Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 76


    He gave a crude nod to the Captain before he stepped on the pier. Methas pulled his hood and face mask on and began his slow stroll toward the town. The ash storm raged, but he wasn’t worried. It would be a mere nuisance if nothing else. I should buy ash goggles though, he thought as he got ash in his eyes. N’chow!

    A few people were at the Market, browsing the goods. Methas made his way to the general goods stall while he made a mental note of the guards whose eyes were on him. It made him smirk. He had gotten used to it, but the mer wasn’t sure if they knew him by his reputation. His presence made people jumpy or nervous. And the guards seemed to be the latter.

    “Are you here to buy something? Or just gawking like a fool?” The merchant asked the mer standing before his stall.

    Methas tilted his head. This one wasn’t nervous about him. “Ash goggles. Do you have them?” He asked in an even tone. They would help him greatly in his hunt for the young mer if the ash storm still raged after the night’s rest.

    “You’re out of luck, sera. The last pair was sold days ago.” The merchant replied. “Maybe you should ask from the smith if he has a spare chitin helmet?” Fetis didn’t have any left. The last pair he had sold to a miner.

    Well, it just makes my mission harder, Methas sighed. He nodded to Fethis. “Too bad. Thank you anyway.” The mer turned around, covering his stinging eyes. Now to find Ralis Sedarys. He might have some information. There was The Retching Netch close by. Having an ideal drink in mind, Methas walked toward the Inn door.

    Geldis was drying the mugs when he noticed a hooded mer coming down the stairs. The mer  was clad-in leather and his travel cloak seemed to be something more than it was. But Ralis tried not to pay too much attention in the details he just discovered. He’s just one of those types like Ciel’nn, the Inn keeper thought.

    “What can I get you?”

    Methas stopped at the counter and made direct eye contact with the Inn keeper. “I’d like some wine,” he paused for the most briefest moment, “and information on where I can find Ralis Sedarys.” He reached inside his cloak and pulled out a small pouch of coins. “He’s a friend of mine.” The mer gave a small smile.

    The ash is shifting again, Geldis thought with a frown. The voice of the mer had put him off and he couldn’t say why. Maybe I’m overreacting, he told himself as he playing with his dish rag. “Certainly, sera.” He replied and put the rag away. Then the Inn keeper reached for a clean mug and a bottle of wine. While Geldis poured some wine in the mug, he tried to calm his racing heart. It’s nothing I’m sure, he lied to himself.

    Methas watched  the Inn keeper struggling with what he felt and found out he liked that reaction. That way he’d get some information and some control over people. His eyes shifted to the mug that Geldis set in front of him with a nearly shaky hand.

    “The digger is right over there.” The Inn keeper nodded toward the mer in the shadowy corner and snatched the coin pouch from the counter.

    “Thank you, sera.” Methas took his mug and sipped. He was satisfied to the taste as it was better than in the trade ship. The mer turned toward the corner where the digger was sitting and walked toward him. He heard the Inn Keeper sighing behind him. Breathe, old mer, breathe. Methas had to stifle a laugh.

    “Ralis Sedarys?”

    The digger started by the sudden voice near  him. He looked up and his blood ran cold. “Oh shit!” He blurted out. “I mean, you’re their…” He lowered his voice, “assassin?” A cold smile from the mer was enough for Ralis to know he was right. The digger couldn’t stop the shiver that ran down his spine while he watched the assassin sitting down on the next chair.

    “That I am.” Methas murmured, setting his mug on the table. “And you’re my contact.” He sipped his wine while he studied the digger. He leaned back in the chair. “Relax, Sedarys. We’re partners in this. Don’t fret. I like my company more confident than a frightened kwama.” The assassin chuckled, then continued in a softer tone. “Now if you would tell me about this place, this island and about the mer who have caused the Hlaalu to get all stirred up.” He gave a quick rub on his eyes. Damn, ash…

    Until you choose to get rid of me, Ralis thought. He couldn’t relax even if the mer’s tone should have put him at ease. He took a chug from his own mug. “I’d feel better if you’d take off your hood.” The digger muttered. The assassin stared at him for a moment then grunted, and pulled down his hood. Ralis felt more unease. The mer’s appearance was colder than with the hood on. He sighed. “Alright. I’ll tell you what I know.”

    The assassin nodded. “Go on, please.”

    The young Redoran Guard came in for his well deserved break. He greeted the miners that passed him. Ondren then surveyed the Inn and his eyes landed on the shadowy corner where he recognized the digger with someone new. He noticed Ralis talking about something and the other mer nodding. He frowned while he continued on his way to the counter.

    The Inn keeper seemed to be relieved to see him. “The usual meal and drink. What’s troubling you, Geldis?” Ondren sat on the stool. “Do you know who the mer is with the digger?” He asked in a quiet tone.

    “Coming up soon, Ondren.” Geldis replied. “He didn’t say his name. Wanted to see the digger, though. Claimed that they’re friends. I don’t trust him. Something about him puts me off. Can I make a request for the Redoran Guard, Ondren?”

    “Sure, I can pass it on to the Captain.” Ondren nodded.

    Geldis sighed and nodded as he put the plate on the counter. “Tell them to keep an eye on that mer.”



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