After Halie flew back into one of his pockets, Melsin surveyed the area below. Apparently, Ferdonie Town was a fishing village situated in a narrow valley with a river running through it. There was numerous houses just up ahead, with the heart of the village just beyond.
Melsin walked down the hill. It was a serene scene, with silence broken only by the occasional chirp of a bird. The only person Melsin could see nearby was an old man sweeping in front of one of the houses.
"Excuse me, sir," Melsin said as he walked up to the man. "Do you know where there is a weapons shop around here?"
"Huh?" the old man said as he looked up. "Oh, I guess you can find one downtown, further that way," he said as he pointed west.
The man looked at him quizzically. "Say, son, do you know anything about that disturbance over at Grendem Woods or something? We got word in of something strange happening over there, and a couple of the soldiers here just lit up on down there."
"Well, yeah, I passed them on the way over. Of course, I went around the forest - too misty for me."
"Boy, I tell ya, this whole country's going to the hounds if a young man like you can't travel on the public roads without protection. I swear, this Ganon thing has people scared to leave their houses."
The old man sighed and looked up at Melsin. "Well, good luck to ya, wherever you're going."
"Thanks. Oh, and by the way, what river is that that goes through this valley?"
"That? That's the Hylian River. Leads all the way to Lake Hylia down south."
"Oh, I see. Well, thanks for your time."
Melsin continued on down through the valley, following the river. Although it wasn't as crowded as it might otherwise be, there were numerous people outside, ranging from housewives hanging laundry out to dry, or children giggling and chasing each other around. Several of them looked up at him as he passed, although overall they didn't seem to take too much notice.
Soon the valley opened up a bit, revealing a cluster of buildings that Melsin assumed was the downtown area. There were many people in the streets, doing the usual business of buying and selling, but there seemed to be a pair of guards at every intersection, all dressed in the same garb of the two guards he saw on Filkirk Road. Melsin had noticed quite a few guards back at Shawshakilo Village when he went downtown there a few days ago, but not this many.
Probably because Ferdonie Town is more in the line of fire, he thought.
He jostled his way through the throng, scanning the signs on the front of the buildings in an attempt to find any thing that looked like a weapons shop. He looped his way though the streets of the town for what seemed like an eternity until he finally spotted a red brick building that had a picture of a sword and a shield painted on the front. He worked his way over to it and opened the creaky wooden door.
"How may I help you, sonny?" a burly man said from behind a counter as he walked in.
Melsin didn't like to be called "sonny", but he politely said, "Um, I'm looking for a sword and shield."
"Oh, then by all means look around."
Melsin surveyed the walls of the dank, rather hot room, which were covered with shields and swords of all shapes, colors, and sizes. He noticed one that caught his eye, and picked it up off it's shelf. It was green tinted and curved slightly at the tip. The handle was ornately carved to look like vines.
"Hey, is this one any good?" he asked the shopkeeper.
"That one? Oh my, yes. That one's called the Forest Sword, and it's one of a kind. That curve there gives it extra cutting power, so you could cut through a foot-thick log in one swing. Ain't nobody gonna be messing with you when you're lugging around this blade. In fact there's even a pretty interesting story behind it."
"It seems that there supposedly was some sort of ancient race that lived in the forests of Hyrule, but they eventually died out. However, before their society ended, they supposedly channeled all their power into a great sword, to be passed down through the ages."
He nodded toward the sword. "And there it is right there."
"But, I don't-"
"I got this sword from an old man who told me that story. Of course, I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. You probably don't either, do you?"
"No. Anyway, how much does this cost?"
"Er, well, it may be a bit out of your price range. One hundred thirty Rupees."
Melsin yawned. "Is that all?"
He pulled out one of the two hundred Rupee pieces from his pocket and gave it too the shopkeeper. "There you go. Do you have a shield that I can get for the remaining seventy Rupees?"
"Uh, yeah, I guess," he stammered, staring at the purple Rupee in his hand. "Can I recommend a Guardian Shield? Solid iron, durable, not too heavy."
"Yeah, that'd be good."
The man handed him the sword, and picked up a medium-sized blue and gray shield off the wall which he also handed to Melsin.
He went back behind the counter and emerged with a green fabric container of some sort.
"That's the sheath," he said. "Just attach that to your belt, and stick the sword in there when you're not using it."
He handed Melsin six green pieces, which were each worth one Rupee. "There's your change."
"Well, thanks. Pleasure doing business with you," Melsin said as he headed for the door.
The shopkeeper was too busy staring at the purple Rupee to look up. "Yeah, whatever," he mumbled.
