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The Adventures of Larson and Garrett - On the Honor of Thieves By AaronDennis Characters: 11010

Updated: 2018-01-04 12:02


On the Honor of Thieves

Larson and Garrett Adventure the Eighth by Aaron Dennis

Published by www.storiesbydennis.com March 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.

Late at night in the city of Xorinth, Garrett sat at the counter of Rowdy's Bar; a rather seedy tavern close to the homes of laborers. While Xorinth lacked a defined poor district, and there were no mines in the vicinity, the city was still home to farmers and construction workers, small shop owners, seamstresses, bakers, and the like. Rowdy's Bar was where they spent their coin during troubling times, and these were certainly troubling times for Garrett.

Rolas had been murdered, the libratoreum had been ransacked, the Lagos artifacts were stolen, and though the city guard had originally suspected Garrett, he had been recently cleared, yet his troubles were only beginning. His friends were nowhere to be found, and detective Mathew was off investigating the whereabouts of the thieves or assassins who had broken into the libratoreum. Though warned to keep his nose clean for the time, Garrett had other plans. Sitting at the grungy tavern, under magickal lighting, the fencer ran his hand over the wooden counter before rubbing his fingers together. There had been but a little grime.

"'Nother ale?" Rowdy, a gap toothed, red-headed gentleman asked.

Garrett nodded. As he drank the frothy beverage, he kept his head down and his ears open for any word of what had recently transpired. The city folk were in an uproar to be sure; they made claims that the guard were incompetent, that such a major attack on such a prominent building was unacceptable, that certainly the thieves' guild was to blame. Thieves' guild? Garrett wondered.

It was no surprise that Xorinth, a major city in Ruvonia was home to a thieves' guild, but he had never ran across a group of organized thieves before. A dwarven couple next to him were making ludicrous claims that the thieves' guild operated the whole of Xorinth from the sewers beneath the city, but Garrett knew that if such a thing were true, Prince Roan would have to be involved, and he was no thief; he was possibly the last remaining, redeemable ruler in the entire country. Besides, no thieves would have been able to get past Rolas's magickal barriers, much less stab him in the back. It's rare to meet a thief that murders a dozen guards, a dozen citizens, and a famed magick user such as Rolas, and only to steal the Lagos artifacts…nothing else was stolen, and even I couldn't find where the artifacts were stashed…Mathew had mentioned a safe room. I wonder if he'll turn up any evidence.

Garrett prodded his chest. The pain from the bolt of magickal lightning that destroyed his armor yet ached. Still, the thieves' guild is a concept worthy of consideration, he surmised. Thieves were privy to information, which was easily bought and sold. Furthermore, in order to survive and function within a city such as Xorinth, a group of thieves had to be united.

Thinking back to the young man who had literally ran in to him during his departure from the temple of Tarielle, Garrett decided then and there that approaching the thieves with a purse full of coin was a great way to start his own investigation. But where to start? He wondered. It would take days to roam the extensive sewers, supposing that's where their stationed. If I could at least contact everyone else, we could split up and cover the city in only a day or two, but as it stands, I've no clue where to search for ruffians.

"One more?"

Rowdy's call startled Garrett. He hadn't noticed he'd polished off his third drink. His head was too woozy for another round, and he waved the barkeep off before plunking down a few coppers. Then, he quickly snatched them back. Since Rowdy was reaching for the payment at that very instant, the action took the barkeep by surprise.

"Hey!"

"Sorry, " Garrett smiled. "I'll pay you extra if you can tell me something."

"You'll pay extra with yer' teeth if you don't gimme' my money now."

"Easy, mate, " Garrett said and pulled two silver coins from his pouch. He placed the coins on the bar, and Rowdy scooped them up quicker than greased lightning. "I need to know something."

"What?"

"Is there somewhere private we could chat…for just a moment?"

Rowdy placed his fists on his bulging hips. The apron over his greasy tunic didn't help to hide his saggy midsection, which jiggled when he motioned with his head to the door next to the booze shelf. The barkeep shuffled to and then through the door. A second later, Garrett followed suit. In the kitchen, while a fat woman toiled over dirty dishes and a young girl worked the grill, Garrett and Rowdy shared a quiet conversation.

"People are saying the thieves' guild is responsible for the recent attack, " Garrett started.

"Aye, what of it?"

"What do you think?"

"It's not my business; I run a bar and likes it that way

."

Garrett nodded slowly. He scrutinized the hairy-knuckled brute.

"Should one be so inclined to make thieves his business, " Garrett smiled, brazenly. "Where might one begin his search?"

"Rowdy?" the fat woman squealed.

