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The Adventures of Larson and Garrett - Investigating Trouble By AaronDennis Characters: 10898

Updated: 2018-01-04 12:02


Investigating Trouble

Larson and Garrett Adventure the Seventh by Aaron Dennis

Published by www.storiesbydennis.com December 2015

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.

This book is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Inside the stone building, which was illuminated by baubles of magickal light stuck to the ceiling, the two friends sat at a booth awaiting their food and drink. Looking the worse for wear after their bout with the wyverns, everyone gaped at them, but neither had the will to acknowledge the puzzled looks from patrons. A jaunty tune coming from the self-playing harpsichord in the far corner gave Balthasar's a happy atmosphere. Their meal was served by a smiling waitress, which added to the momentary contentment.

Not a word was shared between the two travelers. Their baggy eyes saw only the smoked fish and honey baked ham before them. Shoveling food down their gullets, they were simply too tired to care about anything going on outside their line of vision.

"Evening, " someone said, and they nearly jumped out of their skin. Larson choked on his ham. "Apologies, " the man said, removed his round spectacles only to replace them immediately. "I'm Detective Mathew, the guards told me you were here."

Larson and Garrett chuckled at their own reaction, and as they gauged Mathew, a tall, svelte man wearing tailored, black and gray clothing, including a silk shirt, the men remained silent, slowly stuffing their faces. Mathew stood there, not a smile on his clean shaven face; his green eyes, fierce. He didn't look angry, but appeared a statue; immovable with his hands clasped before his navel. Diamond cufflinks sparkled from the magickal light above them.

"Sit, sit, " Garrett eventually said with a motion of the hand.

Mathew slid in next to Larson, across from Garrett, and ran both hands through his short, brown hair, thus pushing the locks back into place. He gave each traveler a cursory look, sniffed once, looked around the restaurant, which was laden with people eating, coming, going, and chatting, and finally dove into the questioning.

"What did you two learn in Talsador?" Mathew remained looking about the tavern.

The warriors were taken aback, with mouths full of food, they traded a confused glance. "Wha- ah, " Larson managed. "I thought…."

"Regarding, " Garrett pried. Mathew gave them each a steady look as his jaw clenched once. Garrett quickly raised and lowered his brow. "I learned that the Dark One hired a mercenary to recover the trinket I just gave to Rolas."

"And?"

"And, " Garrett smirked. "I learned that the forces of destruction are contained within the amulet."

Mathew then turned to Larson. He licked his finger clean of ham grease, and looking sheepish, proceeded to wipe his mouth and then his finger on a cloth napkin.

"I was just passing through, " he said before deferring back to Garrett.

"That's all we learned in Talsador."

"You were told that Lagos is gaining followers, yes?" Mathew confronted them.

"Well, " Garrett chortled. "Yes."

"You were told that worshiping Akalabash is the answer to the proposed forthcoming danger, " Mathew asserted as though he'd been there. Larson and Garrett traded another glance, this time of amazement and distrust for their fellow investigator. "What trouble has this trinket brought unto you?"

"You tell me, " Garrett yapped.

Mathew snorted derisively, but remained silent. Larson took the initiative and recounted what he knew about the pendant. The detective winced slightly and gave a subtle nod, which Larson took as a sign of acceptance, but then Mathew changed subjects.

"Tell me about the wyverns, " he said and cleared his throat. Once more, the warriors traded a look, this time smiling in subtle disbelief. Larson and Garrett recounted their dealings from the time they left Talsador to their run in with the guard commander. "Is it not likely that the wyverns were drawn by the trinket? The dragon as well?"

"I suppose anything is possible at this point, " Garrett conceded. There was a look of expectance in Mathew's demeanor. Garrett continued, "But that's exactly why we hightailed it here, to drop that thing off with Rolas. If anyone can keep it safe, it's him."

Mathew nodded slowly, seemingly pleased with the answer. "That is likely true. An object of such power, such danger, is best left here. I believe your intentions are pure, after all, I know who both of you are." The travelers shrugged approvingly to one another after Mathew's assertion. "Larson Ross, " Mathew said to draw the warrior's attention. "You were born in Flotsam; the boy who killed the reaper. You were trained by Holden."

"Now, hold on, " Larson interrupted, but Mathew did not heed him.

"After Holden's death, you eventually met Garrett Ansalle, son of Elias Ansalle. I know about you both. Though I was not present during your activities, there are those under my emplo

y who were, " the detective said, mysteriously. "I have traveled far outside of Xorinth, and it would seem that you two have stumbled onto one of my own investigations."

