Simon was awakened by a loud pounding. Then the bell’s sonorous chimes vibrated through the room. Blasted thing! Should be abolished. He struggled to become fully alert through his hangover. Good thing he had fallen asleep in his clothes! Whoever was out there seemed to be breaking down the door of Gloomhaven.
He stomped through the castle and flung open the front door, glaring at the woman standing outside. “What is it?” he snapped succinctly, not bothering with the usual politeness.
“Good morning!” she said brightly. “Are you Simon Shadows?”
She was pretty, thought Simon, but he didn’t want to encourage her. He had a long day of important tasks ahead. “What of it?”
Undeterred by his rudeness, she smiled sweetly and said, “Nice to meet you! I’m Mandy Mirth, a reporter for the Daily Crier.”
Gah, a reporter was the last thing Simon wanted to deal with. “I’m not giving any interviews,” he told her. “I’m in mourning for my grandmother.”
“I’m so sorry about her passing,” Mandy said. “She was an unusual person and so very interesting.”
Simon nodded once. “All right then. If there’s nothing else?” He began to close the door.
“What do you think about the dead body found in the river?” Mandy said.
“What?” Simon tried to process this. He hadn’t checked the news all weekend due to sorting through ancient books trying to find the formula to lift the curse from the stones. It was imperative that he find it before–
“Oh! You didn’t know,” Mandy said. “Sorry to startle you with bad news. But one of Dr. Dopple’s rescue dogs found it. He trains them you know, as a hobby.”
“What… what kind of body?” Simon definitely needed to hurry up and find the counterspell, but he also had to know if anyone suspected him.
Mandy continued cheerfully, “A human one! A woman. And my contact at the lab says that she may have been poisoned first because she didn’t drown, nor did she have bruising or wounds.”
“Well, that’s terribly disturbing,” Simon said truthfully. “I am aghast that there may be criminal activity in our village. You may quote me, Mandy.”
“I don’t want to quote you, Simon.” Mandy stepped forward, her tone now serious, her green eyes narrowed. “I want a share of the inheritance.”
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