"Are you sure?" he asked, almost desperately.
"I'm sure!" the barkeep replied, his voice showing his obvious irritation.
"No kidnapped maidens or bandit raiders?"
"For the tenth time, no!"
"Not even a lost heirloom?"
The tavern door flew open and Chad flew out, landing unceremoniously across the way. The door was slammed shut behind him.
Chad picked himself up from the ground with a sigh, dusting himself off. What kind of town was this, if it didn't have any need for a hero? He would have left right away in search of a more promising village, but found himself staring into a setting sun. If he left now, Chad would find himself camping yet again. Well, he was in a town, so why not make use of that? He'd stay for one night and set out first thing tomorrow morning. There could even be a bandit raid during the night, or a mysterious abduction.
One could only hope.
His plan decided, Chad set out through the quiet village. There weren't many people on the street, but then again this might be rush hour for the sleepy, little town. A group of housewives were gathered in front of the general store sharing the latest gossip. A pack of farmers, still covered in the dirt and sweat of a hard day's work, strolled past Chad and entered the tavern he had just been evicted from. A few rather pretty young girls were giggling as they walked; the glances they kept throwing at Chad made him nervous, and he wondered if they were laughing at him. A thought occurred to him just before they passed each other, and he almost asked it aloud. But at the last moment he thought better of it; asking a pair of girls to kidnap themselves just so he could rescue them wasn't really being a hero.
Chad stepped into the inn, dead silent even with the sun almost below the horizon. He rang the small bell on the counter, then stood there waiting for someone to come. It wasn't long before a middle-aged man ambled into the room and behind the desk. He seemed a rather nice gentleman, telling his guest about this or that as it occurred to him. Rambling, that was the word for it. After a few minutes, Chad pulled a few coins from his purse, laid them on the counter, thanked the man for the room, and ran up the stairs. A successful extrication, Chad congratulated himself. Sometimes the innkeepers were more dangerous than the dungeon keepers.
With his stuff laid to the side, Chad was stretched out over the bed. He'd had better, but it was bliss compared to the week he'd just spent in the woods. He may have drifted off to sleep as he was had his stomach not reminded him that it hadn't been fed yet. It grumbled loudly, demanding that Chad seek out a meal before retiring for the night. He weighed his options: the tavern may serve a hot meal, but he might not be very appreciated there. He could check with the innkeeper, but that would invite another bout of rambling and may end in failure anyway. Both decisions had their dangers involved; the question, then, was which reward would prove greater? A tavern meal, or an inn meal?