Crimson chorus from the.., p.9
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       Crimson Chorus, From the Nine Kingdoms (Chapter 2), p.9
 

          
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  ***

  The nigh was shining at the 4th silver-hour. Hector, the bartender of Nectar Tavern was walking through the main south avenue towards the south entry, in the middle of a deep calmly. The streets during the night were very different than during the day; free of merchants who obstruct their width and without people who obstruct the longitudinal vision.

  He deviated and zigzagged in a bystreet, getting lost in the urban labyrinth. The reason wasn’t his disorientation because he knew exactly where he was and to where he was going. He had arrived in a bleak point of the city, where a group of mercenaries were waiting for him, which after saw him arrive, they greeted him with respect.

  “Had you brought what I asked?” asked Hector guessing yes after saw that they were guarding a shipment of six barrels.

  “As you had asked ...” responded the lead mercenary, showing him the shipment that they were guarding jealously. “There are, six barrels of mix.”

 

  “Excellent,” responded Hector while approaching to check the barrels. “Did you dare to open them?!”

 

  “No ... sealed as you asked.”

  “Perfect,” added Hector, and next he gave him a bag with copprou’s.

  “This is all? And where’s the request ...?” asked the lead mercenary after took the payment.

  “About that, I’ll take care,” responded Hector. “You’ll understand that I don’t trust in any of you. That’s why ... I’ll take care of giving it personally to the Respected One.”

  “Well, well, well. What we had here ...?”

  They were surprised by a voice proceeding from a figure that was contrasting in the darkness. But, he wasn’t alone because there were more shadows with him. They approached sufficiently until they were seen. It was the guild leader Garga and his subordinates of the guild South Legion. In seconds Hector and the mercenaries were surrounded, tensing the night atmosphere.

 

  “It is a cold night to be doing illegal business in the bystreets of my neighborhood. This is a serious offense for my providing security ...” said Garga, checking the barrels that were dissipating a sweet scent. “It was easy to found you, thanks to the sweet scent of this ... mix ...”

 

  “You have arrived just at time, comrade Garga,” added Hector affably. “I needed of someone who can help me with this.”

 

  “I like to be on time in my appointments,” said Garga responding with same behavior. “You ...” he spoke to the mercenaries, “already had been paid, now get out from here. And do not cause any trouble in my domains ...”

  After the warning, the mercenaries dispersed scared, disappearing in the night mist.

  “I do not like mercenaries ...” added Garga with repudiation in his words. “You, assure to bring this shipment, and try to be discreet. We do not want to alert the watchers.” He ordered to his companions sarcastically because they were watchers.

  “There will be no problem?” asked Hector.

  “As always, everything has been assured. Those barrels will arrive safely.”

  “Thanks.”

  “And, about the other service ...?”

  “I need to deliver to the respected one a package.”

  “A package, may I know what is it?”

  Hector smiled and denied nodding.

  “I understand. Then I will take care to deliver it ...”

  “Nay,” said Hector interrupting. “I would like to do it personally, and if you don’t mind, I would like you to escort me.”

  “It is the same for me. I suppose I cannot deny,” said Garga sarcastically.

  “Let’s go then.” He returned the gesture.

  They took a route adjacent to the wall that let them to go out from the neighborhood and arrive at the South Entry. A watcher, who was guarding, greeted them discretely. Out of there was a vehicle that was waiting for them; both arrive the vehicle and started the trip.

  Their crossing took them to the Main City of Mercenaries. It was illuminated completely but, wasn’t walled neither existed the vigilance as the Capital; anyone could enter and could go out at a pleased time. It wasn’t necessary a registration because the security was by oneself. That’s why in this place the recruiting of mercenaries was a profitable business, almost necessary for those who didn’t know the city because, as there were mercenaries ready to protect in exchange for some rocobs also there were mercenaries ready to swindle the naïve ones. Watchers weren’t well welcome in that place, they were repudiated but, there was one which everyone respected because at his genesis he wore the flag of mercenary, and that had been Garga.

  They entered through the principal avenue. Many curious had their attention in the vehicle.

  “The discretion in this city is absent ...” said Hector after noticed that they were being observed.

  “Of course,” added Garga. “It is almost like a law. All of them represent the eyes and ears of the Respected One. It is their duty to know who we are and where we going.”

  “I’m afraid they come to close. Although, one of them will recognize me if they do it ...”

  “They will not. Not if I am here,” responded Garga presumptuously.

  Some building were decorated the entry with torches, and their interior with candles that reflected the light through their windows. The fire was a tool that not everyone liked to use, and in the Capital only the watcher could use for safety.

  They arrived at the door of a building that highlighted for his width, located in the deep of the city. Mercenaries went in and out carefree. Both descended from the vehicle and entered to the place.

  The interior was decorated as a tavern; doing to Hector feel familiarize but not too much. Mercenaries of all races were in, and of which there were more Sandeans and Plateeans. The presence of both attracted the attention of everyone; in the middle of a synchronized pause and a sea of question glares that only lasted a few moments, for later restore the atmosphere.

  A mercenary guide intercepted them, blocking their way.

  “Comrade Hahario, how so long,” greeted Garga recognizing him.

  “You ...” said Hector, “I saw you before ... yes ... you had been a couple of times in my tavern. Isn’t It?”

  “Good evening, comrades,” responded the guide. “The respected waiting, follow me.”

  They walked through the halls, evading mercenaries, until they acceded in another small room, which was being guarded by four forte-being mercenaries who at the same time were guarding the access to a second room. The mercenary guide permitted them to enter, doing a sign; they acceded. The second room was isolated of the exterior noise, in an atmosphere of calmly shadow, painted by a violet smoke outing of long jars that contained oils that was scenting. The silver light of Soluna was entering through a kind of windows located on the roof. At the back of the room, a shadow was observing them, hidden behind a curtain that was overshadowing more his figure; he was emanating a destructive will-force. The guide leaved the room.

