"The pleasure is shared between us all." Giovanni smiled at a man sitting on his armrest, a young model with dark brown hair. He was mirrored by a woman sitting on the other armrest, and she was eqaully as beautiful, picturesque in every way.
Giovanni breathed deep and leaned back in his chair, swirling a glass of wine in his hand. He took a small sip and glanced sideways at Bean, a simmering hint of hatred in his eyes. "I won't waste any more time than needeed. Though I welcome people such as yourself—
He nodded at Vixie and Nihall.
"A centurion's presence perturbs my esteemed guests, especially one as storied as your companion."
Bean snorted and snatched the glass from Giovanni, spilling some on the carpet. "Good stories ain't they?" He chugged the glass without savoring the taste, wasting three hundred coins of wine.
"Yes..." Giovanni clenched his teeth. "The very best stories my friend, but my guests are less appreciative of your tales. The faster you complete your mission the less my business suffers, so I wish to aid your little... adventure."
"You seek the slayers of centurions hiding in the darkest, coldest recesses of Nye, but you will not find them here." He knowingly smiled at the group. "They're beyond even my reach."
"However there is a man." He gestured at his guards. "One who was captured by them months ago, only to escape in a stroke of good luck."
"You may have him as a guide, it will settle his considerable balance with me, and help expedite your mission. It is a deal without any losers, I suspect."
His guards returned with a man bound in chains. He wore a purple tabbard with puffed frills on his shoulders, and his clothes shone with gold filigree. He had a red plush hat like artists from Valencia, and his shoes curled up at the ends. His skin was olive in complexion, and a feather hung from his black, unkempt hair. He bowed as he was brought before the adventurers, flaring his hand like a courtier.
"Marigold Pennysmith at your service — a bard extraordinare! The finest poet and wordsmith in the seven seas! You, my friends, are a most welcome sight to these sore, sunlight seeking eyes, for I have wallowed in the darkest depths of dungeons and despair. The miserable morose midnight that marred my many months! The—
"Silence," Giovanni groaned. "Will you spare them your dreadful soliloquy? You have a mission to complete and if you fail them, I will toss you in the dungeon where you belong."
"How could I be so foolish!" Marigold leaned back and slapped his forehead. "Ahh!"
"I am blind with happiness and robbed of my good sense! What has life come to where good men suffer in chains! But I will do what I can for you, my finest of fine people, and lead you where the killers lay!"
Anne Boolean Lost Echo