“Coins sir, I’ve quite a bit of salt in my throat and I’d be kind on you sliding me an ale to sooth a raw tongue.”
The bartender made no motion to accept the man’s steel, nor did his grubby blackened hands move from cleaning the foggy ale cup he swabbed with a rag that was yellowed and browned. “I ain’t never seen coins look like ‘at.”
The patron scratched the back of his head and tried to grasp what was being said. The money on the bar was small and copper, with small bits of silver in the centers, on them there was engraved the picture of a small snake in the claws of a hawk.
“I don’t see no problems, across the seas this is fine currency at least, whys you could buy fourteen ales with the handful I just chinked down, but I’m in a ‘urry now so I don’t have the time to haggle… You just trust me on thems worth and slide me a cool one.”
The fat bartender leaned forward into the young man’s face, breathing dead dog fumes from his mouth, heaving it out quite heartily due to the lard in his nostrils. His voice lowered. “I know who you is.”
“”Really there?” Stated the young man, planting his palm on a smarmy forehead and pushing the bartender back away from his face. “Could you informs me then? I love to be reminded.”
“Your ‘at pirate Hilt, whose no good no where.”
Hilt smiled, showing his pointed teeth and exaggerated canines. “You’ve got me there… now we could have done this easy like – but you had to go and make me irritable.”
“Now look, I don’t want no…”
“Snap that shut big man.” Interrupted Hilt with an urgent hasty tone, “Listen up, in a few moments ‘ere’ll be three town guards clompin’ through them doors all thunderous and winded like. I’m gonna make wight like and sit in the back of your bar real out of the way. You don’t say nothing, understand?”
“I uh… ah…”
“Good. Now you be a good cow and don’t kick up any dirt.”
With this it was that Hilt made his way to the back of the tavern, disappearing in the darkness away from the fire pit and windows. Hilt was a tall man, with a long black cloak hanging over his shoulders and arms revealing bodily his head and face alone. This made him seemingly become a shadow, slumping into a booth low made even more unapparent his position.
After a moment as said three guards came panting and coughing through the tavern door, looking very long faced and winded. Hilt watched from behind the high rim of his collar as two guards began meandering through the crowd interrogating the drunk and disorderly and the other guard, the largest of the group, went to the bar to ask questions of the oily owner. He watched as bartender nervously glanced his direction several times, his eyes darting back and forth, the sweat beading on his forehead. Hilt tensed his leg muscles, readying himself in case he would need to run. As expected the weak willed tender had a problem with authority of his own, and in safe holding his own person he jabbed a stubby finger toward Hilt’s booth. Hilt sighed to himself and rolled his eyes. The guard unfastened a broad double axe and hefted it up to his torso. He began to walk into the shadowed part of the tavern.
The guard arrived at his booth and stared defiantly down at Hilt from his standing, Hilt being seated still.
“Hilt Niflheim, Scourge of the Holy Father, you are hereby under the authority of…”
Hilt twisted his ankle under the table, resting the weight of his foot on the heel; a drawing of metal was heard as sheath from scabbard. The guard stopped his monologue and glared at the pirate in confusion. “Scoundrel! If you have any weapons on your person admonish them along with any hostile actions you might be determined to undertake.”
“Oui you’ve got a mouth, I hate pretty words.” Hilt stood and stepped away from the booth, facing the guard. “I suppose I’m under arrest now is it?”
“Please come quietly.” The guard grabbed the pirate by his wrist.
“We’ve been through this before.” He smiled. “You know I can’t do that.”
In an instant, before the guard had issued his next command, Hilt jumped back and caught the ledge of the table with the arch of his foot, planting against it and using the guard’s arm grasping his wrist as counter weight and twisted his hand, making the sentry loosen his hold. As Hilt’s arm flopped back lifelessly under his cloak he made a plant on the guard’s shoulders and leapt off behind. Spinning around, his axe in the air, the colossal sentinel brought his blade down cutting in an arc. Hilt spun – swinging his right leg in a circle along the floor as his left leg swung wide across the staff of the axe in the air. Completing his spin Hilt stood up and leaned to one side, watching as the axe handle split in two, the blade thudding on the shabby bar floor planks. The guard stood with his mouth slacked, his eyes bugging. Hilt twisted his ankle and the sound of sword sheathing was heard. He grinned childishly just before bounding through the barroom and out the front door.
The captain and Oliver were walking down the dusty road, Oliver looking very chagrinned and impatient.
“We’ve one more stop to make.” Said the captain pointing to the Howling Basilisk, a bar notorious for sprouting the wrong sort of businesses.
“Another bar?” Oliver spat. “I have better things to do than tavern hop.”
“We won’t be going in this time. Just wait.”
Oliver crossed his arms and stood, waiting for whatever he supposed would come bursting out into the street.
Surely enough, a man in a long black cloak came running out of the bar, skidding in the street as he made a turn, kicking a monstrous cloud of dirt into the air. Rushing through the fog he was grinning wildly.
“Seribro!” Cried the man in the black cloak, skidding to a stop in front of the two. The strange man swayed his shoulder forward violently, slinging a dead arm up out of the cloak, Seribro grabbing it before it fell back to his side in a semblance of locking arms.
“Friend.” Said the captain honestly.
“Well…” Said Hilt, giddiness in his voice. “Shall we be off?”
“Oh, mind if we run?”