Matari the Traveler, Part Two

He stepped into the doorway of the tavern and stared, slack jawed and awed. The most beautiful women he had ever seen were everywhere — serving drinks, dancing on tables, sitting in laps. Some men were lined up with women in tow, apparently to register them.

A burly blond Hunter hurried into the tavern and rudely bumped against Matari. He turned and sneered. “Watch where you are going!” Even though the other man was the one at fault, it was clear by his balled up fists that he was ready to fight at the slightest reason. Matari stared at him, until the other man visibly blanched and hurried away. If that Hunter had been born with a tail, it would have been tucked between his legs.

Hearing the unmistakable zing of flying arrows, Matari stepped back outside. Down a stone path, he saw a dark haired man dressed all in black steadily shooting arrows into a fenced off yard at some unseen opponent. Suddenly, the man was swarmed with arrows and went down. A handful of women carrying bows crowded around him, and he saw one female kick at the man before firing off more arrows. The man disappeared, apparently taken by Hades himself.

He felt a presence to his left and glanced over. There stood a darker skinned man whose hair — oddly enough — seemed to have a purplish hue to it. He pointed nervously down the path at a woman heavily laden with weapons, the one who had made the kill shot. “That’s the bitch of Agapeo…. be wary of her. She’ll kill you!” Frightened, the violet haired man rushed back into the safety of the tavern and the non-weaponized women there.

Matari shook his head, bemused. Turning, he wandered back inside the dimly lit tavern. He turned to the left and went up the stairs, soon finding himself on a roof, which turned out to be a wonderful place to observe what went on below. He saw a man who surely had some illness, for he jumped from foot to foot. As he watched, a female came up to him and began to argue. He frowned, beyond puzzled, as the man put his thumbs into his ears and wiggled his fingers at the girl while also sticking out his tongue. He wondered — was this some courtship ritual common in this place?

He shifted to stand with his feet shoulders width apart and folded his arms across his chest, settling in to watch some more, until he understood the customs of this island and its beautiful inhabitants.


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