Lio stepped out of the kitchen to the bar to see Kallis and his friend talking amiably, oblivious to Lios extended disappearance. More of his overnight guests began to fill up the tables scattered around the room, waiting their turn. Seats began to fill and both Krystal and Lio got extremely busy.
Krystal served everyone breakfast while Lio handed out mead, ale or juice to his patrons as they all enjoyed the food Krystal had prepared.
The rest of the morning and through the afternoon things around the tavern began to pick up. Lunch was their busiest time of the day. Many of the guards, workers, travelers just getting in or the occasional aristocrat made their appearance at the tavern.
Lio had so far refused to hire anymore help, leaving him and Krsytal to work hard to keep up with the demand of such influential people, with deep pockets.
Decades of running the tavern honed their skills to a fine, well worked and effortless mechanism. Because they were the only two that worked the tavern and accompanying Inn, they could afford to make the place look extravagant, yet remain affordable. Aside from the atmosphere, the food and drink they offered was the best in town. Each meal was prepared with care and love that each bite reflected. A staple of the Stone Flame that showed the level of compassion the owners had for their guests and patrons.
The morning gave way to the afternoon crowd and slowly, as the sunset, evening settled on the tavern. New guests checked in, while a few of the previous days guests left.
“Krystal, is room twenty four clean?” Lio asked over his shoulder as he studied a ledger.
“Yes.” His wife replied. “Just finished it a few minutes ago.”
Lio wrote down the new guests name and turned the book to him. “Please sign here.”
The man did so and paid Lio, thanking him before disappearing upstairs to settle in.
“Ok, we’re full.” Lio beamed proudly, setting the funds in the usual lock box under the tavern.
Krystal came out of the kitchen at vanished into the crowd. It was an unusually busy dinner rush. Many of the taverns current customers were mercenaries, hired by the king to help keep pressure on the Dark Army at the Wall of Ages, miles away from Xonthian City. They ate ferociously and drank deeply from Lio’s kegs.
“More ale over here, sweety!” One of them yelled boisterously.
“Just a moment!” Krystal replied, undeterred.
The man grumbled and returned to the conversation at his table.
Lio wiped off the bar top and then washed out the empty mugs left behind by their previous users. He took one of the mugs and filled it with Ale before setting it down for Krystal to take to the loud man who had demanded it a few minutes ago.
She smiled as she walked over to retrieve the mug and then returned to the chaos surrounding them.
Lio heard more then saw, the tone of the chaos change. He looked up from his work behind the bar, to see the man who had growl for a new round of ale, making lewd gestures at his wife. He knew his wife was more then capable of handling the unwanted advances. This man however, was letting go and moving on. He was getting rougher. The crowd around the man and his friends, began exchanging concerned glances at the commotion.
Worried things might escalate further, Lio walked over to the table and looked around. “Is there a problem here?”
“Aye, this pretty thing won’t sit with me an my friends, keep our laps warm.”
Lio looked at Krystal who shook her head and stepped beside Lio.
“I think you gentlemen have had enough.” Lio suggested. “Why don’t we consider your tab settled and you guys head on home.
“What do you think of that, Bo?” One of the men sitting at the table jeered.
“I think he’s not thinking clearly.” Bo replied, glaring at Lio.
“Just leave.” Lio replied coolly. “Now.”
Bo laughed evilly and upended the table his friends were sitting at. Sending ale, food, and flying through the air.
Lio had dealt with his share of inebriated misfits. Bo was no different. He was unbalanced and over compensated his swings.