Revan sat at a table with surrounded by sweating, smelly men and a few slightly better smelling women watching while he and another patron of the Harlot 'n' Hound went shot for shot. Everyone was watching and waiting for the inevitable moment when one of them would collapse. They were two shots in and had ten more lined up in front of them. No one thought they'd make it to the end of the remaining ten but if they did, more would be ordered. Revan didn't care how many it took as long as the man with the thick beard went down first. Everything was free so long as he went down first. He had just convinced the man to go through with their little bet and while it wouldn't get him much, it was almost guaranteed payment. Birdy was still singing in the background, undeterred by the customers watching the drinking contest.
Those who didn't know the thick bearded man at the table didn't seem to pay much interest after the initial fascination of seeing the crowd gathered but all his friends were excited to watch the contest continue. The thick bearded man had finally said his name was Ernst and Revan did not really care. Ernst. It felt like a name a parent sneezed out and someone wrote down by mistake. Ernst stared Revan directly in the eyes while he downed his third shot of whiskey. Revan couldn't tell how it affected the man but he moved his hand slowly, trying to sell that he was more intoxicated than the other man without having ever truly experienced it. He'd only been able to watch others and imitate them. Revan took his shot held it up and then downed it, making a disgusted face as he tasted the whiskey for two reasons.
The first reason as that he thought it would help sell his ruse if he seemed to be having trouble drinking. The second was that he did not like the way whiskey taste. Well... Revan did not like it. Perhaps someone else would. Morton would never touch the stuff. Ernst smiled and thumped his friend on the chest with the back of his hand. "Looks like we have a napper, lads."
Ernst said with a bellowing laugh that was echoed by all his companions.
"No, you just drink shite whiskey."
Revan said as he turned the glass over and set it down beside his other two. "Always been more of a brandy man."
He could feel his toes wiggling beyond his control inside his boots. Yludih did not get intoxicated
but he was not fully free of the impact. Ernst grinned and shook his head, lifting his next shot and saying,
"Brandy is for the ladies, lad. Whiskey puts-"
"Hair on your chest, I know, I know, but it looks like you'd have done better with a drink to put hair on your head."
Revan said with a smug grin, maybe going a little bit too far. The humor seemed to melt off of Ernst's face and his friends fell a little quiet after their initial woos. Ernst downed his shot and slammed the glass down on the table.
He ordered. Revan picked up his shot and downed it on command, his guise of drunkenness slipping so he could focus more on the people around him who'd changed their disposition from friendly to less so very quickly following the comment about Ernst's hair. It seemed everyone had a sore spot and when you poked it, they got angry. Revan set his glass upside down, stacking it between two of the three shots glasses he'd already emptied to begin making a pyramid of shot glasses.
Revan said in a similar but less aggressive tone. The man's hand wobbled over to his next glass and he lifted it up, nearly spilling the drink as he did. Ernst downed the drink and he seemed to have a hard time coming back upright. His head went back with the shot and when it came forward again, it leaned too far forward and Ernst almost face planted into the table on accident. Revan gave him no time at all, grabbing the next show and drinking it before stacking it with his others. "You again."
"What? No is isn't!"
Ernst said, not having seen the shot taken while he was getting himself together.
"Actually it is, Ernst."
One of the man's friends said from the side, watching the contest with the same fascination as the others around him. Revan seemed more and more like a bottomless tank the more shot he took without changing his level of displayed inebriation. If any of them had studied the biology of the Yludih race he would be worried, but after a little more than twenty arcs in Rharne he had come to learn that most of the heavily drunk people he decided were good targets did not have a study of his species.
Ernst picked up his next shot and eyed it a little nervously. He swallowed his fear and the drink followed shortly behind it, Ernst swaying more now that before. How many did he have left in him before he went down and Revan could collect his reward? " 'rink."
So Revan did, he downed another shot and added it to his little pyramid of glasses which garnered him a strange look from someone in the crowd. Doing the shots was one thing but having the presence of mind and mechanical skills to stack the glasses? Revan hadn't noticed it the first time but on the fifth glass when the pyramid was nearly done, he did notice the man watching him. Ernst moved his hand across the table like a stingray swimming over the surface of the ocean and he slowly wrapped his fingers around his next shot. Revan grabbed his as well and as Ernst went to take his shot, Revan downed his own drink. "What're you doin'?"
"You were taking too long, your turn again."
Revan said as he went to stack his final class on the pyramid and let his hand slip, knocking the whole thing over to appease the watcher in the crowd who thought he was too coordinated. "Oop."
Revan mumbled as he began fumbling with them to reset his pyramid. Ernst grabbed his next drink and downed it, throwing his head and weight a little too far back and tipping his whole chair over. Ernst crashed into the ground with a loud thud and seemed to knock himself out for a few trills before he groaned loudly and rolled onto his side. Revan stood suddenly and threw a victorious fist in the air only to lower it when he banged his legs into the table. "Ow."
Revan took his cane to balance himself and he hobbled around the table to the downed Ernst. "Where's my gold, slick?"
Revan asked Ernst who was slowly pushing himself up onto his feet.
"I'm still crackling! This isn't over."
Ernst grumbled through a few labored breaths. "Sit back-"
Ernst tried to steady himself on a chair and his hand slipped causing him to fall towards Revan who mistakenly dropped his cane to catch the weighty drunk. He succeeded at first, bracing the big man's weight with his knees before remembering he was supposed to have a bad leg. He forgot because his hands had reached for and narrowly missed Ernst's coin purse as the man closed in on him. When the greed left his mind, the guise he was supposed to be maintaining returned. It took a few trills longer than it should have, but Revan collapsed beneath Ernst. The balding drunk took no care in standing, instead pushing down on Revan's stomach and ribcage to get back up onto his wobbly feet. "Did you just trip me you little shit?"
Revan slowly got to his feet again, favoring his leg until he had his cane in his hand once more. "You slipped."
"I don't slip!"
Ernst seemed to have only grown more and more angry from the moment Revan commented on his hair to the present. Maybe it was the alcohol... Great, Rev, you picked an angry drunk. Next time try a pretty woman. "Outside, we'll settle this."
"I'd rather not."
Revan said a little nervously as he looked around at Ernst's friends who were saying nothing to stop their companion. Would they follow up the challenge if he beat Ernst? "My leg... and... you know what, forget the bet. I'll let it slide."
Maybe that would defuse the issue.
"You're going to regret this, you've been drinking a lot."
"So have you."
"Yeah, but I didn't just fall out of my chair."
Ernst gave him a small shove and Revan stumbled, catching himself and keeping himself upright with his dark wooden cane before being lead to the door.