It was because Brutus Ess he'd die today. Not on his accord, or an ambitious heist, but fighting in a bar in the defense of strangers.
Secrat saw the pale and petite fist of Ezic fly forward, over him. His body damp with blood as well. The fist returned from the muscular man was stronger and sent Ezic back down to the floor.
In a final wind, Copé muscled himself to his knee again, though, he had half a mind to lay and accept his death. Instead, he took a chance and launched himself at the man, shoulder tackling his leg. The muscular man reacted.
Falling back, he almost fell from his feet, but managed to keep his balance.
That was all Copé could bring himself to do. But, seconds after, The Giant, who had gotten his hands on the large glass bottle, brought it down over the man's head like an ax. The bottle shattered, and from the force involved, it looked as though the man's skull did as well.
Copé let out a sigh. This man was dead.
Beneath him, Copé felt a waterfall of alcohol spill onto him, along with a small shattering of glass amongst probable left-over fragments of the man's skull.
The man fell, and after, Secrat heard the entrance door swinging open, and turned his head in time to see the remainder of their opposition fleeing from the Pub.
Turning back, The Giant was without a doubt the second scariest thing The Thief had ever seen.
His hand dripped with blood, and he still head the neck-end of the bottle in his hands. Having known him a prestigious several minutes, Secrat saw his face for what it was. A man scared and upset. But someone who didn't know him that long would've seen someone completely manic. Ricar released the glass from his hands. Secrat could see tears streaming down his face.
The Thief doubled checked to make for certain Ezic was accidentally killed in the scrimmage somehow. He wasn't. No, Vicar’s older “bigger” brother would live to be pale another day. Why did The Giant cry?
Secrat fought back to his feet. His back-ached. Everything ached. But he'd endured worse. The worst pain was in his hand. He was doing better than either of the dead people though. So, there was that.
“You can blame both the murders on me. Tell them it was self-defense and give them an improper description of us. No reason for you two to face fault on this.” Copé stopped, looking over at Brutus in all his beaten glory. His shirt had dark red bloodstains and his face looked bruised and swollen. He was alive though, and that's all that was important.
Secrat noticed The Giant still crying and felt confused. “Did you hear me? We'll take the blame for all this; you and your brother won't face penalty.”
But The Giant's streaming tears and bloodshot eyes continued. “I killed this man.” The Giant said with an upset stutter.
The Thief looked on in amazement of the spectacle. The Giant felt guilt over the murder. A bad feeling. A bothersome feeling. And he wept out of remorse. Something Secrat had never done before.
As Ezic Bell returned to his feet, his arm favoring his back, Copé felt it as a great an opportunity as any to pursue elsewhere endeavors.
The Fat Man with the knives jutting into him like some kind of inverted porcupine took his eternal slumber with a pool of blood surrounding his lifeless corpse. In his pockets, the man had a bag of coin. Not a huge amount, but some, Copé shoved it down into his leggings. At least it was something to show for the whole altercation.
He heard Ezic Bell comforting his brother with words and phrases like, “It was an accident,” “You didn't mean to,” and things of the sort. But the words fell on deaf-ears, and justly so. Nobody smashes another man's head by accident.
Brutus showed the first signs of life with laughter, a hearty chuckle that took everyone's attention. “This could've gone better,” he admitted, and then laughed some more.
Ezic smiled, stepping away from his brother. He threw his hand out to Brutus and assisted him back to a vertical base. Ess accepted and once standing, patted him softly on the back, still laughing quietly to himself. “Thanks for the assist,” Ezic said graciously as he looked around at his wrecked bar and the two dead bodies inside of it. “Though, in-retrospect, maybe it'd been better just for my brother and I to have taken some lumps. Reduced the bloodshed.” Ezic looked over to Secrat for a moment and stepped past him, looking at the Heavy Man, blood ridden and all. Ezic sighed, “Why couldn't you have just left?”
In his eyes was another look, every bit as foreign to Copé as Ricar's. The look wasn't guilt. Ezic wasn't guilty, so what was it? Was it still remorse? But remorse for what? Ezic looked over to his brother with a comforting smile, but his brother chose not to return the favor. Perhaps because he couldn't.
Secrat thought about giving him some of The Fat Man's coin to cover the damages. Like maybe that would make him feel better. He only thought about it though.
The wind brushed the door open some, startling The Thief. The latch must have been broken earlier when it was kicked. The door drifted shut once more, but before that, Copé could see the darkness outside. It was later than he thought. “Brutus, we need to leave now.”
The Gates would only be open a few hours longer, and even with the bag of coin, they wouldn't have enough for a night's stay at any of the inns.
“Not interested in a second round with the Italinian Knights?” Brutus jested back.
“No, and neither are you,” Copé said, looking down toward the gash on Ess' stomach.
“Where will you go?” Ezic asked. His voice was firm and curious, his mouth no longer bleeding from where he'd been attacked.
“Hardan,” Secrat answered. “We'll return back home to Hardan.”
Ezic smirk shared his skepticism. “You're awful warm-skinned for Hardan.”
The Thief smirked in return but made neither a rebuttal nor defense. Instead, he met Brutus at the door. Ess walked with a limp, beaten and worn by the day's trials. His large smile no longer expressed bad oral hygiene, but shared a mouth filled with blood.
A final look at everything that had happened. The broken counter. Table. Shattered glass. The dead bodies. One whose head had been decimated and the other with eight or nine knives plunged into his back. And the blood.
Brutus still giggled like a child as they made their leave.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)