A ship hired by the hunters has arrived at the City of Ay, in the province of Lix. Conwenn, the White Hunter, got off the ship first and looked around. He imagined something else when he was told about the largest trading port of the Empire. The size of local docks wouldn’t be enough even for a third of the ships arriving at Vallor every day. Doom and desolation were in the air.
“The Holy Empire seems to be doing badly with trade.” Fiona who followed him was thinking the same thing.
“The Church of Emrys does not approve of communication with non-humans, and it’s much easier to get to the free baronies by land. Therefore it turns out that there is no special need in the merchant fleet. Let’s get it over with. This place makes me sad. A battle with a vampire is coming up, and we should prepare for it.”
After passing several winding streets, the hunters entered the marketplace, where they hired a carriage to the client’s estate. A young girl named Ellen was the driver. She immediately guessed what the adventurers were doing here, although hunters did not appear in the Empire so often. They had very unusual equipment, which included bundles of garlic and flasks of potions at their belts. Throughout the entire journey, the girl asked them about the battles with monsters and ghosts. Fiona described their exploits with almost the same childish delight, while Conwenn was more silent. Such conversations irritated him. When the old nag finally reached the estate, he was the first to jump from the cart and handed the girl a handful of coins.
“Sir hunter.” Ellen hesitated. “You don’t have to pay me for the trip. Just … just take me with you!”
“Sir hunter! All I have is a wagon and an old mare. I even sleep in this wagon. After the death of my father, our house was taken away for debts! And what happens when the mare dies? I won’t be able to earn my bread at all!
“I’m sorry. But even if I wanted to take you as an apprentice, the rules forbid me to do so. I already have one. Conwenn looked at Fiona who looked down. The hunters paid off and went to the estate, leaving the girl and her horse behind.
The owner greeted them with a wide, apologetic smile.
“Thank you for your visit, though it’s a little late as the Imperial guards have already dealt with that vampire. No worries, I will cover your travel expenses. Wait in the hall.: ” the client said, straightened his loose black hair and headed to the back of the mansion. The hunters looked at each other. Such a simple ending was very unexpected.
“So it’s all in vain, right?” Fiona asked.
“I don’t think so. The owner himself came out to meet us when the monster is already dead? Has it ever happened? – Conwenn looked closely at the pictures hanging on the wall. “Look. Portraits. Everyone in their dynasty is blonde.”
“That doesn’t make him a monster.” Fiona answered.
“But it’s worth checking.”
The White Witch Hunter took off his gloves and tucked them into his belt bag. When the smiling nobleman returned, the hunter held out his hand.
“Thank you, kind sir.” Said the hunter. “Many would just kick us out the door. Let me shake your hand!”
The owner of the estate hesitated for a second. The smile faded from his face and was replaced by feigned contempt.
“I do not shake hands with people of no noble birth.”
“Oh, don’t worry, sir. My father was a viscount.”
“And here we go again.” The nobleman sighed. “You could just take the gold and leave in peace. But no. You always have to dig everything up.
Conwenn drew his sword, but the vampire’s blow threw the hunter aside. The sword flew out the window. Fiona managed to grab the blade, but a ball of lightning rushed at her. The sorceress fell unconscious, dropping her weapon. The vampire walked over to Conwenn, grabbed him by the neck and raised the hunter.
“So you say the viscount? So I’ll start with you. Your companion stinks of a swamp.
“What if I lied? The white hunter could barely speak.
“It’ll be even worse for you then.”
The vampire opened his mouth, showing long fangs, but suddenly dropped the hunter. Conwenn coughed, holding on to his throat. The vampire’s body seemed to have broken in two and fell to the floor with a wheeze. It was little Ellen, holding Fiona’s sword with difficulty.
“You.” The girl was breathing heavily. “You take me with you! You can see that I can handle it! You probably have hunters without apprentices! Let them teach! I will definitely become a hunter!”