Swamped Chapter 59 Page 5

A thought strikes you. Swamp mush isn’t exactly the most appealing of meals – but with how long it takes to bring anything here, and how much the rain devastates the local animal populations, meat isn’t much of an option. Hunting requires special permission.

But there’s always people who don’t respect the rules. And there was something going on involving animals that Grey didn’t want to talk freely about.

What about a poaching operation? Pest control would have exactly the tools you’d need to capture an animal. Grey could be involved in the scheme… or it could be he noticed the missing tools, and doesn’t want the information to get out too far.

Well. You can look into that later. What you’re wondering about right now is if Squib Squad is involved in unauthorized hunting.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the leaves made me sick, honestly,” you groan. “Forgot how unpleasant they were. I suppose I spoiled myself when I went back home. Now I wish I’d at least treated myself to a good steak before I got on the return carriage… It’s not like I didn’t have the money to spare for it, after all.”

You can almost see some gears turning in the Squib Squadder’s head. He looks like he sees an opportunity, but isn’t sure on it.

“Just quit whispering behind our backs,” he seems to settle on after a minute or so. Then he almost immediately rushes over to the man at the head of the line – Squib, most likely. And – hypocritically enough – begins whispering to him.

You don’t have much practice with lipreading, but you think you catch the word “greatrat”. Are they desperate enough to eat greatrat meat? That’s definitely a good way to get sick.

“What was that all about?” the other knight asks you. “You’re up to something, aren’t you?”

Hmm. It might be worth taking on this fellow as a helper. He seems eager enough. But, while you’ve worked with others on information-gathering before, you never quite got the hang of working out which details to share with your would be accomplices.

So what should you say to this rather good-looking knight?

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Asking them if they want to go…hunting…together.