The Happenings I
Series The Happenings by Azaelia Silmarwen
Chapter 10
Writer Azaelia Silmarwen
Chapter Chronology
Previous Journey to the Thief
Next Heroes United
Journey to the Thief Chapter Chronology Heroes United


Reaver casually glanced over at me, when he heard the door close behind me, before looking back at the man sculpturing his perfect complexion.

'Well, hello there.' he said, not even bothering to look at me. 'Always a nice surprise to have company – I don’t get many visitors to my coastal paradise. Especially from one that might re-describe a man’s definition of “paradise”.' he added, looking back over at me, and taking in my tired yet muddy complexion.

'I could say the same thing about you,' I replied without thinking. Last time we had met, I had been in a foul mood and had not paid much attention to what Reaver looked like, but now that I had a good chance to take him in, I could see why everyone swooned over him. I had never seen his equal in looks or height. It was a nice change to see a man that was taller than I was.

'You little minx.' Reaver chuckled, walking over to me. 'My dear, didn't anyone ever tell you that it is bad manners to wear ones hat inside?' he asked, standing right in front of me. As he said it, his hand reached up and took off my hat, before using his other hand to gently raise my chin up to face him. 'Well, well, well. If it isn't the young lady from Bowerstone Market.' Reaver then said with a big smirk on his face when he realised who I was.

'You remember me?' I said, eyes widening. I never thought that he would remember me out of all the girls that were there that night, and out of all the girls he probably slept with.

'Of course I remember you, my dear.' Reaver purred. 'How could I forget someone like you? I have never see a woman more beautiful in all my life, with your eyes shaming the clearest of crystal pools, snow white soft skin on which the Abionite face tattoo stands, and light brown hair that seems to glow. However, I notice that you have cut it. You look even better with short hair.' Reaver added, lightly brushing some hair out of my face. 'I told you that we would meet again. Now how would you like to join me -'

'Reaver, I didn't travel through Wraithmarsh just to sleep with you.' I said, coming to my senses and stepping back. 'I've come to talk business with you.'

'Well I'm impressed, my dear.' Reaver said, sounding anything but impressed. In fact, he sounded a little disappointed. 'On the rare occasion that people make it through Wraithmarsh, they’re lost, confused…scared! But not you. Now about, business. I’m afraid that I hate wasting time on nobodies. That’s you. Tell you what. Why don’t you go out and rescue some travellers, or slay some beasts. The details aren’t important. But prove to me, that you are worth dealing with and you’ll have my full attention. That’s it. Scoot. Off you go.' Reaver said, putting my hat back on my head, before walking back to pose once more.

I stood there staring at him. He could not be serious. There he was, willing to sleep with me only minutes go, but now he did not want anything to do with me until I was a somebody. I stayed put, looking at him, but he did not look at me again, though he looked as though he was wanting to. After a few minutes of me staring at him and him ignoring me, I was beginning to lose my tempter. I was about to give him a piece of my mind when Theresa interrupted me.

'There’s nothing for it. We need his help and he wants to play his little game. So you must play it, or Lucien will get what he wants.' Theresa said firmly.

'If I must,' I groaned, making a small frown appear of Reaver's perfect features, and him to glace at me out of the corner of his eye. He heard what I had said, and probably thought that I had either finally agreed to go and make myself a name or that I was talking to myself.

I turned and stalked out of the room, making sure to slam the door shut behind me.

'Do you think my buttock looks like that?' I heard Reaver say, before the sound of gunfire.

'Why is it, that these things are never easy?' I asked myself, walking down the streets of Bloodstone.

First I had to participate in a holy ritual and try to get Hammer to break her vow, then I had to save Garth from the Spire, now I have to play games with Reaver...why couldn't these things be simple, like walking up to them and telling them the plan and then them saying that they would help, but that was too much to ask for.

I came to a halt outside a house thinking about what I should do now, when two voices came floating down to me from the top storey of the house.

'... we must continue our efforts, Sister Beverly,' said a male's voice.

'But is seems so fruitless at times, Brother Toby.' argued a female's voice.

'We will transform this lawless town. All it takes is a little faith.' said Brother Toby.

