PART 3 – Tracker, Thief, and Noble Alike
Mia lay on her stomach studying the forest path leading into the Unclaimed Territory. “Yeah, they definitely came through here.” She stood up and dusted off her chest. “How can you tell? You just looked at dead grass.” Anri asked doubtfully. Mia smirked. “Well, there are footprints here that are barely noticeable, a day old by my accord, they seem to be two girls foot prints followed by a few other prints shortly after. The first set of tracks were made hastily, which I can tell by foot positioning, due to the fact they believed they were being chased. The final piece of evidence is that the ground is smells slightly like rubber, which thieves and assassins use to cover the bottom of their shoes so they don’t make too much sound while sneaking.” Mia smiled, greatly impressed with herself. “Well milady, I think she’s got you beat.” Donny patted Anri on the shoulder and began walking down the path. Mia and Anri exchanged a look and Mia walked down the path behind Donny. Anri shot Mia a death glare when she wasn’t looking; Anri didn’t like being beaten at anything. Anytime Anri and Donny competed in anything, be it chess or swordplay, King Juto would pay Donny to lose just to make Anri happy. She sighed and looked over her shoulder at Youngstone one last time and then entered the forest trail as well.
“Ow! Sola! What are you putting on it!?” Luna screamed as Sola were tending her wound. “Stop whining! It’s just rubbing alcohol, its cleaning your out wound.” Sola calmly said back to her. Luna and Sola both sat in the steeple of the abandoned church that they called their home. It used to be a shelter for a radiation elementalist, Sola killed him and then stole his house. No one ever checked the church because they feared getting radiation poisoning from it. Luckily Luna’s toxin immunity kept both her and Sola safe from any long term, slow acting poisons. The two had made off with a decent amount of loot from the palace, but after the casualties they took, they wouldn’t try something that high class for a while. The two together made 15,750 bowls. Enough to last the sisters a couple of months in seclusion.
“How does it look?” Luna stood up trying not to move her back too much. After Anri kicked her up against the headboard, Luna had gotten a rather serious gash in her back, about a foot long and a few centimeters deeps. She doesn’t know how she could have gotten it, it was an annoying wound, but not one that would last long. “It looks awful, but I think it looks worse than it actually is. Now put your clothes back on and help me decide on what we need to buy with all these bowls.” Sola clapped her hands to add to her initiative. “Well obviously we’ll need food, maybe some medicine, cause I still need to work on the healing aspect of my element.” Luna said sitting in the chair across from Sola at their table full of treasure. “Well we can sell it all at Youngstone, but we can only really make one trip since Anri kinda knows who we are now.” Sola depressingly said. Both of their senses clicked, an acquired skill from years of being a thief and killer. Someone else was in the church, quietly climbing the aged stairs of the steeple. Sola slowly and silently grabbed a pistol off the table and positioned herself on the right side of the only door into the room. Luna had already positioned herself on the right side and had her knife at the ready. The moment the figure stepped into the threshold of the door, Sola had a pistol pointed at their temple and Luna’s knife was under their jaw.
“Do you really have to do this every time?” The person emotionlessly said. “Oh, sorry Clarissa.” Luna said lowering the knife. “We tell you every time to announce yourself once you get in the church.” Sola said with an undertone of anger in her voice. “Yelling isn’t in my nature.” Clarissa said entering the room. Clarissa, the sand dancer. That’s what everyone called her, but few people called her anything, she didn’t have many friends. She had been Sola’s friend for years; the two grew up side by side in the Unclaimed Territory. Clarissa was called the sand dancer because she was born in the northernmost part of the Unclaimed Territory, which is a vast desert. Ironically Clarissa was a very powerful sand elemental and she used her talents to help Luna and Sola with many of their break ins. She was always quiet, speaking only when necessary, and when she did speak it was emotionless and cold, she was known for her gruesome insults and philosophical thoughts. Her hair was very dirty blonde and grew back in large spikes, like the wind had been blowing through it since she was born. And like the sand her eyes were a glassy tan. Despite all of her dark traits, Clarissa was a very good friend.
