The walk from the shady merchant to the residential district was a long one. Along the way, Eira began to act up. It was the first time she had seen so many people, clueless, Staxius hummed. A song he remembered from a childhood spent on a warzone. Neither did he nor his father knew where that soothing song came from, today was the first time he sang it.
Casually strolling through the street, a bag heavy with ten thousand gold, he watched. Under the guise of a caring father, he stared, checking all the inhabitants, all their movements and all their facial expressions. Filled with energy from a good mornings breakfast, time came for lunch. Peckish, after reaching the town square he sat down at a quiet lonely bakery. In the middle of town square, a statue as tall as the surrounding buildings oversaw the whole area. It was the statue of Lord Dundee, the ruler, and conqueror who hailed from the motherland; the main continent whose name is yet to be revealed.
Eira being as cute as she was, always brought attention to Staxius. He didnt dislike it but the gazes sometimes were malicious and filled with hate. Was it find to stroll around town with a babe He wondered as he took the last sip of coffee. “Thanks for everything,” Placing a few changes on the table, he left. “Now then, time is noon. Ive had my fair share of food, what about the others” Unwillingly, he headed towards the south; to the residential area. Walking further away from the heart of town, the buildings got less and less impressive. Manor changed into normal-looking homes. At regular intervals, you had taverns, as well as brothels scattered around. The latter was hard to spot compared to the former which was in plain sight.
“Hmm” Staxius quickly shifted his gaze upwards and behind him, “Probably my imagination,” the search continued.
Humming changed to whistling, he walked. “Master, over here,” Fenrir shouted, with half of her chest fully exposed. Every single guy had their eyes on her and the members of his party. Lust and jealousy were in the air, he felt it, the pressure was present.
“Hey Fenrir, thanks for calling out,” He spoke.
“No problem master,” Her voice changed from adult to childish. Following a recomforting smile, he asked, “Adelana may I ask why you chose this out of all the places to stay” Staring him in the face stood a one-story high apartment. The woodwork was beginning to decay, the sign was broken.
Some of the windows on the top floor were broke with stains which he guessed to be blood. Without any effort, the door slowly creaked and opened. Before he stood the owner, who headed inside prior to Staxiuss visit.
“Hello,” She spoke with a broken-down voice that resembled one of a drunken alcoholic.
“Hello,” He returned the greetings. “If you will, please follow me inside,” She requested. Sadly, the payment for one night was completed. “Brother, stop gazing and take the stuff inside,” Undrar spoke jokingly. Speechless he stood, Alyson placed all their luggage down near his feet and headed inside. One after the other, they entered.
“Master, Ill take the carriage somewhere safe,” A quick, *Heya,* Adelana left. Eira seeing Staxius expression began to laugh frantically. “Here I was thinking of staying in a nice comfortable room.” No further was contemplating his situation going to bring him any good, with a big inhale, he entered.
“Master, our room is number five,” Fenrir shouted as she climbed the stairs. The bottom floor was filled with thugs and bandits. Without realizing it, Adelana had accidentally walked into one of the unofficial hangout spots. All-round tough looking guys stared him down with murderous intent.
Every single one had battle scars; even the owner had a small one. For a lady, her complexion was white, but that wasnt very apparent. Her hair was all oily, her stature as one of someone overweight. Her height made her look like a rather short snowman. She returned to her counter which was both used as the reception and bar.
Upon hearing the angelic voice of Fenrir, everyones gaze shifted from her breast to Staxius; the man she called master.
“Hey you, the boy with the girly hair, are you a slave broker or something” A man, bald with an impressive beard, shouted. Chugging down a massive beer mug, he asked again, “Boy are you a slave trader” His tone got louder. Everyone around got agitated, subtly, they whispered. “AH FUCK IT,” Taking his giant battle-ax which rested against the counter, he swung and stopped just near Staxiuss neck. Indifferent, using the index finger, he lazily removed the once sharp blade. “If youll excuse me, sir, I have business to attend to.” With a courteous bow, he headed upstairs.
“AHAHAH,” everyone began to laugh, “That kid is something, isnt he Jimmy.” The bearded man laughed as well, “LETS GET BACK TO DRINKING.” He ordered.
*Knock, knock,* “Its open,”
Seeing everyone in such a cramped space, Staxius turned around and stepped out. “Stop right there,” Ancret playfully spoke. “Did you expect us to be naked,” She teased him.
“As if I have the envy and audacity to do something so perverse, it truly ails me that you see me, Staxius Haggard, as a lowly peeper.” He fired back.
“Come on brother, dont tease her.” Undrar stepped in.
“Ok, can someone please explain to me how eight people are going to spend the night in such a cramped two-bedded room.” He sighed.
*Knock, knock,* “May I come in” Adelana asked.
“Please do,” Staxiuss frustration grew.
The moment the door opened; her master began to assault her with countless questions without taking the time to breathe. Overwhelmed, she covered her ears. “Bottom line is, I want every one of you to take this and head further into town and get a better place to live at,” Muted, she was still able to understand Staxiuss words thanks to lip reading.
“What do you mean head further into town” Confused her eyes turned blank.
“Listen up, youve walked into the hideout for thieves and bandits. So, I want you and your sisters to take Millicent and maybe Fenrir further into town and stay there for five days.”
“But sir, that will cost up to more than we can afford, a night here is only one gold and two silver which comes with food.”