'We could use some help too.' said Sister Beverly.

'You speak the truth, Sister. Indeed you do. It is clear that we must clear this town from the Silver Serpent.' I heard Brother Toby say, which caught my interest.

'But how?' Sister Beverly said desperately. 'They’re so powerful. And they’ve stolen so many holy pieces from our Temple.'

'I know. I know. And yet, we have to find a way.' Brother Toby said gently.

By then I had made up my mind, and walked into the house and up the stairs to see if I could help in anyway.

'I don’t know. Sometimes I think we’ll never bring peace to this horrible city.' Sister Beverly said hopelessly.

'With courage, persistence and faith, we will do it. We will we wash away all evil from this cesspool.' Brother Toby said confidently.

'It’s a shame that that yodelling didn’t change the hearts of the people in this town, Brother Toby.'

'We must adapt our methods if we are to save the world, Sister Beverly.' said Brother Toby, before looking around and catching sight of me. 'Welcome Stanger. You are not a native Bloodstoner, are you?'

'No, this is my first time here.' I answered, as Sister Beverly left us.

'Even so, you have no doubt noticed what a corrupt and sinful place it is.' Brother Toby continued. 'I am Toby of T.O.B.Y. the Temple of Benevolent Yokels. I am on a mission to turn this town into a peaceful and rustically land as Bowerstone or Oakfield. Perhaps you feel at home in the layer of wickedness, but helping the Temple could really bring great rewards.'

'Of course I will help you, without any rewards,' I replied. Maybe I could get the renown I need to impress Reaver.

No, get Reaver's attention, I thought. I don't need to impress him, and why should I care about what he thinks? All I have to do is get him to help us, and that's it.

'T.O.B.Y. blesses you, my friend. I will tell you of the grave conspiracy that has sunk bloodstone into the agnatic pit it finds itself into today.' Toby said happily. 'But not until you have recovered the first of the holy pieces needed for the right of cleansing. It is the Mutton of Eternal Hope. I sense that it has been concealed in a house on the water front above the tattoo parlour. I could smell its deliciously sacred juices as I passed it yesterday. Now go, and may benevolent yokels guide your hand.'

'Right,' I said, jumping out the large opening - why use stairs when this was more convenient? - and head towards the tattooist.

I found it strange that mutton was one of the holy pieces of cleansing, seeing as meat had nothing to do with cleansing, but then, this Temple might have held different beliefs about cleansing, so I shrugged it off and slipped unnoticed into the tattooist's house, and began to search the cupboards for the Mutton of Eternal Hope. I soon found it. It looked like any other mutton chop, but what was I to know about holy objects? I then left the house, again unnoticed, with the horrible smell of raw meat in my hand.

When I returned to the house, I found Toby upstairs and he seemed to be thinking hard.

'Here,' I said, forcing the meat into Toby's hand, before going to the sink and scrubbing my hands clean.

'Wonderful!' Toby exclaimed, ignoring the fact that I was acting weirdly. 'You have retrieved the Mutton of Eternal Hope. You are a deserving member of T.O.B.Y. It is time I told you the reason for the city’s chaotic state. Forget about Reaver. Bloodstone is ruled by a secret organisation known as the Silver Serpent.'

'Who is this Silver Serpent?' I asked, drying my hands.

'I will tell you more soon, but first you must recover the second of the holy ritual pieces. It is the Wine of Forgiveness. I sense that it is hidden in a nearby house. I see…two barrels and a cart outside. Turn left when you leave and go up the street.' said Toby, before turning his attention to the Mutton of Eternal Hope.

Yet again, the holy object didn't seem holy, but I did as Toby asked. Anything to get away from the smell of that meat. Getting the wine was just as easy as getting the mutton and I was soon standing back in Toby's house with the Wine of Forgiveness.

'Here's the Wine of Forgiveness,' I said, handing Toby the wine.

'Excellent. Soon I will be able to perform the ritual and destroy the silver serpent gang, yet paving the way for a yokel Benevolent parade.' Toby said, taking the wine from me and sitting it on the table next to the mutton. 'Like the other holy pieces, the nest item appears to be a mundane object yet it has remarkable power. It is…the Sacred Pie of Kindness. I sense that it is being kept in a house next to the boathouse. Just let your nose guide you.'

