Once they were out of hearing and seeing range of Fiona, Seymour pulled a long-bladed dagger from its hiding place in the neck of his boot and slipped it into his belt for easier access.
“Why did you give her your sword,” asked Simon, “if you could have given her that?”
Seymour snorted. “Does Fiona need to know that I keep a fucking dagger in my Rezyn-damned boot? No. Really, Simon, I’m trying to dissuade her from thinking I’m a fucking psychopath. I’m not about to give her more evidence to use against me.”
“I suppose that’s wise.”
“Of course it’s fucking wise.”
“Seymour, when’s your birthday?”
“August 17th. Why do you ask?”
“I’m going to give you a thesaurus for a birthday present, Seymour.”
“Fuck you, Simon. I know what synonyms are. I just don’t fucking choose to use them. Fuck!”
“I hit my head on the fucking ceiling.”
Seoc piped up from the front of the line. “Ye’re really remarkable, Sey. I ha’ never met anyone before who can use some form of the word ‘fuck’ as a noun, verb, adjective, and adverb in the space of a single conversation.”
“I am a exceptionally talented individual, little fish. Unfortunately, it seems that there are few in this world capable of recognizing my singular grammatical aptitude.”
Seoc tried to suppress a bout of laughter, then bent double and propped himself up against the wall, coughing and gasping for breath.
“Are you alright?”
“Sorry…I jus’…choked on my own…spit!”
Seymour patted him gently on the back and relieved him of the torch. “I love you, little fish. You laugh at my stupid jokes.”
“That was no’ a stupid joke, Sey. It was a good one.”
“Well,” Simon contributed, “I thought it was stupid.”
“Nobody asked you, Simon.”
“Now, Seymour, do you really think I’d base my decision to voice my opinions on whether or not I’m asked for it?”
“Excellent deduction, detective.”
The earthen stairway came to an end at another heavy door, this one without any sort of locking mechanism. It swung open slowly, hinges squealing, to reveal another dark, clay-walled passageway that at further inspection was revealed to have been, at one point, paved with sandstone bricks. So much dirt had accumulated on the floor, however, that the pavers no longer really made any difference.
Seoc stepped in first, Seymour following close behind with the torch. The air in the tunnel was damp and heavy, toxic with the scent of mold.
Seymour pulled the front of his tunic up over his nose. “Yech!”
“Considerin’ what’s in here,” Seoc reasoned, “it could smell much worse.”
Simon laughed wryly. “Just imagine! All those corpses in here, rotting. By Rezyn, the stench would be worse than Waelyngar!”
“Stop it,” said Seymour, his voice muffled by the fabric that he had wadded in front of his face.
“Their fluids oozing out and soaking into the soil,” Simon continued with relish. “Ah, it would be atrocious!”
“I’ll fucking vomit on you, you little bastard.”
Seoc sighed melodramatically. “Will you two break it up? We canna stand aboot bickerin’ all day!”
Sullenly, they proceeded into the stagnant darkness of the catacombs, walking on as the walls closed around them.