I am sending someone to train you. Do what they say.
I mean it.
When they are done with you, go to the bank in Orgrimmar and retrieve a package left there for “Hannelore”. Take it to Camp Taurajo and drop it off at the butcher. Purchase a blackened Thunderhawk from him. It will contain your payment.
Tayt balled up the parchment and frowned.
Train her? What did she need someone to train her for? Obviously she was pretty damn good at what she did, otherwise why would Tyrsdae have hired her in the first place?
She snorted, then idly tossed the crumpled paper into a nearby brazier, watching to make certain it was ash before she turned away.
It had been two months since she’d had the meeting with Tyrsdae. Two months with no word, no sign at all of the bargain they’d struck.
It felt good to be out from under Garvis’ bootheel with regards to the gambling debt, but she’d been on pins and needles for weeks waiting to hear from her new employer. After that, she’d assumed the woman had simply forgotten her. Or maybe she’d even managed to get herself killed. As heartless and cold as the blood elf had been, it would certainly not be a stretch to imagine she had enemies.
And now this.
The note had been folded neatly inside the napkin handed to her with a drink by a waitress at a disreputable ogre bar. The napkin had been the first tip that something odd was going on – no joint that dirty ever wasted money on things like napkins. She was lucky the beer mugs she’d been handed were reasonably dust-free.
What did she need training in? She could convince the guards at Silvermoon to lay down their shields, sweet-talk a troll jeweler into trading a piece of useless glass for priceless stones, bamboozle a Tauren into…well, almost anything. Tauren weren’t very bright. Or maybe it was just that they were too trusting, which amounted to the same thing.
She’d just completed a bank job not one week ago, stealing a till full of cash from a harried banker, all the while convincing them that she was the victim.
She didn’t need some stupid teacher, mucking about with her style.
Also, what was with the stupid “2” in the signature? If Tyrsdae was so paranoid about having her bizarre and unfocused plans discovered, why sign the letters at all?
This whole situation was nothing but a great, stinking, waxy ball of hogwash.
“You have a raptor for a pet? This job is going to be tougher than I thought. Just how stupid are you?”
The voice was deep but still feminine, and loud enough to have come from right behind her. she swiveled and glared up at the speaker…then kept looking up, and up.
A Tauren. She scoffed and rolled her eyes. Stupid cow-people. The whole lot of them should just stay out on the plains in their teepees and yurts, and leave the rest of the world for a people more suited for it. Though why one would insult her out of the blue was a mystery – as far as she knew, she hadn’t pissed off any Tauren lately. Typically, they didn’t have enough money to steal. Their concept of wealth was skewed.
She turned away from the leather-clad woman, but when she reached for her mug it was gone.
She blinked, then noticed that the chair opposite her at the small corner table was now occupied. By that same Tauren. And she was drinking Tayt’s beer with considerable gusto.
Tayt glanced over her shoulder to verify that it was the same Tauren. Sure, she was wearing the same clothes, and her hide was the same vivid pattern of ruddy spots, but how could she have gotten to the other side of the table so quickly? She glanced beneath the table, where Roshii’s teal-striped orange hide rose and fell evenly with his breaths. The raptor was sleeping. Sleeping! A stranger had actually sat down at the table, and he was still blissfully dreaming of…whatever it was raptors dreamed about. Some guard he’d turned out to be.
The Tauren sighed and Tayt whipped around to glare at her. “That was MY beer, Bessie. Get your cow-lips off it.”
With a mournful shake of her head, the Tauren dropped the empty mug back to the table with a loud clatter. “Pretty stupid all right. Two said you’d be a pain in the tail, but I really didn’t expect you to be rude, ignorant, AND slow. We’ll have to start with the basics. Can you read?”
Tayt gaped at her. “You’re the one Tyr–”
The Tauren slammed her hand down on the table, cutting off Tayt’s sentence. “If you like the way your face is currently arranged, I wouldn’t finish that sentence.”
The menace in the Tauren’s voice was almost palpable. Tayt’s eyes widened. She didn’t even know that Tauren could BE menacing. Weren’t they herbivores?
“Yes, I’m the one sent by Two.” The emphasis on Tyrsdae’s pseudonym was obvious, and laced with threat.
Fine, fine, she’d play by their stupid games.
“Two. Whatever. Look, I don’t know what she told you, but I don’t need a teacher, all right? So why don’t you just go do whatever stupidly convoluted thing it is you need to do in order to get paid, and we’ll call it even?”
Tayt stood, pushing her chair away from the table and obviously attempting to leave.
The Tauren smiled at her. Why did cows need such gigantic teeth, anyway? It was uncanny. “No, I will not leave until I have fulfilled my duty or killed you, whichever comes first. If I kill you, I don’t get paid, though, so I’m going to do my level best to train you instead.”
The cow leveled a measuring look at her. “But then again, I don’t really need the money, so don’t press your luck.”
Tayt paused, closing her eyes so she could better assess the situation. She’d been insulted, stolen from, and now actively threatened by a giant cow.
She pinched herself. Yup, still awake.
It was too ridiculous a situation to even get angry. “And what exactly makes you so certain that you have anything to teach me?”
She arched an eyebrow and looked over to the chair where the Tauren was sitting.
Had been sitting.
She felt a pressure at her throat, cold and sharp.
“Well, let’s see,” the Tauren’s voice was low and her breath drifted softly past Tayt’s ear. “First, there’s the fact that I can do this before you even realize I’ve moved. Second, there’s the fact that you obviously know nothing about any culture besides your own – you dismissed me immediately just because of my race. Then, there’s the fact that you react slowly to unexpected events. You let me finish drinking your beer, for example. There’s the fact that you nearly violated the only rule that Two gave you by trying to say her name out loud. Perhaps I should mention the fact that your bank job last week was sloppy and barely succeeded? Or maybe that your pet is not only a raptor – loud, short tempered, large, and smelly – but also the fact that he’s the brightest orange shade that those beasts come in. He’s about as obvious and identifiable as a hunter pet can be, and you don’t even have a second pet.”
The raptor in question let loose a loud snore. Stupid raptor. See if HE got any treats for the next six months after sleeping through this!
“You’re useless as you currently are. A loose cannon. An explosion waiting to happen. Sure, you know a few tricks of the trade, but you’re weak, you’re unprepared for changes in your plans, you’re uninformed, and you are foolishly convinced that you are none of these things.”
The pressure at her throat vanished, and she whirled around to see the Tauren brandishing…a pencil?
The cow winked at her, twirled the pencil around in her large fingers once, then slipped it into her pocket. “You’re also very gullible.”
Tayt didn’t even know how to begin answering that. Had that really been a pencil, the whole time? She’d have sworn she felt the sharp metallic edge of a knife!
The Tauren laced her fingers, then cracked them loudly. “I don’t think I’m sober enough to deal with your particular brand of idiocy today, and I don’t think you’re sober enough to listen. Meet me at Bloodhoof village tomorrow morning at noon. Don’t be late.”
The Tauren turned to leave, and Tayt finally found her voice. “And what exactly am I supposed to call you?”
That long, bovine face looked over her shoulder, and those too-large teeth flashed again.
“You can call me Bessie.”