Swamped Chapter 135 Page 6

Well. The easiest way to sound natural is to ask the question that’s actually on your mind. It should at least keep the conversation moving while you look for an opportunity to shift it.

“Did Brian do something in particular?” you ask.

“Oh, there was a guy dressed in a purple uniform,” says the knight with the bell. “Looked a bit like the one our enemies wear. Not quite the same, but I don’t think Brian was willing to let it go.”

“That’s not all,” says the shorter woman. “He tried to trip the guy up. Asked a question he thought would unsettle him if he was from the swamp. Thing is, it unsettled the rest of us too.”

“Yeah, and it didn’t even work,” the taller woman adds. “The guy looked worried, but he said it was a fear of fog. Maybe he was lying and maybe he wasn’t, but it just goes to show it was an awful idea in the first place.”

“Fear of fog?” you ask, confused. “Why, is it foggy out?”

“Never mind,” the knight with the bell sighs. “You’ll understand if we don’t want to repeat the actual question. Just thinking about it’s dredging up some bad memories.”

Well. You’ve got some gaps in your knowledge, but you suppose clarifying them wouldn’t really help you find Burgundy. So it’s probably best not to press the point.

“Fair enough. So it sounds like his problems go beyond not measuring up as a soldier in Burgundy’s eyes. I can see why you thought he might not follow orders.” Then something strikes you. “So when did this happen, exactly?”

“A while ago,” says the one with the bell. “Burgundy had just finished lecturing us when the guy in purple came back, and then he went to give Brian an earful not long after.”

You reflect on this.

“Shouldn’t Brian have already returned, then? Seems like a lecture would take quite a while longer than what’s needed to warn the staff.”

“Well, yeah, that would have been weird,” the taller woman agrees. “But there was something else he was supposed to take care of, too. And that would have taken a while. Hells, even if he’s actually stayed on task, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was still working on it.”

At last. This is very likely to point you in the right direction.

“Oh? What’s that?”

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Laundering masks