“Wake up, miss.” Said a voice from beside me.
I mumbled something irritably as I sat up and looked around. It took me a moment to remember what I'd done yesterday. I was surprised with how I didn't wake up feeling so sore this time, not to mention how well I'd slept.
“Um, sorry if I overslept.” I said to Hawk, who was staring right at me.
“You're fine. I'll give you a few minutes to get ready since we're going out. I'll be outside the door..” She smiled again before closing it behind her.
For a moment, I dreaded having to go out there again, but I knew I was going to have to sooner or later. I put everything back on and did my best to look less...like shit as I did before. Going out the door, I saw Hawk out there waiting for me. There were several people by her side.
“They're going to be joining us. For security reasons. I hope you don't mind.”
“That's okay. But, if I may ask...what're they protecting us from?”
“Haha, I like how you knew it wasn't you. Anywaaay, it's not important right now. We don't normally go out alone. Makes us a target. Leader, on the other hand...” Her voice trailed off as she went deep into thought.
“Sorry. Let's go, miss. Fallow me.” Hawk gestured me to fallow her outside and I did without any hesitation.
We walked around for a while until we came to a stop somewhere I recognized. In the past, I'd come here when I needed to clear my head. Despite this pleasant memory, I wondered if Hawk had purposely took the long route just to mess with me like she had last time. The walk alone was tiring.
“We're here.” She turned to me.
“I know where this is...” I said absentmindedly.
“As you should. This once used to be a place of peace. Now, it's blended into the corruption around it. I wonder, has the same happened to you?”
“What do you mean?”
“I am only partly convinced that you're not another one just out for power. People like that make good soldiers, but not much else. It's obvious that such a tactic won't bring back what order there used to be.” Hawk stared at the frozen ground.
“I doubt there's a way to bring it back. If anything, your group could attempt to uphold those old ideals, or create new ones altogether.”
“We've been trying. So...what I want you to do is convince one of the thieves here to give up their way of life. It would be easy to simply kill them, but there'd hardly be anyone left if we were to do that...I assume this isn't too difficult for you?”
“I'll try my best.”
“Good. I'll be watching you.”
I nodded and walked off in one direction. They didn't fallow me, but I knew they were watching my actions closely. I wandered around for bit until someone finally decided that I was a good target to steal from. Mustering up all of my courage, I tried to talk him down. At first, he seemed angry and desperate, but somehow listened to what I'd said. It wasn't too difficult connecting with him since I understood what he was going through. Unfortunately, he grew nervous when he saw the others nearby and ran off.
There was no way I could've counted that as a success, so I looked around for someone else. It had to have been several hours that I did so before I was attacked again. I was almost certain that this person's knife had made a terrible gash on my hand already. There was only anger and hate in her eyes as she lashed out at me. I tried to talk to her between my desperate breaths, but it was not going well at all. She just wouldn't listen.
After I received several more cuts, she seemed to notice that I had nothing of value and ran off.
“Shit, that was awful.” I mumbled to myself.
Almost immediately, I was struck from behind by someone else. Normally, I would've just hid after the first sign of danger, but I couldn't afford to do that this time. I turned around and put some distance between us. Before me, there was a young boy standing there with a bat. The fear and desperation he had in his eyes reminded me of myself, as well.
Before trying to talk to him, I knew I had to tire him out or he'd keep coming at me with the weapon. I did my best to avoid the strike of it since I found that he was oddly strong considering that he was only a child. It also took me a while to notice that he was starting to get fatigued and unfortunately, I was already too.
He seemed confused when I started to talk to him and didn't seem to understand what I was saying. I tried stating my cause several times and began to feel hope when he lowered the weapon and looked deep in thought. He then said why he felt he had to live this way of life. Because he had no other choice. Something I was oh, too familiar with. I did my best to tell him things from my point of view, and told him that this wasn't the only way one would live.
The boy looked to have understood what I'd told him and said he'd give up trying to harm and steal from people to get his way. Overall, I felt somewhat accomplished.
I watched him walk off. For a moment, I wished that someone had told me the same things when I was that age. Would've made it so I could have avoided a lot of unnecessary danger back then.