“Meeting with the adventurers on the 24th.
“Shall see how the situation develops then.”— Excerpt from a dusty diary, dated 22nd Year’s Last, 397 4E, author ‘K V’
“I see.” Kellith was pacing slowly behind her desk.
Varrek looked at the others. “It was them, though. The adventurers.”
“I already knew that.”
“I know, I was just…confirming, miss.”
“I didn’t ask you to confirm who they were, I asked you to recover the book.”
“I know, miss.”
“You’ve at least confirmed it’s still in their possession?” Kellith had turned to face the three. Varrek preferred it when she wasn’t looking at them. The eyes were…cold. He imagined this was what a drake must look like to a kalakar.
“Yes, miss. They…agreed to a trade.”
Kellith’s eyes widened, and one browplate raised. “A trade?”
“Yes, miss. For the book.”
“I don’t recall asking you to trade for it.”
“I know miss, just…under the circumstances it seemed all we could do.”
“Ah, so you’re trading for it then?” Kellith crossed her arms.
Varrek stammered and looked at the other Greenfangs. Both took great interest in the floor.
“I mean, far be it from me to tell you how to carry out your tasks. If you’d rather bargain with them than simply take it, be my guest.”
“No miss, I—…”
Kellith crossed around the large table to be face to face with Varrek. “Of course, suggesting that I ought to bargain for what is rightfully mine, simply because of your mistakes, that…rankles somewhat.”
“I understand, miss.”
Kellith stared overlong at Varrek, forcing the assassin to avert his eyes from her penetrating gaze. After a while, she spoke. “What exactly were their terms?”
Varrek gulped, and looked at his companions before replying. They didn’t return his gaze. “They wish a meeting on the 24th.”
“A trade of..?”
“They didn’t say, miss. If you ask me, they don’t know what to ask for.”
“They had some…requests, also, miss.”
Kellith looked expectantly.
“They want a reply by noon today. And they said that there’s to be no Greenfang presence until the 24th.”
“Difficult to give a reply if one isn’t allowed to show oneself.”
“Yes, miss. They were very contradictory. They also said there’s to be no word to Valasar that they’re here.”
Kellith scratched her chin idly with one long claw. “Very well. You can see to it they’re informed they’ll have their meeting.”
“Yes, miss,” said Varrek. The two other assassins saw their opportunity, bowing deeply before hurrying out. Varrek’s gaze slumped down to the floor. “…What are you going to do?”
“To them? Or to you?”
“I’m not certain yet.”
“…And to me?”
Kellith looked at the vak for a long time.