When I was fourteen I was riding one day along the Orchard Trail, my horse got spooked by a snake and I was thrown. When I hit the ground I broke my ankle. My horse ran off so I had to walk three and a half miles back to the Duke’s estate. It took me almost four hours and in the process I wandered into a patch of poison ivy and before I realized what had happened I rubbed it into my eye. Did I cry like an infant almost the entire time? Yes, yes I did. But the point is that I did it. Why I am bringing this up? I understand that I can’t really understand the pain involved in getting slammed in the dick and I understand that Scrua got kicked so hard it lifted him off the ground and I understand that probably something in there is broken. But even so that guy was a real baby walking back to the inn. It was only a couple blocks, in the city, on streets, and he still acted like it was a death march. Get your shit together man.
Once we did finally get back to the inn Bru and Scarlet were doting on him instantly. That’s another thing that I don’t understand – he’s a good looking man (despite his clothing) but seeing him “injured” doesn’t make him more attractive it makes him less so. There’s nothing desirable about needing help – handle your own broken junk, that phrasing sounded weird but you know what I mean. Helping a bird with a broken wing I understand, it’s a bird, it can’t help itself – but people? If they can’t help themselves you’re not doing them a favor by coddling them. If you can’t make it on your own you’re not going to make it and people trying to stall that just makes it worse when the end comes. I jumped onto one of the chairs at the table where Bru and Scarlet were fawning over the sweating and pale Scrua.
“Before we discuss a fee for finding this Velya character I believe there’s the matter of my five hundred. Please give the money to the woman behind the counter and then we can talk.”
Bru scowled at me “He’s in no condition for that!”
“Nothing happened to his hands. Or do you want to reach into his pocket for him?”
Scrau gasped like he was in tremendous pain but he was clearly faking it for sympathy “I don’t have the money on me, when I can I’ll have to go get it for you.”
“Pathetic. You ladies fancy a card game while we wait?”
Have you heard the expression “withering gaze”? I could almost literally feel my fur wilt as Bru and Scarlet turned their scornful gaze on me. Never let it be said that I can’t take a hint. I went over to the bar and leapt up on a stool to chat with Josta, who as usual was standing behind the bar drinking from a tankard.
“She left, some errand or other.”
“To do what?”
She shrugged “Couldn’t say, I don’t feel it’s my business to keep track of their comings and goings.”
“You’re going to make a great boss.”
The afternoon passed slowly and boringly. Bru and Scarlet took Scrua upstairs so they could wait on him more appropriately and Josta isn’t really much of a conversationalist. It was late in the afternoon, I was dozing on the stairs in a sunny spot when Captain Maple finally returned. Even though this is the most important thing in the world to me right now I was very tempted to just open one eye and then go back to sleep cat-style. I need to get back to being human as soon as possible, my mind is starting to slip. I forced myself to get up.
“What’s the news?”
“I’m going to be quick, I don’t want to be seen here.”
“You could have been even quicker if you had bypassed saying that and just told me what you found out.”
“Was Cladarielle doing something with the Lucky Bones gang?”
“She mentioned them when she was telling me who might be able to help me, again you could just tell me what’s going on instead of asking me question if you really wanted to get out of here quickly.”
“I think they grabbed her. I was able to follow her trail on the day she disappeared to a place called Blossom, she was last seen in the company of a man called Crentist who is a known associate of the Lucky Bones. After that the trail disappears.”
“Alright, so what are you going to do about it?”
“Why would I do anything?”
“You see that badge on your chest? I believe that means you’re a captain in the watch. Captain is a rank in the hierarchy of a military or quasi-military organization. The city watch is one such organization and is charged with . . .”
“Don’t sass me cat!”
“Do your fucking job then. Last I knew a citizen disappearing is the kind of thing that the watch investigates. And this is a prominent citizen not some gross poor person, the law actually applies to someone like her.”
“What am I supposed to put on the paperwork? I was blackmailed by a whore and a talking cat?”
“Who cares, out whatever you want. Say a snitch told you about it. Say you witnessed it yourself. Say some anonymous citizens filed a complaint. That’s not a real obstacle, that’s something you’re leaning on because you don’t want to do your job.”
“I did my part, I gound out what there is to find out, if you or Bru ever contact me again I will not be happy.”
“You might be surprised to find out that your happiness means very little to me. Or maybe you wouldn’t, you see like a sharp enough fellow to have figured that one out on your own.”
He left in a huff, just as Fiestia was coming back – he blundered into her and almost sent her sprawling to the floor. She looked like she was about to make a sharp comment about him colliding with her but the look on his face disabused her of that notion quickly. She held the door for him as he marched out angrily and then looked over to me.
“What was that about?”
“He came here looking for you, he said he wanted to marry you and take you away to live in his mansion and command his army of servants. But since you weren’t here he got angry and then left.”
She scowled “Has anyone ever told you that you have a real sour personality?”
Eventually Scrua came back down to the common room with Bru and Scarlet helping him and the three of them went and got my money. He wanted me to help him find out who Velya was but he had no more money so I told him to take a hike. Bru and Scarlet were outraged and swore that they would help him. I wish them good luck. After they were gone I was sitting at the bar lapping from a bowl of rum that Josta poured for me.
“You should probably slow down, you only weigh like eight pounds.”
“If you’re going to make a living serving alcohol you need to get used to letting people overindulge.”
“Why didn’t you tell the book guy that you’d help him in return for him selling all those books you have stashed everywhere?”
“Because I didn’t think of it! Why didn’t you say that before?!”
She shrugged “I figured you knew what you were doing.”
“You shrug a lot you know that? It’s very annoying. Shrugs have always been poor manners, or at least that is what I was taught. When asked a question, you should give a proper verbal answer.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. So what are you going to do now?”
“Something I don’t want to do. A prominent citizen has been kidnapped by wicked men. I’ve got some money and I’m a mysterious patron at an inn. If I wasn’t a cat I’d get a mysterious cloak and sit in the shadowy corner drinking mysteriously and not talking to anyone.”
I couldn’t stop myself from hissing “Adventurers.”
Hair regrowth progress : NA
Funds: 800 gold (held in trust)
Inventory: Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Enchanted Tattoo (Storm)
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee, Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage