Three Corpses Part 2

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Belwynn followed the others as they exited the Three Tuns and made their way through Vincente's town.

The sun had almost conceded defeat for another day, and the fading light gave the streets a more menacing feel to them, empty of people and eerily quiet.

Herin led them at a fast pace, flitting from one street to the next, keen not to be seen. Belwynn soon lost track of their whereabouts and resigned herself to just keeping up with the others.

Herin led them to a dark, narrow alleyway, the kind of place you would think twice about walking down, even in the middle of the day. At the end of the alley Herin crouched down, and they joined him in the same position.

Belwynn took care to keep the hem of her dress from trailing on the ground.

The rain was getting heavier now, and Herin brushed a hand through his wet hair in an irritated gesture, though Belwynn knew him well enough to know that he loved all this cloak and dagger stuff. He pointed ahead and slightly to the left. The end of their alley intersected at a right angle with a much broader, main thoroughfare. Herin was gesturing at a big townhouse which dominated the area.

The front of the house was stone-built with giant wooden doors. It was tall with a flat roof and crenellations facing the street. The far side of the house had a second storey built on it. Half a dozen armed men stood outside, mostly trying to shelter from the rain in the lee provided by the house wall.

'Always five or six at the front, at all times of day and night. At the back there are grounds that descend to a stream. Inside, more paid men and various retainers, friends and family, probably averaging thirty armed men at any one time altogether. Only other exit is the window that's on the top floor. That's how we're getting out.'

Herin was really speaking to Soren. Belwynn and Clarin were the ones who got told what to do. Herin and Soren were the planners.

'There's no other buildings nearby or in town where he has people based?' asked Soren.

'No.'

'Very well. Let's do it.'

Belwynn's insides churned as they approached the house. She had faith in Herin and Clarin, and most of all in Soren; but still she knew that what they were doing was very dangerous and could go horribly wrong.

The guards outside the house were huddled around a game of dice, but quickly stood when they saw them approaching. Both Herin and Clarin wore armour and carried long swords, sheathed in scabbards at their belts. The guards outnumbered them, but the two men were an intimidating sight, and Belwynn could see them touching their own weapons, checking they were near to hand should the need arise. Emboldened, they moved forward as a group, meeting them a few yards from the door of the house.

'What business have you here?' one of them demanded—a heavy-set man with an unruly beard that dominated his face so much that Belwynn couldn't tell his age.

'Evening,' said Herin calmly, resting his dark eyes on the bearded guard. 'We are come to Vincente's town to introduce him to Lady Melyta, a singer from Magnia,' he said, gesturing at Belwynn.

Belwynn did a small curtsy, while looking into the distance, as if making eye contact with men such as these was beneath her.

'Hmm. It's late for that, isn't it? They've already had their dinner inside.'

'We are somewhat late, yes. We have travelled from Magnia, our homeland, where Lady Melyta is known as the best minstrel in the land. She plays for all the lords there, and she is currently on her way to sing at King Glanna's court, at his request. I think your lord would not want to turn her away,' said Herin.

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