5 - A Chance Encounter

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A few days had passed since he left. Cid, Adelle and Hurdy had stopped by the pub for a drink after finishing off a quest. As they entered, the barman stopped them.
"Cid, you and your hunters seem a little down in the mouth."
"That so? I hadn't noticed."
"There's something I thought you might want to see. Follow me."
The barman came round from behind the counter and wove his way through tables filled with carousing patrons. Cid followed in silence.

Close on Cid's heels, Adelle asked in a low voice,
"What's this all about?"
"You've got me."
Hurdy chimed in from Adelle's side with a muted "Kupo-po."
The barman reached the far side of the dining hall and gestured at a low spot on the wall. Cid and the others craned their necks to see what he was pointing at, and then they spoke in unison.
"Ah?!"
"Kupo!"
"Hrmm."
Someone had written something there in this out of the way spot, but it was unmistakable nonetheless.

Luso Clemens of Clan Gully was here!

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The barman folded his arms and addressed the three as they examined Luso's handiwork.
"Were it ink, I could remove it easily enough, but as you can see, it's been rather carefully carved into the wall. This complicates matters. The…inscription…makes it clear that your clan is responsible, so I only think it appropriate you pay for the repairs."
"He plagues me even now," Cid spat in annoyance.
"What are we going to do, kupo?"
"Under normal circumstances I suppose we'd pay for the repairs and have done with it."
"Kupo… I'm not sure how I'd feel about that."

Cid scratched his neck, a cross expression on his face. Finally he turned to the barman and made a small bow with his head.
"Barman, do you think I might ask you to leave it as it is? I'd pay you for the trouble, of course."
The barman thought it over for a moment, then answered with a shrug and a sigh, "I suppose there's nothing for it." Cid ordered a slightly more pricey meal than their usual fare, and then they took seats at an empty table.
"Something tells me this isn't the only pub we'll find this in," mused Adelle.
"I'd wager my pom-pom on it, kupo."
"If we come across more, we'll deal with it then."
"Just so we're clear: I, for one, have no intention of paying a single gil on account of Luso."
"Hear hear."
When their drinks came, they raised their glasses toward the carving on the wall in silent toast.


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