King of the Seditious

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One Man

A few assassins in the crowd made awed sounds at the sight of her. Having never realized what she kept hidden under that hood.

She expostulated in enraged profanity.

He chuckled. Lazily jerking the dagger upward, to remove it from her throat. He released her and she hastily stepped from the warmth of his arms to turn a glowering gaze on him.

“Barmaid! Bird leg!” He slapped the counter with a wolfish smile.

Belline curtsied like he was some manner of king and backed from him to fetch the food.

“This is my alehouse!”

“You barter here. You own shares. But you don’t own the guild.” He corrected, taking another drink. Ignoring her ranting next to him. “Calm down, Murah.” He said from the corner of his mouth. “You still have all that mud hiding your face. They can’t see you.”

She gave him a withering look. “Give me back my blade!”

He still held it folded between his palm and mug. He set his drink down and expertly rotated it in his hand to stab it into the surface of the bar. The handle swung as it embedded in rough wood.

Huffing, she reached to clasp it.

His hand shot out and folded around her wrist. Holding it in place. “Watch how you talk to me.” He warned. Blue eyes blazing.

“Get out of my building.” She hissed.

“When I’m done with you.” His eyes rolled to give her another once over. “Which will likely be never.”

She stood, making fists and longing to shout her hatred.

“Hey!” A man stood up from one of the benches along the wall. “You shouldn’t be talking to a maid like that.”

The stranger’s friend caught his arm and tried to yank him back into his seat.

“Who are you?” Savage released Dimurah and twisted to give the approaching man his undivided attention.

“No!” Murah cried out. Trying to get around him to stop the stranger.

“Ah. Ah.” Savage put a hand to her stomach and tucked her behind him. His eyes focused on the man before him. Slightly shorter than he, but stouter.

“Stop!” She shouted from behind him. “Savage Jack, don’t!”

He assessed the man. Eyes hooded as he spoke leisurely. “Friend, I let this woman rant at me as she wishes, because it amuses me. As it does everyone here.” He gestured broadly. “But you, you’ve no place challenging me.”

“She’s the Barter Queen and should be treated with some respect.” The man argued. Stepping closer.

“Do it.” Savage invited.

“Don’t do it!” Murah still tried to claw her way around the one unyielding arm blocking her path. “RedBayne! Nauvree!” She called for the help of the men sitting at a corner table. Two of the more honorable ones.

Both shook their heads at her. Refusing to interfere.

“Jax!” She pleaded under her breath.

His eyes didn’t leave the mousy brown interloper.

“You’ve no idea how I treat her.” He said in a steely tone. “If you intend to challenge me, Friend. You’ll need a weapon…A sharp one.”

“It so happens…” He reached behind his back.

“Don’t give him a blade!” She screeched from behind Savage. Clutching at the back of his black tunic to try to restrain him.

When the stranger pulled the dagger, a mite bigger than Dimurah’s had been, he tossed it to his other hand and back as though to prove he knew how to use it.

“A man who truly knows how to use a weapon has no need to prove it.” Savage remarked.

When he lunged forward to thrust it at Savage, Savage stepped to the side and turned to catch the man’s wrist. Sweeping the blade from his hand and rolling along his arm to turn and plunge it into the stranger’s throat.

The man stumbled back. Gargling as he strangled on his own blood.

Savage turned back to the bar to drink the last of his tankard before strolling back as the stranger collapsed to his knees. Savage yanked the dagger from his throat and stuck it in the interloper’s side between his ribs in two different places before planting it in his stomach near his belly button and dragging it up until hitting sternum. He tilted the knife to permeate as many organs as possible before jerking it sideways to tear free with a splash of skin and blood.

The stranger collapsed. Deathly still.

Murah punched Savage in the back, and he rounded on her.

Droplets of blood still seeping down his face, and on the hand snatching her wrist. Tossing the blade with his other, sent it skidding to Phalanx’s feet. Savage knew that man would take care of it.

She swung the other one and he caught that one too. Folding both her forearms out until her arms locked before her. He backed her toward the door. Eyes boreing into her as she stumbled backwards. Her step forcefully guided by his movements.

“Dimurah!” The newest barmaid, a short raven-haired girl, Adrea, ran in. “What are you doing?” She called to Savage. Seeing the horrified look on her friend’s face.

“No!” Murah shouted to her. “He’s already killed one person tonight!”

“It’s true.” He confirmed. Not looking from his prey. “Best not goad me further this eve.”

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