The End Of A Crime

Cling. Cling. Pa-tink-tink. Pa-tink-tink.

The hammer bounces on the red glowing steel, slowly stamping the edges around the sizeable chip that notched the otherwise smooth edge. The blacksmith, a craftsman of many years, regarded this with a wary eye when the young man had presented it to him just moments earlier.

“That’s quite a break. Not the best way to cleave stone, lad. It’s a sword, not a pickaxe.”

An open palm featuring a gold ring inlaid with gems quiets the man.

“What was it that did this?”

The boy sits in the chair and weaves his fingers together, elbows on knees.

“I was on my way here when I crossed a clearing. As I reached the edge, I was attacked my a large man. I had never seen him before. He held a woodcutter’s axe- it was well made- the strike made the chip you’ve just repaired, and threw me to the ground. He got no second chance.”

The hammer stops. Hunched, he only listens.

“Your brother is still laying out there. And here is your axe back.”

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