“Because we don't have time for it,” Samuel said, firmly.
“He's right,” Lukas Lewis interrupted. “Secrat, that is.”
Samuel seemed a little surprised by it, doing a double-take on Lewis. Copé, meanwhile, wasn't taken by it. But was counting on it. Lukas Lewis was easily manipulated, especially by his own morality and need for vindication.
“This whole night has been nothing but useless bloodshed and nonsense, and if there is any way at all to make it a little more meaningful, I'm all ears for it.” Lukas added.
Samuel turned around for a moment, as if expecting to see an army of men traveling up the steps after them. When he didn't, however, he let out a breath and looked back to Secrat, “Proceed.”
Reaching down in his legging's pocket, Secrat brought out the key he'd stolen from the Knight. “I couldn't think of what this key went to earlier, thought it went to the cells. But, before I was identified, I was let into a room, and in it, I saw everything we'd stolen at the Aer Festival and more. I think this key gives us passage into that room, and I think if we're smart about it, we could leave with more than enough to show for our efforts.”
A reluctant nod from Samuel Syi let Secrat Copé lead the way down the stairs to the Castle's Trophy Room. The key worked as anticipated, and inside, they poured, eyeballing all of the items with The obvious items were chosen first. The Statue of Livius Reid was carried down by Secrat Copé, Samuel Syi and Lukas Lewis, taking their time down the plethora of stairs.
Meanwhile, Brutus Ess carried what he could, the ache in his leg made it difficult. That ended up being a couple of diamond-encrusted sais and a pair of katars of similar esteem.
Marc Sero carried handfuls of gold-bars, making it down and back up for a second-load before they were even halfway down with the Statue.
“After the Statue's loaded, that's all we'll be able to take,” Samuel snarled, grinding his teeth as they continued their way down the never-ending steps.
“Everything look good, Taison?” Lukas asked, him and Secrat, walking backward down the steps.
“Nobody I can see,” Taison said back. Walking behind them, cradling his broken appendage, like it was his contribution to the wagon. A very invaluable contribution, Secrat thought.
Marc Sero came back down the stairs with more gold-bars, running down fast. Once they made it down the stairs, they laid the Statue down in the wagon, amongst all the other items. It wasn't a bad get, all things considered, but the grand finale would be making it out of Italina with all of it, and themselves intact.
Samuel sat upfront at the reins. The carriage seated all the thieves, and more-so, with four horses up at the front. “Had to steal them from their stables, kept their carriages there too.” Sero said, climbing into the wagon in-front of the carriage, sitting in the back corner.
Secrat couldn't suppress a laugh. They found themselves sitting in the very same assigned spots they'd come to Italina in. As if all their thoughts unanimously paralleled, laughter came from all in unison.
Samuel Syi toted the reins, plucking and yanking, and soon, they were mobile about the city roads. The night was at its absolute blackest, over midnight or well-nearing, yet many fellow carriages were in the streets. The horses galloped by three smaller chariots that Copé could count in seconds.
They needed to be further out into the city. Before they scaled the Italina walls. The whole city of Italina sat in-front of the Amisoic Sea, and for some time, the top of the walls would only overlook the splashing waves of that ocean.
The feeling was an unreal one, as all laughter faded away and silence was allowed to take. Copé sprawled himself out, laying flat in the wagon and looking up at the stars. He could count them. The stars. And while an inopportune and inconvenient time, he found himself struck with an existential crisis. Some were no more distinguishable than those stars. Some thieves. Some knights. But, the moon. The moon was special and unique. Of all the stars, the Christique's, the Lukas Lewis', the Toucan's, or the Black Man and His Wolves. That's all they were. Stars. They were insignificant.
Indistinguishable. Unimportant. A waste. What about him?
An incomprehensible shriek followed suit. It belonged to Taison. Whose unofficially designated job as watchman at last paid off, his hands flailing like a crazed orangutan, his finger's poking and pointing like a pirate at the first sight of land. But it wasn't land he pointed at, but a carriage of Italina cavalryman. The three of them riding horseback, their armors looking more on the decorative side and their horses bard with chain-mail, it'd appear they were only just arriving back from the King's speech. But did they chase after the carriage because they recognized the carriage, or because they had since found out of the prison-break. Secrat presumed the former, accounting for the short numbers on their tail.
Copé rolled on his back and crawled toward the back-end of the carriage, meanwhile, Marc Sero readied an arrow for his bow.
Samuel continued at the reins, but the increasing speed of the carriage told he was aware of the situation.
Copé heard something knocking against the carriage, “They couldn't possibly have already gotten that close to us!” Copé whispered to himself, bobbing his head up out of the wagon. He ducked again fast, barely missing the swinging sword of one of the knights. A second later and his head would've gone its separate ways with his body. “Or, maybe, they could be.”
The Thief crawled from that area of the wagon, reaching for the katars. They were like nothing he'd used prior, holding them in his hands, he wasn't even for certain he was doing that correct. However, he brought himself up to his feet and stared off at the three knights. Still only three of them, it meant the others mustn't be aware of their escape. Copé walked forward, wondering what he'd possibly do.
He blocked a slash from the guard and made a stifled attempt at snatching the knight's sword in-between his two blades. The knight was soon able to retract his sword back over to him, however. Secrat leaned forward from the wagon and made a swipe of his own, barely missing his adversary's neck. Copé stumbled, his stomach leaned over the wagon to the outside, his nose pointed at the ground.
