"Has Harry come to an agreement with the big three yet or not?" Jack asked the acolyte, who answered him in turn.
"Lord Thorn has summoned you to discuss that."
"She doesn't know, leave her alone," Lucy snapped at Jack.
Malum grumbled listening to this, especially as Lucy went on, telling Jack, "I mean, why else would he be getting a second opinion from us?"
"Is that what you think this is?" Malum asked her.
Lucy turned to the assassin, whose mask betrayed nothing, and reiterated, "Um, yeah, I would, why else would they need us? Probably gonna ask who we would prefer to work with."
'That sounds too convenient,' Malum thought to himself.
'Why call each of us, why separate us from the rest of the Legion? This is something one of my novices would attempt, yet we're walking right into it... why...'
Astrid suggested, breaking up Malum's inner thoughts, "I thought we're here for the highest bidder?"
Quintus agreed, "Money matters, but there's a chance that the losing side has more money to bear. Harry may need our help discovering which horse is the best one to back."
'Speaking of strength, if this were a trap, an ambush would never work.
The five of us would take down just about anyone Gronina could throw at us, and we know better than to eat the food and drink of a foreign dignitary.'
Malum looked over at Lucy and Jack arguing and giving Quintus a headache as he had that thought.
Jack ceded to whatever logic Malum missed Quintus giving. "Fine, fine, I get it, money ain't worth all of us getting wiped out," but Lucy remained unconvinced.
Lucy tipped her head back as if she were laughing at Quintus's suggestion. "Oh please, whoever we join wins, if that weren't true, all three of them wouldn't be vying for our services."
"Is what you call what we do?" Malum asked her, drawing a rather serious glance from under Lucy's pirate hat. "Is killing a service to you? War an assignment?"
Lucilla Nero raised her finger to her hat, and lifted it off her face, hiding nothing of her feelings. "What else would I call it?"
Malum turned away, as if in disgust. It would be hard to tell, they couldn't even see his arms from under his cloak, his body language hidden as much as his expressions.
"Ultimately pointless for one," Quintus answered as if Lucy's question wasn't rhetorical. Quintus hid next to nothing and turned his chin up high above Lucy and her words about war.
But his demeanor lessened, and his arms fell away. 'It appears he can hear how naive he sounds.'
"There will be more wars after this one, there will not be peace no matter who wins, so ultimately, war is pointless," Quintus said, "we're just trying to survive."
Lucy raised her hand to tap Quintus's chest with her knuckles. "At least with the money we get today, surviving will become all the easier."
"Will it now?" Quintus asked. "Where I'm from, everyone tended to go after the one with the most. People oft thought they had the best food."
"You're awaited in this room," the acolyte interrupted them as she gestured to the door, "you'll find it unlocked."
Then she made her way far from them.
Lucy elbowed Jack, "Look, you scared her away."
"Why... why would I care? Also, how was it only me?"
They caught Astrid opening the door the moment their eyes were turned.
"You have to knock first!" Jack told her.
Astrid shrugged, "She said it was unlocked," and gestured them inside.
"It's still rude," Jack said as he entered.
Lucy entered behind him, but not without smirking at Astrid in a way that made the ax-woman roll her eyes.
As Quintus was about to walk in, Malum stopped him with a hand to his chest.
Quintus looked down at it, before looking back up at the assassin's mask. "Yes, Malum?"
"Did the rich have the best food?"
"Of course, they did," Quintus answered, and as he entered, he muttered, "and I hear they tasted even better."
Malum followed, glad that he picked a mask that hid the smirk on his face.