interior of the box itself was made of red satin padding. And the contents, I couldn’t believe. They were medals to be pinned.
“Dale Walton, Dale Walton Jr., Ezekiel the Dwarf, Sheriff Rodney Dalton, and Coy. I award all five of you with the Silver Buckler, the highest award for those who assist the church in times of need. To be honest, I wish I could do more.” (Francesca)
As she started pinning the medals, I couldn’t believe it. She was too pure for her own good, someone who hasn’t seen the evil in the world up close like I have. Or is this an act? Either way, the Silver Buckler is one of the highest honors that the church can award. There was no way she can do more than that.
“Your holiness, I humbly thank you for this award. I am not worthy of such.” (Walton)
That’s right. In truth, none of us are. Even the so-called honorable sheriff in the room with us has his share of skeletons in his closet. Walton and the other bosses of Anthill Bay’s criminal underworld were giving him bribes for years. The only things he doesn’t forgive are rape and murder. But when it comes to the other stuff, he will turn a blind eye for the right price.
“Do not speak such nonsense, Mr. Walton. What you have done can only help promote peace between the church and the Undersea Empire.” (Francesca)
Yeah… she’s too pure.
“Alright, your holiness. But I must ask, is Coy really the Hero?” (Walton)
“The Deity’s Tear was a gift from the Deity itself to the church. It’s purpose is to find the Hero who will save the world. It’s guided by the Deity’s will, so of course Mr. Coy has to be the Hero.” (Francesca)
“Not to be rude your holiness, but you might want to take a look at this?” (Dalton)
Dalton then handed her the file folder. I just knew it, it had to be mine. As her holiness looked at it, I could see her chuckle a few times. She then walked up to me.
“You weren’t jesting when you said that you had spent a few nights in the jail house, Mr. Coy. But still… indecent exposure? I just could not help but to laugh at that one.” (Francesca)
Out of instinct, I defended myself.
“For the record, that one was Zeke and DJ’s fault. They were the ones who thought it would be funny to take my clothes when we were skinny dipping and run off.”
“I can only guess that was a sight to behold, right?” (Francesca)
“Your holiness…” (Cecilia)
Alright, she wasn’t as pure as I thought she was.
“But it does not matter anymore, you have been absolved of all your crimes.” (Francesca)
As her holiness ripped up the folder, I could only see the disbelief in both Cecilia and Dalton’s eyes. Cecilia for her holiness’s reaction and Dalton for the fact that my slate is now clean. If it weren’t for the fact that this wasn’t the time, I’d be laughing at them.
“Now to business. Mr. Coy, you will have to come with me to the holy capitol of Tholmen in Stinwin. It will be there that we will officially announce that you have been selected.” (Francesca)
Tholmen is the holy capitol of the church. Even though it’s located in Stinwin, it’s self-governed like Anthill Bay. It’s more of a city-state with it’s own laws and army. It’s also where her holiness is supposed to reside.
“That’s right, Mr. Coy. The ship for Stinwin will be leaving in four days, so it should be plenty of time to settle your personal affairs here in Anthill Bay. It will take a month to get from Anthill Bay to Stinwin by sea and then a week to get from the port to Tholmen. After we get back to the holy capitol, your announcement will be a month from then.” (Francesca)
This was all too much to take in.
“And why a month?”
“In that month, you will be learning proper etiquette to be greeting the nobles. Not to mention swordplay for your journey. That reminds me… are you in the Adventurer’s Guild already?” (Francesca)
“It’s the Walton Trading Company’s policy for all employees to be registered in the local Adventurer’s Guild.”
I then handed her my card. All members of the Adventurer’s Guild have these as proof of status. Merchants have them for the Merchant’s Guild as well. The cards have special benefits, such as discounts on items from venders and they act as a sort of passport when traveling. Due to competitive pricing and other such things, Merchants don’t get the same discounts as Adventurers. In truth, it’s one of the reasons why Walton had us join the Adventurer’s Guild, so we can go around and buy items for that discount when there’s a client willing to pay full price. It’s a loophole that he knew how to exploit well.
Another perk about these cards is what some people call the ‘inventory window’. The feature that allows us to magically carry more items than we can handle on our person, it’s very useful whether you are Adventurer or Merchant. It’s basically a personal pocket dimension that each Adventurer and Merchant has, a very old magic. The only things you cannot carry are living things. But legally, you’re not supposed to carry a huge amount of things such as Gusenburgs on your person. I made that mistake and got indicted with carrying illegal firearms more than once. Though… one of these days I would like to test the limits by storing a car.
“Hm… I have a question?” (Francesca)
“Go ahead, your holiness.”
“Princess Abigail told me that you were asleep for four days after you protected her, correct?” (Francesca)
“That is correct.”
“Has anything about you changed? Like had your strength increased for example?” (Francesca)
“Well… you seen that guy I was next to at the parade, right?”
“The very large one who had the woman on his shoulders?” (Francesca)
“I actually beat him in an arm wrestling match earlier today.”
“You actually beat Lobo, boyo?” (Zeke)
I should had known that those two would be surprised. Even Walton and Dalton were giving me looks.
