Swamped Chapter 4 Page 16

You’re curious about the book, so you decide to take some time to find the archives. Unfortunately, you quickly get lost, and this time it’s genuine. When you step outside the hallways you’re familiar with, you feel overwhelmed.

It would be a different matter if you had a guide, but you don’t see anyone you recognize. And you feel a bit too self-conscious to go up to someone in the middle of the halls. It’s not as if this is an important task, after all.

You decide that it can wait until tomorrow, and head towards your room.

But suddenly, you hear some loud hammering, and you remember hearing about the knight who was working on… well, something. You decide to investigate, and follow the noises to a door that looks just like all the other doors in this part of the base.

You knock on the door, and after hearing a muffled shout to the effect of “who the hell could that be”, Tom Eighth thrusts the door open. You recognize him from the barge, though you didn’t know his name at the time.

“Oh. It’s the newbie,” he grumbles. “What do you want, I’m busy.”

“Well, ah, yes, I heard the noise and wondered what you were working on.”

“Well, you can wonder some more. I’ve said it a thousand times to a thousand people, you’ll see it when it’s done. Now, do you have anything else to waste my time with, or can I get back to work?”

“Um, you know, the noise bothers people…”

“I’m almost done for the night. You can handle another ten minutes of noise. Now get out.”

“Wait! Ah, I was looking for the archives, and, er, I was wondering if you could give me directions?”

He gives you a doubting glare, then shrugs and quickly scribbles something on a notepad. Then he tears off a sheet and hands it to you.

“There. I don’t know or care what you’re planning to do there, but that gets you to the archives. Now leave me alone!”

He slams the door in your face before you can thank him. You follow his directions and find that an elderly knight is just locking up.

“The archives are closed for the evening,” he says politely. “I can make a note of what you’d like and attend to it tomorrow, but I’m afraid I don’t have the time for more than that.”

“Oh, that’s fine, that’s fine, I just had a question.” You hold up the book about the haunted house. “I heard you print books for the knights here, and I was curious if this was one of them. Sorry to bother you.”

He suddenly starts smiling.

“Oh! The house in the swamp. That was actually written by a Marshguard prisoner two years ago. Not many readers over there, let alone writers, but after some talk we decided to let them print it off. We gave them a copy to take back to the fortress, and kept one here. Now, hmm, what was that prisoner’s nickname, I can’t recall it at all…”

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Five-eyes is what they call him on account of his fancy glasses