Swamped Chapter 132 Page 15

“How? Think about it for two seconds, stupid,” they sneer. “You were just talkin’ about water. What do you think happens here if it rains? You think they let a sacred crypt get flooded? No, they gotta drain the water somewhere. And I know where that somewhere is, and how it connects to the sewage system. Real profitable information sometimes. So don’t go thinkin’ I’ll tell you my trade secrets just because you surprised me.”

You don’t know if any of that’s accurate, but they’re moving on to insulting you. Your hunch that they’re trying to provoke an attack seems to be holding up. Still, they haven’t escalated very far yet, so it’s not time to pretend you’re taking the bait.

No, it’s time to convince them that the insults are getting to you.

“Stupid? You’re calling me stupid? I at least have the sense to know what sort of mess I’m sticking my nose into. I probably know more about your employers than you do.”

“Yeah? And what good has that done you?” They chuckle derisively. “All you managed to do is get yourself locked in here. Or did you maybe not notice I shut the door on you?”

Ah. This is progressing nicely.

“And yet I can’t help but notice you haven’t made a move,” you reply, sounding overconfident and just a little bit shy of angry. “You must not think you can handle me, if all you’ve got are insults.”

You sound close to the line. So most likely, they’ll try to send you over it. You need to ready yourself to make your move.

“You’re not worth my time. All I’m getting paid for is to keep watch, and you don’t have the brains to work the door. I can keep an eye on you perfectly well from right here.”

Hmm. Not as strong as you were expecting. Maybe they suspect you’re wise to their game. Or maybe they don’t think you’re quite aggressive enough yet, so they’re trying to prod you a little more just to be sure.

Whatever they’re trying, it’s thrown you off enough that you need a moment to work out your response.

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How much they paying you?

While waiting for an answer, scope out the lighting situation. Is it possible to douse the lights and take them by surprise?