Swamped Chapter 44 Page 5

You lose it.

You can’t piece together the thoughts, it all happened at once. You tried to just rush out of your seat and break through the side of the tent, but Long was watching for that and tried to intercept.

You don’t know what you did after that. You only know that it got you outside, where you were promptly pinned to the ground by the angry girl about two seconds later.

When your head clears, you’re tied to the post in your wagon. Again.

“I apologize for the accommodations, but you really haven’t left us with much choice at this point,” Long says. “So why don’t you tell us what you know?”

“Fine, here’s what I know.” you grumble. “Before I fell in with the Guild, I was in a group of bandits who hid out in the Balda Dunes. Y’know, it’s a smaller patch of desert in the middle of the continent. Nowhere near as dangerous as this place, but empty enough that we could use it as a hideaway. Then, one day, after we get a nice big haul, we go back to our camp and suddenly these people just pop out of the sands and start mowing us down.”

You have to pause a little. You really don’t want to relive that moment.

“Now, as you might have noticed, I’m a coward. Rather than help my fellows, I hopped on a desert-horse and ran as far away as I could. Thought I was done with them. Then, a week later, I’m sleeping in a hay-loft and I find a dagger plunged in the ground next to me. There’s a note on it that says, basically, they’re willing to let me live so long as I don’t ever tell a soul what I saw. So, I didn’t, until you went and dragged it out of me. Are you satisfied now? That’s all I know. For real.”

You’re now Captain Long.

You have little doubt that what Pubert just told you is largely true. But you strongly suspect there’s more to it that the little muckweasel is still hiding.

What should you ask about?

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And what exactly had those bandits plundered before the attack?