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Andrew Dobell Author

The Magi Argent Bundle - EBOOKS

The Magi Argent Bundle - EBOOKS

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The Complete, 3 Book, Magi Argent Series.

Includes the prequel "Greymalkin."

I was just a dealer in Magical trinkets, but one bad deal later, and I faced a choice;
Work for the Magi Council, or they take my Magic, as punishment.
And that was just Tuesday!


My name’s Atticus Argent, and I never cared about the war between the Magi factions. It’s not my fight. I just want to do my thing, live my life, and have some fun.
Just ask Greymalkin, my cat. But don’t scratch her belly. She’ll claw your face off.


But that all changed after an ill-fated deal when I got dragged before the Magi Council.
One quick reprimand and an impossible choice later, and I was a fully paid-up agent of the council, complete with an annoying chaperone.

Now I’m investigating the very black market deals I used to arrange, hunting down Magical serial killers and investigating global conspiracies.

No one ever said life as a Magus was easy, but mine’s becoming downright deadly.

Magi Argent a gritty, dark Urban Fantasy series for anyone who enjoyed The Dresden Files, the Nate Temple Series, or the Iron Druid Series.
This collected edition includes all three of the Magi Argent books.

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Bad Deal
London

“Well, that’s not intimidating at all,” I muttered as I walked into the creepy, disused warehouse and spotted the spread of figures deeper inside. They were little more than silhouettes—dark in the shadows of the dimly lit building, and they were watching me intently.
I was expected, but part of me still felt like turning on the spot and walking right back out. I’m no wimp, but I’m not an idiot either, and something about this deal had seemed off right from the start.
Normally I’d say no when I got a red flag like that, but this was for Conor, a good friend and client, and I didn’t want to let him down.
“If this all goes to shit, I’m blaming you,” I added.
~Me?~ the familiar voice sounded in my head, silky smooth, feminine, and powerful. She had been my constant companion for twenty-five years, and I got a certain amount of reassurance hearing her talk.
My long, black coat shifted and I looked down to see a pair of bright, golden eyes, looking up at me from the shadows inside of it.
“I need to blame someone,” I insisted.
~Your logic, as always, baffles me, Argent. But do as you wish.~
“Sympathetic as always, I see.”
~I’m not here to soothe your ego, Argent. You took on this deal.~
“I know. Doesn’t make it a good idea, though.”
~Aren’t they always bad ideas?~
“What, my deals, or just deals in general?”
~No. Your ideas.~
“Shit, you’re in rare form today. I feel very ‘seen’ right now.”
~Let’s get this over with,~ Greymalkin replied and slipped back into the shadows of my coat.
“My thoughts exactly,” I muttered as thoughts of another deal, twenty-five years ago filled my mind. Greymalkin was a constant reminder about the perils of buying and selling things on the Magical black market, and what would happen if I was careless. As I walked into this frankly creepy building, those memories were ringing loud and clear in my head, which was starting to put me on edge.
Flashes of memories from the house that had been raided by Nomads back then ran through my head. I remembered finding Greymalkin’s former partner, and the mess he’d been left in, because of my actions.
They were not pleasant memories, and Greymalkin had served as a constant reminder to be more aware and circumspect. And yet, here I was, going against my instincts and walking into a deal I wasn’t one hundred percent convinced about.
But Conor had been a good friend to me for a long time now, and he’d never put me into a bad situation. Surely he wouldn’t start now.
Would he?
I grumbled to myself, feeling torn about what to do, but in the end, my loyalty to Conor won out. Besides, he wasn’t the only friend I’d brought into this thing.
“I’ll try to be quick, Greymalkin, promise.”
She didn’t reply, but I could feel her mood through the Link anyway, and she wasn’t happy.
Sucking in a deep breath, I pressed on and crossed the distance to Conor, who stood at the fore of the group. He smiled at me as I approached, but unless I was mistaken, it was a nervous smile rather than a genuinely happy one. A glance around at the other people in attendance revealed a wall of stony faces that did not improve my mood. I recognised most of Conor’s crew.
Miles, Demi, and Keaton, but everyone else was new, and all but one of them was well-armed, and my Aetheric Sight confirmed that they were enchanted weapons.
Wonderful.
Conor and his crew were Riven. The only other Magus here, apart from myself, stood a short distance beyond Conor, staring at me with a perpetual frown.
