Phoenix Pavilion

Prologue


On a small continent, in a smaller city there is an even smaller restaurant. In this restaurant is a middle-aged man, whose hair is in the initial stages of turning white, and his face beginning to wrinkle. In front of this man is a wooden cutting board. His nimble hands are gradually deconstructing a pepper, the slender blade cutting out the core of seeds before slicing off the bitter white flesh. He smiles to himself as he cuts the pepper into thin small pieces resembling a matchstick.

This man is the owner of this small restaurant. He’s not a very remarkable person and there isn’t much business at his restaurant. Yet, he always seems to get by. He follows a very strict daily schedule and never seems to deviate. Early in the morning, he’ll wake up and walk to the market. He’ll go to the same stall and buy the same ingredients from the same aged farmer. He’ll walk back to his restaurant the same way he came and prepare his ingredients the same way as always. When he’s done, he’ll open the front door and wait for the first customer. As the hours go by, a few people will stop by and eat before leaving. Eventually, when it starts to get dark outside he’ll close the front door and take the left-over ingredients out the backdoor. He’ll put them in the bin and go back inside to read.

However, today was unusual. This was the very first time this man had done anything to deviate from his schedule in a long time. In front of him was a young boy, around the age of eight or maybe nine seemingly homeless. The boy’s clothing disheveled and covered in dust. Many scratches varying in size covered his arms and in his hand, was a half-eaten apple from yesterday’s morning preparations. 

The man paused as he looked at the boy, a small light appearing in his eyes before speaking, “Would you like to stay with me for a while?”

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