Sacripant moved through the rainy street with an eerie grace, eyes glittering in the shadows. As Nathan watched him, so fast and sure-footed in this murk, it struck him this was how the Nightfolk had fought off the Holy Empire and caused so much trouble in the Lands of Light. The Lamplighter gave a slight shudder--and then remembered that without the Erl's talents, he would be dead.
He took a deep breath, and followed Sacripant across the street. "What's.." he began.
Sacripant raised a hand to silence him. "Careful. I'm not sure I hit him. Or her. You have female assassins in Talossa?"
"Probably," said Nathan hesitatingly. "I really don't know. I don't talk to the Guild."
"There's..." The Marsh Erl sighed. "Of course there's a Guild of killers, or some such thing."
"Guild of Knife-sharpeners," answered Nathan. "At least, that's what I hear."
"Right," said Sacripant. "Should have expected something like that." He coughed. "All right. Whoever is there, I'm giving you a chance to surrender. Before I really unleash the pain. And the possible killing. Which I'm very good at. Any answer?"
There was silence for a moment. "That... that sounds very reasonable," came a quavering voice. "Especially avoiding the killing. Yes, yes, I think that is very appealing to me right now."
"Well, just come out," said Sacripant, "and..."
"Ahhh.... yes, sadly, when I fell from the pain of your horribly accurate knife-throw, I think I sprained my leg," the voice said awkwardly. "And with my arm still less than usable, I don't think I can get up."
"Your answer does not encourage trust," said Sacripant. "Especially when you recall that you tried to kill me."
"Actually, that was my associate. Who has fled," said the voice. "Now, please, please just come and assist me. By Guild law, I've just signed my death warrant by agreeing to this."
"So why did you?" asked Sacripant.
"Because in a very short period of time, you've managed to scare me more," came the answer.