(Patreon) Strength 133

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I felt on the table behind me, and only found Kantrilla’s hand. I didn’t want to die like that… and knowing I would die with her was small comfort. Even so, I squeezed her hand.

“Llyr…” Her voice creaked out, barely audible. She said something after that, but I just heard mumbling. I squeezed her hand once more, and she squeezed back, though I barely felt it. Even so, it reassured me. I felt like maybe I could do something.

I slipped, perhaps on my own blood. I barely held onto her hand with my right hand. With my left, I reached over as far as I could toward the next table and grabbed a bottle. I wasn’t sure what good it would do against Enok. All he had to do was send in a shadow figure to grab me and then stab me in the throat, or whatever he wanted.

However, he stepped forward himself. “You’re so stubborn. What a pain.” That was all he said, as he took one more step forward to stab at me… just entering into my range. I swung the bottle with all of my might, including rage and a full powered Bash. Of course, it wouldn’t hit him. He had so much Luck and I was in a bad position.

His dagger came toward me, right toward my eye. It stuck into the wood next to my head as… he tripped. That sent his head straight toward the bottle I was swinging. The golden liquid in the bottle flew everywhere as the bottle shattered.

I kicked out at his leg, and he actually fell… right onto the shard of glass that was sticking out of his eye. This time, I knew he was dead… even as surprised as I was. After all, experience came out of him. More than that, a strange golden mist as well.

—–

Later, I heard what happened outside the room at the same time. Halette and Kasner were burned all over when Halette fired her last arrow. Somehow, it went right through the blazing flame shield Niven had created, and right into her chest. She just stood there and looked down, as if she hadn’t even considered that it might hit her and that she should dodge.

Across from them, Deepak committed to a vertical swing and hit the floor instead of Alhorn, who then proceeded to grab onto it with his free hand. At the same time, Socks jumped onto Deepak from behind, driving him into the ground. He was stunned for a moment, but that was all that was necessary for Socks to bite the back of his neck, crunching through armor.

—–

I just blinked a few times as I couldn’t believe Enok was dead. Perhaps it was a trick, an illusion. I wasn’t positive how to be sure… but then I thought of something. I checked my status window… and my level had changed. That was something he couldn’t fake. However, I didn’t like what I saw. Even so, I couldn’t fuss about a mere ten points of Strength at the moment.

I searched Enok’s body for the key frantically, but I couldn’t find it. “Damn! Where is it?”

“Here.” A hand held out a key in front of my face.

“Oh, thank you.” I took the key and unlocked Kantrilla before I even thought about it. Then I turned back to the dwarf I didn’t recognize. “Who are you? How did you get here?” I stepped in front of Kantrilla protectively. Was it Mehmud? No, he was a human.

“Me?” The dwarf raised a big bushy eyebrow. “Don’t worry about me. You can pretend I’m not here.” He turned to the table with all of the instruments on it, peering over them and looking at the puddle on the floor. “My, these fellows certainly got up to some mischief, didn’t they?”

About that time, Alhorn, Socks, Kasner, and Halette came through the door. Seeing an unknown figure, they moved into combat positions… though Halette didn’t draw an arrow. “Who are you?” Alhorn asked.

“Don’t worry about me, I won’t get in your way. Oh, and you don’t have to worry about Mehmud either. You won’t be seeing him.”

Alhorn looked at me, and I shrugged. Then I looked to Kantrilla. She was laying there with her eyes open and a half smile on her face. She looked thin and tired. Alhorn rushed over and used healing magic, but it didn’t seem to have much effect. Or rather, she probably wasn’t actually injured anyway.

Alhorn stood between me and the suspicious dwarf, gesturing to Kantrilla. I picked her up and walked toward the door. The dwarf turned and waved as we went. After the rest of us were out of the room, Alhorn backed out into the hallway with us and closed the door.

I realized I didn’t have a weapon. I awkwardly grabbed Deepak’s axe, since I still needed to hold onto Kantrilla… then we started moving up the stairs. “It doesn’t matter who that was…” Alhorn said, “Just that we can’t afford to fight them right now. We need to get out of the city. Even if they don’t know to look for us, at some point they’ll notice this group is missing… and if the guild is involved they’ll know to look for Kantrilla at the very least.”

Kazik had our guild cards- that is, for everyone but Kantrilla and me. Our cards were probably long gone, and even if they were around we couldn’t spare the time to find them. Assurances from a mysterious dwarf aside, we still needed to be concerned about Mehmud. Kasner didn’t even make it to the top of the stairs before his ice leg melted and Halette had to carry him the rest of the way.

Kazik stepped out as we exited. “You made it?” He looked down at Kantrilla, “I’m amazed! Quick, let’s go!”

“Right.” I nodded as we followed after him. Alhorn stepped up beside me and used just a bit of healing magic to stop my wounds from bleeding. “Did you see a dwarf go in behind us?”

“Nobody went in or out,” Kazik shook his head, “Why?”

We explained about the mysterious dwarf as we hurried toward the exit of the city. Well, an exit. A few bloody and battered people that didn’t all have guild cards weren’t going to be leaving through the main exit.

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