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Knights Out

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“I think I would understand the allure of this performance if there were more blades,” Gilgamesh shared his criticism with the serving girl, who gave him a curious look before she flitted off to the next table.

It was certainly a spirited piece, although he didn’t know the meaning behind it.  The rest of the tavern were enthralled.

Well, many of them were enthralled.

The rest were gambling.  As his attention wandered the way of the card table, one of the men threw his hand in and abandoned the game, leaving an empty chair.

On a whim, Gilgamesh went to investigate the game.  Which had, knowing Faris, at least one blade and probably closer to four.

Faris glanced at him where he loomed over her shoulder, watching the play of cards and change of coin with great interest, before seating himself at the next deal of hands.

“Ye know how to play?” Faris asked, with a sardonic incredulity that Gilgamesh was becoming accustomed to in his dealings with the pirate captain.

“Most certainly.”

No one else questioned it.  Faris stared at him until her own hand was dealt, and subsequently saw fit to ignore him in favor of her cards.

Gilgamesh received his hand with a gracious, “Thank you.”

He studied the cards for several long moments.  And the flow of gil to the center of the table.  And his companions at the table.

Finally, Gilgamesh flipped the table with a roar of challenge.  Faris was on her feet.  None of the men were a challenge for him, and those that might have been were certainly no match for Faris.

The brawl was over before it had begun.

“I thought ye said ye knew how to play,” she growled, “The hell was that for?”

Gilgamesh took a deep, calming breath, and explained most simply, “I did not have a good hand.”

Faris eyed him, then contemplated the rabble at their feet.  One man had managed to keep a hold of his cards, and she flattened his wrist with her boot to read his hand, curiously.  Her eyes narrowed and she shrugged.

She wouldn’t have won against that hand.

“Ye did good,” she told Gilgamesh.

“I did?” Gilgamesh asked.  Surprise gave way to sheer confidence as Faris set to stripping as many purses as she could get her fingers on.  “Of course I did.”

“ did I do good?”

Several pounds of coin happier, Faris detoured only far enough towards the stage to make a grab for Butz, dragging him off the stage by the dance sash and along with her towards the exit.  He glanced at her, then at the remains of the gambling table, and his eyes widened.

“Did you just-...?”