I told her, of course, over lunch. Her idea of fun was to go track down a fomor that had been beating on people in southeast.
“You in southeast?”
“We could take your girlfriend.”
“I’ll check, I think she’s busy studying.” But I stood out bad enough in that neighborhood. Angrboda’s white hair and youthful features – she honestly looked like a less delicate Daenerys Targaryen – would just make her a target. “But we’d have to deal with a bunch of people who didn’t like us being there.”
“So we give them enough bruises to convince them.”
“No killing mortals.” I grinned at her. “Ideally no maiming, either.”
“Really. Killing people is easy. Inflicting just enough pain to make them think twice before bothering you again? That’s hard.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Without doing real damage. I’ve been working on that art.”
Yeah. I did like her. Mother of monsters she might be, but we seemed to have rather a lot in common.
“Exactly. And I’m sure you have no aversion to killing annoying fairies.”
“Depends on the level of annoying.” Which launched me into a story about the one who’d created the dragon illusion.
I still hadn’t seen that guy since. Hopefully he was hunting something worthwhile. Or, better yet, had been scared clear out of the business.
She laughed. “Yeah, that level of annoying isn’t…”
“If the hunter hadn’t shown up, I’d have tossed him in the river,” I admitted.
“Appropriate. So, shall we?”
“I need to swing by home and gear up.” I also called Kanesha, but as I suspected, she was too busy with studying to join in a hunting expedition that didn’t really need her.
She hinted, darkly, that I should be the same, but I figured this would help me focus. Besides, I’d studied most of the weekend.
I grabbed my new sword, which I was finally going to get to test out, and we headed into southeast. As predicted, we got stared at, but something about us kept anyone from causing us real trouble. And it wasn’t like we were leaving a vehicle to get keyed or its tires stolen.
One of them, of course, got brave, “You ladies lost?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“You should get back where you belong.” He offered a smile. “Before somebody mugs you.”
“If they do,” Angrboda said. “I’ll put them in the nearest dumpster.”
A laugh. “I like your confidence, white girl.”
She inclined her head to accept the compliment. He didn’t try anything else.
The fomor was apparently holed up in a tenement. I could almost smell him. Fomori are an ugly kind of fae, generally, according to research Kanesha had done, used as muscle by Sidhe and the other more powerful types. Not much magic, good in a fight.
And I really did have no qualms about killing him.
Until the little girl opened the door. Not his daughter, of course. Just a shield. And Angrboda hadn’t lied about him being fae.
The kid was mortal, though. I didn’t want her harmed.
I didn’t want her to see this. I didn’t want her in foster care if he was somehow her guardian.
It was an unwanted complication.