"I see." Father Carius muttered, staring at the tabletop. "If Tessa was engulfed in Valmar's darkness, there were bound to be side effects. She is fortunate only her memory was lost and you were there to help her before something worse happened."
Desmond shrugged from his spot across the table. "I wouldn't call it that, I ended up doing another freebie because of my damned reflexes. Unless, of course, you'd be willing to offer up a few- ow!"
"Now isn't the time to be greedy!" Maria snapped, kicking him in the shin.
Carius shook his head, smiling weakly at them. "No, I understand. Just as I'm worried about my daughter, he's worried about his own. I can't offer any money, I'm afraid, but I can arrange for you to stay at the inn free of charge for a night or two."
The pair of them stared at him for a moment, dumbfounded at what he had suggested, before loudly objecting at the same time. "My Daughter, are you insane! The brat's only ten years younger than me!" was Desmond's outburst, while Maria chose a simpler denial of "No way is a guy this stupid my Dad!"
Father Carius blinked at them. "I don't understand. If she is not-"
"It's a long story, Carius." Desmond cut in. "One that I'd really not like to go over right now."
He hesitated, but felt it was best not to press the matter. "Very well. I will send word to the innkeeper about you. Thank you again for saving my daughter Tessa, I only wish I could do more to repay you."
Maria gave him a crooked grin, since the mere thought of being related to a person like Desmond was making her want to axe something. "A good meal and proper bed are thanks enough, right Desmond?"
The Geohound crossed his arms, thinking for a moment. "There is one thing. Do you have any spare knives or daggers laying around? Maria's been complaining about not having one for as long as I can remember and- OW! What was that for?"
Kicking him again under the table, Maria scowled. "I wouldn't be complaining if you'd bought me one when I first asked! There's no reason for the Father to make up for you being such a cheapskate!"
"I'm not a cheapskate!"
"Now, now, there's no need for all the yelling." Father Carius said, trying to calm them. "I'll see what I can find and stop by the inn later."
"Thanks, Carius. We'll see you in a while then." Desmond slid off his chair and hurried out of the room before Maria could take another whack at him.
"Don't run away!" She snapped, getting up to chase after him, pausing only long enough to thank the Father for his time.
Father Carius chuckled as she ran out the door. Even though they had said they weren't related, they certainly seemed to bicker like siblings.
Tessa stared blankly at the ceiling as she laid in bed. No memories of the town came to mind, but she felt a sense of familiarity around she just couldn't put into words. It didn't feel like it was coming from the town itself, but was just in the air.
A rap at the door made her sit up. "Yes?"
The door opened with a light creak and Father Carius stepped inside. "How are you feeling?"
"A little tired, but fine aside from that." She stated, looking out the window instead of at him.
"Can you remember anything?"
She shook her head. "I'm afraid not, Father." She noticed his dim reflection in the window's glass as a pained expression crossed his face, possibly from both not being remembered and her tone that suggested she had been using the professional term for Father instead of a personal one.
"I see... I'm going into town for a little while. Do you need anything before I go?"
She shook her head again in reply.
"Alright, I'll return shortly." He said, leaving her to her thoughts.
Doubting him being around would help her remember anything anyway, Tessa yawned and dropped onto her back again. Maybe she just had to give it time. Still, she felt no fondness for the town or the people in it, even with that feeling. Although, something about those two caught her interest, Desmond and Maria. It wasn't just because they had helped her, it was something else. Another thing she couldn't begin to explain or understand.
Frowning at the cracks in the ceiling, she rolled onto her side and tried to sleep.
Two days passed. Desmond and Maria enjoyed the time they were spending in an actual town, but it was clear the former was getting restless. He was never good at staying in one spot for very long. Father Carius came though with the dagger as well, having been owed a favor by the local weapon merchant he was able to get one that was fairly well made for them.
Desmond was walking around the fountain in the center of town, he had been circling it for a good twenty minutes and gotten some odd looks from the residents passing by, but he ignored them. Being idle was driving him crazy. He needed to find another job or at least be on his way to a town where he could find one. The feeling of someone staring returned and he sighed, glancing at who it was. Tessa was sitting on the stone fence around the small town square, watching him curiously.
"Is this some sort of training for you?" She asked.
He shrugged. "Gotta keep in shape. Geohounds do a lot of walking, you know."
"No, I don't."
Considering for a moment, Desmond walked over and sat down on the fence next to her. "Still can't remember anything, then?"
"Nothing significant since I woke up with you and Maria." She muttered, staring at the ground and frowning. "When we first got here, I thought this town was familiar, but... it's gone now. The feeling I had. I don't know what it was... or how to explain it."
