We almost managed that. The one tussling with Mike fled to raise the alarm, but me and Thruor got the woman pinned, eventually, against the inside wall.
“Who are you?” She added a couple of choice swear words.
“I hope you won’t get fired for losing to us.”
“Look. I’m here to retrieve a woman. One with skin the color of dark wood.”
“Surtur’s pet,” the woman said with a snort. “Not sure what he wants with her.”
“Nothing.” I looked at her. “Where is she?”
“If I tell you.”
I hit her. “If you tell me, then you can also tell him I beat it out of you.”
This time she didn’t spit on me. Maybe the blow had triggered at least the edge of respect.
“He might not…”
“I think your friend went and told them half an army is invading.” Rather than admit he got beaten by Mike. Who was still catching his breath.
“Which is bad for you,” she said, evenly, “As you did not bring one.”
“I was hoping for a rather quieter approach. Now where is she?”
“The swan chamber. The one set aside for the queen.”
“No wonder you thought she was his pet.”
But she was there to get me there, perhaps he felt that if I set foot in the queen’s chambers I would wish to stay. It would not happen, but I could see it. Could see what was going on in his mind.
I suddenly feared, though, what he might have done with her. Done to her. That went cold through my heart.
I did not think I could restrain myself.
“Then is she your pet?” the giantess inquired.
Mike glared at her.
I shook my head. “A person does not own another person.” I glanced at Thruor. “Tell me you brought rope.”
She had, and she tied up our prisoner before we moved on.
The swan chamber. I envisioned a bed surrounded by feathers. It did not seem to fit what I had seen so far, but didn’t absolute rulers often have luxuries in their own quarters that did not reflect the spartan world outside?
I rather thought so. But now we had to be quiet.
Quiet and quick.