I dreamed that I was in the middle of the savannah, under a driving rain. Armies of beastmen clashed with armies of people, bodies falling on both sides as the battle raged and spread. I ran about the field, screaming at them to stop.
I was saved from the climax of the nightmare by a strange smell and a familiar voice.
Bones are best in soup placed
Ha ha ha ha ha
Ballshrooms bring out the taste
Hey hey hey hey hey
Looking around the room, I saw a large pot and a Goblin. But not just any Goblin--it was Leadavox, my guide and translator. I can think of few things that would have been more welcome at the time.
She was the one who had rescued me from my execution and was helping me to recover from the torture of the Yagudo. Leada turned around when she heard the soft sound of my blankets hitting the floor. I hadn't seen that worn leather mask in a very long time.
"You saved me, didn't you, Leada?"
She just handed me some bread and a glass of milk, then returned to her cauldron.
"Eat. Then sleep. Talk later."
The Yagudo probably think of Leada as an enemy, since she rescued me. And she knew the risk before she did so.
I bit into the salty bread and realized that there were tears in my eyes.
Goddess, I thank you for the blessings of a loyal friend.
I awoke to find that four other Goblins had joined Leada in our shack.
The day I was captured by the Yagudo, Leada ran to Windurst to find help. Without the help of these other Goblins, I would be dead. Leada introduced them in turn so I could offer my thanks.
Gloomix was a mercenary and longtime friend of Leada's. The two of them traveled the world together. Another was an alchemist specializing in fireworks; apparently his handiwork played a vital role in my rescue. One was a smuggler with a connection of some sort to the "Ten Shadow," or something like that, in Jeuno. The last was an explorer that paid quite a bit for one of Leada's Outlands maps.
Leada then said something I didn't immediately comprehend.
"Leada's gonna leave. She goes on a trip with friends. Tonight she says goodbye."
Before I could react, she had left the room.
I was stunned. The alchemist explained that war was breaking out among the beastmen in northern Quon. The group had decided that they needed someone skilled with words to negotiate their enlistment fees. Leada said she would join them if they helped rescue me.
"Peoples smells bad. Goblins don't. I hates peoples. I hates 'em a lot. Goodbye. Leada happy," said the alchemist, as Gloomix laughed in wicked amusement.
As night drew near, Leada returned with a strange fish and some foul-smelling meat. She tossed them into the pot and offered her farewell. "Good stew. Youse get better. Josea goes to Mhaura, finds new guide. OK?"
Why didn't I plead with her not to go? I don't think I really believed she was leaving. I smiled and extended my hand.
The Goblins readied for their journey as the sun set. I walked to the door of the hut to see them off.
Left alone in the shack, I started writing.
I don't understand what Leada is thinking. Maybe she'll have more fun traveling with other Goblins? Gloomix's laugh still rings in my ears, robbing me of my concentration.
The stew she left me is colored red and black. Even for Goblin food, the taste is vile.
Goddess, I beg of you, grant your protection upon the traveling Goblins.
My strength has not returned. Feeling guilty for wasting such a blessing, I forced myself to eat a little bit of the stew that Leada left for me. The stew was cold, which did not improve the taste.
Goddess, I offer my thanks for your generous gift of nourishment.
Another quiet day. All I can think about is Leada. She's probably crossed the canyon by now.
I find that I am now able to walk, provided I have a stick to lean on. I'll leave here tomorrow.
Goddess, shine your benevolent light upon my journey.
I finished the remainder of the stew. While I was packing my few belongings for the trip, I heard a familiar humming. Standing outside the door was Leada.
"Leada saves you once. Much pity if Josea die next day. You ready for travelin'?" she said as she took my pack.
I've never known what Leada is thinking, but she seemed a bit embarrassed.
Leada was out of tune as always, but today her songs made me feel better. She chose to travel with me rather than with her fellow Goblins.