Welcome to the beginning of Season 2 of The Wizard Killer.
Note that this is posted RAW, meaning it has not been edited nor revised.
SPECIAL NOTE: Keep an eye out for the official Season 2 cover, to be revealed soon! First on my newsletter, then after here on my site a few days later.
Season 2 – Episode 10
In the blink of an eye, the woman reaches over, smacks my hands down against the table, and takes the pistol from me.
She pulls back, placing her hands on top of the pistol as if nothing happened.
I put a fist on the table, tightening it until the knuckles crack. Out of the corner of my eye, I’m watching the other salvager.
“Hey, put that away,” says a patron, his face alarmed. He points at the gun. “You know the rules. You’ll get us all killed.”
The woman looks at him and nods.
Glaring at her, I reach for my mana-pistol, but she pulls the pistol closer to her.
I grind my teeth. “Lady, if you want to continue breathing, you’re going to return all of my property in the next six seconds.”
“We, ah… we can’t do that,” says her buddy. Her icy blue eyes shift from me to him.
Taking a breath, I turn my head towards him. “And why’s that? Got a death wish?”
The guy’s big brown eyes lower.
“I don’t have time for this. I don’t care about any yigging rules. I’m done here.” I start reaching for a vest pocket that’s got nothing. “I’ve blown up bigger places than this before.” I narrow my eyes at the woman.
She raises her fingertips, her eyes telling me that my bluff’s working.
Slowly, I move my hand over, and she releases the pistol to me. I immediately put it away. “Where’s my short-sword?”
“Sold,” says the guy salvager, his face twitching.
“It was a contract, we delivered,” says the woman, looking straight into my eyes.
I scan the crowd and scratch the back of my head. “Where do I find this person? And how did they know about it? About me?”
“The stabbed statue… ah, you… was there for years,” says the guy.
“Years?” I furrow my brow and lean into the guy. “What the yig are you talking about?”
“Hey,” barks the woman, stepping around the table and grabbing me by the vest. “We did a job. We didn’t know you weren’t…” She glances about. “You know. You have an issue, take it up with the Wizard of—”
It’s like a bomb silence goes off, radiating from her outwards. In two seconds, the entire place has fallen silent, and everyone is looking at us, no her.
“We have to go,” she says to her friend.
I stand in her way, shaking my head.
Someone slaps a hand down on my shoulder from behind and comes up close to my ear. The bristles of the stranger’s beard scratch the side of my face. “They’re leaving without another word. You want to bring the Wizard’s wrath down on this. Then you’ll have to go through all of us.”
Looking over my shoulder, I say, “I just need to know who’s got my stuff.”
The scavengers make their way around me, and as I go to follow, the guy won’t let me go, and others stand in the way.
After a minute, he shoves me forward. I spin around.
He’s about my size, orange beard, and darker hair. With a thick finger pointed at me, he raises his chin. “Grab a drink. Do something else stupid, and you’ll be in the soup for the dogs. We’ll do it ourselves.”
What kind of place is this? Themselves?
I give him a firm nod, my hands up, my scowl sharing my irritation at the whole event.
Life returns to the tavern.
Rubbing my temple, I turn around and make my way to the bar. The buzzing in my head’s back.
The blindfold man’s standing there with some suspicious elbow room on either side. He lifts his head a touch as I arrive and slides over.
Resting my elbows on the counter, I put a foot up on the brass rail.
The green glass he’s got in his hands looks like someone gave him a child’s drink.
“I don’t mean to be too rude, but why are we here?” I ask him, staring at the shelves of colorful bottles of all sorts across from me.
I wince as the buzzing in my head cranks up a bit. On top of it, I hear that hum again.
He tilts his head back and finishes off his drink. “You were the statue in the white sand.”
Peering over my shoulder to see if anyone’s listening, and satisfied that there isn’t, I nod. “Yeah, apparently. How long was I out there?”
“I heard about it three years ago. It took a year or two before the sands didn’t steal life or mana, so maybe seven years,” he says, facing forward, his voice barely audible.
Something about what he’s saying feels off. I don’t know if he’s lying, stretching something, or what. I wipe the edges of my mouth and catch the eye of the bartender, getting a nod as a promise to return shortly.
“The floating city, they say it crashed because of you,” says the blindfold man. He waits for my reaction.
My blood runs cold. Is this guy setting me up?
I can feel him studying my reaction somehow.
Bowing my head, I try to shake off that buzzing. It’s cutting into the edge of every thought now.
“We’re similar, you and I,” he says, pushing his glass forward. “I wasn’t always like this.”
“Where are you friends by the way?” I ask. “The jackal and the rifleman? I didn’t find their bodies.”
“They are not my friends, but they are in here, for now,” he says tapping the side of his head.
The bartender puts a drink in front of us both and moves on. I frown at the glass and then at him as he scuttles away. “I didn’t even get to order.”
“You don’t order here,” says the blindfold man. “But you have to pay.” He motions for me to pay as he picks up his drink and downs it in one shot.
Taking out a few coins, I put them down. He rolls his finger until I’ve put enough, which is about half what I was paid.
“You’re not making a lot of sense.”
He taps his chest. “The blade that broke on you. I thought it was an accident when you killed one of my ghosts, but then the blade…” He taps his chest again. I notice a scar. I rub my own without thinking.
The hair on the back of my neck’s standing straight up. He stands straight.
We both turn and look at the front door where it feels like another silence bomb’s gone off. A hush spreads over the room.
I push forward just in time to see a merchant woman with a face like she’s seen a horror beyond horrors. She utters one word, “Scourge!”
As the place erupts in panic, I stumble backward against the bar. My head’s spinning and the buzzing forces me to close my eyes and grab hold of the counter.
I feel myself slipping away.
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