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Inciting A Barbarian

“Of course.” Deragan relented. “I’ve already considered the ramifications of me being wrong.”

I could let her close enough to kill us.

“It’ll be you, Sebastian. You’ll go to the Marcelle Manse down the road. Look at her, speak to her if you need. Tell me if you don’t think it’s her. I’ll listen to you.”

Sebastian looked a little leery.

He doesn’t want to be the one to bring me news I won’t like.

But Sebastian did as directed.

“Captain,” Rhyers stepped forward. “Permission to check the area for Cimmerii stink?”

Deragan gave a solemn nod. Go.

But he couldn’t deny he was feeling the first vestiges of hope he’d felt in half a century.

He watched Rhyers’ tall shadow slip around the corner of the wall and head out the door without a sound. If there’s Cimmerii out there he’ll find them. Deragan prayed there wouldn’t be.

A giant shadow shifted from the far corner of the room. Mardichi was uneasy.

“What?” Deragan sensed his dissension.

Mardichi was silent.


“It unnerves me she’d happen across ye.” Mardichi’s gaze was skeptical. He lumbered from the shadows. The afternoon light brightening his red hair. “I could collect one of 'er so called-family and find out the truth in short order.”

By torturing them. Deragan knew it was the barbarian’s way.

“You’re not torturing her family!” Tev cried.

Deragan shook his head adamantly. “Whether a tool of Cimmerii or not, Mardichi, she’s still only a young woman herself.”

Mardichi’s brows lowered darkly.

“I truly must find you a friend.” Deragan vowed shaking his head. “You’re far too severe.”


Thunderclouds crossed Mardichi’s face but he knew better than to say anything.

Deragan’s fists tightened, tucked under his elbows. Waiting for his reaction.

“Sometimes a man needs killing.” Mardichi shrugged.

“And sometimes they don’t!” Tev hissed from across the room. “Is violence all you can accomplish? You’re little better than Chavias somedays.” Tev gestured to the darker man.

“Careful little brother.” Chavias warned. Eying the youngest of them.

Deragan’s gaze was level on Mardichi. Voice calm, as always. “Our duty is to protect what’s sacred not seek to destroy.”

Mardichi sighed relenting. “I’m far better at destroying then protectin'.”

“Perhaps it’d not be so, if you had something worth protecting.” Deragan said shrewdly.

“Hmm.” Mardichi grunted.

“Sebastian is rather good at matchmaking.” Lucien offered with a grin. Earning a glower from Mardichi.

“He’ll not be finding me a wee woman like I'm some lonely old man!”

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