FOR SIMPLE COIN
The crowd on the street flowed, not slowing, ignorant of the peril Caspan Trey could all but taste. His eyes fixed on his home, a shack built on the side of a warehouse used by smugglers. The door to the hovel he called home hung open. He considered his options, knowing he had only two—enter his home or leave Elnya to her fate. He had promised to protect her. Had given his word.
Caspan drew his sword, careful to keep it beneath his cloak. Feeling leather wrapped over cold steel in his hand helped him concentrate. Elnya had feared the Witch-Finders. Had they found her? Could they still be in the hovel?
Though he made no conscious decision, Caspan started toward his home. He noted a break in the mass of people. Two men surged out from the crowd. Each carried a short sword.
Caspan swore under his breath and spun. A throwing dagger flew from his off-hand. One man grunted and fell, the knife buried up to the hilt in his shoulder. The second man paused. Caspan did not. In two steps, he was within reach and swinging. The man’s parry was clumsy. Caspan kicked the clumsy man’s shins. Clumsy stumbled back and Caspan sliced open his throat. As Clumsy crumpled, his hand at his neck, Caspan advanced on the wounded man.
Their complete lack of professionalism angered Caspan. Did they not know who he was, what he was? “Who sent you?”
The bleeding man said nothing. Bleeder began to crawl away. Caspan put his boot on the dagger hilt. Bleeder cried out.
Caspan leaned close. “Who sent you?”
Bleeder grabbed Caspan’s leg. With a quick turn and surprising strength, he knocked Caspan to the ground. Bleeder scrambled over to him, a long, curved dagger in his hand. The pommel of Caspan’s sword cracked against Bleeder’s temple, felling him. Caspan rose quickly, snatching up the curved dagger. The blood from Bleeder’s forehead mixed with that flowing from his shoulder.
Caspan placed his sword’s blade against Bleeder’s throat. “Who sent you?”