“Adelana, Im your master, no need to worry about the financial issue, here.” Using a pouch he bought earlier, he handed her one hundred gold pieces. “Take this and get a good place to live. I dont care if you share or stay in separate rooms, just get out of here.”
“But master, we cant possibly accept such…”
“QUIET, stop this insolence at once, Ive made up my mind. Tis not my will to remind you that Im your master, hence you shall obey my order.”
“I apologize for speaking out of terms.”
“I apologize as well for speaking so loudly, please I want you girls to be safe and to rest comfortably until our journey guides us away.”
“Thank you for your generosity.” The conversation ended; the rest of the silver guardians just stared in awe at the sight of two-person bickering. “Undrar, please take care of Eira for me, I know its a lot of responsibility. Ill pick her up in the morning and you can watch over her at night, shes an angel when she sleeps.” No problem, her eyes sparkled. Over the course of time, Undrar got attached to Eira, and so was she to her.
“M-master, w-what a-about you” Ayleth quietly asked.
“Oh, simple, Ill stay here.” He replied nonchalantly. “WHAT” Adelana spoke out. “Didnt you make a big speech about this place being a hangout for bandits,” Undrar added.
“No need to worry, Im used to places like this, furthermore, this room is luxurious enough for me.” Checking his pocket watch as he laid on the bed, time past was now two hours. “Phew, Im finally alone, the way I like it. I was able to convince them to leave.” *KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK,* “Open up thief,” The door rattled from each punch.
“They finally showed themselves, the bandits.”
*Boaw,* The door broke open. Staring him down were three armored swordsmen face hidden by a scarf. From head to toe, their clothes were black for the exception of the silver chest plate. Neither did they have leggings nor gauntlets, probably to reduce the sound it made.
“Question, are you lovely gentlemen from Thunderstain”
“Boss, he knows about our identity,” One of the boys whispered unknowingly.
“Shut up,” The leader gritted. “And what if we are” he continued.
Then its simple, I surrender. Effortlessly, he got onto his knees and raised his arms. “See Boss, anyone who hears our name cant but cower in front of us.” They boasted.
“Well accept your surrender, follow us and dont make a scene.” The evening drew close, with the help of the setting sun, handcuffed. Staxius followed the men to their hideout. The walk was long and before they knew it, the little journey took him outside of Dundee. Heading towards the northwest, a small outpost came into view. The walk all together took three hours. Cutting through the forest, crossing a ravine, zig-zagging here and there, despite the attempts to hide their tracks,
Staxius remembered everything. Hidden on the other side of the dense forest small yet thick, the outpost was spotted. It was built on a small plain which is then followed by another forest. We could have said that it was hidden inside a big forest, however, they were indeed two different woodlands.
The place they used was an old broken-down garrison abandoned thanks to the forest who began to fight back against humans. Separate yet one, in a few years, if nature had its way, both forests would surely meet as proven by small saplings growing. A dirt path led them into the base, unimpressed Staxius carefully studied the infrastructure. A banner with a big thunder insignia was atop the northern facing tower. For a band of bandits, the henchmen were well mannered, neither did they swore at the passing Staxius nor did they try and intimidate him. Tents, a blacksmith, a merchant, and even a baker were present inside that garrison. A small town in of its own, the place looked pitiful but people were moving about. They all wore black clothes with a thunder insignia on the right side of their chest. Some even bow politely as they marched onwards to the leaders tent.
“Sir, weve brought the person you requested,” One of the men shouted.
“Is he dead or alive,” A woman replied, her voice was hardened.
“Hes very much alive,”
“Let him in and leave at once,” Still handcuffed, they pushed him inside. The tent was dimly lit. While the eyes got its bearing back, a familiar voice spoke. “Thats him, the man who stole YOUR money,” The emphasis was put onto theyour part. Adjusted, “Now, now merchant, that isnt the way to speak to a fellow customer,” Cockiness filled his tone.
“Customer, more like a thief,” He stood firm. “The pot has no right to call the kettle black,” He smirked. The insults went to and fro until she spoke out, “Stop this nonsense, both of you.” Staxius got the last laugh as he pulled out his tongue at the last instant.
“Mister Staxius, is it true that you stole money off this man here” She asked tone turned serious.
“But of course not, I will never hope to deceive a witty person such as him, Ive only but told him my price for the goods I brought were exquisite and rarer.”
“Exquisite and rare you say, HERALD BRING IT.” Thrown onto the ground, all the stuff Staxius stole laid to rest. “Are you saying that this junk is worth ten thousand gold”
“If you put it that way then no, this is probably worth fifty gold pieces at most, however, what I asked ten thousand gold pieces wasnt for the goods but for his life.” Seriousness seeped into his speech.
“Is that so, you really think this crooked nose mans life is worth that much Surely you jest.”
“Tis was my estimate at first, from the way he presented himself to all the accessories he wore, most of them were pure gold whose price I dare not speak.”
“Youre quite the observer, my dear Staxius, this man indeed is useful to me as well as the name Thunderstain. As you see, in my hands I hold this crest, passed down from generations to generations. Said crest holds the power of a Viscount.”
“How amusing, are you implying that your activities arent in the least immoral thanks to that crest, now my lady, youre the one who jests.”
The source of this content is n/ov/elb/in[./]net'
“Staxius, he who holds power holds the law,”
“I couldnt have agreed more, hence youll excuse my rudeness.”
*Death element Activate: UNLEASH AURA*