A thousand deaths

“Doesn’t look like we are going anywhere for a while, at least.” The man said.

Ikra looked at him. She was wearing torn and ragged clothes, her hair dusty and disheveled. She was posing as a beggar.

“One would think, a world developed as this one would be better at handling weeping gods.” The man continued. It had been raining incessantly since the morning.

Why is he talking to me? She thought, suspicious.

“I hope the king recovers in time for the council meeting.”

Ikra started. She sensed him, no he wasn’t a wizard. “Who are you?” She asked.

“Wrong question, my lady. The right question would be what do I want.” The man said with a sly smile.

“Tanacium.” She said. It was the most valuable possession she had at the moment. “You knew I was going to be here, you also knew I would have Tanacium with me.”

The man nodded. A twinkle in his eyes. She wanted nothing more than wipe it off with a kick to his face.

She drew her dagger and placed it against his throat. “Who are you, and how do you know so much about me?” People shied away from her and the man, terrified.

“I would advise against it my lady, the healer looking after your husband wont be too happy to learn of my demise. We owe each other great debts you see.” The man wasn’t worried, even a little.

“Ax would never harm him.” Ikra said.

“Oh no, not Ax . The other healer.” The man said conspiratorially.

Ikra clenched her jaw and lowered her dagger. She handed him the Tanacium. “If you dishonor the agreement..”

“I will die a thousand deaths by your hand? I would expect nothing less.” The man bowed.

He made it sound genuine, as if he really admired her.

“A word of advice for the king, tell him to be careful. When it comes to change, the world is terribly cruel and unforgiving.” He walked into the crowd and became one with it.

There was no point in continuing the mission. She had to go back to the capital and deal with the other healer. And she needed to do so as quickly as possible. That man couldn’t be trusted to keep his word. A train arrived a second later. She jumped on its roof, dropped the bags she was carrying and jumped again with all her might, disappearing into the sky.

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