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 9
Taking the risk of being attacked from behind, I turn my attention back to the trader. “Healing?”
The nervous look in her eye tells me that blindfold man’s coming over.
“Lady,” I snap.
She focuses back on me and opens her hand. There’s a pendant of a… holy crap.
“This looks like Randmon,” I say, plucking from her hand and stepping backwards.
I bang right into the human wall behind me.
By the time I close my hand around it, she’s gone.
“She pay you a good price?” The blindfold man’s voice is deep enough to rattle the bones of the dead.
I chew on my upper lip for a second before stepping forward and turning around. I give him a narrow-eyed stare.
Having a proper moment to study him, I can’t help but raise an eyebrow. This guy’s a monster. His skin’s a burnt dark brown, a few shades darker than mine and with more red.
Glancing down at the few inches of tattoos on my forearms, I give him another look and realize this guy’s a quilt of scars and branding. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Something tugs at the edge of my mind, maybe that’s not entirely true. I try to grab it, but whatever it was runs away like a kid having stolen my candy.
His arms are the size of my legs. I can imagine him wielding a maul in one hand, bringing its massive hammer end down and shattering enemies in a single blow.
I look passed him and seeing no one’s with him. I’m not buying he’s without sight, but his expression’s stern and tight cheek muscles are telling me he’s taking a risk. He’s holding back.
There’s a satchel sitting mostly behind him, a strap securing it around his waste. Yigging thing would probably be a backpack for me, for all I know, and I’m not a small guy by any stretch.
Rubbing the side of my mouth and then tugging on my lips for a second, I try to think of what to say, skipping over the snarky ones that offer themselves up as quick ways to die.
“To be honest, I can’t tell. What’s a gild?”
He points at my closed hand. “So she didn’t just give you the piece of jewelry? Good. There’s a lot of scammers here, come on. We’ve got to talk.”
Lumbering a few steps, he turns back, realizing I haven’t moved an inch. “You coming or not?” He raises his chin, his shoulders rise.
“We suddenly friends?” I ask, blinking slowly in case he goes for something.
“You prefer to die?” he replies, his forehead furrowing.
Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a few faces in the shadows of the tents watching us. There could be a lot of them, wondering what’s going on. For all I know, they’re going to take us both out for causing trouble.
Rubbing my thumb against my index finger thinking, I take a deep breath. The flash of pain reminds me that I’m not supposed to do that. There’s no way that I hid that from the blindfold man.
My stomach’s turning upside down and inside out. I’m not sure what it means, or if I have any mana left in the tank.
“Gilds are coins?” I ask, giving a darting glance at the tent the trader had disappeared into.
“This a good amount?” I ask, jingling the purse I was given.
He shrugs. “Good enough.”
“Then I’ll buy the beer.”
As I follow the blindfold man along the winding dirt path between tents of all kinds, I note how everyone seems to give him no more than a casual glance. Either they’re used to seeing him, his kind, or it’s something else.
Me on the other hand, they’re giving sideways glares. The hair on the back of my neck’s standing up.
There doesn’t seem to be any identifiable guards or soldiers, which makes me wonder if this place is here year round or just for a few days.
I stagger off the path again and take a moment to breathe. My head’s tilted to one side, guess my body’s trying to counter-balance.
Running my tongue along the inside of my lip, I can taste copper, but there’s no cut. Must be coming up with every cough. Maybe it’s more than just broken ribs.
My head bobs and I almost tip over. Forcing my gaze up, I can still see the blindfold man, but I’m going to lose him.
Several people on the path slow down and start staring.
Glaring back, I notice a pendant on someone and remember the one the trader gave me. It’s still clutched in the fist of the arm I’ve got pushing against my ribs.
Wincing and grunting, I put the mouse pendant on, and pick up the pace.
At some point, I’ve got to figure out what happened to Randmon at some point. That little guy kept me from completely losing my mind. I owe him.
We turn a corner in the endless sea of tents and stand before a three-story building. Its base is carved stone, probably from something that was already here. The rest is a rich, dark wood. The big guy’s skin is a disturbingly close match to it. I ain’t asking any questions.
The place has a lot of windows, which is pretty daring for a tavern if you ask me. It’s filled with loud patrons, with a steady stream coming and going.
Next to the building is a garden unlike anything I can remember seeing before. There’s a winding waterfall that comes down to a pond with colorful fish swimming about. Surrounding all of it is a radiating rainbow of beautiful flowers, and at the back is a towering cluster of trees.
The blindfold man taps me on the shoulder with the back of his hand.
“Huh? Oh. Sorry, haven’t seen anything like that,” I say, cracking my neck to the side.
He steps through the entrance and I go to to do the same and stop.
Rubbing my thumbs over the top of my fists, I step back. I feel like a chill’s waiting to run down my spine. Am I just getting paranoid?
There’s a hint of that buzzing that drove me crazy a little while ago at the back of my mind.
Lifting my gaze, I look at the ridge of the valley. There’s nothing.
Maybe I just need to relax and…
Die. Remember, that’s what’ll happen.
My blood runs cold. “Who said that?”
“Are you going in or not?” says an irritated guy leading a small party of robe-wearing merchants behind me.
I take a breath and notice that there was no stabbing pain. Tapping the pendant, I let a half-hearted smile escape. Maybe this trinket actually does something.
“Come on then,” says the still annoyed merchant.
“Yeah, yeah.” I step into the bar. Noise and a mix of cheer and yelling wash over me.
The blindfold man’s at the far end, at the bar. He lifts his head as I enter and turns to face me, acknowledging my presence. It’s creepy.
Pushing through the mass of people, I feel a sense of belonging and home. It’s nice. It’s got standing tables all over the place, and a set of stairs by the bar up to the second floor.
As I get two-thirds of the way to the bar, I bump into the back of someone. Just as the apology escapes my lips, I recognize the woman on the other side of the rounding, standing table. The blonde hair and green tips are unmistakable.
Without a thought, I whip out my mana-pistol and put it right in her face. “Where’s my yigging short-sword?”
Read Episode 10
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