Knife To Meet You! - novelonlinefull.com
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A quill scribbled away at a sheet of paper on a nearby desk. Scratchy swirls drowned out the quiet rattles of the letter.
A signature ended with a hurried flourish. Another paper slammed into the ever growing stack on the dark wood desk. Another sheet picked up from the even larger stack beside it and fixed on the wooden writing surface.
"...Count Heras invites you to a hunt, my lord.", The servant's voice droned.
Gaff Beorni felt the butler's gaze on him.
He gave it no mind and picked up his quill. "That b.a.s.t.a.r.d can rot in h.e.l.l."
A moment of silence, following by the quill hitting the paper.
"Do... Do I reject his proposal then, my lord?", The tentative monotonous voice called out questioningly.
The quill slammed on the desk. Gaff looked up, or well, glared upwards at the butler.
"Tell me something, is 'merchant' a rank in the n.o.bility?", He asked with an eerily calm voice, quite contrary to his glare and clenched fist.
"No my lord." The butler replied, the monotonous voice breaching just a hint of fear.
"What about a 'Count' then? Is a Count a member of the n.o.bility?" The clenched fist opened up and a hand lightly slammed the table.
"Yes, my lord." The butler tried his best not to look away from Gaff's face.
"And what, pray tell, does someone not from the n.o.bility do when a n.o.ble beckons them?"
The butler remained silent.
"You go and grovel your nose on his shiny boots and hope you don't lose your head.", Gaff answered himself. His face had softened up considerably by then, much to the butler's confusion.
"Yes, my lord. I will send a letter of acceptance to Count Heras.", The butler bowed.
Gaff leaned back into his armchair and nodded in approval. "You've done well, staying composed through all of that. When's the hunt?"
The butler bowed again. "Thank you, my lord. The hunt is on the 6th of this week."*
Gaff picked up his quill again and looked at the paper in front of him.
The butler moved to grab another letter.
As Gaff read the request on the table, he noticed something strange.
'... Supplies for a tavern...? … Required by 8 tonight...?' He drew a line under the words. There was no mention at all of what these supplies were to be. Not to mention that Gaff's company dealt with precious minerals for magic purposes and not supplies you would consider a tavern would require anyway.
"... Duke Chavion asks for more financial advice, my lord.", The butler summarized the next letter.
"Again? I should've chosen a better n.o.ble to back...", Gaff gritted his teeth. His eyes didn't leave the paper in front of him. "Starting to wonder if he'd ever be worth the investment..."
There. A faint watermark. An 'S' stuck through the middle horizontally. Lyk's symbol.
'Ah, meetup details!', his mind clicked. 'He must have found something.'
"Call Chavion for a meeting tomorrow then." Gaff looked up at the butler. "Tea time.", He added. His code for 'It's urgent'.
"And get me a carriage to this tavern tonight.", He slid the request over to the butler, his finger tapping the address. "The owner has some explaining to do."
Gaff was escorted to the second floor of the tavern by the owner.
"Second to last door on your left. He's waiting there.", The tavernkeep stopped and whispered.
Gaff nodded, a displeased flown on his face. It was quite the shoddy tavern. Just the kind you would expect lowlifes and thugs to hunker down in. Gaff had to bring his guard here - though that was mostly to scare away the crowd than to protect himself. Lyk only steals when hired to do so. Gaff was safer with his men than he'd ever be with the Royal Guards.
He still had to put up a show though. To give the owner an excuse to call for a private meeting with Gaff. It cost the tavern half of it's patrons, but he couldn't care less.
Besides, less people around meant less potential witnesses anyway.
Gaff continued down the corridor as the tavernkeep hung back. He quickly found the room and entered it.
Inside, under the sole light of the bright moon through the window, he saw a regular albeit a bit shoddy room. A single small bed with a filthy excuse of a mattress. A table opposite it. And barely enough room to walk between them.
And he saw a silhouette of a man stand up from the edge of the bed. Too dimly lit for Gaff to see any of his features.
"Nice to see you again, Gaff.", The silhouette walked towards him.
Gaff recognized that voice. It was one he could never forget. Raspy to the point of sounding painful
"Lyk Sylfter! In the flesh! That is awfully brave of you!", Gaff grinned.
Lyk walked into the light. Gray hair, young, lanky and with a nasty burn covering the right side of his neck and barely visible through the sleeve of his covered right arm. It was hard to believe that such a figure could ever have become the most feared thief in the entirety of Miratea.
"Oh?", Lyk replied, an amused smile on his face. "Why would you say that?"
"Coming here yourself! What would you have done if I had called the Royal Guard here?", Gaff chuckled, extending a hand out to Lyk.
Lyk let out a gravelly laugh. He grasped Gaff's hand and shook it.
But he did not let go of it. "It's funny. You think I should be afraid of them.", He said.
Gaff noticed a new source of light illuminating the room. He looked down to see three rings on Lyk's hand start to glow.
Before he could do anything though, his vision went white.
It took a few moments for his sight to return, but when it did, Gaff found himself in an entirely different room. Much larger, completely empty, made of stone and with no discernible exit.
"Why, they'd never catch me!", Lyk declared with anther raspy laugh and let go of Gaff's hand.
Gaff looked visibly shaken. He walked, slowly, to the wall and felt it. It felt just what it looked like.
"What... did you do?", He asked with a hint of fear in his voice.
"Teleportation. It's rather convenient, no?"
"That's not possible-- You're- Magic doesn't work on people, let alone teleportation!", Gaff looked at Lyk. The prospect of teleportation had widened his eyes.
Lyk shook his head. "But it worked."
"Can I know h-"
"That's not why we're here, Gaff." Lyk interrupted. "Let's get this over with quickly."
Gaff blinked and nodded. He knew better than to pry into Lyk's secrets any further. He stayed silent and let Lyk begin.
"I believe Krys may have succeeded." Lyk said.
"...He stabilized that dagger?"
Was Lyk telling the truth? That dagger was the most powerful tool he had ever seen. If Gaff could get his hands on it and figure out how it worked, he would be able to make sure Chavion got the crown.
"To... some degree at least. My people - Well, my eyes - noticed him using it in the tower. He claimed it was stronger than anything he had seen before. He was sure it hadn't been enchanted in at least three hours before that."
That was amazing news. The dagger did not even work for half an hour during that meeting with Queen Sobha.
"Will you be making a move soon, then?"