Weys was on the case. He wasted little time. He talked to Jorlief, who gave him the go-ahead, then caught a snooze over at Candlehearth Hall. He woke up early enough to break into the house of Aventus Aretino, the local bogeyman, without arousing suspicion. But Aventus wasn’t the killer Weys was looking for; actually, Aventus was putting a call out for a killer, and apparently Weys had answered it. And Aventus was nine years old.
“I knew it! I knew you’d come!” Aventus cheered and did a dance.
“Whoa, kid. What’s with the bones?”
“That’s my mom. She died of natural causes, but I had to use her bones, bladder, and meat in the evil ritual to call you.”
Weys backed up a few steps, looked behind him. “Me?”
“Yeah, you’re under contract from the Dark Brotherhood. You have to kill my teacher now.”
“That’s odd,” said Weys. “I don’t recall signing any contract.”
“You have to do it!”
“Because she’s mean, a mean, mean, meany-pants!”
“Can’t argue with that.” Weys exhaled and jotted the task down in his journal: Kill Teacher. “Listen, kid, I’ll do your dirty deed. A contract’s a contract. But it’s at the back of the queue, you have to understand.” Weys knelt down and showed the kid his extensive to-do list. “Right now, I’ve got a real detective job, and I told this woman up on the hill the other day that I’d find her some special salts, and then there’s this deal I’ve struck with the Graybeards in a place that’s very, very cold. They told me to go get a horn, and I agreed to do that, so I don’t know when exactly I’ll be able to get around to your assassination–that’s in a whole new neck of the woods, both geographically and morally.”
“I summoned you! You have to do what I say!” Whine, whine, whine.
“I know, I know. I get it. I’m just telling you that your petty third grade grudge assassination isn’t a priority for me, so it’ll get done when it gets done, kapish?”
“Whatever, I have a killer to find.”
Weys tracked the killer to a bloody door, which was locked. He consulted with Jorlief. Jorlief told him to talk to a murdered girl’s mom. The mom could give him a key to the house, which was the house of the murdered girl.
“Oh, this is going to be an awkward conversation,” said Weys.
“Listen, Mrs. Shatter-Shield,” he began. “I know you’re still grieving and are busy eating that piece of bread, but I need that key.”
Mrs. Shatter-Shield sighed and handed him a bloody key. Weys washed it off and went down the street to investigate. He found a secret panel in a false wardrobe, which opened onto another grisly scene.
Weys found some books that said, “I did it! Signed, Wuunferth the Unliving.” He went back to the palace to tell Jorlief, who didn’t need a whole lot of convincing.
“That sicko? Doesn’t surprise me.”
Jorlief and a lady guard went to arrest the Unliving. Weys followed them, believing it would be good entertainment and part of his just reward for sorting through so many corpse parts during his investigation. “Windhelm really should try to cut down on instances of dismemberment,” he advised Jorlief.
“It’s been my pleasure protecting and serving the people of Windhelm, Jorlief, but it’s cold here, and there has been a lot of death, and there’s a little kid in town who creeps me out and intimidates me, so I’m going to leave now.”
Jorlief nodded. “Aventus is a creepy little sombitch. That’s why I wanted him shipped off to boarding school. There’s no real law that says he can’t live in that house with his mother’s bones, but I just can’t stand the little bugger. Say, did he deliver you some line about the Dark Brotherhood and tell you that you signed a contract to kill someone?”
“Yeah. His teacher, as a matter of fact.”
“Look, you’re a good guy and I know your heart’s in the right place, but don’t kill anyone for that kid. That’s how his mom died. I just haven’t been able to prove it.”
Weys’ eyes widened and he left town.