It had seemed like a simple request when she gazed upon the board of a local tavern she frequented; with which she meant that whenever she got lost she ended up here. Kitalpha had grown accustomed to the tavern to such an extent that she actually didn't mind it when her path lead her straight to this place, and had even gone and become friendly with the patron, who enjoyed the lady’s carefree attitude. And the pair of fists she gladly conversed with if someone was giving him a hard time. So when the blonde had been staring at the board intently, he’d casually pointed out this particular request would fit her tastes. Quite literally, in fact. Sampling fine wine at one’s leisure at a high-standing restaurant, and to be given a reward on top of that. As a gourmet, enjoying food and drink was indeed something perfectly cut out for her. Yes, she was a barbaric brute who’d spent the last seven years on her own in the middle of nowhere, but contradictionary had gained an utmost refined taste when it came to the consumable pleasures of the stomach.
She returned to her table and sat back down with the request in hand, tapped her chin as she read over it a few more times. This she surely didn’t want to miss out on, but the blonde knew that with her current navigational skills she’d never actually arrive on the scene. Or at least not within a reasonable timespan. ”Say Mort, you wouldn’t by any chance know someone headed for Rose Garden that’s in need of a travelling companion now would you?” She voiced her passive request in a loud and clear tone, making the bartender look up and smack down the glass he was cleaning upon the counter in a rather comical way. ”Today’s your lucky day then, my dear Kitalpha, as I actually have! You know how to get to Ansor’s Inn-,” Mort stopped halfway his sentence as he took in the set of piercing red eyes pinned upon his being and grinned, swinging his arm over the counter as he pointed at the young warrioress. ”Never you mind, I’ll take you there as soon as my break starts!” Kitalpha shook her head and chuckled softly, as his voice hadn’t even changed its demeanour in that short minute; he sounded like an overly-enthusiastic talkshow host trying to tell you about the latest high-tec price he was giving away. ”You’re truly a special one, Mort. Extremely entertaining even when you shouldn’t.” The woman smiled and put her glass to her lips, sipping from the bourbon she’d been given. A very special one.” She thought, and kicked back for a bit, waiting for her bartender friend to finish his shift.
Half an hour later the twosome had hit the streets on their way to Ansor’s Inn, he dressed in a regular beige pants and a colorful bard tunic, she dressed in black trousers, sleeveless top and ditto-colored long trenchcoat with her hair loosely hanging over her shoulders. Two ornamented droplets hanging at each side of her head, tucked underneath a few strands of golden locks that flowed down like a golden river far past her waist. ”So you’re sure we can find someone going to Rose Garden?” ”Very sure; a friend of mine is a coach driver, and every third day of the week he makes his trip to Rose Garden. I’m sure he could take you along and bring you back once you’re done.” ”I see, it would help a lot if he could. Even if it’s just the trip to Rose Garden.” Their conversation continued and quite quickly darted off to some vivid chitchatting until they reached the Ansor’s Inn, where Mort went to get his friend the coach driver, and introduced him to the blonde warrioress, explaining her intentions. After some bartering the two found an agreement; Kitalpha’d be given a free ride back and forth if she was willing to function as a bodyguard on the way back from Rose Garden, as he had to make a detour through bandit-infested lands. The young blonde agreed gladly, and after preparations were made left near the fall of night, Kitalpha keeping an eye on what moved behind the coach, while the driver took his duties upon himself in the front.
By the dawn of the following day, Rose Garden arose at the horizon. A handful of people walked the streets as they entered the city, Kitalpha awfully surprised by the amount that these ‘handful’ of people grew the further they went into the city. The coach came to a halt almost 15 minutes later, where the driver commented her this was the place she had to be, and would wait her return at a certain inn two days from now to travel back to Crocus. Kitalpha nodded as she jumped off and watched the carriage drive off, to only afterwards turn back to face the beautifully-carved ebony door. Rather than to knock and await a reply Kitalpha put her hand on the doorknob and let herself into the establishment, slightly surprised it wasn’t even locked. That or she just broke the lock’s mechanism without realising. A waiter, busy tending to the tables, looked up and made an awkward face before telling her the restaurant was closed at this hour, kindly suggesting her to come back at a later hour. The blonde however discarded the words and walked on in further, taking in the restaurant’s atmosphere and view. ”Oh but I’m not here as a client, so don’t worry. There was a request regarding the need of a wine-taster, so here I am.”
“Errr… Mr. Kincaid? Would you mind coming over for a moment? I think we have a… visitor?” The man said aloud, seemingly aimed at someone behind the corner of the L-shaped counter. A large, pompous man popped his head around the corner, long red wavy locks kept in a ponytail hung from his side and a dandy moustache decorated his upper lip. The man was glaring at first, but upon seeing the unknown blonde leaning against one of the tables his face immediately brightened, grabbing a few bottles from the wine rack installed within the wall and similar amount of wine glasses on his way to the table. Each of them was placed before her on the table, and before the warrioress could utter another word was poured and handed a glass. “Before you say anything--- taste.” The words more an order than an actual request, but the blonde took a sip nonetheless, and downed it in a second gulp. “Not bad… but so-so. The taste of fermented apple kinda kills it.” Kitalpha said, putting the glass back down. ”Nonetheless, you seem a man of deeds more than words. I like that. No need explaining why I’m here I suppose… what else needs tasting, good sir?” She grinned, seating herself while sharing a look with Kincaid that didn’t need any further explanation. The man nodded, picked a random bottle and a new glass and started what turned out to be several hours of savoring the most divergent of flavors, linked to the most amazing of stories as to how each wine came to be. The verdict after the sun had risen far beyond the horizon and was slowly descending again was clear; some needed more time to ripen, others needed better corks, as the taste of the current ones sullied the liquid it needed to contain, while the rest of those that Kitalpha’d declined were just failed mixtures of different fruit-types. However more than half had gained the gourmet’s approval, where she suggested that before making the chosen few official, Kincaid better allowed others to taste them as well to get a more broad opinion on the tastes and what dishes to best accompany it with. Kincaid thanked her for her efforts and insisted she took another bottle with her, which the blonde kindly declined. She’d rather not be put in a position where he could use this ‘gift’ as a means of being put in debt, but she didn’t put that up as the reason for her declining the friendly offer. So instead Kincaid gave her a special token, allowing her to always be welcomed in any of the restaurants he owned and given a decent discount on whatever she were to consume. Afterwards, with the token in hand, Kitalpha said her goodbyes and left the establishment, wandering into town for what she knew would be another few hours of finding the meeting point she’d agreed upon with the carriage driver.
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