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“I don't know Raithe,” Sosuke was saying. “What they're doing isn't right.”

What they were doing wasn't right... Raithe had to think about that for a moment, to let the treatment he received compared to his friends, sink in. It wasn't like they had hurt him in any way, shape or form. Nazi had given him enough to buy one, good meal and it was a nice night. He really didn't mind having to spend one evening out, under the stars.

However, he felt as if there was a lot more to this than what he could see with just his eyes. What was that thing they were saying about retainers? And that boy Seita. Now that he was consciously thinking about it. Running the events of the last few hours through his mind, his thoughts landed back on that boy and how rugged he looked. Dirty, as if he hadn't had a bath in weeks and there were cuts and scrapes all over his arms. How had he received those?

“It's fine,” Raithe said finally.

“It looks like we have enough to get you a room if you'd like,” Luna said, peaking into her pouch.

Did he really want handouts? Even if his friends were just trying to help, Raithe didn't think so. He shook his head. “Nah,” he said. “It's fine, really. I would probably feel more comfortable out here anyway.”

Sosuke raised a hand to scratch the back of his neck. “Really? You would?”

“Yeah,” he really wouldn't mind it and besides, there was Felix to keep him company. Raithe didn't think there would be any place in Galeron that would allow a large animal like her inside. “Let's go eat.”

They found a place not too far from the plaza. A cute, little restaurant which offered up different types of seafood. Fish, lobster and crab, octopus and squid, sushi and many other things. Splitting the cost, they ordered a large, platter of sushi as well as a couple of fresh, raw fish fillets for Felix when he found her again. Surprisingly, they sold raw ingredients for companion pets. Then the three friends went to the dining area outside and sat down, watching the ocean view.

Only a slight breeze was blowing, which rippled the water and Raithe could see the reflection of the city's light on the water's surface. Some of those lights were in the form of paper lanterns, floating, hovering in the air.

“Wow,” Luna said. “This is incredible.”

“Yeah,” Sosuke replied. “It really is. I think I could get used to living here.”

“Not like we have a choice,” he didn't mean to sound so bitter, but that was sort of how he felt. Raithe pushed those feelings aside and sighed. Letting all his frustration out in one breath. “I'm sure things will get better for me.”

That was right. All he needed to do was to take on a few dungeons and earn some money. He'd be able to use some of his earnings to rent a room and finally have a nice, warm and secure place to sleep.

“I wonder what Gin is doing,” Luna said, obviously trying to change the subject.

“I though,” Sosuke said. “That the man annoyed you.”

“He does, but I can still wonder can't I?”

Raithe stood up and they both turned their heads to look at him. “I'm gonna go look for a place to sleep, and give these to Felix,” he said. “Long day tomorrow by the sound of things so, you should probably do the same.”

“We can go with you,” Sosuke said, sounding concerned.

“Nah. I'll be alright,” and then he took the fillets and walked away.

Raithe found Felix waiting by the fountain. Many of the lanterns and street lights had already been snuffed out, allowing the pitch black of night the blanket over everything. If he didn't have nocturnal eyes, Raithe thought it would be almost impossible to see her dark silhouette. Other passersby, didn't even seem to notice her and it was only when Raithe knelt down beside her that someone jumped up with alarm.

“Here ya go Felix,” he said and scratched her behind the ears. “Dinner.”

Felix purred and nudged up against him, before taking the meat and running off with it.

Raithe watched her go. He stood up then and looked for the nearest, tallest tree he could find. It was there, that he rested. On one of its thick branches, looking out over the big city and soon, his eyes began to close.

“Give it back!”

His eyes shot open. The day was cloudy and there was a slight drizzle in the air. Raithe felt comfortable though, with the temperature being perfect. A little bit cool, but it was enjoyable. He glanced below his branch, looking for where that sound could have come from.

“Give it back or what?”

Raithe found them. Four kids, one of which was an anthromorph like himself. Almost exactly like himself he realized. This kid was a Purren with tanned cat ears and a long, fluffy tail. Two of them were humans. The last one was an elvish child and all seemed to be around the ages of ten to twelve. The little anthromorph kid was jumping up, trying to retrieve a small, beat up old satchel.

Guess I'd better do something about this, Raithe thought as he slipped off his branch. He landed soundlessly on the ground, behind the four children. The non-anthromorphs jumped in surprise. The boy that was being bullied, he just gave Raithe a casual look. “You... shouldn't pick on other kids,” he said and took one step towards them. Though he hadn't meant it to look menacing, Raithe realized when they backed away that that was exactly what it appeared like.

“N-not that this is any of your business,” one of the boys said. “But this one's a thief.”

Raithe looked towards the elf. Unlike the others, this one was a she.

She nodded to him.

“It appears to me,” Raithe said. “That you're the thieves.”

“L-looks can be deceiving,” the other boy said.

Raithe raised an eyebrow.

The three bullies backed away by a few more steps and the anthromorph boy, continued to stare. Looking at Raithe, then the kids who were picking on him and then back to Raithe again. What is he thinking? Raithe wondered.

Felix came out of a bush near to them, which frightened the kids even more. They all froze.

Before he even had time to react, the little boy acted. He jumped forward and snatched the satchel out of the bigger of the two human boys and darted toward Raithe. He didn't do anything though, just bumped Raithe in the side and then ran down one of the city streets.

Raithe glanced over at Felix, but she just cocked her head at him. Like a curious bird. A moment passed by, where no one moved or said a word. Another quiet moment. Wind buffeted the trees, the bushes, his clothing and his hair. The wind died down. Slowly, he brought a hand up in order to feel around his waist. There was nothing there. “Oh shit,” Raithe said. He sighed and turned back to the children. “I'll get it back for you.”

“You will?” the elf asked.

“I will. It's not like I have any better things to do at the moment. And besides, he took something of mine as well.”

“My name is Liya,” the girl told him. She darted over and into one of Raithe's hands, she placed a small object. “When you find it, return here and blow this whistle. I'll be able to hear it if we're close.”

“Alright,” Raithe said and turned to leave.

“Ginta went towards the undercity,” one of the boys said. “You should be able to find him there. Be careful though, there are monsters.”

Raithe nodded and with Felix by his side, he walked away with only one thing on his mind. To reclaim the only three teroes, he had left.

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About the author

Maiz

Bio: An amateur writer who hopes to entertain you all, with my wondrous works of fantasy!

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