Chapter 22

104 19 33

Leithan could only stare stupidly as two men entered his room. They were maybe in their early thirties, in simple dark clothes, somewhat formal, almost like a uniform. Something the private security personnel of a rich Uptowner might wear. Leithan thought he might've seen one of them before but couldn't put his finger on the when or where.

"What's this about?" Leithan asked, and got up from the bed.

They closed the door, locked it. Fear shuddered across Leithan's chest.

Did Henten send these guys?

What about the temple's security? Where the hell was the guard on duty the one time Leithan needed him?

He glanced at his closet door. His sword was in there, in its sheath, atop the shoe rack. He'd never thought to ever use it to actually fight someone, let alone harm. That wasn't why he'd wanted to learn, but, well, at a pinch, he could—

The man closest to Leithan, the one he thought he'd met before, produced a slick metal revolver, aiming it at him.

Fucking unreal.

Leithan gave an incredulous laugh, he couldn't help it.

"Is this because of the election?" Leithan asked, his own voice sounding weird and distant to his ears. "What the fuck does it matter? Eagle-Eye still got his seat, why does he care?"

The one holding the revolver didn't move, but the other one, to Leithan's right, inched closer.

"You know what this is, why we're here," he said, rough-voiced, but like he was reciting something. "There are rules you've got to respect. You can't just break them."

The other one, to Leithan's left, hissed, "You said it wrong."

His partner didn't care. He was done talking.

Instead, he punched Leithan's face.

It came sharp and out of nowhere. Next thing Leith knew, his knees had buckled, and he had a hand on the bed for support, his other hand reflexively going to the side of his face. Pain stunned him, burning, darting from jaw to cheekbone.

The only other time he'd been hit in the face like that was when he was ten, at the Salvation Temple's dorms. Pre-teen bullies didn't hit very hard, though.

This guy did.

"Not the face, he said, remember?" revolver-guy scolded his partner.

Leithan suddenly realized where he'd met this guy before.

In Tremes's study, some weeks ago. This man had been reporting some issue about Tremes's mansion, out by the Northern Cliffs, Leithan couldn't remember what the issue itself was. Tremes had then dismissed his employee so he could give Leithan his full attention – as if he fucking wanted it.

Leithan's attacker made a noise of irritation. "Forgot about that."

Anger made Leithan react faster.

He rolled over his bed and the next blow missed him.

But the man was fast, leaping after him. He delivered a jab to Leithan's stomach; Leith tried to twist away, it got him in the ribs instead. Pain exploded from the impact, radiating across his back and limbs.

Really rethinking the decision of learning sword play and not martial arts.

Still, Saul had taught him a few self-defense basics.

Leithan didn't like the idea of hurting another man down there, but, well—

The bastard punched his ribs again, same spot, and Leithan groaned through the pain. Then, Leithan stepped back, placed all his weight in it, and kicked hard to the groin. The man yelped and hunched over with pain, hopefully enough to slow him down.

Son of No CityWhere stories live. Discover now