The sound of an arrow being shot behind him, soon followed by the clink of it hitting its mark. Copé looked and saw a horse falling over itself, taking the knight down with him. The only downside was it wasn't the knight grabbing The Thief's clothing, trying to pull him out from the wagon. He succeeded too, in part, flipping Secrat over the front of the wagon. Secrat landed with his feet on the knight's running horse and the front of the katars resting on the edge of the wagon. He felt the hand of someone inside the wagon grab his, too little too late, it'd seem.
The moonlight illuminated just enough for Secrat to see the face of the knight beneath his helm, his eyes looked maddened and ready to kill. He brought the sword up with both hands, intending to press it down into the stomach of Secrat.
Copé drove a boot at the knight's leg which did little to stop his attack, but it allowed Secrat to readjust himself, kicking off from the knight's horse, tossing the katars back, and leaving himself simply hanging from the side of the wagon. This brought back memories.
He brought himself back up into the wagon, rolling in and landing ungracefully on his back. Resting for a second. Secrat looked over at the weapons he had to work with. Someone had taken the sais for their own usage, and he had since decided never to touch the katars again. He snatched up a rope from one end and climbed back to his feet, sprinting toward the back end.
Brutus Ess laid uselessly in one corner of the wagon, his wounds admittedly making him no use for combat. Copé through the other end of the noose at Brutus, and smirked, “Hold onto that like your life depends on.”
Brutus obliged, “I'll do my best,” he said with a curious look on his face, eager for what Copé had in mind. The Thief, never one to disappoint, braced himself, both remaining knights were more taken by Marc Sero and Lukas Lewis' efforts. Sero with a bow and Lukas with the sai swords. Secrat took a breath and let it leave him. Of all the stars, the Christique's, the Lukas Lewis', the Toucan's, or the Man and his Wolves. That's all they were. Stars.
Secrat began his run but hesitated. He took a final breath. And ran.
He leaped out from the wagon, using the walls for extra support. The death end of the noose in-hand, and by some chance found himself landing in a seated position in-front of the knight. A comical aesthetic for those watching, no doubt, but Copé felt nothing short of terror. The knight was taken aghast as well. Almost enough that his reflex would send him tumbling off his own horse. Almost.
Copé hadn't the chance to attack, however. His surprise advantage was spent entirely situating himself on the horse. Once that was finished, he received a headbutt from the knight. “Fucking crazy,” the knight said. And, indeed, Secrat was, a 'fucking crazy,' that is. The Thief fell back to the side of the horse, dependent entirely on the noose he hung onto. The knight brought his sword out from his sheath. Secrat used his momentary obliviousness to climb beneath the horse, using the noose, as an assist to keep himself beneath the horse. Copé felt his hair descend to the dirt. His back less than a foot away from touching the ground. The horse's gallop never waned, and in a moment of shear lunacy, Copé plucked the foot of the knight startling him again.
The knight slashed his sword down in a missed attempt, and in that attempt allotted Secrat the means to pull his arm, bringing the knight down, almost off his horse. The knight refused to fall though, and in a position on the side of the horse, continued on the offensive. The horse began to slowdown, but to the dismay of the noose, which tugged it along.
Copé found himself on the receiving end of a punch from the knight, knocking his head down against the dirt. If not for the rope, he would've fallen to the ground.
Secrat fought back, for no reason in-particular throwing a headbutt of his own. It hurt him much, much, much more than it hurt the knight, but soon after that moment, he flung the noose over the head of the knight. The knight reacted fast, trying to slash the noose with his sword, but it yanked him too soon. He found himself tugged off from the horse and by the neck, chasing after the carriage. True to his word, Brutus did not let go.
Secrat readjusted, the horse at a complete standstill now, Copé brought himself up on the horse, seeing the lifeless knight off in the distance, still being pulled by the carriage. He slapped his feet to the side of the horse, who was easy to start running again.
In time, he caught up to them, the horse running beside Samuel Syi, “Enjoying yourself?” Samuel asked. He seemed to be.
“Not as much as some of the others,” Secrat answered, looking back at Brutus Ess, who yelped and hollered sadistically watching with mirthless amusement once the knight's body snagged against something and decapitated him.
Samuel had the same sadism carried in his grin, a moment where, with the adrenaline and their hearts pounding, they shared an unrelenting affection for infliction. Of anarchy. Of pain. Of Mischief.
“What happened to the third man?” Secrat asked, more curious than concerned.
“He fell back,” Samuel asked. “Think he is going back to inform the others.”
“It's time we ascend the wall. Amisoic Sea won't be a problem anymore,” Secrat fired urgently, looking behind him to make for certain there weren't any green auras were following them. There weren't.
Samuel Syi agreed, slowing the carriage and making a turn, having never strayed too far away from the Italinian wall.
The walls' huge towering never seemed greater. The once cold air of Italina, no longer cold, but rather, freezing. When the adrenaline vacated him, Secrat found himself shivering with discomfort.
The objective became simple once the carriage was stopped, but they moved fast regardless. In certain spots, they tied the nooses into knots, keeping the gold bars snug in-between them. On the same noose, they focused themselves on the Statue of Livius Reid.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)