Saturday, August 15, 2015

Red As Any Blood--Part 9

Kessler sipped his drink as he lay on the floor, and gave a contented sigh. He tried to figure out what it was that gave it such a fine flavor.  He thought he tasted a bit of ale in there, but... there was something else, something he couldn't place...

A voice intruded on his musings.  "Any luck?" said Bres.

"Doesn't the fact I'm here answer that question?" replied Kessler.

"As I was wondering if you'd found any signs of the missing patrol," noted the Prince's Man, sitting down next to Kessler, "no, not at all."

"Well, we haven't," muttered Kessler.  "By the Gods, Bres, these men vanish into the woods.   It's what they do!"

"Yes," agreed Bres.  "And your job is to find them.  If they are doing this, and you are not doing that, then we have developed a bit of a problem here."  A hideously insincere smile touched his rattish face.  "In my humble opinion."

"And what is the solution to this problem," said Kessler, taking another sip.

"Well, there are two," said Bres.  "One, which is favorable to you, is you find them." 

Kessler found himself... concerned by that.  "And the other?"

"That one runs we find someone who will do your job," said Bres.  "Not good for you.  Especially when you consider what happens to most men we stop employing."

Kessler considered things.  "I'm starting to think that might not be such a bad thing," he said.  "Only thing I'll miss is this," he said raising his bottle.  "And I'm sure the Seven won't grudge me a bottle now and then where you'd send me."

Bres actually chuckled at that.  "Just try and find them," he said as he turned to leave the room.

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