Swamped Chapter 6 Page 8

“Do you use both hands a lot as a lookout, by any chance?”

“Well, most of the time, no. Thing is, one of the things you’re looking out for is Marshguards sneaking in. And, of course, that means they like to surprise the lookouts before we can call a warning. And I don’t mean surprising us with a birthday cake.”

“Does that happen often?”

“Depends where you’re posted. Near the base, you won’t see a lot of action unless they’re out in full force. That hasn’t happened in years, though. But towards the edge of our territory, you see them more often. Of course, where they put you depends on seniority more than anything… the longer you’re on the job, the more dangerous the assignment. Long-term, it might not work out so well for you. Depends on how well you fight one-handed, I suppose.”

You hadn’t really given much thought to trying it. You do still have your throwing arm, you suppose.

“Anyhow, the big thing about lookout duty is, it’s boring. Most of the time you won’t see anything at all. But, because there could be a Marshguard or a troublesome beast slipping by, you can’t actually take a break. It would be a different story if there were two of you, but apparently we don’t have enough knights to do that.” He shrugs. “Anyhow, it’s about time for my shift. Nice meeting you… oh, I don’t think you gave me your name.”


“Right. Knew I’d heard it, lots of folk talking about you since yesterday. But I couldn’t put the name to a face before. Anyhow, I’ll catch you some other time, it’s been a pleasure.”

He leaves. A moment later, the two knights in conversation realize he’s going, and run out after him. They must have their own shifts.

It’s another few minutes before Mary walks in, along with another knight who looks half-asleep, and promptly sits down at the center table to find the other half. Mary spots you and waves.

“Marshall! Heard about what happened, I’m so sorry, are you all right…”

“I’m, well, I’m managing. Need some help, though.”

You explain your problem, and that you were told Mary was from Kroska.

“Yeah, I can write. But you don’t actually know how to speak Kroskan?”

“I can read it, but I read it as Common. Probably make all sorts of errors that way, but Henry would read it the same way.”

“A bit odd, but I think I can manage. So, what do you want to tell him about, aside from the arm?”

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Tell him about the lack of progress with finding your father.

Tell him about the things you learned in training classes like how to identify food and not get lost and swim