"Pipe down, Marietta. I'm talkin' to a customer!"

"Oh, well forgive me, " Marietta said, sardonically. "Leave it ta' the head of the house ta' waste time jawin' when there's work ta' be done."

"Shut up, woman, or so help me–"

"Sir, " Garrett interrupted.

"What?! Oh, sorry…right, you wanna find some thieves. Look, " Rowdy trailed off and cleaned his hands on a damp rag. "Alls I know is that on occasion a man comes by here, sits in the last booth at the rear of the bar, and he gives people money."

"Gives people money?"

Rowdy rolled his eyes, peevishly. "I think he's a fence, but no one actually gives him anythin', see? So ya' can't prove he's involved in anythin'."

"Well, when does this guy come in, " Garrett pried. Rowdy shrugged. "What does he look like?!"

"I dunno', " Rowdy waved his hands. "He's about yay tall, has a thick mustache, wears a leather vest, and a pocket watch made o' gold."

"That shouldn't be too hard to spot. Thanks, Rowdy."

Garrett started to walk through the kitchen in order to exit through the back and into the alleys. Before he made it outside, Rowdy and Marietta were yapping at each other about dirty clutter. Once the fencer shut the door behind him, he looked up at the stars, which caused him to wince in pain; the impact of magickal lightning did not wear off quickly.

Since the southwestern edge of the city was closest to both the larger farmlands and the warehouses where the construction companies stored their resources, Garrett moseyed around Rowdy's tavern, through the alleyway, between the tavern and a dingy inn built of wood, and over to a fountain of sculpted stone made to look like a voluptuous woman pouring water eternally from a carafe. The fountain was small, so the statue was only about three feet tall, and across from it, in front of a local grocer, were two, wooden benches. The crystal obelisk next to the grocer's door provided ample light, which reflected off the water. Garrett plunked down on the bench and sat, patiently awaiting the appearance of the mustachioed man with the leather vest and pocket watch.

There was no way to know if the man was coming in that night, or when he might choose to present himself at all, but there was nothing else for Garrett to do. Gritting his teeth and fretting over the death of his friend, he gave himself fully to the task at hand.

He sat for hours. His eyes glossed over the architecture; though many of the buildings near the outskirts of Xorinth were built mostly of dark wood, the architecture was rather sublime, polished oak and mahogany glinted in a dazzling array of refracted, magickal light. Taking a deep breath to relax, the young fencer found himself a bit morose. Watching people of all kinds and races walking into and out of Rowdy's reminded him of his childhood.

For hours, while his father conducted business, Garrett sat on the edge of the supply cart or on a horse and watched people go by as his father charismatically bought and sold wares. He had been happy then, carefree. It was different now; he had a purpose, a vengeful calling. Unfortunately, none of the citizenry fit the description Rowdy had given about the man. Finally, the sound of pouring water from the nearby fountain proved too much. Garrett needed to pee. Damnit, it would be when I need to relieve myself that he'll show up. Oh, I know.

"You there, " he called out. A portly, elven gentleman with a wooden pipe between his teeth turned around. His arm was linked to his wife's bread dough arm. "A favor, please?"

"I haven't any money, vagabond, " the elf snarled.

"I have money, and I want to give it to you, " Garrett chuckled.

"Are you daft?" the elf barked—removing the pipe from his teeth—but his wife smacked him in the belly and yelled at him to be polite.

Garrett approached the couple, who were beneath the crystalline light above Rowdy's sign. "Here, take a few coppers. I need you two to sit at the bench over there, " he said pointing. "I need to relieve myself, I'm afraid, but I'm waiting for a particular person to walk inside this bar."

"Listen, you mongrel, " the elf bellowed, but again, his wife smacked him in the belly. He gave her a dirty look then whispered something to her. She whispered something back, and the man huffed. "Pay for our dinner, and you have yourself a deal."

"Fine, here's five." Garrett pulled the coins from his purse. "I'll be right back."

After making certain the elves were doing as they were paid, he darted off into an alley and peed. Upon returning, he asked if the man he was looking for had appeared, and they shook their heads, so he bid them a good night, and returned his rump to the bench. The bittersweet smell of whatever leaf the elf was smoking hung in the air a moment.

It was a while yet before his back was stiff and his tuchas was numb, but by then, the sun was starting to rise, and the obelisks were starting to dim. A new insight came unto the fencer. He stood, arched his back, rubbed his cheeks, and marched back inside Rowdy's. Most of the patrons had come and gone, leaving the bar desolate. The young woman was sweeping the floors, and Rowdy was turning stools upside down.

"We're closed, " he said without turning around.

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