Swamped Chapter 132 Page 23

It’s a flyer, but it looks rather worn. No wonder, considering it advertises a show at the Whistlefish Theater – the one theater in Port Sarvakken. The one that’s closed. But even then, it still looks to be a good thirty years old at least.

It’s not for a play, though. This promises a performance of incredible illusion, one that not even wizards can distinguish from real magic. In the center of the bill is a lavishly dressed man, labelled as the Amazing Evan, Master of Magic.

You know an Evan, too, and it’s rather surprising to see that this one wears the same type of eyeglasses. The faces look different, but given how much Evan likes to disguise his, you can’t say for sure if you’ve ever seen his true one.

The background of the picture is rather impressive as well. There’s a couple of performers dressed as merfolk, riding on winged horses. You’re a little surprised the artist went to the trouble of showing some of the details that make it clear these are costumes and props, like the strings holding the wings up – maybe it was meant as something of a joke.

When you’ve had time to look it over, you hand it back. Doesn’t clear much up, really.

“You should really take a look at the other side,” she says, turning it over. There’s a message.

Missed your chance for the show? Perhaps they’ll put on a repeat performance.

“A taunt,” you say. “From your quarry?”

“Quite possibly. I intended to investigate. The fact that Matilda’s map may also be pointing at it has simply moved it higher in my priority list.”

“And no doubt having others with you will be very helpful when it turns out to be a trap,” you reply. “Could’ve just said that.”

“I can’t show that to just anyone. But you did let me see the map, so I’m willing to trust you that much.”

No further than that, though. Whatever – not like it makes much of a difference.

“It’s a vague lead, but unless there’s something else in here, I suppose it’s better than anything else we’ve got.”

“I’m not detecting any active ether, for what that’s worth,” Marian says. “There’s traces of a spell cast some time ago on the coffin, but that’s it.”

Hmm. That reminds you, you haven’t really looked at the coffin too closely. Seems worth a quick check before you head out.

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Nothing here but dust and crumbled mortar. Some recent marks in the dust, though…