Hannah, Brynn, and Nabile and the We Hate Hanso Club: Part Three
Nabile and Brynn went back to their inn to grab their bags and get the Unis, then went back to wait for Hannah. She showed up on time, her bag slung over her shoulder. She got up behind Nabile on her Uni.
"How many more people are we going to add to this party, Brynn?" her mount asked.
"Stop complaining, you're only carrying one person," the other said.
"Yeah, but Brynn's armor probably weighs as much as the two of them," the first shot back.
"Will you two stop and head for Brightvale already?" Brynn sighed wearily. "Four-year-olds, I'm always surrounded by four-year-olds."
The two Unis took off, but the arguing did not stop the entire flight. When they arrived Brynn looked around and smiled.
"I've missed it a little," Brynn said softly.
"Brightvale is nice, I guess," Hannah commented. "Not enough treasure for the finding, though."
"Okay, I have a few acquaintances I must drop in on while I'm here. Hannah, you do your thing. Nabile, do you want to come with me or stay with our Uni friends here?" Brynn asked, her shoulders sagging slightly.
Nabile looked over at the arguing twosome and replied, "I'll go with Hannah. These people are nothing new to me and they wouldn't try to rob us. Kanrik would have their hides if they tried to rob Hannah. Have fun, Brynn."
Brynn grinned wryly and walked away, Nabile followed Hannah through the town. They went to a pub in a seedy part of town. Hannah seemed perfectly confident in this atmosphere, but Nabile was a little wary. The people in the pub were very different from the desert thieves. Hannah sat herself down at the bar and Nabile sat beside her. She leaned over towards the Mynci sitting on her other side and whispered something. He nodded, then got up and walked away.
They sat there for a few minutes, waiting, while the other patrons give them curious looks. Finally the Mynci came back. He muttered something to Hannah; she nodded and gave him some money. Hannah got up and Nabile followed her lead.
"Well? What was all that?" Nabile asked outside.
"I don't know how to directly contact Kanrik. He says I talk too much or something. But, I do know how to get the message that I want to see him passed along. Normally, he is the one who comes to see me. Not as often as I'd like to see him, but he's busy and I'm normally waitressing or spelunking anyway," Hannah explained.
"So, when can we expect to hear from him?" Nabile asked.
"I don't know, but the last time I needed to see him he arrived less than thirty-two hours after I sent word. Hopefully he'll be just as speedy, since by tomorrow afternoon Wreath will have the artifact and then we're on the clock to get it away from him before he does any damage with it," Hannah replied. "Come on, we'll go to the inn to wait for Brynn."
Hannah and Nabile went to the inn and Brynn joined them for dinner looking gloomy. She muttered that she did not want to talk about it and asked how it went on their end. Hannah explained and then they ate in silence.
The next day they went up to Wreath's estate and hid themselves in bushes near the house to stake-out the place. They wanted to be there when the artifact arrived, so they could hopefully find out what is was. Sometime in the early afternoon; a wagon pulled by Unis drove up. Wreath, a Darigan Blumaroo, stepped out and greeted the driver. The driver took a package out of the wagon and handed it to Wreath. Wreath nodded and went back inside and the wagon drove off.
Hannah took out some binoculars and looked in a window. She handed them to Brynn. "He's in there, and he's opening the box."
Brynn looked on as he did so. She suddenly let out a gasp, then handed the binoculars back to Hannah asking, "Is that symbol what I think it is?"
Hannah looked in again and her teeth gritted together as she unconsciously rubbed her scar. "Yep, that is the mark of Ta-Kutep. That's an artifact that belonged to the Bringer. This is really bad."
Nabile took the binoculars out of Hannah's hand and had a look. Wreath was holding up a staff. It was fairly innocuous looking, but at the top was a red gem carved with the eye. Nabile gave Hannah her binoculars back and the threesome stole back to the town to wait, and hope that Wreath wouldn't get it into his head to try anything.
They sat in the town square and quietly made contingency plans in the event that Kanrik wasn't able to arrive and take the artifact before Wreath did anything dangerous with it. Without warning, a pair of gloved hands descended over Hannah's eyes and a low voice asked, "Guess who?"
"Lord Kass?" Hannah guessed.
"Captain Scarblade?" Her grin was huge now.
"You're not very good at this game."
"Um, Hanso?" Hannah giggled out.
Kanrik pulled his hands away from her eyes and said, "I'm rather insulted by that last one, Hannah."
All three of the women turned to look at him and Hannah giggled, "Then, would you like to do his job, and reap the rewards he could have gotten if he wasn't off being a doofus?"
"When isn't he off being a doofus, Hannah?" Kanrik asked.
"You've got us there," Brynn sighed.
"Tell me about this little business proposal," Kanrik said.
"Well, a sorcerer who lives up yonder has a staff from the treasury of the Bringer, and Brynn needs to acquire it to bring it back to Faerieland for safekeeping. He apparently has numerous other valuable items up there too," Hannah told.
"Hannah, are you asking me to do what I think you are?" Kanrik asked with grin.
"I'm not asking you to do anything, Kanrik. I'm just telling you about the pickle that my friends and I happen to be in," Hannah replied with an innocent smile, but her eyes twinkled mischievously.
"You'll owe me a favor, Hannah," Kanrik teased.
"You let me fall off a cliff and left me for dead," Hannah reminded.
