The inn was already a busy place to be. On The main floor, the innkeeper had a long line of travelers trying to claim a room for the night, his assistants running back and forth to keep everyone moving. When the innkeeper noticed Nashtra, he sent one of his boys to hurry and bring him up to the front.
“You’re lucky you got here early,” the portly man told Nashtra. “I was not far off from canceling your standing reservation. I was sure to have need of your room tonight.” “Business seems to be doing well today,” Nashtra replied.
“We’ve been full almost every night lately,” the innkeeper said.
One of the patrons waiting in line grumbled a complaint, so the innkeeper said, “I’ll tell you all about it later.” He turned around and grabbed a key from one of the pegs on the wall. “Here is your room key. You remember which room it is?”
Nashtra nodded. “Of course I know which one it is.”
“How long will you be here?” the innkeeper asked, raising his pen above the almost-full page in his ledger.
“Not long,” Nashtra told him. “No more than two night, but probably just this one.
“Such a short stay this time,” the larger man commented. The impatient patron grumbled again.
Nashtra glanced at him, but otherwise did not give him much attention. “We can talk later.” He turned to his friends. “Let’s go.”
The elf led the party up a narrow flight of stairs. He turned right and went to the end of the hall, which then opened up both to the left and to the right. He took them to the left, down another hall, then up another flight of stairs. It was another two lefts down different hallways before he stopped and put his key into a door.
“What is this, the farthest room from the entrance?” Peter asked.
“Not quite, but it is one of the nicest rooms,” Nashtra told him as he opened the door.
Cerys could tell right away that he had not been exaggerating. It might very well have been the largest room in the inn. There were four beds, though each of them was quite narrow, a small couch, and several plain wooden chairs. There was a little oval table, and a rickety-looking dresser, which she supposed that no other room had.
“When the innkeeper said that you had a standing reservation,” Himeko said, how did you know that you would have people traveling with you when you came here?”