Swamped Chapter 77 Page 6

It’s so strange it takes you a moment to realize what even happened. The Protector tending to the bird stabbed the crossbow bolt into her own arm.

And the bird… stretches its wounded wing and it looks just fine? Is this some kind of magic?

The Protector on guard looks at you, probably sees your startled expression, and just grunts. Doesn’t seem like he’s going to explain it, either.

The bird starts walking off, and the Protectors turn to you. The one with the bolt in her arm gives you a glance, which you think is somehow trying to convey both “don’t ask” and “it’s fine”.

You have a lot of questions, and you don’t think you’re going to get much of a chance to have them answered. So you just head back.

By the time you return, so has Rider, along with… someone familiar. They’re both moving barrels of water. The crates are looking nearly full now.

“That’s the bounty hunter I ran into earlier!” you exclaim.

“I thought I would put them to work before questioning them,” Rider says. “Especially since it seems that the rest of you were preoccupied. You’ve met them before?”

“Knew you were really a Marshguard,” the hunter grumbles, grabbing another barrel and lugging it over to the pool.

“Hush, you.” You turn to Rider. “They were trying to turn me in. Only got them to leave me alone once I implied I was in trouble with the priests. They were trying to shoot a big bird, apparently. The Protectors here helped it, though, so it seems fine now.”

You notice Rider has three bolts in his armor, right over his heart.

“You, uh. You going to be okay?”

“They didn’t pierce the inner layer,” he says. “It should still be sufficiently waterproof.”

He finishes pouring both of his barrels, just as the hunter comes by and dumps another one in. Then two from Ember fill up the crates.

“We’re just about ready to go now,” Ember says. “Of course, first we’ve got to figure out what to do about our new friend here.”

“I was planning on an interrogation,” Rider says. “After that, well, that depends on what answers we get.”

“Fine, let’s get it over with quickly,” the hunter grumbles. “Go on ahead.”

“Corvus, why don’t you start.” Rider says.

Well, you definitely have some questions. But which ones are the most pressing?

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Does the bounty hunter know anything about our mysterious foes?