'Hmm,' was all I said before walking off. It sounded as though he was making some sort of feast.

When I arrived back with the Pie of Kindness, I found Toby in the kitchen, carving some meat off the mutton chop. He looked up when I entered.

'Ah yes. Thank you. A million times, thank you. We will clean up this city after all.' Toby told me. 'In fact, before we gather the rest of the items for the ritual of cleansing, I have an important mission for you. One that will begin the purge at once. It has come to my attention that certain poor people are forced to walk the streets selling their flesh in the most sinful way. Bring me once such soul so I can show her the error of her ways.'

'Does it have to be a she?' I asked suspiciously. 'Why not a he?'

'Well...I...The purging will run quicker if it is a female.' Came his weak reply.

'If you say so.' I muttered, walking out the door and up the hill.

'Hi Sugar,' the Prostitute said, when I stopped in front of her. 'Would you like me to show you a fun time?'

'No thanks, but I know someone who wants to talk to you.' I told her bluntly. 'Please follow me.'

She stood there glaring at me, but when I returned the look, she quickly followed me to Toby.

'Oh yes,' Toby said when we returned, his eyes lighting up when he took in the prostitute. 'Very good, very good. This poor woman needs my full attention. Now if you’ll just leave us alone, I’ll call you when you are needed again.' he added, with a weird gleam in his eyes, which didn't leave the prostitutes body. Something I was quick to notice.

'So how exactly is this to help with the cleansing?' I demanded, hands on my hips.

'I will tell you later, but for now, please leave me to my work.' Toby asked, holing the door open.

'Fine,' I replied, storming out of the house and going to the local inn, hoping to find some information on Toby.

Once inside, I walked over to a man that was sitting by himself.

'Excuse me?' I said, sitting down at the same table. 'I was wondering if you knew anything about a man named Toby.'

'Ah, so you’re Toby's latest patty are ya?' The man asked, looking me up and down.

'How did you know that?' I asked.

'That swine always uses an outsider to do his dirty business using some scam.' The man shrugged. 'What was it this time? The Temple thing again?'

'Again? How many people has this happened to?' I asked yet again.

'Lots of people. I bet he reeled you in by talking to some fake Brother or Sister about how to clean up this town.' he said, looking highly amused, before coming very serious. 'You ask me, you ought to get rid of that swindler. Scare him out of town, cut his head off, I don’t care. Plenty of people around here will thank you for it. And you’ve got no guards to worry about.'

'You know what? I think I'll do just that. Show him that it's not wise to make a fool out of Lionheart.' I said, standing up. 'Thanks for your help.'

'If you get rid of that swindler, than it will be us thanking you.' The man said, before returning to his alcohol.

Maybe the people weren't so bad around here after all, I thought as I marched back to Toby's house before knocking loudly on the door.

'What? Go away I’m busy.' came Toby's angry reply from upstairs, but this only made me angrier.

Losing my temper, I knocked the door off its hinges and stormed up stairs to find Toby hastily trying to get his clothes on, while the prostitute laid on the bed, naked, watching the whole event with much interest.

'You know something, Toby? I hate it when people use me and make a fool of me.' I told him, my voice so cold that it would make even the most fearless man retreat. 'And those that are stupid enough to fool me, I always teach them a brutal lesson.' I said, before taking out my pistol and aiming it straight at his heart.

'Please, don’t kill me!' Toby begged, falling to his knees in front of me. 'I’ll leave, leave forever!'

'You better, 'cause next time I won't be so merciful and I will shoot.'

Toby sent me a quick grateful look before running out of the room as fast as his legs could carry him. I left the room moments after him, mostly because I wasn't comfortable in the prostitute's naked presence.

'That’s a good start, but you’ll need to become a great deal more famous.' Theresa told me as I left Toby's old house.

It was for that reason that I headed back to the inn to see if there were any people that need help with anything, but on my way down, I was yet again attacked by assassins.

'Seriously. Haven't you people learnt that I not an easy target?' I growled out as they took me by surprise, knocking me down to the ground.