Like all Magi, he glowed brightly with Essentia in my Aetheric Sight and he wasn’t attempting to hide it. I took one last look around me to take in my surroundings as I crossed the final few steps to Conor.
To my left, the outer wall of the warehouse with its high windows blocked any meaningful exit or cover. To my right, however, the rest of the complex spread out, filled with machinery, production lines, walkways, and all manner of places to hide.
If things got hairy, that’s where I’d go.
“Argent,” Conor said in greeting, holding out his hand. “It’s been far too long. It’s good to see you.”
“And you,” I replied, taking his hand. He was right, it had been a while since we’d worked together. “Too long my friend. I hope you’ve been keeping well.”
A slight flicker of concern flashed over his face, but he quickly recovered. “Yeah, I’m good, thanks. You know. Can’t complain.”
Nodding, I glanced at the Magus behind him. “Who’s grumpy?” I kept my voice low, but I was under no illusion that the man knew exactly what I was saying, even from several metres away.
“Um, that’s my client, Dalton.”
I raised my eyebrows. “And you brought him to the deal?”
Conor shrugged. “He insisted.”
“Did he?” I replied, my voice even.
“When’s the seller getting here, Magus?” Dalton called out, his arms crossed.
I eyed the man for a moment before answering. “Soon.”
Dalton pulled a face and glanced at one of the armed thugs that stood nearby. The thug shifted in place, and although he made no other move, he looked like he was itching for a fight. My feelings regarding this deal were not improving. The end of the deal would be especially tricky, once payment had been made and the goods handed over. I had the distinct impression that these guys were going to try something.
I returned my attention to Conor. “Is everything okay?”
“Just peachy,” he replied, but his eyes told a very different story. I considered reaching out to him with a Mental Link, but Dalton would see the Magic, and I had no idea how he’d feel about that. Better to keep things open and above board.
“Okay,” I answered as I heard footsteps behind me. Turning, I spotted Enos walking in with two others. All of them were Riven, and the only thing Magical about them were the items they wore and the case that Enos carried.
Turning away from Conor, I approached Enos, walking away from Dalton and the thugs.
“You made it,” I said, and held out my hand, which Enos shook with a firm grip.
“For you, always, my man.”
“Careful,” I whispered as I pulled him in for a hug. Something I never did, but it allowed me to get close and hopefully speak to Enos without being overheard, and without resorting to Magic. “This might go south, quickly.”
“Understood,” Enos replied and pulled away. He was a large man, stocky, and a little overweight, but powerful.
By contrast, Conor was slim and fit, but I was taller than all of them.
I walked with Enos to where Conor was standing beside a table that had been placed in the middle of the open space.
“Conor, this is Enos. Enos, Conor.”
“Pleasure,” Conor replied.
“I’ve heard of you,” Enos replied. “It’s good to finally meet you.”
“Any friend of Argent’s is a friend of mine,” Conor answered.
“Indeed,” Enos replied. “How’re things for you both, what with the new law from the Council? Business okay? I think it might actually make things easier for us.”
“You mean apart from hiding from them?” I snarked.
“Yeah, apart from that,” Enos replied with a smile.
“Sorry, I’ve been out of the loop for a while,” Conor replied. “What new law?”
I couldn’t help but frown at Conor. It wasn’t like him to be unaware of current developments. “The Council has banned conjuring money. It was apparently getting out of hand, destabilising the global economy, and causing all kinds of problems, so they went with the nuclear option and banned it. That’s what I heard, anyway.”
“Oh, well, I suppose that’s good,” Conor replied and glanced back at Dalton, who just continued to stare at us. “We can probably use actual money for deals now, as it’ll have more value to the Magi.”
“I guess,” I replied. “Depends on if everyone goes along with it.”
“I think most will,” Enos speculated. “There’ll always be those who don’t, but if the Council comes down hard on the rulebreakers, then I think that will be beneficial to most. Besides, it’s not as if the Magi don’t have enough ways to make money without conjuring it from thin air.”
Nodding, I shrugged. “Fair point.”
I heard Dalton sigh. “As fascinating as this is, ladies, can we get down to business? I have places to be.”
“Sorry,” Conor muttered. “So, what have you got for us, Enos?” He seemed even tenser than he had been just a few moments ago if that was even possible. What kind of hold did this Dalton have over him?
“Alright, well, I have three items, as asked for, and I propose that you get two, and Atticus here takes the one leftover, as his payment.”
“Sounds fair to me,” Conor replied and nodded to me.
