Swamped Chapter 139 Page 13

“I guess you’re not in the best mood at this hour,” you say. “Probably wanted to rest up before the festival, I suppose?”

“Can’t say I care much for festivals,” she grumbles. “I prefer to worship Nual quietly at home. Not that it matters much, since I’ll be spending my time fixing the damn forge for the next few days anyhow.”

“Oh, that’s probably going to hurt business,” you muse. “All these people coming in for the festival and you can’t serve them. A shame, that.”

“I don’t get much business during the festival anyhow,” she replies. “When I do, it’s mostly selling what I’ve already got in stock. Most festivalgoers aren’t going to wait around for a week until I forge a blade for ’em. Guess they might come to me if they rode into town and their horse has a bad shoe, but that’s never happened since I’ve been here.”

“Does it really take a week?” you ask.

“It’s a bit faster if I don’t have any other jobs, but that’s rare,” she says, thinking. “It’ll probably be worse thanks to this damned accident. I was already starting to get a little bit backed up on orders, and fixing the forge will put me another few days behind. Honestly, it’d be easier for me if I didn’t get any new customers for a week or so.”

“But then you wouldn’t get paid, either.”

“Yeah, but I don’t need the money too bad right now,” she says. Then she suddenly glances away.

But you saw the look in her eyes long enough to realize she regrets mentioning that.

“Oh, you’ve saved up a good amount?” you ask.

“Something like that,” she mutters.

Then she looks startled.

“What on earth is that man doing with that muckbeast?” she exclaims.

You glance in the direction she’s looking, and spot Long at work. It takes you a moment to realize what he’s doing yourself.

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He’s pulling thorns out of its hide… with his teeth.