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   Chapter 2 No.2

The Adventures of Larson and Garrett - Investigating Trouble By AaronDennis Characters: 5351

Updated: 2018-01-04 12:02


Mathew called out to the man, saying only, "Driver."

He turned to acknowledge the detective, revealing him as an older man with short, white hair, and a neatly trimmed beard. Finally, the three boarded the open cart. Upon butts touching the wooden bench, the driver snapped the reins and asked Mathew about their destination.

"Take us to the clothing shops on the north side of town, " he replied before turning to his new companions. "I'll spare no expense for attire."

Looking themselves over, it was evident they were in need of new garb. Larson's leather armor was practically falling off his body, and Garrett's clothing was absolutely shredded; his athletic physique gleaming under magickal light. As they slowly started moving, and the driver cut the cart in a circle to go back north, Larson asked, "Why all the frills?"

"Frills?" Mathew echoed.

"Our horses at the castle stables, you paying for our meal, our clothes, offering a nicer place to rest…. This all feels rather–"

Mathew waved his hand to silence the warrior. "What can I say? Xorinth welcomes you with open arms on behalf of Prince Roan."

"What does the prince have to do with us, " Garrett pried.

"Everything will become clear tonight. For now, just be happy you weren't devoured by wyverns. Be happy that trinket is in safe hands, and be happy I trust the both of you. I only ask of you the same."

Larson narrowed his eyes and Garrett ran fingers through his hair. While riding past people, they took a moment of silence to gaze at the fine, stone architecture. The buildings were mostly gray, dark block, with a gothic design; tall steeples, flying buttresses, gloomy, yet somehow vibrant with magickal lights cutting through the darkened surroundings. Before long, Larson fell asleep. Garrett smiled to himself.

"It's nothing short of a miracle that you two have survived, " Mathew commented.

"Hythshydon, " Garrett whispered while looking at the wooden boards of the cart floor. "Were you really there?"

"I was."

"It must have been a terrible sight. The stories my dad told…and they were nothing compared with the stories Rolas told me. My dad, he, he seemed to want to keep quiet about it, but…."

"Indeed, " the detective said, indifferently. "It's where I met both your father and Rolas, so I figured my mentioning it would rally you to my side."

"What exactly is your side?"

As the conversation continued, the cart master rode them around the great wall protecting the castle. Since the whole of Xorinth was designed in a wheel and spoke system of streets, the castle at the center, they were able to curl around the immense, stone barrier that ensc

onced the keep, the prince's very own home. It was a fifty foot tall, circular monstrosity of bluish, gray stone ground down and smoothed to a fine finish. Several openings along the wall, which held hallways for the guards' patrol, allowed Garrett a chance to see the city's protectors marching, keeping the prince safe. Atop the curved wall were more men leaning on ramparts, and every so often, the cart rode under lighted crystals of pure, magickal essence, crystals, which grew out at an angle from the very wall.

"My side is next to Prince Roan…not the king, though he is my true employer, " Mathew eventually divulged.

"You're no detective then?" Mathew gave a nearly imperceptible shrug in reply to Garrett's question. Garrett wasn't sure if that meant he was or wasn't a detective, but it did mean he didn't care to explicate. "Will we be working together?"

"You don't think all these frills come without a price tag, do you?" Mathew almost smiled.

Garrett yawned and fought to stay awake. Mathew was a character, for sure, and Garrett did trust him, but there was so much at stake. He then thought back to Larson's words regarding finding someone to assist them on their quest, someone powerful, and Mathew had the right connections; a few favors might earn them the prince's ear, and the Magickal Prince was a good ally to have in troubled times, maybe the best, yet the fencer was a bit hesitant; even with the mention of Hythsydon, Mathew seemed too perfect an employer and at too perfect a time.

"Tell me about King Roan, " Garrett started. Mathew was looking up at the sky, his hands folded behind his head. The wind slightly ruffled his short, brown hair. The man clenched his jaw, but did not respond. "Someone is bending his ear, I think, the Dark One…perhaps, " Garrett trailed off.

"Perhaps."

"Why so secretive?"

"I didn't survive this long by flapping loose lips." Mathew claimed. Though rebuffed, Garrett was too tired to press the issue. "I will reveal more when the time is right, when the setting is right. I know the both of you are good men. Of that, there is no doubt, and today, good men are scarce. You want something to fight for, a common cause, a righteous cause. I will provide you that…or rather, I will provide you the opportunity. The cause is there, and you both have been swept up in it…a miracle that you did not take Lagos up on his offer."

"What offer?" Garrett was aghast.

Mathew finally looked at him. "Did he not show himself?"

"Yes, but how could you have known. I didn't tell you about that."

"I understand Lagos's power…that amulet you gave Rolas is not the only artifact containing it."

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