Ch 20- Damsel wants a new role
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This chapter is written on Sally’s point of view. You might remember her from the previous chapters as Galdwin’s fuck buddy. Also, please note that in the story, elven society is not same as ours. Casual sex before marriage is not looked down upon, and in general, the society is much more open to sex. But things tend to get more complicated when nobility and social status is involved, as always.

Sally POV

I can’t do it. I thought about how to do it all night long, but I couldn’t get myself to open the door. Oh god, how am I supposed to tell her? She was going to throw a fit and shout, for sure, I had no doubts of that. But in the end, I had made up my mind, and nothing she could possibly say would change it.

That was what I had told myself during the sleepless night. Yet, here I was, unable to open the damned door to our house, to face my mother.

“Sally? Why are you waiting at the door? Actually, how come you are awake at this time of the day?”

Mother opened up the door, ready to go out, her white and green hair tied to a knot. That was weird. There wasn’t much to do around here, and she was working during the evening at the kitchens, so it was rare for her to go out at this time.

“M-mom, are you going out? I kinda had something to talk to you about…”

“You didn’t hear about it? There is going to be some kind of announcement today, in an hour. Maybe you would have known had you not spend all day fucking that man.”

She didn’t really approve my relationship with Galdwin, but she had started to mellow since coming here. Perhaps him being in the council helped him get in her better graces.

“I have something to talk to you about, Mom. Also I know about what they are going to announce. I can tell you inside if you want to.”

“Sure. It would have been hard on my poor ears to hear it in the village center, anyways.”

10 minutes later, we were seated across a small table in the cramped kitchen.

“First announcement is about money. We are going to get our own coins now. 10 small coppers will be equal to 1 large copper, and 10 of that will make an ear. Don’t ask me why it’s called that. On both sides, there is an elf with large ears. I think Galdwin said that the short-ear, the human was the one to design it. Oh, they are going to give everyone coins equal to 5 ears, in 3 days.”

My mother’s eyes, which had been half closed opened up for the first time since entering. Time had not been kind to her.

“What for? No-one ever does something for no reason, Sally. Especially the ones who hold power over others. Look at that boy toy of yours. He gets to fuck and enjoy my daughter, and you get to hear about goings on from him. Win-win, eh?”

“Mum, no need to be like that again. I was getting to it. Galdwin said that it was to start the trade. Starting from 3 days, until the end of the next harvest season, everyone will continue to get free food, but it will be only gruel. If one wants to eat something proper, one has to pay for it. I don’t remember every wage, but a laborer will get 4 ears, while a soldier will get 7-9 ears depending on tier. Oh, if the work is outside the village, you will get an extra ear.”

Her ears were twitching. Mother might not be young anymore, but she was still sharp and healthy.

“Now, the best part. IF you have an idea that will help you make money, Council will help you construct the workshop or store for free. People are already applying for butcheries, bakeries, a mill, and potteries to be built for them. I think we should also take advantage of this. Mum, do you want to run a tavern..?”

Back in the old town of ours, Vitor, we used to have an inn. Sure, it wasn’t the one of the lavishly decorated ones that merchants and nobles stayed at, but it was one of the best town had. At the prime, we had almost hundred rooms, will all of them booked. It was all in the long past. With just 2 of us remaining, it had been hard to run an entire inn. But a small tavern was much easier to manage.

“Look mom, Guards manage to gather loads of meat every day. And with baker and butcher being built soon, there is very little to worry about. Yes, there is the Inn as competitors, but a village of 500 should be more than enough for 2 such establishments. The main problem will be with alcohol, but there ought to be someone who will do something about it when there is money to be had.”

It seemed like I managed to interest her. She was not the kind of person to follow daily motions of normal life. She needed something to only keep her body busy, but also her mind.

“Perhaps, Sally. Just a diner would make it hard to service some customers, but with couple of rooms upstairs, we should be fine. It’s not like the village has many guests, so an entire inn would be extra expense at no profit. As you said, the problem will be the beer. Perhaps you should ask your uncle Henry if he can fashion a still. While the village has shortage of grains, we have lots of fruits. We can sell fruit wine and mead instead of beer.”

It had been a while since last time I saw her smile. She was beautiful when she did. And today was maybe the last one. Maybe the last time I saw her smiling. Mother finally finished thinking about the tavern, and continued.

“Yup, I think we can manage it. It will be hard at first, but it’s nothing we can’t overcome. Hm? What’s that face? Sally, you been with me for 26 years, entirety of your life. I know that you want to say something, I can spot it when you are stalling. Go on, tell me. Ah, don’t you dare tell me you want to marry that little man. He isn’t ready to take responsibility, I keep telling you.”

“Mum! What do you mean by that?! He is a fine man, a strong one too. He just become a mage too! You can’t find a man better than him, and definitely not here. Err… Mum, that was not what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Sally, you have to be braver. Just say it.”

“I… I am joining the guards. I want to become a s-soldier.”

I had expected her face and ears to change. Perhaps in anger, or maybe in sadness. But it was neither. It was amusement.

“No, you aren’t. Come on Sally, your arms are dainty; you are too lazy to lift a pot let alone a sword or spear. And you expect me to believe that you want to become a soldier? Not to mention that you haven’t touched a weapon in ages. Only reason you become a Tier 1 at this age is because of all the cores you swallowed. You need to get better jokes, young lady.”

Denial. I had never thought that she wouldn’t believe me at all. Was it really a bad choice for me to become a soldier? But I had to, even if it was one.

“No Mum. Galdwin said that Tier Ones are going to be trained until Tier 2. He said that we aren’t going to be at frontlines till then.”

Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that. I really shouldn’t have mentioned his name. Her ears stood straight up in anger, as if she wished them to turn to horns, so she could stab me with them.

“Galdwin?! Did that bastard put you up onto this?! I knew that boy was bad news from the first day! First your father left me, then your brother left 2 years ago! Have I not lost enough?! How much more do you want me to suffer?!”

I… This was what scared me the most. Not the swords or spears, nor goblins or Orcs. I was scared of hurting her. She was hurt enough. Even now, as she was screaming at me, her tears were running down her cheeks.

“Mom… It’s something I have to do…”

In her eyes, which sat on a tear drenched, wrinkled, aged face, a glimmer of hope started to form, bright enough for me to see.

“No Sally, you don’t have to. We have more than enough guards to get by, and couple of Tier 3s too. You don’t have to become a soldier. You have also heard about it, right? The hyuman’s weapons? Wasn’t it you who came running, telling me that he could kill the high tiers like birds? You won’t be able to make a difference if you become a soldier, only get yourself killed. Please, let others like Galdwin do the fighting…”

She was getting louder by the second. Did she think that she had convinced me? I hope not. More hope she had, more it would hurt her. I noticed that my face was also caked in tears and snot, when I opened it to

“Mother, it’s something I have to do. You saw the newcomers, didn’t you? You saw how much they had suffered, how much they lost. Their brothers, sisters, mother and children died in the hands of the raiders. Why? Why did they have to die? They died because they were weak, Mom. They died because they couldn’t do anything. I don’t want that to happen to me, Mom. I don’t want to look and wait as my loved ones die. I don’t want you to die. Brother and dad might have died, but at least they died while holding a sword, while defending what they loved. I might join them sooner than I want, but at least I won’t disappoint them.”

The gleam in her eyes died down as I sat down once again. She looked as if she had aged 10 years in 10 minutes. Today was going to be a long day.

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