CW - brief mention of suicide in the first paragraph; prostitution/sexual favours in return for things mentioned
I need a poison. One which will kill instantly. I’d like for my target to have a painful death, but since I’ll be taking the poison myself shortly after the hunt is complete, I’d rather just get it over and done with quickly. I’ve heard of an apothecary who makes powerful magic infused healing potions. I don’t need those, but I also heard that for the correct price and reason, the apothecary can make a magic poison that cannot be countered, even with magic. With that poison, I’ll dip my arrows into it and shoot one directly through the heart of the monster I’m hunting down.
It is easier than I imagined, finding the potion shop. Once I had narrowed down which town it was in it was a simple enough task of asking around for the best apothecary in the area. And every hint led to her: the shop keeper of Canis Potions.
The moment I step through the door, two hunting dogs sniff at my legs before sitting at my feet and wagging their tails happily. One dog is large and older, while the other is clearly young. No longer a pup, but far from fully grown. The way it sticks close by the older one’s side gives me the impression that the pair are a parent and child. Giving them each a pat on the head, I smile sadly.
“Sorry sweet things but I have no treats to give you - hell I haven’t even eaten in two days,” I let out a sigh. I have to save every meagre last coin I own to pay for this poison. I still don’t think it’ll be enough - it’s not like I often pay for things using money anyway, since I have no way of earning it other than selling myself. Which I only normally do if I’m desperate for a meal or a place to stay. I don’t mind partaking in some pleasure with another person if it means I can stay warm in the winter months.
“Anything you’re looking for in particular today, beautiful?”
The voice has me looking up abruptly from where I was still petting the dogs.
“I need…something special,” I say awkwardly, feeling my face warm up as the person’s words finally sink in. It’s not like I don’t get called beautiful somewhat frequently, but as a lesbian it’s certainly different when coming from a handsomely gorgeous woman in comparison to the middle aged men that I’m used to.
The woman smiles warmly, tucking a loose black curl behind her ear as she bends down to stroke the dogs. Both eagerly turn to face her, leaning against her legs and making happy sounds as she scratches their bellies. The two dogs basically melt at her touch, and I can hardly blame them - if she looked at me with that same love I’m sure I’d do the same. She wears a black shirt, the sleeves rolled up to just above her elbows and several of the buttons at the top undone, revealing the top of her shapely form. She’s strong, I’m sure - I can see the thickness of her arms, and through her black trousers I’m sure her legs are well built too. She has broad shoulders and a strong jaw, her wild black curls cut into a striking arrangement I’ve never seen before - the back at the nape of her neck is very long, braided tightly into two plaits slithering down her back whilst the top is shorter, just long enough to brush her ears. The parts just above her ears are shaved short, but the curls bobbing on top cover it until she tucks her hair behind her ears.
Giving the dogs a final pat, she stands up, smiling at me kindly before beckoning me towards the back of the shop. I hope she didn’t realise how much I was ogling her.
“So, what’s this ‘something special’ that you’re after?”
Tearing my eyes away from the many magical potions stacked across the walls, I find her eyes, steady and calm.
“I need a magic poison. One which will kill instantly,” I say determinedly, my resolve hardening when I remember what it is that I’m hunting.
The shop keeper raises her eyebrows, but says nothing as she carefully writes the poison I described down on a piece of paper.
“And why would you need something like this? I cannot give you a lethal poison just because you asked, beautiful.” She looks relaxed as she asks this, as if she isn’t asking why I want to kill someone.
“I’m hunting a pig. An evil, disgusting pig. I need to make sure that I can kill it with one shot,” since I might not get a chance at a second shot. Who knows what kind of security he’ll have now. I have to make sure that he dies.
“Intriguing. You want something that those arrows can be dipped in, I presume?” She nods at my back and my grip automatically tightens on the strap of my quiver.
“Yes. A liquid, please.”
“Hm,” the shop keeper nods, writing something else down. “This isn’t going to be cheap, and you don’t look like you’re exactly living a luxuriant life. Are you sure you can afford it?” She glances back up at me, her stare piercing, her eyes cold but her gaze warm despite it.
Chewing on my lip, I nod.
“I can offer what coin I have, and if it isn’t enough then I’m prepared to pay in other ways.”
The shop keeper raises her eyebrows, leaning across the counter and resting her chin atop her palm.
“You’ve certainly piqued my curiosity now. What ‘other ways’ are you suggesting?”
It’s not like I didn’t expect it’d come to this, and hey - it’s not like I mind too much. She is stunning, really, in an unconventional and breathtaking way. If she’ll have me, I’ll gladly use my body.
Anything to make sure I can kill that pig.
“If you don’t mind letting me take a bath first, then I can give you the best night of your life.”
The shop keeper laughs, the sound tugging at some part of my heart that I’d shoved down and turned into anger and rage. Vengeance. Adrenaline for the hunt.
I don’t need to be thinking about this now. I need to focus on the shop keeper, on getting this potion.
“Confident in your skills of pleasure, are you? I’ll draft up a contract in that case. But I’ll have you know,” she smiles coyly, standing up straight. “My poisons are far more expensive than a single night. Do you still accept?”
It’s not like I even really have an alternative. I need this poison. For myself, for my hunt, and…for Oria.
“Yes. I accept.”