There are dangers in planning. Dangers in the fact that, once intercepted, they can be exploited. Be warned. The best-laid plans can become the snare that wrings your neck.
-The Necromancer's Notes, Proverbs, no. 1125
There was business to be conducted.
Laidu walked through the streets, cloak wrapped around himself, more for show than for actual warmth. Others freaked out when he walked the avenues of Saefel Caeld in his open shirt and trousers alone, and not swaddled in a dozen layers of fur.
He turned a corner, and spied his destination. The jewelry shop he had done business with before, where he had sold a gigantic chunk of Coldspire diamond. They had one piece of that diamond still being worked on, that much Laidu knew.
He opened the door, stepped in, and surveyed the store. Lord Cydari, thankfully, wasn't there. "Ah, my favorite customer," the jeweler said.
"Surely," Laidu said, "you'd had better-looking customers than me."
"Better-looking?" The jeweler thought for a moment. "To a poet or a painter, maybe." He beckoned Laidu over to his counter. "But to one of my kind, an artisan who knows the secrets and beauties of metals, you are a living piece of art," he said.
"Well, I've never been called that before," he said.
"Not even the other? The one who that piece you commissioned is for?"
"She's complimented me," Laidu said, "but never that specifically."
"Ah. Speaking of which," the jeweler said, "the piece you requested is done. Would you like me to get it?"
"That was why I came." He smiled. "I need it for something tonight, if that's not a problem."
"No, no, not at all." The jeweler paused. "Allow me to go get it, so you can inspect it."
"I'm sure it's fine, judging from your other examples of craftsmanship," Laidu said.
"Nonsense! You must see it before you take it." He paused. "You've paid for it, I must be sure that you're satisfied with the product." He vanished into the back room before Laidu could protest.
Laidu waited, and, of course, the others were waiting. This isn't going to work. It's sentimental, ridiculous, and of course she'd never agree, Kasran said.
Shut up, Laidu said. The voices were getting worse, getting louder, almost drowning out real voices. That worried him to no end.
It made him wonder if what he was planning was selfish. If he got worse, could he really go through with what he planned for Kyra? Would he be ruining her life by following through? It was one thing for the voices to be attacking him, but it was another thing entirely for his own thoughts to be turning against him.
The jeweler reappeared. "And here is your merchandise," he said, handing Laidu a small box. Laidu opened it, and inspected it.
"It's very, very nice," he said.
"I'm glad you appreciate it," the jeweler said. "Is there anything else I can interest you in?" he asked.
"Not at the moment," Laidu said. "I have a few other errands to run. But thank you."
He pocketed the item, and walked away.
There were a few other errands he had to do, but after a while, he settled down on the last few items.
YOU ARE READING
When Laidu, a half-human, half-dragon Ranger, rescues a mysterious girl from slavers, he doesn't know it but he's in for a world of trouble. Teaming up with an insane scholar, a chatty assassin, and two mercenaries, they go to take the girl -Kyra- h...