Calpheon Market Street
Calpheon Market Street is one of the main sections of Calpheon City. It’s always crowded with people. Specialities of various regions, fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish are all sold together here. In it, one can find the Bank of Hope, the Herba Tavern, the docks and a lot of stalls with a diverse range of goods. [src]
It felt like forever since Florentino last got back to Calpheon.
Unlike Olvia, Calpheon is Florentino’s birthplace and that will never change.
Florentino walks along the busy Market Street, seeing various market stalls selling specialities from various regions.
Everyone seems so happy as they went on with their business.
Florentino approach one of the fruit vendors.
“One apple, please,” Florentino grabs an apple and gave some silvers to the fruit vendor.
“Thank you for your purchase.”
Florentino then went on his way as he took a bite on the apple.
Reunion With an Old Colleague
Florentino then made his way in front of Herba Tavern, where many people go there to eat and have a drink, their most common patrons are adventurers.
“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Florentino,” Florentino heard someone said, making him look around to find the source.
“By the table near the wall,” the voice said again. Florentino looks in the direction the voice instructed.
There, he saw Wilson, a retired mercenary that worked alongside Florentino’s cousin, Crisostomo Ibarra.
“Wilson!” Florentino walks towards Wilson. “Long time no see.”
“Indeed,” Wilson stands up and shakes hands with Florentino, “how are things? Please, have a seat”
“Good, good, everything’s good,” Florentino sits at the vacant chair, “how about you?”
“Life has never been better! I’m currently working for Crisostomo after I retired. Anyways, want something to eat or drink? My treat.”
“Oh, no thank you, I’m good.”
“Pitty,” Wilson then signals the waitress, “hey, slices of bread and your finest wine, please.”
Wilson then looks at Florentino, “Anyways, what have you’ve been up to lately?”
“Oh, nothing,” Florentino shrugs, “just travelling to different places and meeting new people.”
“I bet your only focus on your travels are women!” Wilson exclaims and then laughs.
“Of course not!” Florentino laughs nervously, “It’s the beautiful scenery…”
“‘Scenery,’ my friend, is just a fancy word for ‘women,’ I should know because that’s what I’ve been focusing too when I was still a mercenary.”
They both laughed.
“But, working for cousin Crisostomo? What do you do?”
“Oh, just manual labour… your cousin has been kind to me.”
“Here’s your order, sir,” the waitress said as she lay down a plate of sliced bread and pours wine in a chalice.
Florentino gives a serious look at the wine being poured into the chalice.
“What’s wrong?” Wilson said to Florentino, “Lighten up a little, will you?”
“I’m sorry, I just got a lot in my mind right now.”
“I can see that,” Wilson took a sip of the wine, but then he spits the wine on the ground.
“What the hell?” Wilson then looks at the waitress angrily, “What are trying to serve me with? Piss?”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” the waitress said repeatedly as she begs for forgiveness.
“What kind of service are you trying to offer here?” Wilson said aloud, the bystanders are all looking at the scene, “Furthermore, I’ve paid good money and I expected to be given a fine service in return!”
“Now, now,” Florentino interjects as he stands up and approaches the waitress to comfort her, “let’s all just calm down. Miss, how about you go to Fredelles Herba and request for a fine bottle of wine, tell him I sent you. My name is Florentino, by the way.”
The waitress nods as she wipes away her tears then walks inside the tavern.
Florentino then brings out a metal hip flask and a metal glass from his back pocket.
“What’s that?” Wilson said as he looks at Florentino pouring liquor into the metal glass.
“This? It’s something I got from my travels,” Florentino gives the glass full of liquor to Wilson. “I believe it will be of your liking.”
Wilson took a sip from the metal glass, “You’re right! I’ve never tasted anything like it!”
“I’m glad you like it, how about we sit down first and calm down?”
Wilson nods and they both sit down.
“Now, don’t be alarmed,” Florentino said, “but you’ve been drugged.”
“That wine… someone swapped the wine bottle, I was curious about the bottle because I’ve never seen Herba Inn have such a bottle, it might just be a bad bottle.”
“And the liquor you gave me?”
“A temporary remedy, I added something to the liquor as I was handing it to you. Honestly, I thought it wouldn’t work. How are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling dizzy, now that you’ve mentioned it.”
“That’s an after-effect, it will pass,” Florentino puts the metal hip flask and the metal glass to his back pocket, “Anyways, how-“
“But that bottle! Someone’s trying to kill me!”
“No, don’t worry, if it will make you feel any better, then I’ll look into the matter.”
“Anyhow,” Florentino continues, “what have you been up to these days?”
“As I said, I’m currently working for your cousin, and we’ve known each other for a long time. Honestly, when I retired, I don’t know what to do with my life. I was thinking of owning a farm, even with the low income, just enough to provide for my family. But then Crisostomo approached me and offered me a job. Now, not only that I own a nice, safe, and quiet farm, I’m able to provide for my family to the fullest. We use the produce from the farm for our everyday consumption and we just sell the extra.”
“That’s great, what does your job entail?
“Oh, nothing, just being assigned to different places to trade on behalf of Crisostomo, almost like what you do.”
“That sounds nice, you get to see new places as well and meeting new people.”
“Yes, but nothing can come close to be as good as home, did you know that Crisostomo used to be a mercenary?”
“What? I can’t see him as such, I only picture him as someone… not in a way close to a mercenary.”
“I assure you, it’s all true, but I’m the only one who remains a mercenary, he has all these responsibilities he has to shoulder.”
“Agree, I would appreciate it if he would just relax for a bit.”
“Now, I know you’re just saying that so he would lay off you because of your too laid back attitude.”
“That’s true as well.”
They both laughed.
A Quick Debriefing
“Tell me,” Wilson said, “how is Drieghan?”
“After my cousin told me to go to Drieghan, I went there quickly and it’s beautiful, the scenery for one.”
“You meant ‘women,’ correct?” Wilson said, making Florentino laugh while nodding.
“I’ve helped the Old Moon Guild with their project, I’ve also met new friends along the way.”
“That sounds great.”
“Well, I’d love to stay and chat more but I must be on my way.” Florentino stands up, “I’m actually being assigned to work on something.”
“Oh, well, safe travels, Florentino. Thank you for the quick debriefing. Let’s have a drink or two sometimes when you get back.”
“Sure, why not,” Florentino said then starts walking.
The waitress returns with a new bottle of wine and pours it at another chalice.
“I’m terribly sorry for earlier, sir,” the waitress said sincerely.
“Don’t worry,” Wilson said wholeheartedly, “I’m also sorry for my outburst earlier.”
Florentino looks back and sees that everything is now in order, he then continues on walking away.
I don’t know who or what is out there, Florentino thought, but it’s one thing for them to mess with me and another thing to mess with the people around me.
After I’m done with my next mission, I’ll find them and teach them not to mess with me.
It’s not over just yet, not while I’m still alive.
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Andrei Jarell Vedad is a passionate financial literacy advocate from the Philippines. With a background in Information Technology and currently pursuing a law degree, Andrei combines his knowledge and expertise to empower individuals in managing their personal finances. Through his blog and extensive research, he shares practical tips, strategies, and thought-provoking articles to help readers make informed financial decisions and achieve their financial goals. With a global perspective, Andrei aims to inspire positive change and foster financial well-being, not only in the Philippines but also worldwide.