I knew Enok Csorba as soon as he walked through the door. I’d only seen him through blurry eyes before, but I was sure it was him. Not that there had been all that much doubt. Shadow Priests and others who could create shadow figures weren’t very common. I tried not to look at him, while only very carefully using the guild card to make sure it wasn’t just someone else nearby, but he seemed to be at the right distance. Within a few yards, anyway. I couldn’t do too much more with the card without accidentally drawing attention to myself, so I put it away.
He went up to the counter and was talking to one of the receptionists there, though I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I could barely hear him, but even if I could I couldn’t understand. He was native to Escait, after all.
I almost didn’t notice Kazik staggering over towards me. Of course, I would have noticed when he staggered into my chair, but he was half hidden the rest of the time. That came with being shorter than most of the tables. “Upsh, shorry~” he said as he staggered away. I wasn’t sure what he was doing if he came all the way over only to bump into me and not say anything of worth.
Then a few seconds later I saw a guild card glowing on the floor halfway across the main guild hall, and Enok went over and picked it up, then walked back to the counter. He scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.
I was momentarily confused, but then I started to sweat nervously… even though everything was already over.
When Enok left I wanted to follow after him… but I realized it wouldn’t be a good idea. I wasn’t stealthy at all, and I didn’t even have a way to follow him at a distance now. Instead I waited for a chance to talk to Kazik. “Thanks.”
“No problem. I want you to succeed, you know?” Kazik nodded. “Of course the first thing that he did when he returned was go to the guild… then he noticed his missing guild card. Good thing I was listening. If we’re lucky, he never even checked for it until now. If not, he’s probably on alert. Either way, it’s better than them finding you with it.”
“Yeah.” I took a swig of ale. It was terrible tasting but actually not terribly strong… which was good because I hadn’t really had any alcohol before meeting Kazik, and I wasn’t really fond of it. “Now what?” Tracking him with his guild card was the best option we had.
“Now… you use the other one. You couldn’t find her directly before but I think that was because… he hadn’t arrived yet. At least, he did say he just got back today. That doesn’t mean it’s true of course,” Kazik shook his head, “But it’s our best lead. It would make sense they travelled slower if they had to avoid being seen, and they had a larger group. Try that section of the city again, and I’ll keep my eyes and ears open.”
It felt like walking around using the guild card to search for Kantrilla took more out of me than before. Maybe it was just the nerves from something actually happening, or maybe I really was wasting mana because of it. It didn’t really take much mana to do, but when trying to detect her as far out as possible, it wasn’t insignificant either.
However, within a few hours of moving around the general section of city Kazik had determined their secret base likely was in, I got something. I was about to give up, because I had covered most of the area and I should have been able to detect her within a mile or so, and I thought I was closer than that to the center of the area.
I spent the rest of the day wandering about the area, trying to narrow in on where she was. I couldn’t ever detect her within a few tens of yards, and that was worrying, but I narrowed down the area quite a bit. Maybe she was underground, but the other possibility was that buildings and other such things interfered with my distance approximations. However, I at least knew one thing. She was there, somewhere, in one of those twenty or so buildings.
Unless there was some more complicated method of getting to wherever she was being kept. I was exhausted and out of mana and it was getting dark- and it wasn’t a great part of the city. Maybe nobody would want to mess with someone in armor, but I’d rather not get involved with any sort of incidents. Most people ignored me, but if anyone knew Enok and mentioned me it could negate what element of surprise I had.
I asked Kazik what he thought. “Well, she should be somewhere there… many people have basements and such. They go straight down so… it’s likely the same for your friends. Otherwise there are arguments about which space is whose, though that happens near the edges anyway with the cliff-dwellings. There, the folks with money win.” Kazik shrugged, “At least we’ve confirmed she’d there somewhere. They shouldn’t have a terribly complicated or deep arrangement of basements because they might run into the dungeon if they go too deep. Even though it’s just the outside… there have been problems with that in the past.”
“So now I just have to watch that section for who goes in? If we see Enok or his party members, it’s the right one.”
“Well, yeah… but you’d better leave that job to me. You have all the stealth of an armadillo. Having you show up in the same area for a few days will get suspicious fast.”
“A few days? Can’t you do something faster?” I couldn’t bear to let anything more happen to Kantrilla now that we pretty much knew where she was.
“Hey, I might get lucky, but a few days is already pretty quick if you want to not get caught. It’s not like I can watch every place all the time, I have to see one of them get close, and they aren’t likely to go to a secret location all the time. They’ve got homes, after all.”
“Right…” I nodded. “I’m just… please do your best, okay?”
“Of course. Now… don’t go and do anything stupid in the meantime, okay? I’ll find ‘em. We’ve got a good lead now, after all.”