'I'm just doing my job,' shrugged one of the assassins, about to in pale me with his sword, and would of down to, if I hadn't had reached my pistol in time.

'You should have taken a different job,' I muttered to the dead corpse before turning and looking at his companions. 'Either you surrender now, or I kill you too.'

'We are not mere bandits, little girl.' one of them sneered. 'We will always get the job down, or die trying.'

'Your funeral,' I shrugged, before shooting them too.

Yet again I searched the bodies, and found another sketch fragment, and when I put the two pieces together and squinted at it, it looked like the image of a large crab, but it couldn't really be a large crab, it had to have held some significant meaning...but what? I didn't have time to think about it, for the people of Bloodstone were coming up to me and congratulating me.

'That was very well done indeed!' one man said, patting me on the back.

'Yeah, I have never seen anyone shoot the way you do, except, of course, for Reaver.' said another. 'He's been the best shooter, how old is Reaver?'

'I don't know. He looks no older than thirty.' said his wife.

'He can be thirty.' someone disagreed. 'I knew of him when I was a little boy, and I'm now fifty.'

'My grandfather swears that Reaver hasn’t aged a day as long as he can remember.' added another villager.

This caught my attention. Obviously, there was more to Reaver than met the eye. Shrugging, I left the villagers and headed to the inn, and I did not have to wait long to find someone to help. The moment I walked into the inn, I saw a group of people laughing at an old pirate.

'I saw him. It be true. With my own two peepholes, I tell you.' argued the old pirate.

'Just keep tellin' you self that, Sally Jack, cause no one here's goin' to believe you!' laughed one of the villagers cruelly, before walking off with everyone else, as I made my way towards Sally Jack.

'They think old Jack's mad, but his not.' Sally Jack muttered to himself, before looking up and saw me looking at him. 'Argh, you there. I have a tale for the, with scarcely credit, vast legends, treasure and …ugh, my throat is far too dry to go on.'

'Then let me buy you a drink, and we'll sit down so I can here this marvellous tale of yours,' I said, before walking over to the counter and buying him a beer - I would need to remain sober - while he went and found us a table.

'Ha ha ha, I thank the.' Sally Jack said as I joined him at the table and handed him the drink. 'It does me the world of good that. Now, listen to old Jack’s story, and be amazed. Aye, there I was. Laid down unconscious on the beach, with an empty bottle of fire juice in my hand, when I behold a figure by a nearby cave. Captain Dread. So cold hearted in life. It was he I tell you. He would take your soul with a mere look.'

'What did you do then?' I asked.

'Why, I ran, swam and dog paddled as fast as I could for a bottle of brew, but no man here will believe me. You will prove me right, won’t you? You’ll prove that Old Jack ain’t telling no tales?'

'Of course I will, Jack.' I replied, getting to my feet.

'Ahh, I knew I could count on you. You’ll find the cave on the coast. But take care; yes…take care of the dread Captain Dread.'

'I will,' was all I said as I went to the cave Sally Jack was talking about.

In the cave, I found Captain Dread and his dead crew, ready to gut me and make me a member of the crew, but as you can guess, I refused, and the only way to refuse was to defeat them, which is easier than it seems. You'd think that because they are dead, you wouldn't be able to defeat them, but after a few rings of fire, I had defeated his entire crew before I got into a battle with Captain Dread, and he was a worthy competitor, just like the Commandant. He was strong and he was able to use little bits of Will, but in the end, he wasn't good enough, and I stole his ship, the Maryanne, along with his sword, before sailing to the island where he kept all his treasure, not that there was much there. In the end, I sailed back to the cave and saw Sally Jack standing outside, looking as though Christmas had come early.

'You found the old dead sea dog. Aye, I knew you would.' Sally Jack said, after I had jumped off the ship in front of him. 'Brave lass. Finished him off for good and stole his ship too! The Maryanne. Never thought that I would see her and count myself living. Aye. You’ll be a legend among pirates you will. Any you proved that Old Sally Jack hasn’t gone soft in the head yet. I can go back to my port without fear of ridicule. I thank the.'

