Belor’s was still closed this early in the day. Titus poured another drink for his father while Bug cleaned the previous night’s mess off the tables.
“Damned if I know who burnt it down!” Aleus grimaced, gulping another ale in as many minutes. Titus passed another drink to the old man. After losing his establishment in the fire the night before, the least Titus could do was help the man drink himself unconscious.
Aleus paused part way through his third drink to belch. Lentius, leaning calmly against the wall, took the opportunity to ask some questions about the arson. “So you really have no idea who might have done it, or why? Nobody has it in for you?”
Aleus shook his head violently. “Everyone liked the Thrashing Badger. We had the cheapest ale on the harbour!”
“But what about you, anyone not like you?” Lentius continued his investigation.
Aleus peered into his empty mug before Titus filled it up. “Me? Nah, everyone likes me.”
Lentius stroked his chin. “Well if not you, who then?” He glanced at Bug, the only other person who was at the pub at the time of the attack. Would Basili’s Boys have gone to that much trouble to get revenge on the halfling? Unlikely.
“There were two other buildings burnt down last night,” Lentius thinks aloud, “The Silver Star music store and one of the estates in the Greens. How are they linked?”
Aleus throws a handful of peanuts into his mouth. “That Shensen’s a troublemaker,” he says between chewing.
“And so are half your patrons,” Lentius adds. He and Titus share a glance. “Yeah, maybe that’s it. The attack didn’t target you, but your customers. Without it, where will they meet?”
“At that bloody Clenchjaw’s, that’s where,” Aleus curses his old friend and long-term rival Rinston.
“The Badger and the Silver Star, both locations frequented by critics of our fair empress.” Lentius grabs his cloak. “I’ll go ask some questions – discreetly. Let’s see who’s to blame for these attacks. Then we’ll mete out some unofficial justice.”