Whispers of Fire Ch6 bit – Deal With

“Not yet.” Cassim’s teeth flashed, one predator to another. “No, not yet. We’ve taken out his guards. We’re going in there. And then… we’ll ask him some questions.” Fox eyes glinted in the lingering red mist. “Because if he sold one soundings map, what else did he sell?”

Masrur nodded, approving. The man might be a bloodthirsty robber and shameless thief, but he was thinking.

“What else indeed.” And that was the hard tone Sinbad so rarely brought out; even enemies of Sindria usually saw the laughing rogue until the very last. The tone that said, there is a threat to my people, it ends now. “Pirates are every sailor’s enemy. If there’s a danger to Sindria, I want to know about it.” His lips curved; just a trace of charm. “Ask. Really.”

Cassim raised an odd dark blade; like his subordinates’, but glimmering black. “If you’ve got a better suggestion, I’m listening. For the next two minutes.”

“We could both ask.” Sinbad smiled. “I’m not just a merchant.”

“No?” Fox eyes widened in mock surprise. “I thought all merchants hung around waiting for thieves.”

“I suppose I should say, we’re not just simple merchants.” Sinbad let a little more charm into his smile, pointing a thumb Masrur’s way. “My quiet friend here is one of Sinbad’s Generals.”

Masrur inclined his head, all too used to the whispers that swept through even a crowd of bandits at that name.

“To keep it short – Sinbad authorized us to act as necessary to deal with the pirate problem and get trade going again,” Sinbad went on. “We have a common problem. I wouldn’t mind being part of the solution.” He waved a hand at the mansion gates. “Shall we?”

Cassim didn’t take his eyes off Sinbad. Smart thief. “Hassan.”

A hefty one-eyed robber stalked forward, brassy blade at the ready. Hassan judged the gates, and the likely spot of the bar inside, and slashed a diagonal down.

Masrur’s nose wrinkled at the scent of acid, as gates crumbled and dissolved away.

“Well, that’s going to be obvious,” Sinbad said cheerfully, following Cassim through the opening. “I take it you plan to leave a message about cooperating with pirates.”

“Is that going to be a problem?

“Not at all,” Sinbad grinned. “After all, our delegation spoke to King Abhmad earlier today, and would you believe it? He demanded we deal with the Fog Troupe. And here we are. Making a deal. Shame he wasn’t specific….”

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11 thoughts on “Whispers of Fire Ch6 bit – Deal With

  1. > He demanded we deal with the Fog Troupe. And here we are. Making a deal. Shame he wasn’t specific….”>
    Poor Ja’far is going to be face-palming like no tomorrow.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. why do I think that Cassim’s going to find that line extremely funny? And oh-so-quietly take notes on ‘dealing’ with this particular tricky ambassador – and warn Alibaba about him? Then of course Alibaba will see an opportunity, and find a way to approach said tricky merchant…or will it be too late, because Morg will have already snatched him?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, that is a lesson that everyone must learn with Sinbad. Be specific. Because he is a Master of Exact Words and Loophole Abuse.

    (Ja’far: “And people think I’m being too pedantic about specifics whenever I deal with Sinbad.”)

    Also love how Sinbad isn’t lying. They are merchants. They are more. Masrur is a General. And Sinbad did authorize them to handle the pirate problem. And he never said that he wasn’t Sinbad.

    And that was the hard tone Sinbad so rarely brought out . . .

    Think Masrur updated this in his head from ‘standard Sinbad being Sinbad’ to ‘usual chaos {tense all-around situation, dangerous maybe-allies, maybe-enemies, maybe-something else altogether, unknown magical weapons} and the gloves are off’?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. *nods* And Sinbad has always been flexible in that regard. The king not working? Then don’t go to the king. The king not an options for X reason? Then don’t go to the king. Go to the people who are willing and/or can actually do something.

        Probably helps that since he wasn’t born to or raised as royalty or nobility so he doesn’t think the top figures in other countries as the only people capable of doing something about a problem.

        Growing up in the slums also means Alibaba has the same mindset.

        Probably another thing that will drive Al-Thamen and the Kou Empire crazy trying to deal with them. Because they don’t factor in the ordinary citizens and those on the margins the same way that Sinbad, Alibaba and the rest do. A way that might bite them (meaning bad guys and antagonists respectively) in the butt in a death by a thousand cuts fashion.

        Liked by 2 people

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