Swamped Chapter 67 Page 10

You have no idea how fast this bartender is working. But you also know that it’s probably best for you to cooperate.

You can stall a little by being deliberately slow in your movements. You might annoy the guard, but he shouldn’t get actively suspicious. You’re not even sure what’s going to happen if he sees the money.

With exaggerated care, you put your feet flat on the floor and slowly get up. Then, just for good measure, you quickly stretch your arms.

Then you step forward a bit.

By now the bartender has to know you’re moving out of the way, so if they’ve got anything to hide they’ll be focused on hiding it. So, just as the guard seems to be glaring at you, you take a step to the side.

And you see the bartender making a show of wiping the counter. With a large cloth conveniently covering the spot where you left the money. The guard looks at them for a while, then seems to move on.

Meanwhile, the priest seems to have made up his mind on something. He makes a sweeping gesture and all eyes turn to him – even the guards don’t seem to want to miss this.

“The Master decrees that this child has violated the Law of Silence,” the priest says, in a solemn voice. “They are no longer fit to perform sacred tasks, and are to be exiled. None are to associate with the exile from now on.”

The priest makes another gesture, and then walks out. The guards drag the child away, along with the whistle.

And, suddenly, everyone goes back to what they were doing. Even the children. Wordlessly eating and drinking, as though nothing had happened.

Now what?

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Suggestions:

Head in the general direction of the building with the war room with the teleport circles. Can’t think of any other way you’re supposed to leave this place, and maybe your mysterious contact will get in touch with you while you’re on the way.

As soon as is convenient, slip into a quiet alley to examine the bear.

Author’s Note:

In case I’ve left any doubt, Ash’s lack of a reaction here is very much intentional.