Once again, Ragnar Grimfang is on the prowl… in my weekly serial story.
I certainly hoped it was fear that I saw in Lily Gemarkand’s eyes. A man has his pride.
Her guards escorted me from the compound. I was barely given time to clean the blood off my armour. I did not fancy having to explain a crimson stain to glory seeking Old Town watchmen.
It was a welcome relief then, when the evening rain began to beat down on the tiled roofs of those venerable houses, washing me clean. I escaped Old Myrrhn with little hassle.
I was in no mood to return to the comforts of the little house I shared with the twins. Miss Gemarkand’s arena battle left a foul taste in my mouth. It is not that I minded killing Ravak Kal Marud. The Devout are murderous bastards who made a religion of might making right. They are a source of sorrow and destruction wherever they are found, and I saw no evidence that he had been any different. More than that, he had been a worthy opponent, despite not being ascended. His physical prowess and his skill at arms had been more than I expected. I did not regret killing him. Our duel would be a tale worth repeating.
Although having that fight forced upon me was vexing. My people value freedom even more than glory, and being forced into a fight, however worthy, for the entertainment of a spoiled merchant princess was an affront. I wondered how I could possibly gain vengeance on one of the few people powerful enough to sleep easy the city of assassins. Nothing leapt to mind. Other Nordan might have been able to rouse their kinsmen for a raid or an embargo, but I was an exile. I would have to let it go, for now.
Lost in thought, I wandered the dark, rain slick streets of the city, crossing over onto Market Isle. The empty stalls and quiet waggons were a far cry from the bustle the day would bring. A few caravan guards eyed me suspiciously from small gatherings. I thought for a moment about trying to find the roving night bazaar, the city’s best black market, but even that challenge seemed sour to me tonight.
I left the market, heading out via the Emperor’s Arch, the newest and most impressive bridge in Myrrhn. An enormous span of iron and cable the bridge arched over several of the poorer islands, allowing visiting merchants to make their way directly to Market Isle without having to navigate some of the less reputable neighborhoods. Unlike the rest of the city the gleaming metal form of the bridge seemed almost limp in the wet and the dark.
There were observation platforms on the bridge. I made my way to one that have me a good view of the sea to the north and west.
I was bothered by my lack of progress. I believed the assassin, Sapphire’s erstwhile lover when he said he did not kill her. I also believed Lily when she said that Sapphire was far more useful to her alive. That left me with no immediate suspects for what seemed to be a very personal killing.
I had to be missing something.