FOREVER KNIGHTS: #20 Watchers Gathering

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Less Pretense

To Savage’s mild surprise, boots swung from Danbury’s carriage to land smoothly in the rode, facing him. Savage assessed Danbury’s frame. Now that he’s not pretending to be crippled.

Vaguely amusing. What purpose did it serve to begin with? To warm the Nightway Queen’s heart? To make him seem sickly and vulnerable? He was briefly curious but quickly determined he didn’t care enough to ponder on it.

Four massive men exited the carriage behind Danbury, making it spring up from relief of the weight.

Savage’s eyes boredly skimmed them. Five men I’ve banished from the Blue Lark. Assassins with no code. One had turned on the Guild. But all of them lack loyalty.

So now the Blue Lark lacks them. No loss atall, really.

The five massive assassins circled Danbury protectively.

Must be paying them well. Savage noted. They might, might, be loyal to that.

He drew close and the five circled Savage while he remained unmoved in the road. Danbury had a short wide sword in hand.

Phalanx and the Seditious were partway across the glen but had begun to slow at the sight. There were shouts of objection and yelled threats.

Savage’s gaze fixated on Danbury, who leisurely lifted the sword and hooked it under Savage’s throat. Notching his chin higher as he pressed the tip into Savage’s corded throat. Savage felt the quick bite but was unblinking.

“It’s a shame I can’t gut you here. After all you’ve done, it’d be the least warranted.” Danbury said in an enraged voice. Nearly shaking with his yearning to do so.

“Afraid of something?

Too afraid of Radix. Coward. Savage gave him a lopsided grin.

Archers climbed from the second carriage and more paid bodyguards from the third. They all circled around him. Weapons ready.

Savage mentally counted them. Eyeing the weapons on their hips and the stance of those who knew how to fight. Not enough good swordsman to stop me if I engaged.

“Now whose outmanned?” Danbury taunted.

You.

“We shall see.” Savage said emotionlessly.

It’s yet to be determined.

“Yes, we shall.” Danbury gloated as he sheathed his short sword and pulled heavy shackles from a hook around one assassin’s waist. Walking over he clasped one on Savage’s wrist and roughly yanked his arm across him to shackle the other.

Enough time I could’ve killed him with his own blade.

Twice.

Once he was shackled he was loaded in the carriage, much to the loud expostulation of the Seditious still standing in the glen.

It was now obvious from the amount of men that’d emerged from the carriages that there were no goods this run.

Phalanx drew his two thin swords and pointed them straight out. Slowly stepping backward in a directive for the Seditous to retreat.

Groaning loudly and still uttering surprised exclamations they obeyed. Vanishing back into the trees.

Danbury sat opposite Savage. Sword still on the younger man’s throat.

Intent on holding that pose all the way to MidGale? I doubt that.

“Swords grow heavy.” He warned Danbury with a sideways flick of icy blue eyes.

Savage could’ve kicked the blade and launched it up while he strangled Danbury with the shackles.

All the efforts of the assassins may’ve killed Savage. But not before I’d killed him.

But Savage had no personal vendetta against Danbury. He only knew the Nauvree didn’t like him. And that, allegedly, Danbury was stealing from the commoners of Nightway.

Not worth me dying to kill him.

Wouldn’t serve my current purpose. So Savage sat. And waited.

His unsettling peace making the other assassins in the carriage writhe. Wishing to be as far from me as possible.

It was the usual effect he had on men.

Only Danbury was unaffected.

Because he has no predatory instinct.

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