The soft giggling voice in my ear lays many of worries to rest, "Husband, the Carthi have no unfinished deals. That's what allowed them to spread their little business so far."
I smile at the monstrosity before me. Looks aside, it seems that these creatures are, if nothing else, well regarded by the other races of this planet.
"Well, Carthi I'm glad you're here. I was just going to go look for you actually."
The Carthi stiffens where it stands. "Carthi always ready for transaction. King must just ask."
The same slow paced speech as the last one. Their raspy voices at jilted speech make their already intimidating form, that much more alien.
"Okay Carthi, I need one body guard. I'm also going to need a smithy. Do you think you can locate those...." As I even begin the request the Carthi is already taking out an impressively sized book.
Handing it over I begin to leaf through the pages, "All here should work well for king. All good."
Going through the book is an arduous and methodical task that would take me several hours if I devoted the time to it that I should.
I am of course not going to do that. Closing the book firmly I look at the Carthi. The shine coming off his black exoskeleton makes it look evil and menacing, but it's actions have been very different.
They attempted to take advantage of me, but only in the most basic of ways. Once caught they acted with honor and upstanding.
"Carthi, who would you suggest as my blacksmith?" I ask. The Carthi stays silent for several seconds, and merely looks at me...I think...
After some thought it seems to shudder back to life and quickly snags the book from my hands. The Carthi opens it near the end and points out a name to me.
"Gizzi is good black smith. Gizzi family use to make armor for Orc King. Dead now."
I nod my head at the stilted speech and look at the information laid out on Gizzi.
Gizzi was once the imperial armorer for the Orc King Garneth, who was subsequently defeated 30 years ago by the Orc King Liaz. According to the Carthi revolutions are common for the Orcs, but thankfully much of their aggression is targeted towards themselves instead of banding together to wipe out the other races. Oddly Orcs really like the other races and praise tourism highly. They only seem to really dislike each other.
I nod at the suggestion the Carthi made. What we need are mass produced weapons, and a lot of them. Gizzi knows the workload, there is already a smithy in town that has gone unused since Ravvin left.
"Okay Carthi, I want Gizzi. Also get me a bodyguard, someone who can watch my back when I'm asleep or busy."
The Carthi nods at my request, but before it is given the chance to withdraw Maya is quick to call out, "Oh, please make sure whoever you pick has tight lips. We've had some trouble with rats around the manor recently."
Maya delivers the words with grace and composure, but the chilling tone in her words shakes my heart.
I seriously married one crazy little snake didn't I?
The Carthi nods once at me, "King will receive Smithy in 2 days, but body guard is ready!" The Carthi seems to swell with pride at being able to easily accomplish the first half of his delayed deal so quickly.
"Oh good, go ahead and let them in. They should probably meet Maya first anyway." My smile is nearly falling off my face.
'I can't believe how well this all went! Wives aren't even that pissed off at me! Now the Carthi is going to be solving my blacksmith problem. After this I should write a letter to Gazin and bully him into making Caravans come here. As long as we can have trade we can have money.
Money and weapons, a winning combo for the ages.
The Carthi retreats quickly with promises to return soon. Small footsteps soon echo in the hallway, heading towards the inner room that Maya and I reside in. While I could have spoiled the surprise and spied my new bodyguard in the hallway, I wanted to indulge a bit.
That decision was wrong.
Filling my doorway is a figure that almost blows me away.
Standing at a very diminutive height of Four feet and Eleven inches, with soft Mocha skin, piercing black eyes, and two twin nubs for horns. "Asmodeus?"
The words barely leave my lips before Asmodeus comes crashing towards us, "You're here! I was looking all over for you! Especially with what you said after you got my broach back! I was waiting like you said and...." Asmodeus seems to finally decide to use his god damn brain. He turns to look at Maya and breaks off what he was saying.
'Oh good, looks like he has some brains at least.'
"Oh, so you're the wife huh?" Asmodeus asks of Maya. He sounds...haughty and confrontational.
'Dear god no!'
I quickly try to get between the two of them. "Sooo yeah I met Asmo here when I was doing my training, helped HIM with a small errand. Now we're friends right Asmo?"
I implore Asmodeus to play things cool. My eyes wide and beseeching.
Smiling at me Asmodeus seems to pick it up, "Yeah, he got me back a broach that I used for some thugs. But, that's not important. When the Carthi told me that I was going to have to work for you I simply couldn't hold it in! I was worried after you disappeared like you did! If you had said when you were leaving I could have given you a proper send off."
I can't help but feel honored. "Well thank you Asmodeus." While he struggles to maintain eye contact the gratitude does wonders for his mood. Judging from the fierce blush and fidgeting at any rate.
Thankfully it seems that I was able to get through another fire unscathed.
"For now Asmodeus just have one of the maids prepare a room for you okay?" He scampers away happily. I sigh softly as my tension starts to slowly meld away.
"So, pray tell, why exactly was that incubus so in love with you?" Maya asks casually, but my entire body freezes at the question.