Finding Madanach had been easy enough. Mierfa had asked around, found the Forsworn sympathizers (of which practically everyone was), bribed Madanach’s guard to let her visit him with a Skooma tribute, and then locked the door behind her.
He sat in a chair before her now. Now she had the perfect chance. Well…Her only weapon at the moment was a pic-ax… Not very subtle as far as things went.
“Well, well. Look at you. The Nords have turned you into an animal. A wild beast caged up and left to go mad. So, my fellow beast, what do you want? Answers about the Forsworn? Revenge for trying to have you killed?” He asked of her. His name certainly was appropriate. Madanach. Mad- a- nach.
“Mad” certainly fit his appearance.
“Well…” she began, “You have a lot to answer for, but first…” she decided that subtlety could jump out a window. “Let’s start with Revenge!” She slammed the flat end of the Pic-ax against the back of his head- and with a “CLANK!” he fell out of the chair, and hit the ground- unconscious, if he wasn’t lucky. Dead if he was.
She looted him for anything of importance- a Key, a note, and a shiv- then made sure he was dead by doing something creative to him with the pen quill he’d been writing with. The Note explained that the key was to a nearby cell, which held a tunnel leading down into the Dwemmer Ruins.
She escaped Cidna mine through those ruins- running through them avoiding as many spiders and dwemmer defense mechanisms as she could- and then met Thonar outside the exit of the ruins. “I suppose I should thank you for taking care of this…Though now I’ll have to find new miners. They’ll all be rather cross once they realize Madanach is dead.”
“And the deal we had…?”
“You’re free to go- all crimes pardoned. Nice handling of Nepos, by the way. I thought that was clever.” Thronar seemed to smirk a bit, “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were a trained assassin of the Dark Brotherhood.”
Ayano climbed out of the cart and stretched his limbs as he yawned. It had been a long ride up to Markarth- but it would be worth it, if his new employer could be believed about needing these Mercenaries.
As he went to pay the driver, something caught his eye.
Something blue among the jungle’s green.
“No way,” he breathed.
It was the girl he’d escaped Helgen with! She was still wearing those Mage’s robes- only they seemed to have been tailored a bit more- quite a bit of the old robes were missing now- but they looked more to size now and… Wow, was it hot in here all of a sudden or was it just the jungle? Of course, he realized suddenly, it was impolite to stare…!
“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me,” The Drow huffed as she crossed her arms under– Not thinking about it. “What in Oblivion are you doing here?!”
“I’m recruiting mercenaries to hunt down a dragon,” the Breton explained as he navigated them along the roads up towards a ruin that the first mercenary was to be at. “It’s been terrorizing people and trade lines and making a big nuisance of itself.”
“And you think it’s the same one that attacked Helgen?” Mierfa raised an eyebrow.
“Description fits- big, dark, and scary,” the boy shrugged, “but honestly, I’m just going along with it because I really don’t want to go up to High Hrothgar.”
“Eh? Isn’t that where the Greybeards are?” She frowned. Did that mean that HE was the…?
…Of course it did.
“Yeah…I kind of got summoned up there after I helped kill a dragon near Whiterun.” He explained with a nervous laugh, “Funny thing, isn’t it?”
“Yeah…Funny.” She narrowed her eyes at him, then huffed and turned her attention back to the road, “Fine, I’ll come with you to help find this mercenary, and kill this dragon- since obviously you’re going to need an archer of my skill set.”
“But on one condition!” she held up a finger.
“Once we’re done- we’re done. We split up an we never –EVER– speak of any of this. EVER. Again. Understand?”
Neither of them asked the other their name- nor introduced themselves.
And that was perfectly fine with one of both of them.