Leonidas was pacing, he didn't know why, but he was not as confident as when he hired these men. Of course, he had checked their earlier work. It were only rumors, but still they were not caught for any of them and that had to say something, right? Leonidas rubbed his face, he needed a good shaving before he was going towards the Spargo mansion. To make a good impression when Eliana and he were going to announce their engagement. He lowered his hand, and was again caught in doubt. Why did those men contact him? Was this maybe to get more money, or was this just part of the service? He looked at the bushes and the four men walked out of them. Their faces were full of brushes and small cuts. Did they get in a fight with the city guard, or was Raven stronger than she seemed? It did not matter as long she was death and humiliated. The leader of the group stepped forward, he had the pouch in his hands, that Leonidas had given him. Not sure why, Leonidas took it. The pouch was still filled with his money. Which meant....
"We are sorry, Rich boy. But we were not able to deliver." Leonidas felt the anger grow inside him. Raven was still breathing, and not only that her pride was still intact.
"What happened?" He wanted to know every detail. The man looked at each other. Leonidas blood boiled.
"What happened?" he lay more urge in his tone.
"We were at the point of raping her. Boss even had his pants down, but we were attack by a man dressed in black." The leader looked at the man who had spoken, and wanted to hit him.
"Wait, attacked?" All the men nodded, Leonidas rubbed his face. Somebody most overheard them, maybe when he made the deal with this man? Or when he had sex with Eliana? He wanted to know more about this man in black. "Did you see the man's face?" This time they shock their heads.
"He was wearing a mask." Said the leader. Leonidas felt a smile appear, a man in black, wearing a mask to cover his face. Strong enough to attack four men.
"It seems, you are not as useless after all." He said, he reached out his hand that held the pouch. "Here take this, if the city guard of kings guard is coming your way and with your reputation they will. Tell them that poor Raven Spargo was abducted by the murderer Nox Umbrias." The four man looked surprised, but the leader of the group took the pouch once again.
"You got it. Rich boy." He said with a grin on his face. Leonidas turned and left the group.
Nox Umbrias, his former best friend and rival. It was almost too perfect, if they found Raven she would be disgraced. If had screwed her or not, and if he had not, then he was stupid. And he would be hanged for the murder of Tiala. With this in mind he entered the first barber shop he could find.
"What will it be, sir?" Asked the barber after Leonidas sat down in one of the chairs.
"A shaving. Need to look at my best today." The barber nodded and grabbed a bowl with a white substance that smelled badly. And a knife made from an oyster shell. The barber used some kind of brush to rub the chin with the bad smelling substance, and with the knive he scraped it off the chin.
"So what is the occasion, sire." The barber started, Leonidas knew that barber were like barman. Easy to talk to when you wanted.
"My fiancée and I are going to announce our engagement." The barber nodded, while he focused on his task.
"Then I believe congratulations are in order. Who is the lucky girl?" Leonidas opened his mouth, but the closed it. He could scream it from the rooftops if he wanted, but somehow it seemed unwise.
"I ratter not say, we want to tell her parents first." The barber nodded once again.
"Of course sir. Have you told your family the good news. I forgot to tell my parents the good news." Leonidas frowned a little. How could he forget his own parents, it was his mother after all who was nagging about him not looking for a bride.
"Good that you reminded me, I will tell them after her parents." The barber just scraped the last bit of the substance off his chin. He looked into the polished silver, the little stomps of hair were gone, and he looked like a gentleman again. The barber stepped away to grab an oil that took care of the skin. Which was starting to burn, it some kind of lotion that smelled like chestnut. The burning lessened, and the barber nodded approving his own work.
"Sir, may I suggest wearing your hair back."
The barber grabbed Leonidas his brown hair, and bind it with a thin leather cord. Leonidas had to admit, that looked good.
"Thank you for your good advice, what do I own you?" Leonidas stood up from the chair.