'It was my pleasure, Jack.' I said, before walking off, wondering if I would be able to see Reaver now. If I was to be a legend among pirates, and Reaver was a pirate, surely that would gain his attention.

'You and your deeds are the talk of bloodstone.' Theresa told me as I headed back to the inn. 'If nothing else, you have peaked Reaver's curiosity.'

'Finally,' I muttered, changing my course to Bloodstone Manor.

On the way to Reaver's, I had many citizens stopping and pointing at me. Had word of my deeds really spread that quickly?

* * *

I found Reaver once more in his study, only this time he was posing for a portrait, with the same pose.

'You back.' Reaver said, after I closed the door behind me. 'My men are positively buzzing with interest. “Who is this person?” they ask. “Have the Heroes come back to Albion” and bla bla bla, and so forth and so forth as though I really have a care.'

'Sure you don't,' I muttered. He ignored me.

'You see, while you were out making your name a house hold word,' Reaver continued, 'I recently discovered that you walked straight out of Lucien's Spire. So, unless I missed my guess - and incidentally I never miss – you want me to help you walk right back in there and take him down.'

'Good guess,' I admitted grudgingly. 'So?'

'So what, my dear?'

'So, are you going to help us?' I asked.

'Hmm…tempting.' Reaver replied sarcastically. 'Who knows what lovelies he's got secreted away in there. But there’s a problem.'

'And what's this problem?' I asked, folding my arms across my chest.

'Besides the fact that you are wearing your hand inside, again?' Reaver asked smirking.

'Yes, besides that little fact.' I said, getting tired of these games, but I took my hat off nevertheless.

'Well, you’ve done all sorts of impressive things, and yet, you haven’t done anything that benefits me.' Reaver said ignorantly.

'Are you telling me that you won't help me, until I do something for you?' I demanded. 'How about I take a raincheck on that, and you come and help?'

'I don't think so, my dear. You see, I believe that there is something you can do for me.' said Reaver.

'Fine, what is it?'

'There’s a certain item I need returned to its rightful owners in Wraithmarsh.' Reaver told me.

'But, there's no one living in Wraithmarsh!' I argued. 'The village has been abandoned for years!'

'True, but they live in an enchanting place called the Shadow Court.' Reaver explained. 'I’d do it myself but my relationship with the owners is…complicated.'

'Then why can't you send one of your men to do it?' I demand yet again.

'While my associates here have their uses, most aren’t terribly reliable.' shrugged Reaver. 'So how about this: you run this little errand for me, and then I’ll assist you in your quest for…er…vengeance or….riches, or whatever it is that floats your particular boat.'

'You have a deal.' I told him. 'Where's the thing that needs returning?'

'The item I need returned is right there, see?' Reaver said, nodding over to his desk. 'See that little objet d'art.'

'Of course I can see it!' I snapped. 'I'm not blind!'

'That's good to know,' said Reaver, while I went and picked up the item.

Whatever that seal was evil. The moment I picked up the heavy object, it began to fill me with dread and its edges cut into my fingers.

'There’s a good girl.' Reaver said, speaking to me as though I was a five year old, as I put the cursed seal in my bag. 'Just come and see me when you’ve dropped it off at the Shadow Court. Tatty-bye.'

'Just make sure you are ready by the time I return.' I told him firmly. 'I don't want to waste any more time with these games.'

'I have no idea what you are talking about, my dear.' Reaver said innocently as I left the study and closing the door behind me.

'Are you suggesting that my cheek bones are anywhere near that low?' I heard Reaver say coldly, before he shot the woman that was doing his portrait.

I was beginning to wonder why anyone would agree to do something like that for Reaver.

Then again, I thought as I headed to Wraithmarsh. If they disagreed, he'd probably end up shooting them anyway.

My thoughts were then interrupted by Theresa.

'The Shadow Court…it was they who destroyed Oakvale.' Theresa told me quietly. 'There is a dead well in the centre of Wraithmarsh that is where they reside. Be carefully. There is more to this task than Reaver leads on.'

'What would Reaver want with the Shadow Court, unless...he was the young villager that made the deal with the Shadow Court all those years ago, wasn't he?' I said, think over the facts that I knew about Reaver.

