By David Chandler

Condition made him a felony. future may perhaps make him a hero. As a thief, Malden is extraordinary within the loose urban of Ness, and chuffed there. yet by way of saving the lifetime of the knight Croy, Malden has sure himself to an historic, noble brotherhood . . . and he now possesses one among in simple terms seven historical Blades in a position to destroying demons. Malden fears accompanying Croy and the barbarian M?rget on their quest to dispatch a bad creature of nightmare . . . nor does he are looking to disturb the vengeful useless. yet with an murderer on his heels, the younger cutpurse is left without selection. and there's the comely sorceress, Cythera, to contemplate— promised to Croy yet in love with Malden—not to say the excellent treasure rumored to be hidden within the depths of the demon’s lair . . .

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Malden forestalled him by stabbing his bodkin into the surface of the merchant’s desk. The knife was no longer than Malden’s hand, from the tips of his fingers to the heel of his thumb. It had no edge at all, but only a very sharp point that dug easily into the soft wood of the desk. It was not a particularly effective or very deadly weapon. But it was good for sending a certain kind of message, one that Doral Knackerson must have received loud and clear. He closed his mouth again without so much as calling for his bodyguard.

They were busy at amassing this collection of your goods,” Malden said, and gestured at the valuables piled on the carpet. ” The merchant stared hard at Malden with shrewd, half-closed eyes. “You’re no watchman. ” Malden chuckled. “Oh, no. Just a citizen looking after his neighbor. By way of profession, I am the agent of one of your fellow burghers. A man of some influence in the city, though he rarely appears at the moothall. ” Doral pursed his lips. He did not require much prompting. “Cutbill.

He shoved the straw away and let the three men sit up. As they rubbed at their numb faces and shook out their deadened legs, he studied them carefully. They were scrawny, shortish men dressed in dirty clothing. They didn’t look like much at all. He knew their type all too well. Men broken down by poverty until they were willing to take the risk of being hanged rather than go another day without coin. Men who labored at menial jobs when they could, or relied on their families for a few coppers to keep them from starving to death when no work was available.

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