Chapter Three – The City

I followed the mysterious girl all the way to Craftia. When we arrived, I couldn't stop myself from showing my amazement as we crossed the bridge leading into the city.

It was a more organized city than my home, Minia. In the inner-part of the city were a bundle of markets, selling various armors, clothes, weapons, tools, and rare items.

On the outer-part was the shops, like the Blacksmith, Bank, and Trade Shop. That was where I planned on heading first, to get supplies for my journey ahead.

"Well, you're here." The girl told me with a grin. I dipped my head towards her.

"Thank you again for saving me," I told her, "I never did get your name."

"Raven," the girl said, extending her hand, which I shook, "And yourself?"

"Todd Kraftem." I stated. The girl looked surprised.

"Son of John Kraftem?" Raven exclaimed. I raised an eyebrow and nodded. "Everyone's heard of his troubles in the desert!...Could that be why you're here?"

I nodded. "I plan on finishing his expedition and, hopefully, finding him and the rest of his team." I told her, "I needed to stop by here for supplies."

Raven's eyes were lit up, as if I had suddenly become ten times more interesting because my father was a well-known figure. "What kind of expedition was he on?" she asked me.

"Well, he was searching for a sword of Redstone, which was said to be the only one in existence." I answered.

"A Redstone sword? That would be priceless!" Raven exclaimed. Then, she set a hand on her chin for a moment, and said, "How about I accompany you? I'm sure you didn't plan on going alone."

Actually, I was, I thought with a sigh. However, I quickly realized that having a second person would help a lot. I could tell by the look in her eyes that all she wanted was to make a fortune, but any help would be good enough for me.

"Sure, as long as you do one thing for me." I said. Raven nodded eagerly.

"Anything!" she exclaimed. I grinned.

"I need some help lugging supplies around."

The look Raven had was priceless. We had just picked up a load of materials, such as coal and glass,from a local blacksmith, and were heading towards the Trade Shop. Both of us had full packs of the materials, and Raven looked like she was about to die.

"Here we are." I said, opening the door and allowing her to step in first. I followed, and we set the bags on the counter.

An elderly man with small reading glasses was standing behind the counter. "This is quite a load. What are you looking for it?" he asked me.

"I'm looking for a 10% under-trade." I stated. The man looked surprise.

"Rarely do we see someone who wishes for less than what they pay," the man stated, nodding and impressed, "I think I'll go even on you, how about that?"

I nodded. "Sure, thanks a lot. How long will it take to price this?" I asked. The man thought about it for a moment.

"Give me half an hour." he stated, and I nodded, turning and walking off, making sure to grin at Raven as he stepped out of the Trade Shop.

"What are you so happy about?" she wondered.

"I just got us an even trade," I said, "My dad told me that Trade Shops like to keep you at least 5% under, therefor giving you less than what you traded for."

Raven looked impressed. "You're definitely the son of John Kraftem." she said, and we both smiled.

For that half an hour, we wandered around the city, picking up some melons and apples from the market, as well as a other various non-necessities. When it was time, we headed back to the Trade Shop, where the elderly man was awaiting our return.

"I've counted it up. You've got thirty-three diamonds from this trade." the man stated. Todd nodded, slightly impressed by what they had managed to get.

"How much for two weeks of rations?" I asked. The elderly man looked up in thought for a moment.

"I'd say six." he stated. I nodded in agreement, and stretched out my hand.

"Pleasure doing business with you."

The economy in Craftia was based off of Diamonds, which are extremely rare, and, because of this, you were given slips of paper that are backed up by a Diamond mine run by the city leaders to trade in at the end of every month for Diamonds. For anyone who never comes to Craftia, they are practically worthless.

The other twenty-eight diamonds we had left after rations went towards mining supplies: Pic-Axes, Shovels, Torches, Ropes, and other various items. I also had an Iron Sword made, which, after my encounter with the Spider in the snow, would help me feel much better about the journey ahead. I strapped it to my side, so that it would always be within reach.

"Alright, are you ready?" I asked Raven as we stepped up to the main gate to the city. She nodded, obviously eager to begin.

And with that, we stepped out onto the second leg of our journey. The Blok Desert was about half a days travel away, and they would still need to venture far out into it, which would likely take them an entire day as well.

I looked up at the Sun, which was rolling down the sky already. It would be nightfall before we arrived at the edge of the desert. We had plenty of time, although I felt myself wanting to get to our destination quickly.

The hours passed by fast, and, before I knew it, the Sun was falling over the horizon.

"Look! I can see the desert just ahead." Raven pointed out. I let out a sigh of relief.

"Well, I'm glad we've made it. Let's make camp here for the night." I stated, setting my pack down, which was a relief to my sore shoulders.

Nearby, there was a small pond of water, which we gladly drank from. Raven made a fire out of some of the wood we had brought with us, and I searched the area to make sure that nothing dangerous was nearby. We were in the clear.

"Looks like we'll be safe here." I said as I returned to our camp...However, I quickly realized that Raven was no longer there. The fire was blazing, and her pack sat beside it; So where was she?..

Then, suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something metal flash in the firelight. I quickly drew the sword from my side as a man stepped out from the shadows, a sword of his own in hand.

"Come on kid, just give us what we want, and we'll be on our way." he said in a deep, threatening voice that was extremely smug. I gripped my sword tighter.

"I'd like to see you try and take it!" I said, jabbing the sword forward menacingly...

But then, all too late, I saw the gleam of another sword to my left. I turned, was greeted by the side of a stone sword slamming into my face, sending me down to the ground...

And the light from the fire faded as I slipped into unconsciousness.

To be continued...

Next Chapter – The Chase