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Old 09-12-2021, 10:35 AM   #55
Terquem
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Idaho Falls
Default Re: Into The Labyrinth - a work of fiction

Part 20


“Wait, what?” they both said after an awkward pause.

“You two should take a moment, later, and compare notes,” Kenny said, “but for right now, let’s clear up this whole barge situation. You,” he added turning his eyes toward Alo, “you did not come here with the barge, yes? Then you might want to know that a noble-woman, a walking octopus of your kind, sailed into the harbor. She claims to have information important for the safety of the nation, so I hear. The way I see it, you should be fine just walking out of here. You might be noticed, but right now, the people in this city are too worked up over that barge to worry about a little thing like you.”

“Kenny’s right,” Brendun said, and lifted his hands, palms together to his forehead, “I’m sorry for doubting you, Alo. Forgive me.”

“No, no no, thiisssthcan’tbehappening. Notth nowwwa,” Alo became visibly shaken. She closed the distance to Brendun and put a tentacle on his shoulder, took a breath, and then tried to calm down. “I am sorry as well,” she said slowly, “but, I cannot go up there if there are others of my kind who might see me. I still have the brand. They will know I am not with them and will wonder why I am showing myself publicly in a human-kind city. No, no, there must be another way. Brendun, I must find the Cryssalium, or stop anyone else from finding it. If there is a noble, an outcast prince or princess, here, it can only be because they have finally learned what I learned a few months ago, and I was afraid that others would. When we have more time, and we are safe, I will explain. I promise, but for the moment, please help me get out of here and get Tabitha the help she needs.”

Kenny pushed Tabitha between Alo and Brendun, forcing himself into their space, and scowled, “Is there something wrong with your ability to talk?” He asked Alo, and then turned to Brendun, “This is what this is all about then. You, Brendun, Dun-man, you have taken a job to recover a thing legend says holds more power than the Nine-Jeweled Crown of Kalodar. Are you finally, truly, out of your mind? First, I think we all hope it doesn’t really exist. Second, if it does, why would it be in the labyrinth, and third, are you finally, truly out of your mind?”

“I cannot speak well, at a normal speed and,” Alo began to say slowly, but Brendun cut her off.

“We aren’t wasting anymore damn time!”

Kenny stepped back, and Alo drop her tentacle off Brendun’s shoulder.

“Look, here’s the plan. Kenny, you go ahead of us. Make sure you are seen by those four other’s like Alo, and by the way, try not to use the O word around her. I’ll explain later. We will follow when I know it is the right time and trust me I will know. Alo, you pull your hood around as close as you can and keep your head down. I’ll be in front of you so keep a hold of my belt and stay as close as possible. Once you reach the door, Captain, go left toward the pier, get away from any street lamps, and wait for us. Alo, if we are followed, I’ll send you ahead and do what I can to interfere with anyone who intends to give us trouble. Captain, once we, or Alo, reach you, follow her. She knows of a safe place, and a safe contact in the city. She can lead the way but is not sure she can describe how to get there, so stay with her at all times. If I don’t find you by tomorrow, assume I failed, don’t come looking for me. Get Tabitha to help as quickly as you can. Do you both understand?”

“How do I know I can trust him?” Alo said to Brendun slowly.

It was Kenny who answered, “Oh, lass, lady eight, Alo, he called you, look, Brendun Mark has only three maybe four real friends. I’m not sure I’m one of them, but if this is his plan to get this Tabitha girl to someone who can save her, he is going to do everything he can to make that plan work, and if he trusts me to take her, he is probably more desperate than he is letting on, but given that, I think we need to get going. I give you my word that if I never see Brendun Mark again, I will follow you, for her sake. For his sake, in knowing what she really means to him.”

Kenny turned away and headed for the stairs, and Brendun followed, pulling at Alo.

“Conceal yourself,” Bendun said over his shoulder, “when we get to the kitchen, let him get almost all the way across the tavern and then follow me, try to move as I do and don’t get separated. If I think we have a problem, I’ll let you know and draw attention to myself so you can slip out. Go left out the door. The Fisherman’s pier is that way. The street here should be well lit by the oil lamps, but the pier is usually dark, so the men who work the boats can sleep on the pier if they want. Just find Kenny and get Tabitha to help.”

They reached the kitchen and were surprised to find it empty. As they crossed to the opposite door Alo leaned her head toward Brendun’s ear.

“You will be with me?” Alo asked and then dropping her head and saying quietly, “She needs you.”

“I hope you are right, but please, Alo, if I tell you to go, you must go. I can, usually, take care of myself.”

“You?” Alo said with a laugh, “You can’t even avoid an ambush from a frightened A’Anawa and a hot headed Kanulaoa.”

“It was a lame ambush.”

“She could have killed you.”

“If she wanted me dead,” Brendun began as the two of them came to the door and pushed it open slightly, then as Brendun watched Kenny make his way across the tavern he saw what he expected to see and changed the subject, “look, there he goes, and he is getting a lot of attention, just like I thought. Quick now, follow me.”
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