Sorcerer, Chapter 7: An Inflammatory Incident
“Now, for you three.”
Maluhk spoke as he walked into the main room where Alcar, Olynka and Etienne had been chatting for the past several minutes. It was a relatively bare lounge with a wall of books that showed numerous gaps. Besides this feature, the room was furnished only with a single comfortable chair and a low table, likewise piled high with books.
It was evident to Alcar that the sorcerer lived alone.
“What do you need us to do?” said Alcar.
Etienne was leaning on the back of the chair, while Olynka was standing in a dark in corner, arms folded and her hood still raised. Her usual cheerful grin was absent, and Alcar wondered if she was upset because she had been ordered by Maluhk to leave her bow at the main door.
“As you can see,” said Maluhk, stopping and gesturing to the books on the table, “I have a great many volumes, magical texts and books of lore, that require some attention. In short, I need to you to dust them, and file them away. Alphabetically, of course — hopefully that should need no explanation.”
Etienne ran one finger over a fine-looking volume bound in red leather that sat atop a stack of books near one end of the table. “Are these worth much?” he asked.
Maluhk stepped closer, frowning down at his diminutive guest. “Don’t get any ideas, halfling. Now, what’s your name?”
“Ah, yes… the light-fingered rogue recommended by my local barkeep. I may have other duties in mind for you. But all in good time.” Maluhk sighed, folded his arms, and looked at Alcar and Olynka with a sly and toothy grin. “I like this group. I anticipate good things from you. Compliance — sweet compliance. Not like the ones outside. Demonkind are always unpredictable, and as for the dwarves, well…” Maluhk glanced over his shoulder and then took a step closer. “I don’t trust them,” he added with a wink.