“I think we are being followed.” She informed. “Wait, what?” Sola said awkwardly. “Yes, three people, one Luna’s age, two our age. Following our exact steps except half a day behind.” Clarissa said glancing at the table full of treasure. “Were they Acriale knights?” Luna asked. “No, they dressed like commoners, but I’m not blind, the male that was with them was definitely Donny FellCoon.” Clarissa said examining the tiara Luna had stolen. “What do we do?” Sola asked herself tapping her long fingernails against her chin. “Clearly we should leave, grab our stuff and go deeper into the Unclaimed Territory, right now!” Luna said mildly nervous. “No, no! This is good, the three of us can overtake the two girls, and then we can kill Donny!” Sola said excited, it had been a while since she had killed an elementalist of Donny’s caliber. “It depends on who the two girls are, what if they are his lieutenants or something like that.” Clarissa dropped the tiara down on the table and described the two women. Sola and Luna were delighted to hear what they did. “That’s Anri, that’s no doubt Anri, I had a stare down with her. I won’t be forgetting her face in a while!” Luna said happily. “Okay, so what’s going on then?” Clarissa asked, clueless to last night’s history. “We kill Donny and the blue haired girl, then kidnap Anri, and sell her for a really high ransom. This is good; lets go find them before they find us. Clarissa you in?” Sola asked. “Sure, why not?” She answered. Luna tossed Sola her large rifle. “Lets go kidnap a princess!” She cheered!
“So what exactly was stolen from you that’s this important? It must have been special if your tracking them down like this.” Mia asked as she held a branch back for Donny and Anri. “They stole a lot of stuff from me, basically all my jewelry.” Anri said evidently annoyed. “Some of them were priceless, so it would mean a lot if we got them back.” Donny added to Anri’s statement. “Okay, I see, do you mind if I can pick something from the findings once we get them back?” Mia asked with a slight giggle. Donny and Anri exchanged a look. After a silent argument that lasted a few seconds Anri gave in. “Yeah, of course… Just nothing big.” Mia slowed down and studied the trail as she walked. “Alright, we are very close now. This trail is basically fresh. It seems to be heading towards that old church in the distance, we’ll check there for your thieves.”
“Three on three, we can win this we just need the element of surprise.” Luna said as she opened the towering church doors. The three girls stood in the doorway staring at the man who was about to knock. “Clay?” Clarissa said surprised. “See! He was about to knock! He knows how to enter our building properly.” Sola said pointing at Clay. “Well, sorry I forgot!” Clarissa raised her voice. Clay stood there as the three girls argued. Clay was the caretaker of the forest; he had neither a good nor a bad allegiance to anyone. Sola and Luna knew him as an incredible push over, never truly standing up for himself, he too was an elementalist. Since he first found out that Sola and Luna were living in the old church, he ended up falling for Sola within a month of knowing her. He was such a push over because he would do anything for Sola and the same for Luna. He had long hair for a man, just below his shoulders and it was very well kept, its color was always dark but never definitely brown or black. His eyes were very dark brown and at times just appeared black. His chin was very sharp and covered in a very short beard, which he liked to brag about.
“Well, I was just coming to say hello, I was going to ask how the robbery went.” Clay said shattering the girl’s argument. “It went terribly! You’re coming with us!” Sola grabbed his collar and began pulling him along with them, almost causing Clay to trip over himself. “Wait, what’s going on?” Clay asked while he regulated his walking pattern. “Your forest, it’s under attack.” Clarissa emotionlessly said from the rear of the group. Clay freed himself from Sola grasp causing the group to halt. “Who is attacking the forest, I have a feeling your lying to me.” Clay accused. “Yeah, I lied and I have no idea why.” Clarissa admitted. “Okay, so no ones attacking the forest, but someone is trying to find and kill Sola and I.” Luna quickly said catching Clay off guard. “Well I don’t want that to happen!” Clay angrily said. He took a step back and clapped his hands loudly together in front of him and a tan long spear suddenly burst from the ground like it was spring loaded. He caught it and fluidly spun around with it once. “Clay, elementalist of the soft rock. Also known as Clay of clay. Lets go find these attackers.” He laughed.