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Raithe ran after the boy, always staying one step behind. The kid was incredibly clever as he ducked into stores, climbed onto roof tops and jumped into the windows of various, abandoned buildings. Like he really thought it would be that easy to get rid of his chaser. The thing about Raithe, was that he was persistent. He was determined to catch up to that boy and teach him a lesson about stealing.

Or rather... that would be the case if he wasn't so damned exhausted. He stopped by a little coffee shop and leaned his back against it, breathing hard. “Well Felix..” he said, gasping for air. “You go after him, I'm beat.”

She cocked her head at him, then she sneezed.

“You're right,” he relented. “That is... a terrible... idea.” Raithe pushed himself away from the wall and twitched his ears. Listening for any sounds which might give the boy away. Shoes slipping on cobblestone. Someone cursed, the boy. Nodding to himself, he walked slowly, quietly to the corner of the coffee shop. Raithe jumped around.

The boy wasn't there, but he did manage to catch a glimpse of the kid rounding another corner. Taking in a deep breath and then letting it out in a huge sigh, Raithe charged forward.

As he turned into the street where the boy had gone, Raithe caught a glimpse of him ducking into one of the many manholes around the city. The cover was lying only a few inches away. Raithe walked up to the manhole and peered down, into the darkness. “Looks like it's just me now Felix,” he said.

She cocked her head and then after a couple seconds, nudged him gently, purring.

Putting one foot onto the ladder, he climbed down. Raithe landed with a tiny splash, on a stone path and glanced up. Felix was looking at him from above, then she backed away and ran off. “I see how it is. You'd rather be doing other things.”

It was fair, he knew he shouldn't expect her to wait around for him. Besides, there was something he had to do. Light fell from the opening like celestial raindrops, illuminating the tunnel before him. He followed it for about ten feet and entered a tunnel adjacent to the first. This one was larger and seemed like it would be the main sewage way.

With a wider area, there had been room for the city's constructors to put a canal between two, stone paths. The canal was full of water and... other stuff which smelt awful. But compared to the stench of that black goo, it was more like sniffing daisies. He pressed on.

Droplets echoed to him from further in and listening carefully, he could hear the sound of mice or rats, pattering in the tunnels. It was unclear exactly where those sounds were coming from as they reverberated all around the chamber. Tiny footfalls sounded up ahead and Raithe began his sprint once more.

A little arm vanished into another tunnel and Raithe turned down that way. He stopped in the center of a large room, looking around. Straight ahead were two more tunnels, but one was closed with a portcullis and a few feet above the top of that tunnel, was a pipe. A ladder lead up to it. Would the kid have gone there? Or would he have gone into the open tunnel on the ground? Making his descision, Raithe was about to walk forward, when there was the sound of scraping metal against stone behind him. That sound also came from the front and he watched, helplessly as the portcullis slammed shut. As Raithe watched, he thought he could see the silhouette of that boy, watching. Then the figure ran away, quiet footfalls sounding off, in the distance.

Fantastic. The boy was a lot smarter than he gave him credit for and now, there was only one way out. But wait. Three giant rats, popped out of that tube and landed on the ground before him, sniffing the air. Though the three rats were giant, they actually weren't quite as large as one might consider a giant to be. They only came up to about his waist.

Raithe rolled his eyes at the ridiculousness of his situation. Before he would have only had to climb up to that pipe and crawl through it, but now he would have to fight three giant rats before he could. All the while, giving that boy even more time to get away.

Well, they really weren't very big. Raithe thought that he probably would be able to take care of them easy enough. At least that was what he thought, before one of them charged at him. The creature was so fast, he barely had time to jump in order to escape its sharp teeth. He landed on the floor near the first rat and almost immediately after, another charged at him.

Oh how embarressing it would be to be defeated by an animal preyed upon by most felines. Not to mention that he had just arrived in this place. He was curious about what more there was to see in this land he had been brought to against his will and Raithe decided that he would be damned if he allowed himself to be beaten by something like this. An animal which didn't even seem to be very powerful.

As Raithe came down, he flipped in the air, extending a leg and bringing his heel hard into one of the rat's heads. It fell with a pained and startled squeak. Twitched. Then went still. Good, one down, two to....

His other leg was pulled out from under him as one of the rodents had managed to bite his pant leg. Raithe knew that he was lucky it hadn't been his skin. As it tried to drag him across the room, Raithe kicked. He kicked and kicked some more. Blood began to dribble down its forehead, but it didn't seem to care as it refused to let go.

Changing his tactic, Raithe kicked the rat under its chin and drove his foot into the rat's throat. It opened its jaws long enough for him to scramble to his feet and leap up. Raithe came down hard on the creature';s neck, breaking its spine and it fell dead. He followed that up by twisting to the side, extending a leg and kicking the third rodent in the side of its head. Then he repeated his act with the previous rat and jumped while it was stunned, coming down hard on his neck. This one too, fell dead.

Breathing hard, he wiped a couple drops of sweat from his brow and glanced up. He would need to hurry now if he was going to catch that boy.

Raithe ran ahead, gripped the ladder and started to climb up. When he reached the top, he crawled through on his hands and knees. Like a sponge, his pants absorbed some of the liquid he was forced to crawl through. When finally he reached the other end, Raithe jumped down into another room. It was identical to the previous, but this one had a manhole. Raithe climbed down it.

Instead of stone like the upper level, he was standing on a grate. There were more stone tunnels below him, with mechanical sounds reverberating through them like a wind instrument and white steam seemed to be rising up from the floor. He could see lights built into the walls, providing a reliable way for others to find their way around down here. Another notable thing was that, although he could still smell sewage, it was fainter and the tunnels were clean and immaculate.

Raithe walked across the grate and soon came to a ladder, leading down. He climbed to the floor below him and then listened for anything that could tell him where the boy might have gone. He heard nothing.

The only way to hopefully find the kid this time, would be to just search. So that was what he did. Raithe made his way down the first tunnel and then another, finding no sign of the kid anywhere. He was about to change his mind and go back before getting himself even more lost, when he came across another manhole with its cover conveniently placed just a couple inches away from it. He climbed down.

“Let... let me go you bastards!”

Raithe listened. That voice belonged to the boy who had stolen his pouch and the satchel which belonged to those other kids.

“Or what?” another voice asked.

“Listen kid, you owe us,” it was a different man and he had an authoritarian tone. “You know, because of all the money your mama stole?”

“I told you before... I'll... get it,” the boy said, struggling.

Raithe followed the wall to its corner and peered around. He furrowed his brow at the two men who now held the boy hostage. And judging from what he had said earlier... were they the ones responsible for him stealing? Yeah, that was probably the case. Raithe took in a deep breath, steeling himself. And then he stepped around the corner.

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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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