“Oh yes, Khimph was an old friend of mine. It’s a shame what happened to him. Twice a shame because, he was going to set up a meeting with a certain someone in town.” said Matar.
“Yes, quite the shame. I share in your ssorrow for Khimph. He was a friend of mine too. But… our ssocial circles overlapped, perhaps there is ssomeone I can help get you in touch with?”
“Well yes actually.” said Matar leaning in a speaking quietly.
The Lizardarian leaned in too.
“But I don’t know his name.”
“Oh that’s no problem. I know lots of people by the way they look.” and a glint shone in the Lizardarian’s eye.
“Well it’s been a while since I’ve seen him. He’s the sort to play with dangerous chemicals, a bit eccentric, and you’re never quite sure if he’s listening.”
“Hmmm that narrows it down quite a bit. He’s bald?”
“Like I said, it’s been a while, but in all likelihood yes.”
“He’s got a long white beard?”
“Ok I think I know who it is. I’d be happy to lead him to you.”
“Great! Can we go now? Not that we’re in a rush, but the sooner the better.”
“No problem! I was ssupposed to meet a friend in an hour. I’ll just have to sstop by his house on the way to let him know. In fact, I’ll just leave a note.”
“Ok that will work. Let’s pay our bill and go.”
“Ah… one more thing… This trip is quite far out of my way. You wouldn’t mind compensating me, would you?”
Matar coughed dryly. “How much are we talking?”
“Oh not much. Usually I charge 200 Queen’s Mint for this ssort of job, but ssince I like you so much; hmmm I think 100 Queen’s Mint ought to do.”
“I’ll tell you what. I’ll pay you half now, and half when we get there”
“Deal” said the Lizardarian a little too eagerly. “By the way, I never caught the name of you two gentlemen.”
“I’m Catar, and this is my dwarven friend Feldspar.”
“Pleasure to meet you. My name is Rieppeleon.”
And with that, they paid and made their way out. Things were looking up. They had a lead and and new friend. Only 5 steps out of the Naked Snake and they hear something fly through their air. An arrow springs up straight into the heart of Rieppeleon through his back. Rieppeleon gripped his heart in terror, fell to his knees, and finally to the ground. Black veins spider webbed across Rieppeleon’s skin. Within a minute the Lizardarian was dead. However, Matar and Bruno didn’t witness this. As soon as they saw the arrow, they traced it’s arc back to it’s origin with their eyes. What they found was black boots escaping around the corner of a nearby house. Matar and Bruno gave chase. They were in hot pursuit of the black boots which kept disappearing behind one house and the next. Finally they saw the owner of the black boots: black leggings, black skin-tight shirt, and a black hood run into the Barrel o’ Monkeys Tavern and Inn. They followed into the inn and watched the black hooded man run up the stairs to a room. Again they followed. Matar burst into the room with Bruno close in tow. What they finally found was the man in black training his black bow and black arrow at Matar’s heart. Bruno closed the door quietly behind him. The man in black pulled back his hood and lowered his weapon. Matar’s eye’s bulged in shock, and pulled his back too.
“Is that really you?” his facial expression said.
The man in black smirked. His face said “None other”.
“How have you been? Have you been in Black Oak this whole time?” he said silently.
The man in black shrugged nonchalantly. “I’ve been alright. Yes, I’ve been here. I get by.” his expression seemed to say.
Matar looked inquisitive. “And you wife? How is she?”
The man in black bit his lower lip, furrowed his brow, and cast his glance downward, finally breaking eye contact. “She’s dead. The La Roca family killed her.”
Matar closed his eyes and looked sorrowful.
The man in black resume eye contact, this time with a fire burning in his eyes. “But they won’t get away with it! I’ll have my revenge!”
Matar nodded approvingly. “And that man you killed?”
The man nodded in reply. “Yes, he works for the La Rocas. I don’t know what you were doing with him, but I assure you, you didn’t have any business with him.”
Matar’s grin indicated he was appreciative. But his face turned skeptical again. “You’ve been here this whole time. Why haven’t you taken out Fuerzo La Roca by now?” his face expressed.
The man scoffed and shook his head. “It’s not that easy. First of all, I’ve been taking out his henchmen this whole time. Secondly, I’m using a secret weapon which keeps me untraceable.” He motioned for them to step closer. He held out his arrow with a hollow tip next to another arrow which had a tiny reservoir with a black fluid in it. He pointed to the fluid. Then he made a slit motion across his throat. Ah, so that must be the deadly poison that spelled the end of Rieppeleon.