Eighteen – 05

[This post is from Matt’s point of view.]

                Daegon was, in fact, still there as Gideon escorted them to Anselm’s fire.  The old soldier was smoking a pipe, a mug of something steaming balanced on his knee as he sat on a camp stool, listening with rapt attention to something Daegon was saying—in Greek, Matt thought, though he wasn’t quite sure.

                It only took a second for Anselm to spot them, holding up a finger to forestall whatever Daegon was about to say next.  He regarded the trio with a long, silent look, though it wasn’t nearly as curious as Matt thought it probably should have been.

                It was as if the old soldier already knew.

                “So,” Anselm said after a few moments of lingering silence.  “What do we know and what do you need?”

                Matt’s stomach went crashing through the floor, leaving him feeling oddly hollow but at least not sick.  He swallowed twice before edging closer, his voice quiet, praying Anselm would hear him but no one else beyond the small circle would.  “It’s Orcus,” he said.  “We’re sure.  He issued us an ultimatum but I have a plan—but it’s not a plan I can execute without the Hunt’s help.”

                Anselm’s eyes gleamed and he leaned forward slightly, waving for them to sit.  “Go on, brother.”

                The use of the term buoyed his spirits slightly, though not enough for him to feel anywhere close to normal.  Slowly, he sat down, Thom taking a seat to his left and Gideon sitting down on the opposite side of Thom, next to Daegon on the other side.  Matt took a deep breath.

                “I know that you’ve sent scouts out—I don’t know that you dispatched anyone after Daegon came back, but you need to.  We need to know exactly what their troop dispositions are and we need to know it by tomorrow morning because in two days, we are taking the Hunt and most of our able-bodied fighters from here and we are going to ram Orcus’s threats down his bloody throat.”

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