Faw Shandy was not a man given to pretensions. He knew what he was. And he knew what the man before him was as well. He was a solider of the Tu’el and the Tu’el was, without doubt, the most dangerous man on earth. Faw Shandy knew he’d survive this encounter and it wasn’t due to his gypsy blood or common sense. The solider had sought him, and had it been for death, he’d be bleeding out in the dust.
Something else was afoot.
The man lifted his visor and looked at Faw with disdain.
Faw grunted assent.
“My master has need of your talents.”
In all his years of dealing with a member of the Wolf Pack, none of him had ever referred to him as talented. Vermin and scum, they’d called him, even so we have a job for such as you. Now, Faw Shandy deliberately hawked at the soldier’s boot. Any other time, the man would have sliced off his head. But the solider was constrained and Faw Shandy knew it. He tried to intimidate Faw with a menacing look, but Faw paid him no mind. Chances like this didn’t come often. One didn’t openly flaunt a solider of the Wolf Pack. He might not have this chance again. Faw thought about following his spittle with a wad of phelgm, but thought better. The solider might not kill him, but he could knock him out.
He spat to the side and tried to look respectful.
“There is a cargo that will soon be ready in Casoria. A cargo highly desired by the Master, Bless-Cursed be his name. You have made the trek to the Nevers before?
“You know this is true.”
“And if this cargo were given to you, this most precious cargo, would you swear to deliver it?”
“I would,” he replied, then added. “For a price.”
The solider sighed and looked above him when answering.
“This is the amount to be paid.” The solider lowered his voice, and told him.
“Cor!” said Faw Shandy, his mouth gaping open, uncaring of his rotten teeth.
The solider had nodded, looking impressed himself.
“Gold?” In all the years he’d been approached by the Wolf Pack, he’d never asked any one of them to repeat instructions. He did so now, and the solider nodded, as if he couldn’t believe it himself.
“Yes, gold.” The man had pulled down his visor. “The same amount is guaranteed upon delivery.”
Faw had known then that it was a no-fail mission. His life in return for much gold? He didn’t hesitate. He’d made the run before, mostly taking human cargo. This would be his last . Perhaps the Master, Bless-Cursed be his name, fought to reward him. Nonsense. The Dark One never gave rewards. But Faw had a bad hip and a knee that could predict the weather, and with gold, he could buy a farm with a nice house and live out his years.
He could buy a young wife.
Faw thought for a moment.
With that much gold, he could buy two.