Melsin stepped out side and took in the brisk, cool air, which smelled delicious after being in the muggy shop. He looked down at the sheath. There was a clamp at the top, so he fastened it to the left side of his belt and slipped the sword inside it. It fit perfectly. The shield had a strap on the back of it which made it easy for him to drape it around his shoulders like a backpack.
Okay, I got it going now, he thought.
He strolled confidently through the streets, although the townsfolk paid him little heed. There were numerous well-armed passersby walking around. The shield and sword seemed a bit heavy, but Melsin knew he'd get used to it.
Time to get a horse, he thought.
He continued to work his way through the town, although the added weight eventually took it's toll. By the time he finally saw a stable where they were selling horses, he was out of breath.
What looked like the proprietor was standing out front, talking with someone. "Excuse me," Melsin said.
The man turned. "Not now, boy, I'm talking here," he said gruffly.
He then did a double take when he noticed Melsin's weaponry. "Um, excuse me, sir, I didn't mean to be rude," he said as he shoved the other guy out of the way. "Now what can I do for you?"
"I'd like to buy your finest horse."
"Well, I'm afraid we're a bit lean on inventory. With the centennial coming up, a lot of people are buying horses, so they can get out of this town as fast as possible."
"Well, okay, then what's the best horse you have left?"
"I guess... Jahar, probably."
He pointed over to a far corner of the pen, where on old, gray stallion was standing.
"Is Jahar a good horse?"
"Oh yeah, he'll do ya just fine. And, since you look like such a fine young lad, I'm gonna cut you a deal - you can have him for just two hundred Rupees."
"Two hundred Rupees for just a horse?" As Melsin recalled, horses in Grendem Woods cost barely a quarter that amount - and that was just for the very best ones.
"Well, you must understand that, as I said earlier, horses are in great demand. Just before you came, I was talking with someone who was interested in that horse. Of course, you, um, presented a better argument than he did."
Boy, this sword stuff really works, Melsin thought.
"Does the saddle come with it?" he asked.
"Then I'll take it." Melsin pulled out another purple Rupee and gave it to the man.
The man stared at it, obviously impressed. He then walked over to Jahar, took a saddle hanging on the wall and fastened it on the horse, then walked it over to Melsin.
"Here you go. Just remember, young man, horses require an awful lot of responsibility."
"Yeah, I know."
Melsin looked around the street. Apparently, riding horses was not allowed by civilians in crowded streets, so people were walking their horses through the town. Melsin grabbed Jahar's reins, and enter into the flow of traffic.
Melsin realized how hungry and thirsty he was - he hadn't eaten since that last dinner at his house. So he searched the streets again for some kind of restaurant.
He walked up to one of the townspeople. "Excuse me, do you know where there's a good place to eat?"
"Yeah, just across the street, there's a place called The Warrior's Feast." He pointed to a wide stone building.
Melsin walked over and noticed a place to the side where there was a long line of horses of all shapes and sizes tied to a long bar. This must be where I should put Jahar, Melsin thought.
He walked Jahar over to one of the few open spaces and used the reins to tie him to the bar. As Melsin was walking away, he noticed a strangely familiar brown-gray horse a few spaces down.
Boy, that sure looks an awful lot like Feldie, Melsin thought.
But of course it couldn't be, so Melsin shook it off and went through the revolving wooden door in the front of the building.
He was in a huge room, filled with tables and a long counter with stools in front. There appeared to be hundreds of people inside, with voices and laughter echoing throughout the room, which was lit by countless lamps on the ceiling.
Melsin had been worried that he wouldn't be allowed in because of the sword and shield, but apparently that wasn't a problem, because seemingly every other person in the room had a weapon of some kind. As he walked toward the counter, no one gave him a second glance.
He reached a recently vacated stool and sat down as a burly man came over to him from across the counter. "Whaddaya want?" the man barked.
"Uh, I guess I'll just have some bread," Melsin replied.
"You want some ale with that, right?"
"Sure, why not." Melsin had never had any ale before, but there was a first time for everything, as the events of the past day had proved.
A few minutes later, the man returned with a loaf of bread and a glass of ale. "Try not to choke, kid," he said gruffly.
"Well, this must be one of those friendly restaurants," Melsin muttered under his breath.
He ate a piece of the loaf of bread. It wasn't particularly soft, but after going so long without food, it tasted delicious. He then drank a sip of the ale. It tasted a bit like apple cider, but much more sour.
Ugh, he thought.
He was about to take another bite of the bread when he heard a familiar voice call out behind him, "Melsin, is that you?"
He turned around to see a someone standing right behind him. It was Urin!
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