Swamped

Swamped Chapter 152 Page 14

“One of the unfortunate realities of independence is that you often wind up owing people favors,” he says. “A certain city official wants this site secured, but the town guard has their hands full. Apparently there are a lot of criminals roaming the streets tonight.”

“And you conveniently happened to be in town?” you ask, somewhat skeptically.

“We always come at festival time,” says your grebling escort. “Plenty of humans here ain’t exactly fond of greblings at the best of times. Now imagine what happens when those humans get drunk.”

You can’t pretend that doesn’t make sense. Still, something strikes you as odd about it.

“Seems it might be dangerous for them now if there’s criminals roaming the town,” you muse.

“This isn’t our entire force,” replies the human. “We’ve still got a good number patrolling the grebling neighborhoods. But our role here is to secure the tower.”

“And, for some reason that’s not suspicious at all, we’re not to go in ourselves,” the grebling interjects.

You glance at the wizard.

“And let me make a guess. You’re not under any such promise,” you observe. “So you’re going to loophole your way in to take care of the problem for them?”

“That was more or less the plan, yes,” the wizard replies.

“Well, before you go ahead with it, I need to warn you about something. I heard someone whispering about ‘releasing the abluni’. Which is the name some kind of rodent in an obscure language, I don’t know if that means they’re literally releasing them or if it’s some kind of code…”

You suddenly notice that a lot of Protectors are looking directly at you.

“Could you tell us who said it?” the human Protector asks calmly.

“Didn’t see. I was trying to get a sense of what was going on outside,” you reply. “So I used some tricks I know to listen from the inside of the tower.”

He doesn’t say anything, and just glances at the various greblings.

One of them steps forward.

“I did hear something like that,” they say. “Didn’t know what to make of it, since I didn’t know the word.”

“And who said it?”

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