“Another color flight, afar vadokanuk,” Burflag threw his hand in and waved the last of his gold toward Seraphina, who graciously nodded her head and collected her winnings from the group at the table.
“Luckiest game of three dragon I’ve seen, elf,” Troko, another player, said as he stood, his gold depleted. “Either luck, or you cheat.” The human reached for the sword at his hip.
Seraphina’s voice was soft and pleasant, without an air of venom, but somehow people always thought she was insulting them. “Please good sir, I have no quarrel with you, it is but a friendly game between comrades. Surely, a few coins is nothing to die over.”
Troko did not remove his hand from his sword, “Friendly my arse, whore.” The soldier drew his blade and lunged across the table. Seraphina wore no armor, and her robes were a fine cut, but they were a dancer’s garb, meant to allow freedom of movement, not protect from a longsword. The moment before the blade struck, Phina spoke quick word, and a flash of light sent the soldier’s sword rebounding from her skin and skittering across the floor. Phina remained seated as she calmly took a slow drink of her elven wine. Troko regathered himself and looked as if he was going to try again when the tavern’s bouncer “politely asked” him to leave.
After the commotion Seraphina tossed Burflag and the other players back the small pouches containing their lost coin. Burflag looked at her quizzically as she gathered her things and paid her bar tab. The halfling was confused for a long moment then smiled and left the tavern with the elf.
“You were cheating,” Burflag said as they entered the darkness of the streets.
“Four gambits in a row? Of course,” she smiled a smile that would win a kingdom.
Burflag laughed heartily for someone so small, “So why return your winnings?”
“All but Troko’s, I consider it a fee for being rude,” she corrected before continuing. “Gambling has a way of showing the true self, and I have trust issues,” the lithe elf said as she pulled the hood of her cloak up against the cold.
“And what did you learn?”
“Most of the soldiers at High Pass are honorable, if inexperienced, and at least one is going to get someone killed.”
A trio of shadows stepped from an alley way, their boot prints marring the freshly fallen snow, “You are the only one dying tonight, whore.” Troko and the two others had their blades out.
“I passed on your earlier expletive description of my attire, thinking you only spoke in ignorance and anger. Now I see you simply have a limited vocabulary and are more fit for the stable than the barracks,” Seraphina said in that same venomless voice, drawing her own blade, a thin long weapon, meant for precise strikes, not savage mutilation.
“Hahaha, we’ll see how well you being ridden then. Maybe when I’m done with you I’ll invite my boys to have a turn with the new barracks whore,” Troko made a crude gesture and moved forward menacingly.
Seraphina glanced at another shadow that moved slightly, Seraphina nodded and spoke softly, “Kaima”. The three soldiers’ eyes rolled back in their heads and they slumped to the ground. The shadow moved from the alley across the hall, revealing the small form of Master Shadow Hurgin and a pair of trainees.
“As you said, Apprentice, a useful combination of subterfuge, magic, and combat prowess. I doubted your approach when you volunteered for this mission.” The Master bound and gagged the offenders and woke them.
“If I may ask, Master Hurgin. What will happen to them?” Seraphina asked.
“It is of no concern to you, apprentice, but you may trust me when I say they won’t trouble you anymore. Sir Barrister does not tolerate this kind of behavior, and this one has had his share of warnings.” The spy master looked to the halfling standing beside the elf, “Burflag right? Help us along here.” The four departed, half guiding, half dragging the three assailants to the brig to await judgement.
“If only trust were so easy,” Phina said to the empty snow packed streets.