TAIHEN Only If We Could Go Back
As the sun rose from the east, the city of Memphis began its usual busy mornings. Villagers would often wake up as early as possible to start their day fresh and as good as new, most of which bantered with each other with friendly remarks. As the saying goes, the earlier you do it the earlier you get it done.
Farmers were no exception. They followed their early morning routine and started packing up to deliver goods from and to, all around the nation. People across the city would open their businesses before the sun could shine its brightest. Among these bustling and bantering people is a man named Bardick.
Bardick owned a pawn shop just behind his house. It didn particularly stand out, but it was fine as it is. Inside his room, it seems as if he had risen from a relaxing slumber. At first, he merely stared blankly at the walls—absent-mindedly noted a dull but tame day. At any rate, he knew that he needed to get up and open his shop.
He stood up from the bed and stretched, still feeling as relaxed as before. He was an old man, so a few stretches could aid one like him.
Looking out the window, the sun had barely risen. He decided that it was the perfect time to start off his day. He went to the kitchen, ate some breakfast, and left his house. Since his shop is right beside his dwelling, he arrived there within minutes. He then walked up to the front door to unlock it.
Before he opened the door, he heard some certain noises just beside him. He looked towards the source of it and saw Whina preparing her horse Ishtar on a journey.
He wanted to give off a shining impression since they have been neighbors and, even more so, friends for about a decade and a half now. ”Haaaaiiiiaaaa! Me-lass! ”
She heard Bardick and immediately huddled over. ”Sir Bardick! Hi! ”
”Me-lassie got-ta go somewhere? ” he asked.
”Yeah, ” she answered. ”I have to deliver some figs to Giza so business is… booming. ”
”Ohohohohooo! Verrrrrrry niiiiccceeee! ” Bardick playfully replied.
She mounted onto Ishtar and prepared to take off. ”Ok! See you later Bardick. I have to go or Ill be late. ”
”Yaaaayaaa! ” he said as he watched her ride off with her horse.
He went inside the shop for a quick inspection, glad to say that it was still in orderly shape. After cleaning the place up a tad bit more, despite expecting this day to be about the same, he opened the shop with lively vitality.
The shop was doing fine for the first hour. A couple of customers would browse some items and leave, saying that they would think about buying the products next time. He was used to it and didn mind one bit. The shop wasn too known, so he considered himself fortunate to have even one customer come in regardless of their reason to simply peruse. As such, Bardick stayed as blissful as he had been before.
As a frail old man, interacting with customers even for a brief moment would tire him straight away. All the more so now that the sun had reached its highest point, prompting the heat to swirl inside the shop. Heat is the bane enemy of Memphis, and everyone wanted it gone. The common resident of Memphis could manage to get by, but a weak aged man like Bardick cannot.
He decided to close the shop momentarily to rest. Since the shop was getting hotter and hotter, its becoming more difficult to stay there for any longer, let alone rest. For that, he had a room dedicated for his breaks.
In the far end of the shop, there was a curtain that followed a descending staircase that led to a very dark and cool room. He brought his lantern, although emitting rather dimly, with him to see. It was fine since he was used to it anyway.
The room had only a mat, a desk, a chair, and a shelf so its practically empty. Though empty it was, it was his. He sat near the desk just beside the shelf to rest for a short while before reopening the shop.
Lying on the desk were a bunch of contracts that were made by a handful of customers from the past years. The memories came flowing by, with each contract refreshing a new scene. He briefly stares at the ceiling, seeming as if he was praying to someone. He willed himself and gathered all the paper to clean up the mess. But one paper caught his attention.
It was the employment contract paper of the blue-skinned,
orthern man that came to the shop just yesterday. It was quite the surprise for the man in question, but not for him.
BANG BANG BANG
”Miriam Bardick! ” a male voice demands from behind the door. ”We are the Medjays sent here by the Pharaoh. Could you open the door? ”
Surprise. Bewilderment. Fear. Overwhelmed he is, as the emotions clouds inside his mind. He didn know what to do, yet he didn want to respond.
”Hello?! Anyone in there?!
” they add, hollering through this seemingly empty establishment.
”We checked your house and you weren there, so we know you
e here! Show yourself now! ”
”I apologize for interrupting, Sir, but what if hes here outside? ” one of the juniors suggested.
