Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 14 – The street rat’s mistake
For a young woman to survive alone in the dilapidated slums of Solaris was no easy task. Yet for one talented street rat, she had gracefully adapted and made own the coils of such harsh environments.
‘Yda’, no known last name.
Picking pockets, brokering information and blackmail was her game. For the past seventeen years she had continued to survive the rugged life relying only on her own wits and escapist skills. Through many deep pockets her hands slithered through, pilfering much wealth and secrets over the years. “Ugh, I’ve yet to meet my quota today… they’re getting smarter,” she sighed as she walked through the streets in search of her next prey.
It was then a suitable prey walked into her crosshairs. A pair of novice looking mercenaries. Their armour looked dull and their smooth faces were completely green. “Oh, lucky~” she cheered to herself. There were many cases of new mercenary parties coming to the capital in search of a ‘big’ job to make a name for themselves. However, the reality of this situation was that most of them usually burn themselves out, die or just go back to their hometown with a dejected face. In order to liberate them from such burden, it was Yda’s job to teach them the law of the land. “Better to learn from light experience than actual pain, right?”
They were a couple. A young pretty boy adorned with grey and black armour. His hair was a glittering black and eyes of crimson shot through the distance as though it could see through to one’s soul. There was something a bit no right with this man, he was far too relaxed.
Beside him was a woman with fiery dual coloured hair. A dark rooted red at the top coming down to a warm autumn orange as it got to the ends. She wore a matching set of armour to the young man’s as if they were flaunting the fact that they were an item. The way she walked exuded a majestic kind of, noble and elegant beauty. In fact, both of them seemed to be children of some kind of nobles, “they’re probably loaded,” she assumed.
“Thank you for your patronage, the bank of Yda will now collect~” suppressing her exhilarated smirk to the best of her abilities she carefully approached the two from the other side. Step by step, she drew closer. With the blood rushing through her body her heart beat faster.
“Master…” the woman whispered out to the young man. That had not been expected. If anything, the woman seemed more gracious than the man and suited for the title of ‘master’. However, none of that was any of her concern as she continued her advance.
“Don’t worry about it,” replied the young man with a carefree, if a little fake, smile.
‘Oh, I’ll be sure to give you something to be worried about,’ Yda snickered to herself. The plan was simple. ‘Infiltration’ and ‘recovery’. All she had to do was emulate a small collusion and during the confusion she would steal their wallets. They key ingredient to this recipe was to make it seem as innocent as possible. There was no need to rush it as it would only ruin the art and give out her intentions.
As if the deities themselves were offering support, the duo stopped walking and distracted themselves. They gazed at the beautifully ornate fountain at the middle of the town square. “That looks nice,” the young man wondered. The perfect opportunity! With her eyes locked onto the goal Yda started to speed up a little.
“Ouch!” Yda crashed onto the young man as they both fell over. She quickly searched through his right pockets during the ‘accident’ but she had come up short. Most people kept their wallets near their dominant hands so she thought she would be correct, ‘dammit!’ she internally cursed herself. She missed her biggest chance. “S- sorry, I was in a hurry,” she quickly recovered and made excuses. The man didn’t seem annoyed at all.
“Ah, it’s no problem. Are you okay?” the young man offered her a hand with a smile. ‘Right, no need to rush,’ she calmed herself. The man’s hands were surprisingly large and warm, almost dependable despite his rather clumsy initial appearance. Even his face wasn’t that bad, ‘could it be I hit the jackpot in another sense?!’ she thought for a moment before snapping back to reality.
“Thank you,” Yda replied. ‘I guessed wrong, his wallet must’ve been on the left side,’ incorrect predictions were something that happened from time to time, however Yda was a polished professional. Her intuition was hardly wrong, ‘maybe today’s just not my day?’
“Um, is there something amiss?” the man asked her after having caught her gaze so seriously.
“Ah, no… sorry, I have to go now,” it was better not to talk to the target as they may get a chance to memorize her voice or face. She rushed past them with a final word of gratitude and disappeared into the crowd. Just outside their assumed distance of vision she about-faced to track them down once more for another attempt. However, “what?!” to her surprise they had already vanished from proximity.
Not even a faint presence or trail. This had been a real first for young Yda; not only did she make an amateurish blunder but now also lost sight of her target. “Argh! What’s wrong with me today?!” she roughed up her hair as she felt the frustration rise to her face. “I think I need a drink… huh?” the moment she placed her hands in her own pocket however, something was truly amiss. “Wait, where’s my wallet?” It took a full minute before a theory popped into her mind. “Huh…? No, wait… it couldn’t be!