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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“A nobleman who operates the North Shore Trading Company out of Culdeny, along
with a few other wealthy individuals,” she explained. “They have a lot of financial
backing, and could probably afford a mercenary company.”
“Sounds like you should pay him a visit and ask him a few pointed questions,”
Pacian suggested. Ariel shook her head and shifted in her chair.
“Easier said than done I'm afraid, he's quite elusive. Doesn't mingle with the
commoners a lot, as you'd expect. But he does frequent a local bar called the Gentlemen's
club, a very exclusive gathering of movers and shakers.”
“Ok, so you do know where to find him,” Colt said impatiently. “Go do your job.”
“I would very much like to do that, but they don't tolerate women in their
gentlemen's club,” she replied evenly. “In fact, only ten people in town are wealthy and
powerful enough to qualify for entry.”
“How can they refuse entry to a commander of the guard?” Aiden asked in disbelief.
“It's not so much that they'd refuse entry,” Ariel explained, “it's that they would
refuse co-operation, because I'm a woman and also merely a temporary commander. And
they‟ve enough power and influence to remove me from office, if it came to it. I‟m sorry
to say this, but there's not much I can do with the evidence you've given me. This is only
a hunch we're going on here, and it‟s going to take more than a scrawled note to figure
out who's behind the attack.”
“Do you think the Mayor would be rich and powerful enough to be a member of this
club you mentioned?” Aiden asked.
“Without a doubt,” Ariel concurred. “What are you thinking?”
“I'm thinking that if he understands the gravity of the situation, we're going to be the
newest members of the Gentlemen's club, even if only for a few hours.”
“I like the way you think, Mister Wainwright,” Ariel said, grinning slyly. “If you
manage to get some information of merit, bring it to me, and I'll figure out the best way
to make use of it. In the meantime, I‟m going to investigate this collapsed tunnel you
found, and see if we can find out more.”
“I think I'll sit this one out,” Sayana said quietly. “I should go and eat anyway.”
“No, I want you with us,” Aiden disagreed. “I have an idea.” Sayana frowned and
gave Aiden a strange look, but she nodded anyway.
“You want me along too?” Colt asked. “You probably know I'm not going to be any
good talkin' with nobles.” Aiden considered this for a moment.
“I guess it wouldn't hurt to have you looming in the background,” he finally decided.
“Just don't say anything.”
“I can loom with the best of them,” Colt grunted.
“Alright, let's go pay the Mayor another visit,” Aiden said. “We'll get in touch with
you later, Sergeant, and thanks for your help.”
“That's what I'm here for,” Ariel replied, then noticed Pacian scrutinising her.
“What are you looking at me like that for?”
“I'm just wondering,” he replied smoothly, “if you are the owner of all that
underwear hanging off the top rail upstairs? And if so, does that chain mail suit chafe
without it?”
“Why don't you ask my husband, the Captain of the Kingdom Guard, when he gets
back from fighting a war,” Ariel grated, narrowing her sight on the blond rogue. “I'm sure
he'll be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding my unmentionables.”
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