Chapter 7: Progression (cont.)

Racieus set out, with Lieran not far behind. The halfling wasn’t sure whether he was supposed to know that his instructor was following him or not, but it did make sense, seeing as this was an assessment. He just decided to ignore his tutor’s presence and continue as if he hadn’t noticed.

The halfling turned down an alleyway and came upon a familiar street. He recognized the seamstress’ house, in fact he had been back there several more times in the last half a year, and every time, she was just as pleasant as ever. Racieus enjoyed her company just as much as work. Continuing up the street, the halfling came to his intended destination. The market surrounding the fountain. There were plenty of people here, and stealing would be a cakewalk.

Racieus spotted a man with a particularly large purse, to match his particularly large stomach, and the halfling suspected that while the man would be none too happy at losing his coin, he had plenty more where it came from, he wouldn’t miss it too much. Large crowds were perfect pickpockets. The basic idea was that the thief would feign a trip, or a fall, or a push from behind, and bump lightly into the target, using the bump as a distraction, and taking advantage of the close proximity to cut the straps of the purse and have it fall into a waiting hand.

Gearing himself up, Racieus was just about to make his move, when he heard a commotion break out. Several shouts of “Thief!” broke out, and for a split second, the halfling worried that he’d been found out, but he calmed himself immediately, that was impossible. He hadn’t done anything yet, and the screams were coming from further up the road. In fact one of the voices that was shouting thief was a deep, gruff voice, a voice that Racieus had vowed to never forget.

It was the dwarven blacksmith. Shifting to a sprint, Racieus, made full use of his advantageous size as he weaved through the crowd. He came approached the shop just in time to see a tall form recklessly swinging about with a pair of expensive looking swords, prompting the crowd to part before him or be parted by the exquisite blades. As soon as an avenue was clear, the thief took it, and Racieus wasn’t far behind him.

The thief couldn’t have been very proficient. He had chosen to belt several bags of coins onto his person, weighing himself down, and providing enough noise for Racieus to have followed him with his eyes closed. The halfling was in peak physical form, Lieran’s intensive training sessions demanded no less, and he was gaining on the robber. Just as the halfling was gearing up for a full tilt sprint however, the tall thief kicked open a door on the right and disappeared inside a building. Racieus arrived just in time to hear a bolt thunk home. Inner bolts were tricky for the halfling. They couldn’t be picked, and he didn’t have the strength to try breaking the bolt with a kick or shoulder.

That didn’t stop Racieus though. Grabbing a pouch on his own belt, he pulled it off and up ended the contents on the ground in front of the door. Out poured a good many small polished spheres. According to Lieran, only amateur thieves chose a hideout with only one exit. If the thief inside attempted to double back while Racieus was searching for other entrances, the spheres would trip him up long enough for the halfling to make it back around and capture him. Once the spheres had been deployed, the young assassin began to circle the building, making it to the complete opposite side before he found what he was looking for.

It was well hidden, specially painted to blend in with the wall once closed, but Racieus, eyes trained to pick up even the smallest of details, managed to spot it. First glance didn’t reveal any means of opening the door, but another quick inspection revealed a small panel on the door. Drawing a dagger, Racieus used the blade to pry open the panel, and breathed a sigh of relief as he was greeted by a keyhole. Still holding his dagger, the halfling pulled out a lockpick and inserted both pick and blade tip into the lock. Carefully and expertly maneuvering the thin tool, Racieus twisted and jiggled the pick, managing to get it underneath the first tumbler in the lock. He repeated the processing, putting the pick through a shimmy of movements, until all the tumblers had been passed by the pick. Then lifting the small tool up to the top of the lock, thereby raising and disengaging all the barriers that prevented the latch from turning, Racieus twisted the dagger and felt a satisfied grin form on his face as the lock turned smoothly and the door opened.

The End

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