The Haul

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Ernis and Jorsef are longtime swords for hire, until a string of heists pulled on the local nobles causes the baron to hire them to safely transport his belongings. Ernis wants to them to change their reputation and leave the mercenary business,as the night goes on their wishes may, reluctantly, come true.

The Last Haul

"I can't believe you talked me into this" Ernis said, raising his torch.

"Shut up and hold it higher, I can barely see as it is ya oaf, and quit your whining, at least we are getting paid good to take this haul back to the keep for the Baron" retorted Jorsef

"Yea, Yea" said Ernis raising his torch for Jorsef "I just mean I think we need to raise up in the ranks, we've been common mercenaries long enough, I think we outta apply for the guard maybe even become part of Legion"

"For what purpose? we make more coin in a fortnight than most watchmen make in six full moons" Jorsef huffed as he strapped the last of the chests on to the back of the wagon.

"If you ask me you’re a little more ambitious than need to be, tell ya what we do this last haul, we make our little trip down to the keep, fending off anything in our way, we can come back and by Hoegerds beard we'll make a plan, sound fair enough? Jorsef sighed

""Don’t get your beard in a knot there Jorsef, I only think we are better than we make ourselves out to be, rather than a pair of jewel runners for some high horsed noble. Especially since the risk we are taking."

"Oh yea? and what risk would that be?" Jorsef said with a hint of sarcasm, the kind that always irked Ernis but not enough to really get him riled up.

"You mean you don’t know about the string of robberies lately?" Ernis asked in surprise

"Oh you mean the ones popping up left and right that involves high value items?'' he said again sarcastically

Ernis glared at him, "Yes, those ones." he said with a heated tone.

"Aaah well then no I know nothing of them, now climb up here so we can get this over with and paid already" Jorsef said gruffly as he climbed aboard the wagon and reigned in the horses.

Ernis climbed in up just in time as Jorsef snapped the reigns before he barely had time to get his footing.

"Whata yer mean you don’t know about them? you just said the high profile robberies worth somethin?!" Ernis said stumbling into his seat.

"Well let me ask you this Ernis, what are we moving tonight?"

"Chests, some with gold and jewels, others of fine items"

"Ok, now if you owned these things why would you store them behind a force of guards?"

"Well so no one could take them of course, but - ohh" Ernis said in realization

"The only reason a Baron would be hiding his precious belongings is if he thought they were in danger" Jorsef said to Ernis as a teacher would say to a learning student.

Ernis thought about it and a nodded to himself as he realized how much sense it made.

"Alright then, if these are so precious to the baron, and he's afraid of these string of robberies, why isn't he sending a full force of guards?"

"Simple" Said Jorsef, "He doesn’t want to draw attention, if you saw two caravans, each with a bundle of chests of items, one with a group of guards, the other with a couple scuffed up lookin lads which would you deem more important?"

"Well in that case id gue-" The horses stopped abruptly almost sending Ernis forward as they whinied. Jorsef stood up to peer over the horses to find a body lying in the middle of the trail.

Both Ernis and Jorsef glanced at each other before Jorsef glanced at the body. Ernis rolled his eyes as he stepped down from the wagon. Jorsef was looking around as Ernis stumbled toward the body, but heard nothing but the hoot of an owl in the distance. But Jorsef new already, one of them looking at the body was only part of their routine for this matter, as the best way to deal with a surprise is with your own surprise.

As Ernis nelt down toward the body a man jumped from the bushes with a fearsome cry as he attacked Ernis with an overhead swing of his great sword. Ernis expecting the attack lashed out with his dagger in his right hand, parrying the swing into a spinning turn with a dagger in his left hand slamming into the bandits temple. As the tall bandit slumped to the ground another man jumped from the tree above the wagon, landing on the chests behind jorsef. Jorsef reacting on instinct turned with his sword, stabbing the man in the shoulder. The man cryed out in pain as Jorsef immediately stepped up behind the man, holding him as a human shield just in time for two arrows to slam into the mans chest.

Ernis saw the men behind the trees on either side of the trail, without looking back at Jorsef and immediately ran toward the men throwing a dagger, hitting one of the archers in the chest as he leaped on top of the other.

