Author’s note: The following was removed from the previous post:
The bag over his head was yanked off. Next to him was Matar who also was being un-bagged. He was clothed again. The room was dark and damp. There was a single flickering candle over head which cast menacing shadows. In front of them was a man standing tall with his hands clasped behind his back. He looked royal even though there was no Emblem on him. His tunic was tailored and trimmed with gold thread. His shoes shined and the leather at the toes curled up into a slight curve. Bruno noticed that the man was elegant and very handsome. Well built and fit his royal clothes perfectly. Behind him were two men. To his left was Czawlytko, still in his intimidating spiked armor and helmet. His eyes glared right at Bruno through the slot helmet. To his right was a man who looked so familiar. He had a slight build and angular face. His 5 o’clock stubble studded his face. It was too dark to make out much more, but the thought that he was familiar stuck in the back of Bruno’s mind.
“Well well well, if it isn’t the Queen’s ants. Want to know how I know? We found a dagger with the Queen’s Royal Emblem on it on the boy. Let’s see, if I had to guess who you are… Hmmm an escort mission? The boy here is a diplomat’s son. And you must be some hapless sacrificial soldier. A nice gesture. I’ll be sure to let the Barron know that the Queen sends her regards; right after I dispose of your bodies. Speaking of which, Czawlytko here tells me that you know of a certain mine. Now… we can do this the hard way or the hard way. I won’t kill you, and you tell me where the mine is. Deal?”
Bruno heard Matar stifle a scream.
“I don’t enjoy doing this. I hate getting my hands dirty. Czawlytko why don’t you take over.” Said the man slowly and purposefully.
Hours passed of torture and interrogation. The same few questions over and over. Every time Bruno passed out from exhaustion, he’d be rudely awakened by smelling salts all over again. Finally he heard a familiar voice. A welcome voice at this point.
“Czawlytko, it’s been 10 hours. What have you learned?”
“Uh well nothing actually. They’re very tight lipped.”
“Well I don’t think you’re going to learn anything from another 10 hours. How about you let them go, and we kill them if they don’t lead us to the mine?”
“Oh I like the sound of that!”
Matar and Bruno were untied. Their bodies were stiff from sitting for 10 hours. They’re rumps were sorest. They stumbled to the floor before they could get their joints to co-operate. Bruno felt a sharp smack to the side of his head and everything went black again.
He awoke sprawled on the grass. His clothes were ruffled and grimy. He looked at Matar who was clothed again, but similarly grimy. His eyes were blood shot and the bags under his eyes could have carried groceries home. The stubble that covered his face left not just a 5 o’clock shadow, but a 12 o’clock shadow. Matar never looked so old.
Matar groaned and pushed himself to his hands and knees. They could breath easily. They were worse for wear, but at least they were free from torture. They lived!
Bruno broke the pregnant silence. “I could really use a nap”
Matar laughed. “Me too. But there’s something we have to do first.”
“Go home?” Bruno joked.
Matar sighed heavily. “No unfortunately. We need to take out Czawlytko.”
“What?” said Bruno incredulously. “But Master, he’s just a common thug! Let him suffer under the reign of his own ignorance.”
“I would, but he, or his mysterious employer now holds my Royal Dagger. It would be dishonorable to return without it.”
“It’s a dagger! We can get you a new one when we get back!”
“No. Each of us is endowed one by the queen upon appointment of our position. Without it, we are just petty martial bureaucrats. I’d rather not return at all, than return without it.”
Bruno groaned. “So… now what?”
“Well we could have my friend assassinate him, but getting in touch with him is purely a matter of luck. Plus there’s always the chance that he assassinates you instead. I think our best bet is to go to the Daily Lynching and see if we can get the ‘other mob’ to take out Czawlytko.
“Wait, there’s two mobs in this town? I thought it was just the La Roca’s”
“Haha, I made a joke. The other mob is the townsfolk of Black Oak Village. Technically they have a justice system, but that is it’s own joke. The Mayor presides over a court where neighbors accuse each other of being part of the La Roca family business. The people vote, and then they kill someone.”