FOREVER KNIGHTS: #3 Forsaking the Vanquished

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MARDICHI - An Exchange With Savage Jack For Bast

WaterRose, Meadow Mountain, Grier Country

MARDICHI

“Ye summoned me?” Mardichi grumbled. “I hate when ye go blaring through me blasted brain.” He shouted up to the second level as he slammed the door to the foyer to storm upstairs. Arriving in Bast’s doorway.

“Blasted is a good word.” Bast muttered as he met Mardichi’s thunderous look.

Mardichi was waiting. Impatiently. What do ye want?

“I need something from that Guild you like to inhabit.”

“The Blue Lark?”

“Yea.”

“What?” Mardichi’s curiosity was piqued.

“I’ve heard your King can get poisons from the Grier Trader’s Market.”

Stolen and sold via his Undermarket.

“I’ve heard tha’ as well…” Mardichi eyed Bast warily. “What ye after?”

“RiderStone.”

“Oof.” Mardichi grunted rearing back as he shook his head like a wild horse. “Nasty shite.”

“Exactly.”

“Planning ta put a drop in Alazar’s tea?”

“No, a queen’s wine.”

Mardichi grimaced. “A mite heartless, Brother.”

“Coming from you?” Bast blinked wide eyes.

Yea. Even from me.

“What queen has irked ye enough for ye to play so dirty?”

“Not me, my twin.”

“Who’s wronged Alazareth?” Mardichi gasped.

“He’s an issue with a queen and I’m very certain his short temper is on a thin leash and there will come a time I will no longer be able to restrain him. It will come to a head. And I need to be prepared…Thus the Riderstone.”

“It willna come cheap.” Mardichi cautioned.

Very expensive.

“I’ll load you with coin.” Bast shrugged.

Good.

Enough for a drink. That soothed Mardichi’s mounting ire.

“He’s a damnably unpleasant son-of-a-bitch, so ye know.”

“The King of the Assassins?”

Who else?

“Yea. Savage Jack.” Mardichi muttered.

He unsettles even me. Though I consider him friend, even I’d be unsurprised to wake to find my throat cut in my tent, one day.

“You calling him unpleasant is albeit like the pot calling the kettle black is it not?”

“Oh, no.” Mardichi shook his head. “’E makes me look charmin’ as all hell. Maids canna wait to jump me lap after getting’ one of his ugly blue glares.”

Bast scoffed. “Perhaps I should meet this man one day.”

“Ye willna like him.” Mardichi muttered.

“I was getting that impression.” Bast said thoughtfully. Handing his a hefty bag of coin. “Can you get the RiderStone?”

“I will.” Mardichi nodded with narrowed eyes. Swiping the bag. Cursing as he went down the stairs. “He’s not so easy to deal with as you might think!”

“That’s why I’m sending you.” Bast called downstairs.


“RedBayne!” Savage Jaxson roared across the interior of the Blue Lark courtyard.

Mardichi’s head shot up to assess the blonde man. Grateful to see him. And be out of the bloody Guild.

Though Mardichi liked the place, there were times of year when it was so dense with killers it was hard to move in the courtyard. Mardichi wished for nothing more than to deliver his requested item to Bast and find the nearest tavern.

Where I can happily brawl with someone less skilled in killing than these souls…

I want to fight. Not die.

Or find a whore. That idea sounded even more pleasurable. And it was risky business partaking of whores in the Blue Lark. One never knew which woman some assassin might favor and be fit to declare war over. More stupid then pleasurable to partake.

Savage lifted a vial of murky gray liquid above the heads of others milling the courtyard.

There it is! Mardichi straightened happily. Pushing through the meandering assassins with all the grace of a battering ram. Lumbering shoulders forcing them apart.

Other men cursed or spat threats but when they turned to confront him and glimpsed the sheer size of him, their voices faded to silence. They ducked their heads and returned to former conversations.

Mardichi arrived at Savage’s side, outstretching a hand for the vial.

Savage grunted and jerked it from reach. Tossing his head toward the Winter Haven Alehouse. The new tavern in the Blue Lark.

Mardichi knew enough about the ongoings in the Blue Lark to know Savage had recently built it for his little ward. The one he kept in the hut behind the Blue Lark Fortress, in the courtyard.

A loud redheaded little hoyden. Usually heard shrieking at him.

They entered the Alehouse and Mardichi was stunned to see her serving drinks in an oversized green cloak. One which probably belonged to Savage Jack at one point. They told her which drinks they wanted.

She walked away, cloak dragging.

“Ye’re letting ’er in ’ere already?” Mardichi was surprised.

I’d thought he wouldn’t have her running it for a few years yet…

Savage Jack shrugged. A half-smile hovering about his lips. “She does what she wishes.”

“I take it ye tell her to wear that?”

The cloak.

“I suggested it. Keeps her a bit safer.” Savage shrugged.

Suggested it? Has he gone soft?

She set the drinks on the table and Mardichi lifted his to begin guzzling.

Savage reached for his and she slapped his hand.

She slapped his hand? He’ll sever her little head! Mardichi hissed on an indrawn breath. Expecting the man to grab her by the neck and toss her across the room.

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