“Okay, let’s head back outside,” Klein sighed. “Send him another message-”
“Who disturbs the silence of Stheno’s Cave?”
“…Or not,” Klein muttered. Damn it. We would hit this place when the quest respawned. And Argo’s guide says the quest-giver here can get nasty. “Form up. Let’s just be polite and try to talk our way out of this one. If the villagers say they’re not being bothered, then we’ve got no reason to bother anyone back.”
He hoped. Heck, it might even work. Argo’s guide said Stheno was hard to aggro-
“A human fighter who thinks. And I thought unicorns were rare.” A slender shadow moved in the back of the cave, gracefully halting just outside the light. “I’d hate to slay such a rarity. But you have intruded on my home. What would you offer, in recompense for this trespass?” Torchlight glinted on red braids and emerald coils, yet her features were still cast in shadow. “Gold? Mystic secrets?” A hand lifted, claws gleaming. “A life?”
Oh boy. Klein glanced at his guild, looking for any ideas. Dunno what’s the right answer. But I know what it can’t be. “I’m sorry, ma’am,” he said politely. “We didn’t know we were trespassing. If there’s something you need, let’s talk. But it was an honest mistake. Nobody needs to die for it.”
“An honest mistake.” Sarcasm dripped from Stheno’s tone.
But she’s not stepping into the light, Klein realized. She’s not threatening us. Not really.
His guild could see it too. They were tense, but not wired tight. And Issin looked downright relieved.
“Yes, ma’am,” Klein nodded, slow and careful. “We’re sorry. And thank you for giving us a chance to say it. If somebody turned up in my living room, I know I’d be all kinds of jumpy.” Deliberately, he sheathed his katana. “Is there something we can get you to make up for it? The bakery in town makes an awesome lemon Danish.”