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The Tale of a Petty Thief: Part One


by shadowcristal

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The Thieves' Guild is a highly efficient and effective organization with many elusive characters. There are many tales, legends and myths about those great figures of our guild, such as Galem Darkhand, Masila, Kanrik and more. But what I ask for is for you to listen to the tale of a petty little blue Kougra thief, of the people who make up the most of the guild, of our dreams, hopes and goals. This is my tale...

     It all started when I turned five. I used to be a good pet, naive and trusting. On my fifth birthday, my parents left me to wander in another realm where I couldn't reach. Everything that I had believed in fell apart, and I was crushed.

     I wandered around the edges of dark forests, where great beasts like the Bringer of the Night roamed and fierce Noils ruled. As the days went by, my strength diminished and I grew weaker.

     It was a cold night. The breeze was soft and the moon was glowing even softer. I trudged on blindly, wet and hungry. It had rained on the afternoon, and I smelled like a wet fur ball.

     It was then that I saw her. She was what they call a dangerous beauty. She had large gold rings dangling in her ears and silver rings clad her bare, thin arms. The black cloak around her had large swirls and streaks of white in it, the same color as her fur. She reached out a jewel-clad paw to me, her mysterious golden eyes glittering of mischief.

     "Come with me, little Kougra, and you shall see all the treasures in the world," she promised me with a whisper that made the leaves rustle. That icy, sweet voice sent shivers down my spine.

     My mind was still filled with the raw pain of my parents' leave. I was confused, dazzled and stupid. Foolish as I was, and against my better knowledge, I took her hand.

     She smiled and bent down. A large chain of white teeth showed around her neck, something that I had missed at first glance. She didn't need to say anything; I realized it would be fatal if I decided to quit.

     I can't remember the rest, but somehow I got to the Guild. As one would expect, they lived in tents and cooked food over open fire. The supervisor quickly assigned and introduced a partner to me. He explained that it was dangerous to be alone as a thief, and that I should always have someone watching my back.

     I stared at my partner. I couldn't help but to scrunch up my face in disdain. My partner was a girl.

     The blue Zafara saw my reaction and blew a raspberry at me. I had learned that it was bad to hit girls, but I couldn't resist. I swung my fist, angry over everything that had happened. Why did my parents have to die? Why did I have to live alone? Why did I get stuck in this stupid camp with a stupid, stupid girl as a partner?

     The Zafara quickly ducked and avoided my attack nicely. That provoked me to throw another few punches, but none of them hit the target.

     "Calmed down?" the supervisor asked.

     "I'm not angry," the Zafara said innocently as she held both of my hands in a tight grip. "He was the one who started it."

     The supervisor sighed. "Look here, kiddo. I don't know your name or anything, but that girl will be your partner. She's the most skilled thief in our age group, and you will learn a lot from her." He glared at me coldly and continued, "Don't make any more trouble or I'll have to kick you out."

     When the big Moehog left, the quick little Zafara presented herself as Astralis. Even though our first meeting had not ended well, she was nice enough to show me around the camp before chasing me around for trying to hit her.

     The way of thieving isn't easy. I had to learn many things. Every morning, there were exercises to do. Slowly but surely, I learned how to sneak into a house, disabling the security circuit, getting out of houses and other various useful tricks.

     I spent my evenings in a library, where I could travel far away with the books, right in that simple, plain room. There were books about thieves' morals, Neoschool textbooks and more. My favorite book was titled 'Thieves' Guild Survival Guide'. It contained funny stories and the art of thieving on paper.

     When I showed Astralis the book, she nodded and smiled. She told me that it was her favorite book too. She was even nice enough to show me a secret story that was hidden in one of the pages.

     "Arrilam the Great," she read with her special book-voice.

