Into the Wild – Chapter 24
“I think we might find issues with that plan,” Devon heard from nowhere, he knew the voice though.
He followed the leader’s eyes as they shifted up towards the opening in the center of the chamber. There, sitting on the edge with his hooves dangling was Mat with a broad smile on his face, twirling a third dagger between his fingers.
Loc looked back and raised an eyebrow. “We know where he is now,” Devon answered with a shrug as they looked back up.
Mat sheathed the knife, stood, and did a balancing act as he walked around the thin ring of marble circling the opening. Devon smirked as he watched Mat twice fake losing his balance as he windmilled his arms and pantomimed regaining his balance in his customary dramatic fashion.
“Get down here. Someone go up and get him,” barked Loc.
“My, my, my we are bitchy today. Don’t get your udders in a knot,” warned Mat as he turned to face the opening then fell forward somersaulting twice before landing in a low crouch. Devon, like everyone else, had a look of amazement on his face at his friend’s agility. As Mat stood, he said in a low voice to Devon, “boy, didn’t know if I’d pull that one off.” Turning to the Druid Leader, he added, “nice place you got here. I noticed you called those people in the woods citizens, probably wise because if they’re your guards, they suck.”
“Mat,” cautioned Devon.
“We’re done here,” added Mat with finality.
They both looked back to see the leader motion to the guards. With a whistle, Mat summoned Darth, who flew in through the opening and circled the room just low enough to force everyone over 4 feet tall to duck. “At this point, you should probably be thinking about how to salvage this meeting, not make it worse. My patience, at the best of times, is nonexistent, and already I’m starting to feel like a steak. If you know what I mean.”
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU PEOPLE’S PROBLEM? Is this the bullshit you put everyone through? Seriously dude, you’re supposed to be the peace-loving, not a bunch of uptight assholes. So fucking chill,” barked Devon at the top of his lungs. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, he tried to calm himself. “First, I think you’ve gotten your answer as to why I left him outside. He doesn’t play well with others” Devon opened his eyes and looked back towards one of the corners and then returned his attention to Lok, “Secondly, if this ramps up, and I see the guys over there preparing spells, people will die. I’m not sure we will make it out, but I’m pretty sure several of your people won’t including you because Mat already wants you dead. We’re here to say we are in town; I think we’ve made that abundantly clear.”
“Now, I understand why our order likes to remain private. Is this what all the cities have descended into, or is it just these little shit holes? The reason you’ve never met anyone from our guild, as you call it, is because we don’t want to meet you. Simply, your idiots,” added Mat. Then in a flash, he spun on his heel as a dagger whistled across the clearing and stuck in the wall less than an inch from a druid’s head, nicking his ear. “tell your boys to back down, last warning Master moomoo.”
“Both of you stop…” Devon looked at Mat, “both of you. We’ve said our hellos, and now we’re leaving.”
“Yes, indeed, you have, I wish you safe paths, but I will warn you if our paths cross again…”
“Now it’s my turn to say Whoa, just stop with wishing us safe paths. It sounds like you’re about to stray into threats and then…” said Mat as he snapped once, causing the two daggers in the floor to vanish and reappear in his hands. He sheathed them. Then a second snap brought the one across the room back as he turned and started out, flipping the dagger in long lazy arcs as he walked.
“This isn’t what I wanted. Somehow this whole thing went completely off track...” said Devon shaking his head. “I don’t care, please forgive us.”
Devon realized they’d failed their first test. Instead of making a difference, instead of contributing, their first encounter was a failure. Worse yet, they’d made enemies. How could he fix this? He had to fix this. He couldn’t tell them, ‘sorry we’re new to this world and haven’t gotten our bearings yet.’ He looked around; the air was tense. His senses could feel magic crackling. He didn’t think they were going to let them leave. That would be so bad. Not only would they have made enemies, but if they attacked, Mat would start killing, and then what. Turning, he found Mat halfway across the clearing when an idea struck him. “Forgive us. We’ve been away from civilized society so long I think we’ve forgotten how to treat others with respect. I would like to offer my apologies…”
Mat saw Devon and quickly came back. “what are you doing?” he asked in a quiet voice.
“I agree with everything you have said, your presentation was not acceptable; there was…”
“You speak of not knowing us. Taking on a condescending and arrogant demeanor. Maybe you should ask yourself, have you been locked behind these walls so long that you’ve forgotten how to treat people. We don’t need to apologize to you. We came in good faith. We didn’t have to, but we did…” barked Mat as they both collapsed unconscious.
Lok looked over to his casters with satisfaction. “The treat has been subdued; everyone can go back to their day. Guards lock these two up. I will deal with them later.