Lake Merrin: Chapter Three

Chapter One| Chapter Two| Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Glossary

Yep, Lone Solo after this point. Royce was a dick! But being in debt to Malik was just the start of me and him …

Oh damn, I nearly forgot. That damn loan, and not getting stabbed in the back by a thug at night is a good reason too. Where do I find a nice cheap courier service? Hopefully it doesn’t cost too much to send a small package.

Walking down Market Lane, I am more and more amazed at how little imagination these people had when they decided to name the streets. I’m wondering if Market Lane heads towards the market … Okay, okay, I already know. I’ve been living in this town for nearly three months, but thought it was funny.

There it is, a courier station: Jameson & Son. Wow. I mean wow, such a wonderful sign, nearly as good as the naming of the streets. Upon entering, I can see the non-stop excitement! I mean, look how fast that guy is stamping those papers.

“Excuse me, I would like to send a package to Anvil and Musket, attention to Malik. How much will that cost me?”

Why do all administrators need to be crusty old men? At one time they would have been young ones, but still.

“It would be costing two copper slips. You can have a brief message with it too.”

Costing me only two copper slips and even had a message!

‘Dear Malik. Here are eight gold slips. Please don’t kill me. Love …’ so on and so forth.

Wow, how boring. I think it’s time for an ale or a beer, and pie, or even some stew. Mmm, stew. And maybe I might move to another inn, just in case, so the stabby-stabby will not happen. I could trust Malik as far as I could throw him. Find a place that will tide me over till I get this Watch work.

There must be some sort of cheap place near the market. This looks promising. Corbin’s? Weird name. Must have been some sort of dick who named this inn Corbin’s. Let’s see. Falling apart, check. Beggars in the street, check. Barman spitting into glass to clean it, check. This place is perfect, but no way in the darkest pit of the Abyssus I eat here but not near the docks. Time to barter for a room. Charm, don’t leave me now!

“Good day, barkeep. I was wondering if you had a room free for the next few days?”

He spits. Such a charming fellow.

“Two silver bits a night. Three if you want company,” he said.

“My dear—May I ask your name, barkeep?”

He looks at me with those watery, bloodshot eyes and grunts. His bald head is ringed with dirty blonde hair.

“Corbin.”

Glad this guy can’t read my thoughts.

“My dear Corbin, I am only asking to stay a few nights, not buy the actual room. So how’s about we make it two slips for the next two days. I will be willing to offer my services as a bouncer for this period too.” Jingling my sword a little for dramatic effect.

He looks me up and down and smiles. “You must be a Registered. Could use someone with that sort of talent.”

Is it just me or is he more creepy now?

“Okay, two silver slips for the two days! But you will be doing double shifts and no food! Also, you sleep in the common room.”

“I will be willing to accept that offer.” Not much choice! “Four shifts in two days. How long are the shifts?”

“Shifts go for six hours. You be doing the dusk to dawn shift,” he eloquently grunts at me.

Is it just me or does my luck seem to be horrid? Either that or I have poor negotiation skills; things to think on. I play out this shift and then go back to that joke of a place Anvil and Musket to pick up my stuff.

All the paint peeling and rotten lumber smell, but this guy has a working clock! How could he afford one of those? It is beautiful. Doesn’t even suit the rest of the place.

Corbin grunts at me and hands me a club. “No swords! You can keep the knife. The Watch ent too gentle-like to finding dead folk round ere.”

He leans in, and I’m almost knocked out by his foul breath. When will people use some sort of charcoal to clean their teeth? Heck, I do.

“If you need to teach someone a lesson, throw them out, drag them into the lane in the back, and give them a good kick or a little killin out there.”

Again with ‘killing someone a little’, but I learnt from my last experience.

Scoping, taking in all those sights and smells. Large saloon with twelve tables, a long bar with stools; it seems a raised stage for some sort of music stuff. Three bar wenches on and a couple of thugs who look tough. Well, three now, including me. Well, I can crack a head if I need to, but I prefer to talk my way out of things.

Doesn’t seem to be too hostile at the moment. Some workmen just knocked off, a merchant or two sipping wine in the corners. Might be an easy job.

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