Hunter secured the horses as he spoke to Wim. Hunter spoke up, "I am guessing you are here on business with your new family huh? If you play your cards right you might make a lot of money before all hell breaks loose. Mind giving me a small tour?" Hunter looked at Wim as he tied the reigns of the horses.
Wim smiled and handed him a mug.
"Yes, my father-in-law waistes little time when there are operatunities to be had," he said still a bit worried about assassins now.
He drained he mug and set it down.
"The tour is short," he said.
Hunter took the mug from Wim and sniffed it to see how strong it was before he sipped it. He looked at Wim for a moment to study his expressions before he spoke up, "Your eyes are different now. Last time we talked on our fist mission you had a more childish way of thinking. I take it you experienced something life changing?"
Wim looked at him and said,"Besides people trying to kill me?"
Wim looked down for a moment then looked up and said, "I killed a girl that night and she haunts my mind."
Hunter gave Wim and paused as he looked at him. Then he spoke up, 'I was around five when I killed my first target. The memories of their faces, names and last words are etched in my brain till I take my last breath. Despite being bred to kill others I to am haunted by them. After taking a life some people turn to drinking, some turn to brothels, some turn into slave play hoping the punishment will atone for their sins and some get addicted to hurting others . In the end you will have to live with the choices you have made."
Wim smiled a weak smile. It was not like he wanted absolution. He just needed to say it to someone.
Wim looked at Hunter and said, "I have been trying to help people with my scheming. Help them get a better life, keep them from dying." Like that was an explanation. He knew he was still a conman and a cheat. But he was trying to do I to make things better now.
"This is going to explode before I make any real coin. War is close," he said.
Hunter listened to Wim confess his situation with patients and no judgement. Then he replied, "That seems to be a concern for many. The Green Eyed Duke seems to think this mission will go smoothly. If he keeps this up it won't be long before someone books him an all expense paid vacation to Zim's wonderland. Speaking of natives last night I met a crazy old native named Omen. Would you by chance have met her?"
Wim looked a bit shocked and spit on the ground.
"Yes, and I hope I never meet her again," he said.
Hunter looked at the spit on the ground and then back at Wim as he sipped his drink. After he swallowed he sucked his teeth to get a bit of sand out of his mouth. Then he leaned in closer to Wim as he quietly asked, "What did you see?"
Wim looked at him with a serious look and said, "War is coming and we are going to need the natives and the clan folks to defeat that enemy..."
He leaned closer and said, "I was a fool to take her deal."
Hunter looked at Wim with a serious expression to read his eyes in case he was lying. However the fear in his eyes was way to strong for a simple noble like him to fake. Then he leaned back from Wim and sipped his drink again. He replied, "I see that explains the change in your eyes. So this whole think is one big trap like back at Sentinel Island. We barely escaped from that cursed place. Some of the natives could use odd magic, but they were nothing compared to the one legged creature with red caps. Have you seen anyone else we know? Alexis or Tarmen?"
Wim sat back too.
"Tarmen came with the patrol," Wim said.
"Leader of them," he added.
Hunter replied, "I see. I haven't spoken to him since we recovered from the Island. Apparently the Duke promoted him to help or get out of his way. Its hard to tell with Nobles.....no offense. So have you heard any good and bad news around here?"
Wim laughed at that.
"I feel the same way," he said including himself.
"Good news is I brought Skunkwork Ale. Bad news natives are on strike and the opinion is the war between the tribe and clan will happen really soon. Throw in the cult and I may have to have you teach me to use my sword better."
"Worse news, no one has enough money to play cards," he added
Hunter sipped his drink again as he heard Wim joke around. He then replied, "Wow............ You have been busy. I know you want free combat lessons, but it will take a year before you can stand on your own. You are better off using the skills you have that are similar to a Rogue or Thief. Besides even with my skills I will be overwhelmed in a war. When all hell breaks loose find a place to hide and escape. We have nothing to gain from this war and everything to loose. Your coins have no value when you are dead. All we can do in the end is find a reason to stay alive. Do you have one?"
