“Guild master!” the two thieves gasped. The woman, Larc Racieus assumed, stepped forward “We were told you had been killed.”
Lieran’s visage hardened, but he if he was at all surprised by the revelation, he didn’t show it. He nodded slowly a few times before turning to face Racieus. “It seems like you took my advice to heart young halfling. And very fortunate for you, that you did, else I might not be having this conversation right now.” The assassin bowed deeply to Racieus, “I apologize for the trouble I inadvertently put you in, and hope that my timely rescue has cleared the slate.” Lieran then hesitated for a moment before continuing, “However, it seems that I must now prevail on you. While I could oust the man who has so quickly taken over my guild without your help, it would be much easier, and less costly in life, if I could use you as a diversion.”
Racieus, still crouched over Kellam, pretended to think over, but in truth he had already come to his decision. “I might offer it. How you do plan to restore the balance between us?”
Lieran was quick to respond, “With Vance out of the way, a spot will have opened in our organization. I can not promise you the spot, but I can offer you a chance at it. “
“It is a deal. What is your plan?”
“What is it?”
“The halfling guild master. We have him.”
Vance straightened in his chair. “Was Kellam not ordered to kill him?”
“He was guild master” Larc answered. “But the halfling somehow escaped from him. We managed to capture him before he could end Kellam’s life. He is outside.”
The richly dressed man stood, “Take me to him.” Vance was in no rush as he descended the stairs of the guild house, and used the walk to sort out his thoughts on the matter of the halfling. What he had was certainly impressive, especially for one who was untrained; and he was untrained Vance knew. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been caught so easily, and he lacked the confidence of a trained killer. If his already formidable skills were honed, the halfling could surpass anyone Vance had ever heard of. Quite remarkable for a halfling.
However, his own skin came first, and with power came thoughts of moving up. Vance knew this better than most, and he was worried that halfling might follow in his own footsteps. Reaching the door, the usurper put the mental debate to rest, still not fully convinced either way. He saw the halfling, pinned underneath Demien’s knee.
“You’ve caused me a little bit of trouble halfling.”
Racieus scowled, “The power to avoid that was never in my hands human. I was more than willing to work with you.”
“How was I to know halfling? If only you knew what was on that note, you might be so hard on me. However, you’ve impressed me halfling, and I’m willing to reconsider your petition.” Vance nodded at Demien who took his knee of of the small halfling, and allowed him to return to his feet.
“Am I going to be spoken to in the open like an outsider?” the halfling asked.
“Of course not. Come, we’ll go to my office.” The party dragged Kellam back inside, before traipsing back up the stairs to the top floor of the house. “Now,” said Vance, after he had sat down, “We’ve had a spot open up in organization here. I can’t just offer it to you, because that’s not how it works, but if you can prove yourself, and from what I’ve heard of you in the short time you’ve been here, that shouldn’t be a problem for you.”
Racieus scowled, “That’s not good enough guild master, I suggest you find something better, because I have another offer on the table.”
“Oh?” answered Vance, his ire rising, “And did they offer you a better deal than your life?”
Racieus smirked, and nodded. “They did actually. Your life.” The halfling pulled something from his belt, raised his arm up high, and then threw it hard, aiming for the surface of the desk. The object hit, and exploded with a crack. Just before the smoke enveloped him, Racieus could see the fear on Vance’s face as he stood and began waving his arms around.
“Please! I don’t know who you’re working for, but I can offer you more, I swear!”
The smoke had begun to clear, revealing a dark figure standing behind Vance. As soon as the usurper had finished speaking, the figure drew a knife and had it in front of Vance’s throat in a flash.
“Oh you know exactly who he’s working for” Lieran whispered, and then he swiped the blade across Vance’s neck, leaving a thin red line behind it.