Swamped Chapter 77 Page 16

“Just one more, I think. Where’d you go hunting before you started checking the desert?”

You’re sure the answer will just be nonsense, but you might as well keep up the game. If only to make them worry about how much they’re fooling you.

“All over. Grew up in a tiny town, middle of nowhere, got out of there as soon as I could. Place was called Slali or something like that. It was boring as hell. Got my start when I was ambushed by bandits, fought back, and managed to capture the leader. That was a stroke of luck, but the bounty was good enough to keep me and my horse fed, so I just kept going. Much more interesting than any other work I could do. Wasn’t really heading for anywhere in particular, though. Usually I stopped in a big city, grabbed a few bounties, and moved on.”

Well. They got a little too clever in picking obscure towns there. Sure, not many people have heard of Slali, but you have. Ash griped about the place all the time when you were couriers. Enough that you remember how it’s pronounced.

And he also told you they don’t speak Common in that town. Instead they speak some weird language that you barely even remember the name of. Teltian or something. Even if they really don’t remember the name of their hometown, you’d think they’d mention something about the language if they’d really lived there.

“All right, that’ll do for now,” you say. You turn to the Protectors. “Would you two mind watching this troublemaker while we talk?”

The Protectors say nothing, but they do walk over and start to watch. Rider leads you a few feet away.

“I don’t think that’s a real bounty hunter,” Rider says.

“Me neither. Ember suggested we just have the Protectors hand them over to the Church of Reth. I’m kind of thinking maybe we should.”

Rider holds his hand to his chin in thought.

“That does seem like the simplest option. But no, I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“Why not?” you ask.

“Because our fake bounty hunter said something that greatly concerned me during my questioning.”

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They’re already working for the church–or at least, someone in it.

Someone high up.


“There is a mole or traitor among them. But we don’t know who.”