Jorsef stood up from the wagon looking around, scanning the area, listening, for any other signs of movement or any other men that may be left. After reasoning there was no one left he began to check the chests and make sure that they were all still there.He pointed at each one as he counted all six of them confirming they were there.

"Well Ernis, everything is still here. Now we just have to move the bodies so we don’t ruin the wheels goin over 'em"

"Well then get yer bearded mess down here and help me" retorted Ernis.

Both men quickly moved the bodies behind a thick brush, and returned to the wago, Ernis just in time for Jorsef to snap the reigns to make him fumble over again.

"Would yer quit that!" snapped Ernis.

"Quit what?" Jorsef grinned.

Ernis glared at Jorsef and harrumphed and crossed his arms muttering under his breath.

* * *

Dawn was near as the sky began its natural change into warmer colors over the easter mountains. Ernis sat thinking with Jorsef glancing at him over the last hour or so wondering what he was pondering.

"Don't think too hard Ernis, might hurt yourself" He chuckled.

"Jorsef, serious question. We will make plenty off of this haul correct?"

"Yea, but whats your point?

"Well" said Ernis "how much is that payment compared to what we have with us? say we wanted to take this for ourselves? what would stop us?"

"I had already thought about this, as every transporter of fines goods should, but think Ernis would it be worth it to be wanted men chased by guards as our faces are hung up all over the city with a bounty on us? or would you rather simply to - "

The cart fumbled, as if weight had been lossed, both men concerned turned in  hurry but only to find the six chests exactly as they left them, Ernis shrugged and turned back but Jorsef became weary, scanning the darkness of the forest behind the wagon with unease.

"Ah probably a rock in the road" said Ernis.

Jorsef brought the reigns to a hault.

"Rocks make the wagon bounce up, not lurch forward Ernis" he spoke as he hopped down from the wagon, with the sun finally peeking over the mountains.

A Jorsef turned the corner of the wagon he noticed a rope tied to the end of it. As he inspected it further he noticed it was cut, and was a fresh cord of rope. He looked back the way they came and began to study what he was seeing.

"What is it Jorsef? what did you find?" called Ernis.

Jorsef on a thought turned to the chests, opening the one before him, finding it unlocked he opened the container and looked in.

"Stand where you are and don’t move!" a voice bellowed as footsteps surrounded the two bearede men.

Before Ernis or Jorsef could react that were surrounded by guards in thick leather armor with spears pointed toward them, and swords at the ready.

"You two are under arrest for theivery of the Barons precious gems and gold heirlooms, and-"

"Thievery!?" shouted Ernis, "We didn't steal anything!"

"And are hereby detained by the authority of Baron Wenslyn until further investigation."

Wait!" yelled Jorsef, we can prove we did not steal anything, ake at look at the chests they are empty, how can we steal something if it is not there?"

"We already knew that you men had hid the goods and carried off with the chests as a distraction. when you men tell us where the barons possessions are we may be lenient but until such actions you shall be detained."

Both of the men looked confused but it was no use, they both gave way to the guards as they were bound and shoved towards the Baron's keep.

  • * *

"Im not sure I want to know how you pulled this one off" the old man chuckled.

"nothing some rope, patience, and hired fools couldn't help with" the hooded figure said as he grinned."

"Although I thought for sure I would have been spotted when the rider turned to stab the idiot who decided to hide in the tree"

"good hired help is hard to find this days" the older man said as he began to chuckle at his own joke.

The old man combed through his silver matted hair as he counted everything to estimate his payout. until finally he stood stroking his beard, and turned "ill pay you seven thousand, its fair considering im going to have to move this stuff quicker than usual.

"As far as payment goes, ill be able to pay you ina  week, should everything go smoothly."

"That’s funny considering I still havent been paid for the paitings from the Dukes estate, or the weapon collection from the Armond family."

"I get It, I get it I owe you, we only just sold the weapons, those werent hard, but the buyers for the paintings don’t like the pricing so we are......compromising."

"Need any help? I cant be quite persuasive" he said in a playful tone that had a serious edge to it.

"No no nothing of that sort if anything we may just required some shall we say recollection?" the old man said with a smile.

The hooded figure began to laugh as turned to leave, and said

"Ill be expecting my payments Arlow, or ill have to do some recollecting of my own."

Submitted: October 29, 2013

© Copyright 2021 Rizzo7890. All rights reserved.

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