Wim smiled again and said, "I would actually like you to teach me how to use my sword so I do not have to kill."
Hunter sipped his drink before he replied, "I was taught to kill with any weapon or makeshift weapon. I once killed a noble with a soup spoon. I can teach you what I know in the short time we have, but its up to you to to figure out how to use it in combat without killing an opponent. Just know that each time you enter combat you are putting your life on the life and might have to kill your opponent."
Wim nodded understanding in a way. Hunter was right, he was better off throwing thing or manipulating his way out of a fight than than to draw his sword.
“Can you teach me how to fight unarmed, “ he asked.
“I think that would be the most appropriate way for me,” he said realizing that most of the time he would not be wearing his sword.
Hunter nodded at Wim as he replied, "Yes but it will only be basic moves. You will need to train your body more if you want the advanced moves since they put a lot of strain on your body. Also you will need to practice them daily to make your mind and body remember them well. Will that suit you for now?" Hunter sipped his drink again as he waited for an answer.
Wim looked at him and smiled.
“Yes, that would do nicely,” he replied not understanding the full commitment he just agreed to. But the thought of being able to defend himself and handle himself in a fight would be useful. Both Master Sadir’s and the Brewmaster had been working him hard for months now. He believed that he could learn and Hunter could teach him.
Wim looked at Hunter with a bit of a strange look.
“You have changed too,” Wim said quietly.
It wasn’t that long ago that Hunter would have told Wim to take a long walk off a short pier.
“Thank you,” he said with sincerity.
Wim patted the table and asked, “Want the rest of the tour of this town?”
Hunter nodded at Wim as he sipped his drink again. He then said, "lead the way.
Wim gave him the same pitch about where the farms, shops, the temple and other buildings in his future vision of the place. They were not there yet while pointing out the pitifully few actual local landmarks. It was one of Wim’s best skills selling a dream of what could be.
Hunter looked around and remembered the layout, landmarks and people in case there was any creed around. He would need to report to Voah if he found anything odd. Then he spoke, "Sounds like a big dream but can you pull it off under the circumstances?"
Wim laughed and said, “Everything has it opportunity and risks. I suspect I will be well on my way to building it before people realize it is happening.”
Hunter looked around and sipped his drink before he replied, "So what preparations have you made for dealing with the war?"
“Twenty soldiers, you, Tarmen, The Arbiter, and a cask and a half of Ale,” he said in a joking tone.
“I was told that it was not going to happen this soon, officially,” he said.
Hunter rubbed his chin as he took in that information. He sipped his drink as he pondered a few options. Then he replied, "I see........sadly we can't trust that Duke to be honest. He was they type to hire people like me to solve him problems. I would not be surprised if he brought more than just soldiers and mercs on the last few ships. Did you hear any rumors about him bringing in an assassins or hard core killers?"
Wim looked at Hunter a bit surprised.
“Enough people think that I am the Duke’s lap dog,” he said in a disgusted tone.
“Most of those types tend not to play cards,” Wim said and then adding, “and talk less.”
Hunter nodded at Wim as he replied, "Never saw you in that light. I see a noble, a gambler, a manipulator and a schemer, but I never suspected you to willingly kneel before other you despise. You are one of those self made types that want to gain fame and fortune without their parent's involvement. The reason I asked you that was because you are one of the few I know who will use information to make an advantage. You may play the fool before others but behind your façade you are a opportunist."
"It is about trust," Wim replied.
"Sir Zane and the Duke do not trust me enough to include me. I do not have connections on the docks, yet," he said.
Wim was building his network but it took time.
Hunter sipped his drink and then cleared his throat before he replied, "I doubt a few setbacks will stop you from reaching your goal. Just be careful who you show that wicked grin of yours to."