"It'll come back to you eventually, just give it time." Desmond said, trying to be comforting, though he knew it wasn't his strong point.
"What do I do before then? Just sit around and wait?"
"Well, that's..." He trailed off, thinking. What so-called normal people did day to day was something he'd never known. He'd been traveling pretty much since the day he was born. "...that's up to you. Figure out what you're good at, what you like or what you want and just go with it."
"Is that what you do?" Tessa wondered, looking at him.
"More or less. Doesn't earn me a lot of..." A few words drifted through his mind. Money, respect, friends, even thanks."...anything... but I'm pretty happy with how I live."
"Happy, huh? That's..." Tessa's eyes widened and she pushed herself off the fence, spinning to face the road out of town. The feeling she got before, from the town, was back. Fainter this time, like it was calling out to her from far away, but she knew it was the same. Every fiber of her being was telling her to run after it before it faded again, but she managed to hold herself back.
"What's wrong?" Desmond asked, having stepped up next to her without her noticing.
"I think... I just found what I want." She found herself grinning at him. "I want to go for it... but..."
He raised a curious eyebrow at her. "But...?"
"I want to go with you."
Desmond gaped at her, taken off guard and having no idea how to take that. Had he actually succeeded in attracting a girl? Just his luck it would be a Preacher's daughter with amnesia. Still, she wasn't bad looking, and seemed like she had the potential to be fun when not on the depressed side from her lost memories and lack of direction.
Of course, the next thing she said was a slap in the face of that little fantasy. "How much is it to hire you?"
"Oh... it depends on the job." He replied, doing his best not to let his disappointment show.
She pointed south. "I need you to take me that way."
"That... way?" He wondered, never have been given such a vague assignment offer. "How far, exactly?"
"I don't know, I just have to go that way."
Desmond frowned. "Your Father won't be thrilled with idea of you leaving town, you know."
"Why should I care what someone I can't even remember thinks?" She asked, but didn't give him a chance to answer. "Now, are you going to give me a price?"
He sighed, thinking. Bodyguard duty wasn't one he particularly liked, especially not since it was that type of job that had landed him with Maria. Still, from the way she was talking, if he didn't go with her she'd probably run off alone the first chance she got and get killed. "A thousand is what I usually charge, but how are you-"
Tessa had already turned and headed for the church. "I'll meet you at the inn!" She called back as she began to run.
Skeptical she could come up with the money when Carius could barely pay her for finding her, Desmond shrugged and decided to return to the inn for now, if only to tell Maria they may have just gotten a new job.
"I don't like this at all." Maria mumbled, closing up her small pack. "Taking someone who couldn't even remember their own name somewhere they can't even specify is just asking for trouble."
What else was I supposed to do? She was clearly determined about going." Desmond explained, sliding his freshly sharpened sword into its sheath. "I doubt she'll come up with a thousand anyway."
"And you really think that will make her give up?"
"Not a chance." He double-checked that they had everything and opened the room door for his companion. "Gotta at least try to make a profit off this though."
"Greedy jerk." She muttered as she passed by.
"Well excuse me for making sure we have travel funds." He grumbled, following.
Tessa entered the inn just as they were about to sit down at the table to wait for her, Father Carius on her heels and clearly trying to talk her out of it. She was ignoring him to the point she seemed oblivious to his presence.
"Ready to go, you two?" She asked.
Desmond shrugged. "Depends, can you afford the price?"
She pushed a bag into his hand and Desmond opened it. One look and the weight told him there was even more than he'd asked for inside.
"It's easy to get money fast when stuff that's yours suddenly has no meaning to you whatsoever." She said, noticing his surprised expression.
"Tessa, please reconsider-" Father Carius was still pleading in the background, ignored by all of them except for the sympathetic look Maria was giving him.
Nodding, Desmond stowed the money into his pack. "Alright, let's get going. South, right?"
"Yep. I'll show you which way exactly." Tessa led them out of the inn and down the road out of town with Desmond at her side.
Maria hesitated at the gate, looking at Father Carius as he stared at his departing daughter's back. "We'll look after her."
"I... I'm sure you will..." He muttered, tears in his eyes.
"Try not to worry too much... she knows where you are and once she gets her memories back I'm sure she'll come home." She assured him.
He smiled sadly. "Yes, but... even if she doesn't, at least I know she's still alive. If nothing else, I have that."
Nodding and silently wishing she had even that small sort of comfort, Maria waved goodbye and hurried to catch up with her companions.