290 A Tool of Tormen
"…and so, Reishin, that should mean that our monthly quota is well and truly met despite the lack of trade from Herguard," Treasurer Lune concluded.
Bosca Irons nodded in satisfaction, "Very well, moving on, wh-"
The doors to the chamber burst open. Those around him all flinched and looked up quickly to lay on eyes on the one who had dared to interrupt this meeting. There were mixed reactions when they gauged the identity of the intruder. Some looks of disdain, others rage, but the smart ones, Aegin decided, they looked at him with fear.
Reishin Irons was not one of the smart ones.
"Aegin, I am finding your antics tiresome," stated Reishin Irons as the guards by the door promptly collapsed before Aegin when he paused a few metres inside the doorway.
"That makes two of us," Aegin replied.
Bosca's eyes narrowed, his usually cool and unpleasant smile was not present. From the stories Aegin had heard the last few days. When Bosca lost his smile is when he should feel like death was approaching. Aegin felt nothing of the sort.
"I have made plenty of allowances for you, but your behaviour is outright disrespectful, you are my subordinate-"
"I am no such thing," Aegin interrupted, "We made a deal that I would make sure you live in return for generous compensation. I never agreed to be your subordinate. I make sure you stay alive, I don't take orders".
Bosca slammed a hand on the table, and his retainers jumped at the sudden show of rage. He stood rapidly, "Has your years as a slave dimmed your wits? A bodyguard is a subordinate of they one he guards".
Aegin sighed, "Perhaps you should have made me sign something then, or perhaps been more careful with your words in all aspects. After all, you were very careful when you promised not to use my 'name' for personal gain".
Bosca's rage was clearly still simmering, but he did not speak as he glared across the room at Aegin. Aegin held up a fist, then released what he was holding, a gold chain dangling from it, "You know, it's the funniest thing. I was walking down the street minding my own business when I came across a companion of your tax collectors wearing this. I know it's not uncommon, all subordinates of the great Reishin wear one, but what surprised me was when that companion was called Great Warrior Bloodthorn".
Aegin chuckled, turning to walk around the long table in a wide birth, "Now, I don't know about you, but I find this rather curious. I was clearly not with the Tax Collector, and I did state I lost my chain a few days ago. So how did this stranger come upon it? And better yet, how did he manage to impersonate me? Everyone in this compound knows my face so he can't have left here without permission. Do you not think it curious, Reishin Irons?"
"Cut to the chase, Aegin," Bosca hissed through his teeth, "As I said, your antics have grown tiresome".
Aegin sighed, hanging his head for a moment. One second he was standing halfway across the room, and the next he stood before Bosca, the chain held between them, "Did you give the order to impersonate me? Either directly or indirectly".
Bosca's eyes were hateful as he replied, "A name speaks a thousand words more than anything else. Particularly the story behind that name. A name, a story, with power…to have it stand behind you is only of benefit".
"Answer the question," Aegin hissed.
"Of course I did!" Bosca snapped.
There room was silent a tomb for all of a second before Aegin started laughing, taking a few steps back from Bosca.
"Power, huh?" asked Aegin between chuckles, "You think my name will give that to you?"
"It already has," Bosca replied with a sneer.
Aegin's smile faded before he spoke, "Pity you won't get to enjoy it".
"This is not your Arena, Aegin, you can't simply kill-"
Aegin was before Bosca again, one of his daggers at the older man's throat, "A word of advice, Bosca Irons, in your next life, don't be so quick to make a deal with power you can't hope to comprehend or control".
Aegin swiped the dagger across the man's throat, only to feel a very distinct resistance he had felt only once before, a lifetime ago it seemed. His eyes widened, and he paused in shock for a moment, long enough that Bosca began to laugh at his expense.
"You cannot harm me, Warrior Bloodthorn, the Gods offer me protection".
Aegin looked up to see Bosca grin, the light blue transparency of a Protection Charm fading away. Aegin drew another dagger, "You know, that might had terrified me a few years ago. After all, when I first tested that Rune, it was an incredible feat. One that would shift the balance of power in the world. I would have even been terrified a few months ago when I had nothing but my mundane abilities to keep me alive".
Bosca frowned, "What do you mean tested the Rune?"
Aegin scoffed, "Come on Bosca, I thought you'd done your research on me. The information isn't all that hard to find".
The mood in the room had been full of arrogance and justice for a few seconds, now it hung there, suspended like it was going to drop.
"The Protection Charms," Aegin explained, "They are remarkable. But if you don't give the Crystal enough time to recharge, they will fail".
Bosca took a step backwards, "How do you know that?"
Aegin chuckled, then his eyes turned dark as his gaze bore into Bosca's, "Because I'm a founding member of the company who makes them".
The room sucked in a breath as their fates all plunged to the darkness.
Bosca barely got out the word before Aegin was on him, his blades cutting every which way and with astounding speed and accuracy. The transparent blue shield flared around Bosca for but a few seconds before it shattered like sparks from a smithy, then Aegin cut his blade across Bosca's neck before he looked at the open doors where his subordinates were running.
"You should learn to run faster rather than sitting on your fat arrogant asses," Aegin huffed.
The room, and the corridor outside it, filled with blood.