The Trade Network always had some sort-of commotion going on about it during the day. There weren’t enough words in any language to stress enough the importance of the network to Maharris and the five major cities; Hardan, Jalint, Urgway, Acera, and Italina.
A large ocean, the Amisoic Sea, surrounded the whole of Maharris. A boat would arrive from Olzaric and other major cities across the Seas on occasion, but it was rare to have available outsiders help scavenge items or vital resources. The Trade Network was the means to economic and social stability throughout Maharris.
Secrat couldn't help but smile at the audacity of it all, all of Maharris united as one without discrimination or prejudice swaying them. Conflict wasn't common in Maharris, at least it hadn't been for a long time.
The last war was hundreds of years ago. It didn't mean everybody liked each other though, and in-fact, it was far from it. Italina's town came with a sense of entitlement and self-importance, looking down its nose at the rest of the lot, and Acera's tan-skinned residents would always play the fool in the eyes of its neighboring cities.
Urgway and Jalint got along, after all, they were so close to each other. In both ways, metaphorically and physically. The only way to get from Jalint was through the Whispey Deserts or through the Hickly Swamps. The Swamps weren't a viable option because Urgway hid the passageway from civilians, and the Whispey Deserts spanned a great distance.
It is believed that Jalint's merchants came in through the Swamps to make it through to the Trade Network. They found it best not to travel through the Whispey Deserts with their goods, especially since, to make it to the trade post, they'd likely intersect with a mess of thieves. The only shared consensus that Italina, Urgway, Jalint, and Acera had with each other is their dislike for Hardan.
Hardan had made a legacy for their brutality and is credited for having some of the finest warriors throughout the land. They are also widely blamed for starting the only war that Maharris had in a three-hundred-year period.
Copé arose from his chair. The banter between him and the miss who introduced herself as Christique had been lovely, but she had since begun tending more to other customers eating about the shack. Besides, he needed to leave, as he found himself absolutely infatuated with her chest. Make no mistake about it, Copé couldn't stop staring at the necklace dangling between her bosom.
An emerald as the centerpiece, the necklace shined with a dulled beauty.
That is, Copé suspected, because an intentional lack of polish. This was Maharris' trade network, but not far from here, was the network known exclusively for thieves and criminals. The fact wasn't the best kept secret, but besides for higher-ups that knew for sure, it had been perceived by civilians as nothing more than rumor or gossip. But, at such a populated location, the woman had to at least consider the thought that someone might make a grab at it once or twice. She didn't keep it clean, but why would she wear it in the first place? Unless there was some reason for her not to be afraid.
Copé hadn't lied when he said had been familiar with Satin.
The village was small and never made any ripples of any kind. As a whole, Satin was against the shackles imposed by Aeonians, but did nothing about it.
They lived a humble existence and did little stealing or crimes to survive. Instead, they focused their attention more toward hunting and agriculture. The holes in Christique's story were obvious. Satin might, in-fact, be closest to
Hardan, of all the five major cities, it was hardly 'just off the reservations' of it.
And the 'cold and uncompassionate' description didn't really fit into what Secrat had gotten from his contact with the village. Looks can be deceiving though, but it seems more likely to Secrat that Christique was leaving something out of her story. Some of him wanted to know what it was, but more of him didn't care.
If there's anything that he knew with absolute clarity, it's that he intended on having that necklace of hers.
Copé dragged his feet while he walked away from the shack. His feet scraping into the desert sand some with every step. Sometimes he'd stagger or stumble, showing the alcohol in his flask was doing its job. It wasn't too much though. He wasn't COMPLETELY intoxicated but sobering up was imperative if he ever wanted to act on any of his desires.
"You! Stop!" A man yelled out from behind Copé.
Secrat felt a small chill travel up his spine. He knew the chance of there being another "you" was unlikely.
Copé didn't even have the chance to turn around before the sound of clamoring feet feet befell his ears, and with it, he could infer there was more than one of them. All he could think to do was overcome his drunken stupor and run. The sand might have caved in on his feet with every step before, but now, his feet were moving so fast he might as well have been flying. Before him, Copé could see his free space becoming more and more scarce. The Trading Network always had some sort-of commotion going on about it during the day, and in-front of him, a crowd of men and women merchants stood, indistinguishable in their clothing, as well as tables filled with a wide assortment of items. Secrat gnashed his teeth, grinding them from side to side as he searched intuitively for his next move. With vivacity, vigor, and a silent prayer for good fortune, Copé made a leap of faith into the crowd of people, thinking not about the perhaps inevitability of being trampled.
One person fell down first, a gentleman, Copé only caught a glimpse of him, but watched the pot he was holding fall out of his hands. The pot, clay and of heavy size, was more than enough to take the woman in-front of him off of her feet as it struck her from behind. As she fell, so did the man she brought down with her, and someone else, and then another. It was a ripple effect that happened too fast for Secrat to truly appreciate.
Besides, the time was needed to secure safety, in the havoc of it all, Copé began crawling on his hands and knees, being careful not to be crushed by the large cast. As Copé searched for a means to make his escape, he looked over to the guards behind him that worked at trying to settle a dispute between some of the crowd.
The woman's husband didn't take too kindly to a man throwing a pot at her and a fight ensued as a result. Secrat made certain to take advantage of the diversion, hiding beneath one of the tables, letting the table cloth conceal him.
The ruckus soon started to quiet down, and when he peeked out from under the clothe, the thief could see the guards weren't focused anywhere near his location. His tactful retreat becoming a real opportunity, Copé now had his chance to flee. Secrat turned his back the opposite way of the guards. This side of the table was about as crowded as the other, but he'd more than likely be able to blend into it.
He waited for an opportune time to make his move, but before that could happen, his feet were dragged out from underneath him.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)