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The next morning was an awkward one. Taro awoke to the ludicrous talks of old men drinking and discussing women from the pub next door. He had hoped he could do the same, well, perhaps not exactly, but he would have loved to enjoy the great city of Alucard. Unfortunately for him, Yumi had other plans.
“Hurry up and finish those pancakes. Jefaron does not like it when his clients are late, and I bet we’ll have guards on our tail very soon,” Yumi bickered. “I can just see it. Back to Zant with my titled returned to me!” Taro began to chew slowly on purpose, in order to intimidate her.
“IRMH DOSMT MARR,” Taro bellowed. Yumi gave him an odd stare. He swallowed his food. “It doesn’t matter how late we are if the Alexander’s Jewel is really as precious as you say, I’m taking my time!”
Eventually, Taro finished his breakfast and the two set off to the other side of town. Taro took this moment to take a glimpse of life in Alucard. A young lady carried her child on her waist as she picked out fruits from a basket. A couple enjoyed a pleasant stroll on a carriage, manned by a small man and two mares. The streets were surely lively, with people carrying on with their everyday lives, and quite diverse as well. Humans from all over came to Alucard; it was a crossroads of civilization.
Taro reflected. He felt confused. He had always lived with the elves after he ran from his orphanage. He knew nothing of his own kind. Do humans act differently then elves? To him, he could see no difference. But there must be some striking differences to cause generations of prejudice and war.
At the end of the main street stood a tall, muggy house. The grass was uncut. The wall covered with mold. In front stood two sheepishly large men, never flinching, and a third fidgety lad. The house reeked with everything that was evil. It told a tale of the history it had been through.
“There it is Taro! Inside is the man whom has the key to locating Zant!” Yumi grinned. “Are you ready for this?” She was surely a tad bit too joyful, for the mood interpreted by Taro was far from that.
“He he…you sure you got the right address Yumi?” Taro cringed. “This isn’t exactly the idea I had of Jefaron’s place. I thought the man was rich?”
“For sure he is Taro! Don’t worry! I’ve been here more then you could count.” Yumi quietly swayed herself towards the door, with Taro lagging behind. As she approached the entrance, one of the large men guarding the door stepped parallel to her, the other on the opposite side to ensure no escape. “You gonna let us through?”
“State your purpose,” spoke one guard in a low, monotonous tone.
“We are here to speak with Sir Jefaron, we bring a rare jewel he has interest in.”
“He’s with me. He’s my, erm, accompaniment.”
“You, let these two through,” roared the guard at a third, pettier gatekeeper, whom slowly lifted the lock and dragged the rusty doors open. The first guard pulled out a list. “It has been years since your last visit it seems. We will be watching, do not try to do anything robust, we might have to squash you.”
“Oh please,” Yumi laughed as she walked up the steps into the tattered building. Taro followed, bowing to the three men first. Why they deserved much respect at all is up for controversy.
The interior of the building was worse then the exterior. It was empty, desolate, yet there was still a strange presence about, as if the souls of all those whom had died within were forced to stay there for eternity, and it was quite obvious many deaths had occurred here. Blood was splattered on every wall. The walls without blood, instead had big gaping holes. Every footstep these two thieves made echoed around the corners. Taro was too afraid to speak.
They eventually came upon the only lit room. It was still difficult to see. It was certainly damp and difficult to breathe. It smelled of something fowl, so it was of course, difficult to tolerate. And how a being could live in such a difficult place we do not know.
Yumi obviously entered first. She approached a platform below an alter surrounded by candles. “Sir, we have come to speak with you. May we-“
“Why is that you Yumi? Boy, it’s been years since we last met. Come on over! Tell your friend to come inside as well,” spoke a figure protected by darkness. As Taro stepped further into the room the figure became clear to be a large plump creature. It looked not like a man or an elf. “Well, please. Sit down. I can loose this getup.” The man flipped on the lights. At this point it suddenly became evident that everything up to this point had been a set up. “Oh, it’s been so long. I grew tired of this game. We have more thieves than ever pass by nowadays, but none can steal a thing without getting caught.”
