Chapter 19 - Live by the Sword

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∞ 19 ∞

LIVE BY THE SWORD...


September 29th had been a tiring day. Although the relatively modest townhouse didn't provide the level of comfort he was accustomed to –it had been purchased and prepared in haste for the necessary trips to London– Lucius was glad to be getting back to it. He had work to do at the lab the next day and needed to get some rest. Once the more formal tedious checks were finished in the infirmary, he had been allowed to leave with a vial of Willowsvapor, some ordinary antibiotic and a small bandage on his ear. He had neglected to take the Willowsvapor however and his ear was burning much more than he had anticipated.

"Next time can you hire assassins with a more precise aim." He complained to Sander, who was travelling back in the car with him and seated across from him. Rubbing his throbbing ear through the plaster and looking disgruntled, he opened a vial of greyish liquid placed a few drops onto his wrist and discreetly licked them off. "They ought to get something deducted for this. Savage – nearly cut my bloody ear off."

(Later that evening a money purse with a sizeable number of Galleons would be dropped in the street by someone unknown to Lucius. The purse would be close enough for a Wizard, who was the associate of some other Wizard for whom the 'assassins' worked, to pick up.)

Lucius was in his bathroom, washing the accidental wound from the fake attack. It was only a small wound, but it had made a fair notch in his ear and was very close to his head. If it had caught him properly, he almost certainly wouldn't have been there standing at the basin. He was angry and wanted to speak to Sander again at length about the mercenaries. Just then, as if on cue, he heard the jingle of someone at his bedroom door. It was Sander.

"How long has this wand-for-hire been working?"

"He is... one of the best My Lord. I have seen him work."

"Well he is bloody losing his touch."

Sander had not come to talk to about Lucius's ear. He had come to speak of an unfortunate and unexplainable occurrence with the mercenary. He was lying in a Wizard hospital barely alive and it was not Sander's men who had put him there. Someone had hit him with a vicious burning curse so powerful, he had internal burns to 85% of his body. The curse had most certainly been cast to kill.

Lucius was annoyed. "It is unfortunate the mercenary is in the hospital, but that is the risk one takes in that line of work Sander. You know the risks more than anyone," Lucius said incredulously. Sander looked daunted nonetheless.

"Well, obviously it was the Ministry Police. If the imbecile hadn't been casting such heavy fire, they wouldn't have reacted with such force. No honour – complete lack of decency. The police couldn't have used the curses back without a precedent. What did he expect was going to happen? Bloody animal!"

"Silverforest says for sure it was not them."

"Well, perhaps he got caught by his partner's wandfire, poor bugger. Did you see my ear? Bloody goff! Anuk! If the idiot had a little worse aim, you would all be burying me tonight! Didn't anyone tell him there is a difference between making it believable and being bloody reckless? I'm sure that was a Stiletto," he said pointing to the slice in his ear which was caused by some sort of stabbing curse and dangerously close to his head. "And who uses the Flame Curse? Doesn't he know what century we are in?" To further emphasise his point Lucius held up the cloth of his robe at the shoulder, showing a burn hole about the size of a walnut where wandfire had hit him more squarely, but was luckily deflected by the intricate armoury charm that was cast over his upper body. "I'm going to have to start wearing full body cover to these things. No one will be able to hear a bloody word I say," Lucius grumbled.

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