”Is this doubt, you
e indicating? ”
”No, Sir! ”
Lukeman goes back on track. ”Bardick! ”
”Hiding will serve you no purpose. Surrender now! ”
Still, he refrains from responding. The terror and fear of the Medjay made him freeze. He had a choice; to confront them or not. But thus far, he chose not to make a single sound. A coward he has become. He felt ashamed. He felt… puzzled. He didn know whether or not he did something…. Something worthy to be accused of.
”Well then, you asked for it! ”
In the nick of action, the door gets bashed in just mere seconds. At that exact moment, all of the Medjays immediately stormed one by one into the shop. And the one who came last was Lukeman himself, wearing his usual heavy armor.
”Bardick?! ” he calls out intimidatingly. ”Could you just cooperate? ”
No answer. He calls out once more.
”Don make him wait any longer. The Pharaoh has come looking for you! ”
He became rather pissed. He wanted to destroy everything just to rat this swine out. But then, after noticing a slight opening between a gap of the curtains, he pointed at it to alert his subordinates. Two of them led their way to take a look behind the curtain. Staying vigilant, Bardick heard the ruffles. Agitation swiftly welled up as they were on the right track of finding him. Hastily, he hid under the table and blew the fire off the lantern.
When the two Medjays descended down the stairs, they took account of the darkness and lit up their torches. The room lit up easily. They searched up the area and looked at each corner. As said, the room was almost empty so the search didn take long.
Bardick felt terrified. He hoped that the Medjays wouldn find him. But, since the room was small and bland, he was found effortlessly underneath the table. Startled, he tried escaping with all odds, yet the two underlings took hold of him with ease.
”NONONONO! ” he shouted. ”DU-NOT TOUCH BARDICK!! ”
”Calm down, Sir, ” one of them said, hesitating to keep him still. ”We need t—agh! Please, we need to go! ”
”AYAYA!! LET GO!!! ”
In a desperate attempt to escape, he stepped on the foot of the man to his right as hard as he could.
”AGH! MY FOOT! ” he screamed in immense pain, letting go of Bardick in the process.
The other Medjay stayed sharp, assuming the captives next action. As such, Bardick tried to step on his foot for a quick second, but they now managed to move their foot far out of his reach. But Bardick was one step ahead and snappily bit his hand as hard as he could.
”AAH! MY HAND! HOW COULD YOU?! ” he roared. Storming, he raised his arm and struck Bardick right on the head, knocking him out.
Bardick, now unconscious, fell on the floor and lay immobile. Some of the other subordinates upstairs rushed down to aid the two injured men…
Lukeman, all the while, picked up Bardick with only his right arm and carried him all the way back to the shop. The rest followed right along the stairs, aiding each other, visibly disgruntled. The shop is a mess—the turned-over tables, haphazard trinkets strewn about, and even broken priceless accessories.
”Huddle up! ” Lukeman commanded his men. ”Clean up the place before we- ”
”GENERAL! ” a man shouted from outside.
Lukeman smoldered and walked outside to meet his subordinate, along with a middle-aged woman, catching their breath as they ran towards him.
”Whats the matter? ”
”She reported a commotion to us, ” he replied, panting.
”A commotion? What happened? ”
”There was a murder according to her details. ”
”A murder?! What are the details? ”
The woman was still catching her breath, trying to murmur the words out of her mouth but was unable to.
”Is everything alright, Miss? ” Lukeman asks the lady.
”Ubel… ” she finally blurted out.
”The inn owner? ” he asked in concern. Then, it struck him, and realized what just happened. Immediately, he took action.
”Medjays! For the first time in years, an emergency happened at the nearby inn. You four…! ” he pointed to his four subordinates waiting outside. ”…follow me! The rest of you, take Bardick and bring him to prison. Pronto. ”
”But General, the mess—! ”
”Itll be fine. Just go, ” he replied in a hurry and looked at the lady. ”Tell me the details when we get there. ”
”Haaah… alright. ”
There and then, everyone scattered to carry out their assigned tasks for the morning. Lukeman, along with four of his subordinates, followed the lady, while the rest were taking the unconscious Bardick to jail.
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