"26 electurm pieces, sir." Leonidas paid the man and left the shop. Maybe it was not a bad idea, to visit a tailor before he went to the Spargo manor. He looked up towards the sun, it was already getting late. Eliana wouldn't forgive him if he arrived late. He looked at his clothing in the reflection of a window, it was his best suite, made from expensive silk. Leonidas sighed, but it was old and some small bits of wear and tear started to get visible. He needed to make a good impression, better than the one he made yesterday.
Leonidas nodded, it was a good move to buy new clothing. This suite suited him more than the one he wore in the first place. The brown silk embraced his muscular body better, he was proud off his muscles.
He had earned them while he was looking for yellow pearls on the beach near his village. He looked up, the sun was already setting. Leonidas was starting to get late, but he had a good feeling that Eliana would understand him. Or at least she would try. With big steps he walked towards the city gate, he greeted the guard and pressed on, taking the main road. Again he wondered why one of the richest family lived outside the city and not in it. Maybe he should ask his future wife. Light was already shinning behind the windows of the mansion. He knocked on the door, slightly less nervous than he was the day before. In his hand, he had a large bouquet of yellow pearl roses. He had bought them before he left town, his mother had taught him to bring flowers to a girl's house. For the mother, he had a ring for Eliana. Eliana opened the door, looking angry at him.
"You are late." Was the first thing she said. Not hello, or good that you are here. No you are late.
"Thank you, for reminding me. I got stuck in a meeting." He looked at her, and she gasped, immediately knowing what he meant.
"Was your meeting fruitful?" Of course, she wanted to know if Raven was death.
Leonidas shook his head.
"Not as well, as I hoped. But there was a small opportunity that I couldn't ignore." He saw in her eyes that she wanted to know what he meant. But her mother entered.
"So mister Muliades, here you are once again. This can mean two things, you are a fool or persistent."
"I am neither, madam, these are for you." He presented her the roses. She took them and smiled a little.
"Those are beautiful, mister Muliades." Behind his back, he gave Eliana the ring. "When me darling, Eliana, told me that she invited you for diner. I couldn't believe my ears." Despiona and Lia joined them.
"Well, madam. I can't blame you after what happened yesterday. I was maybe too bold to ask Raven to marry me." Madam Spargo nodded. "I was simply enchanted by her unnatural beauty, I believe any man will lose his good mind. Luckily for me, your daughter Eliana rescued me from her spell." Madam Spargo's eyebrows raised up. Eliana started to smile, and he wrapped an arm around her. "That is why I asked her to be my wife."
"And I excepted." Eliana's hand with the ring around her finger shot up, so that her mother and jealous could see it. Madam Spargo's mouth fall open.
"My beloved Eliana, that is truly wonderful news. We have to order a wedding dress for you by mister Sýrma, there is no time to lose."
"I am way a head of your mother. That is the arrant on which I sent Raven on." Madam Spargo frowned, and started to look around.
"Speaking of Raven. Have you seen her coming back." Eliana and her sisters shook her head. Madam Spargo's frown deepened. "That is strange, Lia can you in the kitchen? Maybe she went straight back to her chore, Despiona can you check the garden?" Both girls ran off.
"What is wrong, mother?" Asked Eliana, Leonidas acted that he was worried.
"I will tell you when your sisters are back." Which didn't take long, the two reported that Raven was nowhere to be found.
"Dammit, that girl will be the death of me." Said Madam Spargo. "Girls, let us celebrate the engagement of your sister. I will send some servants to look for your stupid sister." Leonidas straightened his back.
"Madam, if you need any help? I am willing to go look for her." But she shook her head.
"Don't be silly, this is your party too." She walked away, Eliana pulled him towards her.
"What happened? Why is she not dead?" Leonidas took a deep breath.
"Those men, you recommended. Wanted some fun with her before they killed her. But even before they could do that, they were attacked by a man in a mask. But do not fret my dear, the man that rescued your sister is Nox Umbrias. A man wanted for murder." A deep and dark grin appeared on Eliana's face.
"So she is doomed." He nodded, relieved that his future wife agreed with him. This manor sitback worked in their favor.