Fenicia growled quietly to herself as she sipped on a pint of mead. She was wasting her time here and she knew it. No one even remotely fitting the description given to her by the general was in here, and nobody here had seen him anywhere. Nonetheless, she forced herself to sit quietly and watch the occupants with a hidden scrutiny, and noting with distaste that the majority of them were sergals, a balance between northern and southern, although there were a few who seemed to be of mixed blood. In the corners, there were a few agudners, but they were mainly simply servants that attended to the whims of their sergal masters. Those who did not fit their description mainly flocked together, speaking in hushed tones and occasionally casting a wary and suspicious glance around the room. While she did pay closer attention to them, she noticed their fur was much shorter than what she was looking for, and they were far older as well - old men in the later stages of decline, fearful of the world they were leaving, and fearful to be leaving it. She paid them no further mind than to ensure they were not who they were looking for.

            The place she had chosen to look for her target was a tavern and brothel in the heart of the Gold Ring. The fact she was deep in enemy territory did not bother her in the slightest - in fact, it was rather exciting, considering that the locals didn't pay her so much as a second glance, considering how well she had concealed her true origins - leaving behind her armor and weaponry in favor of a locally-purchased dagger, and light clothing to cover her frame. The place was dark, warm, and filled with the smell of alcohol, smoke, and the entwining of people that obviously occurred in this place. It was rather a low place to be at, but she had to be certain she didn't miss a place her target would visit - or perhaps even frequent.

            She quietly sighed and picked up her glass again, taking another measured sip and keeping a general pulse on the conversation in the room with an ear. After setting her glass down, she spotted a mangy-looking northerner staring at her. She stared back for a moment, before the other broke eye contact. With a small snort, she took another look around, taking another measured sip, before she noticed the aforementioned northerner making his way over to her, their tail swaying back and forth. "Hello," she said quietly, though in all honesty quite disinterestedly.

            "Hello, madam," replied the sergal, who Fenicia quickly realized was one of the males of her kind. She really had hoped this kind of thing wouldn't happen. In her opinion, male sergals were rather stupid, especially northern males. All they cared about was food and sex, and rather more the second than the first.

            "What do you need?" she asked rather bluntly, keeping as much bite out of her voice as her slight irritation would allow.

            The male's ears folded back ever so slightly at this. "Well, I came to see how I could serve you, ma'am," he said quietly, but flashing the smallest of smiles.

            Fenicia did not respond for a moment, in order to refrain from lashing out at him. Couldn't he see she was in the middle of an intelligence operation and that he was blowing her cover by making her noticeable? Of course not, she surmised. All he could think with was his dick. Once she had collected her thoughts, she returned the smile, even though she wanted nothing more than to snap his head off. "Really? Because I might have something you could be of use for."

            "Really?" he asked, his ears perking up hopefully as his smile widened a bit. "How might that be, madam?" he asked her, eagerness clear as he waited for her response.

            She gave the smallest of grins, before her face returned back to neutral. She took a measured and long sip of her drink, before answering. "I am looking for a specific individual. Agudner, male, young adult, and with periwinkle-blue eyes. Also, his fur is likely to be more similar to ours in terms of length."

            The sergal cocked his head a bit at the last part. "Is he partly - like us?" he asked, carefully wording his question, the disgust at the prospect evident in his face. She could also see the slight disappointment at the fact that she didn't respond in the way he had hoped.

            Fenicia snorted in amusement. "Some might think so," she replied with a short shrug. "But as far as I know, no. Probably one of the easterners from the mountains that managed to get away when the invasion started." The words simply came out of their own accord. In all honesty, she did not know. But if she thought about it, the more sense it made. The agudners in the east seemed to mostly favor the city, but there was that village in the mountains that she had been to, her first assignment as a captain, and the first time she had ever seen Silves anywhere other than Colthlan... Those agudners had looked frighteningly similar to her kind at a glance...

            She shook her head. The memories of that place always left a bad taste in her mouth. That place seemed to have suffered more than others, perhaps by the fact that anyone older than ten years of age was killed, instead of simply slaughtering the fighting aged men and enslaving the rest, as she had seen with other agudner-populated villages. She hadn't ever come to terms with why that would have been the case, but she always wondered. For now, as before, she pushed it to the side. That would not aid in her search for this mysterious person, who she had a feeling would be nothing short of a master of evasion, if General Silves truly needed her to search for him.

            The male gave a small nod of his head. "So - you want me to kill him for you?" he asks, cocking his head a bit in confusion.

            Fenicia was quick to respond. "Absolutely not. I want you to keep an eye out for him, and report to me on his whereabouts. Try to find a consistency in his pattern that we can take advantage of him. You are not to engage him in any fashion, understood?"

            The male's ears folded back at this. "Yes, madam," he said meekly.

            Fenicia gave a slightly satisfied nod. "Good. Now go," she said, nodding her head in the direction of where he had been seated previously.

            The male nodded, seeming to try to stand at attention, before making his way back to his seat, his ears and tail drooped. Fenicia gave a small snort of disgust before she finished her drink. She had lingered here for far too long. Certainly, the person she was searching for would not choose such a place - far too many northern born sergals were present here, and agudners were not known to associate with northern kin, especially after the invasion of the east which resulted in their people's enslavement.

            After a moment or two, she stood up and headed for the exit. She had had more than enough of this place. Her target almost certainly would not visit that place - too dark, dirty, and people far too rough for the likes of him. She had to remember that by all means her target was likely a very normal person, if only for the sake of appearances. She paid the bartender in shells, the average currency for the Gold Ring, before she headed towards the door to make her exit. She swore to herself quietly. That was nothing short of a waste of time. The real killer was that there was going to be an exorbitant amount of wasting time before she had any hopes of finding her ever-elusive target. 

            I don't even have a name for my target, she realized. If I at least had a name, I'd know who to ask about and could figure this out so much more easily. She assumed General Silves would have given a name if she knew it, but it was understandable that she did not. This wasn't the first time she had heard the General order someone to be brought to her. In fact, it was rather common, come to think of it. The only unusual aspect of this case was that the target was not a sergal who had devoted themselves to the way of Judda, as it was well known that Silves seemed to have a particular affinity for those, but rather an agudner who seemed to defy nearly every description given of a normal person of his kind. Perhaps that was the reason for why Silves wanted him brought to her - another trophy to add to her spoils. She silently snarled to herself. If that were the case, she would be investigating something that a captain of a specialized unit should not have to be investigating. How she knew this person was even real and not a daydream remained lost to Fenicia. She had to investigate this regardless of his existence, and it really didn't matter how the General knew if he even existed or not, nor did it matter why she needed him - orders were orders.

            And no sane person ever disobeyed General Silves' orders. 

The End

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