The citizens were all trying to guess Reaver's age, saying that he had not aged a bit and now he was sending me to the Shadow Court with the Dark Seal...he had to be that villager, and Theresa soon confirmed it for me with a simple "yes".

After everything that happened to his family, friends and those he knew, he still was in league with the Shadow Court. How could he do such a thing? Did he have no heart? Was he incapable of love?

I continued to think horrible things about Reaver all the way to the Shadow Court. When I arrived outside, I became alert and focused, just encase it was a trap. Knowing Reaver it probably was. Anyway, after a few minutes of trying to force the door open, I finally realised that the seal was the key, just like the Guild Seal was the key to the tomb that lead to the Guild.

The moment I stepped into the building, the door slammed shut behind me, scaring both Storm and I, something I didn't appreciate.

'Come on, Storm. Let's find the owners of this fine establishment, and get the hell out of here.' I muttered to Storm, as we walked down the dark, gloomy corridor.

Storm and I walked in silence and I soon became aware of someone sobbing. I quickened my pace I order to find out what was wrong, stopping only to defeat a group of pesky shadows.

In the end, I came to a large court with a teenage girl standing in the middle, sobbing a holding herself.

'Sweetie? What are you doing here?' I asked, walking up to her, and putting my hand on her shoulder, making her jump. I seemed to be making a lot of people jump lately.

'Oh, please! Help me!' she said, clinging to me. 'Me and some friends were reading aloud from this really old book we found. It had all these strange words. Then there was this bright light, and …I woke up here! Where are we?'

'We are in the Shadow Court in Wraithmarsh,' I told her gently, though inside I wanted to scold her for reading aloud from something she did not understand.

'I’m so scared. I …I just want to go home.' she cried against me.

'I'll make sure you get home, I promise.' I told her, trying to comfort her.

At that moment, three shadowy figures entered the room, making the young girl scream.

'Welcome,' said the first Shadow Judge.

'Welcome,' said the second.

'Welcome,' said the third.

'One of you carries the Dark Seal,' continued the first. 'But there are two of you. Only one is required.'

'Required? Required for what?' I asked suspiciously. Reaver was about to have a fist in his face, when I got back...if I got back.

'One will trade their youth and beauty so that the King of Thieves may retain his.' answered the Shadow Judge - ('So that's how he does it,' I muttered.) -. 'This is the bargain we honour. The rules cannot be broken. We will take whoever bares the Dark Seal. You most choose, quickly.'

'Please. I just want to see my parents again.' The girl sobbed, as I looked down at her.

I really didn't want to sacrifice her youth; after all, she had done nothing wrong, apart from reading from a strange book, but...if I was to lose my youth, I would be at risk of losing my strength and Will power, and then what use would I be? I had no choice; Lucien had to be defeated, no matter what the cost.

Silently, I pressed the seal into the girl's hands and stepped back.

'What? No! You…can’t do this! Please! Don’t! Please!' she begged.

I just ignored her pleas.

At least some good came from being a Spire Guard, I thought bitterly.

Working as there definitely allowed me to close off my emotions...most of the time.

The time for the Shadows to take the girl's youth came moments later and dark shadows came and surrounded the poor girl, and I heard her screaming inside. When the shadows disappeared, I couldn't help but gasp. Standing in the girl's place was an old wrinkled woman.

'What…what have you done to me?' she demanded but it came out as a low crackle. 'No!'

'Reaver has again fulfilled the bargain.' said the Shadow Judge. 'But when the sacrifices stop, we shall come for him. This he knows.' he warned, before leaving with the other two judges.

'Come on; let's get you out of here.' I muttered to the girl, taking the seal out of her hand and putting it in my bag.

I lead the sobbing woman through Wraithmarsh and once we were in Bloodstone, she sent me a dirty look before running off crying. I guess I deserved that...a lot, but I had no choice.

'That was a difficult decision, but you are alive and strong. That is what matters most.' Theresa said gently as if reading my mind. 'Return to Reaver, though I imagine that your return to Reaver's will be…eventful. Once we have Reaver, your path leads straight to Lucien. There will be no going back. If you have left anything unfished, now is your last opportunity to resolve it.'

