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Diary of a Hitch Hiker.

The Hitch Hiker

If there is one thing I’ve learnt as professional carriage hitch hiker, it would be the fact, that you can’t trust newspapers, political idealists and old grannies.  For that very reason I decided to take a carriage and investigate, how much the headline, “Dragon raids in Kandari Badlands”, is an exaggeration.  To be honest, I kinda just hopped in, without asking, and my action resulted in a huge fight with foreign merchant, who couldn’t speak any language I was familiar with.  (Note to self: finally learn at least one foreign language)  Eventually he threw me off his carriage somewhere in the middle of the Badlands.

My whole family consists of optimistic people, as far as I remember.  Even when I ran away from  home, at age of 16, they were all very cheerful.  Being surrounded by such cheer all the time, you would expect some of it at least to stick to you as well.  That’s why I told myself, it could be much more worse, mainly because it took only five more minutes for the next carriage to appear.

As my wonderful luck would have it, I ended up hiding among barrels of fine Goshen wine, one of which was cracked.  When I managed to lean it to one side a little bit, I was able to take a sip or two (or several dozens actually).

I’d been traveling for few hours when we suddenly stopped.  Or at least I assumed it was several hours because one moment the sun was up, then it suddenly disappeared and made its appearance again when I finished drinking the contents of the barrel. I’m not in the habit of traveling through the Badlands too often, so I suspected it might be some kind of local anomaly.  I jumped out to see a bunch of people standing in a circle, all fully armored, discussing something, the topic of which I could only guess.  When I looked at the group again, I immediately recognized few of them, for I met them during my travels. Well, met is not the most suitable word, according to authorities, I was stalking them, but the fact is, I never got a chance to actually talk to them.

Those were a few of the Confederacy’s most reputable bounty hunters, as well as beast slayers. What made me think, that the rumor about the dragons might really be the truth.

“It is just my nature and I can’t really control it,” is what I was telling myself as I was sneaking closer.  All I wanted was to get within earshot and know what were they talking about.  In my defence, I must say, I was very convincing and eventually made myself believe it was true.

Now, you might have heard this story, but none of the facts that were made public, were completely true. For instance, if you read about me, freezing when dragons suddenly flew down from the sky, don’t believe it. It’s total bullocks.

In fact, I had a very vital role in their defeat. Let me make give you the full picture so it is clear in your head.

Of course, I’m not any kind of rogue, so the group that I was wanting to eavesdrop on noticed me shortly after I left the carriage.  (Have you seen those rogue guys? I once traveled with one and he tended to just disappear in cloud of dust every time we had an awkward chat about “what the hack happened a night before”, not even considering my dogs asthma problems. And of course “accidentally” appearing when I decided to change my underwear. What a moron).

They didn’t really pay me much attention, till one recognized me as the “jerk who tried to scratch me when I left my shower, a few days ago.” (I know what you think, but this is a serious art, which pays well if you know where to look).

This is where my vital part in the story begins. You see, I probably didn’t make a good first impression…or second… and well, we never really got a chance to get to third. (Before you judge me, you should take a look at a bounty hunter, not wearing makeup.  Yes, that is right, it is very nasty look…so after that, then you can tell me something about bad impressions). While she was trying to take her vengeance, (I believe she was a natural leader, because she made the other hunters  run in my direction as well), the group of small black dots, which I considered to be a bunch of vultures, grew in size. I finally realized those couldn’t be monstrous, monkey faced, lizard-like vultures, when they spat out flames and burnt all the hunters.  Well, all but one.

This was the moment when I met Marug a half-dwarf bounty hunter. (Ok, now I’m just fooling you. There is no such a thing as half-dwarf, but this guy is just so freaking small…actually, it saved his life).  I didn’t have a chance to speak to him though until much later, as my hair caught fire and I became distracted by the burning sensation causing me some scalp discomfort.

Let me just say at this point that I survived many years because of my swift and flexible thinking, which came into play once again as I used it there in the Badlands.  I remember, I was thinking, this must be the same as with matches; if you blow, the fire will go out. So, my logical brain thoughts naturally concluded that when I start running, it should work and the flames should be extinguished.

A plan was hatching in my head and this was what I decided to do.  Shortly before the last remaining dragon (one hit the ground pretty hard and probably cracked his neck, while another realized it was all useless, because there were no caravans transporting chickens, so there was no point in creating themselves a natural coal for better devouring) aimed his sight at me, I put my plan into action the dragon not far behind.

You see, I didn’t freeze, I was running!

I was running around for a while, when I passed Marug and at that moment, I decided to stumble and fall on a tree branch, that appeared from nowhere. (Anyone who traveled through Badlands knows, it is a wasteland.  I mean, I knew a few people who were able to find grass there, but then, they discovered, shortly after, that they missed the side cut). This gave Marug chance to gash his axe to dragon’s belly and end his miserable, chicken eating life.

After that, Marug came, to check if I was all right. The biggest mistake of his life, as he kept reminding me.  Because since then, I have been traveling with him rather often.

One of the attacking dragons

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