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The Enemy Within by Warhammer

The Enemy Within by Warhammer

Author:Warhammer [Warhammer]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Warhammer
Published: 2011-07-25T07:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER EIGHT

It was well after sunset, but the benighted street was still busy. Filthy and stinking, many labourers were only now shuffling home after a long day of toil, even as the night people, painted whores, slinking cutpurses, and their ilk, began to emerge from their lairs.

Which meant Dieter had to wait for a break in the traffic. When it came, he glanced about. As far as he could tell, no one was paying any attention to him. He stooped, picked up a pebble, and used it to scratch a triangle divided by a diagonal slash on a grimy brick wall.

It had been easy enough to slip off on his own to inscribe the sign. Mama Solveig had come to trust him. But as he trudged back the way he’d come, he wondered if leaving the mark would actually do any good. If Krieger’s agents hadn’t actually been observing him a moment ago, would they find that one bit of graffiti amid all the enormous bustle that was Altdorf?

What if no one made contact? Dare he take it as proof the witch hunters had lost track of him, and if he did, would he then see fit to run?

Behind him, a male voice said, “It’s about time.”

Startled, Dieter whirled to behold Krieger. The big man had exchanged his black garb for nondescript clothing and now, with his sword and pistol, looked like a bravo or mercenary.

“Is something wrong?” Krieger asked.

In fact, the moment had the jarring, disjointed quality that too many situations possessed of late, but Dieter saw no reason to go into that. “You just surprised me. I wasn’t expecting someone to pop out at me almost as soon as I drew the sign.”

Krieger grinned. “I told you, somebody’s always keeping track of you. It happened to be my turn. Come on, I know a good place to talk. I’ll even stand you a mug of ale.”

Krieger led him to a tavern, its four-panelled door crudely painted with bottles and overflowing flagons. Excited voices jabbered on the other side. When the witch hunter opened the door, a stench composed of stale beer and sweaty, unwashed bodies wafted out, and Dieter spied a number of soldiers among the crowd in the candlelit common room.

He froze. “Are you out of your mind?”

The witch hunter chuckled. “Those fellows may have been told to keep an eye out for you, but I promise you, none of them is likely to recognise you at the moment. Not when they’re all at least half-drunk, and intent on their sport.” He pushed Dieter over the threshold.

Once inside, immersed in a stink compounded of beer, sweat, and blood, Dieter saw that a fighting pit yawned in the centre of the floor. Two bare-chested dagger-men, their muscular bodies gleaming with oil, stood glaring at one another at opposite ends of the sunken arena. Most of the patrons were indeed preoccupied with the contest to come, either arguing over who was likely to win or placing bets with a fat man behind the bar, who employed a chalkboard to keep the tally.



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