Blades crashed and stools and tables were reduced to splinters as the three jostled for position. The regular patrons of the bar scrambled to safety and then quickly and orderly made their exits. Matticus caught the civility of their departure from the corner of his eye and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Revis, caught their departure as well, but was more worried about the two who remained behind, the two where the light seemed slightly brighter around them.
The one vampire, with his superior strength and speed, was a good match for Revis and Matticus. If the other two joined the fray, the Knight and Jester would easily be overrun. Revis kept throwing glances in their direction as he parried and dodged. Why weren’t they joining in? Was it arrogance? Did they think one of them should be able to handle the battle on his own?
Growing angry, Revis activated his magic ring and blinked out of sight. Matticus had expected the ploy, and as the vampire turned to see where the Knight had vanished too, the Jester lunged forward and buried his blade in the vampire’s throat. As the creature fell to the wooden floor, he slid the blade free and then removed its head with one swift motion.
He turned his attention to the two remaining vampires and waited for either them or Revis to make the next move. As he watched, he saw that two glasses of potent liquor began floating off of the bar. The glasses slowly made their way to the two vampires. By the time they noticed the floating glasses, the liquid inside was thrown over them. Using the back of their hands, the vampires tried to hurriedly wipe it out of their eyes.
When their vision was finally clear, they saw Revis standing directly in front of them, holding a lit candle in each hand. With a grin on his face, he put the open flame of the candles against their liquor soaked clothing. Both of the sparkly vampires erupted into flames. Since they now had more important things to keep their attention, it was easy for Revis and Matticus to each get behind one of them and take its head off.
Revis grabbed a pitcher of water off of the bar and began putting the fires out. “Let them burn,” Matticus huffed.
“Can’t,” Revis shook his head. “There might be clues on them. We need to search them.”
“Good point,” Matticus conceded as he began helping extinguish the pair. “Though,” he mumbled, “I’m not sure why you torched them in the first place. Revis and his theatrics.”
“Nothing, just complaining about these annoying vampires.”
Once the flames were extinguished, Matticus went to the door to stand guard while Revis quickly sifted through what remained of the vampires’ clothing. They were both a bit surprised that an alarm hadn’t been sounded yet, but nothing about Bruges had gone as expected so maybe the regulars would just mind their own business and stop back by the bar the following day for a pint as if nothing had happened. Still, neither wanted to teary longer than necessary.
Revis searched pockets and pouches, checked for tattoos and other distinguishing marks, trying to find anything that linked the vampires together or that would provide a clue as to who was behind them. There was nothing obvious on either of the two burned ones so he went and searched the one that had attacked them to start the melee.
Matticus shuffled nervously by the door, occasionally cracking it open to peer out and make sure the street was still clear. “Hurry up. I don’t want to be here when the town guards show up.”
“Got something!” Revis excitedly called out just as Matticus picked up the sounds of marching feet coming down the cobblestone street.
“What is it,” he asked abandoning his post by the door.
“Uh, it probably would’ve been better if you checked on how close they were before you came over here.” After stuffing something into one of his pouches, Revis grabbed Matticus’ wrist and dragged him over to the wall. “Don’t move and don’t make a noise,” he warned the Jester.
A few seconds later, ten city guards burst into the room. The group spent a minute looking over the scene before their leader ordered them to search the surrounding area, giving his guards a detailed description of the pair. Matticus had a couple of questions he wanted to ask. On top of that list was: how had the guards not seen them? He turned to Revis, but he was invisible again. Looking down at where he still felt Revis’ hand on his wrist, he noticed that he couldn’t see himself, either. Apparently, Revis’ ring allowed him to make them both invisible as long as they were touching. Either that, or Revis just liked holding his hand…
Soon, the leader of the city guard was alone in the room, but it didn’t stay that way for long. A sparkly vampire walked in, displeasure clear on his face. “She won’t like this,” it said to the guard.
If Matticus and Revis could have seen each other they would have exchanged a glance then. As it was, holding hands all, it was probably best they couldn’t see each other. But they were both intrigued. They had another clue to follow if they made it out of their current predicament.
Agitated, and obviously afraid, the guard retorted, “I’m well aware of that. Don’t you have a way to find them? Can’t you smell them out or something like that?”
The vampire cast a look of such venomous hatred that the leader of the city guard trembled visibly and then fled the bar. The door slammed loudly behind him in his haste. The vampire’s features relaxed when the man was gone and he flicked his shadowy eyes around the bar and sniffed loudly a couple times. To the two hidden companions it almost looked as if he was trying to smell them out.
Matticus tensed, preparing to swing into battle, and he felt Revis do the same. But then the vampire sneezed, wiped his nose, and made for the door. As he exited, Matticus and Revis heard him say, “No, Jaded isn’t going to be happy about this at all.”
Revis let go of Matticus’ hand as soon as the sparkly vampire was out of sight. The Jester was about to ask his knight something, but Revis held up a hand to stop him. “Before we get into this, let’s go over one thing first.”
“I know we only did it to escape detection, but, if anyone asks, the hand holding never happened.”
“Ok, well, here’s what I found on that first vampire,” Revis proclaimed as he produced a rolled sheet of parchment, opened it up, and began reading.
“What does it say?”
“It’s all written in poetry form. Most of it is gibberish. It says something about “red wings” and “original six”, and “checking someone into boards”… whatever that means.”
“So it’s useless?”
“No. In between the gibberish are directions. I’m guessing that if we follow them, it’ll lead us to their base.”