Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 47 – A not so stealthy operation by the church
“Tsk,” Yda clicked her tongue as she ran around the city. Eventually, even the luck of the 'rat queen' ran dry and she had been cornered at a dead end.
“Oi, oi, stop running around, will you?” being cornered by several men all much larger than her and armed, any outside observer may think that something less than wholesome would take place. However, that initial assessment would be mistaken as the ones who were in the right to chase her were the men. “Stealing from nobles is a crime punishable by death,” one of the men proclaimed as he stepped closer with his sword drawn.
“Hmph! Those nobles are just begging to be stolen from; walking around with their pockets so loose!” Yda didn’t even try to defend herself. That said, she did have a plan to try to weasel her way out of this predicament. “What about you guys? Don’t you think it’s unfair working for that kind of noble with so little pay? I’m sure even you guys would’ve thought about stealing from him once or twice.”
“Even if that’s true, unlike you, we are not stupid enough to attempt that.”
“Come now, don’t be like that. How about this? We’ll divvy up the money I stole from that noble amongst us and you let me go. Now, you’ll probably get into a little bit of trouble but on the flip side you’ll get a large bonus,” with a snide grin, Yda carefully approached the armed men. She took out a small pouch of coins and placed it in front of them. “What do you say?”
The armed men each looked to each other for confirmation and nodded. “You stay there,” they pointed their swords, however Yda couldn’t afford to wait until they checked. The moment they lowered their guards to look inside the coin pouch she made a mad dash past them. Lured in by the prospect of money, none of them decided to chase after her.
“Thanks for your patronage, suckers!” she shouted and sneered back at the duped fools. When the men peeked into the pouch all they saw were lousy bronze coins that couldn’t even buy them a cup of coffee. By the time they figured it out and wanted to give chase, Yda had already far escaped their sights.
By the time she had finished with her ‘business’, the sun was about to set. She sat upon a rooftop of an abandoned shop and gazed out to the vibrant city of the sun. She sighed to herself thinking about how stupid she felt for running out of the house after fighting with Rena. This hadn’t been the first occurrence of such an event and in likelihood it was not going to be the last. “I guess, I should return for now before Rena seriously starts to get worried.”
On her way, she ran into a small ‘event’. A newly established blacksmith stall had opened in the middle of her home district. The place looked rather shabby with the store sign being half crooked; overall it gave off an amateurish vibe to it. Certainly not the kind of place one would visit to have the tools of their trade made and maintained. People’s lives depended on how sharp the edge of their blade was, so for these kinds of places, presentation was very important.
The store owner was a young woman with deep black hair tied up into a rough ponytail. Her skin was rather tan and her complexion was rough. No doubt years of operating a forge and furnace could do that to a person. Her muscular structure was very impressive for a woman. She had bulging muscles around her exposed stomach and arms. Heck, she looked stronger than even some men that Yda knew.
Yet, none of that mattered, because Yda’s main source of revenue wasn’t from Labyrinths or monsters, but from other people.
However, the reason why she had halted on her way home was not because she was interested in the blacksmith itself, but due to what was going on there. Several familiar hooded figures surrounded the stall with a very imposing stance. Yda knew who they were, how could she forget? They were the goons sent from the church to bust down local businesses that didn’t ‘pay up’.
“W- what do you people want?!” when the hooded men drew their weapons, the blacksmith girl tried to resist. She stood up and took out a sword that had been lying around. It was clear that all her attention went into creating the tool and not much had been spent actually learning how to handle one. Something like that wasn’t a sin; she was still young and would eventually learn… that is if she survived the harassment from the church’s goons.
One of the hooded goons stepped forward and easily deflected the blacksmith girl’s sword. It fell to the ground with a distinct clang. “It doesn’t matter who we are, if you’re going to be setting up a business here then there are a few ‘rules’ you need to follow. Basically, you need to periodically ‘pay up’.” The hooded man walked to the stall where all the completed products were. “Because if you don’t,” he raised his foot and smashed down the stall. The weapons all clanged against the stone floor as they piled up like cheap toys. “We’ll do that. This was just a demonstration. Now we’ll be taking these shitty weapons, but next time you better pay up when we ask to.”
The blacksmith girl tried to protest but she was knocked over to the side as the hooded men took their weapons. She fell into tears. Having experienced a similar situation, Yda could relate, though not help. Yda wasn’t a fighter so she couldn’t fight off these men to rescue the girl.
It was not long after the hooded figures left that a man came. Perhaps an acquaintance of the blacksmith girl. He was a large man, almost three times Yda’s size. No doubt he was from a race of ‘Titans’. His skin was warm caramel colour, and his hair had been a bleached white. The contours of his muscles were extremely impressive, even compared to other Titan specimen. He gave off the aura of a very proficient warrior, almost wild in a feral sense due to his dishevelled and rugged looks. “Misuzu?! What’s going on here?” he asked.
“I don’t… know,” the blacksmith shook her head, tears in her eyes. “They just… came, took everything and destroyed my shop… what should I do now, Padan?”
“Who?! Who was it?! I’ll go teach them a lesson and get your stuff back!” the Titan announced.
“I don’t know…”
“I know,” Yda stepped out of the shadows to reveal herself to the two. “They’re members of the church. They go around doing these kinds of things to local businesses. They’ve been doing for a while actually.”
“The church… no, wait, who are you?” asked the Titan.
“Does it matter? Well, I told you so do with that information what you will. If you’re going to strike them then I would suggest waiting until Wednesday. That’s usually when the top members gather.” Dropping off that info, Yda walked away. Whatever they did was none of her concern, but since they were going to fight against the church she at least felt that she wanted them to win.
When she had gotten back to the inn, she noticed something. “Huh…?” her eyes widened as sweat started to gather at the centre of her palms. A sudden chill ran up her spine. “No… no…” she crept closer only to confirm her fears. The front door of the inn had been violently bust down. She ran into the building only to find that all the furniture had been broken. “Rena! Charlotte!” she called out, but the only response was her echo. Immediately she could tell who the ones responsible for this were. “Dammit!”
She rushed out of the building. Her destination: the cathedral.