'It's a good thing I have none than.' I said, just wanting this day to be over and down with. In fact, I just wanted this whole quest to be over and down with.

* * *

'...and we're done.' Barnum said as I stormed into Reaver's study, Storm hot on my heels.

'And you’re sure that it will look like me?' Reaver inquired suspiciously.

'Exactly like you, sir.' Barnum replied confidently. 'In three months, the picture should be developed and…'

'Three months? That’s no good.' Reaver chuckled, but he never got a chance to draw his gun, for I had drawn my own pistol and quickly moved and shoved it under his chin.

'Barnum, get out of here!' I snapped, not taking my eyes away from Reaver.

Barnum did not need telling twice. He quickly packed up his equipment and flew from the mansion. During this time, Reaver and I just stared at each over in silence. Reaver's dark green eyes calmly bore into my angry blue ones.

'And looking as youthful and spirited as ever!' Reaver said calmly, ignoring the fact that I had a loaded pistol under his chin, after Barnum had left. 'Aren’t you a tricky one? Good for you. You have my eternal thanks for delivering that troublesome seal.'

'As if I want your eternal gratitude!' I snapped, digging my gun into Reaver's neck. 'Give me one reason, I beg you.' I then growled.

'Reasons as to why you shouldn't kill me?' Reaver asked mildly. 'My dear, I could give you hundreds of reasons, but the main one would be that you need me.' he added with a smirk, and the smirk grew larger when I grumbled under my breath and sheltered my pistol, before punching Reaver in the face...hard.

'Argh,' Reaver gasped in pain, before going to look at his nose in the mirror above the fireplace mantel.

'You deserved that!' I said with the note of satisfaction in my voice.

'Hmm, maybe now would be a good time to admit that I have a confession to make.' Reaver told me as he faced me once more.

'Confession?' I asked quietly. Why did I have the sudden feeling that something bad was going to happen?

'While you were away, it occurred to me that Lucien is probably a bit miffed that you wondered off without his permission.' Reaver continued as though I had not said anything. 'Maybe miffed enough to part with a large amount of gold to get you back. And you know what? I was right. So, as fun as all this has been, I’m afraid that I must now return you to the Spire. Lucien’s men will be here at any moment.'

My eyes widened, before I took another swipe at Reaver. Unfortunately, he had been expecting it. Side stepping, he snaked himself behind me, and grabbed hold of my arms, and put them behind me back.

'My dear, I would prefer it if you wouldn't hit me anymore. It really is most...alright, what exactly was that?' Reaver demanded as there was a loud boom and something shook the mansion.

Next moment, one of Reaver's men ran in.

'Reaver, the city is under attack.' The man yelled, though we were only feet away. 'By a bloody army. Lucien’s men. Dozens of the buggers. And the guy in charge of the men is yelling, “find this Reaver”.'

'Me?' Reaver exclaimed, letting go of my arms, while I smirk up at him. 'Lucien and I had a gentlemen’s agreement. How dare he betray me? And just when I was in the middle of trying to betray you! How inconvenient.'

'Well, you know what they say. What goes around comes around...or is it the other way around?' I laughed.

'Even I can't argue with that,' admitted Reaver.

'So, what are you going to do now?' I asked, crossing my arms across my chest looking quite amused. Reaver was hovering around one of his bookcases.

'I recommend that we flee down this really handy escape tunnel.' Reaver answered as the bookcase suddenly moved aside, making my jaw drop. 'Smugglers built these tunnels ages ago.' Reaver continued, pulling me inside, before closing it and heading down through its passages. 'I don’t think they have been used for about three hundred years.'

'Good to know,' I replied, looking around at all the dust.

We walked for a minute in silence, which I imagine was pretty hard for Reaver, when all of a sudden he began to speak again.

'Oh no, wait a minute, now.' Reaver said.

'What? Need to comb your hair, pretty boy?' I asked sarcastically.

'I came through here in…that’s right.' Reaver said, ignoring my comment, as most people seemed to do. 'I was consorting with Ursula at the time and Penelope found out and she set the house on fire while I was sleeping. With Andrew, as I recall. Ah, that would have been two hundred years ago.'