     I looked at the cover as I listened to Astralis. She was a practical thief, quick and flexible. She had a nice size, and she was able to squeeze into the narrowest of places. But she was at her best when she read books or told tales. That was when Astralis turned into a real performer; an excellent storyteller that could make your heart beat fast in one second, only to sigh with relief in another. My first impression of that little blue Zafara had been wrong. She really was very advanced for her age.

     "Are you listening?" Astralis asked, interrupting my train of thought.

     "Yeah," I lied.

     "You need to at least look the part," she remarked sarcastically, seeing through my blatant lie. "We'll have to train your ability to lie. You have to be able to lie - without blinking - to your parents like a piece of cake."

     At the mention of my parents, my throat clogged and I felt like crying. Time had not completely healed the wound, and it had been reopened by just a single comment. It had been years since my parents had left me, but the memory remained just as fresh as if it was yesterday.

     Astralis noticed my silence, because she didn't say anything more. That cheerful and homey air had disappeared, replaced with a stiff coldness. After a hard inner battle, I decided to break that coldness.

     That night, I told her the story of the me that had been. The me that was now locked away, the child that had been happy...

     I told her the last words with a shivering voice, only faintly noticing that tears had welled up in my eyes again.

     Astralis was quiet. She had listened closely, without interrupting with her usual comments and jokes.

     "I would say that I'm sorry, but I don't think anything that can be said can make it all right," she said quietly.

     I nodded. All of a sudden, Astralis hugged me fiercely.

     "I'm really, really sorry for what happened to you. Everyone here isn't as nice as they appear, but I promise I'll be nice to you."

     I was surprised, since Astralis was usually very easy-going, cheerful and carefree. The serious words that she had spoken warmed my heart as more tears ran down my face.

     "Thank you," I choked, not knowing what to say.

     -

     My time of training had passed quickly, and it was time for me to do my first real job. Astralis would follow me in order to make sure that I wouldn't do any mistakes.

     Jitters ran through my body as I waited for the darkness to arrive. My first big job would be to break into a medium-sized house and steal three valuables.

     I gulped nervously as sun set. On shaking legs, I slowly snuck towards the house.

     It was as if I had forgotten all of my training. I made several unnecessary noises, like stepping on dry branches and hitting rocks in the Neogarden.

     I quickly turned around and saw Astralis make a face as another branch hit my face. I ignored it and continued.

     Slowly but steadily, I was getting into the right element. The full moon was at its brightest, glowing brightly. It lit the house enough so I could see, but the residents could also see me.

     The old back door opened slowly, with a few squeaks here and there. I moved with the shadows, and saw a coin lying on the table. I tiptoed there fast, but just when I was about to reach it, I saw red laser beams.

     I groaned mentally. Oh great. My first house, and they just had to have power-charged Space Station security? I mentally shrugged as I took out a tool. I picked the seventh, the last one and moved the coin.

     Soon I had the Neopian Times Coin in my hand. I grinned slyly and Astralis gave me thumbs-up. She held up two fingers to remind me that I still had two items left.

     With the feeling of success running through my blood, I got the second valuable in no time at all. I put the Snow Paint Brush in the bag and scanned the room for a third valuable.

     Finally I spotted something worth stealing, There was a Battledome closet. I quickly opened the lock and grabbed the first item that I saw. It was a H4000 Helmet.

     As I snuck out of the house with my partner after me, the alarm was activated. I didn't know how, but I must've missed something.

     I shook my head as doors slammed open and the lights turned on. Fortunately I got out of the house just in the nick of time, as the seemingly old back door shut behind me.

     I ran for my life. I didn't even notice that we were back in the camp before Astralis poked me in the rib.

     "Good job," the leader said. "Now you're a real thief."

     They took the three valuables away from me. My first endeavor had ended well. I breathed a sigh of relief as I listened to Astralis' comments.

     "That was a close one. I never thought you'd pull the old Nixel, running like insane..." she said, and told me how I could improve. Finally the leader interrupted and let me go back to my tent.

     It had been a long day. I wondered if I would have the same luck in the future before I fell asleep.

To be continued...

 
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