It was awkward to try to intimidate someone taller than me, and our relative positions didn’t make things any better. My left hand was clutching his left wrist, so his arm was crossed in front of him in a weird way as he tried to turn to face me.
“I warned you, kid!” the man said, and then the threw a punch directly at my face.
I was ready for something like that. I could have dodged if I was willing to let go, but I wasn’t. The punch moved almost in slow motion. With it going cross body like that, it wouldn’t hit me as hard… but I could tell the man was quite strong. Maybe around 400? I turned my head as my face got hit, to dull the impact… but that just meant I was almost passing out instead of actually knocked out completely. My only saving grace was that I tightened my grip to keep myself steady… and my right hand came up to grab his other wrist.
“Ah! Llyr!” Kantrilla looked at my face, and immediately cast a healing spell. That made me a bit more steady on my feet. Then she turned to glare at the man, “You… you jerk! Now I know why you don’t have a cleric!”
“Pfeh!” The man spit on my face. “You better let me go, kid!”
“No way. You’ll just attack me again.” I looked around… the entire guild was standing around awkwardly. “This guy just attacked me in the middle of the guild. Aren’t you going to do something?”
Those nearby just looked away awkwardly, and the man laughed, “Hah! I’m the guildmaster’s brother! You’re the one who’s going to be in trouble if you don’t let me go!” At that point, he tried to headbutt me, but he could actually move. I was stronger than him and in a better position.
I sighed. What a pain. I kicked one of his legs out from under him, and the other followed. Then I twisted him around and planted him on his stomach, still holding his arms- but behind him now. I stood with my foot on his back. I looked around and shouted to the room, “You let him get away with this? Here, in the capital? So much for the adventurer’s guild!” I wasn’t going to let the guy go. If he really was the guildmaster’s brother, he would still find a way to place blame on me anyway. The only thing I could think to do was make the incident bigger than it already was. “Nobody’s going to help me arrest this guy?”
Finally, someone stepped forward… but he didn’t look like he was going to help me. “You’re in big trouble kid. You better stop here. If the guildmaster finds out…” He shrugged as he pulled out a sword, “Well, it won’t matter because I’ll deal with you first.”
“If you take one step closer I’ll dislocate his shoulders.” I stepped down harder and pulled, and the man below me cried out. I almost went with ‘rip his arms off’, but that sounded too… unpleasant. I was also only like 50 percent sure I could do that. It was time to shout some more, “Is this what the guild it? A place where the old bully the young?” I had more to say… but I was interrupted by a booming voice as a truly huge man entered the room.
“What’s going on here?” I was small… five feet tall, and skinny to boot. Sgar, meanwhile, was over six foot tall, and several times as thick as me in every way. This guy made Sgar look like a child. He had to have been nine or ten feet tall- his head nearly touched the roof of the stairs. Was he even human? He bent over the nearest person, and his voice boomed out again, ‘What happened here?”
“Ah, uh… sir guildmaster… this kid attacked your brother, unprovoked!”
“Liar!” Kantrilla shouted out immediately, “This guy was trying to force me to join his party and then punched my friend when he tried to stop him!”
The guildmaster picked up the person next to him and brought him up to eye level, which meant he was dangling several feet off the ground, “Who’s telling the truth here?” HIs voice continued to boom throughout the whole area, “You, or the little girl?”
“Ob… obviously your brother is in the right here.” the guild member that had been picked up stammered. He was quickly lowered to the floor, and the guildmaster turned toward me.
Ah, this was it. I was going to die. Had I made the wrong choice? No, the guy under my feet was scum. If Kantrilla had actually joined his party no good would have come of it. As soon as I interfered, he would have gotten me in trouble somehow anyway. I hadn’t really hurt him, so I was well within the bounds of self defense. My father had told me that a real man must do the right thing no matter of the consequences. I hadn’t known them at the time, but I wouldn’t change them now.
The guildmaster’s steps boomed as he walked across the room. It only took him a few step to reach me, then he bent over almost ninety degrees at the waist. This made his face come down to just above me, and I was looking directly up at him. It was terrifying… but I kept my back straight… and my grip firm. I had no way to go through with my earlier threat of dislocating shoulders at this point, but maybe I could do something when he reached out to squash me. The giant man’s voice shook me as he spoke, “What do you have to say for yourself?”
All I could do was speak as clearly as possible, “Kantrilla already told the truth. I merely grabbed his wrist to keep him from touching her, then he punched me in the face.” For once, I was glad that healing magic wasn’t an instant fix. I could feel my face becoming puffy and bruised, and I had no doubt it was visible. “But you should already know that’s the truth. Things like this must have happened before. Otherwise the guild members here wouldn’t have been so afraid to act. You might kill me, but I won’t stand for such injustice in the guild!”
I thought I’d been lucky to be brought here. That this was a fantasy world where magic and adventurers and justice could exist… but it seemed the top was corrupt. I would have liked to be able to do something about it… but it was already too late.