 

  “Good evening comrades.” The greeting was heard from a masculine and seductive voice proceeding from the figure that was reassuring with foreign accent as if he didn’t dominate the dry language. “I was waiting for you.”

  “Good evening, respected”, both said.

  “Comrade Hector, come close. Did you receive the shipment?”

  “Yes. Everything was delivered as we agreed,” responded Hector approaching steps more, and taking a relaxing posture. “Until now, none of the messengers have failed. And I am grateful.”

  “I am glad to hear that. Although that gratitude must be for our comrade Garga, that without him, we couldn’t achieve such shipments.”

  “I accept the gratitude but, I cannot presume my expertise. Lately things have been complicating with the activity of chief Dolomeo ...” responded Garga as reproaching.

  “I promised that I would take care ...” added the respected pausing the subject. “Before th
at I want to discuss an unsolved matter with the comrade Hector, who that is why the reason of his visit.”

  “It is about the fight of the taverns ...” continued Hector.

  “Have you have problems?”

  “Not at all, just with the insistent bartenders from the east neighborhood. Recently, it has had two attacks against my personal traders, and once against my tavern. My informants have told me that it was with the intention to steal my secret recipe. I made to return them the favor but, I do not think that put out them of the game. It seems they have been receiving aid from the east guild, not officially just from some of them, renegades ...”

  “There’s no need to worry. Even if they got the recipe, could never make it; never without the mix. For the moment, we must still resist. It won’t be long before that neighborhood falls in our hands. Comrade, have you tried to persuade that group.”

  “Indeed but, they have exaggerated with their price. I think they try to swindle me ... Although I have got the support of many others for less. I have here the list scroll signed for those who had agreed to join us ...”

  “Now I get it ...” said Garga interrupting. “Both we got the same task ... Isn’t it, Respected?”

  “It was necessary,” responded the respected, justifying him. “Understand it like this. Those whom doubt his will-force, we have given them two paths to follow: the path that always have followed, continuing their watching tasks but to the service of a different leader; and the mercenary path, deserting to form part of the waves that lead Hector in the fight of the taverns. Both paths take them to the same purpose ... ours.”

  “It seems to me a great plan but, you had explained from the beginning,” said Garga, “thereby we would work together to assure the success.”

 

  “I was afraid that by doing it, you would be offended if I named one of you as leader of this plan. I recognize that both work in different ways; I did not want you to be obstructed by each other, neither that the relationship between you was exposed.”

  “I understand ... But also, I suppose my visit here it is not causality ... Likewise, aren’t we exposing by coming here?”

  “I suggested to comrade Hector to ask for your company.”

  “So that was your errand ...” commented Garga, glaring with complicity to his bartender friend.

  “I hope you understand me, comrade. It was important to keep it in secret,” answered Hector excusing.

  “I understand, although I dislike surprises. I hope from now on you keep me informed of everything, comrades.

  “We will do it,” assured the respected. “About the topic of the guild alliance, what is the information that you got?”

  “Well, I would not call them an alliance,” responded Garga. “The only faithful to chief Dolomeo are those from the guild West Guard. And as for the guild Wall East, they do not leave their internal rebellion due the constant absent of their leader; if it was not for the guild-hand Reenjeen, that guild would have already disbanded.”

  “We must not underestimate the guild leader,” commented the respected.

  “Neither fears her. I know that she does not do anything than wander around,” added Garga laughing. “At the last reunion of the alliance she did not even fake interest.”

  “Respected, I have noticed some interest in your words after refer about her. Why?” asked Hector.

  “Besides the high guide, someone else has been interfering in our plans.”

  “Do you suspect that it is her?”

  “My doubts are clarified; even it is a very slippery female, the evidences point to yes.”

  “Then, do you think she is working with the high guide Akario?”

  “I do not think so!” said Garga interfering with negative. “She deserted to her tribe, since then she had been repudiated by her brothers ...”

  “Knowing Akario, I do not doubt that they are working together.”

  “If it is so, the situation is going to complicate even more. With the militia, the alliance and Akario’s army, our possibilities of success decreases,” said Garga worried.

  “That is why the mission of find new allies is a primordial task,” said the respected. “We must focus in recruit the most of wills of the guild east, and disband definitely the alliance.”

  “As I commented, I have done everything possible,” added Garga, “I have offered to the renegades the opportunity to join my guild but the replies obtained have been negatives. They are proud and do not want to serve other leader than the actual. I will not beg them; I am doing them a favor ...”

  “Well, I have obtained different results,” added Hector shrewdly. “Of course, I have acted with all the discretion possible.”

 

  “But, what result we had obtained? We are still in the same situation ...” reproached Garga.

  “My primary objective was that as consequence this would bring the definitive disbanded of the alliance,” commented the respected. “Even it is not official, it is a fact.”

  “You are right, studying the situation in detail, certainly it is a fact,” added Garga. “My entire guild is a favor of the cause. Although I could not put mi confidence in the watchers from the guild Wall East; being renegades ...”

  “Well, if we would always pay well them, as the renowned mercenaries, they can serve us,” added Hector. “There is no need to demand loyalty.”

  “That is what calls manipulation,” said Garga.

  “Manipulate them ... it is for they own well,” said the respected. “They must understand it when we achieve the great change, or they will have to perish with those who do not accept it.”

  “Respected, when will be the time?” inquired Hector.

  “We already started. You must be sure that the time is close. That is why we must keep united as till now.”
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