Dragon Smoke (I)

“Look,” he said as he pulled up a chair, “there’s no point in this, this, resistance. At some point you’re going to give me what I want, then Berger will kill you. The question is how much do you want to hurt? Because I can hurt you.”

“I hear it’s your specialty,” the wizard said through cracked lips. His grey beard was matted with flecks of blood and spit and beer left there when one of Malus’ thugs, a half-troll named Corner, had broken a bottle on his jaw.

“Oh, it is, it is,” Malus said. He was an elegant bastard in an expensive suit. “I spent many years in the Inner Dark studying pain until all my agonies were external. Even as we speak, my sister suffers; it would give her a few minutes peace if I transferred my suffering to you.”

“Fuck you.”

Malus sat back and laughed, lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply.

“Would you like to feel my lung cancer?” he asked. “I could take it from my sister and give it to you, yes. Are you listening?”

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