Swamped Chapter 143 Page 3

You wonder if you can work anything out about whoever’s on stage. Their robe is hooded, which makes it hard to see their face, but something strikes you as odd about it when you do catch a glimpse.

And that’s when you realize just what – it’s the fact you can see their face at all. The guards you’ve been running into have mostly been wearing those odd masks. Even the ushers seem to have them, and the guard Bert knocked unconscious.

So are they under the influence of some sort of gas themselves? Or is something else going on?

You don’t know, but you think you’re done here. You point out the oddity to Bert, but he doesn’t seem to have any idea what it means either. So, you head back to the others.

When you get back, though, you find a few more unconscious guards near them.

“I think they might start to get suspicious soon when their patrols don’t return,” Mina says. “So we’d better get things done quickly. What did you find out?”

You tell her what you saw. She seems concerned.

“I’ll bet we’ll find the abductees in the audience,” she says to Bert. “But if there’s only a few guards watching them, then they must be kept under control through some other means.”

“Like gas,” you suggest. “The guards have masks, after all. Thing about that theory, though, is that the person on stage doesn’t.”

“I wonder,” Drip muses. “You noted the curtains are new, and would likely take some effort to procure. Perhaps they are involved in some spell that keeps the audience docile.”

“They do seem way less active than any audience I’ve ever seen,” Bert agrees. “Something weird is definitely at work there. But if we rush the stage, even if there aren’t many guards on the scene, you can bet they’ll sound an alarm. Not to mention, they could use the audience as hostages.”

“And that’s if they just can’t turn whatever’s affecting the audience against us,” Mina adds. “Plus we don’t know what the point of all this is. Maybe that person’s just raving on a stage, and it’d be a waste of time to worry about them at all.”

“Well, hold on. There’s one thing we haven’t had time to clear up between us,” you say. “Drip and I are looking for some missing priests, and we think they might be here. What’s the story on the people you’re looking for?”

Mina looks thoughtful for a moment.

“Priests, you say. Okay, now things are starting to make a little bit more sense.”

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We received a plea for help, but it came through an unusual route that left the details vague.