Episode 19: Filler episode

Isabelle blinked and looked around at her equally surprised companions. "What was that for?"

Arthur looked up from his writing. "I can hardly condone random bands of people running around with weapons making war on anyone that they consider to be 'evil.' After all, if I did that then I'd have to accept Black Jong as well. This gives us the legal and moral justification to make war on behalf of the empire." He looked down again and continued writing. After a few minutes he finished and sealed the scroll, handing it off to Max when he was done. "Why don't we go see what the caravan's selling? They've always got strange, fun stuff in the class-A section."

Isabelle shrugged and rose to follow him out the door. She didn't know what he was talking about, but given the strange events so far she was willing to believe anything.

Outside was a small crowd. The traders were displaying a range of ordinary weapons, mainly swords and bows, but few people were paying attention and none of thom were buying. The head trader looked up as the group exited the tavern. "Ah. Now we can start." He waved a hand to one of the caravan's two handlers. The handler nodded and followed the third trader, a quiet, furtive man, to a point a short ways down the road. They stopped in the middle of the dirt path. The handler peered around suspiciously, as if he expected to be ambushed twenty feet from the nearest cover and fifty feet from the nearest person. The trader spread his arms and began chanting.

A thin blue line appeared vertically in front of the trader, running from the ground to four or five feet above his head. It widened into a sheet like a card being slowly turned from edgeways to broadside. Out of the flat blue expanse came riding a brace of horses and a tall covered wagon driven by a huge humaniform creature. The man—or so it seemed at first—was at least seven feet tall, although it was hard to judge while he was sitting down. He wore no shirt or hat and seemed devoid of hair. Around each wrist was a thin, gold band, too small to slide either up or off. His skin started out as a dark dirt brown, but quickly shifted to grey and black before sliding to brown again. The wagon rolled to a stop a little ways from the crowd. The blue gate snapped shut. Isabelle wondered why the hell the caravan needed her as a guard.