Bluff, bluff, bluff the stupid halfling.
Aside from the time they gauged his eye out, Wons never woke up to face a worst headache. He was lying on his back in a shallow stream of stinking water, his fine new clothes soaked, chill crawling into his bones, and with barely enough strength to shiver himself back into the world of the living.
- hello. -
said the little voice hidden in the shadows.
- now, think carefully and tell us who sent you. -
“Goddamn little shit, I’ll twist your tiny neck as soon as I get a hold of it” thought Wons, fighting to hear his own mind through the throbbing in the back of his head. Bonds on his hands and legs were still tight, but the sack was removed from his face. It took him a few seconds to realize why the darkness was again impenetrable. “Crap.”
- don’t make us persuade you, I assure you I hate doing such things. -
“I assure you I don’t” he almost replied, and then made another attempt to pull himself together. “Who sent us? Oh, what the hell.”
- Uroš -
At the crisp sound of his voice his head started to split.
There was a pause in the halfling’s breathing, and then she said:
- Well, I can double whatever he is paying you. -
“Wait, What? That would be really difficult,” thought Wons and spat out what tasted like mixture of blood and shit. As his facial muscles moved, he realized his nose was broken. Must have happened during the fall.
- Nine thousand each -
he said without skipping a heartbeat. All this time spent with Roland, some of the bullshit must have rubbed off.
- Each head you bring? -
asked the little voice.
“If only I lived to bring yours…”
- No, -
said Wons, his concentration quickly slipping. He had to stay focused; a mistake might cost him his life.
- Each of us. When the job is done. -
- And what would the job be, exactly? -
“Indeed, what would the job be?” His head must have been clutched in a vice.
- We need to bring an object that once belonged to Bell. -
<<<< this part of conversation is top secret until further notice.
we apologize for the inconvenience 11 >>>>_
- I see. When did you make this deal with Uroš? -
- Over three months ago, in the south. -
Her answer was broken by a violent explosion outside, echoed mercilessly by the water and the tunnel walls. Mavon’s head exploded in a spectacular shower of pieces that fell into the dirty steam, bouncing off the surface of the water and through the purple and green haze that filled the cool air. For a moment he could see the outline of the tunnel opening at the riverside.
- Over three months ago? Well, then you know it’s no longer with us. -
“Fireworks,” thought Wons, fighting the urge to vomit.
- Besides, Uroš might be long dead by now. Do a job for us instead. We’ll make it worth your while. -
“Who would have guessed I’d bee watching them tonight after all?”
- Did you hear me? -
- Yes, -
lied Mavon, trying to gather his thoughts, hoping the idiot with the fireworks was wise and poor enough not to spend a fortune on rockets in these times of trouble. “This is a concussion, I just need to stay focused. Oh, look, another one…”
The light seared over the river, and so did pain in his cracked skull.
- We need some information regarding the thing. You gather it for us, and you’ll earn your first fee.-
- A job for you? -
“God, how could such an idiot screw us up like this?”
- Well, I’ll talk to my colleagues. They’ll need persuading, some of them were quite fond of our late friend. The dwarf, for instance. -
- I’m sure they are reasonable enough to realize that this job comes with some risks. -
said the sweet voice.
- They’ll get paid. -
- Well, I can’t argue with that. -
“But I promise I’ll show you risks, you little shit.”
- All right then. Here is what I want you to do. Are you familiar with noble houses of Eleb? -
- Slightly. -
- There is a house Naumov. Over a year ago a priest named Shaul was given a manuscript by the head of the house, Vanja Naumov. I need you to reach Vanja, and find out everything he knows, or thinks he knows, about the manuscript. I don’t care what means you’ll use to get this information, as long as you bring it to me. Can you and your companions do this for us, mr. Mavon? -
- Yes, I believe we can. But I need to know more of this manuscript. What is it?
- Some sort of holy scripture, -
she answered dismissively.
- I expect you to succeed. If you do, I’ll have more tasks for you.
- How do we contact you? -
- Don’t worry. I’ll contact you. Until then, here’s your eye. I have little use for it. -
There was a smile in her voice as she said this, and a quiet sound next to his shoulder, the kind a pebble makes when it’s tossed into the water.
“You’ll wish you kept it when I’m done with you.”
- Another thing, contact the priests in the temple of the lesser gods. Tell them Eska sent you, they’ll help with this… health problem you’re having. -
- Wait, since we’re working for you now, about our money… -
- Don’t worry. You’ll get paid once you’ve earned it. What we rightfully stole, is rightfully ours to keep. -
She smiled again, took a few steps back, and disappeared into the silence.
Wons swore. It took him over an hour to get rid of the ropes, and get out of the sewers. He could barely lift the lid. When he finally managed to crawl out onto the street, the cracking noise of fireworks in the north turned into explosions – soon he could hear bells ringing, signaling there was a fire.
“Judging by our luck so far, there goes noble house Nazarov,” he thought bitterly.
Feet barely holding him, Wons slowly went towards the house.
In a broken basement window he caught a glimpse of his figure. Scarred, mutilated, hiding from the guards, bloody and covered in filth, a pauper wearing someone else’s clothes, and someone else’s name.
“I’ve lost everything.”