CHAPTER THREE: Crossing the Rabbit's Path (8)

     “That was,” Grom started, “that was, uh, that was . . .” but uncertain if the dwarven equivalent would suffice, he exclaimed in the human language, “a-amazing!”

     “Incredible. You’re an impressive swordsman, Denthis.”

     He shrugged nonchalantly. “Yes,” he said, “I suppose I did all right.” His leather pack dropped to his feet and he began to rummage through its contents. Denthis continued conversationally, “But I imagine Prince Charming or the White Knight would’ve bested my time. Maybe Goliath too, if he – ah, here we are.” He withdrew a slender tome that was covered in velvety blue silk and strange, golden emblems. “If he wasn’t too distracted by the fire, that is,” he thumbed through the tome and motioned to Ezmyr’s hut, now mostly engulfed by pink and green flames. Frequent bubbles of magic snapped and sizzled like festive fireworks. “I trust you’ll tell the owner that wasn’t my fault either. If my guild hears otherwise, that’ll be an infraction I can’t afford.”

     Grom and Bornen exchanged blank looks.

     He sought for his quill and ink. “Sod,” Denthis remarked hotly as he rubbed together black fingertips, “they broke the glass! That’s going to leave a stain. I just had this shirt tailored too . . .” Bitterly meandering over to a carcass, he punted it and at the same moment conceived an idea, then bent over, dipping his quill into a scarlet font. “Aren’t you familiar with cross country couriering regulations?” he inquired over his shoulder, busily scribbling something into the tome.

     Denthis might as well have asked them if they were acquainted with tasting forage from the Gardens of Starflower, or vacationing on the moon. “You see, if the sender files a complaint against the courier, be it because of trashed and burned property or the like, the guild will deduct from the courier’s overall score, which essentially means they’ll lose points. And you don’t want to lose those, am I right?” He chuckled as one does when making obvious what should already be common knowledge.

     They seemed all the more puzzled after his explanation endeavored to sink through the thickness of their ignorance, but failed miserably, rolling past their skulls and into nothingness.

      “You know . . . those little stamps that every adventurer is after. Well, any decent adventurer I should say. Your credentials are what define you as an adventurer.” He waved the tome aloft for them to gaze upon, but he sensed that this only further baffled them. “You two are registered with a guild . . . aren’t you?”

The End

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