Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Cove ❯ The Water Hole ( Chapter 28 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
The Water Hole is the central meeting place for all travelers on their quest to the Cove. They can get anything here. Information is readily traded here and often. There are offering for bordering and food here as well. The Water Hole is packed almost every day.
The Water Hole is never closed. People come and go whenever they want. Out of all the places of business in the countryside, The WH has held out the longest. They serve the bare essentials here. Water never runs out and the food is always freshly made. People work day and night in this relaxed atmosphere. However, today seems different.
Everyone is tense. The usual chatter and gossip is replaced by silence. The travelers look around from left to right. They hold onto their money bags as they keep walking. Even the shop owners have their weapons close by. Alarms fill the air at least twice a day. The children end up covering their ears and pretending to be somewhere else. Stalls have to keep merchandise hidden until they actually do business. The police even wish for a break once in a while.
What caused all of this? Why is there so much distrust in the Water Hole? It all started eight days ago.
The chancellor of that province raised taxes. Nothing usual, but the Water Hole never get taxed. This already started off problems. Naturally, the merchants in the WH refused to start paying taxes to the chancellor. This triggered police raids on a daily basis. When that alone wasn't enough, along came the secret police. The plain-clothed officers would harass and get the business owners in trouble for money. It didn't take long for the merchants to fight back. Since then, the hostilities increased to the tension that it is today. Even the travelers stay hidden when the secret police come around.
Now, today is another day. New travelers are coming in this morning. Time to set the scene.
Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Water Hole