Secrat looked at Veras' large scimitar lying sheathed at his side. He always carried it around with him. It was a large blade that only stressed the sheer size of its owner.
Lukas Lewis looked over at Toucan for a moment with eyes that seemed pleading and afraid, and his voice ushered out words Secrat couldn't understand, like he was about to speak but decided to muffle his words. Lukas turned his head from Secrat, with hesitation, and started way toward his hole in the ground.
But, before that, before fully making his leave, he stepped in-front of Toucan. His back to Secrat. He heard what Lukas said in a voice that tried not to tremble, "Don't forget what he did. One of our own is dead because of him."
Toucan looked neither frustrated nor annoyed, nor did he look sympathetic to Lewis, his stone face expression watched Lewis leave and join his family. "Father," Secrat Copé started, but Toucan raised his hand and silenced him.
"We'll talk about this in the trophy room. Too many eyes and ears," Toucan
Secrat Copé nodded back at him and followed while the leader of The Red Flux led. As Secrat walked, he expected to see stares and confused looks on his way. That there would be members of The Red Flux standing outside of their homes wondering about the conflict that had arose. But there weren't any. Or at least, none Secrat noticed.
It was still early in the day and was to chance that many hadn't awaken from their beds yet. Even the Elites were unlikely to be awake.
Only reason Lukas was awake is because he wanted to be an Elite.
A thief in-training often accompanied Elite members and taught the trade by them. Once they were deemed fit to work alone, they were allotted certain privileges and opportunities.
Secrat was allotted the chance to work alone in a heist, one where he was expected to rob Azlak Temps, and the one where he ended up killing Elson Mans instead.
Before that though, a lot of manual labor went into it all, those wanting to be considered as Elite had the responsibility of tending to the horses and making for certain everything was in-order for the next heist.
Elson Mans was an Elite and was taking Lukas Lewis out for a steal.
Secrat followed. No eyes staring at him kept him calm. Lukas Lewis' reaction wasn't expected and made the thief feel a little uneasy. He was unlikely to be considered as in the good graces of the Red Flux after what happened, but he hadn't expected the emotion and boiling tension that he was feeling.
Toucan led him down the dirt-made steps of the Trophy Room. A lot of steps. Footprints layered every one of them. Wanderers weren't allowed to be in here, but at a glance, it was no different than one of the other dugouts.
Once they went down enough and the roof went over head, it looked something like the Sidian Inn in Acera. Doors on the left and on the right, each made of bamboo that had been bound together with rope. Each of them with a sign on the front and a name scribed onto it. These rooms belonged to members of the Elite. All the rooms were without vacancy, and so, for new recruits, a new room would be dug for them.
The hallway went on for long enough to assure they'd never run out of room for a new hole. The living conditions seemed strange to foreigners, but to The Flux and its thieves, digging their home was a rite of passage for selfbetterment.
There had been many times Secrat had walked through these halls to talk to Toucan, but he couldn't remember whether he'd ever seen inside of one of the rooms.
Down some more steps, Toucan's quarters went several more feet underground. A lot of work had been done before Copé had ever been born, and it likely took every man, woman, and child to help dig it. Candles lit every several feet and between each room of the Elite, as well as on the left and right side of the stairs.
The end of the stairs led to three rooms, the one walking in had Toucan's desk. He didn't spend that much time sitting around, so the area was often vacant and didn't have a whole lot when it came to decor. Toucan's large desk stood in-front of several wooden chairs, and the only time it was ever used was on occasion for when he had meetings with the Elite.
Secrat recalled having once snuck under Toucan's desk and eavesdropped on one of the meetings when he was a child.
The desk was wooden and riddled with dust. Toucan was hardly a slob but there was nobody in their right mind that would refer to him as cleanly or wellkept. His attention was always on different matters rather than filth and grime.
Regardless of his extravagant wardrobe.
The desk also had several scrolls, Secret knew not what they had on them. To the left of this room was another that also belonged to Veras, it was his bedroom. A bed rested in the middle as well as a small candle lying on a large drawer. Secrat didn't know whether Veras kept clothes in there or something else, but Toucan never struck him as the type to have hobbies. His life was the Red Flux.
To Copé's knowledge, he never took much to lovers or alcohol, and lived a dull and boring life absorbed by selflessness and the will to keep everyone else happy.
Which isn't really living at all, so Secrat assumed Toucan kept his whores a secret.
The third and final room was the Trophy Room, and its name told of what it contained. Behind Toucan's desk, and behind a large, dark-red cloth was everything that The Red Flux had. Not everything they had ever stolen, of course, that isn't how it worked at all in the troupe.
Father Toucan Veras wasn't a King, and there wasn't mountains and mountains of treasure behind him.
When a successful steal happens and a member or members of the Flux make out with loot, the items are taken to the Trophy Room, where they stay until a trip is made to the Whispey Deserts or another reputable area for merchantman. The Elites and Veras make sure everyone is clothed and fed, and in-return, they only ask for loyalty.
Secrat looked around the room with a certain feeling, like goosebumps, except his arms felt smooth, it all felt very strange to be back inside this room. The coolness of it and the way it smelled so strongly of dirt. The smell was suffocating and only gave-way to the feeling that everything was about to cave in on him.
The last time he had been here the smell didn't bother him. It must have been a long enough time that the smell was no longer engraved in his nostrils.
Father Toucan Veras walked forward. Unstrapping the scabbard and the scimitar off from his waist, he dropped it slowly to the side of his desk. It always looked so small when it was near Veras that Secrat forgot how easy it would've been to slice him in half with it.
Toucan motioned forward, informing Secrat of the chairs in-front of his desk for sit. Secrat, while already aware, answered his pleasantries and seated himself. Toucan sat in the chair in-front of him, behind the desk. His eyes ventured off from the ground and over to Secrat. The stare made The Thief feel less than welcome, but Toucan didn't mind that. Father might as well have been staring a hole into him by the way is glare refused to sway or waiver. Secrat smiled awkwardly. About all he could think to do in a time like this, and even though he was certain it'd lead to his hand being stomped on again, he went ahead and did it anyway. "Why have you returned?" Toucan's voice sounded about as angry as it always did, yet it was enough to unsettle the Thief on inflection alone.
Secrat gulped, his eyes venturing away from Father's. "Before I left, you may recall saying I'd be able to repent my sins and amend the wrong I'd done. You told me of a way to make all of this heart-ache lessen and to welcome myself back into The Red Flux." Copé chose his words like they were straight out of scripture, that was by design. It was meant to create the illusion of being this 'whole new person,' because he knew Father wanted that from him. And yet, Toucan didn't seem taken by his Son's words. He maintained his stoic expression of collected indifference.
"I remember," Toucan Veras responded.
He rested his hands at the top of his desk. Flat. Both of them large, just as the rest of him, and they looked as if they could wrap themselves around
Copé's skull like a small rock. Secrat hoped this would never be tested.
His hands were also filthy. Copé could see the black under the nails and it looked as though they hadn't been washed in some time.
Secrat nodded nervously at Toucan, "I believe I had done that, or at least taken a very necessary and meaningful step in achieving such," Copé answered, his words carrying as much confidence as they could under the circumstance.
Toucan's ears didn't exactly prick, but his eyes seemed to carry at least a flicker of curiosity by the statement. "Oh?" is all he said.
Secrat stood from his chair upon kneeling to one knee before his father's desk, like how a loyal knight would've done a King. He unsheathed the sword and presented it in his hands, lying flat. "I offer you the Sword of Tertius," he said at once.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)