New World New Life Chapter 4

4 Civilisation
It took Vy three days to finally see a sign of civilisation. It was a combination of a campfire and a few travellers.

"Greetings," Vy called out with a smile.

Despite a shabby appearance, the travellers smiled and welcomed her to their campfire. From their exchanges, Vy found out that the travellers had just come from a nearby town called Timbretune.

"Timbretune is a pretty good-sized town, lots of businesses and a traders market. A girl like you, could easily become an apprentice and make a living," said the taller merchant.

Vy soon learnt their names, the taller one was Jack Smith, while the shorter woman accompanying him was Lyra Song. They were travelling from place to place, looking for a suitable home to start a family and a small business.

"My wife is a songstress while I am more of a metal kind of guy. I make and sell jewellery for a living."

"What about you? Vy is it? What's your story," Lyra asked.

Vy gave them a light-hearted smile and spun a tale, "I came from a small village, hoping to find a path of my own I guess. This Timbretune does seem to be a good place for me to start."

"What about your family? Didn't they have something to say about that? Their child going off into the world?"

Vy smiled and shook her head, "I lost them sometime back, so I guess nothing is holding me back."

There was a bit of awkward silence after that, but Vy was determined not to let it go on for too long.

"Well, it was really nice meeting you two, hopefully, we would meet again on the road! Best of luck in your search!"

Vy stood up from her seat by the fire and bid the couple farewell before continuing down her path. According to Jack, it had taken him and his wife about 2 hours with a horse and carriage to get to where they were. After much thought, she decided to pick up her pace and attempt to reach the town before the sun had set completely.

With some luck and more pointers from travellers she met, Vy soon arrived in Timbertune. The sun had set on the horizon, but the town of Timbretune only got livelier. Vy strolled into the bustling town street and marvelled at the sights around her.

Brick laid buildings lined the streets and the main street connected to the centre of the town, where the traders market was. The aroma of cooked meats on charcoal grills drew Vy's attention immediately. She walked up to the stall closest to her and observed the burly stall owner as he called out to potential customers to purchase the freshly grilled meat sticks.

"Sir! How much for one," Vy asked, as her mouth continued to salivate.

"3 nickels for one, a copper for 2!"

Without much thought, Vy handed over a copper and received 2 freshly grilled meat sticks. She took a bite of the juicy meat and was over the moon. The meat was well seasoned with spices and tender, it was delicious! It did not take long for her to finish both and yet she was craving for more. But Vy knew she could not spend her money unwisely, she needed to be thrifty.

She also needed a place to stay for the night. Seeing as her only contact was with the store owner, she decided to ask him for directions.

"Well, there's an inn just further up from here. It's called Cat Tail. If you lookout for the signboard, it's hard to miss. Their prices are pretty affordable too," the seller informed her as he served a customer behind her.

"Thank you! Would you also happen to know if there might be any merchants taking up apprentices here?"

The seller paused for a moment as he moved more skewers on the grill. "I'm not sure about that. Let me ask around. I guess you're looking for work then."

Vy nodded with a confident smile.

"I'll ask around for yea, come back tomorrow midday."

"Thank you in advance!"

Vy happily bid the seller farewell and wade through the crowd. She kept an eye out for the signboards that hung on the side of the buildings. It did not take long before she spotted the signboard with three back-facing cats with curled tails.

The first floor of Cat Tail was a pub and the night was still young as patrons were still buying their ale and cheap wine. They sang along with the singer on the stage while the band played in the background. It was a lovely sight.

Vy walked up to the bartender who was making drinks for a regular and asked for a room. The bartender simply nodded and handed her a key with a tag and told her it would be 5 coppers a night.

"You can pay a deposit for a night now, and pay the rest at the end of your stay."

Vy nodded and handed over the coppers and the bartender directed her to head upstairs. She thanked him with a smile and went up. The bar was lively and the wooden floorboards could not do much to muffle the sounds but she did not mind.

Her room for the night and the many nights to come was quaint and comfortable. There was a bed on the left with a bedside table and a lit self-powered lamp. There was also a small table and chair on the right.

Vy placed down her makeshift bag on the chair and took off her shoes before laying down on the bed.

But no matter how hard she tried, she could not fall asleep. It wasn't because of the constant cheering and merrymaking from downstairs. It felt as if the energy of the city had rubbed off on her and she just wanted to explore it all.

-I guess there's no harm in that.-

Vy sat back up and put on her shoes. Taking the necessary items with her, she left the room and locked the door behind her. As she turned towards the stairs, Vy bumped into another person and almost fell. But the person was swift and held onto her before she could fall.

"Woah, easy there missy," he said with a smile as he held her in his arms.

Vy did not blush, but she grinned. She removed herself from the arms of the man and dusted her clothes.

"Thank you," Vy replied before heading towards the stairs.

"Not even a name?" the man called out, hoping to get her attention.