64 Zindo’s Revenge - Headed by a Snake
What Victoire referred to ominously as the guild dungeons were not nearly as dramatic as she'd initially made them to be. Beneath the guildhall was a wine cellar, an armory storage, and a couple of barred and guarded rooms with the cellar stairs being the only exit.
A severely bandaged Zindo Tavor lied in one of these rooms on a filthy bed.
"Dear gods, the conditions? Really, man?" Varen questioned the adventurer guarding the cell.
The man shrugged, "Listen, Cap'n. No one's paying enough silver to clean out the man's bed e'ry time he soils himself. We hired a maid, but we caught her poisoning the dastard's meals."
"Every... time, you say?"
Victoire ordered the man to open the doors, "Ze former baron fell down ze stairs, you see. And his insides, zey were... ahhh~ how you say, disturbed. He cannot control his bowels, like~ like a child or a Guard Capitaine."
Varen deigned not to respond to the job, "Hm. I see."
The trio entered Zindo's cell, assaulted by his stench. He was difficult to pity, leering with a broken-toothed grin. He had gone from an overweight lecher to a too-thin and sickly one.
Zindo sneered, "Finally come to beg for me to release you from the Tavor ancestral curse, have you?"
Tavor grit his teeth, "You... What do you mean?"
The broken man laughed, wincing in pain as he chortled, "Let me guess! Inexplicable deaths?! Doors locking and the room's inhabitants suffering mysterious accidents? Haha! It's a curse laid by my ancestors! Only I know the secrets to--"
"Killed it," Korr said simply.
Varen looked at her dubiously.
Victoire held Korr's face in her hands, "Little fox... How do you mean, when you say... Killed ze ghost?"
Korr clenched her fist proudly, "I beat it with my fists. It won't possess anyone any longer."
Zindo paled, "IMPOSSIBLE!!"
Varen stroked his short beard, "Well... In the few weeks since, we haven't had any mysterious deaths in the manor."
Victoire offered, "And my little fox, she speaks wis' ze utmost honesty."
Zindo clenched his remaining teeth, "Fine then! You must be here for the ledgers of my supposed misdeeds!"
"Nope," Korr responded.
"Damn!! The ledgers were well hidden away in the bookshelves! How infuriating! Then you're here for the deeds to my companies!!"
"Whaaat?! I can't believe you've decoded the cipher in my hidden ledgers and cracked the code to the safe!! But surely, you're here about the rumored cache of coin I've hidden in the manor!!"
"I had the switch underneath my desk CUSTOM MADE by the Tinkerer's Guild! Damn!!"
Varen approached Korr's side. "Did you really know about that one?" He whispered.
She nodded, "Sorina found 2."
Zindo yelled once more, "Then you're here about the mercenaries my brother's hired!"
"No-- oh... Yes."
"Hohohoahahaa!!" Zindo laughed. "My brother's sent me a letter saying he's hired the Staghorn Guild to take care of your little adventuring company!!"
Varen noticed that Korr's expression had gone pale and Victoire looked uneasy, "The Staghorn Guild?"
"It is a guild from ze sou'zern part of the Kingdom, near ze Holy Country. Zhey are a company of elite troops made from 'ardened veterans, sharpened in battles all over ze western continent. Duke Tavor, ZAT PIG!"
Varen's worries began to grow, "What do you mean Duke Tavor!"
"Pah! Capitaine, your memory, it gets worse every sun! Zindo's elder brother, he is a Duke in Merylsward!" Victoire scolded.
"What can we do... Guild Invictus has less than 10 members. They're at a great disadvantage to fight a company of 100 or more," Varen brooded.
Victoire shook her head, "The Invictus leader, he is a cunning nobleman. We cannot give up hope, Capitaine."
The sound of teeth breaking interrupted the two. They turned to Zindo Tavor, his nose and mouth bloodied, and with his two front teeth missing in his already crooked grin. Korr held Zindo's neck in her left hand and her raised right fist was covered in blood.
"Non, Little Fox, non!!" "Miss Korr, you must restrain yourself!!"
After several minutes of Varen unsuccessfully trying to grapple Korr, Victoire was finally able to calm her down, speaking gently and even resorting to singing to her in the Old Language. The former baron, however, had lost more teeth and his face was as swollen as misshapen-- though Victoire admitted that Zindo was far worse when he was first transferred to the adventurer guild's custody. From falling down stairs, she said.
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Korr stood outside the cell, looking in. She had washed her hands and was holding a fat pink plush that somewhat resembled a pig.
It seemed to calm her a bit. But she was still puffing her cheeks in outward discontent.
"Hur hur hur..." Zindo was determined to have the last, mocking laugh.
"What else do you have up your sleeve?" Varen asked.
"I'm glad you ath'ed," Zindo spoke with a new lisp. "My dearest brother hath thought to recruit Macthimuth, an Ethyrian gladiator! Your Baron Thycondriuth HATH NO CHANCE! Hur hur hur hur hur!!"
Korr pressed her face against the cell's bars with a very loud bang.
"EEEEE!!!!!" Zindo yelled in shock, falling off of his bed in an attempt to scramble away from the threat of more pain.
Her eyes seemed to glow a deep red, but Varen reasoned that it was a trick of the torchlight.
After Korr's silent threat, Zindo wisely refused to say any more. The trio left the cellar and returned to the main hall.
Varen turned to the guild president, "Did you understand any of that drivel?"
"Sacred gods..." The woman cursed, "Zinddo, he speaks of... Maximus of Ezyria. He is 'Sanctum Parmularius'... a Shield Warrior of ze Holy Country."
Korr immediately spun on a heel and began walking towards the exit. Varen called after her, "Miss Korr! Miss Korr, don't be rash!"
She turned her head with glowing red eyes, "I'm leaving. Leader must be warned."
Chills ran down Varen's spine as she watched her departing form.
Victoire sighed loudly, "Capitaine, you nincompoop. Your Baron Invictus 'as charmed ze Unbreakable. She needs your support, not your cowardice."
Varen wiped away sweat at his brow, "Well, it's just that... Sir Tycondrius gave strict orders to keep Korr here."
"Pah! What do you know!" Victoire threw both of her hands into the air in exasperation, "Korr, she is a woman of action-- NOT a piteous damsel who waits patiently for her husband to return from ze war."
Varen could only give a helpless look in response and silently pray to the gods for his employer's safety.