1- A Stranger in the Village, Part 2

Markus crossed the threshold into Carromsford, and made his way straight toward the butchers. Maeilor Saemon looked up from the carcass he was bludgeoning as Markus entered. Splatters of blood covered his white apron; the apron he had tied around his rather round belly. The scraggly beard he wore was the only hair present on his head; the top of which shone in the light, a sheen of sweat covering it. A snarl crossed his face for a moment at the sight of Markus, and was replaced just as quick with a forced smile.

“Come to sell more of your catches, Markus?”

“Indeed I have, for a fair price, Maeilor. None of your usual scheming”.

He smiled for real. “And why should you think I scheme?”

“Everyone in the village knows you do”. Not very many people liked Maeilor; not even his own daughter. He was seen as a grouch by the rest of the villagers; a thorn in their side. Some saw him as a vile old man, some as cruel, some as both. Others saw him as a disrespectful git; along with a number of other descriptions.

Markus tossed the sac onto the desk in front of Maeilor. He bought meat from the farmers, and from the fishermen. Markus noticed the flicker of surprise on Maeilor’s face; he knew Markus had a good haul, the thud was evidence of that. Reaching in, Markus pulled the hundred pound fish out of the sac. Maeilor’s eyes actually widened with surprise. He moved away from the carcass to examine the fish. Markus stood back and waited.

“Five Crowns”.

“Five Crowns?” Markus was stunned. He knew Maeilor was bad, but that bad? “We both know you will sell each cut from that fish at two crowns each, at least. A catch like this should fetch me ten Crowns at least”.

Maeilor eyed him carefully, judging his character.

“Seven Crowns, seven Sickles. The fish is damaged. My final offer”.

Seven and a half Crowns. It wasn’t damaged; that was just the knife wound from Markus’ kill.Markus gritted his teeth. “And for half the remaining fish in the bag?”

Maeilor glanced inside the bag. “Twelve sickles and I choose which half I keep”.

Markus gritted his teeth again. “Deal”. He deliberately kept the hostile tone. If Maeilor wasn’t going to respect him, he was not going to respect Maeilor. The butcher handed seven gold coins and nineteen silver ones to Markus. Markus watched as the butcher selected the finer fish from the sac for himself. He tossed the considerably lighter sac back to Markus who strode out; the money safely hidden away in his pouch. 

The End

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