18 (Argentum’s Song – PG)

Chapter Eighteen

The weirs had disappeared into the brush shortly after the Unearl had woken. Franklin stayed under the cart for at least an hour after to make sure they were gone. After a quick perimeter scout he cleaned his wounds with a booze soaked rag and then redressed them with some of the cloth he had been tearing into strips for Earl. It was obvious this had been Walter’s supply train, even if he didn’t see any sign of Walter here. Of course he hadn’t felt up to looking the two corpses over in any detail yet.

Most of the wagon’s supplies were ruined or had been gnawed on by weirs. Franklin wasn’t hungry enough to risk infection so he just ate from a package of dried flat bread that had made it through unscathed. Apart from that he had salvaged a stained cloak, a torn purse empty of the indenture contracts he was hoping for, and a water canteen he added a bit of ale to. The biggest surprise was the silver scimitar protruding from one of the two corpses.

The corpses themselves had been pretty heavily fed upon, but he was still able to recognize them as weir, not human corpses. Franklin salvaged one weir claw from each and dropped them in the purse, He’d go about preserving them later. Not as good as being able to destroy the entire contract, but it wasn’t like there were any witnesses left to prove he hadn’t fulfilled one fifth of it.

Franklin debated spending the rest of the night under the cart. However, it was the stench and general creepiness of the place, even more than the possibility the weirs would return if they failed to find new prey, that made his decision for him. Franklin left the main path and forged his own way toward Phoentown, hoping to throw off pursuers. The sky was overcast enough that it made navigating difficult but even if he wasn’t heading directly North, he was at least putting more space between him and the last place he had spotted the weirs.

Franklin was just about to stop for a rest when he heard a chorus of bloodcurdling howels off to his left. He didn’t know if they had picked up his scent or something else’s. Regardless they were much too close to risk settling down for the night. Franklin adjusted his course away from the source of the war cries and doubled his pace.

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