"I thought you were just a detective, " Larson said, squinting.

"Just a detective?" Mathew echoed. He made a face implying that that was an acceptable summation of his position; it was an expression of acquiescence without humility, but without insult as well. "I am based here in Xorinth for a reason, but I work for King Roan."

"You'll have to excuse us, " Larson said. "We're very tired, and while it has recently been our mission to deliver the amulet to safety, our loyalty lies with the people of Ruvonia, not the king. Our mission is complete."

Mathew almost smiled at Larson. He then clasped his hands before his face, thus blocking his view of Garrett. Oddly, he then quickly cocked his head to the side, thus viewing Garrett askance. Finally, he readjusted his glasses, but remained silent.

"What, " Garrett asked.

Mathew gave a subtle shrug, saying, "There is not much more I can say here at this time, but we are all after answers…you yet wonder after this trinket and the forces of destruction, so let me give you a quick answer to put your minds at ease, and particularly yours, Larson; Mathew Ross is alive."

Larson set his jaw and turned in his seat. He slid his left hand across the booth back and behind Mathew. As though leaning in with a sense of camaraderie, he brought his himself close to the detective. He then frowned; it was meant to be an imposing penetration of personal space. Mathew did not seem affected.

"You'd better explain yourself, " Larson warned.

"I can say to you this; he was called away for duty when he arrived in Half Pine during the reaper plight."

"Called away for duty?" Larson growled.

Garrett watched the scene unfold. He quickly glanced from the two before him to the rest of the inn. No one seemed to notice the ensuing tensions.

"Yes, " Mathew said.

"How do you know this?"

"I told you; I have eyes and ears everywhere."

"Not good enough, " Larson snarled. "My father was a good man, a retired soldier, he would never run out on what little was left of his family!"

"Ross was not a soldier, " Mathew said with an even temper. Larson slid back in disbelief. Anticipating a request for more information, the man said, "I will tell you more when I can. For now, " he added and placed a hand on Larson's wrist, "trust that we are seeking the same conclusion."

"How do you mean?" Garrett demanded, but Mathew quickly stood from the booth and glanced at each warrior. "What is this?"

"Listen, " Mathew said with a tight lipped smile that vanished quicker than it appeared. "There is little else to say on the matter, but how about I help you out as a friend?" Still in disbelief, Larson and Garrett only traded another look of shock. "Your horses are safe at the castle's stables, so in the meantime, I can provide a ride by cart through the city. We'll get you two some new clothes, and then we can find you a more suitable place to rest."

"I don't trust you, " Larson affirmed.

"I do, " Garrett said and drew his lips in while turning back to Larson, whose jaw slackened a bit. "He'll tell us more along the way."

"Perhaps, " Mathew whispered and looked towards the door.

Some patrons walked behind the detective. The barkeep was wiping down the counter. The harpsichord stopped then, and the chatter of patrons grew more noticeable. Mathew gave a motion of the hand towards the door.

"He's not arresting us. We're not under suspicions. Let's see where all this goes, " Garrett suggested.

Fluffing out his damaged hair, Larson took a deep inhalation through the nose, cocked his eyes at his friend, and finally heaved a sigh. The fencer's lip curled in a sly smile, and he looked up to Mathew, who remained patient.

Since Garrett was the more sympathetic of the warrior-travelers, Mathew said to him, "Rolas and I go way back…back to Hythshydon."

Garrett turned back to Larson, who was puzzled, and curtly said, "He's good. We can trust him."

"What is Hythshydon, " Larson asked, anxiously.

"We'll explain along the way. For now, let's get out of here, " Garrett ordered and started sliding out of the booth.

Larson started to make his way off as well, and while fiddling with his coin pouch, Mathew said, "Payment is not necessary. I have a tab here."

Looking up at the detective, Larson nodded, and then they all made their way outside. Shadows graced the stone streets of Xorinth. Many people of all races milled about. Some wore finer clothing; there didn't appear to be a peasant among the crowds, though. There were some guards in black and red garb and scale mail doing their patrols. Mathew took the streets south by a luminescent, thin obelisk. It looked like a neatly chiseled, four foot tall, diamond, but it radiated a soft light that cut through the shadows cast down from the building on the other side of the street. The city was filled with the odd formations, and so there was plenty of light even during the night.

After a short walk by rather tall buildings, they all came to a crossroads where a man sat atop a cart. He was wearing a black suit comprised of cloth pants and a long, black coat. The top hat the man wore gave him a gentlemanly appearance, though from their current vantage point, his face was hidden.

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