The walk back the village takes forever, and means I have to cut my way through various monsters in my way. These encounters seem to just be random. And there's so many of them. I didn't think I was ever going to make it back to the town.
The first thing I do is head to the church that hired me in the first place. I show the stone to the stern faced priest and he nods at me. "Thank you," he snaps, taking the glowing stone back. He turns and leaves me alone.
"What about my pay?" I yell after him. "You owe me gil for this!"
"Why should I pay a traitor to the Empire?" he asks.
"You would so easily assume I am a traitor?" I ask. "Why?"
"The pendant you wear," he answers. "It is the symbol of the free people, from before the Empire unified this place."
I reach up and touch the pendant, a star with a white stone in the center. "I didn't know," I say. "It was a reward for a job well done."
"Do I look naive?" he asks me. "Who's was it? Your father's? Your husband's?"
I growl. "Never mind the gil," I snap. "I'll be off now."
As I make my way through the crowd, no one has much to say to me. A person traveling alone and carrying a sword is just asking for trouble in this day and age. The Empire fears insurgents.
But I'm not an insurgent. To be an insurgent I'd have to care. And I gave that up so very long ago.
I have lost key item: Sacred Stone. But luckily, the monsters I was fighting on the way back to the village were carrying gil...I don't know how...and I might just have enough for a few more potions and some new armor. Maybe I can even stay at the Inn for the night before heading back out.
There's always work for a good mercenary these days. Just not in this town.