I made myself forget about swords that we did not have, could not get and which, of course, might be merely rumored.
“I know how we get in.”
Thruor raised an eyebrow.
“He can’t possibly have all the food supplies he needs in that tiny kitchen.”
She grinned. “Got it.”
Which meant waiting for a shipment to arrive and sneaking in with it, possibly knocking out a couple of innocent workmen to do so.
I wasn’t above doing so. Once inside his perimeter…
…we had to trust he was not warded. We had to trust that he was not so well protected it was all a waste of time. It could not be a waste of time.
I was not giving up, even though I likely should. Even though I might be more productive on a holding action.
Besides, it might be that the dwarves would break the cycle. Except then they would die, because somebody had to.
I was selfish enough to want it to be Surtur, not any of my friends.
Somebody had to die. Somebody powerful. I looked at Mike for a moment. “Okay. Assuming he’s not warded against any weapon…”
“If he is, then somebody might be actively maintaining that.” He smiled. “I’ve talked to sorcerers.”
“Take that person out, goodbye wards. But we’d need to work out who it is. We can’t just kill anyone not wearing armor.”
“Well, we can but…”
But I wasn’t about to end up killing Surtur’s valet. Unless I had to. Of course, somebody that loyal might well throw themselves in front of my blade anyway.
He nodded. “So, how do we pick out the magic users?”
“Mostly women. But not exclusively,” Thruor said. “He might also have, bluntly…”
“A camp follower in there.” I shook my head. “His funeral on that.” Did fire giants have STDs? I did not want to know the answer to that question.
Then I realized we had to move now.
We had been spotted. The warrior was little more than a boy and he had a spear lowered at Mike. “Stop. Whoever you are.”
Thruor had apparently made them look like fire giants. “We have a message for the king.”
“I’ll let one of you past.”
I shook my head. “We were ordered to stay together.”
Pretending to be too unimaginative to question orders, I grumbled, “I wasn’t given any exceptions.”
“Somebody just tried to kill him. He’s not going to let more than one into his presence at a time.”
“I don’t think,” I said, “You should have told us that.”
The boy flushed.
“Well…maybe we’ll wait out here until he’s feeling less paranoid.”
The boy shook his head. “I’ll ask him.” And he vanished into the group of tents.
“That tears it,” Thruor grumbled.
“We could disappear and change faces again.”
At that moment, though, there was a clap as of thunder overhead. Ozone flowed through the air.
The rift was widening, the jaws opening. What respite we had was over.
The boy’s voice. “Come in.”