The day was not going well for Ballard. Dead men don’t make a floor clean, especially hacked to pieces. Gods, he hated a mess. Fortunately, the servants had efficiently cleaned most of the blood and one was working on trying to get the blood out of the floor. It would be good for them try, Ballard mused, but blood never comes out of whisperwood. They would need to replace that, and it was headache enough to have that imported down from the forest before. Ballard inwardly sighed and added it to the growing list of issues.
The last surviving guard indicated that only two had done this, one goblin and one man. For all their effectiveness in ransacking the place, killing four trained guards and their lieutenant, they somehow had let this last man go after having him sign “something”. That something was nothing less than a signed confession that Master Thond had committed various acts of violence and harm. There were only so many ways to manage such an egregious breach of commitment. Ballard knew all those ways, as distasteful as they may be.
And then there was the matter of the rings. Master loved his rings, being a jeweler and all. He would not be pleased that two had been taken, especially the ruby one. How had they known to come at this time? He could not suppress a small shake of his head as he thought of how Master Thond would hear this. He frowned and looked up as the sounds of wood cleaning stopped.
“Sorry Steward, am I doing this wrong? Should I use a different agent? How should I go about this?”, the servant cleaning the wood asked anxiously.
Ballard shook his head. “No, no Reginald. I was not shaking my head at you. Be at ease. I was thinking about other things. Continue.”
Reginald breathed what appeared to be an unheard sigh of relief as Ballard walked out the front door, on his way to Thond’s plantation on the outside of town.