10 Dovk City

Two months had passed and Dahlia was now ready to depart for the South. She already rented a carriage and had enough money to not worry about her lodging.

Before leaving the Forest, she destroyed her cabin and burned off any trace she left there.

It took two days for the carriage ride to arrive at the South. She arrived at a border city named Dovk City, the first city you come across when you first enter the South.

When Dahlia arrived, she immediately went to her planned lodging. It was at a cheap inn found near the slums. She decided that it would be wiser to not spend so much money on her lodging for she did not plan on staying there for a long time.

When she entered, she was immediately greeted by the smell of mildew. The inn reminded her of a typical old house. It had little ventilation, the place was very humid and the surroundings were dark. It seemed like the lamps didn't work well.

The place was shabby but it was passable. Dahlia couldn't care less. Dahlia went to the counter and faced the woman who served as the receptionist.

"A room please. For three days. " she said, then she took out a silver coin.

"This way please." the woman replied. She took a key and guided Dahlia to her room. Dahlia was wearing a cloak however the woman was able to distinguish her gender. She guided to her to a room with a better condition, considering that she was a woman.

The woman opened the room then handed her the key. Dahlia said her thanks. Before the woman could leave, Dahlia asked her something.

"Excuse me. If I may ask, do you know anyone or anyplace that lease small lands?" Dahlia asked hesitantly

"Uhm. Yes.. Where? In which area would you..?"

"Oh,in rural areas... I'd like them to be in the rural areas, if its.. possible." she said earnestly.

"Well, I know someone who owns land in the rural areas near here but I'm not sure if he is here in Dovk city at the moment." the woman pondered.

"I see. Alright.. Thank you." she politely said.

Seeing that Dahlia was done asking her question, the woman left.

Morning came, after Dahlia finished her breakfast and prepared to depart. She intended to go inquire for lots that are for sale. When she passed by the counter, the woman greeted her while sitting beside a small boy. 'It must be her son.. Cute. ' Dahlia thought.

Lifting the hood of her cloak, Dahlia smiled and greeted the woman. She showed her face. Since it was a woman, she thought it was alright.

Dahlia then turned to leave. She left the woman momentarily dazed. The small boy next to her was also staring at Dahlia's dissappearing figure.

"Pretty..." he mumbled.

The woman chuckled and ruffled the boy's brown hair. "Indeed, she is very beautiful. Timothy."

"Hmm! " the boy nodded his head enthusiastically.

Dahlia spent almost half a day searching and inquiring for the lands. She was quite tired and decided that it was time for her to cease. She decided to leave the rest for tommorow or she'll wait until the man, who the woman told her about, come back.

She was walking in a crowd of people when she saw a familiar figure of a boy. She glanced once more and she confirmed who it was.

It was Timothy. The son of the receptionist. She heard the boy's name when she was leaving the inn. He seemed to be playing with his friends. He must be having so much fun for he looked very happy.

Dahlia found it cute. She smiled and headed towards the inn.

She went to her room and took a nap. She plans to buy dinner after waking up. She woke up from a sound of commotion downstairs. She discovered that it was from the female receptionist.

'What seems to be the problem? ' she wondered. She observed what was happening downstairs but she didn't see any problem.

The woman was crying with trembling hands. She was infront of a little girl who was with her parents.

"My poor Timothy!"she cried out. She then grabbed the girls shoulders.

" Are you s-sure about what you saw?" the woman was shaking the girl's shoulders. The girl looked at her, puzzled. She then nodded her head.

"Yes! I-I saw Timothy! Some.. Some big bad man took him!" the girl said with wide eyes. She was confused why Timothy's mom was crying. She was starting to get scared.

"The man said he'll give us candy..But I did not go.. Because I think the man is a baddie! Timothy he.. He went with him. He said he wanted candy, then I said man bad!" she added with her small high-pitch voice.

This made woman cry even more. She was so worried with her son. Human traffickers were common these days and they often targetted small children. She shouldnt have let her child play outside without her supervision. She was confident since Timothy was known throughout the neighborhood.

The girl's parents looked at her with sympathy. They felt relieved that their daughter did not go with the man. They felt extremely sorry for the woman. They knew she couldn't do anything about since those men weee

After a couple of minutes the girl and her parents left, leaving the woman weeping.

Dahlia's mouth was in a thin line. She didn't know if she needed to interfere with the woman's a situation. However, when Dahlia remembered Timothy's innocent smile, she made up her mind.

Fetching her cloak, she opened the window. After she wore it, she stepped out the window and disappeared with the wind.

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