“He could be spying on us,” Emerick mused aloud. “Raksha probably thinks we won’t be good on our Word, lest he has his lapdog follow us about.”
“It’s not like that, I swear,” Elkas responded. “Raksha knows nothing of my departure.” He looked down at his feet, arms crossed rubbing himself as if to keep a chill from his body. “You saved my family. There is no material object in all of Faerun worth enough to thank you for what you did, so I am here to serve you until my debt is paid.”
“My friend,” Caim approached him. “That is noble indeed, but we require no such sacrifice.”
“I should think we do,” Vlad stepped forward. “We risked life and limb for a couple of peasants,” he explained haughtily. “If you won’t take him as your servant, I certainly will.”
“Slave, you mean,” Derek corrected. “Nay, Elkas. You may join us of your own volition and you have my word we shall not stop you if you wish to leave.” He laid his hand on Elkas gently, as a father would a son. “Ain’t that right, lads?”
“Aye,” Caim said. Gali and Arily nodded agreement. Vlad’s hands curled upward, his face a mask of darkness. Derek and Vlad glared at one another, Vlad’s hand twitching an inch from the hilt of his rapier. Derek’s hands poised at his sides, ready to cast a spell.
“Well, that’s a loss of a good slave,” Emerick jested. The two men lowered their hands and gazed at Emerick, the tension dissapating.
“Elkas, have you provisions?” Arily asked.
“Yes, a gnome merchant supplied me on my way out of the city. They call him Shad’gril the Shady.” Derek and Gali eyed him suspicously. “Many of the merchants cannot trade openly with members of Freedom’s Legion, unless they want to be the next fighter in the pits. He was my only option,” he explained.
“Very well,” Arily responded. She shouldered her pack. “If we are done here, we should be off; the days are shortening and it is still a ways to Purskul. I would like a bed under me tonight.”