The apples in Valhalla tasted terrible.
Sparrow took another bite from the mushy mess that barely passed as an apple before she tossed it, bopping a passerby on the head.
“Sorry!” She apologized with a small waved, though she was no more sorry than the sun was cold. The man cursed at her before walking on. She snickered. He still had apple guts in his hair.
She jumped off the crate she was squatting on with a yawn and looked around, bored out of her mind. She wondered how Jacob was doing all the way back at Galvinda. She missed that boy and the rest of the crew. No doubt, they probably missed her too.
Sighing, Sparrow began walking down the street. She had yet to been caught and as of now, no one knew of any of her acts of thievery. She was simply another girl. Sparrow wondered how long that would last.
Her current record streak was 2 weeks.
It’d been 9 days in Valhalla.
Sparrow ran the statistics through her mind and decided to settle on 12 days as her best bet, tying in the frequency of her thieving attempts, the places she stole from, the security there - everything she could think of.
She was always good at math. Rumor had it for the longest time that she was actually a robot, the accuracy and speed of her mind was quite above average, but no doubt, the last time she checked, her skull was quite authentic and unbroken, which also meant her brain could only be her own, which also directly proved that at least her mind and thoughts were all completely organic and not mechanical.
Her body was yet to be checked.
Of course, Sparrow was 99% percent sure she was 100% authentic human as well. No random metal limbs or anything. Metal limbs don’t grow bigger as you age, and they certainly can’t bleed.
Against her better judgment, Sparrow took out her dagger, fiddling with the little blade. It was lightly built, a beautifully crafted blade made for the local royalty. Unfortunately, there was a small kink on the left edge of the blade - nothing big really - and the blade was discarded. Sparrow snatched the abandoned blade from the recycled metal pile.
She named it “Ollan” which probably meant “orphan” in some language she didn’t know.
(Actually, she overheard the word in the conversation between two travellers. The exchange went something like this:
“The ollan here are so strong and well fed.”
“I know right? The city is doing such a good job taking care of those parentless children.”
Later that night, Sparrow would take both of their wallets as proper punishment for their ignorance.)
The blade spun dangerously around her finger and people stepped away from her, afraid that she might accidentally hit someone. Like that would ever happen.
She was across the street from bar, thinking of stopping by, when her attention was caught by a loud yell, coming from down the streets. Looking up, she caught a glimpse of a cat and mouse chase. It seemed to be a guard chasing down a child with a basket of bread clutched in her hands.
“Hand over the bread!” He shouted. The girl was too tired to wheeze a response. Tears drew white lines down her grimy face and her ragged brown hair flew all over the place, including into her own eyes.
A shriek flew out of her mouth as she tripped and fell, trying to rub the dirt from her hair out of her eyes. The basket went flying, bread scattering all over the place. The girl crawled forward to gather them up, trying to the best she could to clean them, but by then, the guard had caught up. He grabbed her by the collar and dragged her along on the ground. The girl’s shirt caught against her throat and she started gagging heavily.
Anger flared up inside Sparrow and the knife was out of her hand in a blink, pinning the guard up against a wooden post outside of the bar.
“Set the girl down.” She growled, already across the street. She stared dangerously into the guard’s green eyes. “Or else the next knife will land right here.”
Her finger jabbed harshly against the man’s chest - a bluff of course. Sparrow only had on dagger and it was currently pinning a man down. The guard sneered, but dropped the girl obediently.
“You’ll never get away with attacking a guard.”
“I never was planning to.”
With a jerk of her hand, the dagger flew out of the wall. The guard collapsed onto the ground in surprise, but before he could crawl up again, Sparrow had already ran off with the girl, not stopping until she had reached a forest on the outskirts of the village.
Well, there went her streak. So much for the 12 days she was hoping for.
She set the girl down, brushing off the dirt that had rubbed onto her clothes. The girl stared at the ground timidly, shuffling back and forth.
“Thank you.” She muttered, her hands playing with the strings on her shirt. Sparrow smiled, kneeling down to look at her.
“No problem. Next time be more careful.” She paused for a moment before taking out Ollan. “And here. Take this. It’s not much, but at least you’ll be able to give them a couple cuts.”
She handed the dagger over to the girl and disappeared into the forest before the girl could refuse. Ollan had served her well. Maybe it was time he get a new master.
She needed a new blade now.