'You'd sleep with anyone, wouldn't you, Reaver?' I asked.

'Not entirely.' Reaver said thoughtfully. 'I wouldn't sleep with some ugly toad, nor would I sleep with any old wrinkly woman or man.'

'Reaver, you're older than any elderly person alive in Albion!' I told him, 'So how can you be so bias about sleeping with an elderly person?'

'Because, unlike them, my looks don't let on my age.' he asked, giving me an annoyed look. 'And I would ask you not to call me old again, my dear.'

'You brought it up when you were saying about being through here two hundred years ago.' I said pointedly.

He did not answer, so I laughed, but I was quickly silent when Theresa spoke to me urgently.

'Lucien is using great shards to transfer men to bloodstone. The town is over run. You have to keep going and find a way out.'

'Thanks Theresa, but we're no longer in the mansion.' I informed her. 'In fact, we're in some old smuggler's tunnels.'

Reaver was staring at me.

'What?' I asked.

'Please tell me that you weren't just talking to yourself.' he said. 'Not that I mind that much seeing as I have slept with crazy girls before -'

'No, I wasn't talking to myself.' I interrupted him, just encase he went in to detail about sleeping with crazy girls. 'I was talking through the Guild Seal to Theresa, a blind Seer.'

'And what did she tell you?'

I was about to answer when, in the distance, one of the walls was blasted open and Spire Guards came pouring into the cavern.

'Lucien’s men, here?' Reaver said, drawing his gun. 'Well so much for pleasurable walk through the labyrinth. He must have known about these tunnels. And I thought that I had been so clever and secretive. How irksome.'

'You're telling me,' I said, talking out my rifle, which earned a chuckle from Reaver. 'What's so funny?'

'Nothing, my dear. Nothing at all.'

With Reaver's and my gun skills, we were able to talk down Lucien's men in no time, before we were running along the passages.

'They are practically oozing out of the stonework.' Reaver commented as the wall in front of us was blasted in.

'If Lucien gets his hands on either of you, it is the end.' Theresa warned.

'Yes Theresa, I know.' I said as I shot one person straight in the heart. Next to me, Reaver was complaining about this being an unfair fight.

'For who though?' I asked him. 'For us or for the dead trail of Spire guards we left behind?'

He looked at me for a minute, before laughing.

'Good point, my dear.'

In the end, it turned out to be a very unfair fight for Lucien's men. Reaver and I had managed to fight our way on top of a bridge. That meant we now hand the upper hand in position and skill.

'Now this is what I call a fair fight.' laughed Reaver, but his laughter did not last long.

Neither of us noticed the explosives that were a little distance for me, but the guards did, and they took full advantage of it. As the barrel exploded, I was knocked off my feet and went over the edge. I probably would have fallen to my death if Reaver had not caught my arm and pulled me up.

'Thanks,' I muttered.

'Now we're even.' Reaver replied, before taking care of the rest of the guards that were running at us, before taking me by the hand and pulling me along the rest of the passages.

'I can walk by myself, Reaver.' I told him.

'Well you weren't walking fast enough, my dear.' came his reply. 'Anyway, we're nearly there.' he added as we came to a barred window. 'Ah, there’s my ship coming in now: the Reaver. I was going to call her the Narcissus, but there was already one in the registry. One day, you can tell your grandchildren of this day.' he continued as we walked down the rest of the passages. 'How you fought alongside of the legendary Reaver. How he missed no target...'

'And how he was completely and utterly full of himself?' I added mockingly, before Reaver flung out his arm, hitting me straight in the chest. 'Wha - what was that -'

'Wait.' he said quietly, pointing up ahead of the soldiers waiting for us.

The guards had not seen us yet, so Reaver took out his gun and shot all of them, without breaking rhythm. Even I could not do that, and I had to admit, that I was very impressed...not that I would ever tell him. His head was big enough as it was without me adding to it.

'You can tell them about that.' Reaver said casually, but knocking modesty aside all the same. 'Not that they will believe you. Ah, here's the exit.' he added, leading the way out.

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Written: 30 August 2011