1e (Argentum’s Song – PG)

Ladin turned and burrowed into his private sledge. His upper torso disappeared behind the canvas and the muted thuds and clangs suggested a frantic search. Argent was almost done bundling their few provisions into two furs by the time Ladin emerged. The merchant had two fists full of much more silver than Argent could count.

“Simon, please take this. I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye but you must know how valuable an asset you are to the caravan. Take it as a token of gratitude for saving my life. I’ll give you as much again if you will just accompany us to the town.”

Argent sucked in his breath. Bad move Ladin … very bad move. You don’t try to buy a True Warrior’s service. He glanced over his shoulder and saw Simon slowly release Franklin’s wrist.

“You would dare steal my reward?”

The huge Warrior turned and advanced upon the confused and retreating merchant.

“You would dare tempt me to receive mammon for the service that I give freely to my Lord?”

Argent saw Ladin’s eyes glance at the claymore on Simon’s back. Wolfripper had only ever been used against infected, but Ladin couldn’t know that. He likely just wanted to get out of the confrontation with his head intact. Argent figured he had better step in before things got worse.

“Sir. I think it was a misunderstanding. I think Ladin meant it as a gift, not payment, right?”

“Yes … yes, a gift.”

“I will take no such filthy gift.”

The merchant cowered before Simon’s righteous anger.

“Maybe it would be best if we did part ways after all?”

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