“Yeah… but I don’t know how I did it. Or how I accidentally threw him across the room when I did.”
The awe from the usual Anthill Bay residents wasn’t really surprising. They all knew Lobo after all.
“I see. The whole reason you were unconscious that long is because it was the Deity’s blessing changing your body.” (Francesca)
“Wait… my body was changing?”
“It happens when the Deity chooses a Hero. The Deity’s Tear only reacts to the one blessed by the Deity, it’s more of a tool to guide the wearer to the Hero. So there’s the final confirmation needed. Coy, you are the Hero.” (Francesca)
Blessed? More like cursed. Well… that did explain why I spent four days out of it. I can only guess that I didn’t feel anything because I was knocked out. But there was one thing that I had to ask.
“Why me? I mean, there’s plenty of better guys for the job. So why me of all people?”
“Coy, the Deity works in mysterious ways. There is no common connection between you and all the past heroes, except for one that can only be assumed.” (Francesca)
“And what would that be?”
“All past heroes were virgins when they were chosen.” (Francesca)
Of all things… does she have any tact at all!? I could see everyone else in the room trying to hold in their laughter at that one. I could even feel myself get redder as they were staring at me. Just why me?
“Sorry I asked…”
“All things aside, we need for you to get all of your affairs in this town settled within the next four days. You will not be coming back for a long time.” (Francesca)
“Your holiness, there is something I must ask.” (DJ)
“You may.” (Francesca)
DJ… you better not be your usual self to her holiness! Seriously, don’t mention anything about ‘bounciness’ around her! I’m lucky that she looked past my former criminal career… but I don’t need for her to think that I hang out with dumb perverts.
“All Heroes travel with a party, am I correct?” (DJ)
That was unexpected… wait, don’t tell me…
“That is correct.” (Francesca)
“In that case, Coy can skip the part of having to acquire comrades. He has me and Zeke already.” (DJ)
Dammit DJ! The last thing I need is to have to spend more time with you and Zeke than I already have to.
“Not happening.” (Walton)
Oh thank the Deity.
“Why, boss?” (Zeke)
“Yeah Pa, how come?” (DJ)
“Because if you two lugs went with Coy, I’d be even more worried about the fate of the world. Besides… Junior, your mother would’t allow me to let you. As for you Zeke… you still have a debt to clear. No way are you leaving this town until that’s paid.” (Walton)
Oh thank you Walton, your bold head shines even brighter than the Deity’s Tear.
“Sorry guys, Mr. Walton has a point. But don’t worry, I’ll be sure to tell you of my travels the next time I’m in Anthill Bay.”
The first advantage I found after being chosen, I don’t have to be around those two idiots for a while. True that they were my friends… but they are embarrassing to be seen in public with. It’s bad enough that I’m a half-man already, but it would be harder to take me seriously with those two around. DJ is a bit of a pervert and an idiot and Zeke… is a drunk. Walton is a good judge of character.
“Anyway… sorry for the display, your holiness.” (Walton)
“There’s no need to apologize, things around here are never this lively. I rather enjoyed it.” (Francesca)
Alright, her purity is even more questionable.
“I had a good time too.” (Abby)
Go figure, she enjoyed it. Actually… I almost forgot she was in the room.
“Anyway, that’s all. Coy, I’ll be seeing you at the port in four days. Cecilia will be seeing you all out.” (Francesca)
“Follow me.” (Cecilia)
Cecilia then guided us to the exit of the embassy. I was going to be busy for the next few days. What about my apartment? I’m going to have to speak to the landlord about it and see if I can get back my deposit. My things? I don’t think carrying all my furniture on a journey would be wise. It might be better to just sell all my furniture? Yeah, that’s a better idea. I’m sure that I can find a new place after my journey is over. I’ll probably have more money than I know what to do with.
Before I could figure anything else out, Cecilia spoke.
“Hero or not, I still do not like you in the slightest. I don’t care if her holiness herself absolved you of all your past crimes. Once a criminal, always a criminal. Please do the world a favor and somehow die before we leave in four days?” (Cecilia)
“Funny… the feeling’s mutual.”
With that, we took our leave. I just can’t believe that someone like her exists? How can anyone be so full of themselves and their own sense of justice? All I knew is that I didn’t want to be on the same boat as her. One of us will somehow mysteriously end up overboard, that’s for sure. Still… I just knew is that DJ was finally going to break once we got far enough away.
“Guys, did you see her bounciness? I hope that I’m not sinning for saying this, but damn the pope has a perfect rack!” (DJ)
With that, Walton smacked him on the back of the head as strong as he could. I couldn’t help but to laugh at DJ this time around. At least he had the common sense not to say it in front of her holiness?
“DJ, you’re both gentleman and a scholar.”
“Nope, I lied. You’re a pervert and an idiot.”
“Ya got that right, boyo.” (Zeke)
“I just don’t know where that boy get it from.” (Walton)
Both me and Zeke looked at Walton in silence. And then we looked away and whistled when he noticed us staring. All I knew was one thing, the next four days were going to be busy. And as for what I didn’t know, what’s up with me and days in fours anyway?