The knife he held to her throat was jewelled, and his sickly sweet perfume filled my nostrils. The girl trembled in his grip.
"I leave with the girl," he repeated.
I had to think quickly. I was never faced with this decision before. As a paladin, I knew that I could not go back on my word. I hoped he knew it, too.
"You leave. The girl stays. We let you live." I said in my most authoritative tone.
"You won't keep your word."
"I have to. I'm a paladin." I replied. He smiled slightly when I said 'paladin'. Though his very presence made my flesh crawl and my stomach nauseous, I could not have him kill the girl, or take her into slavery. I had to deal.
"I don't believe you. The girl stays with me."
This was bad. Stalemate. "Just leave the girl and go," I said.
"You won't sacrifice her to get me, you can't. You're a paladin." He sneered at me. "I am impressed though. You got through my guards. I honestly didn't think you could. Still, touch me, and you deal with him. I don't think you'll survive."
Through all of this, the big guy in the corner was still, waiting for orders.
I didn't know what to do. I couldn't make a move. His option was just as unacceptable as him killing her before we could kill him.. There had to be another option. But I didn't see it. I was bound by my word, and I would not give it.
Surprisingly, the other party members said nothing through all of this. Until Logan said,"Clear a path. You can go. But the big guy stays."
I sheathed my swords even as the fat man sneered in triumph.
We stepped aside, and he moved to the room's exit, the way we had come.
Logan must have given a signal, but I didn't see it. Two of our mercenaries released their arrows, and the fat man, with the arrows in his back, fell like a sack of meat.
His bodyguard went nuts. But I was mad, and my weapons quick. I leaped at him, ignoring my injury, drawing and striking simultaneously. My left blade snapped like a twig on his armour. But my right hand blade found a gap and sank into his side, to the hilt.
He stopped, mid draw. "Urk.." The others cut him to pieces. Literally.
We found 100 platinum pieces on the merchant's body along with that fancy dagger. We collected the armour off the Big Guy. And in a back room, we found 6 more people taken for slavery.
Logan saw the way out, and I didn't give my word. He saved the girl, and my honour. My respect for him grew immensely.
We took them back to the temple of Chauntea.