“That works,” I replied, satisfied with the arrangement. I wasn’t working for free, after all, and another enchanted item was always welcome. But as the suggestion was made, I could see Dalton’s expression changing out the corner of my eye.
“I don’t get all of them?” Dalton asked.
Conor stiffened as the man called out.
“It’s quite normal,” Enos answered, challenging him, apparently unaware of the dynamic at play here.
I hissed through my teeth at Enos’ words. I didn’t want Enos to piss this guy off too much.
“Is it? Well, I don’t fucking like it,” Dalton said. “If I want all three of whatever shit you managed to pull together, I should get all three.”
Enos looked over at me.
“I’m sure we can come to some kind of agreement,” I said in an attempt to smooth things over.
Conor turned and walked over to Dalton. They spoke in hushed tones. I looked up at Enos, and pulled a face, gritting my teeth.
“Who is he?” Enos mouthed to me.
“A Magus,” I mouthed back, and Enos’ eyes bugged for a moment, then he nodded his understanding, muttering a curse under his breath.
After a few moments of hushed words, Conor walked back over, placed his hands on the table, and sighed. “Okay, let’s see what we have.”
Enos placed the long case he held on the table and opened it, shooting a worried glance over at me as he did so. Inside where three items. A long black wooden rod with runes carved on its shaft, a simple black ring of metal that should fit over a finger, and a metallic sphere.
All three items glowed in my Aetheric Sight marking them as Magical, and I had a fairly good idea what kind of Magic or effect they would have from reading the ambient signatures they gave off.
“Three fine items,” Enos said, starting his pitch. “Any of which would make a fine addition to your gear. Firstly, we have the Blasting Rod. It shoots fireballs out the end. Fairly self-explanatory, that one. Destructive but elegant. Next, we have the ring. But this is no ordinary ring. It’s been called a Weapons Ring by some and conjures enchanted weapons to your hand. To the best of my knowledge, it’s been in circulation within Magi society for hundreds of years. And finally, this innocuous little ball is a powerful gravity grenade. Throw it, and anyone in the area of the effect is going to get real cosy with everything else in the area. It’s quite nasty, but also reusable, provided you can retrieve it.”
Conor looked back at Dalton, who just nodded once.
Turning back to us, Conor leaned on the table and sighed. “We want all of them.”
“That was never the deal,” Enos replied. “You take two, Argent takes one.”
“It’s fine,” I replied, just wanting to get it over with.
“No, it’s not. This is not how these things go,” Enos replied. “Magus or not, he’s not fucking us over.
“No deal,” Dalton replied stepping a little closer, followed by one of his armed goons. “I’m leaving here with all of those items. But, I suppose I could be fair to you Atticus, as well as you, Enos. So, what will it be? Hmm? Money, perhaps, now there’s this silly little law? Or maybe you’d prefer some kind of information? I’m sure there’s a lot we know that would be useful to someone in your position.”
I frowned at the man, with his dark floppy hair and sunken eyes. He looked unwell, and I felt slimy talking to him. Like I was dealing with a backstreet car salesman.
“No?” he continued. “Okay, well maybe we have an enchanted item of our own that you’d like? Or could it be that your tastes lie elsewhere? Maybe you want something that only someone like myself can get for you. Favours from someone in power, or a slave of some kind?”
“I want nothing from you,” I replied. What he was offering sounded very much like a deal with the devil, rather than payment for services rendered. But if he was genuinely offering some of those things, rather than just being glib, then I was starting to get an idea of who this Magus was, and what faction he belonged to. I just hoped I was wrong. I’d been careful not to deal with any Nomads directly for years. It just wasn’t worth it.
But if I was right, I was starting to feel rather worried about Conor. What had he gotten himself into?
“Nothing?” Dalton asked. “Are you sure?”
“Quite sure.” I turned. “Enos, I think you should reconsider this deal.”
“No,” Conor cut in. “Please, we can do this. You’re a friend, Argent. Let me owe you one.”
“What are you doing with this guy, Conor? This is madness.”
“Just do the deal,” Conor answered. “Please. I need this.”
“Why? What have you gotten yourself into?” This whole thing stank to high heaven.
“Please,” Conor pressed.
“Listen to the man,” Dalton suggested. “I don’t think you want the alternative.”
“And what would that be?”
Dalton merely smiled at me, and I had a growing sense that this was going to spiral out of control at any moment.
Magic flared in the room, and several figures snapped into existence around us. Essentia pulsed and flared.
Dalton’s goons turned and opened fire. People yelled and screamed. Gunfire barked.
I ducked and ran.