Kanrik threw up his hands in mock annoyance. "It always comes back to that. I said I was sorry, I carried you to Taelia to be healed, I give you very nice presents, and still you won't let that go."
"Darn right I won't. I'm going to hang that over your head forever," Hannah replied trying not to laugh.
"All right, I'll meet you the outside the Faerieland palace gates late tomorrow. You three should be long out of Brightvale before anything, ahem, happens," Kanrik said.
Brynn nodded and Hannah thanked Kanrik, then the three returned to their inn to gather their bags. The Unis complained about all the sudden moves, but in spite of their complaints they were soon on their way to Faerieland. Brynn had a house there now, and they set down outside it. Brynn dismissed the Unis and they went inside.
"I'll show you two to the guest rooms. Then I have to go the palace to give Queen Fyora a status report and see if my lout of a partner has shown his smug face around here since abandoning me," Brynn told once inside.
"Aw, if you're going to beat him up I want to be there to watch and cheer you on," Hannah complained.
"Don't worry; I doubt he'll show up for a day or two yet. Once he realized that Jazan wasn't in Qasala he would have headed back to Sakhmet to look for me. He's probably desperately attempting to trace my trail at the moment, good luck with that, Hanso. No, he'll give up and come back tomorrow to see if I've returned," Brynn predicted.
She showed Hannah and Nabile to their rooms then headed off. After dropping their bags in the rooms, the two decided to sit in the living room together to wait for Brynn's return. Nabile sat and read a book while Hannah stared out the window.
"Hey, look at this. Why did Brynn frame this lame little drawing?" Hannah said suddenly.
Nabile looked up and took the picture frame offered to her by Hannah. In it was a stick figure that looked a little like Hanso was holding some sort of round object while in the background another figure with long hair fumed.
"Maybe it was drawn as a present by some kid that Brynn knows?" Nabile suggested putting it back on the table.
"I guess so. I don't see why she would keep it otherwise," Hannah replied and went back to looking out the window.
Brynn returned about two hours later. She told them that business had gone fine and Hanso had not returned yet. They ate dinner, and then swapped stories until long after midnight.
The next day at noon, the threesome went to wait outside the palace gates for Kanrik. He finally showed up about two hours later. He handed Hannah a long object wrapped in black cloth. She handed it to Brynn who took a peek and then smiled.
"I suppose I have to pay you for this?" Brynn asked.
"No, it's yours. I am pretty well off at the moment," Kanrik said with a wicked grin.
"Considering who it is you're well off from I can't say I much care," Brynn said. "Come, you three can wait in my office in the palace while I present this to Fyora."
They followed Brynn in and she led them to her office where they sat down and waited. Fifteen minutes later Brynn returned.
"Well, that is taken care of, so back to my normal duties. First, I guess I should arrange transportation back to your homes?" Brynn said.
Before they could reply the door to her office opened and Hanso strolled in. He sauntered over to Brynn saying, "Here you are, sweetheart. I've been looking everywhere for you."
Brynn slugged him in the arm none too gently. "Don't call me that, you oaf."
"Ow!" he protested. "Okay, I'm sorry, but I didn't expect you to leave and handle it all by yourself. I thought you'd wait for me and then we'd get on with the job. I had some business to attend to."
Brynn slugged his arm again and was about to say something when a knock at the door interrupted her.
A guard hurried in. "Captain, there is a matter. Well, that is, King Jazan is here to see you. Should I show him in?"
Before anyone had time to say anything Jazan walked in.
Nabile jumped up and cried, "Darling!"
"Nabile!" he almost shouted, his voice harsh with relief. "You are here."
He embraced her as she asked, "What are you doing here, darling? Was your business with King Altador really taken care of that quickly?"
"I never got to Altador. A messenger from your cousin intercepted my party in the mountains to tell me that you had vanished. I immediately turned back to search for you. I heard the strangest rumor which led me here. However, it seems wasn't a rumor after all," Jazan told. "What are you doing here in Faerieland with Brynn and Hannah?"
"I will explain it in full when we get home, darling. Long story short, I'm here because Hanso is completely unreliable and Brynn needed some assistance that only a competent Ixi thief could provide," Nabile explained.
Jazan smiled at her and then turned to glare at Hanso. "I will kill you, Hanso."
Hanso tried to edge towards the door, but Kanrik stood up and blocked his path. "I would love to assist you with that, King Jazan."
Hanso backed up and attempted to hide behind Brynn, who slugged him in the arm again.
Jazan put an arm around Nabile and said, "I will kill you later. Right now, I should get my wife home. It was good to see you again, Brynn."
"Likewise, King Jazan," Brynn replied, bowing her head.
Hannah, who had been observing the scene with a huge grin, jumped up and grabbed Kanrik's arm. She started pulling him toward the door. "Come on, Kanrik. Let's go check out those caves by the Poogle Races that I have been hearing so much about. Bye, Brynn and Nabile, let's do this again soon!"
"Hannah, I am very busy, you know," Kanrik protested as he let her drag him away.
"You always have time to accompany me on my spelunking, Kanrik!" Hannah overrode his objection.
Nabile and Brynn said goodbye and Nabile and Jazan left. That left only Hanso and Brynn together in the room. Hanso tried to give Brynn his most charming smile. She slugged him in the arm once more for good measure.
To be continued...