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Captain of the Guard: Nice in a Not Nice Way

August 28, 2019

The black clad man stopped in front of Cedric, his lips twitched in a smile as swept himself in a fancy bow. “My lord, if you would be so kind as to tarry a moment. I fear for my safety.”

“I am not a lord.”

“Ah, forgive me, I thought that a man of such regal bearing must surely be of noble birth.”

Whisper snorted. One of the other men tittered. Cedric just frowned.  He disliked flatterers. “Why do you fear for your safety?”

The three flushed men had stopped running and were now approaching cautiously.  The largest of the three had a scowl across his baby-faced features.

“Merely a misunderstanding. You can imagine my dismay at their anger.”

“I’m sure.” Cedric turned toward the three men, he pointed at the largest. “You there, what’s going on?”

The large man shifted uncomfortably.  “That man,” he pointed, “was being . . .” he stopped for a moment and glanced over at his two companions.  What came out next surprised Cedric. “He was being . . . too nice.” The man nodded once as if that explained everything.

“He was being nice?”

The man shifted again, clearly uncomfortable, “not nice exactly, but too nice.  More nice than normal, if you get what I mean.  Kind of a pushy nice, not a nice nice, but a nice with not nice intentions. You know?”

Cedric shook his head. “No I don’t know. Did he steal from you?”

“No, sir”

“Did he try to steal from you?”

“No, sir.” He glanced at his two companions that were watching him closely now. “He was just too nice, like very nice, like the kind of nice that makes you uncomfortable nice.”  He looked hopefully at Cedric.

“Did he cheat at dice or some other game?”

“No.”

“Insult you?”

“No, he said nice things about me.”

“He did?”

“Yeah.”

“He try and sell you something?”

“Well, not exactly. He bought me a couple drinks.”

“Try and get you to do something?”

“Well, sort of.  All I’m going to say is he isn’t very nice.”

“Because he was too nice?”

“Exactly. If you know what I am saying?”

Cedric frowned. “Ok, you three go back to whatever you were doing in the tavern. I will take care of this individual.” He pointed to the man in black.

The baby-faced man looked like he wanted to argue, but then turned away and headed back to the tavern. Cedric turned to the remaining man.

“I don’t see any reason to keep you for being nice, so you are free to go.”

“I thank you for coming to my rescue, let me introduce myself, I am Vul Reflla.” He bowed slightly, and his cape swished elegantly. “I am at your service.”

“I am Cedric of the guard, and you are free to make your way, citizen.” He emphasized the last word as a way of dismissing Vul.  He didn’t like the odd intensity the man had as he looked at Cedric.

“I am pleased to make your acquaintance.  If you don’t mind, I shall accompany you. I have found that my welcome here has been less than appreciative for a man of my talents.”

Cedric could tell the man wanted to continue the conversation.  He wasn’t in the mood for games.  He didn’t answer, but instead nudged his horse forward to the west edge of town.  His men followed.

After a few moments there was the sound of a horse galloping behind them.

“It appears you have acquired a admirer.” Whisper said.

“The road is open to everyone.” Cedric growled.

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