“Eh, I’m not comprehending…” sighed Taro as he stared on to the two laughing.
“Taro, this is my old master, Sir Jefaron. He pulls this act with all the new recruits.” Yumi giggled.
“Yup, I really didn’t expect you to be here. Haven’t seen you for ages Yumi. Would you like anything? Wine? Champaign perhaps?” Jefaron opened a compartment filled with all kinds of lustrous foods. He left them on a tabletop and walked out, appearing back a few minutes later in a vest made out of gold. Taro suddenly noticed that everything in the room was made out of gold. This man was definantly rich.
“Well, I decided it was time for a more simple life. But I guess that really can’t happen can it? I came back home only to find the entire village destroyed. Taro here is the only one that survived. We had nowhere to go. Decided its time to head back to Zant. That’s why we came here Jefaron. You see-“
“-Now, Yumi, you know I can’t...” Jefaron sighed.
“No need to worry sir. We came totally prepared. Look!” Yumi pulled out the Alexander’s Jewel. “I know you’ve had your eyes on this for quite a long while!” The facial expression on Jefaron’s face quickly changed. He snatched the jewel out of Yumi’s hand immediately.
“Why, what’s this?” He examined it. “Definantly real…hmm, the Dwarf gave it to you? Why, I had visited his home dozens of times and could not even get a word out of him!”
“Well, not exactly. We stole it!”
“Still got it in you, huh Yumi? Knew you couldn’t forget the job you’d been trained by me to do!” Jefaron laughed. “Erm, well…” he began to think hard. He closed his eyes, and sighed. “You came here for what exactly…?”
“Zant. We need to get into Zant. I know you have the connections Jefaron. Please, I must get there.” Yumi spoke. Jefaron began pacing around the room with a stern look.
“Well Yumi, I don’t know what to say really, except, well, I kind of got in trouble with the higher ups, and got knocked off the League of Thieves…” exalted Jefaron. At this statement Taro jumped with happiness, at the thought of doing a good deed. He finally spoke up.
“Well, I guess we’ll be taking the jewel then. Hey Yumi, maybe we should just return it to Dorvin and—“
“NO! THE JEWEL’S MINE NOW! MINE MINE!!” screamed Jefaron. Taro and Yumi jumped in fright, surprised at Jefaron’s outburst. “Oh dear me. I meant…” he looked down. “Alright you two, I may not know where Zant is, but I can clearly point in the right directions, and come on Yumi. We’re old time friends after all, right? I desperately need this, for collective purposes of course.”
“We’re listening…” sternly spoke Yumi, tapping her foot at her master. She knew that his greed would always come before his brain, but never told Taro this.
“Well, I’ve come across some very valuable information from one of my clients. Go east from here, you will find exactly what you are looking for in one of the Elven villages.”
“Oh no no no no no! Don’t try and fool us. We just came from the east. It’s completely destroyed. The entire area is under siege by the Alucardian forces. All of the Elven cities have been destroyed! Do you honestly expect us to go back there?” Taro interrupted. He had originally overestimated Yumi’s friend, but he after his encounter with Dorvin, he wasn’t going to sacrifice what he stole so easily.
“Would you just let me finish? Yes, the eastern Elven villages are under attack, but there is but one village left. I hear it is under the protection of Zant. The leader clearly has connections. Consult him.”
“Whoa now, hold there. What use is this? We came here to get into Zant. Now we have to go back to where we started?”
“This information is QUITE valuable young man. The elves do not speak of their secrets. They have suspicion of us from Alucard.” He glanced at the jewel and put it into his pocket. “I bid you two a good day.”
The sudden change in friendliness between master and apprentice ended with a bam. Taro and Yumi were kicked out of the deceiving building with nothing but a new location to head off to. On their way out the three guardsmen snickered, but not for long. Yumi needed someone to take her stress out on and they were it.
“Ugh, I need a drink. Come, Taro…NOW!” She screamed.
[FONT="]“Eh, coming!” Taro wailed. He knew Yumi was not up for any arguing this time around.[/FONT] [FONT="]
Thats all. <3[FONT="][/FONT] [FONT="][/FONT]