Chapter 7

“There it is,” Orxon said and pointed towards the inn. At last they would be able to rest in a proper bed, something he would welcome since he hadn’t slept at all for over a day. As the thought came to him, he suddenly felt very tired and didn’t want to spend a single second longer than necessary to get to the inn and order a room.

He opened the door and motioned for Veerah to go in before him. While she still hadn’t brought up the reason that made him able to fight the big Skakdi they just encountered, he did feel a bit bad for it. A small act of chivalry maybe wasn’t much, but at the moment it was the least he could do. He took a quick glance at her, and she did actually seem to have some gratitude for this small act by the look in her eyes. But for all he knew it could very well be given how she had been treated in her past.

When they got into the inn, Orxon carefully looked around. This inn didn’t offer much, at least not on this floor, but it did have several tables that were occupied by different beings that either was drinking or playing some sort of card game. While this inn wasn’t safe from scum that would happily rob you blind, this kind of scum at least had some sort of code. They would never put you up against a wall and a knife to your throat, but they surely would take whatever money you had through these card games.

He looked towards the bar counter, and saw the innkeeper standing there. It was a male Vortixx, which wasn’t very common around here. Normally they would be assigned the dirtier and more dangerous jobs, but this particular Vortixx was lucky. It was very likely that were no females available to this position, or his kinsmen (or kinswomen, to be more precise) had no idea there was an inn run by one of their males.

Whatever the case may be, Orxon couldn’t really care much about this, but there was something that caught his attention when he looked at the innkeeper. He was standing behind the bar counter, and cleaning a mug. Could it just be a coincidence, or were all innkeepers really always doing that?

He shrugged the thought off while making they made their way to bar counter. The innkeeper looked up at them, while still cleaning the mug.

“So, what can I get you? A meal, a drink, a room, you name it,” he simply said.

“A room for two, please,” Orxon said.

“You’re just in luck then,” the innkeeper said immediately, which surprised Orxon. Not many innkeepers knew exactly how many rooms they had available without having to think or pull out some sort of list. “I have exactly one room remaining that should suite your needs.”

“We’ll take it,” Orxon said.

“That would be 20 widgets then,” the innkeeper said. Orxon gave him the widgets, whereupon the innkeeper gave them the number to their room and the key. Orxon nodded and then climbed the stairs with Veerah right behind him. They got to the second floor, and then eventually found the room they were going to stay. Orxon opened the door, and when he saw the interior of the room he just stood there with a puzzled look on his face.

“What? What is it? Is something wrong?” Veerah asked, before she peeked inside the room. As far as she could tell, there was nothing extraordinary with this room. She did see what Orxon had reacted to, which happened to be a double bed.

“Oh,” she simply said upon seeing it.

“That’s not… what I had in mind,” Orxon said. “I’ll go back and…”

“Do what, exactly? I mean, you heard him,” Veerah said. “This was the last room he had. And besides, I doubt he would give us a refund either way, so we don’t have a lot of options now”.

“You’re… right,” Orxon replied after a moment of silence. “I guess I’ll sleep on the floor then.”

“Why? It’s not like there isn’t enough room for the both of us.”

“Yeah, but wouldn’t it be…”

“Weird and awkward? Sure, but it beats having one of us sleep on the cold floor.”

Orxon looked right at her, and she looked right back at him with a perfectly neutral expression. He then thought for a few seconds before he nodded. There was another silent moment before Veerah spoke again.

“Besides, why would it have to be you that would sleep on the floor?” she asked. He looked thoughtfully at her for a few seconds before he answered.

“Because… it just felt like what I should do.” He replied.

“But, why?” she asked again. “Because you wanted do another act of chivalry?” So she had noticed… He sighed.

“Well, sort of. But… that’s not the real issue,” he said, and sat on the bed.

“It’s because… of what I did earlier. I just feel bad about it,” he said, referring to when he not even an hour ago had “offered” her as a prize for the Skakdi in order to even the odds. She sat beside him with a softer look on her face.

“I guess you should feel bad,” she said. “But… I think I understand why you did… what you did. It’s just that… all my life I’ve been treated as if I have been useless…”

“Which you are not,” he said. “You did a pretty job with that big Skakdi earlier.”

“What are you talking about?” she asked him. He smiled at her.

“I recognize the look one has when a Toa of Psionics has been in one’s mind.” She sat silent for a few seconds, and then she also smiled.

“Back on Kastra Nui, one of my friends was a Toa of Psionics, and since we didn’t have a whole lot to do back then, she used her powers on us more than I can count on my fingers. She was actually the one that finally convinced the others that I weren’t in love with my best friend. Of course, she had to go into my mind, which wasn’t very pleasant I can tell. Let’s hope that you’ll never attempt to do that on me…”

Veerah chuckled, but then she though back to Orxon’s battle with that big Skakdi. How he was on the verge to kill him, and yet he had spared the Skakdi. Whatever Orxon thought of himself, he was not as cold blooded as he imagined.

“Is something wrong?” Orxon asked her. She shrugged off the thought immediately.

“No, I’m just… tired,” she replied.

“Well, that makes the two of us. We may have another long day before us, so we should get as much sleep as possible,” he said. They said good night to each other and, then lied beside each other. Veerah now realized that Orxon had been right; it did feel a bit weird. But there was also something else, something that felt… good.

The last thing she did before she drifted off to sleep, was to smile.

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