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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

sound of dripping of water could be heard nearby. A flicker of light appeared in Sayana's
palm, allowing them to see where they were going.
The passage wasn't all that long, being perhaps less than ten yards in total length, so
Aiden found himself at the other hidden door within moments. Bethany hadn't mentioned
how to open this one, but Sayana, standing right behind him, quickly pointed out a grimy
lever on the wall next to them. Pulling it caused the wall in front of them to slide to one
side, revealing a dimly lit room with plush furnishings and elegant design.
“Looks like a study, or office,” Aiden whispered, stepping into the room to look
around. There were three low-burning candles in the room providing the light, so Sayana
let her flame vanish as she entered.
“I hear voices nearby,” she said under her breath, standing cautiously with one hand
on her axe handle. Aiden saw a closed door across the room, and upon taking a few steps
closer, heard the faint, muffled sounds of people talking. He crept across the room and
put an ear to the door, while the rest of the group moved into position around it in
“Can you hear what they're saying?” Nellise asked. “I can't make it out.”
“It's a little too muffled to understand them,” Aiden replied, and was promptly
shoved aside by Sayana. With her ear to the door, she began whispering what she heard,
for the benefit of the others.
“'...not part of the plan, Culdeny isn't important,' one man said. Another is replying...
'do you think they will simply let us walk in there, with Criosa tied up, and allow us to
board a ship? Securing Culdeny is paramount to our success, so follow your commander's
orders, and this will all be over by sunset.' Oh no,” Sayana added, catching Aiden's eye
with her own piercing orbs.
“What is it?” Aiden hissed, sensing something amiss.
“The way that man is talking is very familiar... I know that voice.”
“Who do you think it is?” Aiden asked in trepidation.
“That man from the Gentleman's club in Culdeny, Ronald Bartlett.”
“Son of a bitch,” Colt swore, a little too loudly for Aiden's liking.
“I think they heard that,” Sayana gasped, pulling back from the door and preparing
her protective magicks, while Aiden drew his sword and reflexively kicked the door in
before anyone could come through it. He locked eyes with Bartlett, standing in the
middle of the room, with five armoured men running towards them, weapons at the
Chapter Twenty Eight
Aiden only caught a glimpse of the room beyond, but immediately noticed an ornate
door directly across the twenty foot space, and a hallway to the right. The five
mercenaries would be on them in moments, and as the novice warrior braced himself for
a fight, he was suddenly pulled to the side and replaced in the doorway by Colt, or more
specifically, Colt's blade.
The big ranger held it level, pointed directly at the charging warriors, who abruptly
changed direction at the last moment to avoid a painful collision, parting to either side of
the five- foot sword. Pacian darted through the doorway, right down the middle of the
mercenaries, and charged straight past Bartlett, heading for the front door.