Conan The Fearless

Conan The Fearless by Steve Perry Page B

Book: Conan The Fearless by Steve Perry Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steve Perry
Tags: Fantasy
looking away from the candle at Conan, “what will you do now?”
    He considered his choices. He still cared little for practitioners of sorcerous arts. White. Black, or any other color: a quick exit from this city would serve his purposes well enough. Numalia beckoned, and there was certainly no profit to be had in staying here to contest with demons and magicians, not to mention the unknown master of the cutthroats dispatched by wind and blade to their destinies.
    On the other hand, Conan felt a perverse stubbornness rising in him, a feeling of rage at being threatened. No matter that the hellish demon had reason for anger, nor that the master of the cutthroats now had similar reasons-his minions were scattered meat, no more. Conan had been minding his own affairs and had been provoked; such provocation deserved no less than he had given. Likely a prudent man would interpret such attacks as a sign from his patron gods to travel elsewhere at a goodly pace. Cimmerians were not, however, always prudent. Conan’s anger at those responsible for causing him such discomfort was great; those who held Crom as their deity could not be faint-hearted. Crom was a hard god who offered little to his followers: he was savage, gloomy and dealt in death; more, Crom hated weaklings and cowards above all. Crom dispensed courage and will, taken in with life’s first breath from out the womb. A man did not honor Crom by running from danger, no matter how great.
    Conan stared at the trio gathered around the light of the single candle. He was bound for Nemedia, to be certain, and he did not like magicians, but there were matters to be attended to here.
    The others waited for Conan to speak. At last, he did.
    “It seems as if we are allies for a time,” the Cimmerian said. his voice nearly a growl. He liked it little, but there it stood. He focused on Vitarius. “I trust you have some plan for defeating our mutual enemy?”
    The old mage smiled. “Of a sort, Conan. Of a sort.”

Chapter Nine
    Loganaro found himself beset by a large problem: Where was the barbarian? That he had lied to Lemparius bothered Loganaro not a whit; he had seen Conan flee the destroyed inn, even as he had made good his own escape. Unfortunately, there had been no agents following the Cimmerian in the midst of that tempest.
    Such a lie was simply an elementary precaution Loganaro had long since learned to take when dealing with powerful men. Conan had somehow escaped and still lived; therefore, he could be located, in time. If, however, Lemparius had suspected that Loganaro had lost the barbarian, events might have taken a decided turn in the direction of … simplification, a term that left no doubt in Loganaro’s mind as to its meaning.
    The short figure hurried through the dampness of the early morning, only now beginning to be awash in the rays of the rising sun. The storm had done much to rearrange whole streets and alleys; Loganaro picked his way toward what had been the Milk of Wolves Inn.
    Even though the full might of the whirlwind had not struck the inn, there was left little to proclaim it so. The wooden bones of the inn lay mostly scattered; only a single wall remained, standing guard over the pile of rubble. Loganaro felt drawn to this wall, even as he wondered why he had returned to this place. He had a network of informants second to no other free agent in Mornstadinos; he should be locating runners to put forth the word on the barbarian, alerting his eyes and ears to the search. For some reason, however, he was here.
    A few stunned men and women wandered about in the wreckage, searching for survivors and, perhaps, lost possessions. Loganaro watched them for a short while, then decided his own time was being wasted here. He turned to leave.
    The rubble issued a groan. Or, rather, someone under the rubble moaned. Mildly curious, Loganaro moved toward the source of the sound. As he neared an overturned table, the free agent saw a hand scrabble up and

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