Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 127

“Really that long? I thought you had just aged badly,” a smile crossing both their faces at the younger looking man’s quip. “I’d be careful, this ox is not past its prime just yet.” They laughed again for a moment then the barman’s face became dark. He slowly reached forward and gripped Damitri’s forearm with his hand: “They know she is here.” “Damn it,” Damitri spat, “there goes my advantage.” The barman removed his hand and settled back in his chair. “How long have they been here?” Damitri asked. “A day or so ago, I arranged for her to stay in the inn at what she believes to be her father’s request to learn more about the townsfolk.” After reflecting on the barman’s actions, he asked, “is the inn warded?” The barman smiled. “You wound me, son of D’mar.” he laughed, “Aye, the inn is warded with the best I could muster but it won’t hold them back forever.” Wulfren climbed back to his feet: “Come with me and I’ll introduce you to her,” he paused to supress a laugh, “be warned, she is a tad disagreeable about her father’s decision. I do not envy your task.” “Why, thank you for the warning,” Damitri retorted. He hated this part. The barman led Damitri up to the second floor and down a candle lit landing to a doorway where two swordsmen sat at a table playing dice. Upon seeing Damitri they climbed to their feet. “Easy lads, this is the one I said was coming to relieve you of your burden.” “About bloody time,” the first of the guards stated as they quickly grabbed their things and disappeared down the hallway. “I hope you’re ready for this lad,” Wulfren laughed as he knocked on the door. PAGE 126 “Who is it?” came a sharp reply. “It’s Wulfren, M’ lady, I have a guest who wishes to speak with you,” he politely replied. “Doesn’t he know what time it is, I’m hardly prepared to entertain, don’t you think?” the voice replied through the door. Damitri noticed the barman flinch and smiled as he watched the large man struggle to keep his composure. “A thousand pardons M’ lady, but this visitor is here at your father’s request.” A moment passed and they heard a commotion behind the door. “Very well,” she sighed, “just give me a moment.” “Her father’s request!” Damitri whispered. “I improvised,” the barman s