Author’s note:

I find your lack of comments… disturbing.

I have been settling into my new job nicely. I have got to say, working from a home office is AWESOME! It’s so comfortable.

Also, I just realized how retarded I am. I went all out to celebrate my new job. Unfortunately, I forgot that even with my new well-paying job, I still have to wait for my paycheck. I am a broke ass until my next paycheck comes in. I am a dumb ass.==”

Anyway, I don’t want to make any promises, but I will aim to write one chapter a day for the next week as a stress test. I will give you guys a new schedule base on how burnt out I feel during the stress test. The plan will last until mid-September when school starts once again..

Chapter 69- Crime and Punishment

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

“You know each other?”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

“She came in the other day. We picked her up from the side of the road. She is a feisty one, I tell ya.”

         I casually stroll towards Barnes and Natalie, staring angrily at me. She thrashes around fruitlessly, trapped under his arm. When I got to him, I tried to grab the coin pouch, but he refused to let go of it. I furrowed my forehead a bit. At this moment, Leo spoke up with an objection.

“Not saying that you are lying, but is there a way to prove that’s yours? I don’t want any doubt in my mind if I gave you the money.”


“Oh, that’s easy. Assuming that she didn’t take any coins out of the pouch, there should be 3 pieces of small silver coins, 11 large copper coins, and 7 small copper coins.”

      Of course, that’s not all I have on me. I have a few more silver coins stashed up in my ring for emergencies. I knew that couldn’t put all my eggs in one basket. The city is dangerous is dangerous, and this incident just proved that I was right to take extra precaution.


       Reading Leo’s intention, Barnes tossed my pouch to Leo. He caught it with ease and pour the content onto a nearby table. He began counting the coins in the pouch

“Five, six, seven. Yep, that’s the exact amount. Looks like you were telling the truth.”

      He gathers all the coin from the table and returns them to the pouch. He tossed the coin pouch back to me then points at Natalie.

“So, what do you want to do with her? Since she stole from you, you have the right to choose her punishment.”

      Ah, the moment that I was waiting for. I really want to make her suffer for wasting my time and sidetracking me from my business. According to the law, thieves that were caught would have one of their hand amputated. Of course, since she is the daughter of Mayor Tom, I didn’t want to go down this route.

“I don’t know what do you have in mind?”

“Well, since you seem to know her, I would be happy if her punishment involves taking her off our hands. It’s one less mouth to feed for us. On the other hand, I don’t really know how you know each other. From the look of things, it’s less than pleasant. She is just a child, so I hope that it wouldn’t be too severe.”

        There is no way I would take her with me. I already have Geordie to take care of. There is no way in hell I could care for another child. Not only it would cut into my funds for feeding her, but it would also be like herding cats trying to keep her in line. With her tiger-like explosive character, I would be crazy if I wanted to keep that ticking time bomb beside me.

       On the other hand, if I help the mayor and bring Natalie home in one piece, it could give me a bit more leverage in our business partnership. Right now, he’s taking 60% of the profit, and all he is offering is his connections and the starting capital. I am doing all of the legwork. It would be great if I can use this to reverse the situation.

“Well, I have a solution that will benefit both of us.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“That little lady over there is Natalie McCloud, the Mayor’s daughter of Caedona. She ran away from home a couple of weeks ago. The mayor is a business partner of mine. I will be grateful if you can send her back to her home safely. I am pretty sure there are some rewards for finding her. You can pocket that for the reward for the orphanage. Just make sure you mention my name when you meet with the mayor, and we will call it even.”

        He put his hand out and we shook hands to seal the deal.

“It’s a deal, lad. Say, you are pretty smart for your age.”

“Thanks for the compliment. Oh, just before I forget, there is actually one more thing.”

     I walked towards Natalie and reached into the cloak.


“Don’t kid yourself, I am not interested in your body.”

     Ah, there it is, just as I thought. There was no way that she would leave this anywhere else. It was tucked tightly just behind her waist. I pulled a book that she was hiding. Seeing that I pulled the book out, her eyes opened wide in horror.


“You should've thought of the consequences when you steal from someone. I am keeping this.”

“GIVE IT BACK! GIVE IT BACK! Give it back! Please give it back to me. I won’t steal again. Please…”

        Her eyes started to change from a hateful glare to a sorrowful one. She slowly breaks down in tears. Good, this is the reaction that I was aiming for. It was just as I thought. Mayor Tom told me about the book left from her mother. This is her weakness, and I can use this to my advantage to control her.

“It’s only fair when you try to take something from me, I will take something from you as well. I will be keeping this for now.”

       As I turned around and started to walk away, Natalie began to cry in full volume. Annoyed, I turned back around to give her a bit of hope so that she would shut the fuck up. I think I have given her enough sticks. It’s time for a bit of carrot to keep her in line.

“No, please stop…”

“Well, I can give you back if…”

“I will do anything, please just give that book back to me.”

“When I finish my business here, I will head back to Caedona. I will keep the book in my possession until then. You will follow the instructions of these gentlemen here, who will return you back to your home. If I don’t see you back at your house by then, I will burn the book. Do you understand me?”

         She sniffles a bit before answering me.

“Yes, you bully. I will tell my father about this. You better keep your promise.”

“Oh, what is that you just said? I think the campfire needs a bit more kindling tonight, and I am out of wood. Whatever should I do?”

      She immediately holds her mouth shut with both hands, trying not to incur my wrath any further. At this point, I noticed that the pitter-pattering of the rain outside has stopped.

“Looks like it stopped raining. Well, Leo, it has been a pleasure to meet you. I am sorry you will have to handle Miss. Spoiled-princess for a couple more days, but I believe the rewards is worth it.”

“Where are you heading to, lad?”

“I am going to the adventurer’s guild. I have some business there.”

“I will come with ya, kid.”

“No, it’s fine. I know the way and even though I am young, I know how to protect myself.”

“ I am sure that you are okay to go by yourself. I have to head there myself for her reward anyway so it wouldn’t be much of a hassle.”

“Well in that case, please lead the way.”

         Leo removed the damp cloths from underneath the door, and we head out of the orphanage.

About the author


  • Slayer of Soles


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