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Author’s note:

I got the new job! Yay! Working from home now so I should have a bit more time to write. One guaranteed chapters per week plus more throughout the week if I’m not busy.


Chapter 68- Orphanage



***July 9th, 965 A.F.***
***Dwarven Capital***
***Ajax McGuire***


             Seeing the scar-ridden man, I heightened my sense to the utmost, ready for a fight at any moment. I wouldn’t start a fight if he didn’t attack me. After all, I would like to avoid any confrontation if possible.

“You don’t have to be scared, little guy. Did your parents leave you here? What’s your name?”

            Even though his smile was menacing, there was no malice in his tone at all. Just when I was trying to figure out what to do, I noticed that there was noise coming from the back of the room. I barely managed looked behind the gigantic dwarf and saw that there were kids in the back. Could this be a kidnappers den? 

        After a moment of reasoning, I determined that it was not probably that this is a place for criminals. The noise that the kids were making in the back of the room were sounds of joy. If they were kidnappers, the kids wouldn’t act so happy. Not to give anything away, I decided to probe with a few lies.

“I am sorry to bother you, mister. It suddenly started to rain, and I was looking for shelter.”

       The man peeks his head out the doorway at the raining skies. The rainwater began to cascade down the stairs like a series of a waterfall.

“Huh, damn it. It always rains when you don’t want it to. BARNES! IT’S RAINING! GET THE CLOTHS!”

“COMING!”

         Another dwarf, not as big as came running towards us with a pile of scrapped cloths in hand. He closed the door and started to fill the gap with the cloths, blocking the water from coming in. As they were working on the makeshift blockade, I asked them a question.

“What is this place?”:

“This? This is an orphanage. Name’s Leo Rivera, the head caretaker here. Barnes is my helper. I was worried for a second that you were another orphan left by your parents.”

        Seeing that the two man is still working on the damn, I quickly activated my ring and put the dagger that was hidden in my sleeve back into storage. Luckily, I wasn’t one of those idiotic battle crazed heroes who assumes things from the get-go and jump head first into battles. It wouldn’t have been funny if I accidentally attacked an orphanage. Conversations are important, people. If we don’t communicate, we are no different from beasts.

         Leo and Barnes finished with barricading the door from the water. Barnes carried the extra cloths to the back of the orphanage where the kids were playing. Leo turns to me with a smile and continues our conversation.

“So what brings you to here? This isn’t exactly a sightseeing area, well unless you are here to see the scums of the city.”

        I feel that I  can trust him to tell him everything. Judging from the size of the thief, he should be one of the orphans here. If he helps me find my money, I will forgive the thief and treat it as though it never happened. If he doesn’t, I will find a way to make both of them pay for it later. 

        If the deal that I have with the Boneforges were still valid, I would just let them have the money and consider it a donation to the orphanage. There were only a couple of small silver coins. Right now, without a solid backing, every copper is necessary for me to secure a deal since I don’t know how much I would need. The money is just too important for my future.

“To tell you the truth, I am not from the Capital. I was sent by my parents from the Belhern to sell some items here in the Capital. Just now, I was robbed in front of my inn. I followed the thief in a brownish cloak to here.”

       Leo fell silent for a moment before muttering something to himself. I waited for him in for his answer. Finally, he yelled out to the back of the building.

“BARNES! BRING THE NEW ONE HERE FOR A SECOND! LOOK FOR A POUCH OF COINS ON HER!”

“It seems like you know who done it.”

“Yes, she was the last one to come in just before you. She was wearing a brown cloak.”

          The thief is a girl, huh. I didn't expect that to happen. Seeing that he is willing to be cooperative, I decided to have a bit of a chat with him while we wait.

“You believe what I say?”

“Not that I trust you. I would rather hear both sides of the story before making a judgment. Besides, most of the things that you said match what happened. If indeed she is the one that stole from you, I hope you can forgive her with only a minor punishment.”

“If I can get the money back, I wouldn’t mind that. Say, isn’t it bad for the kids to live an orphanage in the slums? To be honest, I was surprised that this was an orphanage.”

“It’s precisely because it is the slums that I built an orphanage here. A lot of parents in the slums can’t take care of their kids. Since this is close, the least they could do is drop them off here instead of ditching them in the street. At least this gives the kids a chance to live. Besides, the rent is cheap here in the slums. With the measly funds that the city provides us, I’ve got to save wherever I can.”

“Aren’t you worried that the people in the slums do something to the kids? Wouldn't the underground groups target the children?”

“Ha! I dare them to. I was a captain in the army before I retired. I still got a lot of connections to wipe out a few groups if they dare lay a hand on my kids.”

“You were in the army, huh? No wonder. You didn’t look like someone that is a headmaster of an orphanage.”

“Hahaha! I hear ya young one. After creating so many orphans in my line of work, I’d figured I would lessen my sins a bit by working an orphanage.”

            As if on queue, Barnes came back with a girl on under his arm and a pouch of coin in the other hand. It looks like we caught the thief.

“LET GO OF ME! THAT’S MINE! LET GO! LET.... YOU!!!”

           As soon as Barnes got near, I recognized the girl’s face. She obviously recognized me as well as she points her finger at me with rage. It was Natalie McCloud, the mayor’s missing daughter.
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damancy

  • Slayer of Soles

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